Posts for: June, 2017
If you think root canal therapy is one of — if not the most painful dental treatment imaginable — you are not alone. From urban legends about torture and pain to pop culture depictions of sadistic dentists, root canals have unfairly developed a terrible reputation. It may be hard for some people to believe, but dentists like Dr. David Kahn and Dr. John Pergolizzi in Ringwood, NJ, actually use root canals to relieve pain and save a severely decayed or damaged tooth from extraction.
Root Canal Therapy in Ringwood, NJ
How can a procedure associated with excruciating pain actually alleviate it? The truth is that root canal treatments are fairly similar to having a cavity filled in terms of discomfort levels. Root canal therapy removes bacteria and damaged nerve tissue from inside the tooth, which relieves the pain caused by inflammation, and also helps to strengthen the tooth and save it from potential extraction, which is actually the more traumatic procedure. Performed under topical and local anesthesia, chances are you won't feel much of anything as your dentist performs the treatment.
When is a Root Canal Necessary?
The most common cause of damage to the nerve tissue inside of the teeth (also known as pulp) is through advanced tooth decay, or a crack or chip in the tooth that allows bacteria to get through and accumulate. Also known as endodontic treatment, a root canal essentially scoops out all of the infection causing bacteria, and any tissue that has been damaged before treatment. Once it has been cleaned out, the tooth is sealed with cosmetic bonding, which fortifies the tooth and protects the pulp from new bacteria. And contrary to popular belief, most people find that the procedure is not painful or traumatic at all!
Find a Dentist in Ringwood, NJ
If you are suffering from tooth pain, or are nervous about going to the dentist, contact our office by calling (973) 835-3900 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kahn or Dr. Pergolizzi today.
There are many new and exciting ways now to transform an unattractive smile into one you'll be confident to display. But not all “smile makeover” techniques are new — one in particular has been around for generations: using braces to correct crooked teeth.
Braces have improved the smiles (and also dental health) for millions of people. But as commonplace this orthodontic treatment is, it wouldn't work at all if a natural mechanism for moving teeth didn't already exist. Braces “partner” with this mechanism to move teeth to better positions.
The jawbone doesn't actually hold teeth in place — that's the job of an elastic gum tissue between the teeth and bone called the periodontal ligament. Tiny fibers extending from the ligament attach to the teeth on one side and to the bone on the other. In addition to securing them, the dynamic, moldable nature of the ligament allows teeth to move incrementally in response to forces applied against them.
To us, the teeth feel quite stationary (if they don't, that's a problem!). That's because there's sufficient length of the tooth roots that are surrounded by bone, periodontal ligament and gum tissue. But when pressure is applied against the teeth, the periodontal ligament forms both osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) and osteoclasts (bone-resorbing cells) causing the bone to remodel. This allows the teeth to move to a new position.
Braces take advantage of this in a controlled manner. The orthodontist bonds brackets to the outside face of the teeth through which they pass a thin metal wire. They attach the ends of the wire to the brackets (braces), usually on the back teeth. By using the tension placed in the wire, the orthodontist can control the gradual movement of teeth to achieve proper function and aesthetics. The orthodontist continues to monitor the treatment progress, while making periodic adjustments to the tension.
It takes time, but through this marvelous interplay between nature and dental science you'll gain a more healthy and beautiful smile.
If you would like more information on improving your smile with orthodontics, 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 “Moving Teeth with Orthodontics.”
Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”
With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will "wisdom teeth removal" become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.
Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.
But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.
In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.
So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”