Posts for: July, 2018
Experiencing a toothache almost always means that you require immediate dental attention. In many cases, a root canal can clear your tooth of the infection or damage causing your pain and restore the tooth’s natural structure to ensure its functionality and provide a natural look. Do you need a root canal? Find out more about this important dental procedure with your dentist, Dr. Steven Rollins at Summit Dental Group in Waterford, MI.
What is a root canal?
A root canal removes the infected, decayed, or damaged soft tissues from within a tooth, cleans the inside of the tooth, then refills it with a composite resin which closely mimics the tooth’s natural enamel both functionally and aesthetically. In many cases, your dentist will follow up a root canal with a dental crown, which fits over the tooth’s large filling to protect the tooth from future damage and stabilize it against everyday use.
Reasons You May Need a Root Canal
Severe Tooth Decay
Serious tooth decay infects the tooth’s inner soft tissues and nerves. This causes a toothache and, potentially, an abscess. Untreated tooth decay can lead to tooth loss.
Damage to the Tooth
A damaged tooth can damage the nerve within the inner pulp chamber. This causes pain and discomfort and can also lead to tooth loss.
Cracked or Chipped Tooth
A crack or chip in a tooth can allow bacteria which causes tooth decay to easily infect the tooth’s inner soft tissues.
Root Canal Therapy in Waterford, MI
If you think you need a root canal, you should contact your dentist for an examination. There, they will use imaging techniques like x-rays to see exactly where in your tooth the decay lies. This allows them to leave as much of the healthy tooth as possible and only remove the decayed portions of the tooth.
For more information on root canal therapy or what it can do for you, please contact Dr. Steven Rollins at Summit Dental Group in Waterford, MI. Call (248) 681-3600 to schedule your appointment for a consultation with Dr. Rollins today!
Fans of the legendary rock band Steely Dan received some sad news a few months ago: Co-founder Walter Becker died unexpectedly at the age of 67. The cause of his death was an aggressive form of esophageal cancer. This disease, which is related to oral cancer, may not get as much attention as some others. Yet Becker's name is the latest addition to the list of well-known people whose lives it has cut short—including actor Humphrey Bogart, writer Christopher Hitchens, and TV personality Richard Dawson.
As its name implies, esophageal cancer affects the esophagus: the long, hollow tube that joins the throat to the stomach. Solid and liquid foods taken into the mouth pass through this tube on their way through the digestive system. Worldwide, it is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths.
Like oral cancer, esophageal cancer generally does not produce obvious symptoms in its early stages. As a result, by the time these diseases are discovered, both types of cancer are most often in their later stages, and often prove difficult to treat successfully. Another similarity is that dentists can play an important role in oral and esophageal cancer detection.
Many people see dentists more often than any other health care professionals—at recommended twice-yearly checkups, for example. During routine examinations, we check the mouth, tongue, neck and throat for possible signs of oral cancer. These may include lumps, swellings, discolorations, and other abnormalities—which, fortunately, are most often harmless. Other symptoms, including persistent coughing or hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and unexplained weight loss, are common to both oral and esophageal cancer. Chest pain, worsening heartburn or indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also alert us to the possibility of esophageal cancer.
Cancer may be a scary subject—but early detection and treatment can offer many people the best possible outcome. If you have questions about oral or esophageal cancer, call our office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Cancer.”
Along with daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits, a balanced and nutritious diet is another key part of great oral health. The foods you eat can have a profound impact on how well your teeth and gums withstand diseases like tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
At the heart of proper nutrition are organic compounds called vitamins. Along with trace minerals, vitamins help the body convert food into energy, repair cellular and tissue damage and protect against environmental toxins. When you don’t receive an adequate amount of each vitamin your health can suffer; in terms of dental health, your teeth and gums can weaken and become more susceptible to disease.
Vitamins play a wide variety of roles, including within the mouth. The Vitamins A and C contained in fruits and vegetables and Vitamin E in vegetable oils are antioxidants that protect cells and their DNA from destructive elements in the environment. As such, they’re a major prevention factor against tooth decay and gum disease. Vitamin D, found in dairy products, eggs or certain seafood, is used by bone and teeth to absorb calcium. Without sufficient calcium, teeth and bone lose vitality and strength.
This recognized power of vitamins for optimum health has also fueled the multi-billion dollar nutritional supplement industry. But studies show that your best source for vitamins are the foods you eat—and the more natural foods and less processed products you eat, the better your vitamin and mineral intake. Taking supplements isn’t necessarily wrong—but it’s not in your best interest health-wise to depend on them for vitamins and minerals at the expense of healthier eating.
So in all you do to prevent dental disease, don’t overlook your diet. The vitamins and minerals you receive from foods in their most natural state will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy and your smile beautiful.
If you would like more information on the role of nutrition in dental health, 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 “Vitamins & Dietary Supplements.”
That feeling you have after a successful cleaning at the dentist is a great one, isn't it? When you're maintaining good dental hygiene habits, you can have that experience more than just twice a year. At Summit Dental Group in Waterford, Michigan, Dr. Steve Rollins and his staff want to educate each of their patients on the best ways to keep their teeth healthy at home. We've compiled some helpful information here.
We all know brushing our teeth is important, but are you making the most out of this routine? Many patients rush through brushing their teeth, which may not effectively remove the food particles that lead to plaque buildup. Take time to clean each of your teeth by concentrating on each section - upper and lower, left and right - for 30 seconds at a time. This will add up to the recommended two minutes of brushing that you need. Make sure you're using the proper tools as well; a toothbrush with soft bristles and a non-abrasive toothpaste are the standard recommendations, although Dr. Rollins may suggest something different during your checkup.
Many people have good intentions about remembering to floss every day, but it can be a difficult habit to maintain. Your Waterford family dentist suggests making it easier on yourself by using flossing picks or "swords" instead of the spool floss. Keeping a few of them in places where you might be more likely to use them will help flossing become more of a pattern; in your car, for example, or in your bedside table. When you floss isn't important, just that you're doing it once a day to break up plaque between the teeth.
As with other dental hygiene products, you might get overwhelmed by the choices of mouthwash available. The flavor you choose is entirely up to you, but most dental professionals agree that the anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis types are your best bet. They'll freshen your breath in the short term, but will also help to kill the germs that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Your Waterford family dentist may prescribe medicated mouthwash if you've been diagnosed with gingivitis or periodontitis. Regardless of where you get it, mouthwash isn't intended to be a stand-alone treatment; it should be used as a way to boost your brushing and flossing routine.
To learn more about good dental hygiene, contact Summit Dental Group in Waterford, Michigan for an appointment today!
Probably a day doesn’t go by that you don’t encounter advertising for dental implants. And for good reason: implants have taken the world of dentistry by storm.
Since their inception over thirty years ago, implants have rocketed ahead of more conventional tooth replacements to become the premier choice among both dentists and patients. But what is an implant—and why are these state-of-the-art dental devices so popular?
Resemblance to natural teeth. More than any other type of dental restoration, dental implants mimic both the appearance and function of natural teeth. Just as teeth have two main parts—the roots beneath the gum surface and the visible crown—so implants have a similar construction. At their heart, implants are root replacements by way of a titanium metal post imbedded in the jawbone. To this we can permanently attach a life-like porcelain crown or even another form of restoration (more about that in a moment).
Durability. Implant materials and unique design foster a long-term success rate after ten years in the 95-plus percentile. They achieve this longevity primarily due to the use of titanium as the primary metal in the implant post. Because bone has an affinity for titanium, it will grow and adhere to the post over time to create a well-anchored hold. With proper maintenance and care implants can last for decades, making them a wise, cost-effective investment.
Added stability for other restorations. While most people associate implants with single tooth replacements, the technology has a much broader reach. For example, just a few strategically-placed implants can support a removable denture, giving this traditional restoration much more security and stability. What’s more, it can help stop bone loss, one of the main drawbacks of conventional dentures. In like fashion, implants can support a fixed bridge, eliminating the need to permanently alter adjacent teeth often used to support a conventional bridge.
With continuing advances, implant technology is becoming increasingly useful for a variety of restorative situations. Depending on your individual tooth-loss situation, dental implants could put the form and function back in your smile for many years to come.
If you would like more information on dental implant restorations, 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 “Dental Implants: Your Best Option for Replacing Teeth.”