What you need to know
Your dental provider is hopefully performing an oral cancer screening at each of your routine dental care visits. These screenings help identify any lumps, patches or lesions that may be cancerous. If your dental provider gives you a referral to an oral surgeon such as, Sharma Oral Surgery, no need to panic. It is important that you are seen as quickly as possible by the referred doctor. If you are facing a form of oral cancer the sooner the diagnosis and treatment the chances of survival are greatly increased.
What we are looking for
Your dental care provider is checking for:
• white or red patches in your mouth
• a lump in your neck
• a sore in your moth that doesn’t heal
• abnormalities that show on an x-ray
Who is at risk?
Let’s be clear and say that everyone can be at risk for oral cancer but there are increased risk factors. The risk for oral cancer is higher in males, those that use tobacco, consume large amounts of alcohol, have a history of cancer and those that have HPV.
While your dental provider is skilled at accessing for oral cancer we always recommend to call if you notice or have any of the above symptoms. Our team of skilled dental professionals are here to answer any questions including scheduling you or a family member for a consult. Call our office today in Ballantyne at 704.541.6070.
Often patients will say that root canals do not work. As an implant surgeon you may think that I would like that statement. The reality is that I do not care for that statement at all. I do not like that comment because what it means is a loss of faith or trust in dentistry and what we recommend as professionals. Root canals or endodontics are an important part of dentistry. To allow a patient to base a decision on treatment because of an opinion that is not true just diminishes my credibility and motives.
The facts about root canals unfortunately are not often well understood by a patient. The result is that treatment decisions are not always based on statistics and the likelihood of success. Root canals cannot always work. The indication for a root canal cannot be made just on a desire to save a tooth. The literature has identified some very specific parameters that should be considered when deciding to have a root canal.
Did you know that when a root canal is done with a microscope and proper lighting with a structurally sound tooth that the success rate is 95% were as one completed without a microscope the success can fall as low as 53%. Unfortunately, the root canals completed without a microscope may take a year before detectable symptoms arise. In addition to this it has been reported that if bone is lost at the apex (end of the root) of a tooth the chance of success can drop as much as an additional 20%. Taking these two statistics in mind it is not hard to see how the success of a root canal in certain situations can fall as low as 33%. Who can fault the patient that has experienced 2 out of 3 root canals failing. I believe the issue is not the root canal or the patient but the expectations created in certain situations when treatment is initiated.
The final contributor to this misconception is that patients are often made to believe that a root canal is a permanent solution. This is not true. Nothing in dentistry is permanent. Root canals can extend the function and retention of a tooth on average 15 years. Therefore, someone obtaining a perfect root canal under perfect conditions at 25 years old should not be upset if they lose that tooth at 45 years old. The root canal lasted longer than expected. Root canal life can be maximized if a patient and dentist work together to protect the tooth from the most common cause of failure in this situation, caries or fractures. Both problems do not result because of the failure of the root canal but due to loss of mechanical or structural integrity of the tooth. This can happen with a root canal verse another tooth because of our bodies natural protective stimulation, sensation has been removed and a patient does not know that the damage had occurred until after it happens.
Root canals have a place in dentistry. Hopefully if you need a root canal you will be able to assess your risks and potential for success honestly, and if you have a root canal you will understand why it is so important to have it checked out.
Our goal at Sharma Oral Surgery to provide the highest standard of care. We look forward to being your choice for dental implants and more.
One of the most common questions a parent has after a child completes orthodontic care is “will orthodontics affect their child’s ability to have wisdom teeth come in”? As we see patients during their fall and winter breaks we wanted to take a moment to address this question.
For most children orthodontics is complete before wisdom teeth begin to erupt and final growth of the jaws is complete. This often makes it hard to know if enough space exists for wisdom teeth to fit in a mouth. Most orthodontics are not concerned with the development of wisdom teeth because they know that 87% of wisdom teeth will not have enough space once the remaining teeth are straightened and position is idealized. Since statistically 9 out 10 patients will need to have their wisdom teeth removed there is no need to extend orthodontic care to ensure that wisdom teeth are straight. This simple fact is often not shared at the start of orthodontic care or the completion because there may be several years between completion of orthodontics and when this reality can be confirmed.
A second part of this story is that since orthodontics are already a substantial financial and time commitment the need to share that future care may need to be considered is better let addressed when the situation is known for sure. To clarify wisdom teeth development typically will not affect the position of orthodontically corrected teeth. Orthodontically corrected teeth occupy space the wisdom teeth will not move the teeth that they properly position especially when proper retention is utilized. The issue with a lack of space results in other dental problems. Conditions that are not related to tooth movement which is the primary concern of an orthodontist.
If you are concerned about the need for wisdom teeth removal call our Ballantyne office today 704.541.6070.
The loss of a tooth may not seem like a big deal. In fact, many people often choose not to replace a tooth when it is lost. This decision is often for common reasons; it aesthetically does not show, their chewing is not affected by the loss of the tooth, they are scared to replace it, and/or they don't want to spend the money. All of these are vaild reasons to that individual. I wonder however, if they would feel the same if they knew that losing the tooth would result in the creation of other problems...
I believe most people think that once they lose a tooth that the problem they were having is solved. As an oral surgeon for over 20 years I see patients all the time that think this and I feel our team has the knowledge to help them understand the truth. The loss of a tooth does not stop there. The research shows that when we lose a first molar (basically any tooth other than your second or third molars which are the last 2 in the mouth) that problem will occur within the next 10 years. When a patient does nothing and just leaves a gap 12-18% will have problems with shifting of teeth resulting in an altered ability to chew in that area. They will also be more prone to periodontal disease, and wtih the increased difficulty of cleaning the area adjacent teeth are more prone to cavities. I agree that 12-18% may be a small number but it does not stop there. For patients that decide to fill the space with a partial they need to appreciate that they are at risk of losing additional teeth 22-28% because of the partial and how it attaches, the ability to keep the remaining teeth clean and cavity free. Lastly, the patient that chooses to fill the space with a bridge has an 8-12% chance of losing additional teeth because one of the crowns holding it in fails.
At Sharma Oral Surgery in Charlotte, NC we want all of our patients to be educated on the risks associated with not taking the proper steps to replace a missing tooth. We value our patients and our referring doctors and want every patient to be educated on the facts so that they can be make the decision for replacement. Dental implants offer the most natural solution without directly compromising other teeth. Call our office today to schedule your consult 704.541.6070.
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