Posts for: July, 2017
Once they learn to walk, there's no stopping most children. Sometimes it can be a little jarring, as when you discover your toddler on top of the kitchen counter reaching in the cupboard on tip-toes for a snack!
Fortunately, children are fairly resilient. Unfortunately, they're not invincible — some of their adventures could result in physical injuries, especially to the highly vulnerable area of the mouth.
Even if you've carefully “child-proofed” your home, it's still best to be prepared for mishaps. Here are 3 common dental injuries and how to handle them.
Soft tissue injuries. Making contact with the ground or hard objects like furniture can injure the lips, tongue, cheeks or gums and cause bleeding, cuts or bruising. First, clean the area with clean water and a cloth or gauze as best you can, making sure there aren't any trapped pieces of tooth or dirt. Apply gentle, continuous pressure with a clean cloth to control bleeding, and apply ice packs or cold compresses for swelling. Don't apply bleach, aspirin or similar medications to open wounds. If the bleeding won't stop or the wounds look serious or deep, go to an emergency room.
Chipped or displaced tooth. A blunt force mouth injury can chip or push (displace) teeth out of position. In this case try to save any chipped pieces you find — your dentist may be able to re-bond them to the tooth. A displaced tooth is a dental emergency, so contact your dentist immediately. Don't try to re-position the tooth yourself unless it's completely knocked out.
Knocked-out tooth. Actions to take with a knocked-out tooth depend on whether it's a permanent or primary (baby) tooth. If permanent, rinse the tooth with clean water. Handle it by the crown (never by the root) and gently place it back in the empty socket. If that's not possible, place the tooth between your child's cheek and gum (if the child is old enough not to swallow it by mistake. You can also place it in a glass of cold milk. Get to a dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible — minutes count for a successful reattachment. Conversely, don't try to put a primary tooth back in its socket — you could damage the developing permanent tooth beneath the gum line. But do see a dentist as soon as possible for an examination.
Are you dissatisfied with the color or shape of your teeth? How about those gaps or crowded teeth--do they make you want to hide your smile? Paul David Epstein D.M.D. and Associates in Burlington, MA offers a permanent way to disguise dental flaws. They're called porcelain veneers, or dental laminates. Customized and bonded to the front of teeth with chips, cracks, stains, pits, gaps and more, veneers are the minimally invasive way to remake your smile.
What are porcelain veneers?
They are a durable and natural-looking way to remake teeth flawed by stains too deep for professional whitening and chips too large for composite resin bonding. In other words, they cover a variety of smile defects.
Porcelain veneers in Burlington, MA are fabricated from a dental grade ceramic, color-matched to blend in with surrounding teeth. Dr. Epstein visually inspects and X-rays teeth to determine their suitability for veneers. Ideal candidates have mouths free from decay and gum disease.
The treatment process
Dr. Epstein and the patient talk through a treatment plan, agreeing upon the goals the individual wants to achieve and exactly what Dr. Epstein sees as realistic changes. This discussion is vital to the treatment process, and Dr. Epstein may even preview the patient's finished smile so he or she can see how it will change in terms of:
- Smoothing overcrowded teeth
- Spanning small gaps
- Covering chips, fine cracks, pits and other enamel defects
- Disguising dark stains
Then, the dentist takes impressions and removes a thin layer of enamel from the front of each tooth. This minimal resurfacing allows the veneers to bond in place and to fit within the individual's mouth. Also, the patient wears temporary veneers until the dentist installs the permanent ones.
Then, the dentist sends his instructions to a lab where a ceramist sculpts the veneers individually, according to a three-dimensional model of the patient's mouth. This ensures the porcelain veneers blend in with the rest of the patient's smile by way of color, shape and size.
On a return visit to Paul David Epstein D.M.D. & Associates, Dr. Epstein removes the temporary veneers and bonds the new ones in place. He uses an adhesive which can be varied in color so the laminates match neighboring teeth.
Adjusting to veneers
While there is an adjustment period with veneers, most patients report easily getting accustomed to them. Aftercare is simple, too. Just brush and floss and see Dr. Epstein semi-annually for a check-up and cleaning.
Additionally, it pays to be gentle with your porcelain veneers. While they do not decay or stain, they can chip (as can your natural teeth) if you chew extra-hard foods or non-foods such as pencil tops or plastic packaging.
Can we help your smile?
Dr. Epstein's mastery of restorative and cosmetic treatments helps his patients achieve outstanding smiles. For a consultation, contact his office for an appointment regarding porcelain veneers. Call (781) 273-1152.
Everyone loves a concert where there's plenty of audience participation… until it starts to get out of hand.Â Recently, the platinum-selling band Fifth Harmony was playing to a packed house in Atlanta when things went awry for vocalist Camila Cabello. Fans were batting around a big plastic ball, and one unfortunate swing sent the ball hurtling toward the stage — and directly into Cabello's face. Pushing the microphone into her mouth, it left the “Worth It” singer with a chipped front tooth.
Ouch! Cabello finished the show nevertheless, and didn't seem too upset. “Atlanta… u wild… love u,” she tweeted later that night. “Gotta get it fixed now tho lol.” Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of ways to make that chipped tooth look as good as new.
A small chip at the edge of the tooth can sometimes be polished with dental instruments to remove the sharp edges. If it's a little bigger, a procedure called dental bonding may be recommended. Here, the missing part is filled in with a mixture of plastic resin and glass fillers, which are then cured (hardened) with a special light. The tooth-colored bonding material provides a tough, lifelike restoration that's hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. While bonding can be performed in just one office visit, the material can stain over time and may eventually need to be replaced.
Porcelain veneers are a more long-lasting solution. These wafer-thin coverings go over the entire front surface of the tooth, and can resolve a number of defects — including chips, discoloration, and even minor size or spacing irregularities. You can get a single veneer or have your whole smile redone, in shades ranging from a pearly luster to an ultra-bright white; that's why veneers are a favorite of Hollywood stars. Getting veneers is a procedure that takes several office visits, but the beautiful results can last for many years.
If a chip or crack extends into the inner part of a tooth, you'll probably need a crown (or cap) to restore the tooth's function and appearance. As long as the roots are healthy, the entire part of the tooth above the gum line can be replaced with a natural-looking restoration. You may also need a root canal to remove the damaged pulp material and prevent infection if the fracture went too far. While small chips or cracks aren't usually an emergency (unless accompanied by pain), damage to the tooth's pulp requires prompt attention.
If you have questions about smile restoration, please contact us and schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty As Never Before” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”