Monthly Archives: March 2011

Opalescence tooth whitening systems

Have you been upset about your discolored teeth? Or even white opaque spots on your teeth that ruin your appearance that you are so afraid to smile or pose for photographs? Here comes the solution, tooth whitening can help bring out the bright smile in you. Continue reading

What to Expect During a Teeth Cleaning Appointment

the cementum is a layer that allows the periodontal ligament attach itself to the root surface

A teeth cleaning appointment is also known as scaling. Every now and then every one of us would need a thorough scaling, because no matter how well we brush and floss and rinse, there will still be some minute debris left in our mouth between our teeth. These debris, after some period of time, will become hardened and these are known as calculus. There are two types of scaling – supragingival scaling, and subgingival scaling. Supragingival scaling is when the dentist only clears away the calculus that are above our gums, and can be seen in plain view. However, subgingival scaling is when the dentists cleans the calculus that are 1 – 2 mm below the gums. Sometimes, scaling is not sufficient for some patients with severe gum conditions, and root planning will be needed. Usually, root planning is needed when there is a gingival pocket more than 4 -5 mm, and there are tenacious calculus and necrotic cementum (refer to the picture to understand what is cementum) stuck to the roots of the teeth. Continue reading

Why Is It Important to Keep Your Teeth Clean?

Hollywood star with very white teeth

We were told to brush our teeth twice daily since we were young, but do you ever wonder why? Clean teeth are not only important for our daily social life, it is also important for maintaining our general health. As we get older, our teeth also play an important part in our appearance. Whenever we smile or laugh, our pearly whites are the first thing that are seen by our companions. If we have dirty, yellow stained teeth, they are going to give other people an impression that we do not take care of our hygiene properly. In fact, many famous Hollywood stars and actors even went to the lengths of bleaching their teeth into an extreme shade of white, just to have a more perfect smile. Without teeth, our bone surrounding the teeth will also get resorbed faster. Often, toothless people will have a shortened lower facial height, resulting in a ‘collapsed’ look. When our bones are resorbed, our lips will also lose their support, which will also cause an unaesthetic appearance. Continue reading

Care of Mouth After Tooth Extraction

(img source frm yercaud dental care)

So, what are the instructions that we should follow after we have our teeth removed? Normally, our dentist in charge will explain what will the patients experience and basic post operative instructions will be given. What can we expect after undergoing extraction? Most of us will have slight oozing which is consider normal, it happens around 24 hours and don’t be paranoid because most of it is saliva . Some may even ring up their dentist because of this. How do we deal with post operative bleeding? Your dentist will first ask you to bite firmly on a piece of gauze for 30 minutes so that blood can be clot around the socket. If oozing continues, you may change another small, damp gauze at that area and bite on it firmly to control bleeding. Activities such as smoking, drinking with straw, spitting should be avoided because these activities can aggravate bleeding. Please be reminded that oozing at night is normal. If there is abnormal amount of bleeding occurs, patients should consult the dentist in charge for further advice. Continue reading

About Dry Socket

© Dry Sockets

Have you ever experienced severe pain a few days after having your teeth extracted with no swelling on your face? Then you may be suffering from dry socket.

What is dry socket?

Dry socket, or otherwise known as alveolar osteitis, is by far the most frequent painful complication of tooth extractions. However it is uncommon overall, affecting only 1 to 3% of extractions. This condition of delayed healing, but not usually associated with infection, is common after wisdom tooth extraction due to the large tooth socket that is left behind which can easily dislodges the blood clot that is formed.

The term ‘alveolar’ refers to the jawbone that supports the teeth, while ‘osteitis’ refers to the inflammation of the bone which is limited to the site involved. Continue reading

Reasons to Remove Wisdom Teeth

So when do you need to get your wisdom teeth removed? Most of the time we remove them when they are impacted which means fails to erupt due to clinically or radiographically detactable physical barrier in their eruption pathway or they are positioned in a ectopic way.

Eruption of third molars occurs around 20-25 years old. Impaction of third molars occur when there is insufficient space for them to erupt , presence of obstructions in eruption path or maybe it is due to genetic causes.  Early detection of impacted third molars and early removal is more preferably due to better healing, formation of roots are one third to two third and it is much easier to perform surgery in younger patients. We will perform removal impacted teeth when benefits of removing third molar outweighs the complications. Continue reading

Can Invisalign Fix Buck Teeth?

Buck teeth

Everyone yearns for perfect teeth but not all of us are blessed with good-looking teeth and there can be many thing wrong with our teeth. One such problem is buck teeth. Any disturbance in the alignment of teeth is corrected by orthodontic treatment which includes Invisalign, a teeth straightening alternative to traditional dental braces which is becoming popular due to its transparent orthodontic trays. Commonly used to correct minor to moderate disturbances in our bite, can Invisalign fix buck teeth? Continue reading

How Can I Care for My Sensitive Teeth?

When you experience sensitive teeth, the first consideration should be to determine the cause of the pain since it may be difficult to differentiate between sensitive teeth or dentin hypersensitivity and a variety of other tooth pains and discomforts. Dentin or pulpal pain (caused by a noxious agent, i.e. dental caries) can be intensified by thermal change, sweet, and sour, all of which could elicit a hypersensitivity reaction as well. A differential diagnosis to rule out other conditions must be established before resorting to treatment. Diagnostic aids include history of pain, percussion and palpation tests, inspection of the teeth and surrounding tissues, thermal and electric pulp tests, and radiographic examination. Once other causes for tooth pain have been ruled out, and dentin hypersensitivity has become the established diagnosis, an individualized management strategy with suitable treatment recommendations should be developed to address your specific needs.

There are numerous treatment strategies and interventions to manage tooth sensitivity. In addition to pain control, long-term management is most successful when treatment strategies include the elimination or reduction of contributing factors. Sensitive teeth are best managed through self-care, professional care, or a combination of the two. Exposed dentin surfaces that do not elicit pain need only be monitored and treated as needed to reduce tooth decay risk. Continue reading

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Are you suffering from sensitive teeth?

Tooth sensitivity or known as dentin hypersensitivity is short or transient sharp pain of a rapid onset that arises from exposed dentin layer of one or more teeth subsequent to loss of tooth structure (enamel layer of the crown or cementum layer of the root). It usually occurs in response to stimuli—typically cold, air pressure, drying, sugar, acids, chemicals or forces acting onto the tooth—and cannot be ascribed to any other dental defects or pathology. These stimuli are non-noxious, and are not generally expected to generate a pain response, except as seen in sensitive teeth. In contrast, a noxious stimulus would be the toxins of bacteria within a decay lesion leading to dentinal pain. Areas of exposed dentin at the junction between the crown and the root (cervical area) account for much of the observed tooth sensitivity. Continue reading

How does Invisalign Work?

© Smith Family Dental

There are many orthodontic appliances available to correct crooked or crowded teeth – from traditional metal braces to clear aligners. Invisalign is a type of clear aligner therapy which is becoming popular due to its transparent orthodontic trays.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a teeth straightening alternative to traditional dental braces which uses a series of clear plastic removable orthodontic trays called aligners. The trays are custom made according to your dental needs and can be provided by trained orthodontists and dentists. Continue reading