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Posts for: October, 2017

CrownLengtheningOpensupNewTeethRestorationPossibilities

A crown — a life-like “cap” made of dental porcelain that permanently covers an existing tooth — is an effective way to restore a still-viable decayed or broken tooth’s appearance. Properly fitting the crown over the tooth requires some healthy tooth structure above the gum line.

But what if the tooth has broken down to the gum line? In this case, we would need to perform a common procedure known as crown lengthening to expose more of the tooth.

Crown lengthening is a minor surgical procedure performed with local anesthesia to numb the tooth, surrounding gum tissues and supporting bone. We first make tiny incisions inside the gum-line on both the cheek and tongue side of the tooth to expose the bone, and then carefully remove a small amount of bone from either side of the tooth; this will expose or “lengthen” the tooth. Once finished, we suture the gum tissue back into place with self-dissolving sutures against the bone and tooth.

Most procedures take only sixty to ninety minutes, and the mild discomfort afterward is usually managed with pain relievers like ibuprofen. While the gum tissues may appear to be healed after a week, we typically wait six to eight weeks to perform the final crown restoration to give the tissues time to fully mature.

Crown lengthening may not work in all situations, especially with a severely fractured tooth. In these cases, we may need to evaluate the long-term viability of the tooth and consider other restorative options. Depending on your bite, it may also be necessary to treat with orthodontics first: not only will the tooth move into a better position, but the treatment may move both the gum and bone down with the tooth. Subsequent crown lengthening will then only affect the intended tooth and not adjacent ones, resulting in a more even smile.

The first step is for us to decide after a thorough examination if you would benefit from crown lengthening. If so, this minor surgical procedure could pave the way for better mouth function and a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on crown restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


LasersPoisedtoTransformCurrentTreatmentforGumDisease

While lasers still seem like science fiction, they’ve been used commercially (and medically) for decades. But there’s still room for growth in practical applications with this developing technology. One promising area is in the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection triggered by plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles caused by inadequate oral hygiene. The disease is highly destructive and can eventually lead to both tooth and bone loss. Treatment procedures vary widely, but they all have the same goal: remove the offending plaque and calculus (tartar) from tooth and gum surfaces. Without plaque the infection subsides and the gums can heal.

For decades now, dentists have removed plaque and calculus manually with special hand instruments or ultrasonic equipment. If the disease has advanced below the gum line or formed deep voids filled with infection called periodontal pockets, the dentist may also employ surgical techniques to access the infected areas.

While all these techniques have a long track record for effectiveness, they can cause the inadvertent destruction of healthy tissue, as well as create discomfort for some patients afterward. This is where a new protocol called Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®) may be able to make a difference in the future.

With the LANAP® protocol, surgeons direct a laser beam of light through a fiber optic the width of three human hairs onto diseased tissue. The particular color of light interacts with the tissue, which contains the darkly-pigmented bacteria causing the disease, and “vaporizes” it. The beam, however, passes harmlessly through lighter-pigmented healthy tissue; as a result diseased tissue is eradicated with little to no harm to adjacent healthy tissue.

With these capabilities, trained dentists using LANAP® for gum disease treatment might be able to achieve conventional results with less tissue removal and bleeding, less discomfort for patients, and less tissue shrinkage than traditional procedures — and without scalpels or sutures. And some post-surgical studies have indicated LANAP® might also encourage gum tissue regeneration in the months following.

LANAP®, however, is still developing and requires further research. Thus far, though, the results have been encouraging. As laser technology advances, it’s quite possible tomorrow’s patient may experience less discomfort and more effective healing with their gum disease treatment.

If you would like more information on gum disease treatment, 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 “Treating Gum Disease with Lasers.”


By Geary Dentistry
October 10, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   Veneers  

Even if your teeth are healthy, you're probably like most people and have a few things you'd change about the way they look. Maybe it's veneerstheir shape, length, or alignment, perhaps the color... maybe all of the above! With porcelain veneers from Dr. Terence Geary and Dr. Mary Eileen Geary, your dentists in Brookfield, Wisconsin, almost any of your cosmetic dental issues can become a thing of the past. Here you'll learn more about how the skilled staff at Geary Dentistry can give you a total smile makeover with porcelain veneers.

What are porcelain veneers?

Unlike other cosmetic dental procedures and products, which only treat one issue at a time, porcelain veneers from your Brookfield dentist conceal a multitude of problems that detract from the appearance of your smile. Each veneer, which is only about half the width of a dime, is custom-made to fit on the front of the corresponding tooth; the result is a beautiful smile that is strong and stable as well.

Could veneers help me?

If you have healthy teeth with cosmetic flaws, porcelain veneers from your Brookfield dentist could be exactly what you need. Minor alignment problems like spaces and overlaps are easily hidden behind the translucent porcelain. They also cover up stains that can't be fixed with traditional whitening procedures. Veneers are also a great way to even out the shape of one tooth or several; teeth that have worn-down edges or chips are instantly renewed once your veneers are in place.

Imagine having a bright, even, and perfect smile reflects back at you from the mirror. This image can become a reality when you contact Geary Dentistry in Brookfield, Wisconsin and ask to set up your porcelain veneers consultation. We look forward to helping you see your smile in a new light!