Archive for the ‘Oral Health’ Category
It has long been established that smoking cigarettes can ruin your chances for successful dental implants. Patients are asked to stop smoking for a period of time before and after dental implant surgery. But what about “vaping”? Vaping refers to the use of e-cigarettes, the latest alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. It is said that vaping is a healthier and safer option, but is it enough to reduce your risk of implant complications? continue reading
The main goal of any good dentist is to save your natural teeth. However, tooth extractions are a part of general dental care – in the right situation. Removing a permanent tooth is never suggested without good reason. In fact, we only extract a tooth (or multiple teeth) if your overall smile health is at risk by leaving it in.
Preparing for Your Tooth Extraction
Don’t worry, modern dentistry offers plenty of ways to keep you relaxed and out of pain during your extraction procedure. However, an extraction is an oral surgery so you’ll want to be sure to communicate the following information with your dentist prior to your appointment:
- Your complete medical history
- Medications you’re currently
- History of heart issues or man-made heart valves
- Impaired immune system deficiencies
- Artificial joints or past surgeries
- A medical history of bacterial endocarditis
If you have implant-supported dentures, you have a full arch of prosthetic teeth that are resistant to decay and staining. So what is the harm in slacking on your brushing habits? What is the real purpose of brushing and flossing if my dental implants won’t get a cavity? If you assume that it’s okay for your dental hygiene efforts to fall by the wayside after you get overdentures, you are making a serious (and costly) mistake.
Implant-supported dentures consist of an upper or lower set of artificial teeth that are firmly secured by a set of dental implants. Some patients have as few as four dental implants to support a full denture arch. Implant-supported dentures, also called overdentures, offer unrivaled benefits towards your comfort, confidence and quality of life compared to traditional removable dentures. One of the best perks is that you can care for your over-dentures just like real teeth. This means brushing and flossing daily as well as seeing your dentist for a routine cleaning and checkup. continue reading
Dental implants are a remarkable solution in restorative dentistry. Patients choose them because they not only look and feel like natural teeth, but they can be cared for in much the same way too. However, dental implants are still not the same as real teeth. Dental implants are more resistant to staining, plaque accumulation and decay, but the gums around the implant need extra care to stay healthy. If the tissues that support your implant deteriorate or weaken, you could be at risk for implant failure.
Just like natural teeth, it is important to prevent issues with plaque, food particles, and potential bacterial infection, as these can all affect the health of your dental implants. Therefore, dental hygiene with implants is extremely important. Both brushing and flossing are non-negotiable components of your oral hygiene routine. continue reading
Dental implants can be a life-changing decision. They help people regain confidence in eating, speaking and smiling after missing teeth. In addition, dental implants can preserve bone density in the jaw, a valued benefit that no other tooth replacement option can offer. While there is no doubt that dental implants are the gold standard solution for replacing one or more missing teeth, not everyone qualifies for this procedure. Dental implants involve a sophisticated procedure that requires a specific set of requirements. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are considering dental implants:
Do I have enough bone density?
You’ll obviously need to turn to your dentist to answer this one. Through dental x-rays, your dentist can determine the density and height of your jawbone and determine if it is sufficient enough to support a dental implant. Remember that the dental implant must fuse to the jawbone in order for the replacement teeth to remain secure and successful. Bone grafts can often be performed for patients with low bone density, but your specific situation should be carefully discussed.
Many patients falsely assume that if they have a bridge of replacement teeth (dental bridge), they are immune to common dental problems, such as decay. While you may not have an exposed natural tooth, the gums and underlying teeth supporting your dental bridge are still susceptible to damage. Most dental bridges are supported by a crown on either side. If decay gets underneath the crown and/or extends to the bridge base, your replacement teeth are in danger.
Dental implants have helped countless patients achieve a confident, secure and natural-looking smile after missing teeth. However, dental implants do have some criteria that must be met if you want them to be successful. While adequate bone density and healthy teeth and gums are local qualifications for dental implant placement, there are also factors within your general health that matter too.
No matter your age, a lost permanent tooth needs to be replaced in order to protect the beauty and health of your smile. The surrounding bone around a missing tooth can begin to atrophy over time. In fact, the bone can diminish by up to 25% in the very first year! Dental implants are the preferred solution for replacing a missing tooth and preventing bone loss. However, if your teen has lost a tooth, you’ll need to wait on a permanent restoration.
Teens are not candidates for dental implants until their jaw has finished developing. If a dental implant is placed prior to full growth, the implant won’t grow and move with the jaw growth like natural teeth would. Therefore, this can cause the implant to disrupt the alignment of your smile and affect your smile appearance. However, this doesn’t mean that you should do nothing about your teen’s lost tooth. There are ways to preserve bone loss so that your teen remains a strong candidate for a dental implant when the time is right.
While your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, there are times when tooth loss occurs. When it does happen, it shouldn’t be ignored. There is a reason that dental implants exist. Your smile function, health and appearance rely on a complete set of teeth. While you may be inclined to believe that neglecting a missing back molar won’t cause any harm, you are sadly mistaken. Any adult tooth that is lost and not replaced can put you at risk for the following consequences.
#1 Poor Chewing Ability
It’s not all about aesthetics when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Your teeth are made to help you eat and break down food. When teeth are missing, your chewing ability and chewing efficiency are compromised. Eating can be a challenge when food gets trapped in an empty space, and it can even be painful when something hits the tender gum area where your tooth used to be.
#2 Shifting Adjacent Teeth
When a missing tooth is not replaced, the neighboring teeth will eventually begin to move towards the empty space. Unfortunately, this can throw your entire bite alignment out of whack. You may suffer from crooked teeth or even jaw problems that result from misalignment.
#3 Compromised Appearance
If you are missing a tooth in the front of your mouth, the aesthetic consequences may be obvious. However, your appearance can suffer in other ways too. Missing teeth means that your jaw bone is not properly stimulated. Therefore, the jaw bone starts to atrophy over time and facial collapse can result. This is also known as premature facial aging because the lower face can appear wrinkled, droopy or sunken in.
#4 Greater Risk Of Gum Disease
When food gets trapped in empty spaces or plaque accumulates in small crevices that are difficult to clean, a host of problems can occur. Unfortunately, missing teeth set the stage for this due to the compromised chewing efficiency and adjacent teeth shifting that were mentioned above. Once this bacteria and plaque cause inflammation in the gums, the condition can worsen to advanced periodontitis if not treated. At this stage, you are at a significant risk for further tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the United States.
Tooth loss can happen a number of ways, including periodontal disease, congenital absence, trauma or a mechanical failure. Regardless of the reason for your tooth loss, there is no way around the fact that your tooth needs to be replaced. Dental implants are the most preferred solution for doing so. To learn more about dental implants and how they can benefit you, please contact Dr. Wayne Suway. When it comes to replacing a missing tooth, time is of the essence.
1820 The Exchange SE, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (770) 953-1752
Did you know that 25% of Americans over the age of 65 have lost all of their teeth? The reality is that we are all vulnerable to tooth loss if we are not brushing, flossing and attending our six-month dental cleanings. In addition to our hygiene routine, however, we must also pay attention to the bad habits that may be negatively impacting our oral health. Here are some common habits to be aware of so that you can maintain a healthy smile:
Sugar – You are probably well aware of the fact that sugar is bad for your teeth. Sticky sugars are especially destructive, as they have a tendency to adhere to your tooth’s surface and eventually destroy your tooth’s enamel. It’s okay to have a treat every once in a while, but make sure that you either brush, rinse with water or chew sugar-free gum after your indulgence. This will prevent the sugary substance from sitting on your teeth for long periods of time.
Soda – If you have a soda addiction, you need to know that you are bathing your teeth in a liquid that is high in both acids and sugar. These two components are the worst recipe for your teeth. Acidic drinks will eat away at your tooth’s enamel and leave your inner tooth layers vulnerable to decay. The sugar content is also something to look at when you grab a beverage. Protect your pearly whites and choose water instead. At the very least, swish with some water after you’ve finished drinking your soda.
Smoking – There is no doubt that smoking and chewing tobacco are dangerous for your oral health. Not only can smoking cause yellow teeth and bad breath, but it can also increase your risk for periodontal disease and oral cancer. Patients with dental implants should avoid smoking in order to prevent implant failure.
Sports — While playing sports does not necessarily harm your smile, failing to protect your teeth from contact injuries certainly can. Mouthguards should be considered an essential piece of equipment when you go on the playing field, especially for young athletes. You can buy one at a sporting goods store or have your dentist make a custom mouthguard for optimal fit and safety.
Stress — Do you grind your teeth or clench your jaw when you are stressed? Many patients do it subconsciously, or while they sleep. Other than finding ways to reduce your stress, you can also ask your dentist about a custom nighttime mouthguard to protect yourself from tooth damage and TMJ problems.
You can certainly save your teeth by paying attention to these habits. However, if you have already experienced tooth loss, these are also important in protecting your prosthetic teeth. Care for your dental implants or other restoration just the way you would your natural smile.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Wayne Suway, Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
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1820 The Exchange SE, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (770) 953-1752