4 Things You Need to Know About Dental Implants

dental implantsAlmost 180 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and over 40 million suffer from total endentulism, or toothlessness. It can be a scary thought to lose a tooth, but once tooth decay hits that often occurs. The weakening of facial bone structure caused by decay and gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss although facial trauma also can be a serious concern. Once avulsion occurs, there are a few solutions for repairing the issue. While each solution definitely has its merits, dental implants are the only permanent solution. Your Midtown Manhattan dentist can help you decide if that’s the best solution for your needs. But before that occurs, there are some things you need to know about dental implants.

Not Everyone’s Eligible for Dental Implants
Most people are instantly eligible for bridges or dentures, but that’s not the case with dental implants. Untreated decay and advanced gum disease weaken the facial bone structure. Dental implantation is a surgical procedure, so multiple factors apply prior to being approved. Primarily, a strong, healthy jawbone is essential to be eligible for the treatment. Otherwise, proper osseointegration won’t occur. So if your mandible or surrounding tissue are weakened or destroyed, another option will likely be recommended.

There Are Two Types of Dental Implants
Endosteal implants are the most commonly known and used dental implants. That’s the typical kind that has a titanium or zirconium fixture that screws into the jawbone and an abutment that attaches at the gum line and attaches to the prosthetic tooth. Subperiosteal implants, however, are created from a metal frame and usually used for people who can’t use dentures for some reason. This procedure is implanted below the gum tissue but above the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants still require a strong bone structure, but they are especially beneficial to patients with significantly shorter mandibles.

Dental Implants Are Strong and Durable
Dental implants are an investment to be sure because they’re built to replace your original teeth. Each implant is carefully customized and constructed to fit the patient. They’re meant to be strong enough to handle life without a hitch and in most cases, they last a lifetime. That means they should never “go bad” or need to be replaced. Of course, they do still need to be taken care of properly. But as long as the care requirements are followed, your dental implants should be a permanent fixture in your life.

Proper Oral Hygiene Is Still Essential
Prosthetic teeth tend to resist bacteria and decay far better than natural teeth, so it’s common to think you’re off the hook for ongoing dental care or treatment with dental implants. But that’s never the case with any type of dental procedure. Surrounding tissue and bones can still become diseased and weaken when oral hygiene and care are ignored or neglected. But brushing and flossing are still just as important as they ever were. Seeing your Midtown Manhattan dentist regularly is also essential to ensure potential infection and damage are kept at bay. But when the rules are followed, dental implants can be just as good, if not better, then your original teeth. Give us a call when you’re ready to permanently improve your life.

4 Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

tooth-colored fillings

If you’re looking at the potential of having to get or replace your tooth fillings, you’re definitely not alone. According to the most recent national survey on adult tooth loss, 91% of adults between the ages of 27 and 64 have cavities. Almost 30% of those adults have untreated tooth decay. And the cavity percentage rises to 96% of adults 65 and older. Modern dental materials are stronger than ever but while fillings are durable, they don’t last indefinitely. If you got your last new shiny amalgams in 1972, guess what? You’re in dire need of replacements. In fact, if your fillings are older than a decade or two, chances are they at least need to be checked for severe leaks and cracks. While you’re there, your Manhattan cosmetic dentist may strongly suggest upgrading to composite fillings. But what are the benefits of tooth-colored fillings?

Tooth-Colored Fillings Are Aesthetically Appealing
If you’ve seen or spoken with anyone who’s had silver, or amalgam, fillings you’ve undoubtedly gotten a visual shock as soon as they opened their mouth. Tooth-colored fillings are matched to the patient’s existing and surrounding teeth. Composite resin is safe and effective for repairing and filling the damage left behind by dental caries without compromising the beauty of your natural smile.

They’re Strong and Durable
Composite dental materials aren’t as strong as metal, but they’re not meant to be. Porous materials like ceramic and resin mold, bend and adjust to each patient’s needs for a better fit and overall lifestyle solution. With the right care such as brushing, flossing, and maintaining proper dental visits, your tooth-colored fillings can last a decade or longer without the need for repair or replacement. You’ll also need to watch the bad habits, however, like grinding your teeth or chewing on pens, ice, or fingernails to avoid accidentally breaking or dislodging your new fillings. But your Manhattan cosmetic dentist can help you toss those bad habits once and for all.

They’re Biocompatible
Amalgams are poured into the damage teeth, forming an eventual seal as they set. However, metal is affected by temperature and can swell or shrink based on something as simple as beverage temperature. This can in turn cause already weakened enamel to crack or split further and lead to more tooth damage. Composite fillings, however, are molded to the teeth and fit carefully without those concerns. Less of the tooth needs to be removed and the materials bond instantly to the existing tooth so you have one less thing to worry about.

Tooth-Colored Fillings Are Mercury-Free
Mercury is one of the most toxic elements found in nature. The American Dental Association may flop back and forth regarding the dangers of amalgam fillings, but silver fillings contain around 50% mercury. Even in small doses, mercury is dangerous at best and potentially toxic vapors continuously emit once placed in the mouth. Those vapors can be absorbed through tissue, saliva, and the bloodstream and then cause potentially serious issues in the body. Composite fillings, however, are completely safe and mercury-free. So the last thing you’ll have to worry about is your dental work messing with the rest of your health. A single call to your Manhattan cosmetic dentist can get the ball rolling on a safer and smarter solution for filling those dental caries or replacing your amalgams.

Why You Should Choose a Biomimetic Dentist

biomimetic dentistryHomeopathic medicine and dentistry have come a long way from snake oil salesmen and gurus. Modern homeopathic medicine in any form focuses on a whole-body approach to healing. This is where biomimetic comes into play. The term biomimetics directly refers to human-created life-related options meant to imitate nature and natural functions. While the scientific definition and practice are, rather complicated for layman needs, the explanation of its purpose and function is quite simple in the dental industry. Biomimetic dentistry is used to restore natural tooth function while maintaining as much of the original structure as possible. But what’s the big deal about that and why should you choose a biomimetic dentist in Moorestown?

Say Goodbye to Amalgam Fillings
Biomimetic dentistry follows a natural, whole body approach and avoids adding back toxins to the body via dental care. Regardless of what the ADA states regarding amalgam fillings, they contain up to 50% of mercury in most cases. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) state otherwise. While each patient is different and has individual tolerances, the fact is that mercury is one of the most toxic and deadliest substances on the planet. Amalgam fillings may be safe at first when applied. However, mercury vapors do emit from the metal over time and can be absorbed through the bloodstream. Biomimetic dentistry avoids this concern altogether by providing safe, non-toxic composite fillings.

Biomimetic Dentistry Minimizes or Eliminates the Need for Root Canals
In traditional dentistry, root canals are often a last-ditch effort to repair and save a badly damaged tooth. It involves a deep cleaning, removal of dead or damaged pulp, and usually includes a lot of pain and recovery time. The actual causes for a root canal often surround inflammation, infection, and cracks caused by decay. The thought alone is often enough to make even the most loyal dental patient consider running for the hills. Fortunately, there’s a safer and more successful solution. Biomimetic dentistry restores the teeth in layers as opposed to just diving right to the worst part of the damage. So more of the tooth is saved and that includes the root. While in the worst-case scenarios root canals can’t always be avoided, your biomimetic dentist in Moorestown will do everything possible to make that the very last possible option in your tooth restoration plan.

Restorations Are Stronger and More Aesthetically Pleasing
Some professionals like to insist that biomimetic dentistry restorations are up to 400% stronger than traditional methods. Well, let’s be real here. That’s probably a bloated statistic. But biomimetic dentistry is definitely stronger than traditional restorative options. Traditional dentistry involves filing, drilling, and cutting away at the existing teeth to restore the problems with extra fillers and shaping. Biomimetic dentistry, however, opts to save as much as the natural tooth as possible by removing only what absolutely needs to be removed from the infected or affected structures. This practice helps to reserve more of the original teeth which can then be restored with biocompatible materials and polished to a brilliant shine. The results are often far more lustrous and luminous than entirely rebuilt or fake tooth structures. When you’re ready to discuss a healthier dental approach, give your biomimetic dentist in Moorestown a call.

A Holistic Approach to Gum Disease Treatment

gum diseaseIgnoring and neglecting basic dental care or oral health needs don’t just leave behind nasty plaque and a case of bad breath. Omitting the dental essentials from your life can result in extra mouth bacteria, decay, and eventually severe gum disease. Gingivitis is easily treated with some common sense and a good professional cleaning if it’s caught in time. Fortunately, this first stage of gum disease is often easily recognized by inflammation of the gums, redness, and sometimes even bleeding. But gum disease spreads so quickly and easily that around 50% of the American adult population has it and most don’t even know. That percentage increases with age, and in the advanced stages gum disease can be irreversible and lead to serious and often fatal diseases. So it’s nothing to trifle with. Gum disease treatments can range from a simple cleaning to gum graphs and even surgery. Of course, your holistic dentist in Fort Lauderdale will do everything possible to avoid the surgical route. But what does that entail?

Scaling and Root Planing
Don’t let the names fool you. Holistic dentistry is completely safe and non-invasive. So the beginning stages of gum disease treatment simply involve a detoxification of the exposed teeth and a descaling below the gums. Bacteria are tricky buggers that like to hide any place they can. This includes inside gum pockets and along the roots. Once you have gum disease, your mouth needs to be detoxified to stop the contaminants from spreading or at least slow them down.

Medication and Deep Cleaning
A deep cleaning is then in order. Removing the debris, plaque, and contaminants left behind help reverse the early to moderate signs of gum disease. Once that’s completed, a mild medication that won’t harm the body but will flush out the negative bacteria will be administered. This is quite different from harmful or toxic medical anesthesia. Not only will the medication help destroy even the stubborn decay and bacteria, but it will also help numb and heal any resulting discomfort or issues from the inflamed or damaged gum tissue.

Laser Treatment
Moderate to advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, may require a more aggressive approach. But don’t worry. It’s still non-to-minimally invasive, completely safe and pain-free. While still a relatively new option, laser treatment has been proven as a successful solution to combat gum disease when paired with scaling and root planing. As long as the procedure is performed by a competent holistic dentist like your Holistic Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale who applies the right wavelengths for the patient’s individual needs, it’s completely safe and effective.

Gum Disease Maintenance
After treatment is complete and gum disease is controlled, a maintenance plan will be formulated and planned around your schedule. This is no time to be casual about your dental care since gum disease can return at any time. So proper nutrition and daily home oral health care will be discussed and planned. Multiple annual cleanings will be arranged. And coaching on the best possible options for keeping your teeth and gums clean and will be provided so you don’t have to worry so much about future problems. One call to your holistic dentist in Fort Lauderdale will help you kick gum disease to the curb.

Wisdom Teeth Removal: What to Expect Before and After

wisdom teethAn adult mouth should have 32 teeth, but the last four molars don’t always appear. In fact, 35% of the population never get the third wave of molars known as wisdom teeth. However, 85% of adults do eventually need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. The reasons for this vary from overcrowding and pain or infections to the wisdom teeth growing in crooked or unexpected cysts forming. Regardless of the reason for removal, pain is often the leading symptom of the need for extraction. The concept or discovery of needing your wisdom teeth removed can be overwhelming or scary. But it certainly doesn’t have to be as long as you realize up front what to expect before and after with wisdom teeth removal.

What Should You Expect or Plan for Prior to Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Like most dental procedures, wisdom tooth removal begins with an initial exam. Regardless of whether pain is present, an X-Ray may be required. This is so the dentist can see if the teeth are compacted, if they’re crooked, and alert him to any potential issues prior to extraction. Prepare for the post-removal healing fest prior to the procedure. Stock up on soft foods like soup and applesauce. Buy some ice packs if you don’t have any available. And schedule a day or two off work or school so you can heal. Bring a buddy or someone you trust with you on the day of the procedure. Anesthesia will usually be required, and the medication will make you groggy, incoherent at times, and impossible to drive yourself home safely.

What Can You Expect During Wisdom Tooth Extraction
After weeks and sometimes months of pain, discomfort, and some really gross things oozing from your mouth, chances are you’ll be ready to yank the teeth out yourself. But hold on. Your Johns Creek dentist has the knowledge and experience to make sure everything’s done correctly and efficiently while sparing you as much discomfort as possible. While there are four wisdom teeth, your dentist may not pull all of them. He should, however, inform you of how many need to be extracted. The procedure can take anywhere from 45-minutes to several hours depending on the number of teeth needing to be removed. Pre-surgical instructions may include avoiding certain medications and blood thinners like aspirin for a day or so before the procedure.

Don’t get overly worked up or anxious over the procedure. Your dentist can provide a local anesthetic to numb the injection site and you’ll be under full or sleep sedation during the procedure. Your Johns Creek dentist prioritizes customer satisfaction, so discuss any worries or concerns prior to the extraction. And take comfort in the knowledge that there will be no unexpected surprises on the day of the procedure.

Also be sure to plan for potential post-procedure pain and discomfort while healing. Ice packs and NSAIDs like Ibuprofen are often enough to ward off the pain, at least enough to rest and recover. Other home remedies such as tea bags and salt water rinses have been medically proven to work well. However, if that’s still not enough or if the pain is severe, your Johns Creek dentist may be able to provide a special dental healing gel to help numb the pain entirely so you can heal in peace.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The average adult may need 7-9 hours of sleep to function at their best, but the actual quality of sleep is what matters there. Sleep interruptions, being jarred awake, snoring, and loss of breath can all significantly affect and reduce your actual sleep time and even lead to potentially dangerous consequences. Approximately 22 million Americans are estimated to suffer from sleep apnea, and 80% of the moderate-to-severe cases are expected to be undiagnosed. The good news is the condition is easily diagnosed and treated. Sleep apnea treatment can range from needing a Positive airway pressure (PAP machine) to simply needing to visit your Red Bank dentist to pick up a special mouth guard or mouth device to improve nighttime breathing. But before you can get an actual professional diagnosis for sleep apnea, it’s important to know some major symptoms.

Depression, Mood Swings, or Ongoing Irritability
Mental health issues should never be taken lightly, but depression, mood swings, and irritability aren’t always a mental health issue. Sometimes they’re caused by stress and/or lack of sleep. This is especially the case when the mood or behavioral changes are random, sporadic, or have increased recently. If you feel there’s a connection with your moods and sleep patterns, a visit to your doctor or Red Bank dentist may be in order.

Your Night Breathing Pauses or Stops
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is marked by the fatty tissues of the tongue relaxing and falling back into the throat. The throat then closes around it, forcing an obstructed breathing pathway. In many cases, breathing either pauses briefly or stops until the brain sends distress signals and forces the body to jolt. Most of the time the pause only lasts a few seconds, and the person remains asleep and unaware of the change. But in some cases, the lack of or reduced oxygen can be ongoing or extensive and lead to serious health concerns like high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.

You’re Consistently Tired or Wake up with Headaches
You may set your alarm every night to ensure you get those precious 7-9 hours of sleep. But if you’re waking up multiple times throughout the night due to air loss, that’s significantly reducing your actual sleep time. Difficulty waking up, being sluggish or tired throughout the day, and concentration issues are major signs that there’s a problem. Low levels of oxygen also widen blood vessels and cause vascular headaches. So if you have regular headaches after waking up, sleep apnea may be the culprit.

You Snore
Snoring isn’t always a sign of sleep apnea, but it’s one of the biggest symptoms of those suffering from the condition. According to studies, 30% of adults over the age of 30 and 40% of adults over the age of 40 snore. And 28% of those snorers have sleep apnea. However, there’s a difference between a gentle, droning snore and a loud, obnoxious rumbling that wakes up your partner and potentially the entire household. If your partner is complaining that you snore on an ongoing or nightly basis, you probably do. And that may be worth a visit to your Red Bank dentist to diagnose and discuss the right sleep apnea treatment.