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All posts in Family Dentistry

Three Ways That Your Family Dentist Can Fix a Chipped Front Tooth

When you accidentally chip your front tooth, your dentist may be able to fix it for you without the need for a major dental restoration. First, the dentist will check your tooth to make sure that it is just a small chip, and not a fracture that goes through your tooth’s root. For these instances, experienced dentists can often fix a small chip in an adult front tooth in just one office visit.

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5 Reasons Dentists Must Take X-Rays

5 Reasons Dentists Must Take X-Rays

When a dentist needs more than a superficial analysis provided by an oral examination of your mouth, we utilize X-rays to check the teeth, bones, and tissues, along with the upper and lower jaw. This procedure can help the practitioner discover minor problems ahead of time, before they get a chance to develop into something severe. The American Dental Association advocates dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping the dentist detect damages and diseases.

Dentists must employ X-rays for conditions including:

  1. Looking for decay between teeth – Generally the Bitewing X-ray is employed to uncover the proximity of the upper and lower posterior teeth, and to verify if decomposition is present.
  2. Checking for bone loss – A Periapical X-ray can show us where gingivitis and the advance cases of periodontal diseases such as pyorrhea have formed, which result in swollen infected pus pockets of the gum, as well as the deterioration of the bones supporting the teeth.
  3. Searching for decay under existing fillings – Although the Bitewing X-ray is normally used for spotting decay between teeth, it has its limitation, it is used mostly for exterior purposes. For detecting dental caries beneath current fillings, a laser florescent cavity wand is needed in conjunction with the Bitewing process. This device emits a pulsating laser light that reverberates off the tooth, producing a transparent florescent aspect to the enamel, which exposes the affected area.
  4. Looking for infection at the tip of your tooth root – Just like the Periapical X-ray, the Panoramic X-ray recognizes abnormalities of entities connected with oral health including abscesses, which can lead to Pulpitis, a pathological state within the soft inner area of the tooth. This disease is initiated by inflammation of the interior chamber of the tooth that spreads to the root tip embedded in the jaw.
  5. Examining area before procedures – such as braces, implants and tooth removal – The Panoramic X-ray is often used to take a picture of every angle of the jawbone. This medical apparatus revolves completely around the head; this helps us see if there are any problems before placing implants, braces or removing a tooth.

The X-ray is usually combined with a Computer Tomography scanner, also known as a CT scan. This instrument scans the density of the jawbone and the oral tissues. It then uses a computer to constructs a sequence of the cross-sections of the scan to create three-dimensional imagery. From these pictures, we can discern the health of the gums and make a decision on what are the best options for the patient.

Salt Lake City, Utah Dentist for the Whole Family

We at Village Dental offer Family and Cosmetic Dentistry as well as preventive care. For more than 50 years, we have provided quality and compassion dental services in the Salt Lake City area for your entire family. For more information about our specialties, please do not hesitate to visit us today at . Our knowledgeable and friendly staff will be able to assist you with all your inquiries. Book an appointment with Village Dental today!

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Understanding Why Gums Bleed

Understanding Why Gums Bleed

Basics of Bleeding Gums

Bleeding is your body’s way of communicating that something has gone wrong. It’s like a giant, scarlet time-out signal in the game of life. If you encounter bleeding gums while brushing your teeth, it’s generally a sign that your oral health needs to be addressed.
oral health
When bacterial growth is left to foster on the teeth, gingivitis (gum disease) is often the result. Bacteria-infested plague will cause the gum to swell and become more vulnerable to bleeding. Though dangerous, gingivitis doesn’t do irreversible damage. If left unchecked, this could progress to periodontitis, serious inflammation of the gums. Periodontitis creates pockets of space between the tooth and the gum which then attract pernicious bacteria. These toxins then break down the bone and connective tissue. This damage, unlike that of gingivitis, is no longer irreversible.

When weakened enough, teeth loosen and eventually fall out.

Why Gums Randomly Bleed?

If your gums are bleeding seemingly at random, the following could be the cause:

  • Poor dental hygienewhy-gums-bleed-woman
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Unstable hormones
  • Chronic smoking
  • Stress
  • Crooked teeth
  • Genetics
  • Medication side effect
  • Diabetes or cancer symptoms

Any of these preceding stressors may trigger random gum bleeding individually, and are further exacerbated when combined with one another. Though not all of these causes may be your fault, their consequences must be dealt with regardless.

Why Gums Bleed When Brushing Teeth?

Aside from general poor oral hygiene, the most common sources of bleeding while brushing are the toothbrush and your brushing technique.

Contrary to what many may think, soft-bristled toothbrushes are no less effective at removing plaque and stains than any other toothbrush. They’re practical and comfortable to use.

When brushing your teeth, keep the brush at a 45° and gently brush away from the gumline in a back-and-forth kind of fashion. Do so on the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Brushing too hard yields no tangible benefit, and can irritate gums and cause them to bleed.

Why Gums Bleed When Flossing?

Flossing is one of the most quintessentially important parts of proper oral hygiene; it’s also the part that most often yields bleeding gums. Like with brushing, proper technique is key for effective and safe flossing.

Don’t pull or stress the floss too tightly against the teeth and gums; this may cause unnecessary stress and aggravation. Instead, carefully follow the contours of the tooth and slide the floss up and down. Push enough for a thorough cleaning but not enough to do damage.

If flossing proves too difficult or painful, consider using a water pick instead. Many find them more comfortable to use.

Why Gums Bleed During Pregnancy?

pregnancy-gingivitisAs any expecting mother can attest, the joys of creating life are often preceded by a series of less-than-joyful experiences. In addition to the usual inconveniences, pregnancy can also bring on “pregnancy gingivitis.”

Pregnancy gingivitis is caused by the hormonal imbalance associated with pregnancy. An increased level of progesterone facilitates bacteria growth, and increases the odds of gingivitis. With this risk, it’s even more vital for women to maintain proper oral hygiene. Researchers from the Journal of the American Dental Association have linked gum disease with premature birth and underweight babies. Pregnancy gingivitis is more than an inconvenience; it’s a serious health concern.

How to Prevent Swollen or Bleeding Gums?

To maintain superior oral hygiene and reduce the onset of inflamed, swollen, or bleeding gums, consider these actions:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Stop smoking or consuming other tobacco products
  • Try non-alcoholic mouthwash
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Reduce intake of carbohydrate or sugar-heavy foods
  • Talk to your doctor about side effects of current medications
  • Regularly visit your dentist

Undertaking these measures will present pain, bleeding, and long-term damage on-set by gum disease.

See a Holladay, Utah Dentist for Bleeding Gums Treatment

holladay utah dentistGum disease, when left unchecked, can lead to tender, swollen, and receding gums, unexpected blood loss, loose and ejected teeth, and myriad health problems that affect the entire body. Gum disease has even been linked to oral cancer.

If you’re experiencing any of the preceding issues or have questions regarding your personal oral health, seek out Village Dental, conveniently located in Holladay, Utah. With our 50 years in the industry, we have the professional expertise and guidance to help your gums get into optimum shape. Don’t hesitate; contact us today.

 

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Selecting Metal Dental Fillings vs Composite Dental Fillings

Selecting Metal Dental Fillings vs Composite Dental Fillings

Metal vs White Dental Fillings

For more than a century, the primary source of dental fillings has been a combination of silver and other metals, including mercury.
Mercury, a unique and controversial metal, has caused some patients to demand other filling options. Although many dental and health organizations have found little risk to the small amounts of Mercury released in the dental  filling process, it still has led to dental researchers experimenting with new filling technology that doesn’t involve metal, such as composite resins.

Composite resins generally don’t last as long, but are easier to repair or replace than metal. Some health officials also warn that though the risk of metal contamination is reduced, there may be other risks in the resin’s chemical make-up.

Though the ultimate goal of either method is the same – fill in cavities and preserve teeth – it’s important that patients be educated on the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Metal (Amalgram) Fillings

According to the American Dental Association, metal-based fillings have been used on more than 150 million patients over the last 100 years. The traditional mixture uses silver and a combination of other minerals.

Pros of Amalgram Dental Fillings:

  • An established standard method of filling.
  • Long lifespan, especially in the mouth’s moist environment.

Cons of Amalgram Dental Fillings:

  • Some patients may have sensitivities or allergies to minerals, including tin, zinc or copper.
  • The tooth also may weaken, decay or break over time.
  • It can be a challenge to repair or replace.
  • The presence of mercury.
  • The dark metal appearance of fillings could mar bright smiles.
  • The metal has potential to stain adjoining teeth.

White (Amalgram) Dental Fillings

Composite resins are typically a mix of plastic that holds up under the pressure of chewing and grinding and also isn’t excessively damaged by saliva. More people are choosing them: according to a critical review of dental amalgams for the National Institutes of Health, 71 million amalgam restorations were performed in 1999, compared to 86 million composite restorations.

Pros of Composite Dental Fillings:

  • Composite fillings can closely match the tooth and not ruin the mouth’s esthetics.
  • Composites have better hot and cold insulating properties.
  • Composites help make teeth stronger and help prevent fractures.
  • They are easier to repair or replace than metal.
  • Installing metallic fillings may require a larger prep area, and drilling vs. a laser. Composites can require small cavity preparations which can be better for the tooth’s overall integrity.
  • Composite fillings match the natural color of your teeth.

Cons of Composite Dental Fillings:

  • Don’t last for as long as metal fillings for larger fillings.
  • Possible shrinkage over time, although research is working on decreasing this.

 Mercury Poisoning from Amalgram Dental Fillings

Much of the concern over the safety of amalgams arises from the use of mercury as a bonding agent. But when mercury is combined with other materials in dental amalgam, its’ chemical nature changes, rendering it harmless.

Though large quantities of mercury have been linked to serious damage to the brain and major organs, most standard health organizations conclude that there is only a small amount released during the filing process or even day-to-day chewing. The FDA, the ADA, the Centers for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Mayo Clinic, the New England Journal of Medicine and similar organizations have studied the vapor contained in fillings and concluded that this filling type is safe for anyone over 6 years of age or older.

While FDA officials don’t say there’s a higher risk to pregnant women, fetuses or children under 6, the organization does declares that’s there’s limited clinical information. The FDA recommends that anyone concerned about existing mercury fillings should leave them in, especially if teeth are in good shape. Removing them could damage your teeth and possibly release mercury.

holladay utah dentistDental Fillings in Holladay, Utah

Village Dental is conveniently located in the Holladay, UT. area, and we will be happy to discuss the filling options that will work best for your dental needs. Though metallic fillings bring a long tradition of reliability, advances in the design and structure of composites also make them a fine alternative. Possible factors influencing your decision could include the size and location of the cavity to be filled, your dental history, possible esthetics, and possible cost. Call 801-277-1916 to schedule a dental appointment with Holladay, Utah’s favorite dentist!

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Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns and Fillings in Utah

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns and Fillings in Utah

Dental Fillings

Getting a dental filling or dental crown is often necessary to maintain oral hygiene. Whether you are told you require a filling during a regular checkup or if you haven’t visited a dentist in years and require a crown, understanding the steps for each procedure and the materials involved can help to put your mind at ease before scheduling an upcoming appointment.

Dental Filling Procedure

Numbing the area is necessary prior to filling any cavity, regardless of its size. A dentist will often place a numbing substance surrounding the area of the gums where the injection will take place. The numbing shot is quick and helps to keep patients from feeling any pain or discomfort during the filling process itself.

Dentists often provide rubber dams or bite blocks to patients during filling procedures depending on the location of the filling and the severity of the procedure. Rubber dams include material that helps to catch tooth debris, potential bacteria and additional saliva that falls to the back of the mouth and throat during the filling procedure. Using a bite block is often recommended for patients that require their mouths and jaws to be propped open without the use of their own jaw muscles, allowing them to relax.

A high-speed hand piece is used first to help with spraying water to clean the tooth and surrounding area near the tooth that requires a filling. Afterwards, a high or low-volume suction is used to remove debris and remaining water in the mouth once the dentist has completed the initial cleaning.

Finally, the dentist will use hand tools made of metal to help clear remaining areas necessary where the filling materials will be placed and set.

Dental Filling Materials

Amalgam

Amalgam fillings (silver fillings) have been used in dentistry for more than 180 years with a mixture of mercury and other various metals. Although mercury in itself is known to be toxic, the material used with Amalgam fillings allows the filling to help assist the tooth to form back to its natural shape and formation without exposing the mouth or tooth itself to mercury. Amalgam fillings are stronger than composite fillings, therefore they are recommended for back teeth which are used more for chewing and require additional strength. Amalgam fillings are known to last longer than composite fillings, although some individuals prefer composite fillings due to the lack of mercury and other metals.

Composite Fillings

Composite resin fillings look similar to modeling clay and form to blend with the natural appearance of the teeth once applied. Composite fillings are newer are do not contain metals or any form of mercury. They are also less noticeable than traditional amalgam fillings, which are often silver and shiny even after years of having the procedure. Composite fillings are known to be more pricey than amalgam fillings, with amalgam fillings averaging at $88 per filling and composite fillings averaging around $135 for each procedure.

What is a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are materials that are placed over a damaged tooth, appearing as a new tooth altogether. Unlike dentures and removable caps, dental crowns are cemented permanently within the mouth. Dental crowns are also referred to as “caps” and “porcelain jackets” in dental terminology and within general conversation.

Why Are Crowns Necessary for Some Patients?

Although dental fillings are one of the most popular procedures known in a dentist office, crowns are necessary for patients that have more severe damage or extensive decay to their teeth. Crowns are often needed for patients who have worn or broken teeth that require more than a simple filling to repair.

Popular Dental Crown Materials

The most popular dental crown materials include porcelain, ceramic, and metal alloy.

How Much Does a Dental Crown Cost?

Dental crowns help patients to keep their teeth intact while avoiding an entire root canal, which is often a much more intense procedure. Crowns are also ideal for cosmetic purposes, not requiring the removal of a tooth to fully repair prior damage. The cost will vary depending on the difficulty of the crown, and your insurance.

Properly Caring for Your Crowns and Teeth After a Procedure

After a crown procedure, brushing twice a day in addition to using fluoride is essential to keep your mouth and teeth healthy while healing. Additionally, keep in mind a healthy diet is also advisable. Drink plenty of water and steer clear of sugary sodas and foods to keep your teeth in the best condition possible.

When seeking a gentle dentist who understands the importance of caring for patients during any filling or crown procedure, consider Village Dental in Holladay, Utah. Our professional staff not only provides the best dental care, but also an atmosphere that is comfortable and welcoming for all of our patients. For more information on our services and how to schedule your appointment today, visit http://www.village-dental.com/.

 

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How Often Should You Get A Checkup at the Dentist?

How Often Should You Get A Checkup at the Dentist?

Taking care of one’s teeth is not as easy as brushing one’s teeth every day. Even that has a number along with it. Brushing twice a day is essential for everyone, be it a child or an adult. Dentists are tirelessly advising patients to come back for check-ups more than once a year, which people often tend to ignore. Regular visits to the dentist are as important as eating healthy. Some people have to visit the dentist even more often than others without any teeth and gum problems.

The standard recommendation is to visit the dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleanings. This frequency works well for most people. There are several people with a genetic predisposition for cavities, gum diseases or a weak immune system who need to visit the dentist more frequently. These visits depend on the prescription and advice of the dentist. Certain other physical ailments can transcend to the teeth and gums and cause lasting problems, and those need to be checked out as well.

The three major reasons to visit the dentist at least twice a year are:

  1. For a thorough check-up by dentist to look for deep-rooted problems
  2. To allow the dentist to find early signs of decay
  3. For treatment of other health problems

People that suffer from ailments like diabetes, gum disease, weak immune system and those who smoke and drink excessively are at a high risk and must visit the dentist more often than just twice a year. Young children should also get more check-ups as the condition of their teeth is constantly changing.

A typical check-up appointment entails check-up by a dental professional – both dentist and dental hygienist – who will conduct an initial oral exam of gums and teeth. They will note changes from the last visit and create a record for dental hygiene and advice for general methods to look after oral health. The dental professionals will also conduct a cleaning. First the dentist will conduct a treatment with home-based tooth brushing and flossing that helps remove plaque. Only the professional cleaning can truly rid your mouth of all abnormalities. By using a series of metal hand instruments to clean the teeth, the dentist will ensure thorough clean-up. The dentist will then conduct a polishing session, in which all plaque and stains are removed and the tooth surface is polished to look clean and more even. The hygienist then offers additional instructions for follow-up at home based on the results of the oral examination. If there are some serious doubts about the health of the teeth, an x-ray will be conducted. Based on the result of the x-ray treatment methods will be prescribed.

Visits to the dentist, when done regularly are pain and problem-free. Visits done in an emergency-like situation are often accompanied by pain and fear, thus ruining the image of dentists. Taking care of one’s teeth is the easiest task to accomplish, but people often ignore it thinking it to be unnecessary. This puts their entire health at risk.

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