April 24, 2013

How To Prevent Tooth Injuries

We all know how valuable a healthy attractive smile is.  Parents do the best they can to protect their children from harm, but accidents do happen and very often damage the front teeth, especially.  We have some suggestions to help prevent tooth injuries.

Some injuries just can’t seem to be avoided.  All of us must learn to walk, and it is at this time that many early tooth injuries are sustained.  Cushioning the sharp edges of coffee tables in family or living room areas can prevent many tooth injuries that might otherwise happen to toddlers attempting to make their first steps.  Also, never leave a baby or toddler alone in the bathtub.  Slipping on the tub is another pitfall to be aware of.

As children approach grade school, most injuries are a result of sports.  Diligent use of mouth guards, either bought at the pharmacy or fabricated by a dentist, helps prevent sports injuries to teeth.  Face cages are great protective gear for baseball catchers and hockey goalies.  Although helmets cannot prevent tooth injuries, they do protect the head, so are very important as well.

As children approach the teen years, in addition to the threat of sports injuries to teeth, is the danger of car accidents.  Seat belts prove to be the best preventive medicine to avoid tooth injuries.  If for any reason a tooth is knocked out, it is important to get to a dentist as soon as possible.  There is an old wives tale to put the avulsed tooth in water or milk, but these solutions are not the best environment if an avulsed tooth is to be successfully replanted.  In earlier posts we discussed the use of Save-A-Tooth or emt Toothsaver.  Either of these products provide the optimum ph in which to keep the avulsed tooth until the dentist can evaluate the injured area and replant the tooth.

So the best way to prevent tooth injuries is the use of protective cushions on furniture, mouth guards, and seat belts.

For information about other dental topics visit www.DrTav.com

April 17, 2013

The Tragedy Of The Boston Bombing

I was going to talk about how to prevent tooth injuries today, but in light of the tragedy in Boston, it just doesn't feel right. The injury to take note of today is the unimaginable devastion of the attack on innocent people, the loss of life, the tragic injuries sustained by so many, the impact on family and friends. We are so saddened by this horrifying act and that there is so much hate and anger in this world.  Our hearts are heavy and injured by this violent attack, but we must not succumb to fear and must stand courageous in the face of such violence. We will continue sharing about tooth issues from here on in and refuse to be terrorized into silence.

Our heartfelt sympathy and compassion is extended to the victims of the Boston bombing.  On a certain level we are all affected by this horrifying act, yet I pray that we find strength within and hold on tight to whatever higher power we may believe in, so we radiate this strength to those who are living with the devastation of this violation of humanity and brotherhood.

April 10, 2013

Dental Office Safety Practices

You have an expectation of dental care in Short Hills NJ that includes sterile or surgically clean instruments, properly working equipment, drugs and medications that are not expired, and doctor and staff who are licensed to provide services.  From time to time this expectation is not respected, and we hear about dentists in the news who have violated the publics’ trust and did not provide safe and sterile care.  At such times it is natural for there to be a heightened sense of anxiety about the cleanliness and sterilization practices of the dental office we visit.

Cleanliness and standardization of infection procedures is a top priority in our dental office and in the majority of dental offices.  Dentists and their staffs take many precautions to prevent the spread of infection from doctor to patient and from patient to doctor.  We shield our patients and ourselves from infections by using what is called universal precautions.  Therefore, we wash our hands before and after each patient is seen, we use a new pair of gloves for each patient, and we use masks and protective eyewear.  If the dentist leaves the room for any reason, a new pair of gloves is put on before resuming patient care. 

During treatment, high speed suction is used, often barriers are placed in the patient’s mouth to isolate the area treated.  Sterile instruments are kept on sterile trays during treatment.  Needles and sharp instruments such as scalpels are discarded into a special medical waste container after a single use.  Before the next patient is seated, all surfaces in the treatment area are wiped down and disinfected, instruments are routed for the sterilization process, and disposable items are discarded.  Instruments that aren’t disposable are sterilized with steam under pressure in an autoclave, or with dry heat or chemicals.

Cross infection, in general, is exceedingly rare because dentists follow strict guidelines for the safety of our patients, staff, and ourselves.  The risk of your health being affected by not seeing the dentist is far greater than the risk of cross infection.

For information about other dental topics visit www.TavorminaDentistry.com

April 3, 2013

Can New Dentistry Really Make You Look Younger?

Last week we discussed deteriorated silver fillings and how they can age you.  Today, let’s look at dental crowns.  Even if you don’t break or “pop” a porcelain crown, it won’t maintain its original appearance forever.  For example, the gums often recede with age.  This can produce a thin gray or black line between the crown and the gum.  Also, the materials and laboratory procedures for making porcelain crowns have evolved and improved over time, resulting in crowns that look more natural than crowns made in the past.  The solution is easy if there is a gray or black line between the crown and the gum.  In some locations of the mouth, it’s easy enough to use a low-cost option of using tooth-colored filling material to fill the gap.  It isn’t as durable or as attractive as a new crown, but it’s a good choice for patients with limited funds, or if the dark line is not in the front of the mouth.  The best solution is a new crown using the wonderful new porcelains available.

Have you heard of the gummy smile?  A gummy smile is when the gums are disproportionately prominent.  Changes in the shape and health of the gums can make the teeth appear longer.  Or they can make the gums disproportionately prominent.  Either of these changes can compromise your appearance and make you look older.  You can have a “gum lift,” which is a procedure called a gingivectomy or gingivoplasty.  In dentistry, we can use a laser and/or scalpel to give your gums a more even appearance that’s in harmony with your face.

Poor denture fit can age you, too.  Even if your partial or complete dentures fit perfectly when they were new, they tend to become loose or misaligned as your mouth changes.  It’s normal for the gums and underlying bone to change over time.

Poorly fitting dentures can sometimes give you jowls and wrinkled skin as your muscles work overtime to keep the dentures in place.  Also, as the dentures wear and the bone that supports them deteriorates, the lower third of the face decreases in height.  Making new dentures can sometimes have the effect of looking like you’ve had a facelift, because of the transformation that is possible by increasing the dimension of the lower third of the face.  Most people find that it is worth replacing dentures every 5 to 10 years.

We hope you enjoyed this journey to explore looking younger with dentistry.  For more information about other dental topics please visit www.TavorminaDentistry.com