Posts for: February, 2020
A dental bridge spans the gap created by missing teeth. At Transcendental in Clifton, NJ, dentist Dr. Toan Bui uses dental bridges to bring smiles back to best appearance and function after tooth loss. Learn how these traditional prosthetics could work for you.
Have you lost a tooth or two?
Don't despair. At Transcendental in Clifton, NJ, your dentist and his team can address that problem, fixing your impaired biting, chewing and speech and restoring your smile appearance.
Most conventional bridges consist of pontic, or artificial teeth, held in place by porcelain crowns attached to remaining natural teeth. The strongest bridge options consist of crowns on opposing sides of the artificial teeth or pontics held in place by titanium dental implants.
The crown treatment
First, Dr. Bui will examine your teeth and gums. Also, he'll take oral impressions so the dental lab can create a model of your mouth. With this model, the technician makes the teeth and crowns to accurately fit your smile gap and dental bite.
When you return to the office, Dr. Bui will prepare your teeth for the crowns. He uses a permanent cement to bond the appliance in place. With some final adjustments for bite, your new smile is ready to go.
Benefits of dental bridges
Dental bridges recreate excellent smile aesthetics. They make biting and chewing efficient and make speech clear once again.
In addition, bridges keep adjoining natural teeth well-aligned. The pontics are naturally colored and shaped so the appliance looks realistic.
Finally, with regular care with your dentist in his Clifton, NJ, office, and your careful at-home brushing and flossing, your bridge should last for a decade or more. Implant-supported dental bridges have even longer lifespans, and because of their titanium anchors, they improve underlying gum tissue and jaw bone.
Here's a word of caution, however. Any bridge can fracture if you eat hard foods such as peanut brittle or consistently grind or clench your teeth. Ask Dr. Bui if a night-time bite guard would benefit your bridgework and your other teeth as well.
At Transcendental in Clifton, NJ, Dr. Toan Bui provides the best in restorative dentistry. Dental bridges help people just like you rebuild their damaged smiles. You can look good and feel like yourself again. Phone our office for a dental bridge consultation: (973) 458-9899.
Every good oral hygiene regimen has two parts — the part you do (brushing and flossing) and the part we do (professional cleanings and checkups).
But what’s involved with “professional cleanings” — and why do we perform it? The “why” is pretty straightforward — we’re removing plaque and calculus. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria and food remnant that adheres to tooth surfaces and is the main culprit in dental disease. Calculus (tartar) is calcified plaque that occurs over time as the minerals in saliva are deposited in bacterial plaque. It isn’t possible for you to remove calculus regardless of your efforts or hygiene efficiency. Ample research has shown that calculus forms even in germ-free animals during research studies, so regular cleanings are a must to keep you healthy.
The “what” depends on your mouth’s state of health and your particular needs. The following are some techniques we may use to clean your teeth and help you achieve and maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Scaling. This is a general term for techniques to manually remove plaque and calculus from tooth surfaces. Scaling typically encompasses two approaches: instruments specially designed to remove plaque and calculus by hand; or ultrasonic equipment that uses vibration to loosen and remove plaque and calculus, followed by flushing with water and/or medicaments. Scaling can be used for coronal maintenance (the visible surfaces above the gum line) or periodontal (below the gum line).
Root planing. Similar to scaling, this is a more in-depth technique for patients with periodontal disease to remove plaque and calculus far below the gum line. It literally means to “plane” away built up layers of plaque and calculus from the root surfaces. This technique may employ hand instruments, or an ultrasonic application and flushing followed by hand instruments to remove any remaining plaque and calculus.
Polishing. This is an additional procedure performed on the teeth of patients who exhibit good oral health, and what you most associate with that “squeaky clean” feeling afterward. It’s often performed after scaling to help smooth the surface of the teeth, using a rubber polishing cup that holds a polishing paste and is applied with a motorized device. Polishing, though, isn’t merely a cosmetic technique, but also a preventative measure to remove plaque and staining from teeth — a part of an overall approach known as “prophylaxis,” originating from the Greek “to guard or prevent beforehand.”
If you would like more information on teeth cleaning and plaque removal, 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 “Teeth Polishing.”
Drugs play an indispensable role in treating disease. For example, life without antibiotics would be much more precarious—common infections we think nothing of now would suddenly become life-threatening.
But even the most beneficial drug can have disruptive side effects. Antibiotics in particular can cause a rare but still disturbing one: a growth on the tongue that at first glance looks like dark hair. In fact, it's often called "black hairy tongue."
It isn't hair—it's an overgrowth of naturally occurring structures on the tongue called filiform papillae. These tiny bumps on the tongue's upper surface help grip food while you're chewing. They're normally about a millimeter in length and tend to be scraped down in the normal course of eating. As they're constantly growing, they replenish quickly.
We're not sure how it occurs, but it seems with a small portion of the population the normal growth patterns of the papillae become unbalanced after taking antibiotics, particularly those in the tetracycline family. Smoking and poor oral hygiene also seem to contribute to this growth imbalance. As a result, the papillae can grow as long as 18 millimeters with thin shafts resembling hair. It's also common for food debris and bacteria to adhere to this mass and discolor it in shades of yellow, green, brown or black.
While it's appearance can be bizarre or even frightening, it's not health-threatening. It's mostly remedied by removing the original cause, such as changing to a different antibiotic or quitting smoking, and gently cleaning the tongue everyday by brushing it or using a tongue scraper you can obtain from a pharmacy.
One word of caution: don't stop any medication you suspect of a side effect without first discussing it with your prescribing doctor. While effects like black hairy tongue are unpleasant, they're not harmful—and you don't want to interfere with treatments for problems that truly are.