Posts for: September, 2017
Are you tired of metal fillings that look less than attractive? Yes, amalgam was the restorative material of choice for decades, and it's still appropriate for some dental repairs. However, many areas of decay may fixed today with composite resin, an amazing mixture of plastic and glass particles. Beautifully life-like and seamless, tooth-colored fillings do the job discreetly. If you have a cavity, Dr. Nainesh Desai, your dentist at Central Jersey Dental Arts in Piscataway, NJ, likely will use composite resin to repair your tooth. Learn the details on the process here.
Just what is a cavity?
Frankly, a cavity is a problem that worsens if you don't treat it. Cavities, or tooth decay, are caused by oral bacteria which secrete corrosive acids on tooth enamel. Thriving in plaque and tartar on and between teeth, these microbes keep eating away at tooth enamel, dentin and even interior pulp so that root canal therapy, a dental crown or even extraction become necessary.
Dr. Desai dedicates a large portion of his practice to preventive dentistry--halting dental decay and gum disease in their tracks with services such as cleanings, X-rays, exams and more. However, when he detects tooth decay, he recommends immediate restoration, and composite resin definitely is today's best material. The American Dental Association says this synthetic material resists cracking exceptionally well.
To place a tooth-colored filling, your Piscataway dentist first numbs the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. When you are completely comfortable, he removes the decayed areas of your tooth.
Fortunately, because he is using composite resin, he removes far less healthy enamel than if he were placing an amalgam filling. Then, he put the resin in the prepared site, alternately layering the material and hardening it with a curing light. When the filling is complete, he does a final shaping, polishing and bite check.
The many benefits
Your tooth-colored filling will last for many years when you brush and floss daily and get your semi-annual cleanings and check-ups with Dr. Desai. Besides offering longevity, composite resin closely resembles natural tooth enamel, and it's not just about the color and sheen. Amazingly, composite resin actually flexes with the pressures chewing and biting place on your tooth. So your restored tooth is far less likely to fracture the way it could with amalgam as its filling material.
If you think you have a cavity, or if you have ugly dark fillings you wish to replace, contact Central Jersey Dental Arts in Piscataway, NJ, for an appointment. Dr. Desai will explain the filling process fully and help you decide on a treatment plan perfect for your smile. Call today: (732) 981-1040.
Treating advanced periodontal (gum) disease takes time. If you have this destructive disease, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to undergo several cleaning sessions to remove plaque from tooth and gum surfaces. This built-up film of bacteria and food particles is primarily responsible for triggering and fueling gum disease.
These cleaning sessions, which might also involve surgery and other advanced techniques to access deep pockets of infection, are necessary not only to heal your gums but to preserve the teeth they support. With these intense efforts, however, we can help rescue your teeth and return your reddened and swollen gums to a healthy, pink hue.
But what then — is your gum disease a thing of the past?
The hard reality is that once you’ve experienced gum disease your risk of another occurrence remains. From now on, you must remain vigilant and disciplined with your oral hygiene regimen to minimize the chances of another infection. You can’t afford to slack in this area.
Besides daily brushing and flossing as often as your dentist directs, you should also visit your dentist for periodontal maintenance (PM) on a regular basis. For people who’ve experienced gum disease, PM visits are more than a routine teeth cleaning. For one, your dentist may recommend more than the typical two visits a year: depending on the severity of your disease or your genetic vulnerability, you may need to increase the frequency of maintenance appointments by visiting the dentist every two to three months.
Besides plaque and calculus (tartar) removal, these visits could include applications of topical antibiotics or other anti-bacterial substances to curb the growth of disease-causing bacteria in your mouth. You may also need to undergo surgical procedures to make particular areas prone to plaque buildup easier to clean.
The main point, though, is that although you’ve won your battle with gum disease, the war isn’t over. But with your own daily hygiene maintenance coupled with your dentist’s professional attention, you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding a future infection.
If you would like more information on preventing and treating 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 “Periodontal Cleanings.”
Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.
In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.
For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.
Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.
It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.
That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”
We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?”