Posts for: February, 2020
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.
Even though teeth are resilient, they're not indestructible. An accidental collision involving the face could damage teeth, even knocking a tooth completely out of its socket.
At first, it might seem like the end of the line for that particular tooth. But it doesn't have to be—if you know what to do. But you'll have to act quickly: The longer the tooth is out of its socket, the less chance it will survive long-term.
Here are the steps you should take to save a knocked-out tooth.
Find the tooth. It's important that you locate the missing tooth quickly. When you do, don't handle it by the root end: It still contains delicate periodontal cells that are essential if the tooth is going to rejoin with the ligaments and bone. Use clean water to rinse off any dirt or debris.
Reinsert the tooth. Holding it by the crown and not the root, reinsert the tooth into its empty socket, hopefully within an hour (the faster the better). You want to make sure it's good and snug, so apply a little force when you do this. Place some clean gauze or cloth between the tooth and its opposite on the other jaw, then have the person bite down and hold it in place.
Get immediate dental care. It's preferable to find a dentist as soon as possible (if not, then the nearest emergency medical facility). The dentist will x-ray the tooth to make sure it's positioned properly, and may adjust it further if necessary. They may also splint the tooth to adjacent teeth to help stabilize it until it fully reattaches with the jaw.
Again, time is of the essence—the quicker you can perform the above steps, the better the tooth's chances. Any delay could jeopardize the tooth's ability to reattach, or it could shorten its lifespan.
You can also get guidance on treating a knocked-out tooth and other dental emergencies with a free mobile app developed by the International Association of Dental Traumatology (IADT). Just look in your Android or IOS app store for ToothSOS.
If you would like more information on what to do during a dental emergency, 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 “When a Tooth is Knocked Out.”
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.
Tooth decay doesn't occur out of thin air, but is the end result of bacteria feeding on sugar, multiplying and producing acid. High acidity erodes tooth enamel and creates an environment for cavity development.
Modern dentistry can effectively treat cavities and often save the tooth from further damage. But you don't have to wait: You can reduce your chances of cavities by managing risk factors that contribute to decay.
Here are 4 top risk factors for tooth decay and what you can do about them.
Poor saliva flow. Saliva neutralizes acid and helps restore minerals to enamel after acid contact. But your enamel may not have full protection against acid if you have diminished saliva flow, often due to certain medications. You can help increase your saliva by consulting with your doctor about drug alternatives, drinking more water or using a saliva boosting product. Smoking can also inhibit saliva, so consider quitting if you smoke.
Eating habits. High sugar content in your diet can increase bacterial growth and acid production. Reducing your overall sugar consumption, therefore, can reduce your risk of decay. Continuous snacking can also increase your decay risk, preventing saliva from bringing your mouth back to its normal neutral pH. Instead, limit your snack periods to just a few times a day, or reserve all your eating for mealtimes.
Dental plaque. Daily eating creates a filmy buildup on the teeth called dental plaque. If not removed, plaque can then harden into a calcified form called calculus, an ideal haven for bacteria. You can help curtail this accumulation by thoroughly brushing and flossing daily, followed by dental cleanings at least every six months. These combined hygiene practices can drastically reduce your cavity risk.
Your genetics. Researchers have identified up to 50 specific genes that can influence the risk for cavities. As a result, individuals with similar dietary and hygiene practices can have vastly different experiences with tooth decay. Besides continuing good lifestyle habits, the best way to manage a genetic disposition for dental disease is not to neglect ongoing professional dental care.
If you would like more information on managing your tooth decay risk factors, 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 “What Everyone Should Know About Tooth Decay.”
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.”