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Posts for: March, 2018


Removing a problem tooth (extraction) is a common dental procedure. But not all extractions are alike — depending on the type of tooth, its location and extenuating circumstances, you may need an oral surgeon to perform it.

Fortunately, that's not always the case. Teeth with straight or cone-shaped roots, like an upper front tooth, have a fairly straight removal path. A general dentist first carefully manipulates the tooth loose from the periodontal ligament fibers that help hold it in place (experienced dentists, in fact, develop a “feel” for this process). Once it's loosened from the fibers it's a simple motion to remove the tooth.

But as mentioned before, a “simple extraction” won't work with every tooth or situation. To find out if it can we'll first need to determine the true shape of the tooth and roots, as well as the condition of the supporting bone. We might find any number of issues during this examination that make a simple extraction problematic.

For example, teeth with multiple roots (especially in back) may have complicated removal paths. If the roots themselves are unhealthy and brittle from previous injury or a root canal treatment, they can fracture into smaller pieces during removal. A tooth could also be impacted — it hasn't fully erupted but remains below the gum surface. It's these types of situations that require surgery to remove the tooth.

During a surgical extraction, the oral surgeon will first numb the area with a local anesthetic, as well as a sedative if you have issues with anxiety. They then perform a surgical procedure appropriate for the situation to remove the tooth. More than likely they'll insert bone grafts before closing the site with stitches to deter bone loss (a common occurrence after losing a tooth).

Afterward, your provider may prescribe antibiotics and an antibacterial mouthrinse to ward off infection. You'll also be given care instructions for the extraction site to keep it clean. Any discomfort should subside in a few days and can be managed effectively with a mild anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen or aspirin.

It can be overwhelming having a tooth removed. In your dentist's capable hands, however, the experience will be uneventful.

If you would like more information on tooth extraction, 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 “Simple Tooth Extraction?

By Proven Dental
March 22, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: teeth cleanings  

You’ve probably been told about the importance of good oral hygiene countless times since you were an impressionable child. Brush your teeth cleaningteeth, floss, and avoid sugary treats. Part of a healthy oral hygiene routine is to see your Waukesha, WI dentist for a professional teeth cleaning twice per year. These appointments don’t require much of your time, but they offer significant benefits for your smile. 

Why Professional Cleanings?
You trust your dentist to help your smile when there is a problem, so why not trust your dentist to clean your teeth so that you can avoid problems? Dentists spend countless hours examining and treating teeth so that they can remain free of dental diseases. A professional dental cleaning is the best way to completely remove unwanted matter, including plaque and tartar buildup, from the crevices and surfaces of the teeth. It also gives your dentist an opportunity to check for cavities, decay, or pre-gingivitis.

What Happens at a Cleaning?
At your teeth cleaning appointment, your Waukesha dentist will first talk to you about any dental challenges you’ve been having and then take a close look at your smile. Under the bright dental lights, all traces of plaque, tartar, and dental film is clearly visible. Using special tools, your dentist will gently scrape away deposits, polish the tooth surfaces, and then ask you to rinse thoroughly. 

Do Your Smile a Favor
The best favor you can do for your smile is too keep it clean with the help of a professional dentist. When you start going to the dentist more, you may be encouraged to start exploring other treatments for your smile. For instance, if you have a tendency to grind and clench your teeth, your dentist can create a customized mouthguard for you. Wearing Invisalign trays for just a few months could straighten out your front teeth.

Schedule Your Six-Month Cleaning Today
You’ll feel much better about your smile after you go to see your dentist for a professional teeth cleaning. There’s no clean like that “fresh from the dentist’s office” clean. Call Proven Dental in Waukesha, WI at 262-650-3000 to schedule your visit with Dr. James Murphy.

By Proven Dental
March 13, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: gum disease  

One of the most important revolutions in healthcare in recent decades is the increasing use of lasers. Now, laser technology is making a showing in dental care for the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease.

Lasers (an acronym for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation") narrowly focus and amplify light within a small area. First developed in the early 1960s, laser technology rapidly advanced in the ensuing decades with more compact and precise devices that were eventually safe and effective for many types of medical procedures. Its remarkable features are now available for the primary focus of gum disease treatment—removing bacterial plaque.

Plaque is a thin, built-up film of bacteria and food particles on tooth and gum surfaces that serves as a haven for the bacteria that cause gum disease. The continuing presence of plaque and calculus (tartar) enables the infection to thrive and advance within the gum tissues, ultimately damaging them along with supporting bone. As the tissues weaken and bone volume diminishes, the teeth are at greater risk for loss.

It's necessary, therefore, first and foremost to remove all detectable plaque and calculus to stop the infection. This is traditionally done with special hand tools called scalers used to manually remove plaque, or with ultrasonic equipment that vibrates plaque loose to be flushed away with water. These procedures can take numerous sessions and may result in some minor post-procedural discomfort and bleeding during the cleaning.

But lasers specifically designed for plaque removal can minimize tissue damage and resulting discomfort. Because the particular laser light used reacts only with plaque and diseased tissue, it can remove them without disturbing nearby healthy tissue usually more efficiently than traditional scaling. Dentists who've used the technology frequently report less bleeding and higher patient satisfaction.

But before lasers for gum disease treatment are widely adopted, the procedure must undergo further scrutiny. Reports from dentists notwithstanding, not enough research studies have been performed to date that meet the necessary scientific criteria. But if the evidence so far from the field holds up, it's quite possible lasers will one day become a regular part of dental practice for treating gum disease.

If you would like more information on treating gum disease, 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 “Lasers Versus Traditional Cleanings for Treating Gum Disease.”