Posts for: February, 2018
You’ve decided to obtain dental implants for your missing teeth. It’s a good choice — they provide the closest restoration to the function and appearance of natural teeth. You will, however, need to undergo a surgical procedure to imbed the implants’ threaded titanium posts into supporting bone.
It’s understandable if you’re a little apprehensive about undergoing surgery. We’re here, though, to set your mind at ease: implantation is a relatively minor procedure carefully planned in advance. Most patients experience no discomfort during the procedure and very little afterward.
We begin by completely numbing the surgical site with a local anesthetic. If you have a high level of anxiety, we can also administer a sedative or similar medication to help you relax. We then access the underlying bone through a series of incisions that create a flap in the gum tissue that we’ll later suture closed.
It’s quite common to have prepared a surgical guide or template beforehand. The template placed in the mouth marks the exact site for a small channel (or hole) we create in the bone. We then incrementally increase the size of the hole by drilling until it matches precisely the implant’s size and shape. This takes time to avoid overheating and damaging the bone.
We then remove the implant from its sterile packaging and insert it into the opening. We’ll also take x-rays to ensure correct positioning, which is critical for achieving an attractive result. We then suture the gum flap in place using stitches that will eventually dissolve. The implant will then integrate with the bone for a few weeks to create a strong, durable hold before we continue with the restoration.
Most patients can manage any post-surgical discomfort with mild anti-inflammatory pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen, although we can prescribe something stronger if you need it. We may also prescribe a mouthrinse with an anti-bacterial agent like chlorhexidine for you to use while the gums are healing to reduce the risk of infection.
Implant surgery is part of a long process that will eventually result in regaining the function of your lost teeth. What’s more, undergoing this minor procedure will also help you regain something just as important — a beautiful smile.
If you would like more information on dental implant restoration, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implant Surgery.”
Tooth-saving root canals help you keep your smile intact. Clifton, NJ, dentist Dr. Toan Bui describes the root canal process and shares a few signs and symptoms that may occur if you need root canal therapy.
Getting to the root of the problem
Root canals are necessary when your tooth pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The pulp forms the soft core of a tooth and is made up of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. Living with an inflamed or infected tooth can be very uncomfortable. If the pulp isn't removed during root canal therapy, pain will intensify, and you may be more likely to develop an abscess, a serious bacterial infection. Eventually, there may be no other choice but to remove the tooth.
Fortunately, root canals can help you avoid tooth loss. Root canal therapy involves removing the pulp and thoroughly cleaning the inside of the tooth and the narrow canals that extend into your roots. A durable, rubber-based filling seals and protects the tooth. In many cases, you'll also need a crown after your treatment, as your treated tooth will be a little more fragile.
Common signs and symptoms that may mean you need a root canal
A root canal may be necessary if you experience chronic pain in a tooth. Because tooth pain may have several causes, it's important to schedule an appointment with your dentist in our Clifton, NJ, office when you first experience a toothache. An inflammation or infection in your pulp can cause increased sensitivity in teeth. Chewing can be particularly painful, and you may soon avoid chewing on the affected side of your mouth. Indulging in a sugary, hot or cold food or beverage is a bad idea when you need a root canal. Even a small sip or bite can cause pain that lasts up to a half-hour.
Your infection or inflammation can cause a few obvious symptoms. If you take a look in your mouth, you may notice that the gum around the tooth is red or swollen. In some cases, a tooth that needs a root canal may darken.
Swelling on one side of your jaw isn't uncommon if you develop an abscess. In addition to a swollen face, you may also experience a fever, swollen lymph nodes, pus around your tooth and severe, throbbing pain. Let us know immediately if you notice any of these symptoms. An abscess is a dental emergency and must be treated as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the infection.
Do you have any of these symptoms? Call Clifton, NJ, dentist Dr. Toan Bui at (973) 458-9899 to schedule an appointment.
Our main focus as your dentist is to keep your teeth and gums healthy and functional. But there’s another important aspect of care — your teeth’s appearance. It’s not just a superficial concern: your smile can have a profound effect on your self-image, as well as your personal and professional relationships.
This is the realm of cosmetic dentistry: served by both specialists and general dentists, it focuses on altering your teeth’s appearance with treatments as basic as teeth whitening or as comprehensive as dental implants. The goal, however, is the same: a new, more attractive smile.
In a way, cosmetic dentistry begins with you and oral hygiene. The twin tasks of brushing and flossing to remove dental plaque not only lowers your risk for tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, they also improve the appearance of the tooth surface. There are, however, circumstances where otherwise healthy or repaired teeth may need extra cosmetic attention due to chipping, misshape or staining. In these cases, a truly cosmetic approach may be necessary.
One approach is to cover a tooth’s blemishes. Veneers, for example, are thin, layered pieces of dental porcelain shaped and colored like natural teeth that are bonded to the outside of an unattractive tooth. In other cases, a tooth may require a life-like porcelain crown that completely covers it to gain the same effect.
Missing teeth, of course, pose a different challenge, but here there are a wide range of solutions: dental implants, fixed bridgework or removable full or partial dentures. Advancements in dental materials and techniques can produce new teeth that are so life-like and natural that they’re imperceptible from the real thing.
Â These and other measures like orthodontics can all be used to turn a smile you find embarrassing into one you’re confident to share with the world. It begins, though, with both you and us taking a good, close look at your current smile — a smile analysis, if you will.
After assessing both your current needs and your expectations for change, we can develop an appropriate treatment plan. It might be quite simple or with multiple treatment stages, but it will be the best plan for you. Through cosmetic dentistry we have the means to help you achieve a new, more confident smile.
If you would like more information on the many ways to transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry: A Time for Change.”