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Archive for March, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011 @ 02:03 PM
posted by Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth loss is a sensitive indicator of overall dental health and access to dental care.  Although the overall prevalence of partial and total tooth loss in seniors has decreased since the early 1970s, significant disparities remain in some population groups.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survery (NHANES) is an important source of information on oral health and dental care in the United States.  Results of their most recent survey (1999-2004) show that white, non-Hispanic seniors aged 65-74 years have an average of 19.39 remaining teeth.  Black seniors of the same age group have fewer remaining teeth (15.19).

The NHANES also breaks down the percentages of senior Americans in different minority groups who have no remaining teeth.  Similar disparities exist between the percentages of white, non-Hispanic and black, non-Hispanic seniors who have no remaining teeth.  The percentage of white, non-Hispanic seniors (age 56-74 years) with no remaining teeth is 26.12%.  For black, non-Hispanic seniors of the same age group, the percentage is 32.81%.

This study also showed that regardless of age, smokers and those with lower incomes and less education are more likely to have fewer remaining teeth as well as no remaining teeth. This suggests that although the number of Americans with partial and total tooth loss has been declining since the 1970s, it is not declining as rapidly in certain minority groups.

Tooth loss negatively affects our quality of life by making eating, chewing, laughing and talking less enjoyable.  It also negatively affects our overall health by causing us to substitute high fiber foods for high calorie, high carbohydrate foods that are softer and easier to chew.

The good news is that we now have better options for replacing missing teeth.  For patients with partial or total tooth loss, dental implants can be used to support new teeth that look, feel, and function like the original teeth.  With dental implants, those with missing teeth can resume a healthy diet, and can laugh, smile, and eat with confidence.

Posted on Behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants




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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @ 03:03 PM
posted by Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

Most adults start out with 32 permanent teeth.  This number may be reduced to 28 if the four third molars or “wisdom teeth” have been removed.

According to the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999-2004, seniors over age 65 have an average of 18.90 remaining teeth.  Twenty-eight percent of seniors over age 65 have no remaining teeth.  Despite advances in dental care and dental education, tooth loss remains a problem for older Americans.

Tooth loss negatively affects the overall health and quality of life of older Americans.  This is unfortunate since the life expectancy of Americans continues to rise.  Many Americans will spend more years dealing with the affects of tooth loss than their ancestors did.

Tooth loss often causes older Americans to reduce their intake of fiber-rich foods or to eliminate them from their diets altogether.   High calorie, high carbohydrates foods that are softer and easier to chew are often substituted for high fiber foods.   This negatively affects nutrition, and can exacerbate diseases such as diabetes that are more prevalent in the older population.

Tooth loss takes its toll on senior Americans’ quality of life by making eating, chewing, laughing, talking, and general social interactions less enjoyable.  This can have a negative affect on relationships that are important to overall quality of life.

The good news is that older Americans now have better options for replacing missing teeth.  Dental implant supported crowns and bridges give senior Americans a permanent solution to missing teeth.  Dental implants can be used to support new teeth that look, feel, and function like the original teeth.  With dental implants, older Americans do not have to change their diets, and can smile, laugh and eat with confidence.

Posted on Behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @ 03:03 PM
posted by Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

Your oral health can greatly affect the types of foods you eat.  This can greatly affect your overall nutrition, which significantly impacts your general health.  A number of studies have indicated that the problem of missing teeth is linked to a quantitatively poorer diet.  In a study of United States veterans (Chauncey et. al. 1984), people with impaired chewing ability preferred soft, easily chewed foods that were lower in fiber and had lower nutrient density than foods eaten by people who could chew normally.

Oral Health In America:  A Report of the Surgeon General, states that “Quality of life clearly suffers when individuals are forced to limit food choices and the foods chosen do not provide optimal nutrition.” High fiber foods are a critically important part of a healthy diet.  Unfortunately, the foods that are highest in fiber content are usually the hardest foods to chew for patients with missing teeth, failing teeth, and/or dentures.

The foods that denture wearers and people with failing or missing teeth find easiest to chew are very soft and typically have high calorie counts and are loaded with carbohydrates.  This only exacerbates the problem of obesity in the United States.  Omitting fiber-rich foods from your diet can also lead to a variety of intestinal problems such as constipation.  Importantly, fiber-rich foods serve to hold nutrients in our bodies for longer, allowing for more disease-preventing anti-oxidants and other nutrients to be absorbed into our system.

Dental implants and other advances in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery provide a permanent solution for patients with missing or failing teeth.  People with dental implants can eat the same food as patients with healthy teeth, and do not have to sacrifice their health by eliminating nutritionally dense, fiber-rich foods.

Posted on the Behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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Thursday, March 17, 2011 @ 03:03 PM
posted by Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

According to statistics, approximately 36 million Americans wear dentures.  This accounts for roughly ten percent of the American population.  The aging of the population in America has caused the number of Americans with tooth loss to increase.  Although alternative options such as dental implants exist for replacing lost teeth, dentures are still used by many patients with tooth loss.

Some patients adjust to wearing dentures better than others.  For some, dentures are not tolerable at all.  Common complaints among patients who wear dentures include the artificial appearance of dentures or “false teeth”, difficulty chewing, the inability to eat certain foods, loss of the sense of taste, fear that dentures will come loose or fall out, and the need for the use of denture creams.

Many patients who wear dentures are self-conscious and embarrassed about their “artificial appearance.”  This can cause many denture wearers to smile and laugh less during social interactions.

Denture wearers also complain that eating is less enjoyable.  This is because of the difficulty they have in chewing certain types of foods, and the inability to taste foods as well.  It is common for patients who wear dentures to change their diet to consist of softer foods that are easier to chew.  The fear of dentures becoming loose or falling out during a meal can also make eating less enjoyable.

Patients with dentures also complain about the need for the use of denture creams.  Denture creams can be sticky, messy, and expensive.  Some denture creams containing zinc have even been associated with health risks.

Dental implants are a permanent solution for patients with tooth loss and provide a good alternative to wearing dentures.  To get more information regarding dental implants and other alternatives to dentures, contact an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon.

Posted on Behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants



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Thursday, March 17, 2011 @ 02:03 PM
posted by Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

Advances in Oral Surgery procedures such as dental implants have greatly expanded the options for patients with decaying, failing, or missing teeth.  However, many patients who would benefit from dental implants or other oral surgery procedures do not pursue these options due to their fear of the pain associated with oral surgery. The good news is that many oral surgeons are now offering several options for pain relief and relaxation during oral surgery.

Most people are familiar with local anesthesia such as Novocaine.  Novocaine is a local anesthetic used to numb a specific area in a patient’s mouth.   There are also other options that can be combined with local anesthetics to relax patients and alleviate pain during oral surgery procedures.  These options include Nitrous Oxide Gas, intravenous sedation, and general anesthesia.

Nitrous Oxide Gas “laughing gas” is one option.  Nitrous Oxide is delivered to patients through a mask that fits over their nose, and causes patients to relax.  Most patients stay awake, but in a much more relaxed state.  Some patients will naturally fall asleep after receiving Nitrous Oxide.

Intravenous sedation is another option for patients who are undergoing oral surgery.  Intravenous sedation involves the use of short-acting sedative medications that are delivered intravenously.  Intravenous sedation causes patients to drift into a light sleep sometimes referred to as “twilight sleep.”  Although patients are not fully asleep, most will have no memory of the procedure.

General Anesthesia is yet another option for patients who undergo oral surgery.  General anesthesia involves the use of short-acting sedative medications that cause patients to drift into a deep sleep.  With general anesthesia, patients are fully asleep and unable to be aroused during the procedure.

It is important to discuss your options for pain relief and relaxation with your oral surgeon before undergoing oral surgery. Different oral surgeons offer different options. Your medical history and the complexity and duration of the surgery may also dictate your options.

Posted on Behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants



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Thursday, March 10, 2011 @ 02:03 AM
posted by Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

If Wisdom teeth are so smart, why are wisdom tooth extractions recommended for most patients?  “Wisdom teeth” or third molars are the last four teeth to develop and erupt into the jaws and usually appear between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five.  This coincides with the passage into adulthood sometimes referred to as “the age of wisdom.”

Wisdom teeth used to serve a useful purpose.  However, changes in diet as well as the elimination of significant loss of permanent teeth leaves most of us with too many teeth and not enough jaw.  Once developed, wisdom teeth simply have no place to go.  This causes them to become “impacted.”

Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that have failed to emerge fully into their expected position, usually due to a lack of room in the jaw.  Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems because they cannot be cleaned properly and collect food debris, bacteria, and plaque around them.  This can result in tooth decay, gum disease, and infections.  Impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to the more serious problem of cyst formation.  Wisdom tooth extractions are performed to prevent the problems that can result from impacted wisdom teeth.

A wisdom tooth extraction involves opening the gum tissue over the tooth and taking out any bone that is covering the tooth.  Once the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone has been separated, the tooth is removed.  After the tooth has been removed, stitches may be required.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons perform wisdom tooth extractions in dental offices, surgery centers, or hospital operating rooms.  Local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia is used to relax patients and eliminate pain.

Pain medications may be prescribed by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to use in the days immediately following a wisdom tooth extraction procedure.  Most patients recover from wisdom tooth extractions within a few days.

Posted on Behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants





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Monday, March 7, 2011 @ 10:03 PM
posted by Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

When you lose a tooth, it is usually best for your oral health to have it replaced.  Missing teeth can affect your bite as well as your ability to speak and chew.  Tooth loss can also increase the burden on your remaining teeth and can cause muscle pain in your jaws as well as headaches.  One of the most important reasons people choose to replace missing teeth is to improve the appearance of their smile, and enable them to speak, laugh and chew with confidence.

In the past, options for replacing missing teeth were limited and included bridges and dentures.  Each of these options has its limitations.  Some bridges may last a patient’s lifetime, however, their average lifespan is about seven to ten years.  Full dentures can be a long-term solution to tooth loss, however, some patients adapt well to full dentures while other patients are not able to adapt to them at all.

Advances in Oral Surgery and Restorative Dentistry have provided patients with many options for tooth replacement. One option, the placement of dental implants, offers a permanent solution for tooth loss.  Dental implants are replacements for missing tooth roots and thus serve as a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth.  They have created a revolution in dentistry because of the expanded treatment possibilities they provide.

Dental implants are prosthetic tooth roots that are inserted into the jawbone to take the place of missing tooth roots.  Once healing has occurred, a restorative dentist can place a crown on top of the dental implants to take the place of a missing tooth.

Dental implants are an extremely advanced tooth replacement system, and have a very high success rate.  Anyone who is missing one or more teeth or who may be unhappy with their dentures is a potential candidate for dental implants.  There are very few medical reasons that would disqualify a patient for implant placement, however, radiation therapy to the area where dental implants are placed as well as poorly controlled diseases such as diabetes can affect the success rate.

Posted on Behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants



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Wednesday, March 2, 2011 @ 07:03 PM
posted by Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

Anyone who has dealt with the embarrassment of missing, crooked, or discolored teeth knows the psychological benefits of improving your smile. Your smile is the first impression others have of you.  It can affect how others perceive you, and treat you.

Your smile can also greatly affect your confidence.  If you are not confident about your smile, it is difficult to eat, chew, talk, and laugh confidently.  This can have a large affect on your dating life, job interviews, and daily interactions with others.

A recent study published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery assessed how surgical-orthodontic treatment affected patients’ psychosocial well-being.  The study, titled “Motives for Surgical-Orthodontic Treatment and Effect of Treatment on Psychosocial Well-Being and Satisfaction: A Prospective Study of 118 Patients,” evaluated patients’ treatment motivations and motive fulfillment in relation to their satisfaction with the treatment.  It then assessed the correlation between their satisfaction and their psychosocial well-being.

Patients in the study stated that oral function and appearance were their main treatment motives, and most patients reported that their motives had been fulfilled.  Another significant outcome of the treatment was improved self-concept and social interaction.

The study concluded that surgical-orthodontic treatment can potentially significantly improve patients’ psychosocial well-being.   It is important to note that pretreatment motives significantly influenced the overall satisfaction after treatment, and that patients who weighted oral function motives the heaviest expressed the lowest degree of treatment satisfaction.

Advances in Oral Surgery have produced revolutionary procedures such as dental implants and teeth-in-an-hour that greatly expand treatment options for patients with missing, decaying, or diseased teeth.  If you are interested in improving your smile through oral-orthodontic treatment, contact a licensed Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon today.

Posted on behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants



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Tuesday, March 1, 2011 @ 05:03 PM
posted by Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

ABC News Reports That Popular Denture Cream May Have Risks

In a story dated February 8, 2011, ABC News reported that use of the popular denture cream, Fixodent, may have risks.  The news report stated that Fixodent, manufactured by Proctor & Gamble, may be associated with long term health problems.

The news story chronicled the case of Mark Jacoby, a forty-one year-old construction worker who wore dentures and used Fixodent Denture Cream for twenty years.  Mark Jacoby started experiencing neurological symptoms such as tingling and loss of muscle control.

After running several tests, Jacoby’s doctors determined that he had suffered nerve damage due to high levels of zinc in his body.  The high levels of zinc found in Jacoby’s system were attributed to his denture cream, Fixodent.

High levels of zinc can lead to the depletion of copper levels in the body; copper depletion can lead to nerve damage.  Due to extensive nerve damage, Mark Jacoby now requires a wheelchair to get around.  He is just one of many patients who have suffered nerve damage due to copper depletion caused by high levels of zinc.

In August 2008, the peer reviewed journal “Neurology” reported on four patients suffering from neuropathy and other neurological symptoms typical of zinc poisoning and copper depletion. All of the patients had been using excessive amounts of denture cream for many years. It was determined that excess use of denture cream could have been responsible for their symptoms.

Although Proctor & Gamble is standing behind their product, after the “Neurology” study was published, they added a warning to Fixodent’s label.  The warning states that  “prolonged zinc intake may be linked to adverse health effects.”  It should be noted that Fixodent is not the only denture cream containing zinc.

If you wear dentures and use denture cream, it is important to check the cream’s ingredients on the label.  If you are currently using denture cream containing zinc and are experiencing symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and loss of muscle control, please see your doctor immediately.

Posted on behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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