Modern Micro Endodontics
We’re all familiar with cavities – the anxiety before going to the dentist, the satisfaction of leaving without having to return for fillings. As routine as cavity treatment seems, tooth decay, or dental caries, is more complex than we often realize. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on tooth decay and how you can prevent it!
What is tooth decay?
Dental caries, also known as tooth decay, is the bacterial destruction of the tooth’s enamel.
What causes tooth decay?
Even with an effective dental care routine, bacteria in the mouth cause plaque to form on the teeth. When the bacteria in plaque react with food in your mouth, it produces acid that wears away at the enamel.
Stages and treatments:
There is a range of treatment methods for dental caries depending on the severity of the decay:
• Fillings and restorations are the most common cavity treatments. We use inlays and onlays to treat tooth decay because they’re similar to traditional fillings but are more stable and longer lasting.
• Crowns are necessary if the decay goes deep enough to make the tooth weak or unstable. These tooth-colored caps are secured to the tops of damaged teeth to strengthen them and restore them to normal function.
• Root canal therapy (RCT) is needed when the cavity goes deep enough to infect the pulp in the tooth. Sometimes the damage is severe enough that root canal therapy is not effective, and if retreatment is unsuccessful an apicoectomy is performed. During an apicoectomy, the infected pulp tissue is removed through the tooth’s root. Then the root tip is cut off and replaced with biocompatible material.
• If the tooth is beyond saving through one of these previously mentioned methods, extraction is the way to go. Dental implants offer a sturdy, long-lasting solution to extracted teeth to restore your smile.
Give Modern Micro Endodontics a call at Hoboken Office Phone Number 201-386-9080 so you can achieve that bright, beautiful, healthy smile!
Accidents happen! Facial trauma can occur anywhere from sporting events and motor vehicle accidents, to work or home. Something as simple as an accidental fall could leave you with severely damaged teeth – but there’s no need to worry! Oral surgery and cosmetic dentistry offer a world of solutions for traumatic tooth injuries. Take a look at some common tooth injuries and available treatment options!
Broken blood vessels in the tooth’s pulp can cause tooth discoloration. Tooth trauma causes blood to leak into the dentin layer and become visible through the enamel.
Veneers are porcelain shells that are bonded to the front of teeth to improve appearance. They’re designed to match the color of your natural teeth, making them a perfect solution for treating discoloration – chipped teeth, too! Veneers are durable and, if properly cared for, will only have to be replaced after 10-20 years of use.
Whitening is another treatment for trauma-induced discoloration. There are a variety of whitening options to restore your tooth’s natural color, from at-home whitening treatments to in-office bleaching.
Chipped and fractured teeth are among the most common results of sports injuries and falls.
As mentioned above, veneers don’t just treat tooth discoloration – they also fix chips and fractures. However, they’re not always necessary. Bonding is sometimes all it takes to fix minor chips. During a bonding treatment, we etch the surface of the tooth and place a plastic, tooth-colored resin with a bonding liquid to replace any missing tooth fragments.
Crowns are porcelain caps that are secured over damaged teeth and cemented in place to restore appearance and function. They also correct tooth decay and fractured fillings, stabilizing teeth after root canal therapy. Porcelain crowns resemble natural teeth and can last anywhere between 5 and 15 years.
Avulsed (knocked out) teeth need to be replaced to maintain your jawbone health. Without teeth to support, the jawbone deteriorates from underuse.
In some cases, the missing tooth can be reattached. However, this isn’t always an option. Dental implants are artificial teeth that are secured in the gum with a metal screw and serve as placeholders for missing teeth. They look just like real teeth and are equally functional.
Give Modern Micro Endodontics a call at Hoboken Office Phone Number 201-386-9080 if you want to transform your smile emergency. We are more than happy to discuss treatment options and get you back on track after your facial injury!
On the Lookout for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer screenings are performed regularly at dental exams, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be paying attention to your dental hygiene between appointments. Taking matters into your own hands is the best way to maintain your oral health. Not sure how to screen for oral cancer? We’ll show you!
What is oral pathology?
This branch of dentistry involves the evaluation and treatment of diseases of the mouth. The most dangerous, but not always the most obvious, of these diseases is oral cancer.
What should I look for?
Keep an eye out for these oral cancer symptoms during your self-screenings:
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- Lumps on the tongue or lining of the mouth
- Mouth sores that won’t heal
- Unexplained bleeding
- Chronic throat soreness
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Mouth numbness
How do I perform an oral cancer self-exam?
- When performing your oral cancer self-screening, be sure to check all areas of the mouth, including the roof, floor, tongue, lips, cheeks and the back of your throat.
- Examine your face in the mirror for abnormal asymmetry and irregularities.
- Feel your neck and the back of your head with your fingers to look for any bumps or changes in texture.
- Examine your throat by placing your fingers around your thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple) and swallowing.
How often should I perform a self-exam?
Self-exams should be performed at least once a month. Changes to your oral health can occur rapidly, so it’s important to stay on top of things. Treatment is most effective if we detect symptoms early.
Ask us about performing an oral cancer screening when you visit – we’re here to ease your mind and give you the tools you need to maintain your health!
Being that we are entering April, now is the time to be proactive and get yourself checked for oral cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 48,330 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer, and an estimated 9,570 people will die from oral cancer in 2016. In the spirit of April’s Oral Cancer Awareness, we urge you to receive regular oral cancer examinations. Remember—early detection saves lives!
Are you at risk?
The sad truth is that oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women, and the fastest growing group of oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals. It is more important than ever for young adults, as well as older men and women, to get regular screenings whether they think they’re at risk or not.
Knowing the risks can help you make educated decisions about your health. There are several risks that increase your chances of developing oral cancer:
• Smoking and using tobacco products have been a known long-term historic causes of oral cancer.
• Heavy alcohol usage also makes you more susceptible to develop oral cancer.
• The HPV virus, a sexually-transmitted disease, is the leading cause of oropharyngeal (the back part of the mouth) cancer.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The mouth is one of the body’s most crucial early warning signs in the fight against oral cancer. In between regular dental visits, it’s important to be aware of the mouth’s signs and symptoms. Remember, if you see any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment at the office if you don’t see improvement within two-three weeks:
• Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice.
• The development of white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth.
• Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas.
• Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue.
• A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together when you close your mouth.
• Dramatic weight loss.
• Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck.
• Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.
Don’t wait any longer. In the spirit of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, be proactive about your oral health, and get checked today!
The American Association of Endodontists is excited to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Root Canal Awareness Week, March 27 – April 2, 2016! Root Canal Awareness Week is a national effort that is aiming to raise awareness of the dental specialty of endodontics. We want patients, and general dentists alike, to know when to contact a specialist when a root canal treatment is needed. Root Canal Awareness Week is an excellent time to explain how important the role of endodontics truly has in dental health and within the dental community. Root Canal Awareness Week wishes to educate the public as to what a root canal is, and why root canals shouldn’t be feared!
Root Canal Awareness Week, March 27th-April 2nd, we are aiming to:
- Support endodontists as root canal specialists.
- Educate patients about the benefits of root canal treatment.
- Dispel myths and rumors about root canal treatment.
- Build relationships with other dental professionals.
If you’re a patient and want to learn more about root canals, visit our treatment page and learn about the number of root canal therapy options Modern Micro Endodontics offers!
Damage to the tooth’s pulp is commonly caused by tooth decay or traumatic injury. Pulp damage in baby teeth can affect the development of your child’s permanent teeth later on. Rather than pulling the affected tooth, we opt for pulp therapy, a technique similar to a root canal in adults, that maintains the baby tooth’s vitality. Keep reading to find out more details about pediatric pulp therapy!
What is pediatric pulp therapy?
Pediatric pulp therapy is designed to save infected or damaged primary, or baby, teeth. It’s important to save the affected primary tooth until the permanent tooth grows in. There are two types of pulp therapy:
Pulpotomy is a partial pulp removal. Damaged pulp from the tooth’s crown is removed, leaving healthy pulp in the root canals. Once the pulp is removed, the tooth is filled with a disinfecting agent to prevent further infection, and it is stabilized it with a crown.
Pulpectomy is the total removal of damaged pulp, not just in the crown but the roots, too. Once pulp is removed, the tooth is filled with an absorbable cement for support, and then stabilized with a crown.
Although these techniques are associated with pediatric dentistry, they can also be performed as the initial steps of root canal therapy (RCT) in mature, or adult, teeth.
Why choose pulp therapy over tooth extraction?
Saving baby teeth with pulp damage is preferred to extraction because primary tooth extraction can cause a variety of consequences. If you have a baby tooth pulled, the surrounding teeth may develop at an angle, resulting in impacted premolars that leave little room for a permanent tooth to grow in its place. Keeping the baby tooth as a placeholder allows the permanent tooth to grow in trouble-free!
What are the symptoms of damaged pulp?
- Tooth pain
- Temperature sensitivity when eating
- Swelling and redness
- Unexpected loose tooth
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, give us a call to see if pulp therapy is an option. Saving those baby teeth is the best way to ensure healthy oral development!
It’s no secret that root canal therapy (RCT) saves your natural teeth by removing infected pulp. What exactly is dental pulp, though? It’s a lot more important than you may realize — keep reading for some pulp trivia!
Pulp is the living part of the tooth. It’s made of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue that feed the tooth vital nutrients to keep it “alive,” or healthy and functioning.
Dental pulp is your tooth’s alarm system. When something goes wrong with your teeth, such as trauma or decay, the pulp experiences pressure and sensitivity changes that you perceive as pain.
The pulp is responsible for dentin formation. Dentin is the tissue layer beneath the enamel that protects the pulp. Because enamel is translucent, dentin is visible through the enamel and gives the tooth its color. Pulp contains cells called odontoblasts that initiate dentin creation.
The tooth can survive without pulp, but not with infected pulp. Pulp is a crucial part of tooth development, but once the tooth has fully matured, it can get nutrients from surrounding tissue and the pulp is no longer 100% necessary. However, infected tissue in a fully developed tooth can cause a lot of damage. This is why root canal therapy is necessary to save teeth that suffer pulp trauma.
Blood vessels and nerves in pulp are connected to gum tissue in the jaw. The apical foramen is a hole at the apex, or tip, or the tooth’s root. Blood vessels and nerves run from the jaw through the apical foramen and become part of the pulp once they enter the tooth.
Diseased gum tissue can cause pulp to become infected. Because blood vessels and nerves connect the gums to the pulp, diseased gum tissue can affect the pulp. Conversely, infected pulp can also spread and cause gum disease.
With all these functions of dental pulp in mind, it’s no wonder root canal therapy is such an important procedure! Call Modern Micro Endodontics to schedule a consultation if you’re having tooth pain and considering root canal therapy at Hoboken Office Phone Number 201-386-9080.
We know we don’t have to tell you this—but flossing at least once a day is key to healthy gums and teeth! And while studies have shown it doesn’t really matter what kind of floss you use (as long as you do it!), people are more likely to use floss that’s easy for them to use. We’ve broken down the different types of floss, so you can decide which is best for you!
Waxed and Unwaxed
Waxed floss will glide easier, but there isn’t really any other difference between waxed and unwaxed floss. If your teeth are close together, try one of these.
Ultra floss is a thicker floss that can be stretched to fit between tight spaces between your teeth; this is a good option if the closeness of your teeth varies.
Dental tape is a relatively new addition to the floss family. This fatter floss option is made from plastic and has a bit more stretch. If you have wide spaces between your teeth or have sensitive gums, try this ribbon-like floss.
If you find yourself on the go—or if you hate the feeling of floss wrapped around your fingers—try disposable picks that have handles to make flossing a little easier!
Recent trials are inconclusive on whether using a water flosser is as effective as traditional floss, but studies agree that using an oral irrigator is better than not flossing at all!
So which one is the best? Any one you’ll actually use! Don’t hesitate to ask us for different types of floss at your next cleaning to see what works best for you!
You’re awake, congratulations! Now, you are standing in front of the bathroom mirror, you’ve been wanting to upgrade your oral hygiene routine but you’ve heard a lot of conflicting information. There are so many tools and what order should you do them in? We’re here to help! If you’ve ever wondered, “What comes first brushing or flossing?” Read on!
- You’ve probably heard us stress the importance of flossing at your appointments. Flossing is an incredibly important part of your mouth’s health. Flossing your teeth should take place one time per day. We recommend at night so that food does not rest in between your teeth while you sleep. Flossing before brushing is a lot like dusting before you vacuum. The particles will loosen with flossing and the brushing will sweep them away.
- You may have guessed it: the second part of your oral hygiene regimen should be a 2-minute brushing. Dentists look at your mouth in terms of quadrants. Therefore, your mouth consists on four separate quadrants and to ensure proper use of your two minute brushing session, we recommend spending 30 seconds in each quadrant. This brushing routine should take place two times a day!
- Brushing your teeth alone will not eliminate the majority of the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Cleaning your tongue is an easy addition to your routine and will benefit your mouth greatly. Take your toothbrush, apply a very small amount of toothpaste and brush your tongue in gentle, circular motions. You may opt for a tongue scraper instead, they can be purchased at most grocery stores.
- The finishing touch for optimum oral health is mouthwash. Sip a small amount and swish for 30-40 seconds. Spit it out and you are done!
It may seem like a lengthy routine but it actually only totals about 4 minutes. If you value your oral health and want to spend less time in a dental chair, it will be worth your time, we promise!
Could diamonds be the endodontist’s best friend? Previously highlighted for their possible use in dental implant surgery, nanodiamonds are making the headlines again, this time for their potential in assisting with root canal therapy!
What are nanodiamonds? A byproduct of diamond refining and mining, nanodiamonds are tiny particles that are thousands of times smaller than the width of one of your hairs. They have been the subject of research for a variety of health applications relating to cancer, regenerative medicine, imaging and dentistry over the years.
Recently, at the UCLA School of Dentistry, researchers have been experimenting with these fascinating little particles to see if they can improve even further on what is already a successful procedure: root canal therapy.
One possible use they have found for nanodiamonds in the field of endodontics is as an additive to the polymer filling material, known as “gutta percha”. While gutta percha is the optimal filling material after a root canal (due to the fact that it does not react inside the body), it has room for improvement in the area of infection prevention and rigidity.
Nanodiamonds may be just the thing to enhance this tried-and-true material and bring the already high success rate of root canal therapy (97% some studies show) to even higher levels. We are excited to see what the future brings!