Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Find out why so many adults are turning to dental implants to replace missing teeth.
Are you thinking that dental implants may be the best way to replace your missing tooth or teeth? If so, then the next step is to turn to our Waukesha, WI, dentist Dr. James Murphy, who has been successfully placing dental implants for years to help people feel confident smiling again. Dental implants are unique and unlike any other artificial tooth.
If you are dealing with tooth loss here are the benefits of getting dental implants,
- Prevent jawbone deterioration
- Support the facial muscles and prevent sagging skin
- Fill gaps in your smile and prevent teeth from shifting around
- Fully restore chewing and speaking, which allows you to eat what you want without worrying about teeth slippage
- False teeth that look just like real teeth (the only one that will know that you have implants is you)
- An incredibly comfortable artificial tooth that feels and functions like a real tooth
- A major boost to self-esteem and confidence, which can help your career, professional endeavors, and social life
- A restoration that could last you the rest of your life as long as you maintain good oral hygiene and proper care for your implant
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to getting dental implants. So the next question on your mind might be: Are dental implants right for me? While you can certainly do your online research to help you decide, the best way to determine whether you should get implants is by turning to our Waukesha, WI, family dentist for an evaluation.
If these benefits alone are enough for you to want to take the next steps to fill gaps in your smile then call Proven Dental in Waukesha, WI, at (262) 650-3000 and let us know that you are interested in getting dental implants.
At Proven Dental, Dr. James Murphy commits to helping you preserve your dental health for years to come. If you have persistent pain in your tooth or multiple teeth, a visit to our Waukesha, WI, dental office can make them healthy again. Patients often fear the words "root canal," when it's more painful to live without treatment than with it. If you're feeling unnecessary pressure in the mouth, or sharp pain when you bite down on food, these are signs you may need a root canal treatment.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
When a tooth struggles with sensitivity and experiences severe discomfort, this is usually the result of an underlying infection in the pulp chamber that contains nerves. The dental pulp is the soft tissue of a tooth that connects to the dentin. Once bacteria compromise this, you'll experience irritation, inflammation, and discomfort that can only be alleviated with a minor procedure called root canal therapy. It saves and repairs teeth that are infected or severely damaged.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
Common symptoms of a tooth infection include lingering sensitivity to hot and cold beverages, difficulty chewing or biting, and severe persistent throbbing in the root that can sometimes be felt in the neck or ear. You should discuss root canal treatment with your dentist immediately if you have:
- Darkening of the gums
- Gums that are swollen or tender
- Abscesses that form on the gums
- Chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth
What to Expect From Root Canal Treatment?
During the procedure, our Waukesha dentist numbs the surrounding area with a local anesthetic. He then uses tiny instruments to makes a small opening in the infected tooth to access the pulp chamber. Lastly, he'll remove bacteria, as well as the dead or dying pulp, before cleaning, disinfecting, and sealing the space to prevent further infection. A dental crown protects the tooth and completes the restoration.
If you are struggling with chronic tooth pain, schedule a consultation with dentist Dr. James Murphy to discuss if you may benefit from root canal treatment. He can correctly identify the signs and symptoms during an oral examination and address any questions or concerns you may have. To learn more about root canals and other services provided, visit our website. For appointment scheduling at our Proven Dental, office in Waukesha, WI, please call (262) 650-3000.
Surgical tooth extraction is a fairly routine procedure with few complications. But one rare complication called dry socket does affect a small number of patients. Dry socket, which derives its name from its appearance, can be quite painful. Fortunately, though, it doesn't pose a danger to oral health.
Normally after a surgical extraction, a blood clot forms in the empty socket. This is nature's way of protecting the underlying bone and nerves from various stimuli in the mouth as well as protecting the area. Sometimes, though, the clot fails to form or only forms partially (almost exclusively in lower wisdom teeth), exposing the sensitive tissues beneath the socket.
Patients begin to notice the painful effects from a dry socket about three or four days after surgery, which then can persist for one to three more days. Besides dull or throbbing pain, people may also experience a foul odor or taste in their mouth.
People who smoke, women taking oral contraceptives or those performing any activity that puts pressure on the surgical site are more likely to develop dry socket. Of the latter, one of the most common ways to develop dry socket is vigorous brushing of the site too soon after surgery, which can damage a forming blood clot.
Surgeons do take steps to reduce the likelihood of a dry socket by minimizing trauma to the site during surgery, avoiding bacterial contamination and suturing the area. You can also decrease your chances of developing a dry socket by avoiding the following for the first day or so after surgery:
- brushing the surgical area (if advised by your surgeon);
- rinsing too aggressively;
- drinking through a straw or consuming hot liquid;
If a dry socket does develop, see your dentist as soon as possible. Dentists can treat the site with a medicated dressing and relieve the pain substantially. The dressing will need to be changed every few days until the pain has decreased significantly, and then left in place to facilitate faster healing.
While dry sockets do heal and won't permanently damage the area, it can be quite uncomfortable while it lasts. Taking precautions can prevent it—and seeing a dentist promptly if it occurs can greatly reduce your discomfort.
If you would like more information on oral surgery, 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 “Dry Socket: A Painful but Not Dangerous Complication of Oral Surgery.”
Think dental implants only replace individual teeth? Think again—this premier technology can also support other kinds of restorations to provide better stability and comfort. And, they also help improve bone health when incorporated with any type of tooth replacement options, especially dentures.
Although traditional dentures have enjoyed a long, successful history as a tooth replacement solution, they can interfere with bone health. That’s because regular dentures fit in the mouth by resting on the bony ridges of the jaw, which has implications for the bone.
As living tissue, bone goes through a growth cycle with older bone cells dying and dissolving and newer cells forming to take their place. The teeth play a role in this growth cycle — the forces generated when we chew travel up through the teeth and help stimulate bone growth. When teeth go missing, however, so does this stimulus.
Traditional dentures can’t replace this missing stimulus. In fact, the constant pressure of dentures on the jaw may even accelerate bone loss. A sign this is happening occurs when the dentures’ once tight fit begins to loosen and they become uncomfortable to wear.
Implant-supported dentures can help eliminate this problem. We first surgically place a few implants in the jaw, the number determined by which jaw (the lower requires less) and whether the denture is removable or fixed. If removable, the denture has connective points that match the implant locations — you simply connect them with the implants. If fixed, the denture is screwed into the implants to hold it in place.
So, how does this help bone health? For one, the denture no longer puts as much pressure on the jaw ridges—the main support comes from the implants. And, the implants themselves encourage bone stimulation: The titanium in the implant has a special affinity with bone cells that naturally grow and adhere to its metal surface. This natural integration between implant and bone can stop bone loss and may even help reverse it.
If you’re interested in implant-supported dentures, you’ll first need to undergo a full dental exam with your dentist. These restorations aren’t appropriate for all dental situations. But, if they can work for you, you may be able to enjoy the benefits of an implant-supported restoration.
If you would like more information on implant-supported restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”
The 2019 Grammy Awards was a star-studded night packed with memorable performances. One standout came from the young Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, who sang a powerful duet of his hit song "In My Blood" with pop diva Miley Cyrus. But that duo's stellar smiles weren't always quite as camera-ready as they looked that night.
"I had braces for four and a half years," Mendes told an interviewer not long ago. "There's lots and lots and lots of photo evidence, I'm sure you can pull up a few." (In fact, finding one is as easy as searching "Sean Mendes braces.")
Wearing braces puts Mendes in good company: It's estimated that over 4 million people in the U.S. alone wear braces in a typical year—and about a quarter of them are adults! (And by the way: When she was a teenager, Miley Cyrus had braces, too!)
Today, there are a number of alternatives to traditional metal braces, such as tooth-colored braces, clear plastic aligners, and invisible lingual braces (the kind Cyrus wore). However, regular metal braces remain the most common choice for orthodontic treatment. They are often the most economical option, and can be used to treat a wide variety of bite problems (which dentists call malocclusions).
Having straighter teeth can boost your self-confidence—along with helping you bite, breathe, chew, and even speak more effectively. Plus, teeth that are in good alignment and have adequate space in between are easier to clean; this can help you keep your mouth free of gum disease and tooth decay for years to come.
Many people think getting braces is something that happens in adolescence—but as long as your mouth is otherwise healthy, there's no upper age limit for orthodontic treatment. In fact, many celebrities—like Lauren Hutton, Tom Cruise and Faith Hill—got braces as adults. But if traditional braces aren't a good fit with your self-image, it's possible that one of the less noticeable options, such as lingual braces or clear aligners, could work for you.
What's the first step to getting straighter teeth? Come in to the office for an evaluation! We will give you a complete oral examination to find out if there are any problems (like gum disease or tooth decay) that could interfere with orthodontic treatment. Then we will determine exactly how your teeth should be re-positioned to achieve a better smile, and recommend one or more options to get you there.
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Lingual Braces: A Truly Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth.”