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Posts for: August, 2016

AmericasDentistsGotTalent-forFixingDamagedorMissingTeeth

A recent episode of “America’s Got Talent” featured an engaging 93-year-old strongman called The Mighty Atom Jr. The mature muscleman’s stunt: moving a full-sized car (laden with his octogenarian “kid brother,” his brother’s wife, plus Atom’s “lady friend”) using just his teeth. Grinning for host Howie Mandel, Atom proudly told the TV audience that his teeth were all his own; then he grasped a leather strap in his mouth, and successfully pulled the car from a standstill.

We’re pleased to see that the Atom has kept his natural teeth in good shape: He must have found time for brushing and flossing in between stunts. Needless to say, his “talent” isn’t one we’d recommend trying at home. But aside from pulling vehicles, teeth can also be chipped or fractured by more mundane (yet still risky) activities — playing sports, nibbling on pencils, or biting too hard on ice. What can you do if that happens to your teeth?

Fortunately, we have a number of ways to repair cracked or chipped teeth. One of the easiest and fastest is cosmetic bonding with tooth-colored resins. Bonding can be used to fill in small chips, cracks and discolorations in the teeth. The bonding material is a high-tech mixture of plastic and glass components that’s extremely lifelike, and can last for several years. Plus, it’s a procedure that can be done right in the office, with minimal preparation or discomfort. However, it may not be suitable for larger chips, and it isn’t the longest-lasting type of restoration.

When more of the tooth structure is missing, a crown (or cap) might be needed to restore the tooth’s appearance and function. This involves creating a replacement for the entire visible part of the tooth in a dental lab — or in some cases, right in the office. It typically involves making a model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors, then fabricating a replica, which will fit perfectly into the bite. Finally, the replacement crown is permanently cemented to the damaged tooth. A crown replacement can last for many years if the tooth’s roots are in good shape. But what if the roots have been dislodged?

In some cases it’s possible to re-implant a tooth that has been knocked out — especially if it has been carefully preserved, and receives immediate professional attention. But if a tooth can’t be saved (due to a deeply fractured root, for example) a dental implant offers today’s best option for tooth replacement. This procedure has a success rate of over 95 percent, and gives you a natural looking replacement tooth that can last for the rest of your life.

So what have we learned? If you take care of your teeth, like strongman Atom, they can last a long time — but if you need to move your car, go get the keys.

If you would like more information about tooth restoration, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”


LocalAnesthesiaEliminatesPainCompletelyDuringDentalWork

Your teeth and gums are filled with nerves that make the mouth one of the most sensitive areas in the body. But thanks to local anesthesia, you won't feel a thing during your next dental procedure.

The word anesthesia means “without feeling or pain.” General anesthesia accomplishes this with drugs that place the patient in an unconscious state. It's reserved for major surgery where the patient will be closely monitored for vital signs while in that state.

The other alternative is local anesthesia, which numbs the area that needs treatment, while allowing the patient to remain conscious. The anesthetics used in this way are applied either topically (with a swab, adhesive patch or spray) or injected with a needle.

In dentistry, we use both applications. Topical anesthesia is occasionally used for sensitive patients before superficial teeth cleaning, but most often as an “opening act” to injected anesthesia: the topical application numbs the gums so you can't feel the prick of the needle used for the injectable anesthetic. By using both types, you won't feel any pain at all during your visit.

Because of possible side effects, we're careful about what procedures will involve the use of local anesthesia. Placing a sealant on the exterior of a tooth or reshaping enamel doesn't require it because we're not making contact with the more sensitive dentin layer beneath. We've also seen advances in anesthetic drugs in which we can now better control the length of time numbness will persist after the procedure.

All in all, though, local anesthesia will make your dental care more comfortable — both for you and for us. Knowing you're relaxed and comfortable allows us to work with ease so we can be unhurried and thorough. By keeping pain out of the equation, your dental care has a better chance for a successful outcome.

If you would like more information on managing discomfort during dental care, 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 “Local Anesthesia for Pain-Free Dentistry.”


By Geary Dentistry
August 03, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Crowns  

Dental crowns offer an excellent way to restore damaged teeth or conceal small flaws that can make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Drs. Terence and Mary Eileen Geary, your Brookfield, WI, dentists, explain how dental crowns can improve your smile.

Dental crowns protect teethCrowns

Crowns slide over your teeth and cover them completely. They're often recommended by your Brookfield dentist if your teeth are fragile or damaged. Some dental procedures, such as root canal therapy and large fillings, help keep your smile healthy but also weaken teeth. Adding crowns stabilizes these teeth.

Chips and cracks in teeth can increase your risk of tooth decay and breakage. Biting and chewing puts considerable pressure on your teeth. If you have a crack in a tooth and don't receive a crown, one day, you may bite into an apple and notice that your tooth has fractured.

If a tooth has already broken, a crown will restore and stabilize it. Since crowns are made of durable materials, like porcelain or ceramic, they're tough enough to stand up to the forces of biting and chewing.

Crowns improve the appearance of your smile

It's hard to feel good about your smile there's one little thing that keeps your teeth from being perfect. Perhaps one of your teeth is discolored, or maybe a slightly crooked tooth ruins the look of your smile. Adding a dental crown is a simple way to correct these appearance issues. Dental crowns are also a good choice if you're concerned about short or oddly shaped teeth.

They add the crowning touch to a dental implant

Dental implants are placed in a small opening made in your jaw and bond to the surrounding bone. Although implants are very effective in replacing the roots of a missing tooth, you still need to find a substitute for the part of the tooth that is visible above your gum line. After bonding occurs, your dentist connects a crown to the implant. The crown looks very much like the tooth you lost and helps your implant feel just like a natural tooth.

Do you think that dental crowns might be a good choice for you? Call Drs. Terence and Mary Eileen Geary, your Brookfield, WI, dentists, at (262) 860-1500 to schedule an appointment. Improve your smile with crowns!