We’ve developed a number of effective treatments for periodontal (gum) disease. Depending on how far and deep a patient’s infection has advanced, treatment can be quite invasive and even require surgery. The more invasive, the longer and more uncomfortable the healing process can be.
But using a medical laser could make that less so. Although its use for gum disease treatment is still in its infancy, the latest observations from the field seem to show patients undergoing laser treatment may have less tissue trauma and bleeding, less discomfort after the procedure and quicker healing times.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection mostly caused by dental plaque, a thin film of food particles that build up on teeth in the absence of effective oral hygiene. The infection can advance deep below the gum line, weakening gum attachment to teeth and destroying supporting bone. Ultimately the affected teeth can be lost.
Traditionally, the only way to stop the disease is to manually remove plaque buildup on teeth and gum surfaces, which is continuing to sustain the infection, with special hand instruments called scalers or ultrasonic equipment. Because it’s important to remove as much plaque and diseased tissue as possible, we may need to perform a surgical procedure called flap surgery to move some of the gum tissues out of the way to get to these deeper areas. As with any surgery, this can create tissue trauma that may cause discomfort during the healing process.
Our new alternative is to use an Nd:YAG medical laser in a procedure known as Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure or LANAP. With light energy delivered through a small fiber no more than the width of three human hairs, the laser can pinpoint diseased tissue and destroy bacteria through intense heat. Because of the laser beam’s tiny width and pulsing action, healthy tissue is at less risk for trauma than with the traditional treatment.
Coupled with other techniques, LANAP procedures could remove as much infected tissue and plaque as traditional methods, but with less healthy tissue trauma. In the future, then, patients with advanced gum disease undergoing laser treatment could have less bleeding and discomfort and faster healing times.
If you would like more information on treating gum disease, 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 “Treating Gum Disease with Lasers.”
Discover the benefits of getting root canal treatment in Manhattan.
Sure, you probably don’t like thinking about the fact that you need dental treatment; however, if our Midtown Manhattan, NY, dentist Dr. Brandon Huang has recommended that you get root canal treatment it’s important that you listen and don’t ignore the problem. While the common cold may get better on its own, a dental infection won’t. Luckily, a root canal may be all you need to save the tooth from irreparable damage.
What is a root canal?
This procedure is performed when the dental pulp of the tooth has become infected or inflamed. The dental pulp is a fleshy structure within the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. During this endodontic procedure, our Midtown Manhattan, NY, general dentist goes inside the tooth to remove the pulp and to clean out the infection before sealing up to the tooth.
Aren’t root canals painful?
A lot of people worry about getting a root canal because they’ve heard they are painful. We are here to tell you that a root canal is designed to remove the source of the pain (aka: the infected dental pulp), not cause it. It really is no more invasive or uncomfortable than getting a tooth filled. Plus, we will numb the area prior to treatment so you won’t feel anything.
Is a root canal elective?
If you’ve been told that you need a root canal this isn’t something that you can choose not to have if you actually want to preserve your tooth. Dental infections and damage do not mend or repair themselves, so the sooner we perform a root canal the better for the sake and health of your tooth. Otherwise, the infection will continue to spread until the only option will be to remove the tooth.
How do I know that I need a root canal?
Unfortunately, there won’t always be symptoms present to let you know something is wrong. This is why coming in every six months for routine cleanings is the best way to detect problems early on when they are easier to treat. Of course, you should most certainly come into the office immediately if you are experiencing a toothache, sudden lingering tooth sensitivity, tender gums around the tooth, chronic bad breath or if a pimple-like bump forms on the gums.
Are you dealing with a toothache or other warning signs that you may require root canal therapy? If so, it’s important that you have a dentist in Midtown Manhattan, NY, that you can turn to for help. Call Dr. Brandon Huang at New York Dental Studio today.
The long-running hit show Dancing with the Stars has had its share of memorable moments, including a wedding proposal, a wardrobe malfunction, and lots of sharp dance moves. But just recently, one DWTS contestant had the bad luck of taking an elbow to the mouth on two separate occasions—one of which resulted in some serious dental damage.
Nationally syndicated radio personality Bobby Bones received the accidental blows while practicing with his partner, professional dancer Sharna Burgess. “I got hit really hard,” he said. “There was blood and a tooth. [My partner] was doing what she was supposed to do, and my face was not doing what it was supposed to do.”
Accidents like this can happen at any time—especially when people take part in activities where there’s a risk of dental trauma. Fortunately, dentists have many ways to treat oral injuries and restore damaged teeth. How do we do it?
It all depends on how much of the tooth is missing, whether the damage extends to the soft tissue in the tooth’s pulp, and whether the tooth’s roots are intact. If the roots are broken or seriously damaged, the tooth may need to be extracted (removed). It can then generally be replaced with a dental bridge or a state-of-the-art dental implant.
If the roots are healthy but the pulp is exposed, the tooth may become infected—a painful and potentially serious condition. A root canal is needed. In this procedure, the infected pulp tissue is removed and the “canals” (hollow spaces deep inside the tooth) are disinfected and sealed up. The tooth is then restored: A crown (cap) is generally used to replace the visible part above the gum line. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise be lost.
For moderate cracks and chips, dental veneers may be an option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells made of translucent material that go over the front surfaces of teeth. Custom-made from a model of your smile, veneers are securely cemented on to give you a restoration that looks natural and lasts for a long time.
It’s often possible to fix minor chips with dental bonding—and this type of restoration can frequently be done in just one office visit. In this procedure, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to fill in the parts of the tooth that are missing, and then hardened by a special light. While it may not be as long-lasting as some other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can produce good results.
If you would like more information about emergency dental treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor articles “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries” and “Knocked Out Tooth.”
Do you wish your teeth looked better? Whether they're dull, chipped, cracked or a bit crooked, veneers can make over either a single tooth or your entire smile. Midtown Manhattan, NY, dentist Dr. Brandon Huang of New York Dental Studio helps you achieve the smile of your dreams with veneers and other cosmetic services.
How Veneers Can Help Your Smile
At first glance, it's hard to believe that a thin layer of porcelain could completely transform your teeth, yet veneers do just that. The tooth-shaped shells are about as thick as contact lenses yet offer superior coverage. They're attached to the fronts of your teeth with dental cement and cover many imperfections that detract from your smile. Veneers may be a good choice if you would like to:
- Hide Imperfections: Even the tiniest crack or chip in your enamel can be very noticeable the second you open your mouth to laugh, smile, or talk. Veneers cover those little flaws completely and help your problem tooth blend in with the others. Your dentist will choose a veneer shade that matches your other teeth perfectly to ensure that your dental work is completely unnoticeable.
- Fill Gaps: Your Midtown Manhattan dentist may recommend veneers if you feel self-conscious about the little gap between your front teeth. The restorations are an excellent choice if you have slight gaps, but you might need orthodontic treatment for larger gaps.
- Add a Little Length: A few of your formerly uniform teeth may have become shorter over the years if you grind your teeth at night. Veneers offer a simple way to restore their normal appearance. (After you receive the veneers, you may want to begin wearing nightguards to prevent damage to your new restorations.)
- Make Crooked Teeth Disappear: Crooked teeth never seem to hide away in the back of your mouth. Instead, they're front and center, practically begging to be noticed. Luckily, you can disguise oddly shaped teeth by adding a few veneers to them. Veneers can be a good choice if a tooth is crooked, twisted, pointed, or oddly shaped.
- Change the Color of Teeth: Whether you want to brighten one tooth or all of them, veneers are a great choice. They're available in many shades of white and are extremely resistant to stains.
Are you ready to improve your smile with veneers? Call Midtown Manhattan, NY, dentist Dr. Brandon Huang of New York Dental Studio at (212) 588-1809 to schedule your appointment.
Cardiovascular disease and periodontal (gum) disease are two different conditions with their own set of symptoms and outcomes. But they do share one common element: inflammation. In fact, this otherwise normal defensive response of the body might actually create a link between them.
When tissues become damaged from disease or injury, the body triggers inflammation to isolate them from the rest of the body. This allows these tissues to heal without affecting other tissues. If inflammation becomes chronic, however, it can damage rather than protect the body.
This happens with both cardiovascular disease and gum disease. In the former, low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad cholesterol”) in animal fat leave behind remnants that can build up within arteries. This stimulates inflammation of the vessel’s inner linings, which accelerates hardening and increases the risk of heart attack or stroke.
With gum disease, bacteria living in a thin, built-up film of food particles on the teeth called plaque infect the gum tissues, which in turn trigger inflammation. A struggle ensures between the infection and inflammation, causing the gum tissues to weaken and detach from the teeth. Coupled with erosion of the supporting bone, the risk of tooth loss dramatically increases.
Recent research now seems to indicate the inflammatory responses from these two diseases may not occur in isolation. There is evidence that gum inflammation could aggravate inflammation in the cardiovascular system, and vice-versa. The research, though, points to some possible good news: treating inflammation in either disease could have a positive effect on the other.
Making heart-friendly lifestyle changes like losing extra weight (especially around the waist), improving nutrition, and exercising regularly can help reduce LDL and lower the risk of arterial inflammation. Likewise for your gums, daily oral hygiene and visiting the dentist at least twice a year reduces the risk for gum disease. And at the first sign of a gum infection—swollen, reddened or bleeding gums—seeking immediate treatment will stop it and reduce any occurring inflammation.
Taking steps to prevent or reduce inflammation brought on by both of these diseases could improve your health and save your life.
If you would like more information on how your oral health affects your whole 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 “The Link between Heart & Gum Disease.”
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