Posts for: May, 2017
A damaged tooth often means a painful tooth and is a situation that most people would choose to avoid if given the chance. However, broken and damaged teeth are one of the most common dental issues. So, luckily, your dentist can help repair your damaged tooth and restore your biting surface with a root canal. Find out more about root canals, how they work, and why they are important with Dr. Ben Baldwin and Dr. Stuart Baldwin at Baldwin Dental Group in Madisonville, KY.
How does a root canal work?
A root canal is an important procedure aimed at preserving the tooth’s natural structure while removing decayed or infected tissue inside. The infection comes from tooth decay, which, after reaching the tooth’s inner pulp chamber, damages the tooth’s blood vessels and nerve which lie inside. This results in a toothache or if left untreated, can cause a dental abscess. By removing the tooth’s tissues and nerve, your dentist also removes the tooth’s ability to feel pain, curing both the infection and the toothache in one fell swoop.
Root Canal vs. Extraction
In the past, dentists could only remove the infected tissue by removing the entire tooth altogether, leading to further complications. Since implementing modern root canals, dentists can keep the tooth intact and cure the infection. A missing tooth, such as one which your dentist has extracted, results in some serious side effects, like the degradation of the bone underneath, a process called bone atrophy. As the bone atrophies, the skin on the face may begin to sag. Additionally, the teeth around the missing tooth may shift to accommodate for the extra room in the mouth, throwing off the natural bite, making chewing more difficult, or even triggering conditions like TMJ disorder.
Root Canal therapy in Madisonville, KY
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures, performed about 41,000 times a day according to the American Association of Endodontists. While root canals often come with the assumption that the procedure is long and painful, this is a myth. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the work area and ensure that you feel no pain during your treatment.
For more information on root canal therapy or how it could benefit you, please contact Dr. Ben Baldwin and Dr. Stuart Baldwin at Baldwin Dental Group in Madisonville, KY. Call (270) 245-1547 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!
You may not always be able to tell if your child's bite isn't developing properly. Â That's why you should have them undergo an orthodontic evaluation around age 6 to uncover any emerging problems with tooth misalignment.
Still, there are some visible signs all's not well with their bite. As the primary (baby) teeth give way, the permanent teeth erupt sequentially around ages 6 to 8. As they come in, you should notice that each tooth fits uniformly next to each other without excessive gaps or, on the other end of the spectrum, not crowded together in crooked fashion. Upper teeth should also fit slightly over the lower teeth when the jaws are shut.
If their teeth appearance deviates from these norms, they may have a bite problem. Here are 4 abnormalities you should watch for.
Underbite or deep bite. As we mentioned, the front teeth should cover the lower teeth with the jaws shut. In an underbite, the reverse happens — the lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth. It's also a problem if the upper teeth cover the lower teeth too much (often referred to as “deeply”).
Open bite. This occurs when there's a gap between the upper and lower front teeth while the jaws are shut together. One possible cause is late thumb sucking, which can put undue pressure on the front teeth and cause them to develop too far forward while forcing the bottom front teeth further backwards.
Crossbites. This kind of bite occurs when some of the teeth don't fit properly over their counterparts, while others do. Crossbites can occur anywhere in the mouth, for example the upper front teeth fitting behind the lower front teeth while the back teeth overlap normally, or the reverse (front normal, back abnormal).
Misalignments and Abnormal Eruptions. Sometimes upper teeth may align too far forward, a situation known as protrusion. Conversely, lower teeth (or the jaw itself) may come in too far back (retrusion). Because a primary tooth might be out of position or not lost in the proper sequence, a permanent tooth might noticeably erupt out of its proper position.
If you notice any of these situations with your child's teeth see your dentist or orthodontist soon for a full examination. If caught early, we may be able to take action that will lessen or even eliminate the problem.
In real life he was a hard-charging basketball player through high school and college. In TV and the movies, he has gone head-to-head with serial killers, assorted bad guys… even mysterious paranormal forces. So would you believe that David Duchovny, who played Agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files and starred in countless other large and small-screen productions, lost his front teeth… in an elevator accident?
“I was running for the elevator at my high school when the door shut on my arm,” he explained. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital. I had fainted, fallen on my face, and knocked out my two front teeth.” Looking at Duchovny now, you’d never know his front teeth weren’t natural. But that’s not “movie magic” — it’s the art and science of modern dentistry.
How do dentists go about replacing lost teeth with natural-looking prosthetics? Today, there are two widely used tooth replacement procedures: dental implants and bridgework. When a natural tooth can’t be saved — due to advanced decay, periodontal disease, or an accident like Duchovny’s — these methods offer good looking, fully functional replacements. So what’s the difference between the two? Essentially, it’s a matter of how the replacement teeth are supported.
With state-of-the-art dental implants, support for the replacement tooth (or teeth) comes from small titanium inserts, which are implanted directly into the bone of the jaw. In time these become fused with the bone itself, providing a solid anchorage. What’s more, they actually help prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs after tooth loss. The crowns — lifelike replacements for the visible part of the tooth — are securely attached to the implants via special connectors called abutments.
In traditional bridgework, the existing natural teeth on either side of a gap are used to support the replacement crowns that “bridge” the gap. Here’s how it works: A one-piece unit is custom-fabricated, consisting of prosthetic crowns to replace missing teeth, plus caps to cover the adjacent (abutment) teeth on each side. Those abutment teeth must be shaped so the caps can fit over them; this is done by carefully removing some of the outer tooth material. Then the whole bridge unit is securely cemented in place.
While both systems have been used successfully for decades, bridgework is now being gradually supplanted by implants. That’s because dental implants don’t have any negative impact on nearby healthy teeth, while bridgework requires that abutment teeth be shaped for crowns, and puts additional stresses on them. Dental implants also generally last far longer than bridges — the rest of your life, if given proper care. However, they are initially more expensive (though they may prove more economical in the long run), and not everyone is a candidate for the minor surgery they require.
Which method is best for you? Don’t try using paranormal powers to find out: Come in and talk to us. If you would like more information about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework,” and “Dental Implants.”