Thursday, September 29, 2016

My child hasn't lost any teeth yet. Should I be worried?

I get lots of anxious parents coming into my office asking me
if they should be worried about their child who hasn't lost any teeth yet.

We live in a society built on comparisons. 
We can't help it. 
You think your home is big .... until the neighbors build one bigger. 
You think your car is awesome ...... until the new model comes out.
Etc Etc Etc

So that is what is happening with most of these parents. 
They think that their kid is normal ..... but then they see the neighbor's
kids loosing teeth and they start to question their kid's normalcy. 

Well parents, just relax. 
In about 97.625% of cases your kid's teeth will fall out on their own
and everything will turn out totally okay. 
In a few cases, not many, your child may need help getting their teeth out. 

Here is a chart to give you the AVERAGE age a child will lose their teeth.
Remember this is a AVERAGE (see how I am typing it in caps ; )
That means that half of kids will be older then the graph suggests
and half will be older.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"It's like pulling teeth!"

When people think something is hard sometimes they say .....
"It's like pulling teeth!"

Well, here is exactly what they mean. 
I extracted this tooth today. 
One of the roots makes a complete 90 degree turn!
Inside of solid bone!

It's kind of like trying to pull  a fence post out of the ground 
if 5 feet under the ground the fence post bends 90 degrees.

So yah, it's hard.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A hole in your chin?! Why regular dental visits are so important.

Are regular dental visits THAT important?


Here is an example. 

A patient came into my office the other day complaining of
"pain in the chin area". 

I took an x-ray and was a little shocked by what I saw. 
Below you will see 2 x-rays. 
One is the unaltered x-ray. 
The other is the x-ray with the problem area circled in red. 

The dark area is a problem. 
Typically bone will have a look like cotton. 
Some white, solid, areas but also many darker
air filled spaces as well. 

A giant dark spot where bone should be is NOT a good sign. 
A quick test of all of the teeth in the effected area revealed that 
there was zero sensitivity related to the teeth themselves. 
No discomfort with hot, cold, chewing, etc. 
Still only pain when finger pressure was applied to the lower chin. 

I phoned the oral surgeon and the patient was sent right over. 
Below you will see a picture taken in the middle of the surgery. 

 There was a cyst below the lower anterior teeth. 
The cyst was removed and is currently being biopsied. 

Please make it a point to go into your local dentist on a regular basis. 
It looks as if this patient will be just fine. 
But things could have been much much worse. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Same Sonic Toothbrush. Only Better.

Wanting to buy an electric toothbrush?
Wanting the quality of the major brands? 
Without the cost of the major brands?

Would it be a plus if that toothbrush was designed
by an actual dentist who has worked in the field for decades?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sports Mouth Guards for Children

Kids are getting into sports earlier and earlier these days.
It seems as if your child doesn't make a decision about what
sport they will choose, for life, by the age of 4 that they 
are already too late. 

With all of these kids getting into the sporting realm the 
number of sports related injuries is bond to increase.

As a dentist one of the saddest things I see is broken, healthy, teeth.
Teeth that have been badly neglected break all the time, and the
person responsible for the neglect typically knew it was coming. 
But the little 7 year old didn't. 

To see a child headed for a lifetime of trouble due to a totally preventable
injury is not a happy day.

Please get your child a mouth guard. 
It does not have to be expensive. 
As long as the guard fits properly it should do the job.
The only worry is guards that fit so poorly that the child risks
have it come out during activity and fall into their throat
and become a choking hazard. 

Sprained ankles and broken collar bones will heal . 

Teeth won't.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Tooth still hurts AFTER root canal and crown!!

Have you ever had a toothache?
Have you ever paid a lot for a root canal?
Have you ever paid even more for a crown?
Did it work, or does the tooth STILL hurt?!

What to do?

The tooth in the middle of the screen is just such a tooth. 
This patient came to me at the end of her rope. 
Too much time, to much money, and too much discomfort.

The failing tooth was extracted and an implant was placed.
The implant was then given 3 months for the bone to heal around it. 

After 3 months a tooth was placed on the implant.

No more pain. 
No more worry. 
If the bone holds (which it should in most healthy patients)
this will be one of the strongest teeth in the mouth. 
This tooth should need no more dental work for the lifetime of this patient. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is not a hard thing to understand. 
Sugars from sweets, fruit, milk, etc etc etc etc get into 
someone's mouth. 
The bacteria, naturally occurring in the mouth, ingest the sugars.
The bi-product of this bacteria - sugar combination is acid. 
The acids eat your teeth. 

That's it. 
Soooo, the take home point here is this........
The longer you have sugar in your mouth the more chances there
are for the bacteria to produce the acids that cause decay.

Time + Sugar = Decay

One of the saddest manifestations of this is Baby Bottle tooth decay.

Little tikes that get put to bed with a bottle. 
They will drink a little, fall asleep, wake up and drink a little, then fall asleep.
The result is that they have sugars on their teeth, essentially, all night long. 

Feed your little ones with a bottle if you so choose. 
But then after that make sure to brush their teeth. 
Or, at very least, give them a drink of water to help rinse the sugars away. 

Getting your 2 year old to obey you is tough. 
Getting them to sit still while I drill on their severely decayed teeth ......
nearly impossible.