Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Dental disease doesn’t discriminate by age. Although certain types of disease are more common in adults, children are just as susceptible, particularly to tooth decay.
Unfortunately, the early signs of disease in a child’s teeth can be quite subtle—that’s why you as a parent should keep alert for any signs of a problem. Here are 3 things you might notice that definitely need your dentist’s attention.
Cavities. Tooth decay occurs when mouth acid erodes tooth enamel and forms holes or cavities. The infection can continue to grow and affect deeper parts of the tooth like the pulp and root canals, eventually endangering the tooth’s survival. If you notice tiny brown spots on their teeth, this may indicate the presence of cavities—you should see your dentist as soon as possible. To account for what you don’t see, have your child visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups.
Toothache. Tooth pain can range from a sensitive twinge of pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods to a throbbing sharp pain. Whatever its form, a child’s toothache might indicate advancing decay in which the infection has entered the tooth pulp and is attacking the nerves. If your child experiences any form of toothache, see your dentist the next day if possible. Even if the pain goes away, don’t cancel the appointment—it’s probable the infection is still there and growing.
Bleeding gums. Gums don’t normally bleed during teeth brushing—the gums are much more resilient unless they’ve been weakened by periodontal (gum) disease (although over-aggressive brushing could also be a cause). If you notice your child’s gums bleeding after brushing, see your dentist as soon as possible—the sooner they receive treatment for any gum problems the less damage they’ll experience, and the better chance of preserving any affected teeth.
If you’re thinking about getting dental implants, you’re in good company. Dentists have placed more than 3 million of these popular devices since their introduction in the early 1980s.
But if you have multiple missing teeth, you might think the cost of all those individual implants could put them out of your league. Yes, replacing multiple teeth with individual implants can be quite expensive—but implant technology isn’t limited to one tooth at a time. A few well-placed implants can impart their proven durability and stability to other types of restorations.
For example, we can incorporate implants into a bridge for a series of missing teeth. Conventional bridges are normally fixed in place by altering and then crowning natural teeth on each side of the missing teeth gap with a fixed row of prosthetic (false) teeth in the middle to fill it. Instead, two implants placed at the ends of the gap can support the bridge rather than natural teeth. This not only provides greater stability for the bridge, it also avoids permanent altering the natural teeth that would have been used.
Implants can also support a fixed bridge to restore complete tooth loss on a jaw. The new bridge is attached to a few strategically placed implants along the jaw line to equally distribute biting forces. This can result in a strong hold with excellent durability.
We can also use implants to improve traditional dentures. Dentures normally rest directly on the gums’ bony ridges, depending on a snug fit for stability. But bone loss, a natural consequence of missing teeth, can still occur while wearing dentures, which may in fact accelerate the rate of loss due to the appliance’s constant pressure and friction against the gums.
Instead, just a few implants placed along the jaw can, with attachments built into the denture, hold it securely in place. This not only decreases the pressure on the gums, but the natural bone growth that occurs around the implant may even deter bone loss.
Depending on your situation, there could be a viable restoration solution involving implants. Visit our office for a complete examination and evaluation to see if implants could help change your smile forever.
If you would like more information on implant restorations, 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 Implants 101: the Most Significant Innovation in the Past Century.”
Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.
Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.
Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”
Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.
There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.
So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.
Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”
If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
You don’t always have to settle for having a tooth extracted immediately when it becomes painfully infected. You may just need a root canal to restore it to good health. Dentists perform over 15 million root canal procedure each year according to the American Association of Endodontists. Know the most important facts about getting a root canal at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH and when this procedure is most useful.
What Is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is a way to disinfect and heal a tooth that has been affected by moderate to severe tooth decay. Tooth decay starts as a very small dental cavity, then progresses to a deeper problem that invades the inner tissues and nerves of the tooth over time. Chances are, when a tooth starts to ache, feel very sensitive, or starts to loosen, you and your dentist should explore the benefits of a root canal.
When a Root Canal Is Needed
A root canal is needed when a tooth is affected by inner decay, yet it is still strong and solid enough to maintain its position in your gumline. First, your Salem, NH dentist will use dental X-rays and a visual exam to identify the presence of tooth decay and inflammation. Using dental tools, your dentist will open the tooth, remove diseased tissue, and refill the opening with a substance called gutta percha. The final step is covering and protecting the tooth with a crown.
Root Canals Work
It’s a myth that extracting a tooth is better than having root canal treatment. The American Association of Endodontists says that the root canal procedures have a high success rate. It’s possible for a treated tooth to maintain its strength and health for a lifetime. Your responsibility is to maintain good gum and oral health to avoid future bouts with dental disease.
Have Your Tooth Treated
The longer you wait for root canal therapy on an infected tooth, the more difficult it will be to save. Get treatment as soon as you start to feel discomfort. Call 603-893-4538 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jhon Giraldo, Dr. Paul Masterson, or Dr. Nicholas Papapetros at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH.
Dental fillings can help get your smile back on track after a cavity.
We know finding out that you have a cavity is never something you want to hear. Of course, it isn’t the end of the world to have a cavity and if you are visiting our Salem, NH, dentists Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Jhon Giraldo and Dr. Paul Masterson twice a year for cleanings and exams we will be able to detect the problem right away and treat it quickly and easily.
Most people will need to get a dental filling at some point during their lifetime and it really isn’t a big deal. If this is your first dental filling then it’s natural to wonder what to expect before getting one. Let us guide you through the process so you understand what to expect.
First thing is first, you have decay that needs to be removed otherwise the decay will continue to spread further into the tooth. In order to remove the decay our Salem, NH, general dentist will first numb the area with a local anesthesia. From there, we will get to work removing the decayed enamel.
Now that the decay has been removed we can start restoring and rebuilding those areas that had to be removed. This is where your dental filling comes in. A tooth-colored filling is most often made from composite resin, which can be matched to the color of the tooth so that it blends right in with the rest of your tooth enamel.
Composite resin is also moldable so we can apply the resin in layers over these areas of the tooth that need to be restored. Layer after layer is applied, shaped and trimmed before a dental light is directed over the tooth to harden the resin in place.
Once the filling is complete, we will also give the tooth a good polishing so that the composite resin shines just like the rest of your tooth. That’s all there is to it. Getting a dental filling can take anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour, depending on the severity of the cavity. Of course, you won’t feel a thing throughout the process and our Salem, NH, dentist will continue to monitor and check on you to make sure you are comfortable.
Do you have questions about the dental filling procedure? Are you experiencing symptoms of a cavity? If so, do not hesitate to turn to the expert dental team here at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH. Cavities happen but we can help.