Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Your Child, Their Teeth and YOU!

The complete health of a child includes healthy teeth and gums.  As a parent, it is imperative that you understand the important role you play in getting your child started on the road to good oral health.  Parental knowledge of how to prevent Early Childhood Decay, nutrition, brushing, dental safety and regular visits to the dentist all play important roles in the developing dentition of a child.
Early Childhood Decay, sometimes called “Baby Bottle Syndrome” is completely preventable.  It is caused by a parents lack of knowledge and not due to child’s susceptibility to decay. All edible liquids, other than water, contain sugars that can cause tooth decay. For example, any milk (both cow’s and mother’s), juice and formula have the potential to cause tooth decay. So sending a child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup with anything but water can lead to severe dental and health issues.  Simply put, NEVER SEND YOUR CHILD TO BED WITH A BOTTLE.
It is recognized that babies have a natural tendency to suck. A soother is preferred to a thumb as a soother can be taken away eventually when the child reaches the appropriate age. I hope for obvious reasons, NEVER PLACE HONEY, SUGAR OR CORN SYRUP ON A SOOTHER.  At age three or four (at the latest), the need for the sucking action is diminished and the use of a soother should be terminated. Extended use of a soother can lead to unfavorable jaw growth and crowding. My advice is to have the soother go missing. The first night might not go without incident but the next nights should be much easier.

Good nutrition goes a long way in preventing tooth decay. The sugars in drinks and foods we give our children can contribute to poor dental health.  Consider soda pop and some sports drinks: These liquids contain high levels of sugar and acid with little or no nutritional value.  Even fruit drinks such as orange and apple juice have high concentrated amounts of sugar.  In addition, sticky foods such as fruit rolls are  “wolves in a sheep’s clothing”, as far as tooth decay is considered.  They are sticky and full of sugar, a deadly combination as far as tooth decay is considered. Starchy foods such as teething cookies also are sticky.  It is when these sticky carbohydrates mix with acid producing bacteria that decay begins. They attack the enamel and cause the holes we call cavities.
So now that I’ve scared you I have some good news.  Cavities can be prevented by following some easy steps and prevention techniques.  First, Read the labels of what is in the prepared foods you feed your kids.  Keep the sticky sugary foods to a minimum and if you have to include them, do so at mealtime.  Constant snacking keeps acid levels in your child’s mouth at persistent high levels without allowing a breather from high acid levels to allow their teeth to remineralize.  Help your child brush and floss their teeth.  Let them brush first and then you take over to finish the job.  The older they get, their ability should improve and so should their responsibility for their own dental care. Flossing should become routine as well with the parent taking the lead roll as the child’s dexterity improves. The two most important times to brush a child’s teeth is just before bed and right after breakfast in the morning. Once a child has brushed before bedtime only water should be considered if the child requests something or else the teeth must be brushed again.  Additional brushing should be considered for kids at higher risk. Previous cavities and constant snacking place children in a high risk category.
So when should a child see a dentist?  The first visit should happen at the first sign of a baby tooth erupting (around 6 months) and no later than one year of age.  This visit should help get the child and the parent off on the right foot when it comes to taking care of the child’s teeth.  Then at age 3 the child should begin regular checkups at about a 6 month interval.
Finally, dental safety starts at a young age.  From the day the child comes home from the hospital till the day the child can sit safely in the front seat of a car, an age and weight appropriate car seat should be used.  If the child is involved in contact sports a helmet and mouthguard should be worn. In combination, both can help prevent serious trauma to the head and teeth in the event of hard contact with other players, the playing field or ice and surrounding structures. Toddlers tend to fall a lot so dental trauma is common during this stage but dental trauma can happen at any age.  Your dentist is ready to assist so see your dental practitioner as soon as possible following the trauma.
So simply put, your child’s dental health requires a team effort.  Cooperation by the child, parent and dental practitioners (dentists and dental hygienists) can go a long way to ensuring oral health.
Mark Librach DDS
Whitby, Ontario
For further information, please consult the website of the Canadian Dental Association

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Eleanor's Dental Makeover!

 Eleanor underwent a few procedures to achieve his new smile. This included dental implant on extruded anterior tooth with new implant crown and veneer on adjacent front tooth.

Why was this patient a good candidate for this procedure?

Eleanor's chief complaint was the "drop" of her tooth below the line of the adjacent teeth, which created a very unfavorable aesthetic situation. Also, the tooth already had a very old crown on it which had a poor match of color to her front teeth. Upon clinical and x-ray examination, it was evident that the tooth wasn't healthy and also had a very short root, most probably as a cause of the roots being resorbed.

How did you develop a plan to treat her concerns?
We decided after completing a through clinical, radiographic and aesthetic examination, that Eleanor would benefit from having the tooth removed, a dental implant to be placed to replace the missing tooth and a veneer to cover the adjacent tooth for perfect color match.

Was her treatment out of the ordinary?
Although treatment was not out of the ordinary, it is a very challenging and complicated treatment. Every effort needs to be made during the surgical and dental procedures to obtain perfect position of the implant with the final objective of achieving the most aesthetic outcome (and of course functional as well).

How long did this transformation take?
Eleanor's treatment took just under one year to complete to achieve optimal healing. During the
healing phase she had a transitional crown positioned for immediate aesthetic improvement.

What Steps do these procedures involve?
First, the tooth had to be removed and a bone replacement graft was placed in order to preserve the bone and maintain a proper future " housing" for the root implant. During this time, a temporary and provisional denture (or bonded bridge) is done, which is quite esthetic. It's main goal is to allow for the bone underneath to heal and have a nice temporary replacement while healing occurs. Once this healing period is done (usually anywhere between 4-6 months), a titanium dental implant is placed with a surgical procedure. This implant is allowed to heal for 4 months, during which time it "integrates" or becomes part of your jaw. Once this is completed, a minor procedure to uncover the implant is done and the crown or "cap" is done, at the same time as the veneer on the adjacent tooth, maximizing a " color match" for the two porcelain teeth.

    Dr. Michelle Lanys                                                   Dr. Dana Levy
                                    Dentist                                            Periodontology & Implant Dentistry

Jonathan Mursic                                                        Connie
 5 Axis Lab                                                                Treatment Coordinator

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Harry's Dental Makeover

Harry underwent a few procedures to achieve his new smile. This included crown lengthening of upper anteriors, new fillings and crowns on upper teeth.

Why was the patient a good candidate for the procedure?
This patient was a good candidate for the procedure because the anterior teeth that were involved, were constantly chipping and cracking for many years.
It was a long time goal to prevent and protect these teeth from further damage.
The restoration of crowns or caps were indicated.
The patint also followed a good oral hygiene regiment and was eager and compliant with respect to treatment.
Was his treatment ordinary?
Crowning vulnerable teeth is a typical practice in dentistry.
How long did the patient's transformation take?
There were a few preliminary procedures that were necessary prior to the actual placement of the crowns that involved a few extra appointments. The actually crowns took two appointments, two weeks apart, to complete.

What steps do these procedures involve?
Good oral hygiene must be a priority before any major restorations are placed. Tooth decay must also be eliminated with no symptoms present. One of the involved teeth required some gum reshaping and and root canal therapy in order to accept a crown.Subsequently, the crowns were prepared at one visit, and the crowns were permanently placed two weeks later.

Are there any homesteps patients should follow after procedures like this?
Continuous good oral hygiene is essential to maintain teeth and especially crowns
This includes regular checkups to the dentist.
A night guard is also recommended for certain procedures such as Harry's.
This is a guard that is worn during the night to protect the new crowns and prevent wear on the opposing teeth.

Dr. Dana Levy                                                             Connie
Periodontist                                                                  Treatment Coordinator

Jonathan Mursic RDT