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Treating a Dental Emergency at the Hospital – is it the Right Solution?

added on: September 24, 2014

dental emergenciesEmergencies can happen at any time to anyone and affect any part of your body, including your mouth. While it’s usually sound advice to seek immediate medical attention in case of an emergency, sometimes a hospital is not the best choice for treating your dental problems. At my dental office in Sayville, we feel that it’s important to know the difference between injuries that require a hospital and those that should be treated by a dentist.

Go to the Hospital

Any time an injury is life-threatening or potentially life-threatening, it’s always appropriate to seek care at the hospital. The most common dental emergencies that require immediate hospital intervention are those classified as traumas and involve the face and/or mouth. Some examples of these types of injuries include:

  • Jaw fracture/dislocation
  • Deep lacerations to the soft tissues in the mouth or the face
  • An abscess or infection that’s swollen and affecting breathing/swallowing

If you’re experiencing any of the problems above, seek medical attention at your local hospital, or call 911 immediately.

See the Dentist

There are many dental emergencies that are not life-threatening and do not need the attention of the hospital. However, they still may require quick care and they  should always be checked out by your Sayville dentist. Some emergencies that shouldn’t require hospital treatment include:

  • Broken or cracked teeth
  • A knocked out tooth
  • Toothache caused by decay or abscess

In situations like these, your dentist should be the first person you contact as they’ll be the best trained and best equipped to provide the treatment you need. Whether it’s a cracked tooth or a toothache, only your dentist has the proper technology to get your smile back to strength.

Prevention

The best way to help avoid dental emergencies is prevention. Some of the easiest and most effective ways to keep dental problems away are probably things you already do, so keep doing them. For example, brush and floss everyday and make sure to keep up with your dental appointments. Additionally, make sure to always wear a mouthguard when playing sports and limit the amount of smile-damaging snacks like caramel and popcorn. By taking these precautions with your teeth, your chance of a dental problem decreases.

If you do happen to experience a dental emergency, please don’t hesitate to call my Sayville dental office as soon as you can. We’ll make sure to get you seen immediately and we’ll work with you resolve the problem. Just don’t wait. The best first step to fixing your smile is acting quickly before the problem gets worse.

Serving patients in Sayville, Bayport, and Blue Point.

Enhance Your Smile with Dental Veneers

added on: September 10, 2014

porcelain veneers

If you’re unhappy with your teeth, there are several ways we can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. At my Sayville dental office, there are many cosmetic dentistry solutions available to enhance your look. However, one of the most common procedures is dental veneers.

What Are Veneers Used For?

Veneers can be used to fix multiple problems. Whether there is a slight gap in your front teeth or you want to make all teeth appear even in length and proportionate in shape, veneers can eliminate the need for several treatments while giving you the smile you want. Veneers can be used to correct:

  • Teeth discolored by root canal, stains, or large fillings
  • Worn or ground-down teeth
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Misalignment, unevenness, or irregularities in shape
  • Gaps between teeth

What is the Process?

  • Consultation. This is the first step to your veneer treatment plan. You and your dentist in Sayville will talk about the results you’d like achieve and have honest conversation to determine if veneers are an appropriate solution for you. A treatment plan will be developed and you can start your veneer treatment.

 

  • Preparation. Preparing a tooth for a veneer includes removing a thin layer of enamel from the tooth’s surface to make a space for the veneer to be placed. Your dentist will send your permanent veneer to a dental laboratory to be molded using specific measurements and color direction. While you wait for the permanent veneer, a temporary may be placed.
  • Bonding. Using an artistic eye, your dentist will determine the proper place for your veneer to create a natural-looking fix. When it’s ready, your tooth will be cleaned and etched to give the adhesive something to hold on to. A bonding material will then be used to adhere the veneer to your tooth, creating a strong, long-lasting hold.

 

If you’ve been waiting to get the smile of your dreams, give my dental office in Sayville a call. We’ll schedule an initial consultation, talk about your smile goals, and determine whether veneers are the best option for you.

Serving patients in Sayville, Blue Point, and Bayport.

 

Lost a Filling? We’ve Got You Covered!

added on: August 20, 2014

lost a dental fillingFillings, which are used to fill the space left by a cavity, can come loose, crack, and sometimes even fall out completely. While a lost filling isn’t always considered a dental emergency, it can cause pain and be uncomfortable. If this happens, there are several things you can do before your visit to my Sayville dental office.

When a filling is lost, it’s more important than ever to keep the area as clean as possible. The divot in your tooth where the filling used to be is a great place for food to collect and bacteria to lurk which can end up causing more damage. To keep the area particle free, it’s a good idea to rinse with warm salt water and brush the area gently after eating. It’s also not uncommon for your teeth to become sensitive or a bit painful after losing a filling. If this happens, try an over-the-counter filler material with zinc oxide to place into the gap and take some pain reliever. Remember, this is a temporary solution and an appointment at my dental office in Sayville is still important.

The single most important thing you need to do when you lose a filling is call your Sayville dentist. At your appointment, we’ll examine where the filling was and talk with you about the best option to restore your tooth to healthy and strength again. Often, we can replace the old filling with a new one. However, there are times when, if the filling was quite large, we may need to talk about another option, such as a crown.

While fillings are a great treatment method to fix cavities and other dental problems, they can become loose or fall out due to some of our habits and food choices. Fillings are at increased risk for damage and falling out if you eat hard or sticky foods, or clench and grind your teeth. The best way to avoid a damaged filling in the first place is to be careful what you eat and talk to us if you clench or grind as you could be causing more damage to your smile than just losing a filling.

If your filling has become loose or has fallen out, don’t hesitate to call my Sayville dental office as soon as you can. We’ll check out what’s going on, discover what caused it in the first place, and get your tooth back in tip-top shape.

Serving patients in Sayville, Blue Point, and Bayport.

A Word to the Wise: Don’t Let Those Wisdom Teeth Cause Trouble

added on: August 7, 2014

wisdom teethWisdom teeth tend to begin to develop and show on x-rays in our early teens. And that’s the best time to start monitoring their growth to see if your wisdom teeth can stay, or if it’s better for them to be removed. While all wisdom teeth don’t necessarily have to be removed, and some people don’t ever get them, all of us at my dental office in Sayville want our patients to know that if wisdom teeth removal is recommended, it’s for a good reason.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth are growing in just fine and there is no reason to discuss or consider removing them. In most cases, if your wisdom teeth are healthy, completely grown in, positioned correctly so as to not inhibit proper bite or neighboring teeth, and are able to be cleaned properly, they can stay right where they are. However, it’s more common that they will need to be removed, sometimes before they’re fully erupted, or even after.

Even if your wisdom teeth came in without a hitch, you may not necessarily get to keep them. In fact, one of the main reasons wisdom teeth need to come out even after they are fully erupted is that they are difficult to care for. Your wisdom teeth, which are typically the four molars way back in your mouth, are hard to reach with a toothbrush, and even harder to floss. This tends to cause an increase in the chance of gum disease and cavities in those “third molars.” If during your routine checkups with your Sayville dentist any issues are noticed, removal may be recommended to reduce the risk of more cavities and infection later.

Another reason – the most common reason – why wisdom teeth need to be removed is because there isn’t enough room in your mouth. This can often be handled with an easy wisdom teeth removal before any teeth begin to erupt through the gums. However, if the procedure is delayed or avoided, the teeth can get trapped in the bone and become impacted. Once wisdom teeth are impacted, the surgery is a bit more complicated, but still fairly easy.

Keeping up with your regularly scheduled appointments at my Sayville dental office is an important step in monitoring your wisdom teeth and making sure that everything in your mouth is healthy, functioning correctly, and looking great. If you need someone to check out your wisdom teeth, or your smile as a whole, give us a call today.

Serving patients in Sayville, Blue Point, and Bay Port.

Soak In the Sun, Not Smile-Damaging Snacks

added on: July 30, 2014

damaging snacksSummer is a time for soaking up the rays and getting a healthy dose of vitamin D (don’t forget the sunscreen!). But while you’re relaxing poolside in the summer sun, be careful of some heat-busting snacks that can cause smile-damaging results. At my dental office in Sayville, we’re all about enjoying your time in the sun, but we want to make sure that you’re aware of some dangerous summer snacks and suggest some healthier alternatives.

 

As we’ve talked about in previous blogs, foods that are sticky or chewy are never a good choice for your teeth. Some more commonly eaten sticky foods are dried fruit or fruit snacks. These chewy snacks are not only high in sugar, their sticky nature also causes the sugar to linger around in the mouth longer, potentially causing some unwanted tooth damage. Sticky foods in general are also guilty of damaging tooth restorations or fillings. When you can, it’s best to stay away.

 

Another common summer treat that your Sayville dentist suggests avoiding, or at least enjoying in moderation, is barbeque. Barbecue sauces often contain a lot of sugar, vinegar, and sometimes even dye. The dye that’s typically used in barbeque sauce can contribute to staining or discoloration of your smile, and while we already know that sugar is bad for your smile, acids, like vinegar, are also dangerous for your grin.

 

Citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are also highly acidic and can lead to damage of the enamel and can promote tooth decay. Since these fruits are high in vitamin C and so thirst quenching, we don’t expect you to avoid them. Just remember that after you enjoy some orange slices, you should rinse your mouth with water to neutralize the acid.

 

When it comes to quenching your thirst, always choose water over any sugary beverage like soda, sweet tea, or sports drinks. Since people are often more active in the summer, they’re more likely to turn to a sports drink like Gatorade. If you need an extra boost of electrolytes, drink these types of beverages sparingly and avoid swishing them around in your mouth.

 

So what snacks are all right to eat? Veggies like celery or carrots are excellent foods for your body and your smile;, try some proteins like nuts and turkey; and don’t forget to swing by the dairy aisle to pick up some calcium rich cheese or yogurt that are not only good for your bones, they’re also good for your teeth.

 

This summer, while you’re enjoying the sun, make sure you’re also enjoying some smile-friendly foods. Next time you’re shopping for food, all of us at my Sayville dental office urge you to make sure to add some smile-friendly items to your list. They’ll not only be delicious to eat, they’ll also keep your mouth healthy all summer (and year) long.

 

Serving patients in Sayville, Blue Point and Bayport.

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