Thursday, July 24, 2014

Common Dental Related Fears

Some of the common dental related fear do patients experience in a dental clinic are:
1. Pain
2. Drills
3. Needles
4. Loss of teeth
5. Surgery
Most commonly dental related fears are learned directly from a traumatic experience in a dental or medical settings. The experience may be real of perceived ny patient as a treat, but a single event may lead to a lifetime of fear when any element of the traumatic situation is re-experienced. The situation may have occurred many years before, but the intensity of the recalled fear may persist.
Fears also may be learned indirectly as a vicarious experience from family members, friends or even media.
There are four elements that are common to all fears
1. Fear of unknown
2. Fear of physical harm or injury
3. Fear of loss of control
4. Fear of helplessness and dependency

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Benefits and applications of laser dentistry

There are two types of lasers in dentistry :

1. Soft tissue lasers

  • diode lasers
  • carbon dioxide lasers
  • Nd:YAG laser

2. Soft and hard tissue lasers

  • Er:YAG laser
  • Er,Cr:YSGG laser

Benefits of Laser Dentistry :

  • Procedures performed using soft tissue dental lasers may not require sutures (stitches).
  • Certain laser dentistry procedures do not require anesthesia.
  • Laser dentistry minimizes bleeding because the high-energy light beam aids in the clotting of exposed blood vessels, thus decreases bleeding.
  • Bacterial infections are minimized because the high-energy beam sterilizes the area where surgery is performed .
  • Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.
  • Minimal swelling and scarring.
  • Wounds heal faster and tissues can be regenerated quickly.
  • Less post-surgical discomfort and pain.

Application of Laser Dentistry :
Hard Tissue Laser Dentistry Procedures

Soft Tissue Laser Dentistry Procedures

  • Crown Lengthening
  • Gummy Smile
  • Muscle Attachment
  • Soft Tissue Folds

Other Laser Dentistry Applications

  • Viewing Tooth and Gum Tissues
  • Benign Tumors: Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of benign tumors from the gums, palate, sides of cheeks and lips.
  • Cold Sores
  • Nerve Regeneration: Photobiomodulation can be used to regenerate damaged nerves, blood vessels and scars.
  • Sleep Apnea: 
  • Temporomandibular Joint Treatment

Sunday, July 13, 2014

How to manage tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is a very common problem and it has been estimated that approximately half the population experiences tooth sensitivity. If a taste of ice cream or a sip of coffee or breathing a cold air creates tooth pain, you may have sensitive teeth. 

There are two types of tooth sensitivity:

Dentinal sensitivity : It occurs when the dentin of a tooth is exposed. Normally, the dentin is covered by
enamel above the gumline and by cementum below the gumline. Dentin contains tiny openings called tubules. Inside each tubule lies a nerve branch that comes from the tooth's pulp. When the dentin is exposed, cold or hot temperature or pressure can affect these nerve branches. This causes sensitivity. Dentin becomes exposed when the outer protective layers of enamel or cementum wear away. This can affect one or more teeth.
Some of the most common causes of sensitive teeth include :
  • Brushing : Brushing too vigorously can also cause enamel to abrade and also cause receding gums, causing sensitivity.
  • Gum Diseases : Gingivitis when left untreated cause gum recesion and dentine exposure which causes sensitivity.
  • Teeth Grinding: Grind your teeth while sleeping or if you clench your teeth, you may be wearing down enamel and exposing the underlying dentin.
  • Tooth abrasions
  • Tooth Cavity
  • Some toothpastes increase tooth sensitivity, including whitening toothpastes that lighten or remove stains from enamel, and tartar-control toothpastes containing sodium pyrophosphate. 
  • An old filling with a crack or leak
  • Tooth whitening in people who have tooth roots that already are exposed.
  • Frequently eating acidic foods or drinking acidic liquids.

Pulpal sensitivity : It is a reaction of the tooth's pulp. The pulp is a mass of blood vessels and nerves in the center of each tooth. Pulpal sensitivity tends to affect only a single tooth. Causes include :
  • Decay or infection
  • A recent filling
  • Excessive pressure from clenching or grinding
  • A cracked or broken tooth

How to manage sensitivity?
  • Practice good oral hygiene which helps to prevent conditions such as gum disease, which can cause receding gums.
  • Use a toothpaste specially formulated to treat the pain of sensitive teeth.
  • Don't brush too hard. 
  • Use a soft bristles toothbrush.
  • Avoid acidic foods that can wear away tooth enamel, such as wine, vinegar salad dressings and soft drinks.
  • Avoid grinding your teeth or clenching during the day. Ask your dentist about a mouth guard for night time use.
  • See your dentist for regular check-ups in every six months.

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