Dental Tips Blog

Jan
31

Treatment of TMJ Disorder

Temporomandibular joint disorder is a complex disorder of the jaw bone, joint and the muscles and ligaments surrounding it.  Treatment for TMJ disorder begins with very conservative treatments.  Treatment is individualized for the client.  Currently, there are no recommendations on how to prevent TMJ disorder, and treatment is not the same for each person.  Whatever treatment is ordered for you, try to follow the directions as closely as possible and maintain good dental health.

If possible, try removing the stressors in your life.  After that, consult with your dentist for a thorough evaluation.

Night-time guards may be given to help re-align your bite or to keep you from grinding your teeth.  This splint will be worn to help reduce the stress on your jaw, and to reposition the joint correctly.  The splint will often times relieve the pain associated with TMJ disorder.  Splints can generally be made in your dentist’s office.

Medications may also be given to help reduce muscle spasms.  This will help correct the pain that is occurring from the disorder, and allow for further treatment to be performed.

In very severe cases, orthodontic work or other dental surgery may be performed to realign the temporomandibular joint and bite.  This is generally done after all other treatments have failed.  In most cases, this is covered by the cost of health insurances.  Surgery today is much less invasive today than it was years ago, and is often times performed in the oral surgeon’s or dentist’s office.  In other cases, a sedation dentist can performt the surgery in a hospital operationg  room while the patient is under general anesthesia.

If you have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder, or if you are having chronic jaw pain and fatigue, contact your local dentist for a complete evaluation.

Jan
31

Dental Implants

Posted in Dental Implants

If you have a missing tooth, the best treatment is a dental implant.  A dental implant is an artificial tooth that will replace your missing tooth.  This replacement will help prevent bone loss in the jaw.

The advantage of dental implants is that your smile is restored, it is easier to talk again, and eating and swallowing return to normal.  Dental implants are durable and can restore all functionality to the mouth area.  Dental implants are permanently placed.  Basically, you have a new tooth where the missing one used to be.

The first step in deciding if a dental implant is the best choice for you is to see your local dentist. The dentist will conduct a complete exam to help determine why the tooth was lost, and if there are any other teeth that are damaged.  When teeth have been lost from trauma the mouth should be examined to ensure that other teeth are safe and structurally intact.  Mandible fractures may have occurred during this time and will be screened for.  If any of these problems are noted, they will be corrected before the dental implant is done.

For teeth that have been lost because of tooth decay, a thorough examination is necessary to determine if jaw bone decay is present, or if there is gum damage or other teeth that show signs of severe decay.  If so, your dentist will want to correct these problems before beginning your tooth implant.

After the exam, your dentist will recommend the type of implant that is best for you.  To see if you are a candidate for a dental implant, contact your local dentist today.

Oct
25

Crowns

Posted in Crowns

After certain dental procedures or trauma, your dentist may recommend that you have a dental crown placed to help keep the tooth structure intact.  This article will briefly explain what dental crowns are, and the procedure for placing a dental crown.

Dental crowns are a type of restorative dental surgery.  The crown is actually a covering that is cemented in place.  When this crown is placed, it fully covers the tooth that is seen above the gum line.  Crowns are used when fillings become too large to maintain tooth structural integrity, or after certain dental procedures and sometimes after traumatic events.

Crowns may be made out of porcelain, metal, or a combination of both.  Most dentists will use a porcelain outer for any tooth that shows when you smile.  Careful attention will be made to your surrounding teeth color to make sure that the porcelain ‘matches’ your other teeth.  Your dentist may actually use a color chart to match the tooth color prior to ordering the crown.

Placing a crown involves several trips to the dentist.  A mold of the tooth will be made, and a temporary crown placed.  In a few weeks, the crown will be placed and fitted.  You will be asked to gently ‘tap’ on colored paper to see if any raised areas or other issues of concern arise after placement.  A permanent crown is placed with hard cement that is not easily removed.  Depending on the cause for the crown, you may or may not need local numbing.  However, this should always be a pain free procedure, so if you do have any pain, always let your dentist know.

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