Posts for: October, 2017
Drilling teeth is an essential part of repairing and restoring the damage caused by tooth decay. For generations dentists have relied on the dental drill with its rotating burr to remove decayed and damaged tooth material.
But while the dental drill is effective it also has its disadvantages. In the process of removing decayed material it inadvertently removes healthy structure near the target material. It often requires anesthesia to deaden the work area. And its noise and vibration are often unsettling to patients.
There is a growing alternative, though: air abrasion, a technology that's been around since the mid-20th Century. But recent advances in controlling the dust created by using abrasion, as well as new tooth-colored bonding materials to replace tooth structure, have sparked new interest among dentists and patients alike.
Also known as particle abrasion, this drill alternative uses a pressurized stream of fine particles to remove decayed material. Using a hand wand a dentist can precisely aim the stream of particles (usually aluminum oxide) to the specific areas of decay or softened material that need to be removed. As a result, it removes only a fraction of healthy tooth structure compared to traditional drilling. Air abrasion has also proven effective for removing staining without harming enamel.
Air abrasion also eliminates the sound and vibration associated with dental drills, and may not always require local anesthesia. On the other hand, it does have some limitations. For one, it's not as effective with larger cavities or working around older fillings. The tooth or teeth to be worked on must be carefully isolated from the rest of the mouth to keep the patient from swallowing the abrasive particles. And without a high-volume suction pump and good isolation protocols, the particles can produce something of a “sandstorm” in the treatment room.
But as air abrasion continues to advance, we may see improvements in these limitations. In a future time, the traditional dental drill may go the way of the horse and buggy.
If you would like more information on air abrasion as an alternative to drilling, 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 “Air Abrasion Technology.”
If you need to get root canal therapy let us put your mind at ease.
Yikes! Our Stockton and Manteca, CA, dentist, Dr. Rujul Parikh, recently told you that you need root canal treatment and the first thing you did was search the Internet. You probably didn’t find anything comforting so far, did you? That’s because there are loads of stories out there that love to place root canals in a terrible light. Of course, it’s important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to this treatment. If you need root canal therapy, find out why it’s really nothing to fear.
It Eliminates Pain
The purpose of this endodontic treatment is to remove an infected or irritated dental pulp, a structure that lies within each tooth. There are many reasons a dental pulp may cause you issues, from decay and infection to direct injury to the tooth. When a dental pulp is inflamed or infected it can cause some pretty unbearable pain.
Of course, by removing the pulp our Stockton and Manteca general dentist also removes the source of the pain. Those who are in pain can’t wait to finally get the relief they need, and root canal therapy provides that relief. Just remember that the purpose of a root canal isn’t to cause pain but to get rid of it.
This Procedure Isn’t Invasive
While root canal therapy may sound rather invasive since we will need to remove a structure that lies inside the tooth, it’s really no more aggressive than having a cavity filled. Sure, there are may be more steps involved during root canal therapy, but just as getting a cavity removed and filled is a simple, straightforward and easy procedure, so too is getting this treatment.
You Shouldn’t Feel Anything
Those who need root canal therapy are often in a lot of pain beforehand, so it comes as a welcome relief to find out that a local anesthesia will be applied around the tooth prior to treatment. This means that your mouth will be completely numb, so not only will you no longer have to deal with that severe, nagging dental pain but also you won’t feel a thing during your endodontic procedure.
If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming root canal then don’t hesitate to call Central Valley Dentist today. With offices in Manteca and Stockton, CA, we make it easier to get the compassionate, gentle dental care you deserve.
Cancer treatment can consume all of your focus to the exclusion of other health issues. But these other issues still need attention, especially how treating cancer could affect other parts of your body. That definitely includes your teeth and gums.
Treatments like radiation or chemotherapy eradicate cancer cells disrupting their growth. Unfortunately, they may do the same to benign cells — “collateral damage,” so to speak. This could cause a ripple effect throughout the body, including in the mouth. Radiation, for example, could damage the salivary glands and result in reduced salivary flow. Because saliva neutralizes acid and diminishes bacterial growth, your risk for tooth decay as well as periodontal (gum) disease could increase.
While you may be able to recover from reduced salivary flow after treatment, your health could suffer in the meantime, even to the point of tooth and bone loss. Fortunately, there are some things we can do before and during your treatment.
If you can, have any necessary dental work performed well before you begin cancer treatment. You’ll be more resistant to side effects if you can start treatment with as healthy a mouth as possible.
Keep up your regular dental visits if at all possible, or see us if you begin seeing signs of dental disease. By staying on schedule, we’ll have a better chance of detecting and treating problems before they advance too far; we may also be able to provide preventive measures like topical fluoride applications to help keep your teeth resistant to disease. If you need more extensive treatment like tooth extraction or surgery we may need to coordinate with your cancer treatment provider.
Above all, continue to practice daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque, the main cause of dental disease. Drink plenty of water or take substances that boost salivation. And be sure to eat a nutritious diet while also reducing or eliminating tobacco or alcohol from your lifestyle.
Taking these steps will help protect your teeth and gums during cancer treatment. As a result, you have a better chance for maintaining your dental health during this critical time in your life.
If you would like more information on dental care during cancer treatment, 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 “Oral Health During Cancer Treatment.”