Dental Tips Blog

Feb
28

Implant Restoration

Posted in Dental Implants

As with any dental restoration, there is always a possibility of a problem or failure down the road. Dental implants are no exception, and while rare, they may also require times where additional care is given to restore areas such as a crown or abutment that has come out or fractured.

Most dentists are able to restore dental implants, as it is a very simple process. Because the more advanced stage of implant care has already been completed and the titanium root is still in place, typical implant restoration usually involves the placement of a new crown or finding a properly fitting abutment for areas that may have broken or failed.

Each type of dental implant uses a unique form of abutment and screw, which is what supports the crown. Finding the properly fitting screw and abutment is typically the key factor when repairing a broken implant. Once the right size and model of restoration is needed, a new crown can be made for your implant the same way that it would be made for another tooth. An impression of the restored abutment is taken and sent to a dental laboratory, which matches the crown shape and color to fit properly in line with your other teeth. About 2 weeks later your permanent crown will be ready for delivery and permanently affixed to your implant abutment.

Implant specialists as well as general dentists can support patients who have had a failed implant or problem with the fit of the crown. As long as the bone structure and support of the titanium post is still within a healthy range, restoring the rest of the implant is typically not a problem at all.

Posted on the behalf of Pure Dental Health

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Feb
28

Crown Lengthening for Periodontal Disease and Restorative Treatment

Posted in Gum Disease

Crown lengthening is an effective surgical method that is used to help patients with gum disease manage their condition more effectively. The treatment process involves the removal of diseased tissue surrounding the teeth, tissue that is unattached and causes a deep pocket around the tooth that builds up plaque, tartar and food debris. These areas are difficult if not impossible to keep clean, and frequently progress into more severe forms of gum disease due to the patient’s inability to keep the area healthy.

During the procedure, the excess gum tissue is surgically trimmed or recontoured using a laser, completely changing the margin of the gumlines along the teeth. By doing so this creates a shallower pocket around the teeth, which patients are able to keep clean. When the area is kept free of biofilm and food deposits, the disease process can be reversed and the life and stability of the tooth can be restored.

The process of crown lengthening does cause the teeth to appear longer, with a portion of the tooth root then being exposed. These areas are susceptible to sensitivity, but the use of sensitivity toothpastes or supplemental fluoride can manage the condition. Once the disease is reversed and manageable, it may be an option to perform gum grafting to cover any areas of concern.

Crown lengthening is primarily used for the treatment of gum disease, but it can also be a useful part of treating teeth in need of restorations such as crowns when there is not enough tooth above the gum line present to support a crown. Lengthening the exposed amount of tooth above the gums leaves enough tooth structure to support a functional crown on the tooth.

Posted on the behalf of North Point Periodontics

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Feb
28

Alternative Medicine in Dentistry

Alternative medication and medical practices aren’t just for overall health conditions. Some may also be useful and effective in the relief or oral ailments or conditions as well. Homeopathic remedies that involve supplements, meditation and other mind-body practices such as those used in Eastern medicines can reduce stress, discomfort, anxiety and muscle pain in dental patients.

Acupuncture, accupressure and relaxation exercises such as yoga can be effective in the management of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. TMJ symptoms may often be addressed through yoga rather than invasive surgical procedures, as the patient learns to relax and decrease stress of the key muscles in the joint area. Chiropractic therapy as well as massage can also improve comfort. Non-invasive therapy for TMJ disorders is recommended for patients that have joint related problems long before more advanced surgical remedies are suggested.

Herbal supplements such as ginkgo biloba, or vitamins C & E are useful in treating inflammation associated with gingivitis and gum disease. Essential oils used on the toothbrush or mixed with water for a mouth rinse may also help improve oral inflammation, gum infections and bad breath. These act quickly and just two or three drops applied with a toothbrush are very effective in destroying harmful bacteria in the mouth. Some essential oils that are commonly used include almond, mints, eucalyptus and grape seed oil.

Oral supplements such as CoQ10 can be a comprehensive part of periodontal disease therapy. Patients that take the supplement may have an improved healing response along the diseased gum tissue, improving the results of their professional care.

Always let your dentist know what dietary supplements or herbal remedies you are taking, as some commonly used items interact with medications used in dentistry or may cause some procedures to be contraindicated.

Posted on the behalf of Greencastle Dental

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Feb
27

Oral Cancer Detection and Treatment

Posted in Oral Cancer

Oral cancer, also known as mouth or throat cancer, is a cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth and throat. It is frequently caused from smoking or chewing tobacco, and some strains of oral cancer are also caused from HPV (the virus that causes herpes or genital warts).  Oral cancers are also seen frequently in people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis.

Oral cancers can be treated in many different ways.  Simple oral cancers are removed by a dentist or oral surgeon.  Extensive damage may require medication or chemotherapy, depending on the type.

One of the best preventions against oral cancer is to avoid smoking and chewing tobacco.  The nicotine and other substances in cigarettes and chewing tobacco are known to cause many different types of cancers, including oral or mouth cancers.  Other steps to help prevent oral cancers include limiting how much you drink each day, and being vaccinated against HPV if you are young and have not been sexually active yet.  Although there are many different strains of HPV, the vaccine does help prevent against the types that are more aggressive in causing cancers.

Routine check-ups by your dentist will help identify any suspicious lesions or sores in your mouth that may be cancerous or pre-cancerous.  If you are concerned about a sore, blister, or other type of lesion or rash in your mouth, contact your dentist for an immediate evaluation.  Your dentist can examine the area, take a small sample for investigation under a microscope if necessary, and refer you to a specialist if required.  Rest assured, though, that mouth sores in your mouth are not cancerous.  If you have any concerns, see your dentist right away.

Posted on the behalf of Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates

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Feb
27

What Is Fluorosis?

Fluorosis is a cosmetic problem that occurs in the enamel of forming teeth.  Fluorosis appears as faint white lines on the tooth.  Most are barely noticeable, but in some cases, these white lines may be seen during regular lighting.

Fluorosis most often occurs when a small child swallows an excessive amount of fluoridated toothpaste.  Doing so changes the way the tooth is being formed in the gum, and the tooth develops with these faint lines across them.  There is no structural damage to the tooth, just the cosmetic changes in coloring with the faint white lines. Fluorosis can only develop when teeth are below the gum line;  once a tooth has erupted, fluorosis cannot develop.

The most important thing a parent can do to prevent fluorosis damage is to prevent a small child from swallowing toothpaste that contains fluoride. While it is important to teach children to brush at a very early age, the use of a specific children’s toothpaste is recommended.  Talk to your dentist if you are considering using an ‘adult’ toothpaste in a child under two.

Never use more than a small pea sized amount of toothpaste in children, in case of accidental ingestion.  Additionally, teach children to spit (not swallow) after brushing to avoid the potential of fluorosis.

Fluoridated water may contribute to fluorosis if used to mix baby formula in infants with no teeth.  If you have a baby and are using water to mix formula, talk to your pediatric dentist about the advantages and disadvantages about the use of fluoridated water.

With a little bit of prevention, your child should never develop fluorosis.  If you have concerns about fluorosis, make an appointment to see your regular dentist.

Posted on the behalf of Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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Feb
27

Benefits of Regular Flossing

You may have wondered if flossing was really necessary.  After all, you brush twice a day, and you see your dentist on a regular basis.  Do you really need to floss?

The quick answer is yes.  Flossing helps to remove plaque, tiny bits of food and other debris that sometimes is caught between your teeth.  These food particles, plaque and debris are not easy to remove with a toothbrush, and may become stuck if left for a long period of time. These particles can form cavities, tartar or calculus if left in place for long periods of time, and may cause tooth decay and gum disease if not removed.  In combination with regular dental cleanings and checkups, flossing and brushing helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental floss is designed to easily slip or slide between your teeth to remove these particles safely and effectively.  For the best results when flossing, you should floss at least once a day, and then immediately brush afterwards to remove any particles that may have become dislodged during the flossing process.

When you are flossing, gently glide the floss between each tooth along the gum line.  Do not forget to floss the back teeth and at the end of the mouth.  To floss well, use about 12-18 inches of floss, and remove the debris or small particles from the floss in between each tooth.

If you are having problems getting a piece of floss to fit between your teeth, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about different flossing options.  There are devices that can be used to help move the floss in the right direction, and there are different types, consistencies and thickness of flosses that are well suited for different mouth sizes and shapes.  Your dentist will be able to make a recommendation that is best for you based on your mouth and teeth size.

Posted on the behalf of Muccioli Dental

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Feb
27

Are Silver Fillings Safe?

Posted in Fillings

You may have heard stories about dental fillings being dangerous to you or your children, and wondered if you have a filling if you are at an increased risk for developing other diseases or injuries.  Unfortunately, there are many rumors that abound about fillings and filling material used to treat cavities, and many of these are simply not true.  This article will discuss silver fillings (commonly known as metal fillings or dental amalgram) and the safety of these types of fillings.

Dental amalgram fillings are silver in color, and are made by combining small amounts of many different types of metal.  One of the types of metal used in the dental fillings is mercury in a very small amount, and it is the mercury that has caused the controversy and concern through the years.

Mercury, when ingested alone, is dangerous to humans.  However, the mercury used in amalgram fillings containts other trace metals, including silver, tin and copper.  When elemental mercury is combined with other trace metals it is no longer dangerous to individuals.

Amalgram fillings have been extensively researched and continue to be used by dentist because of their strength, cost, and ease of use.  If you have an amalgram filling, you should know that there is no risk posed to you in this process.  Many organizations have researched this and determined that amalgram fillings are biocompatible.

If you have concerns about your dental fillings, talk to your dentist about this.  Until you can see your dentist, rest assured that the fillings in your mouth are not likely to hurt you, and are safe for use.  They do not need to be replaced or removed, and you will not suffer any ill consequences from them.

Posted on the behalf of Flat Creek Family Dentistry

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Feb
27

Endontics Basics

Posted in Root Canals

If you recently had a severe accident to your mouth or jaw, your dentist may have referred you to an endodontist. You may also have heard that a friend or neighbor was seeing an endodontist for a root canal, and wondered what an endodontist and endodontics were.

Endodontics is a specialty field in dentistry that focuses on saving a tooth.  An endodontist is a dentist who completes additional education (usually about two years) and training that will allow him to complete specialized surgeries to help repair and treat the soft pulp tissue inside a tooth.  Most endodontists perform surgeries such as complex root canals, and restoration of teeth after severe accidents and trauma.

Root canals are surgical procedures that will remove the diseased portion of the inside of the tooth, and replace it with a filling of some sort.  Sometimes a cap or crown is placed on the tooth after.  Doing this is better than extracting the tooth as your natural smile and bone strength stays in place.

Traumatic issues, such as accidents or falls, may result in the loss of teeth. Endodontists also work with these cases to attempt to restore and replace the natural tooth in the original socket.  Replacing the natural tooth may require a bone graft or rod, but is a better option than complete removal in many cases.

If you have been referred to an endodontist, time is of the essence.  You should make the appointment as soon as possible, and not delay or avoid the procedures or appointments recommended.  The combination of advanced skills and a timely response is what will help save the teeth from further damage, and help retain your natural smile in the years to come.

Posted on the behalf of Windy Hill Dental Associates

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Feb
27

What Is Dry Socket?

If you recently had a tooth extraction, your dentist probably told you to call the office if you developed pain that could not be managed with over the counter products like Tylenol.  This may be a sign of a painful condition called ‘dry socket’.

Dry socket happens infrequently, but when it does, it is very painful. Signs of dry socket include an intense, throbbing pain at or near the incision site where the tooth was removed.  People sometimes say that when they walk it feels like their jaw is being moved painfully, and others report that lying on that side of the mouth is painful and causes them to wake up at night.

Dry socket happens when the tiny blood clot that formed in the area where the tooth was removed is dislodged (perhaps with brushing, flossing or even excessive swallowing or spitting), and the bone and nerves are then exposed.  The exposure of the nerves is what causes the sudden and severe pain.  This tends to happen more frequently in those with diabetes and those who smoke.

Dry socket is easily treated once identified.  Contact your dentist if you have these symptoms.  Several options are available for treatment, and may include placing a small medicated dressing in the socket that you change on a regular basis, seeing your dentist regularly for evaluation and follow up, providing some anti-inflammatory medications to help with the pain, and providing an anti-bacterial mouth rinse to help avoid infection.  If you do smoke, try to avoid smoking during this time as this will delay healing.

If you are experiencing mouth pain after an extraction, contact your dentist immediately for evaluation.

Posted on the behalf of Douglasville Dental Associates

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Feb
27

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Posted in Gum Disease

We have all had occasional bouts of dry mout – when it felt like no matter how much you had to drink, your mouth was full of sandpaper, and dry and itchy.  Many times, this is from some temporary medications you may be taking but other times, it can be a sign of other diseases.

The most common cause of dry mouth is over the counter cold medications.  If you have a dry mouth and have had a cold, and are taking a decongestant or anti-histamine, try simply chewing a piece of sugarless gum or eating a piece of sugar-free hard candy.  This will help stimulate saliva flow, eliminating the dry mouth, and making you a bit more comfortable.  As you end your cold medications, your dry mouth will disappear.

If, however, your dry mouth does not seem to be associated with an over the counter medication, you should contact your dentist.  Severe dry mouth is called xerostomia and results from a lack of saliva.  Saliva is important because it makes your mouth more comfortable, but it also helps keep your mouth rinsed out, helps eliminate acid production associated with tooth decay, and helps fight diseases.

If your mouth is dry for a long period of time, you may notice that you have a constant sore or ‘tickling’ throat sensation, have a hard time swallowing or speaking, and may even have sores or bleeding in your nose or gums.  This is a problem because no or extremely limited saliva production, you are also at risk for increased tooth decay, cavities, and periodontal disease (gum disease).

Your dentist can provide you with mouthwashes and rinses, or drops if you have chronic dry mouth to help eliminate these problems.  He or she will also work with your regular physician to help determine the cause and provide you with the best possible treatment.

If you are experiencing excessive dry mouth, contact your dentist today for an appointment and evaluation.

Posted on the behalf of Flat Creek Family Dentistry

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