The Importance of Having an Emergency Dentist

Imagine getting into an accident, fight or another incident that knocks out a tooth or causes another dental emergency. If you are in extreme pain and cannot wait to meet with a regular dentist for a traditional appointment scheduled in advance, you need an emergency dentist on your side. If you are in considerable pain, are unsure of what to do with a broken tooth or have another oral health emergency, a prompt appointment with an emergency dentist will prove quite helpful.

Why Emergency Dentistry is so Important

If you are involved in an accident or suffer an injury when participating in sports or any other activity, the injuries might permanently impact your oral health. Fail to meet with an emergency dentist immediately after the accident and you run the risk of permanent tooth loss. Losing one or several teeth alters physical appearance as well as your ability to brush and floss your teeth. The better approach is to reach out to your emergency dentist right away for immediate treatment. This prompt treatment has the potential to prevent problems across the long-term that will prove quite costly and annoying.

Emergency Dentistry is for Tooth Loss and More

Most people assume the only time the assistance of an emergency dentist is necessary is when there is the threat of tooth loss. There are numerous other situations in which contacting the dentist for emergency assistance is justified. In certain cases, damaged dental work should prompt a visit with an emergency dentist. As an example, if dental braces are damaged or if a crown breaks, visiting with the emergency dentist just might prevent a series of additional dental problems in the ensuing months and years. The emergency dentist will repair or replace the damaged dental work, minimize your pain and set the stage for dental comfort in the years to come.

For the most part, those who seek emergency dental treatment are worried about tooth loss. There is a good reason for this concern as injuries that impact the mouth can cause lasting tooth loss. A lost tooth has the potential to transform an otherwise beautiful smile into one that proves distracting. A missing tooth will impact your smile as well as your confidence.

Meet With an Emergency Dentist Instead of Going to the Emergency Room

People who have extreme tooth and/or gum pain often make the mistake of heading to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. Though going to the hospital seems logical, emergency room personnel do not have the skills, experience or specialized tools necessary to provide emergency dental care. Alternatively, emergency dentists are prepared for dental emergencies of all types. These professionals have an array of highly specialized dental instruments that will alleviate your pain and get your mouth back to normal.

How to Determine What Qualifies as a Legitimate Dental Emergency

Patients often struggle with determining whether they should wait for their regular dentist to be available or if they should contact an emergency dentist right away. Hopefully, you never find yourself in this situation as the best dentists are willing to see patients who have dental emergencies in a reasonable amount of time. Tooth or gum soreness does not qualify as a dental emergency. However, extreme tooth or gum pain should prompt a phone call to the emergency dentist’s office. Considerable tooth damage, a fully or partially knocked-out tooth, losing a filling or crown are considered dental emergencies. Even bleeding in the mouth or an injury to the tongue, lips or cheeks qualify as dental emergencies.

When in doubt, err on the side of caution by reaching out to your emergency dentist for immediate assistance. Prompt treatment has the potential to prevent harsh pain, preserve one or several teeth and make your life that much easier. In the end, if your mouth hurts with any significance, you should not hesitate to reach out to the emergency dentist for assistance. Even minor injuries might seem like they are not a threat to oral health yet they have the potential to impact tissues surrounding the tooth. It is better to have these dental problems tended to right away to minimize the chances of the pain spreading and creating that many more problems down the line.

The Emergency Dentist Will Mend Your Cracked or Chipped Tooth

Cracked and chipped teeth are typically repaired with composite resin that matches the color of the teeth. This resin is bonded to the damaged portion of the teeth for added strength. The resin also provides additional underlying structure so the teeth remain firmly in place for years to come. So be sure to meet with your emergency dentist after your tooth cracks or chips. The dentist will mend a tooth that is even slightly cracked as even the smallest crack can cause bacteria to move inside and transmit disease.

How to Proceed if You Have a Dental Emergency

If you have a toothache, broken tooth, bleeding in the mouth or a similar dental emergency, you have a legitimate dental emergency. Call or visit with your emergency dentist prior to trying any sort of DIY approach in which you apply something to the tooth to mitigate the pain. It is possible you have a serious underlying oral health issue such as a dental abscess or considerable tooth decay that you will not know about unless you meet with an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

If you have a tooth that has been knocked out, try to locate it and preserve it by placing it in a glass of milk. Bring the tooth with you when visiting the emergency dentist. Time is of the essence. Obtain assistance as soon as possible so the emergency dentist can do his or her best to save the tooth, reduce your pain to a tolerable level and help return your mouth to normal.

Pleasant Hill Dental

Are you looking for a reliable dentist? Our oral health professionals are here for you when you are in pain and need immediate assistance. Give us a call at (925) 692-2010 to find out more about our services and schedule an appointment.

Why Invisalign is Great for Adults

There is a common misconception that braces, Invisalign and other solutions for teeth-straightening are solely meant for kids and teens. The truth is Invisalign is optimal for adults as well as kids. Most adults prefer Invisalign to braces as Invisalign is translucent and works faster. In fact, Invisalign typically costs right around the same amount of money as braces. Let’s take a closer look at Invisalign’s benefits for adults who desire straight, well-spaced and beautiful teeth.

Invisalign Straightens Adult Teeth with Unparalleled Precision and Speed

The primary purpose of using Invisalign is to straighten teeth and close those pesky gaps between improperly spaced teeth. However, Invisalign does more than merely improve aesthetics. Whether you have an underbite, an overbite, spacing issues or crowding problems, Invisalign will correct it better than most other alleged solutions.

Invisalign gets better year-by-year. This dental technology will continue to evolve and rectify that many more oral health issues as time progresses. In fact, the latest version of Invisalign might be able to remedy dental problems beyond those listed above by the time you decide to add the aligner to your mouth. If you have any questions about whether Invisalign will improve your oral health condition, do not hesitate to discuss your unique dental challenges with an Invisalign dentist.

Invisalign: Minimal Commitment, Optimal Results

Few adults are willing to commit to wearing traditional braces for upwards of several years. Braces are incredibly unsightly and uncomfortable. No adult wants to open his or her mouth in a business meeting or when approaching a potential flame only to reveal ugly metal braces.

Alternatively, Invisalign typically works in about a year’s time or less. Though Invisalign retainers will be in your mouth for this period of time, you will not hesitate to show your teeth in public as Invisalign is completely translucent. Furthermore, there is no need to head back to the dentist’s office for constant monthly readjustments as is often required with braces.

Invisalign Will Help You Look Your Best

There is no shame in being image-conscious. In fact, image has never been more important for career success and success in romantic relationships. Though it is a bit sad to say, people are becoming more superficial day-by-day. Invisalign aligners will make life that much easier for patients concerned about their looks. These aligners are see-through plastic trays that fit nice and snug over the teeth, similar to a mouth guard.

Invisalign aligners cannot be seen by anyone as they are completely clear. Those who wear metal braces typically struggle to be confident and relaxed in social settings as they are concerned about the optics of their braces. Opt for Invisalign and you will be able to laugh out loud, have a lengthy discussion and eat in front of others without worrying about how your mouth looks.

The Convenience Factor

Invisalign aligners can be removed at any time. Though this might seem like a minor benefit to some people, it actually matters a great deal. Think of all those times in which patients who wear metal braces wish they could remove them for improved comfort and confidence. Furthermore, eating and drinking will prove that much more comfortable after Invisalign aligners are removed. The icing on the cake is that there is no need to spend an abundance of time at the dentist’s office as is necessary with traditional braces.

So don’t fall into temptation by opting for traditional braces simply because others have enjoyed success with them. Braces trap food right up against the teeth, making flossing, brushing arduous endeavors. Dentists far and wide testify those who use braces and fail to adhere to a dental cleaning routine typically end up with cavities as well as additional oral health problems. These problems could have been easily avoided with Invisalign.

Minimal Irritation

Invisalign is quite comfortable compared to traditional braces. Invisalign aligners are smooth to the point that there is no threat of cheek or gum irritation. If you are questioning whether Invisalign really is as comfortable as advertised, consider the fact that many Invisalign users report they forget they have these clear aligners in their mouth.

Invisalign Dentists Provide Patients With a Look Into the Future

Invisalign aligners are typically worn for a week or two at a time. Meet with your dentist to discuss Invisalign and you will know the exact number of aligners necessary to correct your crooked or poorly spaced teeth. The dentist will also let you know how much time is necessary for teeth-straightening.

Invisalign Allows for Teeth Whitening

Dentists across the globe advise against attempting to whiten the teeth while wearing braces. Opt for Invisalign and you will be able to whiten your teeth and use teeth-whitening toothpaste. Once your Invisalign aligner schedule wraps up and the teeth whitening solution has had time to produce results, you will have a set of gorgeous teeth that are straight, properly spaced and a lovely shade of white.

Schedule an Appointment at Pleasant Hill Dental

If you are interested in Invisalign, tooth restorations, cosmetic dental improvements or a dental exam/cleaning, reach out to us to schedule an appointment. You can contact our office at (925) 692-2010. You can also reach us by email at info@pleasanthilldental.com.

The Importance of Periodontal Screenings

Periodontal screenings are essential to oral health. This screening, combined with regular oral exams help pinpoint and combat gingivitis as well as periodontitis, each of which is a chronic inflammatory disease. Unfortunately, periodontal disease, also referred to as gum disease, is common in adults. Gum disease is tied to an array of health conditions ranging from heart problems to diabetes. Your eyes are not deceiving you; you read that last sentence correctly: untreated gum disease really can spur a deadly heart attack. This disease stems from several different factors ranging from poor oral hygiene to smoking and genetics.

The Basics of Periodontal Screenings

Periodontal screenings are examinations performed to gauge the patient’s gum health. The dentist closely examines the texture of the gums as well as their appearance. A comprehensive analysis of the gums is performed with a careful probing. The dentist will probe your gums, look for signs of bleeding, calculus deposits, and plaque that might be down in the pockets of the gums. Radiograph x-rays are also used to understand the current state of the gums. In some periodontal screenings, the dentist or dental hygienist will inquire about the patient’s family history, overall health, and dental health habits.

In most cases, gum disease is indicated by red and puffy gums that bleed, especially when flossing. However, it is possible to have gum disease without these symptoms. Coeur d’Alene Dental Center says, “That’s because periodontal disease is “silent”; it often has no symptoms. This is true even in the late stages of the disease.” The bottom line is every single person should have a periodontal screening performed at least once each year.

Why Periodontal Screenings are so Important

Periodontal screenings are necessary to prevent major irrevocable dental problems ranging from loose teeth to total tooth loss and bone loss. Meet with your dentist once every six months for an oral health exam, cleaning and periodontal screening. The dentist will screen for gum disease. This oral health expert will gauge the extent to which existing periodontitis has progressed. The dentist will also explain which treatments are necessary based on the damage that already exists from current gum disease. This early identification of gum disease will prevent the need for comparably invasive procedures such as an oral surgery necessary to repair the damage resulting from periodontitis.

Do not fall into the trap of assuming it is only tooth integrity that matters in the context of oral health. If you have gum disease and let it go untreated for months or years, it will eventually affect your overall health. Gums are comprised of tissue that serves as an essential barrier that covers and safeguards the teeth. If the gums become swollen, start to bleed or feel tender, it is an indication the body’s immune system is in action. This is a clear sign you should meet with your dentist for periodontal screenings. Ideally, you will not wait until the point in time at which it appears your gums are attempting to tell you something is wrong.

The mouth is full of all sorts of microorganisms including bacteria. A considerable portion of the bacteria in the mouth is helpful in the battle against disease. However, there are some harmful bacteria that have the potential to overtake the good bacteria and compromise the gums. You might have an abundance of such harmful bacteria as well as gum disease yet you won’t know for sure unless you visit with your dentist for a periodontal screening. The dentist will determine if you have the proper balance of bacteria, gauge whether you have gum disease, determine the extent of gum disease and explain how to prevent additional oral health problems. This screening includes a full assessment of the health of supporting bone structures and gum tissues to provide the full picture of your oral health.

Do not Attempt to Gauge Your Gum Health on Your Own

Most people understand truly healthy gums are pink in color and firm in texture. Alternatively, unhealthy gums are red in color, look somewhat spongy and/or swollen and often bleed. These are the most obvious signs of gum problems. However, this is a superficial analysis. A periodontal screening performed by an experienced dentist is necessary to determine if there are signs of gum loss, also known as gum recession. The dentist relies on a diminutive specialized dental probe to accurately measure the exact depth of the pockets between the gums and teeth. This pocket is the open area positioned around each tooth. However, only a well-trained dentist can perform this measurement.

If the dentist finds the free space becomes connected gum around two or three millimeters down, it is a sign of healthy gums. However, if there is inflammation in this space, it is a sign bacteria has accumulated. Such inflammation prompts the immune system to transmit white blood cells. Gum tissue and bacteria are subsequently destroyed by these white blood cells.

If the attached part of the gum tissue is destroyed, the pocket deepens and additional bacteria, food particles, and dental plaque will accumulate. If this pocketing goes unnoticed or is not treated in a timely manner, bone loss will inevitably occur in due time. Bone will continue to dissipate to the point that the tooth loosens and proves impossible to save.

Do not be Afraid of Periodontal Screenings

Plenty of people shy away from periodontal screenings as well as dental appointments in general, assuming these sessions will prove painful and costly. Periodontal screenings are relatively painless. Furthermore, this screening can be completed surprisingly quickly. Let our team gently examine the areas around your teeth, take measurements and gauge the health of the bone as well as the supporting tissue. We will let you know if there are any indications of an active infection.

Though periodontal screenings are certainly a minor inconvenience, they are worth it. Consider the amount of time, money and pain stemming from undetected gum disease and diminished supporting bone structure. It is better to meet with the dentist for a regular periodontal screening than deal with the fallout from compromised gums.

Pleasant Hill Dental

If you have not been to the dentist in the past six months, it is time to schedule an appointment. We will perform a periodontal screening, clean your teeth, conduct an in-depth oral examination and beautify your smile. Give us a call at (925) 692-2010 to schedule an appointment.

What Veneers can do for You

Teeth gradually wear down as time progresses. This gradual wear makes the teeth that much more susceptible to damage. Cracks, chips, discoloration and additional oral health care issues will inevitably arise in due time. Such issues have the potential to transform a once-beautiful smile into one that underwhelms. Furthermore, oral health care problems will put the teeth and gums in jeopardy across the aging process. Veneers are available to conceal the blemishes on teeth. Opt for porcelain veneers and your smile will once again shine bright, impress onlookers and give you the confidence you need to be yourself around others.

The Basics of Veneers

Veneers are best described as uber-thin shell-like materials made with porcelain that resembles natural teeth. Veneers are fitted over teeth to conceal cracks and other flaws such as stains. Whether you have chipped, cracked, discolored, gaped or otherwise flawed teeth, veneers will hide the imperfections. This is the assistance you need to look your best so you do not hesitate to smile and talk in public. Veneers can even cover up teeth that are oddly sized or shaped so they blend in nicely with the rest of your smile.

Why Porcelain is Used for Veneers

Porcelain is the most commonly used material for veneers as it provides a number of advantages over other materials. Porcelain veneers are widely favored over dental bonding and other methods for compromised teeth as it looks just like normal teeth. Opt for porcelain veneers and your teeth really will resemble regular teeth. No one in your family, social circle, workplace or elsewhere will be able to tell you are using porcelain veneers.

Veneers Will Hike Your Confidence

If your smile is flawed in any way, you are likely hesitant to part your lips and smile in front of others. This is no way to live life. Whether you are missing a tooth or have damaged teeth, you will undoubtedly be nervous. Your unhappiness will only worsen if you do not address your smile imperfections sooner rather than later. Opt for dental veneers and those dental flaws will be hidden so you can make that perfect first impression.

The Perfect Look

Dental veneers are distinct from other oral health solutions in that they are custom made for each unique patient. It is almost impossible to distinguish between natural teeth and those with veneers. Customized veneers will not be stained by coffee, tea or cigarettes as they are comprised of cutting edge materials.

Natural teeth are allowed to primarily remain as they are when veneers are put in place. The same cannot be said of crowns that require considerable tooth alterations. Furthermore, while some pesky teeth do not whiten after teeth whitening methods are tried, veneers will transform even the darkest tooth into one that is the perfect shade of white.

Veneers are a Low-maintenance means of Beautifying a Smile

Unlike many other options for enhanced oral health and beauty, veneers do not require much maintenance. Maintaining veneers is surprisingly easy. Patients are encouraged to treat their veneers as they would regular teeth. Go ahead and floss, brush and rinse veneers just as you would regular teeth. Ideally, veneers will be cleaned with a non-abrasive toothpaste. Though a follow-up trip with the dentist is necessary about a week after the veneers are placed to determine how the mouth is reacting, little else is necessary. The dentist might suggest a nighttime bite guard so the veneers are not damaged at night. Otherwise, you and the dentist do not have to do anything to keep the veneers looking clean and lovely.

Veneers are Resistant to Stains

There is no sense attempting to beautify the teeth if they will only become stained in the near future. The better approach is to opt for veneers. Veneers do not stain like other tooth restorations. Those who use veneers are empowered to enjoy foods and beverages of all colors, textures, and types. It does not matter if coffee, chocolate, wine or other tasty treats stain your regular teeth; once veneers are in place you will be liberated to eat and drink what you desire without worrying they will compromise your smile.

Veneers are Fully Customized for Optimal Comfort and Proportionality

Veneers are not a one size fits all oral health solution. Rather, dentists to go great lengths to ensure each veneer is completely customized for each individual patient’s unique smile. It does not matter if your teeth are misaligned, comparably small or different in another way. Veneers can be made from a mold of these nuanced teeth. Veneers are then sized to fit in perfect alignment with the rest of the teeth. This way, your teeth will look proportional and symmetrical to one another when you open wide to smile, laugh, eat, etc.

Veneers Will Beautify Your Smile for Years to Come

Veneers have the potential to last a full decade or longer. In fact, those who take proper care of their veneers report they last upwards of 15 years or even longer. The years of service you get out of veneers is well worth the little money they cost. Opt for veneers and you will have a smile you are proud to put on display for upwards of two full decades. This is the reassurance you need to be your true self in public.

Choose Veneers Over Dental Crowns

Patients are often faced with the challenge of selecting between dental crowns and dental veneers. As noted above, veneers are the better solution as they allow the natural teeth to stay intact with minimal alteration. Veneers require merely a millimeter of enamel to be taken off. The removal of as little tooth structure as possible ensures dental veneers can support the teeth and bite. While dental crowns fit over the natural tooth on each side, veneers fit over the sides and front of the tooth to conceal blemishes. Veneers are comparable durable, providing enhanced aesthetics for a decade or longer.

Pleasant Hill Dental is at Your Service

Are you interested in veneers or another dental restoration? Perhaps you need an exam and cleaning. Give us a call at (925) 692-2010 to schedule an appointment.

The Best Way to Whiten Your Teeth

When you were young you probably had nice white teeth. But as you grew up you started to notice that your teeth are not as white as they once were and you are probably wondering why. Teeth staining can be a result of a number of things, which we will discuss. As well as what is the best way to whiten your smile!

Types of Teeth Staining

To know the best way to whiten your teeth you need to know what type of stain is discoloring your smile. Teeth stains can be classified into two major categories.

Extrinsic

It is the staining of the tooth’s surface caused by food and drinks. Not all foods and beverages will stain your teeth, but food and drink particles can get stuck on the surface of your teeth and over time discoloring your teeth. Tea, coffee, and wine are an example of drinks which contains staining properties.

Tobacco in any form can also cause teeth staining. Polishing or bleaching from trained dental office staff can remove stains caused by tobacco use or food and drinks.

As people get old, the enamel wears out, and it becomes thinner making it more susceptible to staining from foods, beverages, smoking, and injuries. Because of the coating being thinner even with a slight injury you can see staining from blood cells.

Cleaning an extrinsic stain can be hard if tooth enamel demineralization is present. Demineralization is when the tooth enamel is rough from ingesting acidic foods and not brushing the teeth properly. Demineralization of tooth encourages staining. But can be avoided with proper oral hygiene.

Intrinsic

It is staining that occurs deep within the enamel, and in some cases, a tooth may grow with the stain inside. There are several intrinsic staining causes, below are a few of them.

  • Consuming excess fluorine during enamel formation may cause staining.
  • Some medication can cause intrinsic staining.
  • Trauma caused to the tooth results in staining.
  • A disease called dentinogenesis imperfecta that some people are born with it causes purple, amber or grey discoloration.

It is easier for the dentist to diagnose an intrinsic stain by visual examination. Before treatment begins, it is essential to identify the cause of the natural stain to administer adequate treatment. Intrinsic staining is hard to treat, and in most cases, veneers and crowns are used to cover the stained tooth.

Professional Whitening

Professional teeth whitening is done by a professional dentist. No matter what kind of stain is discoloring your teeth the dentist will know the best way to treat it.

Before the dentist begins the whitening process, he protects your gums. There are two types of bleaching agents used by dentist’s carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. The two bleaching agents are used at a higher concentration for the process to be active.

The concentration range between 10-35 percent and this concentration is only allowed for procedures done by professionals. The dentist repeats the whitening process until the desired results are achieved.

Advantages

  • Yields fast result. Usually, professional teeth whitening only takes 45 minutes to an hour. The concentration of bleach used by a dentist is higher than take-home kits.
  • Reduced sensitivity caused by the bleaching agent. The dentist will protect the gums by using dental damns which prevents the bleaching agent from reaching the gums.

Disadvantages

  • When compared to take-home kits professional whitening is more expensive.

At Home Whitening

It is obtained from the dental office and has a higher concentration of bleach agents than over the counter teeth whitening gel. The intensity is higher when you compare it with over the counter gels, but the strength is lower to that of professional whitening gel.

It consists of a tray and whitening gel. You can’t buy the kit anywhere else apart from the dentist office. The plates are custom-made, and impressions of your teeth are crucial for this to happen. The trays are made to fit properly and protect your gums from the bleaching agent.

Before you collect your take-home whitening kit, the dentist will guide you on how to use it properly for best results. Take home kit is suitable for those who prefer doing the procedure by themselves, or as a follow-up maintenance treatment.

Advantages

  • It is cheaper than in-office whitening.
  • You get to do it yourself.

Disadvantage

  • It takes longer for you to see effects because of the low concentration of the bleaching agent.

For fast and stunning results come to Pleasant Hill Dental for your professional teeth whitening. We will work with you to give you the smile you have always dreamed about. Contact us today and schedule your consultation!

Types of Dental Sedation

Some dental procedures are invasive and uncomfortable, and this is the reason why in the past most people would rather endure the pain of a decayed tooth than have it removed. Thanks to the discovery of sedatives, dental procedures are no longer a torturing experience for people.

Dental sedation is mostly used during an invasive dental procedure to prevent the patient from feeling pain during procedures. Some individuals have phobia even when they are undertaking a simple procedure such as dental cleaning and the dentist usually use mild sedation to make them less anxious.

What Is Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation is the process of calming down a dental patient by use of specific medication. It is hard for a dental practitioner to carry out a specific dental procedure especially if the procedure could cause pain without sedation. Sedation was developed to make the patient more relaxed and the dentist work more comfortable for a successful treatment plan.

Some of the dental procedures were not possible in the past due to unreliable sedatives that didn’t last for long. Dental sedation started around 2250 BC when pain caused by dental cavities was managed by use of Babylonian clay which constituted gum mastic and henbane seed.

Later on, in 1853 a hypodermic syringe and a hollow needle were developed which is made possible for administering anesthesia into the gums. After the invention of the syringe and needle, more discoveries were made on the effective anesthesia.

When Is Sedation Necessary?

Everyone has different dental formulas, for example, some people can open their mouth wide for a simple dental cleaning process but others may have difficulties and even experience pain while opening their mouth. Anesthesia is usually used in the latter case for an effective tooth cleaning procedure. Listed below are some of the more complex dental procedures that require sedation.

Dental Implants

A dental implant involves extraction of the affected tooth and implanting artificial root to integrate with the jawbone. Before the procedure begins, anesthesia is administered to keep the pain at bay and provides a successful dental implant process.

Dental Emergency

A dental emergency is when a person is involved in an accident, and they have experienced some form of dental trauma. Sedation is necessary in this type of case because the patient is already in pain and reducing this pain helps to keep the patient calm.

Grafting

For a perfectly fitting denture, it is necessary for bone grafting to be done and this procedure might inflict pain to the patient. Anesthesia is used to keep the patient at ease, and the method accomplished correctly.

Tooth Removal

In the past tooth extraction was done without proper anesthesia and a person could feel pain during the process. Nowadays tooth extraction is painless thanks to the availability of reliable dental sedation methods.

Dental Surgery

Dental surgeries such as endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgeries can be invasive and painful, and this is the reason why anesthesia is used to provide comfort to both the patient and dental surgeon.

Types of Dental Sedation

The type of dental sedation used will depend on the type of dental procedure being performed. To understand it more here are models of sedation used in dentistry.

Oral Sedation

This is anesthesia in the form of a tablet and taken orally. If you are undergoing a less painful dental procedure, you’ll be given a mild dose of the sedative although it may make you drowsy. It can be provided in various treatments depending on the type of procedure being carried out.

Usually, you are given the sedative one hour before the dental procedure to give it time to perform the work it is intended to. Vistaril, Halcion, Valium, Sonata, Ativan and Versed are some of the anesthetic sedatives used in oral sedation.

Inhaled Sedation

It involves breathing in gases such as nitrous oxide/ oxygen to the lungs. The gases can sedate an individual during a dental procedure. It is the best anesthetic method used on children since it makes the child feel relaxed and is easy to administer. It is safe, but it is advisable not to play or perform any strenuous task immediately after using an inhaled sedative.

General anesthesia

It is a type of dental anesthesia which puts a person into an unconscious state before and during a dental procedure. It is primarily used in complex dental treatment but can also be used on adults and children who are anxious about dental procedures. Dental general anesthesia is different from the usual general anesthesia used in other medical practices and is less invasive.

How Safe Is Dental Sedation?

Safety is always the first thing one considers before anesthesia is administered. In dental sedation, all the anesthesia used are safe and used at the minimal concentration to make the patient as comfortable as possible.

Dental sedation mainly focuses on keeping the patients relaxed, so they don’t disrupt a dental procedure. For any dental process that requires the use of anesthesia, it is essential for you or your child to observe the usual safety precautions. Safety precautions such as, not eating immediately before anesthesia is administered.

What Can Cosmetic Dentistry Do for You?

In this modern age, many people are much concerned about their look and beauty and will do anything to improve their personal appearance and self-esteem. It is becoming a paramount concern for people to preserve their eternal youth and cosmetic dentistry has been in the forefront to enable them to achieve their respective dream of stepping out in style. Cosmetic dentistry comprises of a variety of dental procedures applied by dentists to enhance the smile of their patients, as well as to improve their oral health, even though its main focus is to beautify smiles.

There are many things cosmetic dentistry can do for you and the main benefit is to improve your oral appearance – the mouth, teeth, and smile. Your dentist will choose the best cosmetic dentistry procedure that suits your unique needs even though it is not essentially recommended, but rather chosen by patients. However, this advanced dental treatment is used to correct issues related to damages or discoloration of teeth; it can also offer restorative treatments.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a general term used to refer to a dental work performed by a dentist to improve the teeth appearance of a patient. The procedure doesn’t necessarily improve the function of teeth or gum, but basically a dental aesthetics improvement such as color, size shape, alignment and position of teeth and other processes that will give you a great smile.

Most of the procedures used in cosmetic dentistry are simple and do not require stressful processes and can be completed in one or two visits to a dental office. There are different types of cosmetic dentistry procedures and your dentists will examine your oral health to determine the procedure that is good for you.

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most widely used procedures of cosmetic dentistry to clean tartar stain and plaque from the surface of the teeth caused by drinks, food, and smoking or medication. In many cases, teeth whitening are done in the dentist’s office, but there are options for using a recommended product at home to achieve the same results. Also known as teeth bleaching – this procedure is used to restore the appearance of your natural teeth or bleach them to get a color lighter than the original shade.

Composite Bonding

This type of dental procedure is used to repair damaged, decayed or discolored teeth by using material that has the same color as the enamel of the tooth. The procedure is done by your dentist and they will remove the tooth decay, then apply composite to the surface of the tooth. It is a highly-effective dental procedure used to make damaged teeth look healthy again.

Inlays and Onlays

These categories of cosmetic dentistry procedures are usually made in a dental lab and recommended by dentists when a patient has tooth decay. It is also used when a tooth does not have enough structure for filling. Also known as indirect fillings, inlays can be placed on the surface of the tooth to cover a large portion of the damage while Onlays are used to cover the entire surface of the damaged tooth. Inlays and Onlays are products of a dental lab made from composite resin and bonded to the teeth using dental adhesive material. The functions of these procedures also include providing support to teeth and restoring their shape, as well as preventing further decaying of teeth.

Dental Veneers

Veneers are produced uniquely to fits each patient’s natural teeth and are typically made using a ceramic material that has a resemblance of a tooth enamel. These types of procedures are widely used because they look real and natural, and can be used to provide solutions to many cosmetic issues, such as damaged enamel, gaps in between teeth, crooked and cracked teeth. Your dentist will use a dental adhesive to bond the veneer to your tooth.

Dental Implants

Implants are usually used by dentists to replace a missing tooth. The procedure involves inserting a titanium post into the jaw that will stand as the support to a crown into the jaw located around the missing tooth. Dental implants have a record of huge success due to the improved technology in dentistry.

What Are the Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry?

There are many benefits to using any of the cosmetic dentistry procedures provided by your dentist. Apart from improving the quality of your smile and self-confidence, its restorative benefits cannot also be measured. Let’s take a look at what cosmetic dentistry can do for you.

Fixes Dental Problems

The most important benefit of cosmetic dentistry is that it has a resounding success in fixing crooked, cracked and broken teeth. It also helps people to overcome badly discolored teeth, as well as to correct many other dental issues. Cosmetic dentistry helps you to maintain your youthful appearance and to restore self-esteem, hence eliminating the embarrassment as a result of decayed teeth.

Widely Accessible

Cosmetic dentistry is very popular and easily available to everyone regardless of the place, even in smaller communities.

It is affordable

The price of having a cosmetic dentistry procedure done varies from place to place and the type of treatment you want to do. However, there is a possibility of lower prices for the procedures with the fast-growing dental industry and the regular introduction of innovative technology into the system.

It is long lasting

You can have your procedure fully intact and still looking natural for many years after doing it. This means that it will save you money and time from going for another procedure. Invariably, your dentist will decide on the type of cosmetic dentistry procedure that will be perfect for you and he or she will enlighten you on how to take a good care of your new teeth.

Dangers of Oral Cancer

According to the world health organization, there are more than 500,000 new cases of oral cancer reports yearly. The report also states that more than 250,000 death cases were due to oral cancer. Oral cancer is a threat to the human population and needs addressing with practical measures.

The number is given by the WHO is an estimate of the world in general, and these numbers may seem few, but it is rising at an alarming rate. The need for prevention measures is apparent in the rising number of new cases and deaths caused by oral cancer. According to WHO health education, avoiding the cause of cancer and diagnosis of the disease at an early stage will help bring down the numbers.

What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is the abnormal growth of sores in the mouth, lips, cheeks, tongue, sinuses, pharynx, hard and soft palate. It can affect one or more of the areas as mentioned above. It is a fatal disease if not diagnosed early for treatment. Causes

Many things depending on each case can cause oral cancer. Here are some of the things that might cause oral cancer.

1. Smoking and substance abuse such as alcohol. Tobacco in cigarette activates the dormant free radicals inducing them to become cancer. Those who smoke, chew or sniff tobacco are more likely to have cancer than those who don’t use tobacco. 60% of people having oral cancer were smokers, and this shows how smoking contributes to the risk of getting oral cancer.

2. Genetic cause. Oral cancer can be genetical if it runs in the family. When a person reaches a certain age, the cancer cells in the body become activated.

3. People who have a particular strain of human papillomavirus (HPV) are also at risk of contracting oral cancer. It is believed to cause oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).

Who Is At Risk Of Getting Oral Cancer?

  • Those who smoke and drink alcohol heavily have a high chance of getting oral cancer. 75% of people who have oral cancer are tobacco and alcohol users, and this proves that these two substances have a relationship with oral cancer.
  • Some diseases and drugs lower the immunity of the body and if an individual is taking immune suppressive drugs or they suffer from conditions such as HPV their risk of developing oral cancer is high.
  • If you have a family history of oral cancer, you are at risk of getting oral cancer.
  • Age is also a contributing factor when it comes to oral cancer, and 66% of those who have oral cancer are above 55 years. This number shows that the older a person is, the higher the chance of contracting oral cancer. When people are aging the immune system becomes weaker hence the likelihood of contracting diseases.

How you can prevent the dangers of oral cancer.

Some of the risk factors can be prevented, but others are not preventable. Here is the list of how you can avoid the dangers of oral health and live a healthy life.

Regular dental visits. You might not think this can prevent oral cancer but it can. It is during the frequent visits to the dentist where dental diseases and cancer can be found in its early stages. Early diagnosis of these conditions can be managed easily and are treated before they grow to an advanced stage where it is hard to handle them.

Stop smoking and alcohol use. Since a high percentage of those who have oral cancer are alcoholics and smokers when they cut down on the use of these two substances the dangers of oral cancer will also reduce. The more they indulge, the more they are getting close to oral cancer.

Protect against ultraviolet light. UV radiations are seen to be a contributing factor to oral cancer and by using a cream or lotion that has sunblock on your lips will help prevent the UV rays from getting inside your body.

Health education. It is necessary for all medical practitioners to provide useful information to their patients to prevent diseases. During the regular visits, the dentist will inform you of possible risks and how to manage and prevent them from avoiding further damage.

Screening. Those who smoke, drink alcohol and have a family history of the disease should be screened at least after three years for individuals who are 20- 40 years and yearly for those above 40 years. The screening will help combat the condition at an early stage to prevent further damage.

Eating healthy. Eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates are right for your oral health and help boost your immunity. Foods rich in calcium will make your teeth strong and healthy.

What are the signs and symptoms?

It is crucial for an individual to know the signs and symptoms of oral cancer for early treatment. Symptoms vary with each person, and an individual can have one or more of the following signs and symptoms.

  • A persistent sore throat.
  • Difficulty in swallowing, chewing or talking.
  • Gums swell.
  • The mouth and tongue might have a feeling of numbness, tender, and pain.
  • Teeth become loose without a cause.
  • Red or white patch lesions in mouth and lips.
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes around the neck making swallowing difficulty.
  • Drastic weight loss.
  • Transforming pain from the ear to the throat and sinuses.

Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth that is lips, throat, pharynx, tongue, sinuses, and larynx. Practicing good oral hygiene, eating healthy food and avoiding lifestyle behaviors that might trigger the onset of oral cancer is the key to good oral health and prevention of oral diseases including oral cancer. Remember never to skip regular dental visits because it is the only way you can screen for oral cancer.

How Laser Dentistry Fights Gum Disease

Gum disease is a progressive infection of the gums that originates from improper observation of the oral hygiene. How exactly does a gum disease start? When you don’t brush and floss your teeth properly, there’s formation of plaque which accumulates with time to form tartar. Plaque harbors bacteria that are harmful to your gums.

You might have experienced gum disease knowingly or unknowingly. Gum disease affects more than 70% of American adults at the age of 65 and above, but there have been cases of individuals at the age of 30 years infected. Are you wondering how gum disease presents itself? You don’t have to wonder anymore here are the signs and symptoms of gum disease.

Signs Of Gum Disease

  • Are your teeth sensitive to cold or hot foods and drinks?
  • Is your gum bleeding whenever you brush and floss?
  • Is your gum swollen and painful?
  • When you observe your gum in the mirror is it reddish?
  • Are you experiencing pain when you chew food?
  • Do you have bad breath even though you’ve brushed your teeth?

If you are experiencing one or more of these signs and symptoms it is most likely you are suffering from gum disease. It is advisable to see a dentist before the condition becomes chronic and irreversible.

Understanding gum disease

Once the layers of plaque have built up, it becomes hard to remove it by routine brushing. The reason why it is essential to visit a dentist twice a year to eliminate any plaque and tartar buildup. Gum disease is classified into several categories.

Stages Of Gum Disease

  1. Gingivitis which is the early stage of gum disease. When the gum disease is in this stage, it can be treated and cured.
  2. Periodontitis is the stage where the disease has advanced. When the gum disease has reached this stage, it becomes extremely difficult to treat it as the extreme damage has already started to take its toll. The gums and bones that hold the teeth in place becomes weaker and wears out forming pockets where the bacteria thrive.
  3. Advanced stage of periodontitis is the damaging stage of gum disease where the teeth can’t be saved. In this stage eating and talking becomes disrupted because of the pain presented by the infection.

Gum Disease Examination

Gum disease can be diagnosed in various ways, but the most common ones are;

  • Measuring gum pockets- The dentist will use a specialized tool to measure the depth of your gum pocket which in normal circumstance should be 1mm-3mm deep. In the case, your gum pockets are more in-depth than the average depth you have gum disease.
  • Dental x-ray- The dentist will x-ray your teeth to see if the infection has reached your bones and teeth roots.

Treatment And Management

Gum diseases can be managed at its early stages, but when it is in the advanced stage, a surgical procedure may be required to remove the infected part.

1. Traditional dental surgery

There are several traditional ways that your dentist will treat gum disease. Your dentist will try to use non-surgical means called scaling and root planing. If your gum disease is more advanced then your dentist will suggest you have one of several surgical procedures to remove the bacteria that are infecting your gums.

2. Laser Dentistry

Laser dentistry has been around over the decades, and it is approved by the FDA. It is the safest and most convenient surgical method of treating gum disease.

What Is Laser Dentistry?

Laser dentistry1 is a less invasive procedure used in the treatment of gum disease and other oral infections. In this medical procedure, a laser is used to remove small amounts of tissue that is infected. A laser is used to treat, remove inflammation and to reshape the gum. Dr. Lance Ogata from Smile Hawaii2 adds, “Before laser-assisted periodontal therapy, repairing the severe decay and bacteria buildup caused by advanced gum disease required making incisions in the gum tissue to access the upper tooth portions to clean them thoroughly. While this approach was effective in reducing bacteria build-up, it required significant recovery time and could be uncomfortable. By contrast, laser dentistry3 for the treatment of gum disease… is a non-surgical, minimally-invasive approach to reverse the effects of the periodontal disease for a healthy smile.

Why Laser Dentistry Is Preferred Over Other Treatments

The benefits of laser dentistry are apparent, and most dentists prefer it because the patients are comfortable during the procedure and the recovery time is reduced. Here are some of the pros of laser dentistry.

  • Since the procedure involves minimal invasion suturing isn’t necessary.
  • The procedure is less painful, and hence anesthesia is used at smaller doses than usual.
  • A laser is a sterilizer, and during the treatment process, it sterilizes the area it is working on, and the likelihood of infection is not possible.
  • Laser treatment works only on the infected area of the gum and damage to the gum isn’t experienced.

How A Laser Works

A laser uses a beam of light on the affected area to perform a dental surgical procedure. In this case, the laser acts as a scalpel to remove the infected gum. In other dental procedures such as teeth whitening, it serves as a bleaching agent.

The laser dentistry procedure is similar to other dental procedures, and the only difference is the comfortability during the procedure because there’s less pain involved. It takes less time than the conventional process, and you don’t have to wait.

What To Expect With Laser Dentistry Treatment.

Since the gum is infected from above to deep inside, the dentist will start from the gum on the surface and remove the infected part. The laser removes plaque and microorganisms from the root and under the gum. The dentist then completes by smoothing the root to inhibit the buildup of plaque in the future. Laser treatment can be a sterilizer, but it is necessary for you to observe complete oral hygiene throughout the healing period to avoid infections.

Resources

  1. https://www.pleasanthilldental.com/All-Services
  2. https://www.drogata.com/
  3. https://www.drogata.com/LAPT

Digital Dental X-Rays VS Traditional Dental X-Rays

The history of radiology – a process also known as X-ray was dated back to the late 19th century when Wilhelm Rōntgen, a German physicist first developed it. After this initial achievement made by Rōntgen, X-ray later found its place virtually in all areas of medical fields while the dental industry is benefiting immensely from this amazing technology. This is a Traditional method of X-ray that uses film radiography to examine the level of damage done to your teeth, gums, and mouth, and to determine the type of treatment needed to fix them. It is a traditional way of taking images of your teeth which is rapidly giving way to a more advanced and accurate digital X-ray technology.

With regular discoveries and developments in dentistry, dentists are adopting the new technology to ensure that they provide the most effective and fast treatments and procedures. Your dentist understands the importance of getting the actual images of a decayed tooth by carrying out an x-ray before any treatment can be done. For many decades, a film-based system was used to capture the image of oral formation but with the arrival of new technologies, digital radiographic imaging is widely adopted and the results have been impressive so far.

Though some dentists still use Traditional dental radiography as their methods of capturing the image of teeth because of certain factors, many of them are taking the advantages of the opportunities provided by the new technology. Actually, you might not be bothered whether your dentist uses a Traditional or digital x-ray; so far he or she will perform an excellent job. But there are many things you need to know about the two types of radiographs.

Traditional Dental X-Rays

As earlier mentioned, Traditional dental radiography has been around since the 19th century and it involves an X-ray machine and a film that receive the images. The machine is included with an anode and cathode tube and uses power to function. The main characteristic of this machine is to send the captured image to the film through radiation. However, the effectiveness of Traditional X-ray in the dental industry has become a subject of debate over the recent times.

Benefits of Traditional Dental X-Rays

  • This is a standard form of capturing the image of your teeth and mouth, so it requires no extra training to operate the X-ray machine.
  • Images captured with an X-ray machine cannot be changed which could possibly avoid fraudulent or legal issues.
  • It offers high-quality photo images while most dentists are still using it to examine the dental problems of their patients effectively.
  • The film sensors used in X-ray machine are good resistants to heat sterilization

Disadvantages

  • It takes so much time to process and develop a film because it needs separate equipment.
  • You will need a dark room equipped with a lighting and specific temperature which can lead to faulty results.
  • Because it involves several techniques before the process is completed, Traditional radiography can experience problems along the way, such as blunt or blurred images, dark lines, fog or spots.

Digital Dental X-Rays

Every dentist wants to provide effective and quality dental services to his or her patients and adopting a digital form of X-ray will be an excellent idea to start with. This method of taking images of the teeth, gums, and mouth involve computer-based techniques to take clear and accurate pictures directly without using a film. It uses a similar machine like the traditional dental X-ray to generate radiation, but the sensors connected to a computer capture the images instead of a film. Apart from following in the trend of modern technology, dentists are switching to this method because of some of the benefits outlined below.

Benefits of Digital Dental X-Rays

  • There is no need for the use of chemicals to process the images, unlike Traditional dental X-ray system.
  • It saves time because your dentist can view the images instantly and know exactly where the problems are.
  • It is faster because there is no need to wait for the film to develop which is good for both the patient and the dentist to save valuable time in the dental lab.
  • By using image enhancement software, Images captured using digital technology comes out clear and sharp.
  • The accuracy is quite impressive and it is friendly to the environment.
  • It requires less radiation to produce high-quality images.
  • Your dentist will be able to have the archives of your dental x-rays stored on a computer.
  • It produces bigger pictures which will permit your dentist to detect all the dental problems.
  • Though digital X-ray is expensive to acquire compared with Traditional radiography, you’ll later find it to save a lot of money in the long run.
  • It allows the images to be transferred electronically to other persons such as a consultant or a referred dentist.

Disadvantages

  • Depending on the type of system you want to purchase or a number of detectors to use, digital X-ray system might be expensive to acquire and maintained by some dentists.
  • You may need to go for training before you can effectively use digital radiography.
  • It is not a standardized form of dental X-ray.

Final Thought

Dental X-ray is an important process usually used by your dentist to determine the best treatment to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy. With this technique, he or she will be able to detect dental problems that are not easily visible, such as decay, bone loss, and cavity. It is also an essential process when considering a dental restoration procedure like implant and root canal treatment.

As the world is changing drastically and moving in the trend of new technology, the dental industry is also catching up rapidly with the fast pace at which technology is moving. Many dentists are now switching from Traditional dental X-rays to a more advanced and effective digital radiography. Though the cost of acquiring the latter and the competency in operating the system could be a factor why some dentists are yet to go digital, but it is worth having it in a plan.