Restoring Your Oral Health Through Root Canal Therapy

A toothache can make your life miserable. It may involve terrible tooth pain as well as headaches, sleeplessness, and difficulty eating. A trip to the dentist’s office is a must if you want relief. An examination might reveal that you need root canal treatment to save your tooth and eliminate your symptoms.

Severe tooth decay, a faulty crown, repeated tooth procedures or trauma are common causes of tooth damage. These issues can also lead to infection of your tooth’s pulp, which is on the inside of your tooth. Also called endodontic therapy, root canal treatment focuses on getting rid of the damaged tooth pulp. If infection is present, it is also removed. The root canal is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and then the area is filled with a special material called gutta-percha. Finally, the tooth is typically restored with a dental crown to provide maximum protection from future damage.

Some of the benefits you can expect from root canal treatment include chewing with normal biting force and sensation, maintaining natural tooth appearance, protecting other teeth from excessive wear, and avoiding a troublesome gap in the smile. In as little as one or two appointments, these benefits can be achieved without a great deal of discomfort. Innovations in technology have made the experience of root canal treatment usually no more painful or difficult than simply getting a dental filling. Once root canal treatment is complete, the tooth can last a lifetime with regular checkups and proper oral hygiene.


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A New Smile with Veneers

One of the most common procedures in cosmetic dentistry today is dental veneers. Many types of problems can be remedied with veneers, such as teeth that are chipped, broken, gapped, misshapen, or discolored. A veneer is a very thin shell usually made of porcelain that is bonded to the fronts of teeth to hide flaws.

Benefits:
One of the best things about dental veneers is that they immediately transform your smile the minute they are placed. They are very natural-looking because the porcelain reflects light in the same way as real teeth. Discolored or stained teeth are erased by veneers that are created in the shade you choose. Porcelain resists stains so you no longer have to worry about discoloration. You get to keep your original teeth since veneers are attached directly to them. Veneers are not only an attractive choice, they are also strong and durable.

Procedure:
The process for getting dental veneers takes two or three appointments. At the first visit, you will have an examination and X-rays to learn if you are a good candidate for veneers. If this type of restoration is suitable for you and will help you achieve your goals, your dentist can customize your smile based on your facial features, coloring, complexion, and other characteristics. A mold will be taken of your mouth and sent to a dental laboratory for your veneers to be made. When they are ready in about a week, you will return to the dental office to have them attached to check for things like fit and color. The veneers will then be permanently bonded to your teeth and final modifications will be completed.

Care:
Your normal oral hygiene routine can be continued, including gentle regular brushing with a soft toothbrush and daily flossing. Regular dental checkups every six months should be maintained for checkups and cleanings. Avoid chewing or biting on hard items so that your veneers will not chip or break. If you follow these guidelines, your veneers should last a very long time.

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Can Germs Live on my Toothbrush

Can Germs Live on my Toothbrush?

Chances are you would be disgusted at the thought of leaving your eating utensils on your bathroom counter exposed to germs, and never washing them but continuing to eat with them. This is essentially what you’re doing if you leave your toothbrush sitting out, and never sanitize or change it. Let’s talk about how to keep your toothbrush from being a germ-infested threat to your health.

Your toothbrush can be contaminated by bacteria, saliva, blood, and food particles with each use. Even after you rinse it with water, your toothbrush may appear clean but germs linger on the bristles. Some of the sources of bacteria on your toothbrush include:

  • Your mouth, which transfers germs to your toothbrush during use.
  • The environment, because bathrooms are often the most contaminated room in your house.
  • The packaging, since toothbrushes aren’t sold in sterile packages they can arrive with germs already on them.

Here are some tips to guard your toothbrush from germs:

  • Before and after you brush your teeth, wash your hands to get rid of germs.
  • Rinse your toothbrush well with water, and then allow it to air dry.
  • Store the toothbrush upright so that water can drain from it while drying.
  • Consider storing your toothbrush in a dry area outside of the bathroom, away from humidity and toilet spray
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or more often if you notice worn bristles.
  • Do not share your toothbrush with anyone.
  • Do not soak your toothbrush in disinfectant or mouthwash, which can lead to cross contamination
  • Do not bother microwaving your toothbrush or running it in the dishwasher, because these tactics may damage your brush.

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Facial Injuries and Oral Surgery

There are a number of reasons that dentists or oral surgeons recommend surgery, but facial injuries are probably the most unexpected and alarming cause. Maxillofacial injury, or facial trauma, refers to any injury to the mouth, jaw, and face. Most of these injuries result from sports, car accidents, job accidents, violence, or an accident at home. Let’s learn about oral surgery resulting from facial trauma.

Broken bones are a common type of serious facial injury. Fractures can occur in the upper or lower jaw, cheekbones, palate, and eye sockets. Injuries in these locations may affect vision and the ability to eat, talk, and breathe. Hospitalization is often required for treatment, which is similar to that for fractures in other parts of the body. The bones must be lined up and held in place to allow time to heal them in the correct position. Because casts are not possible in facial injuries, the surgeon may use wires, screws, or plates to treat fractures. Sometimes healing takes as long as six weeks or more.

Even though some facial injuries are worse than others, all of them should be taken seriously. They affect an important area of the body, so it is recommended to seek treatment from an oral surgeon to make sure you receive optimum care. Even if stitches are all that’s required, it’s best to have them performed by an oral surgeon who can place them exactly as needed to produce the best results.

It’s no surprise that the best solution for facial injuries is to prevent them in the first place. Oral surgeons suggest consistent use of mouth guards, seat belts, and masks and helmets as required. Improvements have been made to safety gear to make these items more comfortable and efficient, so there should be no excuses for not using them to protect yourself and avoid injuries that can lead to oral surgery.


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Improving Your Quality of Life with Dental Implants

By all accounts, missing teeth negatively impacts a person’s quality of life. Smiling, laughing, eating and speaking just aren’t the same when there are holes left by teeth that used to be there. Instead of going through life with missing teeth or uncomfortable dentures, consider the cutting-edge option of dental implants.

An increasingly popular restoration, dental implants are one of the most requested procedures in dentistry. They involve surgically inserting a titanium post directly into the jaw so that it fuses with the bone in a process called osseointegration. Once the area has healed, an artificial tooth is placed on top of the titanium post to provide a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing new tooth.

One of the reasons for the success of dental implants is that they have the edge over the other options because of the benefits. They provide a very long-lasting, durable solution because they literally will last your entire life with proper hygiene and checkups. Implants are a one-time investment in your smile.

Implants do not negatively affect other teeth since placement doesn’t tamper with adjacent teeth. Implants are good for your jawbone because bones require stimulation to maintain strength and density. Your facial structure also benefits when you have a complete set of teeth, instead of ending up with a saggy, unsupported looking face.

Dental implants are both convenient and comfortable. No special care is required, such as with dentures, because normal brushing and flossing is all that’s needed. Implants are securely in place in your mouth and become part of your body; you won’t even realize you have them. You’ll also be able to continue eating the foods you love since no diet restrictions are necessary with implants.

Another great thing about dental implants is they help boost your self-esteem. You’ll enjoy a whole new level of confidence when you can smile, laugh, talk and eat without worrying about missing teeth. If you choose to get dental implants, you can expect your quality of life to improve.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Denture Care

Thanks to advances in dental technology, dentures are more natural looking and comfortable than ever before. If you are one of the many adults wearing dentures to replace missing teeth, there are several do’s and don’ts you will want to follow to ensure they maintain their fit and your oral health:

  • Do take your dentures out before going to bed, allowing your mouth tissues to rest from wearing them all day.
  • Don’t let your dentures dry out. Soak them in mild denture solution or water while you sleep.
  • Do clean them daily with either a mild detergent or special denture cleaning solution and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Don’t soak them in very hot water, as this could cause them to warp, and they will no longer fit properly.
  • Do handle them with care. Dropping your dentures or treating them with strong cleansers or harsh brushes can do permanent damage.
  • Don’t neglect your oral care for the rest of your mouth. Even patients with a full set of dentures need to take care of their gums, and if you have partial dentures you should continue to brush and floss your remaining teeth regularly.
  • Do pay attention to changes in the fit or feel of your dentures. Problems with fit can lead to irritation and discomfort, and could also be an indication of gum disease.
  • Don’t try to adjust or repair your dentures on your own. If your dentures are ill-fitting or damaged in any way, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have them evaluated.
  • Do continue to see your dentist for regular checkups to help maintain your best oral health and check your dentures for fit and function.

If you are missing all or some of your teeth, dentures can greatly improve both your appearance and the quality of your life. By following these simple guidelines, you can maintain the beauty and functionality of your dentures for many years.

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What are Overdentures?

An implant overdenture combines the use of traditional dentures and implant technology to create a denture that fits over your remaining natural tooth roots or dental implants. These root or implant supported dentures are held in place by dental attachments which provide excellent stability and support for your dentures. Overdentures were developed to help patients missing some or all of their teeth regain a quality of life that may have been lacking since they lost their teeth.

There are several benefits to implant overdentures when compared to traditional dentures:

  • Saving your natural roots or having implants placed slows bone loss by stimulating the bone in your jaw when you eat or chew.
  • Because overdentures are better fitting by design, they are more stable and allow you to chew food more thoroughly. This promotes better digestion and allows you to absorb more nutrients.
  • The increased stability provided by overdentures also means you are able to speak more clearly, as there is no slipping or clicking of your dentures.
  • Loose dentures are not a worry with overdentures. Sticky adhesives and messy denture creams are unnecessary when you have implant overdentures.
  • With overdentures, the natural shrinkage that occurs from an under-stimulated jaw does not occur. This keeps your face from looking sunken, as can often happen with traditional dentures.

To find out if you are a candidate for implant overdentures, schedule an evaluation by your dental professional. Overdentures could be the best, most natural treatment for restoring your oral health and beautiful smile.

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Simple Ways to Protect Kids’ Teeth

Kids don’t always play it safe or make the best decisions when it comes to protecting their teeth. Tooth decay and mouth injuries are just a couple of things parents must worry about for their kids, whether it’s the elementary school or college years. Here are some simple ways that parents can teach their kids to protect their teeth.

Limit sports and energy drinks.
Sports and energy drinks are both heavily marketed toward today’s youth. It is true that sports drinks help replace electrolytes during exercise, but many people drink them too much or outside the exercise realm. Experts have deemed sports drinks to be unnecessary in the lunchroom or as a snack on the playground. The high acid levels in these drinks can erode tooth enamel, with energy drinks determined to cause twice as much damage. It is recommended to save sports drinks for very strenuous activities, and instead stick with water for hydration and refreshment without the negative effects.

Insist upon mouthguards.
Parents should provide mouthguards for kids in nearly any sport, even if it isn’t considered mandatory by the school or team. Mouthguards can prevent chips, fractures, or knockouts of teeth, as well as protect the soft tissues of the mouth. According to research estimates, 3 million teeth were knocked out in youth sports in 2011. Dentists suggest that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain oral injury. Inexpensive basic mouthguards or the boil-and-bite variety are available at sporting goods stores, or customized mouthguards can be purchased through your dentist.

Say no to oral piercings.
Although it applies primarily to teenagers and older, the Academy of General Dentistry advises against oral piercing for active people. Those with piercings should remove them before participating in sports, because puncture wounds can lead to infections related to increased blood flow and breathing rates during exercise. If your child is considering and oral piercing, make sure you discuss the risks and need for removal during physical activity.

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Invislaign Clinton NJ

Invisalign: Straightening Teeth Without Braces

Having straight teeth is a goal from young people through mature adults, and achieving a great smile without having to wear braces is a wonderful benefit. Awkward moments of a mouth full of metal, food particles stuck in your smile, and painful wires poking your cheeks are all erased. How do you make this happen? The answer is Invisalign.

Invisalign is an orthodontic solution that involves wearing a series of clear plastic aligners that fit right onto your teeth, and move them using slow pressure. They are nearly invisible and can be removed at any time, allowing you to follow your usual eating and hygiene routines.

The first step is taking impressions of your teeth and making a digital 3-D image so that an exact treatment plan can be created. You will be able to see how your teeth should look at each treatment stage. Your customized aligners will be made in a lab so that they fit comfortably yet do their job.

You will need to wear your aligners during the day and while you sleep, but remove them for eating and hygiene. You can even remove them for special occasions, as long as you strive to wear the aligners 22 hours each day. Roughly every two weeks, you will change to a new set of aligners that will advance you to the next stage of treatment. You will see your dentist about every six weeks for checkups.

Invisalign treatment lasts about a year for adults and about two years for teens. Your progress will be visible throughout treatment, motivating you to continue wearing them to transform your smile. Once your treatment is complete, you’ll have beautiful straight teeth and very few complaints about your orthodontic experience.

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Oral Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

If oral surgery is in your future, you might be worried about what’s to come. The way to relieve that worry is to talk to your oral surgeon. Your oral surgeon has the experience and knowledge necessary to guide you through whatever concerns or questions you may have. Here is a guide to some of those questions and answers:

How will I handle pain following surgery?

  • In many cases, you will have been prescribed narcotic pain relievers. If you are taking narcotics, take them only as recommended and do not mix them with over-the-counter pain relievers or alcohol. Driving while on narcotics is dangerous and can have serious consequences for you personally and for others. If you weren’t prescribed any medication, use anti-inflammatory analgesics such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.

What will happen to my stitches in the days following surgery?

  • Some stitches will be designed to dissolve over time and will not need to be removed. Others will not come out on their own and will need to be removed at a subsequent appointment. In many cases, losing a single stitch or two in the days following surgery isn’t serious; however, for bone-graft treatments, it is problematic and you should contact your surgeon immediately.

Can I eat normally after surgery?

  • Immediately after surgery when you’re still experiencing any mouth or tongue numbness, don’t eat anything. You could mistake the soft tissues of your mouth for food and do serious damage to your mouth without realizing it. After your numbness subsides, consume soft foods of tepid temperatures for several days to allow for healing. Talk to your surgeon to learn when you can resume normal eating patterns as dictated by your particular surgery.

What other tips do you have?

  • Stay hydrated and rest as much as possible to facilitate complete and quick healing. Call your surgeon if you have excessive bleeding or pain that doesn’t lessen with time. Be aware of signs of infection (swelling, redness, odorous or sour discharge) at the surgical site and seek professional care when needed.

We look forward to seeing you in our Clinton NJ dental office