Posts for: October, 2016
Although toothaches are common, not all tooth pain originates from the same source. But regardless of its cause, you need to take prompt action to find out and begin treatment.
Sensitive teeth, for example, usually cause a quick stab of pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold or when you bite down. If the pain lasts only a second or two, you may have a small area of decay in a tooth, a loose filling or an exposed root. The latter often occurs either because of over-aggressive brushing or periodontal (gum) disease. In both cases, the gums may have shrunk back or receded to expose the root surface.
A sharp pain when biting down may be a sign of decay or a loose filling; it could also mean you have a fractured or cracked tooth. For any of those causes, you'll need treatment to repair the problem and relieve the pain.
You may also experience a lingering tooth pain ranging from dull to sharp, or localized to one tooth or seeming to radiate from a general area, such as above the upper jaw. There are a number of possible causes, but two prominent ones are an abscess (a localized area of infection that's become inflamed) or deep decay within the pulp, the heart of a tooth.
This usually calls for a root canal treatment for the affected tooth. In this procedure we drill an access hole into the pulp and clear it of infected and dead tissue. We then fill the empty pulp chamber and root canals with a special filling and seal the access hole. Later, we bond a permanent artificial crown to the tooth to further protect it from re-infection.
Whether your pain is momentary or lingering, dull or sharp, you should see us as soon as possible to determine its cause. You should still see us even if sharp, lingering pain goes away — this could simply mean the infected nerves in the pulp have died but not the infection. The sooner you have the cause of your pain treated, the better your chances of a happy and less costly outcome.
If you would like more information on tooth pain and what to do about it, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Pain? Don't Wait!”
For patients who are missing teeth, dental implants offer a convenient and effective solution for restoring their smiles. Dental implants look and function like natural teeth. Additionally, installation is permanent so there is no risk of the dental implants coming loose or falling out. The experienced dentists at Lukin Family Dentistry install dental implants in Sugar Land, TX. They can help you determine if dental implants are a good option for you.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants can do so much for your smile. Before having dental implants installed, some patients report not smiling as often. Having gaps in their mouth due to missing teeth left them feeling less confident. A primary benefit of having dental implants installed is that patients finally feel like smiling again. In fact, many patients report feeling more confident after having dental implants installed to replace missing teeth. In short, patients tend to experience improved self-esteem with their new and improved smile.
In addition to improved confidence, other benefits of dental implants are that they can improve the functions of speaking and eating. Having even just one or two teeth missing can make both speaking and chewing much more difficult. The gaps left behind by teeth that are missing can alter tongue placement when speaking, as well as put more strain on existing teeth when eating. Dental implants fill in these gaps so that speaking and eating can resume normally again.
Dental implants consist of three main parts: the implant, the abutment and the crown. The implant is installed below the gum line and acts as the tooth root. The abutment is screwed directly on to the implant and holds the crown in place. The crown sits above the gum line and serves as the replacement tooth. Once installed, the implants will look just like your natural teeth. Lukin Family Dentistry is your experienced Sugar Land, TX, dental implant provider and can provide complete details about the installation process.
Dental implants can do many positive things for your smile. To find out if they are right for you, contact Lukin Family Dentistry at (281) 265-9000 for dental implants in Sugar Land, TX.
Durable as well as life-like, dental implants are by far the preferred method for replacing missing teeth. But they can be costly and, although not as much, so can traditional bridgework. Is there an effective but more affordable means to replace a few missing teeth?
There is: a removable partial denture (RPD). In fact, RPDs have always been the less expensive alternative to bridgework and implants. Today's RPDs are usually made of vitallium, a strong but lightweight metal alloy. Because of the metal's characteristics, we can create an appliance that precisely matches the contours of your gums, is thin and hardly noticeable. We anchor prosthetic (false) teeth made of porcelain, resins or plastics in acrylic or nylon that resembles gum tissue.
The most important aspect of an RPD is to design it to produce the least amount of movement in your mouth as you eat or speak. A good design will minimize pressure on both the underlying bone (which can accelerate bone loss) and on the remaining teeth that support the RPD. Although a little more costly, it may be advantageous to use a dental implant to stabilize a lower partial denture when no end tooth is available for support.
To get the most out of your RPD — and to prevent dental disease — it's important for you to practice diligent daily hygiene. RPD attachments can make remaining teeth more susceptible to plaque accumulation, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that can cause tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. To avoid this you should remove the RPD and thoroughly brush and floss your remaining teeth. You should clean the RPD every day with recommended cleansers. You should also take it out at night while you sleep to discourage further bacterial or fungal growth.
Besides daily care for your RPD and natural teeth, be sure to visit us for cleanings and checkups at least twice a year. Taking care of both your appliance and your mouth will help ensure your RPD serves you for many years to come.
If you would like more information on removable partial dentures or other restoration options, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Partial Dentures: Still a Viable Tooth-Replacement Alternative.”