Dental emergencies happen, and they can be a pretty scary thing. If you have a broken, lost or knocked out tooth, are in dental pain, or have lost dental work (a filling or crown fall out) Dr. Milton Zweig is here to help. If it’s a concern of yours, it is a concern of ours as well. We provide same-day service to treat your emergency dental needs and help to relieve any pain you may be experiencing.
*If a permanent tooth has been avulsed, aka “knocked out”, please save the tooth, rinse (do not scrub) any debris off and reinsert the tooth back into the gums and get to the office. If this is not possible, place the tooth into a cup of milk (spit or water if milk is not available) and get to our office ASAP. Time is of the essence with this type of dental emergency.
Gum Disease Treatment
Periodontitis, aka “Gum Disease”, is the number one reason adults will loose teeth; and, it affects approximately 50% of the US adult population. It is the second most prevalent mouth disease – decay (cavities) being the most prevalent.
During your comprehensive exam with our doctors, they will assess your gum health. One of the ways they will do this is by using a periodontal probe to measure available tissue space next to each tooth. A “healthy” measurement is considered to be 3mm or less, as this is the depth a toothbrush and floss can effectively reach to remove plaque and bacteria during your home hygiene routine. Any measurement beyond 3mm indicates:
- inflammation due to unreachable bacteria by your brush and/or floss
- gum attachment loss
- supporting bone loss
If any of these are seen during your exam, along with other indicating factors, Scaling and Root Planing, aka a “Deep Cleaning”, may be the recommended treatment Scaling removes tartar and bacteria from your tooth surfaces and beneath your gums while root planing smoothes the root surfaces, discouraging further buildup of tartar and bacterial endotoxin.
Unfortunately, Periodontists is not reversible, but the good news is that it can be maintained with proper treatment, home hygiene and professional hygiene therapy 3-4 times per year. Once you have undergone Scaling and Root Planing, as long as you stay on top of your recommended hygiene appointment, a “regular” maintenance cleaning is performed at subsequent hygiene appointments. In some cases, our doctors may recommend and refer you to see Periodontist, or gum specialist, for treatment of your gum disease if surgical intervention is indicated.
Oral Cancer Screening
Approximately 42,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral and throat cancers each year. Of those, the 5-year survival rate is only about 64 percent. However, when detected and treated early, treatment-related health problems and mortality are reduced.
Our doctors take these facts very seriously and includes a complementary oral cancer screening with every exam.
Root Canals (Endodontic Treatment)
Our doctors will recommend root canal treatment for one of three reasons:
- The nerve of a tooth is, or has been, affected by decay or infection
- a tooth is non-vital (aka “dead”)
- a post is needed in order to restore a tooth due to lack of adequate tooth structure
In order to save a tooth, which is, or has been affected by decay or infection, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay must be removed and filled in. It is more or less a “filling” in the root of a tooth. If nothing is done, the tooth will eventually die on it’s own; however, the tooth will encounter recurring infections. With a tooth that is now dead, you won’t feel any pain associated with these infections, so you may be wondering, “why do I even need to do anything then?” Well, dental infections are actually quite serious and, even more serious if you don’t even know they’re there. Dental infections can spread to places such as the brain, heart and lungs. In rare, but serious cases, the spread of dental infections can result in death.
Although our doctors would like to save every tooth we possibly can, it is the patient’s choice whether or not to save their tooth. The alternative treatment is to have the tooth removed. For many patients removing their tooth is the solution to get out of pain or save money, but removing a tooth will ultimately cost more money and cause problems for the surrounding teeth and overall health of the dentition.
Root canals have over a 95% success rate and can last a lifetime; however, there are instances where a tooth may need to be retreated due to new infections.
Depending on the tooth, a root canal may require more than one appointment. In more complicated cases, our doctors will refer you to an endodontist (root canal specialist).
Sjögren’s Syndrome Treatment
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, results due to diseases such as Sjögren’s (SHOW-grins) Syndrome, radiation therapy for head and neck cancer, bone marrow transplants, and/or side effects of medications. A dry mouth raises dental and overall health concerns, putting you at an increased risk to develop cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and systemic and oral fungal infections.
Sjögren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder characterized by dry eyes and dry mouth. It can also cause fatigue and joint pain, and may also lead to the dysfunction of other organs. With more than 4 million Americans suffering from this chronic disease, it is one of the most common autoimmune disorders in the US, 90% of those being women. Sjögren’s occurs in tandem with other autoimmune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma in about 50% of the cases. Early diagnosis and treatment are important, as they may prevent complications and improve the quality of life. Since Sjögren’s often masks itself as other conditions, it can often be overlooked or misdiagnosed, so you should be pro-active in talking to both your physician and our doctors about your symptoms and potential treatment options.