Posts for category: Dental Procedures
In the United States, an estimated 3 million people have dental implants, a number that is growing by 500,000 annually. Because dental implants bond with natural bone and effectively support replacement teeth, they are the perfect solution to fill in the empty space left by a missing tooth. However, to ensure a long and healthy implant lifespan, it is crucial that you properly care for dental implants and have a professional regularly check them. Here at Colesville Dentistry in Silver Spring, MD, Dr. Gregory Hysong and Dr. Lynda LePore are here to help you clean and inspect your teeth and implants.
Dental implants are surgically placed into your jawbone
After the implant has been positioned in your mouth, it fuses with the bone over several months, acting as the root of the missing tooth. An artificial tooth, a permanent bridge, or a denture can then be attached to the implant.
Right after implant surgery
- Apply ice if needed
- Don’t disturb the surgical areas
- Rinse with salt water daily
- Eat soft foods and nutrient-rich drinks and foods
- Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush
- Schedule regular post-operative appointments with a dentist at our Silver Spring office
Ongoing implant care
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Brush at least twice a day to remove food debris and bacteria.
- Brush under and around the dental implant crown using an angled-neck toothbrush or an interdental brush with a slim head.
- Use toothpaste without abrasive ingredients, bleach, or chlorine-based solutions since these might damage or discolor the implants.
- Use a water flosser or dental water jet. They clean hard-to-reach areas more effectively.
- Eat a healthy diet and stop smoking. Smoking can weaken and inflame the gums, and can stain the crowns.
- If you grind your teeth, seek treatment right away. Teeth grinding can put excess pressure on your implant and cause damage.
Prioritize proper oral care
Here at Colesville Dentistry in Silver Spring, MD, we perform regular dental checkups and professional cleanings to confirm that your implants are functioning properly and that you are maintaining good oral health. Contact us at (301) 384-6000 for appointment information.
Moving teeth through orthodontics may involve more than simply wearing braces. There are many bite conditions that require extra measures before, during or after traditional orthodontic treatment to improve the outcome.
One such measure is extracting one or more teeth. Whether or not we should will depend on the causes behind a patient's poor dental bite.
Here, then, are 4 situations where tooth extraction before orthodontics might be necessary.
Crowding. This happens when the jaw isn't large enough to accommodate all the teeth coming in. As a result, later erupting teeth could erupt out of position. We can often prevent this in younger children with space maintainers or a palatal expander, a device which helps widen the jaw. Where crowding has already occurred, though, it may be necessary to remove selected teeth first to open up jaw space for desired tooth movement.
Impacted teeth. Sometimes an incoming tooth becomes blocked and remains partially or fully submerged beneath the gums. Special orthodontic hardware can often be used to pull an impacted tooth down where it should be, but not always. It may be better to remove the impacted tooth completely, as well as its matching tooth on the other side of the jaw to maintain smile balance before orthodontically correcting the bite.
Front teeth protrusion. This bite problem involves front teeth that stick out at a more horizontal angle. Orthodontics can return the teeth to their proper alignment, but other teeth may be blocking that movement. To open up space for movement, it may be necessary to remove one or more of these obstructing teeth.
Congenitally missing teeth. The absence of permanent teeth that failed to develop can disrupt dental appearance and function, especially if they're near the front of the mouth. They're often replaced with a dental implant or other type of restoration. If only one tooth is missing, though, another option would be to remove the similar tooth on the other side of the jaw, and then close any resulting gaps with braces.
Extracting teeth in these and other situations can help improve the chances of a successful orthodontic outcome. The key is to accurately assess the bite condition and plan accordingly.
If you would like more information on orthodontic options, 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 “Removing Teeth for Orthodontic Treatment.”
Whitening can transform the dullest teeth into a dazzling smile fit for a Hollywood star. But before you undergo a whitening procedure, you might have a few questions about it. Here are the answers to a few of the most common.
How white can I go? In an office application we can adjust the solution and application time to control the level of shade (dark or light) from subtle to dazzlingly bright. The real question, though, is how much color change will look best for you? A good rule of thumb is to match the shade in the whites of your eyes.
Whitening will improve poor dental conditions…right? Not necessarily. Besides foods, beverages or poor hygiene, decay, abscesses or problems from root canal treatments can also cause discoloration. In some dental situations, whitening could make your smile less attractive. If, for example, you have exposed roots due to gum recession, those areas won't bleach like the enamel and could make their exposure stand out more. Better to try and repair these problems before whitening.
What effect will teeth whitening have on my dental work? None â??composite or ceramic materials won't lighten. The real concern is with creating a situation where whitened natural teeth don't match the color of dental work. Depending on the location of your veneers, crowns or other bridgework you could have a color mismatch that will look unattractive. We would therefore need to take your dental work into consideration and adjust the shading accordingly.
Will teeth whitening work on any stained teeth? That depends on the cause of the staining. If it's on the enamel, then external bleaching techniques should work. If, however, the discoloration comes from inside the tooth, then only a dental procedure that applies a bleaching agent inside the tooth can alleviate that kind of discoloration.
So after whitening, I'm good to go? Well, not permanently. Eventually the brightness will diminish or fade, usually in six months to two years. You can, of course, prolong the fade rate by not using tobacco, cutting back on staining beverages like red wine, tea and coffee, practicing daily oral hygiene and visiting us for regular office cleanings and other dental work. We can also touch up your existing whitening during your visits.
If you would like more information on teeth whitening, 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 “Important Teeth Whitening Questions…Answered!”
Primary (baby) teeth might not last long, but their impact can last a lifetime. Their first set of teeth not only allows young children to eat solid foods, but also guide permanent teeth to form and erupt in the proper position.
Unfortunately, primary teeth aren't immune to tooth decay. If the decay is extensive, the tooth may not last as long as it should. Its absence will increase the chances the permanent teeth won't come in correctly, which could create a poor bite (malocclusion) that's costly to correct.
If a primary tooth is already missing, we can try to prevent a malocclusion by installing a “space appliance.” This keeps nearby teeth from drifting into the empty space intended for the permanent tooth. The best approach, though, is to try to save a primary tooth from premature loss.
We can often do this in much the same way as we would with a permanent tooth — by removing decayed material and filling the prepared space. We can also perform preventive applications like topical fluoride or sealants that strengthen or protect the tooth.
It becomes more complicated, though, if the pulp, the interior of the tooth, becomes decayed. The preferred treatment for this in a permanent adult tooth is a root canal treatment. But with a primary tooth we must also consider the permanent tooth forming below it in the jaw and its proximity to the primary tooth. We need to adapt our treatment for the least likely damage to the permanent tooth.
For example, it may be best to remove as much decayed structure as possible without entering the pulp and then apply an antibacterial agent to the area, a procedure known as an indirect pulp treatment. We might also remove only parts of the pulp, if we determine the rest of the pulp tissue appears healthy. We would then dress the wound and seal the tooth from further infection.
Whatever procedure we use will depend on the extent of decay. As we said before, our number one concern is the permanent tooth beneath the primary. By focusing on the health of both we can help make sure the permanent one comes in the right way.
If you would like more information on caring for children's primary teeth, 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 “Root Canal Treatment for Children's Teeth.”
Find out when pulling a tooth may actually be the best option for your smile.
While our goal is almost always to preserve your natural teeth whenever possible, there are some scenarios in which our Silver Spring, MD, dentists, Dr. Gregory Hysong and Dr. Lynda LePore, may recommend undergoing dental extraction. An extraction may be necessary if you are dealing with any of these three dental issues:
Severely Damaged Teeth
A tooth that is cracked, fractured, or severely decayed can often be treated with root canal therapy and a dental crown; however, if the infection is serious and widespread, a simple root canal alone may not be enough.
Here at Colesville Dentistry, your dentists will examine the tooth to determine whether it can be saved with a root canal, or whether the only way to stop the source of infection is by extracting the tooth.
Complications of Advanced Gum Disease
Gum disease doesn’t just impact the health of the gums but also the teeth, bone, and ligaments of the gums that support the teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can turn into full-blown gum disease, which can impact the bones, ligaments, and tissue. Advanced periodontitis can even cause loose teeth. If teeth become too loose, an extraction is often necessary.
By visiting your dentist every six months for dental cleanings and checkups, we can catch the early warning signs of gum disease to prevent this problem from happening to you.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to come in, and they usually appear during your teen years. Most of the time, there isn’t enough room in our mouths to accommodate these teeth. When this happens, wisdom teeth only partially erupt through the gums. This is known as an impacted tooth.
This partially erupted tooth leaves an opening in the gums where bacteria can get trapped and cause decay, gum disease, and infections. Furthermore, since most wisdom teeth do not come in straight this can also damage surrounding teeth. Removing wisdom teeth early on can prevent these problems from happening in the first place.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Whether you are dealing with impacted wisdom teeth or you have questions about the health and care of your teeth the dental team at Colesville Dentistry in Silver Spring, MD, can help. Call our office today at (301) 384-6000 to schedule a consultation with your dentists, Dr. Hysong or Dr. LePore.