Posts for: August, 2016

By Michael C Scheske, DDS, PC
August 19, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: laser dentistry   root canal  

Root canal treatments are an essential part of dental care — countless teeth with deep decay would be lost each year without it. Now, this traditional dental care procedure is advancing to a new level of precision through lasers.

Root canal treatments have a simple goal: access a tooth's infected pulp and root canals, clean out the infected tissue and fill the empty pulp chamber and canals with a special filling. Once filled, the access is sealed and a porcelain crown later placed for additional protection against re-infection.

In the traditional procedure, we perform these steps manually with a dental drill and hand instruments. We may also need to remove a good portion of tooth structure, both healthy and infected tissue. A laser, on the other hand, is a highly focused beam of light with the ability to interact with healthy and infected tissues differently: destroying infected tissue while having no effect on nearby healthy tissue. The end result: we may be able to remove less healthy tissue with lasers than with the conventional procedure.

Lasers are also helpful with softening and precisely molding the filling material within each canal's particular shape. And, early reports seem to indicate a higher degree of comfort for patients (less drill noise and need for anesthesia), less bleeding and faster recovery times than the conventional approach.

But as a tool for root canal treatments, lasers do have a couple of disadvantages. While light travels in a straight line, root canals are rarely straight — conventional instruments with curved designs usually accommodate odd canal shapes better than a laser. Lasers can also raise temperatures within a tooth that can damage healthy tissue, both within the pulp and outward into the dentin.

Still, lasers for root canal treatments appear promising with some dentists using a combination of lasers and manual techniques to garner benefits from both approaches. While you won't see lasers replacing the traditional root canal treatment anytime soon, the future looks bright for more efficient ways to treat deep tooth decay.

If you would like more information on your options for root canal therapy, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Michael C Scheske, DDS, PC
August 17, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental bridges  

Find out if this tooth replacement could be the ideal cosmetic solution for your smile.

You have so many choices for treating your tooth loss when you visit our Union, MO family dentist Dr. Michael Scheske. If you are dental bridgesmissing a tooth, then we may have already recommended that you get a dental bridge. Find out more about this procedure and whether this is the right option for you.

What is a dental bridge and how does it work?

These dental appliances are created to look and act just like real teeth. They can contain anywhere from one to three false teeth, which are supported by dental crowns on both ends. These two crowns are cemented over healthy natural teeth to help anchor the bridge into place to fill the gap where your missing tooth used to be.

Traditional bridges can be an easy and convenient way to replace missing teeth when the rest of your smile is healthy. However, you can also talk to our Union dentist about whether implant-supported bridges are a better option. Implants are embedded into the jawbone and can provide a great long-term solution to replacing your missing teeth.

Who is a good candidate for treatment?

If you are looking to replace up to three missing teeth then dental bridges could be a great option for you. Ideal candidates will be those in good health who don’t currently have issues with gum disease or decay. If any of these issues are detected during your physical evaluation they will need to be treated prior to getting your bridge.

If you choose to get implant-supported bridges then we will also want to evaluate the health of your jawbone and make sure there is enough healthy bone to support the implant. Those who have lost bone density may require bone-grafting surgery prior to getting their implants.

It’s time to find out if you are the ideal candidate for dental bridges. Call our Union, MO dental office today to schedule your next consultation. Let us know you are interested in getting dental bridges.

By Michael C Scheske, DDS, PC
August 04, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  

Since the late 19th Century, dentists have used established protocols to successfully prevent and treat tooth decay. But there've been changes to this approach the last few years to improve its effectiveness, changes we now refer to as Minimally Invasive Dentistry or MID.

The older approach for treating dental caries (tooth decay) follows the protocols established by Dr. G.V. Black, considered the father of modern dentistry. Black advocated removing not only decayed structure but also some of the healthier but vulnerable portions of a tooth, to avoid further decay and make the tooth easier to clean. This resulted in larger fillings, although they've become smaller as dental techniques have advanced.

MID, on the other hand, aims to remove as little tooth structure as possible while still effectively treating and preventing future decay. To achieve that goal we begin first with a complete assessment of a patient's individual decay risk, known as Caries Management By Risk Assessment (CAMBRA).

With CAMBRA, we're looking at other factors besides individual tooth health: a patient's hygiene, lifestyle and dietary habits; the types and amount of bacteria present; and the quality of saliva flow, needed to neutralize mouth acid. With these the results we develop a customized prevention and treatment strategy.

MID also focuses on detecting dental caries as early as possible. Besides traditional x-rays, we're beginning to use other methods like dental microscopes, laser fluorescence, infrared photography or optical scanning. Early detection leads to early intervention, and with techniques that are much less invasive than the traditional approach.

The new approach also changes how we repair decayed teeth. We're increasingly using air abrasion, a technology that uses fine particles in a pressurized air stream to remove softer decayed tooth material and less healthy structure than the traditional dental drill. We're also using composite resin and other advanced materials for filings: these tooth-colored materials are stronger than previous versions and are quickly taking the place of metal amalgam, requiring less structural removal to accommodate them.

MID's core principles are early disease detection, proactive prevention and treatment with less structural removal. With this enhanced approach to effective dentistry, we're keeping your teeth healthy with minimal discomfort, lower costs and less long-term impact.

If you would like more information on the benefits of the MID approach, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Union, MO
Family Dentist
301 US Hwy 50 W
Suite C

Union, MO 63084
(636) 583-8100



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