Modern Micro Endodontics

Oral Ecology

Your mouth has entire colonies of microorganisms, and most of them do no harm. There have been over 700 different strains of bacteria that have been detected in the human mouth, most of which are harmless. Sometimes, other disease-causing bacteria are thrown into the mix which can affect our health. They can be controlled with a healthy diet, good oral care practices and regular visits to your dentist.

Oral Ecology

Bacteria in biofilm (a thin film of bacteria which adheres to a surface) were first detected under the microscopes of Antony van Leeuwenhoek in the 17th century. Bacteria in your mouth have both the ability to be harmful, but also to be beneficial and necessary to your immune system.

The plaque that forms on your teeth and causes tooth decay and periodontal disease, is a type of biofilm. A biofilm forms when bacteria adhere to surfaces in a watery environment, they excrete a glue-like substance which helps them stick to all kinds of materials. Dental plaque is a yellowish color type of biofilm that builds up on teeth.

Watch Out For These Bacteria
Streptococcus mutans
Lives in your mouth and feeds off the sugars and starches you eat. It produces enamel-eroding acids as it feeds, which make it the leading cause of tooth decay.

Porphyromonas gingivalis
Strongly linked to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious and progressive disease that can result in bone degeneration. It causes pain and leads to tooth loss.

A biofilm can contain communities of disease-causing bacteria, and if left uncontrolled, they can cause cavities as well as both gingivitis and periodontitis. Bacteria is also the cause of inflammation and pain of a root infection, leading to root canal treatment.
During root canal treatment, the root is dried extremely well and sealed, as to not provide any moisture for bacteria to colonize. A well-filled root canal offers bacteria a nutritionally limited space.

Biofilm can be controlled by proper oral hygiene; however, periodontitis requires an extra helping hand. Treatment of oral infections requires removal of biofilm and calculus (tartar) through non-surgical procedures followed by antibiotic therapy. Chlorhexidine and triclosan can reduce the degree of plaque and gingivitis, while preventing disease-causing microorganisms to colonize.

Don’t let oral bacteria be your “fr-enemy”! Call us Modern Micro Endodontics today on 201-386-9080 to discuss your oral health options.

The Love of Endo

We’ve all felt it; that pitter-patter feeling, flushed red cheeks, you can’t eat, it’s driving you crazy!
Are you in love…or in need of a root canal treatment?!

TheLoveOfEndo

Symptom Checker:

Burning desire
Heart throbbing
Flushed cheeks
Can’t eat
It’s driving you crazy

RESULT: You could be in love!

Gum inflammation
Throbbing pain
Redness of skin
Can’t chew
It’s driving you crazy

RESULT: You probably need a root canal!

They may not come riding in on a white horse like prince charming, but your endodontist CAN save you from tooth pain!
Root canal treatment removes the infected pulp of a tooth so pain and inflammation will cease. It gets rid of infection and bacteria and, most importantly, it preserves the tooth!
Saving a tooth rather than extracting has several benefits. The space left by a missing tooth can lead to bone loss and misalignment when your remaining teeth shift position.
It is also a lot cheaper than having a bridge or even an implant to fill the space.
Root canal treatment is followed by a dental crown, to fill, cover, strengthen, and restore the appearance and structure of a tooth.

More than 15 million root canals are performed every year, with over 41,000 each day! Now that’s something to LOVE about endodontists!

Did you know studies have shown that 85% of patients will return to the same dentist who performed their root canal therapy!

Don’t confuse the pain of love with needing a root canal! Call Modern Micro Endodontics on 201-386-9080 to check those symptoms!

History of Endo

Did you know the practice of endodontics has actually been around for quite some time?

HistoryOfEndo

In 1985 in Israel’s Negev Desert, archeologists discovered a 2000 year old deceased Nabataen soldier with a one-tenth of an inch bronze wire embedded in the nerve cavity of one of the skull’s teeth. This discovery of a skull with a wire in its teeth gives us our first sign of endodontic treatment. Evidence from the first century A.D. until the 1600’s reveals early signs of endodontic treatment, which entailed draining pulp chambers for relief and covering them with protective coatings made of gold foil or asbestos.

Root canal treatment is a type of treatment that indicates high technology and a high understanding of dental disease.

Archaeologists believe the treatment of the 2000 year old Nabataen soldier may have been practiced by a visiting Roman doctor. The Roman’s in the past have also been cited for the invention of dental crowns and dentures.

In 1963, endodontics was recognized as the eighth dental specialty by the American Dental Association.

With the rise of the twentieth century came the institution of x-rays and anesthetics – what some might call “dentistry miracles”. Endodontic treatment today is much more safe, practical and most importantly, comfortable! Tooth extractions are no longer the only options for an infected pulp or abscess.

Thank goodness for new technology these days! If you want specialized treatment, a comfortable office and great techniques, look no further than Modern Micro Endodontics for all your endodontic needs! Give us a call on 201-386-9080 and schedule your root canal treatment today!

Oral Health and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time when your body is going through many changes. You may be wondering how this will affect your teeth and gums. This blog is meant to answer your oral health questions and give you the information you need to help both you and your baby!

Keep Up Your Routine. It is important to keep up your brushing and flossing routine. You may be indulging your cravings for sweets, so make sure you brush regularly. It is important to continue regular check ups and cleanings. Let us know your stage of pregnancy when you make your appointment, as well as any changes in your medication or special advice you may have received from your doctor. If you have a high-risk pregnancy or other medical condition, we may recommend certain procedures be postponed.

pregnancy and oral health

Pregnancy Gingivitis. During pregnancy some women are prone to a mild form of gum disease, called gingivitis that causes gums to be red, tender, and sore. Keeping your teeth clean is important for the prevention of pregnancy gingivitis. We may recommend more frequent cleanings to help control any signs of the disorder, because if left untreated, it can lead to more serious gum disease.

X-ray Safety. If you suffer a dental emergency or need an assessment, dental X-rays are sometimes necessary. Don’t worry – you will be covered with a leaded apron that will protect you and your baby from any harmful exposure.

Food for You and Your Baby’s Teeth. While pregnant, many women tend to crave sweets or snack more, both of which can put you at higher risk of tooth decay. It is important to choose low-sugar snacks that contain the nutrients your body needs. Your baby’s teeth will begin to develop between the third and six months of your pregnancy. Eating foods rich in vitamins A, C, and D, as well as protein, calcium, and phosphorous will give both you and your baby what you need for good dental health.

Morning Sickness. If you have frequent vomiting or morning sickness, rinse with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to stop stomach acid from attacking your teeth.

Being a mother is exciting, but it is a huge responsibility. Start your healthy dental routine now for the benefit of you and your baby!

 

High Quality H2O

Whether you’re drinking from a glass that is half-empty or half-full, drinking a glass of water is always beneficial to your health. Human beings are 60% water; so staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial for the hydration of tissue, the distribution of nutrients, and the removal of waste from your body. Not only is drinking water beneficial to your overall health, but your dental health as well!

Here are four reasons why water is the best beverage for your teeth:

1. Water keeps your mouth clean.

Water cleans your mouth with every sip! As your drink, water washes away leftover food and any residual cavity-causing bacteria. Water also reduces the pH of your mouth by diluting the acids produced by bacteria that live in your mouth. Don’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, but drinking water throughout the day will help keep your smile healthy and cavity-free.

High Quality H2O

2. Water strengthens your teeth.

Drinking water with fluoride, aka “nature’s cavity fighter”, is one of the easiest and most effective ways to fight cavities. While almost all water contains naturally-occurring fluoride, the community water systems that serve most American households adjust the level, usually by adding fluoride to achieve the right amount to reduce tooth decay. Health organizations, like the American Dental Association (ADA), say this is one of the major reasons most people no longer need the dentures that were so common before widespread fluoridation, and studies have shown that it is why dental costs are lower and oral health problems have declined in fluoridated communities!

3. Drinking water fights dry mouth.

Saliva is the human mouth’s first defense against cavities. Saliva helps wash away residual food and coats your teeth in calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. When your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva, you run the risk for tooth decay. When your mouth is feeling dry, drink a glass of water to quench your thirst, and strengthen your teeth!

4. Water is free of calories.

Drinking sugary beverages can create a cavity-prone environment within your mouth, and can lead to weight gain. Studies show that drinking water, eight 8-ounce glasses or 8×8, can help you lose weight.

If you have questions regarding water consumption or your overall dental health, don’t hesitate to call Modern Micro Endodontics at Hoboken Office Phone Number 201-386-9080 today!

Going Green: Dark Green Vegetables and Dental Health

Everyone is going green, but did you know that “going green” can also benefit your oral health? Your pH levels inside your body can greatly affect your overall health. Too much acid in your system can make various parts of your body inflamed. This may include your gum tissues. Gingivitis (early gum disease) and periodontitis (advanced gum disease) are conditions of infection and inflammation. Aiming to consume a balanced diet with the goal of achieving an acidic-alkaline balance (balanced pH level) has been shown to reduce symptoms of many health conditions. One of the fastest and easiest ways to saturate your body with these nutrients is by consuming green fruits and vegetables. Some great green additions to your diet are spinach and green smoothies:

Go Green

Spinach & Dark Green Vegetables

Eating dark green veggies, like spinach, can have some great health benefits deeming it a “super food” among nutrition experts! The nutrients found in spinach are a powerful source of cancer-fighting properties, producing a substance that causes prostate cancer cells to self-destruct, and another compound that can prevent the formation of ovarian cancer cells. Spinach promotes cardiovascular health via properties that can lower blood pressure and prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Evidence shows that juicing dark green vegetables like spinach can improve your dental health, preventing gum disease and cavities!

Green Smoothies

Green smoothie can keep your gums, jawbone, and teeth healthier and stronger! The best part about drinking green smoothies is the taste. If you can get over the color, you will find how delicious a green smoothie can be. Spinach, cucumber, kale, lettuce, and zucchini can be blended with fruit to create a low-calorie, nutrient dense meal replacement that boosts your oral health. A great addition to your green smoothie is yogurt. Yogurt has been shown to strengthen teeth and prevent bad breath, as well as add a creamy consistency to your nutrient-dense smoothie.

If you have questions regarding your dental health, give Modern Micro Endodontics a call at Hoboken Office Phone Number 201-386-9080 today!

Filling Your Roots with Roots!

What is Gutta-percha? In endodontics, when you have a root canal treatment, your tooth is filled with a substance called Gutta-percha (“gutta-per-cha”).

Its first uses in dentistry were in the late 1800s as a temporary restorative material, until it was used to permanently fill root canals. It is used to “obturate” or fill the empty space inside your tooth root after we have removed the infection.

Gutta-percha are cone shaped, meaning whether they are heated or chemically treated before they go into your tooth, they fit perfectly into all the nooks and crannies to keep the bad bacteria out!

Filling Roots with Roots

Gutta-percha is derived from two Malaysian trees Paliquium gutta and Mimusops globsa trees. The word gutta-percha actually comes from the Malay words “getah” meaning sap and “percha” meaning scrap, and dates back to 1845! It was originally used by the natives of the Malaysian archipelago for making knife handles, walking sticks and other purposes.

Gutta-percha is the coagulated latex of the two trees, which are in the same botanical family as the rubber tree Hevea brasilienisis.

Does this mean if you have a latex allergy you can’t have a root canal treatment? Of course not!
For our patients with latex allergies, we have latex-free root filling options your safety.

Gutta-percha is thermoplastic, meaning it softens on heating and hardens when it cools. It resembles rubber but contains more resin and is used in dentistry especially as a permanent filling in root canals.

Fun fact!
Gutta-percha is used as insulation for underwater cables and household electrics!
It’s also “bioinert” which means it does not react or initiate a response when it comes into contact with biological tissue. Therefore, it does not cause an alternative reaction in the human body.

Here at Modern Micro Endodontics we get to the “root” of the facts for you, so you’re always aware of every process in your treatment!

Help! I’ve Cracked My Tooth!

So you’ve cracked your tooth—We know this can be stressful. But don’t worry, Modern Micro Endodontics is here to help.

Our main goal is to save your tooth, but the treatment plan and outcome all depend on the type, extent, and location of the damage. Before any more damage can be done, seek treatment as quickly as possible.

Help Cracked Tooth

How to tell

Cracked teeth aren’t always obvious as having a crack down the middle; you could have different symptoms like:
• Inconsistent pain while chewing
• Pain when the tooth comes in contact with hot or cold
• Sharp edge you can feel with your tongue

What to do

• Make an appointment to see Dr. Graham, Dr. Drummond and Dr. Lee as soon as possible.
• Rinse your mouth with warm water.
• Apply pressure with gauze if there is any bleeding. You can also use a damp tea bag (it promotes clotting).
• Apply a cold compress to your face next to the broken tooth. Cold helps relieve pain and swelling.
• Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

How to prevent cracks

Cracks can happen for many reasons, but you can lesson your chances by:
• Not chewing on hard objects (like ice!)
• Not grinding and clenching your teeth (and wear a mouth guard at night if you do!)
• Wear facial protection when playing contact sports

If you do find yourself with a crack, call us at 201-386-9080 as soon as possible so we can determine the best plan of action.

Apicoectomy. Say What?

Say that again?!

An apicoetomy or “ey-pi-koh-ek-tuh-mee” (say that three times fast!) may be needed when an infection develops or won’t go away after your root canal treatment or retreatment.

Your teeth are held in place by roots that extend into your jawbone. They can have anywhere from one to four roots. The tip of these roots is called the apex. Nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth though this apex. They travel through a canal inside the root and into the pulp chamber, which is inside the “crown” of your tooth.

Apicoectomy Say What

During root canal treatment, we clean the canals and the infected tissue is removed.
Root canals can be very complex, as there are several branches off the main canals. Sometimes, even after a root canal, infected tissue can remain in these branches. This could possibly prevent healing or cause re-infection.

An apicoectomy is only considered after a tooth has had at least one root canal procedure and retreatment is not possible. Sometimes it is called endodontic microsurgery because it is often performed under a microscope. The light and magnification allow the endodontist to see the area clearly. This increases the chance that the procedure will succeed.

In an apicoectomy, the root tip or apex is removed along with the infected tissue. A filling is then placed to seal the end of the root tip and a few stitches are placed in the gum to help the tissue heal. After a few weeks the bone heals around the end of the root.

An apicoectomy is typically a safe and effective procedure, and is rarely recommended unless further root canal treatment won’t be effective. The goal is to help you preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible. Apicoectomies are generally a permanent and cost-effective solution which can help your teeth last for the rest of your life!

If you’re having pain or swelling from a tooth that has had a root canal treatment, don’t hesitate! Give Modern Micro Endodontics a call today!

Tiny, Mighty Tools in Endodontics

It’s really quite amazing how advanced tools have become over thousands of years! To think that as humans we started with mere sticks and stones as tools, and now we can visit space via rocket ships is simply mind-boggling!Tiny Mighty Tools

Now, while not exactly moon-landing technology, we’d like to point out that endodontic tools have also become highly developed over the years, with very specialized tools designed for each step in the process.

 

Endodontists use a wide variety of tools, each built for a specific purpose, but with one thing always in common: size. The tools that we use in endodontics are some of the smallest surgical tools out there! This, of course, allows us to properly access tiny roots in order to get the root canal therapy done right. To give you an example, some of these tools are just around a single millimeter thick (or less!), necessitating highly-skilled operators.

Here are some of the most commonly used tools in our office:

A bur is a tool that comes in many shapes. It’s a teeny tiny drill that can penetrate the top of the tooth to get into the pulp chamber, by removing the roof.

An endodontic spoon excavator is the tiniest spoon shaped tool you’ve ever seen. This spoon can get into the pulp chamber and allow access to the floor.

A barbed broach is a barbed point, like a thumbtack, which can spike the pulp in a tooth root, snag it, and allow it to be pulled out.

Gates-Glidden drills are super small drill bits that can fit within the root and clean it out, as well as make space for bigger tools if necessary. The root can then be cleaned with a syringe to disinfect.

And, while not as small, we can’t forget to mention our digital imaging technology, without which we wouldn’t be able to give the highest-quality root canal treatments! Digital imaging of the roots allows us to see any areas of concern, and make better decisions for your care.

So the next time you come to see us, ask us about some of the tiny precision tools we employ in our office on a daily basis!