Posts for: December, 2020
Making precise decisions during times of urgency is of the utmost importance when you have a dental emergency. Oral emergencies usually constitute broken teeth, missing teeth, extensive infections, massive blood loss, and possibly head trauma. Here is what you can do in preparation before visiting Dr. George Zatarain at Z Dentistry in Reno, NV:
- Make sure you have our contact information and reach out as soon as possible.
- Take measures to slow the bleeding. Place ice or some other cold compress on the mouth to reduce swelling and blood loss.
- Non-prescription medication helps to manage pain.
Retaining The Tooth
- Can you find the tooth if it’s not in your mouth? If yes, try to put it in an easy to find place until you can get to your specialist.
- Store the tooth in water and bring it with you when you get to your appointment.
- Rinsing with salt water helps to soothe pain and help with swelling.
Some Ways to Avoid Oral Emergencies
- Sports, especially contact sports, are much safer with a mouthguard.
- Don’t forget to buckle up when driving!
- Shoveling snow, mopping promptly, and keeping walkways clear of objects lessen the chance of accidents and injury.
- Take your time when approaching wet floors, ice, or other slippery surfaces.
- Practice consistent oral care each day.
- It may be necessary for you or a loved one to contact 911 if the injury is potentially life-threatening, for example, obstruction of the throat or signs of unconsciousness.
While some may decide to wait until their next biannual visit to the dentist, we recommend that you come into Z Dentistry in Reno, NV, if you see the signs listed above. Find out what to do next in an emergency or get immediate assistance by calling Dr. Zatarain at (775) 331-1616.
When your baby’s first teeth come in, you might not think it necessary yet to worry about tooth decay. But even infants can develop this common dental disease. In fact, it has a specific name in children 6 and under: early childhood caries (ECC).
About one-fourth of U.S. children have ECC, and poor or minority children are at highest risk. Because of primary (“baby”) teeth’s thin enamel layer, ECC can spread to healthier teeth with unnerving speed, causing extensive damage.
While such damage immediately affects a child’s nutrition, speech development and self-esteem, it could also impact their future oral health. Permanent teeth often erupt out of position because of missing primary teeth lost prematurely, creating a poor bite. And children with ECC are more likely to have cavities in their future permanent teeth.
While there are a number of effective treatments for repairing ECC-caused damage, it’s best to try to prevent it before damage occurs. A large part of prevention depends on you. You should, for example, begin oral hygiene even before teeth come in by wiping their gums with a clean, damp cloth after feeding. After teeth appear, switch to daily brushing with just a smear of toothpaste.
Because refined sugar is a primary food source for decay-causing bacteria, you should limit it in their diet. In the same vein, avoid sleep-time bottles with fluids like juices, milk or formula. As they grow older, make sure snacks are also low in sugar.
You should also avoid spreading your own oral bacteria to your baby. In this regard, don’t put their eating utensils or pacifier in your mouth and don’t drink from the same cup. Avoid kissing your baby on the lips. And above all, take care of your own oral health to prevent your own encounter with dental disease.
Finally, start regular dental visits on or before your baby’s first birthday. Regular cleanings and checkups increase the chances for early decay detection, as well as provide for treatments and prevention measures that can reduce the disease’s spread and destruction.
ECC can be devastating to both your baby’s current and future dental health. But with vigilance and good dental practices, you may be able to help them avoid this serious disease.
Kill Bill fans have been pressing for a third installment of the stylized revenge tale since Kill Bill, Volume 2 hit the theaters in 2004. Finally, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is talking about the long-awaited Volume 3 as if it might soon become a reality. The third movie in the franchise would most likely focus on the now-grown daughter of the character played by Vivica A. Fox in the first two. Vivica recently made known that should Kill Bill, Volume 3 go into production, she thinks 24-year-old actress and singer Zendaya would be perfect for the role.
Although Zendaya is a few inches taller than Vivica, the two women have a few things in common. Besides being talented movie and television actresses who have won awards for their roles, they both have camera-ready smiles. And both Vivica and Zendaya can thank their dentists for helping their smiles be their best.
In 2016, Vivica told Dear Doctor magazine that her smile needed a boost, so she opted for dental veneers to correct gaps between her teeth—and she's very happy with them. “I love my veneers!” she exclaimed. Zendaya also had help in achieving her Hollywood-perfect smile. In 2011, early in her career on the Disney channel, she wore clear orthodontic aligners to straighten her teeth. To further perfect her smile, she visited her dentist for professional teeth whitening in 2016, inviting a film crew along to show how easy and effective in-office tooth whitening is.
But you don't have to be a celebrity to enjoy smile-enhancing dental treatments. They are great options for anyone who wants to improve the look of their smile.
Teeth whitening. If your teeth are looking yellowed, in-office whitening can make them up to 10 shades brighter in one visit! Some people prefer professional at-home whitening kits, which produce great results more gradually.
Bonding or veneers. For small chips and cracks, cosmetic bonding can cover flaws by adding layers of a tooth-colored material over the tooth. For bigger flaws, heavy discoloration or gaps between teeth as Vivica had, dental veneers may be the answer. These custom-made thin porcelain shells cover the front-facing surface of the tooth, hiding imperfections to give anyone a Hollywood smile.
Orthodontics. Crooked teeth can detract from the look of a smile. While traditional braces are an option, many people with mild to moderate alignment issues find removable clear aligners the perfect way to get the smile they desire with minimal impact on their daily activities. Clear aligners are very subtle and can be removed for eating and cleaning as well as for special occasions—or for filming scenes, as Zendaya knows.
Contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation to see if professional teeth whitening, cosmetic bonding or veneers, orthodontics, or another dental treatment could enhance your smile. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger.”
A root canal treatment is one of today's most successful restorative procedures. Performed by Dr. George Zatarain at Z Dentistry in Reno, NV, root canals save teeth from further damage or worse, extraction. What tells your dentist you need a root canal?
What is a root canal?
Actually, it is part of every tooth in your mouth. Large teeth, such as molars, have up to 4 of these slender passageways which contain blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. This pulp nourishes and supports teeth as they develop.
Unfortunately, this pulp may become inflamed and infected when damaged by decay, trauma, or other circumstance. When it does, the tooth may fail, requiring extraction or in many cases, root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy, or endodontics, is a painless procedure that helps patients at Z Dentistry in Reno keep their teeth for years. After an exam and X-rays, the dentist injects a local anesthetic and opens the tooth to access each canal. He extracts the diseased pulp with small files, smoothing and shaping the canal to receive disinfecting medication and a rubbery sealant.
Typically, Dr. Zatarain covers the tooth with a temporary cap. After a week or so of healing at home, the patient returns to the office to receive a permanent porcelain crown.
What are the signs you need one?
Healthline reports that persistent dental pain is one of the symptoms which may qualify you for a root canal. Others include:
- Dental sensitivity when you eat something cold or hot or simply bite down on a piece of food
- Darkened gum tissue and tooth enamel (indicating a reduced blood supply)
- An obvious crack or chip
- Deep decay
- Pus at the gum line
- Foul discharge
- Bad breath
Caring for your tooth afterward
After your root canal procedure, you'll want to use ibuprofen or acetaminophen for minor discomfort for a day or two. Also, eat a soft diet until your tooth feels completely comfortable. Root canal procedures are highly successful, says the American Association of Endodontists. So if Dr. Zatarain advises you have one, you can expect a good result.
Contact Z Dentistry
At Z Dentistry, Dr. Zatarain and his exceptional team save scores of teeth annually with precise, comfortable root canal therapy. If you have a troublesome tooth, contact our Reno office for a consultation with this highly skilled dentist. Phone (775) 331-1616.
Pain can tell you things. Not verbally, of course, as in, “Hey, your appendix is inflamed!” But the quality of your pain—dull or sharp, constant or intermittent, acute or general—can point the way to the actual problem.
That's especially true of tooth pain, which could signal any number of dental problems. Looking at its characteristics, though, can narrow the search. Here are a few examples.
Sharp, momentary pain. This could be an indication of a number of possible dental problems. If it occurs for a few seconds after eating or drinking something hot or cold, it might signal a small area of tooth decay, a loose filling or early signs of gum recession. The latter could be a symptom of periodontal (gum) disease, so you should seek diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.
Sharp pain when biting. Like tooth sensitivity, this could be a sign of decay or a loose filling, or it could indicate a fractured (cracked) tooth. If it's the latter, you may need an endodontist, a specialist in interior tooth problems, if you want the best chance for saving the tooth.
Dull ache in upper teeth. This might not be a dental problem at all, but radiating pain from an infection of the sinus just above the upper posterior teeth. The infection could also have begun with one of the molar teeth and advanced into the sinus. You'll need to see your dentist for any teeth or gums involved and possibly a physician to address any potential sinus infection.
Constant throbbing pain. That horrible toothache that won't stop could be the nerves in the tooth's interior under attack from decay. The primary means for saving a tooth with deep decay is a root canal treatment to clean out diseased tissue and replace it with a filling or a crown. You should see a dentist even if the pain suddenly subsides—this may only mean the nerves have died, but the infection is still active.
These are just a few of the problems, including true dental emergencies, that oral pain can signal. For any instance of pain in your mouth, see your dentist as soon as possible.
If you would like more information on tooth pain and what it might indicate, 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 “Tooth Pain? Don't Wait!”