Posts for: December, 2017
For major-league slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 2014 was a record-breaking year. After the baseball season ended, he signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins — the biggest deal in sports history. But earlier that same year, Stanton suffered one of the worst accidents in baseball: He was hit in the face by an 88-mph fastball, sustaining multiple fractures, lacerations, and extensive dental damage.
After the accident, Stanton didn’t play for the remainder of the season. But now he’s back in Spring Training… and he’s got a not-so-secret weapon to help protect him against another injury: A custom-made face guard designed to absorb impacts and keep him from suffering further trauma.
As sports fans, we’re glad that Stanton was able to overcome his injury and get back in the game. As dentists, we’d like to remind you that you don’t have to be a major-league player to feel the harmful effects of a sports injury — and you don’t have to look far to find a way to protect yourself. In fact, you can get a custom-made mouthguard right here at the dental office.
Mouthguards have a long tradition in sports like football, boxing, and hockey. But did you know that far more Americans are injured every year playing “non-collision” sports like basketball, baseball — and even bicycling? And it doesn’t take a major-league fastball to cause a dental injury: The highest incidence of sports-related dental injuries occurs in 15-to-18-year-old males. In fact, about one-third of all dental injuries among children stem from various types of sports activities. These injuries may result in countless hours being lost from school and work, and cost significant sums for treatment and restoration.
Mouthguards have a proven track record in reducing dental and facial injuries: They are capable of absorbing the energy of a blow to the mouth, and dissipating it in a way that prevents damage to facial structures and teeth. But not all mouthguards are created equal: Custom-fabricated mouthguards, which are produced from an exact model of your mouth made right here in the dental office, offer by far the best protection. They fit better and safeguard the teeth more fully than any off-the-shelf or “boil-and-bite” type can. Plus, they’re more comfortable to wear. And let’s face it: No mouth guard can protect your teeth if you don’t wear it.
What’s more, some recent studies indicate that custom-made mouthguards may offer significant protection against concussion. An increasing awareness of the dangers that concussion may pose to athletes is one more reason why we recommend custom-made mouthguards to active people and their families.
To get his face guard, Giancarlo Stanton reportedly went to a specialist sporting-goods manufacturer in Illinois, and paid around $1,000. But you can get a custom-made mouthguard for yourself or your loved ones right at our office for a fraction of that price. And the peace of mind it can give you is… priceless.
If you have questions about custom-made mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”
Trusting your family's dental care to one dentist is an excellent way to protect your loved ones' dental health and make your life a little easier. Milton, MA, family dentists Dr. John Murphy and Dr. Patrick Murphy of Murphy Dental Group explain why choosing one dental practice is a good idea for your family.
Family dentists are a more convenient option
Some people love nothing better than spending extra time in the car, but most of us can find other things we'd rather do. When everyone in your family visits the same dental practice, you'll no longer waste hours driving to dental appointments during the year. If you wish, you can schedule a group appointment for your entire family and take care of all your group's dental needs in one morning or afternoon.
Family dentists offer special care for young patients
Choosing a friendly, knowledgeable dentist in Milton is particularly important if you have young children. During infancy and childhood, your children's mouths and jaws change rapidly. Family dentists have the training and expertise to diagnose and treat issues that may affect the normal growth and development of these structures. They also provide services that help protect your children's teeth, such as fluoride treatments and sealants.
A visit to the dental office can be a little overwhelming when everyone is so much bigger than you. Family dentists understand that visits to the dentist can be a little daunting to young patients and strive to make the experience a positive one. They and their staff offer a pleasant, welcoming environment and provide reassurance and support that help reluctant kids become more comfortable with dental visits.
Family dentists treat a range of issues
Family dentists provide the dental care your entire family needs. They treat or correct a variety of dental issues, including:
- Cavities: Tooth-colored fillings restore and protect teeth while maintaining the tooth's natural appearance.
- Damage: Damage to teeth can be repaired with several types of dental treatments, including bonding, veneers or crowns.
- Lost Teeth: Bridges, dentures and dental implants restore missing teeth and improve your appearance.
- Dull Teeth: When teeth have lost their luster, teeth whitening or veneers make them brighter and whiter.
- Infections: Infections in tooth pulp are treated by removing the pulp during a root canal procedure.
- Crooked Teeth: The Invisalign system straightens crooked teeth using clear, removable aligner trays.
Are you ready to make an appointment for your family? Call Milton, MA, family dentists Dr. John Murphy and Dr. Patrick Murphy of Murphy Dental Group at (617) 696-3900 to schedule your visit.
Although periodontal (gum) disease usually affects your gums first, your teeth may eventually suffer. That’s because the disease can damage both attaching gum tissues and supporting bone.
One advanced sign of this is when one or more teeth become loose. A loose tooth is an alarm bell that you’re about to lose it.
Fortunately, we can often treat loose diseased teeth with a two-phase approach. First and foremost, we need to bring the gum infection under control by removing plaque and calculus (tartar) — the “fuel” for the infection — from all tooth and gum surfaces. Depending on how extensive it is, we have options: we can use specially designed hand instruments to remove plaque and calculus, ultrasonic equipment that loosens and flushes plaque and calculus away, or, if necessary, conventional or laser surgery.
Depending on the extent of the infection, in some cases we may need to use regenerative surgical techniques like gum and bone grafting to replace lost tissue. Healing takes time, though, which leads to the second phase of treatment — securing the loose tooth during gum healing.
The most common way is through a bite adjustment, where teeth are altered to equilibrate chewing forces evenly. This results in all the teeth being hit at the same time allowing the loose teeth to heal and tighten up.
Another option is splinting teeth together. Although there are different methods, the basic idea is to join the loose teeth with stable teeth like pickets in a fence. One way is to bond splinting material across the back surfaces of the involved teeth. Another way is to cut in a small channel across the teeth and insert and bond a rigid strip of metal to splint the teeth in place.
The splint is usually a temporary measure while the gums heal. In some situations, though, we may need to perform a permanent splint by crowning the affected teeth and then splinting the crowns together. If you have a grinding habit we may also prescribe a night guard to limit the damage done while you sleep.
Before deciding on which technique is best for you, we would first need to evaluate the health of the affected teeth to see whether the effort would be worth it. It could be the tooth’s supporting bone structure has become so deteriorated that it might be better to extract the tooth and consider an implant or other replacement. First, though, we would attempt if at all practical to save the tooth — and the sooner we begin treating it, the better your chances for such an outcome.
If you would like more information on loose teeth and gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treatment for Loose Teeth.”