What do I do if a tooth gets knocked out?
If a child loses a tooth, you first must determine if the tooth is a primary (baby) tooth or a permanent (adult) tooth. If a primary tooth is lost, no attempt should be made to reimplant the tooth as there is a risk of damaging the developing permanent tooth. If a permanent tooth is lost, find the tooth and pick up the tooth by the crown (the white part) while avoid touching the root. If the tooth is dirty, rinse the tooth under cold water for a maximum of 10 seconds. If possible, the tooth should be gently repositioned in place and emergency dental treatment should be seen immediately. If the tooth cannot be repositioned immediately, the tooth should be placed in milk or if milk is not available, the person who lost the tooth can spit into a small container and use the saliva to transport the tooth. Never use water to transport a tooth.
What is a root canal?
When a root canal is recommended as a treatment, it means that pulp inside the tooth, which contains the nerve and blood vessels, has become damaged beyond repair and as a result, will start to breakdown. As the breakdown continues, bacteria will multiply to the point of causing an infection or an abscess. To prevent this, a dentist will open the tooth from a small opening in the top of the tooth, remove the infected pulp, flush the inside of the tooth to remove the bacteria and a filling material is placed in the canals to prevent the regrowth of bacteria. Frequently after root canal is performed, a crown is highly recommended as teeth that have had a root canal are more likely to fracture if a crown isn’t placed.
I just had a baby, at what age should they be seen by the dentist?
The Canadian Dental Association recommends that an infant should be seen by a dentist within 6 months of the first eruption of a baby tooth or by one year of age. This first visit will allow for a quick screen to make sure dental development is proceeding normally. It will also allow for parent education on the topic of proper dental health and prevention of cavities. Following the first visit, it is common to see a child every 6 months to catch any issues early while allowing for continued assessment of preventative measures.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. An artificial tooth is then placed on top of the titanium to give the appearance of a natural tooth. A dental implant is not removable and is generally indistinguishable from natural teeth. After it is determined that a natural tooth can no longer be saved and must be extracted, a dental implant can be considered. It is common after a tooth is extracted to let the bone heal where the tooth was extracted for 4-6 months. After healing, a small surgical procedure is performed to place the dental implant in the jawbone. The bone in the jaw is allowed to grow around the implant for approximately 4 months before the artificial tooth is placed on top.
Why are my teeth sensitive and what can I do about it?
Tooth sensitivity is a very common problem and affects a significant proportion of the population. It is often caused by changes in temperature or exposing teeth to acidic food such as limes or grapefruit. Overtime, the enamel that covers all teeth can begin to thin or the gum surrounding teeth can recede causing dentin, the layer below the enamel, to be exposed. Within dentin are thousands of small openings that allow for signals (i.e. temperature changes) to be transmitted to the nerve of the tooth resulting in the sensation of pain. There are many treatments to help reduce the sensitivity sensation. At home treatments involve switching to desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne and switching to a very soft toothbrush to prevent losing anymore enamel or gums in the area of the sensitive teeth. If sensitivity continues, contact the office as there are multiple treatments a dentist can provide to reduce and even relieve your sensitive teeth.