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By Jones Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
June 12, 2022
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental injury  
HeresWhatToDoforSports-relatedMouthInjuries

Children love to be active, and need to be to grow up healthy. But participating in sports and similar physical activities does harbor a risk for injury—especially involving the mouth.

Many oral injuries can be prevented, though, by wearing an athletic mouthguard during sports or other physical activities. Available in retail stores or custom-made by a dentist, mouthguards help cushion the mouth against hard contact.

But although a mouthguard minimizes oral injury risk, it can't eliminate the risk altogether. There's still a chance for oral trauma during physical activity. Here are some common injuries that could happen, and what you can do to lessen their impact.

Chipped teeth. A hard knock could cause a piece of tooth to chip off. If this happens, try to retrieve any chipped pieces and carry them with the child to a dentist as soon as possible. Teeth should be examined immediately after this kind of trauma and the dentist may be able to re-bond the broken pieces.

Displaced tooth. A severe blow could move one or more teeth out of place, loosening them or pushing them deeper into the jaw. Teeth with these kinds of injuries are in serious danger, so you should contact your dentist immediately. If after office hours, they may tell you to visit an ER for prompt attention.

Soft tissue injuries. The lips and other soft areas of the mouth can also become cut or bruised from a hit. Clean the area as well as possible, making sure there are no imbedded bits of dirt or tooth. Apply gentle, continuous pressure to stop any bleeding and cold compresses for swelling. If it's a deep cut, go immediately to an emergency room.

Knocked-out tooth. Although a serious injury, a tooth knocked completely out of its socket might still be saved through prompt action. First, find the tooth; handling it only by the crown end, clean off any dirt or debris with clean water. Gently place the tooth back into its socket and have the child bite down on gauze or a clean cloth to hold it in place. You should then go to a dentist or ER immediately.

If you would like more information on children's dental needs and care, 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 “Children's Dental Concerns & Injuries: Would You Know What to Do?

By Jones Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
June 02, 2022
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental injury  
InjuryTreatmentforanImmatureToothCouldImpactitsLong-termSurvival

Dental accidents do happen, especially among active tweens and teens. When it does, saving traumatized teeth becomes priority one. It's especially important for these younger age groups whose developing dental structures depend on having a jaw-full of permanent teeth.

But because their permanent teeth are still developing, it's often more difficult to treat them than fully grown teeth. That's because the standard treatment—root canal therapy—isn't advisable for an immature tooth.

During a root canal, a dentist removes the diseased or traumatized tissues inside the pulp and root canals, and subsequently fills the empty spaces to prevent further infection. It's safe to do this, even though we remove much of the pulp's nerve and blood vessel tissue in the process, because these tissues aren't as critical to a fully matured tooth.

But these tissues within the pulp are quite important to a tooth still under development—they help the tooth form strong roots and a normal layer of dentin. Their absence could stunt further growth and lead to future problems with the tooth.

For that and other reasons, we avoid a traditional root canal therapy in immature teeth as much as possible, opting instead for techniques that leave the pulp as intact as possible. The approach we use depends on the condition of the pulp after an injury.

For injuries where the pulp remains unexposed and undamaged within the dentin layer, we might remove as much of the damaged tooth structure as possible, while leaving a small portion of dentin around the pulp. We would then apply an antibacterial agent to this remaining dentin to protect the pulp from infection, and fill the tooth.

If an injury exposes the pulp and partially damages it, we might fully remove any damaged tissues and apply a material to the exposed pulp to stimulate new dentin growth. If successful, the dentin around the pulp will regenerate to restore protective coverage.

The methods we use will depend on the degree of damage to the tooth and pulp tissues, a traditional root canal serving as a last resort. Our aim is to not only save the tooth now, but also give it the best chance for long-term survival.

If you would like more information on dental injury care for children, 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 “Saving New Permanent Teeth After Injury.”

By Jones Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
May 23, 2022
Category: Oral Health
Tags: root resorption  
AlthoughRareRootResorptionisaPotentialDangertoYourTeeth

You know the "usual suspects": brown tooth spots, toothache, or reddened, swollen or bleeding gums—common indicators for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, two of the biggest threats to your teeth. But there are other conditions that, although rare in comparison, are no less harmful to your teeth. One of these is root resorption, when an adult tooth's root structure dissolves (resorbs).

Root resorption usually starts on the outside of a tooth, near the neck-like or cervical area around the gum line, and is also known as external cervical resorption (ECR). Your dentist may first notice tiny pink spots on the enamel during an exam: these are tiny lesions where the enamel has eroded, and are filled with pink-colored cells that actually help perpetuate resorption.

We're not fully certain about the underlying causes for root resorption, but some factors like excessive orthodontic force or dental trauma (particularly involving periodontal tissues that hold teeth in place), seem to be present with many cases.

Fortunately, most people experiencing these and similar conditions never contend with ECR. Still, it remains a possibility, particularly for older adults, and is best addressed as early as possible. Regular dental checkups are vital to identifying the condition early with prompt treatment following.

If the lesions are small, we may be able to clean out the pink tissue cells and fill the lesion with a tooth-colored material like a composite resin or glass ionomer cement. Even though this is a relatively simple process, we sometimes may need to expose the affected area below the gum tissue with a surgical procedure. And, if the damage has reached the pulp in the center of a tooth, we may also need to perform a root canal treatment.

At some point, though, the level of resorption may have left the tooth too compromised for any reasonable repair. In such cases, it may be best to remove the tooth and replace it with a restoration, most notably a dental implant.

Needless to say, keeping a regular dental visit schedule is your best defense against experiencing ECR this advanced. Early detection remains the best case scenario for this rare but damaging disease.

If you would like more information on root resorption, 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 “Root Resorption: An Unusual Phenomenon.”

By Jones Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
May 13, 2022
Category: Dental Procedures
HeresWhatThese3CelebritiesDidtoAmpUpTheirSmile

It's easy to assume our favorite performers were born with perfect looks. And, while that may be mostly true, many of them still put in a lot of time and expense to make themselves more attractive. One area in particular that gets a lot of focus from celebrities is their smile.

That's because even the most endearing famous smile may still have a few dental flaws. You'll often find a celebrity addressing those flaws to improve their physical appeal—and in ways not necessarily exclusive to the rich and famous. In fact, anyone could benefit from many of the same procedures the stars use to make their smiles more attractive.

Here, then, are 3 celebrities who addressed specific issues with their smile in ways that could benefit you.

Hugh Jackman. Best known as X-Men's Wolverine, Jackman says he once had a dentist look at his teeth and exclaim, "My God, you've got gray teeth." Fortunately, the dentist followed up his outburst with a viable solution: professional teeth whitening. Depending on the exact nature of a discoloration, having your teeth whitened by a dentist with a bleaching solution can turn up the brightness on a dingy smile. Jackman chose a professional application because it offered better control on the degree of whiteness.

Zac Efron. The famous actor who got his start in the movie High School Musical had a defect common among celebrities—a gap between his front teeth. While many celebs like Michael Strahan or Madonna choose to keep their trademark gap, others like Efron opt to lose it. He had his gap "closed" with porcelain veneers, thin shells of dental material that are bonded to teeth. If you have a slight gap that you'd like to close, veneers might be a great solution.

Celine Dion. This beautiful Canadian singing sensation has been going strong for three decades. Although she now looks stunning, she once had a smile only Dracula could love—elongated eye teeth that looked like fangs and overly large front teeth. Unlike our first two stars, though, Dion's experience was truly a "smile makeover" that included oral surgery, orthodontics and veneers. Even so, such a comprehensive smile upgrade is still within the realm of possibility for the average person.

These are just three of the many celebrities who've turned to cosmetic dentistry to improve their smiles. So can you! Visit us for a complete assessment of your smile needs, and we'll provide you options for making your wonderful smile even better.

If you would like more information about cosmetic dental options, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry: Fix Your Smile With Veneers, Whitening and More.”

By Jones Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
May 03, 2022
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: porcelain veneers  
YouMightAvoidPermanentToothAlterationWithTheseNo-PrepVeneers

If you know anyone with dental veneers, you've likely heard how much they love them. These thin shells of dental porcelain bonded to the front of teeth can hide a multitude of defects—from chips to mild gaps between teeth.

But your friend may also have told you their teeth required some preparation before the dentist bonded the custom veneers. That's because traditional veneers, although relatively thin, can still appear too bulky if applied straight to the teeth.

To help them look more natural, dentists often remove a tiny amount of surface enamel. Even though doing this won't harm your teeth, having less enamel (which doesn't grow back) could leave your teeth vulnerable to disease and sensitivity. Teeth prepped in this manner will require a veneer or some other form of restoration from that point on.

Up until recently, few people could avoid having their teeth permanently altered prior to receiving veneers. Now, though, you may have an alternative: a new, ultra-thin veneer that requires little to no tooth preparation beforehand. These new options are known as no-prep or minimal-prep veneers.

These new veneers are as thin as contact lenses, and have such a low profile that they don't have to fit under the gum line (often the case with traditional veneers and one of the reasons for tooth alteration). The dentist may still need to reshape the enamel using an abrasive tool, but it's much less of an alteration than what may be required of traditional veneers.

And unlike traditional veneers, it's unlikely you'll need local anesthesia during their application, a common practice with tooth prep before veneers. You may also be able to have these veneers removed later without the need for another restoration to cover the teeth.

No-prep/minimal-prep veneers are well-suited for people with small (or those that appear so), worn or slightly misshaped teeth. On the other hand, those with oversized teeth or teeth that jut forward may still need some prep work even with these ultra-thin veneers.

To find out if these new veneers are right for you, you'll need to undergo a comprehensive dental exam. If they are, your teeth may be able to avoid permanent alteration—and still look amazing with your new veneers.

If you would like more information on porcelain dental veneers, 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 “No-Prep Porcelain Veneers.”





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