Posts for: April, 2016
Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.
What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!
Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.
If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.
For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.
Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.
Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.
So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.
If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”
What you need to know about your baby’s tooth order
Your little baby is precious and you want to do all you can to make sure your baby is healthy. This includes your baby’s teeth. You probably have many questions about when you can expect your baby’s first tooth to erupt, and once it does, what do you do? Your pediatric dentists, at Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire in Amherst, want you to know all there is to know about what to expect with your baby’s teeth.
There are an established tooth order and average tooth eruption times for babies and children, but that doesn’t mean your baby will fit with the averages. Tooth eruption can be early, or delayed, and that doesn’t mean anything is wrong. So if your child doesn’t fit in the guidelines, don’t worry.
Your child should have a total of 20 primary teeth, which erupt at various times. Typically, you can expect the lower central front teeth to erupt at 6 to 10 months, and upper central front teeth erupt at about 8 to 12 months. Usually, lower teeth will erupt shortly before their opposing upper tooth.
Eruption continues with the lower lateral front teeth at 10 to 16 months, upper lateral front teeth at 9 to 13 months. The canines are the next to erupt, with the lower canines erupting at 17 to 23 months, and the upper canines at 16 to 22 months.
Your baby’s teeth will continue to erupt, with the lower first and second primary molars coming in between 14 and 31 months. The upper first and second molars erupt between 13 and 33 months.
Your pediatric dentists at Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire want you to know the current pediatric recommendations are to have your child come in for a first visit within 6 months of the first tooth erupting. Decay can happen quickly and early. You should bring your child in by his or her first birthday.
You want your child to be relaxed and comfortable when visiting the dentist. Your child will build a positive relationship with the pediatric dentists at Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire, and have a great first visit. So call your pediatric dentists at Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire in Amherst, New Hampshire. Take care of your baby’s smile and call today!
One of the health issues pregnant women should be concerned about is a higher risk of periodontal (gum) disease. But you don’t have to be pregnant to have an increased risk — you also may be more susceptible to dental disease if you’re taking certain birth control pills.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection caused by plaque, food debris that builds up on tooth and gum surfaces due to poor oral hygiene. If left untreated gum disease can eventually lead to the breakdown of connective gum tissue and cause tooth loss.
Pregnant women are at greater risk because of an increased level of female hormones (estrogen) in their blood stream. This causes a change in the blood vessels that supply the gums, making them more susceptible to the effects of bacteria. A number of birth control options also increase estrogen levels, causing much of the same effect. To heighten the effect, you may also have a predisposition toward gum disease by your genetics or a high stress level.
There are some things you can do, however, to help lower your risk if you’re taking birth control medication. First and foremost, practice a consistent, daily habit of brushing and flossing. If you’re unsure if your technique is effective, we can provide guidance and training to make sure you’re performing these tasks properly. You should also visit us at least twice a year for office cleanings and checkups: no matter how effective you are with brushing and flossing, plaque can still accumulate in hard to reach places and form hardened deposits known as calculus.
You should also be on the lookout for signs of disease like gum redness, swelling or bleeding. If you see any of these signs, contact us as soon as possible for a thorough examination. As with many other issues involving health, the sooner we begin treatment for gum disease the better your chances of stopping it before it does too much harm.
If you would like more information on the relationship between gum disease and pregnancy or birth control, 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 “Pregnancy & Birth Control.”