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Ace Dental Blog

Understanding Wisdom Teeth

April 5, 2018

Filed under: Family Dentistry — tntadmin @ 3:47 pm

wisdom tooth xrayMost adults have room for 28 teeth to grow in properly in their mouth. This includes 14 on each of the upper and lower jaws. However, some people grow up to four additional teeth at the back of each jaw on the left and right side. This happens between the approximate ages of 17 and 25. Dentists often refer to these extra teeth as wisdom teeth because of time in life that they appear. People emerge as young adults with more wisdom and maturity than they had as children during this phase of life.

The wisdom teeth cant erupt properly as the other teeth do because there is not enough space in the back of the jaw. Since they are not functional teeth and can cause significant pain, we at Ace Dental recommend having them removed as soon as possible. If not removed, the wisdom teeth can cause damage to surrounding teeth as well as cysts, infections, and tumors. They can also become stuck or impacted when there is no free space in which they can grow.

Types of Wisdom Teeth Impaction

The following are the most common types of wisdom tooth extraction experienced by young adults:

  • Complete Bony Impaction: This is a complex issue because it indicates that jawbone surrounds the wisdom tooth on all sides. It normally requires surgical extraction.
  • Partial Bony Impaction: With a partial body impaction, the wisdom tooth has partially erupted through the gums while parts of its crown remain lodged below the gums and jawbone. This situation will cause an infection unless an oral surgeon removes the wisdom tooth.
  • Soft Tissue Impaction: The upper portion of a tooth, called its crown, has come through the jawbone with this type of wisdom tooth impaction. Unfortunately, its not in the proper position and the gums cover it at least partially. This makes it difficult to clean the tooth and increases the likelihood of infection and decay.

How to Know When Its Time to Remove a Wisdom Tooth

It’s common for patients not to know that one or more wisdom teeth have erupted until they have obvious pain, swelling, decay, or infection. Sometimes our dentists can detect when a wisdom tooth is about to erupt and remove it before it causes any damage. Its important to understand that a wisdom tooth is a threat to oral health even when it doesnt cause pain due to the increased chance of tooth crowding, bone loss, gum disease, and tooth decay.

What to Expect from Wisdom Tooth Extraction

An oral surgeon at Ace Dental begins the extraction procedure by providing the patient with local or general anesthesia. IV sedation may also be available depending on patient preferences and anxiety level. After dislodging and extracting the wisdom teeth with special dental instruments, the patient should expect significant bleeding for a while. Our staff will explain how to change the gauze pad when it becomes blood-soaked and discuss pain control options for immediately after the surgery and in the coming days. Patients should plan to follow a liquid and soft food diet for a few days and to rest as much as possible.

Please contact the Ace Dental location nearest you to schedule X-rays and a consultation if you think that you or your teenage child could have wisdom teeth attempting to erupt. We will explain the extraction procedure in greater detail and answer any questions you may have.

How Dental Sealants Prevent Tooth Decay

March 19, 2018

Filed under: Children's Dentistry — tntadmin @ 9:05 pm

dental sealantsTooth decay is common, even among children and adults who brush and floss daily and receive regular preventive care. One reason is that the space between two teeth is often too narrow for toothbrush bristles to fit to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria. For some people, the space is even too tight to clean with dental floss. It can also be challenging to keep the pits and grooves of the back teeth clean.

While its frustrating to develop tooth decay, the good news is that dental sealants can prevent you or your child from getting it in the first place. With this preventive dentistry procedure, your dentist at Ace Dental paints a coating on the molar teeth to keep bacteria and plaque from invading them. The procedure is quick, painless, and offers long-lasting results.

The Process of Receiving Dental Sealants

Your dentist may recommend a sealant as a protective measure or to guard against further tooth decay that has already started. He or she cleans the tooth with a dental drill before placing the sealant to make sure that the liquid material will harden and stay in place without anything preventing that. For the first step, your dentist applies etching gel to form a coating and allows it to sit for approximately one minute. He or she then uses an air gun to dry the tooth.

After checking your tooth to ensure that its dry, your dentist holds a curing light over it to force the hardening process. Thats all there is to receiving a dental implant. It takes just five minutes for the entire procedure.

Cavity Protection for More Than a Decade

The typical dental sealant lasts for 10 years before wearing off and requiring replacement. Its also possible that you or your child will no longer need a dental sealant at that point. For patients at high risk of dental cavities, simply having a dental sealant in place for one year lowers the likelihood by as much as 80 percent.

At Ace Dental, we find dental sealants an especially beneficial tool for children. According to the American Dental Association, approximately 75 percent of all children have one or more cavities by age 18. This doesnt have to be inevitable with dental sealants in place.

If youre concerned about the potential for tooth decay due to difficulty in cleaning the back teeth or between teeth, please schedule an appointment at your nearest Ace Dental location today. We maintain dental practices in Belton, Harker Heights, Killeen, Taylor, Temple, and Waco for your convenience. Its a good idea for children to receive their first dental sealant around age six when the first set of molars grow in and again at age 12 when they receive the second set.

How To Help Your Baby Through Teething

February 12, 2018

Filed under: Children's Dentistry — tntadmin @ 2:26 pm

teething babyYour normally happy and sweet baby who loved to flash you toothless grins has suddenly turned cranky and miserable. Once you notice some or all of the following symptoms, you soon realize that your infant is teething:

  • Biting, chewing, or sucking on anything that he or she can
  • Bulging or swollen gums
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Grabbing at ears
  • Irritability
  • Rejecting food
  • Rubbing the face
  • Visible tooth below the gum line

While the result is adorable and worthwhile in the end, its hard to see your little one so uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can do several things to help your baby relieve the pain of teething. Its also important to realize that these symptoms could mean something else. If youre concerned that your baby could be ill, dont hesitate to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician. This is especially important if your baby has a runny nose, fever, or diarrhea, which many parents mistake for signs of teething.

Numb Teething Pain with Cold

Cold helps to sooth the inflammation and pain in your babys gums associated with teething. You should be able to buy a chilled pacifier or teething ring, but dont put it in the freezer before you give it to your baby. The surface can get hard quickly and cause damage to your infants gums. Some teething rings come with liquid inside. While this can be extra soothing for your baby, make sure that it doesnt leak. Firm rubber teething rings also work well.

Apply Light Pressure to Your Babys Gums

The sensation of pressure on a babys gums helps to temporarily distract the brain from the pain of teething. After washing your hands, try rubbing your pinky finger across your babys upper and lower jaws. If your child tolerates that well, keep doing it for several minutes. Another idea is to give your baby a hard and unsweetened teething cracker. Babies who dont care for cold teething rings may accept one thats at room temperature as it provides the necessary pressure for relief.

Numbing Gels or Creams

A gel or cream that you rub directly onto your babys gums is appropriate for teething pain. According to the Food and Drug Administration, parents should receive guidance from their pediatrician when using a product containing benzocaine on children younger than age two. If a baby swallows benzocaine with saliva, it can temporarily numb the throat.

Over-the-Counter Painkillers

If nothing else you offer your baby seems to work, ask your doctor if its okay to give him or her non-prescription liquid medication for infants. The number of drops that you give your baby would depend on his or her body weight. Acetaminophen is the most common non-prescription pain reliever for infants, followed by ibuprofen for babies at least six months old. However, keep in mind that ibuprofen can cause stomach irritation in some infants. This can cause greater discomfort in babies who already refuse to eat because of teething pain. Never give your baby aspirin as its not recommended for anyone under age 19.

Schedule Your Babys First Dental Appointment within Six Months

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises parents to schedule their infants first dental appointment six months after eruption of the first tooth or by the first birthday. This early appointment gets your child accustomed to the dentist and we also provide you with oral health guidance. Please contact the Ace Dental location nearest you to learn more.

Common Toothache Symptoms

January 23, 2018

Filed under: Family Dentistry — tntadmin @ 5:04 pm

dental painWhen you experience a toothache, the severity depends on several factors. These include its location in your mouth, how long it lasts, what makes it better or worse, and what causes the pain in the first place. The type of pain that you have gives important clues as to what could be causing your toothache as well as how you can potentially relieve it. Below we discuss the most common types of toothache pain.

Back of Mouth Pain

Throbbing pain at the back of your mouth usually indicates impacted wisdom teeth. A problem with your jaw joints can also cause this type of pain.

Intense Aching with Inability to Sleep

A dental abscess or inflammation inside of the tooth is the typical cause when you experience an intense toothache that doesnt respond to any attempts to relieve it. The pain can travel from your mouth to your ears, eyes, and temples. We recommend contacting the Ace Dental office nearest you for an immediate evaluation.

Jaw Movement Problems

Pain in your jaw joint usually indicates that you have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Some of the symptoms associated with it include pain when eating, yawning, or moving your jaw. It might seem like its an issue with your teeth when its really a jaw problem. Left untreated, TMJ can eventually cause a headache and neck pain. Clenching your jaw while you sleep makes the problem worse.

Mouth Swelling

If you experience pain and swelling in your jaw or elsewhere in your mouth at the same time, it could mean that you have impacted wisdom teeth or an abscessed tooth. Its important to seek immediately help from your dentist, especially if you feel unwell or have a fever.

Pain Worsens When You Move Your Head

This type of pain starts on the top of your back teeth and feels worse when you nod your head, walk up and down stairs, and complete other types of head motions. If you have a stuffy or runny nose as well, its likely that you have a sinus infection.

Problems with Biting, Chewing, and Eating

When you have this problem, its the physical properties of your food or drinks that cause pain and not the temperature. A cracked tooth, abscessed tooth, or dental decay are the most likely causes.

Sensitivity and Sharp Pain

With this type of toothache, you typically notice a sharp pain in one area as soon as the affected tooth has contact with a hot or cold beverage or a sweet food or drink. The most common causes for this type of tooth pain include:

  • Abrasion from overbrushing your teeth
  • Broken filling
  • Dental decay
  • Loss of tooth enamel
  • Recession of gums

This type of toothache can last for a short time with each episode or for several minutes after exposure to something hot, cold, or sweet. When the pain becomes persistent, it usually indicates that you have damaged the nerve of a tooth.

Contact Ace Dental for Help in Getting the Pain Under Control

Sometimes you can manage toothache pain yourself by taking ibuprofen, gargling with salt water, or applying an ice pack to your cheek. However, its still a good idea to schedule an appointment at the nearest location of Ace Dental to figure out what caused the pain as it may require additional treatment. Please contact us right away if you have significant or persistent toothache pain and we will provide you with prompt treatment.

5 Benefits of Seeing a Family Dentist in Killeen

December 20, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgupta @ 3:57 pm

mom and daughter at dentistSome dentists prefer to see only children, while others focus their practice on adults. We can’t say anything bad about these professionals whose expertise is so strong in one area, but we can say great things about family dentistry. Taking everyone in your clan to see the same dental care expert can bring you some notable benefits. Here are some of the perks you can expect to receive when you start seeing a family dentist in Killeen.

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Your Family Dentist Asks You to Teach Your Clan About Oral Hygiene

December 17, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgupta @ 4:31 pm

family at dentistOne of your many responsibilities is to make sure that everyone in your family is on the same page about certain things. That might mean that you have to find simple ways to teach the kids, or you might need to gather some facts and figures to convince your spouse of a particular point. Well, oral hygiene is one of those things that the entire family should understand the importance of. When you, the kids, and your significant other are all dedicated to keeping your mouths clean and healthy, you’ll save yourself from physical and financial pain down the road. Your family dentist in Waco is here to provide some friendly reminders on why oral hygiene is so vital.

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Children’s Dentist Reminds You: Teach Your Kids to Care for Their Teeth!

December 15, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgupta @ 3:47 pm

toddler with toothbrushYou love it when your kids smile; it’s a sign that they’re happy — or maybe it’s a sign that they’re up to no good. Either way, your heart melts when you see those precious little lips curve upward and show off those adorable tiny teeth. You want that smile to stay healthy and beautiful for a lifetime, which is why your children’s dentist in Temple is here to remind you of the importance of teaching your kids how to take proper care of their teeth.

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Children’s Dentist in Belton Says Don’t Force a Loose Tooth

November 30, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgupta @ 8:34 pm

little girl biting into an appleIt’s an exciting time when your child starts losing teeth, especially if the tooth fairy visits your house. When everything goes properly, you shouldn’t need to intervene to remove a loose tooth. Letting your child wiggle it (which they will be so excited to do) should be enough to get it to come out on its own. In fact, pulling a tooth before it’s ready to come out can be hazardous to your child’s oral health — keep reading to find out why from your children’s dentist in Belton.

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Children’s Dentist, When Is It Safe to Pull a Loose Tooth?

November 25, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgupta @ 12:02 am

little boy holding toothWhether your child is eager for money from the Tooth Fairy or is just ready to get that loose tooth out of their mouth, they might ask you for help. What’s the harm? All you have to do is tie a string to the tooth and a doorknob and let the door do all the work, right? Well… not exactly. It’s not always a good idea to take on the role of a children’s dentist in Taylor. Let’s discuss when it is safe to help that pearly white be on its way to the pearly gates of wherever it is that lost teeth go.

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How Can I Help My Child Be Comfortable at Our Family Dentist?

November 17, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgupta @ 4:10 pm

little boy at dentistWhat is your child afraid of? The dark? The boogeyman? Spiders and other creepy crawlies? Or maybe they have a fear that a lot of adults also harbor — the dentist. While your family dentist in Waco might not be as scary as heffalumps or snakes, they might still cause your little one to go hiding in the nearest closet. What can you do to ease your child’s anxiety and get them to be enthusiastic about caring for that precious smile of theirs?

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