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Archive for February, 2017

What causes a tooth to become impacted?

Friday, February 24th, 2017

dentist ChicagoA tooth is impacted when it fails to erupt through gum tissue completely or correctly. Insufficient jaw space is very often the culprit, and the likely teeth to become impacted are third molars (more commonly referred to as wisdom teeth). Your dentist will monitor concerns with impacted teeth (one of the advantages of seeing your dentist every six months) to help determine the best course of action to minimize problems going forward.

What problems can occur because of an impacted tooth? For many patients, there are no difficulties, but some of the situations that can arise are:

  • Abscess – This is an infection of the impacted tooth where a pus pocket forms – it can be very painful and requires treatment with antibiotics.
  • Malocclusion – Impacted teeth might result in teeth being shifted creating a malocclusion (a condition where top teeth do not properly align with bottom teeth); teeth being pushed together can result in crooked teeth, an over bite, or an under bite.
  • Plaque build-up – Crooked teeth provide areas where plaque forms; plaque that builds on teeth can lead to dental decay and/or gum disease.

When teeth cannot erupt properly, they can twist around in the gums moving to wherever they can find room. They may grow into the roof of the mouth or try to erupt sideways. When there is concern that one or more teeth are impacted, dental x-rays will identify the problem and the decision for treatment can be discussed.

Impacted teeth that are not presenting any problems for the patient can remain; however, many patients will be better served with having impacted teeth extracted to prevent future difficulties.

With impacted wisdom teeth, your family dentist may recommend having them all removed at one time … very often at the hand of an oral surgeon. Wisdom teeth generally do not erupt until late teens or early twenties, and if they are to be extracted, the earlier this is performed is usually better.

Recovering from impacted teeth extraction is different for everyone. Usually the patient is advised to go home to rest for the balance of the day to help control bleeding. Depending on the severity of the extraction, over the counter analgesics may be sufficient to control discomfort. Eating soft foods for a few days is recommended.

Impacted teeth affect everyone differently so your dentist is your best guide for successful treatment. If you’re considering a tooth extraction, contact us at Ora Dental Studio today!

Enjoy Your Favorite Foods with Dental Implants

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

dental implants ChicagoAnyone who has lost one or more teeth understands the problems with proper chewing; or the embarrassment felt if a missing tooth appears in the smile line. But dental implants can restore tooth loss to the closest thing to having your biological teeth back … allowing the patient to eat all the foods they love, speak clearly, and laugh without concern or embarrassment wondering if their dental apparatus will hold in place.

The dental implant process does require a commitment from the patient … treatment can take months to complete and the participation from the patient is paramount to implant success.

A consultation with your dentist begins the process. Medical history is reviewed and a thorough dental exam is completed. Sufficient bone in the gum tissue where the implant is to be placed is required; an additional step of bone augmentation may be needed to improve the odds of a successful implant procedure.

The patient is required to keep the implant area clean to prevent infection. If tobacco products have been used in the past, they must be eliminated from use. Infection and smoking are the two biggest reasons dental implants fail.

When ready to begin, the small titanium post (the implant) is surgically placed in the gum where tooth loss has occurred. A temporary covering will help to protect the area. As healing begins, bone is integrating with the implant. Eventually bone and implant will merge to become a strong support for the final restoration.

The healing period is different for everyone; when your dentist has determined you are ready for the final steps of treatment, the implant will be uncovered. An abutment will be affixed to the implant to allow the final restoration to be cemented in place.

The restoration has been made to match surrounding dentition in size, shape, and color making it literally impossible to tell biological from manmade.

The final result gives you the freedom to eat all the foods you love … there are no chewing difficulties (no movement or shifting when biting down). You can enjoy everything from crunchy or chewy, to foods you may have avoided like corn on the cob or a thick, juicy steak.

Having your smile restored, the ability to speak clearly, and being able to enjoy all the foods you love can be a reality with dental implants. To get on the right track, make an appointment with our team today!

Tooth Trauma Doesn’t Have to Mean Tooth Loss

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

dentist Chicago 60614A trip and fall, automobile accident, or any kind of mouth trauma can injure teeth. When the nerve is impacted, there are steps to be taken to save the tooth. Your dentist should be consulted to determine the extent of the injury, usually utilizing an examination and x-ray.

If a tooth’s nerve has been impacted, the patient might be experiencing different symptoms. Discomfort when biting down, tooth discoloration, or sensitivity to temperature are a few of the signs the tooth’s root and nerve have been injured.

The standard treatment at this point is endodontic therapy. Your dentist may be able to perform a root canal; depending on which tooth is involved you may be referred to a specialist to complete this part of treatment.

A root canal is a procedure where the contents of each of the tooth’s roots are removed. The process is quite simple … a dental x-ray is taken to determine how many roots are involved and their precise angle for best access.

The tooth is segregated to keep the area dry often through the use of a rubber dam. An access point is drilled into the tooth. Endodontic files are used via the access point and they literally remove the nerve, pulp, blood, and infection (if present).

The area has usually been anesthetized so the patient might feel a little pressure, but there is minimal (if any) discomfort. As the contents of the roots are removed, they are being suctioned away by the dental assistant. The rubber dam is additional protection to prevent root contents from being swallowed.

Once all roots have been cleared of contents, if the tooth was infected, the dentist might treat the area with an antibiotic; additional oral antibiotics may be administered if needed.

At this point, your dentist might opt to put a temporary covering over the access point to make sure the root canal was successful in treating the tooth. But eventually a permanent seal must be placed to cover the access point.

This final step (the seal) is often completed with a dental crown. The tooth is reduced, an impression is taken, and a crown is fabricated. When ready, the crown will be cemented in place and treatment is complete.

Your tooth has been saved and the likelihood of additional problems is very small thanks to root canal therapy.

To discuss your own treatment options, contact our office at Ora Dental Studio today!