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There’s one sure thing about tooth decay: you can’t ignore it. In fact, the best outcomes result from finding it early and treating it before it enters the pulp in the center of the tooth, often a filling or similar treatment.
If it does advance to the pulp, you may need a root canal treatment to save the tooth. This is a moderately invasive procedure where we access the pulp and root canals, tiny passageways leading to the root and supporting bone. We then remove all the diseased tissue and fill the empty pulp chamber and root canals with a special filling. Later we’ll crown the tooth for added protection against future infection or fracture of the tooth.
But there’s also another less-invasive method than a root canal called pulp capping. It’s only appropriate to use, however, if the pulp has become exposed or almost exposed by decay, but hasn’t yet shown signs of disease.
Pulp capping can be either direct or indirect. We use direct pulp capping if the healthy pulp has been exposed by the disease process. We first isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth to prevent contamination and then proceed to remove all of the tooth’s decayed dentin structure. We then apply a biocompatible material directly over the pulp to protect it from further decay and to facilitate healing. We then restore the tooth, usually with a filling, to its proper function and life-like appearance.
When the pulp is threatened by decay but not yet exposed, we may then use the indirect method. In this approach we first remove most of the decayed dentin, but leave a small amount next to the pulp to keep it covered. We then treat this remaining dentin with a material to help it heal and re-mineralize, followed by a temporary filling of the tooth. A few months later we’ll remove this filling and inspect the treated dentin. If it has regenerated sufficiently, we remove any remaining decay and permanently restore the tooth.
As we said, pulp capping is only used with patients with deep decay whose pulp tissue is healthy. But when we can use it we can avoid some of the permanent alterations that often come with a root canal treatment and still save the tooth.
If you would like more information on treatments for tooth decay, 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 “Pulp Capping: A Procedure that May Save a Decayed Tooth.”
At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!
Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”
We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:
Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.
Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.
Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!
If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”
Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Even with wear and tear from years of eating and biting they can continue to function properly and look attractive well into your senior years.
Teeth are resilient thanks in part to enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. But the gums also contribute to this resilience: besides attractively framing the teeth, they protect the dentin and roots below the enamel covering.
Unfortunately, the gums can shrink back or “recede” from their normal place. Not only does this look unattractive, the recession can also expose teeth to disease and cause tooth sensitivity to temperature changes or biting pressure.
There are a number of causes for gum recession, some of which you may have little control over. If, for example, your teeth come in off center from their bony housing, the gum tissues may not develop around them properly. You might also have inherited a thinner type of gum tissue from your parents: thinner tissues are more delicate and susceptible to recession.
But there are other causes for which you have more control. Over-aggressive brushing (too hard for too long), ironically, does more harm than good as it can injure your gums and cause them to recede. More likely, though, your recession is a direct result of neglecting proper hygiene for your teeth and gums.
When teeth aren't properly cleaned through daily brushing and flossing, a thin film of bacteria and food remnant called plaque builds up on tooth surfaces. This can trigger periodontal (gum) disease, which subsequently causes the gum tissues to detach from the teeth and often recede.
To reduce your risk of gum disease, you should gently but thoroughly brush and floss daily, and visit us for cleanings and checkups at least twice a year. If you have a poor bite (malocclusion), consider orthodontic treatment: malocclusions make it easier for plaque to accumulate and harder to remove.
Above all, if you begin to see signs of gum problems — swelling, bleeding or pain — see us promptly for an examination and treatment. Dealing with these issues early is the best way to ensure your gums continue to do their jobs for the long-term.
Brushing your teeth with an ADA toothpaste can help keep your teeth healthy and bright. But did you know toothpaste has some hidden magic? Here are a few other uses for this magical paste!
Fill wall holes.
Don’t have any spackle handy to fill in that small patch holes on the walls left by pins, nails, screws, etc.? It isn’t apermanent solution, but in a pinch, a dab of toothpaste can fill in those small holes.
Erase scuffs from shoes.
Do you have scuffs on your shoes? Toothpaste works great for getting scuff marks off sneakers!
Remove crayons from walls.
I think we all have had the budding artist that choosesthe walls as a canvas! Toothpaste will make crayon marks disappear. Spread it over the “artwork,” then rinse with water. The abrasives in the toothpaste will easily get your wall back to normal.
Need some help hanging art?
Kids young and college bound, want to hang posters without damaging the walls? Use a dab ofbasic toothpaste with no whiteners or fresh strips, on the back corners to press lightweight posters, collages and other mementos intoposition! To help with hanging those framed pictures backed by teeth hangers or picture hooks, toothpaste can be helpful to determine where to position and pound the nail!
If you have been a teenager, you probably have gone to bed withtoothpaste on your face. But have you triedblending it with crushed aspirin? Aspirin is derived from willow bark, the same source for salicylic acid, a popular acne fighter. So the mixture dries thepimple up while decreasing inflammation!
Brighten your nails.
Whitening peroxide toothpastes can help restore luster to nails discolored and yellowed by dark polishes. Use a nailbrush or unused toothbrush to scrub the stains away. Follow up with a nice lemon juice soak.
Use toothpaste and a very soft toothbrush to clean your diamonds. After just a few minutes, the sparkle will return of your best friends.
From tarnished picture frames to dingy jewelry, a thorough scrub with basic white paste, not gel, will let the tarnish to rub off your hands, blacken your brush and turn your polishing cloth gray! Follow with a good rinse and buff dry.
Clean your toilet.
In less than 30 seconds, you can shine up the inside rim and bowl of your porcelain throne.
Use somewhitening toothpaste and a toothbrush to scrub that grout back to it’s original glory.Make it easier by using a battery operated cleaning brush like Rubbermaid’s cleaning tool, whichcomes with multiple brush heads to choose from!
Remove water rings.
Someone forgot the coaster? Bob Villa recommends removing water rings on wood furniture bya gentle rub of white, non-gel toothpaste. Focus on the ring only, since toothpaste can potentially damage a wood finish.
Deodorize containers and hands.
Toothpaste also helps to eliminate stinky food odors. It can be used for baby bottles, thermoses and other containers that may have picked up the wrong scent! Just scrub your items with toothpaste instead of dish soap. Toothpaste can quickly eradicate garlic, onion, curry and other potent food smells from your hands!
See clearly and prevent fogged goggles, even bathroom mirrors fromfogging.
Clean those goggles and mirrors with a paste, wipe it clean.
Which toothpaste to use? Because
toothpaste is abrasive it is helpful for
a lot of buffing uses.
That is why whitening toothpaste can also cause sensitivity after awhile to teeth. Keep your pearly whites white by using the whitening toothpaste, butgive them a break from too much abrasion by switching on an and off with a basic, regular paste!
As always, it is our goal as well as our mission statement to “Serve patients as a knowledgeable, fun, and gifted team,inspiring trust while making a difference with our patients and each other.
Almost everybody brushes their teeth, but only one in ten people are doing it effectively!
To that, we have to say a great big "YUCK!!" Imagine if only ten percent of the population showered correctly. That would be pretty gross. But according to researchers at The University of Gothenburg, ninety percent of the population does not brush their teeth in the right way!
Don't worry!! Your friends at Malenius Dental and Associates are here to help you. So sit back and open wide as we present....
The Top Eight Toothbrushing Tips!
1. Size Matters!
Many people use a large toothbrush head thinking the bigger the better." But you can brush just as effectively if not more so with a smaller brush, especially if you have to strain your mouth to use a larger one.
According to dental consumer advisor Dr. Richard Price, the more comfortable it is in your mouth and your hand, then the more likely you will use it and use it properly."
2. It's Good To Be A Softy!
It would seem to make sense that firmer bristles would clean your teeth better, but many times they just wind up damaging your sensitive gum tissue. The American Dental Association recommends a soft-bristled brush and we agree!
3. Don't Do A Rush Job!
While most people spend fifteen seconds or so per round of brushing, a full two minutes is best. And to make sure you don't play favorites, divide your mouth into four sections (upper right, lower right, etc..) and spend thirty seconds on each.
Some electric toothbrushes actually have timers, but you don't need to be so fancy. Find a thirty second song and sing it to yourself for each mouth quarter. Or multitask by watching TV until the full two minutes is up.
4. What's Your Angle?
While we typically picture toothbrushing to be a horizontal affair, that leaves out many important tooth surfaces, including the crucial area where the tooth meets the gum line. Aim your bristles at a forty-five degree angle and make sure they gently dip below
the outer surface of your gums. This can get very tricky, and we recommend that you have one of the fantastic members of our dental hygiene team give you a full demonstration!
5. It's An Inside Job!
The inner surfaces of the teeth are often overlooked, but just because they hide from daylight doesn't mean you should neglect them! Take the time to brush all tooth surfaces, inside and out. Oh - don't forget your tongue either!
After you brush, loose bacteria are floating around in your mouth having a big old party. It's time to finish them up with a rinse of mouthwash or even water. They're on your toothbrush too, so it's always a good idea to run that under the faucet for a few seconds when you finish!
7. Forced Retirement
Many people get nostalgic over their old toothbrushes, but keeping them for too long is a big mistake!! Frayed bristles can't clean correctly, and even worse - they harbor all kinds of nasty germs. The American Dental Association suggests changing your toothbrush every three to four months - but we think that may even be too long of an interval for many. When in doubt - toss it out!
8. And There's One More Thing
Even though we are discussing toothbrushing, it just wouldn't be complete without mentioning those tooth surfaces between your teeth - the ones that can't be reached with a brush. Yes, that's right - we all need to floss!! Daily flossing prevents cavities and helps to keep your gums in good shape.
At Malenius Dental and Associates , we want you to have strong healthy teeth and gums, fresh breath and a beautiful smile!! Please call us now at 630-668-6180 to schedule an appointment, ask any questions about keeping your teeth and gums nice and clean, or even to schedule a complimentary brushing and flossing lesson! We are here for you!
Coming soon Here's an interesting quiz for you.
Who Originally dispensed the famous recommendation to "see your dentist twice a year?"
Is this true or not?- so when and where do you think that bit of advice originated?
- The American Dental Association in 1933
- The world's first dental college- The University of Maryland school of Dentistry in 1845.
- An article in the Journal of Oral surgery by Dr. Henry Horseacre in 1909 entitled "Proper Protocol for dental cleanings."
- A radio ad for Pepsodent Toothpaste in 1929.
Believe it or not, if you guessed "4" you are correct!
Most of us known the famous order to "see your dentist twice a year." Some insurance companies even use that interval to define their standard for payment. But the fact is that phrase was developed with no scientific basis at all-and to sell toothpaste!
Another example of this logic was the campaign for Pear's Soap in the late 1800's. The slogan "Have you used Pear's Soap today?" ushered in the habit of daily bathing! And while that was certainly a good thing, the fact is that we are all different and to think that everyone requires the same schedule for their health needs just doesn't make sense.
When you wash your hair, do you "rinse and repeat?" Do you associate diamonds with engagement rings? Are you convinced that Volvo builds the safest cars? If so, you've been influenced by advertising, not necessarily facts. Don't worry- we are all guilty of it!
At Dr. Malenius & Associates, Dr. Davis an I don't believe in a cookie cutter approach when your health is involved. In ordre to determine the correct dental treatment for you (including how often you should have your teeth cleaned) we perform a thorough examination, checking your teeth, gums, medical history, bite, jaw muscles and more. We even do an oral cancer screening at every check -up.
Everyone is different, so despite what the ad men from Pepsodent once said, let's scientifically determine the correct schedule for your dental visits by looking at the facts, not an ad slogan. Then you can look forward to a lifetime of healthy teet and gums - ad keep smiling forever!
If you have any questions, or you would like to schedule a visit, please call 1-630-668-6180. We are here to help you!
At Dr. Robert Malenius and Associates, Drs. Malenius and Davis take dentistry very seriously. But believe it or not, teeth can be fun!
Here are ten wild and crazy dental facts that will make you smile and improve your health as well.
1) The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough spit to fill 2 swimming pools!
2) You should not keep your toothbrush near a toilet. The airborne particles from the flush can travel up to a distance of 6 feet. Yuck!
3) People who drink 3 or more glasses of soda each day have 62% more tooth decay, fillings and tooth loss than others. Put down the pop and sports drinks and pick up some nice fresh water instead.
4) In 1994, a prison inmate in West Virginia braided dental floss into a rope, scaled the wall and escaped. (We suggest that you use floss to clean between your teeth instead of climbing prison walls! If you don’t you are missing around 35% of your teeth’s surfaces.)
5) You should replace your toothbrush at least every three months, and always after you have an episode of flu, cold or other viral infections. Notorious bacteria can implant themselves on the toothbrush bristles leading to re-infection.
6) Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. However, we do not recommend that you use your pearly whites to open bottle caps!
7) The standard advice to “see your dentist twice a year” was actually invented by an ad agency for Pepsodent toothpaste! Your dental professional should recommend the correct schedule for your regular dental visits.
8) A recent poll has shown that health professionals (physicians, dentists and nurses) were among the most trusted people in The United States. The least trusted? Lobbyists and congressmen of course!
9) According to a recent survey done by Time Magazine, 59% of Americans would rather have a dental appointment than be sitting next to someone talking on a cell phone. Maybe some of us should take a hint!
10) Over three out of four people in the United States suffer from some form of gum disease. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in people over age 35. The good news is, in most cases gum disease can be prevented or controlled!
At the office of Dr. Malenius and Davis, we are here for you, and want to help you achieve the best smile possible. If you have any questions about your dental health or need to schedule an appointment, please give us a call today at 1-630-668-6180. We can help you!
Also – did you know that we are now on Facebook? Please go to https://www.facebook.com/WheatonDental and “like” us for more dental health tips, community news, contests, special offers at all kinds of other fun stuff!!