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Posts for: September, 2014

By Central Florida Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
September 29, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
AcuteToothPainmaybeSignalingYourNeedforRootCanalTreatment

We now have amazing therapies to replace lost teeth with life-like replicas that look and perform like real teeth. But for oral health in general it’s still better to save a natural tooth if we can.

That’s the main purpose of a root canal treatment — to rescue a tooth whose pulp (an area of tissue and nerve bundles inside the tooth) has died from trauma or ravaged by a bacterial infection that continues to progress up into the bone via the root canals. By accessing the pulp through a small opening in the top of the tooth we remove the dead and infected pulp tissue, thoroughly disinfect the empty pulp chamber and root canals, and then fill them with a special filling. We then seal the opening (and later install a permanent crown) to prevent future fracture of the tooth and re-infection.

So, how can you know your tooth is in danger? Your first indication may be an intense tooth pain that comes on quickly. This pain is emanating from the nerves in the pulp as the tissue begins to die. Once the nerves have died, they will no longer transmit pain signals: hence the pain will subside rather quickly in about two or three days.

So it is important to understand that the absence of pain doesn’t mean the infection has subsided — quite the contrary, it’s still present and active, making its way along the root canals of the tooth. At this point you may begin to notice a secondary pain when you bite down on the tooth. This is originating from other nerves located around the periodontal ligament (the main tissue that helps hold teeth in place with the bone) as the tissues become inflamed from the infection. You may also develop an abscess, an area in the gum tissue where infectious pus may collect. Depending on its location, the abscess can be acutely painful or “silent,” meaning you may not feel any pain at all. The infection is still there, though, and the tooth is still in danger.

If you encounter any of the pain symptoms just described, you should visit us for an examination as soon as possible. If the cause indicates the need for a root canal treatment time is of the essence — the longer we delay, the greater the risk of ultimate tooth loss.

If you would like more information on root canal treatments, 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 “Signs and Symptoms of a Future Root Canal.”


By Central Florida Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
September 26, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Smile ImageLet’s face it, not everyone is born with a perfect smile, but thanks to the development of cosmetic dentistry, people can change their smile into a smile they are proud to show off.  From minor cosmetic changes to an entire smile makeover, your dentist can perform an array of procedures to help improve your smile.  Some common cosmetic dentistry procedures include:
  • Teeth whitening and bleaching
  • Bonding
  • Crowns
  • Veneers
  • Contouring and shaping

Veneers Drastically Change Your Smile

 
If your teeth are cracked, stained, uneven or chipped, veneers may be the perfect option for transforming the most damaged smile.  Veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic or a composite resin material, which are bonded to the front of your teeth.  These thin, porcelain shells are custom-designed by your dentist to perfectly cover and match your natural smile to mask most any dental blemish, including stains and cracks. In some cases, veneers are even a viable alternative to braces.
 
The procedure requires little to no anesthesia and can be an ideal choice for improving the appearance of your front teeth. Veneers are commonly used to mask discolorations, to brighten teeth and to improve your smile as a whole.  Compared to many treatment options, veneers will last a long time, up to 20 years, and correct the alignment of your smile by covering damaged or misshapen teeth.
 

Replace Missing Teeth with Dental Implants

 
People choose cosmetic dental procedures/surgery for various reasons—to repair a defect such as a malformed bite or crooked teeth, treat an injury, or just to improve their overall appearance.  But what if you have a missing tooth, or teeth? With advancements in dentistry, you can now replace missing teeth with implant dentistry.  
 

Dental implants are used in dentistry to:

  • Replace one or more teeth without affecting bordering teeth
  • Support a bridge
  • Eliminate the need for a removable partial denture
  • Provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable

Teeth Whitening Procedures Create a Brighter, Whiter Smile

 
After years of drinking tea, coffee, or soda, it is not uncommon for you to develop a discolored smile.  Even bad habits such as smoking can darken your once white smile. With teeth whitening, eliminating stains and enhancing your natural white can produce dramatic results in as little as an hour.  In-office teeth bleaching performed by a professional dentist involves applying a bleaching gel to the teeth and activating the whitening solution with special lighting for approximately 30 minutes.
 
Once the bleaching gel has penetrated the stains, it is rinsed off.  Your dentist will provide you with trays, custom designed to perfectly fit your teeth so that you can continue the bleaching process at home with a less powerful gel. By using the gel and the trays on a regular basis, you can touch up and continue the bleaching process. Or, if some years later you notice your teeth shade fading, you can use the trays and gel to bleach again, without having to go through the in-office procedure.
 
Cosmetic dentistry offers many options for people who are unhappy with their teeth.  If you are one of the many people who desire a change in your smile, make an appointment with your cosmetic dentist in Kissimmee and Hunters Creek for more information on your available options.  A beautiful smile is within reach with cosmetic dentistry. 
 
Do you have beautiful, white teeth as a result of any of these procedures? We would love to hear about your experience!

By Central Florida Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
September 26, 2014
Category: Oral Health
OurArsenalofWeaponsintheWarAgainstGumDisease

Advanced periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic, progressive condition characterized by bacterial infection and inflammation. Without proactive treatment, gum disease can cause extensive damage to the various tissues that hold teeth in place, and lead eventually to tooth loss.

As every war has its tactics, so the war against advanced gum disease is no different. Here’s a few of the approaches and treatments we use to stop the disease and promote healing to damaged tissues.

A Change in Behavior. Regardless of other risk factors, a film of bacterial plaque on tooth surfaces caused by a neglect of proper oral hygiene is the main culprit behind progressive gum disease. Your first step is to form new hygiene habits — brushing and flossing — that will need to be performed daily to be effective. It’s also time to end some old habits like smoking that are contributing to your gum disease.

Total Plaque Removal. Although your renewed efforts at oral hygiene are essential, it’s just as important for us to use our expertise to remove the hard deposits of plaque (known as calculus) you can’t reach with brushing and flossing. Clinging stubbornly below the gum line, these deposits will continue to be sources of infection until they’re removed. Using techniques known as scaling or root planing, we employ ultrasonic or manual instruments to access and remove as much of the offending deposits as possible. This essential step may require more than one visit to give time for inflammation to subside, and may be followed with antibiotic therapy as well.

Surgical Treatments. Although quite effective in most cases of gum disease, scaling or root planing may not be adequate in more severe cases. We still have other weapons in our arsenal, though — there are a number of surgical procedures we can use to eliminate hidden pockets of infection, or repair and regenerate damaged tissues and bone. These procedures not only help restore you to better oral health and function, but also establish a more conducive environment for maintaining future care.

Using these and other techniques, we can reduce the infection and inflammation associated with gum disease. This sets the stage for healing and renewed health, both for your mouth and your entire body.

If you would like more information on treatment for periodontal gum disease, 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 “Understanding Periodontal Disease.”


By Central Florida Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
September 18, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental anxiety  
EncounteringPositiveExperiencestheKeytoOvercomingDentalAnxiety

If you’re apprehensive about visiting the dentist, you’re not alone. Studies show a majority of us — as high as 75% — have experienced some form of anxiety about dental treatment. Between 10% and 15% of those have a high degree of anxiety that may cause them to avoid visiting the dentist altogether.

If you’ve experienced this level of anxiety, you weren’t born with it. Such fears develop from early experiences with dentistry, or from stories or attitudes relayed to us by others. While this undue emotional stress could adversely affect your general health, the greater threat is to your oral health, if it causes you to avoid dental care altogether.

Fortunately, anxiety from the thought of dentistry can be overcome. The best approach is relatively simple — counteract the bad experiences of the past with new, more positive experiences. Moderate dentistry should be able to completely eliminate any discomfort during treatment. And with each new good experience, your feelings and attitudes will gradually change over time for the better.

The first step is to discuss your anxiety about dental care with us. It’s important to establish trust with your care provider from the outset if you want to successfully overcome your anxiety. We will listen and not discount or diminish the reality of your fears and their emotional and physical effect; instead, we will work with you to include overcoming anxiety as a part of your treatment plan.

The next step is to proceed with treatments and procedures you feel you can easily undergo, so that at the end of each visit you’ll have a more positive view of that particular treatment (and that you could undergo it again). We won’t rush to complete treatments until you’re ready for them. Although this may extend the duration needed to complete a procedure, it’s important for us to proceed at a pace more conducive to creating and reinforcing new positive feelings and attitudes about dental visits.

In the end, we want to do more than treat an immediate or emergency-related dental condition. We want to help you overcome the anxiety that has kept you from seeking long-term dental care — and thus better dental health — a part of your life.

If you would like more information on overcoming dental treatment anxiety, 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 “Overcoming Dental Fear & Anxiety.”


By Central Florida Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
September 10, 2014
Category: Oral Health
TreatingChippedTeethACommonSportsInjuryAmongKids

One went over the handlebars of his mountain bike. Another got an elbow going for a lay-up. For a third, it was that tricky maneuver on her new snowboard...

These are just a few of the ways that kids' teeth can be injured. (No doubt, parents can think of plenty more.) The good news is that modern dentistry offers more options than ever for treating the injury and restoring the appearance and function of the teeth.

Teeth that are fractured or dislodged are a serious condition that requires immediate, comprehensive treatment. The majority of dental injuries, however, are less severe: most often, they involve chipped teeth. If chips occur in the upper front teeth — as some 80% of dental injuries do — even small flaws can have a big affect on the appearance. And, especially in the teenage years, appearance can mean everything.

In many cases, small chips in the teeth can be repaired effectively using a procedure called “bonding.” In this treatment, we use a tooth-colored material made by mixing a plastic matrix and a glass-like filler, which provides adequate strength and aesthetic qualities similar to the natural teeth. In fact, this composite material can be matched to an individual's tooth color so accurately that it's hard to notice any difference.

Composite resins can be successfully bonded to most healthy teeth — and they offer some advantages over other restoration methods, particularly for children and teenagers. The bonding procedure avoids making tiny “undercuts” in the natural substance of the tooth, while metal fillings need to “lock in” to the tooth's structure. This means that bondings generally require less tooth preparation, which usually makes bonding a quick and relatively easy method of restoration.

It's true that, over time, some bonded restorations may not stand up to the tremendous biting forces of the jaw as well as porcelain restorations — but in young people whose permanent teeth have large pulp (nerve) chambers, the removal of too much tooth structure could compromise the long-term health of the tooth. Later on, we can look at performing a different type of restoration.

If you have questions about cosmetic bonding or sports-related dental injuries, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry.”