Archive for December, 2010

The Slyby twins say, “MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!”

1 comment December 23, 2010

WOW, Technology!!! I just love our new curing lights.

Just..WOW!!!  I just love our new curing lights!! I just updated our curing lights to the latest and greatest. Our previous ones were still in great shape and not that old.  But when I read about the performance of these, I didn’t hesitate.

These new curing lights use a super bright LED bulb behind a fiber-optic bundle.   They are powered by lithium-ion batteries and deliver a blast of blue-light energy that is unbelievable when you consider its coming from a CORDLESS LED SOURCE!!!! They are a technological marvel and I updated all of the operatories with them.

These little wonders help me to cure materials in a fraction of the time it used to take.  Besides saving time, they help make the restorations better and stronger.  Shorter curing times allow for less risk of saliva contamination; something that can be catastrophic to a bonding material.  I can also spend more time building thinner layers of material so the restoration isn’t as prone to polymerization shrinkage.   Unfortunately, all the light curable materials contract or shrink when they are cured with those special blue lights.  Polymerization shrinkage is bad because it can result in internal stresses to the tooth, weak or leaky margins, and poor contacts between t teeth.  Dental manufacturers are working on eliminating polymerization shrinkage from materials and every new product boasts less and less.  But it is still something that dental professionals must cope with.

So when we restore teeth with bondings, we build them up incrementally to minimize contracture.   Thus, with these new “lights”, I can spend more time on building more layers that are thinner; almost completely negating any polymerization shrinkage!!!!

And for any techno-geeks that might be reading this, the fiber optic bundle on these new lights is uncoated and raw.  When it is activated, there is zero transmittance out the sides of the bundle and yet all the energy blasts out the tip.  It’s almost surreal.

David Slyby D.D.S.

Add comment December 21, 2010

Signs, Symptoms, and Why You May Need a Root Canal

There are two primary reasons that a tooth may need to be treated with a “root canal” (also known as  endodontic treatment).

1.  Dead Tooth (Necrotic Tooth)

Once a nerve dies, the nerve tissue rots, or “necrosis”.  Bacteria, that are ever present in our bodies, feed off the dead tissue.  Moreover, the now empty chamber is an environment that is warm, moist, and dark. Hence, it is the perfect incubator for bacteria to thrive and multiply.

The bacteria multiply at the expense of the bone around the tip of the root and a fluid-filled cyst eventually forms at the apex.  This can be quite painful  resulting in the following symptoms:

  • A constant throbbing
  • Pain that is exacerbated by heat and alleviated by cold.   Heat expands and cold shrinks.  So heat can make more pressure in the cyst & hallow tooth; on the contrary, cold can mitigate the pressure.
  • A blister forms next to the tooth .  Also, subsequent draining or popping of the blister.  The infection that forms in the bone drains next to the tooth, creating a fistula tract or a blister.
  • Nocturnal pain (aka nighttime pain)  Once you lay down flat, the blood pressure equalizes to your head because your heart is not pumping against gravity.  This increase in BP to the head can make the throbbing much worse.
  • Pain while chewing, tapping on the tooth, or even pain to pressure or touch.

So as you can see, dead teeth can be the most painful teeth.  Although there is no nerve, the bone and armamentum around the tooth can become infected and quite inflamed.

Once a diagnosis is made of a necrotic pulp, antibiotics can provide short term relief.  However, the tooth will eventually need to be treated with a “root canal” procedure or extracted.

2.  Irreversible Pulpitis

Irreversible pulpitis is a condition where the nerve (pulp) is inflamed (itis) to a degree that it can not heal (irreversible).   This usually occurs with some form of trauma.  This can also be quite painful, as the nerve is alive and not happy.  Irreversible pulpitis usually results with the following symptoms:

  • Spontaneous pain.    Patients feel an electrical shock through the tooth.  It is commonly described as a lightening bolt through the tooth.  The attacks come on quickly at irregular, unpredictable moments.
  • Pain that is brought on by a cold stimulus, that once the cold stimulus is removed, the pain lingers for a minute or two.  If the pain goes away in 10 or 15 seconds, then that is a sign of REVERSIBLE pulpitis and will most likely need a simpler treatment.
  • The tooth may also be painful to chewing or pressure.

Once a diagnosis is made of a irreversible pulpitis, the tooth will need to be treated with a “root canal” procedure or extracted.  Antibiotics are of no help here because there is no infection., rather inflammation Anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen or other NSAIDS may provide some relief, but the nerve will not survive.  Eventually it will die and become necrotic.

There are other reasons that a tooth may need to be treated endodontically, but these are the most common causes and the ones that are identifiable by symptoms.  I hope this helps.

David Slyby D.D.S

Add comment December 21, 2010

Care For Your Pets Teeth Too!

Recently, our cat, Enzo had some dental issues.  At first, I noticed that he was not eating his food as quickly as he used to.  And he was getting frustrated (growling) with our other cat, Lucy, who was rapidly gaining weight.  I soon realized that something was preventing him from eating, which is Enzo’s number one favorite thing to do in life!  I checked his teeth and noticed  tarter buildup.  His gums were swollen and his breath was tainted.   On closer inspection, I found a broken tooth…poor Enzo.  Of course, I occasionally  check our cats’ teeth so I was surprised how fast his dental health deteriorated.  This is just another reminder how quickly things can get out of control.   Sever days later,  our veterinarian gave him a thorough cleaning and addressed his other needs.  His mouth is healthy and he is devouring food again, like his old self.  Lucy is on a non-voluntary diet.

So here’s something to consider for all cat and dog lovers:

Imagine if you didn’t brush your teeth for a whole week.  Worse yet, imagine if you didn’t brush your teeth at all for five years!  Your dog would probably turn its head away from your “people breath.”   Since we know the importance of keeping our own teeth healthy, why don’t we take a minute to talk about our pet’s teeth.

●   Brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis.  Always use a pet approved toothpaste, not a human product.  One local veterinarian recommends C.E.T toothpaste in either malt or poultry flavor.

●   Use Hills T/D or other specialty food as your pet’s primary diet.  A “tarter diet” is specially formulated to help keep your pet’s teeth clean.  It is available in Feline, Canine and Canine Small Bites

●   Feed a crunchy diet and avoid moist food when appropriate.  Moist food contains more preservatives that tend to stick to teeth causing tooth decay.  Some conditions require a special diet.  It is best to check with your veterinarian.

●   Give treats to your pets that help promote a healthy mouth.  Dog treats such as Pedigree Dentabone and similar products have been shown to reduce tarter formation.  Since most pets tend to really enjoy T/D, it may also be used as a treat.

●   Schedule professional hygiene, such as dental prophylaxis, on a regular basis.  At this time a complete oral exam is performed and all tarter is removed from the teeth.  The teeth are professionally cleaned and polished just like your dental professionals do to your teeth.

●   Please call your pet’s doctor if you have questions.

Add comment December 20, 2010