Emergency Dentistry on a Budget

Tooth Extraction: What To Expect

Posted by on 10:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tooth Extraction: What To Expect

For many people, the prospect of having a tooth taken out is an alarming one. The vision of a maniacal dentist leaning over you brandishing a huge pair of pliers is enough to send even the bravest patient running for the surgery exit. But is having a tooth extracted really that terrifying a proposition? Read on to find out why tooth extraction is no more frightening than a regular dental check-up. When tooth extraction is necessary Having a tooth taken out is usually the last resort if the tooth cannot be saved. If the tooth is very badly cracked or decayed, extraction may be the only feasible option open to your dentist. Sometimes, a tooth may be removed to remedy overcrowding so you can have braces, or a painful wisdom tooth that is impeding the growth of the teeth in front of it may also require extraction. Teeth that have been removed can be replaced by implants, bridges or dentures, so there’s no need to be concerned that you will be left with a gappy smile following extraction of a problem tooth. Your dentist will talk through all the options available before the removal of the tooth goes ahead. Tooth extraction – what to expect Your dentist will first take X-rays of the problem tooth. X-rays allow the dentist to see the exact position of the tooth and its root so that any potential complications can be identified and planned for. The dentist will then discuss your medical history with you and assess your general health. This is important as you will require some sort of anaesthesia for the extraction procedure. Simple tooth extractions are carried out under a local anaesthetic, just like when you have a filling. If you are very anxious about the procedure, you may be able to have additional sedation in the form of nitrous oxide (gas) or a drug to be taken orally. If the extraction is likely to be more complex, or if you have more than one tooth to be taken out, conscious sedation may be recommended, which is provided directly into your bloodstream intravenously. The nature of the anaesthesia you will have for the procedure will be agreed in advance so that you can arrange for transport to and from the dentist on that day. When the anaesthetic has taken effect, the dentist will remove the tooth. Your teeth are actually quite easy to remove; they are only attached to your jaw bone via a set of fibrous ligaments. Careful twisting and manipulation are all that’s required to dislodge the tooth, which can then be lifted out. After care Your dentist will recommend that you take over-the-counter medication for a few days following the extraction, as the area is likely to be bruised and sore. Any discomfort should recede quickly, and the wound site will heal by itself over the course of 24 hours or...

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Wisdom Teeth And Dental Health.

Posted by on 11:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wisdom Teeth And Dental Health.

Wisdom teeth are the last four teeth to erupt in the mouth. Sometimes referred to as the third molars, wisdom teeth are positioned at the back of both the upper and lower jaw, on the right and left side. Wisdom teeth begin forming in the jaw at around seven years of age, unlike other teeth that form in the jaw just before birth. Generally speaking, wisdom teeth appear when a person reaches late teens to early twenties, but this can differ greatly between individuals, and sometimes a wisdom tooth will only partially erupt or not at all.  If a wisdom tooth has erupted in the mouth and is properly positioned and non problematic, it requires no special treatment. As with any other teeth, good dental hygiene is important. A long thin brush will help to reach the back of the mouth and assist with a thorough cleaning. Wisdom teeth are, however, quite renowned for causing difficulties. Generally speaking, problems arise when there is not enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt into a functional position. Should this occur, there are a range of procedures a dentist can perform to treat problematic wisdom teeth. Examination And X-Ray. An dentist will be able to take an X-ray of a wisdom tooth and its root. From this, they can examine its position and determine if the wisdom tooth is likely to erupt into a functional position or not. Wisdom teeth that do not have enough room are forced to come through at an angle, will be essentially useless for chewing and are likely to cause pain and discomfort. A dentist will formulate a treatment plan for individual wisdom teeth and any problems they may cause. Treatment Of Pericoronitis/Operculitis. If a wisdom tooth only partially erupts, problems present when food debris become trapped underneath the exposed edge of the gum. The awkward position of partially erupted wisdom teeth can make thorough cleaning extremely difficult and result in infection and decay. The gum surrounding the exposed crown of the tooth can become swollen, inflamed and painful. This condition is called pericoronitis or operculitis.  A dentist may prescribe antibiotics or a medicated mouthwash. Thorough cleaning will also help. If the problem is persistent, your dentist may advise having the tooth removed. Extraction And Aftercare. Wisdom teeth can often become impacted. This occurs when a wisdom tooth erupts and grows at an improper angle, often causing damage to the neighbouring teeth (hard impaction) and gums (soft impaction). This may also cause friction and discomfort of the cheek wall, tongue and surrounding soft tissue. For any of these issues, or if a wisdom tooth is particularly problematic, extraction is advised.  When extraction is required, it is best to have this completed as soon as possible. The longer a wisdom tooth is left without treatment, the more difficult it may prove, as the roots of wisdom teeth solidify in the jaw bone as time passes. Extraction will be performed under one of the many anaesthetic methods available. An X-ray will be taken prior to the procedure to analyse the root’s position and identify any specific concerns. In addition, those who have had braces fitted are recommended to have extraction performed as soon as their orthodontic treatment is completed. This is due to the potentially disastrous effect wisdom teeth...

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Dental Implants and Braces: A 6 Step Plan to Restoring Your Smile to its Former Glory

Posted by on 9:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dental Implants and Braces: A 6 Step Plan to Restoring Your Smile to its Former Glory

If your smile is plagued by both crooked and decaying teeth, and you wish to implement dental implants with braces to fix the problem, your best course of action is to first straighten your teeth with braces before having any dental implants placed. This is because once placed, dental implants cannot be moved, and so they may interfere with the teeth straightening process should you have more than one implant. There are also several other factors to consider, all of which will be explained here. If you follow this 6 step plan to correct your smile, you could be blessed with a beautiful and healthy smile within 18-30 months (12-24 months to straighten your teeth and 4-6 months for implants to heal).  Step One: Evaluate Teeth and Extract Any that Cannot be Saved To begin with, your dentist will evaluate your teeth and make recommendations based on the level of decay present. If the decay has progressed to such an extent that much of the tooth is lost, or the pulp has become infected, then they may recommend extraction in preparation for implants at a later date.  Step Two: Ensure Gums are Healthy It is important to ensure that your gingival (gum) health is in good condition before any orthodontic treatment commences. If you suffer from gingivitis (mild gum disease), or periodontal (the most serious form of gum disease) disease, braces will worsen the condition, and you could end up with bone loss around the affected teeth.  Step Three: Repair and Restore Damaged Teeth Next, your dentist will repair or restore any decayed or damaged teeth with fillings or bonding to ensure your remaining teeth stay healthy during your orthodontic treatment.  Step Four: Straighten Teeth with Braces An orthodontist will place braces to begin the straightening of your overcrowded teeth and make room for dental implants. In most cases, braces should be worn before implants are placed to ensure that your implants can be matched with the position of your natural teeth when being placed.  The only time implants are placed before braces is when your orthodontist wishes to use an implant as an anchor to pull or push teeth in a desired direction.  No case is the same when it comes to braces. It may take 8 months for one person to straighten their teeth and 24 months for another. Within the first few months you should be able to see some change, however.  Step Five: Place Dental Implants This can be done toward the end of your orthodontic treatment (braces) or after.  Step Six: Allow Implants to Heal, then Add Permanent Crowns Once your dentist has placed your implants, you will then need to wait 4-6 months for the implants to fuse to the bone and for the area to fully heal. Once healing is complete, your dentist can add permanent crowns to the implants, finishing the process and giving you the smile you desire.  If your case progresses quickly, you could have a healthy and beautiful smile within 18 months.  During this process, your dentist should ideally work in conjunction with your orthodontist to ensure that when the time comes, your implants can be placed in a way that benefits your smile...

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It’s about time for another trip to the dentist

Posted by on 6:14 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on It’s about time for another trip to the dentist

Many people don’t like going to the dentist. They consider it inconvenient, unnecessary, or just too plain awkward and uncomfortable having a total stranger dig around inside your mouth with cold and scary-looking instruments. Some people even develop phobias as a result. However, regular visits to the dentist can have many benefits that ultimately make braving the chair more worth it than you think. Here’s why you should see your friendly neighbourhood dental office at least once every six months.  1. Prevention is always the best cure The average dental examination focuses on your teeth and gums and checks for potential tooth decay or gum-related diseases. A common enemy of cleanliness, tartar, the simple name for a build up of mineralised plaque, can be a nightmare to remove from your teeth once you’ve got it. Likewise, faulty or poorly positioned teeth can be prevented from getting worse with the help of braces or similar implements. A dental check-up will let you know if you’re brushing and flossing enough, and usually involves a quick clean up to make sure you’re good to go again. Like with any traditional illness, prevention is always more favourable than complicated or drawn out cures. Check-ups also act as a temporary boost of peace of mind as the dentist will be able to identify other conditions or irregularities to be fixed or prevented.  2. Early detection can prevent complications and even save your life The sooner problems are detected, the easier and quicker it is to combat them. With conditions like gum disease, early manifestations can usually be mitigated and pushed back using professional scaling or cleaning, while advanced gum disease requires costly surgery. More serious mouth-related illnesses such as oral cancer need to be detected early so they can be stopped before spreading further, thereby increasing the likelihood of survival and overall quality of life post-treatment. Similarly, initially simple issues like decayed teeth can cause complications if left untended for too long. Preventing bacterial infections and painful abscesses should be worth the occasional visit to the dentist.   3. It’ll save you money Especially true regarding complicated and late-stage oral diseases, dental procedures can be expensive. By nipping an issue in the bud before it has a chance to expand you save yourself a lot of money on treatment. Regularly brushing your teeth, flossing and having the results checked by a professional is far less of a headache than watching your hard earned money dwindle because you couldn’t be bothered. Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be a scary or irritating experience. Dentists know what they’re doing and their expertise lie in keeping you healthy and happy in your everyday life. The comfort of clean teeth and gums is something we shouldn’t take for...

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Five Reasons Why You Should Be Smiling

Posted by on 11:30 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Reasons Why You Should Be Smiling

People spend an enormous amount of time and an even greater amount of money these days worrying about their overall health. They spend an inordinate amount of time in the gym, try a variety of new dietary approaches, and have frequent visits to the doctor. Yet there is one component that they are missing – their smile. Don’t overlook good dental hygiene and regular dental appointments as smiling has been proven to be one of the best ways to boost your mood, your health and well-being – and it’s also free! Here are five reasons why smiling is so good for you. Good for You When you smile, the body automatically relaxes and the heart rate slows down. It’s also been shown that smiling can reduce blood pressure during tests. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy better heart health? Boosts Your Mood When you’re feeling low what you really need is a positive flood of endorphins in your brain. Whenever you need to trigger release of this hormone, simply smile. This will help you to keep that stress in place and reset your mind to tackle the challenges ahead. If you feel overwhelmed when you are tackling a difficult task and feel like you want to give up, remember to smile. This can counteract any natural tendency to fight back against this stress inducer and can bring in the power of your subconscious mind in order to help you get through it all. Helps You in the Workplace Whenever you look at a photograph of somebody smiling, it automatically makes you feel better, doesn’t it? Smiling can increase your productivity whenever you are working. There’s a reason why some people keep photographs of their smiling children or better half on their desk. In addition, in customer service environments, a smile can be a significant earner. You can appear to be totally self-assured, confident and successful. You’re far more likely to earn either extra tips or a raise from your boss. Fosters Positive Relationships Human beings are much more likely to trust others when they see a genuine smile. A smile can also be your best friend if somebody catches you doing something that you know you shouldn’t be or that makes you feel embarrassed. It can naturally break the ice with the other person and can bring about an empathetic response, rather than something more negative. Next time you are out and walking around in public, try this exercise. Smile at every stranger you encounter. You will notice that a majority of people will smile back. Consider this to be your gift to them as you are conveying the benefits of smiling to others. Improves Your Appearance Don’t forget that when you smile, it can take years off your appearance. It will naturally lift the face, and remember that this is something many people spend thousands of dollars to achieve through facelifts! Recreating Your Smile Invest in your smile. If you’re subconscious about the appearance of your teeth, this is where a cosmetic dentist can help you out so you will be able to reap the advantages of your smile in the...

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Why You Have A Lot at Stake If You Don’t Look after Your Teeth

Posted by on 11:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Have A Lot at Stake If You Don’t Look after Your Teeth

The human body has millions of bacteria, both good and bad, as part of a complex ecosystem required for it to function properly. These different types of bacteria have to be kept in a delicate balance, or health issues can arise. Nowhere is this more apparent than within your mouth. What can happen if you do not exercise proper oral hygiene? Analysing the Risks If the body’s natural defences are in order and you practise good oral health care on a daily basis, then you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. Most people know that they need to brush twice a day and floss properly in order to keep the bad bacteria under control. While it is commonly understood that poor oral hygiene can result in infections such as gum disease or tooth decay, fewer people understand that the situation could lead to the development of other diseases. In particular, when inflammation is present with periodontitis, a more acute issue associated with tooth decay, several other diseases in other parts of the body can materialise. Heart Conditions Modified bacteria associated with periodontitis can travel through your bloodstream and can infect other areas such as your heart. This bacterium can attach to the inner lining of the heart and produce a condition called endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart muscle. More significant heart issues and cardiovascular problems can also be caused by infections and inflammation linked to poor oral care. These can include clogged arteries, stroke or heart attack. Complications in Pregnancy If you’re pregnant, you should be particularly worried about the risks associated with periodontitis. It’s possible that these can contribute to a premature birth or to an underweight baby. Diabetes Diabetes, for example, tends to reduce your body’s resistance to any infection and this can mean you have a predisposition to develop gum disease. If you do develop gum disease, then you may have a difficult time controlling blood sugar, so more frequent periodontal care is important. Osteoporosis There may well be an association between tooth and bone loss and osteoporosis, which is the disease linked to brittle and weak bones. What Should You Do? The moral of the story is that you should spend as much time as you can on a daily basis looking after your teeth and gums, and don’t forget to make regular visits to your dentist for checkups. Also ask your dentist for dental hygiene...

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Why Has Your Denture Plate Warped?

Posted by on 6:44 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Has Your Denture Plate Warped?

Although the materials used to make your dentures seem strong and inflexible, false teeth can change shape in certain circumstances. This can make wearing your dentures a problem. For example, if your denture plate becomes warped, it may move out of its original shape and is unlikely to fit perfectly any longer. When might dentures warp out of shape and what can you do about it? Heat and Dentures If you expose a denture to an excessive heat source, the denture may start to mould into a different shape and to show signs of warping. For example, this may happen if you soak your dentures in very hot water when you’re cleaning them or storing them overnight. Leaving dentures in direct sunlight for long periods of time may also cause changes to their shape and fit. Moisture and Dentures If you allow your dentures to dry out, their plate may become warped, affecting their fit in your mouth. Typically, this won’t be a problem if you simply forget to soak your dentures overnight or leave them out dry even for a day or two; however longer periods out of your mouth or out of a water soak when you aren’t wearing your denture tooth or teeth may lead to warping. Fixing Denture Warping It’s important to sort out your dentures if they do become warped. If your teeth no longer fit adequately, you may have difficulty keeping the denture in place and may find it hard to eat normally. Ill-fitting dentures can also rub against the soft tissues in your mouth. This rubbing can be uncomfortable and may lead to sores developing on your gums and soft tissues. If your dentures have dried out and don’t seem to fit well any longer, you can try soaking them in cold water to rehydrate them. While this may not fix extreme warping, soaking the dentures may solve minor tightening issues caused by a lack of moisture in the denture’s plate. If a soak doesn’t work, you shouldn’t try any other do-it-yourself fixes on warped dentures. You’re unlikely to get a precise fit back and may cause more damage to the plate or teeth. If your dentures seem to have changed shape permanently, take them to your dentist for an assessment. Depending on the severity of the problem, your dentist may be able to arrange to have them fixed; however, in some cases, you may need to have replacement dentures made if your warped set can’t be...

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Premature Babies: 3 Common Oral Health Conditions

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If your child was born prematurely, it will have a higher risk of developing certain dental problems, such as enamel hypoplasia, delayed tooth growth or discoloured teeth. The severity of these issues will often depend on how premature your child was. Below is a guide to 3 oral health conditions which can affect premature babies. Enamel hypoplasia Enamel hypoplasia is a condition which causes missing or soft enamel on your child’s teeth. The condition is caused by the fact that mineralisation of the teeth and the formation of enamel occurs during the last trimester of pregnancy. Because premature babies spend a shorter amount of time in the womb, their enamel isn’t fully developed at birth. Enamel hypoplasia can increase the risk that your child will develop cavities and tooth decay. For this reason, you should make regular appointments so your child’s teeth can be checked by a dentist. Your dentist will be able to apply specialist fluoride paste to your child’s teeth in order to promote mineralisation. They will also be able to spot any early signs of decay and provide preventive treatments. This condition only affects your baby’s milk teeth, so as they grow and their adult teeth develop, enamel hypoplasia will cease to be a problem. Delayed growth and appearance of baby teeth Babies which are born prematurely will often experience the delayed growth and appearance of baby teeth. While this may cause you some concern, it generally won’t cause any issues for your child. As a small child, your baby will be able to use their gums to chew on soft baby food. Once the teeth begin to appear, they should progress at a normal rate of development. If you have any concerns about the development of your child’s teeth, you should speak to your dentist. Discoloured teeth If a premature baby has experienced jaundice, this can lead to the teeth becoming yellow or brown in appearance. While this does not have any long lasting affect on your child’s dental health, it could cause embarrassment as they grow older. This condition will resolve itself once your child’s baby teeth are replaced by adult teeth. If the teeth are severely discoloured, a dentist may recommend inserting veneers onto the surface of your child’s teeth in order to cover the staining. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s teeth, contact your dentist for further advice and...

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Is it Advisable to Get Veneers if You Have Severe Bruxism?

Posted by on 7:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is it Advisable to Get Veneers if You Have Severe Bruxism?

Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding, can have a detrimental effect on your teeth over time. If you are one of the five percent of the population that forcefully grinds their teeth throughout the day and whilst sleeping, then you might be wondering if it is possible to repair your damaged teeth with veneers. Even if you grind your teeth regularly you can still get veneers, but there are several factors you should take into consideration before deciding between the two most common types of veneers. Composite Veneers You may have heard that composite veneers are easier to repair and this is true; however, composite veneers only have a lifespan of 4-8 years and are prone to chipping, which means they are probably a poor choice for someone with bruxism. They also lack the natural look that porcelain veneers have and are prone to staining. That being said, composite veneers are about half the price of porcelain veneers. Porcelain Veneers Porcelain veneers are your best option for a number of reasons. Not only are they more durable and less likely to stain, but they are also much more natural looking and therefore fit into your smile without looking out of place. While porcelain veneers tend to last for at least 15 years if well taken care of, they are much more costly than composite veneers.  Bruxism Splint and Daily Grinding Whichever option you decide to go with, you will need to ensure that you protect your veneers both night and day. At night it will be a simple matter of putting in your bruxism splint to ensure you don’t grind down your veneers. However, during the day you will either need to be vigilant and control your grinding or wear your bruxism splint otherwise you could damage your veneers and shorten their lifespan.  Also bear in mind that the bruxism splint you currently use will need to be replaced with another one once your veneers have been fitted. Even if you are a forceful grinder, you can still get veneers and have an aesthetically pleasing smile.  Make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to discuss your options. They will be able to perform a thorough examination of your teeth to determine what your best course of action is. If you are able to control your grinding by wearing a bruxism splint then your chances of long term success will be much...

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Understanding Your Options for Fast Teeth Alignment

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If you have crooked teeth and are looking to improve your overall appearance and smile, you may not relish the idea of getting unsightly braces that you’ll need to wear for years. The good news is that braces are not your only option for straightening your teeth if you don’t need to worry about correcting a severe overbite or other orthodontic issue. There are fast and easy solutions to making your teeth look straighter and more attractive; veneers and crowns are two such popular options. Note a few factors about each so you can discuss these choices with your dentist. Veneers A veneer is a type of tooth-colored porcelain that is dabbed onto a tooth and then shaped and formed by the dentist. The porcelain then dries and adheres to the tooth. Shaping it can give the appearance of a straight tooth or make a tooth that is set back from other teeth appear to be in line. Veneers can also help with undersized teeth that may look as if they’re improperly aligned. Veneers are very tough, but they’re not usually meant to last a lifetime, and shaping and forming them does require some skill from the dentist; the more highly skilled your dentist, the more natural the veneer will appear. Note that veneers don’t usually involve having to reduce or otherwise treat the tooth to which they’re applied, so they may also be a faster and less painful procedure than getting crowns. Crowns A crown is a type of cap that is put over a tooth and glued into place. These are very durable and meant to last a lifetime; they can break or crack, but usually only by an impact that would otherwise crack a real tooth. Crowns have the advantage of being able to protect a cracked or damaged tooth that is beyond repair and that cannot be protected by a simple veneer. Crowns can also cover crooked teeth so that they look straight and can make teeth that are set back from your jawline seem perfectly aligned. Note that crowns can also provide more protection for teeth from future damage. For someone whose teeth are out of alignment because of excessive grinding during the night, a crown can protect that tooth and avoid being worn down, whereas veneers may not be strong enough to protect teeth. However, for a crown to fit, the tooth itself might need drilling and reducing, and this can be uncomfortable and make the process take much longer than getting...

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