Posts for: May, 2017
Losing permanent teeth is never good — unlike primary teeth, no natural replacements wait in the wings. But the good news is you have a number of options for replacing them with life-like prosthetic (false) teeth.
Today's premier choice is dental implants, preferred by dentists and patients alike for their durability and life-likeness. But because of their cost when replacing multiple teeth, many people opt for traditional dentures. And now dentures are easier to wear and maintain thanks to new, advanced materials and designs.
Still, there's one major area where implants have the definite edge over dentures — long-term bone health. Older bone cells die and dissolve (resorb), replaced then by newly formed cells. Teeth help perpetuate this cycle through the forces generated when we chew that travel through the roots to stimulate the formation of new bone.
But because this stimulation through a tooth ends when it's lost, new bone beneath the empty socket may not keep up with the resorption rate of older bone. As a result, you could lose as much as a quarter of normal bone width in just the first year after losing a tooth.
This bone loss will continue to accumulate even if you wear dentures, which can't replicate the bone growth stimulation of natural teeth. What's more, the constant pressure on the bony ridge of the gums can accelerate bone loss. Eventually, the firm, comfortable fit you first had with your dentures will become looser and less comfortable with the shrinking bone volume.
Implants, on the other hand, can stop bone loss and may even reverse it. This is because the titanium metal of an implant has a special affinity with bone cells that readily grow and adhere to it. This creates the anchorage responsible for the implant's durability, but it's also healthy for the bone.
Of course, this doesn't have to be a binary choice between the two restorations thanks to a new hybrid advancement that combines implants with dentures. We can install as few as two implants to support a removable denture. You'll enjoy greater stability, fit and durability with your dentures, while also improving bone health through the implants.
So before you decide on a dental restoration, be sure to discuss with us your implant options. Your oral health and appearance could benefit immensely.
If you would like more information on dental restoration, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”
Find out when your dental fillings will need to be replaced.
If our Charlottesville, VA, dentist, Dr. Michael Tisdelle, has discovered a cavity during your recent dental cleaning, then you’ll need a dental filling to restore the tooth after the decay has been removed. Dental fillings can be made from a variety of different materials but are often made from a tooth-colored resin. Of course, while a filling is meant to restore the tooth it isn’t meant to last forever.
In an ideal world, all restorations would last forever, but there is no material that can last a lifetime no matter how durable it might be. If you have a tooth-colored filling you may be wondering just how long it will last. On average, fillings can last several years (sometimes up to 10 years or more). Of course, some of your filling’s longevity is based on you.
If you maintain good oral hygiene and continue to get routine checkups, then you are in luck. You could maintain your fillings for much longer than someone who doesn’t maintain good oral hygiene. So, how long your fillings last could be up to you and how well you care for your smile. Clean, healthy teeth will support healthy, strong fillings for much longer than decaying, weak or unhealthy teeth.
You should also come in to see our Charlottesville, VA, general dentist every six months so that we can check not only the health of your teeth and gums but to make sure that your dental filling is still strong and stable. Sometimes dental fillings can crack or become damaged over time. By checking the strength and integrity of your filling every six months we can catch issues right away and replace the filling when it needs it.
Are you a teeth grinder? If so, then you may find that your fillings won’t last quite as long as someone who doesn’t grind their teeth or clench their jaws. Your jaws are so strong and the pressure they can apply to your teeth can cause some excessive wear and tear. If you grind your teeth we can create a custom nightguard to wear while you sleep to protect not just your teeth but also your fillings from damage.
Whether you need to schedule your six-month cleaning or you want to check the health of your fillings, call our Charlottesville, VA, dental office to make sure you get the care you need.
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”