If you have a damaged or traumatized tooth, extraction is not the only option as there is a chance that you can save your natural tooth. Whenever possible, it is always better to save your teeth rather than lose them, as missing teeth have negative effects on confidence, ability to chew, general health and the alignment of the remaining teeth. Here are the alternative procedures to tooth extraction if you would like to keep a beautiful, natural smile.
Save Your Teeth with Root Canal Procedures
Root canal treatment is the most popular alternative to teeth extraction. Endodontic treatment or a root canal treats the living parts found inside the teeth known as the pulp. The pulp consists of the soft tissue inside the teeth made up of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues that nourish the root during the development stage. When the teeth develop fully, it is possible to remove the pulp without affecting the teeth since the supporting tissues provide nourishment.
Tooth decay, repeat dental procedures, cracks, chips, trauma caused by accidents and faulty crowns can trigger infections and inflammation of the pulp. Root canal therapy treats the damaged pulp preventing major pain and abscess. Root canal treatment involves the non-surgical removal of the infected or inflamed pulp. The resulting hollow is cleaned, disinfected, shaped, filled and sealed to prevent further infections. A tooth restoration procedure using a crown or filling follows to restore the tooth to its normal function and structure. After root canal treatment, teeth can last for a lifetime without requiring another root canal treatment or dental procedure.
Save Your Teeth with Endodontic Surgery
Another alternative to losing teeth through extraction is to undergo endodontic surgery. One of the most popular surgeries is apicoectomy or root-end resection done when the inflammation or infection continues spreading to the bony tissue even after root canal treatment. An endodontist removes the infected area and sometimes part of the root and then seals the area. This is a safe procedure made comfortable by the use of local anesthesia. There are no serious complications and the bone heals within a few months.
Another sophisticated endodontic surgery procedure to save the teeth is intentional replantation. This involves the removal of the infected teeth for treatment outside the mouth. After treatment, an endodontist plants the tooth back in its socket and it resumes normal operation without the infection. Other surgery options to save the teeth include separating the tooth into two halves, or surgery to fix or remove an injured root.
Endodontic surgery is beneficial in the following situations:
- For diagnosis and treatment of root infections, minor fractures and tiny canals that do not show on the x-rays; yet there are symptoms of infection.
- For cleaning, treatment and sealing of too narrow canals that root canal treatment instruments cannot penetrate to reach the roots.
- For treatment of teeth that fail to heal after a root canal treatment or develop infections after a root canal procedure.
- For treatment of damaged roots and supporting bone structure of the teeth.
Other Ways to Save Your Damaged or Dying Teeth
Some people take painkillers to eliminate toothache and other symptoms instead of undergoing a tooth extraction immediately. However, this does not deal with the root problem but only eliminates the symptoms. It is possible to treat some infections using antibiotics, however. Still, it’s best to consult your dentist to find out the best solution for your specific needs.
Early Periodontal Disease Treatment
For people with mild gum disease, tooth loss is inevitable if the mild gum disease goes untreated and develops into chronic periodontal inflammation. Early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease is the best way to prevent tooth loss associated with periodontal disease.
Apart from endodontic procedures, maintaining proper dental hygiene is the best way to save your teeth from extraction or any other restorative dental procedure. Proper dental care involves brushing teeth properly at least twice a day, flossing daily, following a healthy diet and visiting the dentist regularly. This prevents damage to the teeth in the first place, thereby eliminating the need to undergo root canal treatment or teeth extraction. This is also the best way to ensure your teeth stay healthy for a long time and delay tooth loss.
If it is too late or impossible to save the teeth and extraction is inevitable, replacing the extracted teeth with dental implants and other structures is the best way to avoid the negative effects of physically visible tooth loss.
It is important to see your dentist regularly for routine dental care and examinations. This will help prevent the issues listed above. Maintaining good dental health will lead to a lifetime of smiles.
Porcelain veneers are sometimes perceived as something out of Hollywood. There is a good reason for this as many actors and actresses have abnormally perfect white teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is an art and smiles can be recreated or they can be perfect. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Some like having small gaps between their teeth or a tooth slightly out of alignment. Porcelain veneers work very well when cosmetic changes need to be made without the need for more invasive dental procedures.
Are Porcelain Veneers Right For Your Smile?
-Desire For A New, Beautiful Smile. Generally when someone openly wants a change in appearance, especially one requiring a significant financial investment, they are usually more receptive to maintaining it properly. If the porcelain veneers are not cared for they can and will develop tooth decay as well as break down. Routine dental examinations, professional cleanings, and excellent dental hygiene are an integral part of keeping your new smile looking its best.
-Healthy Teeth And Gums. If extensive tooth decay, fractured teeth, or periodontal disease are present, you will not be considered a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Good oral health is required for porcelain veneers. The mouth needs to be in a healthy, stable state to allow porcelain veneers to be considered an option. You will need a full dental examination to assess your dental health. If your mouth is not free of the above conditions, it is best to avoid porcelain veneers due to an increased chance of failure.
-Teeth Alignment. Severely misaligned teeth are not good candidates as this will cause issues with preparation of teeth for porcelain veneers. A good cosmetic dentist will try to be quite conservative when removing natural tooth structure. If the teeth are too far out of alignment it means more tooth structure will need to be removed to accomodate the spacing. Removing too much tooth structure can lead to tooth sensitivity and even nerve exposure (requiring possible root canal therapy). For teeth that are severely misaligned, invisalign, 6 month smile orthodontics, or traditional orthodontics may be needed to bring them into proper alignment.
-Sufficient Tooth Enamel Present. Tooth enamel is needed for the porcelain veneers to bond to your teeth. If the tooth is severely worn down or damaged, porcelain veneers will not bond well and may not be a good option for you. In this case a full crown may be a better option.
-Tooth Color. In general, porcelain veneers look best when they are thin and translucent. If you have severely stained teeth (developmental dentin staining, tetracycline staining, root canal therapy staining), it is usually best to undergo teeth whitening prior to veneers. Blockout of underlying staining is possible, but the end result will not look as natural.
-Gum Tissue Alignment. Proper gum tissue contours are necessary to give a natural look. If the gum heights are out of proportion, they will need to be recontoured with a gingivectomy procedure prior to veneer placement.
- Oral Habits: Nail Biting, Teeth Clenching/Grinding (Bruxism). Severe teeth clenchers or teeth grinders are not good candidates for porcelain veneers. Veneers are not able to handle the powerful stresses put forth by grinding and clenching. If a patient only grinds their teeth at night then it is possible to still complete porcelain veneers but only with the use of a night guard at night. Other oral habits such as, biting nails, chewing on pens, opening packages with your teeth, etc. will also cause damage to veneers and may cause them to fail.
Porcelain Veneers Conclusion
Porcelain veneers can give the ability to transform an ordinary smile to an extraordinary one. The information above should give everyone some information on what to expect if they are considering making changes to their smile. A natural looking new smile is just a dentist visit away!
Many of us have bad habits that may seem harmless. One of those habits is chewing on ice cubes. You may believe this habit is relatively harmless since ice is just water. However, the impact of chewing that ice can be devastating to your dental health. Below are a few of the top reasons why.
Reasons Why Chewing Ice Cubes Harms Your Dental Health
-Increased Pressure On Your Teeth. Our teeth are made up of an outer layer called enamel. This layer is extremely hard and not very flexible. Chewing on an ice cube can wear down the enamel over time or chip and fracture your teeth.
-Chewing Ice Causes A Constant Hot and Cold Change. These sudden and extreme changes in temperature can cause micro cracks in your enamel. Also, your tooth’s enamel expands at a different rate than fillings. If you have a composite (white) filling, it will expand and contract much faster than the tooth when exposed to hot and cold temperatures. This could possibly lead to a breakdown of the seal between the tooth and the dental restoration and may shorten the life of the restoration possibly leading to tooth decay, root canal therapy, or even tooth loss.
-Beware Of Chewing Ice With Orthodontic Braces. Chewing ice cubes might break off an orthodontic bracket or move a wire. This can set back your orthodontic treatment until the issue is resolved by your orthodontist. It can also lead to oral trauma.
-Oral Tissue Trauma. Ice chunks are hard and some can be pretty sharp.
Why Does An Ice Chewing Habit Develop?
Any habit can be caused by a variety of reasons. For ice chewing, it could be a sign of stress or a more serious medical condition. Research has shown chewing ice ( also called pagophagia) is often associated with iron deficiency anemia, although the exact reason is unclear. At least one study indicates that ice chewing might increase alertness in people with iron deficiency anemia.
Odds are you are just chewing on ice cubes because you are bored and still sitting at the table after you have finished your food. There are also some people who just like chewing ice.
Healthier Options To Beat Ice Chewing Habit
Once you find out why you are chewing ice cubes or chips, you can try to do something to treat the cause of your ice chewing habit. For example, if stress or social anxiety causes you to chew ice, learn some new techniques to handle these stressful feelings differently.
If you just like chewing ice because of the crunchy noise or the satisfying feeling of chewing through something hard, you can try eating something crunchy, like carrots or apples.
A better option instead of chewing ice cubes is to simply suck on them instead. This can still cause extreme temperature changes in your mouth which could shorten the life of your dental restorations, it is much better to suck on ice than it is to chew on it. If you develop any abnormal sensitivity and are an ice chewer consult your dentist to ensure there is no permanent damage to your teeth.
For many choosing a dentist can be one of the most difficult things to do in life. It is also one of the most important decisions you can make for your health. Below are a few of the things to consider when choosing a new dentist for you and your family.
Choosing The Best Dentist For You
-Clinical Experience. It is important to consider a dentist’s professional background before making an appointment. Knowing what school a dentist went to, what their area of expertise is and what other credentials they might have can help you decide if a certain dentist is right for you. Usually, this information is quite easy to find and located on a dentist’s website. The American Dental Association (ADA) only recognized 9 areas of dentistry that a dentist can specialize in. These are as follows: Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy), Periodontics (treatment of periodontal disease), Pediatric (dentistry for children), Prosthodontics (Advanced Crown/Bridge and Dentures), Oral and Maxillofacial pathologym Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, and Dental Public Health. A general dentist will have knowledge of all of these areas but may choose to take advanced classes in any of these areas to improve care.
-Patient Reviews. With the widespread use of the internet this can be easily found. Many dentists have profiles on a wide range of sites where patients can leave feedback for the dentist but also for prospective new patients. It is important to note the extremes of reviews. If a dentist only has a handful of reviews it is not a very good sample. But once the reviews build up it is easier to get a good overall picture of other patients experiences and what you can expect from your experience.
-Services Offered. It is important to note the dental services offered by the prospective dentist. If you know the type of dental work you need or want, then you need to find a dentist with the experience and knowledge to fit your needs. Some general dentists do not do certain procedures (like teeth extractions or root canal therapy) while others have the skills to cover more services in office. It is important to note a referral to a specialist is not a bad thing. Even the most experienced and skilled dentist will refer patients usually for the patients comfort and to place them in the best hands available for the dental issue.
-Gentle, Comfortable Dental Care. For many patients, dental fear is a real part of their lives. Finding the right dentist can make the difference between seeking care and avoiding it. Not all dentists are trained nor have the ability to handle patients with real dental fear.
As stated earlier finding the right dentist can be difficult but with the steps outlined above it might make it a little easier. Always ask friends and family members for recommendations, it is a good place to start researching a new dentist.