3201 Rogers Avenue, Suite 201
Ellicott City, MD 21043
2021 Emmorton Rd # B-222
Bel Air, MD, 21015-6138
Niemann, Ralph W D.D.S.
272 Merrimac Ct
Prince Frederick, MD, 20678
804 Pershing Dr # 106
Silver Spring, MD, 20910-4436
Coviello, John D.D.S.
11239 Lockwood Dr
Silver Spring, MD, 20901-4554
The answer should be an emphatic "YES!" Fortunately, dentistry has developed new techniques for delivering local anesthetics painlessly. These techniques also assure that the anesthetics act more rapidly and produce a more "profound" level of anesthesia. Additionally, modern dental procedures utilize better technologies that are generally much less traumatic and invasive than those of the past. The result of these advancements is that patients should have minimal or no discomfort during the tooth numbing and/or treatment procedures. Root canal treatment should not cause pain, but rather relieve it when present and keep it from reoccurring. Unfortunately, dental pain may also have a psychological component, possibly stemming from a negative past experience, a story in the media, or even the fear of the unknown. Sometimes these situations can prove challenging for the patient and the dentist to control. Examples include:
These and other distresses are real to the patient. Much of the time, however, the distress can be reduced or eliminated if the patient discusses it with the dentist and gets understanding and reassurance. The doctor and the patient must work together in these situations to make certain that the patient feels as comfortable, trusting, and informed as possible in the dental environment. Most individuals can do this satisfactorily. If patients continue to feel significant distress, even after having these discussions with the dentists, they should be aware that there are supplementary modalities for which they might be candidates. These modalities include:
These sedative techniques and medicines may also be helpful if particularly lengthy treatment procedures are necessary in specific situations.
With all of the advancements in pharmaceuticals and in their delivery, there should be no need for any patient to delay root canal treatment because of fear that the treatment will be painful.
By Clifford J. Ruddle, DDS, in collaboration with Philip M. Smith, DDS
Technology now offers attractive options for cavity restorations in dental care. Called composites, these new tooth-colored fillings are excellent choices for front teeth and other repairs that might be visible. Composites duplicate the natural appearance of a tooth in restoring decayed teeth or repairing a defect.
Composites are made from a mixture of microscopic plastic and ceramic resin particles. Another type of tooth-colored filling is called a resin ionomer, which releases fluoride useful for preventing tooth decay.
The bonding process used in restoration provides strength to the tooth, making it more structurally sound. It also seals the tooth, decreasing the chance of sensitivity to hot and cold. Some composites made with materials releasing fluoride are ideal for treating root decay, a condition when gums recede, exposing tooth roots to more cavity-causing plaque. These fluoride-releasing materials also are useful for filling decayed baby teeth.
Following removal of the decayed area, a mild acid solution is used to prepare the tooth's surface for bonding. A bonding agent is then brushed over the surface. Next, several layers of the composite are applied. For a natural appearance, the dentist matches the color of the composite to the tooth.
Then, it is chemically hardened or cured with a special light and finally polished for a natural-looking finishing touch.
In a five-year clinical study, some of the resin materials demonstrated 100% effectiveness for adhesion and retention. Like other types of fillings, they may require periodic replacement. While the material is very durable, they may not perform quite as long as silver fillings or amalgams for their resistance to the rigors of grinding and chewing.
Scheduling regular dental exams is an important part of good oral hygiene. Your dentist will check your invisible fillings each time to ensure their performance.
By Brian J. Gray, DDS, MAGD, FICO