Posts for: October, 2018
Have you noticed a clicking, popping, or grating sound when you open or close your jaw? As many as 36 million U.S. adults experience this phenomenon in one or both of the joints that connect the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull.
While the sounds may be disconcerting, there’s generally no cause for concern in the absence of other symptoms. They’re most likely caused by a harmless shift in the position of the disk inside each temporomandibular (jaw) joint, and it can diminish or disappear entirely over time. But, if you’re also experiencing persistent discomfort, severe pain, or limited function in your jaw (which can include getting it “stuck” in an opened or closed position), then you may be suffering from a temporomandibular joint disorder — part of a complex set of conditions affecting one or both jaw joints, muscles and/or other surrounding tissues. (You may have heard the condition called TMJ, which is actually the abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint itself. Health care professionals prefer TMJD or TMD.)
Depending on the severity, TMD can interfere with your ability to speak, chew and even make facial expressions. The cause is unclear, but genes, gender, environment, stress and behavior are believed to play a role. It can also be symptomatic of a larger medical problem, such as fibromyalgia, which can produce pain all over the body.
Management Options for TMD
TMD traditionally was viewed as a bite problem (malocclusion) requiring mechanical correction — e.g., through orthodontic braces or surgery. But the current therapeutic model approaches TMD as an orthopedic problem (joint inflammation, muscle soreness, strained tendons and ligaments, and disk damage) and favors a sequence of conservative, reversible procedures — hot or cold compresses in the jaw area, soft foods, physical therapy/massage, medication, and/or a bite guard to decrease pressure on jaw joints from tooth clenching and grinding — prior to more aggressive, irreversible treatment alternatives.
If you would like more information about TMD, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Seeking Relief from TMD” and “Chronic Jaw Pain and Associated Conditions.”
Placing a dental implant within the jawbone requires a surgical procedure. For most people it’s a relatively minor affair, but for some with certain health conditions it might be otherwise. Because of their condition they might have an increased risk for a bacterial infection afterward that could interfere with the implant’s integration with the bone and lead to possible failure.
To lower this risk, dentists for many years have routinely prescribed an antibiotic for patients considered at high-risk for infection to take before their implant surgery. But there’s been a lively debate among health practitioners about the true necessity for this practice and whether it’s worth the possible side effects that can accompany taking antibiotics.
While the practice still continues, current guidelines now recommend it for fewer health conditions. The American Dental Association (ADA) together with the American Heart Association (AHA) now recommend antibiotics only for surgical patients who have prosthetic heart valves, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant or certain congenital heart conditions.
But patients with prosthetic joint replacements, who were once included in the recommendation for pre-surgical antibiotics, are no longer in that category. Even so, some orthopedic surgeons continue to recommend it for their joint replacement patients out of concern that a post-surgical infection could adversely affect their replaced joints.
But while these areas of disagreement about pre-surgical antibiotics still continue, a consensus may be emerging about a possible “sweet spot” in administering the therapy. Evidence from recent studies indicates just a small dose of antibiotics administered an hour before surgery may be sufficient to reduce the risk of infection-related implant failure with only minimal risk of side effects from the drug.
Because pre-surgical antibiotic therapy can be a complicated matter, it’s best that you discuss with both the physician caring for your health condition and your dentist about whether you should undergo this option to reduce the infection risk with your own implant surgery. Still, if all the factors surrounding your health indicate it, this antibiotic therapy might help you avoid losing an implant to infection.
If you would like more information on antibiotics before implant surgery, 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 “Implants & Antibiotics: Lowering Risk of Implant Failure.”
Dental crowns are one of the most reliable ways to restore teeth marred by infection, decay, injury, or congenital problems. If you have a failing tooth, your dentist at Summit Dental Group in Waterford, MI, Dr. Steve Rollins, may recommend one of these durable and beautiful restorations to complete your smile and keep it healthy.
Don't Extract If You Can Help It
Restorative dental techniques and treatments preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible. Tooth loss through traumatic injury or extraction creates an ugly smile gap, weakens adjacent teeth, and begins a downward spiral of gum and jaw bone recession. In other words, we should all aim to keep every one of our teeth as long as possible, and crowns help us achieve this goal.
Dental crowns help Waterford, MI, dentists, such as Dr. Steve Rollins, recreate beautiful smile aesthetics and reliable oral function. Composed of realistic, high-quality ceramic, these tooth-shaped caps completely cover and protect compromised teeth above the gum line. This beautiful material has the sheen, color, and durability of natural tooth enamel, and when expertly crafted by Dr. Rollins, they can last for ten years or more.
Can a Crown Help Your Tooth?
An examination and X-ray session will confirm the need for a crown, although, sometimes, a tooth is so unhealthy or damaged that it first needs root canal therapy before the dentist can place a crown.
In either case, a crown procedure is done with local anesthetic and involves some enamel reduction so that the crown fits and bite properly with the opposing arch of teeth. Oral impressions and detailed instructions from Dr. Rollins allow the dental lab technician to custom-make the prosthetic. Due to this process, no two dental crowns are alike.
When your crown comes from the dental lab, your dentist will fit it over your tooth and cement it in place with a permanent bonding adhesive. Because of today's precision oral impressions and fabrication techniques, little to no adjustment will be needed.
Caring for a Dental Crown
Whether you have a single-tooth crown, a crown-supported bridge (composed of one or more tooth replacements), or a dental implant restored by a crown, oral hygiene is simple. Just brush twice a day with a low-abrasive, fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush while also flossing daily with the product which suits you best. Finally, see Dr. Rollins and his team at Summit Dental Group twice a year for examinations and hygienic cleanings.
Additionally, you might ask about a customized bite guard if you habitually clench your teeth, as this tendency endangers natural teeth, tooth replacements, and dental restorations such as crowns and veneers.
Your Crowning Glory
Does your smile have a chipped, damaged, or infected tooth? Don't hesitate to fix the problem, and contact Summit Dental Group for a lifelike porcelain crown! Call (248) 681-3600 today.
At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!
Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”
We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:
Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.
Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.
Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!
If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”