Professional Hockey player Keith Yandle is the current NHL “iron man”—that is, he has earned the distinction of playing in the most consecutive games. On November 23, Yandle was in the first period of his 820th consecutive game when a flying puck knocked out or broke nine of his front teeth. He returned third period to play the rest of the game, reinforcing hockey players’ reputation for toughness. Since talking was uncomfortable, he texted sportswriter George Richards the following day: “Skating around with exposed roots in your mouth is not the best.”
We agree with Yandle wholeheartedly. What we don’t agree with is waiting even one day to seek treatment after serious dental trauma. It was only on the following day that Yandle went to the dentist. And after not missing a game in over 10 years, Yandle wasn’t going to let a hiccup like losing, breaking or cracking nearly a third of his teeth interfere with his iron man streak. He was back on the ice later that day to play his 821st game.
As dentists, we don’t award points for toughing it out. If anything, we give points for saving teeth—and that means getting to the dentist as soon as possible after suffering dental trauma and following these tips:
- If a tooth is knocked loose or pushed deeper into the socket, don’t force the tooth back into position.
- If you crack a tooth, rinse your mouth but don’t wiggle the tooth or bite down on it.
- If you chip or break a tooth, save the tooth fragment and store it in milk or saliva. You can keep it against the inside of your cheek (not recommend for small children who are at greater risk of swallowing the tooth).
- If the entire tooth comes out, pick up the tooth without touching the root end. Gently rinse it off and store it in milk or saliva. You can try to push the tooth back into the socket yourself, but many people feel uneasy about doing this. The important thing is to not let the tooth dry out and to contact us immediately. Go to the hospital if you cannot get to the dental office.
Although keeping natural teeth for life is our goal, sometimes the unexpected happens. If a tooth cannot be saved after injury or if a damaged tooth must be extracted, there are excellent tooth replacement options available. With today’s advanced dental implant technology, it is possible to have replacement teeth that are indistinguishable from your natural teeth—in terms of both look and function.
And always wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports! A custom mouthguard absorbs some of the forces of impact to help protect you against severe dental injury.
If you would like more information about how to protect against or treat dental trauma or about replacing teeth with dental implants, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants: A Tooth-Replacement Method That Rarely Fails” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”
If you suffer frequent sinus infections, you might want to see a dentist. No, really—your recurring sinusitis might stem from a decayed tooth.
Tooth decay can start as a cavity, but left untreated can advance within the tooth and infect the pulp and root canals. If it reaches the end of the root, it can cause the root tip and surrounding bone to break down.
A severe toothache is often a good indicator that you have advanced tooth decay, which can usually be stopped with a root canal treatment. But a decayed tooth doesn't always produce pain or other symptoms—you could have a “silent” infection that's less likely to be detected.
A symptomless, and thus untreated, infection in an upper back tooth could eventually impact the maxillary sinus, a hollow air-filled space located just above your back jaw. This is especially true for people whose tooth roots extend close to or even poke through the sinus floor.
That “silent” infection in your tooth, could therefore become a “loud” one in the sinuses causing chronic post-nasal drip, congestion and, of course, pain. Fortunately, a physician or an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist might suspect a dental origin for a case of recurring sinusitis, a condition known as maxillary sinusitis of endodontic origin (MSEO).
Antibiotic treatment can clear up sinusitis symptoms short-term. It's unlikely, though, it will do the same for a dental infection, which may continue to trigger subsequent rounds of sinusitis. The best approach is for a dentist, particularly a specialist in interior tooth disease called an endodontist, to investigate and, if a decayed tooth is found, treat the source of the infection.
As mentioned earlier, the solution is usually a root canal treatment. During this procedure, the dentist completely removes all infected tissue within the pulp and root canals, and then fills the empty spaces to prevent future infection. In one study, root canal therapy had a positive effect on alleviating sinusitis in about half of patients who were diagnosed with a decayed tooth.
If your sinusitis keeps coming back, speak with your doctor about the possibility of a dental cause. You may find treating a subsequently diagnosed decayed tooth could alleviate your sinus problem.
If you would like more information on how your dental health could affect the rest of your body, 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 “Sinusitis and Tooth Infections.”
A dental filling will restore a tooth after a cavity.
Chances are fairly good that you’ve already had a cavity before. According to the CDC, as many as 91 percent of Americans over 20 years old have had a cavity. While good oral hygiene is paramount to preventing cavities, when a cavity does form it’s important that you turn to our Chicago, and River Forest, IL, dentists right away for care.
Here are the top benefits of getting a tooth-colored filling from our Chicago, and River Forest, IL, dentists:
They Look Like Tooth Enamel
A tooth-colored filling is made from composite resin, which matches the color and shade of your tooth. This means that once the filling is bonded directly to the tooth you won’t even notice it. Our dental team here at Lynch Dental Center will choose the appropriate shade of resin prior to placing it to make sure that you have a restoration that matches your tooth.
Preserve More of Your Tooth
Since tooth-colored fillings bond directly to the tooth, this means that we won’t have to remove as much tooth enamel to make room for your restoration. This is always great news! After all, our goal is to preserve as much of your healthy, natural tooth as possible so it stays strong over the years.
Fast and Painless Treatment
We will place a tooth-colored filling immediately after removing the decay, so you won’t have to come in for a separate appointment to restore the tooth. This is all done in a single visit. Once we choose the shade of the composite resin we’re using, we will apply it layer by layer, shape it to the tooth and then harden it. It usually takes no more than 30 minutes to place and harden the filling.
This Restoration is Durable
When a tooth is damaged from decay it’s also weaker. By placing a dental filling we can restore the tooth so that it is strong enough to chew and bite down without further issues. A tooth-colored filling is quite resilient, and with the proper care can last up to 10 years or more.
Here at Lynch Dental Center, we provide comprehensive restorative dentistry to patients in Chicago, and River Forest, IL. If you simply need to schedule your six-month checkup or you think you might have a cavity, give us a call at (312) 263-3235 or (708) 366-6411.
From tooth decay to sporting accidents, losing your teeth is never a pleasant experience. Although your permanent teeth may not have been so permanent after all, you can replace them with durable and natural-looking dental implants. Dental implants might be the solution to restore your smile!
At Lynch Dental Center in Chicago, and River Forest, IL, your new smile will be reconstructed with high-quality materials and the latest dental technology. Dr. John Lynch, Dr. Sheila Lynch, or Dr. Frances Lynch, will create your dream smile. Call us if you are interested in replacing your missing teeth with dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants
Dental implants are used to replace broken or missing teeth. Implants get their name from the way they are fixed into the jaw. A metal screw attaches to the jaw where the bone will grow over it. This screw is the foundation for the connecting rod. Implants are famously sturdy because the foundation mimics the natural root of a tooth. The rod connects the root to a crown that completes your smile with a brand-new artificial tooth. Your Chicago, and River Forest, IL, dentists can apply the implant with a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Implants are the most convenient option for tooth replacement because they never have to be removed when you eat or clean them. With the proper care, they can last a lifetime.
Implants replicate natural teeth with a strong root and custom crown that is made to match the size and shape of your existing teeth. The implant can be just as strong as a natural tooth once fully healed.
Maintain your health
Choosing dental implants is the best way to maintain your oral health because of their long-lasting reliability. They prevent infections, abscesses, and the rest of your teeth from shifting.
If you want to learn more about dental implants call your dentists at Lynch Dental Center in River Forest, or Chicago, IL. To make an appointment at our River Forest, location call 708-366-6411, or 312-263-3235 for our Chicago, office. Dental implants can transform your smile and boost your confidence, schedule an appointment with us, today!
“Orthodontic treatment” and “braces” almost seem like synonymous terms. But while braces certainly are orthodontic, it isn't the only tool in an orthodontist's toolkit.
A good example is a device is known as a Herbst appliance. It's used in situations where the upper jaw is outpacing the growth and development of the lower jaw during childhood. If not corrected, this could cause the top teeth to protrude abnormally beyond the lower teeth.
The Herbst appliance gently and gradually coaxes the lower jaw to grow in a more forward direction, thus “catching up” with the upper jaw. The top part of the device consists of two metal tubes hinged to small elastic bands, which are cemented to the cheek side of the upper back teeth (molars), one on either side of the jaw.
Two smaller tubes are attached in like fashion to the lower teeth, and then inserted into the larger tubes. As the lower jaw moves, the smaller tubes move within the larger to create pressure that gently pushes the jaw forward. Over time, this can sync the growth progress of both the upper and lower jaws, and reduce the chances of a poor bite.
For best results, a Herbst appliance is usually placed to coincide with a child's most rapid period of jaw growth, usually between 11 and 14. They could be placed as early as 8 or 9, however, in situations where the front teeth are already protruding well beyond the lips. In any event, the goal is to positively influence the growth of the lower jaw to alleviate or at least minimize the need for future orthodontic treatment.
As a fixed device, there's no need for a child or parent to tend to it as with other methods, like orthodontic headwear worn in conjunction with braces. A Herbst appliance can, however, alter the normal sensations associated with eating, swallowing and speaking, which may take a little adjustment time for the child. Wearers will also need to be extra vigilant with daily brushing and flossing because of a higher risk of tooth decay.
These, though, are minor inconveniences compared with the benefit of improved bite development. As such, a Herbst appliance could be a positive investment in your child's dental future.
If you would like more information on interceptive orthodontics, 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 “The Herbst Appliance.”
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