What is a Dental Crown?

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Julie West BS RDH

A dental crown is a manufactured covering that fits over a prepared tooth to protect it from decay or fracture or to protect a tooth that has had root canal treatment. A crown may also be used to replace a tooth that is discolored or poorly shaped due to chipping or defects during formation.

crowns

Typically, the process of getting a crown involves two visits that are two weeks apart. The first visit consists of the dentist removing any decay that may be present and using a dental handpiece to shape and prepare the tooth for a crown to fit over top. An impression will then be taken of the prepared tooth structure. Your dentist or dental assistant will then make a temporary crown that will serve to protect the tooth over the next two weeks while your permanent crown is being made at a dental lab. At your second visit, the permanent crown will be tried in to ensure the color and fit are ideal. If both are satisfactory, the crown will be cemented to the prepared tooth surface.

Sensitivity after a crown is placed is common and may take several weeks to subside. Over the counter pain medication may be used to handle any discomfort. Contact your dentist if the pain persists or gets worse.

Patients should be aware that crowns, like natural teeth, may not last for life. The longevity and durability of your crown is affected by several factors including: your diet, oral homecare with brushing and flossing daily, and the type of material the crown is made out of. Please ask your dentist or dental hygienist if you have any questions.

http://www.marlboroughdental.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/CROWNS.jpg

image source: bendfamilydentist.com

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

 Sources:

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Sports & Energy Drinks

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Wendy Parker RDH

 

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It’s that time of year again, where sports start up, we sign our little ones, our teens, and love watching sports starting with the football season. Along with that comes games and parties and lots and lots of food and drinks! Typically the drink of choice for young athletes are gatorades, powerades, and energy drinks to help with their performance in the games, however, I hope this season we think twice about our hydration drink of choice.

Some beleive that the energy drinks and gatorades are the best drink for rehydrating our bodies and giving us energy and better than a soda. However, in the recent years as we have seen an increase in soda and juice consumption by teens we have also seen an increase in tooth decay. Is there a relation? Of course!

“The big misconception is that energy drinks and sports drinks are healthier than soda for oral health” says researcher Poonam Jain, BDS, MPH, associate professor and director of community dentistry at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. (http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20120503/are-energy-drinks-bad-for-teeth)

A study published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of Dentistry, found that there is a significant increase in consumption of energy and sports drinks that is causing irreversible erosion of tooth enamel. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120501134319.htm)

Jain and her team tested 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks for acidity. They tested six drinks for their effects on tooth enamel and found both types caused damage. Energy drinks, however, were twice as bad. Damaged tooth enamel cannot be fixed.

The six drinks they tested were Gatorade Rain, Powerade Option, Propel Grape, Monster Assault, Red Bull, and 5-hour energy. Samples were immersed in the drinks for 15 minutes and then the sample was transferred to actificial saliva for 2 hours and repeated 4 times a day for 5 days. This may seem a little excessive, however, some teens are drinking these bevereages or a combination of them at this amount. Their results were that the average enamel lost with sports drinks was about 1.5%, and energy drinks it was 3 %. It was interesting to me that the drink that had the highest acidity levels was Gatorade Blue!

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One that my kids love to drink! The other drinks with high acidity levels include:

  • Red Bull Sugarfree
  • Monster Assault
  • 5-hour Energy
  • Von Dutch
  • Rockstar

(http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20120503/are-energy-drinks-bad-for-teeth)

I don’t know about you, but I’d do about anything to keep as much enamel as possible!

What happens is that the bacteria in the mouth take the sugars and convert them to acid and that acid eats away at the tooth enamel. The more exposure the acid has to the tooth, the more opportunity it has to wear away the enamel and cause decay. So, if you have a habit of sipping on a gatorade, energy drink, or even soda all day, the more you are exposing your teeth to acid and erosion possibly causing tooth decay.

We recommend that if you do have these drinks, please make them more of an exception than the standard (no more than 1-12 oz. bottle/day), rinse with water after you drink them, and make sure you are brush and floss at least 1 hour after consuming them. Otherwise, you could damage the softened enamel from the acidic drink. And make sure you come see us so that we can help you maintain and protect your pearly whites! We hope you all have a great season of sports, fun, friends, and good food!

 

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We look forward to helping you create that new smile that you have always wanted.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

Image Source:

www.thesportsbank.net

http://www.gatorade.com

www.clipartbest.com

What is a Root Canal?

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Andra Mahoney RDHBS

So the Doctor has told you that you need a Root Canal Treatment.  What does that mean?  Why is it necessary? And where do you go from here?

Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp (soft tissue inside your teeth containing blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue) becomes inflamed or diseased.

anatomy-of-a-tooth

 http://culpepperdds.wordpress.com/for-patients/basic-tooth-anatomy/

 During root canal treatment, your dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in treating the insides of teeth) removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed.

 

blood cell types

 http://www.dentistsonwashington.com/root-canals/

 If the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result, and your tooth may have to be removed.

Causes of an infected pulp could include:

  • A deep cavity

Deep-cavity-before

http://blog.distinctive-smiles.com/wp-content//Deep-cavity-before.jpg

  • repeated dental procedures on the same tooth
  • injury to the tooth (even if there’s not a visible crack or chip)
  • a cracked or broken tooth
    Broken Tooth 

http://www.mcardledmd.com/what-it-means-to-have-cts.html

 

If you continue to care for your teeth and gums your restored tooth could last a lifetime. However, regular checkups are necessary; a tooth without its nerve can still develop cavities or gum disease. Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile.

perfect-smile

 http://faceandjawsurgeryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/perfect-smile.jpg

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

 

References:
  http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/r/root-canals

Radiographs

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Becky Larson RDH

Why do I need “x-rays” today?

Many patients are concerned about radiograph frequencies, fearing they are receiving too much radiation. While too much radiation is not good, I want to clarify what is too much and share some important facts about the purpose and benefits of radiographs.

Why do we need to take radiographs?

Radiographs can help dental professionals evaluate and diagnose many oral diseases and conditions. Radiographs can be used to evaluate cavities, bone levels, calculus deposits, abscesses, root apices, wisdom teeth, cysts, sinuses, growths, foreign objects, jaw joints, and/or jaw fractures. Much of what goes on in the mouth is not viewable without a radiograph. In most cases, treating patients without radiographs would be performing below the standard of care. Exceptions can be made in certain circumstances regarding pregnancy or patients who have undergone extensive radiation treatment for other reasons.

How often should radiographs be taken?

Radiograph frequencies are recommended by the American Dental Association. A “full set” of radiographs is generally 18-20 images, depending on the office. A full set is usually taken at a patient’s initial visit to the office and then every 3-5 years after. Panoramic radiographs are helpful in assessing when/if wisdom teeth need to be removed and in viewing eruption of permanent teeth in children. In these cases the dentist uses his/her clinical judgment to determine if a panoramic radiograph is necessary. “Check-up” radiographs usually consist of bitewings and anterior peri-apical radiographs. Frequency of these radiographs will vary from patient to patient but can be prescribed anywhere between 6 months and 36 months. Radiograph frequency is prescribed by the dentist based on a patient’s risk of caries or history of caries.

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www.dxis.com

Am I getting too much radiation?

On average, Americans receive a radiation dose of about 0.62 rem (620 millirem) each year. We live in a radioactive world. Radiation is part of the environment and some types can’t be avoided. These include the air around us, cosmic rays, and the Earth itself. About half of our radiation dose comes from these sources. The other half of our yearly dose comes from man-made radiation sources that can include medical, commercial, and industrial sources. Medical radiographic imaging causes more radiation than dental radiographs. One dental intraoral radiograph has a radiation dose of about 0.005 rem. Similarly, a full set of radiographs at a dental office has the same amount of radiation as flying roundtrip from L.A. to New York. In this day and age many dental offices are using digital equipment to process radiographs. Digital imaging emits even less radiation (as much as 80% less) while still producing diagnostic images.

X-ray

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q=dental+radiograph&FORM=HDRSC2#view=detail&id=12D6193083883C0660B641C29F834FF5CDFB89CC&selectedIndex=27

Radiation Safety

As dental professionals we are aware that patient’s are exposed to radiation. We take proper precautions and cover the neck, thyroid, and chest with a lead apron. We also make sure our radiology equipment has regular checks to ensure it is functioning properly. Radiographs are prescribed with the patient’s best interest at heart.

 

We look forward to helping you create that new smile that you have always wanted.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

 

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Member%20Center/FIles/Dental_Radiographic_Examinations_2012.ashx

http://www.dentistry.com/treatments/dental-exam/dental-xrays-and-digital-technology

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-x-rays

http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/radiation/around-us/doses-daily-lives.html

http://www.livescience.com/10266-radiation-exposure-cross-country-flight.html

http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/safety/?pg=sfty_xray