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Those funny looking glasses that you may see Dr Kote wearing are actually surgical telescopes that allow him to see intricate details as he works. With the help of these modern scopes he can make sure everything is as it should be in your mouth, even seeing things that may be missed with the naked eye.

intraoral-camera

Intraoral Cameras are used to build patients’ trust through visual communication. IOCs are best used chairside to show the patient a clear picture of the inside of their mouth, allowing the dentist to consult them on various treatment options, and save the images directly to a patient’s file.

digital-x-ray

Digital X-Rays

Digital radiology may represent the greatest technological advancement in medical imaging over the last decade. The use of radiographic films in x ray imaging might become obsolete in a few years. An appropriate analogy that is easy to understand is the replacement of typical film cameras with digital cameras. Images can be immediately acquired, deleted, modified, and subsequently sent to a network of computers.

The benefits from digital radiology are enormous. It can make a radiological facility or department filmless. The referring physician can view the requested image on a desktop or a personal computer and often report in just a few minutes after the examination was performed. The images are no longer held in a single location; but can be seen simultaneously by physicians who are kilometres apart. In addition, the patient can have the x ray images on a compact disk to take to another physician or hospital.


 

What is a dental cleaning?

Be sure to add a dental visit to this year’s spring cleaning list. A professional dental cleaning at least twice a year can improve your oral health, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.

The AGD strongly recommends that a dentist or hygienist perform a dental cleaning every six months. This professional dental cleaning reinforces the home-care oral health regimen of brushing and flossing and gives the dentist an opportunity to locate areas in the mouth that may need special attention.

People who regularly practice good oral hygiene at home with proper brushing and flossing techniques typically do not experience discomfort during a cleaning. However, those who have neglected their oral hygiene habits may experience some discomfort or sensitivity during a dental cleaning. The dentist can use a topical anesthetic before the cleaning to alleviate any discomfort.

During a dental cleaning, you’ll receive diagnostic and preventive services from your dentist as well as any needed educational information.

Diagnostic services may include:

  • Reviewing and updating medical history, including information about heart problems, pregnancy, diabetes and medications, which may have an impact on your oral health
  • Oral cancer examination and screening
  • Evaluation of gum tissue
  • Checking biting, chewing and swallowing patterns
  • X-rays or examination of teeth to detect decay
  • Referral to specialists for specific treatment

Preventive services may include:

  • Removal of plaque and tartar
  • Stain removal
  • Fluoride application
  • Sealants (for children)
  • Polishing teeth, including fillings and crowns
  • Cleaning and adjustment of dentures and partial dentures

Educational services may include:

  • Tooth brushing and flossing instructions
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Recommendations for future treatment: when to return for follow-up hygiene treatment, periodontal (gum) concerns or restorative options
  • Evaluation of self-care effectiveness
  • Tobacco-cessation counseling

Sealants can stop cavities before they begin

sealants stop cavities

Caring for your children’s teeth

Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing your child to the dentist before his/her first birthday?

Children are prone to cavities because of the natural shape of their growing teeth. When first molars come in around age 6, deep crevices called pits and fissures form on the chewing surfaces of these back teeth. Pits and fissures are so narrow that the bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach into them, making them difficult to clean; however, these crevices provide plenty of room for bacteria to grow.

Children’s eating habits also lead to cavities because their diets generally include frequent snacking. Children are usually brushing their own teeth by age 6, and they may not be doing an adequate job. They rarely brush as often as necessary and their technique may need an occasional check by an adult.

What can you do? Sealants may be the answer

Dental sealants can protect your children from cavities. Sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of molars to act as a barrier between the tooth and harmful bacteria. They are most effective when applied to decay-susceptible biting surfaces as soon as the teeth come in. Here’s how sealants work: The sealing material is applied to the tooth surface using an “etching” fluid. The sealant partially penetrates the tooth enamel, ensuring that it is firmly attached to the tooth. Once applied, the sealant fills in the tooth’s grooves, hardens and creates a thin plastic barrier that keeps cavity-causing bacteria out of the pits and fissures.

Application is fast and painless

Your child will be happy to know that with sealants, there is no drilling and no discomfort. Sealants can be applied by either your dentist or a registered dental hygienist, and application takes less time than having a tooth filled.

After many years in use, sealants have proven to be safe, durable and effective. Check your Delta Dental Evidence of Coverage booklet to see if your plan includes coverage for sealants. Usually, sealants are covered when applied to first molars through age 8 and second molars through age 15. However, coverage for some groups may be different. Ask your dentist about how your child can benefit from the application of sealants.

Other cavity prevention techniques

Regular at-home preventive care — brushing and flossing after every meal — can also help keep your child’s dental problems to a minimum. From age 2, children should begin to brush their own teeth with a parent’s help. Use a small, soft brush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Children need a balanced diet to help their bodies — including teeth — develop. Calcium is extremely important for strong teeth and to the structure of the face and jaws. Make sure your child gets an adequate supply of calcium by eating calcium rich foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese, which have been shown to inhibit the effects of harmful acids. Discourage snacks that are high in sugar or starch, and sticky foods that may remain in contact with teeth longer.

How to whiten your smile

Teeth whitening has leaped from the Hollywood red carpet into the homes of everyday people. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth whitening among Americans has increased by 300 percent over the last five years.

Advances in research and technology have fueled consumer demand by offering several safe and effective treatments to brighten smiles.

Whitening is successful in 90 percent of patients and is best suited for patients with teeth darkened from age, coffee, tea, smoking, medication or heredity, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Dentists may discourage whitening for patients with sensitive teeth.

You can take several approaches to whiten your smile:

  • Bleaching (at-home or in-office)*
  • Whitening toothpastes

Bleaching

Bleaching is a common and popular chemical process used to brighten discolored or stained teeth.

Bleaching can be performed under dental supervision, at home. (The AGD recommends dentist supervision for any whitening treatment, even over-the-counter preparations. This will help you avoid gum irritation or damage to previous dental work.)

For at-home treatments, your dentist provides a custom-fitted plastic “tray” (made from impressions of your teeth, the tray looks like a very thin mouthguard), whitening gel and instructions. Most whitening treatments done at home take between 10 to 14 days to complete.

Results from a dentist-supervised whitening procedure can last anywhere from one to five years (depending on your eating, drinking or smoking habits).

Whitening toothpastes

All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. “Whitening” toothpastes have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.

When selecting a whitener or any dental product, be sure to look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, which ensures the product has met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness. Before using any teeth whitening product, consult with your dentist.

* Teeth whitening procedures are not typically covered under Delta Dental plans; always check your coverage before undergoing dental treatment.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance.

The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

  1. To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  2. To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  3. To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  4. To hold a dental bridge in place
  5. To cover misshapened or severely discolored teeth
  6. To cover a dental implant
  7. To make a cosmetic modification

For children, a crown may be used on primary (baby) teeth in order to:

  • Save a tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling.
  • Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
  • Decrease the frequency of sedation and general anesthesia for children unable because of age, behavior, or medical history to fully cooperate with the requirements of proper dental care.

 



Pulling a Tooth (Tooth Extraction)

When you were 6, losing a tooth was a rite of passage, perhaps achieved by incessant tooth jiggling, biting into a crisp apple, or tying a string around the tooth and giving it a tug. As an adult, tooth loss is hardly cause for celebration, yet having a tooth pulled is sometimes necessary.

Reasons for Pulling Teeth

Although permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime, there are a number of reasons why tooth extraction may be needed. A very common reason involves a tooth that is too badly damaged, from trauma or decay, to be repaired. Other reasons include:

A crowded mouth. Sometimes dentists pull teeth to prepare the mouth for orthodontia. The goal of orthodontia is to properly align the teeth, which may not be possible if your teeth are too big for your mouth. Likewise, if a tooth cannot break through the gum (erupt) because there is not room in the mouth for it, your dentist may recommend pulling it.

Infection. If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp — the center of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels — bacteria in the mouth can enter the pulp, leading to infection. Often this can be corrected with root canal therapy (RCT), but if the infection is so severe that antibiotics or RCT do not cure it, extraction may be needed to prevent the spread of infection.

Risk of infection. If your immune system is compromised (for example, if you are receiving chemotherapy or are having an organ transplant) even the risk of infection in a particular tooth may be reason enough to pull the tooth.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease . If periodontal disease — an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth — have caused loosening of the teeth, it may be necessary to the pull the tooth or teeth.

What to Expect With Tooth Extraction

Dentists and oral surgeons (dentists with special training to perform surgery) perform tooth extractions. Before pulling the tooth, your dentist will give you an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. If you are having more than one tooth pulled or if a tooth is impacted, your dentist may use a strong general anesthetic. This will prevent pain throughout your body and make you sleep through the procedure.

If the tooth is impacted, the dentist will cut away gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth and then, using forceps, grasp the tooth and gently rock it back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and ligaments that hold it in place. Sometimes, a hard-to-pull tooth must be removed in pieces.

Once the tooth has been pulled, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. The dentist will pack a gauze pad into the socket and have you bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes the dentist will place a few stitches — usually self-dissolving — to close the gum edges over the extraction site.

Sometimes, the blood clot in the socket breaks loose, exposing the bone in the socket. This is a painful condition called dry socket. If this happens, your dentist will likely place a sedative dressing over the socket for a few days to protect it as a new clot forms.


What is a denture?

An explanation of dentures

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. Complete dentures are either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional denture is placed in the mouth about a month after all the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing, whereas an immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed. The drawback behind an immediate denture is that it may require more adjustments after the healing has taken place.

Who needs a denture?

Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their teeth. A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles. It will greatly enhance the facial appearance and smile.

What happens when you get a denture?

A dentist can make a full conventional denture when all teeth have been lost or all extraction sites have healed (up to eight weeks or longer.) The denture process takes about one month and five appointments: the initial diagnosis is made; an impression and a wax bite are made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position; a “try-in” is placed to assure proper color, shape and fit; and the patient’s final denture is placed, following any minor adjustments.

New denture wearers need time to get accustomed to their new “teeth” because even the best fitting dentures will feel awkward at first. While most patients can begin to speak normally within a few hours, many patients report discomfort with eating for several days to a few weeks. To get accustomed to chewing with a new denture, start with soft, easy-to-chew foods. In addition, denture wearers often notice a slight change in facial appearance, increased salivary flow, or minor speech difficulty.

How do you care for a denture?

A denture is fragile, so it is important to handle it with care. Remove and brush the denture daily, preferably with a brush designed specifically for cleaning dentures, using either a denture cleanser or toothpastes. Never use harsh, abrasive cleansers, including abrasives toothpastes, because they may scratch the surface of the denture. Don’t sterilize your denture with boiling water because it will cause it to become warped. If you wear a partial denture be sure to remove it before brushing your natural teeth. When not in use, soak it in a cleanser solution or in water. Get in the habit of keeping the denture in the same safe and handy place to reduce the likelihood of misplacement.

Should a denture be worn at night?

While you may be advised to wear your denture almost constantly during the first two weeks- even while you sleep-under normal circumstances it is considered best to remove it at night. Research has shown that removing the denture for at least eight hours during either the day or night allows the gum tissue to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. This promotes better long-term health of the gums.

Continue seeing your dentist regularly

It is important to continue having regular dental checkups so that a dentist can examine oral tissues for signs of disease or cancer. As of aging, your mouth will continue to change as the bone under your denture shrinks or recedes. To maintain a proper fit over time, it may be necessary to adjust your denture or possibly remake your denture. Never attempt to adjust a denture yourself and do not use denture adhesives for a prolonged period because it can contribute to bone loss. When in doubt, consult your dentist.

Are there any alternatives to dentures?

Dentures are no longer the only way to restore a mouth that has little or no non-restorable teeth. Strategically placed support, or implants, can now be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost tends to be greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the “feel” of real teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative of choice to dentures, but not everyone is a candidate for implants. Call your dentist for advice.


All about dental implants

Dental implants — artificial replacements for natural teeth/roots — are an alternative to partial and full dentures or bridges. The implant, working like a tooth, offers more comfort and stability than dentures. Implants can restore the ability to chew food and may improve speech and facial appearance.

What is an implant?

Implants are manufactured “anchors” that resemble cylinders or screws. Used in upper and lower jaws, they are surgically inserted into the jawbone to become a stable base for artificial replacement teeth.

The implant itself acts as the root of the tooth. The crown, bridge or denture placed over the implant will look and perform like the natural tooth that was lost.

How do implants differ from dentures?

Unlike dentures, implants are not removed for overnight soaking and cleaning and need no adhesives.

How are implants placed?

Implant surgery is performed in a dentist’s office, in a three-step process:

  1. A dentist surgically places an implant directly into the jawbone, like a natural tooth root. Following this initial surgery, the implant will usually remain covered for three to six months, to allow the bone to develop around the implant to help hold it in place.
  2. Once this waiting period is over, the dentist uncovers the implant and attaches an extension, called a post, to the implant. Several more months often are needed for the gum tissue to heal around the post.
  3. In the third and final step, once healing is completed, the implant can serve as a foundation for the new tooth. The dentist then makes a crown (or other artificial tooth replacement) and attaches it to the implant post.

The entire process could take up to nine months to complete, depending on the patient.

How effective are implants?

The success rate for implants is based on many factors. Implants (depending on their location in the mouth) have reported success rates between 85 and 90 percent. When implants fail, it is usually because of poor oral hygiene. Dentists typically give specific instructions on how to care for dental implants.

How much do implants cost?

Compared to dentures, costs for implants and bridges are higher, but they more closely simulate the appearance and function of natural teeth.

Who can get implants?

The best candidates for implants are those in good general health who have healthy gums and sufficient bone structure. Success of the implant depends on regular dentist visits along with a personal commitment to good oral hygiene.

Implants may be less successful for people who smoke, those who grind or clench teeth and patients with systemic diseases such as diabetes. Check with your dentist to see if implants are the right choice for you.


KFD’s Other Services

  • Oral Hygiene Instructions
  • Cosmetic Bonding
  • Silver and White fillings
  • Bridges
  • Root Canals (endodontics)
  • Veneers
  • Night Guards
  • TMJ Treatment
  • Periodontal Treatment
  • Laser Treatment
  • Cosmetic soft tissue re-contouring
  • Digital X-rays (less radiation)
  • Intraoral camera
  • Digital imaging