Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth, generally emerging between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one. They are the third set of molars and are in pairs: two each on the top and bottom arch of teeth. While some patients don’t have wisdom teeth, most do. Many of those who do have them don’t have enough room for those teeth to erupt fully, causing them to be wedged under the back of another tooth, impacted in the gum.
Impacted wisdom teeth are very difficult to clean, and can negatively affect the surrounding teeth. They are highly vulnerable to disease and decay and may lead to tooth pain and damage to adjacent teeth. For these and other reasons, a dentist may recommend that the teeth be extracted through oral surgery as soon as necessary to prevent any problems.
Extraction of wisdom teeth is typically an outpatient procedure done in an oral surgeon’s office. A healthy patient can proceed with a typical surgery, but if any infection is detected, the surgery can’t move forward until the infection is cleared up through the use of a full course of antibiotics. Once the surgery is moving forward, the surgeon’s team will administer some form of anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tooth or to possibly sedate the patient through IV sedation dentistry.
After the anesthesia has fully taken effect, the surgeon makes an incision to open the gum and to remove any bone that is blocking the tooth from extraction. The tissue connecting the bone to the tooth will be separated and the tooth will be removed. In some cases, the surgeon will have to break the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. After thoroughly cleaning the area and removing any remaining debris, the incision will be closed, stitched and packed with sterile cotton gauze to staunch any bleeding.
The surgeon will provide aftercare instructions. Patients should follow these instructions to the letter in order to ensure the best and fastest healing of the surgical site.
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It’s not uncommon for children to be afraid of going to the dentist. Let’s face it, many adults don’t like visiting the dentist either. However adults mainly don’t want to take the time or don’t want to hear the news that they aren’t taking good care of their teeth. It’s different with kids though, who often have a real fear of the dentist, equipment, and the unknown situation. If your child is one of those who experiences anxiety at the mention of the dentist, here are some things you can do to help ease those fears.
Use visual aids:
It is helpful for some children to watch a video or read a book that will help them become more familiar and comfortable with going to the dentist. Your local library or the internet both likely offer resources for this purpose, and bookstores have books and DVDs for purchase. These visual aids help kids know what to expect in visiting the dentist, and what their role is in the process.
Visit the office:
Take your child to the dentist’s office prior to your appointment so they can observe the office, meet the staff, and see the area and tools used for examinations. The staff may even give your child an explanation of the tools that dentists use for checkups. Your dentist wants children to feel comfortable and confident in getting dental treatment, so most offices do their best to help your child adjust.
Explain the importance:
Even though fear sometimes overtakes logic, it’s still important to explain to your child the reasons for seeing the dentist. Help them understand the benefits of checkups, and the oral health consequences that may occur by not caring for their teeth and getting regular checkups.
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Thanks to advances in dental technology, dentures are more natural looking and comfortable than ever before. If you are one of the many adults wearing dentures to replace missing teeth, there are several do’s and don’ts you will want to follow to ensure they maintain their fit and your oral health:
- Do take your dentures out before going to bed, allowing your mouth tissues to rest from wearing them all day.
- Don’t let your dentures dry out. Soak them in mild denture solution or water while you sleep.
- Do clean them daily with either a mild detergent or special denture cleaning solution and a soft-bristled brush.
- Don’t soak them in very hot water, as this could cause them to warp, and they will no longer fit properly.
- Do handle them with care. Dropping your dentures or treating them with strong cleansers or harsh brushes can do permanent damage.
- Don’t neglect your oral care for the rest of your mouth. Even patients with a full set of dentures need to take care of their gums, and if you have partial dentures you should continue to brush and floss your remaining teeth regularly.
- Do pay attention to changes in the fit or feel of your dentures. Problems with fit can lead to irritation and discomfort, and could also be an indication of gum disease.
- Don’t try to adjust or repair your dentures on your own. If your dentures are ill-fitting or damaged in any way, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have them evaluated.
- Do continue to see your dentist for regular checkups to help maintain your best oral health and check your dentures for fit and function.
If you are missing all or some of your teeth, dentures can greatly improve both your appearance and the quality of your life. By following these simple guidelines, you can maintain the beauty and functionality of your dentures for many years.
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If you have tooth pain or another issue, you might wonder what a visit to the dentist may reveal. You may need a root canal procedure. In order to properly evaluate your issue and to confirm the need for a procedure, a dentist will examine several factors. These typically include the symptoms you are experiencing, the signs observed, and any additional testing required to confirm an initial theory.
You may have noticed:
- You experience average to severe pain that lingers, during or immediately after drinking hot liquids or food, or very cold liquids or foods.
- You have pain, swelling, or sensitivity when biting or chewing on a certain tooth.
- Your tooth pain disrupts your life, preventing you from sleeping through the night or conducting your daily business without taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
- You have a “bubble” on your gum, similar to a pimple. When irritated, it may release blood or pus that can smell or taste bad.
- You have pain that radiates out from one tooth to other areas of your head or jaw. For example, a tooth pain can lead to a pain behind the eye like a headache or to the ear, resulting in earache symptoms.
- You have a discolored tooth that is darker than the surrounding teeth. A grey tooth can indicate a “dead” tooth.
- You have a broken or cracked tooth with obvious signs of damage or decay.
Your dentist may have noticed:
- A tooth problem revealed by x-rays
- A recurring or persistent gum pimple (also called “fistulous tracts”)
- A tooth that has changed color
- X-ray examination – if x-rays did not reveal the problem, they can provide an extremely clear picture of tooth health
- Percussion testing – a gentle tapping on the teeth to evaluate pain response
- Thermal testing – a careful application of a hot or cold stimulus to evaluate sensitivity
Sometimes, teeth needing to undergo a root canal procedure have no symptoms discernible to the patient. It is important to visit your dentist regularly to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment needed to maintain life-long oral health.
If you need root canal treatment in the Ottawa area, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Are you looking to improve your smile but you don’t have a lot of time? Have you heard that smile makeovers are invasive and time-consuming? There are many options available to you for your smile makeover that are relatively short and sweet. If you are in good health but want to make improvements to your smile, these fast and easy options may be right for you.
Teeth bleaching (also known as whitening) is an extremely popular and very simple therapy for quickly brightening your smile. Many common foods and drinks we consume daily can slowly dim your smile by discoloring or staining your tooth enamel. Having your teeth whitened by your dentist can lighten your teeth by as many as ten levels in a single office visit, saving you time and effort.
Composite bonding can repair small problems like cracks, chips or irregular shapes in one visit. Bonding is done by hand by your dentist and requires excellent technique and materials, as well as the skill needed to match your natural tooth color.
Perhaps you need a little more extensive work done to achieve your dream smile, but you don’t have the time. Your dentist may be able to offer you a “snap-on” smile. This is a thin appliance that is placed on top of your natural teeth using nothing but your teeth as an anchor – no adhesives are necessary. These snap-on teeth can be made to mimic a celebrity’s teeth, or just better, straighter, whiter versions of your own. They can stay in all day during your regular activities, allowing you to get the benefits of a beautiful smile without the time of a more invasive treatment.
Talk to your dentist today about the treatments you can have done in a single office visit. Your friends, family and coworkers might not be able to immediately identify what “work” you had done, but you can rest assured everyone will notice your change in attitude and your gorgeous smile.
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After suffering tooth loss for any reason, it’s important to restore your mouth’s function and appearance with restoration options through your dentist. In the past, many patients have gotten dentures for this purpose. Dental implants provide a newer and very popular option. If you already have dentures but aren’t completely satisfied with them, is it possible to change to dental implants instead?
The answer is yes! Of course, you need to consult your dentist to make sure that you are a good candidate for implants. There are a number of reasons that denture wearers might decide that implants are a better solution to their tooth replacement needs. Some patients find dentures to be uncomfortable because they don’t stay in place securely or they irritate the gums. Some find a more permanent remedy to be more appealing than dentures, and implants do provide a long-lasting solution to tooth loss. If patients with dentures don’t like them and aren’t wearing them consistently, they aren’t achieving the goal of restoration.
There are some additional complications that can occur with dentures, making implants more appealing. Trouble speaking and eating is a hazard if the dentures slip, as well as jawbone loss and increased wrinkles. Some patients even alter their diets due to problems eating certain foods. The increased dental hygiene regimen also bothers some patients who are unwilling to do the extra tasks required.
If you dislike your dentures, consider making the switch to dental implants. It might restore your self-confidence as well as your mouth’s function and appearance.
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