Once you have had dental implants surgically placed, you will want to follow some important care tips to ensure their long-term success. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime, so it’s exceptionally important to adhere to the instructions provided by your dentist and guidelines like these:
- Follow a vigilant routine of brushing and flossing thoroughly at least twice per day to eliminate the plaque that can cause periodontal disease, which is a leading cause of implant failure.
- Consult with your dentist about the type and use of special toothbrushes or oral irrigation devices that can help with the additional removal of food debris or plaque that builds up around the implant areas.
- Visit your dentist approximately every three months for the first year after implant surgery, and then every six months for the duration of your implants.
- If you are also wearing an implant supported denture, seek additional guidance from your dentist about the placement and removal of your denture to prevent damage to the implant.
- Refrain from applying excessive pressure or chewing on hard foods that could cause damage to the implant area. Patients who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) should consider being fitted for a night guard to protect the implants.
While the success rate of dental implants is high, implant failure can happen and normally results from infection, fracture, or damage to the nerves, teeth or blood vessels surrounding the implant. A successful implant patient who takes vigilant care of their teeth, gums, and implants can expect a full recovery and complication-free lifetime of beautiful, healthy smiles.
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Root canal treatment is often a last resort for people who are experiencing tooth pain and want to save their damaged tooth. Although the procedure isn’t nearly as scary or painful as in years past, most patients view the aspect of this treatment with disdain. Recovery from a root canal is often no worse than recovering from a dental filling, but there are some issues that affect your ability to recover from root canal treatment.
The severity of your tooth’s condition plays a big role in your treatment. If your infection or decay is not too advanced, it may mean an easier recovery than a patient with acute problems requiring extensive root canal treatment. Your dentist will determine the severity of your case and be able to prepare you for what to expect.
Although all dentists are trained to perform root canal treatment, not all of them choose to offer this service as part of their practice. Your dentist may refer you to an endodontist, who is a dentist specializing in root canal treatment. These types of dentists are trained in all aspects of root canals and can handle even the most severe cases. Often, endodontists are so experienced and knowledgeable that they can even help shorten your recovery period after treatment.
No matter which dentist performs your treatment, you should receive detailed instructions about how to care for yourself afterwards. You will be given guidelines about what to eat and what to avoid, how to handle pain, activity restrictions, and other details. There may also be mouth exercises suggested to follow to aid in your recovery. Make sure you keep any follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing.
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Have you ever wondered if your smile could be brighter? Have you considered teeth whitening, but just aren’t sure if it’s appropriate for you? People are born with different shades of teeth, but over time, other factors can affect the color of the enamel. The color of your teeth may have changed due to the following:
- Pigment-rich food and beverages such as cola, wine, juice, berries, candy, and ketchup are just several examples of foods that may darken your teeth.
- Cigarette smoking and chewing tobacco are known to cause yellowing of teeth.
- Certain medications can result in tooth darkening. These offenders include some antibiotics, high blood pressures medicines, antipsychotic drugs and certain antihistamines.
- Chemotherapy or radiation treatments can cause teeth to change colors.
- Enamel wears away as you age, and teeth acquire a build-up of tartar and stains that darken your teeth.
- Excessive fluoride use either from your water, fluoride supplements, toothpaste or rinses can cause teeth to yellow.
- Trauma caused by a fall or blow to the mouth can damage nerves and cause teeth to permanently brown or blacken.
- Poor oral hygiene or avoiding regular dental care can cause teeth to turn unwelcome colors.
While some of these causes may make whitening more difficult, talk to a qualified dentist in Toronto about the best option for meeting your whitening goals. The general rule of thumb is for your teeth to closely match the shade of the whites of your eyes. Teeth that are too white will look unnatural, so if you choose professional whitening, you should consult with your dental professional about how to achieve the most natural result. In cooperation with your dentist, making the decision to undergo professional teeth whitening could mean you will soon be facing the world with a brighter, whiter smile.
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There are many types of cosmetic dental procedures, from teeth whitening to porcelain veneers. While some procedures like veneers require little to no advance preparation, some procedures require more forethought. Make the most of your visit by making the right preparations.
All cosmetic dental procedures should begin with a discussion with your dentist. Your dentist is skilled and experienced. Your dentist best knows your teeth and your dental needs and can give you the advice you need. Some common cosmetic dental procedures and how to prepare for them are explained below.
Teeth whitening: Cleaning your teeth before a tooth whitening treatment will help you achieve better results. If you clean the plaque and tartar off of the tooth surface, the whitening will affect the entire surface of the tooth. Be sure to look at a shade guide before your procedure to establish your existing tooth color and to choose your goal shade. Teeth whitening is not recommended for expectant or nursing mothers, as the effects of the whitening chemicals on unborn children or infants has not been explored.
Oral surgery: Many dentistry procedures involve some type of oral surgery. To prepare for your surgery, follow all of the instructions of your surgeon. Make transportation arrangements, as you may not be able to drive. Get your medication in advance, so you will be prepared to take your pain medication or antibiotics immediately following your procedure instead of having to wait and possibly endure pain. Follow all of your pre-op instructions, including any diet restrictions. Plan your recovery diet beforehand, so you will have a variety of healthy, appropriate foods available to you.
Braces: Before braces are applied to your teeth, you will need a full check-up to look for decay or problems with your gums. After application or adjustment, your mouth may be sore. Treat this with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Because braces may chafe initially against your teeth and gums, have some specialized wax available to place over the bracket to help shield your mouth until your tongue and cheeks adjust.
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Do you have a single tooth that has darkened due to trauma? The first step in determining if a damaged tooth can be lightened is to visit your dentist for a thorough examination.
Your dentist will need to identify what is causing the dark staining. To do this, your dentist may perform x-rays or other tests to learn if the pulp of the tooth is “vital” or alive. If the tooth is deemed to be alive, external bleaching may yield the whitening results you are seeking. Your dentist can create a single-tooth bleaching tray to whiten the traumatized tooth effectively. This type of tray keeps the bleach away from other teeth, producing the best color match for your overall smile.
However, if it is determined that the nerves have died and it is no longer a living tooth, your dentist may need to perform a root canal. Darkening of a dead tooth can happen immediately or may develop over time after a root canal procedure has been performed. For this type of tooth trauma, your dentist or endodontist may recommend bleaching the tooth from the inside.
Stains from a non-vital tooth come from the inside, rather than outside, of the tooth. Therefore, your dentist needs to put the bleach inside the tooth. This type of teeth whitening is a routine procedure that involves making a small opening in the tooth through which to bleach the tooth. Once this procedure is complete, you can assess with your dentist whether the desired results have been achieved. If the whitening is not enough, the tooth can then be bleached externally as well. If the results are still not acceptable, you may want to consider a tooth-colored veneer or crown.
If you have a darkened tooth marring your smile, consult your dentist to determine the best teeth whitening treatment to return your smile to its bright, white best.
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Root canal therapy treats the interior of the tooth. The final step in root canal treatment is placing a permanent restoration to protect the tooth and restore it to full form and function. This procedure should be performed within one month of your root canal treatment to decrease the risk of re-contamination or breakage of the treated tooth. Having a permanent dental restoration placed will extend the success of root canal treatment by preventing damaging leakage or fracture.
The general condition of the treated tooth and the amount of tooth structure lost will determine if the tooth would be best restored with a permanent composite filling or a dental crown. For small cavities in front teeth with insignificant tooth structure loss, your dental professional may place a tooth-colored filling after a root canal procedure.
More often, your dentist will recommend the placement of a dental crown to restore a root canal treated tooth. Teeth that have had root canal therapy can be fragile, and a dental crown provides the best protection against future bacterial contamination and fracture. A dental crown is made in a laboratory and custom fit your tooth. Crowns are made of porcelain, metal, or a combination of the two. Dental crowns can be placed on front or back teeth, and are especially appropriate for molars that must withstand heavy chewing forces.
Having a root canal treated tooth restored with a dental crown or permanent filling will extend the success of your treatment. If you are showing symptoms of a damaged or diseased tooth, a properly performed root canal treatment and permanent restoration can save your tooth and extend its function for a lifetime.
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