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Posts for: January, 2014

By Crystal Falls Dental
January 14, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

In modern times, metals have played an important role in tooth preservation and restoration. From the dental amalgam used for a century and a half to fill cavities to the titanium alloy of dental implants, your dental care would not be as comprehensive as it is today without them. But could these metals, so important in providing oral health, cause an allergic reaction in some people?

An allergy is an exaggerated response of the body’s immune system to any substance (living or non-living) it identifies as a threat. The response could be as minor as a rash or as life-threatening as a systemic shut-down of the body’s internal organs. An allergy can develop with anything, including metals, at any time.

A low percentage of the population has an allergy to one or more metals: some surveys indicate 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel, while even fewer are allergic to cobalt and chromium. Dermatitis patients seem to have a higher reaction rate, some allergic even to metals in jewelry or clothing that contact the skin.

Dental amalgam, an alloy made of various metals including mercury, has been used effectively since the mid-19th Century to fill cavities; even with today’s tooth-colored resin materials, amalgam is still used for many back teeth fillings. Over its history there have been only rare reports of allergic reactions, mainly localized rashes or moderate inflammation.

The most recent metal to come under scrutiny is titanium used in dental implants. Not only is it highly biocompatible with the human body, but titanium’s bone-loving (osteophilic) quality encourages bone growth around the implant’s titanium post inserted into the jawbone, strengthening it over time. But does titanium pose an allergic threat for some people? One study reviewed the cases of 1,500 implant patients for any evidence of a titanium allergy. The study found a very low occurrence (0.6%) of reactions.

The conclusion, then, is that the use of metals, especially for dental implants, carries only a minimal risk for allergic reactions and none are life-threatening. The vast majority of dental patients can benefit from the use of these metals to improve their oral health without adverse reaction.

If you would like more information on metal allergies with dental materials, 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 “Metal Allergies to Dental Implants.”

By Crystal Falls Dental
January 10, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Emergencies   Leander  
Leander Dentist Dental EmergenciesExpect the unexpected, especially when it comes to a dental emergency. Dental issues are hard to detect, until it’s too late. It’s important to know what a dental emergency is and what to do when it happens.

Common Dental Emergencies

Dental trauma is the number one cause of a dental emergency, but tooth decay can weaken or infect a tooth.
  • Toothache – whether it is mild, moderate or severe, you need to see a dentist when you experience persistent toothache. A toothache can be a sign of a cavity or infected tooth.
  • Chipped/broken tooth – save the piece of tooth and rinse it, as well as gently rinsing the broken or chipped tooth. Use warm water to rinse tooth because it may be sensitive to cold water.
  • Abscessed tooth – this is a result of tooth decay or dental trauma. Once the tooth’s pulp is damaged and infected, you may notice tender, swelled gums and a toothache. To save the natural tooth, schedule an emergency root canal.
  • Knocked out tooth – this is a dental emergency that is time sensitive. When your tooth gets knocked out, rinse the tooth off and place it in a glass of water, milk or saliva. In Leander, dentists, Drs. Loftus and Anderson, need to see a knocked out tooth as soon as possible. With quick action and care, a tooth can be saved.
When you have a dental emergency, the most important thing you should do is to contact your Leander dentists, Drs. Loftus and Anderson. It’s important to seek a professional’s care; otherwise, you can be at risk for tooth loss and cause damage to the gum tissue and surrounding teeth. Do you have a dental emergency or another dental concern? Contact your dentist in Leander.