Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pain Management and Dentistry

            Knowing what kind, how much, or how often to take medication for oral or tooth pain can be confusing. Below we will discuss a few different scenarios and how to handle each scenario.

Unless otherwise instructed by your physician to not take any NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), I usually recommend taking ibuprofen as a first like of defense. This is the active ingredient in Motrin or Advil. An adult can take up to 800mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours or 600 mg every 6 hours. The important thing to remember is to not exceed 2400mg in 24 hours.
If ibuprofen is still not enough, you can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) in between your doses of ibuprofen to help with the pain (do not exceed 4000mg per 24 hours). These are allowed to be alternated because acetaminophen and ibuprofen have a different mechanism of action. But if you have to option which to take first, I would recommend ibuprofen over acetaminophen.

Sore Jaw
            If you noticed your jaw joint or associated muscles are sore during chewing, there is a possibility you have strained one of your facial muscles. And like any other sore muscle, it usually just needs time to heal. But ibuprofen can help with the inflammatory and pain response and keep you comfortable in the meantime.
  • Up to 800mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours
  • Rest (soft diet, no gum)
  • Warm compress (if muscular)
If the symptoms do not begin to subside after a week or so, I would definitely recommend having the area examined for other factors or concerns.

Canker Sores:
            While there are some mildly effective over the counter medications, I usually recommend discussing a prescription with your dentist if they are a frequent and painful problem. Orajel is a mild topical anesthetic that can help reduce pain when eating or drinking. However, it will only address the symptoms and not the source. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are again affective and controlling some pain associated with these sores.

            Each individual is unique and may require some adjustments to the usual protocol. The important thing to remember is to contact your dentist with any questions or concerns.

For more information, visit www.brownandkupper.com

Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Do you do same day crowns?

            Over the past few years, technology in the dental world has continued to grow. New and exciting procedures have been developed and the possibilities for the future are endless. One of the more popular technology upgrades is the ‘same day crown.’ There is a device available that allows the dentist to prepare the tooth, create the crown at their office, and cement it in one long appointment. The elimination of the temporary crown is a huge advantage for the patient, but there are a few limitations that still exist.

Material Choice:
            Each particular person and tooth is unique and should be treated accordingly. Fortunately, a dentist has access to a number of different materials when creating a new crown. One of the limitations of the same day crown is they only offer certain types of crowns. In many situations, these crowns work very well and can have great success. However, in our opinion, there are frequently situations where other types of crowns may produce a better long term result.

Advantages of the Temporary Crown:
            Even though a temporary crown can be a nuisance, it can provide significant advantages for dentist and the long-term health of that tooth. When creating a new crown, we are creating a prosthetic device for your tooth that is new and foreign. We can use the transitional phase to determine the ideal size, shape, material, and bite for the crown before creating and cementing the final crown.
            Unfortunately, after preparing a tooth for a crown there are times when the tooth is in need of a root canal. If the tooth is symptomatic during the temporary phase, a root canal can be completed before cementing the final crown. This way we don’t have to damage the new crown when the root canal is performed.

            There are definitely circumstances where a ‘same day crown’ can be advantageous and provide an excellent restoration. However, there are still many instances where we feel the traditional crown procedure may provide better long term results. As technology continues to develop, we will continue to assess the options to provide the best treatment we can.

For more information, visit www.dentistwestchester.com.

Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.