Looking for a Dentist? At Cañada Hills Dental, we welcome the opportunity to become your local dentist. We offer general dentistry and a number of specialized services designed to help you create and maintain an attractive , healthy smile.
Thank you for visiting our website! If you have a specific dental problem that is causing you pain or discomfort, we will attempt to promptly alleviate your symptoms. All of our patients receive immediate care for urgent situations, no matter what time of day or night.
*Twist top of seal-syringe applicator
* Extrude a 1/2 pea size drop of Everlasting Whites gel in to each tooth indentation of your month tray.
* Place tray in tray in your month. keep whitening gel off of gums. if contact is made with gums, wipe immediately
* Wear trays once a day for 40 mins, as prescribed by your Dentist.
*Rinse an d brush out your trays and your teeth to remove excess material aster each treatment.
*Repeat this procedure for 7 to 10 or until you have achieved the whiteness you want.
*if sensitivity should occur, extent whitening intervals to every other day or every third day until desired whiteness achieved.
*Suggestions: refrain from eating, drinking. or smoking for 30mins after wearing the gel. Also, avoid citrus to minimize possible discomfort.
*refrigerate material when not in use.
* Happy Whitening!
Dental Hygiene/Teeth Cleaning:
Healthy teeth require the regular care of dentist and the patient's cooperation to ensure that daily brushing and flossing are a way of life. Today we can easily declare that by regularly visiting your dentist, and by following good dental hygiene, you will not be threatened with unhealthy teeth and gums.Routine Checkup
It is very important for you to understand that during your routine checkup, you will receive much more than just a cleaning. I don't know if you have ever given it much thought, but you are receiving a COMPLETE SUITE of diagnostic, preventive, and educational services specifically and individually designed to help you keep the best possible smile for a lifetime. Based upon your specific dental needs, your dental team will formulate a program designed to accomplish your dental goals. Some or all of the following procedures will be included in your Recall and Maintenance appointment.
During the DIAGNOSTIC phase of your visit we may include:
1) A review and updating of your medical history.
2) A recording of any changes in your prescribed medications and physical condition.
3) Necessary X-rays for detecting decay, bone loss and oral pathologies (disease) such as cysts etc.
4) An examination of your teeth to detect decay.
5) An inspection of all existing restorations (filling and or crowns) for leakage and cracks which may result in future decay.
6) Evaluation of your periodontal (gum) tissues.
7) Checking your biting patterns.
8) Evaluating possible cosmetic alterations which you may feel will improve your smile.
The PREVENTIVE services of your visit may include:
1) Blood pressure screening (if necessary)
2) Head and neck oral cancer screening.
3) Scaling of your teeth to remove all plaque and calculus (tartar).
4) Polishing of teeth to remove all surface stains.
5) Polishing all porcelain crowns.
6) Polishing all silver restorations.
8) Application of fluoride if necessary.
9) Referral to a specialist for specific treatment if necessary. (ie. Endodontist, Periodontist or an Oral Surgeon).
The EDUCATIONAL aspect of your visit may include:
1) A tour of your mouth with our intra-oral camera and a discussion of findings.
2) Toothbrushing and flossing instructions.
3) Instructions on specific plaque-control items such as: Perio-Aid®, rubber tip, Interplak®, Rotadent®
4) Dietary discussion (if necessary).
5) Presentation of prescribed dental treatment.
6) Updating you on what's new in home care products and the latest advances in Dentistry.
7) A discussion of the recommended time periods between Recall and Maintenance visits.
We hope you can see now that your oral hygiene Recall and Maintenance visit IS MORE than just 'a cleaning'. We believe that our patients deserve the benefits of the Complete Suite of available dental services that can assist in the protection of their overall medical and dental health.
Please remember, good oral hygiene is a great habit to get into! The rewards of a Complete Suite Recall and Maintenance Appointment are a healthy dentition, a bright smile and the confidence that you have begun a program that will continue to provide benefits to you for years to come.
The Brush To Use
Hard bristles were once recommended but are now thought to be too abrasive to the teeth and gums. We now suggest a soft, rounded-end nylon bristle brush. Be sure to discard brushes when the bristles are bent or frayed or approximately every three to four months.
How To Brush:
Begin by placing the head of the brush beside your teeth, with the bristles angled against the gum line (where the teeth and gums meet). Think of the brush as both a toothbrush and a gum brush. With the bristles contacting both tooth and gum, move the brush back and forth several times across each tooth individually.
Use a short stroke and a gentle scrubbing motion, as if the goal were to massage the gum. Don't try to force the bristles under the gum line; that will happen naturally, especially with a brush that has soft, flexible bristles.
Brush the outer surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. Then use the same short back-and-forth strokes on the inside surfaces. Try to concentrate harder on the inside surfaces; studies show they're more often neglected. For the upper and lower front teeth, brush the inside surfaces by using the brush vertically and making several gentle up-and-down strokes over the teeth and gums.
Finish up by lightly scrubbing the chewing surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. You should also brush your tongue for a fresher breath.
With all of the wonders of modern man available to you there is no better way to clean the sides of your teeth than DENTAL FLOSS. Inexpensive, readily available and easy to use. A modern wonder, maybe not. But it is and has always been an excellent tool in the fight against dental decay and periodontal disease. There are many types of dental floss available in your local drugstore. Please speak with our hygienist regarding the best floss for your particular set of dental needs.
In our office, we can replace old, broken down metal fillings or missing teeth that detract from your smile using ceramic, composite or fiber reinforced composites.
Porcelain laminate veneers are probably the most esthetic means of creating a more pleasing and beautiful smile. They require a minimal amount of tooth reduction ( approximately .5 mm ) and are, therefore, a more conservative restoration than a crown. Porcelain veneers allow us to alter tooth position, shape, size and color. They are not the only alternative for all esthetic abnormalities but are truly a remarkable restoration when they are the treatment of choice.
Porcelain veneers are thin, hand-sculpted pieces of dental porcelain. They are molded and shaped on a model that is made from an impression of your teeth. Using various colors of porcelain powders mixed with water, the technician molds and sculpts the veneer. The porcelain veneers improve the look of your smile while blending naturally with your other teeth.
In the past, teeth were most commonly repaired with amalgam (silver) fillings or gold restorations. Thanks to advances in modern dental materials and techniques, teeth can be restored with a more aesthetic and natural appearance. There are different types of cosmetic fillings currently available. The type used will depend on the location of the tooth and the amount of tooth structure that needs to be repaired.
The simplest form of 'white filling' is technically called a Composite. It is made up of a composite quartz resin and usually contains some sort of light sensitive agent. These light cured composites are extremely cosmetic and most often bonded into place in one appointment. For this reason, they are often referred to as "bonding". They can be used in both the front of the mouth as well as in your back teeth. These materials come in a variety of shades so that they will match the color of your own teeth. Some of these composite materials have been specifically designed to actually withstand the incredible forces you can exert when chewing on your back teeth.
In order to bond a filling material to your tooth it is first necessary to remove decay, prepare the tooth and then to condition the enamel and dentin. Once conditioned, a thin resin is applied which bonds to the etched surface. The bond strength of these fillings is incredible. Today we can bond plastics and even amalgam (silver fillings) to your teeth. Bonding increases the strength of these restorations far beyond those of only a short time ago.
After placement, composites are hardened by shining an intense light on them for a specified period of time, usually around 40 seconds. Since we tend to look at this light all the time (many times a day) it is necessary for us to protect our eyes from it with an orange shield. It is not necessary for us to protect your eyes since you look at this light only once in a while. However, it is probably a good idea for you not to look directly into the light anyway. An ounce of prevention, is indeed, worth a pound of cure!
We are constantly asked the same question, When can I eat?". Well, after placement, as long as you brought your own food and you are willing to share, you may chew right away. These fillings are instantly hardened by the light. Your teeth may experience some degree of temperature sensitivity for a few days to a week. If it does not disappear within that period of time, contact your dentist.
Indirect Composite/Porcelain Inlay
The other type of 'white filling' is called a Composite or Porcelain Inlay. These fillings are usually placed in back teeth when esthetics is of utmost concern. In order to increase their strength and longevity, they are fabricated in the laboratory and then bonded into position in the office. This is a two visit procedure rather than the one visit required to place a composite filling. However, when it comes to strength and cosmetics, the extra time and expense is well worth it! I hope that you now understand a little bit more about white fillings.
laminate veneers are probably the most esthetic means of creating a more pleasing and beautiful smile. They require a minimal amount of tooth reduction ( approximately .5 mm ) and are, therefore, a more conservative restoration than a crown. Porcelain veneers allow us to alter tooth position, shape, size and color. They are not the only alternative for all esthetic abnormalities but are truly a remarkable restoration when they are the treatment of choice.
Some facts you might want to know about Porcelain Veneers:
• Since they require approximately .5mm of tooth reduction, porcelain veneers are NOT considered a reversible form of treatment.
• Occasionally the preparation of a Porcelain Laminate Veneer does not necessitate the use of a local anesthetic. However, for those patients that are particularly sensitive or anxious, a local anesthetic is advisable.
• The laboratory time required for the fabrication of a Porcelain Laminate Veneer is approximately one week. Due to the minimal amount of tooth reduction, it is usually not necessary to fabricate any type of temporary restoration. Should a temporary be needed, they can, in most circumstances, be made at the time of treatment.
• Between your preparation visit and the insertion visit, you can expect some sensitivity to hot and cold. This is normal and is due to the removal of a small portion of the enamel covering of the tooth. This sensitivity should disappear after the placement of your Porcelain Laminate Veneer.
• Your second visit, the insertion of your laminate, can be accomplished, once again , with or without local anesthetic. This visit is usually longer in length. The laminates are placed with a light sensitive resin which is hardened by using a white light.
• Once placed your laminates are very strong and will resist most of the forces placed upon them by a normal diet. Porcelain has great crushing strength but poor tensile strength. Therefore, you should avoid anything that will tend to twist the laminate. Opening pistachio nuts with your teeth, chewing on bones or jelly apples is probably not a good idea. As with most things, common sense should prevail.
Maintenance of Your New Porcelain Veneers :
The maintenance of your Porcelain Laminate Veneer is relatively simple. A few suggestions, however, are in order:
1) Please brush and floss as you normally would to prevent oral hygiene problems. Once placed, Porcelain Laminate Veneers are typically the kindest restoration to the gum tissues that we currently have in our prosthetic armamentarium. Do not be afraid that you will damage your laminates by either flossing or brushing. Any non-abrasive tooth paste is acceptable. A good home care regimen will insure the esthetic success of your laminate restorations for years to come.
2) Some sensitivity to hot and cold may be experienced after the placement of your veneers. This relates to the amount of enamel left on your tooth after preparation, the proximity of the nerve as well as several other factors. Some sensitivity is absolutely normal and usually dissipates after one-two weeks. If this sensitivity should remain or concern you at all, please call your dentist.
3) As mentioned before, a normal diet should pose no problem at all. Please avoid anything that will tend to bend or twist the laminates.
4) If you are known to be a bruxer or clencher, please let your dentist know. He/she will fabricate a soft-nite guard for you to wear to minimize the stresses placed upon your teeth while you sleep.
Approximately one week after the placement of your laminates you will be asked to return to the office for a treatment evaluation. This visit is extremely important. It gives your dentist the opportunity to evaluate the placement of the laminates, the tissue response and to answer any questions you might have regarding your new smile.
We hope that your Porcelain Laminate Veneers have fulfilled all of your esthetic goals. With proper home care and scheduled evaluation visits, they can provide you with a beautiful smile for years to come.
Silver Fillings (Amalgams):
•Silver fillings, otherwise known as Amalgams, are an alloy of several metals ( Silver, Zinc, Tin etc. ) and Mercury. Once mixed, they make up dental amalgam. This restoration has been used successively for many, many years and has stood the test of time. Periodically, reports are generated about the possibility of mercury toxicity from old existing silver fillings. To date, it is the opinion of the American Dental Association that there is no substantial proof that dental amalgam poses any threat to the safety of the dental public.
• Initially, the decayed tooth is excavated and all the decay is removed.
• The tooth is then shaped in a specific manner in order to accept a silver filling.
• Finally, a band is placed around your tooth and the amalgam is condensed into the prepared tooth. The final filling is then carved and adjusted to your bite.
• Once placed, it takes almost two (2) weeks for your new filling to become fully hardened. You may, however, safely chew on it after twenty-four (24) hours. But, please, chew carefully!
• New silver fillings can be sensitive to hot and cold liquids and other foods for the first four to six weeks or in some special cases, even longer. If the sensitivity should continue for an extended period of time or if the discomfort is extreme, call your dentist so that he/she can evaluate the situation and prescribe the appropriate therapy.
• Sometimes, due to the effects of the local anesthesia, it is quite difficult to make sure that your bite is exactly right. If you feel any discomfort in chewing, call your dentist. A minor adjustment is usually all it takes to make you comfortable. Don't wait too long! Teeth can become quite sensitive if the bite is " high ". You can generate in excess of 40,000 pounds per square inch when chewing on your back teeth. Fillings which have not had the appropriate amount of time to harden, or are " high", cannot stand this kind of pressure and may break.
At your clinical examination, Dr. Haley may have suggested that the proper means of restoring your tooth was a crown. The reasons for making that suggestion can vary from case to case. Some of the indications for a crown are:
1) A previously filled tooth where there now exists more filling than tooth. The existing tooth structure becomes weakened and can no longer support the filling.
2) Extensive damage by decay.
3) Discolorations and compromised esthetics.
5) Root canal - After root canal, teeth tend to become brittle and are more apt to fracture. They, therefore, need to be protected by a crown.
6) Bridges - When missing teeth are replaced with a bridge, the adjacent teeth require crowns in order to support the replacement teeth.
Crowns strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and can improve the appearance of your teeth. Crowns can be made from different materials which include the full porcelain crown, the porcelain is fused to a metal crown and the all metal crown. You and your dentist will decide which type is appropriate, depending upon the strength requirements and esthetic concerns of the tooth involved.
Fitting a crown requires at least two appointments. During your first visit, the tooth is prepared for the crown, an impression or mold is made of the tooth, and a temporary crown is placed over the prepared tooth. At the subsequent visit, the temporary crown is removed and the final crown is fitted and adjusted and cemented into place.
The first visit begins by giving you a local anesthetic. Depending upon the type of local anesthetic used, you can expect to be numb for one to four hours. If your anesthesia should last longer, do not be concerned. Not everyone reacts to medication in the same manner. One word of caution : While you are numb, please be careful not to bite your lip or tongue. A soft diet or no meal at all while you are numb is probably a good idea. If your child has been the patient, please watch them carefully to be sure they do not play with their tongue or lip while it is numb.
Once you are numb, your dentist will prepare your tooth in a very specific way in order to maximize the retention and esthetics of your new porcelain to metal crown. After the tooth is fully prepared, we proceeded with the impression stage. We used a thin piece of retraction cord which is placed around your tooth in order to get the impression material under the gum where the crown ends. Please rest assured that this small piece of cord was removed prior to the end of today's visit.
Should you experience any discomfort you can take a mild analgesic (Tylenol™, Advil™, Anacin™, etc.) as long as there is no medical contraindication based upon your medical history. Typically, you can take anything you would normally take for a headache. If the discomfort persists, please call your dentist.
Once the impression stage is completed , your dentist or his assistant will place a temporary (transitional ) crown (or bridge if multiple teeth were involved) on your tooth. These plastic (acrylic) restorations are placed on teeth to protect them and the gum tissues between dental visits. The temporary cementing medium used is designed to allow the easy removal of the temporary at your next scheduled visit.
There are a couple of additional facts you should know about regarding the care of your temporary crown:
Home care is extremely important while your temporary crown is in place. The health of your gum tissue and the success of your final treatment restoration depends upon it. PLEASE do not be afraid to clean your teeth between visits. With a minimal amount of home care, you should be able to maintain the continued health of your teeth and gum tissue during the time required to fabricate your new crown.
Sometimes, even with meticulous care, temporary crowns or bridges may become loose between visits. If this should occur, please place the temporary crown or bridge back on your tooth immediately. Putting a drop of Vaseline™ in the temporary crown or bridge will very often increase the retention and hold the temporary in place until you can schedule an appointment. Once again, REPLACING THE TEMPORARY CROWN IMMEDIATELY IS VERY IMPORTANT ! It only takes a short time for teeth to move if the temporary is not put back into its proper position. This could affect the final restoration significantly and may necessitate new impressions and a great deal of time. If you can not replace the temporary crown yourself, put it in a safe place and call the office. We will be happy to re-cement it for you at the earliest possible moment.
Second visit At that time, the temporary crown is removed and any temporary cement is cleaned from the prepared tooth. Your dentist will fit the final crown, check for accuracy, adjust for any bite discrepancies and evaluate the esthetics. If all of these factors are acceptable, the crown is cemented to your tooth. It is not unusual for the new crown to be mildly sensitive to cold temperatures for a few weeks. However, if the sensitivity is severe, does not subside, or if the bite feels uncomfortable, contact your dentist. Further adjustments to the crown may be necessary.
We hope that this brief instruction sheet will answer most of your questions regarding crowns. Following these simple guidelines will help provide you with the finest in dental care. If you have any questions regarding this or any other procedure, please contact your dentist.
The loss of a single tooth can have a major impact on your dental health and personal appearance. Your teeth support and rely on each other. When one or more teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can shift out of their normal position. Teeth adjacent to the space or from the opposite jaw will often drift or tilt. These teeth are often more susceptible to decay and gum disease because they are more difficult to clean around. All of this shifting and drifting will lead to changes in the bite, which may put stress on the jaws, muscles and teeth. Ultimately, your ability to chew comfortably and your appearance may be affected.
If tooth loss occurs, your dentist may recommend that a bridge be placed. A bridge consists of a replacement tooth/teeth attached to crowns on each side. The bridge is cemented to the teeth adjacent to the space, effectively replacing the missing tooth and preventing any shifting.
The procedures involved in making a bridge are very similar to those for making a crown. Bridges can be made from the same materials as crowns - full porcelain, porcelain fused-to-metal, and all metal. At least two appointments are necessary. At the first visit, your dentist will prepare the teeth next to the missing tooth for crowns. An impression of the prepared teeth will be made and a temporary bridge will be placed. At the subsequent visit, your dentist will fit and adjust the bridge and then cement it in place.
Your new bridge will require some special care when brushing and flossing. Your dental professional will instruct you how to clean around and under the bridge. They may recommend various cleaning aids to help you keep the plaque off and prevent further decay and gum disease.
Today, due to tremendous advances in Implant Dentistry, our LAST CHOICE for a single missing tooth is a Fixed Bridge.
If you are like most people who are learning about dentures, you probably have many questions. Dentures have been around for many years. The earliest form of denture was introduced more than 2,000 years ago. Today, dentures are of better quality and more comfortable than ever before.
Replacing missing teeth has substantial benefits for your health and your appearance. A complete denture, also called a full denture, replaces all the natural teeth and provides support for cheeks and lips. Without this support, sagging facial muscles can make a person appear older. And by replacing missing teeth, dentures improve a person’s ability to speak and to eat.
Here are answers to a few common questions about dentures.
What is the difference between conventional dentures and immediate dentures?
Complete dentures are called conventional or immediate, according to when they are made and when they are inserted into the mouth. Conventional dentures are made and inserted after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed. Healing may take several months.
Immediate dentures are inserted immediately after the removal of the remaining teeth. To make this possible, the dentist takes measurements and makes models of the patient's jaws during a preliminary visit.
An advantage of immediate dentures is that the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums can shrink over time, especially during the period of healing in the first six months after the removal of teeth. When gums shrink, immediate dentures may require rebasing or relining to fit properly.
What is an overdenture?
An overdenture is one that fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth that have been prepared by the dentist. The prepared teeth provide stability and support for the denture. Your dentist can determine if an overdenture would be suitable for you.
What will dentures feel like?
New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place.
It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should diminish. One or more follow-up appointments with the dentist are generally needed after a denture is inserted. If any problem persists, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult your dentist.
Will dentures make me look different?
Dentures can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that little change in appearance will be noticeable. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile and help fill out the appearance of your face and profile.
Will I be able to eat with my dentures?
Eating will take a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the dentures from tipping. As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet. Continue to chew food using both sides of the mouth at the same time. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells.
Will dentures change how I speak?
Pronouncing certain words may require practice. Reading out loud and repeating troublesome words will help. If your dentures click while you are talking, speak slower.
You may find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile. Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing. If a speaking problem persists, consult your dentist.
How long should I wear my dentures?
Your dentist will provide instructions about how long dentures should be kept in place. During the first few days, you may be advised to wear them most of the time, including while you sleep. After the initial adjustment period, you may be instructed to remove the dentures before going to bed. This allows gum tissues to rest and promotes oral health. Generally, it is not desirable that the tissues be constantly covered by denture material.
Should I use a denture adhesive?
A denture adhesive should not be used for a prolonged period. Dentures are made to fit securely. When a denture feels loose it may require relining. A poor-fitting denture may cause irritation and possible sores. Although an adhesive may be used for a short time until you are able to visit your dentist, prolonged use is not usually recommended, except for special situations.
How do I take care of my dentures?
Dentures are very delicate and may break if dropped even a few inches. Stand over a folded towel or a basin of water when handling dentures. When you are not wearing them, store your dentures away from children and pets.
Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing helps prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained and helps your mouth stay healthy. It’s best to use a brush designed for cleaning dentures. A toothbrush with soft bristles can also be used. Avoid using hard-bristled brushes that can damage dentures.
Your dentist can recommend a denture cleanser. Some denture wearers use hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid, which are both acceptable for cleaning dentures. Avoid using other powdered household cleansers, which may be too abrasive.
The first step in cleaning dentures is to thoroughly rinse away loose food particles. Moisten the brush and apply denture cleanser. Brush every surface, scrubbing gently to avoid damage.
Dentures may lose their shape if they are allowed to dry out. When they are not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water. Your dentist can recommend the best method. Never place dentures in hot water, which could cause them to warp.
Ultrasonic cleaners are also used to care for dentures. However, using an ultrasonic cleaner does not replace a thorough daily brushing.
Can I make minor adjustments or repairs to my dentures?
You can seriously damage your dentures and harm your health by trying to adjust or repair your dentures. A denture that is not made to fit properly can cause irritation and sores.
See your dentist if your dentures break, crack, chip, or if one of the teeth becomes loose. A dentist can often make the necessary adjustments or repairs on the same day. A person who lacks the proper training will not be able to reconstruct the denture. This can cause greater damage to the denture and may cause problems in your mouth. Glue sold over-the-counter often contains harmful chemicals and should not be used on dentures.
Will my dentures need to be replaced?
Over time, dentures will need to be relined, remade or rebased due to normal wear. To make a rebased denture, the dentist uses the existing denture teeth and makes a new denture base.
Dentures may need to be replaced because a mouth naturally changes with age. Bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, causing jaws to align differently. Shrinking ridges can cause dentures to fit less securely. Loose dentures can cause health problems, including sores and infections. A loose denture also makes chewing more difficult and may change your facial features. It’s important to replace worn or poorly-fitting dentures before they cause problems.
Must I do anything special to care for my mouth?
Even with full dentures, you still need to take good care of your mouth. Every morning, brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush before you put in your dentures. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth. Selecting a balanced diet for proper nutrition is also important for maintaining a healthy mouth.
How often should I schedule dental appointments?
Your dentist will advise you about how often to visit. Regular dental check-ups are important. The dentist will examine your mouth to see if your dentures continue to fit properly. The dentist also examines your mouth for signs of oral diseases including cancer.
With regular professional care, a positive attitude and persistence, you can become one of the millions of people who wear their dentures with a smile
Chances are you or a family member have been told that a root canal is necessary to save a tooth; perhaps root canal therapy is already underway. In either case, it is important to understand what will happen during root canal treatment and why this procedure is necessary to save a tooth.
Why Root Canal Treatment?
If you have been told that a root canal is necessary to save one of your teeth, it is important that you understand why this procedure is necessary and what happens during root canal treatment. Root canal treatment (endodontics) treats disorders of the nerve (also called the pulp) of the tooth . It used to be that a tooth with a diseased or infected nerve had to be removed. In 95 percent of the cases today, however, this is no longer true. We believe in saving teeth (instead of removing them). We make every effort to help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime!
What Makes a Root Canal Necessary?
The following are the most common factors contributing to need for root canal treatment:
• Physical irritation caused by deep decay or a very large filling
• Severe gum disease
• Trauma, such as a physical blow to a tooth or a constant striking of a tooth in the opposite jaw that traumatizes the tooth
Regardless of the initial cause, the tooth pulp becomes irritated and infected. Bacteria grow within the tooth pulp, causing pressure and pain, sometimes accompanied by swelling of the face. Sometimes the deterioration of the pulp happens so gradually the bacteria can destroy the pulp. As this happens, the bone surrounding the tooth may become infected and abscessed, which may lead to the destruction of the bone surrounding the tooth.
What Happens During Treatment?
If we determine through x-rays and a clinical examination that root canal treatment is necessary, we will schedule a series of appointments for you . it is important that you keep these appointments to prevent delays in treatment and healing, which can affect the outcome. It is also essential that you take all antibiotics and medications prescribed to hasten healing and reduce swelling.
1) First, we want to relieve any discomfort you might be experiencing and ensure your comfort throughout the treatment. When necessary, an anesthetic is used to numb the tooth and surrounding and area. The tooth may be isolated with a rubber dam, which confines the treatment area and protects the mouth from bacteria and chemical agents. An opening in made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp.
2) We carefully remove the diseased pulp. The root canal area inside your teeth is cleaned, enlarged and shaped. Then, depending on your individual case, the root canal and pulp chamber may be permanently filled and sealed. In some cases, we place a temporary medication in the tooth to control bacterial growth and reduce infection.
3) A temporary filling is placed in the opening of the tooth until the next visit. In some cases, the tooth may be left open in order to allow the infection to drain. We will decide what is right for your case and do whatever is necessary to assure your comfort.
4) At the next appointment, we sterilize the inside of the tooth to remove the bacteria. Throughout the root canal procedure, we take x-rays to ensure that all of the infected pulp is removed and that the walls inside the canal are smooth.
5) To complete the process, the root canal and pulp chamber are permanently filled and sealed.
6) Finally, the tooth is fully restored to chewing function.
We believe in saving teeth and we will make every effort to save yours!
What care follows the treatment?
1) Once the root canal treatment has been completed, you should consider the following: 1. Brittleness—a non-vital (endodontically treated) tooth is more brittle than a vital one and is more susceptible to fracture. Therefore --, in most cases, we recommend that your root canal tooth be crowned (capped) following treatment.
2) Discoloration, you may notice that your endodontically treated tooth ( especially a front tooth) has undergone a change in color. Though this discoloration is of no medical concern, you may be interested in having the tooth whitening if we don not decide to place a crown on the tooth.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are basically sophisticated screws made of a medically pure metal, Titanium. These screws are then placed in the jaw bone and rest under the gum for 3 - 6 months. During this time they actually fuse to the jawbone and become osseo (bone) integrated. After the appropriate healing time, we uncover the implants and use them to replace one or more missing teeth by fabricating some sort of dental prosthesis.
How long have implants been used in dentistry?
Dental implants have been available for the past 50 or so years. There are significant differences, however, between the various types of implants that have been used to replace missing teeth. These differences are important since they are directly related to the implants success rates. The implants currently in use today, OSSEOINTEGRATED IMPLANTS, were originally developed in Sweden by Dr. P.I. Branemark., a Swedish Orthopedist approximately 25-30 years ago. They have been used in the U.S. for the past 12 years.
I understand they originated in Sweden and is there a difference between the different implant manufacturers?
All implants in use in the United States are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Originally, the only system available was the Noblepharma™ Branemark implant. Today, there are numerous implant companies in use on a daily basis. All of these companies are FDA approved and must meet very stringent requirements. Your dental team will choose the system that is best for you and the one that allows them to accomplish your mutual restorative goal.
What are implants made of?
Implants are made of commercially and medically pure Titanium. This is the same metal that has been successfully used in hip implants for many years. It is inert and is not known to cause any type of rejection phenomenon.
How complicated is the surgery?
Implant surgery is done in two stages. The first stage involves the placement of the implants into the available jaw bone. This is most commonly done with just local anesthesia. It is complicated only in the sense that the surgery requires great precision. Every attempt is made to insure success. The room is set up similar to an operating room, the equipment thoroughly sterilized and the most modern techniques utilized. Stage two involves the uncovering of the implants after they have integrated ( fused ). This can be accomplished with minor gum surgery or with a dental laser and is a relatively minor procedure. In both instances, minimal postoperative discomfort is noticed. You will be given the appropriated antibiotics and analgesics just as a precaution. Very definitive postoperative instruction will be given to you at the time of surgery. If you follow the guidelines, everything should proceed without a hitch.
Can implants be rejected?
No! They are made of an inert metal which has no history of rejection by the body. They are not a living organ such as the lung or liver and therefore there is no rejection phenomenon. If failure should occur, and this is only a remote possibility, it is mechanical in nature and not due to rejection by the body. Depending on the source you read, implants are anywhere from 85-95 percent successful depending upon factors such as implant location, amount and quality of bone etc. These factors will be evaluated before we place your implants. If you have any questions regarding this or any other aspect of the implant process, ask your dentist.
If I lose several teeth, do they each have to be replaced with a separate implant?
No. Although implants simulate the roots of teeth, biomechanically one implant can be used to replace one or more teeth. This will depend upon the mechanical requirements of your chosen prosthesis. At your consultation your dentist will discuss the various treatment alternatives and the type and number of implants that are needed in order to fulfill our treatment objectives.
What about infection and complications?
During the surgery every attempt is made to maintain a totally sterile field. This tends to minimize any potential for postoperative infection. Once again, your dentist will prescribe the appropriate antibiotics as a precautionary measure. Once the implants have been engaged in your prosthesis, it is imperative for you to maintain scrupulous oral hygiene. Success very often depends on your cooperation and homecare efforts.
What types of restorations can be placed on implants?
The answer to this question depends upon your treatment objectives. This can vary from simple removable prostheses, using the implants for retention, to totally implant supported porcelain fused to metal crowns and bridges. Implant bridges can be either removable or fixed (not removable) depending upon the number of implants. We are now finally able to replace single or multiple missing teeth returning the dentition to a biologically healthy and esthetically pleasing state.
Will I be able to chew and function normally?
Yes. Once your implants have integrated, you will be able to function normally without any unusual sensations. Your chewing ability will really depend upon the type of prosthesis you have chosen.
How long is the entire implant process?
Dental implants take approximately 3-4 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper to integrate. Once integrated, it takes several visits to several months to complete the restoration depending upon the complexity.
What is the cost?
The cost of implant dentistry is based upon a combination of the surgical phase and the prosthetic phase. Your total treatment fee will depend upon the number of implants and the complexity of your final restoration.
IMPLANT HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS:
If you have just had your implant prosthesis inserted or are considering an implant prosthesis, you may be wondering what procedures are necessary for the proper maintenance of your new prosthesis. Well, here's the whole story in a nutshell! The home care needed for dental implants is probably more important than that required for your natural teeth. The appliances that we fabricate on top of dental implants are wonders of engineering but unfortunately, can not be designed to be maintenance free. There are many areas around the implants and the prosthesis that need special attention to make sure that dental plaque does not accumulate. As with your own teeth, plaque, a sticky substance that adheres to teeth and is a breeding area for bacteria, must be removed at least every 12 hours to avoid potential periodontal ( peri-implant ) disease. What are the tools needed to combat peri-implant disease and how should they be implemented.
The care of your Implant Prosthesis consists of three steps:
1) Educating and training you about proper oral hygiene techniques.
2) Removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) on a regularly scheduled basis by your Hygienist.
3) Maintaining meticulous oral hygiene between your recall visits.
Home plaque control is a critical component of your implant care. The following devices have proved extremely helpful in plaque removal and as tools in the proper maintenance of dental implant/prostheses. Soft Toothbrush, End Tuft Brush, Proxy Brush™v • Dental Floss( i.e. Post Care Dental Implant Floss, Super-Floss™ )
• Oral Irrigation Devices ( i.e. Water Pik™)
• Mouthwashes containing essential oils ( i.e. Listerine™ )
Individual Instruction sheets are available for each of the above mentioned cleaning aids. Your dentist and hygienist are also available to assist you in any way they can. Remember, it's not the tool that counts, but the elbow grease behind it.
The proper maintenance of your dental implant prosthesis must be a good blend of proper hygiene technique, appropriate instrumentation and adequate frequency. Your hygienist will suggest a suitable recall schedule for you based upon the complexity of your dental restoration. She or he will also demonstrate each and every technique so that you can become familiar with the tools that are required for implant care. Then it's up to you. With a little effort, your dental implant prosthesis can provide you with years of comfort, satisfaction and service.
We hope that this brief explanation answered some of your questions regarding implant dentistry. We will be happy to discuss any of these questions with you at your consultation. Please write down your questions so that we can be sure to answer them to your satisfaction. Occasionally, dental implants may take the place of a missing tooth. These regularly perform as well as an original tooth and are an excellent option in many cases. Surgical and non-surgical treatment of gums including bone grafts and soft tissue root covering. Also you will find all kinds of single tooth implants and implants supported bridges & dentures in our office. One of the main goals of modern dentistry is the prevention of tooth loss. All possible measures should be taken to preserve and maintain your teeth because the loss of a single tooth can have a major impact upon your dental health and appearance. However, it is still sometimes necessary to remove a tooth. Here are some of the reasons a tooth may need to be extracted.
• Severe Decay
• Advanced periodontal disease
• Infection or abscess
• Orthodontic correction
• Malpositioned teeth
• Fractured teeth or roots
• Impacted teeth
To make your visit comfortable and stress free, we have designed non-threatening, open-bay reception and treatment areas. We have state-of-the art delivery systems and provide all phases of dentistry from implants to Oral Surgery to Cleanings /Periodontal care. We try to adhere to pre-set appointment times in an effort to be considerate of your time, and always make time to see emergency or non-scheduled patients in discomfort.
We are fully computerized and “paperless”. We use Digital Radiology for all or patients radiographic needs. All data is securely stored offsite and complies with all HIPPa, OSHEA & Common Sense Standards. Intraoral video imaging and Digital X-Rays with The sensors produce sharp and clear X-ray images that appear almost instantly on a computer monitor. Acquisition of CDR images uses up to 90% less radiation than conventional film x-rays. The images are instantly stored and never degrade in quality.) These intraoral images are viewed instantly and can then be stored by the computer indefinitely or printed out just like a photograph. We can access these images whenever we want in order to compare one office examination with another. This also allows us to send copies of these images to other dentists or physicians thereby improving our ability to consult on issues that may be of strategic importance. A picture is truly worth a thousand words.
Some of the conditions we can see with an intraoral camera that are difficult to see with the naked eye include : various types of oral pathology and lesions, broken fillings and other types of restorations, cracked teeth, a variety of gum conditions and cavities in areas that are difficult to see and reach. You will be amazed by the quality of the images and just how diagnostic they really are.
Patient's Winner Award
Cañada Hills Dental is honored with Open Care's Patients Choice Award! We are so proud and excited to win this award for twelve years in a row . Thank you to all of our patients for your support as we could not have done it without you!
Kevin and his team are number one — Bryan J.
I have been Using Kevin Haley and his team For many years and will continue for many more. I have been to many dentists and in my opinion Kevin and his team are number one.
Mar 12, 2020
Top Shelf Shop!! — Robert N.
Doc Haley has been taking care of my den†al needs for over fourteen years. He and his staff are the real deal caring down to earth pros that make you feel that your part of their family.
Mar 10, 2020
Always willing to fit you in for an emergency … — William H.
Always willing to fit you in for an emergency. That's worth 1,000,000 stars.
Mar 4, 2020
10 Stars out of 5 and a great guy to boot... - Zoe House
As a tourist several years ago, Dr Haley went above and beyond to fix my broken denture and save the weekend for us. Now as a resident I can't imagine going to anyone else.
Staff is awesome and caring.
March 2, 2020
Thank you! I’ll be back! — Kelly B.
Thank you for making me feel a LOT more comfortable at a Dentists office.
Mar 10, 2020
Canada Hills Dental is the apex of knowledgeable … — Sandra H.
Canada Hills Dental is the apex of knowledgeable professional health care. My family and I have been patients of Dr. Haley for many years and have the utmost confidence in our treatment there. We would not consider going elsewhere.
Mar 5, 2020
Dr Hailey, Amy and team at Cañada Hills Dental … — Dennis H.
Dr Hailey, Amy and team at Cañada Hills Dental are incredible! Always very professional and efficient. Thank you for all you do.
Feb 26, 2020
No comparison possible — Canada Hills Dental is... — Tom M.
No comparison possible — Canada Hills Dental is simply the very best place to go in all my many years of seeking out the best dental care!
Feb 25, 2020
Lee Patrick — Marilee P.
I am always very satisfied
Feb 20, 2020
First experience with a new practice. EXCEPTIONAL! — Richard R.
Shannon did my initial inspection/cleaning. She was professional, personable and very engaging, everything a new client/patient would hope for. Dr. Healy was great, assessed very thoroughly what was needed, what was not necessary and what he recommended. It was an EXCEPTIONAL experience, in every regard.
Feb 20, 2020
Very comfortable with my dental care. — Marsha P.
Going to the dentist is not one of my favorite things but I never dread my appointments with Canada Hills Dental. I get my teeth cleaned three times a year with Amy and it is always a comfortable and pleasant experience. Dr. Haley always provides excellent dental care and repair. I am totally confident in his work and recommendations for me.
Feb 28, 2020
Peace of mind — Cynthia H.
Thank you, Dr. Haley and Staff, for seeing this anxious Out-of-Towner! I return home tomorrow with a clear & professional assessment of my dental emergency and a comprehensive treatment plan. You all have my vote of confidence in recommending the Practice.
Jan 29, 2020
Dr. Haley come highly recommended in my family.... — Lauren F.
Dr. Haley come highly recommended in my family. I travel all the way from the east side to see him just because of how well he cares about his patients and their teeth!
Jan 14, 2020
What you should know?
Women have special needs at different stages of life. Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause all can influence your oral health and the need for dental treatment. During these times, your body experiences hormonal changes that can make your gums sensitive and increase your risk for periodontal disease - commonly referred to as gum disease. By understanding these changes, you can practice good oral health habits that can keep your teeth and gums healthy.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bone caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that adheres to teeth. Plaque forms constantly on teeth and can build up if it is not removed thorough daily cleaning. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins that can irritate your gums. In the early stage, called gingivitis, gums swell, turn red and bleed easily.
Eventually, the tissue may separate from the tooth and form deepened spaces called pockets. In this later stage, called periodontitis, the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth can be destroyed, which ultimately can cause the teeth to become loose, fall out, or require removal by a dentist.
Periodontal disease can occur at any age, but it is most common among adults. In fact, three out of four adults are affected by it at some point in their lives. Women are especially susceptible to periodontal disease at certain stages of life, hormonal changes can affect the blood supply to the gums, and response to irritants from plaque may be exaggerated. The gum tissue is a target for female hormones, which makes it much more sensitive to changes in the levels of those hormones. If you are already prone to periodontal disease, you may find the problem worsening during hormonal changes.
The Teen-Age Years
As females reach puberty, the production of the sex hormones progesterone and estrogen increases. This hormonal increase can exaggerate the way oral tissues react to the irritants in plaque. Gums may become red, tender, swollen and likely to bleed easily when chewing or brushing teeth. After the early teen years, women may notice less inflammation and bleeding.
Your Monthly Cycle
During menstruation, you may notice several changes in your mouth, including swollen gums, lesions, canker sores and swollen salivary glands. Some women don’t notice any changes at all. For others, particularly those for whom plaque or pockets are a problem, the gums may bleed in the days before the period starts, but symptoms should not be ignored. Your dentist may prescribe special cleaning, treatment or topical anesthetics to ease any discomfort.
Pregnancy and Your Oral Health
During pregnancy, your body’s hormone levels rise considerably. Gingivitis, especially common during the second to eighth months of pregnancy, may cause red, puffy or tender gums that tend to bleed when you brush. This sensitivity is an exaggerated response to plaque and is caused by an increased level of progesterone in your system. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings during your second trimester or early third trimester to help you avoid problems. Occasionally overgrowths of tissue, call “pregnancy tumor,” appear on the gums during the second trimester. These localized growths or swellings are usually found between the teeth and are believed to be related to excess plaque. They bleed easily and are characterized by a red, raw-looking mulberrylike surface. They are often surgically removed after the baby is born. If you experience pregnancy tumors, see your dentist.
It’s especially important, then, to maintain good oral health during pregnancy. Studies suggest that pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be at increased risk for delivering a pre-term and/or low birth-weight baby. If you notice any changes in your mouth during pregnancy, see your dentist.
If you are taking Oral Contraceptives
One of the most common problems for women who take oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, is inflamed gums, the hormone in oral contraceptives increases the level of progesterone in your system. Prolonged use of birth control pills may cause your gums to turn red, bleed, and swell in response to any local irritants in the mouth, such as food or plaque. Good oral hygiene is especially important when taking birth control pills. Tell your dentist if you are taking oral contraceptives, because some medications, such as antibiotics, can lessen the effect of an oral contraceptive.
You may notice a number of physical changes when you reach menopause, including some that occur in the mouth. These may include a burning sensation, altered taste sensations (salty, peppery or sour), a decrease in saliva flow that can result in dry mouth and greater sensitivity to hot and cold foods or drinks.
Talk to your dentist if you experience any oral problems that you think might be related to menopause. Be sure to mention any medications you are taking, (both prescription and over-the-counter products), because many drugs can have dental related side-effects, including dry mouth. Dry mouth can increase your risk for tooth decay, halitosis (bad breath) and mouth sores. Saliva substitutes may be prescribed to reduce any mouth dryness. Vitamin C and B complexes may be helpful as well. For good overall health, eat a balanced diet and discuss with your physician how to get the calcium you need to prevent osteoporosis (“porous bones”), the risk of which increases after menopause.
Remember that it is plaque, not fluctuating hormone levels, that is the major cause of periodontal disease. Here are ways you can help prevent periodontal disease:
• Be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with floss or another inter-dental cleaner. Choose oral care products that carry the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, your assurance that they have met ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness.
• If you need extra help in controlling plaque and gingivitis, your dentist may recommend that you use an antimicrobial mouth rinse.
• Regular dental visits and professional cleanings are essential. Plaque that is not removed can harden into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a professional cleaning in the dental office.
• Eat a balanced diet for good general health and limit snacks.
• In some cases, even with these measures, patients may experience a more advanced stage of periodontal disease that must be treated by other means. Your general dentist may provide treatment or may refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the tissues and bone that support and surround the teeth.
Now that you have your new denture, it is just as important to keep your mouth clean as
it was when you had natural teeth.
It is advisable to frequently use a salt water rinse (1/2 teaspoon table salt in 8 oz. warm
water), particularly if irritation occurs. The warm solution should be kept in the area of
irritation until it cools and then replaced with another mouthful. This is not only
refreshing but helps decrease the severity of the tissue irritation.
Your denture should be removed and cleaned after eating and before going to bed. The
mouth and any remain natural teeth should also be cleaned. Remove your denture and
scrub with a soft toothbrush and cool water to remove food particles. It is best to do this
over a sink full of water in order to provide a cushion in case the denture is accidentally
dropped. Use a terry cloth washcloth around your index finger to scrub the tongue and
oral tissues including the palate or roof of the mouth.
After removing the food particles, clean your denture with a soft toothbrush and al iquid
dish washing soap such as liquid Palmolive or Ivory. It is NOT advisable to use any
abrasive type cleaner or stiff bristle brush on your denture. Rinse your dentures
thoroughly before replacing them back in your mouth.
Soak you denture in a cleaning solution daily. I recommend Stain Away; this product will
remove both tartar and stain. It is available through drugstores and wholesale outlet
stores. Prior to soaking, rinse and brush away food particles. I also recommend rinsing
your mouth with warm salt water during the soaking.
If you prefer, other cleaning solutions such as Kleenite, Mersine or Polident may be used
but in my opinion, they are not as effective a Stain Away. No matter which product,
follow the instructions on the container.
Weekly soaking you cleaned denture in vinegar and water for 30 minutes will also help
remove mineral deposits. Equal pars of vinegar and water will usually keep these deposits
for collection, but stronger solutions may be necessary if deposits are present( these
deposits are easier to detect if the denture is dry). After soaking, brush with liquid soap
and rinse thoroughly.
The denture should be removed daily for a minimum TWO HOUR REST PERIOD. This
is essential for the health and well being of the tissues. An excellent time to do this would
be at night while sleeping unless you can not rest comfortably without the denture to
support your lower jaw. Any time the denture is out of the mouth for an extended period,
it should be placed in a container of cool water. This will prevent denture dehydration
with its associated brittleness and distortion.
An exercise that can also greatly enhance your oral health involves massaging your gum
tissue. This can easily be accomplished by chewing four to six pieces of Double Bubble
gum (available in bulk at Costco) with your dentures out of the mouth. Do this for 15
minutes; initially you may not be able to continue the exercise for 15 minutes if your jaw
muscles become cramped or overly fatigues. If this occurs, gradually increase the
exercise period over time until you can comfortably do it for 15 minutes. You can do this
exercise several times a week. New pieces of bubble gum may be softened under warm
running water to form a ball (and remove the powdered sugar) before chewing. Never try
to form the ball by placing hard gum in the mouth, even one piece at a time! After each
exercise period, place the ball in a large mouth jar with a lid and a few drops of water or
flavoring solution. It is not necessary to use a new “ball” each time.
Should sore spots or frank abrasion occur, you may call the office for an appointment.
Adjusting the denture yourself is strongly discouraged. You may think you know where
to relieve the base, but there is a definite danger in relieving the wrong place or too much.
The cause may not be the base material, but the way the teeth come together while
chewing or swallowing. Rest is the best healer. If you will give the tissue a chance to rest,
it will usually clear up without an adjustment. But, if it doesn’t or should recur, by all
means, call for an appointment and let the Doctor adjust the denture. There is no point in
To keep your cutting blades sharp and efficient, you should return for occlusal refinement
each year. Screening will be preformed as well.
Watch your mouth!
• Wisdom Teeth
• Tooth Whitening
• Bad Breath
During your teen years, you’re putting together a smile that should last you a lifetime.
Straight talk about braces
You or some of your friends already may be wearing braces. Braces or other orthodontic
appliances can help straighten your teeth and correct jaw alignment. But do you know
about all these benefits?
Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to take care of and clean, which may lead to tooth
decay, gum disease, and possibly tooth loss. Bad bites can also cause difficulty in
speaking and chewing; cause abnormal wear on tooth surfaces; and lead to problems with
bones, jaw joints, and gum tissue. Correcting these problems can make your mouth
healthier and give you a great smile!
Wisdom Teeth-Last in, First out (sometimes)
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last permanent teeth to take their place in your
mouth, sometime during your late teens or early 20’s.
If they come in properly, wisdom teeth can be an asset, but many times, there isn’t room
for wisdom teeth in the jaw. When this happens, the teeth become impacted-they can’t
fully emerge from the gum tissue.
Impacted teeth can damage adjacent teeth. Partially erupted wisdom teeth are difficult to
clean and provide and opening for bacteria to settle beneath the gum line, where they can
cause an infection. Your dentist can check these teeth in you late teens and let you know
if they need to come out.
Don’t Take Tooth Whitening Lightly
You’ve probably seen a lot of advertising for whitening toothpastes, and several of them
have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Whitening toothpastes with the ADA Seal
contain polishing or chemical agents to improve tooth appearance by removing surface
stains through gentle polishing or chemical action. Whitening toothpastes should not be
expected to provide the same level of whitening as bleaching product. At-home bleaching
kits seem to be turning up everywhere. But beware of these over-the-counter products—
tooth bleaching is not a do-it-yourself job.
Some ingredients in these kits---such as hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide or
acids—are strong solutions and can irritate your gums and other oral soft tissues. Some
people also have other reactions to bleaching products, like tooth sensitivity. And in some
cases, the bleaching will not help improve tooth color.
If you want to make those pearly whites whiter, talk to your dentist first, He or she can
tell you if you’re a good candidate for tooth whitening. If you are, your dentist can
perform the procedure in the office or send you home with a special tray that will limit
contact between your gums and the whitener solution. Your dentist also can monitor your
oral health during the procedure to help prevent or limit any adverse effects.
Don’t Get Down In the Mouth over Bad Breath
A lot of things can cause bad breath—certain foods, poor oral hygiene, gum disease, a
dry mouth, use of tobacco products, or a medical disorder. We’ve all had it at one time
or another, so it’s nothing to lose that smile over. In many cases, simple changes in
personal oral hygiene habits can freshen you right up.
Bacteria usually are the culprits behind bad breath, or halitosis. Good oral hygiene---
brushing twice a day and flossing daily—as well as regular visits to your dentist often can
help fight off bad breath. Brush your tongue, too, to remove any bacteria that may be
coating the surface.
If you are keeping you with your oral hygiene and you still feel that bad breath is a
problem, talk to your dentist. Your dentist may be able to track down and help eliminate
Tending to Teeth in the Teen Years
You know the basic steps to good oral health:
• Brush twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride;
• Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or another inter dental cleaner;
• Limit snacks and eat nutritious, well-balanced meals; and
• Visit your dentist regularly.
But now that you have most of your permanent teeth, you’ll need to know more that just
the basics. During your teen years, you’re putting together a smile that should last you a
Contouring and shaping your teeth
Enhancing your smile: Contouring and shaping teeth
What’s one of the fist things you notice when you meet someone new? It’s often the
persons smile. Teeth that look clean, even and healthy help make a positive impression. If
your smile reveals chipped or irregularly shaped teeth, your dentist can provide several
options to make it more attractive while protecting your oral health. Tooth contouring and
reshaping are simple procedures often used to correct minor flaws and problems such as
teeth that are shipped or oddly shaped.
Contouring and shaping are used to smooth out irregular edges and angles of teeth. These
procedures, sometimes called enamel shaping, slenderizing or stripping, allow for subtle,
minor alterations to the length, shape or position of teeth. Teeth that are uneven or
overlapping may also benefit form this treatment.
Your dentist gently sculpts the teeth to artfully eliminate or minimize imperfections = and
create a smile that makes a lasting impression.
Tooth contouring and reshaping are quick procedures with very little, if any, discomfort.
Anesthetics usually are not required and the entire process may take one to three visits.
Because some tooth enamel is removed during the process, your dentist may take an xray to determine the size and location of the tooth’s pulp. The dentist may ark the tooth
before removing a tiny amount of surface enamel with a hand piece. Abrasive strips may
be used to even tooth enamel on the sides of the teeth before they are smoothed and
Along with tooth reshaping and contouring, your dentist may suggest other procedures to
correct or cosmetically improve your teeth. These treatments include dental veneers, (thin
pieces of specially shaped porcelain or resin that are applied to the front of prepared
teeth). Bonding, a think tooth-colored resin, may also be recommended to correct flaws
on front teeth.
Keep in mind that these treatments cannot solve all dental problems. Crowded teeth, for
example, may need braces. If so, your dentist may provide treatment or may refer you to
an orthodontist. Teeth that are very uneven or badly chipped may need other restorative
treatment to correct the problem.
If your smile could use A BOOST, talk to your dentist about your options
Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) are infections of the gum and bone that
hold teeth in place.
If periodontal problems are not treated, they can become severe and may eventually lead
to tooth loss. Periodontal diseases are often painless and you may not be aware that you
have a problem until your gums and the supporting bone are seriously damaged. The
good news is that periodontal diseases often can be treated in the early stages with a
treatment to clean your teeth called scaling and root planing.
Treatment has a huge benefit. You’ll increase the chances of keeping your natural teeth.
What causes Periodontal Disease?
Plaque includes a film of bacteria that attaches to teeth gums. The bacteria in plaque
cause irritation of the tissues that support your teeth. This irritation can lead to chronic
inflammation, bleeding, and infection that can destroy your gum and bone tissue.
Plaque that is not completely removed may harden (calcify) into a rough, porpous deposit
called tartar, or calculus. Tartar be itself does not cause disease, but it typically allows
more plaque to form and makes it more difficult to remove plaque that can thrive on, in
or near that tartar. The only way to remove tartar is to have your teeth cleaned at the
dental office. Importantly, plaque is always forming even as you sleep. Thus, regular
visits to the dentist are necessary to remove plaque and calculus in hard to remove places.
How do periodontal diseases develop?
Gingivitis is the initial stage of periodontal disease. Affected gum areas become
increasingly red. They may appear swollen and may bleed easily especially when you
brush or floss your teeth. The condition is reversible at this stage with regular brushing,
flossing and visits to the dentist. If it is not treated, however, gingivitis may lead to a
more serious condition called periodontitis.
Periodontitis can irreversibly damage the gums, bones and other structures that support
the teeth and it can lead to tooth loss. However, treatment can help. At more advanced
stages, the disease may require more complex treatment to prevent tooth loss. In the
worst case, teeth can become loose and need to be removed by the dentist. How
periodontitis is treated often depends on how far the condition has progressed and how
well your body responds to therapy over time.
Progression of Periodontal Disease
Healthy gingiva (gum tissue) and bone teeth are firmly in place. Gingivitis develops as
bacterial by-products irritate the gums, making them red, tender, swollen and likely to
Periodontitis occurs when inflammation caused by plaque by-products destroys the
tissues that anchor teeth in bone. As the disease progresses pockets form, which allow
more plaque and calculus to collect below the gum line. Unless treated, the affected teeth
may become loose and even require removal by dentist.
How are periodontal diseases diagnosed?
If you schedule regular dental checkups, your dentist can detect developing periodontal
diseases before the gums and the bone supporting your teeth are irreversibly damaged.
Periodontal diseases are most often progressive—left untreated, the condition often
During a checkup, the dentist examines your gums for periodontal problems. An
instrument called a periodontal probe is used to gently measure the depth of the spaces
between your teeth and gums at the very edge of the gum line. Healthy gum tissue forms
a very shallow, v-shaped groove (also known as a sulcus) between the tooth and gums.
The normal depth of the sulcus should be three millimeters or less. When periodontal
disease is present, this normally shallow sulcus develops into a deeper pocket that bleeds,
collects more plaque bacteria and is difficult to keep clean.
Dental X-rays also may be taken to evaluate the condition of bone supporting the teeth
and to detect other problems not visible during the clinical examination.
If gum disease is diagnosed, your dentist may provide treatment or you may be referred
to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in diagnosis, prevention and treatment of
How are periodontal diseases treated?
The first non-surgical step usually involves a special cleaning, called scaling and root
planning. This is sometimes referred to as “periodontal” or “deep” cleaning. Scaling and
root planning is a method of treating periodontal disease when pockets are greater the
3mm. Scaling is used to remove plaque and tartar beneath the gum line. A local
anesthetic may be given to reduce any discomfort. Using an instrument called a small
scaler or an ultrasonic cleaner, plaque and tartar are carefully removed down to the
bottom of each periodontal pocket. The tooth’s root surfaces are then smoothed or
planed. This procedure helps gun tissue to heal and periodontal pockets to shrink, the
procedure also makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate along the root surfaces.
Depending on the extent of disease, your dentist may recommend that one or more
sections (quadrants) of the mouth be treated with scaling and root planning. Treatment
requires one or more visits. You’ll be given instructions on how to care for your healing
teeth and gums.
Your dentist also may recommend medications to help control infection and pain, or to
aid healing. These medications could include a pill, a mouth rinse, or a substance that the
dentist places directly in the periodontal pocket after scaling and root planing. If you
smoke or chew tobacco products, it is important to quit. Your dentist may also advise you
to talk to your physician about any other health problems that may be affecting your oral
Once the scaling and root planing treatment is complete, another appointment will be
made within a few weeks. At this appointment, the dentist will examine your gums to see
how they have healed and how the periodontal pockets have decreased. Many patients do
not require any further active treatment, only preventive care.
Maintaining good oral hygiene at home and continued follow-up by your dentist is
essential to help prevent periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring.
Periodontitis will not go away by itself. Left untreated, surgery may be needed to save
affected teeth. Preventing and treating the disease in the early stages are the best ways to
keep your smile healthy.
Can periodontal diseases be prevented?
Prevention is your first line of defense. This includes a good daily oral hygiene routine at
home. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between teeth once a
day with floss or another inter-dental cleaner help prevent tartar from forming. The dental
office staff may provide instructions on additional cleaning methods or may recommend
oral hygiene products to use at home. Look for products that display the American dental
Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance sign that a product has met the ADA’s criteria
for safety and effectiveness.
Eat a balanced diet for good general health and limit snacks.
Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important in preventing periodontal diseases.
If these measures are not taken, the likelihood of disease increases. In some cases, even
with these measures, a certain percentage of patients experience some form of
periodontal disease that must be treated. Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, blood cell
disorders, HIV infections and AIDS can lower the body’s resistance to infection, placing
an individual at greater risk for more severe forms of periodontal diseases. Tobacco use
can also affect the health of your gums. Talk to your dentist about how to quit.
Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important in preventing periodontal diseases.
See your dentist if you notice any of the following warning signs:
• Gums that bleed easily
• Red, swollen or tender gums
• Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
• Pus between the teeth and gums when the gums are pressed
• Persistent bad breath or bad taste
• Permanent teeth that are loose, separating or changing position.
• Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
• Any changes in the fit of partial dentures
• Exposed tooth roots
Periodontal diseases are often progressive----left untreated, the condition often worsens.
If you schedule regular dental checkups, your dentist can detect developing periodontal problems before the gums and the bone supporting your teeth are irreversibly damaged
Chances are you or a family member, have been told that a root canal is necessary to save
a tooth; perhaps root canal therapy is already underway. In either case, it’s important to
understand what will happen during root canal treatment and why this procedure is
necessary to save the tooth.
Why Root Canal Treatment?
If you have been told that a root canal is necessary to save one of your teeth, it is
important that you understand why this procedure is necessary and what happens during
root cancel treatment. Root canal treatment (endodontics) treats disorders of the nerve
(also called the pulp) of the tooth. It is used to be that a tooth with a diseased or infected
nerve had to be removed. In 95 percent of the cases today, however, this is no longer true.
We believe in saving teeth (instead of removing them). We make every effort to help you
keep your natural teeth for a lifetime!
What Makes a Root Canal Necessary?
The following are the most common factors contributing to need for root canal treatment:
• Physical irritation caused by deep decay or a very large filling
• Severe gum disease
• Trauma, such as a physical blow to a tooth or a constant striking of a tooth in the
opposite jaw that traumatizes the tooth
Regardless of the initial cause, the tooth pulp becomes irritated and infected. Bacteria
grow within the tooth pulp, causing pressure and pain, sometimes accompanied by
swelling of the face. Sometimes the deterioration of the pulp happens so gradually the
bacteria can destroy the pulp. As this happens, the bone surrounding the tooth may
become infected and abscessed, which may lead to the destruction of the bone
surrounding the tooth.
What Happens During Treatment?
If we determine through x-rays and a clinical examination that root canal treatment is
necessary, we will schedule a series of appointments for you. It is important that you
keep these appointments to prevent delays in treatment and healing, which can affect
the outcome. It’s also essential that you take all antibiotics and medications
prescribed to hasten healing and reduce swelling.
1. First, we want to relieve any discomfort you might be experiencing and ensure
your comfort throughout the treatment. When necessary, an anesthetic is used to
numb the tooth and surrounding and area. The tooth may be isolated with a rubber
dam, which confines the treatment area and protects the mouth from bacteria and
chemical agents. An opening in made through the crown of the tooth into the
2. We carefully remove the diseased pulp. The root canal area inside your tooth is
cleaned, enlarged and shaped. Then, depending on your individual case, the root
canal and pulp chamber may be permanently filled and sealed. In some cases, we
place a temporary medication in the tooth to control bacterial growth and reduce
3. A temporary filling is placed in the opening of the tooth until the next visit. In
some cases, the tooth may be left open in order to allow the infection to drain. We
will decide what is right for your case and do whatever is necessary to assure your
4. At the next appointment, we sterilize the inside of the tooth to remove the
bacteria. Throughout the root canal procedure, we take x-rays to ensure that all of
the infected pulp is removed and that the walls inside the canal are smooth.
5. To complete the process, the root canal and pulp chamber are permanently filled
6. Finally, the tooth is fully restored to chewing function.
We believe in saving teeth and we will make every effort to save yours!
What care follows the treatment?
Once the root canal treatment has been completed, you should consider the following:
1. Brittleness—a non-vital (endodontically treated) tooth is more brittle than a vital
one and is more susceptible to fracture. Therefore, in most cases, we recommend
that your root canal tooth be crowned (capped) following treatment.
2. Discoloration—you may notice that your endodontically treated tooth (especially
a front tooth) has undergone a change in color. Though this discoloration is of no
medical concern, you may be interested in having the tooth whitening if we do not
decide to place a crown on the tooth.
A FINAL WORD
Throughout your root canal treatment, you may have questions or concerns not covered
here. We will make every effort to ensure your comfort during root canal treatment. And
we’re happy to answer any question you may have. Our goal is to help you preserve your
natural teeth for a lifetime, so you can smile with confidence!
A new Era in patient centered care begins the moment you open the Prophy Pak. The
ProActive Care Prophy Pak provides a simple mechanism to implement Aesthetic Dental
Hygiene, a unique approach that includes assessment of the patient’s interest in aesthetic
procedures as well as the desire for fresh breath. Here are practical, proven methods for
you and your patients – methods that begin during the hygiene appointment, and will
continue for a lifetime of brighter, healthier smiles.
The ProActive Care Prophy pak
Note: the prophy pak is flexible it integrates well with any whitening, breath care are
preventive products you may be currently using.
Each prophy pak contains:
• Disposable Prophy Angle or Prophy cup(snap–on or screw-type, in short, medium
or extended length; soft, medium, or firm)
• 100% latex free and 100 % guaranteed.
• ProActice Care Prophy Paste
• Clean mint with fluoride ( fine, medium, coarse, or extra grit)
• BreathRx Gental Tongue Scraper and Anti-Bacterial Tongue Gel
• ProActive Care Shade Guide/ Patient Education Brochure
The Oral Health Expert Patients rely on is you!
From the moment you open the ProActive Care Prophy Pak, you are reinforcing your
position as the expert patients count on. Best of all, you will be starting patients on a total
system of prevention that leads to a healthier mouth, brighter smile and fresher breath.
HOW TO USE THE PROACTIVE CARE PROPHY PAK FOR MAXIMUM RESULTS.
Integrating a patient centered approach is now easier than ever.
The Prophy Pak includes items that enable you to complete a normal preventive
appointment. In addition, it integrates tongue deplaquing, a key procedure that will
dramatically reduce oral malodor and improve oral health when incorporated into the
patient’s daily oral hygiene routine. The exam also includes the use of the ProActive
patient’s current tooth shade and to illustrate the results that can occur through
professionally supervised whitening.
PROACTIVE CARE PROTOCOL
A Patient-Centered Approach
1. Assess patient’s current oral health concerns and goals.
2. Utilize an anti-bacterial mouth rinse as a pre-procedural rinse to reduce exposure
to aerosolized microflora.
3. Perform prophylaxis/instrumentation/ full mouth debridement as indicated.
4. After flossing the teeth, deplaque the patient’s tongue. (Note: see In-office
Tongue Deplaquing Procedure below).
5. During this procedure, involve the patient by educating them on the benefits of
daily tongue cleaning and how it relates to fresh breath and overall improved oral
6. Utilize an anti-bacterial mouth rinse as a post-procedural rinse.
7. Assess each patient’s need and desire for tooth whitening using the ProActive
Care Shade Guide.
8. Take impressions for whitening trays (if applicable)
9. Perform professional fluoride treatment as indicated and evaluate the need for
daily professional fluoride therapy.
10. Present a take-home protocol for fresh breath assurance if available through your
In-office Tongue Deplaquing Procedure:
1. Apply a thin film of an antibacterial tongue gel on a cotton swab, roll or gauze
square and lightly massage onto the patients tongue.
2. Holding scraper firmly at both ends, bend into a “U” shape.
3. Place end of the “U” as far back as comfortable on patients’ tongue and pull
4. Repeat Step 3 on sides of tongue, using a mirror to demonstrate technique to the
5. Have the patient try the process under your direction.
6. Recommend patient add daily tongue deplaquing to their oral hygiene routine.
7. Rinse and dry tongue scraper. Give to patient at the end of the exam. The Shade
Guide can be used as a protective take home sleeve.
For whiter teeth
Asses each patient’s need and desire for tooth whitening using the ProActive Care Shade
Guide. Many patients are unaware of the aesthetics options that are available to them.
When asked, many patients expressed and interest in smile enhancing procedures. From
tooth whitening to full aesthetic reconstruction, today’s progressive practice offers an
array of treatment options.
Determine the patient’s current tooth shade and illustrate how much whiter their teeth can
be. Most patients will experience significant shade improvement after whitening.
For Fresher Breath
Offer your patients” All Day Fresh Breath” and overall improved oral health. Social
concerns are powerful motivators. Poor aesthetics and bad breath are key social factors
that patients will want addressed. You will be surprised by their interest!
The following questions will assist you in addressing the issue with your patient:
• Do you ever get a bad taste in your mouth?
• Would you be interested in preventing bad breath?
A positive response to any of these questions indicate a candidate for a fresh breath
For preventive Therapy
A key component to a successful oral health program includes preventive interventions.
Fluoride therapy represents one of the most cost effective ways to prevent the onset of
dental caries, arrest newly formed lesion, and prevent and teat hypersensitivity.
Indications for Professional TAKE-HOME Fluoride Therapy.
• Caries vulnerable/prevention ….... 1% Neutral Sodium Gel
• Caries active ….... 0.4% Stannous Fluoride Paste
• Hypersensitivity/Anti-bacterial Action ….... 0.4% Stannous Fluoride Paste
• Post- Periodontal Surgery ….... 0.63% Stannous Fluoride Rinse
(0.1% with dilution, per directions for use)
All Patients can benefit from fluoride therapy
• Children that are decay active
• Orthodontic patients
• Periodontal patients
• Head & Neck radiation and cancer chemotherapy patients for caries control &
Frequently asked questions
Q: what is tooth whitening?
A: Tooth whitening is a procedure that utilizes hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide
to lighten discoloration of the enamel and dentin. The structure of the tooth remains
unchanged, only the color is made lighter. Whitening gel is applied in a custom fitted tray
that is worn by the patient during the day or at night while they sleep.
Q: What is a whitening tray and how does it work?
A: It is an inconspicuous appliance that is designed to hold the whitening gel in place and
fits comfortable over the patent’s teeth. Custom-fitted trays optimize whitening success
but keeping the gel in contact with the teeth and away from the gingiva.
Q: Is tooth whitening safe?
A: Yes! Research and clinical studies have proven that whitening teeth with peroxide
under the supervision of a dental professional is completely safe for enamel, dentin and
Q: Are there any side effects associated with tooth whitening?
A: Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity. These symptoms are always
temporary and disappear within 1-2 days after interruption or completion of treatment.
Q: Are there any contraindications associated with tooth whitening?
A: Tooth Whitening can benefit almost anyone! However, patients with pre-existing
cosmetic restorations (bonding, porcelain crowns, or veneers) may need to replace them
after the whitening treatment in order to match their new, whiter smile. Whitening is not
recommended for patients who are pregnant or lactating, nor is it indicated for use on
Q: How long does tooth whitening take?
A: Results are usually noticeable after the very first application and maximum results
generally occur when the treatment is continues for 7-14 days.
Q: How long does tooth whitening last?
A: Typical results last several years. Patients can “touch-up” for a few days once or twice
a year, especially if the patient continues to use staining substances like coffee, tea,
tobacco, or red wine.
Frequently asked questions
Oral Malodor Management
Q: How does daily mechanical tongue deplaquing enhance fresh breath and improve oral
A: Fresh breath can be achieved through daily use of a tongue scraper and anti-bacterial
gel. The mechanics of tongue deplaquing removes decomposed food debris and trapped
bacteria from the fissures and crevices of the tongue. This will significantly reduce the
production of Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSC’s) which are the main cause of oral
malodor. An anti-bacterial tongue gel can be deposited into the fissures of the tongue
where the majority of odor–causing bacteria reside. And it kills the bacteria that cannot
be removed by scraping alone. The inclusion of tongue deplaquig with an anti-bacterial
agent will reduce the overall number of pathogenic oral flora and will result in improved
Q: Is tongue deplaquing more effective than tongue brushing?
A: Data supports that daily tongue deplaquing with a tongue scraper is not only more
effective in removing harmful bacteria but safer. A study conducted by Dr. Ronald
Mangie compared tongue scraping to tongue brushing and concluded the following:
1. Tongue scraping is more effective in reducing the total number of organisms
compared to tongue brushing.
2. Tongue scraping can safely improve oral hygiene and plaque control more
effectively than tongue brushing.
3. Tongue scraping produces a clinically cleaner (pinker) tongue as compared to
4. Tongue scraping was found to be more comfortable the tongue brushing.
Since the tongue surface is comprised of many micro pockets, a toothbrush is not
effective in removing harmful and odor causing bacteria. Tongue scraping allows an
evenly applied pressure that will expel bacteria and food debris, resulting in a cleaner
tongue and ultimately a healthier oral cavity.
Q: Will patients get the same result using over-the-counter products versus professional
A: Probably not. It’s very important for patients to receive professional instructions when
addressing oral malodor. As a dental professional, you can review the patient’s oral
health and history to help determine the source of the malodor and provide an appropriate
treatment protocol. Plus, patients are more likely to continue their advanced oral care
routine, when properly instructed from the beginning.
Q: Why are anti-bacterial ingredients important in products that control oral malodor?
A: Anti-bacterial agents such as thymol and eucalyptus oil are important because they kill
the gram negative bacteria responsible for producing the odor causing Volatile Sulfur
Compounds (VSC’s). The most effective oral care products will also include an odor neutralizing compound such as zinc chloride for immediate results.
It’s also important to note that alcohol containing mouth rinses can dehydrate oral soft
tissue, cause irritation, reduce salivary flow and actually increase oral malodor.
Radiation Dose in X-Ray and CT Exams
What are x-rays and what do they do?
X-rays are forms of radiant energy, like light or radio waves. Unlike light, x-rays can
penetrate the body, which allows a radiologist to produce pictures of internal structures.
The radiologist can view these on photographic film or on a TV or computer monitor.
X-ray examinations provide valuable information about your health and play an important
role in helping your doctor make an accurate diagnosis. In some cases x-rays are used to
assist with the placement of tubes or other devices in the body or with other therapeutic
Measuring radiation dosage
The scientific unit of measurement for radiation dose, commonly referred to as effective
dose, is the millisievert (mSv). Other radiation dose measurement units include rad, rem,
roentgen, sievert, and gray.
Because different tissues and organs have varying sensitivity to radiation exposure, the
actual radiation risk to different parts of the body from an x-ray procedure varies. The
term effective dose is used when referring to the radiation risk averaged over the entire
The effective dose accounts for the relative sensitivities of the different tissues exposed.
More importantly, it allows for quantification of risk and comparison to more familiar
sources of exposure that range from natural background radiation to radiographic medical
Naturally-occurring "background" radiation exposure
We are exposed to radiation from natural sources all the time. According to recent
estimates, the average person in the U.S. receives an effective dose of about 3 mSv per
year from naturally occurring radioactive materials and cosmic radiation from outer
space. These natural "background" doses vary throughout the country.
People living in the plateaus of Colorado or New Mexico receive about 1.5 mSv more per
year than those living near sea level. The added dose from cosmic rays during a coast-to-coast round trip flight in a commercial airplane is about 0.03 mSv. Altitude plays a big
role, but the largest source of background radiation comes from radon gas in our homes
(about 2 mSv per year). Like other sources of background radiation, exposure to radon
varies widely from one part of the country to another.
To explain it in simple terms, we can compare the radiation exposure from one chest
x-ray as equivalent to the amount of radiation exposure one experiences from our natural
surroundings in 10 days.
Following are comparisons of effective radiation dose with background radiation exposure
• ICRP Publication 103: The 2007 Recommendations of the International Commission on
• The American Association of Physicists in Medicine Response in Regards to CT
Radiation Dose and its Effects
As with other medical procedures, x-rays are safe when used with care. Radiologists and
x-ray technologists have been trained to use the minimum amount of radiation necessary
to obtain the needed results. Properly conducted imaging carries minimal risks and should
be performed when clinically indicated. The amount of radiation used in most
examinations is very small and the benefits greatly outweigh the risk of harm.
X-rays are produced only when a switch is momentarily turned on. As with visible light, no
radiation remains after the switch is turned off.
X-rays over your lifetime
The decision to have an x-ray exam is a medical one, based on the likelihood of benefit
from the exam and the potential risk from radiation. For low dose examinations, usually
those that involve only films taken by a technologist, this is generally an easy decision.
For higher dose exams such as computed tomography (CT) scans and those involving the
use of contrast materials (dyes) such as barium or iodine, the radiologist may want to
consider your past history of exposure to x-rays. If you have had frequent x-ray exams and
change healthcare providers, it is a good idea to keep a record of your x-ray history for
yourself. This can help your doctor make an informed decision. It is also very important to
tell your doctor if you are pregnant before having an exam that involves the abdomen or
Pregnancy and x-rays
As with any aspect of medical care, knowing that a patient is or could be pregnant is
important information. Pregnancy, for example, might explain certain symptoms or
medical findings. When a pregnant patient is ill or injured, the physician will carefully
select medications to avoid potential risks to the developing child. This is also true of
While the vast majority of medical x-rays do not pose a critical risk to a developing child,
there may be a small likelihood of causing a serious illness or other complication. The
actual risk depends on how far along the pregnancy is and on the type of x-ray. Ultrasound
studies, for example, don't use x-rays and have never demonstrated any potential risk to
pregnancy. X-ray studies of the head, arms, legs and chest do not usually expose the baby
directly to x-rays and typically the technologist who takes the x-rays will implement
special precautions to ensure that the baby of a pregnant patient is not directly exposed.
Sometimes patients need examinations of the abdomen or pelvis while they are pregnant.
When studies of the abdomen or pelvis are required, the physician may prefer to order a
different type of exam for a pregnant patient or reduce the number of x-rays from that
which is normally acquired. Therefore, it is important that you inform your physician or
the x-ray technologist about your reproductive status before the x-ray study is performed.
Most standard x-ray examinations of the abdomen are not likely to pose a serious risk to
the child. Some abdominal and pelvic studies such as CT deliver greater amounts of
radiation to a developing pregnancy. Informing the radiologist that you are or might be
pregnant is important so that your medical care can be planned with both you and your
baby in mind. Remember, this is done to optimize medical care by reducing any potential
risk. See the CT During Pregnancy page (www.radiologyInfo.org/en/safety/index.cfm?
pg=sfty-ct-pregnancy) for additional information.
Radionuclide exams, also known as nuclear medicine, use an x-ray-like radiation. The
method of use, however, is quite different from x-rays and produces very different looking
images. The same advice for informing your physician or the nuclear medicine
technologist about any possible pregnancy before the examination begins is important.
See the General Nuclear Medicine page (http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?
pg=gennuclear) for additional information.
However, in nuclear medicine another precaution is advised for women who are breast-feeding's a child. Some of the pharmaceuticals that are used for the study can pass into the
mother's milk and subsequently the child will consume them. To avoid this possibility, it is
important that a nursing mother inform her physician and the nuclear medicine
technologist about this before the examination begins
See the Contrast Materials page (www.RadiologyInfo.org/en/safety/index.cfm?
pg=sfty-contrast) for more information about pregnancy and contrast materials.
Radiation dose from interventional radiology procedures
Interventional radiologic procedures use diagnostic-type imaging equipment to assist a
physician in the treatment of a patient's condition. These procedures frequently provide
favorable medical results with minimal recovery time. In some cases these procedures
avoid the need for conventional surgery or improve the prospects for a favorable outcome
from surgery. As with any medical procedure, there are associated risks and the nature of
these risks depend on the procedure.
With interventional radiology procedures using x-rays, the level of risk depends on the
type of procedure because some use very little radiation, while complex procedures use
much more. In general, the risk of developing a cancer from the exposure is not a major
concern when compared to the benefits of the procedure. Many of the complex
procedures, such as ones used to open a partially blocked blood vessel, repair a weak area
of a bulging vessel, or to redirect blood flow through malformed vessels, use extensive
radiation. But such complex procedures are also frequently lifesaving in their benefit and
the risks associated with the radiation are of secondary consideration. In very rare cases,
some patients develop skin damage as a result of the procedure. As with any surgical
procedure, these rare events are important possibilities to consider when procedures are
difficult and extensive. Since the risk for such complications depends on the individual
circumstances, the physician should discuss these possibilities with the patient as is
Ultrasound imaging is sometimes used for interventional radiology procedures. Ultrasound
uses acoustic radiation and, at current intensities, no risk is known to exist for this type of
imaging procedure. Magnetic resonance imaging is used for other interventional radiology
procedures. For these procedures, a careful screening is performed prior to admission to
the scanner room. This screening is to make sure that you have not had previous medical
or cosmetic procedures that might make the procedure hazardous. See the Magnetic
Resonance Imaging (MRI) Safety page (www.RadiologyInfo.org/en/safety/index.cfm?
pg=sfty-mr) for more information.
Safety in nuclear medicine procedures
Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive
material to diagnose and determine the severity of or treat a variety of diseases, including
many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body.
Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam, the radioactive material, or
radiotracer, may be injected into a vein, swallowed or inhaled as a gas. The radiotracer
will accumulate in the organ or area of the body being examined, where it gives off
energy in the form of gamma rays, allowing the radiologist or nuclear medicine physician
to view structural and functional information about organs or tissues within the body.
During nuclear medicine exams, patients are exposed to some radiation from the
radiotracer and may be exposed to additional radiation, depending on the imaging method
used during the procedure. Though the exact amount of radiation exposure can vary,
based on the patient's physical dimensions and the part of the body being examined,
radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians will use the lowest dose possible in order to
obtain the highest quality images.
Nuclear imaging exams can be performed safely on children and pregnant women as long
as the benefits outweigh the small associated radiation risk. When performing such exams,
careful evaluation should be done to ensure proper/optimal dosage is given. Women
should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are
pregnant or if they are breastfeeding.
Additional Information and Resources
The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging's "Image Gently"
A Healthy mouth for Life
If you want to feel good, stay healthy and look great throughout life, you might be
surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes. By adopting healthy habits a home,
making better choices about diet and lifestyle and seeking regular professional dental
care, many older adults are keeping their teeth, staying healthier and looking better than
Why your teeth are important
Your teeth are important for speaking, chewing, digestion, smiling and appearance. And,
your teeth are never too old to be repaired or replaced. If you don’t maintain your natural
teeth or replace teeth that are lost, your overall health can suffer. If you’ve lost some or
all of your natural teeth, your dentist can make removable dentures, but they aren’t the
only way to replace missing teeth anymore. Dental implants are a new option that many
older adults are choosing. Maintaining well-fitting dentures, partial dentures, bridges or
implants will help you ear right, feel better, and look great.
The Mouth/Body Connection
There is a connection between a healthy mouth and a healthy body. Bleeding gums,
visible root surfaces and loose teeth are not normal at any age. These are usually signs of
an infection called periodontal (gum) disease. Increasing medical evidence suggests that
an unhealthy mouth may worsen serious medical problems, like heart disease, stroke and
diabetes. Simply said, we know that oral health is important for overall health and vice
Periodontal disease is caused be the bacteria in dental plaque, which if not removed
through daily tooth brushing and flossing, results in red or swollen gums that bleed
easily. If plaque remains on teeth too long, a hard deposit called tartar or calculus forms.
This deposit is removed by tour dental hygienist or dentist when your teeth are
professionally cleaned. Left untreated, periodontal disease can destroy the gum tissues
and bone around your teeth and eventually teeth can be lost. Periodontal infections can be
serious and can affect not only the mouth, but potentially your overall health.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
Brushing and flossing your teeth is just as important now as it was when you were
younger. Making the choice to practice good oral hygiene at home every day will make a
big difference in how you look and feel.
Brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Choose a
toothbrush with soft bristles. Harder bristles can wear away your enamel and damage
your teeth and gums. If you have limited ability to move your shoulders, arms and hands
you might benefit from using an electric toothbrush. The handle is larger, which makes it
easier to hold, and the powered brush does a lot of the fine movement needed to assist
with cleaning your teeth.
Clean between teeth daily with floss or another inter-dental cleaner. Floss holders are
designed to make it easier to use floss between your teeth. Special inter-dental cleaners,
such as picks, brushes or sticks may also work effectively for you.
Talk to your dentist about what types of oral care products will be most effective for you.
The ADA Seal on a product is your assurance that it has met ADA criteria for safety and
effectiveness. Look for the ADA Seal on oral hygiene products including fluoride and
desensitizing toothpastes, toothbrushes, floss, inter-dental cleaners, oral irrigators and
Replace your toothbrush every three or four months or sooner, if the bristles become
frayed. A worn toothbrush will not do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
Bacteria stick to your teeth and also to full or partial dentures. If you wear dentures,
cleaning them on a daily basis is very important.
Generally, dentists say to take your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours
every day. It’s best to remove your full or partial dentures at night. To stay healthy, the
lining of your mouth needs to rejuvenate after prolonged contact with dentures. Your own
dentist will provide you with instructions about how long your dentures may be worn
Denture cleaning products like denture cleansers and overnight soaking solutions help
keep dentures fresh and clean.
Making Smart choices
Making wise food and beverage choices is good for tour entire body as well as for
maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Drink water. Consuming optimally fluoridated water throughout life helps prevent tooth
decay no matter how old you are. If you choose bottled water, check the label for the
fluoride content. Or, contact the company if the fluoride content is not shown on the label
and ask what level of fluoride the water contains. Talk to your dentist about what’s best
If you are a smoker, the sooner you make the choice to quit smoking the better. Smoking
increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss, affects healing after
dental procedures and retention of dental implants. There are tobacco cessation programs,
over-the-counter products and prescription medications that your dentist may prescribe or
recommend that can help you quit
Visiting the dentist
Visit your dentist regularly for a complete dental checkup that includes on oral cancer
exam. This is equally important for people who wear complete dentures. Oral cancer
doesn’t care whether or not you have natural teeth.
Oral cancer is more common than you may think, and older adults may be at a greater
risk. As with other cancers, early detection saves lives. And dentists are the most skilled
at detecting oral cancer early as part of every routine checkup. Open sores, white or
reddish patches, and other changes in the lips, tongue and lining of the mouth may be
signs of oral cancer or other potentially serous diseases. You should contact your dentist
if any of these conditions last 14 days or longer.
Your dentist can also evaluate any problems that your medications may create for our
mouth. Saliva is one of our most precious natural resources for good oral health
throughout life. Dry mouth is often an unwanted side effect of many important and lifesaving drugs that are commonly taken by older adults.
Common medications that cause dry mouth are:
• High blood pressure medications, such as water pills
• Cholesterol lowering drugs
• Pain medications, sedatives and muscle relaxants
• Anxiety, depression and most other psychiatric medications
• Allergy and asthma medications seizure medications
• Medications for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases
If you have dry mouth, talk to your dentist about ways to reduce the symptoms and
maintain good oral health, for example, using an over the counter mouthwash or spray
that can help moisten your mouth.
Bring these to your dental checkup:
• An up-to-date list of your medications including vitamin supplements
• An up-to-date list of your medical conditions and allergies
• Information about your health care providers, including all of your doctors and
their phone numbers and your previous dentist (if applicable)
• Information about your emergency contacts
• Your dental insurance or Medicaid cards
• Your dentures or partials, even if you don’t wear them
You need not lose your teeth to gum disease, also call periodontal disease. With today’s
treatment procedures, most teeth can be saved. You may have gum disease and not
realize it. This disease is the primary cause of the loss of teeth after age 35. If caught in
its early stages, however gum disease can be reversed with proper care.
The facts about gum disease!
Periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease, is the single most common
cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are
serious infections that left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. This inflammatory disease is a
chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums, bones and other supporting structures of
Stages and Progression
In the mildest form of the disease, gingivitis, there is usually little or no discomfort. It is
often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Early-stage gum disease is reversible with
professional treatment and good oral home care.
Untreated, early-stage gum disease can advance to more serious periodontitis. Gum
disease is caused by plaque, a colorless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Toxins
produced by the bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums and cause them to become red,
tender and swollen. If not removed daily, plaque hardens to from calculus (tartar) around
the back of the teeth. With time, plaque can spread and grow beneath the gum line. The
toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response that breaks down the tissues and bone
that support the teeth.
Eventually gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and
gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum
tissue and bone are destroyed. In time, teeth can become loose and may be removed.
Gum disease is also linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and
Other Causes of Periodontal Disease
1. Physical and chemical irritants: Impacted food, tobacco products, alcohol and the
improper use of dental floss or toothpicks may irritate gum tissue.
2. Abnormal oral conditions or habits: Badly aligned teeth, poorly fitting bridges or
partial dentures, defective fillings and harmful habits, such as grinding the teeth
and chewing ice, can also cause problems.
3. Unbalanced Diet: Evidence shows a link between nutritional deficiency and the
body’s ability to fight off infection.
4. Women and hormones: Some life stages from women require extra attention to
oral health including puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Pregnant women with
gum disease are seven times more likely to deliver preterm, low birth-weight
5. Certain medications: Oral contraceptives, anti-epilepsy drugs, steroids and cancer
therapy drugs may have a negative affect.
6. Certain diseases and conditions: Diabetes, uremia liver cirrhosis, anemia and
leukemia are among the many diseases that may affect the health of you gums.
Stress in linked to many serious conditions, including lowered immunity to
infection, such as periodontal disease.
What Are the Signs?
• Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
• Red, swollen or tender gums
• Gums that have receded or shrunken away from your teeth
• Pus between your teeth when you press your gums with your finger
• Pain when chewing
• Calculus or tartar buildup
• Teeth that seem loose or that change position
• Changes in your bite
• Changes in the way your partial dentures fit
• Bad breath or chronic bad taste in your mouth
• Teeth that are overly sensitive to hot and cold
A thorough oral examination, including x-rays, is crucial to diagnosing periodontal
disease. In most cases, we recommend an in-office exam and tooth cleaning for all adults
twice a year. At that time, we may use a special instrument called a periodontal probe to
measure the depth of the pocket between the tooth and the gum tissue. The pocket depth
measurement, clinical examination and x-rays help us determine the precise location,
extent and severity of gum disease.
The type of treatment you require depends on your particular case. Individualized
treatment may include any of the following:
1. More frequent cleaning. It may take the bacteria at the base of the pocket up to
three months to colonize into numbers able to destroy bone. Frequent cleanings
can prevent this buildup.
2. Scaling and root planning is the non-surgical removal of the calculus deposits
from you teeth. Root planning is the smoothing of the root surfaces so that the
gum tissue can reattach to the tooth. Even when this procedure is successful, the
majority of patients will need ongoing maintenance therapy to maintain health.
3. Laser therapy may offer potential benefits to patients for removing the calculus
from the tooth pockets where bacteria reside.
4. Periodontal surgery. If you’re diagnosed with gum disease, your periodontist may
recommend surgery. Periodontal surgery is necessary when your periodontist
determines that the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired
with non-surgical treatment. Following art the four types of surgical treatments
most commonly prescribed:
a. Pocket Reduction Procedures
b. Regenerative procedures
c. Crown lengthening
d. Soft tissue grafts
5. Dental in plant is an artificial tooth root for when one or more teeth are lost. They
can also be used to support a full or partial denture. Implants are the permanent
way for you to replace missing teeth, with a look and feel that’s very close to
Each of us is different, and so is our individual ability to resist diseases. Some patients
are more susceptible than others to periodontal disease. Fortunately, you don’t have to
lose your teeth to gum disease. With today’s state-of-the-art treatment procedures, you
can feel assured that most teeth can be saved.
Good periodontal health starts with you.
Here’s what you can do to prevent or control gum disease:
1. Thoroughly brush and floss tour teeth every day.
2. Eat a well-balanced diet, avoiding sticky sweet and junk food.
3. Examine your mouth routinely for any early signs of gum disease or other oral
4. Visit us at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning and oral examination.
Call smokers’ helpline…
The smokers’ helpline is a free service for Arizona smokers and smokeless tobacco users.
The Helpline offers:
• Telephone counseling for people who want help quitting tobacco
• Free self-help booklets
• On going support by trained professionals
• English and Spanish services
• Referrals to local services
Service provided by the Arizona college of Public health, sponsored by the tobacco
education and prevention program of the Arizona department of health services and
funded by the tobacco tax and health care act
Cosmetics aren’t just make-up anymore.
• Tetracycline Stains
• Diastema Closure
• Peg Laterals
• Multiple Dental Problems
Cosmetics---the adornment of the body and beautification of the outward appearance—has been
sought ever since the days of Cleopatra and even before.
As appealing as lipstick, powder, gels and lotions make us, they are all temporary, at best.
But your smile is forever. The complete appearance includes your teeth.
A miracle of modern dentistry makes it possible to restore a life-like beauty to teeth that
are stained, chipped, cracked, crooked, or separated by a wide space.
That miracle is the Chameleon Porcelain Veneer.
For the first time in the history of dentistry you can have a perfect color match and a fit
that defies detection.
In the past, the use of plastic or resin-filled bonding materials proved to be less than
desirable because they were not color stable, stained easily, and became rough and pitted in a
short period of time. As a result, these restorations had to be replaced, as much to the patient’s
Porcelain has changed all of that. Because porcelain is strong, durable, and wearresistant, it maintains its smooth, color-perfect surface for years.
The Chameleon Porcelain veneer, with its natural translucency, will enhance your smile and
overall appeal at work or play.
In addition to the esthetic benefits, the Chameleon Veneers offer you comfort and
convenience. A painless procedure, it requires no anesthetic because there is little or no tooth
reduction and requires no temporaries. Most times the restoration can be completed in just two
The fore case histories in the booklet are only a few of the applications for the
Chameleon Porcelain Veneer. Make an appointment for your personal examination and
consultation. Your dentist will answer any questions you may have about putting beauty and
appeal in your smile.
This patient a 21-year-old female, was branded by some of her peers in school as “shy”
and by others as “stuck up” because of her reluctance to smile—which showered her
tetracycline-stained teeth. (When tetracycline is administered from infancy to
adolescence, a side effect that may occur is the internal staining of the teeth; the staining
may be dark brown to gray lines across the teeth as they are formed.)
There are an estimated one-and-a-half million people affected by medicine
staining. You should always ask you physician or dentist to explain the side effect of any
drug before taking it. This presumed side effect appears especially in children from 1-16
years of age. In some sever cases the patients claim they have had their personalities
altered and have been subjected to humiliation.
With the Chameleon Veneers, the patient did not require anesthetic because of the
minimal reduction of enamel needed to complete the cosmetically beautiful end result.
In the patient’s own words,” I felt no pain and couldn’t tell anything had been
done to my teeth,”
After viewing her newly restored front teeth, tears of joy filled her eyes. Happily
she said she now could smile with pride and confidence.
Here is a dramatic example of a dental problem that affects many people.
The 47-year-old male patient here had shied away from having his diastema
closed because he did not feel comfortable with the treatment options available.
One treatment used for this problem is full crowns which involved preparing the
teeth by reducing their size to a small peg, over which the crowns are then placed.
An alternative treatment is a resin or plastic covering used to fill the space
between the teeth. Unfortunately, the materials used for this procedure are not color
stable and stain easily. In addition, the surface did not remain smooth.
To emphasize how life-like the veneers are, the doctor in this case chose to do
only small moon-shaped veneers, which he placed between the teeth to fill the spaces.
Once the veneers were cemented into position and polished, they were virtually
undetectable. The veneers blend so beautifully that not event he doctor can tell where the
veneers end and the teeth begin.
The new Chameleon Porcelain Veneers gave his patent a conservative answer to
his dental problem. The Chameleons offered natural translucence, strength, and
durability. The patient, elated with his new appearance, speaks with enthusiasm about the
This 31-year-old female, an assistant manager of a grocery store, had been dissatisfied
with the appearance of her laterals (the teeth on either side of the two teeth in the center).
She had heard about Chameleon Veneers from another happy, satisfied patient
and decided it was time to improver her smile.
Both the doctor and patient were pleased with her shade of her natural teeth. So it
was decided to veneer the laterals only. As you can see, the shade and natural
translucence of the veneers match her natural teeth identically.
Only the Chameleon Porcelain Veneers can an exact shade or characterization of
teeth be achieved. Whether it is one or six veneers, they all will look as vital as the
During the first of her two brief appointments, she was pleases to learn that no
reduction at all was needed on her left lateral and only slight reduction was needed on the
right to permit seating of the veneer.
As you can see, the improvement was dramatic. The patient was delighted with
the result. The doctor also was pleased because he was confident the gingival margins*
would be compatible, with no irritation or unsightly gum recession. And he’d have a
happy patient for years to come.
Multiple Dental Problems:
This may be the most dramatic improvement of any shown in this booklet.
The patient is a 37-year-old female Army officer working on her Master’s Degree
at the time of treatment.
The patient initially sought treatment to repair or replace a fractured porcelain jacket
crown on the left central tooth.
This led to a discussion of treatment method to improve her over-all dental
This patient has a sever Class II occlusion with a deep overbite, crowded teeth in some
areas, and spaced between teeth on other areas. To further complicate her dental
problems, her other central has some rotation.
The doctor recommended orthodontics with probable surgical intervention. The
patient declined the doctor’s preferred treatment; so a compromise treatment was
The patient chose to have two porcelain crowns, one on her left central and one on
the right lateral, and used Chameleon Porcelain Veneers on the remaining four anterior
appear straight and closed the spaces---a pleasing esthetic result.
The doctor was happy to accommodate the patient with this treatment because
should the patient later elect to have the orthodontic approach , this still can be achieved
because if the minimum reduction required for the Chameleon Veneers.
In conclusion—Chameleon Porcelain Veneers are not a cure-all treatment, but can
be used in many cases where conventional crowns are not required or acceptable to the
Busting the Denture Myths!
When it comes to myths, dentures have spawned a colorful collection. Unfortunately, many of
these common misconceptions about dentures have prevented people from achieving their
best health, appearance and self-confidence.
The fact of the matter is that proper denture fit, maintenance and regular dental care can
positively impact each of the 32,000,000 Americans who wear full or partial dentures. So check
out the following 11 myths. You may be surprised to find out that one or two you have
accepted as “fact,” are in fact, “fiction.”
“Dentures last forever!”
While it’s true that dentures are durable, they aren’t any more permanent than eyeglasses.
Dropping them even a few inches can break a tooth or the denture base, Even with
conscientious care, denture teeth can lose their natural appearance and chewing ability due to
chewing, brushing and age.
The way you care for your dentures can also alter their fit. Dentures can warp if placed in hot
water. If they become dried out, they may change shape. When you remove your dentures at
night, place them in a container of denture-cleaning solution. Also, it’s best to use a brush
designed for dentures as well as a denture cleaner rather than toothpaste, because some
dentifrices may be too abrasive for dentures.
“Once you have dentures, you don’t need to see a dentist anymore.”
This is probably the most common myth about dentures, and it’s wrong for several very
important reasons. You should see your dentist regularly for an oral examination, because your
mouth is continually changing. Mouth tissue can reveal signs of diseases, such as diabetes, that
first manifest themselves in the mouth. Besides checking your dentures, the dentist will check
for signs of oral cancer, and examine your gum ridges, tongue and jaw joints.
Of course, your dentures need attention, too. Important indicators of their condition:
• Looseness caused by tissue changes.
• Bad odor caused by absorption of fluid and bacteria.
• Color change due to age or a reaction to mouth fluids.
• Stains and calculus deposits resulting from mouth fluids
“Everyone knows when you’re wearing dentures. It’s embarrassing.”
This is true only if your dentures look unnatural or need re-fitting. Many of the “tell-tale” signs
of dentures – clicking or slipping, unpleasant odor or stains – are actually signs of poor fit or
improper home maintenance. Regular professional examinations and following your dentist’s
instructions on home care are essential steps in assuring a “natural appearance.”
Confidence in wearing dentures comes from realizing that you have taken a positive step
towards improving your health and appearance. Protecting your oral health with properly
fitting dentures is a smart move!
"Denture wearers can’t eat normally, or even speak properly”
While not all denture wearers can eat everything they would like, many have very few
restrictions in their diets. So, if you develop persistent speech or eating problems at any time,
have your dentist check the fit of your denture as soon as possible.
Good nutrition is just as important for mature adults as it is for younger persons. Properly
fitting dentures may actually encourage you to eat a varied and well-balanced diet that
maximizes your overall health. And, you’ll be able to enjoy the social benefits that make dining
with friends such a pleasant experience.
“I have to use adhesives to make my dentures fit, or I can’t wear them all day”
This is particularly dangerous myth. Dentures are made to fit precisely and usually do not
require regular use of an adhesive for comfort. In an emergency, denture adhesives can be
used to keep the dentures stable until you see the dentist, but prolonged use can mask
infections and cause bone loss in the jaw. Likewise, a poorly fitting denture, which causes
constant irritation over a long period, may contribute to the development of sores and tumors.
If your dentures begin to feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, see your dentist
“Dentures aren’t like natural teeth; they’re not affected by over-the-counter and prescription
Drugs can affect denture fit and wearability. For example, certain medications can reduce the
supply of saliva in your mouth, making it difficult to swallow or chew. So let your dentist know
of any medications you may be taking regularly- or even occasionally.
I have a fixed income. Regular dental care is too expensive.”
Before deciding that oral examinations and denture care is too costly, discuss the situation with
your dentist. Be frank. Ask about charges for denture adjustments, repairs and possible
replacement. Keep in mind that if you are in you 60s, you are likely to have twenty more years
of talking, eating and smiling. Your oral health is a vital part of your total health.
“I can make my own denture repairs.”
Even if you are a whiz at fixing toasters, leaky pipes or automobiles, do not try to adjust or
repair your dentures yourself.
Improperly relined dentures can be bulky, causing increased pressure on the jaw and more
rapid loss of jawbone. Do-it-yourself reliners can also irritate the soft tissues of your mouth.
The handyman approach can cause irreparable damage and may result in the need for a new
“I’ll be without teeth for days if I take my denture to the dentist for refitting or repair.”
Advances in modern dentistry have made it possible for your dentist to reline or repair
dentures quickly – often right in the office. If you let your dentist know that you are in need of
a denture repair, the correction can frequently be made on the same day.
“I know I should have my denture replaced, but I just don’t want to go through a long
adjustment period again.”
The first time is always the hardest. You’re a pro now. You’ve learned the basics about eating,
speaking and wearing a denture. There will be some adjustment, but it will probably be shorter
and easier than the first time.. And it is important! Prolonged use of ill fitting dentures can
irritate the gums, tongue and cheek, and even cause the ridges of your mouth to shrink to the
point where it will almost be impossible to fit you with normal dentures. Your ability to chew
may decrease, and your face may acquire deep aging lines and wrinkles. When you look at the
big picture, the temporary adjustment period isn’t so bad.
“All dentures are the same. It makes sense to shop around and look for the lowest price.”
Only a dentist is qualified to provide denture services. Before prescribing a denture, the dentist
reviews your health history, performs thorough oral examination and carefully measures and
prepares your mouth for your dentures.
Dentists work closely with reputable dental laboratories, where trained technicians make your
dentures to match your dentist’s specifications. Mail order specials for self-fitting dentures are
a waste of money, and can cause serious oral health problems.
So see your dentist. Or, if you need assistance in locating a dentist in your area, contact your
local dental society. Your health, comfort and appearance should not be left to chance.
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