Posts for category: dental procedures
People with missing teeth have more replacement options than ever before, including the ever popular but often more expensive dental implant. But there has also been an expansion of choice on the more affordable side of dental restorations. The flexible removable partial denture (RPD) is one such choice.
Though RPDs have been around for some time, the newer flexible RPD offers some advantages over the more rigid traditional RPD. They’re made of a kind of nylon that’s pliable but also strong and durable. This material is thermoplastic, meaning when heated it can be injected into molds based on a patient’s individual mouth to form an accurate denture base. The gum-colored base can also be formed to cover any receded areas of the gums, which can greatly improve smile appearance.
Older versions of RPDs are made of rigid acrylic plastic that stay in place in the mouth with metal clasps that attach to remaining teeth. The flexible RPD, on the other hand, is secured with finger-like nylon extensions that fit and hold in the natural teeth’s concavities near the gum line. This, along with its relatively light weight, offers a more comfortable fit.
But aside from these benefits, flexible RPDs do have a few drawbacks. Although fracture-resistant, they’re not easy to repair or reline to readjust the fit to accommodate mouth changes. They can stain (though not as much as a traditional RPD), so they require diligent cleaning and maintenance.
We consider the whole category of RPDs as “temporary” restorations, meaning they’re intended as a transitional phase between tooth loss and a permanent restoration like a natural tooth-supported fixed bridge or dental implants. For some, however, the flexible RPD might be a more long-term solution. As mentioned before, to extend their life as much as possible they should be removed daily and cleaned thoroughly. And like any form of denture, they should not be worn overnight.
In either case, flexible RPDs offer an effective way to restore not only dental function diminished by missing teeth but an improved appearance as well. With careful maintenance, they could serve you well for some time to come.
If you would like more information on flexible 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 “Flexible Partial Dentures: An Aesthetic Way to Replace Teeth Temporarily.”
Have you been struggling with regular tooth pain that has made you concerned about the state of your smile? Here at Art of Dentistry in Milwaukee, WI, dentist Dr. Paul Scholl and his professional team see many the patient on the verge of losing a tooth. Luckily, root canal therapy can save smiles and heal the uncomfortable symptoms that come with tooth decay. Learn more below!
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a pulp-filled space that occupies each tooth root. Containing nerves, connective tissue, and tiny blood vessels, tooth pulp sometimes becomes inflamed and infected due to decay, injury, or another circumstance which exposes inner tooth structure to bacteria.
Root canal therapy is the restorative procedure that removes the sick pulp and replaces it will a biocompatible putty. Dr. Scholl uses specialized tools to extract the pulp and reshape the canal walls. Typically, he instills some antibiotics to quell any infection, as well. He restores up to four canals as needed.
A temporary crown protects the tooth as it heals. After a week or two, you return to Art of Dentistry for placement of a realistic and resilient crown made of high-quality ceramic. The tooth looks natural, feels good, and functions well under the pressures of biting and chewing.
What are the signs that you need one?
Dr. Scholl often recommends root canal therapy when symptoms, X-rays, and oral examination shows the tooth is in danger of failure. Your symptoms may include:
- Toothache pain and dental sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids and to the pressure exerted on the chewing surface
- Darkened tooth enamel
- Reddened gum tissue
- Drainage from the tooth
- Bad breath which cannot be treated with mouthwash or brushing your teeth
- Jaw swelling
- Loss of a substantial amount of tooth structure, filling material or crown
At the first sign of any tooth discomfort or change in function or appearance, call your dentist. The sooner you act, the quicker and easier your recovery will be!
What happens afterward?
Root canal treatments are highly successful and relieve pain and preserve teeth for many years. To keep your gums healthy, be sure to brush your restored tooth twice daily with a soft brush and floss around it, too. Additionally, see your dentist semi-annually for prophylactic cleaning and examination.
If you develop any of the above-mentioned symptoms, we can help. Dr. Scholl and his team at Art of Dentistry work hard to prevent serious dental problems, however, if they do happen, a root canal treatment could be your best path to a fully restored smile. Call us at (414) 445-3670.
The movie Bohemian Rhapsody celebrates the iconic rock band Queen and its legendary lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury. But when we see pictures of the flamboyant singer, many fans both old and new may wonder—what made Freddie’s toothy smile look the way it did? Here’s the answer: The singer was born with four extra teeth at the back of his mouth, which caused his front teeth to be pushed forward, giving him a noticeable overbite.
The presence of extra teeth—more than 20 primary (baby) teeth or 32 adult teeth—is a relatively rare condition called hyperdontia. Sometimes this condition causes no trouble, and an extra tooth (or two) isn’t even recognized until the person has an oral examination. In other situations, hyperdontia can create problems in the mouth such as crowding, malocclusion (bad bite) and periodontal disease. That’s when treatment may be recommended.
Exactly what kind of treatment is needed? There’s a different answer for each individual, but in many cases the problem can be successfully resolved with tooth extraction (removal) and orthodontic treatment (such as braces). Some people may be concerned about having teeth removed, whether it’s for this problem or another issue. But in skilled hands, this procedure is routine and relatively painless.
Teeth aren’t set rigidly in the jawbone like posts in cement—they are actually held in place dynamically by a fibrous membrane called the periodontal ligament. With careful manipulation of the tooth, these fibers can be dislodged and the tooth can be easily extracted. Of course, you won’t feel this happening because extraction is done under anesthesia (often via a numbing shot). In addition, you may be given a sedative or anti-anxiety medication to help you relax during the procedure.
After extraction, some bone grafting material may be placed in the tooth socket and gauze may be applied to control bleeding; sutures (stitches) are sometimes used as well. You’ll receive instructions on medication and post-extraction care before you go home. While you will probably feel discomfort in the area right after the procedure, in a week or so the healing process will be well underway.
Sometimes, dental problems like hyperdontia need immediate treatment because they can negatively affect your overall health; at other times, the issue may be mainly cosmetic. Freddie Mercury declined treatment because he was afraid dental work might interfere with his vocal range. But the decision to change the way your smile looks is up to you; after an examination, we can help you determine what treatment options are appropriate for your own situation.
If you have questions about tooth extraction or orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Simple Tooth Extraction” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Want to know more about getting dental veneers from our Milwaukee office?
Interested in getting a straighter, whiter or more even smile? If so, then our Milwaukee, WI, cosmetic dentist, Dr. Paul Scholl, could give you the smile you want with help from porcelain veneers. Before determining if this is the right treatment for you, read on to learn more about these simple restorations and what they can do to makeover your appearance.
What are dental veneers?
Veneers are ultra-thin shells, often made from porcelain, that are bonded to the front of your teeth in order to hide imperfections and to improve the overall shape, color, and appearance of your smile. Just like fake nails are used to improve the look of your nails, veneers are designed to do the same for your teeth!
What cosmetic issues can veneers hide?
Since veneers cover the entire surface of a tooth, there are many defects that can easily be hidden. Some of these aesthetic issues include,
- Stains and discolorations
- Chips and cracks
- Gaps between teeth
- Minor crowding or crookedness
- Uneven or worn teeth
- Teeth that are too short
- Misshapen teeth
No matter whether you are dealing with one or more of these issues, dental veneers may be able to help you get your smile back on track.
What should I expect when I get dental veneers?
In most cases, you will have two separate visits to our office: One so that we can prep your teeth and take impressions of your mouth, and another to cement the veneers to your teeth. During the consultation at our Milwaukee office, your dentist will take x-rays, examine your mouth, and discuss treatment goals to make sure that veneers are right for you.
How long do they last?
The longevity of your veneers will depend on you and how well you care for them. They can often last anywhere from seven to 20 years, although in some instances they may need to be repaired or replaced. Since our teeth and gums do change as we get older, our dentist may also need to change and replace the veneers to accommodate these natural changes in your smile.
Can dental veneers stain?
Veneers are made from porcelain, which is a stain-resistant material. Therefore, your veneers will remain beautiful for years!
Are you ready to find out if dental veneers are right for you? If so, call Art of Dentistry in Milwaukee, WI, today at (414) 445-3670 to schedule a consultation with us.
For decades, dental x-rays have helped us accurately diagnose and treat a wide array of dental diseases and conditions. But even with recent advances in digital imaging, the traditional x-ray does have one drawback: its two-dimensional view doesn’t always provide the “big picture” that a three-dimensional viewpoint can provide.
But a new type of x-ray technology can do just that: known as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), these machines record hundreds of digital images as a cone-shaped beam of x-ray energy is projected through a device that rotates around a person’s head. A computer then assembles the images into a single three-dimensional image that can be manipulated on screen to view from various angles. Not only does this provide greater context and detail, it does so with no more radiation exposure than a standard 20-film digital full-mouth x-ray series.
While CBCT hasn’t replaced the traditional x-ray, it’s making its mark in a number of specialized areas of dentistry. The following are just a few of the ways CBCT is improving both accuracy and treatment outcomes.
Orthodontics. CBCT can provide a much more detailed view of the entire jaw; this can help us determine the best locations for realigning teeth safely and effectively.
Dental Implants. With a CBCT scan we can precisely locate nerve canals, sinuses and adjacent teeth before implant surgery to locate the best position for the implant.
TMD Treatment. To help develop the best treatment approach for alleviating the pain and dysfunction of temporo-mandibular joint disease (TMD), a CBCT scan can provide us detailed information on how the disease is affecting a patient’s joints, teeth, sinuses and airway.
Impactions. An impacted tooth can exert damaging pressure against the roots of neighboring teeth. A CBCT scan allows us to observe the impacted tooth from various vantage points to determine the best treatment approach for neighboring teeth, nerve canals and sinuses.
If you would like more information on CBCT technology, 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 “Getting the Full Picture With Cone Beam Dental Scans.”