Dr Shail Jaggi: Will flossing weaken my teeth?
Here are a few questions answered by one of the best dentist in Pune, Dr Shail Jaggi.
I’m 23 years old and I have some overlapping with my front teeth. I have been advised to wear braces but I’m not really keen on it. Is there another option to straighten my teeth?
Hi! Yes, definitely there are different ways to get teeth straightened. You can look at the option of ‘Aligners’. These are removable and can straighten your front teeth in six to eight weeks.
I have a root canal done. Is it important to do a crown on the tooth?
After a root canal your tooth tends to become weak and may break on heavy biting. The crown acts like a protective cover for the tooth and prevents it from further damage.
Will flossing weaken my teeth?
This is a myth. Flossing is just as important as brushing. The brush cleans the outer surfaces of the teeth and the floss cleans the between surfaces that a brush can’t access. Please floss! It will keep your teeth stronger.
I’m 65 years old and my teeth look discolored and ugly. Can I do something to make them look better?
At the age of 65, your teeth have seen plenty of wear and tear. Also, the teeth tend to become darker with advancing age. If the teeth are healthy without any damage then the best way to make them look beautiful again is to whiten them. Tooth whitening can work wonders to whiten and brighten your teeth.
How can I Brighten my Smile ? Dr.Shail Jaggi Responds
Dr. Shail Jaggi, Pune’s leading Endodontist and Dental Cosmetologist will now respond to our reader queries weekly. Here’s the first set of questions received that have been responded to by her.
I have yellowish teeth and will be getting married in a couple of weeks. Is there anything I can do to brighten my smile ?
Hi. Its best to get professional help to brighten your smile .You can opt for a chairside tooth whitening procedure that your dentist will do in the clinic . It will give you an immediate whiter and brighter smile within an hour.
My root canal was done a month ago and I was told my pain would settle. However one month later am still experiencing pain and discomfort with the same tooth. Is this normal ?
Its not normal to experience pain with the same tooth 1 month later. Please get the tooth re-evaluated with fresh x rays .There may be a possibility of a re-infection with the tooth or some additional canals that have been missed out.
I had an implant done a few months ago but it failed. Is it safe to get another implant done ? What are my chances of it going right this time ?
Sometimes an implant can fail despite the best possible surgical protocol and techniques .It should not be a problem to replace the implant .However before you do so, please make sure all your blood reports are normal and your bone scan shows healthy bone for a fresh placement. There’s absolutely no reason to worry.
I have gaps between my teeth and am really self conscious when I smile. What are my options ?
Hi . I can imagine your discomfort with this. I think you should see a cosmetic dentist at the earliest and have your smile evaluated.
There are a plenty of options to make your smile look fantastic.
Dr Shail Jaggi: All you needed to know about Dental Veneers
Hollywood has done wonders for us by promoting the one big thing –The Hollywood Smile . Even in my routine dental practice I have so many people come I asking for the perfect smile. Earlier, a perfect smile meant a you could get a perfect smile and beautiful looking teeth but at the expense of all your natural teeth being whittled down and completely damaged .
The concept of Dental Veneers has changed all of that in a big way. With veneers now you don’t really need to damage natural teeth. Just the superficial top layer of your teeth need to be modified a little and you can have customised wafer thing shells of tooth-coloured materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their colour, shape, size or length.
The best part about having Dental Veneers is you can completely customise your smile by getting a Smile Design done.Your dentist can actually simulate your new smile and show you how it’s going to be looking even before actually touching your teeth. So even before you do the procedure you actually know what youre going to look like!It’s fascinating. Smile designs are customised smiles designed to perfection in proportion to the size of your face, dimensions of your teeth and the structure of your lips. Together as a combination you can have a fantastic smile that is worth a million bucks.
When will Veneers work for you?
If you have one of these problems, then Veneers are your best solution :
- Misaligned teeth : Teeth that don’t have proper proportions or are overlapping,uneven or irregular are often a source of embarrassment
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Discoloured, damaged or stained teeth
- Teeth with spaces or gaps between them
- Worn down teeth due to age
What does the procedure entail?
- Discussion and Planning: It’s extremely important to schedule a consult with your dentist and spend time discussing the procedure. Also, your dentist needs to evaluate your case and check if it’s ideal for Veneers. Don’t forget to look at Veneers done on other patients so you know exactly what to expect.
- Appointment for measurements: This involves taking measurements for the Veneers. Be prepared for a long appointment and possible with numbing of the work area so you are completely comfortable and have no discomfort at all. These measurements are then sent to the lab and the lab will make your veneers designed to perfection and send them back
- Trial of the Veneers: This involves trying out your new veneers. At this stage slight modifications and changes can be made if desired. Once they look perfect they are ready to be bonded
- Bonding Procedure: This is the final finishing stage of the Veneers. They are bonded onto your natural teeth with a minimal amount of discomfort and you can walk out with a brand new dazzling smile.
Advantages of Veneers:
- They look beautiful
- They need no post-operative care
- Minimal amount of staining and discolouration
- The gums tolerate the porcelain really well and there is absolutely no discomfort
- The shades can be much lighter and brighter than the original natural teeth
- Completely non invasive option with hardly any tooth damage.
Do Veneers need Special Care?
- Biting nails or forcing something open with veneered teeth is an absolute no. This can cause the veneers to chip or damage
- Veneers only partially cover the teeth. Improper oral hygiene can still cause the Veneered teeth to decay. Make sure you take good care of your teeth
- In case of habits like clenching or grinding Veneers should be avoided since this can cause the veneers to chip or break .
How expensive are Veneers:
- Ceramic Veneers can end up being expensive since they involve multiple steps, lab costs and high precision materials are used .
- However it’s a great idea to get Resin Veneers done in case your budget is limited
- Resin Veneers are less expensive and as beautiful as the Ceramic Veneers if done to perfection.
- The only disadvantage of Resin Veneers being that they need a little more maintenance. But they are completely worth it !
With Christmas around the corner, if you’re looking at getting that beautiful smile that’s customised only for you, go ahead and get those veneers done and Smile Away
Till next week then…
Dr Shail Jaggi: Choosing the Perfect Dental Crown
Dental crowns form an integral part of dental treatment and are known to be a treatment option from time immemorial. The basic philosophy of putting a crown on a tooth is similar to that of wearing a helmet while riding. Crowns are a form of protection for weakened teeth.
The everyday biting and chewing puts a load as high as 300 kilograms on the teeth and hence they need to be strong enough to this. A weakened out tooth due to damage, decay or root canals often need additional strength in the form of crowns.
In the earlier days, you could opt for either a metal crown or a ceramic crown and the choices were simple. Today there are multiple options that the patient can choose from and this makes it even more confusing for the patient.
So, how do you decide what crowns are good ?
The basic decision depends on whether it’s a front or a back tooth that needs a crown.
The Front Teeth: The aesthetic demand for the front teeth is extremely high and the best choice would be to opt for an All Ceramic Crown made of Lithium Disilicate. These are beautiful and reflect light exactly akin to a natural tooth. It’s extremely difficult to make out the difference between a natural tooth and the crown.
The Back Teeth: Due to the huge biting loads on the back teeth it becomes extremely essential to pick a crown that will be exceptionally strong. Metal crowns, Metal Ceramic crowns and Zirconia crowns all work really well. Functionally they perform just as well as each other.
Metal Crowns: These are the most inexpensive of all crowns and work very well functionally. They however look unaesthetic in the mouth and not many people want a silver crown in their mouth.
Metal Ceramic Crown: These are the tried and tested age-old crowns and have been around for years. They have an inner body of metal and outer ceramic which looks beautiful and completely natural. These are mid-range and the most commonly preferred crowns.
All Ceramic Crowns: These are crowns made of a white metal called Zirconia. These crowns are all white and hence the name All Ceramic Crowns. These are more expensive than the other variants.
The major difference are in aesthetics .The zirconia crowns are made of Zirconia which is a white metal and being an All-Ceramic crown, they are far more expensive than the other crowns.
Are Crowns the Only Option?
As we get more conservative with our dental procedures, the treatment philosophy has also changed. I don’t do as many full crowns as I do Inlays and Onlays nowadays. It is now believed that cutting the entire tooth for a full crown can be damaging to the tooth and can weaken it further. For that reason, we now restore the teeth with something called Inlays and Onlays.
Inlays and Onlays:
To describe these in really simple terms these are Partial Crowns or half crowns. These are meant to replace only the missing part of your lost tooth structure and make the tooth stronger by reinforcing the tooth.
They are completely natural looking and replicate the tooth. The biggest advantage of doing an inlay or onlay is preserving the natural tooth structure.
What you need to know when getting crowns:
1.The fit of your new crown should be perfect. If you feel you’re not comfortable with the new crown while biting, please let your dentist know immediately. A bad bite can have long-term implications on your jaw.
2.The new crown is meant to protect the damaged tooth. Make sure your dentist checks the fit of the crown with additional x-rays. A badly fitting crown can further damage your tooth and you may ultimately end up losing the tooth completely.
3.If you’re not happy with the shade or colour of your crown discuss it with your dentist. Once the crown has been permanently placed ,nothing can be done to chance the colour.
4. Discuss the most conservative options to restore the damaged tooth. Non-invasive dentistry works best! So if you’ve been delaying that dental appointment for a crown schedule, go right away to prevent losing your weakened tooth
Till we meet again next week then, enjoy the holiday season!
Dr Shail Jaggi: Missing Teeth-Replacing them a must?
I belong to the band of Conservative or Restorative Dentists and having trained in a specialisation that focuses on restoring rather than removal I rarely extract teeth. I have a huge emotional guilt when it comes to extracting teeth.
That said I still have those really badly damaged teeth that absolutely must go. But these are pulled out only with a promise of replacement at the earliest.
Unfortunately, tooth extractions can come with a multitude of problems at a later stage after the extraction and I’m not referring to pain or discomfort here.
Pain or discomfort are a small side effect that will go away quickly. I’m talking about the long term effects of tooth extraction.
I have so may people ask me “whats the big deal doc? I got 32 teeth am sure pulling one out is not going to be so bad. I can live with 31!”
So absolutely true, but unfortunately nature has more in mind and living with 31 does not work. Let’s discuss this.
All the teeth are designed to be in contact with each other and these contacts are really tight. And there’s a science to this placement. I’m really not going in to science now. But briefly, when we have one extraction done the other tooth which is designed to be in contact starts to look for a contact and not finding one it starts to tilt. The upright tooth is now at a funny angle.
This tilt destroys the balance of the upper and lower teeth which were in contact with each other and suddenly the upper tooth is trying to find a new contact and shifts, as each tooth starts to shift suddenly there’s a whole new imbalance that’s created only because a single tooth was extracted.
This whole new malalignment changes the way the teeth contact with each other. Suddenly you may find a lot of food lodgement between your teeth. And you wonder why. The simple reason being because the teeth have started moving around there are more spaces between your teeth which results in food getting stuck. This leads to sudden new cavities between teeth. And once perfectly healthy teeth now have decay, thanks to that one extraction.
Our specch can sometimes be affected with a simple extraction. The open space of the extraction tends to create areas through which air escapes leading to lisping or whistling sounds while speaking. And it can be really odd or sometimes embarrassing.
Shifting of the Jaw:
Not having tooth balance on one side can lead to excessive chewing on one side and a gradual shift of the jaw to one side. Long term this can have implications on the health of the jaw. It can cause pain, discomfort, clicking sounds from the jaw and inflammation of the jaw joint which can be acutely painful.
Missing teeth can lead to inability to chew food effectively and this may lead to problems with digestion. The side effects of which I don’t need to enumerate.
Alteration of Facial Appearance:
The teeth help to maintain the shape of the face by supporting the lips and the cheeks and prevent the the face from ageing early. Very often loss of teeth can make a relatively young patient look much older.
After an extraction, the jaw bone at the site of the extraction will gradually shrink and undergo degeneration. Bone needs to be stimulated to stay healthy. It’s always a good idea to replace that missing tooth.
So if you’ve had an extraction sometime in the past it’s a good idea to get going and replace that missing tooth so you don’t have long lasting side effects on things other than your teeth.
Happy Navaratri and dance away the night with Garba starting soon. Till I see you again next week.
Dr Shail Jaggi: How to keep your breath smelling fresh
The year has gone by in a flash! And as we approach the period of extended festivities, tooth pain is the last thing that you want to deal with.
But you definitely want fresh breath! You never know who you’re going to meet. So this week I don’t focus on the regular drudgery-filled dental issues. We talk about how to keep your breath smelling fresh. Some routine remedies and some quick fixes. So you can eat all you want and still be breathing sweet.
Does you Toothbrush have a Cover?
Time to dump it then. Studies have indicated that people who tend to cover their toothbrushes are more prone to oral infection. The moisture entrapped in the cap favours bacterial growth.
It’s way better to leave the toothbrush open so it can air out and dry naturally.
Got a Flu?
Using the same toothbrush post flu may re-introduce the microrganisms into the oral cavity. It’s a good idea to change your brush or keep it dipped in hydrogen peroxide for the duration of the illness. This will keep your mouth fresh and happy.
Party Time should not mean Fizz Time:
Try and stay away from the fizzy drinks. Studies reveal that people who tend to drink three or more glasses of soda or fizzy colas daily, have 62 per cent more tooth decay, fillings and tooth loss. If you absolutely must drink those sugary drinks or colas, it’s always a good idea to use a straw. This will minimise the contact time with your teeth.
Ignoring Bleeding Gums ?
Bleeding gums are painless and hardly any trouble except for the occasional bleed. Don’t ignore this however as this is a sign of initial or sometimes advanced gum disease. If not dealt with, the harmless-looking tartar and plaque on your teeth can cause deep pockets. This can lead to fetid or foul-smelling breath.
Most people brush for 45 to 70 seconds when it should actually be for about two minutes. The simplest way to do it is to get an hourglass timer and time yourself.
With this era of apps for everything, I’ve even found apps for brushing! Brush Up, Disney Timer app, Brush DJ and plenty more .
They are targeted at children but go ahead, no one is going to stop an adult from using it
Ailments and Medication?
Very often an unpleasant, stagnant breath could be a side-effect of some mediation that will tend to dry out the mouth and enhance bacterial activity.
Plenty of ailments like an upset stomach, post-nasal sinus drip can cause this. Smoking, alcohol, onions, garlic and strong cheese can leave you with foul breath and people wanting to excuse themselves in a big hurry!
If you wear dentures then it would be a good idea to keep them clean. Removing every night, washing them well with a soap solution and storing overnight in water can help prevent the mouth from smelling
Water works wonders for cleansing and keeping the mouth fresh! Sipping fresh water routinely is the simplest thing to do .
Keep watching this space FOR MORE! I’m going to be talking about home remedies next week without going to the dreaded dentist Keep smiling till then!