Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Losing a tooth from disease or accident can be traumatic. The good news, though, is that it can be replaced with a life-like replica that restores your smile. One of the most popular and durable solutions is a dental implant, which replaces not only the root of the tooth but the crown as well.
But there's a possible wrinkle with implants — for accurate placement there must be a sufficient amount of bone around it. This could be a problem if you've been missing the tooth for sometime: without the stimulus provided by a tooth as you chew, older bone cells aren't replaced at an adequate rate. The bone volume gradually diminishes, as up to 25% of its normal width can be lost during the first year after tooth loss. A traumatic injury can damage underlying bone to an even greater extent.
There is a possible solution, but it will require the services of other specialists, particularly a periodontist trained in gum and bone structure. The first step is a complete examination of the mouth to gauge the true extent of any bone loss. While x-rays play a crucial role, a CT scan in particular provides a three-dimensional view of the jaw and more detail on any bone loss.
With a more accurate bone loss picture, we can then set about actually creating new bone through grafting procedures. One such technique is called a ridge augmentation: after opening the gum tissues, we place the bone graft within a barrier membrane to protect it. Over time the bone will grow replacing both the grafting material and membrane structure.
Once we have enough regenerated bone, we can then perform dental implant surgery. There are two options: a “one-stage” procedure in which a temporary crown is placed on the implant immediately after surgery; or a “two-stage” in which we place the gum tissue over the implant to protect it as it heals and bone grows and attaches to it. In cases of pre-surgical bone grafting, it's usually best to go with the two-stage procedure for maximum protection while the bone strengthens around it.
Necessary preparation of the bone for a future dental implant takes time. But the extra effort will pay off with a new smile you'll be proud to display.
What you need to know about laser use in dentistry
Laser technology is everywhere, including dentistry. Dr. Jolanta Pajek at Modern Touch Dentistry in Appleton, Wisconsin wants to help you discover how laser dentistry can help your smile. Currently, Dr. Pajek uses lasers for diagnostics and soft tissue treatments . In diagnostics, laser light is helpful in detecting pits and crevices too small to be detected with metal tools.
For soft tissue treatments, Dr. Pajek uses laser technology because it is conservative, removing less tissue than conventional surgical methods. Lasers can also kill bacteria hiding in difficult access areas like deep periodontal pockets.
Your Appleton, WI dentist also uses lasers for hard tissue procedures like decay removal and preparing a tooth for a dental filling. With lasers, she can remove less tooth structure, resulting in a conservative dental treatment.
There are many advantages to using laser technology. Dr. Pajek wants you to know that laser technology is:
- A long-term option because lasers can kill bacteria deep in soft or hard tissues, leading to a better long-term outcome for your oral health
- Quiet, because lasers emit very little sound when they are used, unlike conventional dental drills
- More comfortable, because trauma, healing time, irritation, bleeding, and swelling are dramatically reduce
For more information on dental laser technology and applications please see the laser dentistry page on the Modern Touch Dentistry website athttp://www.moderntouchdds.com/modern-touch-dentistry-appleton-laser-dentistry.html
Laser technology is revolutionizing dentistry. You deserve state-of-the-art dental treatment which is why you need to call Dr. Jolanta Pajek at Modern Touch Dentistry in Appleton, Wisconsin. She can help you discover how laser dentistry can help your smile. Call today!
The mark of a great dental restoration is that you can’t see it. It’s there in plain sight, but others observing your new and improved smile can’t tell the difference between the restoration and your natural teeth. Everything looks, well, natural.
That’s the great advantage of dental porcelain. A dental technician with technical skill and artistic flair can form this inorganic, ceramic material into a life-like replica of your tooth, with a shape and color that blends in with the rest of your teeth. And because of its strength properties, porcelain restorations can hold up to the normal chewing and biting forces in your mouth, as long as you use prudence when biting down on hard substances.
Porcelain is also highly adaptable to different kinds of restorations. For natural teeth still viable but no longer attractive, porcelain can be the main ingredient in two very popular and effective restorations, the veneer and the crown. Although the porcelain material is the same for both, their construction and application are quite different.
Veneers are very thin laminated layers of dental porcelain custom-colored and shaped for bonding to the outer visible portion of a tooth. They’re a great solution for relatively decay-free teeth that have minor to moderate defects like chipping, slight misalignment or heavy staining. They often require some permanent removal of tooth enamel to ensure their appearance isn’t too bulky, but causes minimal impact to the tooth.
Crowns, on the other hand, are complete tooth replicas that are bonded in place over an existing tooth like a cap. They’re a good choice for teeth in which the root and inner layers are still viable, but the tooth has been significantly damaged by decay or trauma. They’re also useful as a protective cover for teeth that have undergone root canal treatment. But unlike the minimal impact of veneers, crowns require significant tooth alterations to accommodate them.
In either case, though, the end result is much the same: both crowns and veneers can be fashioned to precisely mimic the shape, color and texture of natural teeth. In skillful hands, these porcelain restorations can transform your smile for the better and no one but you and your dentist will ever need to know.
If you would like more information on porcelain 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 “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
Why root canal therapy is good for you
Root canal therapy, also called endodontics, is usually performed to remove dental pain, and yet still allow you to keep your tooth. In the not too distant past, if you had dental pain, the only treatment was to take the tooth out, leaving you with a gaping hole, impairing your ability to eat and giving you a not-too-pleasant smile. Now, thanks to modern dental techniques and the skills of dentists like Dr. Jolanta Pajek at Modern Touch Dentistry in Appleton, Wisconsin, you can relieve your dental pain.
Dr. Pajek wants you to know that root canals help you keep your smile intact, but they do much more than that. They also eliminate potentially serious dental infections, called abscesses, which can lead to other systemic problems. You can see why a root canal will do much more than help your smile.
Root canals are performed on teeth infected from deep decay or trauma. The infection has spread from inside your tooth to the outside of your tooth, out the end of your tooth root, called the apex. This infection has begun to destroy the bone supporting your tooth. Bone destruction shows up on an x-ray as a dark, radiolucent area around your tooth root. That’s why it is so important to stop in for a visit with Dr. Pajek if you are feeling dental pain. She will take x-rays and test the vitality of your tooth to determine if you need a root canal.
Dr. Pajek wants you to know that it is usually much better to retain a tooth through root canal therapy than to take the tooth out. Once you have a tooth removed, it is gone forever, and so is part of your smile. Teeth can be replaced with dental bridges, implants, or appliances, but why settle for those when you can keep your own teeth?
Root canals will relieve dental pain without the trauma of losing your tooth. Dr. Pajek is committed to providing a comfortable experience before, during and after your root canal treatment. So call Dr. Jolanta Pajek at Modern Touch Dentistry in Appleton, Wisconsin and find out why root canals help more than your smile. Call today!
It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.
As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”
Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.
When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.
You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?
We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.
Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”