If you’re missing a tooth in the back of your mouth, remember the old adage, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link." Missing teeth can turn into a serious issue.
Aside from the discomfort that can arise with a missing tooth, you may experience serious oral problems. To start with, the tooth that originally was there acted as a placeholder, keeping other teeth from shifting. Without that tooth, the surrounding teeth may move; affecting your visible smile and causing the gums and neighbouring teeth to become far more susceptible to decay and gum disease.
One of the solutions we can offer for patients with missing teeth is called a dental bridge – a false tooth or teeth replacing one or more missing teeth. Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease, help to correct minor bite issues and even improve your speech. The false tooth acts as placeholder to avoid the shifting of other teeth, helping you maintain your oral health and enhancing/protecting your smile.
If you’re missing a tooth or teeth, ask East Mall Family Dental if a dental bridge is right for you. Your mouth will thank you.
A crown is a covering that sits over the top of the tooth, creating a surface to protect, cover, seal and strengthen your tooth. Crowns are used in many different scenarios, since they are effective and often allow us to save a tooth rather than turning to implants.
Come in and let the experienced dentists at East Mall Family Dental evaluate your needs, depending on your oral health and the condition of your teeth. A crown may be the solution to saving your tooth.
All too often, an individual missing a tooth in the back of his/her mouth will have an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. But a missing tooth is more than just an aesthetic concern.
A missing tooth’s purpose included acting as a chewing surface, holding its place with regard to adjacent teeth, maintaining the bone structure where it was rooted and many other structural and preventative roles. Without that tooth in place, surrounding teeth can shift; causing gaps and making decay more likely. Bone loss and damage can occur, the area can become more apt to periodontal disease and the list goes on.
To avoid bone loss, to maintain the proper spacing of your teeth and to avoid the maladies associated with a missing tooth, an implant may be required. An implant will fill the space that your missing tooth once held. A dental implant is a small prosthetic post that is placed into the bone of the upper or lower jaw. The post functions as the root portion of the lost natural tooth and serves as an anchor for the artificial tooth. Once the post has settled and the spot healed, an artificial tooth is attached to it and fills the space.
A dental implant often gives back a patient’s confidence in their smile, the ability to eat comfortably and a clean, healthy oral environment. Dental implants look and feel exactly like natural teeth. No one other than you and your dentist will be able to tell the difference. There are many different types of dental implants available. East Mall Family Dental staff would be pleased to discuss the benefits of implant prosthetics with you.
Root Canal Therapy
At the core of your tooth is an area we call the pulp. The pulp is the nerve of your tooth, where blood and nutrients needed by a healthy tooth circulate. If the pulp is damaged for any reason, it is susceptible to infection and can result in pain, swelling, bone damage and loss of the tooth. To save the original tooth and avoid the problems associated with damaged pulp, root canal therapy is often an option.
Root canal therapy allows us to save your tooth, avoiding more costly procedures such as an implant or denture. The process involves creating an opening in the crown of your tooth. The pulp in the root canal is completely removed, and the canal is cleaned out, shaped and smoothed. Any infection (we refer to infection as abscess) is treated, and the bacteria that caused it is cleaned out.
The canal area, once infection-free, is filled and sealed. As the tooth will no longer be receiving vital nutrients, it will be more brittle than the surrounding teeth. For this reason, we create a crown or cap to strengthen and protect your tooth’s chewing surface, especially if it was one of your back teeth. Once ready, the crown is cemented into place. Your own natural tooth, rather than an artificial replacement, keeps its place in your smile.
A root canal procedure involves a few visits to our office, as the procedure is done in stages to allow for proper healing of infection and creation of the crown. You may notice that the treated tooth will often darken or discolour once the pulp is removed. If the treatment involved one of your front teeth, our whitening procedure can brighten up that tooth – along with the rest of your smile.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Your wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars. Most people see these teeth erupt in their late teens or early 20s – just enough time to have gained some wisdom.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth grow in and cause no problems – but not very often. For the rest of us, the development of wisdom teeth comes with a whole series of complications. When wisdom teeth begin to erupt, they create a flap of gum tissue that grows over the tooth, creating a space for food to become trapped and cause gum infection.
The biggest and most common complication is misalignment of the wisdom teeth. Misaligned wisdom teeth can be angled towards or away from the second molars. Poor alignment can cause crowding or even damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone or nerves.
If you feel any of the following symptoms, contact East Mall Family Dental immediately. These symptoms usually develop between the ages of 15 and 25:
If your dentist thinks you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, don’t despair – the procedure is quite common. Before your tooth is extracted, the tooth and surrounding gums will be numbed with a local anaesthetic. This anaesthetic can be complemented – if your doctor chooses to do so – with a sedative like nitrous oxide (or “laughing gas”), an oral sedative or an intravenous sedative. The tooth can be removed just like any other tooth if it has completely erupted through the gums. If it is still sitting under the gums, we will make a small incision to remove the tooth.
Immediately after the operation, we will monitor you in a recovery room. Depending on the type of sedative used, you may need someone to drive you home after the procedure. For the first 24 hours, you will experience the following symptoms:
Full healing can take from a few weeks to a few months to occur. Within the first week or two, your mouth should be comfortable enough to use normally again. If you are concerned that your recovery is not proceeding normally, call your dentist immediately.
Let the East Mall Family Dental staff keep a close eye on the development of your wisdom teeth and solve any problems you may encounter. With vigilance and preventative care, we can avoid the complications of misaligned wisdom teeth.