Dentists dislike extracting teeth because saving as much natural tooth structure as possible is what preventive dentistry is all about. Yet, sometimes, losing a tooth actually improves oral health. At Art of Dentistry in Danville, VA, your dentists, Dr. Jessica Owens and Dr. Zachary Hairston, provide simple extractions as needed. Learn why here.
When your dentist in Danville, VA, pulls a tooth using manual tools and local anesthetic, the procedure is called a simple extraction. Surgical extractions for more complex problems happen either in the hospital or at the office of an oral surgeon.
There are many reasons why Dr. Owens or Dr. Hairston may recommend extraction of a particular tooth. Despite the many state-of-the-art restorations available at Art of Dentistry--white fillings, root canal therapy, porcelain crowns, and more--some teeth are just irretrievable. Conditions which warrant a dental extraction include:
- Fractured tooth roots or structure above the gum line
- Deep infection and inflammation
- Failed root canal therapy
- Deep oral trauma
- Blockage of cancer treatment (radiation)
- Advanced periodontal disease and resultant tooth mobility
- Impaction (encasement in gums and bone) of wisdom teeth (third molars)
- Supernumerary teeth (extra baby or adult teeth) which block the eruption and correct positioning of adult teeth
- Odd-shaped or undersized teeth, particularly if they interfere with biting, chewing, and speech
- Advanced dental abscess
If you need an extraction...
Don't worry. The team at Art of Dentistry is very experienced in this procedure; so you know you'll be comfortable throughout and experience no problems afterwards. Likely your dentist will recommend a dental implant or other tooth replacement as soon as possible so you maintain your personal appearance and have healthy bone and gum tissue.
You can expect your jaw and gums to be sore. Take the antibiotic and pain medication your dentist prescribes, and eat a soft diet for a few days to avoid breaking your sutures.
Right after the procedure, your dentist will ask you to bite on some sterile gauze to quell the bleeding. Then, for the subsequent 24 hours, refrain from smoking or drinking with a straw as the suction could dislodge the forming blood clot and cause a painful condition called dry socket. Also, refrain from brushing or rinsing your mouth for at least 12 hours as advised by the American Notify the office of any persistent bleeding.
Find out more
Dr. Owens and Dr. Hairston and their staff work hard to maintain their patients' oral health and smile appearance. If you have a toothache or wonder about the status of a particular tooth, please call Art of Dentistry right away for an appointment. We will make you comfortable and get your mouth 100 percent healthy again. Contact us in Danville, VA, at (434) 792-0700.
Your tooth is in peril if its innermost layer, the pulp, becomes infected and inflamed. Deep tooth decay, repeated dental procedures or fractures can all expose the pulp and ultimately the roots to infection and lead to tooth loss.
But that scenario isn't inevitable — we can often save the tooth with a root canal treatment. By accessing the tooth's interior through a prepared hole, we're able to clean out the infected tissue in the pulp chamber and root canals, and fill the empty space with a special filling. We then cap the tooth with a custom crown to protect it from a re-infection.
Root canal treatments have a very high success rate — chances are good your tooth will survive for many years afterward. But there's a slight chance the tooth may become re-infected; in that case, a second root canal treatment may be in order.
In a few cases, though, a second root canal may not be advisable, and could even accelerate damage to the tooth. For example, if past dental work resulted in an extensive crown restoration, accessing the root canals the conventional way will require disassembling that restoration. This could weaken the tooth significantly.
We can approach the problem from a different route: instead of accessing the tooth's interior through the crown (the visible part of the tooth), we instead perform a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy, which accesses the tooth at the root end through the gums.
In this procedure we numb the area with local anesthesia and then make a small incision through the gums at the level of the affected root. After access, we remove any diseased tissue around the root and a few millimeters of the root tip itself. We then insert a small filling in its place to seal the canal and prevent further infection. In some cases we may also insert a graft to encourage bone growth and aid in healing.
Over time, the affected area will heal and return to normal function. Even if a traditional root canal treatment can't be used, an apicoectomy could be another option for saving your tooth.
If you would like more information on your options for preserving a problem tooth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Apicoectomy.”
While the sport of golf may not look too dangerous from the sidelines, players know it can sometimes lead to mishaps. There are accidents involving golf carts and clubs, painful muscle and back injuries, and even the threat of lightning strikes on the greens. Yet it wasn’t any of these things that caused professional golfer Danielle Kang’s broken tooth on the opening day of the LPGA Singapore tournament.
“I was eating and it broke,” explained Kang. “My dentist told me, I've chipped another one before, and he said, you don't break it at that moment. It's been broken and it just chips off.” Fortunately, the winner of the 2017 Women’s PGA championship got immediate dental treatment, and went right back on the course to play a solid round, shooting 68.
Kang’s unlucky “chip shot” is far from a rare occurrence. In fact, chipped, fractured and broken teeth are among the most common dental injuries. The cause can be crunching too hard on a piece of ice or hard candy, a sudden accident or a blow to the face, or a tooth that’s weakened by decay or repetitive stress from a habit like nail biting. Feeling a broken tooth in your mouth can cause surprise and worry—but luckily, dentists have many ways of restoring the tooth’s appearance and function.
Exactly how a broken tooth is treated depends on how much of its structure is missing, and whether the soft tissue deep inside of it has been compromised. When a fracture exposes the tooth’s soft pulp it can easily become infected, which may lead to serious problems. In this situation, a root canal or extraction will likely be needed. This involves carefully removing the infected pulp tissue and disinfecting and sealing the “canals” (hollow spaces inside the tooth) to prevent further infection. The tooth can then be restored, often with a crown (cap) to replace the entire visible part. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted (removed).
For less serious chips, dental veneers may be an option. Made of durable and lifelike porcelain, veneers are translucent shells that go over the front surfaces of teeth. They can cover minor to moderate chips and cracks, and even correct size and spacing irregularities and discoloration. Veneers can be custom-made in a dental laboratory from a model of your teeth, and are cemented to teeth for a long-lasting and natural-looking restoration.
Minor chips can often be remedied via dental bonding. Here, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to the surfaces being restored. The resin is shaped to fill in the missing structure and hardened by a special light. While not as long-lasting as other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can often be completed in just one office visit.
If you have questions about restoring chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin.”
Your child's oral development generates considerable changes during their "growing up" years. There are a number of things you can do to help support their development—but also things you shouldn't.
Here are 4 things not to do if you want your child to develop healthy teeth and gums.
Neglect daily oral hygiene. To set the best long-term course for optimum oral health, begin cleaning the inside of your child's mouth even before they have teeth. Simply use a clean wet washcloth to wipe their gums after feeding to reduce bacterial growth. Once you begin seeing teeth, start brushing them every day with just a smear of toothpaste; at about age 2 you can increase that to a pea-sized amount. And don't forget to teach them when they're ready to brush and floss on their own!
Allow unlimited sugar consumption. Besides the effect it has on overall health, sugar is also a prime food source for disease-causing oral bacteria. You can reduce the sugar available for bacterial growth by avoiding sugary snacks and limiting sweet foods to meal times. Less sugar means less bacterial growth—and a lower risk of tooth decay for your child.
Put them to bed with a sugary liquid-filled bottle. Although a bedtime bottle may help calm your baby to sleep, it could also increase their risk of tooth decay. Allowing them to sip on sugar-filled liquids like juice, milk, formula or even breast milk encourages bacterial growth. Bacteria in turn produce acid, which can dissolve the minerals in enamel and open the door to tooth decay. Sipping through the night also deprives saliva of adequate time to neutralize acid.
Wait on dental visits until they're older. Dental and pediatric associations all recommend first taking your child to the dentist sooner rather than later—by their first birthday. Starting dental visits early will help you stay ahead of any developing tooth decay or other oral problems. And just as important, your child will have an easier time "warming up" to the dental office environment at a younger age than if you wait. Dental visit anxiety, on the other hand, could continue into adulthood and interfere with regular dental care.
If you would like more information on the best dental care practices for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”
How orthodontic treatment from your dentists in Danville, VA, can help you achieve a straight smile
Have you thought about straightening your smile? Modern orthodontic treatment has led to more people achieving a straight smile than ever before. It isn’t just teens that can benefit from braces; adults of all ages are choosing orthodontics too! Drs. Jessica Owens and Zachary Hairston at Art of Dentistry in Danville, VA, offer a full range of orthodontic solutions to give you a straight, spectacular smile!
People choose orthodontic treatment to correct problems like these:
- Underbite or overbite
- Crossbite or open bite
- Poor tooth alignment
- Crowding or tooth rotation
- Gaps between teeth
- Overlapping teeth
So, which type of braces is right for you? Your dentist can help you decide, and there are several choices. Consider:
- Conventional metal braces, which are the tried-and-true method to achieve a straight smile; today’s metal braces are smaller and much less visible than braces from years ago.
- Ceramic braces, which are more aesthetically appealing than metal; these braces are tooth-colored, so they blend in with your smile.
- Lingual braces, which are cemented on to tooth surfaces next to your tongue; these braces are virtually invisible to people around you.
At Art of Dentistry, you can also choose Invisalign, the revolutionary orthodontic system that doesn’t use braces at all. Invisalign uses a system of clear, smooth plastic trays, called aligners, which you wear for two weeks, and then progress to a new set of aligners. You change aligners every two weeks as your teeth gradually move into correct position. Invisalign offers these important advantages:
- Rapid results, because treatment is complete in 9 to 15 months
- Comfortable treatment, because the aligners are made of smooth plastic, with no sharp parts
- Discreet beauty, because the aligners are clear and virtually invisible to people around you
Don’t make your orthodontic decision alone. Seek out the help of an expert, your dentist. For more information about braces and Invisalign, call Drs. Jessica Owens and Zachary Hairston at Art of Dentistry in Danville, VA. Call today and get started on a straight, beautiful smile!
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