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FAQ
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 03 November 2008 16:13

ORTHODONTIC

Can orthodontic treatment do for my children?

Yes. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Many orthodontic problems can be corrected as easily for adults as for children. Orthodontic forces move the teeth in the same way for both adults and children, but adult treatment may take longer due to the maturity of the bone. Complicating factors, such as lack of jaw growth, may create different treatment planning needs for the adult. This is why a consultation with an orthodontist, the dental specialist who aligns teeth and jaws of patients of all ages, is essential.

How do braces feel?

Most people have some discomfort after their braces are first put on or when adjusted during treatment. After the braces are on, teeth may become sore and may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Patients can usually manage this discomfort well with whatever pain medication they might commonly take for a headache. The orthodontist will advise patients and/or their parents what, if any, pain relievers to take. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Orthodontic wax applied to an offending bracket will help relieve discomfort. Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed. Once patients have become accustomed to their braces, they may even forget they have them on.


DENTAL IMPLANT

Who is a candidate for dental implants?

Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth due to injury, disease, or decay may be a candidate for dental implants. If one, a few or all teeth are missing, dental implants in conjunction with a crown or bridge can replace those teeth. Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits that dental implants offer. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you're healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you're probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Your dentist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history. At this time all your questions can be answered.

Is there pain or discomfort involved?

Most patients report that there is very little discomfort and that they were much more comfortable following the procedure then they anticipated. implants are placed in a very gentle fashion and care is taken to the various tissues involved. Anesthesia and patient sedation are used to eliminate any discomfort at the time of the procedure. Your dentist may recommend that you speak with another patient who has already had tooth replacement therapy to assess their personal experience

How will I benefit from dental implants?

The benefits of implant treatment include appearance, the enhanced ability to chew and enjoy your food, and often protection of your remaining teeth and jawbone. Dental implants offer many benefits never before available for the treatment of missing teeth. In short, dental implants will look, feel and function like your real teeth.

How long will the treatment take?

Treatment time will vary depending on your unique situation. Nowadays it is often possible to get well functioning and esthetic looking teeth within a few days. In some cases it may be necessary to wait a longer time period before finishing the restoration in order to obtain an optimal result.

Will I ever be without my teeth?

This depends on your situation. Most patients can leave the office wearing some type of temporary prosthesis.

How much will it cost?

The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants will depend on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of implants required to support your replacement teeth. It is important for you to know that you do not necessarily need an implant for each missing root. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary to have a doctor examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, your dentist will recommend the treatment that is best for you and what your investment would be for the procedure.

How long do implants last?

At Bicon we have experience from over 32 years of replacing missing teeth with dental implants. Dental bridges supported by implants from Bicon (www.bicon.com) have been shown to last over 15 years in 90% of cases. We have every indication that they will last for much longer. Most patients can expect them to last a life time. The first patient received his dental implants more than 30 years ago and they are still functioning today.

Is it important to take care of the implants after the treatment is completed?

Yes! Maintaining care of the implants will help to assure the long-term success of your treatment. You will be responsible for daily plaque removal, which can be accomplished through brushing and flossing around your restoration. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to properly care for your implants. You must visit your dentist at least once a year for maintenance appointments.


PROSTHODONTIA

Which are better composite veneers or porcelain veneers?

The most popular type of veneers are porcelain, which offer a stronger and more durable alternative to its composite counterpart. Composite veneers are also more prone to staining and do not last as long as porcelain veneers which also offer more a natural looking, translucent tooth-like appearance. Composite veneers are much cheaper than porcelain veneers in general, but considering that they do not last as long and need replacing more often they could end up costing more in the long run. Composite work is ideal for small chips as this treatment preserves more of your natual tooth structure.

How long do dental veneers last?

Porcelain veneers will typically last between 5-10 years and composite veneers maybe a year or two at the most. The botom line is that eventually your veneers will need to be replaced. Although veneers are strongly cemented into place they have been cases where they come loose and fall off, in such situations it is important that you keep hold of your veneer and contact your dentist immediately. To make your veneers last longer it is important to follow a good oral hygiene program and also visit your dentist for check ups on a regular basis.

When are dental bridges needed?

Bridges are recommended when there are one or more teeth missing that affect your
• Smile and appearance
• Bite as a result of adjacent teeth leaning into the space and altering the way the upper and lower teeth bite together.
• Speech
• Shape of your face
• Gum disease and tooth decay as a result of food accumulated in the gap

Must missing teeth be replaced?

Yes, missing teeth must be replaced for many reasons :
• To improve your appearance
• To reduce the strain on the teeth at either side of the missing tooth
• To prevent the neighbouring teeth from leaning into the resulting gap and altering the bite
• To prevent gum disease and tooth decay due to accumulation of food in the gap

What are the steps involved in the procedure for fitting in dental bridges?

At the first appointment:
• The dentist will numb the area with a mild anaesthetic.
• The teeth on either side of the space are prepared by trimming away a small area in order to accommodate the new crown over them.
• The dentist then uses dental putty to make an impression of the teeth, which will be used to make the bridge and crown in the laboratory.
• A temporary bridge is fitted in to protect the exposed gums and teeth
• A Vita shade guide may be used to determine the right shade for the dental bridge, by selecting a shade that resembles natural colour variations in your teeth, as well as suits your complexion, hair colour, the colour of your natural teeth and even your eye colour.

At the second appointment:
• The temporary bridge is removed and the custom made bridge is fitted in and checked for its fit and bite, and adjusted accordingly. It is then cemented in place
• Often multiple visits are required to check and adjust the fit.
• In case of permanent or fixed bridges, the bridge is temporarily cemented in for a couple of weeks and checked for its fit. It is permanently cemented in only after several weeks.

How long will dental bridges last?

Dental bridges can last 10-15 years provided that you maintain good dental hygiene and eating habits.

How to take care of your dental bridges?

Practice good dental hygiene:
• Clean the dental bridge everyday and prevent tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease
• Clean under the false tooth every day
• Keep the remaining teeth healthy as these serve as the foundation for the dental bridge

Brushing and flossing:
• Brush twice and floss daily
• To floss use a bridge floss threader which is a flexible piece of plastic with a loop at one end to thread the floss.
• Thread one end of a 14 to 18 inches piece of dental floss through the loop, making sure to leave one side about half as long as the other
• Insert the end of the flosser without the hole in between the bridge and the gumline.
• Hold onto the longer piece of floss, gently bring it up and pull the pointed end all the way through.
• Floss using both your hands, moving the floss back and forth under the bridge
• Floss the bridge completely from its one end to the other

Diet and eating habits:
• Eat soft foods or food cut into small pieces until you get accustomed to the dental bridge
• Eat a balanced and nutritious diet for good general and dental health
What are the advantages of dental bridges?
• They are natural in their appearance
• They generally require only two appointments with the dentist
• They have a good life period, lasting for 10-15 years, provided that you maintain good dental hygiene


WHITENING/ TEETH BLEACHING

What should you ask your dentist?

You may want to start by speaking with your dentist. He or she can tell you whether whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow-ish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, bleaching may not enhance your smile if you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not effect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.

Why do my teeth have stains and discolorations?

Most stains are caused by age, tobacco, coffee, or tea. Other types of stains can be caused by antibiotics, such as tetracycline; or too much fluoride.

What treatments are used for stained teeth?

Ask your oral health care professional about tooth-whitening options. They include a number of over-the-counter whitening systems, whitening toothpastes, and the latest high-tech option--laser tooth whitening. For maximum whitening, experts agree that peroxide is usually the way to go.

Supervised bleaching procedures that are done in-office and at-home have become among the most popular treatment options. In some cases, the procedure is performed entirely in the office, using a light or heat source to speed up the bleaching process. In other cases, an oral health care professional gets the procedure started during an office visit and then gives you what you need to complete it at home. Still another popular procedure is one that you complete entirely at home.

At-home procedures, sometimes called nightguard vital bleaching, consist of placing a bleaching solution, usually a peroxide mixture, in a tray (nightguard) that has been custom fitted for your mouth by an oral health care professional. The bleaching solutions may vary in potency and may be worn for an hour, or throughout the night. Your oral health care professional can advise you on the appropriate type of application and the length of time needed to whiten your teeth, based on the severity of tooth discoloration and your specific needs.

How effective are bleaching systems?

Bleaching is effective in lightning most stains caused by age, tobacco, coffee, and tea. Based on clinical studies, 96 percent of patients with these kinds of stains experience some lightening effect. Other types of stains, such as those produced by tetracycline use or fluorosis (too much fluoride), respond to bleaching less reliably. And one cosmetic dentist points out that bleaching systems are not fully predictable. If you have a tooth-color filling when your teeth are bleached, the filling will stay yellow-dental restorations do not change color when tooth whitener is applied.

Are there any side effects to tooth bleaching?

In some studies, patients have experienced uncomfortable short-term side effects when having teeth bleached. Hydrogen peroxide can increase temperature sensitivity in the teeth, particularly at higher concentrations, and nightguards often cause gum irritation.
And overzealous use of over-the-counter home bleaching products can wear away tooth enamel, especially with solutions that contain acid. Therefore, bleaching is a procedure best done under the care of an oral health care professional.
Still, the general health risks of bleaching systems are minimal as far as your body is concerned. Applications are controlled so that you don't swallow hydrogen peroxide.

 

ENDODONTIC / ROOT CANAL TREATMENT

Why May Endodontic Disease Cause Swelling?

When the pulp tissue becomes severely diseased and necrotic, the resultant infection can spread from inside the tooth into the adjacent bone and soft tissues. As a result, swelling can occur in the tissues immediately surrounding the tooth. If this situation is not treated and the disease process is not kept under control by the body's defences, the infection can begin to spread into other tissue spaces, such as those around the eye or in the neck. In some situations, this can become a serious medical emergency.


DENTAL CONSERVATION

What's Right for Me?

Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity and cost of dental restorations. These factors include: the patient's oral and general health, the components used in the filling material; where and how the filling is placed; the chewing load that the tooth will have to bear; and the length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth.

With so many choices, how do you know what's right for you? To help you better understand what's available, here are the advantages and disadvantages of commonly used dental restorations.

The ultimate decision about what to use is best determined by the patient in consultation with the dentist. Before your treatment begins, discuss the options with your dentist.

 

ORAL SURGERY

How Do I Know if I Have Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth present potential problems when they are misaligned - they can position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars or be angled inward or outward. Ask your dentist about the positioning of your wisdom teeth. He or she may take an X-ray periodically to evaluate for the presence and alignment of your wisdom teeth. Your dentist may also decide to send you to an oral surgeon for further evaluation.

Your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend that your wisdom teeth be extracted even before problems develop. This is done to avoid a more painful or more complicated extraction that might have to be done a few years later. Removal is easier in young people, when the wisdom teeth roots are not yet fully developed and the bone is less dense. In older people, recovery and healing time tend to be longer

How Is a Wisdom Tooth Removed?

In addition, wisdom teeth can be entrapped completely within the soft tissue and/or the jawbone or only partially break through or erupt through the gum. The relative ease at which your dentist or oral surgeon can extract your wisdom teeth depends on the position of the impacted teeth. Your oral health care provider will be able to give you an idea of what to expect during your pre-extraction examination. A wisdom tooth that is fully erupted through the gum can be extracted as easily as any other tooth. However, a wisdom tooth that is underneath the gums and embedded in the jawbone will require an incision into the gums and then removal of the portion of bone that lies over the tooth. Oftentimes for a tooth in this situation, the tooth will be extracted in small sections rather than removed in one piece to minimize the amount of bone that needs to be removed to get the tooth out.

What Happens During the Procedure?

Before your wisdom tooth is extracted, the tooth and the surrounding tissue will be numbed with a local anesthetic - the same injection with the same medication you would receive to numb a tooth prior to having a cavity filled. In addition to the local anesthetic to numb the pain, you and your dentist or oral surgeon may decide that a sedative is desired to control your anxiety. Sedating medications that could be selected include: nitrous oxide (otherwise known as "laughing gas"), an oral sedative (for example, Valium), or an intravenous sedative (administered via an injection into your veins). If nitrous oxide is given, you will be able to drive yourself home. If any of the other medications is selected, you will need someone to drive you both to and from the appointment in which your tooth will be extracted.

What Does Recovery Involve?

How quickly you heal depends on the degree of difficulty of the extraction (a simple extraction of a fully erupted tooth versus a tooth impacted into the jawbone). In general, here's what to expect.

During the first 24 hours
Bleeding may occur for several hours after tooth extraction. To control it, position a piece of clean moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and bite down firmly. Apply constant pressure for about 45 minutes. A moistened tea bag is an effective alternative. The tannic acid in tea helps healing blood clots to form (blood clots function similarly to a scab on an open wound). Repeat this process if a small degree of bleeding continues; if heavy bleeding continues to occur, contact your dentist or oral surgeon. Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after tooth extraction, avoid "sucking" actions (for example, don't drink beverages through straws or smoke) and avoid hot liquids (such as coffee or soup). These activities can dislodge the clot, causing dry socket (see below) to develop.
Facial swelling in the area where the tooth was extracted typically occurs. To minimize swelling, place a piece of ice, wrapped in a cloth, on that area of your face on a schedule of 10-minutes on, followed by 20-minutes off. Repeat as necessary during this first 24-hour period.
Pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) can be taken for minor pain. Your dentist or oral surgeon may prescribe more potent pain relievers, such as narcotics, if necessary.
Antibiotics that may have been prescribed prior to tooth extraction (to treat any active infection around the wisdom tooth to be extracted) should continue to be taken until the full prescription is gone.
Foods should be chewed on the side of the mouth opposite the extraction. Avoid hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours. In the case of difficult extractions, consume a soft or liquid diet for the first 24 hours.
Continue to brush your teeth, but avoid the teeth directly neighboring the extracted tooth during the first 24 hours. On day two, resume the gentle brushing of your teeth. Do not use commercial mouth rinses - these can irritate the extraction site.

After 24 hours
Facial swelling in the area of the tooth extraction should be treated with heat after the first 24 hours of ice. Apply a moist warm towel to the area on a 20-minute on, 20-minute off schedule. Repeat as necessary.
Rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) after meals and before bed. Do not use commercial mouth rinses.
Stitches, if used and if not of the self-dissolving type, need to be removed by your oral health care provider in about 1 week. If you do require stitches, ask what type you have been given.
Watch for signs of dry socket (described below). This condition requires treatment by your oral health care provider.
Complete healing doesn't occur for a few weeks to a few months following the extraction. However, usually within the first week or two, enough healing has taken place for use of your mouth to be reasonably comfortable in the area of the extraction.

Your dentist will explain what to expect in your specific case.

What Are Potential Complications?

Two of the more important complications include:
Dry socket. Dry socket is a common complication that occurs when either a blood clot has failed to form in the extracted tooth socket or else the blood clot that did form has been dislodged. Without clot formation, healing will be delayed. When it happens, dry socket typically occurs 3 or 4 days following the extraction and is accompanied by pain (ranging from "dull" to moderate to severe) and a foul mouth odor. Your dentist or oral surgeon will treat the dry socket by placing a medicated dressing in the socket. Dressing will need to be removed and replaced every 24 hours until symptoms subside.
Paresthesia. Paresthesia is a less frequently occurring complication. Wisdom teeth entrapped in the jawbone are often close to nerves. Sometimes these nerves can be bruised or damaged during the tooth removal process. The result is a numbness (called a paresthesia) of the tongue, lip or chin that can last a few days, weeks, months or may even be permanent.

What is the possible risks of root apex resection?

It may happen that the inflammation around the root apex does not heal and, again, an abscess is formed. To avoid this, a check up is needed every half year to check the ossification and the healing process by X-ray. Other complications such as the apparition of cold sores on the lips, damages to the gum, fissure in the labial angle may also occur. Your face might get swollen following the operation as well.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 December 2008 03:28 )