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Dental Emergencies and Kids

An Orthodontic Combination: How Invisalign and Braces can be Combined

Posted by on Dec 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on An Orthodontic Combination: How Invisalign and Braces can be Combined

Orthodontics, the branch of dentistry that provides treatments to fix teeth irregularities like overcrowding, has come a long way in terms of how teeth can be treated. There are many options for people who wish to have a straighter, more symmetrical smile, such as the traditional braces with brackets, and the less noticeable options like lingual braces, ceramic braces and Invisalign. There are now treatments to suit every situation. It is even possible to combine a traditional fixed brace with Invisalign. This can be done in two ways, both of which shall be explained here. A Traditional Fixed Brace Followed by Invisalign at a Later Date This way of combining these two orthodontic treatments is an option if you dislike the idea of having to wear braces for an extended period of time. Braces are generally much more efficient at correcting more serious cases of teeth irregularity, such as severe overcrowding and severely rotated teeth. Therefore, a typical example of combining a brace with Invisalign in this manner would first see the orthodontist applying a brace to your teeth to correct teeth that have rotated more than 20 degrees, or are severely crowded. After several months, the brace will then be removed, and replaced with Invisalign. Invisalign trays are more suitable for correcting minor issues, and are also almost invisible to the people around you. Invisalign Used in Conjunction with a Fixed Brace The other method in which Invisalign and braces can be combined involves using them at the same time. While these cases are rare as they tend to be more expensive than other methods, they are an option when the upper jaw and the lower jaw have differing levels of severity when it comes to irregularities in tooth position. For example, if the teeth in the lower jaw are severely crowded, your dentist or orthodontist can use a brace to correct the problem. However, if your maxillary (upper) teeth are only slightly out of alignment but you still wish to treat them, you can also opt to use Invisalign to correct that problem at the same time. The Cost is Considerably More for a Combination If you choose to combine these two treatments in either of the above manners, you stand to pay a lot more than you might pay if you only opt for one or the other. A cosmetic dentist may use Invisalign as a method, while only an orthodontist is licensed to work with braces. However, it is worth noting that traditional braces are less expensive than a lengthy Invisalign treatment, but the downside is that they may be considered by some to be unseemly. If the cost isn’t an issue for you, then you might just have the perfect solution to your particular problem. When searching for a reliable orthodontist, ensure you get a consultation from several sources, and don’t forget to ask friends and colleagues for advice. Word of mouth is often the most reliable source of...

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Impacted Wisdom Teeth — An Overview

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Impacted Wisdom Teeth — An Overview

Many people’s wisdom teeth never actually erupt and remain quiet and unnoticed beneath the gum-line. However, if your wisdom teeth become impacted, you will certainly know about it as the pain can be extreme. So, how can you recognise impacted wisdom teeth and what can be done about it? What are ‘impacted wisdom teeth’? Impacted teeth are those that become blocked when they try to come through your gum into your mouth. Wisdom teeth can become impacted when your mouth is overcrowded with your other teeth or if they try to come through tilted or sideways. Signs of impacted wisdom teeth Impacted wisdom teeth cause tremendous pain that increases as the condition progresses and gets worse. You will feel pain in the back of your mouth, radiating from your wisdom teeth through your other molars.  If you have impacted wisdom teeth, you will also notice that your gums become swollen and tender. When you floss your teeth, you may notice that your gums bleed, and brushing your teeth can become painful.  You may also notice a subtle swelling around your jawline that will become more noticeable as the condition gets worse. This can become so pronounced that you may find it difficult to open your mouth.  In addition to the symptoms that you notice in your mouth, you may also find that the glands in your neck and shoulders become swollen.  When wisdom teeth become impacted, you may experience pain in your temporomandibular joint where the jaw and skull are connected. This can cause headaches that may radiate to affect other areas of your face and head. Problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth In addition to the painful symptoms described above, impacted wisdom teeth can cause other issues with your oral health. The teeth adjacent to your wisdom teeth can become misaligned and crooked.  Impacted wisdom teeth are vulnerable to decay and infection, leading to serious gum disease.  Your wisdom teeth grow inside a sac within your jaw. The sacs become filled with fluid when the wisdom teeth are impacted. This can cause nerve damage and pain. If you find that you are suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms, you may have impacted wisdom teeth. Don’t just take a few pain killers and hope that the pain will go away on its own; consult your dentist as a matter of urgency so that you can receive the necessary remedial...

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Dental Crown Explained

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dental Crown Explained

A dental crown is a material fitted as a cap on an old tooth that is broken, decayed or otherwise damaged. Getting a dental crown is an ideal way to restore the function of a damaged tooth and make it look better again. It can also be very useful in holding a bridge or a denture in place, and it can serve as a protection for what is left of a tooth after you have a root filling. While most crowns are made of porcelain bonded to a precious metal, a variety of other materials have now been introduced. The material used often depends on the area of the mouth the tooth is located in. Crowns for the front teeth tend to be entirely made of porcelain because they look natural even though they are not as strong as bonded crowns. The bonded porcelain crowns are made of a precious metal base with porcelain applied in layers over it. More modern techniques employ an all-ceramic crown, which combines the attributes of the strong bonded crown with the natural appearance of the porcelain crown. This makes it a suitable choice in practically every part of the mouth. Gold alloyed with other metals can also make a hard-wearing crown. Fitting a dental crown requires at least two visits to the dentist. On the first visit, the tooth to be crowned must be shaped like a small peg to enable a crown to be fitted on it. This is achieved by removing the outer surface of the tooth to the same thickness the crown will be fashioned. A mould of the prepared tooth is made from an impression of the tooth so that a dental technician can prepare a perfectly fitting crown for the tooth. A suitably fashioned crown can be fitted on the second visit with a dental cement or adhesive which is applied to hold the crown in place. A local anaesthetic may be required if the tooth has a nerve. A post crown is often required if the tooth is root filled. The post crown, often made of prefabricated stainless steel, is constructed to fit the root canal before the crown is attached. The dentist fits a temporary crown on the tooth in between the two visits to enable the tooth to be used while the permanent crown is being prepared. Great care of the tooth is essential to enable the crown to last for as long as possible. Most crowns will last for many years if well looked after, but inadequate cleaning may cause decay of the tooth at the edge of the crown. The dentist routinely provides suitable advice on appropriate methods for taking care of the crowned tooth at the end of the...

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When Can an Emergency Dentist Refit a Knocked-Out Tooth?

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Can an Emergency Dentist Refit a Knocked-Out Tooth?

If you’ve had an accident and one of your teeth has been knocked out, you may already know that you may be able to save the tooth and have a dentist reinsert it into its hole. If all goes well, your tooth will then embed itself again. While this procedure can work, there are certain circumstances that may affect whether your emergency dental appointment is successful or not. Which factors influence the success or failure of reinserting your tooth? Act Now, Don’t Wait While a tooth may be able to be reinserted by a dentist, you must act fast. The tooth stands the best chances of being inserted back successfully if you can get it in its socket within 20 minutes. Your best chances of success come if you can see a dentist immediately. Tip: If possible, put the tooth back in its socket yourself as soon as you can after it is knocked out. You still need to see a dentist urgently; however, this may help save the tooth. Don’t Let the Tooth Dry Out If the tooth dries out, then the cells that keep it alive and that will help it regrow into your mouth may die. If this happens, you’ll lose the tooth. If you can’t temporarily reinsert the tooth into its socket, you should try to keep the cells moist until you and your tooth can get dental help. Try putting the tooth in your saliva or some milk — this helps keep the cells alive. Tip: If you don’t have a suitable container to store the tooth in before you see your dentist, you can store it in the side of your mouth. This will keep it bathed in saliva — just be careful not to knock the tooth or swallow it! Don’t Handle the Tooth Too Much You may need to handle the tooth when you retrieve it and decide what to do with it before your dental appointment. Try not to handle the tooth at the parts that go into the gum, but hold it by its biting edges. If you touch the part of the tooth that attaches to your mouth, the root, you may damage and kill the cells you need to keep the tooth alive. If you lose a tooth when your dentist’s office is closed, don’t wait until it reopens to make an appointment. If your dentist doesn’t have an emergency service or isn’t contactable out of hours, find an emergency...

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Talon Cusps: How They Can Affect Your Child

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Talon Cusps: How They Can Affect Your Child

If your child is complaining that their gums, tongue or cheeks are hurting, they may be suffering from a condition called talon cusps. Talon cusps are abnormal growths which can appear on the rear of the teeth. The condition gets its name from the fact that these growths are typically shaped like a claw or talon. Below is a guide to all you need to know about talon cusps. Symptoms Alongside irritation of the soft tissues within the mouth, other symptoms of talon cusps include: Problems with alignment and bite of the teeth Crowding of the teeth as they erupt Accumulation of plaque and tartar on the rear of the teeth Treatment Options If you spot the signs of talon cusps, you should take your child to the dentist. Your dentist will carry out an inspection of your child’s mouth and will assess the location and severity of the talon cusps. If the talon cusps are not causing any pain or irritation and are not impacting the development of the surrounding teeth, your dentist may recommend that they are left in place. However, your dentist will monitor the cusp during regular check-ups to ensure that the cusps do not go on to present a problem in the future. If the talon cusps have developed in such a way that they are causing your child discomfort or impacting the development and health of surrounding teeth, your dentist may recommend further treatment. For example, if the talon cusps are quite small, your dentist may simply recommend having the tooth reshaped. The involves using specialist dental tools to grind away the cusps, leaving the back of the tooth smooth and contoured. Alternatively, they may fill the gap between the tooth and the talon cusps with composite resin. This resin will help to prevent food and plaque from becoming trapped between the tooth and cusps which can cause tooth decay. If the talon cusps contain any pulp tissue, blood vessels and nerves, they will recommend that your child undergoes a root canal procedure. The root canal procedure will remove the nerves within the tooth and kill the pulp tissue; this will allow the dentist to reshape the tooth without causing your child unnecessary pain and discomfort. In extreme cases, the dentist may recommend the extraction of the problem tooth. If the tooth is a milk tooth, it will eventually be replaced by an adult tooth. If the tooth is an adult tooth, the dentist will replace it with an artificial tooth. If you have any concerns about your child’s dental health, you should book an appointment with your dentist...

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Solutions for When You Need to Replace Multiple Missing Teeth

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Solutions for When You Need to Replace Multiple Missing Teeth

It can be fascinating to consider what was once used as replacement teeth. Some 4000 years ago, people used bamboo pegs to replace their missing teeth. Copper pegs and even sea shells have also been used over the years. Now dentists can work miracles when it comes to replacing missing teeth. A single tooth can be replaced with a dental implant which will look and function just as a natural tooth would. The fairly high cost of a dental implant means that it might not be a feasible choice when it comes to replacing multiple teeth. If you have a number of missing teeth due to an accident or tooth decay, what are some of your options for making your smile complete once again? Partial Dentures This is perhaps the most common way to replace multiple missing teeth, and yet in some ways it can also be the most inconvenient. Partial dentures are when the missing teeth are attached to a dental plate that is held against the roof or base of your mouth as needed. While they do not replace all your teeth (as full dentures would), they still need to be treated in the same fashion as full dentures. This means that they will benefit from being soaked at night, and you will also notice a reduction in your bite pressure which might place some limitations on what you can eat. Denture Implants Implant-supported dentures (also known as denture implants) are still detachable and yet they have a clear advantage over traditional partial dentures. The dentures are securely held in place by small metallic implants that protrude from your gums. The dentures then click into place and will not shift as traditional dentures might. The reduction in your bite pressure is infinitely less noticeable and the implant dentures feel far more natural than traditional partial dentures. Dental Bridges Dental bridges offer an even more permanent feeling solution. Prosthetic teeth are fabricated and then attached to a metal bridge. This bridge is then connected to your natural teeth on either side of the gap to be filled. Your natural teeth might need to be reinforced with dental crowns in order to support this extra weight. This can be an excellent option if you don’t like the idea of detachable dentures. You don’t have to put up with multiple missing teeth, and so it’s good to know that you have a number of...

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Angular Cheilitis: Prevention and Cure

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Angular Cheilitis: Prevention and Cure

Angular cheilitis is a skin infection that causes cracking and soreness at the corners (‘angles’) of your mouth. The condition is usually caused by a build-up of the yeast Candida albicans, and symptoms include a burning sensation and redness around the mouth. If you wear dentures, chances are that these are causing the yeast build-up, because dentures often have insufficient support for the corners of your mouth. Read on for tips on how to cure this pesky condition and prevent it from reoccurring. Home and pharmacy remedies Most cases of angular cheilitis will clear up on their own after a few weeks. However, for those who don’t wish to put up with the discomfort for that long, there are a few inexpensive home and over-the-counter remedies that you can try. Applying topical creams and balms such as aloe vera gel and petroleum jelly can help reduce the burning sensation associated with angular cheilitis. However, the use of balms will only provide temporary relief from the symptoms of the condition and is not a permanent cure if the underlying cause is not treated.  Anti-fungal creams such as nystatin (branded as Mycostatin) can be used to address the yeast build-up causing your angular cheilitis. Generally, using an anti-fungal cream will resolve the symptoms of your infection within two weeks, but again, the issue is likely to recur if your dentures are not adjusted. When to see your doctor The Charles Clifford Dental Hospital recommends that a patient with stubborn angular cheilitis visits their doctor if symptoms have not cleared up within two weeks. Most cases of angular cheilitis are caused by a yeast infection, but other factors, such as staphylococcus (bacteria) infection or vitamin B12 deficiency, may be present. Your doctor can conduct mouth swabs and blood tests to determine the exact cause. If it is confirmed that C. albicans is indeed the culprit, then your doctor can prescribe stronger anti-fungal medication than what can be bought over-the-counter. Patients should also see a doctor if their symptoms are especially severe, or worsen during the course of treatment. Signs of a severe infection include blisters or strong pain when opening your mouth. Preventing a relapse As previously outlined, the yeast build-up that causes cases of angular cheilitis in people with dentures is usually due to poor-fitting dentures that do not support the corners of the mouth. While anti-fungal creams can temporarily relieve symptoms, chances are that if you do not have your dentures adjusted, the yeast build-up will occur again. Try to avoid licking your lips too frequently, and, as always, be sure to clean your dentures every night to stop infection in its...

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Dental Crowns vs. Veneers: Which Should You Choose for your Cosmetic Dentistry?

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dental Crowns vs. Veneers: Which Should You Choose for your Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry procedures are meant to improve the appearance of the teeth and smile. Dental crowns and veneers are among the most common cosmetic dentistry treatment options available for patients with defective teeth. Both are permanent forms of dental restorations which are placed on an existing natural tooth.  However, the choice between the two can be quite confusing for most people. Which of these two should you choose to restore the appearance of your teeth and a beautiful smile? Here is a comparison that should help you choose the better of the two treatment options. Dental crowns A dental crown is a restorative material that completely covers a tooth, and is used to fix surface defects and strengthen it. Dental crowns are ideal for correcting the following dental issues: Severely cracked or chipped teeth Crooked or defectively shaped teeth Old and unappealing dental fillings After root canal treatment to improve the strength of the tooth Crowns usually take the shape and size of your natural teeth; therefore, they have to be custom made to your tooth structure. On the downside, they can be a little invasive since some restructuring of the natural teeth has to be done to ensure that the crown does not interfere with your bite. Also, the procedure of custom making crowns and having them fixed can be quite lengthy and costly. Dental veneers A dental veneer is a thin shell of ceramic or resin filling material that is applied to the surface of the tooth to improve the shape and appearance. Unlike crowns which cover the entire tooth, veneers cover the front and side edges of the teeth. They are an ideal option if you want to correct the following dental issues: Stained or discolored teeth Small gaps between teeth Cracked and chipped teeth Asymmetrical teeth Minor teeth misalignment issues Compared to crowns, dental veneers are minimally invasive, and only a small amount of enamel is removed to enhance the bond between the veneer and the tooth. They can also be matched to the exact color of your enamel so that they remain invisible. They can even be used on teeth that have been previously treated with crowns to give them a natural appearance. Dental veneers take a shorter time to prepare and fix as compared to crowns, but they can also be quite costly. The choice between crowns and veneers primarily depends on the condition that you intend to fix. However, other factors such as cost and treatment period may also come into play. Weigh the two options and talk to your cosmetic dentist for further advice on the best option to improve the appearance of your...

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Why Opt for a Dental Implant?

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Opt for a Dental Implant?

Getting a dental implant is not like getting false teeth; an implant is a permanent tooth that is screwed into the jawbone, so it requires a surgery, sometimes more than one, to have it fitted and put into place. Since getting a bridge may be somewhat easier overall, and perhaps even cheaper, why opt for a dental implant? Note a few considerations to keep in mind. Oral health In order to support a bridge, teeth around the area of the missing tooth often need to be reduced or drilled down, as they act as an anchor for that bridge. If they are not reduced, there is no room in the mouth for the bridge itself. This can reduce the health of those teeth, as they may be more susceptible to cavities and decay when they have their outer layers removed. With a dental implant, these surrounding teeth are rarely affected or altered for the surgery, so your overall oral health is preserved.  Implants can also be easier to clean and maintain, as you don’t need to remove them and clean them separately from your other teeth as you do with a bridge. The implant is cleaned at the same time as your other teeth, which also preserves your overall oral health. Durability Dental bridges can be very durable, but they are not made with the same materials as implants and may not last as long. As they are not anchored into the jawbone, they may be susceptible to breakage from impact. A dental implant is meant to last for many decades, if not even a lifetime. Easier eating Food can get stuck under a dental bridge or pull it out of place, and some foods may be too hard to bite into with a bridge. For some, this can mean that their health suffers, if they turn to a soft foods diet or avoid healthy foods like apples and nuts in favor of sugary baked goods. With a dental implant, not only is eating more enjoyable since you are rarely restricted when it comes to your diet, but you may actually enjoy a healthier diet as well. Speech Dental bridges can slip, even with adhesives. This can make speaking difficult, something to consider especially if you make speeches or presentations or consistently meet new people in the course of your career. With a dental implant, there is no worry of having the tooth slip out of place so your speaking is always as clear as if you had all of your own...

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Can You Get Dental Implants If You Have Osteoporosis?

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can You Get Dental Implants If You Have Osteoporosis?

The importance of teeth cannot be emphasized any further. They help in eating, chewing and in uttering meaningful words. A person with a full set of teeth also tends to have a better self-esteem as compared to a person who is missing a tooth or two. As you age, however, you may begin to lose your teeth. But that isn’t much of a concern nowadays due to the success of dental implant treatment. Dental implants function the same way as your natural teeth. And on top of that, they restore your confidence. If you are suffering from osteoporosis, you could be asking yourself if your jawbone is strong enough to support dental implants. The answer to your question is yes, but the success of the treatment may depend on how fast you act to get the implants. What Is Osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease that affects the bones. With the disease in play, the bones (including the jawbone) lose calcium and slowly, they lose their strength. And because of this, the bones become prone to fractures. Osteoporosis tends to affect women more than men, especially women who are past their menopause. There is a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates that is used to curb the effects of osteoporosis. However, it has been found that the drugs can result in jawbone complications and hinder the progress of dental implant treatment. In medical terms, the complications are referred to as bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis or BRON in short. What happens is that the drugs prevent the flow of blood to the bones, which result in the death of the bones. Can You Insert Implants If You Have Osteoporosis? According to research studies, it is absolutely possible to get implants if you have osteoporosis. In one study, 24 women who were past their menopause were examined. 12 of them had missing teeth and were suffering from osteoporosis. The other 12 had missing teeth but were not suffering from the disease. So doctors replaced all of their teeth with dental implants and waited for a year. After one year, the results were impressive. There was bone loss in both groups of women but the implants were still intact. What If You Are Taking Bisphosphonates? With less blood flowing to the jawbone, it becomes hard for the jawbone to support dental implants. However, dental implant treatment could be possible if you are taking bisphosphonate drugs under one condition. That is if you act early; conclusions from the same study imply that you should have the implants inserted immediately after you have had your teeth removed. When you delay, you risk suffering from...

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