Other Dental Treatments

Other Dental Treatments

Using Dental Sealants to Prevent Decay

Dental sealants are thin coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of your teeth to fill in all the pits and grooves.  Because your teeth aren’t naturally smooth, any little nook and cranny is a place where tooth decay can thrive.  Dental sealants were designed to prevent this from happening by coating your teeth so bacteria and other debris can’t creep in.

Sealants actually were developed about 50 years ago, but didn’t become commonly used until the 1970s. Today, sealants are becoming widely popular and effective; young children are great candidates for preventative measures like sealants because in many cases, decay has not set in. Even on teeth where decay is present, sealants have been shown to fight additional damage.

Flap surgery from your Houston dentist

Sealants are applied by first cleaning the tooth surface. The procedure is followed by “etching” the tooth with an abrasive substance, which allows the sealant to better adhere.  Once your Houston dentist applies the dental sealant, a light source that’s slightly warm is shone directly onto the tooth to help the sealant dry faster.  Dental sealants last a long time. The average person only needs to have them reapplied every five to 10 years.

FLAP SURGERY AND YOUR GUM TISSUE 

When you have periodontal disease, your bone and gum tissue no longer fit snugly along your teeth.  Instead what happens is that the supporting tissue in the gums and jaw bone is destroyed — and this forms pockets around the tooth.  If periodontal disease is not treated, the pockets get deeper and become a place for bacteria to grow and cause additional damage.  This can result in more tissue and bone loss, especially if the bacteria finds its ways under your gum tissue. And if you lose too much bone, your dentist will need to extract your teeth.

In order this, your Houston dentist may recommend flap surgery. This is sometimes done to remove tartar deposits inside the deep pockets.  Flap surgery is also done reduce the size of the pocket around the tooth.  This makes it easier for you or your dental professional to keep the area clean.

Flap surgery is a common dental surgery.  Your dentist will simply lift back your gums, removing the tartar and then suture the gums back in place.  Once the flap surgery is complete, the gum tissue will fit snugly around your tooth again.

Another alternative is a pocket reduction procedure. This is usually recommended if your day-to-day at-home oral hygiene is not sufficient to reach those deep pockets and your dental professional also can’t clean.  There are also some cases where your dentist may smooth out any irregular surfaces of the damaged bone. This can help reduce the number of  areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide.

GETTING GUMS ADDED: THE CONNECTIVE TISSUE GRAFT

Adding the gums can be done using your own gums or artificial gums. The procedure is easily done in less then an hour and within several weeks that bothersome sensitivity should be better.

A connective tissue graft is a type of gum graft that is used to protect the teeth in case the level of the gums has decreased. Many patients choose to get this procedure done to improve their appearance.

Before we discuss the details of connective tissue grafts let us talk a little about gum recession which is the reason behind people choosing to go for this procedure. Gum recession is a very common problem and a large number of people are affected by this problem. Most of us do not notice any recession in the gums till it reaches a point that it starts looking obvious. Teeth that have receded gums around them look bad and one can even start having sensitivity problems on eating hot or cold food. If gum recession is allowed to progress then it can be damaging to the tooth as it may become loose because of periodontal involvement.

Considering the above mentioned reasons it is important that some efforts are made to prevent further recession as well as restore the gums to their earlier levels. Placing a connective tissue graft is one of the most effective ways of dealing with gum recession and a lot of people have been satisfied with the results following this procedure.

For getting this procedure done one has to set up an appointment with a periodontist. our periodontist would start by administering anesthesia to the concerned area and then proceed with the procedure. When placing a connective tissue graft a piece of skin from the palate region of the mouth is cut out. Following this tissue from below the flap removed is taken out and is placed under the receded gums. The flap removed from the palate is then placed back into its position and then stitches are placed in both the regions.

There is also the option of placing an alloderm artificially prepared graft for this procedure depending on the affordability and other criteria. This procedure works well for enhancing the levels of the gums in front of the teeth but is not that effective in the region between the teeth.

The good thing about getting this procedure done is that it is effective and the effects remain in place for a long time. By opting to get connective tissue grafting done one can get a nice healthy smile back and look younger.

YOUR HOUSTON DENTIST HAS SOLUTIONS FOR JAW DISORDERS AND TMD

One common jaw disorders is related to a problem with the temporomandibular joint that is often found in people who grind their teeth. This is the joint on the side of jaw line that connects your lower jaw to your skill.  When you open and close your mouth, this is the joint that allows it to happen.  The joint also makes it possible for you to speak and chew.

If you have temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), you may hear a clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouths. But TMD can come with some other issues including headaches and neck pain. Some people may also experience tooth sensitivity.

There are many treatments for TMD.  Your Houston dentist will access your situation and make recommendations.  These might  include using muscle relaxants, taking aspirin, going through biofeedback, or wearing a custom-fit plastic appliance (like a mouthguard) in your mouth while your sleep.

TMD varies by person.  Some people will mild TMD may only have a little discomfort or experience pain in their jaw muscles.  But if you have severe TMD, you could dislocate your jaw or have joints that aren’t aligned correctly. While dislocated your jaw isn’t fun, people who have extreme TMD have arthritis in their joint.

In addition to TMD, traumatic injuries can also dislocate a jaw.

YOUR HOUSTON DENTIST AT MIDTOWN DENTISTRY IS A MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEON 

When facial reconstruction, including procedures involving the oral cavity, is called for, a specialist is needed.  Your Houston Dentist at Midtown Dentistry is a maxillofacial surgeon who can perform surgical procedures on the neck and head. A few of our maxillofacial surgeries are denture related including tooth extractions and jaw surgery.

JAW CORRECTIONS WITH MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY 

If you have a protruding chin, crooked or buck teeth or misaligned teeth, maxillofacial surgery may be your solution.

The causes of protruding chins and other maxillofacial issues vary.  For example, in some cases the upper and lower jawbones did not grow at the same rate.  In other situations, one jawbone might be larger than other or simply misaligned with the other bones in the skull .  While this may cause some appearance issues, there are other serious factors to consider.  Misaligned jaws can cause tongue and lip problems, and the person may have trouble speaking clearly or chewing comfortably.

Meeting with a Houston maxillofacial surgeon is the first step to getting your jaws moved into their proper place. Other kinds of maxillofacial surgery can correct problems with upper facial features such as the nose and cheek.

Meeting with a Houston maxillofacial surgeon doesn’t always result in surgery.  There are other ways to fix jaw problems.  These include braces to help the bite — and ensure that the jaw stays properly aligned.  Your maxillofacial surgeon may also recommend tiny wire or small rubber bands to keep your jaws in place while they are healing.  Depending on the situation, “fixation” screws are sometimes used to help with the movement of the jaw.  These screws or plates are inserted into the jaw after surgery.

TREATING DENTURE FATIGUE 

People who have worn dentures for a long time can sometimes experience loss of gum tissue and even bone, mostly from the wear and tear of the appliance on the soft tissues of their mouth.

If your case is extreme, maxillofacial surgery might be a solution.  Maxillofacial surgeons can do bone grafts or manipulate the soft tissues around the gum to help the situation.  Jaw realignment is also a possibility.   Whatever the problem is, talk to us at Midtown Dentistry.  You will be amazed at what can be done to help denture fatigue.

SCALING AND ROOT PLANING TO HELP REDUCE GUM DISEASE 

Some cases of acute periodontal (gum) disease that do not respond to more conventional treatment and self-care such as flossing may require a special kind of cleaning called scaling and root planing.

The procedure begins with administration of a local anesthetic to reduce any discomfort. Then, a small instrument called a “scaler,” or an ultrasonic cleaner, is used to clean beneath your gum line to remove plaque and tartar.

The root surfaces on the tooth are then planed and smoothed. This lets the gum tissue heal and reattach itself to the tooth.