February 29, 2012

Can I Do A Root Canal Therapy In One Visit?

The term endodontic is a combination of the Greek words endo, which means "inside" and odont, which means "tooth." Endodontic treatment involves treating the inside of the tooth and is also referred to as root canal therapy because it is focused on the root part of the tooth, specifically in the canal portion of the root where the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue of the tooth reside. 

Inside of a tooth, under the white enamel and a layer called the dentin, is soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.

Root canal therapy is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay due to bacteria, multiple dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain, and/or lead to an abscess. Signs of pulp damage may include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. Sometimes there are no symptoms at all.

Treating the Tooth
A traditional root canal involves removing the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleaning and shaping the canals inside of the tooth, then filling and sealing the space inside the canal. This can take three visits or more. It is possible to do root canal therapy in one visit if there is no obvious infection present. A crown holds the tooth together and reduces the likelihood of the tooth fracturing in the future. Back teeth often need crowns since a great amount of tooth structure may be lost from decay, which makes them more susceptible to fracture. Front teeth occasionally need crowns and are restored with a crown on a case-by-case basis. 

For other dental information visit DrTav.com

February 21, 2012

What Is A Diode Laser?

The diode laser is rapidly becoming the 21st century replacement for the scalpel. Laser dentistry enables practitioners to manage soft tissue procedures in a clinically effective manner producing results which are generally more predictable, reducing patient post operative pain and discomfort. The diode laser uses a very special light to do what a scalpel or a device called an electrosurge can do to cut and alter the gums or other oral soft tissue.

Laser Dentistry has rapidly emerged with a new level of quality care for patients. Features like the ability to perform more procedures in less time without sacrificing patient care and comfort are an added advantage. A wide range of dental practices and their patients benefit from laser treatment. For instance, lasers can be used around metal crowns, on patients with pacemakers and braces, on teeth with metal amalgams, and in procedures involving bone structure - all with few negative effects. Patients report that laser treatments are much gentler than those administered with an electrosurge and result in little or no recession, swelling, less necrosis (tissue degeneration), and a quicker post operative healing process. Additionally, laser surgery is substantially less invasive, therefore, generates less bleeding during the procedure. Lasers are predictable, precise and produce a reduction in the need for suturing. In most cases stitches aren’t needed at all.

 For other dental information visit DrTav.com

February 15, 2012

Are You Tongue-Tied?

Most of us think of tongue-tie as a situation we find ourselves in when we are too excited to speak. Actually, tongue-tie is the non-medical term for a relatively common physical condition that limits the use of the tongue, ankyloglossia.

Before we are born, a strong cord of tissue that guides development of mouth structures is positioned in the center of the mouth. It is called a frenulum or frenum. After birth, the lingual frenulum continues to guide the position of incoming teeth. As we grow, it recedes and thins.  This frenulum is visible and easily felt if you look in the mirror under your tongue. In some children, the frenulum is especially tight or fails to recede and may cause tongue mobility problems.

The tongue is one of the most important muscles for speech and swallowing. For this reason having tongue-tie can lead to eating or speech problems, which may be serious in some individuals.

A new baby with a too tight frenulum can have trouble sucking and may have poor weight gain.  While the tongue is remarkably able to compensate and many children have no speech impediments due to tongue-tie, others do. The following associated characteristics are common:

  • V-shaped notch at the tip of the tongue
  • Inability to stick out the tongue past the upper gums
  • Inability to touch the roof of the mouth
  • Difficulty moving the tongue from side to side
For older children with tongue-tie, appearance can be affected by persistent dental problems such as a gap between the bottom two front teeth.

Tongue-tie surgery is a simple procedure and there are normally no complications. In most cases the procedure can be done without anesthesia when using a diode laser. This eliminates the need for incisions or stitches and has a faster comfortable healing for the patient. While frenulectomy is relatively simple, it can yield big results. Parents should consider that this surgery often yields more benefit than is obvious by restoring ease of speech and self-esteem.

For other dental information visit DrTav.com

February 7, 2012

Dental Lasers for Canker Sores = A Miracle!

Have you ever had a canker sore? The official term for them is an apthous ulcer. If you’ve ever had one you know how painful a canker sore can be and how unbearable it feels to wait for them to heal. It could be a week to two week wait! Dental lasers are an amazing answer to the suffering that has been associated with canker sores.

If you don’t know what a canker sore (apthous ulcer) is, let me explain. A canker sore is a small shallow ulcer that appears in the mouth on the palate, tongue, gums or inside cheeks. A cancer sore is an open sore with a red inflamed border with a yellowish or grayish color inside. Pain that affects quality of life is the obvious characteristic of these sores. When the ulcer is white or grayish, the ulcer will be extremely painful and the affected lip may swell. The pain makes it difficult to talk, speak, drink and eat. 

Apthous ulcers can affect people of any age. The frequency of aphthous ulcers is reported to be more in females as compared to males. These sores aren’t contagious. They usually begin with a tingling or burning sensation at the site of the future canker sore. In a few days, they often progress to form a red spot or bump, followed by an open ulcer.

The exact cause of canker sores is unknown but citrus fruits, physical trauma like biting a cheek, braces, stress, lack of sleep, sudden weight loss, food allergies, immune system reactions and deficiencies in Vitamin B12, iron, and folic acid may contribute to their development.

In the past, treatment included anesthetic mouth washes and various ointments that basically make you feel like your head is going to go through the roof, they hurt so much to use.

Thank God for dental lasers. It truly is a miracle that a dental laser used for 30 – 45 seconds, can relieve the pain that canker sores cause. The dental laser doesn’t even touch the lesion! It is literally waved like a magic wand over the lesion. After the dental laser is moved over the lesion, the stinging, burning pain is gone! I can personally attest to the miraculous dental laser for treating canker sores!  What a relief!!

For other dental information visit DrTav.com