You should never wait until you get a toothache to see the dentist. But if you do, you might find yourself doubly frustrated as your dentist has a hard time tracking down the source of your pain. Your dentist might claim to have tracked it down, but instead it turns out that they made a mistake, and the filling or even extraction they performed didn’t do you any good.
That’s because toothaches can be hard to pinpoint. The source of pain may not be the tooth it’s being felt in–it may not even be a tooth. Fortunately, our advanced technology helps Wilmington, NC cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Kuzma track down some of the mysterious toothaches that can, literally, keep you up at night.
An intraoral camera is a digital camera that allows us to take detailed pictures in your mouth. The ability to get close up, magnified pictures helps us track down some cavities in difficult to see areas. And, as a bonus, we can put the image on the screen so you can see what we see. That way, you understand what’s going on and can make an informed decision based on something other than trying to resolve the pain.
DiagnoDent Laser Cavity Detection
Just because a cavity is causing you pain, it doesn’t mean that it’s a large cavity that’s easy to see. It might not even show up on an x-ray.
But that’s where DiagnoDent comes in. DiagnoDent uses a laser to measure the density of your tooth enamel. This allows it to detect areas where your teeth have lost mineral density, even if this hasn’t actually developed into a cavity yet (it could still be responsible for sensitivity). But the biggest advantage is that it can detect cavities that are very small on the outside, but quite large on the inside.
T-Scan Digital Bite Measurement
Sometimes, a tooth can hurt because it’s being put under too much pressure. You might not know that this is the source of your pain because biting down doesn’t cause most of the pain. The bite can cause irritation of the tooth pulp, which then swells. Swelling creates pressure inside the tooth that is what causes most of the pain.
T-Scan digital bite measurements help us track down this source of your pain. It allows us to digitally measure the pressure being put down on every tooth. We’ll see if one of your teeth is being subjected to too much pressure. And because T-Scan works in real time, we can even tell if your tooth gets put under a lot of pressure at one moment, even if the forces balance out later.
Excess tooth pressure can be caused by a poorly fitted restoration on that tooth, or on a neighboring or opposite tooth. However, excess tooth pressure can also be caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD).
K-7 Temporomandibular Evaluation
The K-7 system helps us identify TMJ. It measures many aspects of your jaw system, including the jaw joint sounds, the jaw motion, and the tension in your jaw muscles.
Jaw joint sounds tell us when your jaw joint isn’t functioning properly, with cushioning tissues being displaced or bones grinding together. Jaw joint dysfunction can displace force from the jaw joint to the teeth.
Motion tracking helps us identify irregular jaw motion that can put excess force on your teeth as you bite down. It can also help us distinguish between jaw joint damage and poor chewing habits.
Measuring jaw muscle tension tells us when your jaws are overexerting themselves. This often happens when your jaw isn’t able to find a comfortable rest position, and it can cause them to put excess pressure on your teeth.
Combining the bite measurements with the jaw measurements will give us a clear picture of what is causing the pressure on your tooth or teeth so we can perform the appropriate treatment.
Once we’ve identified the problem, we have high-technology that lets us get you a same-day solution to your toothache in many cases, even if it requires a dental crown. CEREC technology allows us to digitally design and manufacture a dental crown in our office. No need for a temporary crown, and no need for a second visit.
Accurate Diagnosis and Accurate Treatment–No Guesswork
Kuzma Advanced Dentistry means just that: we offer the most advanced dental care available in Wilmington, NC. We utilize technologies that help us track down your toothache with greater accuracy and allow treatment the same day for most people.
If you are looking for help with a toothache, please call (910) 392-6060 today for an appointment at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.