Posts for: August, 2016

By Newmarket Dentistry
August 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   medications  

Many people have questions about the proper use of antibiotics — especially today, as the overuse of these medications has become a concern. It isn’t necessary for most people to take antibiotics before having a dental procedure. But for a few — notably, those with particular heart conditions and, in some cases, joint replacements — pre-medication is advisable. The question may be even more confusing now, because the standard recommendations have recently changed — so let’s try and sort things out.

First, why would anyone need antibiotics before dental treatment? Essentially, it’s because of the chance that an open wound could allow bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream. For people in good health, the body is capable of quickly containing and neutralizing the bacterial exposure. But people with some types of heart disease, heart transplants, and/or total joint replacements have a greater likelihood of developing a bacterial infection, which can be dangerous — or even life-threatening. The same may be true of people whose immune systems are compromised.

At one time, people with a broad range of heart problems and artificial joints were advised to pre-medicate; today, new research indicates that fewer people need to take this step. Antibiotics are currently recommended before dental procedures if you have:

  • An artificial heart valve, or a heart valve repaired with artificial material
  • A history of endocarditis
  • A heart transplant with abnormal heart valve function
  • Cyanotic congenital heart disease (a birth defect where blood oxygen levels are lower than normal) that hasn’t been fully repaired — including children with surgical shunts and conduits
  • A congenital heart defect that has been completely repaired with artificial material or with a device — but only for the first six months after the repair procedure
  • Repaired congenital heart disease with residual defects, such as leakage or abnormal flow

In addition, not everyone who has an artificial joint needs antibiotic premedication. Instead, your health care providers will rely on your individual medical history to determine whether this step is required in your situation. However, having a compromised immune system (due to diabetes, cancer, arthritis, chemotherapy and other factors) is still an indication that antibiotics may be needed.

The question of whether or not to pre-medicate is an important one — so it’s vital that you share all relevant medical information with your doctors and dentists, and make sure everyone is in the loop. That way, the best decisions can be made regarding your treatment.

If you have questions about premedication before dental treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Newmarket Dentistry
August 15, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Migraines  

Migraine pain can be unrelenting. The pain and can last hours or even days. Although medications can help relieve some of the symptoms of migraines, many medications have unpleasant side effects. Dr. Richard Lee-Shanok, your Newmarket, ON, dentist at Newmarket Dentistry, is here to explain how your dentist can help you prevent migraines naturally.Migranes

What dental issues can contribute to migraine pain?

It may seem strange to consult a dentist about your migraine pain, but these healthcare professionals have the expertise and skill needed to treat some of the issues that can trigger your migraines, including:

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ): This disorder affects the temporomandibular joints on either side of your jaw. These hinge joints are the ones you use when chew and speak. If you have TMJ, you may experience pain in your jaw, clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw, facial swelling, headaches and pain in your shoulders and neck. Although the cause of TMJ is often unknown, it can occur if your have a bite problem or injured your jaw.

Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth: Grinding or clenching while you sleep is a common problem. The habit can erode the enamel of your teeth and may even crack them. After you spend the night grinding or clenching, it's not unusual to wake up with a stiff neck and sore neck and jaw muscles.

Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing multiple times throughout the night. When you fall asleep, your entire body relaxes, including the muscles in your throat. When the muscles relax, your airway narrows, which prevents air from flowing freely to your lungs. Your tongue may also fall backward into your throat, making the problem even worse. Sleep apnea can cause a variety of health problems, including migraines.

How can my dentist help?

Your Newmarket, ON dentist can offer treatments that will help reduce the number of headaches you get. If a bite problem is the cause of TMJ, your dentist will fit you with braces to correct the problem or give you a custom-made splint or nightguard to relieve the pressure on your jaw. Wearing a nightguard will also reduce clenching or grinding that leads to migraines. Your dentist also offer special oral appliances that relieve sleep apnea symptoms by moving the jaw forward, which opens up the airways.

Dr. Richard Lee-Shanok, your Newmarket, ON, dentist, offers effective treatments that can help relieve your migraine pain. Call him at (905) 830-1010 to schedule an appointment. Prevent migraines with dental treatment!

By Newmarket Dentistry
August 04, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.

In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.

For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.

Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.

It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.

That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”

We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?



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