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What is an Ortho Pan-Tomogram (OPG) Xray?
Orthopantomogram or OPG (also called the Panorex) is an advanced dental X-ray which gives a panoramic view of the jaws & associated structures. It depicts the teeth & the supporting bones of the upper and lower jaw, in addition to the the jaw joints on either side. They are valuable diagnostic aids to doctors, and are used routinely to help provide information on a variety of conditions, a few of which are briefly explained below.
ADVANTAGES OF AN OPG
• Broad coverage of facial bones and teeth.
• Low patient radiation dose.
• Convenience of examination for the patient, hence films need not be placed inside the mouth.
• Ability to be used in patients who cannot open the mouth or where in the mouth opening is restricted, such as trismus.
• Short time required for obtaining the image.
• Patient's ready understandability of panaromic films, making them a useful visual aid in patient education and case presentation.
• Easy to store compared to the large set of intra oral x-rays which are typically used.
* Diagnosis and treatment planning of Impacted wisdom teeth.
* Periodontal bone loss and periapical involvement.
* Finding the source of dental pain.
* For assessment concerning dental implants – pre and post procedures phases
* Pre and Post Procedure Orthodontic Assessment.
* Caries detection especially in the inter-dental regions & secondary decay
* Diagnosis of developmental anomalies such as Cherubism and Cleidocranial dysplasia.
* Diagnosis of osteosacrcoma, ameloblastoma, renal osteodystrophy affecting the jaws and hypophosphatemia.
* Tempero mandibular joint dysfuctions and ankylosis.
* OPGs are used routinely as diagnostic tools during periodic dental examinations of patients.
* Prior to any kind of surgery in the maxillofacial region, OPGs are made to assess the anatomical location of various clinically important structures such as the IAN, MS etc.
SLEEP DENTISTRY / DENTAL SLEEP MEDICINE
What do the dentist and sleeping have to do with each other? More than you might think. Sleep dentistry is what dentists do to help people with snoring and related sleep problems.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) happens when tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway while you're sleeping, cutting the amount of oxygen delivered throughout the body. When blood-oxygen levels drop low enough, you momentarily wake up, though sometimes so briefly you don't even know it, says Mark Wolff, DDS, PhD. He's a professor and chair of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at NYU College of Dentistry. Snorers may also lose sleep, sometimes because their own loud honking rouses them -- not to mention their bed partner, also bothered by the noise.
One dental remedy: a custom oral appliance worn at night. These plastic devices pull the jaw forward, which advances the tongue and potentially opens the airway, cutting down on snoring and the tissue collapse that causes OSA. They're like night guards and retainers with a top and a bottom.
What is Sedation dentistry ?
A large number of dental patients do not like to visit their dentist for regular checkups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist.
Sedation dentistry involves simple procedures which medical professionals employ on their patients during any medical or surgical procedure which is potentially lengthy and painful. It uses medication to put the patient in a very relaxed, dreamlike state while the procedure is being carried out. The distinct advantage of employing the sedation procedures is that the patient does not feel the stress and anxiety that they may usually feel before they are slated to undergo the procedures.
For the dentist, sedation means that the procedure is easier to perform, and that more procedures as well as surgical work can be performed in one session, reducing the number of sessions needed to carry out the course of treatment.
Sedation Dentistry is an ideal solution for those who suffer from dental phobia and anxiety. It is used by dentists to perform procedures including surgeries on patients in a stress free manner, and helps many patients overcome their fear of visiting the dental office.
Root Canal Therapy ( R C T )
At the center of a tooth is a hollow area that houses soft tissue, known as pulp or nerve. This hollow area contains a relatively wide space in the coronal portion of the tooth called the pulp chamber. This chamber is connected to the tip of the root via narrow canal(s); hence, the term "root canal". Human teeth normally have one to four canals, with teeth toward the back of the mouth having more. These canals run through the center of the roots like pencil lead through the length of a pencil. The pulp receives nutrition through the blood vessels and nerves carry signals back to the brain to warn of adverse events and circumstances.
Dental decay, when it progresses from the surface of the tooth to reach the pulp chamber, root canal infection results. Therefore, for a person who feels tooth pain or discomfort, a root canal treatment may be indicated, and a qualified dentist or more preferably an endodontist (root canal therapy specialist) should be consulted in a timely manner.
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BENEFITS OF HAVING GOOD ORAL HEALTH & HYGIENE
Taking good care of your mouth -- teeth and gums -- does more than help ensure you have a bright, white smile.
A healthy mouth and healthy body go hand in hand. Good oral hygiene and oral health can improve your overall health, reducing the risk of serious disease and perhaps even preserving your memory in your golden years. The phrase "healthy mouth, healthy you" really is true -- and backed by growing scientific evidence.
It's never too early to start teaching your children to take care of teeth and gums -- healthy habits learned in childhood can pay off in adulthood. And, if you're tempted to shrug off your good oral hygiene habits -- brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly -- remember that you're a role model for your kids.
Keep in mind these six ways having healthy teeth and gums helps boost overall health.
* Boosts Your Self-esteem and Confidence - Decayed teeth and gum disease are often associated not only with an unsightly mouth but very bad breath -- so bad it can affect your confidence, self-image, and self-esteem. With a healthy mouth that's free of gum disease and cavities, your quality of life is also bound to be better -- you can eat properly, sleep better, and concentrate with no aching teeth or mouth infections to distract you.
* May Lower Risk of Heart Disease - Chronic inflammation from gum disease has been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, and strokes. Experts stop short of saying there is a cause-and-effect between gum disease and these other serious health problems, but the link has shown up in numerous studies. The findings of these studies may suggest that maintaining oral health can help protect overall health.
* Preserves Your Memory - Adults with gingivitis (swollen, bleeding gums) performed worse on tests of memory and other cognitive skills than did those with healthier gums and mouths, according to a report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. Those with gingivitis were more likely to perform poorly on two tests: delayed verbal recall and subtraction -- both skills used in everyday life.
* Reduces Risks of Infection and Inflammation in Your Body - Poor oral health has been linked with the development of infection in other parts of the body. Research has found an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts say the mechanism of destruction of connective tissues in both gum disease and RA is similar. Eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene helps reduce your risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss once a day. Using an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste can help reduce bacteria in the mouth that can cause gingivitis.
* Helps Keep Blood Sugar Stable if You Have Diabetes - People with uncontrolled diabetes often have gum disease. Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection, including gum infections that can lead to serious gum disease. And some experts have found that if you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop more severe gum problems than someone without diabetes. That, in turn, may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Reducing your risk of gingivitis by protecting your oral health may help with blood sugar control if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
* Helps Pregnant Women Carry a Baby to Term - Women may experience increased gingivitis during pregnancy. Some research suggests a relationship between gum disease and preterm, low-birth-weight infants. Not all studies have found a solid link, but maintaining good oral health is still the best goal. If you're pregnant, visit your dentist or periodontist as part of your prenatal care. Consider it good practice for the role modeling that lies ahead for all new parents.
Bad Breath and its Management
Bad breath (Halitosis) is a problem few can admit and even fewer will point out. It's especially difficult to detect since a person can't smell his or her own breath. Bad breath (medically termed halitosis) is a common problem faced by a large number of people these days. The problem can turn out to be quite depressing and embarrassing at times to the afflicted person as well as the people around. Treatment of bad breath should be aimed at eliminating the root cause of the problem rather than adopting camouflaging measures such as mouth fresheners, mouthwashes etc.
ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is the specialty concerning surgery of the facial region involving soft tissues and hard tissues. To be precise, it is the surgical treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving the functional and aesthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. The following categories come under this specialty :
Minor Oral Surgical Treatment - surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth, surgery in relation to the maxillary sinus, complicated exodontics, frenectomy, preprosthetic surgical procedures, cyst enucleation, treatment of various lesions in the oro-facial region, management of oral submucous fibrosis and related precancerous conditions, pre-orthodontic surgical procedures, apicectomy etc.
Maxillofacial Trauma - includes soft tissue injuries of the facial region, fractures of the mandible, maxilla, zygoma, TM joint injuries and dentoalveolar complex injuries. Correction of secondary deformities following maxillofacial injuries including orbital reconstructions.
Infections of the dentofacial region including odontogenic infections.
Pathologic lesions of the dentofacial region such as cysts and tumors of the face and jaws.
Cosmetic surgical treatment (Orthognathic Surgery) of malalignment and maldevelopment of the jaws, including dentofacial deformities, assymetry etc.
Correction of cleft lip, cleft palate
Correction of nasal deformities (Rhinoplasty etc.)
Oral, Head and Neck cancers - Detection, Primary Management of Oral Cancers & Cancer Prevention
Surgical Management of Oral & Head and Neck Cancers
Reconstructive procedures following trauma or cancer surgery of the oro-maxillofacial regions.
Preprosthetic surgery and Dental Implants
Temporomandibular Joint disturbances management & TMJ surgery
Oro-facial pain and other neurological abnormalities of the oro-facial region
Management of mentally retarded, medically compromised, pediatric and geriatric patients requiring complex surgical and dental procedures of the oro-facial region.
One of the biggest dental problems that can happen to someone is the loss of a tooth. Often people consider loss of teeth insignificant. However, the fact is that apart from cosmetic problems, functional problems and a compromised chewing mechanism results due to loss of teeth.
There are several problems that can arise from loss of functional teeth:
1. Compromised chewing efficiency
2. Supra-eruption of opposing teeth
3. Drifting of adjacent teeth into the space
4. Food accumulation between the teeth which have moved
5. Dental caries & periodontal disease in areas of food accumulation
6. Loss of equilibrium in the chewing mechanisms - lopsided chewing patterns
7. Loss of “alveolar” bone height in the extracted area
8. TM Joint problems – closed bite due to loss of teeth, TMJ osteoarthritis
9. Overloading of existing functional teeth leading to problems
10. Collapse of cheek into the space…cosmetic & functional problems - esp. increased incidence of cheekbiting
11. Frequency of accidental tongue biting & ulceration in the area of the missing tooth / teeth rises
IMPORTANCE OF A CHARMING & CONFIDENT SMILE
A smile can enrich our own lives and the lives of people with whom we interact. It is the most natural and most effective exercise for the face. The secret for success and popularity in life is a warm, intimate smile, which breaks the hardest attitudes and evokes the most immediate response.
Everyone knows the importance of a smile. Smiles are instinctive, a universal sign of friendliness that even newborns recognize. An attractive smile goes a long way in getting you what you land a job, and find love. Yet too often, our teeth deny us the benefits of a beautiful smile. They ruin our looks through discoloration, overlapping, crowding, gaps and chips. At times the gums are very prominent and show too much. At times, the jaw itself will be deformed contributing to an unacceptable profile. Fortunately, through cosmetic dentistry, orthognathic surgery (dento-facial esthetic surgery) and other allied procedures, all of these problems can now be corrected.
In order to beautify a smile, it has to be first recorded, and then, assessed and analyzed.
* In a slight smile with your teeth parted, do the tips of your teeth show?
* When you smile slightly does your smile line appear in a shallow U-Shape i.e. are your front
two teeth slightly longer than your other teeth ?
* Do you have spaces between your front teeth?
* Do your front teeth protrude or stick out?
* Are your front teeth crowded or overlapping?
* Are you happy with the color of your teeth? Do you have stains on you teeth ?
* Do your front teeth have fillings whose shade does not match the natural tooth color?
* Do your front teeth look abnormal in shape or size?
* Do the necks of your teeth indicate erosion or ditched in 'V' that can be seen or felt with your
* Are your gums pink and 'knife edged' or are they red and swollen?
* Is your mouth free of decay or gum disease that can cause bad breath?
* Do you find it difficult to close your lips in rest position?
* Do you have a “gummy” smile?
* Do you have inability to bite into foodstuffs and chew them properly?
Tooth bleaching, also known as tooth whitening, is a common procedure in general dentistry but most especially in the field of cosmetic dentistry. Many people consider white teeth to be an attractive feature of a smile. A child's deciduous teeth are generally whiter than the adult teeth that follow. As a person ages the adult teeth often become darker. This darkening is due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth, as the enamel becomes less porous. Bacterial pigments, foodstuffs and tobacco can also stain teeth. Some medications can also cause teeth stains or a reduction in the brilliance of the enamel.
As white teeth are subconsciously associated with youth, they have become desirable. This has been made more apparent with the spread of American culture worldwide, where an especially white smile is coined a "Hollywood smile". The procedure to bleach teeth uses oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to lighten the shade of the tooth. The oxidizing agent penetrates the porosities in the rod-like crystal structure of enamel and oxidizes interprismatic stain deposits; over a period of time, the dentine layer, lying underneath the enamel, is also bleached. Tooth bleaching will generally last from 2 to 5 years, with variations from factors such as cigarette smoking, and tea and coffee consumption
A typical course of bleaching can produce dramatic improvements in the cosmetic appearance of most stained teeth; however, some stains do not respond to bleaching. Tetracycline staining may require prolonged bleaching, as it takes longer for the bleach to reach the dentine layer. White-spot decalcifications may also be highlighted and become more noticeable. Bleaching is least effective if teeth have white spots, decay or infected gums. It is also least effective when the original tooth color is grayish. Bleaching is most effective with yellow discolored teeth.