This simple restoration may be all you need to achieve a healthier smile.
Accidents happen. Whether you chipped a tooth on something you ate or a sports injury left you with a weakened tooth, our Downingtown, PA, general dentist Dr. Carl Horchos has a simple solution to restore your smile’s strength and functionality so that you don’t deal with further complications. This simple solution comes in the form of a dental crown, a customized tooth-shaped cap that is placed over the visible portion of the tooth all the way to the gum line to protect and preserve the structure.
When is a dental crown needed?
As we mentioned, there are several things that can lead to a weak or damaged tooth. The most common issues are decay, infection or traumatic injury. Here’s when you may benefit from a dental crown,
- You have a cracked or fractured tooth
- Your tooth is weak enough that it could potentially break
- You just underwent root canal treatment
- Your current dental filling is no longer able to support and preserve the tooth
- You have a discolored or severely misshapen tooth
- You need to replace a missing tooth (e.g. dental implant; dental bridge)
What is involved in getting a dental crown in Downingtown, PA?
Since a dental crown needs to be able to fit your tooth precisely we will have to take impressions of your mouth. These molds will provide the dental lab with the exact tooth measurements they need to create a ceramic crown that will blend in with the rest of your smile. Our crowns are made from tooth-colored material so they will be made to look just like a real tooth.
Once the tooth is prepared so that the crown can fit over the top of it we will most likely need to place a temporary crown over the tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready to be fitted.
Here at Chestnut Dental Associates in Downingtown, PA, we offer comprehensive general, cosmetic and restorative dentistry to meet the needs of all of our patients. If you are wondering whether your smile could benefit from dental crowns, call our office today.
Root canal treatment can end your pain and help you avoid the loss of a tooth. Downingtown, PA, general dentist Dr. Carl Horchos offers root canals at Chestnut Dental Associates.
What is root canal therapy?
During root canal therapy, your Downingtown dentist removes the pulp from the center of the tooth. The pulp, a collection of connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels, fills the center portion of your tooth but also extends into the small canals in the roots of the tooth.
Once pulp tissue has been removed, the tooth is filled with gutta percha, a rubber-based material. Your treated tooth may also require a crown to protect the tooth.
Why are root canals needed?
Root canals are performed when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, causing pain. The problem can occur if a cavity isn't treated and tooth decay eventually penetrates the pulp. It's not unusual to need a root canal after an accident that damages or loosens your tooth.
If you don't have a root canal, you will eventually lose your tooth or develop an abscess. Root canals help you avoid these unpleasant consequences.
Isn't root canal therapy painful?
Many people are worried that root canal therapy will be an awful experience. That's not surprising, considering the jokes that circulate about root canals. Fortunately, everything you've heard about root canal pain is wrong. You'll receive local anesthesia when you arrive at the office, and your dentist won't proceed with the therapy until you're comfortably numb. From your perspective, the root canal procedure won't seem much different than having a filling.
Will my tooth feel better immediately?
You may notice some sensitivity in the treated tooth for a few days. Over-the-counter pain medications can be helpful if you do notice mild pain. Within a week or two after your root canal, you'll notice that your pain is finally gone.
Improve your oral health with root canal therapy. Call your Downingtown, PA, general dentist Dr. Carl Horchos of Chestnut Dental Associates at (484) 364-4292 to schedule an appointment.
In the quest for the ideal diet, people often stress over one particular food group: carbohydrates. And for good reason—some carbohydrates have been linked to chronic inflammation, a contributing factor in many diseases. One such condition in particular, periodontal (gum) disease, could permanently damage your dental health.
But before you throw all the carbs out of your diet, let’s take a closer look at them. Not all carbs are the same or contribute to inflammation to the same degree.
Carbohydrates are organic compounds existing in living tissues. In foods, the most prevalent of these are sugars and starches that break down during digestion into the simple sugar glucose, which the cells in an organism use for energy.
But not all carb-based foods digest at the same rate, measured along a scale called the glycemic index. High glycemic foods like sugar, baked goods or potatoes digest quickly and can rapidly increase the glucose levels in the blood (blood sugar). This sudden glucose spike then triggers an insulin surge from the pancreas to restore the level to normal. This process in turn can cause inflammation.
On the other end of the glycemic index are complex or unrefined carbohydrates that digest much more slowly, and don’t quickly elevate blood sugar like simple carbs. In fact, nutritional studies consistently show carbohydrates in most vegetables, greens, beans or whole grains may actually decrease inflammation.
Inflammation is also a primary factor in gum disease, caused by a bacterial infection in the gums. Chronic inflammation damages the gums’ attachment with the teeth and can contribute to eventual tooth loss. And if your body already has an overactive inflammatory response due to your diet, you could be even more susceptible to gum disease.
A change in your diet in relation to carbs could help reduce this risk. Eat less sugar, white flour, rice and potatoes and more complex carbs like fresh vegetables and fruits. For even more protection include foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (like certain fish and nuts) and less Omega 6 foods (fried food or pastries, or chips, for example). And don’t forget your antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Eating fewer simple carbs and more complex carbs will help reduce inflammation in the body. And that’s a good thing for your gums.
If you would like more information on how diet affects dental health, 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 “Carbohydrates Linked to Gum Disease.”
Placing a dental implant within the jawbone requires a surgical procedure. For most people it’s a relatively minor affair, but for some with certain health conditions it might be otherwise. Because of their condition they might have an increased risk for a bacterial infection afterward that could interfere with the implant’s integration with the bone and lead to possible failure.
To lower this risk, dentists for many years have routinely prescribed an antibiotic for patients considered at high-risk for infection to take before their implant surgery. But there’s been a lively debate among health practitioners about the true necessity for this practice and whether it’s worth the possible side effects that can accompany taking antibiotics.
While the practice still continues, current guidelines now recommend it for fewer health conditions. The American Dental Association (ADA) together with the American Heart Association (AHA) now recommend antibiotics only for surgical patients who have prosthetic heart valves, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant or certain congenital heart conditions.
But patients with prosthetic joint replacements, who were once included in the recommendation for pre-surgical antibiotics, are no longer in that category. Even so, some orthopedic surgeons continue to recommend it for their joint replacement patients out of concern that a post-surgical infection could adversely affect their replaced joints.
But while these areas of disagreement about pre-surgical antibiotics still continue, a consensus may be emerging about a possible “sweet spot” in administering the therapy. Evidence from recent studies indicates just a small dose of antibiotics administered an hour before surgery may be sufficient to reduce the risk of infection-related implant failure with only minimal risk of side effects from the drug.
Because pre-surgical antibiotic therapy can be a complicated matter, it’s best that you discuss with both the physician caring for your health condition and your dentist about whether you should undergo this option to reduce the infection risk with your own implant surgery. Still, if all the factors surrounding your health indicate it, this antibiotic therapy might help you avoid losing an implant to infection.
If you would like more information on antibiotics before implant surgery, 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 “Implants & Antibiotics: Lowering Risk of Implant Failure.”
Once upon a time, celebrities tried hard to maintain the appearance of red-carpet glamour at all times. That meant keeping the more mundane aspects of their lives out of the spotlight: things like shopping, walking the dog and having oral surgery, for example.
That was then. Today, you can find plenty of celebs posting pictures from the dentist on social media. Take Julianne Hough, for example: In 2011 and 2013, she tweeted from the dental office. Then, not long ago, she shared a video taken after her wisdom teeth were removed in December 2016. In it, the 28-year-old actress and dancer cracked jokes and sang a loopy rendition of a Christmas carol, her mouth filled with gauze. Clearly, she was feeling relaxed and comfortable!
Lots of us enjoy seeing the human side of celebrities. But as dentists, we’re also glad when posts such as these help demystify a procedure that could be scary for some people.
Like having a root canal, the thought of extracting wisdom teeth (also called third molars) makes some folks shudder. Yet this routine procedure is performed more often than any other type of oral surgery. Why? Because wisdom teeth, which usually begin to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums) around age 17-25, have the potential to cause serious problems in the mouth. When these molars lack enough space to fully erupt in their normal positions, they are said to be “impacted.”
One potential problem with impacted wisdom teeth is crowding. Many people don’t have enough space in the jaw to accommodate another set of molars; when their wisdom teeth come in, other teeth can be damaged. Impacted wisdom teeth may also have an increased potential to cause periodontal disease, bacterial infection, and other issues.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed; after a complete examination, including x-rays and/or other diagnostic imaging, a recommendation will be made based on each individual’s situation. It may involve continued monitoring of the situation, orthodontics or extraction.
Wisdom tooth extraction is usually done right in the office, often with a type of anesthesia called “conscious sedation.”Â Here, the patient is able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli (such as verbal directions), but remains free from pain. For people who are especially apprehensive about dental procedures, anti-anxiety mediation may also be given. After the procedure, prescription or over-the-counter pain medication may be used for a few days. If you feel like singing a few bars, as Julianne did, it’s up to you.
If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”
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