Family Cosmetic Dentist Blog
Posts for: December, 2015
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”
Crowns are a very simple solution to a wide array of general and cosmetic dental problems that patients struggle with. The dentists at Cornerstone Dental Group in Cincinnati offer this reliable dental treatment for their patients who have damaged, discolored or poorly shaped teeth. If you fall into any of those categories, find out why you should consider crowns to fix your tooth-related issue and restore your smile to its full function.
What Dental Problems Do Crowns Fix?
Crowns are a viable solution for many different types of dental problems. Here are a few of the most common uses for crowns:
- Shoring up a previously infected tooth that has had root canal therapy.
- Restoring a cracked or chipped tooth.
- Filling a gap that can’t be closed with braces or Invisalign.
- Making a tooth that is too short or too small the correct size.
- Restoring a tooth that has eroded due to acid reflux or grinding (bruxism).
- Covering up a tooth discoloration that cannot be resolved with whitening products or procedures.
The Cosmetic Benefits of Crowns
There are many cosmetic benefits to getting a crown, even if your goal is just to restore the function of a tooth. Porcelain crowns are designed to very closely resemble the appearance of a natural tooth, including the color and shape. They are also very durable and resilient—a crown can last for 15 years or longer if you take care of your teeth and see your Cincinnati dentist twice a year for cleanings.
The Crown Procedure
The process of getting crowns is usually very easy and straightforward. First, you’ll visit the dentist for an evaluation, exam and X-rays to ensure that a crown is right for you. The next step is to prepare the tooth to accept the crown. The dentist removes tooth enamel and forms it into what is called an abutment. After taking an impression of the tooth, your dentist will install a temporary crown while your permanent crown is being made.
After consulting with a dentist at Cornerstone Dental Group in Cincinnati, you may find that crowns will give you the dental solution you’ve been looking for. Call the office at (513) 631-8920 today to set up a date and time to talk to a qualified dentist.
Even though a child’s primary (“baby”) teeth eventually give way, it’s still important to treat them if they become decayed. Primary teeth serve as guides for the emerging permanent teeth — if they’re lost prematurely, the permanent tooth may come in misaligned.
If the decay, however, affects the tooth’s inner pulp, it poses complications. A similarly decayed adult tooth would be treated with a root canal in which all the pulp tissue, including nerve fibers and blood vessels, are removed before filling and sealing. Primary teeth, however, are more dependent on these nerves and blood vessels, and conventional filling materials can impede the tooth’s natural loss process. It’s better to use more conservative treatments with primary teeth depending on the degree of decay and how much of the pulp may be affected.
If the decay is near or just at the pulp, it’s possible to use an indirect pulp treatment to remove as much of the softer decay as possible while leaving harder remnants in place: this will help keep the pulp from exposure. This is then followed with an antibacterial agent and a filling to seal the tooth.
If the pulp is partially exposed but doesn’t appear infected, a technique called direct pulp capping could be used to cover or “cap” the exposed pulp with filling material, which creates a protective barrier against decay. If decay in a portion of the pulp is present, a pulpotomy can be performed to remove the infected pulp portion. It’s important with a pulpotomy to minimize the spread of further infection by appropriately dressing the wound and sealing the tooth during and after the procedure.
A pulpectomy to completely remove pulp tissue may be necessary if in the worst case scenario the pulp is completely infected. While this closely resembles a traditional root canal treatment, we must use sealant material that can be absorbed by the body. Using other sealants could inhibit the natural process when the primary tooth’s roots begin to dissolve (resorb) to allow it to eventually give way.
These all may seem like extraordinary efforts to save a tooth with such a short lifespan. But by giving primary teeth a second chance, their permanent successors will have a better chance of future good health.
If you would like more information on treating decay in primary teeth, 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 Canal Treatment for Children’s Teeth.”