Emergency Dental Care

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What Is Cracked Tooth Syndrome and How Is It Treated?

Seek treatment for your tooth pain.

It can happen in a flash: you bite down on a piece of food or take a sip of a cold drink and are met with a sudden stab of pain in one of your teeth. The pain is often hard to pinpoint to a specific area and is gone almost as quickly as it appeared, so it’s easy for many people to brush it off as a fluke. If you notice this happening, however, especially if it’s happening repeatedly, it’s important not to ignore it! Pain is often your body’s way of signaling that there’s a problem, so it could be a sign of an oral health issue, like cracked tooth syndrome, that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. When it comes to your health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry! Seeking answers for your tooth pain early on is a vital part of getting a diagnosis before a major problem arises, allowing your teeth to become healthy again with minimal treatment.

But if you’ve never heard of cracked tooth syndrome before, you might find yourself wondering what it is. We understand just how important it is to understand potential diagnoses, so we’ve put together a guide on cracked tooth syndrome to help you learn more about this condition, how to know when you should contact your dentist about potential symptoms, and what a diagnosis might mean for you.

What is cracked tooth syndrome?

Cracked tooth syndrome is a term for what happens when a tooth develops a crack that’s difficult to identify. This is usually because the crack is underneath the gumline, where it can’t be seen during an oral exam, or it’s too small to show up on X-rays. This type of crack can happen on any of your teeth but appears most commonly on molars. After all, your molars are the teeth that tend to endure the most force as you chew or crunch down on food.

What causes cracked tooth syndrome?

Teeth are incredibly durable because they’re covered by a protective layer of enamel, which is the strongest known biological material on earth. Under ideal circumstances, this helps your teeth last a lifetime, but they’re far from indestructible. Tooth enamel is very strong, but it’s also relatively brittle. As a result, there are several ways you can crack your teeth and develop cracked tooth syndrome. Two obvious causes are biting down on hard food, such as ice or popcorn kernels, or using your teeth as tools to open packaging or crack nuts. It’s also very common to injure your teeth by falling or taking a blow to the face while playing a sport.

Your teeth can also easily damage each other if you habitually clench or grind them with a habit called bruxism. Some people clench or grind their teeth when they’re awake, often to release pent-up anxiety, and some people do it in their sleep without realizing it! In some cases, the way your teeth come together can put too much pressure on one of them, eventually causing a small crack to develop. Additionally, teeth that have undergone root canals or received large dental fillings in the past are generally weaker and more brittle than other teeth, so they’re often more susceptible to developing cracks.

What symptoms does it cause?

Even when the crack on your tooth is small enough to escape notice on an X-ray, it can cause noticeable symptoms, including quite a bit of tooth pain. This pain is often sharp and stabbing, appearing when you put pressure on the tooth to eat. It’s often hard to pin down to a single tooth, though, and it doesn’t continue throbbing all day—at least, not at first.

If the crack goes untreated for a long time, it may eventually become infected, which can cause the more constant, throbbing pain that’s common with tooth decay. That’s why seeking treatment for tooth pain early on is so important. You want to identify the source of the problem while it’s still minor and easy to fix! Aside from pain when you eat, a cracked tooth will also often cause tooth sensitivity in response to hot and cold temperatures as well as sweet foods. In some cases, there can be mild swelling around the tooth, but this isn’t a guarantee.

How is cracked tooth syndrome treated?

Unlike bones, teeth don’t heal when they’re damaged. Instead, dental treatments are used to strengthen your tooth and restore its health while protecting it from future damage. In many cases, cracked teeth can be saved, allowing you to continue using them for a lifetime! As with any dental treatment, however, the best treatment for your cracked tooth will depend on the location and extent of the crack as well as how long it’s gone undiagnosed and if there is any decay present.

Minor cracks on the cusp, or the visible portion, of your tooth that are discovered relatively early can often be resolved with a minor procedure, such as dental bonding. This seals the crack in your tooth, protecting it from future damage and restoring its appearance. If the crack extends from the cusp of your tooth beneath your gumline, you may need a more advanced treatment, especially if the crack has reached the pulp at the center of your tooth. In this case, you will likely need a root canal to prevent the tooth from becoming infected as well as a dental crown. The crown strengthens the tooth so the crack doesn’t spread and keeps the tooth functioning and looking great.

Cracks that start on the root of your tooth and are located beneath your gumline often cause fewer symptoms at first and are more difficult to diagnose early. They’re often found after the tooth has become infected, so they’re more likely to need more advanced treatment. In some cases, the entire tooth will need to be extracted and replaced with prosthodontics, like a dental implant. But Dr. Bentz may be able to save it by surgically removing only the fractured part of the tooth. Every person and cracked tooth is different, so Dr. Bentz will always work with you to choose the treatment that will do the best job of protecting and restoring your oral health in the short and long term.

How do you prevent cracked tooth syndrome?

While you can’t predict and prevent every type of injury, the good news is there are plenty of ways you can reduce your likelihood of experiencing cracked tooth syndrome. For the most part, it’s simply a matter of being kind to your teeth! Don’t use them as tools to open packaging or crack open nuts, and do your best not to crunch down on items, like ice or corn kernels. If you play a contact sport or are taking part in an activity where you might fall or take a blow to the face, wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and gums from injury. Additionally, take steps to prevent injuries from bruxism by lowering your anxiety or stress levels or talking to Dr. Bentz about wearing a nightguard to sleep.

It’s also incredibly important to schedule a checkup with Dr. Bentz if you notice any potential symptoms of cracked tooth syndrome. We know it’s easy to brush aside intermittent pain, but remember that pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Ignoring tooth pain can quickly lead to worse issues, like decay. When you schedule preventive appointments to address tooth pain and get professional cleanings, you give Dr. Bentz the best chance to spot issues, like cracked teeth or decay, early. Catching issues early often means simpler, less invasive, and less expensive treatments, so it’s worth paying attention to your symptoms!

Dr. Bentz and his team are here to help.

Cracked teeth aren’t always visible, but they can lead to serious issues for the long-term health of your tooth. This is why it’s so important to listen to your body when it sends you signs like tooth pain to let you know there’s something wrong. If you’re experiencing tooth pain or need to schedule your six-month checkup, feel free to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bentz at any time!

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How Dr. Bentz Helps Patients With Dental Emergencies

Recovering From Dental Trauma

Picture this scenario.

You’re out with family or friends at a local park, enjoying the sun and warm weather. You’re playing a casual game of basketball, soccer, or maybe flag football. Everyone is having a blast and the game is going great when suddenly you and another person collide. Instantly you fall back on the ground, feeling dazed and winded.

You instinctively reach up to touch your face and in a split second realize something is wrong. As soon as you go to speak and your tongue moves, you realize your mouth is injured… and even worse, you can tell that one of your teeth is loose or has come out of its socket.

You instantly feel panic and dread with thoughts of, “I’m going to lose my tooth” or “I’ve ruined my smile” flooding your mind. Not only is your mouth in pain, but you’re also emotionally charged and overwhelmed.

Dental emergencies, like the example above, happens much more often than you might think. Contact sports, vehicle collisions, falls, impacts to the face, and even freak accidents like slipping on an ice cube in your kitchen can all lead to dental emergencies.

Thankfully, dentists like Dr. Bentz can help you recover and heal from dental trauma—and come out on top with a full, beautiful smile. Let’s dive deeper into the above scenario to learn what to do in an emergency and how Dr. Bentz works his magic to help patients restore their smiles.

What to Do During Dental Emergencies

As soon as you realize you’ve hurt your mouth or lost a tooth, take a deep breath to collect yourself, and then take swift action. In cases of dental trauma involving a lost tooth or a tooth that’s become dislodged, time is of the essence. The sooner you can get to a dentist, the better the chances of saving your natural tooth.

If You’ve Lost a Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is an extremely serious situation and you must act quickly.

If your tooth was ejected from your mouth or you reflexively spit it out, pick it up carefully by the crown without touching the roots. If the tooth is clean (i.e. you spit it into your hand), you can attempt to replace the tooth in the socket. However, if there is any resistance, stop. Instead, place the tooth in a clean container with cold milk, cold water, or even spit.

It’s vital to keep the tooth moist at all times and get to an emergency dentist right away.

If You’re Bleeding Orally

If you’re bleeding from the gums after damaging or losing a tooth, or you’ve badly bitten your tongue, you’ll need to get the bleeding under control.

Use gauze from a first aid kit or a clean cloth to put pressure on the area that’s bleeding. Gently biting down on a folded cloth or rolled up gauze is also useful for keeping a dislodged or knocked-out tooth in place in the socket.

If You’ve Dislodged a Tooth

Sometimes a tooth is hit hard enough to loosen it, but not enough to actually cause it to come out.

In this situation, you want to be very careful to not disturb the tooth if at all possible. Try to keep your mouth closed or, if the tooth is very wiggly, bite down very, very gently on a piece of gauze or clean cloth to keep the tooth in place.

If You’ve Broken a Tooth

Teeth can easily crack, chip, or break when slammed together in an accident or fall. While a broken or cracked tooth isn’t typically as serious of a situation as a knocked-out tooth, it does still require urgent care to repair the damage, stop any infection from occurring, and save the tooth.

How Dr. Bentz Restores Damaged Smiles

Dr. Bentz’s practice is where you’ll want to visit if you’ve experienced a dental emergency or traumatic dental injury in the East Norriton, PA, area.

We provide emergency dental care for current and new patients who’ve experienced:

  • Knocked-out or dislodged teeth.
  • Broken or cracked teeth.
  • A foreign object stuck between teeth.
  • Severe toothache.

The first thing Dr. Bentz will do after welcoming you into his office is to get any pain or bleeding under control and thoroughly examine your smile to evaluate what damage might have occurred. With a very gentle touch he’ll numb the area and can also offer light sedation, like nitrous oxide, if you’re feeling nervous or simply need help relaxing.

After Dr. Bentz has looked at your smile, you’ll discuss which treatment options would be best to help you make a full recovery. Dr. Bentz often suggests dental implants to replace missing teeth that need to be extracted or cannot be replaced. If your tooth can be saved, you may need a dental crown for added support or cosmetic care.

It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained after experiencing a dental emergency, and you may not feel ready to make a decision about treatment during your emergency appointment. Dr. Bentz wants every patient to know that there is never pressure to pursue treatment until you feel confident in your decision. In this case, Dr. Bentz will provide urgent care to ensure you’re comfortable and recommend you come back the next day or, if safe, a few days later when you’ve had time to consider what is best for your smile.

From there, you can return for another appointment to review treatment options with Dr. Bentz, discuss their pros and cons, ask questions, and make a game plan for restoring your smile.

If you’re currently experiencing a dental emergency, call our office immediately.

You can get in touch with our dental emergencies line by calling our regular office number and following the prompts. Even during non-business hours, your call will be forwarded to an on-call staff member to help. We hope you never have to experience a dental emergency, but we will always be there to help you in the event that you or a loved one need restorative care.

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Watch Out for Black Ice in Winter Weather

Dental Trauma from Slipping and Falling on Ice

Imagine you’re walking along enjoying the crisp winter air when suddenly your feet shoot out from under you, leaving you shocked as you fall to the ground. Your path seemed to be clear, but as you look a little closer you see a nearly invisible glaze of black ice under your feet.

What is black ice?

Black ice is an infamously dangerous winter road condition in which ice is so thin and transparent that it can’t be easily seen. It’s most often used in reference to driving conditions, but black ice isn’t only a cause for concern for drivers. Black ice can also cause accidents for pedestrians while walking across a street or on the sidewalk. Slipping and falling on black ice can lead to head and facial injuries as well as dental trauma.

What injuries can happen from falling on black ice?

Injuries from falling on black ice have a chance of being quite severe since you often don’t anticipate slipping. It’s important that if you do fall you take a moment to collect yourself before jumping up right away. Sometimes it can take a moment to realize you’ve hurt yourself.

Some of the most common injuries from falling on black ice include muscle sprains, fractures, back pain, broken bones, and concussions. Many people often land on a hip, wrist, leg, or on their back after slipping. Although head injuries are less common than back pain or a broken ankle, they can be extremely damaging.

It’s crucial to seek out help if you’ve experienced any sort of head or facial impact from falling. Concussions and related head injuries are very serious, and if you’ve hit your head hard enough to knock out or crack a tooth, you may have done other damage.

If you’ve hit your head and you feel dizzy, confused, nauseous, and wobbly, or if you have a headache, sudden sensitivity to light or noise, change in pupil size, or you lost consciousness, you need to seek immediate medical assistance as you could have a brain injury.

Dental Trauma From Falling on Black Ice

Some examples of dental trauma from a fall on ice include:

  • Knocked-out teeth
  • Dislodged teeth
  • Fractured teeth
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Bitten or cut tongue, cheek, or lip

If you’re experiencing a dental injury without signs of head trauma, you can contact an emergency dentist for assistance.

If an emergency dentist isn’t available or you’re experiencing signs of a head or brain injury in addition to dental trauma, have someone drive you to the closest emergency center for help instead. While a dentist can treat dental and oral injuries, we won’t be able to help with a suspect brain injury or severe head trauma.

How an Emergency Dentist Can Treat Dental Trauma

Here’s how an experienced dentist can help you with a dental injury.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If you’ve knocked out a tooth, stay calm. Collect the tooth and take care to only touch the crown and not the root. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it in clean water and see if it will go back into the socket. If there is any resistance, stop, place the tooth in a glass of cold milk, and get to a dentist as soon as possible.

Your dentist will take x-rays of the tooth if you were able to replace it in its socket. If you weren’t able to, they will replace it and take x-rays afterwards to ensure proper position. From there they will splint the tooth and follow up with care afterward to save it.

If a tooth isn’t able to be saved, don’t worry. Modern dental restorations like dental implants and dental bridges can replace your missing tooth.

Dislodged Tooth

Sometimes a tooth doesn’t get completely knocked out but instead becomes dislodged and may feel wiggly or loose. If you notice your tooth has shifted in position or is noticeably loose, your dentist will need to see you right away.

They will take x-rays to assess the damage and determine how to treat the tooth. The tooth may be able to be saved by repositioning it and splinting, similar to how a knocked-out tooth would be treated.

Chipped or Fractured Tooth

A mild or moderate chipped tooth doesn’t require emergency care, but a severely chipped or fractured tooth does, especially if you’re bleeding or experiencing severe pain.

Your dentist will begin by examining the tooth and taking x-rays. If the tooth is still healthy, damage can be repaired through restorative dentistry procedures like a dental crown. In some cases, root canal therapy may be recommended if the tooth has signs of interior damage to the pulp.

If a tooth is fractured to the point it can’t be recovered, extraction may be the last resort, followed by the placement of a dental implant, bridge, or partial denture.

Bitten Tongue or Lip

The tongue, inside of the cheeks, and lips can all easily be bitten during a fall. Sometimes a bite or laceration can happen in addition to a knocked-out or chipped tooth. Dentists are able to treat these types of oral injuries in a few ways.

Most bites or cuts inside the mouth can simply be cleaned and allowed to heal on their own. If an injury is bleeding and painful, your dentist can numb the area and apply gauze to control the bleeding. Usually, this is enough, coupled with at-home aftercare. However, a more severe bite or cut may need sutures.

In a case of a very bad laceration or bleeding that won’t stop, your dentist will get the bleeding under control and refer you to an urgent care or emergency center.

Emergency Dental Care in East Norriton, PA

If you’re in or close to East Norriton, PA, and you’ve experienced dental trauma, the team at Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center can help you. Call our office for immediate assistance. We even have an emergency phone line directed to an on-call staff member for after-hours emergencies.

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Your Quick Guide and Printable for a Knocked-Out Tooth

What to Do When You Knock Out a Tooth

One of the most common traumatic dental injuries experienced by adults is a knocked-out tooth. Knocking out a tooth can be a very alarming and frightening situation—not to mention very painful! It’s also a very serious event that requires swift action in order to save the tooth and your smile.

Here’s everything you need to know about losing an adult tooth to an injury or accident, including an infographic and printable guide.

Click here for a printable version.

How Adult Teeth Get Knocked Out

Adult teeth can get knocked out whenever some sort of force or impact strikes the face or mouth. A knocked-out (or avulsed) tooth can happen when:

  • Playing contact sports.
  • Being involved in a car accident.
  • Falling and hitting the face.
  • Suffering an accidental strike to the face.

Weakened teeth, such as those already vulnerable from decay and damage, are more likely to be lost in an accident. In some rare cases of severe periodontitis resulting in loose teeth, a tooth may come out while eating something tough or chewy!

What Happens When a Tooth is Knocked Out

When a tooth is knocked out, there are many things happening at once.

There is the initial shock or realization that your tooth has come out. In the case of a car accident or severe impact, it might take you a second to understand what’s happened. Bleeding typically occurs right away and can be quite heavy as the mouth is a very vascular area of the body. Your body will kick into action and a blood clot should begin to form in the now-empty socket.

It’s important to know that when a tooth is knocked out, it isn’t just the tooth that has experienced damage. Within the tooth socket, damage has also occurred. The nerves to the tooth and supporting gum tissue have been harmed, along with the blood vessels, which result in bleeding. The damage to the nerves is why a dentist will need to perform a root canal on the tooth if it’s able to be saved. This is because a knocked-out tooth may reattach to the bone in the socket, but nerves can’t be reattached.

That being said, if you act swiftly and take proper action, there is a good chance of saving your knocked-out tooth. It’s possible for it to be reattached and, after root canal therapy and a crown, it will be as though your tooth never experienced an injury.

What to Do If You’ve Lost a Tooth

If your tooth has just been knocked-out, take a deep breath and begin following these steps.

Step 1: Find the Tooth

In a sports-related injury or car accident, it’s possible for the tooth to be ejected or accidentally spit from the mouth. If this is the case you need to immediately search for the lost tooth before moving forward. The clock is ticking and every second counts. Avoid picking it up by or touching the roots.

Step 2: Rinse the Tooth

If the tooth is dirty you’ll need to carefully rinse it to remove the debris. If you’re at home, use cold milk to rinse the tooth. Cold water can be used when milk isn’t available. After rinsing, move on to the next step. Do not attempt to dry the tooth in any way.

Step 3: Attempt to Replace the Tooth

In many cases, a lost tooth may slip right back into the socket without any resistance. This is the ideal situation for saving a tooth after being knocked out. Simply take the tooth after it’s been rinsed and gently see if it will go back into place, facing the right way. Do not force this and if there is resistance, stop.

If the tooth does slip back in place, you can then apply a small piece of rolled-up gauze under it to help keep it in place as you bite down.

Alternative: Place the Tooth Into a Clean Container

If the tooth doesn’t easily slip back into place, find a clean container, fill it with milk, and place the tooth in the cup. If you’re out of the house and these products aren’t available, simply take the clean tooth and place it back in your mouth between your cheek and gum.

Water can also be used as a last resort as it’s better than nothing. Remember that keeping the tooth moist is crucial.

Step 4: Apply Gauze to Control any Bleeding

Grab some sterile gauze, roll it up, and place it on the tooth socket. Gently bite down, only hard enough to provide some pressure to stop the bleeding. Do not attempt to stuff the socket with gauze or use a product that will stick to the gums, such as a paper towel or toilet paper.

If you don’t have gauze available, use the same method with a clean hand towel, handkerchief, or another piece of cloth instead.

Step 5: Call Your Dentist Immediately

Once everything is under control, call or have a family member call your dentist for help. Ideally, you’ll be able to see your regular dentist for assistance. If your dentist is unreachable, you should contact another local dentist that provides emergency care.

Please be cautious of attempting to drive if you’ve just experienced a traumatic dental injury. Blood loss, shock, and stress can make it unsafe to drive a vehicle.

Alternative: Seek Emergency Help If Needed

If you’re unable to get help from your dentist, experiencing additional injuries or symptoms (i.e. dizziness or fainting) or your bleeding is uncontrolled and heavy, you need to seek out emergency help. A local emergency center will be able to help get your pain and bleeding under control. Many modern emergency centers also have a dedicated emergency dentist on-call for these types of injuries.

What to Do if Someone Else Has Lost a Tooth

You’ll want to follow the same steps listed above if a family member or friend has lost a tooth. It’s important to keep them calm, comfortable, and immediately locate the tooth that’s been lost.

Always wash your hands thoroughly before touching the other person and take extreme care to only touch the crown of the tooth. If you’re unsure about attempting to replace the tooth in the socket or the person you’re helping is concerned, simply place the tooth in a sterile container with milk.

Attempt to contact their dentist, but if that isn’t an option, seek out emergency help from a local dedicated emergency dentist or emergency center.

What if a child has lost a tooth?

If the tooth that’s been lost is a child’s baby tooth, do not attempt to replace it. Simply clean the mouth and socket, control the bleeding, and get in touch with a dentist right away.

Emergency Dental Care in East Norriton, PA

Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center provides emergency dental care services to anyone experiencing a traumatic dental injury, including a knocked-out tooth.

If you or someone you’re with has just lost a tooth, call our office right away for help. For after-hours emergencies, listen to our phone message and call the emergency number. This will get you in touch with a staff member who can assist. While losing a tooth in this way is never ideal, you can feel reassured that help is only a phone call away.

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Traumatic Dental Injuries, Implications, and Solutions

Dental injuries can happen anywhere.

No matter how careful we may be, dental injuries happen. Tooth injuries increase significantly in the summer as people are out enjoying the weather. But traumatic dental injuries can occur in the winter too. Broomball or hockey, anyone?

Most dental injuries come from sports incidents, traffic accidents, trips, falls, motorcycle and bicycle accidents, and violence. If you experience a traumatic dental injury, it is critical you seek medical attention from a dental provider right away, no matter what the cause. The sooner we can assess the situation, the more likely we can save your teeth and protect your smile. Common dental injuries include chipped or fractured teeth, dislodged teeth, knocked-out teeth, and root fractures.

Can a knocked-out tooth be saved?

A staggering number of teeth are knocked out every year in both children and adults. If your tooth has been knocked out, you may think that it is a goner. However, this isn’t necessarily the case, as proper emergency action may very well save the tooth. In many cases, the tooth can be placed back where it belongs and can last for years!

If you experience a knocked-out tooth, it is essential to take action quickly, ideally within 30 minutes. Handle the tooth carefully—avoid touching the roots—and rinse off any dirt or debris on the tooth. If possible, reposition the tooth into the empty socket in your mouth. If the tooth can’t be placed into the socket due to swelling, inflammation, or other reasons, you must keep the tooth moist. If you have milk available to you, put the tooth in a small container of milk.

If milk isn’t an option, put it in your mouth next to your teeth. No matter what you do, please don’t keep the tooth in tap water as the surface cells at the root of the tooth will not be able to tolerate it. Next, head to your closest dentist or endodontist. A dentist trained in traumatic dental injuries will identify if neighboring teeth are affected and whether or not you also have a soft tissue injury.

Treatment Options for Traumatic Dental Injuries

If you or your loved one has experienced a dental injury of some kind, it is essential to know that many treatment options are available. Though some dental injuries can’t be prevented (such as car accidents, incidents from trips and falls, and bike accidents), some can.

At Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center, we often talk to our patients about preventing dental injury. For those who play sports or work in dangerous professions, we suggest custom mouthguards to help lessen the risk of a mouth injury that can negatively impact your teeth. If this applies to you, please let us know so that we can help with a custom mouthguard fitting and so that we can partner with you to protect your teeth now and in the future.

Dental Implants

Dental implants consist of single or multiple artificial teeth that are surgically implanted into your jaw to hold replacement teeth or a bridge. Dental implants are a common choice for those who have lost a tooth due to a traumatic injury or periodontal disease. There are two common types of dental implants. Endosteal implants are typically made of titanium and are placed in the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants are used for patients who no longer have a natural healthy jawbone. These implants are placed under the gum and above the jawbone.

If you have one or more missing teeth, have adequate bone to secure the implant, and have otherwise healthy oral tissues, you will likely be a candidate for dental implants or All-on-4 dental implants. We are an expert provider of dental implants in Philadelphia and can help you with the right dental implant solution.

The cost of full mouth dental implants for extreme situations can be quite costly, with prices starting around $3,000 per tooth. Due to the excessive expense of dental implants, the Bentz team often recommends All-on-4 implants. They tend to be an affordable dental implant option that lasts longer and fits better than traditional dentures.

Bridges

Dr. Bentz is often asked about dental bridges and what they are. Bridges consist of what we call a pontic, or a fake tooth held in position by the teeth on either side of the gap. These pontics are most often made from porcelain so that they blend in with the look and feel of your remaining natural teeth.

Dental bridges are used to help restore your smile and provide you with the ability to chew properly. They can also help you restore your speech and maintain the shape of your face after a severe facial injury. Occasionally, bridges are used instead of dental implants.

Crowns

Dental crowns are a standard solution when an existing tooth has been chipped or damaged in some way. Dental crowns are designed to look like your natural tooth and are then placed over the damaged tooth to prevent further damage or decay. In some cases, we use crowns to hold a dental bridge or cover a dental implant.

Veneers

If you have experienced a traumatic dental injury and have been left with discolored or misshapen teeth, veneers might be a good option for you. Veneers can be an alternative to a crown for teeth that have been chipped or broken or if you have teeth with gaps between them.

Don’t wait if you have experienced a dental injury.

We can’t emphasize enough the need to contact a dental professional immediately if you have experienced a traumatic dental injury. The sooner we can assess the situation for you, the more likely we can provide a cost-effective solution that will get you back to your best smile. If you need emergency dental care, contact us. If you are unable to reach us during regular business hours, do not hesitate to seek emergency care at your local emergency department.

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SLEEP APNEA AND ORAL SURGERY

If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, you already know the short-term consequences. Your nights are marked by snoring, gasping for breath, and waking up dozens of times each sleep cycle. Your days are no more enjoyable. You might be plagued by drowsiness, morning headaches, sore throats, dry mouth, memory problems, depression, and decreased libido.

And the long-term consequences can be even more serious. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has been linked to high blood pressure, stroke, dangerous responses to medication or anesthesia, and falling asleep while working or driving.

In other words, OSA can have devastating consequences for your health and your quality of life.

You may have already tried out various non-surgical options. Perhaps your doctor has suggested behavior modification, oral sleep appliances or splints, Positive Airway Pressure machines—these and other methods have proven very helpful for some sufferers. But if these options don’t work for you, it could be time to talk to Dr. Bentz about OSA surgery.

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by an obstructed airway. The throat muscles may relax as you sleep and make it impossible to inhale fully with each breath. Or you may have a physical condition such as a large tongue, enlarged tonsils or excess throat tissue that blocks the free passage of air into your lungs. The size and position of your jaw can affect breathing as well, or your nasal passages may be involved.

In other words, Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be caused by a complex set of variables as air attempts to travel from nose to lungs, so your individual OSA diagnosis and treatment will vary depending on your individual anatomy. For this reason, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon like Dr. Bentz is the specialist you need.

Oral surgeons pursue advanced studies for a minimum of four years in a hospital-based residency program. There, they train with medical residents in the fields of general surgery, anesthesiology, internal medicine, and other specialties with a specific focus on the bones, muscles, nerves, and skin of the face, mouth, and jaw.

Because your anatomy is unique, Dr. Bentz will first carefully assess the causes of your breathing obstruction and, if surgery is indicated, will recommend a procedure or procedures tailored to treat your specific needs.

Among the specialized surgical procedures used to treat OSA are:

  • Nasal Surgery—treats a variety of nasal passage obstructions such those caused by a deviated septum or a nasal valve collapse
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)—removes or remodels excess tissue in the area of the soft palate and throat
  • Pillar Procedure—a minimally invasive procedure which uses small implants to reinforce the soft palate and reduce vibration in the tissue
  • Tongue Base Reduction—excess tissue can be removed surgically, or shrunk through the application of radiofrequency waves
  • Genioglossus Advancement (GGA)—the tongue muscle is moved forward and tightened to prevent the tongue from collapsing backward during sleep
  • Hyoid Advancement/Suspension—the small bone above the Adam’s apple is repositioned to expand the airway and prevent upper airway collapse
  • Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA)—the upper and lower jaws are moved forward surgically to open the upper airway, after which the jawbone is stabilized in its new position.

These and other surgical procedures may be performed in a hospital or in our East Norriton, PA office, with traditional surgical techniques or using technologies such as radiofrequency waves, and can be minimally invasive or require a hospital stay.

It’s important to note that surgery is not always the solution to OSA, but we are uniquely qualified to diagnose the cause of your OSA and to recommend the most promising treatments, surgical or non-surgical.

If you—or a partner, family member, or friend—have noticed that you suffer from thunderous snoring, or episodes of gasping for breath, or that you wake up dozens of times each night, it’s a good time to make an appointment at our East Norriton, PA oral surgery office. It could be the solution of your dreams!

a guide to recovery after oral surgery 62a211b8a5db5

A GUIDE TO RECOVERY AFTER ORAL SURGERY

You’ve chosen an oral surgeon for your extraction procedure because oral surgeons have years of surgical training in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions in the face, mouth, and jaw. If you need a tooth extraction, whether for an impacted wisdom tooth, a badly damaged tooth, or for any other reason, Dr. Bentz and our team will use our training and experience to ensure that you have the best possible surgical outcome.

And we want to make sure you have the best possible outcome for your recovery as well. What can you do at home to speed the healing process? Here are a few of the most common aftercare suggestions for making your post-extraction healing as comfortable and rapid as possible.

  • Reduce Swelling

Ice packs or cold compresses can reduce swelling. We’ll instruct you how to use them if needed, and when to call us if swelling persists.

  • Reduce Bleeding

Some amount of bleeding is normal after many types of oral surgery. We might give you gauze pads to apply to the area, with instructions on how much pressure to apply and how long to apply it. We will also let you know what to do if the bleeding continues longer than expected.

  • Reduce Pain or Discomfort

If you have some pain after surgery, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen might be all that you need. We can recommend those which are best for you. If you need a prescription for pain medication, be sure to take it as directed and always let us know in advance if you have any allergies or other reactions to medications.

  • Recovery-friendly Diet

Take it easy for the first few days after oral surgery. Liquids and soft foods are best for several days following surgery. We will let you know what type of diet is indicated and how long you should follow it depending on your particular procedure. We might, for example, recommend that you avoid alcohol and tobacco, spicy, crunchy, and chewy foods, and hot foods or beverages for several days or several weeks.

  • Take Antibiotics If Needed

If you have been prescribed an antibiotic, be sure to take it as directed. If you have any allergies to antibiotics, let us know in advance.

  • Protect the Wound

Do NOT use straws, smoke, or suck on foods. Avoid spitting. Part of the healing process can involve the formation of a clot over the surgical site which protects the wound. If the clot is dislodged by suction or spitting, it can prolong your recovery time, or even lead to a potentially serious condition called “dry socket.”

  • Maintain Oral Hygiene

Depending on your surgery, we might recommend that you avoid rinsing your mouth for 24 hours, use salt water rinses when appropriate, and keep away from the surgical site when brushing. It’s important to keep your mouth clean, carefully and gently.

  • Take it Easy!

Rest the day of your surgery and keep your activities light in the days following.

These are general guidelines for recovery. If you have oral surgery scheduled at our East Norriton, PA office, we will supply you with instructions for your specific procedure, and can tailor your aftercare to fit any individual needs. Our goal is to make sure that both your surgery and your recovery are as comfortable as possible.

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Our Office Location

2601 Dekalb Pike
East Norriton, PA 19401

Office Hours

Monday 8am - 5:30pm
Tuesday 7:30am - 5pm
Wednesday 8am - 5:30pm
Thursday 8am - 5:30pm
Friday 9am - 3pm

610-272-6949

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