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Here’s The Thing About Oral And Maxillofacial Surgery

As of 2016, more than 196,000 dentists are actively practicing in the United States based on a report by the American Dental Association.

Out of this number, 21 percent are considered dental specialists. Currently, ADA acknowledges nine dental specialties such as the Endodontics, Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Dental Public Health, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, and Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.

The Nine Dental Specialists

  1. An endodontist is the dental specialist tapped when it comes to concerns about the dental pulp and its surrounding tissues.
  2. A prosthodontist deals with the creation of artificial teeth like dentures, implants, and bridges which are used to repair and maintain the health, function, and appearance of a person’s teeth and maxillofacial structures.
  3. A periodontist helps prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases related to the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.
  4. A pediatric dentist is concerned with the preventive and therapeutic care of children up to their teenage years.
  5. An orthodontist prevents, diagnoses, intercepts, and corrects misaligned teeth or malocclusion. He or she also repairs neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of the orofacial structures.
  6. A public health dentist serves the community through the promotion of dental health, prevention, and control of dental diseases.
  7. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon performs surgery to diagnose and treat dental injuries and diseases in hopes of restoring the oral and maxillofacial region’s functions and aesthetics.
  8. An oral and maxillofacial radiologist is a specialist in the production and interpretation of images and data which are often used for diagnosis.
  9. An oral and maxillofacial pathologist is in-charge of examining causes, processes, and effects of dental diseases, as well as, in identifying and managing pathologies of the oral and maxillofacial region.

Zooming in on Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

As mentioned above, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon deals with the treatment of the whole craniomaxillofacial complex which includes the mouth, jaws, face, and skull.

ADA added the specialty to its recognized list of dental specialties in October 1990. Other countries like Australia, United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe consider oral and maxillofacial surgery both as a dental and medical specialty. Therefore, practice in oral and maxillofacial surgery in these countries requires degrees in dentistry and medicine.

How to be an oral surgeon

To be an oral surgeon, you must undergo extensive education and training and a surgical expertise. If you dream to practice this dental specialty in the future, you must complete a pre-dental education, a dental education, additional hours of training and residency.

Most dental schools require a two-year, college-level pre-dental education, while a dental education takes four years of basic dental training to graduate with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.

Afterward, a minimum of four years under a hospital-based surgical residency program is necessary, making the average education and training years of aspiring oral surgeons 12 to 14 years.

What are the common dental problems an oral surgeon deals?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon usually performs surgery for impacted teeth especially when it involves a wisdom tooth, tooth loss (using dental implants), jaw-related problems like temporomandibular joint disorder, and other conditions such as broken facial bones.

Endodontics: Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide!

The pulp, along with the enamel, dentin, and cementum, comprises the four major components of a tooth. It lies at the center of the tooth and beneath the dentin, a calcified tissue covered by the enamel.

The pulp is composed of nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels. During a tooth’s development, it forms the hard tissues around the tooth. But once the tooth reached full maturity, the pulp becomes unnecessary in its survival because of the tissues around it which take charge in its nourishment.

Unfortunately, despite the tooth’s capability to survive without the pulp, a swollen or infected pulp can negatively impact the tooth and overall oral health as the dentin-pulp complex rest on the pulp cell activity.

Aside from forming the dentin, the pulp also supplies nutrients and moisture to the organic components of the dentin, perceived extreme temperatures, trauma, and pressures as pain, and forms the secondary dentin.

To treat a swollen or infected pulp, an endodontic treatment must be employed. Endodontic treatment is a procedure made on the inside of a tooth to remove the bacteria or dead tissue.

What is Endodontics?

Aiea dentist conducting dental check-up and x-ray | Hawaii Family Dental

Drawn from the Greek word endo (inside) and odont (teeth), Endodontics is one of the nine dental specialties acknowledged by the American Dental Association. ADA adopted it in December 1983.

Endodontics is in-charge with the pathology, morphology, and physiology of the dental pulp and tissues near or around it. The dental specialty also deals with the study and practice of the fundamental clinical sciences like etiology, the biology of the normal pulp, as well as the treatment of diseases and injuries involving the pulp and its periradicular tissues.

What dental issues call for Endodontic Treatment?

Endodontic treatments are often employed for a cracked tooth, severe tooth pain, and other oral pains. Because of the extensive network of nerves in the mouth, the pain can travel to other tooth or even on the ear, neck, or head.

Traumatic injuries, like a blow on a child’s secondary tooth, call for endodontic treatment as such injury can cause the tooth root’s development to cease. Swelling and pain can be indications of an infected or damaged pulp.

An endodontist, a dentist who specializes in Endodontics, can perform a root canal treatment to save the tooth.

What is a root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment involves the removal of the dental pulp and the cleaning, disinfection, and shaping of the root canals. It also includes filling the area to seal it.

How is a root canal treatment done?

Before getting a root canal treatment, it is recommended that the patient refrain from smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages at least 12 hours before the procedure.

The patient’s tooth will then be X-rayed and examined. Next, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the procedure is to take place.

A dental dam, which is a small protective sheet, will then be placed over the area to set the tooth apart and keep it clean and free from saliva during the root canal treatment.

The endodontist will then create an opening in the crown, clean the infected pulp, and shape the root canal. Using a biocompatible material such as gutta-percha, the insides of the root canal are filled. An adhesive cement will seal the gutta-percha in place, sealing the root canal completely.

What should I expect after a root canal treatment?

Although root canal treatments are perceived to be comfortable and less painful than other dental treatments, tooth sensitivity may be experienced during the first few days following the procedure.

Over-the-counter and prescribed medicines can be used to relieve you of sensitivity or pain. Because of this, you must take caution on your food intake by avoiding hard foods and exposing your mouth to extreme temperatures.

If severe pain persists, go to your dentist.

It is advised to refrain from smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages for a while or until your dentist permits. However, it is best to stop these bad habits because smoking and drinking alcohol heighten risks for infections, decay, and other health-related issues.

Most importantly, keep a good oral care routine by brushing twice a day, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. Good oral hygiene will also help in preventing infection and decay.

Most Effective Ways To Overcome Bad Breath Problem

You have a straight set of teeth. They are pearly white too. Everything seems perfect until you opened your mouth and a stinking smell hits your nose.

Unfortunately, your perfect smile is ruined by your bad breath. And you are not alone as 80 million suffer from pervasive bad breath, while millions of Americans have it occasionally such as during morning or after eating pungent foods like garlic.

 

What is bad breath?

Bad breath, technically known as halitosis, is a foul odor stemming from the mouth due to certain food consumption, alcohol or tobacco use, poor oral habits, a dry mouth, or a particular medical condition.

A foul-smelling breath can have social implications and affect a person’s social interactions. It can be embarrassing, lead to bullying and alienation from peers, and result in anxiety and self-consciousness.

But the most important thing about bad breath is that it is an indication of poor dental health.

 

So, how do you resolve halitosis?

As mentioned above, bad breath is caused by several factors. To address it, you must identify what causes it.

If it is due to a particular food or drink, avoid eating it. If alcohol and tobacco use trigger it, limit or stop your consumption of alcoholic beverages and smoking which will also help you achieve better health as alcohol and tobacco increase the likelihood of diseases.

If your poor oral habits cause it, step up your oral hygiene by religiously brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. Not only your bad breath, but good oral hygiene is vital in fighting decay and infection that can result in tooth loss and gum disease.

If your bad breath is due to dry mouth or xerostomia, you can try drinking plenty of water, reduce your consumption of dry and salty foods, and eat saliva-inducing foods like cheese.

It is also possible that medical conditions and their affiliated medications cause bad breath. Talk to your doctor to better know the appropriate action you can take about it.

Aside from addressing the cause, you can also follow these simple measures to prevent, lessen, and eliminate bad breath.

  • Eat healthy. Keep your diet healthy by including nutritious foods and drinks. Avoid eating sugary and starchy foods because they make your teeth susceptible to tooth decay which can lead to bad breath.

 

  • Stay hydrated. Water is essential in keeping your oral health at its best condition. The liquid washes away left food particles and rinse bacteria that can cause tooth decay. It keeps the mouth moisturized which can help you avoid having a dry mouth.

 

 

  • Clean your tongue. Your teeth are not the only important part of your mouth. Bacteria can stay and breed on your tongue’s surface which will eventually move to your teeth and lead to cavities and bad breath. Give your tongue a gentle brush or use a tongue scraper to make sure your whole mouth is clean.

 

  • Quit smoking. Smoking is bad, especially for your mouth. It causes dry mouth, heightens risk for gum disease, and increases the likelihood of other diseases not only in your oral cavity but your whole body.

 

  • Visit your dentist. A bi-annual visit to your dentist is essential in the prevention of worst dental problems. Along with a check-up, a dental appointment usually includes a dental cleaning that can remove plaque and tartar that a regular oral care routine has missed.

Family Dentists VS General Dentists

An ideal family has people from all age groups and each of them has their own health concerns. When it comes to oral care, kids are likely to get their teeth decayed because of their careless eating habits while adults are more likely to develop issues like cavities or weak gums in the later phase of their life. Apart from this, cosmetic dentistry is quite popular among people of all age groups and some of the family members are surely going to have some kind of cosmetic dentistry or the other at certain phase of their life.

Family Dentistry - Ewa Beach Dentist

Now that you are most likely to consult a dentist for different members of your family and for different reasons, it would be better to find an all in one dentist for the family. A family dentist will be able to treat kids and adults alike and in this way, you will not have to trouble yourself from finding a new dentist every time when a family member requires a dental treatment.

Other than that, there are many advantages of having a family dentist over a regular one. It is easy to communicate with a family dentist in your area and as he has been associated with your family for a long time, he will also have a better understanding of dental concerns of every member of the family. Your family members too are likely to develop a level of comfort with the dentist in a long run and it will be easier for them to explain their oral concerns to him without any problem.

Another advantage of having a family dentist is that he would charge you nominally. As you are his long-term client, therefore, you can expect him to charge reasonable for dental treatment. Many dentists also provide fixed annual consultancy fees and attractive family packages, which could turn out to be a very good bargain overall. Some of them also facilitate repayment of fee in easy installments.

A family dentist is also useful at time of an emergency. If you know the dentist, then you can expect certain favors like on phone consultation and thus save your time and efforts to visit a dentist. You don’t have to wait for an appointment at time of an emergency; you can request the dentist to see you in priority and he is likely to accept your request in view of your long-term association with him.

While general dentists may cater to patients within a specific age range, family dentists treat both adults and children. Infant, child, and adolescent dental care is different from adult dentistry. A family dentistry like Hawaii Family Dental | Honolulu, HI help these patients provides instruction in good oral hygiene and answers questions that make a visit to the dentist much less scary. Teenagers who are candidates for orthodontics learn more about their options, which may include alignment methods that are less visible than traditional braces.

I Am Toothache Free, Are You?

When was the last time you had your dental appointment? Was it a regular visit to the dentist or was it because of a carious tooth that was left untreated and was giving you so much pain? Are you among those who seek for a dental appointment only when an emergency treatment is required?

The most common reason for a painful tooth is a dental cavity. Toothache is one of the most common pains most people experience in their lives at one time or another. The most frequent offending factor of dental cavities is plaque. Dental plaque is a white, sticky film that attaches itself to the tooth surface consisting of bacteria, saliva and food particles. Dental plaque undergoes a chemical reaction when acted upon by bacteria. Acid is created and eats away the tooth enamel. Food stuck in between the teeth can also cause toothache.

When was the last time you had your favorite hot soup or favorite ice cream and felt a striking pain in your teeth like a bolt of lightning suddenly hitting your dentition? Tooth sensitivity can sometimes be interpreted as toothache. You could be suffering from dentinal hypersensitivity if you feel pain in your teeth whenever you take either hot or cold beverages.

This results when the enamel becomes thin, cracks or wears away exposing the next layer and a more sensitive part of the tooth called dentin. This condition is often a result of aging, receding gums, wrong tooth brushing techniques using hard-bristled toothbrushes, the use of abrasives that are often found in whitening toothpastes and dental surgery.

  • Dentinal hypersensitivity can be relieved and further damage to the enamel can be prevented by using toothpaste particularly formulated for sensitive teeth. You should ask your dentist or dental hygienist to teach you how to do the proper tooth brushing technique, which will minimize tooth abrasion and which will enable you to thoroughly remove plaque and food debris without damaging the enamel. Your dentist can also advice you on what to look for in a good toothbrush that and are gentle enough for your sensitive teeth.

Dental pain can also be caused by much more serious conditions such as the following:

  1. Impacted teeth or teeth that failed to fully grow or erupt. In some other cases, impacted teeth grow at an inclined or bad angle and some even in a totally horizontal position in relation to the mandible. Impacted teeth usually press against other teeth causing pain and pressure in the surrounding area and or trap food that increases the tooth’s predisposition to dental caries.
  2. Gum disease that impairs the integrity of the mucous membrane causing infection and probably swelling in the area.
  3. Sinusitis or pressure from infected and stuffed up sinuses can also cause dental pain.
  4. Sometimes mal-alignment of the jaw bones or what is more commonly known as temporomandibular disorder causes toothache.

Regular visits to the dentist will reveal any developing dental cavities, gum recessions, enamel abrasions and other major oral anomalies that may cause tooth pain when left unchecked and untreated. This will enable the dentist to provide proper treatment at the earliest possible time. This will in turn ensure you a high level of oral health and possible toothache free life.