Posts for: February, 2016
Many dental offices offer specialized services - some focus solely on cosmetic dentistry, while others treat problems pertaining to the gums or oral surgery. At Harris Parkway Dental in Fort Worth, Texas, we pride ourselves on being family dentists. Our dentists, Dr. Brad McConnell and Dr. Brooks Stevens, treat patients of all ages with all sorts of oral care needs. Here's some more information on what you can expect from a family dentist.
What is a family dentist?
Instead of visiting one dentist for your toddler, another for your teenagers and yet another for yourself, family dentists provide a "one-stop shop" for your entire family's dental needs. Family dentists like those at Harris Parkway Dental in Fort Worth are well-trained in the different oral care needs of children, young adults and older adults and are a convenient option for multi-generational families.
What services does a family dentist provide?
Dr. Brad McConnell and Dr. Brooks Stevens offer a wide variety of services for all their patients. Regular cleaning appointments and checkups make up a large part of our day at Harris Parkway Dental in Fort Worth, regardless of the age of the patient. Our dentists are also well-versed in cosmetic dentistry procedures; they can fix damaged teeth or replace lost ones with restorations like crowns, dentures, bonding and porcelain veneers. We also offer our Fort Worth dental patients options for fixing their crooked teeth with treatment programs like Invisalign for teens and adults, or orthodontic regimens for our younger patients. Screening for oral cancer is also another service we provide.
How do I establish myself at a family dental practice?
If you and your family are new patients at Harris Parkway Dental in Fort Worth, you'll need to give our office a call to set up evaluations. This will allow our dentists, Dr. McConnell and Dr. Stevens, to analyze each family member's dental health and design treatment programs for them. You'll fill out paperwork for your records; make sure to disclose your health history so that we can give you the best treatment for your unique situation.
Ready to make Harris Parkway Dental your family's dental office? Contact us today!
There are instances when a general dentist will remove (extract) a problem tooth. At other times, though, the same dentist may refer a patient needing an extraction to an oral surgeon. Why the difference?
The procedure performed by a general dentist is referred to as a “simple tooth extraction.” “Simple” doesn’t mean easy and requiring no skill or expertise — it certainly does. In this case, the term refers to the anatomy of the tooth being extracted, particularly its roots.
Teeth that respond well in a simple extraction have an uncomplicated root system. The path of removal, usually with a single root involved, is fairly straight and without extreme angles. In the hands of a skilled and experienced dentist, it can be removed with little to no discomfort.
Dentists actually must use finesse to remove a tooth from its socket. The tooth is held in place with tiny collagen fibers that extend from a tough, elastic gum tissue known as the periodontal ligament, which lies between the teeth and the bone. With some manipulation, a dentist can loosen these fibers, which then makes removing the tooth much easier. All of this can usually be performed with local anesthesia.
Of course, to determine if a tooth can be removed this way, we must conduct a thorough dental examination first, including x-ray imaging to determine the exact nature and location of the roots. If the exam reveals the root system is more complex, or that there are defects to the bone or the tooth that could make a simple extraction difficult (resulting, for example, in not removing the crown and root in one piece), then the tooth may need to be removed surgically.
Such situations require the skill and resources of an oral surgeon. These specialists perform a number of surgical procedures related to the mouth and face; as procedures go, extraction is among the most routine. Using local anesthesia and post-operative pain management, undergoing a surgical extraction involves only minimal discomfort and a very short recovery time.
After examining your tooth we’ll recommend the best course for extraction, whether simple or surgical. In either case, we’ll see that your problem tooth is extracted as efficiently and painlessly as possible.
If you would like more information on tooth extractions, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Simple Tooth Extraction?”
Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.
First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.
How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of allÂ Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.
What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.
Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.” Â If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.