Remembered fondly by fans as the wacky but loveable Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Alfonso Ribeiro is currently in his fifth year hosting America's Funniest Videos. It's the perfect gig for the 48-year-old actor, who loves to laugh and make others laugh as well. This is quite the opposite experience from one he had a few years ago that he remembers all too well: a severely decayed tooth.
After seeing his dentist for an intense toothache, Ribeiro learned he had advanced tooth decay and would need root canal treatment. Ribeiro wasn't thrilled by the news. Like many of us, he thought the procedure would be unpleasant. But he found afterward that not only was the root canal painless, his toothache had vanished.
More importantly, the root canal treatment saved his tooth, as it has for millions of others over the last century. If you're facing a situation similar to Alfonso Ribeiro's, here's a quick look at the procedure that could rescue your endangered tooth.
Getting ready. In preparation for root canal therapy, the tooth and surrounding gums are numbed, often first with a swab of local anesthesia to deaden the surface area in preparation for the injection of the main anesthesia below the surface. A dental dam is then placed to isolate the infected tooth from its neighbors to prevent cross-contamination.
Accessing the interior. To get to the infection, a small access hole is drilled. The location depends on the tooth: in larger back teeth, a hole is drilled through the biting surface, and in front teeth, a hole is drilled on the backside. This access allows us to insert special tools to accomplish the next steps in the procedure.
Cleaning, shaping and filling. Small tools are used to remove the diseased tissue from the interior tooth pulp and root canals. Then the empty spaces are disinfected. This, in effect, stops the infection. Next, the root canals inside the tooth are shaped to allow them to better accept a special filling called gutta percha. The access hole is then sealed to further protect the tooth from future infection, and a temporary crown is placed.
A new crown to boot. Within a couple weeks, we'll cap the tooth with a long-lasting lifelike crown (or a filling on certain teeth). This adds further protection for the tooth against infection, helps strengthen the tooth's structure, and restores the tooth's appearance.
Without this procedure, the chances of a tooth surviving this level of advanced decay are very slim. But undergoing a root canal, as Alfonso Ribeiro did, can give your tooth a real fighting chance.
If you would like more information about root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: How Long Will It Last?”
If your dental health isn't in the best of shape, a survey conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) says the cause is likely one of three common oral health problems. The survey asked around 15,000 people across the country what kinds of problems they had experienced with their teeth and gums, and three in particular topped the list.
Here then are the top three oral health problems according to the ADA, how they could impact your health, and what you should do about them.
Tooth pain. Nearly one-third of respondents, particularly from lower-income households and the 18-34 age range, reported having tooth pain at one time or another. Tooth pain can be an indicator of several health issues including tooth decay, fractured teeth or recessed gums. It's also a sign that you should see a dentist—left untreated, the condition causing the pain could lead to worse problems.
Biting difficulties. Problems biting or chewing came in second on the ADA survey. Difficulties chewing can be caused by a number of things like decayed, fractured or loose teeth, or if your dentures or other dental appliances aren't fitting properly. Chewing dysfunction can make it difficult to eat foods with greater nutritional value than processed foods leading to problems with your health in general.
Dry mouth. This is a chronic condition called xerostomia caused by an ongoing decrease in saliva flow. It's also the most prevalent oral health problem according to the ADA survey, and one that could spell trouble for your teeth and gums in the future. Because saliva fights bacterial infections like gum disease and helps neutralize acid, which can lead to tooth decay, chronic dry mouth increases your risk of dental disease.
If you're currently dealing with one or more of these problems, they don't have to ruin your health. If you haven't already, see your dentist for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible: Doing so could help alleviate the problem, and prevent even more serious health issues down the road.
If you would like more information on achieving optimum dental health, 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 “Top 3 Oral Health Problems.”
When was the last time you saw your general dentist? Is that a question you can answer? As an adult, sometimes the reason we haven't seen one in a while is that our parents never instilled good dental hygiene habits in us as children. As a result, it becomes difficult to practice how to brush and floss regularly.
Here, at Zbaraschuk Dental Care P.S., Dr. E. Richard Zbaraschuk educates his Sequim, WA, patients on the dangers of periodontal disease, the correct brushing and flossing technique, and why it's valuable to keep up with routine cleanings and dental examinations. We don't recommend you wait until it's been too long since you've seen a dental chair and schedule an appointment today.
Benefits of General Dentistry
As your general dentist, Dr. Zbaraschuk makes it his top priority to keep oral diseases as far away from your mouth as possible. He'll also play a role in detecting oral cancer in the early stages, should this be a concern of the patient, while helping you tune up your oral care routine.
For maximum benefits, it's best to have professional cleanings and examinations in our Sequim, WA, office at least twice a year. Additionally, if you're unhappy with smile imperfections like tooth discoloration, chips, or cracks, our dentist can suggest ways to achieve your goals. General dentistry not only enhances your overall health, but it can also provide you with a whole new positive attitude.
If it's impossible to recall the last time you visited the dentist, then you're likely overdue. General dentistry can improve your oral health in one visit. It can also motivate you to practice good oral hygiene habits to avoid further damage. For more information about general dentistry, cosmetic, and smile restoration services provided by Zbaraschuk Dental Care P.S., visit our website. Please call (360) 683-3626 for scheduling with Dr. E. Richard Zbaraschuk in our Sequim, WA, dental office.
If you're intrigued by the strange and bizarre, here's one to pique your interest: geographic tongue. It's a rare condition that causes the appearance of red patches on the tongue surface, surrounded by grayish-white borders, and which look a lot like continents on a map (hence the name). But although it may look odd, geographic tongue won't harm your health.
The condition is also known as benign migratory glossitis, so named because it's not cancerous and the patches seem to move or “migrate” around the tongue surface. The most common causes are thought to be stress or hormonal disruptions in those predisposed to the condition. Many researchers believe zinc or vitamin B deficiencies in the body contribute to its occurrence. It also seems more prevalent among non-smokers and pregnant women, as well as occurring as a family trait.
The red patches are created by the temporary disappearance of some of the papillae, tiny bumps on the tongue's top surface. The patches can abruptly appear during a flareup and then disappear just as suddenly. But as “angry” as the patches may look, geographic tongue is not considered a health danger. It isn't normally painful, although people can experience stinging or numbing sensations emanating from the patches that can be mildly uncomfortable.
Because it's also rare, you're not likely to encounter it personally. But if you or a loved one does begin to notice red patches on the tongue, there are a few things you can do to lessen any accompanying irritation. For one, cut out foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, eggplant, mint or highly spicy or acidic foods, all of which have been known to increase discomfort. You might also avoid astringents like alcohol or mouthwashes that likewise irritate the patches when they occur.
Although geographic tongue can't be cured, your dentist can help you manage symptoms when they arise with the help of prescribed anesthetic mouthwashes, antihistamines or steroid lozenges. These not only can help lower any discomfort or irritations, they may also lessen the duration of a flareup.
For the most part, geographic tongue usually causes more embarrassment than physical discomfort. But with a little help from your dentist, you can keep it to a minimum. Geographic tongue may be odd, but it's nothing to worry about.
If you would like more information on geographic tongue, 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 “Geographic Tongue: No Cause For Alarm.”
Millions of Americans have dental implants--the modern tooth replacements which reside right in the jaw bone. At Zbaraschuk Dental Care in Sequim, WA, your dentist, Dr. E. Richard Zbaraschuk uses dental implants to complete smiles successfully and beautifully. Should you consider these artificial teeth?
Dental implants are like real teeth
How is that so? Well, a single dental implant is a titanium metal screw. In his Sequim office, your dentist places this screw into your jaw where your natural tooth root once was. Through osseointegration, the implant bonds with the bone, and over the ensuing weeks, you develop a strong, supportive artificial tooth root.
Dental implants improve your bone structure
When your dentist restores your single implant with a post and porcelain crown, your new tooth bites, chews, looks, and feels like the real thing. The more you use it, the more your bone structure and gum tissue improve, countering the hard and soft tissue deterioration which results from tooth loss. Conventional tooth replacements do not provide the pressure or exercise needed to maintain your gums and jaw bone, according to Dear Doctor.
Dental implants last
These prosthetics rarely fail. Healthline reports a success and retention rate of 90 to 95 percent with good oral hygiene habits and a tobacco-free lifestyle. Healthline elaborates that smoking increases failure rates to 80 percent. So, if you're thinking about getting dental implants, think about quitting the habit, too.
Dental implants are simple to care for
Whether you have one or several implants (to support dentures or bridgework), you must care for them consistently. But, don't worry. It's easy to do. Brush twice a day, and floss daily to remove collected food residues. See Dr. Zbaraschuk for a check-up and professional cleaning twice a year. Lastly, avoid the stresses of bruxism. Repeated teeth clenching can loosen dental implants.
Contact us for a personal consultation with your dentist
When patients from the Sequim, WA, area visit Zbaraschuk Dental Care, they enjoy the best in preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental treatments. If you're considering dental implants, please contact our office team to arrange your consultation. Your dentist will answer all your questions, helping you make the right decision for your smile. Phone us at (360) 683-3626.
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