Dental Procedure - FAQ's.


MGDM HOSPITAL, DEVAGIRI P.O., KANGAZHA, KOTTAYAM-686555.

DENTAL FAQHOMEDENTAL FAQ2

Dental Procedures

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1* Root Canal Therapy
2* Sealants
3* Dental Implants
4* Fillings

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5* Dentures
6* Wisdom Teeth Extraction
7* Bleaching

8* Orthodontics / Braces
9* Bridges

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1. ROOT CANAL THERAPY


What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy is designed to correct disorders of the dental pulp -- the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Teeth with abscessed, or infected, nerves were once removed with corrective therapy. But now, in 95 percent of these cases of pulpal infection, the natural tooth can be saved through modern endodontic procedures. (Also called pulp specialists, endodontists have undergone specialized training in performing root canal therapy.)


What causes pulpal nerve damage?

The most common causes of pulpal nerve damage are:
* physical irritation - generally brought on by aggressive tooth decay (cavity) reaching down to the nerve or through deep fillings, which allows harmful bacteria to reach the nerve resulting in infection and decay
* trauma - a blow to a tooth or the jaw can cause damage to sensitive nerve tissue within the tooth.

What are the symptoms of pulpal nerve damage?

The following are the most common symptoms of pulpal nerve damage. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
* pain in the tooth when biting down
* tooth pain while chewing
* oversensitivity of the teeth with hot or cold drinks
* facial swelling
The symptoms of pulpal nerve damage may resemble other oral health conditions. Consult a dentist, or other oral health specialist, for diagnosis.

Why is root canal therapy necessary?

Without treatment, the infection of the dental pulp will spread to the bone around the tooth, making it not longer able to hold the tooth in place.

What does the root canal procedure involve?

Treatment begins with the initial removal of the tooth crown, or top, to allow access to the pulpal tissue. Once the affected pulpal tissue is exposed, the affected area is removed. The area surrounding and containing the pulpal tissue is carefully cleaned, enlarged, and shaped to provide a clean, bondable surface for filling with a permanent filler to prohibit any further infection and discomfort. After filling, a crown is fabricated to complete the rescue and restoration of the natural tooth. The procedure is generally spread over several visits to assure the infected pulp and associated bacteria have been adequately drained.

Post-Operative Care Following a Root Canal

Once the root canal therapy is completed, there will be changes to adapt to, including:
* brittleness - a pulp-less tooth is more brittle than a non-treated tooth and great care should be used to avoid fracture and chipping
* discoloration - a non-vital tooth may become discolored over time, which can be treated with bleaching. In most cases, the discoloration poses no threat to the health of the tooth.
In addition, soft tissue inflammation may be a source of irritation in the weeks following surgery. Consult your dentist, or other oral health specialist, for a treatment approach to help control any post-operative swelling and discomfort.

2. Sealants

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are thin, plastic films painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth -- molars and premolars -- and are highly effective in the prevention of tooth decay (caries and cavities). Dental sealants are particularly effective on the back teeth, as the back teeth contain more hard-to-reach pits and grooves that serve as a host to food debris and plaque build-up.

How effective are dental sealants?

Because the sealants act as a physical barrier to decay and plaque build-up, in most cases, they provide 100 percent protection -- with the most important variable being how well the dental sealant adheres to the teeth. In addition, research has shown that sealants actually stop cavities when placed on top of a slightly decayed tooth. This action seals off the supply of nutrients to the bacteria that causes the cavity. The dental sealant becomes ineffective when all or part of the bond between the tooth and the sealant is broken.

Who are likely candidates for dental sealants?

Sealants are especially beneficial for children because their newly erupted, permanent teeth are most susceptible to cavities and least benefited by fluoride. However, patients of all ages can benefit from dental sealants.

What does the procedure involve?

The procedure starts with cleaning the surface of the tooth, rinsing the surface to remove all traces of the cleaning agent, and drying the tooth. A solution or gel is applied to the surface of the tooth, including the pits and grooves, to make the surface of the tooth rough. After several seconds, the solution is thoroughly rinsed away with water and the site is dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to harden.
With proper oral hygiene, sealants may last 5 to 10 years.

3. Dental Implants

What are dental implants?

An alternative to dentures, dental implants (small dental appliances that are inserted into the upper and lower jaws) help to restore the mouth that has little or no non-restorable teeth. Dental implants are slowly replacing dentures used by some people, as they provide many advantages of traditional dentures.

Advantages of implants over dentures:

For some people, particularly persons with loose or poor fitting dentures due to flat ridges, or persons with multiple missing teeth who need support for crowns and bridges, implants may be considered a more appropriate alternative to fix the appearance of missing teeth than dentures. According to the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics, implants help to accomplish the following:
* reduce movement of dentures, bridges, and/or crowns
* facilitate proper chewing
* provide support and improved stability for removable dentures or fixed bridge work
* approximate the "feel" of natural teeth better than dentures
* promote "denture self-confidence", as speech and appearance are often improved

Who are likely candidates for implants?

There are many variables to be considered before placing an implant:
* the patient must be healthy
* healing abilities affected by a disease may affect the successfulness of an implant
* a proper diagnosis must be made before an implant can be placed
* placement and technique is specific to each individual candidate
* to further prevent complications, the implant(s) must be treated properly by the patient and the dentist
* heavy smoking and drinking may affect the successfulness of an implant

What are the different types of dental implants?

There are many different types of dental implants from which to choose, including:
* an artificial bone substitute
This type of implant involves a synthetic bone substitute being fitted on top of the bone to help rebuild the shrinking ridge and provide sturdy support for dentures. Because it is made of the same type of mineral found in natural bone, this type of implant bonds to the existing jaw bone.
* endosteal implants
This type of implant is inserted into the jaw bone to serve as the tooth's root.
* subperiosteal implants
This type of implant, usually an option for persons who can no longer wear conventional dentures, involves a specially-designed implant that fits directly on the existing bone.
Dental implants may either be inserted by a dentist specially training in implantology, or by an oral surgeon in a hospital.

4. Fillings

What are fillings?

Teeth that have been affected by tooth decay (caries or cavities) require a filling. There are many different types of fillings, including:
* dental amalgams
Dental amalgams, also known as silver fillings, are comprised of a mixture of mercury (45 to 50 percent), and an alloy of silver, tin, and copper (50 to 55 percent). When it is combined with other materials in dental amalgam, mercury's chemical nature changes and it is no longer considered harmful to the body.
* composite resins
Also know as white fillings, a composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide) that is used primarily for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.

Other alternatives to restoring damaged or decayed teeth:


* porcelain veneers - a ceramic material is bonded to the front of teeth to change the tooth's color, size, and/or shape
* crown - a "cap" that covers a cracked or broken tooth, unfixed by a filling, to approximate its normal size and shape
* cast gold restorations - this type of restoration is often more costly and may require more than one dental fitting

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