Celebrating 26 Years of Friendly Community Based Dental Care in the Greater Sacramento Area

FAQ's

 

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Porcelian Inlays/Onlays

Porcelain inlays and onlays are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The porcelain pieces fit into the tooth to restore the natural effect.

Yes, porcelain inlays and onlays do replace crowns and caps. When caps and crowns are placed on the teeth, the tooth structure is drilled down to a stub. Porcelain restorations, on the other hand, build on the actual structure.

How long will my porcelain veneers last?

Porcelain veneers are intended to be long lasting restorations. They became popular in the 1980s and many patients from that time still have their veneers. In the past fifteen years not only has the technique improved but so has the adhesive bonding process and the porcelain used for veneers. Due to the advancement in this procedure, today’s veneers should last even longer.

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Gum Disease

Gum disease infects almost 80 percent of adults. The American Dental Association says that over 75-80% of all adults, even in the Sacramento, Elk Grove and West Sacramento, have or will have some form of gum disease.

Gum disease, or more correctly called "periodontal disease", is a bacterial infection in the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It can be divided into several categories.

The first stage is called "gingivitis" and is characterized by gum tissue that is red, puffy, and bleeds easily when touched with a toothbrush, floss or dental instrument.The second, third, and fourth stages are initial, moderate, and advanced "periodontal disease", respectively. These stages are different from gingivitis because the infection has destroyed the bone supporting the teeth, causing eventual tooth loss. At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates the treatment is more involved at these stages, usually consisting of a special cleaning with anesthesia and sometimes gum surgery.

Gum disease during pregnancy

Many mothers have experienced gum disease, dental pain and/or tooth extraction during or shortly after their pregnancy. This is often seen as being a "normal" side effect of being pregnant. However Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates feels that dental disease, which is an infection of the teeth and/or gums, is not "normal" for any patient.

There are three basic events that happen during pregnancy which make the patient more susceptible to dental disease. First, hormonal changes may make the gums more susceptible to gum disease.

Second, pregnant women tend to eat smaller, more frequent meals, exposing their teeth and gums to sugars and acids more often. Third, cravings for "junk foods" and inadequate oral hygiene pose an increased threat to the teeth and gums.

Pregnant women in the Sacramento area are advised to schedule a dental evaluation and receive preventive dental care at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates. Personalized oral hygiene instruction by Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates will be given to fight disease and promote overall good health for the mother and her baby.

Infections in joint replacements can be instigated by severe gum disease

Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates strongly recommends a thorough dental examination for presence of tooth and gum infection is recommended prior to joint replacement. Periodontal disease is a commonly occurring oral infection of the adult population (80% of adults are affected) destroying the bony support of the teeth. This infection slowly progresses over the lifetime of the patient and is often manifested in the advanced stage in the senior population.

Because of the lack of any discomfort to the patient until total loss of bony support to the teeth, many adults are unaware that they have this infection until they visit Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates. However, the bacteria from this bone destroying disease, especially in the more advanced cases, has been attributed to possible infection of joint replacements.

Candidates for joint replacements who have not been seen by Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates in over a year should consider a thorough dental evaluation of their teeth and gums before surgery.

Depending on the severity of the infection, treatment of gum infections and tooth abscesses may take from two weeks to two months before the patient reaches adequate health before surgery.

Gum and bone disease that goes undetected

Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates feels that prevention is an overused word in our vocabulary but we all know it works. You see it in what you do every day. Who wouldn't rather prevent a crisis than manage one?

Awareness of gum and underlying bone disease is very low. Only 50% of the population visits a dentist on a regular basis. Of that 50%, 80% have some degree of gum and bone disease. It is an epidemic. Were this any other disease, we would be calling on the CDC for immediate action!

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Plaque

Some dental problems are easy to see - plaque! One of the easiest problems to spot is a build-up of plaque. Plaque is the soft, sticky layer of bacteria, which is constantly forming on the teeth.

Usually it is invisible to the naked eye, but when a person is not brushing adequately, it can build up to where it appears to be a thick whitish coating on the teeth at the gum line. If not removed, it can lead to gum disease.

Another potential problem, which is easy to spot, is missing teeth. Many patients Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates sees assume that if they are still able to eat, they are O.K.

But very often, losing just one tooth can lead to the loss of support, and teeth begin to drift into the empty space, causing a change in the bite. It also forces the remaining teeth to carry an additional load, sometimes past their ability to adapt. In most cases, when even one tooth is lost, the remaining teeth suffer and are more likely to be lost as well.

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Oral Disease

Gingivitis is the most common periodontal disease, affecting 90% of the population. It is an infection of the gums caused by bacteria that form plaque.

In small amounts (when it is newly formed), plaque is invisible and relatively harmless. But when left to accumulate, it increases in volume and the proportion of harmful bacteria grows.

These bacteria release toxins that result in inflammation of the gum tissue. Eventually, the plaque hardens and forms hard deposits called calculus or tartar.

If not properly treated, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis, a periodontal disease in which there is loss of the bone that supports the teeth. Please call Dr. Archie for a complete evaluation of your potential gum disease.

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Cosmetic Dentistry

Replace silver fillings with white tooth fillings

Many people in the Sacramento and Elk Grove area have had silver fillings placed into their teeth because they had "cavities". These silver fillings are called amalgams. Amalgam fills the space where the decay in the tooth has been removed. However, over time, the amalgam corrodes and leaks which blackens the silver, and many times the tooth. This is easily seen as soon as a patient opens his or her mouth and is usually a source of embarrassment for the patient.

At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we can provide you with composite fillings that are made of a porcelain-like material that actually bonds to the tooth for a tight seal. They are strong and stain-resistant, and they are color-matched to the natural tooth, making them "invisible".

Composite fillings also lack the sensitivity that is often associated with silver amalgam fillings. They are especially suited for smaller cavities and for patients who may be allergic to metal fillings.

Please don't hesitate to call Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates at 916-451-6591 with any questions you may have about the benefits of replacing silver amalgam fillings with invisible composite fillings.

Cosmetic dentistry fixes cracked, worn, discolored or broken teeth

For over 100 years, dentists have been using silver-mercury amalgam fillings to restore decayed or broken teeth. The only other alternative was gold and that was too expensive for most folks. Now there is a new and economical way to restore teeth in the Sacramento area using tooth-colored resin fillings. The resin is made up of glass particles in a plastic matrix. Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates bonds the putty-like material to the tooth with a high-intensity light. This hardens the material and allows it to be shaped and polished for immediate use.

Once completed, the tooth has a natural appearance and is actually stronger than before due to the strength of the adhesive agent used to bond the resin to the tooth. Resin restorations not only look better, but they are stronger and last longer than the old silver-amalgam fillings. Resin restorations can range from $150 to $350 per tooth.

Please call our office at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates with any questions you may have about the benefits of resin restorations.

Tooth whitening dentistry to fix discolored, dark or stained teeth

Tooth bleaching involves the placement of a bleaching solution on the teeth to eliminate stains and discoloration. The solution is held in place by a custom-made, see-through tray that fits over the teeth - much like a mouthpiece worn by a professional boxer.

Bleaching is a safe, effective and relatively easy means of producing a whiter smile.

Two bleaching methods are available at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates: Power Bleaching with a Laser, done at our office, and At-Home-Bleaching, which provides for home use (not to be confused with over-the-counter bleaching products available in local drug stores).

The difference between the two is the strength of the whitening agent and the time it takes to get effective results. Power bleaching usually takes three to six visits, while home bleaching may take up to four weeks of regular use.

Sensitive teeth, or those that are chipped, eroded or weakened by cavities, should be repaired or protected before they are bleached.

Cosmetic dentistry painlessly repairs broken teeth with dental bonding

Bonding by Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates is typically painless and can yield dramatic results in a single office visit. Essentially, bonding hides any natural flaws through the placement of a thin plastic coating on the front surface of the teeth.

After treating the tooth surface, Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates applies a puttylike bonding material that is then sculpted, shaped and colored to suit the your needs. A high-intensity light causes the plastic to harden after which the new surface is smoothed and polished.

Bonding can lighten stains, close gaps and even alter crooked or malformed teeth. At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we can even utilize it to change the shape or color of a single tooth or if necessary to remake your entire smile.

Tooth-colored restorations

For over 100 years, dentistry has restored teeth primarily with a material made of mercury and silver. It has done its job well, although we have had to live with its weaknesses. Those weaknesses consist of cracking teeth due to expansion of the material, and restorations turning black as the silver in the material corrodes.

Now we have many ways to provide tooth-colored restorations at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates. We can use adhesives to bond tooth parts that look and act like teeth. We can provide a bright, healthy and strong smile with these exciting new techniques in adhesion dentistry.

Poor self-image, resulting in low self-esteem

The appearance of the teeth has a dramatic effect on both the person's attractiveness to others and on their own self-image and self-esteem. Studies have shown that a person's appearance will have a strong effect on their social and career success, by influencing how others perceive them.

While the appearance of the teeth is one of the most important contributors to facial beauty, it is also probably the most often neglected when improvements to appearance are sought. A person with low self-esteem connected to their facial appearance, can often be greatly helped by cosmetic dental procedures.

Dental make-overs at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates have become more common, less invasive, and more effective in correcting deformities and cosmetic dental problems. The effect of these procedures can be nothing short of dramatic both in terms of appearance and also in terms of correcting, at least partially, personality deficiencies caused by poor self-image. Ugly teeth are no longer a matter of fate; they are now becoming a matter of choice.

Smile with porcelain veneers

Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates many times uses porcelain veneers for the same reasons as bonding (to lighten stains, close gaps and even alter crooked or malformed teeth). They are considerably more durable and stain resistant than bonding.

The veneer is actually a thin piece of porcelain similar in size to a fingernail. Once it is "bonded" onto the tooth it becomes extremely strong. Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates also blends the veneer in with the remaining tooth structure so that it is unnoticeable to the naked-eye. Once in place, it looks, feels, and functions just like a regular tooth.

At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we can use porcelain veneers to change the shape and color of a single tooth or if necessary, revamp an entire smile. Porcelain veneers can also be used to correct teeth that have been worn from clenching and grinding.

Cosmetic Dental Crowns

Teeth are often restored with fillings of silver or composite plastics. These materials can often accomplish the aim of replacing the part of the tooth that has been lost in a strong and good-looking manner.

However, there comes a point where the damage to the tooth has removed too much structure to hold a filling. The restoration must be done by a technique that will attach to the remaining tooth, stand up under heavier use and meet more elaborate cosmetic requirements.

The crown is the dental restoration that can strengthen and restore the entire top of a tooth. Thecrown can also be part of the attachment of a fixed bridge for the replacement of teeth. The tooth is strengthened because it is covered from the outside with a casting of metal or ceramic that will wrap up and splint the tooth.

The chewing of the tooth can be improved because it can be reshaped to match more efficiently with the opposing teeth. A crown can improve cosmetics by the use of modern ceramic processes that produce translucency and color that is more natural than has ever been possible.

Replace unsightly silver-mercury fillings

Tooth-colored "resin" fillings by Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates

For over 100 years, dentists have been using silver-mercury amalgam fillings to restore decayed or broken teeth. The only other alternative was gold and that was always too expensive for most folks.

Now at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates there is a new and economical way to restore teeth using tooth-colored resin fillings. The resin is made up of glass particles in a plastic matrix. Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates bonds the putty-like material to the tooth with a high-intensity light. This hardens the material and allows it to be shaped and polished for immediate use.

Once completed by Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates, your tooth has a natural appearance and is actually stronger than before due to the strength of the adhesive agent used to bond the resin to the tooth. Resin restorations not only look better, but they are stronger and last longer than the old silver-amalgam fillings. Resin restorations can range from $150 to $350 per tooth.

Can bleaching gels harm my teeth? Will my teeth become more sensitive to hot or cold?

Studies have shown that bleaching gels cause no harm to the teeth when used under direct dental supervision.

Teeth may feel sensitive for up to 24 hours after the bleaching procedure but this almost always dissipates to zero sensitivity after that.

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Dental Implants

A missing tooth? Dental care implants!

Losing a tooth by accident or by extraction is not the end of the matter. When a tooth is missing, the resulting gap will allow nearby teeth to tilt or drift from their normal position, and the teeth above the gap will move downward.

Aside from the obvious cosmetic problem, the changed positions of these teeth can lead to severe bite problems causing jaw pain and headaches.

Missing teeth should be replaced to keep other teeth in their normal position. This can be done by Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates with a fixed bridge or a dental implant. Both of these treatments offer a good functional and cosmetic result.

Commonly asked questions about dental implants

When you are more knowledgeable about your implant treatment, you will be able to have more input to give us and better your chances of a successful treatment outcome with Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a titanium metal replacement for a root of a tooth that is surgically implanted in the jawbone.

As the body heals for approximately two to six months after the surgery, the bone around the implant fuses to the implant through a process called osseointegration.

After the healing phase is complete, the implants are used to anchor crowns, bridges, or dentures.

Dental implants are the most natural replacement for a missing tooth. For more information call us at 916-451-6591.

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What is the dental implant process like?

At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we begin with a thorough evaluation of the patient's medical and dental history, and a full clinical examination of the entire mouth and missing tooth area. The clinical exam should also include specific X-rays.

After assessing the patient, a comprehensive treatment plan can be devised. From that point, implants are surgically placed in the jawbone under local anesthesia.

The length of the healing time is based on the quality and quantity of bone, as well as the type of implant placed. After adequate healing is allowed to occur, the implant can be used to support a crown, bridge, or denture.

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How many dental implants should be placed?

This is a question that should be determined during the treatment plan. A good rule-of-thumb is to place one implant for each tooth replaced.

Other decisive factors for the number of implants needed for success is the quality and quantity of the patient's bone. Equally as important are the existing anatomy of the bone and the financial resources of the patient. (At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we try not to let money get in the way of good dentistry.)

Placing enough implants to restore teeth is vitally important to the long-term success of the restoration. Simply stated, the most costly mistake is to have an implant fail because not enough implants are placed to support the teeth. If the number of implants is limited due to financial constraints of the patient, then the implant treatment should be avoided or the type of restoration must be altered.

Replace missing teeth with dental implants

"Well, you know Doc, it's just a back tooth. No one will see it so I'll just get rid of it. It's not going to make a difference." Unfortunately we hear this type of comment at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates more often than you would think.

The plain truth is that it will make a difference. At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we know the loss of just a single tooth can set a course that can destroy an entire mouth. "Well, if that's true, tell me more. I sure don't want to lose the front ones that I smile with."

Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates often answers with an explanation that teeth will drift and tip into a space that is created by missing teeth. Just like two gears of a car that are not properly aligned, pretty soon you've got a whole lot of problems.

"Well, I don't like that. What can I do?" If it sounds like I've heard this conversation a few times, you're right. If I'm going to keep a patient happy, I need to provide options at this point.

One of the options we often discus at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates would be a dental implant. This is the replacement of a tooth with a false root that is surgically placed. Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates then carefully constructs a dental crown to replace the missing tooth, to prevent teeth from shifting and thereby causing further tooth loss.

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Who should you see about getting dental implants?

When getting dental implants, you should select a dentist or dental team with in-depth knowledge and prior experience with all aspects of the treatment. At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we have this expertise.

It is also important to know that implant treatment consists of two components: a surgical phase and a restorative phase.

Traditionally, a dental surgeon, like an oral surgeon or a periodontist, performs the surgical component. A general dentist, or prosthodontist and laboratory technician performs the restorative component. However, as implant dentistry has become more sophisticated, sometimes a dentist who specializes in restorative dentistry conducts the entire procedure.

Dental implant technology

The technology has been around for decades. In fact, some patients have had dental implants for more than 40 years.

Hundreds of thousands of dental implants have been inserted with more than a 90% success rate. All other metal implants in the body (including hips and knees) are the result of the dental implant technology.

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Are there different types of dental implants?

Yes, several types are available. The American Dental Association considers both the endosteal and the subperiosteal implants to be acceptable.

An important factor for selection is to determine whether your jawbone can adequately support the implant. Most dental implants placed today are endosteal root form fixtures (similar to a man-made tooth root).

In the case of a single missing tooth, a dental implant can be placed in the jawbone area of the missing tooth. The implant will serve as a replacement for a tooth root and an individual crown. The total apparatus is referred to as a single-tooth implant crown.

Once in place, the implant crown will look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. They are cleaned and flossed just like natural teeth, and best of all, they do not require any special tools to clean around them like bridges. Although dental implants will not decay, they require impeccable oral hygiene.

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Dental Crowns

Care of dental crowns

Regular brushing and flossing as you would your natural teeth will ensure that your crown will be in place for years to come!

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Bad Breath

Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates feels that while bad breath might be a symptom of some other disorder, it most likely stems from dental decay and periodontitis.

Periodontitis is a disease affecting gums and bone that support the teeth, and it results from inadequate tooth brushing and flossing. In this disease, the irritated gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets between the teeth and the gums. These pockets fill with bacteria and pus which give off a foul odor.

Patients with bad breath need a complete dental evaluation by Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates. If gum disease and/or dental decay is diagnosed, it can be treated readily. The patient will no longer have an infection in his or her mouth, and he or she will no longer have the embarrassment of bad breath.

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Infant Dental Care & Children’s Dentistry

Decayed baby teeth - bottle caries!

Signs and appearance of baby teeth displaying bottle caries:

  • Brown baby teeth with fragmented edges
  • Upper front baby teeth that break easily

Children who have erupted teeth or are past the age to be weaned are highly susceptible to rotted front teeth when being put to bed with a bottle containing milk, juice or other sugar-containing liquids. There is decreased salivary flow during sleep and clearance of the liquid from the teeth is slowed.

The liquid pools around the upper front baby teeth and creates an excellent environment to promote the growth of decay-causing bacteria. Removing the bottle before the first tooth appears and wiping the child's gums and teeth with a soft cloth before being put to bed can help prevent decay.

At 18 months of age, parents should bring their child into Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates for examination by Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates and recommend home care.

When should I start cleaning my baby's teeth?

This is a good habit to start early! The teeth must be cleaned as they erupt. Use a damp wash cloth or a toothbrush. If your health care provider agrees, use a tiny dab of fluoride toothpaste. Tooth brushing is definitely a parents job in the preschool years.

Children are usually able to brush their teeth well when they are 8 years old. Be sure to check your child's teeth regularly for any chalky white or brown spots which could be the beginning of tooth decay.

Erupting teeth (teething)

Since the eruption of primary baby teeth is a normal and natural process, these signs and symptoms are to be expected:

  • Increased salivation
  • Putting fingers and hands into the mouth
  • Restlessness
  • Fretful behavior

Children may display other symptoms such as fever and systemic disturbances, such as croup, diarrhea, etc. These are coincidental to eruption and should be treated medically by the pediatrician as necessary.

Advice on infant teething

Sore gums from teething often occur for a few days at a time between six months to age three.

Babies often get relief from a clean teething ring, cool spoon, cold wet washcloth or toothbrush. Chilled teething rings or rubbing a clean finger on the sore gum area often helps, too.

When should my child first see a dentist?

"First visit by first birthday" sums it up. Your child should visit a dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually between six and twelve months of age. An early examination at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates and preventive care will protect your child's smile now and in the future.

For more answers about your baby's dental care call us at 916-451-6591.

What dental problems could a baby have?

Dental problems can begin early. A big concern is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD), which is preventable. BBTD can result from long periods of exposing baby teeth to liquids that contain sugar including formula, milk, breast milk, and juice.

A baby who has a habit of sleeping with a baby bottle filled with any sugary liquid or a breast in their mouth is at risk of getting BBTD. Frequent snacking on sweet or sticky foods can also cause decay.

The earlier your first dental visit to Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates, the better chance of preventing dental problems. Children with healthy teeth can chew food well, speak clearly and share precious smiles. Start your child on a lifetime of good dental habits now!

For more answers about your baby's dental care call us at 916-451-6591.

How can I prevent tooth decay from nursing or a bottle?

Taking your baby off of the breast when he/she falls asleep can prevent baby tooth decay. Hold your baby while bottle feeding. Always take a bottle filled with milk or juice away from the sleeping child.

If your child requires a bottle at bedtime provide a bottle filled with water. Instead of a bottle, try comforting your child with a pacifier or a favorite toy or blanket.

Check with your health care provider to make sure your child is getting the right amount of fluoride. Brush your baby's teeth with a soft toothbrush daily.

For more answers about your baby's dental care call us at 916-451-6591.

Should I worry about infant thumb or finger sucking?

Thumb sucking is perfectly normal for infants; most stop by the age of two. Prolonged (beyond age 5 or 6 years) thumb sucking can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we will be glad to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb-sucking habit.

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Dental Decay

Dental decay - cavities

Fluoride has been a great benefit to patients of all ages in helping prevent dental decay. Regular brushing and flossing lowers the chance of developing "cavities."

At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we know that the most decay-prone areas of teeth are the grooves and depressions on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, which require further preventive care.

To prevent decay, a plastic-like coating called a sealant should be painted on the chewing surfaces of all the back teeth. Studies have shown that sealants can reduce tooth decay by as much as 90% to 100% nation wide.

The American Dental Association recommends, and Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates agrees, that sealants be placed as soon as the first adult back teeth come in at age 6 or 7. Sealants should continue to be used as each adult back tooth comes into the mouth. All back teeth that need to be sealed are present by age 13. Sealant application is simple, fast, and painless.

Please call Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates with any questions you may have about the benefits using a sealant in preventing dental decay.

Prevent tooth decay

Fluoride, in proper dosage, has been shown to significantly reduce dental decay. When fluoridated water has less than the ideal amount or is not available, fluoride supplements are recommended. (A call to your local water district is all that is necessary to determine whether your water has fluoride or not.) When supplements are needed, the administration of fluoride supplements should begin shortly after birth and continue through the time of eruption of the second permanent molars (approx. 12 years of age).

Regular dental check-ups at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates should begin no later than 18 months of age.

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Mouthguards

While mouth guards are not mandatory equipment in all sports, their worth is indisputable. Mouthguards cushion blows to the face and neck. A mouthguard should be part of every athlete's gear, no matter the sport. Even adults or weekend athletes need to protect their smile and preserve their health.

Do: At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we feel that you should wear a mouthguard at all times when playing sports. Wear a mouthguard custom-fitted by a dentist, especially if you wear bridges or braces.

Don't: Wear removable appliances like retainers when playing sports.

There are two types of mouthguards:

  • Custom-made: Designed by a dentist and made on a cast of your teeth. These cause very little interference with speaking or breathing. They provide the best protection and fit over braces and fixed bridges. They also cost more.
  • Ready-made: Purchased at most sporting goods stores. They are the least expensive, the least effective, and least comfortable.

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Dental Emergencies

Knowing the Proper First Aid

If the tooth is loose, even extremely so, but is still attached in any way, leave it in place; do not remove it.

If it is out of its socket completely and unattached, but still in the victim's mouth, it is best to have the person hold it there, if possible, until Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can attempt re-implantation.

If it is out of the mouth, do not let it dry out. Handle it as little as possible. Do not attempt to disinfect the tooth, or scrub it, or remove any tissue attached to it. Call our office at 916-451-6591 immediately.

If it is recovered from the ground or other soiled area, rinse it off in lukewarm water. Preserve it in milk until Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can examine it. If milk is not available, lukewarm water will suffice.

Time out of the socket is critical in the long-term success of re-implantation. After 30 minutes, the success potential begins to decline. However, re-implantation by Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates is still possible after several hours, so the attempt can still be made even if the tooth has been out for a long period.

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Root Canals

Treatment of root canal disease

A root canal procedure limits the infection and keeps it from destroying the tooth. During the root canal treatment procedure, the dentist removes the inflamed or infected tissue, carefully cleans, disinfects, and shapes the root canal space inside the tooth, and then fills and seals this space.

It may take one or more appointments to complete the procedure. A protective restoration should be placed after root canal treatment has been completed in order to restore the tooth to function and help prevent tooth fracture.

At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we think of a root canal as washing the invasive bacteria out of the root, filling it with a biocompatible material that soothes the area, then sealing it back up again. Top it off with a solid filling or a crown, and you're as good as new.

That means you get to keep your tooth. And that's a good thing.

Root canal therapy

Many people flinch when their dentists tell them they need root canal therapy. While dentists are sympathetic to fears of pain, at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we also want you to know that root canal therapy has three purposes:

  • Stop the toothache
  • Prevent bacteria and pain from spreading into the jaw
  • Maintain the original tooth instead of replacing it with a denture or bridge

The root canal is actually a channel that runs from the root of the tooth, which connects to the bone, up to the top surface of the tooth. The canal contains blood vessels, nerves, and the complex cells that make up the living tissue inside the tooth. This lifeline inside the tooth is called the pulp.

When a tooth is decayed or cracked, bacteria can get to the pulp. The acid from the bacteria irritates the pulp and it becomes inflamed; it's the same process you watch when other parts of your body become infected. When the pulp tissue becomes inflamed, it's harder for blood to flow to the tissue, and the resulting pressure creates pain inside your tooth.

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Endodontics

Symptoms of endodontic disease

Endodontic disease can manifest itself with a wide variety and combination of symptoms. Common symptoms of endodontic disease include:

  • Stop the toothache
  • Lingering sensitivity to cold liquids
  • Lingering sensitivity to hot liquids
  • Sensitivity to sweets
  • Pain to biting pressure
  • Pain that is referred from a tooth to another area, such as the neck, temple, or the ear
  • Spontaneous toothache, such as that experienced while reading a magazine, watching television, etc.
  • Constant or intermittent pain
  • Severe pain
  • Throbbing pain
  • Pain that may occur in response to atmospheric pressure changes, such as when flying or scuba diving
  • Pain that may occur in response to postural changes, such as when going from a standing to a reclining position
  • Swelling

If you have any of these symptoms, it would be wise to visit us at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates because you might have root canal disease or another dental problem. Some of these symptoms may also be attributable to decay, defective fillings, periodontal diseases, cracked teeth, or other tooth or bite-related problems. On other occasions, the symptoms may even be caused by disorders that are not related to the teeth.

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Infection Control

Infections in joint replacements can be instigated by severe gum disease

Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates strongly recommends a thorough dental examination for presence of tooth and gum infection is recommended prior to joint replacement.

Periodontal disease is a commonly occurring oral infection of the adult population (80% of adults are affected) destroying the bony support of the teeth. This infection slowly progresses over the lifetime of the patient and is often manifested in the advanced stage in the senior population.

Because of the lack of any discomfort to the patient until total loss of bony support to the teeth, many adults are unaware that they have this infection until they visit Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates. However, the bacteria from this bone destroying disease, especially in the more advanced cases, has been attributed to possible infection of joint replacements.

Candidates for joint replacements who have not been seen by Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates in over a year should consider a thorough dental evaluation of their teeth and gums before surgery.

Depending on the severity of the infection, treatment of gum infections and tooth abscesses may take from two weeks to two months before the patient reaches adequate health before surgery.

Patient concerns about AIDS

A recent survey of dental patients nation wide showed that patient protection was #1 on their list of concerns about dental care. Some patients have even quit going to the dentist because of their fears.

Fortunately, trips to Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates's office have never been safer. The case in Florida where the patient was apparently infected with the AIDS virus by her dentist is the only such case out of tens of millions of dental treatments performed since the introduction of the virus. The Center for Disease Control still does not know the method of infection.

However, even one case is too many. At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we have responded by adopting "universal (or standard) precautions". These involve sterilizing all instruments in dry-heat ovens or steam autoclaves to kill any bacteria. Disposable items are used whenever possible.

The chance of contracting an infection in the dental chair is extremely remote, but the chance of losing one's teeth because of lack of proper dental care is extremely likely.

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Prosthodontics

A prosthodontist is a specialist in the restoration and replacement of broken and missing teeth. Their training lasts an additional three years after four years of dental school. During that time, they are taught in greater detail both removable and fixed prosthodontics.

Removable prosthodontics includes replacing missing teeth with appliances that the patients themselves can take in and out of their mouth, such as dentures and partial dentures.

Fixed prosthodontics includes replacing missing and/or broken teeth with restorations that the patient cannot take in and out, such as veneers, crowns, bridges, and implants.

For more information about how we at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can help you with prosthodontic problems, call us at 916-451-6591, we will be happy to talk with you.

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Dentures

"What are dentures?"

Dentures are removable prosthetic devices designed to replace missing teeth.

"What are partial dentures?"

Partial dentures are dentures that replace only a few missing teeth.

"What are complete dentures?"

Complete dentures are dentures that replace a complete set of missing teeth.

"What is the difference between conventional dentures and immediate dentures?"

Conventional dentures are dentures that are made and placed after the remaining teeth are removed and the tissues have healed. Immediate dentures are dentures that are placed immediately after the removal of the remaining teeth.

"What is an over-denture?"

An over-denture is a denture that fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth or implants.

For more information about how we at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can help you with denture problems, call us at 916-451-6591, we will be happy to talk with you.

"What do dentures feel like?"

For a few weeks, new dentures will feel awkward until you become accustomed to them. They might feel loose until the cheek and tongue muscles learn to hold them in position. It is not unusual to feel minor irritation or soreness. The patient needs to see his or her dentist for regular fit adjustments to relieve any sore areas.

"Do dentures need to be replaced?"

At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we find that dentures will need to be relined, remade, or rebased due to normal wear over a period of time and normal shrinkage of your gums and bones.

"Are you able to eat with dentures?"

Eating with dentures will take a little practice. You should start with soft foods that are cut into small pieces. As you become used to chewing, you can return to your normal diet.

"Are there foods you should avoid if you wear dentures?"

There are only a few eating restrictions for denture wearers. Avoid biting down directly on crunchy or hard foods, like whole apples, hard pretzels, crusty bread, or large sandwiches. They can break because of the angle where the denture comes into contact with the hard surface.

Biting is limited only by the stability of the dentures themselves. Insufficient bone structure (shrunken bone ridges covered by gum tissue), old or worn dentures, and a dry mouth decrease stability. Call us at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates to evaluate your personal situation.

"If I wear dentures, are dental adhesives necessary?"

Today's dentures have been significantly improved through advances in both dental and materials technologies. As a result, dentures that fit properly usually do not require adhesives to secure the dentures. When you are just getting used to dentures, adhesives may be advised, but otherwise should not be necessary.

At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we feel a loose denture is a sign that it doesn't fit your mouth correctly. When first getting used to dentures, you may notice them slipping when you laugh, smile, or cough, which is caused by air getting under the base and moving it. The more you wear dentures, the better you will be able to control their movements in these situations.

If your mouth has insufficient bone structure, dentures will be more difficult to retain. Dental implants may be advisable. These are placed in the bone and retain the denture with small, precision attachments.

For more information about how we at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can help you with dentures, call us at 916-451-6591, we will be happy to talk with you.

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Partial Dentures

"What are partial dentures?"

Partial dentures are dentures that replace only a few missing teeth.

"How do you wear a removable partial denture?"

Removable partial dentures are attached to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments.

"How long will it take to get used to wearing a partial denture?"

Your partial denture may feel awkward or bulky for the first few weeks, but your mouth will eventually get used to it.

"How long should you wear a partial denture?"

Initially, you may want to wear your partial denture all the time. Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how long it should be worn and when it should be removed. Generally, your mouth tissues need to rest so it is advisable that you take out your partial denture at least 15 minutes per day.

"Will the partial denture change the way I speak?"

Your partial denture may help your speech. It can be difficult to speak clearly when you are missing teeth. However, it also will take time to get used to it.

For more information about how we at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can help you with denture questions, call us at 916-451-6591, we will be happy to talk with you.

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Dentures and good oral hygiene

"How do you clean your dentures?"

When cleaning your dentures, you should first rinse away loose food particles thoroughly. Then moisten your toothbrush and apply denture cleanser. Brush every surface, scrubbing gently to avoid damage.

"How many times a day does the denture need to be cleaned?"

The denture needs to be cleaned two to three times daily.

"What is good oral hygiene when you have full dentures?"

In addition to taking care of your dentures, taking care of your mouth also is vital if you wear full dentures. This includes brushing your gums, tongue, and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before inserting your dentures. This stimulates your tissues and helps remove plaque.

For more information about how we at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can help you with dentures, call us at 916-451-6591, we will be happy to talk with you.

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Repair of a broken denture

"What should I do if my dentures crack or break?"

Call your dentist immediately. Normally, dentures can be repaired quickly, often on the same day at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates. Damaged dentures can cause additional oral health problems, so see your dentist right away. Never attempt to repair dentures yourself. They require professional repair and adjustment.

"Why can't you fix dentures that break with glue?"

Glues often contain harmful chemicals and are not effective in the proper repair of dentures.

For more information about how we at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can help you with denture problems, call us at 916-451-6591, we will be happy to talk with you.

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Xerostomia (dry mouth)

Dry mouth is a common problem. The lack of adequate saliva is more than bothersome for three out of every ten Americans.

When the natural flow of saliva is reduced, you can experience trouble swallowing, pain throughout oral tissues and, nearly always, a short-cut to dental caries and gum disease. The tongue sticks, food doesn't have much taste, and digestion suffers. (For more details call us at 916-451-6591.)

Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates knows that Xerostomia, or dry mouth syndrome, can come with aging, or often as a side effect of many medications. Half of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy experience an extreme form of xerostomia, with critical effects on their dental health. At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we can help provide relief in the form of prescriptions for dry mouth toothpaste, special saliva-producing chewing gum, or saliva substitute solutions.

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Orthodontics

Orthodontic dentistry

"What is orthodontics?"

Orthodontics, also known as malocclusion or "bad bite," is described by the American Association of Orthodontics as the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

"What is an orthodontist?"

An orthodontist is a dentist who has undergone specialized training to diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities in patients.

Within the U.S., orthodontists are required to complete a two- to three-year advanced residency program in orthodontics following the completion of their four-year graduate dental program.

Each of these programs must be accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation.

For more information about how we at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can help you with dental braces, call us at 916-451-6591, we will be happy to talk with you.

"What causes orthodontic problems?"

Most orthodontic problems are inherited, including tooth size and jaw size, and may lead to crowding of teeth or spacing of teeth. Overbites, underbites, extra or missing teeth, and irregularities of the jaws, teeth, and face also are inherited.

Other orthodontic problems can be caused from accidents, pacifier or thumb sucking, dental disease, or the premature loss of either the primary or permanent teeth.

"What habits contribute to bad bites?"

A number of childhood habits can lead to orthodontic problems, such as thumb or finger sucking, sucking on a pacifier, sucking on a lip, mouth breathing (often caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids), fingernail biting, and "tongue thrust".

For more information about how we at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can help you with dental braces, call us at 916-451-6591, we will be happy to talk with you.

Instant Orthodontics

Instant Orthodontics is a modern procedure that straightens teeth using veneers instead of braces. It can close large gaps and correct overcrowding in as little as one day. In addition, the natural teeth are strengthened by the bonded porcelain restorations. These restorations are placed above the gum-line, which helps keep the gum tissue healthy.

Instant Orthodontics is typically a pain-free procedure that only requires the use of local anesthetics.

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Orthodontic Braces

The first steps in getting orthodontic braces

"What usually happens during an initial orthodontic exam?"

In order to determine your specific needs, an orthodontist will completely evaluate your mouth. This will likely include:

  • Impressions of your teeth, from which models are made (these are useful for the orthodontist, and will remind you exactly how your teeth looked before correction).
  • Photographs of your teeth, face, and smile
  • X-rays of your head and teeth
  • Your medical health history and dental health history

The doctor will then carefully evaluate your specific needs and provide you with a treatment plan for correction. Following the recommended plan is important for proper correction.

"What are spacers?"

Teeth normally fit tightly against one another. Spacers are inserted before placement of your braces to provide some space between teeth for attaching the bands. There are two types of spacers, small springs or plastic modules. In just a few days they gently move desired teeth slightly apart.

Spacers often cause some soreness, but this goes away in a few days. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to relieve the irritation. Your normal chewing also helps to get your mouth feeling better.

"What do I do if a spacer comes out?"

Call your doctor immediately for a replacement. That little spacer is making just enough room for a comfortable fit for your braces and plays an important role.

For more information about how we at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can help you with dental braces, call us at 916-451-6591, we will be happy to talk with you.

Foods to avoid while wearing orthodontic braces

You can eat just about anything, but there are some exceptions. At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates, we feel that getting used to braces also usually means making a few adjustments in your eating habits. This is because some food might damage your braces or cause problems for your teeth. Here's a list of items to avoid (or some ways they can still be enjoyed with caution):

  • Apples (don't bite into a whole one! Cut it into wedges first.)
  • Bubble gum (some orthodontists allow sugarless gum, but check with yours for approval)
  • Candy (caramels, taffy, nut brittles, fruit-flavored chewy candies, gummi anything!)
  • Carrots (avoid sticks, cut into thin curls)
  • Corn on the cob (remove the kernels from the cob, then enjoy!)
  • Corn chips/crisp tacos
  • Hard foods (they're tough on braces, causing bending and breaking)
  • Ice (no crunching!)
  • Lemon juice/lemons (pure lemon juice is very hard on your tooth enamel)
  • Nuts
  • Pizza crust/crusty breads (outer edges)
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels (the large, hard varieties)
  • Sticky foods (can bend wires and pull off brackets)
  • Sugary foods (avoid these as much as possible; if you do eat them, brush your teeth within minutes or as soon as possible, or at least rinse your mouth with water)

For more information about how we at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can help you with dental braces, call us at 916-451-6591, we will be happy to talk with you.

Dental braces - How early?

At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we use the simple guideline that children should be examined at the time their permanent teeth are beginning to come in. However, every child is different, and the best starting time for orthodontic treatment depends on the type of problem and how severe it is. So the answer really is: "It depends..."

If your child requires treatment, early intervention can make a real difference. We see the best results with treatments that would be impossible once your child's face and jaw have completely developed.

Also, when started early, completion of treatment at a later age is much easier.

During an initial examination, we will evaluate your child's facial growth, spacing between teeth, crowding, extra or missing teeth. And they will look for habits like tongue-thrusting and thumb-sucking that may hinder normal growth and development. These problems can change tooth alignment as well as alter facial appearance.

If your child doesn't require any early treatment, most dentists will schedule periodic follow-up exams while the permanent teeth are coming in and the face and jaws continue to grow.

Orthodontic treatment can bring your child's teeth, lips and face into harmony. And we all know that a pleasing appearance and beautiful smile give children -- and adults -- a big advantage in life.

For more information about how we at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can help you with dental braces, call us at 916-451-6591, we will be happy to talk with you.

Dental care with braces

When your mouth is loaded with extras -- bands, brackets, and wires -- brushing your teeth gets tougher and extra important. Plus, braces interfere with the natural chewing process that normally bathes and exercises gums and helps clean teeth.

At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we feel caring for your teeth and keeping them cavity-free is a top priority during orthodontic treatment.

While proper-fitting bands or brackets usually protect the covered portion of your teeth, the brackets and wires on the outside of teeth make it harder for the toothbrush to clean between teeth.

Trapped food particles and plaque are a breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria. Gum disease also can develop, causing swelling and making cleaning even more challenging and painful. Improper care can also stain tooth enamel.

"How often do I need to brush with dental braces?"

Preferably brush within five minutes after you eat anything, whether you're snacking or after a meal. Brushing away cavity-causing bacteria helps keep your teeth cavity-free.

Carry a travel toothbrush in a backpack, purse, or briefcase to always have on hand for brushing away from home.

"How do I brush my teeth with braces?"

Brush between wires and gums to loosen any food particles. There are special toothbrushes for this, check with us for recommendations.

Start on the outside of your upper teeth, positioning the bristles at a 45 degree angle, toward the gum. Brush two to three teeth at a time using a circular motion, about ten strokes.

Next, brush the inner surfaces in the same manner.

Brush the chewing surfaces.

Repeat the same process for the lower teeth as for the upper ones.

Rinse your mouth as well as your toothbrush. Check your teeth in a mirror to make sure you've brushed all tooth surfaces.

Floss daily between braces using a floss threader.

Toothpicks, stimudents, and other interdental devices work well under brackets.

You may also want to use a water oral hygiene device that helps to remove food particles the toothbrush may not reach. It is used in addition to brushing and flossing, not as a substitute.

While wearing braces, be sure to schedule regular dental exams every three to six months for cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

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Senior Dental Care

Dental care for seniors

Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates feels that good habits of effective daily brushing, diet, and use of fluoride will help the aging person adapt to changing conditions. Reduced salivary flow and addition of medications will affect oral health dramatically.

Changes of the teeth and gums:

Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates has noted that teeth will darken because of long-term exposure to plaque and changes in the dentin within the tooth. The gums may recede and uncover the roots. Exposed roots will be darker than the enamel part of the tooth and are prone to decay. Fillings can decay and darken, too, as they weaken over time.

"Dry Mouth" may develop: Saliva is useful to lubricate, wash away plaque, and neutralize the acid produced by plaque. Flow of saliva can be reduced by a medical disorder or be a side effect of antihistamine, decongestants, pain killers or diuretics.

The build-up of plaque will accelerate tooth decay. There will also be more gum infection which will cause a loss of bone support for the teeth. Poorly-fitting or poorly-cleaned dentures, illness, and some medications increase the severity of the problem.

For more information regarding dental problems of the elderly, please call Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates at 916-451-6591 today.

Burning mouth and seniors

Burning mouth usually occurs in individuals over 50, but can affect others as well. There are several reasons why it occurs.

Denture problems: a new denture, or one that doesn't fit well, can irritate your entire mouth.

Reduced salivary gland function: Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates knows that this will cause the mouth to become dry, inviting oral discomfort, difficulty eating or swallowing, loss of taste, and a burning mouth. Salivary gland dysfunction sometimes comes with age. But there are saliva substitutes and rinses at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates that we can prescribe to protect your oral tissues, and soothe burning sensations.

Medications: these often dry the mouth (side effects)

Vitamin deficiency: there is some evidence linking burning mouth syndrome to Vitamin B deficiency.

Candida infections: this is a common oral fungus, usually apparent to the eye but sometimes undetectable. At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we can prescribe a topical anti-fungal agent that can help the problem.

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Snoring Help

Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous disorder with fairly benign symptoms such as loud snoring at night, and morning headaches or daytime bouts of sleepiness. The cause? Intermittent periods throughout sleep when you actually stop breathing.

Breathing cessation, or apnea, lasts from seconds to nearly a minute. When breathing resumes, the brain senses lack of oxygen and wakes you up. The snoring is loud, sometimes explosive. (Call us at Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates for complete details.)

In the morning, the build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood causes headaches. And the lack of deep sleep can leave one drowsy and usually grouchy, during the day.

During sleep apnea, the upper air passages in the mouth and throat are obstructed (no one is sure why, even Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates). One form of treatment that has proven successful is wearing an acrylic appliance during sleep to keep air passages open. It's comfortable and easy to use.

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Crisis vs. Preventative Treatment

Many people don't see a dentist on a regular basis. They go only when they feel they have a problem. At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we call this "crisis treatment" as opposed to "preventive treatment".

While these patients may feel they are saving money, it usually ends up costing much more in both dollars and time. The reason for this is that most dental problems don't have any symptoms until they reach the advanced stages.

An example is tooth decay. At Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates we hear all the time, "Nothing hurts... I don't have any problems". But tooth decay doesn't hurt! Until, that is, it gets close to the nerve of the tooth.

Then a root canal and crown are usually necessary, instead of the small filling, which could have been placed several years ago when the cavity was small. Dr. Thaddous Archie & Associates can usually detect a cavity 3-4 years before it may develop any symptoms. It is not uncommon to see a patient with a tremendous cavity and they have never felt a thing!

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Post-Op Care

In order to ensure the best possible healing after your surgery, Dr. Thaddous Archie has prepared for you a convenient list of post-operative instructions for various procedures you might have undergone.

Click on the procedure of your choice to read about her post-op care recommendations.

Do not hesitate to contact our office at 916-451-6591 if you have any additional questions and to report excessive bleeding or swelling, persistent and severe pain or any reaction to medications.

POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS AFTER RESTORATIVE TREATMENT (FILLINGS)

When anesthesia has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. It is recommended that you take some ibuprofen before the anesthetic completely wears off. This will help with any swelling or pain at the injection sites where your anesthetic was administered. It will also help diminish any swelling in the nerve that may be existent (swelling often occurs in the nerve after cleaning out decay from the tooth).

It is normal to experience some hot, cold and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Your gums may be sore for several days. Rinse your mouth three times a day with warn salt water (put a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse and spit) to reduce pain and swelling.

It has been found that approximately six percent of teeth that require extensive fillings actually have very sick or dead nerves. Most of these teeth may have a problem with the nerve even if the tooth has not been bothering you before. That is why it is important to continue taking care of the tooth and trying to keep the swelling down in the nerve, to ensure that if enough life is left in the nerve, it may heal after the restorative treatment. For this to occur, the ibuprofen tablets should be continued every eight hours for two or three days after treatment unless you cannot take that medicine.

You may chew right away on new white fillings, since they set completely on the day of your appointment.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office immediately to obtain help or advice.

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POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS AFTER COSMETIC RECONSTRUCTION:

Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite. When the bite is altered, or the position of the teeth is changed, it takes several days for the brain to recognize the new position of your teeth or their thickness as normal. If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call us so we can schedule an adjustment appointment. It’s normal to experience some hot, cold and pressure sensitivity. Removing tooth structure and placement of new materials may result in a period of adjustment. Your gums may also be sore for several days. Rinse three times a day with warm salt water (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse-swish and spit) to reduce pain and swelling.

Mild pain medication should ease your discomfort during the adjustment period. Don’t be concerned if your speech is affected for the first few days. You’ll quickly adapt and be speaking normally. You may notice increased salivary flow, as your brain sometimes responds to the new size and shape of your teeth by increasing salivary flow This should subside to normal within a week or so. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your dental work. Maintain a regular oral hygiene routine. Daily brushing and flossing is a must. Regular cleaning appointments in our office are also critically important.

We’ll use the appropriate cleaning abrasives and techniques for your specific cosmetic work. It is important to change habits to protect your new teeth. Any food that could chip, crack, or damage your natural teeth can do the same to your new cosmetic restorations. Avoid sticky candies, any unusually hard foods or substances such as peanut brittle, fingernails, pencils or ice. Avoid or minimize your use of foods that stain, such as tea, coffee, red wine and berries. Smoking will quickly yellow your teeth. Let us know if you grind your teeth at night or engage in sports so we can make you a custom mouth guard. Adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile will take time. If you have any problems or concerns, you’re always welcome to contact our office at 916-451-6591.

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POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS AFTER TOOTH EXTRACTION:

Tooth extraction is a surgical procedure. Therefore, it is natural that temporary changes will occur in the mouth afterward. You will be functioning normally within a few days. In the meantime, you should follow a few simple rules to help promote healing, prevent complications, and make yourself more comfortable. Your mouth will still be numb for a few hours after the extraction so you will want to be careful not to bite your cheek, lip or tongue. After an extraction, it is important to allow a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. This is why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes after the procedure.

If bleeding or oozing continues after you remove the gauze pad, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another thirty minutes. You may have to do this several times. After the blood clot forms, it is important to protect it, especially for the next 24 hours. Do not smoke, suck through a straw, rinse you mouth vigorously, or clean the teeth next to the extraction site. These activities will dislodge the clot and slow down healing. Limit yourself to calm activities for the first 24 hours. This keeps your blood pressure lower, reduces bleeding and helps the healing process. After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and have some swelling. You can use an ice bag to keep this to a minimum. The swelling usually starts to go down after 48 hours. Use pain medication only as directed, and call the office if it does not seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.

Drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods on the day of the extraction. Don’t use alcoholic beverages and avoid hot and spicy foods. You can begin eating normally the next day, or as soon as it is comfortable. Gently rinse your mouth with salt water three times a day (mix one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, rinse-swish-spit). Also, rinse gently after meals-it helps to keep food out of the extraction site. It is very important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours, which should include brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing at least once a day. This speeds healing and helps keep your breath and mouth fresh. Call the office right away if you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after two or three days, or a reaction to the medication. After a few days you will be feeling fine and can resume your normal activities.

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POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS AFTER ROOT CANAL THERAPY:

Root canal therapy often takes two or more appointments to complete. A temporary filling or crown is placed to protect the tooth between appointments. After each appointment when anesthetic has been used, your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. Between appointments it is common (and not a problem) for a small portion of your temporary filling to wear away or break off. If the entire filling falls out, or if a temporary crown comes off, call us so that it can be replaced. It is normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal appointment, especially when chewing.

To control discomfort, take pain medication as recommended. To further reduce pain and swelling, rinse three times a day with warm salt water (mix one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, rinse-swish-spit). If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them as instructed even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. To protect the tooth and help keep your temporary in place, avoid eating sticky foods, especially gum, hard foods, and if possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth. It is important to continue to brush and floss normally. Usually, the last step after a root canal treatment is the placement of a crown on the tooth. A crown covers and protects the tooth from breaking in the future. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent swelling or pain, or you have any other questions or concerns, please call the office.

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POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR NEW DENTURES:

New dentures, whether full or partial, will always require a period of adjustment. We are confident that we have done our best to provide you with a prosthesis that is well fitting, functional, and esthetic. Since they may cover areas of your mouth that are not normally covered, your speech may be altered and require adaptation of the tongue and lips for proper speech. This may feel strange initially, and in a few weeks, you will become accustomed to wearing them.

Usually your mouth may develop a few sore spots after the first day of wearing your new prosthesis. These areas can be relieved easily at your follow-up appointments. Subsequent sore spots can be relieved at regular appointments or whenever necessary. Removable dentures do not have the same chewing efficiency as natural teeth. The stability and retention of dentures depends on many factors. Your bite will not feel comfortable for a period of days. We will adjust the way the teeth contact at your follow-up appointments to obtain the most stable and efficient chewing process as your new dentures settle into place. Dentures can affect the taste of food and acquire stains and odor. Proper cleaning is required. Please follow the cleaning instructions presented to you in the office and review the care instructions in your new denture kit. Removable prostheses may retain food in certain spots. This is unavoidable and requires that you practice meticulous home care.

Do not wear your dentures to bed. You gum tissue and jaw bones need the rest in order to prevent further tissue irritation, infection, and future shrinkage. Dentures are subject to wear as are all fabricated appliances and restorations. Worn portions may need to be replaced or the entire prosthesis may require replacing. With time, gum tissue and the bone underneath change. When your natural teeth are missing, this shrinkage can be about 0.03 inches a year. Relines may be necessary to achieve a snug fit again. Since these changes should be monitored, an annual check-up of your tissues and dentures is recommended.

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POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS FOR TEMPORARY CROWNS OR BRIDGES:

Your tooth or teeth have been prepared for a porcelain or gold restoration. While we are waiting for the final restoration to arrive from the laboratory, a temporary restoration has been placed to help cover your tooth and protect it from sensitivity and to keep it from drifting in its position in your mouth. Your tooth may feel sensitive to cold, sweet, and biting. Don’t worry, this is normal and should subside in a few days. If this sensitivity is severe and does not dissipate, please call the office at 916-451-6591 immediately for an evaluation. Do not eat anything sticky, hard or chewy as this may pull the temporary off or break it. Be careful brushing and avoid flossing adjacent to the temporary as this may cause it to be dislodged.

Once the permanent restoration is placed, you may brush and floss normally. Your temporary may feel rough to your tongue and does not look as nice as the final restoration will. You can feel confident that your new restoration is being made using state-of-the-art materials by the finest laboratories and technicians. We realize that temporaries may be at times inconvenient and look forward with you to delivering the final restoration. Please call the office at 916-451-6591 with questions, concerns, or anything that seems out of the ordinary.

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PATIENT INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOWING SCALING AND ROOT PLANNING

Following scaling and root planning, you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding and less swelling of your gum tissue. Your mouth will taste better and feel better. Your gum health can then be maintained with proper homecare and regular professional care.

DISCOMFORT: Discomfort or pain should not be severe and should subside in a few hours, definitely within a few days. Discomfort immediately after treatment is usually associated with slight throbbing or aching and occasionally may be uncomfortable. This discomfort usually dissipates with four hours.

TOOTH SENSITIVITY: Teeth may be sensitive to temperature changes and /or sweets. The sensitivity to temperature may be noticeable during the first several days and usually diminishes quickly. Application of a desensitizing fluoride may be recommended.

BLEEDING: Some slight bleeding may occur during the next several brushings but the bleeding should steadily decrease.

APPEARANCE: As the gums heal they may change their shape around the teeth. This is normal as they tighten with decreased inflammation.

INSTRUCTIONS TO MINIMIZE SYMPTOMS:

DIET/EATING

If extensive root planning was performed, chewing hard foods, such as meat or raw vegetables may be uncomfortable; this should last no longer than a few days. A diet of a softer consistency would be advised until chewing becomes more comfortable.

DISCOMFORT/SENSITIVITY

If local anesthesia was used, avoid chewing foods until feeling returns to avoid injury to the tongue or cheeks. Acetaminophen or a non-aspirin analgesic should be taken as recommended to reduce discomfort. If tooth sensitivity is severe and prolonged, professional application of a desensitizing agent may be required.

ORAL HYGIENE

If gum tissues are tender, brush your teeth gently but thoroughly; this may take a little more time than normal. By the third or fourth day, normal oral hygiene techniques may be resumed. Mouth rinsing is recommended with either of the following solutions:

  1. an antimicrobial rinse such as Chlorhexidine or Listerine
  2. a warm salt-water rinse. Use of either of these rinses should be limited to one to two consecutive weeks.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

If symptoms are severe or persistent, please call our office at 916-451-6591 immediately.

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