Posts for: June, 2017
For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.
Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.
If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.
If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.
When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.
When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment.Â Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.
And as for Noah Galloway:Â In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!
If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”
Your dentist may have asked you this question several times in the past: are you flossing your teeth? An even better question is “are you flossing the right way to ensure a clean and healthy mouth?” Learn the best flossing techniques and make it a point to have your teeth cleaned professionally at Higgs Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Conway, soon.
As beneficial as flossing may be, many people simply don’t do it—at least not daily. The American Dental Association estimates that only 50 percent of Americans floss their teeth every day and about 18 percent of people don’t floss at all. Flossing your teeth properly and regularly offers the following benefits:
- Reduced risk of gum disease and periodontitis
- Lessened appearance of unattractive yellow plaque around the gumline
- Fresher, better smelling breath (because odor causing bacteria is controlled)
- A generally healthier and whiter smile
The Right Way to Floss
Some patients floss, but don’t do it as they should. Consider this advice for flossing the right way:
- Use a lengthy piece of floss so that you can fully cover the entire mouth
- Move the floss from the base of the gumline upwards to remove food and plaque
- Gently wrap the floss around the front and back tooth surfaces as well as the sides to ensure that you get everything clean.
- Avoid using the same part of the floss on different quadrants of the mouth (to avoid the potential transfer of bad bacteria from one place to another)
Signs You’re Doing a Good Job
When you’re flossing regularly and correctly, both you and your Conway dentist can tell. Here are a few signs that your flossing technique is working:
- Your teeth feel clean and smooth when you run your tongue over them
- Your breath starts to smell fresher
- No calculus or hard tartar needs to be removed for your next dental cleaning
Time for a Cleaning?
The best way to initiate a proper flossing habit is to first have your teeth professionally cleaned by one of our experienced and caring hygienists (Kim and Amy) at Higgs Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Conway. Once they’re plaque and tartar free, floss daily to ensure they stay that way. Call (501) 329-7474 to schedule a checkup.
If you’re in the initial planning stages for a dental implant, you may already be encountering a number of options to consider. One that may come up is how the visible crown will attach to the metal implant imbedded in the bone.
Generally speaking, implants are composed of two parts: a metal post most often made of titanium placed into the bone that serves as the “root” for the new tooth; and a visible, life-like crown made of dental porcelain that attaches to an abutment on the titanium post. The crown can be attached in one of two ways: either with a small screw through the biting surface of the crown into a receiving hole in the abutment or cemented to it.
The major advantage of a screwed crown is that it allows for easy removal of the crown if needed. While the titanium post can often last a lifetime, porcelain crowns more often need repair or replacement since they receive the brunt of the biting forces in the mouth. A screw-attached crown is much easier to remove than a cemented one.
On the other hand, screwed crowns have a small access hole that must be restored with a tooth-colored filling to help the crown appear natural. This isn’t too great an issue with back teeth but does make achieving a natural appearance in the front more difficult. Cemented crowns look more like a natural tooth and are thus more flexible in achieving the desired appearance.
Besides the possibility the cement may cause gum inflammation or bone loss, the chief detraction from cemented crowns is the difficulty in removing them. Crowns are often damaged in this process so it’s highly likely it will have to be replaced rather than repaired. It’s possible to use weaker cement, but this raises the risk of the crown coming loose at some point from the abutment.
As we plan for your implant, we’ll discuss which type of attachment will work best for you, depending on the tooth to be replaced and other conditions with your oral health. The end result, though, should be the same — a new, natural-looking tooth that serves you well for many years to come.
If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “How Crowns Attach to Implants.”