Posts for: September, 2019
Determining which of your teeth is causing your toothache isn’t always easy — or even if it’s a tooth at all. The pain could be coming from a tooth, the gums, or both. Only a thorough dental examination can pinpoint the exact cause and best course of treatment.
If a decayed tooth is the problem, the pain may be coming from nerves and other tissue deep within the tooth’s pulp. The symptoms could be dull or sharp, constant or intermittent, specific to one area or spread out. It’s even possible for the pain to suddenly subside after a few days. This doesn’t mean the infection has subsided, but rather that the infected nerves have died and no longer transmit pain. Pain can also radiate from the actual source and be felt somewhere else — the pain in your sinuses, for example, could actually originate from an infected back tooth.
If the source is periodontal (gum) disease, the infection has begun in the gum tissues. As they become more inflamed they lose their connectivity with the teeth, bone loss occurs and the gums may “recess” or draw back. This exposes the tooth root, which without the protective cover of the gum tissues becomes highly sensitive to changes in temperature or pressure. As a result you may encounter sharp pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold, or bite down.
Treating these issues will depend on the actual infection source. An infected tooth often requires a root canal treatment to clean out the pulp and root canals of dead or infected tissue, fill them with a special filling, and seal and crown the tooth to prevent future infection. If the source is gum disease, we must manually remove the bacterial plaque causing the disease from all tooth and gum surfaces to stop the infection and allow the gums to heal. In advanced cases, surgical procedures may be necessary to repair damage and encourage new gum and bone growth.
Where dental disease has spread from tooth to gums or vice-versa, you may need treatments for both areas to address your overall condition. Whatever the treatment course, we can put an end to your tooth pain and restore health to your teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on the sources of mouth pain, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Confusing Tooth Pain.”
The loss of a tooth can change the way you feel about your smile. Gaps between teeth not only affect your self-confidence and self-esteem but may limit your ability to chew certain foods. Dental implants, offered by your Cohasset, MA, dentists, Dr. Kevin Thomas and Dr. Aaron Chenette of Cohasset Dental, provide an excellent way to restore your smile.
Dental implants rebuild missing teeth
Dental implants recreate missing teeth from the roots up. The process starts with implanting a tiny titanium post in your jawbone. The implant becomes the new root for your tooth after it osseointegrates, or bonds, to your jawbone. The osseointegration process usually takes about three to six months but can vary from person to person.
As soon as full bonding occurs, your Cohasset dentist adds a connector to the top of the implant and makes an impression of your mouth. The impression is used to make a dental crown. The crown looks just like the top part of a natural tooth and restores your biting and chewing ability, in addition to filling the gap in your smile.
Implants offer oral health advantages
Dental implants don't just improve your smile but also keep your jawbone strong. Jawbone resorption, a problem that occurs when your jawbone shrinks, can be an issue after tooth loss. If the bone shrinks significantly it will no longer be able to support your teeth, and they may begin to loosen. Sagging of facial muscles can also occur due to resorption. Dental implants stimulate the jawbone just like natural roots, keeping your jawbone strong.
Implants also prevent your other teeth from shifting, which can happen after you lose a tooth. Drifting teeth often overlap, which makes it difficult to remove cavity-causing plaque. Bite problems can also occur if your teeth shift.
Chewing can be difficult if you lose even one tooth. As a result, you may swallow foods without chewing them thoroughly or even avoid eating some foods. Dental implants restore your chewing ability without decreasing your biting power. Do you have chewing difficulties because you've lost multiple teeth? Implant-supported dentures and bridges offer a good way to improve your ability to bite and chew and will also improve your appearance.
Don't let gaps between your teeth alter your smile! Dental implants can restore your smile. Call your Cohasset, MA, dentists Dr. Kevin Thomas and Dr. Aaron Chenette of Cohasset Dental, at (781) 383-9393 to schedule your appointment.
For most dental procedures you’re usually back to your regular routine in no more than a day or two (or even hours) afterward. For the most part, the mouth heals rather quickly.
But there may still be a short period of discomfort after tooth extraction, gum surgery or similar invasive procedures. The good news is you will most likely have no need for strong narcotic painkillers — milder, over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient to manage your discomfort.
The most common of these are known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This group of pain relievers — which include aspirin and ibuprofen — block the release of substances in the body known as prostaglandins that stimulate inflammation that increases pain in damaged tissues. They’re much preferred for mild to moderate pain because they don’t have the side effects of steroids or narcotics like morphine or codeine. They also tend to be less costly than these other prescription drugs.
But while they’re reasonably safe, they can cause problems if you exceed the recommended dosage or use them for prolonged periods. Their blockage of certain chemicals reduces the clotting mechanism in blood leading to a blood-thinning effect. Not only will this increase bleeding, it can also damage the stomach lining and cause ulcers if used over a period of weeks. Improper dosage of NSAIDs has also been linked to miscarriages and repeat heart attacks, which is why they’re not recommended for use during pregnancy or with patients with a history of heart or intestinal problems.
But if taken as directed by your physician or dentist — usually no more than 2,400 milligrams a day and only for a few days — such side effects are quite rare. The benefit is much more common: about five hours of pain relief from a single dose for most people. With the help of ibuprofen or similar drugs, you’ll be on your feet after your dental work in no time.Â
If you would like more information on managing pain after a procedure, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treating Pain with Ibuprofen.”
Are you currently looking for a dentist in Cohasset, MA, who can treat your entire family? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Our dentists, Dr. Kevin Thomas and Dr. Aaron Chenette, provide patients of all ages, from toddlers to seniors, with comprehensive dental care. Wondering what makes a family dentist a bit different from a general dentist? Read on to learn why.
What is a family dentist?
While a family dentist provides many of the same services and procedures that a general dentist will, a family dentist has also received specialized training to be able to provide more tailored dental care to patients of all ages, from children who are coming in for their very first dental cleaning to seniors well into their 80s and 90s.
What are the benefits of turning to a family dentist?
There are many advantages of turning to our Cohasset, MA, family dentist for regular dental care. One benefit is that you won’t have to travel to different dental locations to ensure that every member of your family gets the cleanings and care that they need. Everyone who comes to our dental practice can get the cleanings, checkups, and treatments they need for a healthier smile. We can even schedule your family on the same day so that you can save time and free up your schedule.
Another reason why so many households turn to a family dentist is that their children and teens can continue to receive trusted dental care from a familiar location. If your child visits a pediatric dentist, at some point they will need to turn to a regular dentist; however, your children never outgrow their family dentist. They can continue to see the same dentist they’ve always trusted throughout their formative years and for the rest of their lives!
When we see the same families coming through our doors for many years, we also establish amazing rapport with each and every one of them. That’s what’s important here at Cohasset Dental—we want you to feel welcomed and listened to. We want you to understand your dental options and feel like you’re an active part of your own health. By turning to a dentist who really gets to know you and your family, you can trust that the dental care you get is always customized to meet your needs.
Is your family looking for a dentist in Cohasset, MA, that can provide them with everything from preventive dental care to cosmetic, restorative, and orthodontic care? If so, turn to Cohasset Dental to meet all of your smile needs. Call us today at (781) 383-9393 to schedule appointments for the whole family.
Visiting the dentist for regular cleanings and needed dental work can do wonders for keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. But if you’ve seen or heard about infections occurring in healthcare facilities, you might be a little concerned that your trip to the dentist might expose you to one. Don’t be! You and your family will be out of harm’s way because your dental team has made protection from viruses, bacteria and other infectious agents a top priority. To highlight this effort, the American Academy of Oral Medicine commemorates each September as “National Dental Infection Control Awareness Month.”
As a healthcare provider, dentists have a legal, moral and ethical obligation to protect patients (and staff members too) from infection through what are known as “standard precautions.” These include barrier protection, disinfection and sterilization practices, and safe disposal of contaminated items.
But dentists and their professional organizations don’t stop with the minimum requirements—they’re committed to a higher standard when it comes to infection control. The bedrock for this commitment is adherence to an infection control checklist developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), updated regularly. This in-depth checklist recommends several best practices and protocols, including:
- Creating a written infection control plan that outlines all practices and procedures to be followed by the provider and staff;
- Barrier protection, including the wearing of disposable gloves, face shields or gowns by providers as appropriate;
- Proper disposal methods for used items;
- Proper hand washing and other hygiene practices before and after treatment procedures;
- Proper disinfection and sterilization of instruments and equipment;
Most licensing bodies also require that dentists and their staff undergo continuing education in infection control, usually every two years.
Because you as a patient have a right to know the details about your medical and dental care, you have public access to infection control guidelines and requirements. You can also ask your dental provider about what steps they take to protect you and your family from infectious disease. They’ll be glad to answer any questions you have to put your mind at ease about your safety.
The dental profession’s commitment to patient and staff safety has drastically reduced the risk of any infection. Rest assured, your dental visit will be beneficial for your oral health—and safe for your general health too.
If you would like more information about infection control in the dental office, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Infection Control in the Dental Office” and “Shingles, Herpes Zoster: A One-Sided Facial Rash.”