Posts for category: Dental Procedures

WhyAlfonsoRibeiroIsGratefulforRootCanalTreatment

As the host of America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC TV, Alfonso Ribeiro has witnessed plenty of unintentional physical comedy…or, as he puts it in an interview with Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "When people do stuff and you're like, 'Dude, you just hurt yourself for no reason!'" So when he had his own dental dilemma, Alfonso was determined not to let it turn onto an "epic fail."

The television personality was in his thirties when a painful tooth infection flared up. Instead of ignoring the problem, he took care of it by visiting his dentist, who recommended a root canal procedure. "It's not like you wake up and go, 'Yay, I'm going to have my root canal today!'" he joked. "But once it's done, you couldn't be happier because the pain is gone and you're just smiling because you're no longer in pain!"

Alfonso's experience echoes that of many other people. The root canal procedure is designed to save an infected tooth that otherwise would probably be lost. The infection may start when harmful bacteria from the mouth create a small hole (called a cavity) in the tooth's surface. If left untreated, the decay bacteria continue to eat away at the tooth's structure. Eventually, they can reach the soft pulp tissue, which extends through branching spaces deep inside the tooth called root canals.

Once infection gets a foothold there, it's time for root canal treatment! In this procedure, the area is first numbed; next, a small hole is made in the tooth to give access to the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The diseased tissue is then carefully removed with tiny instruments, and the canals are disinfected to prevent bacteria from spreading. Finally, the tooth is sealed up to prevent re-infection. Following treatment, a crown (cap) is usually required to restore the tooth's full function and appearance.

Root canal treatment sometimes gets a bad rap from people who are unfamiliar with it, or have come across misinformation on the internet. The truth is, a root canal doesn't cause pain: It relieves pain! The alternatives—having the tooth pulled or leaving the infection untreated—are often much worse.

Having a tooth extracted and replaced can be costly and time consuming…yet a missing tooth that isn't replaced can cause problems for your oral health, nutrition and self-esteem. And an untreated infection doesn't just go away on its own—it continues to smolder in your body, potentially causing serious problems. So if you need a root canal, don't delay!

If you would like additional information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”

IfaRootCanalCantbeDonethisProcedureMightSaveYourTooth

Untreated tooth decay can destroy your teeth; prompt action as soon as its diagnosed will help prevent that undesirable outcome. And even if decay has advanced into the tooth's pulp and root canals, there's still a good chance we can stop it with a root canal treatment. Using this procedure, we can clean out the infection and refill the tooth's interior space with a special filling to protect it from further infection.

Although root canal treatments have gained an unwarranted reputation for pain, they rarely cause even the mildest discomfort. More importantly, they work, which is why they're the go-to treatment dentists use for advanced decay.

But sometimes a unique dental situation might make performing a root canal extremely difficult—possibly even doing more harm than good. For example, trying to access the interior of a tooth with a crown restoration might require removing the crown, which could further weaken or damage the tooth. In other cases, the root canals might have become calcified due to trauma or aging and become too narrow to access.

Even so, we may still be able to save a tooth through a minor surgical procedure called an apicoectomy. Rather than access the diseased area through the tooth crown as with a root canal treatment, an apicoectomy makes access to the infected tissue at the root end.

An apicoectomy also differs from a root canal treatment in that we'll need to surgically go through the gum tissue. After numbing the area with a local anesthetic, we'll make a small incision through the gums at the level of the infection. After removing any infected tissue, we would then fill the space with a small filling to prevent re-infection. We then close the incised gum tissues with sutures and allow them to heal.

With the help of fiber optic lighting and surgical microscopes, endodontists (specialists in interior tooth problems) can perform an apicoectomy quickly and with very little trauma at the surgical sight. If you undergo an apicoectomy, you should be back to normal activity in a day or two at the most. And like its sister procedure the root canal, an apicoectomy could help preserve your teeth for many years to come.

If you would like more information on this and other treatments for tooth decay, 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 “Apicoectomy: A Surgical Option When Root Canal Treatment Fails.”

NBCStarDeliversaMessageaboutthePerfectSmile

Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.

Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.

Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”

Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.

There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.

So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.

Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”

If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Peter Brusco DMD
March 15, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental Crowns Protect TeethIt's no fun, is it? Your damaged smile needs attention. Cracked teeth with multiple fillings compromise how you eat and how you look. Your Kinnelon, NJ, family dentist, Dr. Peter Brusco, has the solution. Custom-made porcelain crowns can restore your smile's strength and beauty, so you feel confident once again.

Is it a Crown or a Cap?

Actually, the dental crown is called by either name. It's a tooth-shaped restoration which fits over the remaining healthy parts of a tooth compromised by:

  • Cracks
  • Chips
  • Infection
  • Decay
  • Old and deteriorating fillings
  • Injury

Porcelain is today's material of choice for most crowns and for bridgework (adjacent artificial teeth) secured by crowns. Natural-looking and very durable, porcelain are colored and shaped to blend in with the rest of your smile. Only you and your Kinnelon, NJ, family dentist will know you have a dental crown.

The American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that 15 million Americans have porcelain crowns and bridges. So, you know these restorations are effective. Combine these statistics with Dr. Brusco's experience and expertise, and you can count on a lasting, healthy, beautiful smile. Crowns even cover dental implants and teeth that have been treated with root canal procedures. So, crowns are very versatile and reliable.

The Crown Procedure

You'll visit Dr. Brusco's office twice for your crown placement. The steps are simple and include:

  • A complete oral examination and X-ray imaging of the tooth
  • Oral impressions, either with traditional putty and trays or with digital imaging
  • Removal of the damaged portions of the tooth
  • Shaping of the tooth, so it properly receives the dental crown
  • Placement of a temporary restoration to protect the tooth as the permanent crown is made at the dental lab
  • Healing time of about one week
  • Removal of the temporary cap
  • Bonding of the new cap over the tooth
  • Adjustment of bite and shape as needed

Crown Care

You'll find the crown procedure easy and comfortable. Afterwards, simply brush and floss as you usually do, and see Dr. Brusco every six months for a routine check-up and professional cleaning.

If you grind or clench your teeth, your crown could wear prematurely. So, ask Dr. Brusco about a bite guard to wear at night.

Find Out More

Crowns are a wonderful alternative to dental extraction and the pain and embarrassment of failing teeth. To book your consultation with Dr. Brusco, contact his Kinnelon, NJ, office team at (973) 838-5862. He'll give you all the details on how to have a fully restored smile through dental crowns.

By Peter Brusco DMD
March 11, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Molar Tooth ExtractionHow your dentist in Kinnelon, New Jersey, can save your smile

It may seem strange, but sometimes removing a tooth is the right choice. Common causes include if a tooth is severely decayed and can’t be repaired with a filling, or if there is infection around the tooth that can spread to healthy teeth and tissue, dramatically affecting the overall health of your smile. You may also be in a lot of pain!

There are common signs and symptoms indicating you may need to have a tooth extracted. Read below to learn more, and contactDr. Peter Brusco in Kinnelon, New Jersey, if you feel that you could use treatment.

 

More about Tooth Extraction

Many teeth can be repaired with a simple dental filling, with or without root canal treatment. However, there are teeth that remain painful even after treatment. If you have periodontal disease, that can also lead to the need for tooth extraction.

You may to have a tooth extracted if you have:

  • Severe pain after a dental filling has been placed
  • Severe pain after root canal treatment
  • Lost bone support around a tooth, making the tooth mobile

You may need a tooth extraction for reasons other than pain and disease, for example, teeth are often removed before orthodontic treatment. If there is not enough room, or if it will make moving other teeth into correct position faster and easier, your orthodontist may suggest removing specific teeth.

The most common healthy teeth to be removed, however, are wisdom teeth. This is your third set of permanent molars, and most people don’t have room in their jaws for them. As a result, wisdom teeth are often removed between the ages of 18 and 25. If wisdom teeth are left in, there is a chance they will form cysts which can cause bone destruction and other issues.

 

Give us a Call!

These are just a few of the reasons why you might need a tooth extraction. Only your dentist knows for sure whether a tooth should be taken out or not. If you have a painful tooth, don’t wait for it to get worse. Instead, just pick up your phone and call Dr. Peter Brusco in Kinnelon, New Jersey. Dial (973) 838-5862 today and save your smile!



Kinnelon, NJ Dentist
Peter Brusco DMD
170 Kinnelon Rd # 29A
Kinnelon, NJ 07405
(973) 838-5862
Dental Tooth Call for Pricing Options

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