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Online Dental Education Library

This section of our Web site will provide our patients with information they can use before and after their treatment. Right now, if you have a dental emergency or oral concern, review our suggestions and then call us at 908-874-4555. After hours emergency phone numbers are available on our phone system.

When Dental Emergencies and other oral problems occur...
Smiling, kissing, and eating... These are some of the wonderful things for which we need our mouths and teeth! Of course, keeping our mouths and teeth clean and healthy is a major concern, but emergencies can arise. Here are some first aid tips to use before you can get some relief from your DENTIST!

TOOTHACHE HELP
Hopefully this won't ever happen to you, but if it does follow these tips:

  1. Call your dentist as soon as possible for an appointment.
  2. Apply oil of cloves to the affected tooth. You can ask you pharmacist for this.
  3. Apply ice to the affected area.
  4. Take aspirin or an aspirin substitute to ease the pain.

The best treatment is to let your dentist help you right away. Teeth don't heal themselves. Sometimes a person will have a toothache for 2-3 days and it will "go-away". Don't be fooled! The problem is still there. Remember seeing your dentist early can prevent pain, expense and maybe tooth loss!

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LOST FILLING?
See your dentist as soon as you can. Why? The soft inner part of the tooth exposed when a filling is lost can decay quickly! If you can't see a dentist right away, be sure to keep the tooth super clean. If pain should develop, try some aspirin or an aspirin substitute until you see your dentist.

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OOPS - A BROKEN TOOTH!
Most often, a broken tooth is a result of a blow to the face or from chomping on especially hard foods. If you happen to break a tooth, don't panic! See a dentist as soon as possible and if the tooth hurts, take some aspirin or an aspirin substitute. Hot or cold foods and drinks can aggravate the tooth so do avoid them. A broken tooth can be scary and even embarrassing! Get to a dentist quickly.


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WHAT'S CAUSING THE SWELLING?
Swelling can mean many things. Usually, it means a nasty infection. Immediate professional attention is very important. Call your dentist right away!


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OUCH - A DENTURE SORE SPOT!
Your dentist can usually relieve the cause of irritation quite easily. Adjustments after fitting dentures are very common! Until then, a little Ora-base applied to the spot will serve as a bandage if the area is really sore. If your dentures are old and loose, for your sake, don't try to reline them yourself or use denture adhesives. This can make matters worse, so see your dentist for any denture problem!


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OH NO, YOUR CROWN (OR BRIDGE) FELL OFF!
First, check the crown or bridge to see if it's in one piece. If it is, place a thin coat of petroleum jelly inside the crown or bridge. Then, carefully press it back in place. It is important to keep the teeth in their proper position by replacing the crown or bridge immediately. Do not chew on the replaced crown or bridges as it may come off again. This is only a temporary solution. Be sure to call your dentist as soon as you can to have the crown or bridge examined and re-cemented.


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DO YOU HAVE PAIN AROUND YOUR JAW JOINT?
This pain is often related to your teeth. If you are bothered by jaw joint pain, try these temporary solutions:

  1. Eat soft foods.
  2. Use warm, moist towels over the joint area.
  3. Take aspirin or an aspirin substitute for pain.
  4. Avoid talking, chewing and clenching as much as possible!

Be sure to call your dentist for attention. This type of pain requires treatment, which should not be delayed. These symptoms can worsen.


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BROKEN ORTHODONTIC APPLIANCE?
If this should happen to you, place a ball of wax over the broken and/or jagged wires to prevent stabbing the inside of your mouth. Your pharmacist often has this type of wax for these types of emergencies. Call you orthodontist for immediate assistance.


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COLD SORES BOTHERING YOU?
Cold sores are symptoms of a virus and can be awfully painful. As with any virus, these sores run their course in about 7 to 10 days. If these sores appear on or about your lips, keep them moist with some petroleum jelly. Your dentist will be able to help with a new prescription drug especially for these sores. If the sores aren't gone within 7 to 10 days, or worsen, call your dentist!


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HELP FOR TEETHING PAIN
Teething can be a difficult time for babies and mommies! If your child seems to be uncomfortable, apply some Ora-jel to the area where the tooth is erupting. This gel is pleasantly flavored and can be applied directly to the problem area. Time cures this problem, so be patient!


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HELP - MY TOOTH GOT KNOCKED OUT!
First, find the tooth. Immediately after, call your dentist. Then wrap the tooth in clean wet gauze. It's important not to clean the tooth. Cleaning can damage the attachments on the tooth. Success is greatest if you see your dentist within thirty minutes after the accident. The longer you wait, the less possibility of success! Get to your dentist quickly!


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Denture in Glass.When you think of dentures, you may picture a full set of upper and lower teeth, complete with pink gums... sitting in a glass full of water on the bedside table. But did you know that the word “dentures” is actually used to refer to several different types of prosthetic teeth? For example, there's the fixed partial denture (commonly called a “bridge”), the removable partial denture, and the removable full denture (the one in the glass). It's also possible to have a full set of dentures which are securely fixed in the mouth.

What's the difference between all of these “dentures”? Essentially, a removable denture (as the name implies) is easy for you to take out, while a fixed denture can only be removed at the dental office. But when you're choosing between these two types, what's at issue is more than just removability — there are major implications for your health and self-confidence, too.

Removable Dentures Accelerate Bone Loss

Once upon a time, removable full dentures were the best — and indeed, the only — prosthetic teeth-replacement system dentistry could offer. However, removable dentures come with problems. Their instability in the mouth often requires the wearer to make constant adjustments and compromises, such as eating primarily soft foods and being extra-careful when speaking and chewing. In time, even after one has learned to get by with them, they eventually lose their fit. This happens because wearing them accelerates bone loss in the jaw, which inevitably occurs after tooth loss. Accelerated bone loss results from the pressure dentures place on the bony ridges that formerly supported the teeth.

The loss of bone tissue inside the jaw is invisible; its effects, however, eventually become easy to see. When teeth are lost, the nearby bone is resorbed (melted away) by the body's natural processes. In time, bone volume and density decrease significantly; that's why dentures stop fitting correctly. As the bone shrinks, the distance between your nose and chin decreases too, and support for facial features collapses. Let go long enough, it can make you look prematurely aged and unhappy — whether you're wearing your dentures or not (View Example).

Implant-Supported Dentures Prevent Bone Loss

Implant supported dentures vs removable dentures.While removable dentures don't stop bone loss, there is a way to permanently replace a full set of teeth and prevent bone loss as well:  implant-supported dentures that are fixed in your mouth.  Anchored firmly into the living bone tissue, dental implants provide the stimulation and support needed to prevent bone from being lost. The bone in your jaw actually fuses to the implant, due to the remarkable osseophilic (bone-loving) properties of titanium, the metal of which dental implants are made.

Because of their firm anchorage, implants form a strong and solid foundation for fixed dentures. It can take as few as four implants to hold a complete set of upper or lower replacement teeth. When dentures are attached to implants, you never have to worry that they will loosen or slip. That means you can eat whatever you want, speak normally, and forget all about bothersome denture creams and adhesives.

People who choose fixed over removable dentures report that this system feels much more like their own natural teeth, and that it improves their quality of life. On the other hand, over half of people who wear lower removable dentures report they are unsatisfied with their stability and comfort. Though implant-supported teeth are more expensive initially, they are the best long-term investment as they will never need to be replaced or remade. We would be happy to discuss the costs and benefits of each of these options with you at your next consultation.

Related Articles

   
Implant Overdentures - Dear Doctor Magazine

Implant Overdentures for the Lower Jaw Implant overdentures represent a major change for the dental profession and the public. The lower jaw two-implant overdenture may be considered a more appropriate starting point over regular dentures... Read Article

   
Loose Dentures - Dear Doctor Magazine

Loose Dentures Loose dentures are a common problem for people who wear full (complete) dentures, especially after years of use. Whether or not new dentures are needed depends not only upon the condition of the existing dentures, but also upon how much the tissues supporting them have changed... Read Article

   
Removable Full Dentures - Dear Doctor Magazine

Removable Full Dentures Complete tooth loss can cause a host of health problems, including malnutrition and bone loss. Though fixed bridgework may hold a higher place of reverence when it comes to replacing an entire set of teeth, removable full dentures can provide an elegant solution that is significantly more affordable... Read Article


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Towne Centre Family Dental and the Implant & Smile Makeover Studio

908-874-4555
419 US-206 Hillsborough Township, NJ 08844