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Understanding a Pulpectomy

Children’s Dentistry Grand Rapids, MIJust like with an onion, there are several layers of a tooth. You have the top layer which is the enamel, the middle layer which is the dentin, and the bottom layer which is the pulp. When there’s a crack in the tooth, bacteria can seep into the pulp and cause an infection— leaving adults having to have a root canal procedure. However, when a child has to have a similar procedure, it’s called a pulpectomy. To help you better understand a pulpectomy, we have created a brief guide. Read on to learn more.

What Is a Pulpectomy?

Even though baby teeth fall out, your child will still need as many teeth as they can have to help them chew until their adult teeth grow in. If your child’s pulp is infected, you have two options: you can either have the entire tooth pulled or we can perform a pulpectomy. During a pulpectomy, the affected tissues and nerves are removed and are replaced with special medicated materials to restore the tooth back to its full function.

Is It Painful?

As a parent, one of your number one concerns, when your child is having a procedure, is how invasive it will be and if they will experience any pain. With a pulpectomy, we will typically use a local anesthetic to numb the gums around the tooth and the tooth itself. Once it has been sufficiently numbed, Dr. Dennis W. Nagel will be able to remove the infected pulp and start the procedure without your child feeling a thing.

Is Recovery Hard?

Once Dr. Nagel is done with the procedure, you will be able to take your child home. We encourage our patients to eat soft foods for the first day after the procedure to help with discomfort. After about 24 hours, your child should be able to eat like normal again but should avoid putting too much pressure on the infected tooth.

If your child is in need of a pulpectomy, you can rest assured that you are in good hands with Dr. Dennis W. Nagel. As a common procedure, you don’t have anything to worry about. To learn more about a pulpectomy or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Dennis W. Nagel today!

Teeth Grinding Putting You In a Bind?

TMJ Dentistry Grand Rapids, MIFew things are more annoying than listening to someone grind their teeth at night— that and the sound of someone’s nails on a chalkboard. Teeth grinding, or bruxism is one of the most common dental conditions that inflicts patients both young and old. Typically associated with the temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD, these two oral conditions don’t always go hand-in-hand. To help you understand these two conditions separately and collectively, we have created a brief article. Read on to learn more.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism or teeth grinding is when patients grind their teeth— usually at night or during stressful situations. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to severe problems like temporomandibular joint disorder or even the slow erosion of your teeth over time. Typically caused by stress, bruxism can easily be treated with a night guard or through finding a new outlet for dealing with stress.

What Is TMD?

Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD is a jaw condition in which the temporomandibular joint is inflamed and irritated. Causing pain, discomfort, popping, and the inability to open your jaw all the way, TMD can make life as you know it to be a bit difficult. Luckily, TMD can typically be treated with icing, oral anti-inflammatories, and jaw exercises.

How Does Bruxism Effect TMD?

Excessive teeth grinding can result in placing too much stress and pressure on the jaw which can ultimately cause TMD.

Remember that not everyone who has TMD has Bruxism and vice-versa. However, because both of these oral conditions are relatively interconnected, it is not uncommon for them to go hand-in-hand. If you or a loved one have bruxism, make sure to get it taken care of before it results in something more severe like TMD. To learn more about both of these conditions, contact Dr. Dennis W. Nagel’s office today!

The Two T’s: Tinnitus and TMJ

TMJ Dentistry Grand Rapids, MIYou may like listening to the sound of bells ringing or your phone ringing when you’re expecting an important phone call, but the last thing you likely want to experience is ringing ears. As a condition that causes your ears to ring, tinnitus typically stems from hearing loss. However, there are some conditions in which tinnitus is caused by physical ailments in the body such as temporomandibular joint disorder. So, how can you tell if your tinnitus is caused by TMJ or if it is caused by something else? And how can you get rid of it? Read on to learn more.

Signs of TMJ and Tinnitus

The ringing of the ears isn’t something that is always present with patients who have TMJ. However, because the jaw and ears are interconnected, a lot of patients experience a sore jaw, some ear pain, and even tension across their face. If you notice that in conjunction with ringing ears that you also have jaw pain or tension, then you likely have TMJ.

How Can It Be Diagnosed?

For us to create an efficient treatment plan for your TMJ, you will first have to come into Dr. Dennis W. Nagel’s office for a diagnosis. By conducting a physical examination and x-rays, Dr. Nagel will be able to properly diagnose it. If you do in fact have TMJ, then we can start creating a treatment plan.

How Can It Be Treated?

The first thing you likely want to know about TMJ is how it can help you get rid of your tinnitus. Through a combination of things like jaw exercises, massage, and ibuprofen, your tinnitus should start to ease up, and you should start to hear like normal once again. If your TMJ is severe, Dr. Dennis Nagel may recommend that you get surgery.

The great thing about having tinnitus caused by TMJ is that it can easily be treated. If you would like to learn more about tinnitus and TMJ, contact Dr. Dennis W. Nagel’s office today to schedule an appointment.

 

 

Bridging the Gap: The Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental BridgesBridging the gap is something that typically has political implications; bridging the gap between the rich and poor, between males and females in the workplace, etc. However, when it comes to taking care of your teeth, it’s equally as important to bridge the gap. If you have a missing tooth, you may want to consider getting a dental bridge from Dr. Dennis W. Nagel. This article will discuss a few of the benefits of dental bridges and hopefully help you decide if they’re the right choice for you or not. Read on to learn more.

What Are Dental Bridges?

A dental bridge is a type of device that is fastened to the two teeth surrounding your gap and has a false tooth attached to it. Once the bridge itself is attached to your teeth, the tooth will fit perfectly in the gap— leaving you looking and feeling better than ever before. As long as your surrounding teeth are healthy, you shouldn’t have any problems with your dental bridges.

What Are the Benefits?

When you have one or several missing teeth, you have a variety of options to choose from including dental implants and dentures. However, dental bridges are especially popular amongst patients because they are fast, easy, affordable, and most of the time they are effective. Unlike dental implants that are relatively expensive and take a few months to complete from start to finish, dental bridges can start giving you back your functionality immediately.

If you have a missing tooth— especially if it’s in the front of your mouth— you know just how self-conscious it can make you feel. Luckily, with a dental bridge, you can restore your smile without breaking the bank. To learn more about dental bridges and other dental procedures, contact Dr. Dennis W. Nagel today to schedule a consultation appointment.

 

How to Make Brushing Less of a Chore and More Fun For Your Kids

When you have kids, it can seem like you’re always on their tales: don’t jump on the counter, take your shoes off, do your homework, go to bed… you know the drill. If you feel exhausted by the list of things you are constantly hounding your kids to get done, it might be time to mix up your routine. Even though things like getting your kids to brush their teeth are important, there are ways to make them seem more fun and less like a chore. From singing songs to doing them together, this article will give you a few tips to make you feel less like a nag and more like a cool parent. Read on to learn more.

Sing Songs 

Depending on how old your kids are, they likely love singing songs about everything. As a way to make teeth brushing fun, try making up silly songs together while they brush their teeth. Try incorporating good brushing techniques into each song so that they get a clean smile while they are having fun.

Use Fun Toothbrushes and Toothpaste 

If you’re on a budget (who isn’t these days?), it can be hard to splurge on things like fun toothbrushes and toothpaste for your kids. However, these dental supplies aren’t just a marketing gimmick— they make kids excited about brushing. By spending just a few more dollars every few months at the grocery store, you can get your kids more excited about brushing their teeth with their favorite cartoon characters every day and night.

Brush Together 

Sometimes kids don’t want to do things unless you are doing them as well. To make teeth brushing seem less like a chore, try brushing your teeth together— even if you are going to devour that whole pint of ice cream as soon as they go down. When your kids feel like they’re on an equal playing field, they will feel less of a need to put up a fight.

Singing songs, using fun toothbrushes and toothpaste, and brushing together are just a few ways that you can make toothbrushing less of a chore. To learn more about pediatric dental care tips, contact Dr. Dennis W. Nagel’s office today and schedule an appointment.

 

3 Small Investments to Make for a Healthier Smile

If you have a family, you know just how expensive it can be. Not only do you have to take care of grocery bills, a mortgage, and a car payment, but you also have to pay for your children’s healthcare as well— including dental. To make sure that your family dental bill stays low and that their teeth stay in the best shape as possible, try making these small investments for a healthier smile overall. From buying high-quality toothbrushes to scheduling regular dental cleanings with Dr. Dennis W. Nagle, this article will give you a few tips. Read on to learn more.

Buy a High-Quality Toothbrush
You may pick up a cheap toothbrush at the grocery store and think it’s the same thing as the other more expensive options, and you’ll likely be wrong. Although you don’t have to spend the most money on a toothbrush, a medium-grade brush will be better than the cheapest kind. Containing more bristles and a more contoured shape, a nicer toothbrush will better be able to clean your teeth and get into every nook and cranny.

Buy Waxed Dental Floss
Have you ever tried to floss your teeth with unwaxed dental floss? It’s awful. And if you have little kids, it’s the last thing they are ever going to want to do. Among investing in a high-quality toothbrush, buy waxed dental floss as well. The wax coating will make flossing more comfortable while getting food and plaque out of your teeth.

Schedule Regular Dental Cleanings
Did you know that every member of your family should have their teeth cleaned twice a year by Dr. Dennis W. Nagel. Although that may seem like a lot of appointments for everyone in your family, preventative dentistry is key– it will save your family’s mouths from cavities and gingivitis.

Having a healthier smile requires you to make some small investments— especially if you have a family. If you would like to learn more about how you can take better care of your mouth, contact Dr. Dennis W. Nagel today to schedule an appointment!

3 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Smile

Woman's SmileSpring is the time of year where everything around you blossoms into something new and beautiful. And although you can’t blossom like a tulip, you can do things that can rejuvenate your look and smile. From teeth whitening to straightening, this article will discuss three ways that you can rejuvenate your smile this spring. Read on to learn more.

Whiten Them

Yellow teeth can make your whole smile look dingy. To help rejuvenate your mouth this spring, consider having them professionally whitened by Dr. Dennis W. Nagel. During your consultation appointment, you and Dr. Nagel will determine whether an at-home approach or an in-office one will give you the best results. If you just have small surface stains, then the at-home option should work, whereas if your teeth need more attention, then Dr. Nagel may recommend some in-office options.

Clean Them

Can you remember the last time you had your teeth professionally cleaned by Dr. Nagel? Did you know that you are supposed to have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year? To rejuvenate your smile and make sure your teeth are in good shape, come into our office for a cleaning. During your visit, we will not only give you a thorough cleaning, but we will examine your teeth for cavities, breaks, chips, gum disease, and oral cancer.

Straighten Them

Do you have crooked teeth? Do you have a few gaps between your teeth that you would like to fix? Consider having your teeth professionally straightened. A straighter smile is not just cosmetic, but it can also help fight against plaque and tartar build-up as well.

Get your smile in the best shape possible this spring by having them whitened, cleaned, and straightened. If you would like to learn more about how you can rejuvenate your teeth or if you would like to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Dennis W. Nagel today.

 

 

 

Too High or Too Low: The Art of Gum Contouring

Gum ContouringDr. Dennis W. Nagel’s primary concern when treating patients is that they not only get healthy results but they get ones that make them feel like a million bucks. If you have a particularly gummy smile, you may feel self-conscious about showing it off in family pictures and on social media. Luckily, with a procedure called gum contouring, Dr. W. Nagel’s can reshape and resize your gums to help make them look more even and less noticeable. Read on to learn more about the art of contouring.

What Is Gum Contouring?
Gum contouring is a straightforward procedure that can be done directly from Dr. Nagel’s office. By applying a numbing agent to your gums before the surgery, patients shouldn’t feel a thing. Once your gums are numbed, Dr. Nagel will then use a combination of techniques to remove excess tissue and reshape your gum line. Techniques include things like a laser, the use of a scalpel, and even radiosurgery. Depending on your gumline, this procedure may take anywhere from an hour up to a few hours.

What Are Results Like?
Patients who receive gum contouring from Dr. Nagel notice a significant improvement in their overall appearance and smile— leaving them with more confidence than ever before. Whether your gum line is too high or too low, Dr. Nagel will be able to reshape and sculpt your gums so that they look more even all across.

What Is Recovery Like?
The great thing about gum contouring is that recovery is fast and easy. The day of the procedure, we encourage all of our patients to take it easy and relax. However, the next day or two following your surgery, you should be able to get back into your regular activities. We will give you a list of things that you should avoid after your surgery once you come into our office.

If you have a particularly gummy smile and would like to get rid of it, contact Dr. Dennis W. Nagel to schedule a consultation.

3 Things to Know About Plaque and What Your Plaque is Telling You

dental plaqueYes, it’s true that if you start to hear your plaque talking to you, you may have some other issues to worry about. However, as a strong indication of your overall oral health, taking a closer look at your plaque will help you see what condition your mouth is in. Read on to learn more about what your plaque is telling you.

1. It’s Always There
Unfortunately, you can never fully get rid of the plaque on your teeth. As soon as you brush your teeth, plaque will start to form— making you feel like your hard work was for nothing. However, just because plaque is always there, it doesn’t mean that a lot of it is always present. Even though it may seem counterintuitive, make sure that you are still brushing your teeth after every meal so that you can cut down on how much plaque you do have.

2. Your Teeth Are Sensitive
Have you started to notice that anytime you bite into something cold or drink something hot that you experience shooting pain? If so, you may be suffering from sensitive teeth. Caused primarily by enamel erosion from too much plaque on your teeth, tooth sensitivity can be treated with simple things like Sensodyne toothpaste.

3. Cavities
One of the biggest problems that plaque can cause is cavities. When too much plaque and tartar builds up on your teeth, it can start to erode away at your pearly whites. Whether you are experiencing a sharp, shooting pain or a dull pain when you bite down, make sure to come into Dr. Dennis W. Nagel to get checked out for cavities.

Although you can never fully get rid of your dental plaque, make sure that you continue to brush and floss your teeth after each and every meal. To learn more about dental plaque or to schedule your dental cleaning, contact Dr. Dennis W. Nagel’s office today!

Tiny Teethers: 3 Different Types of Popular Ways to Ease Your Child’s Pain

pediatric dentistryOne of the first things you learn when you find out you are expecting a child is that there is a long list of items that you need to help make both you and your new baby more comfortable. Like one of those things, teethers are designed to help relieve your child of dental pain as they are teething without having to medicate them. However, with so many different types of teethers out there, it can be hard to decide which one is best for your baby. This article will discuss three popular kinds of teethers and what they are good for. Read on to learn more.

Frozen Teethers

As the most popular and long-lived type of teether, frozen teethers give children two benefits: numbness from the coldness of the teether and relief from biting down on something hard. Filled with either water a gel-like solution, frozen teethers come in a variety of shapes including keys, beads, and rings.

Teething Necklaces

Popular amongst suburban housewives, teething necklaces offer parents a fashion-forward and convenient way to help relieve kids of teething pain. Comprised of a type of rubber material, teething necklaces are made of large beads that babies can chew on. And the best part is that because babies are already intrigued by anything their mom is wearing, you can save your expensive jewelry for another time. And plus, who doesn’t love the idea of having something where your baby can munch away while you carry them?

Teething Toothbrushes

Another favorite teething option is teething toothbrushes. Made in fun designs such as a banana, teething toothbrushes have small rubber bristles that massage the gums when placed in your child’s mouth. In addition to bringing your baby instant relief, teething toothbrushes also warm your baby up to the idea of teeth brushing.

If you have a teething baby, you want to do everything you can to bring them comfort and relief. With the help of the teethers listed above, your child will be feeling like their happy self in no time. To learn more about pediatric dental care or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Dennis W. Nagel today!

 

 

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