Posts for: February, 2015

By Brookside Dental Care
February 23, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: bleeding gums   gum disease  

Did you ever brush your teeth and find that your gums were bleeding slightly? This unwelcome discovery is more common than you might think — and it might have something to tell you about your oral health. Here are five things you should know about bleeding gums.

  • As much as 90% of the population occasionally experiences bleeding gums. It happens most often while brushing — and it’s often a sign of trouble, indicating that your gums are inflamed and/or you aren’t brushing or flossing optimally.
  • Bleeding gums can be an early warning sign of gum disease. In its earliest stages, this malady is called gingivitis, and it’s quite common. About 10 to 15 percent of people with gingivitis go on to develop a more serious form of gum disease, called periodontitis. If left untreated, it can lead to gum recession, bone loss, and eventually tooth loss.
  • A professional exam is the best way to tell if you have gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist may use a small hand-held instrument called a periodontal probe to check the spaces between your teeth and gums. When gum tissue becomes detached from the teeth, and when it bleeds while being probed, gum disease is suspected.
  • Other symptoms can confirm the presence of gum disease. These include the presence of pus and the formation of deep “pockets” under the gums, where gum tissues have separated from teeth. The pockets may harbor harmful bacteria, and need to be treated before they cause more damage.
  • Several factors may influence the health of your gums. How effectively you brush and floss has a major impact on the health of your gums. But other factors are important too: For instance, women who are pregnant or taking birth control pills sometimes have bleeding gums due to higher hormone levels. Diabetics and people with compromised immune systems often tend to have worse problems with periodontal disease. Certain drugs, like aspirin and Coumadin, may cause increased bleeding; smoking, by contrast, can mask the presence of gum disease by restricting blood flow.

It’s never “normal” to have bleeding gums — so if you notice this problem, be sure to have an examination as soon as you can. If you have questions about bleeding gums or periodontal disease, contact us or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Assessing Risk For Gum Disease.”

By Brookside Dental Care
February 23, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Sedation Dentistry  

Sedation Dentistry in Stockton, CA

Everyone is afraid of something. Some people are terrified of heights, while others run from the room at the sight of a mouse. For some people, the dentist is scary. Dental phobia makes individuals postpone routine dental care, or neglect it completely for years. Sedation DentistryThe results can be gum disease, bone recession and tooth loss.

In addition, some patients worry about pain, gag easily or have sensitive teeth. Others fear going to the dentist because of past dental experiences.

What's the solution to this health issue? It may be sedation dentistry.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses drugs administered by mouth or via inhalation or intravenous injection to reduce a patient's level of anxiety. While many dentists have specialized training in administration of anesthesia and sedation, some practitioners choose to employ staff members whose sole job is to administer these drugs and to monitor patients during procedures.

What types of sedation are available?

Before using any sedation or anesthetic for a dental procedure, dentist and patient should discuss the individual's concerns. This helps the doctor determine if sedation is the correct choice and what kind of sedation will help the individual relax while getting the work done. The dentist will review the patient's medical history and any prescription or over the counter medications or supplements they take. People with complex medical issues, sleep apnea, or who are obese may not do well with some kinds of dental sedation.

Sedation can be administered in 3 ways, from the most to least conscious:

  • Inhaled: Inhaled sedation is more commonly known as nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. It gives patients the feeling of being euphoric, yet relaxed, The effects of laughing gas wear off fast, and the patient can drive home from the appointment.
  • Oral: Oral sedatives are tranquilizing pills such as Valium or Halcion. They allow a patient to nap during dental procedures. While the patient is easily roused from this moderate sedation, he or she must be driven home by a friend or relative.
  • Intravenous: Intravenous or IV sedation is administered by injection into a blood vessel. It allows a patient to sleep soundly in the dental chair, and the doctor can increase or decrease the drug as needed.

General anesthesia may be an option for patients who are especially nervous and are undergoing complex restorations. It is not really sedation because it makes the patient unconscious. For the patient to wake up, they must be given another drug or must wait until the anesthesia wears off. Heart rate, blood pressure and respiration are monitored while the patient is "under."

Alexander Pritsky DMD understands your concerns.

At Brookside Dental Care in Stockton, California, Dr. Alexander Pritsky and his staff want you to have the best dental experience possible and the healthiest smile, too. He, along with Ravneet Nijjar DDS and Harpreet Tiwana DDS, combine state of the art dental services with compassionate care of the individual. To discuss if sedation dentistry is right for your next dental appointment, call the office at 209-952-8804.

By Brookside Dental Care
February 13, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Martha Stewart has built a flourishing career by showcasing the things she’s designed and made — like floral arrangements, crafts, and even home renovations. Just recently, she was showing off her latest restoration project: a new dental bridge. In fact, she live-tweeted the procedure from her dentist’s office… and she even included pictures of the bridgework before it was placed on her teeth!

OK, it’s a departure from paper crafts and home-made pillows… but why not? We can’t help feeling that there’s just as much craftsmanship — even artistry — in dental bridgework as there is in many other custom-made items. If you learn a little more about what goes into making and placing bridgework, perhaps you’ll understand why we feel that way.

Bridgework is one good solution to the problem of missing teeth (another is dental implants). A fixed bridge is anchored to existing teeth on either side of the gap left by missing teeth, and it uses those healthy teeth to support one or more lifelike replacement teeth. How does it work?

Fabricated as a single unit, the bridge consists of one or more crowns (caps) on either end that will be bonded or cemented to the existing teeth, plus a number of prosthetic teeth in the middle. The solid attachment of the crowns to the healthy teeth keeps the bridge in place; they support the artificial teeth in between, and let them function properly in the bite.

Here’s where some of the artistry comes in: Every piece of bridgework is custom-made for each individual patient. It matches not only their dental anatomy, but also the shape and shade of their natural teeth. Most bridges are made in dental laboratories from models of an individual’s teeth — but some dental offices have their own mini-labs, capable of fabricating quality bridgework quickly and accurately. No matter where they are made, lifelike and perfect-fitting bridges reflect the craftsmanship of skilled lab technicians using high-tech equipment.

Once it is made, bridgework must be properly placed on your teeth. That’s another job that requires a combination of art and science — and it’s one we’re experts at. From creating accurate models of your mouth to making sure the new bridge works well with your bite, we take pride in the work we do… and it shows in your smile.

If you would like more information about dental bridges, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Fixed vs. Removable Bridges” and “Dental Implants vs. Bridgework.”