Your Smile Dental Care blog


3 Comments

The Sexy Six

All I want for Christmas is my….

Broken 21We welcomed a new patient last week who works in construction. He was having difficulty with a jackhammer that kept jamming on him. It eventually misfired unexpectedly and it hit him right in the mouth and his upper left front tooth broke off at the gum line. He was looking forward to attending his company’s Christmas party with his family and his wife wanted it repaired before this event.

We are pleased to say that he left with a very confident smile a short time later and we were happy to be a part of his holiday cheer!

We have the pleasure of helping many people get their teeth camera-ready for holidays and other important events all throughout the year. December is always a busy month for us as we help patients finish up their treatment before the end of the year and assist others looking to find smile solutions for the holiday season.

The “Sexy Six”

This got us thinking about a phrase we heard a few months back – “The Sexy Six”  Sexy SixIt is a reference to the upper front 6 teeth and the suggestion that some people are primarily concerned about the appearance of these teeth while concentrating less on the teeth that are not as visible when speaking or smiling.

In our experience, there is an element of truth to this as in the case of patients wanting to start treatment on their front teeth before other any teeth that may require more immediate attention. Unfortunately, sometimes a patient may decide not to continue treatment once their front teeth are taken care of. If left untreated, the cavities in the remaining teeth will spread and eventually cause pain and infection.

Sometimes, back teeth are left in such a state of disrepair that they must be removed. If they are not replaced with bridges, implants or partial dentures a person naturally uses their front teeth for biting and chewing their food. However, these smaller, single-rooted teeth are designed for cutting and biting into foods and the forces that go into chewing and grinding are too ex7-14-2014 8-59-39 AMcessive for these slender teeth. Eventually, these front teeth begin to breakdown and eventually become loose from the extra stresses brought to bear on them.

We do understand that the “sexy six” (or twelve, if you include the lower front teeth) are the first teeth that people will notice when you smile and we can appreciate why these may receive more of your consideration. We’re here to give you a reason to smile. At Your Smile Dental Care we work in consultation with you to develop a treatment plan and schedule that is agreeable and is in the best interest of your overall dental health and appearance.

Smile Solutions

We offer products and services to help you regain your smile and enjoy healthier teeth and gums! Dr. Axelrod will be happy to discuss your options with you. Our friendly staff is committed to personalized care and you will always be treated in a gentle and compassionate manner.

We certainly hope you will have lots to smile about this upcoming year and we are always happy to help you find the smile solutions you are looking for. And, although some accidents are avoidable, others are unforeseeable – like jackhammers!  We understand the urgency of some dental issues.  If you have a dental problem that needs immediate attention over the holidays, give us a call. Our emergency instructions are on our answering machine and we will assist you in finding the help you need.

09-08-2014 9-12-36 AM

Yours in Better Health,

The Your Smile Dental Care Team.


5 Comments

Baby Teeth DO Matter

The Importance of Baby Teeth…

Many people still believe the first set of teeth that children have really don’t matter because they’ll eventually fall out some day and be replaced by more permanent ones. Well, that someday may be further in the future than you think!

Have a look at the tooth chart below:

BGC

 

Notice, that there can be quite a few years before the permanent (adult) teeth are expected to show up in the mouth. That’s quite a few years to leave a cavity untreated or lose a tooth too early. Learning how to properly care for the first set of teeth will help teach your child to continue that care into adulthood.

The Role of Baby Teeth

Baby teeth do matter and so do the developing adult teeth that you can’t see yet! Healthy primary teeth are crucial to your children’s overall health, development, and well-being and are essential for:

08-12-2014 11-28-16 AMSpeech development – The tongue, lips and cheeks deflect off teeth when forming sounds. The presence and proper positioning of baby teeth assist in the formation of correct pronunciation during speech.

Facial development – Teeth provide structural support for the developing facial muscles and give shape to your child’s face.

Proper chewing – Of course, teeth are needed for chewing and maintaining proper nutrition is essential for healthy development. Eating is compromised when teeth are missing or painful.

Building self-esteem – Although children do go through a stage when teeth are coming and going that can sometimes leave a smile looking a little awkward, this is a natural period during childhood and is usually being experienced by a number of other children they know. Unhealthy, decayed teeth however, can interfere with a child’s social interactions and affect their self-esteem.

Concentration – Painful teeth can affect the way a child is able to pay attention and learn in school. There’s enough distractions at school already without dental pain complicating matters further.

Proper permanent teeth positioning – The primary teeth save the space for the adult teeth and guide them into their normal position. If a tooth is lost too early the adjacent teeth tend to tip into the space leaving less room for the emerging permanent tooth.

Healthy permanent teeth – A child’s next set of teeth develop very close to the roots of the baby teeth. These primary teeth are much smaller and cavities can spread very quickly through their thinner enamel. If left untreated, a baby tooth can develop an infection which can affect the permanent teeth forming underneath them.

Future oral care – These first teeth are somewhat like “practice teeth.” Teaching your child to develop good oral care habits with their primary teeth will help ensure that they understand the importance of healthy teeth so they can keep their next set for life!

The Treatment of Teeth Lost Early

If a primary tooth does need to be removed before it’s natural time, your dentist will most likely recommend placing a space maintaining device into the area. This spacer will keep the other teeth from drifting into this vacant area causing crowding and orthodontic problems for the adult teeth.

Early Habits

A healthy mouth is important to your child’s whole health. We have seen first hand how healthy attitudes learned as a child contribute to positive and long lasting adult habits and perceptions. The patients in our practice who had regular check-ups and early interventions as children tend to maintain healthy mouths, have much fewer dental issues and possess very responsible attitudes towards their oral health care status as adults.

The Role of Parents – Think about their tomorrow

FamilyAs our children’s primary role models, we parents, have more influence over our children than anyone else. Studies have shown that they are more likely to pattern their future choices and beliefs after ours and maintain the habits they learn as children throughout their lives. Your child’s best chance at keeping their teeth for life is to witness first hand your positive attitudes towards your teeth and going to the dentist. Your positive remarks and optimistic outlook about dental care will empower your children and help to ensure that they will continue to benefit from your great example!

Until next week,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
7-14-2014 6-21-36 PM

 

 

 

 

 


13 Comments

Root Canal Recovery

What can I expect after a root canal?

02-12-2014 8-23-36 AMSo, you survived the dreaded root canal procedure and were relieved that it was not the nightmare you had imagined!  Judging by the reactions of many of our patients, most are pleasantly surprised at just how routine the treatment is. Some patients are so relaxed they even fall asleep!

We believe that root canal therapy gets it’s bad reputation because of misinformation. It’s understandable why some people tend to remember the excruciating, pre-treatment pain more than the relief provided by the dentist. The discomfort that brought them to the dentist in the first place may have lasted for days and was probably, at times, very difficult to bear. Relief usually begins immediately after receiving dental freezing (anaesthetic), and the treatment is usually very routine with the subsequent healing period often uneventful.

Which part of the overall experience would you be likely to recall? What makes a better story?

It’s excusable when patients find it difficult to disassociate their painful days from the eventual dental relief. This reprieve from pain should mitigate the overall experience, but sometimes it doesn’t.

After Care
This type of dental infection involves the soft tissues in the root canal portion of the tooth and the symptoms can range from painless to annoying discomfort to severe, intolerable pain. Abscesses can go unnoticed and be symptomless, while others are accompanied by facial/neck/gum swelling, earaches, gum boils, even a general feeling of unwellness.

If root canal treatment has been recommended for your tooth, it is important to discuss with your dentist what outcome you can reasonably expect and what “specific-to-you instructions” you should follow.

Healing Period
Although the infected, inside part of the tooth has been removed, there is still a period of continued healing while the body repairs the area surrounding the tooth. In the vast majority of cases, the affected area of the mouth will continue to heal and symptoms will subside. If, in a week’s time, you have not experienced gradual, steady healing call your dentist.

Acute Infections – If left untreated, some infections can spread to surrounding head, neck, nasal and sinus areas that can progress to life-threatening complications. A much more guarded approach is taken during this healing period, and in some severe cases, hospitalization is required.

Activity
Following your treatment, you can resume your normal daily activities after the dental anaesthesia has worn off.

Eating
Once the anaesthesia wears off, you can eat and drink as usual. It is completely normal  to still feel sensitivity after a root canal, especially when chewing. You may feel more comfortable chewing on the other side of your mouth while the tissues, nerves and ligaments surrounding the root canal tooth recovers.

Pain
During the healing period, it is not uncommon to feel some discomfort, but not to the degree of pre-treatment pain. Although there is no longer any nerve within the tooth, the nerves, ligaments and other surrou10-11-2014 2-54-00 PMnding tissues may still be healing. To help you manage any post-treatment tenderness, your dentist may recommend the use of an anti-inflammatory such as Advil or another type of pain reliever if you cannot take NSAIDs.  If your healing is characterized by a degree of pain that is difficult to tolerate, do not hesitate to contact your dentist for further evaluation.

Bite
Sometimes, the ligaments that surround the tooth become irritated and swollen and can be sensitive to touch and pressure. Although not uncommon, this added aggravation can cause discomfort during chewing. The dentist can reduce the biting forces on the tooth to lessen the impact you feel while eating.

Antibiotics
Not all infected teeth require antibiotics. In an effort to reduce the routine prescribing of antibiotics which can lead to drug-resistant bacteria, your dentist will only prescribe an antibiotic if the circumstances necessitate it.

Additional treatments
In a perfect world, the body always responds favourably to treatment and the outcome is always successful. It is important to appreciate however, that infections of the body can be unpredictable and complications may still occur. In the small, confined areas surrounding the tooth, even relatively minor abscesses can be stubborn. With respect to teeth, our goal is to help you keep your teeth for life and if your tooth is not following a normal healing path, additional therapy can sometimes be recommended including re-treatment or other root end remedies.

Follow Up Treatment
After the root canal is complete, a permanent post and filling will be placed. With the soft tissue now removed, the tooth will tend to dry out and become brittle over time. Brittle teeth can fracture more easily. Your dentist will likely recommend the placement of a metal crown to add protection and strength to your tooth.

Prevention
Of course, there are inherent risks that are involved with any surgical treatment, but attending to symptoms immediately is still the best ways to help reduce the likelihood that your root canal tooth will be fraught with future complications and aggravations. Maintaining regular check-ups will allow your dentist to monitor the healing of your root canal treated tooth and follow-up immediately if problems arise.

24-03-2014 3-46-49 PMRoot canal therapy has gotten a bad rap over the years. Certainly, there are teeth that are very hyper-sensitive during treatment and there are also cases where dental care was neglected to the point that a usually very routine root canal therapy becomes a much more complicated matter. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of regular dental visits. Early intervention can help you avoid root canal treatment. Dentists are trained to spot suspicious activity in your mouth early so that problems do not progress to the point of pain nor cause a relatively simple procedure to become an emergency.

If it has been a while since you’ve had a dental check-up, there’s no better time than now to book an appointment. We see many people who have not been to the dentist in a long time. We’re here to help – not to judge! At Your Smile Dental Care, our team of trained professionals have helped thousands of patients SMILE again! Call us today!

02-12-2014 8-57-17 AM

Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team