Benefits of Replacing Teeth

When a tooth is lost, why replace it? This is common question when a tooth is lost. To understand why you need to replace a tooth you need to understand the function of teeth.

Everyone knows that teeth are used in chewing. Without proper chewing, proper digestions cannot occur.

Teeth are also important for speaking. Your tongue depends on your teeth to help make complicated letter sounds.

Aesthetics is another major function of your teeth. Teeth maintain the size and shape of your lower face. Without teeth, the form and function of your mouth can be effected.

Once again, why replace a lost tooth? When a tooth is lost, the patients ability to chew, speak, and smile can be effected.

Preventing tooth loss is our goal as a dental practice. However, if a tooth is lost, replacing it to maintain all the functions of your teeth and mouth is important.

What Cosmetic Dentistry Does for Your Health Can Also Positively Affect Your Calendar

A glance at your calendar and your mind begins to race. Right?

The decisions often start with where you’re going, what clothes to wear, and it proceeds from there. There’s another decision that can boost your confidence as your social calendar fills up in the weeks or months ahead.

It’s about dentistry…cosmetic dentistry to be more specific.

Cosmetic dentistry provides health benefits. It also amplifies something else.

Your smile gives you an advantage wherever you go. Plan now to make sure yours does as you prepare for an upcoming class or family reunion, a wedding, a vacation, or other social event you have calendared in the weeks ahead.

Top priority

Your dental health is of utmost importance. The health of your teeth and gums can make-or-break your smile.

Cosmetic dentistry places a priority on your health first. There are restorative benefits that some procedures primarily provide to assure that your oral health is protected and maintained.

White (tooth-colored) dental fillings treat your decay damaged teeth, restore your tooth structure, and improve the appearance of your treated tooth. They are also a recommended replacement for old, worn-out, and more visible metal (silver) fillings.

Dental crowns are another treatment that has a restorative as well as a cosmetic benefit.

Crowns cover your tooth that’s damaged by decay with a natural looking replacement.

A dental crown also provides the functional, surface structure for a tooth that’s been replaced with a dental implant. Your dental crown is designed to perfectly match your surrounding teeth for a healthy aesthetic improvement.

Put a smile on it

Other cosmetic dentistry procedures are dominant smile enhancers. Treatments can include teeth bleaching (whitening), veneers, and orthodontics featuring Invisalign(r).

These procedures noticeably improve the appearance of your smile. Orthodontic dentistry does that plus it improves the alignment of your teeth to assure healthy teeth and gums along with your smile.

Now is the perfect time to improve the health and look of your smile. Contact our Wayne dental office about cosmetic dentistry and schedule an oral examination to discuss treatment options.

The Advantages of White, Tooth-Colored Fillings Over Metal Fillings

Restorative or reconstructive dentistry can almost seem like a super-power. It’s where your tooth damage, decay, and cavities meet their match.

What’s more convincing?

Treatment for cavities once relied solely on metal fillings. Mercury based materials were the go-to solution until their safety among other issues was questioned.

A healthier choice

White, tooth-colored fillings are now the “gold-standard”. They’re above all a safer alternative to metal.

Silver, amalgam fillings have a tendency to darken over time. It’s also common for metal fillings to require the loss of more tooth structure during the procedure.

This increases the risk of weakening your tooth. Metal fillings can “leak” or open the door to the potential for additional tooth decay to affect your treated tooth or your surrounding teeth.

In addition to being safer

Tooth-colored fillings are less noticeable. The materials used closely match the color and shade of your natural tooth surface.

The composite or resin used for your filling will maintain a white color. Unlike metal fillings, the composite substance will fade less and not darken over time.

Your new tooth-colored filling will restore your tooth to it’s natural appearance. The procedure can be completed most often in one appointment.

Contact our Wayne dental office about restorative or reconstructive dentistry. Schedule an examination to discuss replacing your silver or metal fillings with safer, more attractive tooth-colored, white fillings.

What Teeth Bonding Does and Where It Can Help You the Most

Some things are less complicated than you might have imagined. Restorative or reconstructive dentistry for example.

Veneers get top billing because the aesthetic benefits are outstanding. Yet teeth bonding is an equally beneficial treatment that’s simple plus cost-effective.

An easy assumption

You can evaluate your smile appearance with a variety of measurements. Whiteness and alignment are popular choices.

Your oral health is certainly an all-important measure. It’s essential that your teeth are straight and aligned. That said, it would be risky to focus solely on the appearance of your teeth and miss the value of proper alignment. Your dental health relies on a variety of factors including your satisfaction with the appearance of your teeth.

It helps to have options

Teeth bonding or dental bonding is a versatile treatment. Speaking of appearance and comprehensive oral health, it provides a benefit for both.

Bonding basically repairs your teeth that are chipped, stained, or cracked. Like veneers, dental bonding can also restore your gaped teeth.

The appeal factor of teeth bonding is due to the use of tooth-colored resin. This material is bonded to your tooth enamel to blend with your natural tooth color.

Stains, discoloring, and gaps are covered with the bonding material. The shape of your tooth can also be restored with the treatment.

Teeth bonding costs less than a dental crown or porcelain veneers. Treatment time is simpler and less time consuming as well.

Risk prevention

Your chipped teeth or the unnatural gaps between your teeth can cause problems. These circumstances allow your teeth and gums to be vulnerable to oral bacteria.

Decay can result from bacterial growth on your tooth surfaces. You’re at risk for cavities when bacteria is not eliminated.

Bonding covers the surfaces of your treated teeth. The areas exposed by chips, cracks, gaps, or other damage are protected with the materials used.

The preventive dentistry value plus the time and cost savings give teeth bonding a strong advantage for restoring your health and appearance.

Contact our Wayne dental office about your tooth damage. Schedule a dental examination to discuss teeth bonding for improving the health and appearance of your teeth.

“Did You Say You Could Treat My Gums Virtually Pain-Free?”

What’s the best kind of dental treatment?

First choice would be none because you keep your teeth and gums healthy with routine check-ups and teeth cleanings. A close second and perhaps most popular would be virtually painless dental treatment.

You had me at “pain-free”

Laser dentistry introduces you to a range of dental procedures that are virtually painless. Dental lasers are most commonly used to treat periodontal (gum) disease.

Advanced cases of gum disease can actually lead to surgical treatment. Pain or the anticipation of it are among the top reasons you could delay periodontal disease treatment.

The evolution of gum treatment

Surgical techniques for gum disease have evolved. Numerous dental appointments and referral to a periodontal specialist (periodontist) was once your standard of care.

Gum surgery can require more than one invasive procedure. And any surgical treatment is followed by a period of healing before you can anticipate being pain-free.

Gum treatment has been revolutionized by laser dentistry techniques. You can anticipate reduced treatment time, less office visits, and…significantly less pain and recovery time than invasive gum surgery.

How laser dentistry provides you a more comfortable gum treatment

Imagine having surgery and not requiring an incision. It might interest you to know that dental lasers are not invasive.

The laser used to treat your gums or other oral health issue is hair-thin. The pinpoint technology easily and quickly removes the diseased gum tissue between your teeth and gums.

Dental lasers are also effective for eliminating infection and treating it’s source. Again, this is possible without any necessary or painful incision common with other forms of oral surgery.

Following the initial removal of your infected gum tissue, the dental laser will seal the area of your treatment. You will experience only minor discomfort, little or no bleeding, and the procedure will require no local anesthesia unless you request it.

Recovery from procedures is faster with laser dentistry too. Your complete treatment, healing period, and overall recovery is noticeably improved compared with standard gum surgery.

Laser dentistry enables you to get the necessary (and best) treatment for your gum disease without fear of pain or time consuming appointments.

Contact our Wayne dental office with your questions and concerns about gum disease. Ask us about laser dentistry as a treatment option.

Who Said Dental Implants are Foolproof?

Some people bail at the first sign of failure. Others cry, “Foul,” and tell themselves it was destined to fail anyway.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of perspective. And one that builds an allowance for failure into the process.

Dental implants, it’s safe to say, are not foolproof. It’s important to understand this so you can anticipate the potential for failure and put contingencies in place.

It might seem strange that a fan of implant treatment would even admit to its shortcomings. Again, the success of your dental implant procedure will increase if you’re aware of how they can fail.

“Know thy enemy…”

We’ve talked about the importance of your implant integrating with your bone and gum tissue. This process is known as osseointegration.

Dental implants are certainly a solid tooth replacement option. And once yours adapts with your jawbone it will function as if it’s a natural part of your mouth.

But this is where familiarity and function can collide. When it does your implant can fail.

Enemy 1: Stress and bite force.

Once your dental implant has been accepted into it’s easy to forget it’s there. This is a good thing…until you exert too much force while biting.

You might also discover another issue too. Clenching or grinding you teeth can stress your dental implant just as it would your natural teeth.

The downside: stress can lead to bone loss around your implant, your dental crown can break or wear excessively, or your implant could fracture.

The upside remedy: your teeth grinding or clenching can be treated with a dental night guard. Wearing this treatment during sleep will counter the negative impact of biting stress on your implant, crown, and the surrounding gum and bone tissue.

Enemy 2: Gum disease

This is a significant cause of trouble for your dental implant. You are at greater risk when your gum tissue become infected or inflamed.

Causes vary. The most common involves bacteria growth within your tissue.

The downside: painful inflammation that leads to infection.

The upside solution: treating the source of the inflammation before it transition to full-blown infection and maintaining your gum health with consistent oral hygiene.

Your gum tissue forms a tight pocket for your healthy teeth. Your implant relies on the security of healthy gums as well.

All infection risks should be monitored and treated before they worsen. Inflammation that’s untreated can infect the tissue and compromise your dental implant.

Another big problem you shouldn’t ignore

Inflammation and infection are also a threat to your bone tissue. You jawbone forms the anchor point for your dental implant and must remain healthy for long term success.

Watch for redness, swelling, and bleeding around your gum and bone tissue. These are warning signs of deeper problems that could loosen and ultimately cause you to lose your implant.

Preserving your bone tissue is a high priority. And if necessary, additional oral surgery can repair bone loss and re-anchor your dental implant.

It’s best to avoid these lurking enemies. Routine dental check-ups, consistent dental hygiene, and responsive treatment options help guarantee the health of your dental implant.

A Tooth Loss Problem You Might Not Have Considered

Timing is everything. Or is it?

We’ve shared the importance of treating missing or damaged teeth. The use-it-or-lose-it principle applies here.

Consider weight training.

Fitness training with weights builds and grows muscle. Yet, if training is stopped, muscles can atrophy (shrink) from non-use.

Muscle atrophy will occasionally lead to injury. Your surrounding muscles begin to bear the load and take on more of the stress to compensate for your injured tissue.

A bone can be stressed during weight training too. Bone expands to support adjoining muscles and it can atrophy like muscle.

Teeth perform a type of weight training for your gums and bone tissue. Biting and chewing are common exercises that strengthen and maintain your mouth’s bone and tissue health.

Why tooth loss is risky.

If you lose a tooth there’s reduced chewing and biting in the area of loss. The bone no longer holds your tooth and atrophy can occur.

Over time, the gap left by a missing or damaged tooth will become weaker. Your bone and tissue will shrink.

More specifically, vertical bone loss can occur. This effects the height and supportive build-up required to hold your tooth/teeth in place.

But that’s not all…

Lateral bone loss also occurs. The width of your bone can shrink and provide less of a foundation for tooth replacement.

The height and width of your bone and tissue are essential to preserving your oral health. If you ignore a missing tooth long enough the damage is more difficult to correct.

There’s hope.

Dental implants exercise (stimulate) the bone. And timing is everything when you’re considering dental implant treatment.

In fact, as much as 60% of your bone mass can be lost in the first six months. The rate of bone loss varies person to person.

Dental implants require bone as an anchor – vertically and laterally. Some alternative treatments, such as bone grafting, can precede your dental implant treatment if necessary.

The more time you allow post tooth loss, the riskier (and costlier) the corrective treatment is. It’s important to treat your lost tooth sooner rather than later.

Avoid adding expense to your tooth loss treatment. Consult with us about a dental implant.

Remember timing IS everything.

Question: Have you lost a tooth? What has kept you from replacing it? What question(s) can we answer about treatment and timing? Comment.

Don’t Be a Victim of the World’s Oldest Disease

This disease has the power to change your life. Once it starts, your diet, speech, and overall quality of life could be its next victim.

Before I reveal the culprit you must understand something that many don’t know. Stay with me – knowledge is your ally in this fight.

It’s considered to be the world’s oldest and most widespread of diseases. It comes in second only to the common cold.

This disease begins its assault early. And it has achieved epidemic proportions among young children.

In fact, this disease affects more than one-fourth of U.S. children ages 2 to 15 and half those ages 12 to 15. Untreated, this epidemic can cause school absence, social problems, low weight, and poor appearance.

Children aren’t the only victims.

It’s a problem that also impacts U.S. adults. Ninety percent of those over age 40 encounter this disease.

The good news – it’s preventable. So, what are we talking about?

Ready?

Tooth decay. Dental caries (as it’s also known) is an infectious disease that damages the structure of your teeth.

Tooth loss and tooth pain are common symptoms. But, in extreme cases, the infection can spread even causing life-threatening health issues.

Your mouth is a complex eco-system. It would be mind boggling to see all the organisms that interact in your mouth. Some are good and some are bad.It’s the bad ones that should concern you. Primarily, we’re talking bacteria. Certain types of bacteria cause tooth decay. They attach themselves to the dental plaque (that sticky film) on the surface of your teeth.

Your #1 concern

The bacterial feeding process is intense and somewhat technical. Basically, they join forces to break down your tooth structure layer by layer.

This frontal assault on your tooth surface makes the tooth vulnerable. Once weakened, decay sets in.

More than brushing and flossing

We can recommend steps to determine your risk for tooth decay (dental caries). Effective prevention strategies include sealants, topical fluoride, special toothpaste, and mouth rinses.

Tooth decay (dental caries) is treatable. It can be eliminated once it’s treated as a disease and the individual causes (often unique to your mouth) can be understood.

Your goal (and ours): implement preventative strategies that keep your teeth free from decay throughout your lifetime.

Question: How did your knowledge increase about tooth decay? Comment.

The Impact of Long-Term Thinking on Your Oral Health

What’s on your wish list? Having one helps when it’s your birthday, during the holidays, or when planning your New Year goals.

Some items are perpetual. Yet health related ones – especially missing teeth replacement – should be prioritized.

We’ve talked about alternatives for tooth loss. Bridges and dentures come to mind along with dental implants.

It’s time to think long-term

Keep your long-term thinking simple for the moment. Let’s consider the next 12 months.

You could begin to transform your oral health care in a shorter time span. For instance, use the New Year as a springboard basic dental hygiene habits (consistent brushing, flossing, and exams and check-ups every six months).

There’s still the issue of your missing or damaged teeth. This takes a longer view of things. But don’t fret.

There are no “quick” fixes. Especially those that deliver cost effective, lifelong benefits.

Starting now, explore dental implant treatment as the most viable option for missing teeth replacement. You can begin to experience noticeable results in a few months.

Damage “control”

Out-sight-out-of-mind is a common mindset. But it’s not healthy when you have missing or damaged teeth.

What you can’t see could be “hurting” you. The issue is the void left by a missing tooth.

You teeth can shift. This causes a number of dental issues.

One common problem is malocclusion. Your teeth can become misaligned.

Misalignment can cause your teeth to become crowded or crooked. Malocclusion is treatable with orthodontic braces.

It’s important to deal with your missing teeth sooner rather than later. A dental implant provides cost effective, long term damage control.

Look good

Gaps and voids caused by missing teeth are treatable. That said it’s easy to grow accustomed to the damage done.

You’ve discovered that doing so can lead to more significant tooth problems. Besides it’s healthy for your body and your esteem to replace your missing tooth or teeth.

Dental implants provide an attractive tooth replacement solution . Implant treatment restores your smile.

Implants are designed to look like your natural teeth. And they’re a healthier alternative because they actually help restore your jaw’s bone health.

Feel good

Health should improve your confidence. Oral health conditions like tooth loss or tooth damage can lead to reduced confidence.

Increase your self-esteem with a proven treatment for missing teeth. Dental implants restore your oral health and with it your sense of well-being.

The treatment process reveals the benefit of good oral health too. And it affirms the value of taking personal responsibility for it.

Decide now that this will be the year you take control. Fill the gaps caused by your missing teeth.

Introduce yourself to a renewed appearance and sense of well-being. Dental implant treatment is a good, long-term investment in a new you.

Question: What health related goals do you have for the next 12 months? Comment.

 

 

7 Ways to Protect Your Dental Implant Investment

Attention to detail works both ways. Let me explain.

Precision craftsmanship often defines your purchase decisions. You look for attention to detail in how something is made. And once you make an investment you give equal attention to detail in how you care for it (assuming you understand its value).

Dental implants fit the category of precision craftsmanship. Each detail is uniquely designed to fill the gap created by your missing tooth.

Your dental implant is a premium product.  And your investment requires detailed care to assure it lasts and functions effectively.

How to Protect Your Dental Implant Investment

1-Eat cautiously

A dental implant is strong. But everyday eating habits can cause unnecessary damage.

Bite cautiously into solid food selections – especially those containing bones. And avoid using your teeth to open packages.

2-Cool-it with extra hot drinks

Remember what you learned in science class. Metal conducts heat.

Your dental implant contains metal. Drinking a hot beverage will quickly remind you of this.

Tip: if the cup or beverage is “hot” to the touch – allow it to cool a bit before drinking.

3-Wait to have your ice-cream

What you tell your children or grandchildren applies here. Let your meal settle before you eat dessert – especially following a hot item with a cold one.

The crown (top/visible) portion of your dental implant is crafted of porcelain. It expands – like glass does – with heat and contracts with cold.

Eat or drink something hot but be sure to pause before chasing it with something cold. And vice-versa.

Monitor your tooth sensitivity following dental implant treatment. Reactions to food and drink temps may vary.

4-Watch the vibrations

Your dental implant is complex. It contains a crown (the visible, top portion), a screw (what attaches to the crown and upper post/abutment), the post (secures the implant top to bottom).

Vibrations from a vibrating toothbrush can loosen your implant’s internal screw. This can cause your crown to become loose.

Brush effectively. And avoid a vibrating tooth brush as an option.

5-Watch your floss

Understand that your dental implant is not a tooth. Teeth connect to gums by strong ligaments.

Flossing is good for your teeth because it cleans the pockets of the gums surrounding them. The ligaments are sensitive and warn you when you’re flossing too aggressively.

Your dental implant lacks this natural supportive ligament. An implant is supported by a seal and lacks adequate nerves.

Aggressive flossing can break this seal. Bacteria can invade the pocket and penetrate the bone.

Bone damage can then occur around your dental implant. And the loss of bone can cause the loss of your implant.

Use a Water-Pick or similar device to clean around your implant. A water stream can effectively clean the pockets surrounding it.

6-Communicate with your dental hygienist

Your hygienist should be aware of which teeth are dental implants. Confirm your implant treatment history prior to a teeth cleaning.

The dental hygienist will use different instruments to clean around your implant. This helps prevent damage to your implant and surrounding tissue.

7-Stay current with dental check-ups

Have your dental implants checked at least once per year. And stay current with your teeth cleanings and exams every six months.

Attention to detail will preserve your dental implant. Consider it an investment of your time that assures you’re protecting your oral health in the process.

Question: What maintenance issues cause you concern with dental implant treatment? Any changes you’ll need to make? Comment.