Posts for: August, 2017
Periodontal (gum) disease is a bacterial infection, which if left untreated could cause gum recession, bone loss and eventually tooth loss. Caused mainly by plaque left on tooth surfaces from poor hygiene practices, the deeper the infection spreads below the gum line, the more difficult it is to treat.
One possible scenario involves parts of a tooth’s root structure known as furcations. These are branching forks formed during the early development of teeth with multiple roots where they take different paths from the base of the crown. As gum disease spreads around the root it may cause different degrees of bone loss at the point of the branch.
It’s imperative when treating gum disease to uncover and remove any bacterial plaque or calculus (hardened plaque deposits) found, including below the gum line. To address bacterial plaque at the root level, it’s important to first determine if bone loss has involved the furcations (where the roots separate, also referred to as a “furcation invasion”) and to what degree.
We usually classify this degree of involvement in three classes: Class I, the invasion has created a groove in the furcation, but minimal significant bone loss; Class II, the bone loss has extended into the furcation by at least two millimeters; or Class III, the bone loss extends completely from one end of the furcation to the other (or “through and through”).
Depending on the class, cleaning plaque and calculus from furcations and then maintaining them thereafter can be quite challenging. We may need to use specially shaped hand instruments known as scalers or curettes to reach and clean root surfaces, or ultrasonic scalers that use high-frequency vibrations and streaming water to loosen and flush away plaque debris. It may also prove helpful, though limited, to apply antimicrobials or antibiotics to the area to help limit the levels of bacteria.
Disease damage around furcations may also require surgical treatment to encourage new tissue and bone growth in the area. Surgery can also help make the area more accessible to future cleaning and maintenance, both for you and us. Renewed hygiene practices on your part and regular cleaning and checkups with us will help ensure that the situation involving your tooth roots can be kept under control and your tooth preserved for many years to come.
How many actresses have portrayed a neuroscientist on a wildly successful TV comedy while actually holding an advanced degree in neuroscience? As far as we know, exactly one: Mayim Bialik, who plays the lovably geeky Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS' The Big Bang Theory… and earned her PhD from UCLA.
Acknowledging her nerdy side, Bialik recently told Dear Doctor magazine, “I'm different, and I can't not be different.” Yet when it comes to her family's oral health, she wants the same things we all want: good checkups and great-looking smiles. “We're big on teeth and oral care,” she said. “Flossing is really a pleasure in our house.”
How does she get her two young sons to do it?
Bialik uses convenient pre-loaded floss holders that come complete with floss and a handle. “I just keep them in a little glass right next to the toothbrushes so they're open, no one has to reach, they're just right there,” she said. “It's really become such a routine, I don't even have to ask them anymore.”
As many parents have discovered, establishing healthy routines is one of the best things you can do to maintain your family's oral health. Here are some other oral hygiene tips you can try at home:
Brush to the music — Plenty of pop songs are about two minutes long… and that's the length of time you should brush your teeth. If brushing in silence gets boring, add a soundtrack. When the music's over — you're done!
Flossing can be fun — If standard dental floss doesn't appeal, there are many different styles of floss holders, from functional ones to cartoon characters… even some with a martial-arts theme! Find the one that your kids like best, and encourage them to use it.
The eyes don't lie — To show your kids how well (or not) they are cleaning their teeth, try using an over-the-counter disclosing solution. This harmless product will temporarily stain any plaque or debris that got left behind after brushing, so they can immediately see where they missed, and how to improve their hygiene technique — which will lead to better health.
Have regular dental exams & cleanings — When kids see you're enthusiastic about going to the dental office, it helps them feel the same way… and afterward, you can point out how great it feels to have a clean, sparkling smile.
Dental crowns are placed for several reasons, such as concealing imperfections or replacing missing teeth in conjunction with a dental implant. One of the most important reasons for placing dental crowns is strengthening damaged teeth. Teeth can become worn down and weak over time. Biting, chewing and other tooth functions can become painful and difficult when teeth are damaged. Dental crowns can correct this problem. At Briar Pointe Dentistry, Dr. Neil Blavin is your Novi, MI dentist for the placement of dental crowns.
What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are caps that cover problem teeth. Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, such as porcelain or ceramic, and look like a natural tooth once installed. Dental crowns are custom made for each patient from a cast or mold of the patient’s teeth. Once the custom dental crown has been created, it is cemented in place permanently and should last for several years with proper care and good oral hygiene habits. Your Novi dentist can help you decide if dental crowns are right for you.
As mentioned, dental crowns can be placed for a variety of reasons. In some cases, dental crowns are used to conceal various imperfections, such as discolorations or cracks on teeth. Dental crowns also serve as replacements for missing teeth when placed in conjunction with a dental implant. They can also be used to hold dental bridges securely in place. Finally, dental crowns can strengthen teeth that have become damaged due to decay or wear and tear. Teeth that have decayed to the point of requiring a root canal often benefit from a dental crown.
Strengthening Damaged Teeth
Dental crowns strengthen damaged teeth and restore normal tooth functioning. Teeth that have lost enamel or become worn down over time tend to be weaker than healthy teeth. Regular functions, such as biting and chewing, can be painful when teeth are weak or damaged. Since dental crowns completely encase weakened teeth, those teeth are sealed and protected from further damage and deterioration. The crown then absorbs the impact of biting and chewing, while also strengthening the damaged tooth so that it can function normally once again.
Dental crowns serve both cosmetic and functional purposes. In addition to concealing a variety of cosmetic dental concerns, dental crowns also strengthen damaged teeth and restore normal tooth functioning. To learn more about how dental crowns can strengthen your teeth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Blavin, your Novi, MI dentist, by calling Briar Pointe Dentistry at (248) 347-0030.