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Pinhole Procedure

July 12th, 2018

Pinhole Procedure

The pinhole procedure is a surgical technique used to treat gingival (gum) recession. With this technique, there is minimal invasion and much less trauma than alternative methods. The pinhole technique allows your surgeon to reverse gum recession without grafting, incisions, or sutures.

Treating Receding Gums

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. The three stages of gum disease — from least to most severe — are gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Some of the symptoms of gum disease are:

  • Swollen, red, tender, or bleeding gums
  • Gums that recede or move away from the tooth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Visible pustules or pus surrounding the teeth and gums

If you exhibit any of these symptoms, make sure you see a dentist immediately. Gum disease does not always come with symptoms, so it is important to have check ups regularly for things that only your dentist may be able to diagnose.

Traditional procedure dictates that any exposed roots from a receding gum line be treated with a gum graft. These soft tissue grafts are usually taken from a donor or another part of the patient’s skin. This tissue is then sutured onto the receding gums and allowed to heal. While effective, the pinhole procedure offers comparable results but with a much less invasive approach.

The pinhole procedure is performed by making small holes in the patient’s existing gum tissue. The gumline is then manipulated through these pinholes and stretched, moved, and positioned to cover any exposed roots. With no cutting, stitching, or grafts required, there is minimal swelling, pain, and bleeding after the surgery is complete.

Advantages of Pinhole Procedure

As mentioned above, one of the most prominent advantages of the pinhole procedure is the reduced recovery time. Because the procedure does not involve cutting or stitching, the recovery is significantly quicker and easier than using a gum graft, which could take as long as three weeks to fully recover from.

Another benefit of the pinhole technique is the fact that multiple teeth can be treated at once. With the traditional gum graft, due to the traumatic nature of the operation, oftentimes multiple affected areas must be treated weeks, even months apart. The pinhole surgery technique allows your surgeon to get in and out of any affected spots without damaging any other parts of your mouth, lessening the chance of infection or complications. In addition, the absence of incisions or sutures allow the patient to see immediate, same-day results.

If you suspect you have or are suffering from gum disease, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dentist. While the traditional method may have been a scary prospect for some who dislike shiny knives, blood, and stitches, the pinhole technique provides you with a more comfortable experience and results that are just as good as a gum graft. So don’t delay!

Veneers vs Dentures

July 5th, 2018

Veneers vs Dentures

You may be in the process of choosing between veneers or dentures for your teeth. This decision is one with no right or wrong answer, but the stark differences may play a factor for each individual making this decision. In this short article, we will cover general information regarding veneers and dentures, as well as include a pros and cons list to aid in your decision.

Veneers

Veneers are pseudo-teeth that are made from a ceramic material like porcelain or from composite resin. This oral restoration option usually does not require that you remove your teeth; in fact, veneers are almost always placed over your existing tooth during the restoration process. They are a great way to cover and protect chipped or cracked teeth and can last you 10+ years when taken care of diligently. Veneers can also be a much less intrusive treatment option compared to a crown or even braces. Depending on the type of veneers you receive or opt for (indirect or direct), you may need only one or two appointments with your dentist and a routine follow up to check on you comfort level. Veneers sound great don’t they? They are, but they also can come with a hefty price tag. While veneer pricing varies depending on your location and dentist, the average price per veneer tooth is roughly between $1,200 and $1,600 based on market data. This near-permanent solution for your teeth is a great option but also expensive, therefore, you should thoroughly consult with your dentist to understand the process, what to expect, and the associated costs.

Dentures

Dentures are removable teeth that are attached to a gum colored piece of plastic and fit snugly into your mouth and appear, well, like completely real teeth! Over the last couple decades, dentures have become more and more popular based on their ease of use and realistic appearance. The acrylic base which the teeth sit on rest on your gums whether it is for the top teeth or bottom teeth. There are also different types of dentures consisting of full and partial options. In a conventional full denture, you will need to wait several months and go toothless while your bones and gums heal from tooth extraction. Yes you heard that right, full denture options are designed for your bare gums so you will need to have your remaining teeth removed. However, if you cannot bear to go without teeth for a while, there is now an option to have an immediate full denture set. Immediate full dentures are placed on your gums after all your teeth are extracted and will remain like this for a couple of months before your next visit. During the next visit, you dentures will need to be relined as the bone supporting your teeth is reshaped during healing. Lastly, there is an option for partial dentures in which are inserted in your mouth using a metal framework or sometimes a crown to help hold these partial sets in place. Your dentist will advise on what type of dentures you should receive, so don’t fret choosing between all of these options. It’s also important to keep in mind that as you age, your mouth ages and changes as well. For this reason, you will need to have your dentures relined and rebased to make sure they fit snugly and comfortably. The cost of dentures depends on what kind you get as well as each tooth extraction in most cases; overall, dentures serve to be a more economical restoration option when compared to veneers.

A Pros & Cons List For Each

Veneer Pros:

  • More of a permanent solution, veneers can last 10-20 years
  • Great way to cover and protect at-risk teeth
  • Typically no anesthesia needed for insertion
  • Allow for shape and color changes in your smile

Veneer Cons:

  • Costly
  • Irreversible process
  • More prone to chipping or cracking vs a crown
  • Do not change colors so a partial set may contrast your natural teeth which change color

Denture Pros:

  • Non invasive process to create the dentures
  • Different denture options to best suit your oral situation
  • Less costly than dental implants/veneers
  • Easy to modify dentures when there is a need to do so

Denture Cons:

  • Tooth extraction process not found in dental implants
  • Not a permanent solution; some people don’t like removing and inserting them; need to be removed and cleaned thoroughly nightly
  • Certain foods cannot be eaten with dentures
  • An acute increase in risk of gum disease if food becomes trapped under the dentures

While this is a good pro and con list of dental implants and dentures, it does not include everything. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions regarding which option is better for you! Whether it is veneers or dentures, both options are great for restoring your smile as you deserve it.

 

Signs Of Tooth Infection

June 28th, 2018

Signs of tooth infection

Many of us have experienced the kind of tooth pain that is debilitating, that pain where you can’t even process your normal routine. This may be your mouth telling you something is wrong. However, a sore or throbbing tooth may be the sign of something more serious than just a simple toothache.

When bacteria penetrate enamel, it can infect the tender nerves in the pulp tissue of the tooth, resulting in an infection commonly referred to as an abscess.

Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include:

  • Severe, persistent, throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, neck or ear
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Sensitivity to the motions of chewing or biting
  • Fever
  • Swelling in your face or cheek
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw or in your neck
  • Sudden rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting fluid in your mouth and immediate pain relief if the abscess ruptures

An abscess can be very painful, and even life threatening. If you suspect you have a tooth infection, even if it is not very painful, do not procrastinate in getting it checked out. If your symptoms worsen or you develop a fever or have trouble breathing or swallowing, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Causes

So what causes a tooth infection? Dentists say that most infections are caused from untreated tooth decay or a cracked tooth. Teeth infections develop when the acid produced by plaque starts to decay the teeth or gums. You can give yourself the best chance of preventing infection by practicing good and consistent oral hygiene.

Treatment

The treatment for an infected tooth or gums is to simply get rid of the infection. In order to do this, several different methods may be used.

  • Open up (incise) and drain the abscess. Your surgeon or dentist will make a small cut into the abscess, allowing the pus to drain, and then wash, clean and suture closed if necessary.
  • Perform a root canal. This can help get rid of the infection and save your tooth. To do this, your surgeon drills down into your tooth, removes the diseased central tissue (pulp) and drains the abscess. The next step is to then fill and seal the tooth's pulp chamber and root canals. The tooth may be capped with a crown to make it stronger, especially for a molar tooth.
  • Extract the infected tooth. If the infected tooth cannot be saved, your surgeon will extract the tooth and drain the abscess to get rid of the infection.
  • Prescribe antibiotics. If the infection is limited to the abscessed area or is very small in nature, you may not need antibiotics. But if the infection has spread to nearby teeth, your jaw or other areas, your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics to stop it from spreading further. He or she may also recommend antibiotics if you have a weakened immune system. Antibiotics are key if the infection has spread to other parts of your mouth.

Remember, if you suspect you have an infection, get to the dentist immediately; you don’t want a relatively simple infection to snowball into something much more complex and dangerous! You can give yourself the best chance at preventing an infection by following our guide to good oral hygiene here!

How Often Should You Go To The Dentist?

June 21st, 2018

How Often Should You Go To The Dentist?

Just about 50 years ago good oral care was unheard of or hardly ever practiced. It’s evident in our elders and their elders. Truth be told, few people took good care of their teeth. Back then, there were no guidelines for how often you should see a dentist and at that point many dentists were focused on fixing problems rather than preventing them.

Now as you can see, this can certainly be a problem for the overall status of your oral health. Thus, dental and health organizations decided there was a need to set standards for preventative dentistry. These standards were more “best guess” recommendations rather than proven facts; but nonetheless, the standard has been set to two dentist visits a year to help prevent cavities and gum disease.

Regardless of the origins, this has proven to be a helpful rule of thumb for people. However, scheduling dentist visits should be based on an individual’s personal hygiene, habits and medical conditions.

It is advised, that no matter if you take excellent care of your teeth and gums or not, you still need to see a dentist regularly. Your dentist can check for problems that you may not see or feel. In fact, many dental problems do not become visible or cause pain until they are in more advanced stages. Examples include cavities, gum disease and oral cancer. Regular visits all your dentist to find early signs or disease so that problems can be treated at a manageable stage.

For most, seeing a dentist twice a year works well for many people. It truly varies from person to person, some can get away with fewer visits, while others may need more frequent visits. For instance, if you practice great oral care you may be fine only seeing the dentist just once a year. However, if you practice poor oral care and have a high risk of dental disease you may need to visit every three or four months, perhaps even more. This high-risk group includes:

-      Smokers

-      Diabetics

-      Pregnant women

-      People with current gum disease

-      People with a weak immune response to bacterial infection

-      People who tend to get cavities or build up plaque.

The schedule for any person may change during a lifetime. For example, in times of stress or illness, you may need to see the dentist more often than usual. Think of your dentist as someone who helps you fight off temporary infection or treat changes in your mouth.

Often, if you maintain proper oral care making sure your teeth and gums are clean and healthy every time you visit your dentist, he or she may choose to lengthen the time between visits. However, always consult your dentist when to best schedule your routine dental visits!

To schedule an appointment with us, click here!

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