Posts for: December, 2016
Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.
What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!
Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.
If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.
For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.
Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.
Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.
So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.
If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”
Find out more about this common endodontic treatment and the benefits surrounding it.
It’s amazing how much people hear root canals and get nervous. While it has certainly been associated with some rather negative connotations, a root canal is a very important and sometimes crucial dental procedure that could mean the difference between having a healthy smile and losing a permanent tooth. From the office of our Waltham, Cambridge, Burlington and Lexington, MA, endodontist, Dr. Ramzi Antoine Sarkis, find out more about a root canal treatment and how it might just help your smile.
When is a root canal necessary?
One of our Waltham, Cambridge, Burlington and Lexington dentists will recommend this restorative treatment if a large cavity or injury has damaged the roots of a tooth and led to inflammation or infection.
What happens during a root canal?
Before we even enter the tooth we will numb the area with a local anesthesia. Once the anesthesia has taken effect we will make an opening at the top of the tooth so that we can access the dental pulp.
Then a special tool, known as an endodontic file, is placed into the tooth to help remove the infected or inflamed pulp, as well as the infection. Once the inside of the tooth has been fully cleaned (including the tooth canals) we will place a filing material into the canals of the tooth to prevent reinfection.
Then the opening of the tooth is often sealed up with a temporary material to protect it while a temporary dental crown or filling is being made. Often time, a dental crown is the restoration that is placed over a tooth after a root canal to protect it from further damage and to restore strength back into the structure. Most people notice fast pain relief after their root canal since this treatment is designed to remove the areas of the tooth that are causing you significant pain.
A root canal is truly nothing to fear. It is designed to preserve your tooth so that you have it for years to come. Lexington Endodontics in the Waltham, Cambridge, Burlington and Lexington, MA, area is dedicated to making sure your smile always gets the care it needs so that it remains healthy.