I have always believed in innovation to increase patient care and comfort. In this three part series ,I will share with you many of the innovations we use daily to deliver the best dental care possible in the most patient friendly way.
In part one, I will focus on digital and computerized technology that enhances results and patient comfort.
CEREC is a computerized digital imaging CAD/CAM system we use to make crowns inlays and onlays in a single visit. The advantages are no need for a second visit and getting numbed again and no temporary crown that may fall off.
Schick® digital x-rays are super low dose x-ray sensors that we have been using for the past 10 years. Images are instantly available and can be enhanced to better observe conditions. In addition, the patient can easily see the same conditions on the monitor.
Digital imaging with intraoral camera. Now the patient can see the conditions that we see on a monitor, in addition it is often necessary to document a condition that does not show up on x-ray for insurance coverage. The camera is also useful for documenting before and after treatment.
X-rite digital shade taking gives us a check against our eye for shades that a dental lab will use for fabricating crowns veneers and other esthetic restorations. A computer file of the image with data on the shade is emailed to the lab.
Gum Recession is very common.Most adults eventually have some gum recession. As long as the remaining “Attached Gingiva” is adequate in thickness, there is no problem.
The Attached Gingiva is a protective barrier against bacteria and debris.
Recession occurs when the “Attached Gingiva” is injured or is pulled away from the neck of the tooth. When this barrier is weak and recedes, the underlying root and bone become infected. This accelerates the bone loss and more recession occurs.
Many patients complain of sensitive teeth to hot cold or sweets when they have recession. Many others notice notching of the roots or the long appearance of a tooth or teeth.
Early detection and treatment is key to success.
Advanced recession can lead to embarrassing tooth loss when it occurs in the esthetic zone or the smile. When the amount of attached gingiva is less than 2 millimeters, there is cause for concern. During a normal dental examination, the dentist should be looking to make sure there are no areas where the attached gingiva is less than 2mm , the tissue is so thin that you can see through it, or a muscle attachment can cause the tissue to blanch when stretched. Any patient wearing lip or tongue rings must we warned of the potential for damage to the teeth and gums due to trauma. Patients undergoing orthodontic treatment must be observed closely before during and after treatment to see in any teeth are likely to be moved out of the bone in order to achieve alignment.
Causes of Recession
Since the causes of gum recession may be a combination and are so varied, proper diagnosis is key to successful treatment.
Treatment of Recession
Depending upon the severity and nature of the recession, there are several courses of action including:
· Determining the cause of the recession and/or notching and correct the cause.
· Desensitize a sensitive root with a special toothpaste or a protective sealer on the root.
· Filling in the notch.
· Grafting the gum area to strengthen the gum or recover the root.
Grafting beforeGrafting After
Recession can be a serious problem and can lead to tooth loss if not addressed.
We have found that the best course of treatment is to identify the causes and correct them early. Early treatment of an area of recession results in a less invasive procedure and a better outcome.
Gum recession is a form of gum disease, and needs to be treated. Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.
We regularly evaluate all patients’ gums for recession as part of our professional hygiene appointments. If you have any questions or concerns about gum recession, please let us know.
We welcome your comments.
We all know that a nice smile is one of the most noticeable and attractive qualities of our appearance. Also a mounting body of evidence tells us about the importance of mouth body connection.
A simple examination of the mouth tells a lot about a person’s health. The mouth is the gateway to the entire body and is a major influence on important areas, including the digestive tract, heart, circulatory system and the brain. Science is discovering that the mouth also plays an important role in the body's long-term health. Genetics, exercise, nutrition, stress and personal habits contribute to an individual's overall wellness also.
The mouth is home to our sense of taste. Saliva or breath can be valuable indicators of uncontrolled diabetes. The mouth's mucous membranes are full of blood vessels that provide a ready connection to other parts of the body. For example, drugs placed under the tongue, like nitroglycerin pills for chest pain, are rapidly absorbed through the membranes into the circulatory system.
There is a 2 way street of cause and effect.
On one hand oral disease can lead to systemic disease, and on the other hand systemic disease and medications can lead to oral disease and breakdown. Some saliva tests can help determine the health of other systems in the body.
There is mounting evidence of the role the mouth and periodontal medicine play in conditions such as strokes, coronary artery disease, low birth weight, osteoporosis, inflammatory diseases like arthritis, and diabetes. According to studies, bacteria found in dental plaque are feared to be entering the bloodstream and causing clotting in arteries.
There is also evidence that medications and medical conditions can lead to deterioration of oral tissues. For example there are thousands of medications which reduce saliva flow leading to more gum disease and tooth decay. GERD (Acid Reflux), and Bulimia, lead to erosion of the tooth enamel and loss of structure. Stress induced clenching and grinding wear and fracture teeth, periodontal disease, and lead to TMJ symptoms and headaches. Sleep Apnea can lead to tooth grinding, dry mouth and other serious medical conditions.
Dermatologists often check the mouth to determine a skin diagnosis or detect sexually transmitted diseases. Cardiologists continue to theorize about how much bacteria in the mouth triggers inflammation and immune system response inside the arteries.
The mouth-body connection is also apparent in our nutritional habits. It is interesting to note that there are people around the world who have never used a toothbrush or flossed. Nevertheless, they have lived their entire lives free of cavities and gum disease. Here in the United States, however, there are millions of people with tooth decay or gum problems even with a daily brushing and flossing routine. Why? Poor diet, processed food and personal habits play a major role in these dental problems.
It is wise to consume alkalinizing foods that encourage saliva production, particularly fruits, vegetables and seaweed products. Drinking plenty of water and fruit juices is also recommended to supplement saliva flow and maintain healthy teeth.
When we ingest too much sugar, flour, bread, grains and meat, the saliva's alkalinity drops and causes a buildup of cavity-causing acids. While these foods are often part of our daily diet, they should be combined with fruits and vegetables to reap the nutritional and saliva-inducing benefits. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they are the "founding fathers" of dry mouth ... and bad breath!
Proper mineral balance also goes a long way in preventing tooth decay. Calcium is the most important mineral for protecting your teeth. The amount and type of calcium in the diet must be considered, along with a balance of iron, potassium and magnesium, as they all encourage salivary activity.
Dentistry has come a long way.
Patient friendly procedures and prevention are hallmarks of the modern dental practice. Good homecare, and proper nutrition can go hand in hand in making regular visits to the dentist something to smile about.
Here’s to good health and great checkups.