Posts for: February, 2017
You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:Â He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.
“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”
Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?
In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.
There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.Â Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.
If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
Are you ready for a dental emergency? Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Dr. Joseph Reed at Arlington Dental in Arlington, TX, offers a full range of dental services, including emergency care. Read on to find out how to deal with a dental emergency.
A knocked-out tooth is an emergency that requires urgent attention. If your tooth has been knocked out, pick up the tooth and rinse it off to ensure that it's clean. If you can, gently place the tooth back into the socket. If you can't put the tooth back in the socket, put the tooth in a small container. Call your Arlington dentist right away. Seeing a dentist quickly is critical for saving a knocked-out tooth.
If you have a loose tooth, you should call an emergency dentist right away. In the meantime, you can try to put the tooth back in its original position using your finger with light pressure. Your dentist may splint the tooth to the surrounding teeth to keep it stabilized. Your dentist may be able to save your tooth by splinting it. In certain cases, loose teeth cannot be saved and require a dental extraction.
A fractured or cracked tooth is a dental emergency. If you have a cracked or fractured tooth, call an emergency dentist immediately. If the tooth pulp is damaged, your tooth may need root canal therapy. If the tooth pulp is not damaged, the tooth might only need a dental crown. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. Take acetaminophen to alleviate your pain. If the fracture is caused by facial trauma, apply a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling.
An abscess in the mouth or severe infection can be life-threatening and should be dealt with right away. Your dentist might be able to perform the first stage of a root canal to open and drain the tooth and allow the abscess to drain. If you have swelling in your face and a fever and you can't reach your emergency dentist, go to an emergency room. Also, go to the emergency room if you have trouble swallowing or breathing.
Any type of injury inside the mouth, such as puncture wounds, tears and lacerations to the lips, mouth, cheeks and tongue, are a dental emergency. If you experience any type of tissue injury, it's important to clean the area immediately with warm water. Call an emergency dentist right away. To alleviate the pain associated with tissue injury, you can take acetaminophen. Never take ibuprofen or aspirin for a dental emergency because they are anticoagulants, which can cause excessive bleeding.
So, what are you waiting for? If you are experiencing a dental emergency, call our office today! Call Arlington Dental in Arlington, TX, at (817) 303-5700 right now to get your pain relieved quickly. Any dental emergency is serious and should not be ignored. We will make sure you receive quality care and are seen as soon as possible. We want to get you out of pain and on with your life.
While your chances of losing teeth increase as you age, it's not a given. With proper hygiene and care your teeth could last a lifetime.
But brushing and flossing can become more difficult in later years. Arthritis or strength issues in the fingers and hands make holding a toothbrush an arduous chore and flossing next to impossible.
But you can accommodate these physical changes. Many seniors find using a powered toothbrush much easier to handle and effective for removing disease-causing plaque. A tennis ball or bike handle grip attached to a manual toothbrush can also make it easier to handle. As to flossing, older people may find it easier to use floss threaders or a water irrigator, which removes plaque from between teeth with a pressurized water spray.
You may also find changes in the mouth that increase your risk for dental disease. One such issue is xerostomia, dry mouth. As you age you don't produce as much saliva, which neutralizes acid and restores minerals to enamel, as when you were younger. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of certain medications. Older people are also more likely to suffer from gastric reflux, which can introduce stomach acid into the mouth.
With these dry, acidic conditions, you're more susceptible to both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. You can help offset it by increasing water consumption, taking a saliva stimulator, changing to alternative medications if available, and relieving gastric reflux.
Another area of concern in aging is the higher risk for inflammatory diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which could also increase your risk of periodontal (gum) disease. Seeking treatment for gum disease and other similar systemic diseases may help ease the effects of each one.
Taking care of your mouth can be challenging as you grow older. But tooth loss and other unpleasant results aren't inevitable. Invest in your teeth and gums today and you're more likely to have a healthy life and smile all through your golden years.
If you would like more information on caring for your teeth and gums as you age, 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 “Aging & Dental Health.”