A Root Canal

You Do Not Have To Live With Diastema If You Do Not Want To

If you have had to deal with diastema, or a gap in your teeth, you may have felt singled out, or identified due to this visible characteristic. Although many people embrace their gap as a part of their looks, if yours makes you self-conscious, once you understand the cause of it, there are a couple of ways you can fix it. What Was the Cause of Diastema? Knowing the cause of your diastema will often have implications into your available options for treatment. Gaps can take place anywhere in your mouth, although they are most visible when they take place in the front of your upper teeth. Many times these gaps are present from early childhood, or when you first begin to cut your permanent teeth. These are often caused by: Thumb sucking Tongue thrusting A mismatch between the size of your teeth and your jawbone A large labial frenum (or the tissue that connects your gum to your upper lip), and more While it is less common to develop a gap later in life, you can develop one as you age due to: Teeth shifting Gum disease Bone loss Injury Are You a Candidate for Braces?  Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for braces. If your diastema has been caused by the following, braces may not be an option your dentist chooses as a part of your treatment plan. Gum disease—Gum disease will need to be treated prior to any other intervention. Not only does it put you at a higher risk of losing your teeth, it puts you at a higher risk of other health issues. Even if you have had your gum disease successfully treated, braces can put you at higher risk of gum disease reoccurring. Bone loss —Many times those who have suffered a significant amount of bone loss will not have the underlying bone structure to successfully wear braces. Your teeth shifting due to missing teeth in other areas—Braces may not work without additional bridges, implants, or other dental work to fill in the missing teeth. Even if braces successfully close your gap, you will run the risk of the gap reoccurring if the initial reason is not addressed. Will You Consider Dental Veneers? Another popular method to correct the gap in your teeth is through the use of dental veneers. These are shells which are created especially for you by your dentist, and then fit […]

4 Common Issues Fixed By Cosmetic Dentistry

If you are unhappy with your teeth, you don’t have to be. There are a number of common cosmetic dental issues that can easily be fixed by a cosmetic dentist. If you suffer from one of the following conditions, think about contacting a cosmetic dentist to determine what they can do to fix up your smile and give you one that you can be proud of. Crooked or Misaligned Teeth One of the most common misconceptions about crooked or misaligned teeth is that it is a problem that only affects children. The fact of the matter is that a large number of adults grow up and have to experience the issue of crooked or misaligned teeth. Another one of the most common misconceptions about crooked or misaligned teeth is that orthodontic practices, such as the application of braces, are only for children or teenagers. As an adult, you have a bevy of options available at your disposal. Today, there are many types of orthodontic practices and procedures that are quite common and non-invasive without being easily noticeable to other adults, such as a pair of invisible braces. Yellowing Teeth One of the most common problems associated with adults and their smile is that, as they age, they find that their teeth are becoming less and less white and have maybe taken on a yellowish or greyish tinge. This can be due to a number of factors that combine to create a rather jarring effect on an otherwise perfect smile, such as smoking, unsatisfactory oral hygiene practices or simply aging. Luckily, there are easy ways to go about correcting this issue. There are many in-office procedures that dental workers can perform on you, like in-office teeth bleaching, to give you a much whiter smile than you ever imagined in these, your adult years. Gummy or Toothy Smiles Gummy smiles are generally a problem that is associated with people in their youth, as well. Many people are under the assumption that most people “grow into their teeth”. Which is to say, as they grow older, their teeth will seem less prominent than they did when they were younger. On the other hand, there are those individuals that may seem like they have “gummy” smiles or smaller teeth. Both of these issues can be corrected by corrective cosmetic dental procedures. It is recommended that you speak to your dentist about the procedure of […]

Mulling Over Missing Molars? Three Reasons To Stop Putting Off Replacement Of Your Missing Teeth

When one or more adult upper or lower molars are removed due to disease or some type of damage or accident, it might seem sensible to consider foregoing restorative dentistry, because the missing tooth is not visible when speaking or smiling. Some patients justify this decision as a way to save money or as a way to avoid making room in a busy schedule to accommodate the dental procedure. However, failing to invest the time and funds required to replace an extracted molar with a dental implant or some other type of restorative option can have some serious consequences. If you are dealing with a molar that needs to be removed, or have already undergone a molar extraction, the following information will help you understand the potential problems you may face if you opt to put off dealing with space left behind after the loss or extraction of these very important teeth.  Unhealthy & Unattractive Changes to the Jaw and Facial Structure Even though the space where the molar was extracted may not be readily visible to others, a gap caused by a missing molar can make profound changes in the facial structure of the patient. This is particularly true when the extracted molar was in the lower jaw, and its removal creates an area of insufficient support for the tooth positioned above it.  As time passes, the structure of both the underlying bones and the soft tissue of the face can change dramatically  when subjected to the loss of one or more of the teeth that once provided support. Sagging skin, excessive wrinkling and changes in bone structure can result in premature aging and increasing difficulty maintaining proper chewing action. Additionally, one or more missing molars can result in a lack of support for the upper jaw, which can cause the lower portion of the face to appear collapsed or shortened.  Decreases in Chewing Efficiency and General Oral Health Left unattended, missing molars, can result in nutritional issues as patients begin eliminating foods that become increasingly difficult to chew. Many of these foods are important parts of the daily diet, such as vitamin-rich, fibrous vegetables and protein-rich meats. Patients with missing molars may also find they begin to swallow some foods before they are properly masticated, which can interfere with normal digestion and the ability of the body to absorb the vitamins and minerals in the food. Missing molars also change […]

2 Important Things To Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis And Your Teeth And Gums

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful condition to have, but it does not only affect the joints in your body. RA can also have devastating effects to your teeth and gums, which is why you will need to provide the essential care your mouth needs if you suffer from RA. Here are two important things to know about RA and the health of your teeth and gums. How RA Affects Your Mouth RA is a disease that leads to pain in the joints, stiffness, and loss of mobility, and this happens because of the way RA affects your immune system. When you have RA, your immune system actually begins attacking your own joints, and this can also affect your teeth. The first way it attacks is through inflammation. When the disease attacks your joints, it leads to inflammation in your body, and this inflammation can spread to your gums. When your gums get inflamed, it makes them prone to gum disease. Gum disease can weaken the teeth and their ability to fight off cavities, and this can lead to a loss of teeth. RA can also affect the health of your teeth because of it leaves your body more susceptible to infections. A weakened immune system leads to more infections. If your body is more susceptible to infections, you could have a higher risk of developing an infection in your mouth. The third way RA affects your mouth relates to the loss of mobility it causes. Because RA can attack your hands, you may have a hard time brushing your teeth properly. Unfortunately, your teeth will need extra care if you suffer from this disease. If you cannot provide the right care, it can worsen the systems RA causes to your gums and teeth. What this means is that you will be at a higher risk for developing cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Ways You Can Care For Your Teeth If brushing your teeth is hard for you to do, you may want to talk to your dentist about your options. Your dentist might suggest purchasing a special type of toothbrush designed for people with arthritis. For example, choosing a toothbrush that has a wide handle might be easier for you to grip compared to a traditional type of toothbrush. Some people with arthritis will attach a bicycle handle to their toothbrush to make this task easier. Another option is […]

Three Situations That May Make A Dental Bridge Your Best Bet For Replacing A Missing Tooth

These days, many people who are missing teeth have them replaced with dental implants, which are posts that extend into the jaw, replacing not just the crown of the tooth, but the roots as well. Implants are considered the premier option for replacing teeth in most cases, since they prevent the roots from shifting and feel just like natural teeth. However, there are some situations in which a dental bridge — which is a replacement of only the crown portion of the missing tooth — may be a better option for tooth replacement. If one or more of these situations are true for you, then you should talk to your dentist about the possibility of a bridge instead of just assuming implants are the way to go. Situation #1: You are on a very tight budget. Implants are not cheap. The cost of a single dental implant ranges from $1500 to $7500. Since many insurance plans consider implant surgery to be a cosmetic procedure, there’s a good chance you’ll need to come up with most, if not all, of this money on your own. This leads some patients on tight budgets to avoid replacing their missing teeth altogether; this is not good for your dental health or self-esteem. Opting for a bridge, which will cost somewhere between $745 and $1275 if you choose a porcelain and metal bridge or slightly more if you go with all porcelain, may make replacing your tooth promptly a possibility. It is often better for your oral health to replace a missing tooth with a bridge soon after it is removed than to wait several years for an implant. During this waiting period, the surrounding teeth may shift, creating the need for additional corrective procedures. Situation #2: You’ve been missing the tooth for a long period of time. When you lose a tooth and do nothing about it for years, the jaw bone in the area where that tooth once was begins to shrink. Once this occurs, the possibility of an implant properly anchoring into the bone is diminished. If you go through with implant surgery, you may end up having to have the implant removed several months down the road anyway due to your lack of bone. Many dentists will perform bone grafts in patients who do not have enough jaw bone to support implants, but this is an involved surgical procedure and will […]

How To Correctly Handle Knocked-Out Teeth To Maximize Reimplantation Success

Dental avulsion is the official name for when a tooth is literally knocked out of its socket. This type of trauma is typically caused by being hit in the face with an object. The good news about this type of injury is the tooth can sometimes be reimplanted into the mouth, as long as it’s a permanent tooth and the person obtains dental care within 30 minutes. How the tooth is handled after the trauma can greatly affect the chances of successful reimplantaion, so here’s what you need to do immediately after a tooth is knocked out. The Importance of Protecting the Tooth When a tooth is torn from the jaw, the periodontal ligament anchoring it in place rips in half. Preserving the tissue that remains on the tooth is paramount, because this tissue contains cells that will fuse with the tissue left on the alveolar bone in the socket, securing the tooth back in place. The cells won’t live long outside the mouth, which is why it’s important to get the affected person to the dentist as soon as possible for treatment. Clean the Tooth The first thing to do is to clean the tooth. Pick up the tooth by the crown, taking care to avoid touching the root. Rinse it off with plain cool water or a saline solution for no longer than 10 seconds. Do not use soap or chemicals, scrub the tooth with any type of instrument including your fingers, or even dry the tooth off. Avoid touching the root at all because doing so may destroy the cells there. Reinsert in the Socket The best place to store the tooth is back in its socket. Rinse out the mouth with water or a saline solution and then gently insert the tooth back into the hole it came out of. Have the person bite down on a handkerchief to hold the tooth in place. However, only do this if the tooth is a permanent one. Attempting to place a primary tooth back into the socket may damage the socket and impede the ability of the secondary tooth to grow in. You can tell the difference between primary and secondary teeth because primary teeth have short crowns, thin layers of enamel and dentin, and roots that are narrower, longer, and thinner when compared to the crown. Most people lose all of their baby teeth by age 12 […]

Three Things That Make People Ineligible For Dental Implants

Dental implant placement is a relatively safe procedure with a 98 percent success rate. Because of this, it’s fairly easy to think anyone can have it done. In reality, there are certain physiological and mental health conditions that can make dental implant placement unsafe for people who have them. Here are three things that make people ineligible for dental implants. Heart Disease and Related Conditions Any condition that affects how the heart functions will make any dentist proceed with caution when determining if a patient is a good candidate for dental implants. However, there are three specific conditions where dental implants are absolutely contraindicated: Valvulopathy (valvular heart disease): This general term describes any condition or disease that affects the heart valves, which control the flow of blood in and out of the heart. The concern is, if the person gets an infection as a result of the dental implant, the bacteria could get into the blood stream and damage the heart valves further and possibly cause failure. Recent cardiac infarction: A person who suffered a heart attack in the months prior to consulting with a dentist about implants is typically immediately ineligible because of the damage the heart may have sustained during the event. The stress of getting implants and possibility of infection could lead to a second cardiac event. Cardiomyopathy: This is a condition that affects the heart’s ability to contract, leading to heart failure. People with this condition have a higher risk of experiencing irregular heart rates and sudden cardiac arrest. Diseases and Conditions that Affects Bone Growth For dental implants to work properly, they must integrate firmly into the jawbone. If the implant can’t integrate securely into the bone, it may fall out or let bacteria get into the area and cause an infection. Therefore, any condition that affects bone health and growth would make a person ineligible for dental implants. The exception would be if the condition was transient and the patient’s bone health is expected to return to normal at a later date. Even then, though, the person wouldn’t be able to get implants until their bones returned to normal. Some diseases that would disqualify a person for dental implants include: Osteomalacia – A condition where the bones soften because of poor bone mineralization, too little phosphate and calcium, or leaching of calcium from the bones. Paget’s disease – A chronic disorder that causes misshapen […]

4 Tips for Caring Your Baby’s Teeth

Caring for your child’s dental health from an early age is important to give their teeth a healthy foundation to grow and develop. Because babies’ and toddlers’ teeth and gums are much softer than adults’, you have to take extra care to prevent decay. Here are four tips to help you care for your child’s teeth. Wash the Gums Before Teeth Grow in Even before your baby’s teeth have grown in, you need to take steps to prevent buildup of bacteria on the gums. Sugars from breast milk and formula and particles from baby food can stick to the gums and allow sugar-digesting bacteria to form plaque on the gums. When the baby teeth do erupt, plaque on the gums can begin the process of decaying the teeth almost immediately. To keep your baby’s gums free of plaque, you can gently wipe them with a soft, damp washcloth or a piece of gauze at least once daily. It is a good idea to get into a habit of doing this every day at bath time or after your baby has been fed the last time for the day. Toothpaste is not required, as plaque clings much more loosely to gums than it does to teeth. Use a Baby Toothbrush and Toothpaste As soon as your child’s first teeth start to emerge (usually around six months, but sometimes as late as 12 months), you should start a routine of brushing every morning and every night. Until your child is old enough to spit while they brush, use non-fluoridated toothpaste or only a thin smear of fluoridated toothpaste to limit how much they swallow. When buying a toothbrush for your child, look for one one with a soft head and grip that will easily fit your child’s mouth without causing comfort. You should also make sure the handle is big enough for you to easily hold onto while brushing their teeth. Never Put Your Baby to Sleep With a Bottle Understandably, the longer your baby’s teeth are exposed to sugars, the higher the chances are that tooth decay will occur. Babies who are bottle-fed and toddlers that frequently drink from sippy cups can sometimes develop a unique form of cavities called baby bottle tooth decay. This type of decay is focused on the front teeth that are in direct contact with the nipple of the bottle or the tip of a sippy […]

5 Things You Need To Know Before Getting Dental Bonding For Receding Gums

Your gums hold your teeth in place by covering the roots where they attach to the jaw bone, but age, disease, and bad oral hygiene cause the tissue to shrink over time. Receding gums expose the roots of the affected teeth. If you’re noticing yellow edges where the gum tissue is disappearing or sensitivity along those edges to heat or cold, inexpensive and quick dental bonding might be the best way to reverse the problem. How Does Bonding Work? Before trying to decide if bonding is the right way to handle your receding gums, you need to understand exactly how this dental process works. When trying to cover a small sliver of newly exposed tooth next to the gum, the dentist will Thoroughly clean the tooth to remove tartar Etch the surface and apply a conditioning coating to encourage strong bonding Apply the color-matched resin in layers to create a thick coating Trim, sand, and polish the resin until it blends in completely with the natural tooth. Bonding is a quick procedure, with each tooth taking less than an hour from start to finish. There’s no downtime for healing and you can start eating normally again during the same day. Do Receding Gums Always Require Attention? Most people first consider bonding because they’re unhappy with the color of the exposed tooth root or struggling with pain. However, don’t skip a visit to the dentist over your receding gums just because neither of those problems are bothering you. Receding gum lines are linked to serious gum disease, sudden hormonal changes, and infections under the gum line due to a lack of flossing. Get your gums checked when they recede even if you don’t plan to get bonding for a brighter smile. Why is Bonding Better Than a Graft? When using bonding to protect an overexposed section of tooth, you’re simply giving the newly visible section an attractive covering. This treatment won’t bring the gum line back to where it used to reach. Grafting is used to restore the line of gum tissue to its former location, but this treatment is far more complicated and expensive than bonding. First, bonding has practically no recovery time, while graft patients need liquid diets and careful tooth brushing habits for a few weeks after the surgery. More anesthesia is necessary for grafting too, and the gum tissue can always reject the transplant and leave you […]

Dental Reshaping And Contouring: What You Need To Know

Healthy teeth can play a big role in your confidence, and many aren’t blessed with a naturally perfect set. Cosmetic dental procedures grow increasingly popular, with Americans spending 2.75 billion dollars on cosmetic treatments each year, as people look for ways to improve the appearance of their pearly whites. You might be looking to fix overlapping teeth, irregular shaped teeth, or small chips. Dental reshaping and contouring is something you might be considering, especially if you have some minor defects in your teeth that you want to fix with immediate results. What Is Dental Reshaping and Contouring? Dental reshaping is also commonly referred to as dental contouring. It’s a procedure that is often used to fix issues many people have with their teeth, ranging from small chips to crooked or overlapping teeth and it can usually be done within a single session. The changes made in dental reshaping and contouring are often immediate and subtle. A thin layer of enamel from your teeth is removed using dental instruments in order to polish away chips, make room for overlapping teeth, or help in fixing teeth that you find extra pointy or too flat. What Is The Procedure Like? Before going ahead with dental reshaping and contouring, you’ll need to have X-rays done in order to ensure your teeth are healthy enough for the procedure. If your teeth are in good shape, your dentist will then mark any imperfections and highlight whatever areas may need sculpting. The actual procedure involves removing small amounts of enamel to help alter your tooth’s shape, length, or surface. Anesthetic is usually not required because only a thin layer of enamel is being stripped away from the surface of your teeth. However, you’ll probably feel vibrations from the drill as your teeth are being sculpted and polished. Using air abrasion techniques, dental instruments, and bonding, your dentist will work to eliminate or minimize imperfections on the surface of your teeth by using a sanding drill or lase. Strips that resemble sandpaper are used to help contour the sides of your teeth. A coating is then applied afterward to provide a better, smooth finishing. What Are The Pros To Dental Reshaping and Contouring? Because your dentist is removing small amounts of enamel, the procedure can be very quick, painless, and inexpensive. The results will be immediate, and it can all usually be done within one session. It can […]