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Tooth Tourism Blog

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are used to repair minimal tooth fractures, tooth decay, or otherwise damaged surfaces of the teeth. Materials may be used to even out tooth surfaces for better biting or chewing.



Individuals with enamel loss resulting in tooth sensitivity will notice a significant improvement or complete elimination of sensitivity once the appropriate dental filling material is placed.



In some cases, depending on the extent of tooth decay or damage, the affected tooth may require additional or alternative procedures, including:

  • Root Canals: If there is an infected or nerve damaged tooth, antibiotic treatment and/or a root canal may be performed before the tooth is restored.
  • Dental Crowns: For a tooth requiring more support than offered by a traditional filling, a dental crown may be required.
  • Dental Implants: For permanent tooth damage requiring tooth extraction, a dental implant or dental bridge may be the next alternative in the treatment plan.


How is a dental filling performed?


During preventative dental checkups your dentist will appraise your teeth, gums, and supporting bone structure. He or she will identify the number of tooth surfaces that are affected by tooth decay or damage, and then prepare the tooth and necessary surrounding areas in order to restore the damaged area. Your dentist will remove the decay or damaged area with a dental hand-piece or laser, cleanse the area to remove bacteria or debris and complete the restoration.



What are my options for dental fillings?


Amalgam dental fillings are usually made from a gold alloy or other metal alloy. Some metals are tolerated better by our bodies and are called "noble". Metal fillings are not as popular as they once were for a number of reasons: metal is a good heat conductor, so metal fillings are more sensitive to hot and cold. Metal fillings are not "lifelike". Also, part of the metal alloy usually contains mercury, which can accumulate in our bodies. During the past 20 years, many people have chosen to replace their amalgam fillings with composite fillings.



However, amalgam fillings are stronger than composite, so they may be chosen to fill cavities in the rear teeth where biting force is stronger and appearance is not as important.



Composite dental fillings are made from glass or quartz crystals in a resin medium which hardens. The colour is tooth-like and can be matched to the patient's tooth colour.



What is the cost of a dental filling?


The cost per filling may depend on the number of surfaces the dentist must fill. Our teeth have 5 surfaces – 4 sides and the top of the tooth. Most dentists have a fee for each surface of the tooth. Fillings are easier to place in the front teeth and more difficult to place in the back teeth. Because of this, some dentists charge more for fillings in the back teeth.



Need to find a dentist? Let Tooth Tourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!).



Contact www.toothtourism.com today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Correct Your Crooked Smile with Dental Bonding

What is dental bonding?


Dental bonding is a great solution for restoring decayed teeth, making cosmetic improvements, and even changing the color or shape of your teeth. Bonding will lighten any stains you may have, close up minor gaps, and can be used to correct crooked teeth. Basically, bonding will cover any natural flaws applying a thin coating of a plastic material on the front surface of your teeth. After this, your cosmetic dentist will apply a bonding material and sculpt color and shape it to provide a pleasing result. A high-intensity light then hardens the plastic, and the surface is finely polished.



With dental bonding you can

  • repair decayed teeth
  • repair chipped or cracked teeth
  • improve the appearance of discolored teeth
  • close spaces between teeth
  • make teeth look longer
  • change the shape of teeth
  • have a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings
  • protect a portion of the tooth's root that has been exposed when gums recede



Types of dental bonding procedures


For small corrections: Small corrections usually require one visit to your dentist. The fillings are color-matched to the tooth and bonded to the surface for added strength. These are most appropriate for small fillings and front fillings as they may not be as durable for large fillings.


For larger corrections: Dental lab-created, tooth-colored fillings require two appointments and involve making a mold of your teeth and placing a temporary filling. A dental laboratory then creates a very durable filling to custom-fit the mold made from your teeth. These fillings are typically made of porcelain. The custom-fit filling is then bonded to your tooth on your return visit. This type is more natural-looking, more durable, and more stain resistant.



How long does dental bonding last?


While the traditional silver fillings last about seven years, dental bonding composites should last about seven to eleven years.



Need to find a dentist? Let Tooth Tourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!).


Contact www.toothtourism.com today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Oral Cancer

What is oral cancer?


Cancer is defined as the unruly growth of cells that attack and cause damage to surrounding tissue. Oral cancer can form in any part of the mouth or throat. It involves abnormal, malignant tissue growth in the mouth, i.e. lips and tongue. It may also occur on the floor of the mouth, lining of the cheeks, on gums, or palate.



Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer


  • Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth
  • Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness in the mouth
  • Trouble or pain with chewing, jaw opening, speaking or moving.
  • Tooth loosening
  • Bad breath
  • Sensory loss of the face
  • Weight loss
  • A lump in your neck
  • An earache


Causes


  • Drinking excessive alcohol, especially when combined with smoking
  • Using cigarettes, cigars, and pipes
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Spending a long time in the sun or under UV light - a risk factor for lip cancer, particularly in pale skin
  • Poor diet, lacking vitamins A, C and E and iron, selenium and zinc
  • If you had Kaposi's sarcoma cancer, which can affect any part of the skin


How to Prevent Oral Cancer


  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol use
  • Visit your dentist/doctor every 6 months for dental check-ups
  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Limit your exposure to the sun


Treatment


Oral cancer is treated the same way many other cancers are treated: surgery to remove the cancerous growth followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells.



Need to find a dentist? Let Tooth Tourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!).

Contact www.toothtourism.com today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124 9am-5pm PST.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dental Sedation

People who are afraid of having dental work done, be it drills, going under anesthesia, or just a bad gag reflex, may gain from the benefits of dental sedation.


How is dental sedation performed?


The dentist administers a painkiller or tranquilizer prior to the dental procedures either through a pill or intravenously. Usually the sedation acts so that patients do not feel or remember the procedure. This process is also good for those people who have multipart dental problems (noises, smell and tastes) related with dentist.



Advantages of dental sedation


  • Quick recovery
  • Very few side effects
  • Works well for mild to moderate anxiety
  • Flexible duration can be used for any appointment length
  • There is an analgesic effect
  • You can drive yourself to and from your dental appointment
  • You can return to normal activities immediately


Disadvantages of dental sedation


  • Severe anxiety - may require a deeper level of sedation
  • Not indicated for people who have respiratory problems (Asthma and Emphysema)
  • Claustrophobic patients do not like anything covering their nose



Dental sedation is recommended for: Young patients with behavior complexity; longer procedures; medical conditions that cause involuntary movements, such as Parkinson's or cerebral palsy; patients with dental phobia.



Need to find a dentist? Let Tooth Tourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!).



Contact www.toothtourism.com today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124 9am-5pm PST.