My Blog

Posts for: December, 2017

By H. David Allick, DDS, PA
December 29, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out why getting dental implants in Rockville, MD could improve your oral implants

Millions of American adults face tooth loss. Whether you are just missing a single tooth or a whole row of teeth, our Rockville, MD dentists Dr. David Allick and Dr. Ghassan Jacklis have just the treatment option for you. Find out how dental implants could just end up saving your smile and giving you back the confidence you deserve.

When people lose teeth they often don’t realize what options are out there and so many of them turn to dentures. While dentures have been greatly improved over the years to resemble natural teeth, they certainly don’t function like real teeth, which can leave the wearer feeling disappointed. This is why it’s a good idea to consider dental implants before settling on a tooth replacement option.

Dental implants offer a variety of unique and wonderful benefits for your smile:

A Durable and Realistic Tooth

We think most people would agree that their goal is to get an artificial tooth that most closely functions and looks like a natural tooth. If this is the case, then you won’t find anything better than a dental implant. In fact, an implant is the next best thing to having a natural tooth. Plus, it can last several decades, which means that you could end up having this new tooth for the rest of your life.

A Healthy Jawbone

Your jawbone requires stimulation from tooth roots in order to continue producing new bone cells and to maintain its shape and density. When a person loses a tooth one complication is that you also begin to experience bone loss. The jawbone will recede and lose density, resulting in some pretty unpleasant facial changes (it can even cause premature aging). Of course, since implants are placed into the jawbone where they take over the role of tooth roots they will provide the stimulation your jawbone needs to prevent bone loss.

A Beautifully Aligned Smile

If one or more gaps are left untreated this means that your teeth will naturally begin to shift and move around to fill those gaps. As you can imagine, this can lead to a misaligned and even crooked smile. The last thing you want to deal with is orthodontic treatment on top of tooth loss. Getting dental implants ensures that your teeth won’t shift out of place.

Are you ready to give your appearance and your self-esteem the boost it needs? Then it’s time you scheduled your consultation with us. Turn to White Flint Dental Associates in Rockville, MD, to give you back that beautiful smile.

By H. David Allick, DDS, PA
December 18, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: gum disease   loose tooth  

Although periodontal (gum) disease usually affects your gums first, your teeth may eventually suffer. That’s because the disease can damage both attaching gum tissues and supporting bone.

One advanced sign of this is when one or more teeth become loose. A loose tooth is an alarm bell that you’re about to lose it.

Fortunately, we can often treat loose diseased teeth with a two-phase approach. First and foremost, we need to bring the gum infection under control by removing plaque and calculus (tartar) — the “fuel” for the infection — from all tooth and gum surfaces. Depending on how extensive it is, we have options: we can use specially designed hand instruments to remove plaque and calculus, ultrasonic equipment that loosens and flushes plaque and calculus away, or, if necessary, conventional or laser surgery.

Depending on the extent of the infection, in some cases we may need to use regenerative surgical techniques like gum and bone grafting to replace lost tissue. Healing takes time, though, which leads to the second phase of treatment — securing the loose tooth during gum healing.

The most common way is through a bite adjustment, where teeth are altered to equilibrate chewing forces evenly. This results in all the teeth being hit at the same time allowing the loose teeth to heal and tighten up.

Another option is splinting teeth together. Although there are different methods, the basic idea is to join the loose teeth with stable teeth like pickets in a fence. One way is to bond splinting material across the back surfaces of the involved teeth. Another way is to cut in a small channel across the teeth and insert and bond a rigid strip of metal to splint the teeth in place.

The splint is usually a temporary measure while the gums heal. In some situations, though, we may need to perform a permanent splint by crowning the affected teeth and then splinting the crowns together. If you have a grinding habit we may also prescribe a night guard to limit the damage done while you sleep.

Before deciding on which technique is best for you, we would first need to evaluate the health of the affected teeth to see whether the effort would be worth it. It could be the tooth’s supporting bone structure has become so deteriorated that it might be better to extract the tooth and consider an implant or other replacement. First, though, we would attempt if at all practical to save the tooth — and the sooner we begin treating it, the better your chances for such an outcome.

If you would like more information on loose teeth and gum 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 “Treatment for Loose Teeth.”

By H. David Allick, DDS, PA
December 10, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental treatment  

Soon after the primary (baby) teeth begin to give way, the teeth a child will have the rest of their lives start erupting into the mouth. But while they’re permanent, they’re not as strong and developed as they will be in adulthood.

That’s why we treat young permanent teeth differently from older adult teeth. For example, a decayed adult tooth may need a root canal treatment; but this standard treatment would often be the wrong choice for a child’s tooth.

The reason why involves the pulp, the innermost layer of a tooth, which plays a critical role in early development. Young permanent teeth continue to grow in sync with the jaws and facial structure. Most of this growth is in the dentin, the layer between the enamel and pulp, which increases proportionally to the other layers as the tooth matures. The pulp generates this new dentin.

A root canal treatment completely removes the diseased tissue of the pulp. This isn’t a major issue for a mature tooth because it no longer needs to generate more dentin. But it can have long-term consequences for an immature tooth whose growth may become stunted and the roots not fully formed. The tooth may thus become brittle and darkened, and might eventually require removal.

Because of these potential consequences, a root canal treatment is a last resort for a young permanent tooth. But there are modified alternatives, depending on the degree of pulp exposure or infection. For example, if the pulp is intact, we may be able to remove as much soft decayed dentin as we can, place an antibacterial agent and then fill the tooth to seal it without disturbing the pulp. If the pulp is partially affected, we can remove that part and place substances that encourage dentin growth and repair.

Our main goal is to treat a young tooth with as little contact with the pulp as possible, so as not to diminish its capacity to generate new dentin. Avoiding a full root canal treatment if at all possible by using these and other techniques will help ensure the tooth continues to develop to full maturity.

If you would like more information on dental care for children, 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 “Saving New Permanent Teeth after Injury.”