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Posts for: January, 2017

January 17, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth extractions  

Find out if your child may actually require a tooth extraction.

It was a fun time in your child’s life when they lost their baby teeth. Chances are your little one was excited too (but perhaps they were tooth extractionsmore excited about the Tooth Fairy bringing them a treat). But now that they have permanent teeth you are doing everything you can to ensure that they maintain that healthy smile. Regardless, there will be times where our Lake Havasu City, AZ, pediatric dentist may recommend a tooth extraction.

Why Your Child Might Need a Tooth Extracted

While there is never a good time to discover this, there are certain scenarios in which having a tooth removed is the best option. If your child has teeth that are so terribly decayed or infected that even a root canal can’t improve the tooth, then our Lake Havasu City children’s dentist will need to remove it. Also, if the tooth is broken or fractured so severely that the tooth’s structure is no longer viable and even a dental crown can’t protect it, then the tooth will need to be extracted.

Sometimes, before orthodontic treatment, we will need to remove a tooth prior to getting braces if teeth are so severely crowded that teeth won’t be able to move into the proper position.

Getting a Tooth Extracted

Many parents worry about their child’s anxiety surrounding this procedure, but our goal is to make your child’s procedure as easy as possible. The type of extraction they get will depend on whether the tooth is completely visible and easy to remove. In this case, we can gently extract the tooth with special tools. Don’t worry; a local anesthetic is always used to numb the area fully so your little one won’t feel a thing.

If the tooth is impacted, meaning that it’s still partially under the gums and isn’t fully visible, then we will need to numb the area and then offer some form of sedation to help your child fully relax during their procedure. To calm any fears you may have don’t hesitate to sit down and talk with us about your child’s upcoming treatment.

If you have questions about tooth extractions or if you need to schedule your child’s next routine visit, call Cosmic Kids Dentistry in Lake Havasu City, AZ. We pride ourselves on providing compassionate, comfortable and complete dental care for your little ones.

By Just 4 Kids Dentistry
January 16, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.

In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.

For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.

Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.

It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.

That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”

We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?

By Just 4 Kids Dentistry
January 08, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: mouth sores  

When you visit us for your regular checkup we're examining more than your teeth and gums. We're also checking to see if you're having problems with soft tissues in and around your mouth.

Besides canker sores, rashes or other types of abnormalities, our exam may uncover strange looking lesions known as lichen planus on the inside of the mouth. These purple-tinted bumps or rash-like discolorations are named for their similarity in appearance to lichen fungi found on trees or rocks. Although these mouth sores may look odd, they're fairly rare and usually do not cause concern.

Most people don't even know they have lichen planus until it's discovered during a dental exam. If there are any symptoms, it's usually a feeling of roughness, tenderness or itching. They may increase your sensitivity to spicy or acidic foods, but rarely cause extreme pain. If they're located around the gums, you may also notice a little soreness after brushing or eating.

To confirm it is lichen planus, we need to perform a biopsy. During this procedure, we remove a tiny amount of the affected tissue and have it examined microscopically. We do this not only to determine the correct diagnosis, but also to rule out more serious problems like pre-cancerous lesions or oral cancer.

Thankfully, though, this worst case scenario is quite rare, and although the condition can't be cured, there are some things you can do to keep any discomfort to a minimum. If the lesions are irritating, we recommend using a soft toothbrush with gentle brushing action. You may also want to limit or avoid spicy or acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, hot peppers and caffeinated drinks. Managing stress can also help. For some extreme conditions, we can prescribe a topical steroid to help relieve discomfort.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, be sure to contact us or point it out at your next appointment. Once we know what we're dealing with, we can take steps to treat you.

If you would like more information on different types of mouth sores, 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 “Lichen Planus.”