Posts for category: Dental Procedures
During his former career as a professional footballer (that's a soccer star to U.S. sports fans) David Beckham was known for his skill at “bending” a soccer ball. His ability to make the ball curve in mid-flight — to avoid a defender or score a goal — led scores of kids to try to “bend it like Beckham.” But just recently, while enjoying a vacation in Canada with his family, “Becks” tried snowboarding for the first time — and in the process, broke one of his front teeth.
Some fans worried that the missing tooth could be a “red card” for Beckham's current modeling career… but fortunately, he headed straight to the dental office as soon as he arrived back in England. Exactly what kind of treatment is needed for a broken tooth? It all depends where the break is and how badly the tooth is damaged.
For a minor crack or chip, cosmetic bonding may offer a quick and effective solution. In this procedure, a composite resin, in a color custom-made to match the tooth, is applied in liquid form and cured (hardened) with a special light. Several layers of bonding material can be applied to re-construct a larger area of missing tooth, and chips that have been saved can sometimes be reattached as well.
When more tooth structure is missing, dental veneers may be the preferred restorative option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They can not only correct small chips or cracks, but can also improve the color, spacing, and shape of your teeth.
But if the damage exposes the soft inner pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be needed to save the tooth. In this procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed and the tooth sealed against re-infection; if a root canal is not done when needed, the tooth will have an increased risk for extraction in the future. Following a root canal, a tooth is often restored with a crown (cap), which can look good and function well for many years.
Sometimes, a tooth may be knocked completely out of its socket; or, a severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted (removed). In either situation, the best option for restoration is a dental implant. Here, a tiny screw-like device made of titanium metal is inserted into the jaw bone in a minor surgical procedure. Over time, it fuses with the living bone to form a solid anchorage. A lifelike crown is attached, which provides aesthetic appeal and full function for the replacement tooth.
So how's Beckham holding up? According to sources, “David is a trooper and didn't make a fuss. He took it all in his stride." Maybe next time he hits the slopes, he'll heed the advice of dental experts and wear a custom-made mouthguard…
If you have questions about restoring damaged teeth, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma and Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “Children's Dental Concerns and Injuries.”
Find out why you should never skip out on professional dental checkups.
If your teeth and gums feel and look great you may be tempted to put off that dental checkup. After all, nothing is actually wrong, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. While decay and gum disease can sometimes cause symptoms such as dental pain or tooth sensitivity, often times there are no symptoms; therefore, the only way to detect a problem is to make sure to turn to our Lexington, KY, general dentist Dr. Ballard Morgan for regular checkups and cleanings and see how general dentistry can help you.
Besides giving your teeth a refreshing deep cleaning twice a year you’ll also enjoy these wonderful benefit of these dental checkups.
Most people will deal with a cavity at some point during their lifetime; however, with the proper dental care decay can be prevented. Every time we eat, plaque buildups on your teeth. The bacteria within plaque then produce acid, which wears away at enamel and leads to cavities. By brushing and flossing thoroughly you can remove plaque buildup to reduce enamel erosion.
Get a Brighter Smile
Everyone is looking to get a whiter smile and while deep-set stains and yellowing may often require whitening treatment in order to fully remove these discolorations keeping up with these six-month cleanings can also prevent these stains from forming in the first place. Enjoy a beautiful more polished smile thanks to our Lexington, KY, dentist.
Prevent Tooth Loss
Gum disease is one of the most common dental disorders and it’s the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. While gum disease can progress quickly but cause no symptoms you may not even realize you have gum disease until it’s already too late. By coming in twice a year for cleanings we can perform a simple screening to check the health of your gums and to prevent gum disease and tooth loss from happening to you.
Save Time and Money
We know that you are busy and that sometimes it can be challenging to work in visits to the doctor; however, even when there isn’t anything wrong you should still visit your dentist twice a year as this could save you money and time in the long run. These checkups are designed to prevent problems from happening in the first place, which equates to fewer treatments such as dental fillings and root canal therapy and more money saved.
If it’s time to schedule cleanings for the whole family then call Morgan Dental Services in Lexington, KY. We would be happy to work with your busy schedule to ensure that you get the preventive dental care you need for a long-lasting smile.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) whitening kits are a popular option for restoring a healthy shine to stained and dulled teeth. They're relatively safe and generally live up to their packaging claims.
But a home kit might not always be your best option. Here are 4 reasons why DIY whitening might not be right for you.
You're on the early side of your teen years. Tooth whitening at home is quite popular with teenagers. For older teens it doesn't really pose a dental risk as long as you use the product appropriately (more on that in a moment). However, the immature enamel of younger teens' permanent teeth is still developing and can be vulnerable to damage by whitening processes.
You don't follow instructions well. Not to say you have this particular character quirk — but if you do you may run into trouble with DIY whitening. Home kits are safe if you follow their instructions carefully. If you use them to excess as one 13-year old boy was reported to have done, you could severely (and permanently) erode your teeth's protective enamel.
Your teeth are in need of dental work. Tooth whitening can't fix everything that may be contributing to an unattractive smile. It's always better to have issues like dental disease or chipped teeth addressed first before whitening. And, if your tooth discoloration originates from inside your tooth, a whitening kit won't help — they're only designed for staining on the enamel's outside surface. You'll need a special dental procedure to whiten internal (or intrinsic) tooth staining.
You want to control the amount of brightness. Home kits don't have the level of fine-tuning that a clinical procedure can achieve. While the bleaching agent in a professional whitening solution is much stronger than a home kit, your dentist is trained in techniques that can vary the amount of bleaching, from a softer white to dazzling “Hollywood” bright. And clinical whitening usually takes fewer sessions and may last longer than a home kit.
If you're interested in teeth whitening, see your dentist for a dental examination first before purchasing a DIY kit. Even if you decide to do it yourself, your dentist can give you buying advice for whitening kits, as well as how-to tips.
If you would like more information on tooth whitening, 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 “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”
Dental implants are today’s preferred choice for replacing missing teeth. They’re the closest restoration to natural teeth—but at a price, especially for multiple teeth. If implants are beyond your current financial ability, there’s an older, more affordable option: a removable partial denture (RPD).
Similar in concept to a full denture, a RPD replaces one or more missing teeth on a jaw. It usually consists of a lightweight but sturdy metal frame supporting a resin or plastic base (colored pink to mimic gum tissue). Prosthetic (false) teeth are attached to the base at the locations of the missing teeth. Unlike transitional dentures, RPDs are designed to last for many years.
Although simple in concept, RPDs certainly aren’t a “one-size-fits-all” option. To achieve long-term success with an RPD we must first consider the number of missing teeth and where they’re located in the jaw. This will dictate the type of layout and construction needed to create a custom RPD.
In addition, we’ll need to consider the health and condition of your remaining teeth. This can be important to an RPD’s design, especially if we intend to use them to support the RPD during wear. Support is a fundamental concern because we want to prevent the RPD from excessively moving in place.
Besides dental support we’ll also need to take into account how the jaws function when they bite. The RPD’s design should evenly distribute the forces generated when you eat and chew so as not to create undue pressure on the bony ridges of the jaw upon which the RPD rests. Too much pressure could accelerate bone loss in the jaw, a common issue with dentures.
It takes a lot of planning to create a comfortably-fitting RPD with minimal impact on your dental health. But you’ll also have to maintain it to ensure lasting durability. You should clean your RPD daily, as well as brush and floss the rest of your teeth to minimize the chances of developing tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. You can further discourage disease-causing bacterial growth by removing them at night while you sleep.
A RPD can be a viable alternative to more expensive restorations. And with the right design and proper care it could serve you and your smile for a long time to come.
If you would like more information on removable partial dentures, 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 “Removable Partial Dentures.”
How a filling from your dentist in Lexington, KY, can help your smile
Does your tooth hurt? If so, you may be wondering if this nagging discomfort could be related to an undiagnosed cavity. But how do you know? Well, luckily enough, Dr. Ballard Morgan of Morgan Dental Services in Lexington, KY, offers a full range of dental services including the latest diagnostic tools and imaging to determine if you need a filling!
More about fillings
Tooth decay is the main reason you will need a filling, and there are a few signs and symptoms which indicate that you may need treatment to fix the decay-caused cavity. You may have tooth decay if you:
- Notice an area of lost tooth structure
- Notice a black or brown stain on your tooth that doesn’t brush off
- Feel a sharp, stabbing pain when you bite down or chew
- Feel an acute, sharp pain when you eat sweet, hot, or cold foods
You may also need a new filling to replace an old filling that has begun to leak. You may notice pain with a leaking filling, or you may just notice the filling appears chipped, broken, or cracked. If the edges of the filling are separating from the tooth surface, the filling probably needs to be replaced.
If you need a filling, you can choose conventional metal fillings, which are very durable and provide great protection on back teeth. You can also choose tooth-colored fillings, which are very popular. Tooth-colored fillings use a liquid resin material called composite, which can be matched to the color of your tooth. Once the filling is placed, it becomes a virtually invisible part of your smile.
Think you may need dental work? Give us a call!
To find out more about dental fillings and other restorative, cosmetic, and preventive dental services, call Dr. Ballard Morgan at Morgan Dental Services in Lexington, KY, today! Our number is (859) 233-7700.