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1 AnswerHealthwise answeredAn impacted tooth is one that does not break through the gum. Impaction most often affects the third molars (wisdom teeth) or other teeth in the back of the mouth. The front and side teeth rarely become impacted. Impacted teeth may not cause problems. If an impacted tooth does cause problems, such as infection or pain, surgery may be required to remove it.
1 AnswerWhen infected dental pulp (the soft tissue of a tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue) is not removed, pain and swelling can result. Certain byproducts of the infection can injure your jaw bones. Without treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.
1 AnswerTo find another dentist for a second opinion, call your local dental society, or ask a relative or friend for referrals. If there is a dental school in your area, you may be able to make an appointment at the school's clinic.
2 AnswersFor people with special needs to get dental care, the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations suggests the following tips:
- Inform the dentist about your special health or financial conditions.
- Ask if the dentist has training and/or experience in treating patients with your specific condition.
- Ask if the dentist has an interest in treating patients with your specific condition.
- Find out if the dentist participates in your dental benefit plan (dental insurance program.)
- Ask if the dental facility is accessible to the disabled.
- Call or write the dental director at your state department of public health.
- Contact the nearest dental school clinic or hospital dental department, especially if it is affiliated with a major university.
- Contact the Special Care Dentistry (Formerly Federation of Special Care Organizations in Dentistry), the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for a referral.
- Also, the National Oral Health Information Clearinghouse may have useful information.
- Contact the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped (NFDH), a charitable affiliate of the American Dental Association. The NFDH, via several programs, facilitates the provision of comprehensive dental care for needy disabled, elderly, and medically compromised individuals.
- Dentists and dental institutions organizing or participating in voluntary projects that care for uninsured and underserved patients will find information, and grant opportunities through Volunteers in Health Care (VIH).
3 AnswersForensic medicine is a science that deals with the relation and application of medical facts to legal problems. Dentists who work in forensics now can establish a positive identification of human remains -- sometimes in a matter of minutes, even without dental records.
1 AnswerSaliva plays an important role in the development and maintenance of a healthy plaque biofilm. Proteins from saliva enable the biofilm to attach to the tooth's surface. After a tooth is cleaned, its enamel surfaces quickly become coated with a salivary protein film, the pellicle. The pellicle supports the attachment of free-floating bacteria (planktonic) that are the first settlers of a new biofilm. As bacteria begin to attach to one another, they pave the way for attachment by other bacteria in a very specific order and pattern. Over the course of about three days, as plaque biofilm grows to maturity, it depends mainly on saliva for nutrition and the removal of waste. As the biofilm approaches maturity, it releases planktonic bacteria back into the saliva. Saliva then transports these free-floating bacteria to sites where a new biofilm will form.
Passive and active immune proteins within saliva regulate the growth and movement of the plaque biofilm. There is strong evidence today that the microbes and immune system have evolved together and they work as a team to prevent visiting microorganisms from residing in the mouth. The mature plaque biofilm also is dependent on salivary flow. When flow is reduced the various organisms and structures within the biofilm undergo changes that often lead to inflammatory changes in the supporting tissues.
2 AnswersSaliva contains the minerals that maintain the integrity of the enamel surface and thus is the major caries preventive agent. Saliva enhances enamel protection by providing high levels of calcium and phosphate ions at the tooth surface. The initial film layer of plaque, the pellicle laid down by saliva, also acts as a selective membrane that controls mineral transfer between saliva and the enamel surface.
As enamel ages it becomes harder. On the enamel surface there is a constant cycle of mineral change. The longer enamel is exposed to this saliva-mediated natural process, the more resistant it becomes to decay. After 20 years the enamel has been remineralized and the organic material it initially contained is lost. This may explain why the majority of new carious lesions occur in children and adolescents.
3 AnswersSometimes the gums extend onto the front surfaces of the teeth. This can cause a "gummy" smile or make teeth look small. Crown lengthening is when your dentist removes a small amount of gum tissue and possibly a small amount of supporting bone around the teeth to make them look longer.
1 AnswerMost children have a full set of 20 baby teeth by the time they are three years old. As your child grows, the jaws also grow to make room for the adult teeth. By the age of five or six, the roots of the baby teeth begin to be absorbed by the tissues around them, and the adult teeth under them begin to erupt.
The adult teeth start to appear at about age six. By the time your child reaches age 21, all 32 of the adult teeth, including the wisdom teeth, will usually have erupted if there is room for them all.