Periodontal disease differs from gingivitis in respect to the fact that it is associated with the inflammation of gingiva, along with the inflammation of the dentine, the surrounding alveolar bone and the periodontal ligament. Periodontitis is a more progressed and on a later stage, the irreversible form of gingivitis. Some of the distinguishing features here include the presence of periodontal pockets, gradual recession of the gums as well as tooth mobility that eventually occurs. Periodontitis usually develops if gingivitis is left untreated for a long duration of time, and hence can be considered a complication of gingivitis.
What causes the development of periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease usually occurs as a result of untreated gingival swelling, as in case of gingivitis. The root cause of all gum diseases is unsatisfactory oral hygiene conditions which result in the accumulation of bacteria in the form of plaque and calculus on the surfaces of the teeth, as well as along the margins of the gums. Calculus is the calcified form of plaque which cannot be removed with simple brushing and flossing. By maintaining a good oral hygiene regime, nearly all chances of the development of any form of gum disease can be easily eliminated, except for those that occur as a result of certain systemic disorders or hormonal changes during pregnancy and puberty. Leading dentists all over the globe recommend flossing as a regular part of dental hygiene because it prevents the accumulation of plaque and calculus in areas of the mouth which are otherwise inaccessible to a toothbrush. Fluoride mouthwashes and toothpastes also help reduce the chances of plaque accumulation in the oral cavity.
What are some of the complications of periodontal disease?
The most important complication of periodontal disease is the loss of teeth due to mobility and gum recession. Because periodontitis causes inflammation of not just the gingiva, but also the dentine, periodontal ligaments and alveolar bone, it causes the teeth to become loose in their socket, eventually causing them to get dislodged from their socket in the alveolar bone. The loss of teeth as a result of periodontal disease can compromise the mastication or chewing of the food. It also causes speech problems. Loss of teeth can also compromise the overall aesthetics of the patient because it results in the reshaping of facial muscles to adapt to the new spaces and gaps that are created once the teeth are missing from their sockets. The process involves the formation of periodontal pockets, which can be explained as spaces created between the tooth and the gums. These pockets are the main cause of tooth mobility in periodontitis. The gingival recession that follows causes abnormal exposure of the tooth, and in majority of the cases the roots of the teeth are eventually exposed. Once the gingival recession initiates, it is immensely difficult and even impossible to bring it back to its normal form which is why it is encouraged to prevent and eliminate the root cause of periodontal disease.
Sedation dentistry deals with the use of anesthetic and sedative agents that are used to depress the nervous system of a patient prior to surgery. The role of sedatives in dentistry cannot be neglected as dental anesthesiologists hold immense responsibility in making sure that the patient has a safe and painless surgery, that the sedatives are completely effective and that the patient shows good results in recovery. Sedatives in dentistry are used to ensure that the patient remains calm and relaxed throughout and prior to the surgical procedure.
Sedation dentistry applies to all procedures that have the potential of causing pain or discomfort to the patient. Dental pain and its related procedures are both very painful in most cases, which is why it is immensely important to first calm the patient before beginning the surgery. The action of all pharmacological agents used in sedation act on the central nervous system and depress it. There are different degrees of sedation that range from complete consciousness with slight depression of the central nervous system, to complete sedation that results in a patient becoming completely unresponsive to stimuli. Complete sedation is only used in procedure that requires extensive invasive surgery which may result in pain and discomfort beyond the pain threshold of the patient.
What are some of the ways of administering sedative agents in dentistry?
There are two main methods of sedating a patient prior to surgery. These are enteral and parenteral. Sedative agents that are administered through the enteral route can be given directly into the alimentary canal, and the patient is either required to swallow them, or they can be given rectally. Agents that are administered by the parenteral route can be given intravenously, through inhalation, by intramuscular or intrathecal injections, submucosally and also through topical application, among others.
Why are sedatives used in dentistry?
There are many patients that walk into the dental clinic or OPD with a dental complain, but have an innate fear of dental treatment. These patients need to be calmed down prior to performing any surgical procedures because they may become traumatized owing to their ‘phobia’. Most of these patients, majority of which are children, are also afraid of needles that are used in local anesthesia. Other indications include patients on whom local anesthesia is ineffective due to different reasons, patients who frequently get gag reflex due to nervousness or other reasons, and surgeries that involve invasive procedures and hence may cause discomfort and pain to the patient.
Sedation allows patients who have a phobia of dental treatment, or dentists themselves, to relax and remain calm in a dental chair. It is absolutely essential to make sure that the patient is calm and comfortable before surgery. This is because patients may also have certain diseases, such as cardiovascular problems or other systemic disorders that may get triggered and turn into medical emergencies owing to extensive anxiety of a patient resulting from the fear of surgery. Sedation dentistry must only be performed and supervised by a professional in the field to avoid any complications.
Cosmetic dentistry deals with all the procedures, surgeries and administration of pharmacological agents involved in making teeth look beautiful in order to restore the aesthetics. It is for this reason that cosmetic dentistry is rather expensive all over the world, owing to the fact that the material used in making the smile and overall facial structures look impeccable and flawless do not come cheap. Some of the most common products used in cosmetic dentistry to restore the aesthetics of the oral cavity include tooth implants, porcelain veneers, braces, jaw reshaping, tooth whitening agents and procedures as well as various other surgeries that can transform any malocclusions, cavitations, stains, irregularities and unsightly discoloration into a flawless, perfect smile.
With an increasing demand in this particular area of dentistry, this era has seen a great rise in the number of oral health care practitioners and surgeons who are now practicing cosmetic dentistry as a solo area of expertise. It is important to understand that cosmetic dentistry deals only with restoring or enhancing the aesthetics and appearance, and not necessarily the function. It is common knowledge that in case of certain cosmetic dentistry procedures, the normal function of the structures of the oral cavity may, or may not be compromised. There are two main fields that are included and implemented in cosmetic dentistry namely orthodontics and prosthodontics.
Orthodontics deals with restoring normal occlusion of the teeth with the placement of orthodontics appliances and braces. Private practitioners all over the world charge a hefty amount for orthodontic treatments, which have become the most popular and also the most common method of acquiring a perfect smile. But with the advancements in dentistry, as well as an increase in the demand, orthodontic treatments have now become much more affordable. Prosthodontics involves the placement of implants and other prosthetic appliances for the same aesthetic effect, but within a much shorter duration than in orthodontics.
Another common procedure in cosmetic dentistry is tooth whitening and bleaching. This involves the application of certain over the counter agents, as well as procedures that are performed by dentists at clinics. The result is a pearly white shine which can be achieved without any harmful side effects. Tooth reshaping is another popular cosmetic dentistry procedure with involves the reshaping of tooth structure in order to give them the perfect shape and size. Veneers have also gained immense popularity; these are porcelain laminates which can be bonded onto the surface of the teeth in order to camouflage any irregularities, spacing or discoloration. Another procedure that deals with the reshaping and remodeling of the gums to the preference of the patient is known as gum lifting. Bridges and implants are also quite common these days and involve the replacement of extracted teeth with those made in dental laboratories according to the oral anatomy of the patient.
With more advancement in the field of cosmetic dentistry, it is now much easier to acquire a perfect smile than it was ever before.
Excessively white, bright teeth have become a norm in the world of fashion, glamour and fame. Hollywood-style white teeth, though dazzling, have a tendency to look fake, especially when the whiteness exceeds the normal whitest shade of teeth. Almost every single celebrity has had some form of whitening treatment to enhance their smile. It is rare to find a famous personality who has not had any form of cosmetic treatment done to completely change or enhance their appearance. The good part is, anyone can have the same dazzling smile as those celebrities.
Laser Teeth Whitening
One the most potent and available whitening techniques available in dentistry today is laser teeth whitening. This is a professional dental treatment which is performed at a dental clinic by a cosmetic dentist. It involves applying a gel containing peroxide, the bleaching agent, onto the surfaces of the teeth. A transparent plastic tray is then placed over the teeth containing the gel in place. A blue laser light is then placed in front of the patient’s teeth for about an hour. This blue light is at a frequency which activates the bleaching agent within the gel to act on the tooth surfaces and begin the bleaching effect.
Laser teeth whitening is extremely effective, and can whiten the teeth up to 6 shades lighter. It can cost anywhere between $400-$700 by average dentists across the nation.
Porcelain veneers are almost every celebrity’s favorite choice of cosmetic dental treatments. They have the ability to change the color, shape and size of teeth, can close spaces between teeth, camouflage crooked and chipped teeth and hide all minor imperfections in all the visible teeth when one smiles. This is done through bonding extremely thin, tooth-like shells on the visible surfaces of the teeth after removing an equally thin layer of the tooth surfaces. It is comparable to a more conservative yet advanced method of crowns, which involve cutting away excessive tooth substance.
Porcelain veneers are highly durable, are an excellent match to natural tooth structure and give amazing results if done well, by an experienced professional cosmetic dentist. They are a very popular choice among esthetic conscious people and the celebrities. They can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000, and may even go up to $6,000 depending on t Read more »
A dentist is a professional who is specially trained to study, diagnose, treat and prevent oral diseases. These involve the teeth and the oral soft tissues. The face and neck are also a crucial part of dental examination and practice.
As we all know, many systemic diseases can have oral manifestations, while many oral diseases can lead to systemic diseases as well. Visiting the dentist is thus, not just a large sum of money out of one’s pocket as common misconception suggests, but it has everything to do with improving one’s oral and general health and staying healthy. Dentists are, after all, certified as doctors for a reason.
Why visit the Dentist?
Regular visits to the dentist can help to prevent a variety of dental and oral problems. Brushing twice daily, using mouth wash and flossing are all part of maintaining perfect oral hygiene, but there could still be a problem that one is not aware of until it actually manifests itself. People with tartar and calculus cannot remove it with simple brushing and flossing. Tartar and calculus, if left alone, can most likely cause swollen gums and periodontal disease which, if left untreated, leads to tooth loss. Only a professional dentist is certified to perform the scaling procedure necessary to have it removed. The dentist will not only treat the problem, he will also educate the patient on effective tooth-brushing techniques to ultimately prevent periodontal disease. Read more »