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Spruce Ridge Dental Blog

What are dental crowns used for?

March 31, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 4:16 am

Dental crowns are typically used to cover and protect a tooth that has cracked, broken, or is significantly damaged by decay. The tooth is shaped to allow the crown to fit over the top and then the crown is bonded into place. Crowns are created to look like your teeth, and most people will never know the difference

crowns

Crowns are also used to restore dental implants. In this case, instead of being affixed to your own tooth, the restoration is attached to an implant, which has been surgically placed in the space where a tooth used to be. This allows us to replace missing teeth with restorations that both look and function like your own teeth.

Restorations are also used in cosmetic dentistry to cover and conceal a tooth that is severely damaged, didn’t develop properly, or has significant discoloration that can be corrected with tooth whitening.

Today’s restorations are aesthetic and blend in flawlessly with your own natural teeth. This is a huge improvement from previous restoration technology, which often left an unpleasant gray line right at the gumline. Today, most people will never know your secret!

Why Are Dental Crowns Needed?

A restoration may be needed in the following situations:
1. To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
2. To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
3. To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
4. To hold a dental bridge in place
5. To cover mis-shapened or severely discolored teeth
6. To cover a dental implant
7. To make a cosmetic modification
For children, a crown may be used on primary (baby) teeth in order to:
• Save a tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling.
• Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
• Decrease the frequency of general anesthesia for children unable because of age, behavior, or medical history to fully cooperate with the requirements of proper dental care.
In such cases, a pediatric dentist is likely to recommend a stainless steel restoration.
What Types Are Available?
Permanent restorations can be made from stainless steel, all metal (such as gold or another alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.
• Stainless steel restorations are prefabricated restorations that are used on permanent teeth primarily as a temporary measure. The restoration protects the tooth or filling while a permanent crown is made from another material. For children, a stainless steel crown is commonly used to fit over a primary tooth that’s been prepared to fit it. The restoration covers the entire tooth and protects it from further decay. When the primary tooth comes out to make room for the permanent tooth, the crown comes out naturally with it. In general, stainless steel restorations are used for children’s teeth because they don’t require multiple dental visits to put in place and so are more cost- effective than custom-made restorations and prophylactic dental care needed to protect a tooth without a crown.
• Metals used in restorations include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium), or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crowns rarely chip or break. The metallic color is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
• Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
• All-resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
• All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.
• Temporary versus permanent. Temporary crowns can be made in your dentist’s office, whereas permanent crowns are made in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are made of acrylic or stainless steel and can be used as a temporary restoration until a permanent crown is constructed by a lab.
• Zirconia or milled crown – which are digitally constructed either in an office that has the software and hardware to produce them or in a dental lab. Dental offices that have the software and hardware have the ability to produce a crown in one visit with no need for a temporary. These crowns require no impression.

Dental restorations

March 29, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 11:32 pm

There are many dental restorations available to restore the health, function and esthetics of your teeth.  Each has their own benefits and are indicated in specific situations.

Inlays

Sometimes, a tooth is treatment planned to be restored with an intracoronal restoration, but the decay or fracture is so extensive that a direct restoration, such as amalgam or composite, would compromise the structural integrity of the restored tooth by possibly undermining the remaining tooth structure or providing substandard opposition to occlusal (i.e. biting) forces.
In such situations, an indirect gold restoration may be indicated.  When gold is used, the tooth-to-restoration margin may be finished and polished to such a super-fine line of contact that recurrent decay will be all but impossible. It is for this reason that some dentists recommend gold as the restorative material of choice for pretty much any and all restorations.
While these restorations might be ten times the price of direct restorations, the superiority of gold as a restoration in terms of resistance to occlusal forces, protection against recurrent decay, precision of fabrication, marginal integrity and many other aspects of restorative quality offers an excellent alternative to the direct restoration. For this reason, some patients request gold restorations so they can benefit from its wide range of advantages even when an amalgam or composite will suffice. The only true disadvantage of gold is the higher cost, which is offset by the quality afforded to those who can afford it.

Onlays

When decay or fracture incorporate areas of a tooth that make amalgam or composite restorations essentially inadequate, such as cuspal fracture or remaining tooth structure that undermines perimeter walls of a tooth, a gold onlay might be indicated. Similar to an inlay, a gold onlay is an indirect restoration which incorporates a cusp or cusps by covering or onlaying the missing cusps. All of the benefits of a gold inlay are present in the onlay restoration. The onlay allows for conservation of tooth structure when the alternative is to totally eliminate cusps and perimeter walls for restoration with a crown. Because onlays have a very long margin (i.e. the line of tooth-to-restoration contact is much longer than that of a crown because of the many turns and curves that an onlay makes in contacting the tooth), some dentists feel that an onlay is a fundamentally inferior restoration. This is because it is primarily the marginal adaptation of any dental restoration that will decide whether or not it will successfully remain in the mouth without exhibiting recurrent decay. The increase in marginal length consequently provides a further likelihood of failure.

 

Dental restorations

A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used artificially to restore the function, integrity and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. It is also lost intentionally during tooth preparation to improve the aesthetics or the physical integrity of the intended restorative material. Dental restoration also refers to the replacement of missing tooth structure by restoring dental implants.

Dental restorations may be fabricated out of a variety of materials.
Common direct restorative materials include dental amalgam, glass ionomer cement and composite resins. Common indirect restorative materials include acrylic, porcelain, gold and other metals.

Dental restorations can be divided into two broad types: direct restorations and indirect restorations. All dental restorations can be further classified by their location and size.

Direct restorations

Direct restorations are placed in the tooth in situ, while indirect restorations are created away from the tooth, traditionally prepared in a laboratory.

Indirect restorations

Common indirect restorations include inlays and onlays, crowns, bridges, and veneers.

Usually a dental technician fabricates the indirect restoration from records the dentist has provided of the prepared tooth. Once a proper fit and bite is confirmed the restoration is usually bonded permanently.

While the indirect restoration is being prepared, a provisory/temporary restoration sometimes is used to cover the prepared part of the tooth, in order to maintain the occlusal space and the contact points, and insulation of the pulpal tissues and maintenance of the periodontal relationship.

Removable dental prostheses (mainly dentures) are considered by some to be a form of indirect dental restoration, as they are made to replace missing teeth. There are numerous types of precision attachments (also known as combined restorations) to aid removable prosthetic attachment to teeth, including magnets, clips, hooks and implants which could be seen as a form of dental restoration.

Root Canal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 9:23 pm

Root canals is the commonly used term for the main canals within the dentin of the tooth. These are part of the natural cavity within a tooth that consists of the dental pulp chamber, the main canals, and sometimes more intricate anatomical branches that may connect the root canals to each other or to the root surface of the tooth. Root canals are filled with a highly vascularized, loose connective tissue, the dental pulp. This sometimes becomes infected and inflamed, generally due to caries or tooth fractures that allow microorganisms, mostly bacteria from the oral flora or their byproducts, access to the pulp chamber or the root canals; the infected tissue is removed by a surgical intervention known as endodontic therapy and commonly called ‘a root canal’.

root canal

Tooth structure

At the center of a tooth is a hollow area that houses soft tissue, known as pulp. This hollow area contains a relatively wide space towards the chewing surface of the tooth called the pulp chamber. This pulp chamber is connected to the tip of the root of the tooth via thin hollow pipe-like canals—hence, the term “root canal”. Human teeth normally have one to four canals, with teeth toward the back of the mouth having the most. These canals run through the centre of the roots like pencil lead runs through the length of a pencil. The tooth receives nutrition through the blood vessels and nerves traversing these canals.

Endodontic Therapy

Endodontic therapy is a sequence of treatment for the pulp of a tooth whose end result is the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. Although this set of procedures is commonly referred to as a root canal, this term is imprecise; root canals and their associated pulp chamber are the anatomical hollows within a tooth which are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and a number of other cellular entities, whereas endodontic therapy includes the complete removal of these structures, the subsequent cleaning, shaping and decontamination of these hollows with the use of tiny files and irrigating solutions and the obturation, or filling, of the decontaminated root canals with an inert filling, such as gutta percha and a usually eugenol-based cement.

root canal

Root canal treatment

In the situation that a tooth is considered so threatened (because of decay, cracking, etc.) that future infection is considered likely or inevitable, a pulpectomy, removal of the pulp tissue, is advisable to prevent it. Usually, some inflammation and/or infection is already present within or below the tooth. To cure the infection and save the tooth, the dentist drills into the pulp chamber and removes the infected pulp by scraping it out of the root canals. Once this is done, the dentist fills the cavity with an inert material and seals up the opening. This procedure is known as root canal therapy. If enough of the tooth has been damaged, or removed as a result of the treatment, a crown may be required.

The standard filling material is gutta-percha, a natural thermoplastic polymer of isoprene, which is melted and injected to fill the root canal passages. Barium is added to the isoprene so the material will be opaque to X-rays, allowing verification afterwards that the passages have been properly completely filled in, without voids.

For patients, root canal therapy is one of the most feared procedures in all of dentistry; however, dental professionals assert that modern root canal treatment is relatively painless because the pain can be controlled. Lidocaine is a commonly used local anesthetic. Pain control medication may be used either before or after treatment. However, in some cases it may be very difficult to achieve pain control before performing a root canal. For example, if a patient has an abscessed tooth, with a swollen area or “fluid-filled gum blister” next to the tooth, the pus in the abscess may contain acids that inactivate any anesthetic injected around the tooth. In this case, it is best for the dentist to drain the abscess by cutting it to let the pus drain out. Releasing the pus releases pressure built up around the tooth; this pressure causes much pain. The dentist then prescribes a week of antibiotics such as penicillin, which will reduce the infection and pus, making it easier to anesthetize the tooth when the patient returns one week later. The dentist could also open up the tooth and let the pus drain through the tooth, and could leave the tooth open for a few days to help relieve pressure.

Sometimes the dentist performs preliminary treatment of the tooth by removing all of the infected pulp of the tooth and applying a dressing and temporary filling to the tooth. This is called a “pulpectomy”. The dentist may also remove just the coronal portion of the dental pulp, which contains 90% of the nerve tissue, and leave intact the pulp in the canals. This procedure, called a “pulpotomy”, tends to essentially eliminate all the pain. A “pulpotomy” may be a relatively definitive treatment for infected primary teeth. The pulpectomy and pulpotomy procedures eliminate most all pain until the follow-up visit for finishing the root canal. But if the pain returns, it means any of three things: the patient is biting into the tooth, there is still a significant amount of sensitive nerve material left in the tooth, or there is still more pus building up inside and around the infected tooth; all of these cause pain.

After removing as much of the internal pulp as possible, the root canals can be temporarily filled with calcium hydroxide paste. This strong alkaline base is left in for a week or more to disinfect and reduce inflammation in surrounding tissue. Ibuprofen taken orally is commonly used before and/or after these procedures to reduce inflammation.

After receiving a root canal, the tooth should be protected with a crown that covers the cusps of the tooth. Otherwise, over the years the tooth will almost certainly fracture, since root canals remove tooth structure from the tooth and undermine the tooth’s structural integrity. Also, root canal teeth tend to be more brittle than teeth not treated with a root canal. This is commonly due to the fact that the blood supply to the tooth, which nourishes and hydrates the tooth structure, is removed during the root canal procedure, leaving the tooth without a source of moisture replenishment. Placement of a crown or cusp-protecting cast gold covering is recommended also because these have the best ability to seal the root canaled tooth. If the tooth is not perfectly sealed, the root canal may leak, causing eventual failure of the root canal. Also, many people believe once a tooth has had a root canal it cannot get decay. This is not true. A tooth with a root canal still has the ability to decay, and without proper home care and an adequate fluoride source the tooth structure can become severely decayed – without the patient’s knowledge since the nerve has been removed, leaving the tooth without any pain perception. Therefore it is very important to have regular X-rays taken of the root canal to ensure that the tooth is not having any problems that the patient would not be aware of.

root canal

Failure

Root canal treatments can fail. Patients should be educated on some of the reasons why root canals may fail. They may fail if the dentist does not find, clean and fill all of the root canals within a tooth. For example, on a top molar tooth, there is a more than 50% chance that the tooth has four canals instead of just three. But the fourth canal, often called a “mesio-buccal 2”, tends to be very difficult to see and often requires special instruments and magnification in order to see it. So it may be missed, and this infected canal may cause a continued infection or “flare up” of the tooth. Any tooth may have more than one canal, which may be missed while performing the root canal. Sometimes the canal may be unusually shaped, making it impossible to fill it completely, so that some infected material is still left in the canal. Sometimes the canal filling does not extend deeply enough into the canal, or it does not fill the canal as much as it should. Sometimes a tooth root may be perforated while the root canal is being performed, making it difficult to fill the tooth. The hole may be filled with a material derived from natural cement called “MTA”, although usually a specialist would perform this procedure. Fortunately, a specialist can often re-treat and definitively heal up these teeth, often years after the initial root canal procedure.

Sometimes a tool can break while it is in the tooth. If the tip of a spiral metal file used by the doctor breaks off during the procedure, it is usually left behind and not extracted, leaving the patient with a small amount of retained metal. The occurrence of this event is proportional to the narrowness, curvature, length, and number of roots on the tooth being treated. Complications resulting from retained metal are not well studied, but the occurrence of tool breakage is well documented .

root canal

Systemic issues

An infected tooth may endanger other parts of the body. People with special vulnerabilities, such as prosthetic joint replacement or mitral valve prolapse, may need to take antibiotics to protect from infection spreading during dental procedures.

Periodontics Dentistry

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 5:04 pm

The term “periodontics” refers to the dental field that pertains to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease that affects the gums and jawbone.  The gum tissues serve to surround and support the teeth and the underlying jawbone anchors teeth firmly in place.

periodontics

Reasons for periodontal treatment

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which begins with mild gum inflammation called gingivitis.  It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults living in the developed world, and should be taken very seriously.  Periodontal disease (often called gum disease) is typically signified by red, swollen, painful, or bleeding gums, but in some cases has no noticeable symptoms.

Periodontal disease generally begins when the bacteria living in plaque cause an infection in the surrounding tissues of the teeth, causing them to become irritated and painful.  Eventually, this infection will; cause the jawbone to recede and the tooth to become loose.

periodontics

There are several reasons why periodontal treatment may be necessary:

    • Moderate/advanced gum disease – This occurs when the gums are bleeding, swollen or red around most teeth and the jawbone has begun to recede.

 

    • Localized gum recession – The infection which propagates moderate or advanced gum disease often begins in one area.  Gum recession may also be caused due to over brushing with a hard bristle brush, or due to a tooth that is not positioned properly.  Immediate treatment is required to prevent further spreading.

 

    • Before crown lengthening – A dentist may lengthen the crown of the tooth by removing surrounding soft tissue to provide more tooth exposure.

 

  • Ridge augmentation – This procedure, often called “recontouring” may be required to correct an uneven gum line.  Before embarking on treatment, a dentist needs to treat any bacterial infections and periodontitis.

In the case of mild/moderate periodontal problems, the focus of a dentist will be on curing the underlying bacterial infection and then providing advice on the most appropriate home cleaning methods.

Sometimes a deep scaling is needed to remove the bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar) from the teeth and tissues.  Where periodontal disease is advanced and the jawbone has regressed significantly, more intensive cleaning may be recommended and loose teeth that cannot be saved will be removed.

Our dentist is trained in all aspects of dental implant procedures, which can restore functionality to the mouth when teeth have been affected by periodontitis.

Because periodontal disease is progressive, it is essential to remove the bacteria and calculus build up to halt the spread of the infection.  Our dentist will be happy to advise you on effective cleaning methods and treatment options.

 

Dental Crowns and Bridges

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 2:31 am

Crowns (cap) are restorations that is placed on teeth that have lost a lot of their structure. There are various types of crowns, ranging from full porcelain to full metal crowns. Your dentist will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each kind for you.

crowns

Crowns may also be used to securely attach a bridge if the structure of the surrounding teeth is inadequate. A bridge is a dental appliance that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. They are designed to be cosmetically appealing and to restore proper occlusion. Like crowns, bridges are fully customizable and made of various materials, including porcelain and metals. Although not as permanent as a cap, bridges are bonded to the surrounding teeth and only removable by your dentist.

What are the steps to make a crown?

Both a crown or bridge requires two appointments.  The first appointment, you are given freezing so that you are completely comfortable.  Than the teeth are prepared and an impression is taken and sent to a lab.  You will leave the appointment with either a temporary crown or a bridge.  Care instructions will be given to you and sometimes medications are prescribed.  Within a few weeks, the lab will return the fabricated crown or bridge.  You are numbed and the temporary  is removed.  The real crown or bridge or tried onto your teeth to ensure it fits well and the colour matches with the rest of your dentition.  Once you are happy with the final result, the restoration is bonded onto your teeth.  You can now eat, drink, floss and brush your crown or bridge just like your other teeth.

Both crowns and bridges are created to match the color, height, texture, and overall appearance of your teeth. Most crowns and bridges will last for life, eliminating the need to replace them unless they fall out or become loose. You may prolong the durability of your crowns and bridges by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.

Dental Bonding

March 28, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:23 am

Dental bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling “bonds” with your teeth, and because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.

dental bonding

Tooth  bonding can also be used for teeth fillings instead of amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver amalgam fillings. Bonding fillings can be used on front and back teeth depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.  Dental bonding can be used to close front gaps called diastimas.  It can also be used to fix fractured teeth to restore the health, function and appearance of your smile.

Your tooth is first cleaned with a blue conditioning agent.  Then some dental de-sensitizer is applied and a glue or bond is placed on top.  Afterwards, a composite material (also known as dental bonding) is placed.

It comes in different shades of colours so that the right colour can be used to match with your specific tooth shade.  A shade tab with a wide range of colours is used to choose the perfect colour match for your dentition

This method is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and usually can be completed in one visit to our office. However, dental bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell your doctor. The dental bonding generally can be easily patched or repaired in one visit.

This material can stain due to consumption of coloured food and drinks such as red wine, coffee and chocolate.  If you plan to whiten your teeth, the bleaching does not whiten the dental bonding.  Therefore, you may need to replace the material after the whitening if they do not match with your bleached teeth.

Apicoectomy to save a tooth

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 2:30 am

Apicoectomy (root amputation)

Apicoectomy

The teeth are held firmly in place by strong roots that extend into the jawbone. Molars and premolars tend to have several roots, whereas the front incisors only have a single root. The end or tip of each root is termed the apex. The apex is where the nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth, and aids in the delivery of blood to the crown (the part of the tooth you can see in your mouth).

A root canal treatment refers to the cleaning of the canals and the removal of infected and inflamed tissue within the root. When the inflammation or infection persists after the root canal treatment, an apicoectomy may be required. An apicoectomy is essentially the removal of the apex (or root tip), followed by a filling procedure to seal the root from further infection. When left untreated, infected roots can damage other teeth, spread infection, and cause regression of the jawbone.

Reasons for an apicoectomy

Infected and inflamed soft tissue around the root of a tooth can be exceptionally painful and debilitating to the patient. The purpose of an apicoectomy is to eliminate the infection in the tissue and to ultimately preserve the function of the tooth and save it from extraction. An apicoectomy will rarely be considered by the dentist unless a prior root canal treatment has failed.

There are several reasons why an apicoectomy may be necessary:

  • Small Adjoining Root Branches – Roots are extremely complex and can contain many tiny branches. If these tiny branches cannot be cleaned and sealed when the root canal treatment is performed, inflammation can persist.
  • Blocked Root Canal – In some cases, the dentist is unable to effectively clean a root canal because it is blocked by a fractured file left behind from prior root canal treatment. Infection and debris can quickly affect adjacent teeth.
  • Narrow or Curved Root Canals – When the root canal is poorly shaped, the endodontic files cannot reach the root tip. Continuing infection or re-infection can then occur.

What does getting an apicoectomy involve?

Prior to the surgery, the dentist will generally prescribe an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory medication to treat the underlying infection. Panoramic x-rays will then be taken to enable the dentist to plan the apicoectomy, which will be performed under local anesthesia.

The dentist will make a small incision in the gum and expose the root by lifting away the gum. In some cases, a tiny fraction of the jawbone may be removed to properly expose the root. The edge of the root tip and any infected connective tissue will be removed using ultrasonic instruments. The root will be sealed using a retrofill (filling material) and the dentist will suture the gum with several stitches.

This surgery does not require an overnight stay, and full aftercare instructions and pain medications will be provided as needed. After several days, the dentist will remove the stitches, and the connective tissues will fully heal several months after the procedure.

Fluoride and Decay Prevention

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 1:33 am

The importance of fluoride

Fluoride is important in strengthening teeth and helping to reduce decay.  Fluoride in proper concentration, will help to mineralize tooth enamel and develop a healthy protective shield against cavity causing bacteria.  Studies show that children in cities with fluoride in drinking water have less cavities.

fluoride

Many years ago scientists started to notice that children who were born and raised in areas with natural fluoride in drinking water had fewer cavities than children in other areas. Fluoride absorbed by your body when teeth were forming (during mother’s pregnancy to early childhood) integrates into the structure of enamel and makes it stronger.

After teeth eruption, fluoride found in your toothpaste, mouthwash, or in what your dentist places on your teeth still has a positive effect on your teeth. It strengthens the enamel and reduces the chance of tooth decay.

There are two disadvantages to fluoride.  First, too strong of a fluoride concentration can cause a condition call Fluorosis which is a cosmetic condition that affects the teeth. It’s caused by overexposure to fluoride during the first eight years of life. This is the time when most permanent teeth are being formed.

After the teeth come in, the teeth of those affected by fluorosis may appear mildly discolored. For instance, there may be lacy white markings that only dentists can detect. In more severe cases, however, the teeth may have:

  • Stains ranging from yellow to dark brown
  • Surface irregularities
  • Pits that are highly noticeable

In many cases, fluorosis is so mild that no treatment is needed. Or, it may only affect the back teeth where it can’t be seen.

The appearance of teeth affected by moderate-to-severe fluorosis can be significantly improved by a variety of techniques. Most of them are aimed at masking the stains.

Such techniques may include:

  • Tooth whitening and other procedures to remove surface stains; note that bleaching teeth may temporarily worsen the appearance of fluorosis.
  • Bonding, which coats the tooth with a hard resin that bonds to the enamel
  • Crowns
  • Veneers, which are custom-made shells that cover the front of the teeth to improve their appearance; these are used in cases of severe fluorosis.

The second disadvantage is that a very small percentage of the population may have sensitivity or an allergy to fluoride.  Just like any medication, some people do have an adverse reaction to certain chemical or medication.  However, the prevalent of an allergy to fluoride is extremely low in the population.

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids — formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth — attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.

fluoride

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

If you have children and live in an area that has no fluoride in its drinking water, you should consult your dentist and physician about fluoride tablets that are available for children.

Gum Disease In Children

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 1:13 am
Chronic gingivitis. aggressive periodontitis and generalized aggressive periodontitis are types of gum disease in children.

Types of periodontal diseases in children

Chronic gingivitis is common in children. It usually causes gum tissue to swell, turn red and bleed easily. Gingivitis is both preventable and treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and professional dental care. However, left untreated, it can eventually advance to more serious forms of periodontal disease.

Aggressive periodontitis can affect young people who are otherwise healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis is found in teenagers and young adults and mainly affects the first molars and incisors. It is characterized by the severe loss of alveolar bone, and ironically, patients generally form very little dental plaque or calculus.

Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin around puberty and involve the entire mouth. It is marked by inflammation of the gums and heavy accumulations of plaque and calculus. Eventually it can cause the teeth to become loose.

Signs of periodontal disease

Four basic signs will alert you to periodontal disease in your child:

Photo
Bleeding
Bleeding gums during tooth brushing, flossing or any other time
Gum Disease
Puffiness
Swollen and bright red gums
Gum Disease
Recession
Gums that have receded away from the teeth, sometimes exposing the roots
Bad breath
Constant bad breath that does not clear up with brushing and flossing

Importance of good dental hygiene in adolescence

Hormonal changes related to puberty can put teens at greater risk for getting periodontal disease. During puberty, an increased level of hormones, such as progesterone and possibly estrogen, cause increased blood circulation to the gums. This may cause an increase in the gum’s sensitivity and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque. During this time, the gums may become swollen, turn red and feel tender.

As a teen progresses through puberty, the tendency for the gums to swell in response to irritants will lessen. However, during puberty, it is very important to follow a good at-home dental hygiene regimen, including regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental care. In some cases, a dental professional may recommend periodontal therapy to help prevent damage to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.

Advice for parents

Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of periodontal diseases. Therefore, it is important that children receive a comprehensive periodontal examination as part of their routine dental visits. Be aware that if your child has an advanced form of periodontal disease, this may be an early sign of systemic disease. A general medical evaluation should be considered for children who exhibit severe periodontitis, especially if it appears resistant to therapy.

The most important preventive step against periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits with your child. There are basic preventive steps to help your child maintain good oral health:

  • Establish good dental hygiene habits early. When your child is 12 months old, you can begin using toothpaste when brushing his or her teeth.   When the gaps between your child’s teeth close, it’s important to start flossing.
  • Serve as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits yourself.
  • Schedule regular dental visits for family checkups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings.
  • Check your child’s mouth for the signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.

Periodontal Gum Disease

March 27, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 7:31 pm

Periodontal Disease (infection of the gum and bone) is now the number one cause of tooth loss in North America.

Periodontal Disease

When we clean our teeth at home it is very difficult to reach underneath the gumline.  Plaque, tartar, bacteria and toxins will start to accumulate in the space between the gum and teeth, called periodontal pockets.  When the bacteria are left there, they will attack the gum and cause gum disease (gingivitis).     Furthermore, with time the bacteria will infect the bone and cause bone loss and bone disease (periodontitis).  The gum and bone provide support for our teeth and help anchor them inside our mouths.  Over time, significant gingivitis and periodontitis will result in inadequate support for our teeth and will result in mobile, painful and infected teeth.  Often periodontal abscesses, bad breath and pus will form.

Regular brushing and flossing at home are important, but are often not enough to prevent Periodontal Disease.  Studies show that most adults require gum therapy (professional scaling and cleaning) at least every 3 or 4 months to adequately remove the plaque, tartar, bacteria and toxins as they accumulate underneath the gumline (in the periodontal pockets).  It just makes sense that if the bacteria are removed on a regular base, they are not allowed time to attack the gum and bone supporting our teeth.

Due to improvement in health care, people are living longer and longer.  It is not unusual to hear of people living into their eighties and even nineties these days.  People are living longer and have a better quality of life compared to their grandparents.  Consequently we just need our teeth to be with us for a longer time.

When you think about it, we use our teeth daily to eat, smile and talk.  Teeth help to support our lips and checks which affect our facial contours and features.  Our smile is often the first thing people notice when they see to us.   Our teeth are such an important part of our daily function and quality of life.

There are numerous researches and studies showing that the mouth is linked to the rest of our body.  Bacteria in our mouth can enter the blood circulation through the blood vessels in our gum and bone.  Blood travels throughout our body and returns to our heart to be pumped out and recirculate again.  Therefore, gum and periodontal disease are linked to various body illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.  In fact, one of the easiest ways for bacteria to enter our body is through our mouth.

Periodontal Disease

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#20 - 4 Spruce Ridge Drive, Spruce Grove, AB T7X 4S3 CA
Dr. Mark Southwood Spruce Grove, AB dentist. (780) 962-5538 (780) 962-4485 spruceridgedental@hotmail.ca