Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Booker Family Dentistry
September 11, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental injury  
ActQuicklyWithaKnockedOutToothtoEnsureItsLong-TermSurvival

We Americans love our sports, whether as participants or spectators. But there's also a downside to contact sports like soccer, football or basketball: a higher risk of injury, particularly to the mouth and face. One of the most severe of these is a knocked out tooth.

Fortunately, that doesn't necessarily mean it's lost: The tooth can be reinserted into the empty socket and eventually return to normal functionality. But it must be done as soon as possible after injury. The more time elapses, the lower the chances of long-term survival.

That's because of how teeth are held in place in the jaw, secured by an elastic, fibrous tissue known as the periodontal ligament. When a tooth is knocked out some of the ligament's periodontal cells remain on the tooth's root. If these cells are alive when the tooth is reinserted, they can regenerate and reestablish attachment between the ligament and the tooth.

Eventually, though, the cells can dry out and die. If that has already happened before reinsertion, the tooth's root will fuse instead with the underlying bone. The tooth may survive for a short time, but its roots can eventually dissolve and the tooth will be lost.

Your window of opportunity for taking advantage of these live periodontal cells is only 5-20 minutes with the best chances in those earlier minutes. You should, therefore, take these steps immediately after an injury:

  1. Find the tooth, hold it by the crown (not the root end), and rinse off any debris with clean water;
  2. Reinsert the root end into the empty socket with firm pressure;
  3. Place clean gauze or cloth in the person's mouth between the tooth and the other jaw, and ask them to bite down gently and hold their bite;
  4. Seek dental or emergency medical care immediately;
  5. If you're unable to reinsert the tooth, place it quickly in a container with milk and see a dentist immediately.

You can also obtain an Android or IOS smartphone app developed by the International Association of Dental Traumatology called ToothSOS, which will guide you through this process, as well as for other dental emergencies. The quicker you act, the better the chances that the injured person's knocked out tooth can be rescued.

If you would like more information on what to do in a dental emergency, 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 “When a Tooth is Knocked Out.”

By Booker Family Dentistry
August 05, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canals  

A root canal is a dental treatment designed to remove bacteria from the canals of your tooth's root. When you undergo a root canal, the dentist removes infected pulp from the inside of your tooth. After the canal is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, the dentist fills and seals the tooth. If you live in Trenton, Dr. Nicholas Booker performs root canals and other dental services to help you maintain excellent oral health. Keep reading to learn more about root canals and how they benefit your teeth.

A root canal is a hollow area located inside your tooth. Inside this hollow area are blood vessels, nerve tissue and a group of cells called the pulp. When this area becomes infected, you experience pain. As a result, your dentist may suggest you receive a root canal.

What Causes Your Root Canal to Become Infected?

Root canals become infected because of various reasons. You may have a cracked tooth because of an injury, a deep cavity or problems that are related to a previous cavity feeling.

How do you know that your root canal is infected? Some of the symptoms include:

  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Facial Swelling
  • Cracked tooth
  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Tender or swollen gums
  • Pimples on the gums
  • Dark or decaying gums

How is a Root Canal Performed?

A root canal is completed in the following three steps:

  1. The dentist gives you local anesthesia. After administering anesthesia, the dentist creates a small hole in the surface of your tooth in order to access the infected area. Next, the dentist removes the dead or infected pulp from the root canal.
  2. The dentist cleans and disinfects the root canal. They fill the hollow area with a rubber-like substance. Next, the dentist uses an adhesive cement to permanently seal the root canal. Since the nerve tissue and infection have been removed from the canal, you will no longer feel any pain in the tooth.
  3. The dentist creates a crown or filling to protect the repaired tooth.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Schedule your appointment in Trenton with a dentist who performs root canals. Dr. Nicholas Booker provides a wide range of services that will help you achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile. Contact us for your appointment by calling (734) 675-5700.

TheRealTruthBehindEdHelmsMissingToothinTheHangover

Ed Helms is best known for his role as the self-absorbed, Ivy League sales rep, Andy Bernard, on television's The Office. But to millions of fans he's also Stu, a member of a bachelor trip to Las Vegas in the 2009 movie The Hangover. In it, Stu and his friends wake up from a wild night on the Strip to find some things missing: the groom-to-be, their memories and, for Stu, a front tooth.

In reality, the missing tooth gag wasn't a Hollywood makeup or CGI (computer-generated imagery) trick—it was Ed Helm's actual missing tooth. According to Helms, the front tooth in question never developed and he had obtained a dental implant to replace it. He had the implant crown removed for the Hangover movie and then replaced after filming.

Helms' dental situation isn't that unusual. Although most of the 170 million-plus teeth missing from Americans' mouths are due to disease or trauma, a few happened because the teeth never formed. While most of these congenitally missing teeth are in the back of the mouth, a few, as in Helms' case, involve front teeth in the “smile zone,” which can profoundly affect appearance.

Fortunately, people missing undeveloped teeth have several good options to restore their smiles and dental function. The kind of tooth missing could help determine which option to use. For example, a bridge supported by the teeth on either side of the gap might work well if the teeth on either side are in need of crowns.

If the missing tooth happens to be one or both of the lateral incisors (on either side of the centermost teeth), it could be possible to move the canine teeth (the pointy ones, also called eye teeth) to fill the gap. This technique, known as canine substitution, may also require further modification—either by softening the canines' pointed tips, crowning them or applying veneers—to help the repositioned teeth look more natural.

The optimal solution, though, is to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant which then has a lifelike crown attached to it, as Ed Helms did to get his winning smile. Implant-supported replacement teeth are closest to natural teeth in terms of both appearance and function. Implants, though, shouldn't be placed until the jaw has fully developed, usually in early adulthood. A younger person may need a temporary restoration like a bonded bridge or a partial denture until they're ready for an implant.

Whatever the method, there's an effective way to restore missing teeth. Seeing us for an initial exam is the first step toward your own winning smile.

If you would like more information about restoring missing teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants.”

By Booker Family Dentistry
July 07, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Six Month Smiles  

What Six Month Smiles Can Do for You

If your teeth are misaligned you may feel self-conscious about smiling or speaking, even around close friends and family members. Crooked teeth can also affect your oral health by causing teeth grinding, excessive wear, and TMJ disorders. Six Month Smiles offer a quick and affordable way to correct misaligned teeth and give you a confident smile. Dr. Nicholas Booker is a cosmetic dentist at Booker Family Dentistry in Trenton, MI. He is happy to discuss Six Month Smiles and if they are the right option for you.

What are Six Month Smiles?

Six Month Smiles have taken traditional braces and made them work faster and look better. They use brackets and wires to apply gentle pressure for tooth realignment just like traditional braces, but the devices match the color of your teeth, so they are less visible and you don’t have to feel embarrassed about wearing them.

The Benefits of Six Month Smiles

Trenton dental patients have found the following benefits from using Six Month Smiles as an alternative to traditional dental braces:

  • Quick treatment: realignment with traditional braces can take between twelve months and two years. However, if Six Month Smiles are a good fit for your needs, as their name suggests, they take only six months to align your teeth. So, you have a great smile sooner.
  • Suitable for all ages: Because of their discreet look, Six Month Smiles are popular with adult dental patients, but they can also be used by teens.
  • Money-saving: Because less time is involved in your treatment with Six Month Smiles, you have fewer dental visits. This saves you time and money.
  • A customized service: Six Month Smiles are designed just for you with a focus on patient comfort. Braces are designed with lighter and more flexible materials than traditional braces so comfort and ease are enhanced.

If you live in Trenton and you would like to find out more about Six Months Smiles, call Dr. Booker on (734) 675-5700.

WithProperCarePartialDenturesareaViableToothReplacementOption

When you hear the word “dentures” you probably think of an appliance that replaces all the teeth on a dental arch. But there is another type: a removable partial denture (RPD), which can be a viable option for replacing a few missing teeth.

An RPD rests on the bony gum ridges that once held the missing teeth and are secured with clasps or other attachments to adjacent teeth. While lightweight, RPDs are designed to last for many years — they’re made of vitallium, a light but very strong metal alloy that reduces the RPD’s thickness. Recently, metal-free partial dentures are being used that don’t have the fit or longevity of the vitallium partial dentures, but are considered more of a cosmetic solution.

RPDs are custom-made for each individual patient to accommodate the number, location and distribution of teeth missing throughout the mouth. Their design must also reflect the health and stability of the gums and remaining natural teeth to ensure they won’t move unduly during normal mouth function, and will be as lifelike and unnoticeable as possible.

RPDs have been a mainstay in dentistry for many years and represent a less expensive tooth replacement option than implants or fixed bridgework. But they do have their downsides: because of their method of attachment to the remaining natural teeth they tend to accumulate plaque, which increases the risk of both periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay. Their fit requires that they attach to the adjacent teeth that will cause some damage and lead to their looseness over time.

If you wear an RPD, there are some things you can do to decrease these problems. First and foremost, you should clean your RPD thoroughly every day, as well as brush and floss your remaining teeth to reduce plaque buildup especially at contact points. Be sure to remove the RPD at night while you sleep. And keep up regular dental visits not only for additional plaque removal but also to allow us to inspect the RPD for problems or wear.

An RPD is a viable option for improving mouth function and restoring your smile after multiple tooth loss. With proper care and maintenance, your RPD can serve you well for many years to come.

If you would like more information on removable partial dentures, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Partial Dentures.”