Losing a tooth can be the beginning of many more lost teeth. Saving the tooth maintains space, keeps other teeth from shifting, and eliminates the need and cost of a bridge or implant. It may seem expensive to restore the tooth, but it’s worth the investment and quite cost effective in the long run.
Healthy tissues don’t usually bleed. Most likely this is a sign of early gingivitis. If the gums bleed more than normal, then see us to review proper brushing and flossing techniques. It’s best to schedule an appointment with the hygienist to evaluate your soft tissue. This may include x-rays and a prophylaxis cleaning. Bleeding gums must be taken seriously because if this is left untreated, it can lead to periodontal disease.
People accumulate plaque at different rates. Most insurance plans cover cleanings twice in a calendar year. It’s recommended that your teeth get cleaned professionally as often as the doctors and the hygienist advise, even if it’s every 3 or 4 months. This is recommended in order to maintain good oral health.
Bad breath occurs when sulfur compounds are produced in the body and are released into the air. The most common source of this sulfur is anaerobic bacteria. This kind of bacteria lives in the grooves and fibers at the back of the tongue. They produce the sulfur that gives off an unpleasant smell. This will occur when the mouth is dry, which creates an ideal environment for the bacteria to live off of. The sulfur compounds are also produced when certain types of food are consumed.
Proper oral hygiene eliminates many cases of the bad breath. Daily brushing and flossing often removes the plaque and bacteria that linger with bad breath. When brushing, take special care to brushing the back of the tongue. This is where the bacteria normally collect. Mints, gum, and mouth rinses only mask the bad breath; it does not eliminate it completely. Avoid foods that have powerful odors and drink lots of water.
Orthodontics is the process of straightening teeth in order to correct a patient’s look and their bite. Orthodontic treatment includes: correcting teeth that are rotated, tilted, or misaligned. Correcting crowding and spacing, bite problems, and aligning the upper and lower jaws.
An orthodontic problem may be classified as a malocclusion, or a “bad bite”. The following problems may be helped or minimized with orthodontic treatment: misalignments, crooked teeth, crowding, missing teeth, extra teeth, an overbite, an open-bite or incorrect jaw position.
Adults can be treated at any time. However, the movements and the alignments of the teeth may take a little longer than an adolescent, only because the teeth are already positioned to where they want to be. For adolescents, in most cases, the ideal age for braces and other orthodontic treatment is between the ages of 12-16 years old. We prefer to start treatment on adolescents when all the primary teeth have been lost.
Invisalign is proven to give you the smile you’ve always wanted without the pain and anxiety associated with metal braces. Invisalign is the latest technology used in straightening teeth comfortably. They use a series of clear aligners that are removable to gradually move your teeth. Each set of aligners are worn for full time for two weeks with the exception of eating and brushing and flossing. Each aligner gradually moves your teeth until they have reached the position you and the doctors have agreed upon.
The doctors and staff will provide all the necessary tools needed for keeping your braces clean and your teeth healthy. Make sure to brush your teeth carefully and after every meal in order to remove any debris that gets lodged into the brackets. Flossing is recommended daily between all the teeth. This may be time consuming, but it does become easier and faster with practice. Avoid foods that are sticky, chewy, or hard. These types of foods can knock a bracket loose and require an appointment to have the bracket placed back on, plus they can be very difficult to get out of the braces.
Dental bonding is a plastic tooth colored (composite) resin material that is molded onto your teeth and hardened with a blue light. Little tooth reduction and usually no anesthetic is required. Disadvantages of bonding are: they can stain over time, and that they can chip and may need to be replaced more often.
Porcelain veneers are thin layers of porcelain that are fabricated in the lab and bonded to the teeth. Little tooth reduction and some anesthetic may be necessary. Porcelain veneers are stronger than dental bondings and are less prone to staining and breakage.
With laser dentistry, this can be done very easily and painlessly, in most cases. Tissue sculpting (gingivectomy) is done in conjunction with cosmetic work, in order to achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.
Dental bonding, composite fillings, and crowns can not be bleached. Fillings that have discoloration usually indicate some kind of leakage or recurrent decay. So, it’s best to replace them. If you decide to bleach all your teeth, it is recommended that you do this before replacing the front fillings. Replacements can be with either new filling material that will match the rest of your teeth or with porcelain veneers for a longer lasting result.
If one tooth is darker than all the other teeth, it could be from an earlier trauma to the tooth or previous root canal treatment. In some cases, a vitality test might be recommended in order to determine the healthiness of the nerve before any type of treatment is done. If the tooth and nerve appear to be healthy, then there are some options you could try: Internal bleaching which is done in the office by the doctors. This may take multiple visits to get it to the right shade. Other options are dental bonding, porcelain veneers, or crowning the tooth to mask the darkness.
Wisdom teeth are also called 3rd molars. These molars usually show up in young adults between the ages of 15-25 years of age. Because most mouths are too small to have 3 sets of molars, We will recommend that they be removed. The patient will have the option to see an oral surgeon and be put under general anesthesia for the surgery.
Oral surgeons prefer to take out wisdom teeth while they are still impacted (under the tissue) and have very small roots. If the wisdom teeth are starting to poke through the tissue, sometimes symptoms will occur with this and these can include: pain, infection, and swelling of the gum tissue. At this point, we will recommend that the wisdom teeth be removed, either by him or an oral surgeon.
Wisdom tooth extraction surgery involves removing the gum tissue that rests over the tooth and gently detaching the connective tissue between the tooth and the bone. After the tooth is removed, sutures are sometimes placed to close up the gum tissue.
A dry socket occurs when the blood clot has been removed from the extraction causing the bone to be exposed. In most cases this is more painful than a toothache itself. This kind of pain can last for a few days along with an offensive odor. This type of condition occurs most commonly with:
*Smokers: This decreases the healing and the blood supply to the area and brings toxic products into the socket. The negative sucking removes the blood clot from the extraction site every time making it more and more difficult for the area to heal.
*Improper care of the extraction site and not following Dr’s orders.
*Any kind of a vacuum/sucking motion such as smoking, drinking through a straw, spitting, excessive coughing and sneezing, usually within the first 24-48 hours.
*Women taking oral contraceptives are also at a higher risk for dry sockets.
The fluoride ion comes from the element fluorine. Fluoride, either applied topically to erupted teeth, or ingested orally (called systemic fluoride) during tooth development, helps to prevent tooth decay, strengthen tooth enamel, and reduce the harmful effects of plaque. Fluoride also makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is even visible.
We offer our patients a superior dental experience and an unparalleled level of quality care