Amazing Times

Father’s Day is this coming Sunday.  I will pick up my father Gene, age 91, at his Novato home and drive to Berkeley to visit by son Sam, age 34, and his two twin 20-month-old sons Arthur and Ocean – four generation of Malkemus’ men.  Arthur is a family name, my grandfather’s first name and my, Sam’s and Gene’s middle name.  Of course, all three wives, Mary Alice, Marina and Marge, will be involved  at the father’s day BBQ as well.   At the end of this month my son Sam and his family will be moving to the L section in Rohnert Park, so happily my family will be even closer.

My son Don and his wife Kendra are in Vietnam for one year teaching English as a second language, so we will Skype with them on Sunday. We live in amazing times, when the communication around the world is instantly available with cell phones and computers.  They are having a wonderful adventure together before settling down and raising a family.

On June 6th, the 73rd anniversary of D-Day was celebrated.  My father was at D-Day, the invasion of Normandy, France in 1944.  With Father’s Day near, I want to personally thank my father for his part in helping to end World War II, along with his fellow veterans.  Reflecting on D-Day remembrance, reminds me of the extraordinary sacrifice, achievement and triumph of my father’s generation.   Reflecting on those times, gives me hope for us to overcome the challenge we face today.

D-Day on June 6th commemorates the landing of 160,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy, France in 1944. It was a significant victory in the effort to gain entry into Europe and finally face down the Nazi forces. The landing in Normandy was enabled by the support of over 5,000 vessels and 13,000 aircraft. More than 4,000 Allied soldiers perished and about 6,000 more were wounded during the assault. But over 100,000 troops were able to take and hold the beach. By the end of June, hundreds of thousands more followed and began the long journey across Europe to put an end to the war. Today, D-Day is remembered with ceremonies, firework displays, concerts, parachute drops, reenactments, historical tours, memorials, and peace walks.

At the age of 18, my father was Navy engineer on a LST [Landing Ship Tank] #48 at the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944.  His ship unloaded Rangers on the first wave at Omaha beach, the bloodiest sacrifice during D-Day, as depicted in ‘Saving Private Ryan.’  My father said none of the landing crafts from his ship made it to the beach.  They all were blown out of the water before reaching 100 yards from the ship.  His ship spent the next 3 days picking up the wounded and the dead soldiers.  For the next 3 weeks his ship traveled between Normandy and England, taking the wounded and prisoners to England and returning with more soldiers and equipment for the invasion across Europe.  He helped the medics with wounded soldiers. He remembers holding down one young soldier while a medic placed his eye back in its socket.

It is amazing how quickly and dramatically my father grew up through The Great Depression and then World War II.  He became an old salt at age 22, being in the Navy during WW II from age 17.  I never heard him talk about the war growing up.  He and his friends were moving on with their lives, working to make a better life for their families. My father is a wonderful positive human being.  He always says, “ What a Beautiful Day!  Isn’t it Great to be Alive?”  Ten years ago, at age 81, my father decided he wanted to return to Normandy.  He had never been back to those memorable beaches.

So late May, 2007, my father, my two sons Sam and Don, my father’s good friend Chester Young and I traveled to Europe for the D-Day celebrations.  Chester was a Jeep scout for the infantry, which hiked and fought their way from Luxembourg to Berlin.  Chester also had never been back.  We flew directly to Frankfurt, Germany and then drove to Normandy across much of Chester’s route.  He was most interested in the infamous Rhine crossing at St. Goar. His unit had crossed in inflatable rafts during the middle of the night.   But due to the current, they had been swept down stream where the Germans had turned on spotlights and hundreds of GI lives were lost before achieving success on the other side.  We ferried across the exact spot where he had been.

In Normandy, we stayed in a bed and breakfast home owned by a retired British Calvary General.  His passion is D-Day military history.  He took us on private insightful guided tours of the invasion area.  D-Day and the liberation of Normandy is a two-week celebration there. Every small town in Normandy has their own weeklong celebration.  French and Belgium men and women do re-enactments and set up camps with WWII tents, jeeps, trucks, Sherman’s tanks and gear.  We saw a dramatic parachute re-enactment with over one hundred GI drops. World War II veterans are revered in Normandy; the WWII re-enactors all wanted their picture taken with my father and Chester.  One picture has Chester holding a Tommy gun in front of a WWII jeep, both of which he used during the War.   On D-Day, they were honored on stage at the American cemetery with about 30 other WWII veterans. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrived by helicopter and spoke at the 63rd D-Day Memorial.

One story from the trip that stands out in my mind occurred during the flight there. While feeling like a cramped sardine in my tight coach seat next to my father, I noticed him gazing at the in-flight screen.  I asked him what he was staring at.  He replied that is it amazing we can be doing this.  I asked what he meant.  He pointed to the in-flight screen that showed our fight line, presently over Greenland, flight velocity 649 mph, wind velocity 322 mph, time to arrival 5:56 hrs.  He said, “We are traveling at over 900 mph and only have 6 hours to go!”   I asked him how long it took the last time he came.  He thought about for a few minutes and said, “It took about 30 days from New York to London; we were averaging 4 knots.”

He went on to say,  “The most difficult thing was that our ship was hit by a terrible storm and the ship cracked in half.  We had to leave our convoy and travel with the storm for 4 days so it wouldn’t sink.’  “What do you mean, it cracked in half?”  “ Well, it had a crack all the way through the center of the ship.  The worst thing was the water lines and the sewer lines were broken, so we didn’t have any water and couldn’t use the head, plus we were not allowed to go on deck because it was too dangerous.”  “Really, that is terrible!”   “Yeh, but I had a buddy named Joe who after the 3rd day, had to use the head so bad that he said he was going on deck and he wanted me to help him.  I said that there was nothing I could do to help him.  He said just watch me from the hatch, so you can report if I get washed overboard.  The swell were huge, the trough to the crest of the wave seemed longer the ship.  The LST was 327 ft long.    Joe proceeded to drop his drawers and locked himself in between two parallel stainless steel rails with his butt hanging over the side.  The ship had over a hundred tanks tethered on deck and some had broken away and were bouncing around like ping pong balls.  Luckily they all missed Joe. But then a big garbage can broke away and smashed into Joe.  Thankfully Joe hung on and I help him get back down the hatch, but his face was bleeding and he had a couple of broken teeth.  I couldn’t tell if he was smiling or grimacing.”

After hearing my dad’s story, I realized it was truly amazing that we were flying to Germany in a few hours.   I decided to never complain about an uncomfortable flight again.  It was total luxury!  Oh, how much the world has changed and how we should appreciate what we have.  Let us overcome today’s challenges.

We definitely live in amazing times.  Let us cherish and help preserve this wonderful life and beautiful earth.  Have a great Father’s Day; I know I will!

P.S. I have to celebrate the Warriors Championship on Monday, 129 to 120 win over Cleveland, 16 -1 playoff run. A life long Warriors fan, living through so many years of dysfunctional losing, it has been fun to watch a truly sharing team.

Enjoy Life and Keep Smiling!

George Malkemus has a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@ malkemusdds.com.  Visit Dr. Malkemus’ Web site at http://www.malkemusdds.com

Dr.Malkemus

2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Phone | (707) 585-8595

http://www.malkemusdds.com

Amazing Times

Aging Gracefully

Eleven years ago I wrote a Father’s Day article, Aging Gracefully, about my father and my son.  I have decided to revisit it for this Father’s Day.  Last year for Father’s Day we were in Normandy. My father, my two sons and I traveled to Normandy for D-Day celebrations.  My father was in the Navy at the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944 at the age of 18, and had never been back to those memorable beaches.  It is amazing how quickly and dramatically my father grew up through The Great Depression and then World War II. 

The trip was an incredible experience for the four of us.  D-Day and the liberation of Normandy is a two-week celebration there. French and Belgium men and women do reenactments and set up camps with WWII tents, jeeps, trucks, Sherman’s tanks and gear.  We saw a dramatic parachute reenactment with over one hundred GI drops. World War II veterans are revered in Normandy; the WWII reenactors all wanted their picture taken with my father.   On D-Day, my father was honored on stage at the American cemetery with about 30 other WWII veterans. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrived by helicopter and spoke at the 63rd D-Day Memorial.    

 In good health, my father turned 91 this year.  We will be golfing together for Father’s Day. Have a great Father’s Day; I know I will!  Aging Gracefully follows.


My father Gene turned 80 this January. He is a wonderful positive human being.  He always says, “ What a Beautiful Day!  Isn’t it Great to be Alive?”  My father is an active man who enjoys the challenge of doing home projects.   Since he turned 70, every few years he has an accident, doing the same physical activities that he was able to do a few years prior. Until recently, he climbed his large oak trees and trimmed the branches with a chainsaw.  He finally stopped after the third time he fell out a tree with the chainsaw chasing him.  Luckily he has only been lightly grazed.   Time has taught him that this is not the safest activity for him anymore.

The biggest problem with getting older is not being able to do what you did when you were younger.  The hard part is knowing when that has occurred.  It is important to keep moving and stay young at heart, but also important to know when your heart is older and needs a rest.  We have so many wonderful choices in our abundant society.  The trick is to change those choices to an age appropriate activity.  Sometimes it takes a painful experience or two to realize it is time to move on to a new stage.  Sports are the clearest examples – baseball, football, skiing, basketball, dance, soccer, tennis and even golf.  All have their time, when they must be given up or changed to a mellower form.  The aging of our bodies and mind demand the change.

My dad has a trailer that is stored hanging over a 15 foot cliff at his home.  In his mid 70’s, he power washed and painted the trailer on his homemade scaffolding, a combination of his liking to do projects and that depression era mentality of saving money.  While power washing he walked near the end of the plank.  The plank tipped on the sawhorse support like a teeter-totter, sending him down the hill.  While in the air, he had time to ponder a flip rather than land on his head.  He almost made a complete turn, and landed on his butt.  Though rather sore, he was ok.  After recovering, he wisely moved the sawhorse to the end of the plank so it couldn’t flip again.  However, he was so enthralled with his painting that he walked off the end of the plank.  On his second flip down the hill, he made a complete turn onto his feet.  Not so lucky though, he broke his foot. He has diabetes so healing was poor.  Now after numerous surgeries, he has reduced balance and must wear special shoes.  The shoes are a size 20 plus.  We call them the Frankenstein shoes.

Last summer, at the young age of 79, he decided to take up motorcycle riding.  He took the motorcycle course to obtain his license.  It was an eye opener for him.  Even though he finished the course, he realized that he did not have the balance or the reaction time to be safe.  His Frankenstein boots did not help.  On top of that, he is hard of hearing from noise pollution during his Navy ship days in WWII working in the diesel engine room.

Last Saturday, I picked him up from the hospital from the most recent incident.   A ping-pong table had attacked him, or so he told the nurses to their great amusement.  The Sunday night before Memorial Day (we were scheduled to play golf on Memorial Day), he was helping my brother Larry move a ping pong table onto the back of a pick up truck.  You may remember that evening was extremely windy.  They were caught inside the folded table while lifting it onto the truck.  A large gust of wind came up and blew them both over while they were caught inside.  My father’s bottom landed on my bother’s head, and his right side of his chest landed on the bar of the table.  It was a freak accident; you have to use your imagination.  He lay in pain, unable to move for 15 minutes and then got up and finished loading the infamous table. “I will be a ok, don’t count me out for golf tomorrow,” were his parting words to my brother. After 2 days of laying at home in denial and unable to move, he took an ambulance to the hospital. The nurses saw his shoes sticking out of the gurney.  “Oh my! Those are the biggest feet I have ever seen.”  It would be a funnier story if my dad hadn’t broken 6 ribs and spent 5 days in the hospital. So now, my father has to eliminate moving ping-pong tables or any awkward lifting that could cause him to lose his balance.

I have been writing about my dad in his 70s, but it is true at any age.  Even my 22-year-old son Don cannot be as adventuresome as he was a few years ago.  As a teenager, he would jump off high trees – called tree jumping by Don and his crazy friends.  To me, tree jumping looked like an extreme sport, dangerous and painful.  They would hike to a redwood grove in West County, then climb a tall Redwood, and jump between trees at an extreme height.  On descent, they would jump onto the trunk and slide down the length of the tree.  Now Don’s knees don’t allow him this brilliant activity without pain.  Could there be an adventure gene or maybe anti-smart gene in my family?   Don just graduated cum laude from Whitman College in geology and he has wisely out grown tree jumping.

How do you determine what is safe to do at any age?  It is difficult.  You want to keep doing activities that you enjoy until those activates are no longer safe.  How do you determine the time for a change?   You can use trial and error, carefully.  Your body will tell you if you pay close attention, hopefully before you hurt yourself too badly.  The best way is to determine your own limits.  But mostly I hope you stay lucky!

I love my father and I love being a father.  I count myself extremely lucky!  Have a great Father’s Day.

An added note: While in Germany on our trip to Normandy last year, we visited Darmstadt where my Great, Great Grandfather Christian Malkemus was born.  Darmstadt happens to be the location of Frankenstein’s Castle that Mary Shelly visited on vacation and gave her the inspiration for her famous novel “Frankenstein”.  We joked about my father in his Frankenstein boots at the castle.  Might help explain the origin of that adventure gene.

Enjoy Life and Keep Smiling!

George Malkemus has had a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park for over 23   years at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@ malkemusdds.com.  Visit Dr. Malkemus’ Web site at http://www.malkemusdds.com for past articles.

Dr.Malkemus

2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Phone | (707) 585-8595

http://www.malkemusdds.com

Aging Gracefully

Reasons For Root Canal

When a tooth is broken from an accident and the pulp is exposed, a root canal is needed.  Last month, a high school boy had his front teeth broken in a fight.  One front tooth was knock out of place and had to be reset and stabilized.  2 teeth needed root canals.  Whitening and bonding were done to give him his original smile.  Eventually, when he is older and less physically active, he will need crowns.  Last year, I had a 51-year-old male patient who had a bizarre accident.  While looking up pruning, the metal head of the spring-loaded pruner broke and hit him in the mouth, shattering one upper central tooth and fracturing the other.  The shattered tooth had to be removed and an implant place, while the fracture tooth needed root canal therapy.  Five years ago I gave him a beautiful smile closing large spaces and straightening teeth.  Now I am in the process of giving a new beautiful smile.

Deep decay

The classical reason for root canal therapy is decay into the nerve, which can cause severe pain.  If left untreated, the infection can spread through the root of the tooth into the jawbone causing an abscess.  The infection often travels into the soft tissues of the cheek, causing severe swelling.  Tooth infection has been know to transmit into the eye, neck and brain and even caused death.  The reason that root canals have the reputation of being so awful and jokes are continually made about them, are people wait way too long to seek treatment.  I had a 25 year-old man come in severe pain with his right face swollen to the point his right eye was swollen shut.  Treating him in that state becomes difficult, much more difficult to make comfortable, and very difficult to numb.  Strong antibiotics are necessary.  Draining the abscess, and performing root canal therapy gave him total relieve after a few days.  But the procedure was much more complicated than if he had sought treatment before the infection had become so pronounced.

Tooth trauma

Over half the root canals done are in teeth that have had years of trauma, constant pounding with grinding, hot and cold, decay and large fillings or crowns.  The pulp recedes in a traumatized tooth, trying to protect itself by laying down a new layer of tooth insulation.  In the process it also lays down tooth structure in the canal, narrowing the canal, which cuts off its own circulation. In essence it straggles its own nerve, which dies and loses normal sensation. This begins an inflammatory response.  The body is constantly cleansing itself, so send s white blood cells to remove the dead tissues.  However, the white bloods cells cannot get into the narrow canal to clean out the dead tissue, and so an inflammatory abscess forms in the bone at the tip of the root. This causes different levels of pain, usually a low grade, dull achiness that comes and goes.  Often times there will be discomfort when an individual is sick, fighting any infection such as a cold.  Their body is producing more white blood cells to fight the infection, which are on the hunt for problem areas.  This increases the inflammatory response to the tooth in question.

Teeth that are dying due to trauma are the most difficult type root canal to diagnosis.  Often the pain will refer to an adjacent tooth or even a tooth in the opposite jaw.  Last year, I had a woman who swears that the tooth that hurt was her lower left bicuspid and wanted a root canal on that tooth.  With testing, I determined that tooth was perfectly fine.   After much more testing and convincing, I determined the real culprit was her upper left canine.  Root canal therapy was preformed on that tooth and all her symptoms disappeared.

Trauma from years of old silver-mercury fillings also causes teeth to die and necessitate root canal therapy.  Over half the root canals done are on teeth with large silver-mercury fillings.  These fillings cause long-term sensitivity to the nerve by transmitting hot and shutterstock_372919051.jpgcold.  Silver is the best conductor of temperature and electricity.  These fillings also act like wedges in the teeth, expanding and contraction causing cracks and fractures.  The pulp recedes from this abuse, become asphyxiated, begins an inflammatory response, and leads to a toothache.  Root canal therapy can save the day.

Grinding and clenching are the most common cause of tooth trauma.  Teeth should only touch when we chew food, approximately 30 minutes a day.  Someone who grinds can do years of trauma to his or her teeth in a short time.  When not in the act of chewing, there should always be space between the teeth.  Studies have should that over half the population does some grinding or clenching during sleep.  This continual pounding between the teeth cause them to die and begin an inflammatory response. A lady patient in her mid-30s has had to have 6 root canals done over the last 5 years from heavy grinding during sleep.  These teeth had no decay or fillings.  She just pounded them to death.  The root canals were effective, and I finally convinced her to wear a night guard to protect her teeth.  She is now doing great, pain free.

Dr.Malkemus

2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Phone | (707) 585-8595

http://www.malkemusdds.com

Reasons For Root Canal

DENTAL IMPLANTS

Don’t let missing teeth limit your life.  If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to restore your ability to smile, speak and eat with comfort and confidence, then dental implants may be right for you.

Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth.  Maybe your dentures don’t fit securely and comfortably.  Perhaps you have difficulty chewing food because of missing teeth.  If any of these situations keep you from feeling good about yourself and your smile, then dental implants maybe a solution for you.

What Are Dental Implants?dental_icons_vector

Dental implants are root form replacements, made of titanium.  This metal has the unique ability of fusing to bone.  A fused dental implant is extremely strong, stable and successful.  Dental implants can be used to replace individual teeth or used as attachments to hold dentures.

 Mini dental implants are smaller in width than traditional dental implants.  A wider implant is stronger because it has more surface area with which to fuse to the jawbone.  So a traditional wide body implant can replace an individual tooth. However, there has to be enough bone to place a wide body implant. Mini dental implants can be placed in thin bone and used to retain dentures.  Mini dental implants have the advantage of immediate placement in thin bone at a substantial reduced cost.  Mini dental implants are not strong enough for most individual teeth, in which case traditional, wide body implants are the best choice.

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Testimonials

Real Teeth Again With Implants

“I can go to out to dinner and parties and not worry any more about my teeth falling out and embarrassing myself and my husband.”

A number of years ago, I saw an out-going, 51-year-old woman who had all her teeth removed and dentures placed a year prior in Arizona.  The dentures looked good and were well made, but she had a terrible gag reflex and could not keep them from flying out. This was a disaster at dinner parties and sadly, this had made this vivacious woman homebound.  Her husband was an executive and she wanted and was expected to attend social functions, but was in fear of embarrassment about losing her teeth.  Once her dentures landed in a punch bowl.

After a dental work up, it was determined she had good bone for individual wide body implants.  All her teeth were restored with implant supported fix bridges using 12 implants.  She can bite on each individual tooth just like her original teeth with no fear of movement – improved chewing, excellent speech, and radiant smile. After implant tooth replacements, she is the life of the party again. No more fear, no more gooey denture adhesives and no more rushing off to the restroom during the middle of a meal or at a social event.

 Improved Look

“I love my smile.  Now I look in the mirror and like what I see. I just feel more confident in myself.”

Ten years ago, I saw a 23-year-old SSU coed who had two genetically missing upper laterals, the teeth on either side of the front two teeth.  These are the most common teeth to be genetically missing after the wisdom teeth.  She had been in and out of braces since age 12 and was wearing a retainer with two fake denture teeth attached for the missing teeth.  She had been embarrassed by her smile since an early age and sadly had learned to smile with her mouth closed. Two dental implants were placed and restored in time for her SSU graduation.  She was smiling beautifully for graduation pictures. No one could tell her smile had implants.

The esthetic look of a dental implant is similar to a natural tooth; it emerges naturally out of the gum.  So her dental implants looked and felt like her own teeth.  She now smiles with a huge grin, which gives her a positive, confident first impression.

Increased Denture Retention, Stability and Comfort

“For the first time in years, my dentures are comfortable, don’t move, and I can speak clearly.  I love sweet corn and now I can eat it without cutting it up.”

Five years ago, I saw a 70-year-old woman who had been wearing dentures for over 30 years.  Over the last 5 years, she had been to numerous dentists and had numerous dentures made.  She complained they were all ill fitting and her teeth slipped and slid around her mouth, resulting in mumbling and slurred speech.  Her original set of dentures had fit well for 20 years.  She said that her old original dentist knew how to make dentures back in the day and now these young whippersnappers don’t know what they are doing.  I showed her that actually her boney ridge had worn down over time.  There was no ridge left for her dentures to grasp.

One of the worst things about losing a tooth is the accompanying bone loss.  The jawbone supports the teeth and the teeth maintain the height and integrity of the bone.  Once a tooth is lost, the bone continues to deteriorate over time.  One of the big advantages of dental implants is that they prevent bone loss.

Due to her lack of existing bone and to reduce the cost, mini implants were placed and her dentures were relined with attachment housings to the mini implants.  With great denture retention, she was happily eating sweet corn again and socializing with her friends with clear speech.

Your confidence about your teeth and smile can affect how you feel about yourself, both personally and professionally.  If you are missing teeth, dental implants can restore the ability to smile, speak and chew with comfort and confidence.  And others will see your renewed confidence and joy.

 Enjoy Life and Keep Smiling!

George Malkemus has a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@malkemusdds.com.  Visit Dr. Malkemus’ Web site at http://www.malkemusdds.com

Dr.Malkemus

2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Phone | (707) 585-8595

http://www.malkemusdds.com

DENTAL IMPLANTS

HOW TO HANDLE COMMON DENTAL EMERGENCIES

From a toothache to a broken jaw, you can take steps to lessen the pain and damage while you seek treatment.  First, it is important to remain calm and contact your dentist as soon as possible.  Keep a copy of your dentist’s after hour and daytime phone numbers in a convenient place or stored on your cell phone.  Many dental emergencies can be handled over the phone and then followed up with a dental appointment in the next few days.  Some emergencies need immediate attention by your dentist or at an emergency room.

Toothache

A toothache is usually the result of an infection from tooth decay or inflamed gums.  Rinse your mouth with warm water and gently use your toothbrush or dental floss to make sure there is no food impacted in or between teeth.   The pain can usually be controlled with Ibuprofen and Tylenol.  Placing an ice pack on your face over the area of pain will help. A bag of frozen peas works well for an ice pack and can be reused, but remember to mark the bag so you don’t eat the peas at a later date.  Your dentist will usually prescribe antibiotics and schedule appropriate treatment.  A toothache left untreated will worsen over time; the dental infection will spread becoming an abscess, affecting the jawbone and other teeth.  A dentist should be seen as soon as possible to prevent possible spread of the infection.

dentist-913014_1920.pngChipped Tooth

An injury resulting in a fracture to a tooth or teeth is a fairly common occurrence, especially during childhood.  If the tooth is not sensitive, then make an appointment with your dentist to check and repair the chipped tooth.  Watch for darkening of the tooth or a swelling in the gums, which are signs of nerve damage.  Seek help immediately if the tooth is sensitive to touch or air.

Children or adults who engaged in contact sports such as soccer, basketball, football, or wrestling should wear a mouth guard for protection against injury to the mouth and teeth.  Custom fitted mouth guards can be fabricated in the dental office, while regular mouth guards are available in sporting goods stores.  Mouth guards are an inexpensive way to prevent tooth injuries.

Broken Jawshutterstock_286360550.jpg

Usually you will have pain and swelling in the joint area, ear or tongue.  Often you will not be able to close your jaw or get your upper and lower teeth to align properly.  Use an ice pack to control swelling and pain.  Stabilize the jaw, using a small towel wrapped beneath the jaw and tied on top of the head [like in the old Three Stooges comedy films].   Immediately call your dentist or go a hospital emergency room.  Usually you will be referred to an oral surgeon for jaw stabilization.

Knocked Out Tooth

When a permanent tooth is knocked out of the mouth, it is essential that treatment be sought immediately to insure the best possible chance of saving the tooth.   The tooth needs to be reinserted within the first hour after the accident. On the other hand, a knocked out baby tooth should not be saved or placed back into the socket because it might damage the developing permanent tooth.

Here are some important steps to follow if a permanent tooth is knocked out of the mouth:

  1. Remain calm and bite on a clean cloth or gauze with pressure to control any bleeding.
  2. Find the tooth and pick up the tooth by the crown only, do not touch the root surface. A ligament surrounds the outside of the root and can be easily damaged.
  3. Rinse off any dirt gently with running water.  Do not scrub the tooth.
  4. Gently try to reinsert the tooth into the socket and hold in place with firm pressure.
  5. If the tooth won’t go into the socket, put it in saliva inside the lip of the mouth or place in a glass of milk for transfer.  Do not let the tooth dry out.
  6. Head to the dentist immediately.

Tooth That Is Pushed Out Of Place

Often times a tooth is pushed out of place but still remains in the boney socket from an injury. With a permanent tooth, it is important to place the tooth back into its original position.  Gently push the tooth back into that position and hold it there.  Biting can also help push the tooth into its original position.  If seen soon, a dentist can numb the area and press the tooth back into position and then bond it into its original position until healing is completed.  The sooner you see the dentist, the better chance of positioning the tooth correctly.

Last fall I saw a 13-year–old boy who had a bicycle accident and damaged his upper front teeth.  One tooth was chipped which I repaired with a bonded filling.  A second tooth was fracture into the nerve, so root canal therapy was completed with a large tooth-colored filling. A third front tooth was knocked down and back, so I press it back into position. All three teeth were temporarily bonded together, which held them in place while the bone and gums healed.  Last month, I removed the bonding and smoothed the teeth, which are firm and look good. When he is 20, he will need permanent cosmetic crowns and veneers.

ENJOY LIFE AND KEEP SMILING!

George Malkemus has had a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park for over 23 years at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@ malkemusdds.com.  Visit Dr. Malkemus’ Web site at http://www.malkemusdds.com

Dr.Malkemus

2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Phone | (707) 585-8595

http://www.malkemusdds.com

HOW TO HANDLE COMMON DENTAL EMERGENCIES

Planning Your Wedding Day Smiles

Everyone wants to look their best on the day of their wedding. Both bride and groom put an enormous amount of time and effort in planning the details of the big day – from the flowers, to the vows, to choosing each song for the reception. One aspect often not considered for the big day is your oral health. With a wedding being a highly photographed and publicized event, it’s important that your smile is bright and in tip-top shape. We are happy to partner with you in planning your wedding day smile treatment plan. We offer a variety of treatments and procedures to enhance your smile both cosmetically and in the healthiest way possible.

Maintain Your Oral Healthdental_icons_vector2

We recommend a dental cleaning as the first step in your plan. This removes normal plaque build-up and freshens your breath. Set an appointment well ahead of time so you’re guaranteed a spot before your wedding day that works with your schedule. Cleanings typically last under an hour.

White Wedding Smile

Tooth whitening is a great pre-wedding option for couples who are unhappy with the color of their teeth. An in-office appointment is a quick and effective solution to discoloration. The appointments last about an hour, and typical results are up to eight shades whiter. This is much faster than at-home whitening which requires daily 30-minute sessions. However, there is the convenience factor of being able to whiten your teeth at home when it’s most convenient.

Quick Smile Fix

Nothing ruins a romantic day like feeling self conscious about chipped teeth. You’ll be the center of attention all day, and it’s important that you feel your best, most confident self. Dental bonding is a great option for fixing small chips and tooth gaps. The bonding adheres to the tooth becoming a seamless extension of it. Bonding is a quick and convenient procedure done in a single visit, usually lasting about an hour.

Wedding Day Smile Makeover

If you’re looking for a dramatic change, veneers provide a complete smile makeover. Able to fix multiple problem areas at once, veneers can change the shape and color of discolored and unsightly teeth. These thin, semi-transparent shells are custom made porcelain pieces set over your teeth. The length of the procedure depends on the number of veneers and typically requires two to four visits. Be sure to plan at least three months in advance from your big day for complete treatment.

dental_icons_vectorMissing Teeth?

We can fix that before your big day as well! Dental implants are a great permanent option for filling in the gaps of your smile. An implant is a natural functioning and looking “tooth” crafted from a titanium root and porcelain crown. Dental implants take time and planning, so seek treatment 6- to 18-months for a full recovery before your wedding day. The procedure itself typically lasts a couple of hours, and requires multiple pre-surgery and post-surgery visits.

Don’t let your smile hold you back from fully enjoying your wedding day. With sufficient planning, you can have your best smile in time for your big day. Whether you’re interested in a simple dental cleaning or more complex cosmetic treatment, we’re here to support you in achieving your best smile for your happiest day! Call and schedule today

Dr.Malkemus

2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Phone | (707) 585-8595

http://www.malkemusdds.com

Planning Your Wedding Day Smiles

Untreated Cavities in the US

With the vast advancements in the dental field this last decade, it may be surprising to learn that untreated cavities are still a prevalent and persistent issue for many people in the United States. More than one in five Americans has untreated cavities and periodontitis, according to Dr. Bruce Dye, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “It appears that we haven’t been able to make any significant strides during the last decade to reduce untreated cavities” (Dye).  This is in part attributed to economic conditions.  With more Americans relying on Medicaid, most states have eliminated dental benefits in order to ease strain on stressed budgets.shutterstock_14313997

The good news is that Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide dental coverage for disadvantaged children, reducing the rates of children needing urgent dental care. Some studies have even suggested that American children are getting the same general level of dental care, regardless of income. The report found that rates of cavities were similar across all age groups, with teens having the lowest rates. Among children aged 5-11, 20% had untreated cavities, compared to 13% of those aged 12-19. Among children and teens, 27% had at least one dental sealant (Everyday Health).Mother Daughter Brushing

While comprehensive dental coverage is an undeniably large factor in the prevention and treatment of gum disease and cavities, you can lower your odds of developing dental issues through healthy lifestyle choices. Practicing good dental hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing is essential.   Cutting back on sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks that feed the bacteria that lead to tooth decay is another controllable element in cavity prevention.  Regular dental visits are also paramount. When problems are identified and treated early, it prevents the necessity for more costly and invasive procedures.  If you are experiencing sensitivity or pain, schedule an appointment today.

Dr.Malkemus

2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Phone | (707) 585-8595

http://www.malkemusdds.com

Untreated Cavities in the US