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Posts for: January, 2015

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
January 28, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

When we refer to periodontal (gum) disease, we’re actually talking about a family of progressive, infectious diseases that attack the gums and other tissues attached to the teeth. Caused primarily by bacterial plaque left on tooth surfaces from inefficient oral hygiene, gum disease can ultimately lead to tooth loss.

There’s only one way to stop the infection and restore health to diseased tissues — remove all of the offending plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) possible from tooth and gum surfaces, including below the gum line at the roots. The basic tools for this task are specialized hand instruments called scalers or ultrasonic equipment that vibrates plaque loose. A series of cleaning sessions using these tools could stop the infection and promote healing if followed with a consistent, efficient daily hygiene habit.

There are times, however, when the infection has progressed so deeply below the gum line or into the tissues that it requires other procedures to remove the plaque and infected tissue. One such situation is the formation of an abscess within the gum tissues, a pus-filled sac that has developed in response to infection. After administering local anesthesia, the abscess must be treated to remove the cause and allow the infectious fluid to drain. The area is then thoroughly flushed with saline or an antibacterial solution.

The gum tissues are not completely attached to the tooth surface for a small distance creating a space. These spaces are called periodontal pockets when they are inflamed and continue to deepen as the disease progresses. These inflamed and sometimes pus-filled pockets form when tissues damaged by the infection detach from the teeth. If the pockets are located near the gum line, it may be possible to clean out the infectious material using scaling techniques. If, however, they’re located four or more millimeters below the gum line a technique known as root planing may be needed, where plaque and calculus are shaved or “planed” from the root surface. As the disease progresses and the pockets deepen, it may also be necessary for surgical intervention to gain access to the tooth roots.

To stop gum disease and promote soft tissue healing, we should use any or all treatment tools at our disposal to reach even the most difficult places for removing plaque and calculus. The end result — a saved tooth — is well worth the effort.

If you would like more information on treating periodontal 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 Difficult Areas of Periodontal Disease.”

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
January 13, 2015
Category: Oral Health

The Tooth Fairy has been easing the process of losing baby teeth for hundreds of years — at least 500 years according to one authority on the subject. Her name is Brady Reiter, and while she looks only age 11 in earth years, she is actually a 500-year-old Tooth Fairy; at least she plays one on DVD.

Brady is the star of Tooth Fairy 2, a new DVD comedy also starring Larry the Cable Guy as a novice Tooth Fairy doing penance for questioning the existence of the magical sprite who leaves payment under pillows for lost teeth.

In a charming interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Brady says it wasn't very difficult to play an ancient tooth fairy trapped in a child's body.

“I'm kind of more mature than an average 11-year-old because I have older brothers and sisters,” Brady told Dear Doctor. “It was kind of just connecting with my inner 500-year-old. It was very fun to play a character like that!”

Brady also enjoyed working with Larry, who dons a pink tutu and fluffy wings for his role.

“In hair and makeup every morning, he'd be making all these jokes,” she said. “He just cracked us up 100 percent of the time!”

But as much fun as Brady had on the set, her character, Nyx, is all business. And that's how Brady, who recently lost her last baby tooth, has always believed it should be.

“My whole life I thought the Tooth Fairy is just like Nyx,” Brady said. “They know what to do, they come in, they're professionals, you don't see them and they never make a mistake and forget your tooth. Just like Santa Claus, tooth fairies are very professional.”

Brady also told Dear Doctor that she is very excited to be helping the National Children's Oral Health Foundation fight childhood tooth decay as spokesfairy for America's ToothFairy Kids Club. The club offers kids personalized letters from the Tooth Fairy along with lots of encouraging oral health tips and fun activities.

If you would like to enroll your child in the club — it's free! — please visit www.AmericasToothFairyKids.org. And to make sure your child's teeth and your own are decay-free and as healthy as possible, please contact us to schedule your next appointment.

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
January 13, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Root CanalIf you’ve been told that you need to have a root canal in Fresno, perhaps you’re not exactly sure what that fully entails. While the process might sound a bit overwhelming root canal treatment is quite common, with around 15 million root canals being performed the US each year alone. No one wants to lose a permanent tooth; therefore, sometimes the best way to protect your teeth is with root canal therapy.

What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy is used to properly treat an infected or inflamed tooth.

Why do I need root canal treatment in Fresno?

If your Fresno dentist has recommended getting root canal treatment then it’s because you have either an inflamed or infected pulp and it needs to be removed. The pulp is the soft tissue within the tooth that also contains blood vessels, tissue and nerves.

An infected pulp can be caused by decay, cracks or chips in your tooth, or direct trauma. A root canal will help save your tooth from further damage and also clean out the infection.

Will root canal treatment hurt?

While you may have heard horror stories about root canal treatment, you can rest assured that this procedure is truly not as involved or stressful as it might seem. In fact, having a root canal really feels no different than having a tooth filled. Before we begin your procedure we will use a local anesthetic to ensure that you don’t experience any pain or discomfort throughout the treatment. Most patients that come to us are already in a significant amount of pain, and some report feeling instantly better after treatment.

How long will the recovery process be?

It’s completely normal to feel a little sore for a few days following your root canal therapy. You will be prescribed medication to help lessen the post-procedural pain. However, if you notice any severe pain after a couple days, then call your Fresno dentist immediately.

If you want to preserve your natural smile and your Fresno dentist has recommended getting a root canal, then it’s time to do what you need to in order to protect your teeth. Call us today to schedule your upcoming procedure.

Fresno, CA Dentist
Curt P. Posey, DDS, INC.
7078 N. Maple Ave. Ste #105
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 227-6755
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