General Dentistry

Wisdom teeth: pain, symptoms and extraction

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the upper and lower third molars located in the back of your mouth. They typically grow in between the ages of 17 and 25. Although most people have wisdom teeth, it remains possible for some or all molars to never develop.

Wisdom teeth are often removed because they simply don’t have enough room to erupt correctly without becoming impacted or shifting adjacent teeth.

Closeup of dentist hand holding a model tooth

Wisdom teeth pain symptoms

As wisdom teeth start to come in, they will usually produce:

  • A feeling of pressure or dull throbbing in the back of the jaws.
  • Pain at the back of the mouth, behind the molars.
  • Inflamed gums
  • Sinus problems

Wisdom tooth pain can sometimes come out of nowhere, suddenly erupting overnight, as it can also manifest gradually. As time progresses, the pain may become more severe and be accompanied by difficulty eating, bleeding gums, bad breath, and intense sensitivity in surrounding teeth.

These symptoms are a result of the overcrowding of the teeth in your mouth caused by the additional molars. This increasing discomfort will only get worse over time and is a clear sign that you need to get your wisdom teeth removed.

An important first step if you think you may be experiencing wisdom tooth pain is to make an appointment to see your dentist. A panoramic radiograph is usually the preferred X-ray to help assess the angle of eruption and state of development of the tooth.

Wisdom tooth extraction

The extraction of the problematic wisdom tooth is a common dental procedure that is performed by an oral surgeon or a qualified general dentist.

To make sure that the tooth is pulled out painlessly, local anesthesia or conscious sedation are administered depending on the complexity of the procedure. The dentist may also administer nitrous gas in addition to the local anesthetic.

If the wisdom tooth is partially or fully erupted, a simple extraction is carried out. A dental elevator is used to wiggle the tooth in its socket. Once it’s loose, forceps are used to remove it.

If the wisdom tooth is impacted, a complex extraction that requires an incision in the gum is carried out. The tooth is the sectioned in order to be removed in pieces and then the site is stitched closed.

Dental Implant

Implant Dentistry

Implant Dentistry

Of all the ways modern dentistry has to replace missing teeth, dental implants are by far the best. There is no tooth-replacement option that will give you a longer-lasting result. Implants also help preserve tooth-supporting bone that naturally deteriorates when a tooth is lost. Loss of bone is one of the major hidden consequences of losing teeth.

Dental Implant.

A dental implant most often takes the form of a small, screw-shaped titanium post that replaces the root-part of a missing tooth. The surgical procedure used to place an implant is actually quite minor and routine, requiring only local anesthesia in most cases. After a healing period, the implant is topped with a lifelike crown custom-made to match your existing natural teeth. Implants have a documented success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option.

How Implants Work

During a minor surgical procedure, your dental implant is inserted directly into the jawbone in the space vacated by the missing tooth. It will then be left to heal for a period of months before the final crown is attached. During this healing period, the implant actually fuses to the bone surrounding it.

Tooth Replacement Options Using Dental Implants

Implants can replace missing teeth in a variety of ways. They can be used to:

Dental Implants Replace One Tooth.Replace One Tooth — When you have one tooth missing, a single implant is inserted into the bone to replace the root part of that tooth; a crown then goes on top to simulate an actual tooth. This treatment choice has the highest success rate, making it the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth. Even if the initial cost is slightly higher than other options, it is the most cost-effective solution over time. An implant will never decay or need root canal treatment, and feels just like the tooth that was there.

Dental Implants Replace Multiple Teeth.Replace Multiple Teeth — When you have more than one tooth missing, implants provide an ideal replacement mechanism. You don’t even need one implant for every missing tooth. Instead, implant teeth can act as supports for fixed bridgework. For example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, we can place two implants, one on either side of the gap, and a crown in between that has no implant underneath. That way, you won’t need to use any of your remaining natural teeth as bridge supports, which could weaken them and make them more susceptible to decay.

Dental Implants Replace All Teeth.Replace All Teeth Permanently — Implants can support an entire arch of upper or lower replacement teeth that are fixed into the mouth and are never removed. Sometimes the new teeth can be supported by as few as 4 implants. It’s comparable to the structure of a table, which only needs 4 legs to hold it up. In cases where jawbone density and volume have deteriorated, 5 or 6 implants might be needed to support a row of 10 to 12 teeth. Dental implant replacement teeth protect your jawbone, won’t slip, and should last a lifetime.

Dental Implants Support Removable Dentures.Support Removable Dentures — Implants can even make removable dentures more comfortable, effective and healthier to wear. Traditional dentures rest on the gums and put pressure on the underlying bone. This accelerates bone loss so that the jaw shrinks and the dentures slip, particularly on the bottom. But today dentists can attach a removable denture onto implants, transferring that pressure into the bone structure rather than the bone surface. This prevents the dentures from slipping while you eat and speak, and preserves the bone directly beneath them.

Implant Care and Maintenance

There are only two ways an implant can lose attachment to the bone and fail once it has successfully fused: poor oral hygiene or excessive biting forces. Poor oral hygiene and/or a lack of regular cleanings can lead to a destructive bacterial infection called peri-implantitis. Flossing and brushing your teeth on a daily basis, along with regular professional cleanings, can prevent this. Excessive biting forces can come from either a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, or an insufficient number of implants to handle the forces generated by your bite. You should receive the correct number of implants so this does not happen. And if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, a nightguard will be recommended to protect your implants. After all, implants are a long-term investment in your smile, your health and your well-being, so it’s best to protect your investment.

Source: https://www.mesickdentalcenter.com/library/7782/ImplantDentistry.html

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

The practice of dentistry encompasses an amazing array of services and procedures, all with a common goal: to help you to preserve your natural teeth as long as possible, ensure your oral health, and keep you looking and feeling great throughout life.

There’s so much that can be done these days to improve the appearance of a person’s smile — at any age. From powerful, professional whitening treatments to amazingly realistic porcelain veneers to state-of-the-art dental implants, there’s a wide range of exciting possibilities.

The first step in any smile makeover is a thorough dental examination to make sure that your cosmetic problems really are just that, and not a sign of underlying dental disease. Once your health has been established, your smile can be cosmetically enhanced in a variety of ways.

Cosmetic & General Dentistry Procedures

Modern dentistry offers a wide range of services to make sure your teeth stay healthy, function well and look great. These procedures include:

  • Cleanings & Oral Exams, to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and catch early signs of dental disease.
  • Cosmetic Bonding, to repair small chips or cracks.
  • Crowns & Bridgework, to replace large amounts of lost tooth structure and/or missing teeth.
  • Dental Implants, for the longest-lasting tooth replacement available today.
  • Extractions, to remove unhealthy teeth that cannot be saved.
  • Fillings, to restore decayed teeth.
  • Inlays & Onlays, to fill teeth with larger cavities.
  • Invisalign Clear Aligners, for highly discreet orthodontic treatment.
  • Oral Cancer Screenings, to detect a dangerous disease that can be cured if caught early.
  • Orthodontic Treatment, to move teeth into the right position.
  • Porcelain Veneers, for repairing larger chips and cracks, and reshaping teeth.
  • Removable Dentures, to help you smile again.
  • Root Canal Treatment, to rescue diseased teeth.
  • Sealants, to help prevent cavities.
  • Teeth Whitening, to brighten a faded or discolored smile.
  • TMD Treatment, for pain in the jaw area that can interfere with biting and chewing.
  • Tooth-Colored Fillings, for a completely natural, healthy look.
  • Tooth Decay Prevention, so you keep your natural teeth as long as possible.

When to Visit the Dentist

Many people only go to the dentist when something is wrong. That is truly a shame, because they are missing out on so many preventive services that can save discomfort — and expense — down the road. Regular dental visits are essential to make sure oral health problems — from tooth decay to oral cancer — are detected and treated in a timely manner. Some individuals may need to see the dentist more often than others to stay on top of problems like plaque buildup and gum disease, but everyone should go at least once per year.

Your regular dental visits will include a thorough oral exam to check the health of your teeth and gums; and oral cancer screening to spot any suspicious signs early; and a professional cleaning to remove stubborn deposits and make your teeth look and feel great. So don’t miss out on the many benefits dentistry offers you and your family!

Your Smile Makeover

The most important job you have as a member of your own smile makeover team is to communicate exactly what you don’t like about your smile and how you’d like it to be different. Before the first consultation, give some thought to the following questions:

  1. What do you like or dislike about the color, size, shape and spacing of your teeth?
  2. Are you pleased with how much your teeth show, both when you smile and when your lips are relaxed?
  3. Do you want teeth that are perfectly aligned and a bright “Hollywood White,” or would you prefer a more natural look with slight color, shape and shade variations?
  4. Would you like more or less of your gums to show when you smile?

It is extremely helpful for you to bring in pictures you have collected — of smiles you like, smiles you don’t like, and/or photos of the way your own smile used to look, if that’s the result you’re aiming for. Now is the time to get started on creating a smile that will make you feel as good as you look!

Source: https://www.mesickdentalcenter.com/cosmetic-dentistry.html

Smile makeover

Smile Makeover

Smile Makeover

Smiling with confidence makes you feel great. A beautiful smile is also an important social and professional asset. Yet there are many people who avoid showing their teeth in public or in photographs because they don’t like what they see. If that describes you, then why not start the process of getting the smile you’ve always wanted with a smile makeover?

A smile makeover goes beyond simply responding to dental problems as they arise. It’s a comprehensive smile-rejuvenation plan that’s uniquely suited to your own facial features and aesthetic preferences. The results can be quite dramatic — both in terms of how your will look and how you will feel. These are the major steps involved:

Take a look. The makeover process is all about giving you the smile of your dreams. So take a good look at your smile and note what you like and don’t like about it. Some questions you can ask yourself are:

  • Are your teeth as white as you’d like them to be?
  • Are any teeth chipped, cracked or worn?
  • Does your smile have a gummy appearance?
  • Do your teeth seem too large or small?
  • Do you like the alignment and spacing of your teeth
  • Are you self-conscious about crookedness or gaps?

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder… and that’s you! Some people want their smile to look “perfect” — and to them, that means completely straight, uniformly white teeth. Others like a slightly more natural look, and are not displeased by slight gaps or shade variations. There are lots of decisions to make, but don’t worry — dentists are skilled at helping you sort it all out!

Share your thoughts. Communication is an extremely important part of the smile makeover process. At the first makeover consultation, it helps if you describe what you would like to change in as much detail as possible. Bring along pictures of smiles you like, or of how your own smile used to look. Dr. Cain or Dr. Hershey will have some thoughts to share with you as well, because dentists are trained to look at smiles in terms of facial balance. In other words, a dentist will look not only at how the elements of a smile (teeth, lips and gums) relate to each other, but also how they blend in with the face as a whole.

Make a plan. An important part of planning a smile makeover is a comprehensive dental exam. Cosmetic dentistry offers an amazing array of life-like tooth restorations and treatments; but first, any conditions in your mouth that may jeopardize a good result must be taken care of. If your teeth are discolored, for example, the reason must be determined. You may have an underlying dental disease that needs to be treated before whitening your teeth; otherwise, the whitening may not last. Likewise, if you often drink red wine or other beverages that stain, you might do better with porcelain veneers than bleaching treatments.

Try it out. A smile makeover is an investment that is meant to last. That’s why many of the procedures performed are irreversible. So if you are contemplating some changes, it’s a great idea to try them out before you fully commit to them. There are many ways to preview the results: computer imaging, 3-D models, and even placing temporary restorations on your teeth so you can see what the final results will look and feel like in your own mouth. This also allows a fine-tuning of the makeover plan.

A “trial smile” is a great way to eliminate unknowns in the makeover process. But when it’s all done, there’s still one thing you may not be prepared for: how great it feels to flash your new smile to the world!

Source: https://www.mesickdentalcenter.com/smile-makeover.html

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