Salt Lake City Dentist Blog

Emergency Dental Care

Posted by Jonathan Campbell on Aug 28, 2012 8:42:00 AM

What constitutes a dental emergency? In our office it includes toothaches, injuries to the mouth, abscesses, and even a chipped front tooth that is embarrassing. Our patients decide. If you think it's an emergency and requires urgent dental care, that's how we're going to handle it.

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Tags: Toothache, Abscess, Emergency Dentist

Two and a Half Teeth: A Salt Lake City Dental Hygienist's Thoughts

Posted by Jonathan Campbell on Mar 7, 2011 12:00:00 PM

Charlie Sheen has given the media endless hours of material over the past weeks with his wild rants and erratic behavior.  Unable to escape the spotlight... his teeth.  There are many reports and some photos suggest that Charlie Sheen’s teeth are losing the battle against his drug abuse.  His are visibly worn, black and decayed or missing. The likely cause of is unsightly smile is drug abuse.  It is the professional opinion of Dr. Jonathan Campbell that Charlie Sheen is likely wearing a prosthetic device to snaps over his rotting teeth.  There are some photos and interviews where Sheen is shown without this prosthesis and his appearance is alarming.
Unfortunately, the tragic results of drug abuse are not something we escape seeing at Legacy Dental.  We often treat patients whose dental health has paid the price of their drug use and abuse.  The effects of drugs on the teeth are both psychological and physiological.  Drug users are unlikely to value oral health rituals when under the influence and they tend to turn to high calorie, carbonated and sugary drinks when they are using.  The physiological effects include dry mouth, clenching or grinding of the teeth and decreased blood flow.  Dry mouth contributes to tooth decay, because saliva acts as a "buffer"  against acid.  Decreased salivary flow significantly increases a patient’s risk of tooth decay. Clenching and grinding may lead to worn and broken teeth. Decreased blood flow can affect the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth contributing to gum (periodontal) disease. Drugs such as methamphetamines are made with a dangerous mix of chemicals: bleach, drain cleaner, battery acid, gun cleaning solvents and gasoline additives are just a few of these harmful chemicals.  None of which are meant for consumption and all of which are incredibly harmful to the teeth.
Back to Sheen, all of these chemicals are certainly able to "melt your face off" and likely to melt your teeth off, figuratively speaking.  Even Sheen's Tiger's Blood is not a cure for tooth destruction caused by drug abuse.  Adonis' DNA cannot escape it.  I admit that I have soaked up many of the interviews with Sheen in pure disbelief, I have used and continue to use many of his outrageous quotes and engaged in water cooler conversation about his behavior. But as I took a step back to write this article, I was truly sad for Sheen.  I am sad for his children, family and the people who love him. I am sad for the all those who are being held in the grips of this deadly addiction.  I hope for all of those people the gift of sobriety and happiness without drug use. 

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Tags: Dentist, Salt Lake City, Abscess, Oral Hygiene, Drug Effects on teeth.

Emergency Dentistry and Home Remedies

Posted by Jonathan Campbell on Nov 22, 2010 7:42:00 PM

Today I had an interesting emergency dental patient. This patient came in with severe swelling of his left cheek. His lower eyelid was swollen. So much that his eye was almost swollen shut. This condition is called cellulitis or an abscess. In this area of the face there are veins that don't have very good valves and they allow blood to flow in both directions. One of the directions leads to the brain. So it is possible for this type of infection to actually spread to  a patient's brain. Untreated it can be life-threatening. We drained the infection by beginning a root canal. I expect that this patient's swelling and pain will resolve in a couple of days and then we can complete the treatment on this tooth and things will turn out just fine.

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Tags: Dentist, Salt Lake City, Toothache, Abscess, Emergency Dentist

NPR Disparages Dentistry and Hurts Its Listeners

Posted by Jonathan Campbell on Oct 8, 2010 3:20:00 PM

This past week NPR on "All Things Considered" aired the following story. The moderator and guest poke fun at the disparity between dentists when interpreting x-rays and suggest that the diagnosis of a cavity is done solely for financial gain. This is dangerous journalism. Many people die each year from untreated cavities. Many more miss work and school from pain and infection caused by untreated cavities. Cavities are progressive and advancing diseases that left untreated lead to more complex and expensive treatment with more potential for unexpected, life-affecting, and life-threatening outcomes. Ignoring a cavity is unwise.

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Tags: Dentist, Salt Lake City, Toothache, Abscess, Emergency Dentist

What Does the Dentist Do When He Gets a Toothache?

Posted by Jonathan Campbell on Jun 22, 2010 2:40:00 PM

What Does a Dentist Do When He Gets a Toothache? I feel embarrassed to admit that this past week I had a toothache. Having a toothache made me feel like I could have been doing a better job taking care of my teeth. However, I’m not sure what more I could do. I floss and brush regularly, I get a check-up and cleaning twice a year. I have x-rays taken once a year. The only thing I don’t do that I know I should is wear my night-guard every single night. So how did I get a toothache? Well it wasn’t a cavity gone wild. When I was in dental school, I had a tooth that needed a root canal. Now 13 years later, that same tooth got re-infected. We see many patients that have had a root canal and it gets re-infected. Most are disappointed to learn that the tooth needs another root canal or surgery to correct the infection. Let me explain why root canals don’t always last forever. Teeth are hollow in the center. That hollow space is usually filled with nerves and blood vessels. When a cavity gets big enough that it reaches the nerve, you get a toothache. You treat that toothache by removing the infected nerve and blood vessels and sealing the hollow space and fixing the cavity. Cleaning and sealing that space it what is called a root canal. The hollow space is sealed, kind of like caulking around a window or sink. But sometimes that seal breaks down, just like around a window or sink, allowing bacteria to re-infect the area around the tooth causing another toothache. So what did I learn from this experience? Toothaches are very uncomfortable. We always do our best to take care of the toothaches of our patients and their friends and family A.S.A.P. That sometimes means staying late or coming early. But we don’t want anyone of our patients to suffer. That’s important to us. I also was reminded of how important my teeth are to me. Day to day I eat, smile, and speak without giving my teeth and the role they play a second thought, but my 72 hours of tooth pain really interfered with my life and my ability to enjoy it. Teeth and taking care of them are important to being healthy and happy. Finally, I was reminded that we should always take care of things as soon as possible in the way that lasts as long as possible. That goes for teeth and everything else in life. We hope none of you ever get a toothache, but if you do we’ll be here.
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Tags: Salt Lake City, Legacy Dental, Toothache, Abscess, Emergency Dentist

Dental Emergencies First Aid by a Salt Lake City Emergency Dentist

Posted by Jonathan Campbell on Jan 25, 2010 9:05:00 PM

Toothaches and abscessed teeth can be nearly impossible to ignore and your best bet is to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible. However, sometimes it can be difficult to make arrangements to be seen right away. So what can you do?

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Tags: Dentist, Toothache, Abscess, Salt Lake, Emergency Dentist

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