Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center
April 18, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Not sure if the symptoms you are experiencing could mean that you need immediate dental care?

We know that hearing the words “root canal” can be enough to make anyone nervous, but for many people, this procedure is the only way root canal to save a damaged tooth and find relief from the oral pain that it has been causing. So, how do you know if the pain you are dealing with requires root canal treatment from our Holland, MI, dentists Dr. Ryan Lebster, Dr. Jose Vivas, and Dr. Arnold Baker? Here are the top signs,

  • A severe toothache that may either be persistent or intermittent. The pain may get worse when putting pressure on the tooth or biting down.
  • Increased and lingering sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks
  • Darkening of the tooth (a sign that the roots are dying)
  • Inflammation, redness, and tenderness of surrounding gums
  • The development of a pimple on the gums (known as an abscess)

 

What is root canal treatment?

This endodontic procedure is performed when the dental pulp, a structure inside the tooth, is inflamed or infected. This can happen for a number of reasons ranging from traumatic injury to severe decay. Once the pulp has been affected the only option will be for our Holland, MI, general dentists to remove the pulp and any bacteria that has been trapped inside the tooth. This is the main goal of root canal treatment.

A root canal is not an elective procedure. It is the only way to make sure that damage doesn’t continue to spread to surrounding teeth or the jawbone. This is why it’s important to see your dentist right away if you are experiencing any issues with your smile. A root canal now could prevent the need for a tooth extraction later, and remember, it’s always important to preserve your natural teeth whenever possible.

 

Need treatment? Give us a call!

If you are dealing with any of the symptoms above, or if you notice any changes in your smile that you aren’t sure about, then don’t hesitate to call Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center in Holland, MI, at (616) 399-3946 to schedule an immediate appointment with us!

By Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center
April 18, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
DrawingImpactedTeethintotheOpencanRestoreaSmile

You don’t have to be a dental professional to appreciate a beautiful smile. Likewise, you’ll also know when something’s not quite right with one.

Such can be the case when a tooth fails to erupt properly, causing most or all of the crown to remain below the gum line, a condition known as impaction. Upper canines (or “eyeteeth,” for their location in the arch under the eyes) are especially susceptible to impaction: located on either side of the lateral incisors, which are on either side of the central incisors (the two center front teeth).

The upper canines are important both for function and appearance. Working with their lower counterparts they help cut through food as we chew, so you lose some of that efficiency when they don’t erupt properly. Impacted teeth are susceptible to abscesses and cysts, and can impinge upon and damage the roots of other teeth. And just as importantly, their absence also disrupts the smile as nearby teeth tend to move or “drift” toward the open space.

Rather than remove the impacted canines as is often done with back teeth, it may be more advantageous for both function and appearance to “coax” them into full eruption. This requires first pinpointing their exact location below the gums using x-rays or cone beam 3-D imaging.

If the teeth are in reasonably good position we must first prepare them for orthodontic treatment by surgically exposing the crown from the gums and bonding a small bracket to it. We then attach a small gold chain to the bracket that extends outside of the gums when we suture them back into place. The chain is attached to orthodontic hardware that exerts pressure on the impacted tooth for several months to “pull” it out into the arch.

This procedure has the best chance of success if undertaken before the end of jaw development in early adulthood. Otherwise, it may be better to remove the impacted canines and replace them with dental implants, followed by orthodontic treatment of other teeth to restore their proper position and bite relationships. In either case, your impacted upper canines don’t have to be a problem — we can restore both your mouth function and your smile.

If you would like more information on impacted teeth and treatment options, 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 “Exposing Impacted Canines.”

By Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center
March 09, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
GetAheadofaDevelopingCross-BitewithThisEarlyInterventionMeasure

Applying braces or clear aligners to move misaligned teeth is only part of an orthodontist's overall mission to eliminate poor bites (malocclusions). Sometimes a malocclusion isn't caused by the teeth at all—the size of the jaw is the problem!

One type in particular, a cross-bite, often happens because the upper jaw has developed too narrowly. As a result, many of the upper teeth fit inside the lower, the opposite of normal. But a tool called a palatal expander can alleviate the problem if it's applied at an early enough age.

The device works because the upper jawbone initially forms as two halves that fit together along a center line in the roof of the mouth (the palate) running from the back of the mouth to the front. These two bone halves remain separate during childhood to facilitate jaw growth, but eventually fuse around puberty.

Consisting of two sets of wire arms joined together by a hinge mechanism in the middle, the expander device is positioned up against the palate. The orthodontist extends each arm to press against the inside of the back teeth, then adds more outward pressure by turning the mechanism in the middle with a small key. During wear, the patient or caregiver will turn the mechanism in the same way to keep up the pressure on the two sides of the jaw.

This continual pressure keeps the two bones moving away from each other and maintaining a center gap between them. In response, more bone forms on the two halves to fill the gap. In time, the newly formed bone should widen the jaw enough to correct any developing malocclusion.

Timing is everything with a palatal expander—if not used before the jaw bones fuse, the patient will need a surgical procedure to separate the bones to pursue treatment. To catch the problem early enough, children should have an orthodontic evaluation on or before they turn six. An orthodontist may be able to identify this or other emerging bite problems and intervene before it becomes worse. Taking this approach can help save you and your child more expensive orthodontic treatment down the road.

If you would like more information on correcting poor bites, 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 “Palatal Expanders: Orthodontics is more than just Moving Teeth.”

By Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center
February 27, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
NotJazzedAboutWearingBracesConsiderClearAlignersInstead

Wearing orthodontic braces brings challenges to daily life. During treatment a patient will need to avoid certain foods and habits, take more time to brush and floss properly, and may endure occasional discomfort. But the effect of metal braces on appearance can be especially difficult, especially for peer-conscious teens.

Clear aligners, though, offer an alternative to braces that could make some of these challenges easier, particularly with your appearance. Aligners are clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth to move them. They can be removed by the wearer for easier brushing and flossing or for special occasions. Best of all, they're much less noticeable than metal braces.

Clear aligners were developed thanks to advances in digital technology. An orthodontist uses a computer application incorporating the data from photographs, x-rays or CT scans of a patient's teeth and jaws to produce a series of clear plastic trays. The patient then wears each tray for about two weeks before changing to the next tray in the sequence.

The trays apply pressure much like metal braces to gradually move teeth to the desired position on the jaw. Each tray is slightly smaller in size than the previous tray in the sequence, so that the progression of tooth movement continues with each succeeding tray. The treatment time is about the same as with conventional braces.

This new orthodontic tool works well for many common bite problems, but until recently they've been limited in scope. But new designs in trays and attachments called buttons added to teeth to provide more leverage have greatly increased their use for more complex bite issues.

Clear aligners also have one other disadvantage, ironically due to one of their principal benefits, removability. Although they can be taken out, they must be worn consistently to achieve results. Some younger patients may not have the maturity level and discipline to responsibly wear their aligners as they should.

That's one issue you'll need to discuss with your orthodontist if you're considering clear aligners for your teen. But if they can maintain wearing consistency, and they have a bite problem that can be corrected with aligners, both you and your teen may find this choice more agreeable and attractive than braces.

If you would like more information on clear aligners, 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 “Clear Aligners for Teens.”

By Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center
February 25, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal   toothache  

Woman With Tooth PainNo tooth is an unnecessary tooth. So, if you have one endangered by trauma, dental abscess, or several cavities and fillings, your dentist at Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center in Holland, MI, will endeavor to save it with root canal therapy. By removing diseased interior pulp, this restorative treatment relieves pain and spares the tooth for many years to come. At Lakeshore Dentistry, Drs. Ryan Lebster, Jose Vivas, and Arnold Baker carefully evaluate their patients for this service if the need arises.

Comfortable and reliable

That's the essence of root canal therapy. A two-visit procedure performed entirely by your Holland dentist, a root canal (as most people call it) aims to remove the interior pulp from the slender chamber running down tooth roots, and as a minimally invasive procedure, it only requires the use of local anesthetic!

During treatment, Dr. Lebster, Dr. Vivas, or Dr. Baker will use special tools debride the canals. Afterward, they will also disinfect and seal them with elastic and biocompatible gutta-percha. Finally, a temporary dental filling or crown will cover the tooth while the permanent crown is fashioned at the dental lab. Healing takes about a week.

When you return to Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center, the dentist will remove the temporary restoration and bond the permanent crown over your restored tooth. While your tooth may be sensitive for a bit, this will quickly diminish, and the pain, drainage, and other difficult symptoms that you previously been experiencing will be gone!

Signs you may need a root canal

Your tooth may be in danger and need a root canal procedure if:

  • It is highly sensitive to heat, cold, sugar, or pressure
  • You have a severe toothache
  • The enamel is discolored
  • You have a pimple on your gums
  • Your jaw is swollen
  • You have bad breath which does not go away
  • You have an obvious fracture and are missing a substantial amount of tooth structure

So many benefits...

In summary, the American Association of Endodontists says root canal therapy has many wonderful benefits such as:

  • Resolution of pain
  • Improvement of oral function (biting, chewing, speaking) and smile appearance
  • Avoidance of tooth extraction
  • Less cost than tooth replacements such as bridgework and dental implants
  • Long-life for the treated tooth

Don't delay
If you question the health of a particular tooth, please contact Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center and ask for an appointment with one of our highly skilled dentists. Our office is reachable at (616) 399-3946.