Emergency Dental Care

Category Archives: Tooth Restorations

Tooth Replacement Options: Dental Implants, Bridges, and Dentures

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Losing one or more teeth can affect more than just your physical appearance. It can also affect your speech, your food choices and your body’s overall state of health. Within a year of losing a tooth, you’re likely to lose up to 25 percent of the supporting structure in your jawbone. Thus, it’s important to have some type of procedure done to fill in the empty space.

Here’s a brief look at your options:

Implants

Implants are one of the most common tooth replacement options. They involve inserting a post into the supporting bone structure to prevent neighboring teeth from drifting out of position. A replacement tooth can then be fitted to the top of each post. Implants are typically made of titanium and other metals that are harmless to the human body.

Although implants are a popular option, they’re not suitable for everyone. Since surgery is required, the patient has to be in good health and must have enough bone left to support the implant. If not, surgery will be necessary to build the area back up. Even after the implants are in place, the patient will have to make regular visits to their dentist and commit themselves to a daily care regimen.

Bridges

A bridge is another option that makes use of surrounding teeth to support an artificial tooth. It involves shaving down and contouring the two adjacent teeth so that caps, called “crowns,” can be fitted over them. A single piece is made up of the two crowns with the false tooth in the middle, forming a “bridge” between the other two teeth. This is a great option to consider if you already have problems with those other teeth. Bridges can be either fixed or removable, depending on the patient’s mouth and needs.

Dentures

Dentures are false teeth that are relatively quick to fabricate and easy for the patient to remove. They can be eitherpartial or complete, depending on how many teeth need to be replaced and where they are located. Partial dentures can be created for situations that call for one to a few teeth. They come mounted to a plastic or metal framework and are designed to fit comfortably around the patient’s other teeth. Complete dentures are for patients who are missing all their teeth. Dentures should be removed nightly to allow the gums to breathe, as well as for cleaning.

The best tooth replacement option for you is best determined by consulting with your dentist and discussing your needs and unique situation. There are many factors to consider, including treatment costs, goals and numerous other concerns you might have. The most important thing to remember is that there’s no need to suffer from the mounting effects that may result from missing teeth.

Most Don’t Need Antibiotics Before Dental Work

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Many patients insist on being written a full 7 to 10 day round of broad-spectrum antibiotics before having a dental procedure performed. Patients hear from their friends, family members, and even some of their doctors that this is a reasonable, necessary precaution to take. From a provider perspective, it is quite understandable why this seems to be a well-reasoned belief. Probably one of the biggest concerns patients tend to express is their fear that bacteria will spread from their mouth or tooth to their bloodstream during a procedure. When bacteria or other foreign matter enters the bloodstream and causes inflammation to heart tissues, it is called infective endocarditis.

The American Heart Association says dentists and dental patients may be overreacting to the fear of infective endocarditis. and that we should reserve antibiotics for cases where infectious disease is more likely. Using antibiotics prophylactic are not only completely unnecessary for most patients, but are often only causing problems for the patient. Antibiotics should typically only be taken where there is a confirmed infection within the body. When patients take antibiotics when they are not sick, they take a risk of developing a condition caused by the medication. Rash and upset stomach are two of the less serious side effects to antibiotics, but there are also serious adverse effects that can result from taking them, as well, such as allergic reactions and life-threatening conditions, such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a severe skin condition that can be fatal. Another reason to be more selective about when to take antibiotics is because of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are bacteria that cannot be killed with standard antibiotic treatments. If an antibiotic is used frivolously, the bacteria may develop an immunity to that medication and survive even the most rigorous medications. In cases like these, infections can be more dangerous and will require more serious treatments to be used. Those stronger antibiotics have an even higher risk for causing severe side effects and reactions. Continue reading

Tobacco Use and Your Oral Health

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The potential for cardiovascular and lung damage from using tobacco products are well-known. Much has also been advertised about the effects of second hand smoke. However, outside of the possibility of developing oral cancer from chewing tobacco, not much has been discussed concerning the effects that smoked and smokeless tobacco have on oral health. Along with the nicotine content, tobacco contains hundreds if not thousands of harmful chemicals that are used to process the plant, amplify the flavor or preserve the products.

Obvious Drawbacks

Using any type of tobacco product stains the teeth and tongue. Users have chronic bad breath and a decreased sense of taste. In order to create a healthier oral environment, individuals would have to brush and floss after each time they smoked or chewed tobacco. Smoking or chewing tobacco also depletes the body of vitamin C, which is necessary for a healthy immune system. Stopping the addictive habit is the ideal solution. However, at least cutting down on the number of times that you smoke or chew throughout the day helps improve your oral health.

Inhibits Oral Healing 

Nicotine constricts blood vessels, which interferes with blood flow throughout the body and the mouth. Blood carries necessary oxygen and nutrients to oral tissues. It is not uncommon for oral tissues to suffer damage while eating. Coarse foods like potato chips may cause minute tears. Most people have experienced biting their tongue. Hot foods cause slight burns. Injuries might also occur when playing sports or becoming involved in some type of accident affecting the mouth. Without proper blood circulation, the tissues have more difficulty making the necessary cellular repairs.  Continue reading

Could You Have Bad Breath and not Know It?

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Halitosis is an unfortunate condition that affects many people in the world. Unfortunately, many halitosis suffers go through periods of having bad breath before someone shares the news with them. The Bad Breath Institute claims that about 45 percent of the people in the world have had the condition at some time in their lives. The same institute claims that 80 million Americans suffer from the condition. It is quite possible for a person to have bad breath and not have a clue that the condition is evident.

How People Miss Bad Breath

The reason that halitosis goes undetected for so long is that people’s receptors switch off. The olfactory bulb’s receptors tend to shut down when they receive a common smell for long periods. The laymen’s-terms translation is that people cannot smell their own bad breath because their system is used it. Other people feel the punch of their bad breath like it is the sharp uppercut of a boxing champion.

Things That Cause Bad Breath

Bad breath comes from a number of sources. First, foods such as onions and garlic cause a pungent smell in the mouth, but it does not last very long. Sickness and dry mouth can cause halitosis, as well. Underlying health problems such as diabetes can cause a person to have an unfavorable breath smell. Additionally, decayed teeth, plaque and dental diseases can cause halitosis. Continue reading

Why Are 4 Billion People Ignoring Their Cavities?

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Going to the dentist is something that many dread. It does not matter that there are new techniques that make the experience more comfortable, some avoid the dentist at all costs. The problem is that many people are walking around with cavities in their mouth that are not being taken care of. Cavities are caused by bacteria, and the bacteria is the start of a serious infection. The infection can spread throughout the body and cause major issues, such as sepsis. So why are so many ignoring their aching teeth?

Living With The Pain

In 2013, the Institute of Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London, did a study to find out exactly how many people are walking around with decayed teeth. What they found was uncanny. There are almost 4 billion people in the world who have cavities that are untreated. These rotten teeth are keeping them up at night and causing them great discomfort when they try to eat. Yet, many still avoid the trip to the dentist. The population’s oral health is in serious trouble.

Cavities are not the only problems found in the study. Those who are not concerned about their oral health often have other issues that plague their mouth. They can have severe tooth loss or severe gum disease to contend with too. The thing that makes most people break down their resistance and head to the dentist is when it hits a front tooth. As long as it is in the back where no one can see, many continue to avoid the problem.

Why So Many Leave Oral Health To Time and Chance

Many avoid the dentist because they do not have dental insurance. Visiting the dentist is not like the doctor, each procedure must be paid for upfront when no insurance is available. Additionally, many are afraid of drills, being put to sleep, or needles in the mouth. In many cases, an individual just keeps putting off the inevitable. When they finally show up at a dentist’s office, they expect miracles. Once a tooth has broken off and the decay has gone into the root, it becomes fractured and cannot be saved. This is when the costs really mount. A typical filling is rather inexpensive compared to a dental implant. If there is more than one missing tooth, bridges or dentures may be considered. Continue reading

Common Oral Health Problems

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A healthy mouth and positive oral health is good for the body and important for a person’s overall health. This includes taking care of the mouth, gums, and teeth and this is a goal that’s worthy in and of itself. Maintaining good oral health can help to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and even bad breath. It also is key to in order to help keep teeth in older age. Although no one likes to have dental health problems, many are easily treated and preventable with proper oral hygiene habits, a good diet, and regular visits to the dentist. Some of the most common oral problems are:

Bad Breath

Bad breath in the chronic form is known as halitosis. This is caused many times by oral problems such as cavities, gum disease, and bacteria.

Tooth Decay

Next to the common cold, in the United States, tooth decay is the second most prevalent disease. Tooth decay can be caused by plaque buildup, which can be treated and even prevented with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits.  Continue reading

Are Cavities Contagious?

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You would be surprised to know that cavities are contagious. Cavities are permanent small holes in a tooth and are a result of tooth decay. There are three types of cavities, which are coronal and root cavities, and recurrent decay. The hole can get bigger if it is not repaired and treated. This can become a serious matter that can not only destroy the tooth, but can also kill delicate nerves. A sticky, slimy film called plaque causes cavities, but it is a combination of factors that causes it. Bacteria in the mouth, frequent snacking, eating carbohydrates and drinking sugary drinks, and not cleaning teeth well, allow the bacteria to produce acids that stick to plaque and then attack tooth enamel. Plaque accumulates on teeth as soon as 20 minutes after eating. Tooth decay can begin quickly and cavities can be contagious. Continue reading

Dental Sealants Could Save Your Teeth

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Cavities are a common and uncomfortable tooth problem. They cause pain and can be quite expensive to repair. Prevention is the best approach to avoiding cavities, and dental sealants are an excellent choice.

How Cavities Form
A cavity is a part of a tooth that has suffered damage, resulting in openings and holes. Cavities occur due to poor brushing habits, consuming snacks and sweet drinks or by having a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. While they can happen to anyone, cavities are more common in older adults. If they are not properly treated, they become larger and may result in tooth loss.

How Dental Sealants Work
Sealants work by getting into cracks and grooves in the teeth that are difficult to reach through brushing. Made up of plastic resins, sealants form a hard, smooth cover that is less likely to store harmful bacteria and plaque. This makes it easier to keep the teeth clean and healthy. Continue reading

Why Is It Important To Take Care Of My Cavities Sooner Rather Than Later?

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Dental health is surprising closely linked to the health of the rest of the body. Always remember that a healthy mouth is a signal of a healthy person. Once a person realizes that they have a cavity, either from pain in their mouth or from learning it from a dentist, they might not be sure if they want to have it taken care of right away. Some fear have to take care of these problems, as they are afraid that having a cavity filled will painful. Others may not be sure if they can afford it, and often choose to put off taking care of the cavity.

However, the longer the wait, the more time the cavity has to get worse. Those who want to put off the procedure to save money or pain are not doing themselves a favor in the long run. Having a cavity filled is a fairly simple and inexpensive procedure. However, those who leave cavities on their teeth often eventually need a root canal. This is a far more expensive and far more painful dental procedure that can often be avoided by having the cavity taken care of early on. Continue reading

Options for Missing Teeth

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For a lot of people, there would eventually come a point when your dentist would break the news that their tooth (or teeth) can no longer be saved. It has to be extracted in order to avoid causing further damage to the remaining teeth. Missing teeth may cause a number of concerns. On top of the list is how you would be able to smile confidently with a tooth or teeth, missing. The good news is that there are actually available options about what you can do with that empty space.

  1. Dentures

This is the most affordable among the three options for missing teeth. Furthermore, dental insurance plans generally cover a percentage of the denture cost. You never have to hide your missing teeth for a long time since the removable false teeth could be fabricated in just a short time. Hence, you can immediately use to replace your missing tooth/teeth – even on the same day that you lose them. Since it is not fixed in your mouth, it is just a breeze to keep it clean. Continue reading