Thursday, 31 May 2012

Preventive Dental Care

Dental Sealants and Fissurotomy

By some accounts, 80% of tooth decay begins in the pits and fissures of teeth. Toothbrush bristles may not be able to completely remove food from those areas. Dental sealants and fissurotomy techniques may help protect against these types of cavities. This animation opens by describing the epidemic nature of pit & fissure cavities, and the impetus for their prevention. Pits and fissures are shown in cross-section, and dissolution of tooth enamel in the inaccessible fissures is illustrated- ultimately progressing to caries in dentin. Prophylactic odontotomy (fissurotomy) is described as a potentially viable means of eliminating deep fissures, along with use of microabrasion handpieces to debride the grooves. Sealants are applied, stressing the importance of good moisture control. Microleakage is discussed as a possible consequence of maintaining poor moisture control during placement, followed by caries progression which may be difficult to observe clinically. Finally, a failing sealant is shown, which illustrates the most common problems associated with sealants.

Video and article created by:

Edward Filangeri Excellence in Dentistry
516 Hawkins Avenue
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
Telephone: (631) 588-9041

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Malocclusion and Orthodontics

What is malocclusion?

Malocclusion means having crooked teeth or a "poor bite."

Orthodontic treatment can correct the way teeth and jaws line up. Dentists who are specially trained to correct malocclusion are called orthodontists. They use a variety of treatment tools and techniques (including braces ) to move teeth, and sometimes the jaw, into the right places.

What causes malocclusion?

A common cause of malocclusion  is teeth that have too much or too little room in the jaw. If children have a small jaw, their teeth may grow into a space that is too small. As a result, teeth may grow or drift out of place.

Other causes of crooked teeth include thumb-sucking, pacifier use, and tooth loss.

What are the symptoms?

The most obvious sign is teeth that are crooked or stick out. Malocclusion can range from mild to severe. Most of the time, having crooked teeth is only a cosmetic problem, meaning people don't like the way their teeth look. But in severe cases, it can cause problems with eating or speaking.

How is malocclusion diagnosed?

A dentist usually checks for malocclusion in children during regular dental visits. If the jaw or teeth are out of line, the dentist may suggest a visit to an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children get a checkup with an orthodontist by age 7.

An orthodontist will:

Ask questions about your or your child's past health problems.
Check the mouth and teeth.
Take X-rays of the face and teeth.
Take photographs of the face and teeth.
Make a plaster model of the teeth.
Start your child’s trips to the dentist at age 12 months. This will help your child get used to seeing a dentist. It will also catch any early problems. Keep up with regular dental checkups 2 times a year.

How is it treated?

In children and teens, the first step in treatment may be to take out certain teeth to make room for teeth that may still grow in.

The next step is to attach braces to teeth to straighten out the bite . In addition to straightening teeth, braces can help move a child’s jaw into the right position.

Teeth tend to move forward as you age, even after treatment with braces. Retainers  are devices you wear in your mouth to keep your teeth from moving. Some people need to use retainers for many years after treatment.

Adults can successfully straighten their teeth with braces. But the only way to straighten an adult’s jaw is with surgery.

Braces and other types of orthodontic treatment cost a lot. Most insurance plans don't pay for them. Before you start treatment, make sure you know how much it will cost and how you will pay for it.

Above article from:

Edward Filangeri Excellence in Dentistry
516 Hawkins Avenue
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
Telephone: (631) 588-9041

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Dental Health and Dry Mouth

We all need saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths and digest food. Saliva also prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. When we don't produce enough saliva, our mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for dry mouth.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

There are several causes of dry mouth, also called xerostomia. These include:

Side effect of certain medications. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription drugs, including drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, and colds (antihistamines and decongestants), obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension (diuretics), diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma (certain bronchodilators), and Parkinson's disease. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of muscle relaxants and sedatives.

Side effect of certain diseases and infections. Dry mouth can be a side effect of medical conditions, including Sjögren's syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson's disease, stroke, and mumps.

Side effect of certain medical treatments. Damage to the salivary glands, the glands that produce saliva, for example, from radiation to the head and neck and chemotherapy treatments for cancer, can reduce the amount of saliva produced.

Nerve damage . Dry mouth can be a result of nerve damage to the head and neck area from an injury or surgery.

Dehydration . Conditions that lead to dehydration, such as fever, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss, and burns can cause dry mouth.

Surgical removal of the salivary glands.

Lifestyle. Smoking or chewing tobacco can affect saliva production and aggravate dry mouth. Continuously breathing with your mouth open can also contribute to the problem.

Above article from:

Edward Filangeri Excellence in Dentistry
516 Hawkins Avenue
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
Telephone: (631) 588-9041