Posts for: September, 2016
A recent episode of “America’s Got Talent” featured an engaging 93-year-old strongman called The Mighty Atom Jr. The mature muscleman’s stunt: moving a full-sized car (laden with his octogenarian “kid brother,” his brother’s wife, plus Atom’s “lady friend”) using just his teeth. Grinning for host Howie Mandel, Atom proudly told the TV audience that his teeth were all his own; then he grasped a leather strap in his mouth, and successfully pulled the car from a standstill.
We’re pleased to see that the Atom has kept his natural teeth in good shape: He must have found time for brushing and flossing in between stunts. Needless to say, his “talent” isn’t one we’d recommend trying at home. But aside from pulling vehicles, teeth can also be chipped or fractured by more mundane (yet still risky) activities — playing sports, nibbling on pencils, or biting too hard on ice. What can you do if that happens to your teeth?
Fortunately, we have a number of ways to repair cracked or chipped teeth. One of the easiest and fastest is cosmetic bonding with tooth-colored resins. Bonding can be used to fill in small chips, cracks and discolorations in the teeth. The bonding material is a high-tech mixture of plastic and glass components that’s extremely lifelike, and can last for several years. Plus, it’s a procedure that can be done right in the office, with minimal preparation or discomfort. However, it may not be suitable for larger chips, and it isn’t the longest-lasting type of restoration.
When more of the tooth structure is missing, a crown (or cap) might be needed to restore the tooth’s appearance and function. This involves creating a replacement for the entire visible part of the tooth in a dental lab — or in some cases, right in the office. It typically involves making a model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors, then fabricating a replica, which will fit perfectly into the bite. Finally, the replacement crown is permanently cemented to the damaged tooth. A crown replacement can last for many years if the tooth’s roots are in good shape. But what if the roots have been dislodged?
In some cases it’s possible to re-implant a tooth that has been knocked out — especially if it has been carefully preserved, and receives immediate professional attention. But if a tooth can’t be saved (due to a deeply fractured root, for example) a dental implant offers today’s best option for tooth replacement. This procedure has a success rate of over 95 percent, and gives you a natural looking replacement tooth that can last for the rest of your life.
So what have we learned? If you take care of your teeth, like strongman Atom, they can last a long time — but if you need to move your car, go get the keys.
If you would like more information about tooth restoration, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”
How sedation dentistry from Two Rivers Family Dental can help you
Are you afraid of visiting your dentist? If you suffer from dental anxiety, you are not alone. Dental anxiety is a very common problem that needs to be addressed. When you suffer from dental anxiety, it’s not all in your head. Dental anxiety can cause systemic physical problems like increased heart rate and breathing difficulties. The good news is, thanks to dental sedation from Dr. Chris Hansen, your family dentist at Two Rivers Family Dental in Two Rivers, WI, you can enjoy your dental visit once again.
Many people have a fear of needles; others dislike the feeling of vulnerability by lying back in the dental chair. Whatever the reason for your dental anxiety, you can be assured of a calm, relaxed, gentle appointment, thanks to sedation dentistry and the skills of your family dentist.
There are many levels of sedation available from your dentist in Two Rivers, depending on your desired state of relaxation. Your dentist will discuss the various options available and help you determine what level is best for your needs. Consider:
Oral sedation--taken in the form of a pill; oral sedation allows you to be relaxed but still conscious and able to answer questions. Common oral sedation medications include Valium, Halcion and a variety of other medications.
Inhaled conscious sedation--typically consisting of an oxygen and nitrous oxide mixture which you will inhale through a nosepiece; inhaled conscious sedation also allows you to be conscious enough to answer questions, but still feel very relaxed.
Combination oral and inhaled sedation--the two types of sedation can be combined to provide a deeper level of sedation than oral sedation alone.
Intravenous conscious sedation--IV sedation consists of liquid medication injected directly into a vein. The sedative effects are immediate as the medication goes directly into your bloodstream. You may be very deeply relaxed or completely asleep if you wish.
Sedation dentistry can help your dental visit by giving you a feeling of relaxation and comfort. You may even have more treatment completed because you will be calm throughout your appointment. To find out more about sedation dentistry and what it can do for you, it’s time to call Dr. Hansen, your family dentist at Two Rivers Family Dental in Two Rivers, WI. Call today and feel better about your dental visit!
Orthodontic treatment is a big investment. But given the benefits for future good health and a more attractive smile, it's well worth it.
In the here and now, though, braces wearers face a different threat to their dental well-being — dental disease. Wearing braces can actually increase the risk of disease and make it more difficult to fight.
Tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, the two most common forms of dental disease, usually arise from plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles on tooth surfaces. The bacteria produce acid, which erodes enamel and makes the teeth susceptible to decay. Certain bacteria can also infect the gums and eventually weaken their attachment to teeth. Thorough brushing and flossing everyday removes this disease-triggering plaque buildup.
But braces' hardware can make brushing and flossing more difficult. The brackets attached to the teeth and wires laced through them make it more difficult for floss and brush bristles to access all the areas around the teeth. Plaque can build up in certain spots; it's estimated braces wearers have two to three times the plaque of a person not wearing braces. Acid can also remain in contact with some of the enamel surface for too long.
It's important, therefore, if you wear braces to make a concerted effort to brush and floss thoroughly. Besides improving technique and taking more time, you might also consider additional aids. You can obtain toothbrushes specially designed for use with braces, as well as floss holders or threaders that make it easier to access between teeth. Another flossing alternative is an oral irrigator that sprays water under pressure between teeth is an alternative to flossing.
As a precaution against acid damage, we can boost enamel protection with additional fluoride applied to your teeth. We may also prescribe antibacterial rinses to keep the bacteria population low.
Above all, be sure to look out for signs of disease like swollen or bleeding gums or pain. As soon as you sense something out of the ordinary, be sure and contact us.
If you would like more information on keeping your teeth disease-free while wearing braces, 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 “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”