5 Types of Dental Phobias, and How to Cope (Part 1)

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Introduction

dental phobiaDentophobia, or fear of dentists, is a widespread phobia, occurring in patients of all ages. Dental fears can stem from other phobias, such as the fear of needles, or the fear of pain. The origin of dentophobia is less important than where it may lead; people with a fear of going to the dentist will often avoid the dental chair until they have what is considered a dental emergency such as a toothache or an abscessed tooth. Understanding where these fears may originate and learning how to cope with them, will help you optimize your dental health. There are many dental clinics in Coquitlam that are equipped to aid patients with dental phobias.

Anxiety, Fear or Phobia?

It is important to know the difference between having an anxiety, fear or phobia of dentistry.

– A dental anxiety is a response to an unknown danger. Anxiety itself is common, and most people experience it at the dentist especially if they are about to undergo a procedure that they have not encountered before. Anxiety is the fear of the unknown.

– A dental fear is a reaction to a known danger. Usually based on past experience, a dental fear will trigger a fight-or-flight response.

– A dental phobia is similar to a dental fear, but much stronger. A dental phobia can be triggered just from the thought of it. Someone who has a dental phobia will avoid dental care with a passion, until a dental emergency arises. Unfortunately, this can result in a vicious cycle, as dental emergencies are often painful, which can lead to a less than happy experience at the dentist. If a dental phobic person has another bad experience, this will validate their phobia, and the cycle starts again.

Stay tuned! Next week we will identify Form of Dental Phobias, and unlock the secrets of how to cope.

Facts About Root Canal (Part 2)

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toothache-causesAre You In Pain and Need A Root Canal?

It is not an easy decision to choose a dentist to have a root canal therapy done by. Most of the time, we wonder which dentist can perform a root canal. Root canal is a very sensitive dental procedure that needs a lot of experience and training. However, Root canal therapy is considered a basic procedure, and can be done by your dentist.

Your Tooth after a Root Canal

Post-root canal therapy, your tooth will no longer have access to the blood and nutrients that the dental pulp provides, and can become brittle over time. Also, the extent of decay and subsequent loss of tooth structure leaves your tooth vulnerable. If the tooth is a molar, and the tooth is subjected to great force daily, the tooth will almost certainly fracture. A tooth that has undergone root canal therapy should have an artificial crown to protect the remaining structure of the tooth, and to provide a solid structure for chewing.

If you are looking for a dentist to educate you about your dental needs, call us at (604) 552 – 2241.

Facts About Root Canal (Part 1)

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Root Canal and Phobias

For some, root canal therapy is one of the most feared dental treatments. This is perhaps due to the abscess that may have made the root canal necessary in the first place. However, rest assured that modern root canal therapy is relatively painless, as the pain can be controlled with freezing (local anesthetic). Furthermore, pain control medication can be administered before and/or after the treatment is underway to make the patient as comfortable as possible.

root-canalParts of the tooth

The living tissue of the tooth that is made up of blood vessels and connective tissue is called dental pulp. Dental pulp is the medium that allows the flow of blood and nutrients to the tooth. If the dental pulp dies, the tooth is considered non-vital, or dead. Dental pulp lives in the structures of the tooth called the pulp chamber, and the root canals. The pulp chamber is inside the upper part of the tooth called the crown. The pulp in the pulp chamber extends down into the long narrow part(s) of the tooth called the root canals, which are located inside the roots of the tooth.

What is Root Canal Therapy?

A root canal (root canal therapy) is a treatment of the tooth pulp sometimes done in more than one visit. The treatment consists of local freezing and isolating the tooth with a rubber dam for preparation. Then the Dentist or Endodontist will use a drill and other tools to expose the pulp chamber and root canals before cleaning the pulp out of the tooth. Next, the tooth is further decontaminated with an irrigating solution. Next, an inert filling material called gutta-percha is put into the root canals to take up the now empty space inside the root canals. The rest of the tooth is then filled with either a temporary or permanent filling. The result is the elimination of infected pulp tissue and tooth structure, and the protection of the decontaminated tooth from future infections.

root-canal-2Why is the Procedure Performed?

Root canal therapy is made necessary when an infected tooth is present, or when tooth decay is expected to permanently damage the pulp of the tooth. A tooth can be infected without the patient knowing, which is why routine checkups with x-rays are very important. Root canal therapy is designed to save the tooth so that it does not require extraction. Extraction is a last resort for an infected tooth, and is not desirable because a missing tooth in an arch can cause neighboring teeth to drift out of place, and can cause problems with the jaw.

Should you have any further questions about root canal therapy, please contact our Coquitlam dentist, Dr. Ashnaei, at Glen Dental Centre (604) 552 – 2241.

Next week we will discuss who can perform a Root Canal.

Types of Orthodontic Treatments

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Orthodontic treatmentThere are a variety of ways to correct malocclusion, and depending on your specific malocclusion, a combination of methods may be used. The different methods of treatment are as follows:

Braces – This is the most common orthodontic treatment, consisting of brackets bonded to each tooth, with a wire secured to the brackets with rubber loops, often called ‘donuts’
Headgear – works in tandem with braces, and is attached to the braces with hooks. The headgear is then anchored to the head using straps. Headgear is usually only worn at night or while sleeping.
Removable Appliances – These are non-fixed appliances that are not adhered to the teeth. They can be classified as active, passive, and functional depending on what the appliance is meant to accomplish. Invisalign or clear aligners are a type of Removable appliance
Retainers – Fixed or removable, retainers hold the position after orthodontic treatment has been done.
Oral Surgery – This can either be removing teeth in a crowded arch, or jaw surgery to correct an anatomical malocclusion.

Braces

Braces these days are a lot less conspicuous, and that is due to their smaller size. There are the traditional ‘metal’ braces, as well as tooth-coloured ceramic braces that are far less noticeable. Braces can also come multi-coloured or clear.

After having brackets and an arch wire installed, you may experience some discomfort. It is advised to eat softer foods following the initial placement and subsequent adjustments. It doesn’t take long to get used to them, however, and irritation can be kept at bay with the use of orthodontic wax.

Having braces is a big responsibility hygienically, and requires greater diligence. Due to the change of landscape in your mouth (the brackets and arch wire), plaque can deposit itself more easily. It can build up around the edges of the brackets, and can cause staining if not properly removed.

Brushing and flossing will now take longer, and will be more difficult to accomplish. Braces have to be thoroughly brushed very regularly to keep from accumulating plaque, and the archwire can provide a challenge for flossing. Your dentist or orthodontist will show you how to properly floss and clean now that you have braces. Children often need supervision to ensure that they are adhering to the advice of their orthodontist.

How to Care for Braces

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care for bracesCare is needed to keep the braces in good repair. It is not recommended to bite hard food items, and certainly non-food items such as packaging, or writing instruments. Also, for the duration of your orthodontic treatment with braces, it is advised to stay away from sticky foods such as caramels, or gum, because they can loosen brackets, or distort the arch wire. If such a thing happens, a visit to your dentist or orthodontist is needed in order to repair the braces.

Sometimes, an elastic or donut can come off, or the arch wire can stick out, poking the inside of the cheek. If this happens, you may be able to reattach the elastic with a pair of tweezers. The arch wire can be coaxed back into place, taking care not to cause injury with the loose end. Always make sure to call your dentist or orthodontist afterward to make sure that the braces are functioning properly, as any setback can cause treatment to take longer to complete.

Headgear

This orthodontic treatment is to correct malocclusion in a patient whose jaw is still growing. It is fitted around the head or neck, and it puts targeted pressure, guiding the movement of the teeth, and growth of the jaw. There are different types of headgear which are used at different stages of orthodontics.

Removable Appliances

These appliances are not considered to be as precise as braces, however, they can be used to move one or more teeth in an arch. They are fitted to the mouth from impressions that are taken, and can be worn before, during or independently of braces.

Retainers

Once orthodontic treatment is over, and the brackets removed, the maintenance phase starts. Retainers are used to keep the newly aligned teeth in their positions. Retainers can be bonded to the teeth (fixed) or in the form of a removable appliance. They can either be worn full time or part time.

 Oral Surgery

Your dentist may need to remove a tooth from an overcrowded arch as part of orthodontic treatment. Sometimes, jaw surgery is needed to correct a size or position difference between the upper and lower jaws. If Jaw surgery is required, your dentist or orthodontist will refer you to a maxillofacial surgeon who has special education in this area.

Orthodontics for You!? (PART III)

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It is a common misconception that orthodontic treatment such as braces and clear aligners are only for children and teens.

orthodontics-before-afterIn actuality, teeth can benefit from orthodontics at any age, and as a result, there has been an increase of adults opting for orthodontic treatment.

In some cases, it is beneficial to commence an orthodontic case before all adult teeth have erupted. This type of treatment is called interceptive orthodontics, as it is the act of correcting a malocclusion before it develops in its entirety. For this reason, it is important for children to have check ups regularly, as their dentist can screen for any developing malocclusions and start treatment early, or refer the child to an Orthodontist.

Every mouth is different, therefore every orthodontic case is different as well. The amount of time it takes to treat one patient can range from months to years, depending on the type of treatment, and the severity of the bad bite (malocclusion), as well as the age of the patient. The average orthodontic patient has regular appointments for approximately two years.

Is Orthodontics for You? (Part II)

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Types of malocclusions

malocclusionsThere are many types of functional and anatomical maladies that can be corrected with the use of braces and clear aligners. The most common are

overcrowding and malocclusion (also called a bad bite).

– Overjet: this is where the upper front teeth extend beyond what is considered normal.

– Deep bite: A deep bite is determined by now far the upper front teeth overlap. If they cover too much of the lower teeth, this is called a deep bite.

– Underbite: This is where the upper front teeth sit inside the lower front teeth when the jaw is closed and at rest. An underbite puts a patient at risk for jaw (TMJ) issues, and chipped teeth.

– Open Bite: An open bite happens when the front teeth don’t meet when the jaw is closed and the back teeth are occluded. An open bite can make it difficult to bite food properly.

– Gaps between teeth: This is the opposite of overcrowding, where the teeth have visible space between them.

– Crossbite: A crossbite is where the teeth are misaligned when the jaw is closed. For instance, the mid point between your two upper front teeth should line up with the mid point of your lower front teeth. If they do not line up, this is called a crossbite.

– Crowded/overlapping teeth: This is where there is not enough room in the arch of your jaw for all of your teeth to sit straight and flush, and instead they twist and overlap. Overcrowded teeth can prove more difficult to maintain good hygiene, as tartar can easily build up in the corners of the overlapping teeth.

These malocclusions are not just cosmetic, and can contribute to chipped or broken teeth, and even jaw pain. Having orthodontic treatment for these functional problems can improve your overall health as a result.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

Is Orthodontic Treatment Right for You?

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PART I

orthodonticsIf you ever find yourself hesitating to show your teeth when smiling, orthodontic treatment may be right for you.

Brackets with an arch wire (braces) and in many cases, clear aligners, can straighten a crooked, crowded smile, as well as correct anatomical problems. These devices apply targeted pressure where needed to gently but effectively correct a patient’s smile or bite.

If your teeth don’t fit together properly when closed, this is classified as a functional problem that can result in digestion issues, chipped or warn down teeth, and even muscle pain. Orthodontic treatment can correct this malfunction with the added bonus of creating a beautiful smile. Dr. Ashnaei is a certified practitioner of orthodontics as well as Invisalign clear aligners. If you think you may be a candidate, don’t hesitate to call us for a complimentary consultation today!

TO BE CONTINUED…

Are You Sure You Are Brushing Your Child’s Teeth Properly?

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Not everybody knows how to brush his or her teeth properly. Often dental professionals see damaged gums that are the result of brushing teeth incorrectly. When it comes to your own child’s dental health, you’ll want to ensure you are brushing their teeth the right way. Read through the following tips to make sure you are doing it correctly. Read more

Do You Know How to Choose the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste for Your Child?

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When shopping for a new toothbrush for your child, you can easily feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of toothbrush choices. Some toothbrushes might come in your child’s favorite color or have your child’s favorite cartoon character, which may influence your decision. Because of this, it is very important to have right knowledge when it comes to children’s toothbrushes. Keep the following tips in mind when shopping for a new toothbrush: Read more

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