Dec 14th, 2009
Baby teeth, which are also called primary teeth, are typically off-white or ivory. As a young child’s teeth start to come in, many parents are alarmed to realize that their child’s teeth are not white. Discolored baby teeth can be caused by many reasons, including:
- Inadequate brushing. If baby teeth aren’t brushed properly, plaque may form on the teeth — which can lead to tooth discoloration.
- Medication use. Infant medications containing iron, such as supplemental vitamins, may cause dark stains on baby teeth. Taking the antibiotic tetracycline during pregnancy can cause discolored baby teeth, too.
- Tooth or gum injury. Trauma to baby teeth or gums may give baby teeth a pink or gray hue.
- Weak enamel. A genetic problem with enamel formation may lead to discolored baby teeth.
- Excessive fluoride. Excessive fluoride, or fluorosis, may cause bright white spots or streaks on the teeth.
- Newborn jaundice. A baby who develops jaundice after birth may have baby teeth with a green tint.
- Serious illness. A widespread infection during infancy may result in discolored baby teeth. Conditions such as newborn hepatitis and some types of heart disease can have the same effect.
If the discoloration is caused by inadequate brushing, more thorough brushing is likely to help. Use water and a small, soft-bristled toothbrush or the fingertip variety designed for infants. A child does not need to use toothpaste until he or she learns to spit, usually about age 2 or 3.
If your child drinks from a bottle, remember that sipping milk or juice throughout the day or while falling asleep may lead to tooth decay. Don’t let your child carry a bottle during the day, and don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle, unless it contains a small amount of plain water.
In other cases, treatment options may include bleaching the discolored teeth or simply watching the teeth for signs of other problems. Discuss your concerns about your son’s baby teeth with his doctor. He or she may offer a referral to a pediatric dentist.
Dec 8th, 2009
A26D69VHQ3GT A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form, causing further damage and extensive pain.
“Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.
A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory — to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
What Damages a Tooth’s Nerve and Pulp?
A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.
How do You Know if You Need a Root Canal?
Sometimes, symptoms are not apparent. However, signs you may need a root canal include:
- Severe tooth pain upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures
- Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
What Happens During a Root Canal?
A root canal requires one or more office visits and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist, which is a dentist who specializes in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth. The choice of which type of dentist to use depends on the difficulty of the root canal procedure needed in your particular tooth and the general dentist’s comfort level in working on your tooth.
Dec 1st, 2009
Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements used to counter tooth loss. The procedure is categorized as a form of prosthetic dentistry, though it also falls into the category of cosmetic dentistry as well.
While you have several restorative options for the treatment of missing teeth, none have proven to be as functionally effective and durable as implants. In many cases, dental implants may be the only logical choice for the restoration of all necessary functionality of the teeth and supporting structures.
The Dental Implants Procedure
Today’s dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from other teeth. This is aided in part by the structural and functional connection between the dental implant and the living bone. Implants are typically placed in a single sitting but require a period of osseointegration, which can take as long as six months. Once the implants have fully healed, your dentist can complete the procedure with the placement of a crown. However, if osseointegration does not occur, the implant will fail.
Preparing the Jaw for Implantation
A dental implant is commonly composed of a titanium material screw and a crown. A small-diameter hole is drilled in order to guide the titanium screw that holds a dental implant in place. To avoid damaging vital jaw and face structures like the inferior alveolar nerve in the lower jaw, a dentist must use great skill and expertise when boring the pilot hole and sizing the jaw bone.
Placement of the Implant
After the initial pilot hole has been drilled into the appropriate jaw site, it is slowly widened to allow for placement of the implant screw. Following this placement, a protective cover screw is placed on top to allow the implant site to heal and the dental implant to anchor. After several months, the protective cover is removed and a temporary crown is placed on top of the dental implant. The temporary crown serves as a template around which the gum grows and shapes itself in a natural way.