Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What to Do If Your Dental Crown Falls Out

A crown, sometimes referred to as a cap, is a tooth-shaped cover that fits over a damaged or decayed tooth. It mimics the appearance of a natural tooth and serves to protect the damaged tooth beneath. Crowns are also used in cosmetic dentistry to improve the appearance of misshapen, oddly spaced, or discolored teeth. Depending on what it’s made of and how well teeth are cared for, a crown often lasts at least seven years or longer. But sometimes crowns unexpectedly fall out, and there are certain steps a patient should take when this happens.

What to Do If a Crown Falls Out? 
A dentist examining a man's teeth

Although a lost crown isn’t usually an emergency, it’s important to act immediately after a crown falls out to attempt to save it and to avoid further damage to the tooth beneath. As soon it falls out, the crown should be placed in a secure spot, if possible. Then it’s time to schedule a dentist appointment! A dentist will usually need to make a new crown to replace it, but if the patient still has the old one, it may continue to work temporarily.

The patient shouldn’t try to slip the old crown back on alone; this is something that requires the help of a dentist. If for some reason it does need to go back into the mouth, it should be cleaned thoroughly, and the inside should be coated with tooth cement, which can be found at the pharmacy. This will help temporarily secure the tooth until the dentist can evaluate it.

What Will the Dentist Do?

Once in the exam room, the dentist will examine the tooth beneath the crown. Over time, it may have changed shape from damage or decay. The dentist will decide if a new crown will be required; an improperly fitting one will just come off again. The dentist will also remove any additional decay since the last crown was made and place any new fillings, if necessary.

While a lost crown doesn’t always require immediate attention, it’s important not to put off a dentist appointment to avoid further damage to the tooth below. That’s why Hanson Dentistry offers same day crown appointments to help you immediately resolve the situation and get on with life as usual. If you’ve lost a crown, we can help you put it back in or evaluate your teeth to determine if a new one is appropriate. Call Hanson Dentistry today at 816-373-5606 to schedule an appointment and learn more about our services.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Preparing for Teeth Whitening

Tooth discoloration can be caused by beverages, such as coffee, soda, and wine, damaged enamel, or even genetics. Fortunately, modern advances in teeth whitening have made discoloration a thing of the past. For those considering professional whitening, preparation is simple.

Determine Which Type of Whitening Is Necessary 
A close up of a woman smiling

Tooth discoloration comes in two forms: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic discoloration is caused by staining liquids, such as coffee and tea, and affects only the surface of the teeth. This discoloration should be treated by a professional cleaning because bleaching has no effect. Intrinsic discoloration occurs beneath the surface and is caused by physical trauma to an adult tooth, the use of certain antibiotics, or genetic conditions. This type of discoloration can be addressed by applying bleaching gel to one’s teeth. It's not always easy to tell whether discoloration is extrinsic or intrinsic, which is why it's best to consult a professional to determine which type of whitening to use.

Have a Routine Cleaning

Teeth whitening shouldn't be performed when gum disease, cavities, exposed roots, or other underlying issues are present. Before undergoing whitening treatment, a dentist should perform a full cleaning and any other necessary dental services to ensure uniform whitening.

Consult a Shade Guide

Consulting a shade guide allows patients to determine the current shade of their teeth and identify their goals for whitening sessions. This has the added benefit of comparing shades before and after whitening to determine if a patient would like to schedule additional sessions to achieve their desired look.

Desensitize Teeth

For many patients, there is no discomfort or pain associated with teeth whitening. However, some people with sensitive teeth or gums may experience unpleasantness during their procedures. These patients can invest in desensitizing toothpaste prior to any procedures to avoid potential discomfort.

Hold Off If Expecting

Pregnant or nursing mothers are advised to wait until nursing is finished to have teeth whitening procedures. Because medical professionals are unsure about the effects whitening chemicals have on fetuses, they recommend avoiding whitening procedures until after pregnancy.

Teeth whitening can reduce unsightly discoloration with a simple procedure. If you're interested in teeth whitening or other cosmetic dentistry services in Independence, MO, call Hanson Dentistry at 816-373-5606 to schedule an appointment today!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Five Ways to Prevent Plaque

Plaque buildup is a major cause of cavities, gingivitis, and other oral health issues. This sticky film coats the teeth and can eventually eat away at the enamel, allowing bacteria to grow. Fortunately, preventive oral health measures can keep plaque from accumulating on the teeth, stopping dental problems before they start. Here are five tips to try.

1. Brush Correctly at Least Twice a Day 
A person flossing their teeth

Ideally, brush after every meal to remove plaque immediately. Before bed is the most important time to brush. Otherwise, plaque will remain on the teeth all night. Hold a soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. An electric toothbrush is the most effective type. Use gentle, circular strokes to cover all surfaces of the teeth as well as the tongue. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

2. Floss Regularly

Cleaning between the teeth is just as important as removing plaque from their surfaces. This should be done at least once a day, whether with traditional floss, water flosser, or a dental pick.

3. Use Antibacterial Mouthwash

Rinsing the mouth with a bacteria-killing mouthwash formula can reduce plaque accumulation. It can also loosen plaque deposits, making them easier to remove with a toothbrush or floss. Avoid mouthwash with alcohol, which can dry out the mouth and actually contribute to plaque development.

4. Avoid Starchy and Sugary Foods

These items promote bacterial growth, which accelerates tooth decay. Acidic foods can also cause issues. Items to restrict include potato chips, bread, alcohol, sticky candy, and soda and other carbonated beverages. After eating these items, drink lots of water to rinse the teeth clean.

5. Keep up With Checkups

Seeing the dentist regularly for a deep clean can help keep plaque buildup at bay. For best results, have a checkup every six months. This cleaning will remove plaque from areas that are difficult to access with a toothbrush and floss alone, such as the second molars. The dentist can also diagnose and treat oral health issues before they develop into major problems.

Those who need a new dentist can schedule an appointment with Hanson Dentistry in the Independence area. Dr. Hanson truly cares about his patients and provides a modern office setting with comprehensive care, including cosmetic treatments and new dental technologies. He has been serving families in the community since 1974.