Monday, March 4, 2019

Facts about topical fluoride varnish

Why is it when you go to the dental office, your dentist or dental hygienist usually recommends fluoride treatment after you get your teeth cleaned?  How long do you have to wait before you can eat and drink after getting professional fluoride treatment?  Find out why fluoride is a safe and cost effective method of reducing tooth decay.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

NBA player suffers tooth injury during basketball game

NBA player Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered a front tooth injury during a basketball game against the Miami Heat on March 27, 2018.  An opposing player accidentally hit Love's upper front tooth, causing a likely subluxation.  Clinically a subluxated tooth demonstrates mobility, pain, and tenderness to touch.

Radiographically the tooth would need to be evaluated for possible coronal and/or root fracture.  Assuming the root and natural crown are not involved, a splint would be placed immediately for 2 weeks to stabilize the injured tooth; the affected tooth is then re-evaluated 2-4 weeks, 6-8 weeks, 6 months, and periodically every year.  If the injury causes pulpal injury, a root canal may be indicated.  If the injured tooth remains mobile and suffers bone loss, the tooth may ultimately need to be evaluated for a dental implant.

Sports players should consider, as a preventive measure, getting fitted for a protective sportsguard to help protect against possible injuries to their maxillary dentition.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cleaning a dental implant

Dental implants should be treated like a regular tooth; the implant needs to be kept clean, free of bacteria, plaque, and food debris.  If the dental prosthesis is not cleaned regularly, infection may develop and result in implant failure.

Dental implants have become a popular treatment choice to restore missing space that may be placed due to fractured tooth that is not restorable, a tooth with repeated failed endodontic therapy, an abscessed tooth that required removal, a tooth lost due to severe periodontal disease, tooth lost due to accidental trauma requiring emergency dentistry, or to replace a space from a congenitally missing tooth.

Once the implant is integrated and the implant abutment and crown are placed, the implant needs to be cleaned daily at home. At home, twice a day brushing is crucial to remove surface bacteria, food debris, and plaque.  Daily flossing is required to remove plaque trapped between the implant and the adjacent tooth or crown.  A water pick is a good supplement to help flush bacteria that may be trapped underneath the gum line.

At the dental clinic during your checkup and dental cleaning appointment, the hygienist will help flush out bacteria around the implant's gingiva with a high speed water unit.  A plastic dental scaler may also be used to hand remove trapped mineral deposits and food plaque in and around periodontal pockets.  The plastic dental scaler is intentionally used to avoid possible accidental trauma to the implant from a metal instrument.  If the implant is not kept clean, a periodontal abscess may result and require surgery to drain the infection, resulting from peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis can exhibit radiographic loss of supporting bone and bleeding upon probing.  Advanced bone loss can lead to implant mobility, loss and extraction of the implant.  At this point you and your dentist can decide if another implant procedure is appropriate.

Keeping a dental implant free of plaque and debris is vital to the longevity and success of your implant.  If you have any questions, be sure to consult with your family dentist.

From the desk of your Bellevue dentist,
Peter Chien, DMD, MPH

Monday, October 2, 2017

Signs of impacted wisdom tooth

Have you been having radiating pain behind your second molars?  Lingering jaw and/or sinus pain?  It's possible you may have a impacted wisdom tooth.  Be sure to read my blog and find out about potential warning signs of an impacted wisdom tooth and its treatment.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Did you know in the 1800s barbers and blacksmiths also served as dentists?

Here's a little known dental fact: Did you know in the 1800s barbers and blacksmiths also served as dentists?  Imagine getting a haircut and a dental cleaning at the same place!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Dentalfact: Only 12% of people floss daily.

Here's a little known dental fact.  Did you know only 12% of people floss daily?  By flossing daily, you are able to remove pesky bacteria and food debris between your teeth, decreasing your chance of developing cavities between your teeth, and also decreasing your chance of periodontal/gum disease.