Archive for September, 2011

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

For many years if you had one or more missing teeth, you had to resort to a partial, denture or bridge to try to restore some semblance of normalcy to your smile and appearance.  But due to the technology of Round Rock implant dentistry, your options are no longer limited to these choices.

Dental implants are suitable for healthy individuals who have matured to the point where bone growth has been achieved.  Whether you need one or more teeth restored, implant dentistry can help you achieve a total smile makeover.  When completed you will once again be able to realize the joy of being able to eat the foods you love, speak without fear, and laugh with the confidence of someone with all their natural teeth.

The dental implant itself is made of a titanium type material that is surgically placed in the gum tissue to work much like the root of a tooth.  As the implant heals, it fuses to the jaw bone giving the implant strength and stability to prepare for the final restoration.  During the healing process, which typically takes four to six months, the implant is covered with a temporary restoration.  Once completely healed, your dentist will make a final covering to closely match your surrounding natural teeth making it virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.

To determine if you are a candidate for dental implants, your dentist will assess your dental health as well as your physical health. Patients who suffer from immune disorders, have had cancer or deal with periodontal disease may require additional treatment to qualify for dental implantation.

If it is determined that you qualify for dental implants, your dentist will provide you with all the information and tools you need for success.  Once the implant has been placed, it is imperative to take excellent oral hygiene care of the implant and surrounding area.  Improper brushing and flossing is the leading cause of implant failure and infection.  Smoking and tobacco use also contribute to implant failure, so it is important to discontinue the use of all tobacco products if considering dental implants.

An honest conversation with Dr. Paul Lounsberry, your Round Rock dental provider, is the first step to learning all the information you need to determine if going forward with dental implants is the right decision for you.

Posted in: dental implants

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Root Canal Therapy: Purpose and procedure

For a tooth that has extensive decay, a severe fracture, or unfortunate trauma, a root canal is often the best procedure available to preserve the life of the tooth. All vital teeth are sustained by a nerve, or pulp, located in the center and down through the root of the tooth. In the event that the nerve has been compromised or is otherwise unhealthy, it can be removed and replaced by a permanent filling material.

Dr. Paul Lounsberry, your Austin dentist, knows that saving you natural teeth is always the best choice, and may recommend a root canal procedure rather than remove the tooth whenever possible. Although root canal treatments have historically held the reputation for the most feared dental procedure, understanding the purpose and procedure can help to eliminate apprehension.

Your dentist will utilize a series of tests including x-rays, percussion, and temperature to determine if a root canal procedure will be necessary. In the case of severe infection or abscess, antibiotics may be prescribed. Then, similar to a routine filling, the tooth will be anesthetized until it is completely numb. With successful anesthesia, the patient will be unable to distinguish any sensation of pain, or sharpness in or around the affected tooth.

By accessing the nerve of the tooth through the biting surface, your dentist will use delicate instruments to clean and sterilize the canal inside the tooth which once housed the nerve. Using precise measurements, the sterile canal will be filled with a rubber filling material.

Following the root canal treatment, the tooth can become brittle and fragile, due to the absence of the nerve, or blood supply. A final restoration such as a dental crown is often required for proper stability. Patients should take care to have the final restoration placed as soon as possible following the root canal procedure, or risk further damage to the tooth. In addition to the fragile state of the tooth, bacteria found in the saliva can seep into the root canal area, contaminating the sterile filling, leading to a secondary infection.

If you suspect that a root canal procedure is necessary for you, don’t wait until it hurts.  Call the office of Dr. Lounsberry at 512-331-9088 today to schedule treatment.

Posted in: dentist

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