Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Many people will have to have their wisdom teeth removed at some point in their life. While the procedure is most often performed on younger patients, impacted wisdom teeth may have to be removed if they cause health complications later in life. So what function do wisdom teeth serve?

Why We Have Wisdom Teeth

Anthropologists theorize that evolution caused humans to develop wisdom teeth out of necessity.  The foods that used to compose past humans’ diets were much harder and ground down the teeth. This grinding made it necessary to have another set of teeth. The teeth had to perform many of the functions that silverware does today.

As humans began to cook their food, the food grew softer and wisdom teeth ultimately became unnecessary. Most people have them removed, because without the teeth grinding down, there isn’t enough room for the wisdom teeth.

Anthropologists believe that the lack in necessity has caused the decrease in people who have wisdom teeth. Though fewer and fewer people have wisdom teeth, the majority of people do.

Possible Health Complications

There are several possible oral health problems that can be caused by wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth can cause crowding, which can result in crooked teeth. Many dentists recommend having your wisdom teeth before having significant orthodontic work done, to prevent having the work undone by the appearance of wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth require the same amount of care as all the other teeth. Otherwise, they can become painfully infected. Partially or fully impacted teeth can be even more difficult to maintain, because a portion of the tooth is still covered by the gums. Check with your dentist to see if you should have your wisdom teeth removed, even if they have not yet broken through the gums.

For more information about wisdom teeth, or to schedule a consultation, contact us at Hyde Park Dental today!

What to Do in Case of a Dental Emergency

Accidents happen and sometimes even taking precautions can’t prevent dental emergencies. So what is considered a dental emergency? What can wait for normal dentist’s office hours? What should you do in the event of a dental emergency?

 

Signs of an Emergency

There are specific situations that are always considered dental emergencies. Completely losing a tooth is one of these. If handled quickly and correctly, the dentist may be able to restore the tooth. Severe cracks, large chips, and nerve damage are other dental emergencies. An abscessed tooth is another emergency. Signs of a dental emergency include:

  • Severe pain
  • Infection
  • Bleeding

A chipped tooth or minor fracture that doesn’t have any of these signs is probably not a dental emergency. Make an appointment to see your dentist during their regular operating hours.

What to Do

Knowing what to do in case of a dental emergency can be the difference in saving or losing a tooth. Here is what to do in the case of some common dental emergencies.

Losing a Tooth

The time immediately after losing a tooth is vital in potentially saving the tooth. Try to put the tooth back in the socket for the journey to the dentist. Avoid touching the roots of the tooth. If you can’t reliably keep the tooth in the socket, make sure to keep it hydrated. You can place the tooth in a container of milk or your own saliva.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is extremely important to handle immediately. An abscessed tooth is caused by a pocket of pus that leads to an infection. The infection can potentially spread into your jaw, surrounding tissue, and other areas of the body. An abscessed tooth is a life-threatening condition. Signs of an abscessed tooth include:

  • Fever
  • Tooth sensitivity to extreme temperatures
  • A severe and persistent toothache
  • Swelling
  • A bump on the gums near the infected tooth

If you experience any of these symptoms, see your dentist immediately. Rinsing your mouth with salt water can help ease the pain and will coax the pus to the surface.

The best way to prevent an abscessed tooth is to practice good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly. To set up an appointment, contact Hyde Park Dental today.

What Are Lumineers?

Research has shown that having a nice smile can greatly impact your self-esteem. Veneers are a way of drastically improving your smile in a short period of time. Lumineers are a brand of veneers that can be made to ultra-thin sizes. Veneers are basically thin shells that are placed over your teeth to cover unsightly chips, stains, or gaps. Both traditional veneers and Lumineers look natural and are comfortable, strong, and durable. Traditional veneers are usually about .5 mm, while Lumineers tend to be closer to .3 mm. Although this doesn’t seem like a significant difference, it does make a substantial change to the procedure.

Traditional Veneers

Traditional veneers require grinding down of the tooth enamel to be placed. Due to this, it is often necessary for patients to wear temporary veneers in between the preparation of the tooth and the arrival of the personalized veneer. Furthermore, this makes the procedure irreversible, because the tooth will already have been ground down. The procedure involves the use of shots, so it may not be a good choice for those who fear invasive dental work.

Lumineers

Lumineers are much thinner than traditional veneers, which actually eliminates the need for tooth reduction. They are durable and last over 20 years. Lumineers fit over the existing tooth’s surface, which might make them feel slightly thicker than traditional veneers. If you ever decide you no longer want the Lumineers, the process is reversible, with little or no damage to your natural teeth. The less invasive procedure eliminates the need for anesthesia.

How Much Do They Cost?

Most insurance companies won’t pay for Lumineers and veneers, because they are considered cosmetic procedures. Check with your insurance provider to determine if any part of the procedure will be covered. Traditional veneers and Lumineers are fairly comparable in cost. Traditional veneers run anywhere from $500-1,900 per tooth. Lumineers typically cost between $800-2,000 per tooth.

Hyde Park Dental thinks that Lumineers might be one of the best ways to instantly improve a patient’s smile. It is easy, effective, and affordable. To find out more about Lumineers and schedule a consultation, contact Hyde Park Dental today.

What You Need to Know About Root Canals

Endodontic therapy is the term for what is commonly known as a root canal. Endodontic means “inside the tooth,” and that’s exactly what a root canal is. A root canal is a treatment for removing infection from the inside of a tooth.

Why Do People Need Root Canals?

The tooth consists of two parts- the crown and the roots. The crown is mostly above your gum, while the roots attach the tooth to the jawbone. Inside the tooth is a hollow section that contains the nerve tissue, blood vessels, and other cells. This is the root canal, which is also referred to as the pulp. If there is a way for bacteria to enter the root canal, it will eventually destroy the pulp. If it can penetrate through the root openings, it can cause an infection in the bone. When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, it will cause sensitivity and pain. This can be caused by decay, repeated dental procedures, or a crack/chip in the tooth.

What Happens During A Root Canal?

There are three general steps to a root canal. First, the dentist cleans the root canal, removing the nerves and tissue. Second, the dentist shapes the space for the filling and fills the root canals. Finally, they protect the tooth by adding a crown or filling.

Will It Hurt?

Contrary to popular belief, a root canal should be relatively painless. The pain comes from the infection, which the procedure is intended to alleviate. Some tenderness and sensitivity afterwards is normal, and can usually be treated with over the counter painkillers.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost varies depending on the situation. Generally speaking, a root canal is cheaper than having a tooth extracted and replacing it with a crown or bridge. They are typically covered at least partially by dental insurance, as well.

How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?

Signs of infection include:

  • Pain when eating or applying pressure to the tooth
  • Pain and sensitivity caused by hot or cold temperatures
  • Inflammation of the gums near the tooth

 

For more information on endodontic therapy, contact Hyde Park Dental today!

What You Need to Know About Dental Insurance

Dental procedures can get pricy, even if you have insurance. It’s important to know what your insurance plan covers and what you’ll be paying out of pocket. Decide if dental insurance is worth it for you, and do your research about the best plan for your situation.

Preventative Care

Most good dental insurance plans will cover all preventative care expenses. This is important because preventative care is the best way to prevent larger, more expensive problems in the future. Routine checkups are important to your overall oral health.

Annual Maximums

Dental insurance plans typically have a low annual maximum. This is the total amount that they will contribute to any dental work throughout the year. If a procedure exceeds this amount, you will be responsible for paying the difference.

Many insurance plans will also require a deductible. This is the amount you will have to pay before the insurance benefits kick in. Make sure you know what the deductible and annual maximum is for your insurance plan.

Discount Plans

Many dentists offer discount plans in place of traditional dental insurance. While these plans will not pay for your procedures, they will provide discounts on most services in exchange for a monthly fee. Many discount plans cover preventative care costs, typically including two cleanings a year. We offer a Smile Plus Discount Plan, which provides a discount on all services with the exception of orthodontics. Unlike typical insurance plans, our discount plan will give you discounts on cosmetic procedures, as well as general dentistry procedures.

Waiting for Benefits

Dental insurance plans usually require a waiting period before you are eligible for benefits. Though preventative care is usually available immediately, other procedures may require several months of coverage before they will be covered by an insurance plan.

The best way to avoid exorbitant dental costs is by obtaining regular preventative care. Regular checkups and dental cleanings will help reduce the risk of more serious oral health conditions later on. To schedule your routine dental cleaning, contact Hyde Park Dental today!

oral appliance for sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea and Dental Treatment Options

Did you know that 22 Million Americans currently have sleep apnea? Many people find snoring to be one of the biggest nuisances when co-sleeping. Depending upon your condition, Hyde Park Dental may be able to provide treatment for your sleep apnea. We use oral appliances to aid in moving the teeth and jaw, allowing for proper airflow to occur.

Sleep Apnea Oral Device

We create custom oral appliances designed to improve your sleep. You will want to use an oral appliance designed to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Our oral appliances are designed to be long-lasting, comfortable, and affordable. We recommend trying an oral device prior to additional treatments like a CPAP machine or corrective surgery. When we use the oral device, you will see your lower jaw is moved into a forward position, allowing for a comfortable position while sleeping. The movement will help to relax the throat muscles, designed to keep your tongue from blocking the air passages. If you have mild or moderate sleep apnea, dental devices for sleep apnea can be effective at aiding in treating the condition by allowing air to flow properly through the nose and mouth and down the throat.

Mandibular Advancement Devices

A mandibular advancement device is the most commonly used device to treat dental sleep apnea. Mandibular devices are referred to as oral appliances and are designed to move the lower jaw forward while sleeping. What this will do is open the airway and keep the tongue from blocking the airway.

Tongue Retaining Device

Another tool used for dental sleep apnea is the tongue retaining device. A tongue retaining device will hold the tongue in a forward position. It isn’t quite as comfortable and it can take awhile to adjust to it where you are used to wearing it while sleeping.

Sleep Apnea Advanced Treatment with CPAP

If you have a different diagnosis of sleep apnea where you do need to wear a CPAP device, you can also use a dental sleep apnea device to aid in effective treatment. We can create an oral appliance to move the jaw and can be worn with your CPAP, which allows you to reduce the pressure setting of your CPAP.

For more information about dental devices used to treat sleep apnea, contact Hyde Park Dental today!

What Types of Dental Anesthesia Are Available?

Several dental procedures require dental anesthesia to numb the area prior to working on it. The dentist will need to use anesthesia in order to eliminate any pain you might feel when they are working on your mouth. Depending upon the way your body reacts, we may need to use different anesthesia in order to help you relax.

Here are some definitions of the different type of anesthesia we may use:

  • Local anesthesia. This is the most common type if anesthesia used by a dentist. It will numb the tooth and area that needs to be treated. They are used only for the numbing of the mouth in order to perform oral procedures from the filling of cavities to root canals and extractions.
  • Conscious sedation. This is used by placing a tube over your nose in which you will breathe in a mild sedative that will relax you. You will remain awake during the procedure but it is common to not remember the pain or much about the procedure.
  • General anesthesia. Typically dentists do not use this type of anesthesia as it requires the hiring of an anesthesialogolist in order to administer it. This will affect your entire body as you will fall asleep and will not remember the procedure at all. Individuals that have extractions commonly have general anesthesia as it will allow them to fall asleep and they will not remember anything.

At Hyde Park Dental, we are focused on providing our dental patients with the best treatment options. If you have dental anxiety, or you do have concerns about procedures, please let our team know. Our goal is to make sure you are relaxed and comfortable during dental treatments. We want to focus on giving you the right treatment methods to ensure you have a smile that you are proud to share with others for years to come!

Understanding Composites and Bonding

healthy teeth North LoganWhen you head to your Cache Valley Dentist for a yearly cleaning, it’s common to find out that you have tooth decay or cavities. Just about everyone will have a cavity in their lifetime due to the amount of plaque and bacteria that is starting to break down the enamel on your teeth. So what happens next? If you have a cavity, your Dentist will use special tools to remove the cavity and replace it with composites and bonding.

Bonding simply means that you are having special dental materials secured to your teeth. This happens by using a curing light that will harden the material to your tooth, proving you with a strong tooth again. What is composite material? This is the “white” filling we will place into the tooth where they have removed the cavity. Composites are often used to replace other issues with the teeth like gaps in the teeth or stains on the front of the teeth.

Composite material comes in a number of different shades, making it ideal for anyone that would like to repair their smile. The filling material can be matched perfectly so that no one will even notice that you have had dental work done.

If you have old fillings that are sliver (amalgam) it is common for a dentist to recommend replacement of these fillings. This will improve your smile, especially if you open your mouth and others can see your silver fillings.

Depending upon how large your cavity is and how much work you need done, it will only take the dentist a few minutes or an hour to work on your teeth. Smaller fillings that do not go deep into the dentin (inner part) of the tooth may not even require anesthesia to treat the tooth and to bond the composite material to the tooth.

Call Hyde Park Dental today to schedule your cleaning and examination!

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Dental Cleanings

dental cleaningsIs brushing and flossing enough to protect your teeth against serious dental problems? No matter how well you brush or floss your teeth, nothing can take the place of a regular dental cleaning. Professional cleanings are designed to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. If left to their own devices, plaque and tartar will cause gum disease and can easily cause serious damage to your teeth, leaving you with limited options when it comes to caring for your teeth.

Our Cache Valley Dentist is ready to protect your teeth against tooth decay and gum disease. Our trained staff will help you feel comfortable if you do suffer from dental anxiety and are concerned about the cleaning process. We treat our patients like members of our family and want to make sure you are receiving the right procedures for your unique needs. Some patients have health conditions that need to be considered prior to a cleaning, other patients may have a history of oral health problems. We recommend coming into the office every six months for regular cleanings and examinations.

Alot of things can change in six months and many patients will end up seeing serious differences in their oral health. We do take x-rays to help us identify issues below the gums and possibly within the root of the tooth. If you are at a higher risk for gum disease, it is important to contact our office. We recommend frequent cleanings for patients with soft teeth or those with a greater risk of oral health problems.

Contact our office if you are ready to have your teeth and gums cleaned and to prevent serious oral health problems.

 

Young woman sleeping

Are You a Candidate for Dental Sleep Apnea Treatment?

If you suffer from sleep apnea and are dissatisfied with your current treatment, it may be time to look into oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy is used to treat patients who suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea.

What is Oral Appliance Therapy?

As a common disorder, sleep apnea occurs when an individual has one or more pauses in breathing while sleeping. The oral appliance maintains an open and clear airway in the throat, which helps you achieve maximum comfort and opening of your airways during sleep.

How to Use Your Oral Appliance

Our dentist, Dr. Carlson, will discuss the benefits of each appliance and help you determine which sleep apnea appliance option is best for you. When you have chosen the right sleep apnea appliance for your requirements, our dentist will educate you on how to best use your sleep apnea appliance.

Oral Appliance Therapy Results

Most of our patients find the devices very comfortable. According to recent studies, oral appliances are effective in treating snoring 90% of patients.

Contact Hyde Park Dental Today

Our goal is to provide our sleep apnea patients with a great night’s sleep and maximum comfort during sleep. If you current method of treating sleep apnea is ineffective due to discomfort, we can help you resolve those issues through modification to your current treatment method or even changing your course of sleep apnea treatment entirely! Please call Hyde Park Dental today if you are experiencing sleep apnea to see if we can help you get a better night’s sleep.