Dr. Farr grew up around Chicago and received his Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago. From there he went to Temple University ...
Dr. Michael Irving Farr D.M.D.'s Expert Contributions
Hi, A cavity is a bacterial infection of the tooth. If left untreated, the cavity will progress and eventually reach the pulp chamber where the nerve lies. If this happens, root canal therapy will absolutely be necessary to save the tooth. Sometimes even if the cavity does not reach the nerve, the insult of the cavity to the tooth may be enough to cause the nerve to degenerate, and a root canal will be necessary any ways. As the cavity eats away at the remaining tooth structure, a crown or other type of stronger restoration may as well be necessary to save the tooth. If left to go too long, the tooth may not be savable and may need to be removed. My advice is to get cavities treated as soon as possible to preserve and save your teeth, and keep treatment cost and time in the dental chair down. If the cavities are not that bad yet, you should be able to avoid root canals. But that's not always 100%. READ MORE
Most often times we use local anesthesia for fillings. You are awake and completely alert for the procedure, unless you require anxiety sedation to get your dental work done. Using local anesthesia is the norm as it can be uncomfortable and painful to have your teeth drilled on and restored. However, there are some people who can tolerate dental work without anesthesia, but this is not the majority. Local anesthesia is safe to use and its benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to making patients comfortable while getting dental treatment. Make sure your dentist performs a thorough review of your medical history to make sure the appropriate anesthesia is used. READ MORE
Hi, At 8 years old, he should have his front adult teeth present. Adult teeth are more yellow in color than the preceding baby teeth. This is because there is more dentin in the adult teeth. Dentin is yellow in color and is what gives teeth their yellow appearance. The enamel is the outer covering of the teeth and while the enamel is white, it is translucent, and the thickness of the enamel is not much different in adult teeth as compared to baby teeth. So, the adult teeth are more yellow as a result. This is nothing to be concerned about and certainly teeth whitening is not recommended in a child this young. My advice is to wait until he gets a little bit older (say 16 or above) and then consider whitening his teeth. Also be sure to take him twice a year for cleanings and check ups, as external staining can make the teeth appear more yellow and the professional cleaning will remove this and improve the appearance. Hope this helps. Sincerely, READ MORE
Nope. Your dentist obviously sees a discrepancy developing in your child now that needs correction. Early interceptive orthodontics is done on kids ages 6-9 years old. You have a very caring dentist who has your child's best interest at heart. READ MORE
Under ideal conditions, the life of a dental implant can be indefinite. The parts that go on an implant will need repair or replacing over time. However, an implant can fail due to issues like gum disease (peri-implantitis), overload problems, grinding problems (parafunctional habits), change in a person's medical status, or underlying medical problems that result in bone deterioration. A lot of these issues are controlled by the person. It's really tough to say how long the implant itself will last considering all of the possibilities that affect it. Proper diagnosis of a patient's medical history and current health and oral status are paramount in determining longevity. READ MORE
Most of the time, 2% lidocaine with 1:100k epinephrine is used as anesthesia for routine dental procedures, including root canals. There are other types of anesthetics and most are in the class of medications known as amides, which most people have no problem with. Some are combination of esthers and amides. Most of the time, the anesthesia is administered locally, so you are awake the entire time, just numb in the area to be worked on. Your provider knows which anesthesia he/she likes to use and can review that with you if you are concerned. READ MORE
Hi, Gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth that adhere to the teeth and grow out of control and the body's immune system can't effectively get rid of it. Signs and symptoms to look for are reddened and swollen gums, gums that bleed easily, build up on the teeth that cannot be wiped or brushed away, and foul odor of the breath. Loose teeth is another sign. The diagnosis of any form of gum disease has to be made by a licensed dental professional, so regular check ups and cleanings are paramount in helping to determine and treat gum disease if it manifests. The earlier you catch it, the better. Michael I. Farr, DMD, FICOI READ MORE
Hi, The longevity of fillings is determined by the size of the cavity, the amount of remaining tooth structure, the structural integrity of the tooth, and the kind of forces that the person puts on the tooth both through normal chewing/biting forces and parafunctional forces (activities done with the teeth that are beyond the normal purposes of masticating and talking). Depending on your situation, a filling may be the best and most conservative way to restore the tooth if there is ample remaining tooth left and forces applied to the tooth are low to moderate. While veneers and crowns are strong and long lasting restorations, they should be utilized as last resorts when other treatment options have failed or there is insufficient remaining tooth left or the biting or parafunctional forces are too high. Healthy tooth most of the time needs to be removed to do veneers and crowns. And once a dentist cuts away part of a tooth, it is gone forever. Sometimes, though, it is necessary. I know this doesn't directly answer your question. But in all honesty there are many variables to consider when we restore teeth. It's not just "drill and fill". Keep your treatment as conservative as possible until you have to upgrade. Michael I. Farr, DMD, FICOI READ MORE
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Dr. Michael Irving Farr D.M.D.'s reviewsWrite Review
- Severe Stress and Depression May Cause Gum Disease
According to a review published in the Journal of Periodontology, studies show a strong link between stress and gum disease. About 57% of the studies conducted displayed an accurate association between gum disease and stress-related symptoms, including distress, anxiety, depression, and...
- Gummy Bears That Contain Xylitol Can Reduce Cavities
A new study has shown that gummy bears made of xylitol, a sugar substitute, can prevent cavities in children. In this study, 154 students from first to fifth grade of an elementary school in Washington were recruited. The students were given four gummy bears made with xylitol or malitol three times...
- Dental Sealants May Present BPA in Saliva
Dental fillings for children were worrisome because of the presence of mercury in the amalgam. The latest addition to this fear is the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) in dental sealants and white fillings. BPA is a resin used in plastics, including water bottles and metal food can liners. Many studies...
- Osteoporosis and Oral Health
What is Osteoporosis?Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones all over the body. It is a medical condition characterized by a weakness of the bones, due to different factors, leading to fractures of the bones due to minor trauma or no trauma at all. Major causes of osteoporosis are age,...
- What Are the Causes of Receding Gums?
As the margin of teeth recede, the roots of the teeth are exposed. Receding gums are a very common oral problem and are of concern as it may be the warning signs of many gum diseases. Gum deterioration occurs gradually with time and creates small pockets or gaps between the tooth and the gum, which...
- Metal Taste in Mouth
Why does my mouth taste like metal?The perception of a metallic taste in the mouth is a symptom that can be found for several reasons. In some cases, this aftertaste depends on mild and transient conditions, sometimes it may be the warning of some more serious pathologies.Among the possible causes:...
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