X-rays are an integral part of medical as well as dental health management. They play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. There is lot of concern among the general population regarding the harmful effects of x-rays; but they are safe if standard guidelines and safety measures are followed.
Dentists with the help of x-rays can observe and detect signs of disease which are normally not visible by the routine examination. The x-rays or radiographs help the dentists in making accurate assessment of the disease process, and the condition of the underlying structures and bones can also be noted. There are many uses of x-rays; they help in diagnosing abscesses, cysts, and tumors. Impacted, unerupted, missing, or extra teeth can be visualized. In periodontal disease, the location, severity, and the depth of the cavities can be accurately noted. By using x-rays, the condition of teeth, soft tissue, surrounding bones, etc. can also be seen. Without x-rays, the correct diagnosis can be missed very easily.
A full series of x-rays is taken of all adult new patients and kept as record for future reference. The number of x-rays, interval between them and follow-up directions are determined by the dentist according to the type and severity of the disease. Multiple x-rays are needed in some conditions like root-canal treatment, periodontal disease, etc.
The use of radiographs in children is done taking into account their growth and development.
Dental traumas are categorised according to the degree of severity of the injury, which in turn depends upon which tissue or tissues have been damaged and the extent of that damage.
TYPES OF DENTAL TRAUMAS
A tooth concussion is the mildest type of trauma/injury that can be inflicted on teeth. The fibres of the periodontal ligament may be strained and a few may be severed, but enough support remains to keep the tooth intact in the socket so that there is no measurable increase in mobility. The tooth might likely exhibit sensitivity to touch or diagnostic tapping; the gums around it might become slightly swollen, and may sometimes even bleed slightly. The neurovascular tissues in the dental pulp remain intact.
A subluxation can be considered as an aggravated concussion. There is greater damage to the periodontal ligament with more fibres, as well as some gingival capillaries, being severed or stretched. The tooth remains in place in its socket but a noticeable amount of movement can be elicited. Edema of the surrounding gingiva and interstitial bleeding from within the tooth-gum boundary (gingival sulcus) is evident. Pain is felt when the tooth is lightly touched or tapped; and there could be some slight damage to the neurovascular bundle of the pulp.
3) Extrusion or Extrusive Luxation
A luxation involves sufficiently severe trauma so as to dislodge the tooth. A luxation always involves at least partial (and sometimes total) rupture of the periodontal ligament as well as significant damage to or total severance of the blood vessels and nerve fibres of the dental pulp. Displacement of the tooth by just 5 mm or more decreases the probability of complete dental pulp recovery by about 50%.
In an extrusive luxation, the tooth is dislodged outwards away from the tooth socket in a direction generally parallel to the tooth root orientation. The tooth seems to have lengthened as part of the tooth root has been exposed. The alveolar bone in the tooth socket is usually not damaged.
4) Lateral Luxation
Lateral luxation is displacement of the tooth along any direction that is roughly perpendicular to the axial or longitudinal axis of the tooth. Fracture of the socket alveolar bone is always present in this type of luxation, and is quite common along the labial (lip) or palatal/lingual (palate/tongue) side of either jaw arches. There is partial or complete laceration of the periodontal ligament and pulpal neurovascular connections. The periodontal ligament on the side of the fracture undergoes traumatic compression.
5) Intrusive Luxation
In this type of luxation, a tooth is driven further into the alveolar socket. The alveolar bone is fractured and crushed (compressed). The periodontal ligament and the pulp blood and nerve connections are torn off and crushed, respectively. At times, the tooth becomes completely submerged into the jawbone, and might even penetrate the nasal cavity. Almost all intrusive luxations lead to pulpal necrosis.
In this type of dental trauma, the tooth is totally displaced out of the socket. If the tooth root has been fractured, a portion of the root might remain inside the socket. The pulp neurovascular supply and the root periodontal ligament are completely ruptured. Tooth loss is highly likely for this type of trauma. Even if the tooth is preserved and replanted, there is still the danger of the tooth not being recognised by the immune system and consequently rejected. A rejected replanted tooth will become fused to the bone (ankylosed) and then resorbed.
The time to replantation and the condition of the avulsed tooth are critical factors that determine the outcome of every case. The cells of the periodontal ligament that surrounds the tooth root are sensitive to mechanically induced damage, dehydration, and electrolyte depletion. In an emergency, an avulsed tooth should be very gently picked up by the crown and then immediately placed in a carton or plastic container that contains coconut water or milk. Washing or otherwise cleaning the tooth is not recommended. The patient and the avulsed teeth should then be sent to the dental clinic as soon as possible.
7) Broken Teeth
Broken teeth are dental traumas that involve damage only to teeth and usually do not involve dislocations. Teeth can be cracked, fractured, chipped, and torn off. The severity of a broken tooth injury is described according to the Ellis fracture classification system. This system assigns levels of severity based on whether the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp have been affected by the injury.
Broken teeth can involve only the enamel layer (Ellis Class I fracture), both the enamel and the dentin layers (Ellis Class II fracture), or the enamel and dentin layers and the pulp all at once (Ellis Class III fracture). Class I fractures are not medical emergencies and are easily managed with cosmetic dental treatments. Class II fractures on the other hand require either direct or indirect dental restorations since bacteria can easily proliferate within the dentin tubules. Class III fractures are true medical emergencies since bleeding and extreme pain are are commonly associated with this type of fracture. Infection of the pulp, gums, or jawbones can likely occur without prompt treatment.
According to increasing degrees of severity, broken teeth injuries include enamel infractions (also known as enamel craze or craze lines), enamel fractures, enamel-dentin fractures, crown-root fractures (without pulp involvement), enamel-dentin-pulp fractures, crown-root fractures (with pulp involvement), and root fractures.
Enamel infractions and enamel fractures are Class I fractures. Enamel-dentin and crown-root fractures without pulp involvement are Class II fractures; and lastly, enamel-dentin-pulp fractures, crown-root fractures (with pulp involvement) and root fractures are all Class III fractures.
Root fractures involve only the cementum, dentin, and pulp of the tooth root. These are relatively rare dental injuries that can be difficult to detect. Horizontal root fractures on the front teeth can be caused by direct impacts. The closer a horizontal root fracture is to the gum-line, the more likely it is that the tooth will be lost. Vertical root fractures on molars can result from clenching the teeth or from upwardly directed impacts to the lower jaw.
8) Alveolar Fracture
An alveolar fracture is a bone fracture of the alveolar ridge. The tooth socket may or may not be affected with this type of fracture. This is a serious bone fracture that can affect multiple teeth and, if it gets worse, can propagate throughout the entire mandible or maxilla.
9) Fracture of Mandible/Maxilla
This fracture is similar to an alveolar fracture but extends throughout the mandible or maxilla. This is a severe injury that requires immediate orthopaedic and/or oral-maxillofacial supervision.
If you ever break your permanent tooth or have a chipped tooth, it is best that you know about the right steps to take in case of emergency. You should start with collecting every piece of the tooth and then rinsing the affected area using warm water. A cold compress is used for holding on the injured tooth. It is also essential to make sure that you see your dentist at Worthing Dental Centre immediately.
If your permanent teeth have knocked out, the first step is holding the tooth by its crown without touching the root. The tooth should then be rinsed with milk or saline solution. Avoid using tap water as the chlorine present in it could damage the tooth’s root. The tooth shouldn’t be scrubbed either.
The most ideal place for preserving the tooth on the way to your dentist at Worthing Dental Center is in the socket. The tooth should be replaced gently while biting down on a gauze pad for keeping the tooth in place. If it appears impossible to reinsert the tooth, it should be ideally put in milk. You should use a gauze pad or handkerchief for biting down on as this tends to reduce bleeding while easing the pain.
Wanna Avoid Sickness?
Of course, the biggest purpose behind the idea of flossing and brushing on a regular basis is the removal of germs as well as harmful bacteria that are present in your mouth. If you fail to catch these bacteria before they succeed in making their way down your throat, you’ll be facing unwelcomed sickness. And flossing is what prevents you from getting sick in the long run.
Preventing Tooth Decay
If you are flossing or brushing your teeth on a regular basis, you’re actually removing the hardened plaque that could eventually take the form of tartar while harboring nasty bacteria in your mouth.
Healthy Teeth = Healthy Heart
Apart from removing plaque and tartar, flossing also keeps the bacteria from damaging your organs; particularly your heart. Research has shown that regular flossing and brushing can contribute toward improved heart health.
Get rid of that stinky breath
If you think brushing is enough to remove all bacteria in your mouth, then you’re wrong. Flossing is also very important in terms of the removal of bacteria, getting rid of around 35% of the germs that brushing can’t handle alone.
Live longer, live healthier
Did you know that spending at least three minutes on flossing a day may add around six to seven years to a person’s life expectancy?
How about taming your appetite?
You sure didn’t know about this one, did you? Yes, flossing along with brushing does have a positive impact on your appetite. When you floss, your subconscious mind decides not to eat as it wouldn’t make any sense to eat when you’ve just cleaned the teeth.
Regular dental checkups are important because it is only and only your dentist who can detect any signs of dental problems at an earlier stage. When cavities are detected earlier, it becomes easier to treat conditions like broken fillings or gum disease. And if such problems aren’t treated on time, root canals along with tooth removal may arise as the sole treatment option that is available.
Stay away from oral cancer
If you visit your dentist at Worthing Dental Centre on a regular basis, you’ll be having your dental cleaning done in a timely manner, which plays an important role in the prevention of serious dental problems like oral cancer. Having regular checkups ensures that you’re screened for oral cancer, which can be treated if detected earlier.
Say no to stinky breath
A majority of people with bad breath have some sort of dental problem that is causing the breath to smell bad. By having regular dental checkups, you will not only make sure that you get rid of the stinky breath but you’ll also have any dental problems associated with bad breath detected on time.
Keep yourself in shape
Did you know that there’s a strong connection between heart attacks and gum disease? A dental cleaning in every six months will help ensure that your teeth as well as gums are healthy while reducing your chances of developing heart diseases.
No doubt, dental implants are the ideal solution to give your teeth that perfect look,. But unfortunately, not many people know how to take care of their teeth well. What you need to understand is the fact that your dental implants would need the same kind of care and attention as your regular regular teeth need. So, ignoring the importance of flossing and brushing implants on a regular basis will invite trouble on the long run. You may consider using gauze or special floss for flossing around your teeth, abutments as well as gums on a regular basis.
Brushing the implants should be considered no different than brushing regular teeth. Thorough brushing of teeth can be ensured when you take more time to focus on cleaning your back teeth as well as the teeth in between. It is better to use a brush with soft bristles that has a bent handle for cleaning behind the abutments as well as the teeth. You may even consider using an oral irrigation device for further cleaning. Removable dental implants should also be brushed regularly.
It’s time to realize the importance of paying regular visits to your dentist at Worthing Dental Centre- especially if you have experienced an oral treatment like dental implants. Once in every six months, you need thorough teeth cleaning as well as plaque removal. Regular dental visits are also important in terms of proper placement as well as repair of your dental implants.
Your dentist may recommend using special mouthwash after getting the implants, which helps in reducing bacteria in the mouth. The mouthwash will play an important role in reducing the chances of any post operative infections for patients having dental implants.