My Blog
By Sirisha Pulapaka, DDS
December 30, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Dental Crown  

When tooth damage or imperfections affect your smile, dental crowns provide a simple solution. The versatile restorations offered by your Milwaukee, WI, dentists, Dr. Paul Scholl and Dr. Sirisha Pulapaka, at Art of Dentistry can help you enhance your smile.

What are dental crowns?

Crowns, also known as "caps," are hollow restorations that look just like the top part of your teeth. Made of porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic or resin, crowns slip over teeth after they've been reduced in size by your Milwaukee, WI, dentist.

The restorations are made from an impression of your mouth to ensure that they fit comfortably and blend in with your smile. You'll leave the dental office wearing a temporary crown and will return in about two weeks to be fitted with your permanent restoration. After making a few adjustments, your dentist will cement the crown to your tooth.

How can a crown help my smile?

Crowns offer several smile-enhancing benefits, including:

  • Protection of Fragile or Weak Teeth: Fragile teeth are at increased risk of tooth fractures, even if they look perfectly fine. If your tooth has weakened due to aging, a crack, a dental procedure or other cause, adding a crown will strengthen it and prevent a break. Once your crown in place, it will absorb the strong forces generated by biting and chewing, protecting your tooth from damage.
  • Repairs to Damaged Teeth: Crowns also restore the normal appearance and function of broken teeth, whether the break occurred due to an expanding crack or a blow to the face, or happened after you took a bite of a hard nut or pretzel. Thanks to your new crown, no one will ever know that you damaged your tooth.
  • Restoration of Missing Teeth: Have you lost a tooth or two? Crowns are often used to replace missing teeth. In fact, they're an integral aspect of both dental bridges and dental implants.
  • Transformation of Unattractive Teeth: Crowns are an excellent option if you have one or two unappealing teeth. The restorations can conceal discolorations and other flaws, completely change the appearance of oddly shaped teeth and add length to short teeth.

Boost your smile with dental crowns! Call your Milwaukee, WI, dentists at Art of Dentistry at (414) 445-3670 to schedule an appointment.

By Sirisha Pulapaka, DDS
December 21, 2019
Category: dental procedures
Tags: muscle frenum  
ThatSpaceBetweenYourFrontTeethMaybeCausedbyOvergrownMuscle

The various structures in your mouth — your teeth and gums, of course, as well as periodontal tissues that hold teeth in place within the jaw — all function together to create your smile. This includes muscles like the frenum, a fold of muscle tissue that connects the gums to the upper lip, which helps pull the lip upward when you smile.

Unfortunately, an overly large frenum could contribute to an unattractive space between your two upper front teeth. The problem occurs when the frenum grows beyond its normal range and runs between the front teeth to connect with the gums behind them at the forefront of the roof of your mouth. The resulting space that may develop can be closed with orthodontics, but unless the excess frenum tissue is addressed the space may eventually reopen.

The frenum is just one cause among many for a noticeably wide space, including bite problems (malocclusions), finger-sucking habits or missing teeth. We would, therefore, need to examine your mouth to determine the exact cause before beginning any treatment. If indeed the frenum is the source of the problem, it will be necessary to ultimately remove the excess portion through a procedure known as a frenectomy.

A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure performed by a periodontist, oral surgeon or a general dentist with surgical training. After numbing the area with local anesthesia, the tissue behind the teeth is dissected or reduced in size with a small scalpel or a surgical laser. The wound is then closed with a few stitches; any post-surgical discomfort is usually minimal and managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medication. The wound will completely heal within a few weeks.

Most frenectomies are performed after orthodontics to close the space. Removing it prior to tooth movement may result in scar tissue that prevents the space from closing. It’s also easier for the surgeon to gauge how much tissue to remove after space closure to avoid removing too much, which can leave a “black” triangular hole where gum tissue should normally be.

Treating an abnormally large frenum isn’t difficult, but it needs to be coordinated with orthodontic treatment for the best outcome. The end result is a smile that’s both healthy and attractive.

If you would like more information on teeth spacing problems, 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 “Space between Front Teeth.”

By Sirisha Pulapaka, DDS
December 17, 2019
Category: Dental Health
Tags: Preventive Care  

Find out how preventive dental care can actually save you time and money.

Your oral health is only as good as how you treat it. How often do you brush your teeth every day? Do you floss daily without fail? When doctorswas the last time you saw your Milwaukee, WI, dentist, Dr. Paul Scholl, for a cleaning? These are all important questions to ask yourself so that you can make the changes necessary before problems occur.
 

What is preventive care?

Preventive care is any service that your Milwaukee, WI, dentist offers to protect your teeth and gums from decay and disease. These measures include,

Prophylactic care: Every six months you should be coming in to get a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning. These checkups are crucial to maintaining good oral health and to catch problems early on when they are treatable. During these cleanings, our hygienist can remove plaque and tartar buildup from between teeth and around the gum line, which you might have missed when brushing. Your regular toothbrush won’t be able to remove tartar.

Fluoride: Another way to protect your child and teen’s teeth from decay is through regular fluoride treatment, which can be performed during your child’s next six-month checkup. Fluoride treatment helps strengthen and mineralize tooth enamel. While fluoride can be found in most toothpastes, if you or your child isn’t getting enough fluoride talk with your dentist about getting regular fluoride treatment to reduce the risk for cavities.

Oral Cancer Screenings: When you come in for your routine checkup our hygienist or dentist will also examine your mouth to look for early warning signs of oral cancer such lumps, growths, lesions or any other suspicious changes to soft tissue. This simple, quick screening is your best chance for detecting oral cancer early on before it spreads. With the increase in HPV cases, there are more young people presenting with oral cancer; therefore, these screenings are crucial for patients of all ages.

Art of Dentistry in Milwaukee, WI, wants to make sure that you get the proper care you and your family deserve for healthy, beautiful smiles. If it’s been more than six months since your last dental cleaning call our office today to schedule your next appointment.

TheHowieMandelEffectAvoidDentalDiseaseThroughDailyBrushingandFlossing

Howie Mandel, one of America’s premier television personalities, rarely takes it easy. Whether performing a standup comedy gig or shooting episodes of America’s Got Talent or Deal or No Deal, Mandel gives it all he’s got. And that intense drive isn’t reserved only for his career pursuits–he also brings his A-game to boosting his dental health.

Mandel is up front about his various dental issues, including multiple root canal treatments and the crowns on his two damaged front teeth. But he’s most jazzed about keeping his teeth clean (yep, he brushes and flosses daily) and visiting his dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

To say Howie Mandel is keen on taking care of his teeth and gums is an understatement. And you can be, too: Just five minutes a day could keep your smile healthy and attractive for a lifetime.

You’ll be using that time—less than one percent of your 1,440 daily minutes—brushing and flossing to remove dental plaque buildup. This sticky, bacterial film is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Daily hygiene drastically reduces your risk for these tooth-damaging diseases.

But just because these tasks don’t take long, that’s not saying it’s a quick once-over for your teeth: You want to be as thorough as possible. Any leftover plaque can interact with saliva and become a calcified form known as calculus (tartar). Calculus triggers infection just as much as softer plaque—and you can’t dislodge it with brushing and flossing.

When you brush, then, be sure to go over all tooth areas, including biting surfaces and the gum line. A thorough brushing should take about two minutes. And don’t forget to floss! Your toothbrush can’t adequately reach areas between teeth, but flossing can. If you find regular flossing too difficult, try using a floss threader. If that is still problematic, an oral irrigator is a device that loosens and flushes away plaque with a pressurized water stream.

To fully close the gate against plaque, see us at least every six months. Even with the most diligent efforts, you might still miss some plaque and calculus. We can remove those lingering deposits, as well as let you know how well you’re succeeding with your daily hygiene habit.

Few people could keep up with Howie Mandel and his whirlwind career schedule, but you can certainly emulate his commitment to everyday dental care—and your teeth and gums will be the healthier for it.

If you would like more information about daily dental care, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Daily Oral Hygiene: Easy Habits for Maintaining Oral Health” and “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”

By Sirisha Pulapaka, DDS
December 01, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: nutrition   tmj disorders  
UseTheseTechniquestoEnjoyHealthyFoodsEvenwithaJawJointDisorder

We don’t often think about it, but eating is a multi-staged process. It starts, of course, with food that’s hopefully high in nutritional value. But you also need coordinated jaw action to chew and shred your food that when combined with the enzymes in saliva can then be effectively digested in the stomach.

But what if you’re unable to chew some foods because you suffer from chronic jaw pain and dysfunction? This is the situation for millions of people who suffer from problems associated with the jaw joints—temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). It’s not just the chronic pain and discomfort TMD can cause that’s a real issue—it may also be preventing you from eating foods that are healthy for you.

Because TMD can make it difficult to open your jaws wide or causes pain when you bite down, you might especially have trouble with certain fruits and vegetables as well as many meats. Many people opt to skip otherwise healthy foods because they’re too difficult to eat. That, however, could lead to lack of proper nutrition in the long run.

But with a few techniques and modifications, you can still include many of these foods in your diet even when TMD discomfort flares up. For one, be sure to cut all your food portions (including toast) into small, bite-sized pieces. These should be small enough to limit the amount of jaw opening required to comfortably place the bite in your mouth and chew. When preparing your food, be sure to peel fruits and vegetables that have skin, which is often hard to chew.

You should also try cooking crisper fruits and vegetables to a soft, moist texture. Choose meat cuts, poultry or seafood that can be cooked to a tender, moist consistency—you can also use gravies and sauces to further moisten them.

And don’t forget to chew slowly. Not only does slower eating aid in digestion, it will help you avoid overworking your jaw joints.

With a few adjustments you can have a normal, nutritious diet and minimize the discomfort of your TMD symptoms. Continual healthy eating is a must for overall health and quality of life.

If you would like more information on reducing the impact of TMD on your life and health, 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 “What to Eat When TMJ Pain Flares Up.”





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