Posts for: September, 2014
Think you already know all about dentures? Answer the following questions, and see whether your understanding of false teeth is more true than false.
True or False: About one-quarter of the U.S. population has none of their own teeth left by the age of 65.
The technical term for the complete loss of all permanent teeth is edentulism, and it's a big issue, affecting 26% of adults between 65 and 74 years of age. Without treatment, many individuals not only suffer a reduced quality of life, but also risk nutritional problems and systemic health disorders. Dentures are a reliable and affordable way to replace their missing teeth.
True or False: Tooth loss has nothing to do with bone loss.
Far from being a fixed, rigid substance, bone is actually growing and changing constantly. In order for it to stay healthy, bone needs constant stimulus. For the alveolar bones of the jaw, this stimulus comes from the teeth; when they are gone, the stimulus goes too, and the bone resorbs or melts away. The missing bone mass can cause changes in facial features, difficulties with eating, speech problems and other undesirable effects.
True or False: Once the teeth are gone, there is little that can be done to mitigate bone loss.
While a certain amount of bone loss is unavoidable, it can be minimized. The techniques of bone grafting may be used to create a “scaffold” on which the body can restore its own bone tissue. Bone loss can also be limited by retaining the roots of teeth that had previous root canal treatment, even when the crowns must be removed. Perhaps the best way to limit long-term bone loss is the use of dental implants, which restores function and prevents excessive resorption from tooth loss. When tooth loss is inevitable, a pre-planned transition to dentures offers the opportunity to retain as much bone as possible, and avoid future problems.
True or False: There are many options available to make wearing dentures a fully functional and comfortable experience.
Fabricating prosthetic teeth is a blend of science and art. Not only must the appearance of the teeth and gums be made to look natural, but the fit has to be exact and the bite must be balanced. After a little practice, most people subconsciously adapt to the slightly different muscular movements required when wearing dentures. For those few who have difficulty, hybrid forms of implant-supported dentures may offer an alternative. In all cases, developing a partnership of trust between a skilled clinician and an informed patient is the best way to ensure that the experience will be a success.
If you would like more information about dentures, 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 “Removable Full Dentures.”
Should You Go to the Dentist to Get Your Teeth Whitened?
We all desire a sparkling, white smile, and while there are many teeth whitening products on the shelves, many of our patients wonder if they work as well as in-office teeth whitening. Comprehensive Dentistry offers in-office teeth whitening and wants patients to understand the benefits of choosing our whitening system over the others.
Teeth Whitening at the Dentist
First, we would like for you to take a look at the benefits of getting whitening done at our office.
1. No other teeth whitening procedure produces fast results.
2. It is the safest form of tooth bleaching.
3. If your gums or teeth are sensitive, we have the ability to control the strength of the solution, as well as the use of desensitizers such as potassium nitrate and fluoride.
4. Stains from aging that have made your teeth yellow, brown, green or grey looking can be whitened efficiently in office.
The Choices We Offer for a Whiter Smile
When you come to our office for a teeth-whitening consultation, you will have a choice of two methods: in-office whitening or take-home whitening.
The take-home whitening is more effective than ones that are bought in stores.
- In-Office Whitening — This method offers the fastest results with the most powerful whitening solutions available. The gel will be left on for about an hour. When it is removed, the results will be noticeable instantly.
- Take-Home Whitening — This is another effective way to whiten your teeth, though you will play a greater part in ensuring the best possible results. Also be aware that several weeks may be needed to achieve your desired level of whiteness. The trays are left in typically for about an hour at a time.
To learn more about our teeth whitening procedures and if it is right for you, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
Uprooting the Dental Problem: Root Canal Treatment
If you suffer from tooth pain, it could very well be deep in the root canal. A number of Atlanta dental patients experience soreness around a tooth, but cannot pinpoint the problem. Here at Comprehensive Dentistry, we are specifically trained to know if a root canal treatment will help you with your persistent tooth pain. If a root canal is what you need, you are sure to get the relief you have been longing for.
When is Root Canal Treatment Needed?
Root canal treatment is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp is removed and the space is filled with a distinctive dental material in order to restore the full function of the tooth. The treatment is very successful.
A root canal treatment can be beneficial if:
- There is an abscess on the gums
- You have sensitivity to hot and cold
- You experience severe toothache pain
- You have swelling or tenderness of the gums.
What You Can Expect During the Procedure
To help you feel more at ease during the procedure, we have listed the steps of a root canal treatment for you. Root canals should not be feared, dental technology has come a long way in making the process easy and virtually painless. Patients should notice that it does typically take more than one dental appointment. The process is as follows:
Your tooth will be numbed while a rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.
An opening is made on the top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening. Pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria will be removed.
At the next appointment, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed. A filling will be placed to cover the opening of the tooth. A crown (cap) will be placed over the tooth that had the root canal treatment. This is used to protect the tooth from breaking, and will also restore it to its full function.
After the root canal treatment, your tooth might be sensitive, but will get better as the inflammation lessens and the tooth has healed.
Good oral hygiene should be practiced on all teeth, including the tooth from the root canal treatment.
Most patients have found that root canal treatments entail little to no discomfort and are delighted to know that the restored tooth can last just as long as its healthy, original tooth.
If you suffer from tooth pain, visit our dentists at Comprehensive Dentistry as soon as possible. We guarantee that relief is in your near future!
When asked about her dazzling white smile, Cat Cora, the first female iron chef on the hit television series Iron Chef America, freely admits to maintaining the brightness of her smile with professional whitening sessions.
“With what I do, whitening your teeth is like getting your hair done, your nails done and everything else you have to do to be on television,” Cat recently told Dear Doctor magazine. However, she does have her limits. “I want my teeth to be white and healthy looking — but not stark white or looking like they could glow in the dark,” she said with a laugh.
Cat's perceptions and experiences with tooth whitening may accurately describe Hollywood, but through the power of media, celebrities and their respective fan bases, having attractive white teeth has become a goal for most people. This is because white teeth are subconsciously associated with youth and virility.
Here in the dental office, we can use professional-strength “power bleaching” to whiten teeth several shades in a single visit. To prevent irritation to the area surrounding the teeth being treated, we isolate the gums and skin of the mouth with a protective gel or a rubber barrier known as a dental dam. After the whitening solution is placed on the teeth, the process may be supplemented by heat or a light source to activate or enhance peroxide release.
For bleaching teeth at home, our office can make custom-fitted bleaching trays that you fill with a gel form of carbamide peroxide. Sometimes this whitening gel can cause a temporary tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, but this normally lasts for no more than four days after you stop bleaching your teeth.
To learn more about tooth whitening, you can continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Whitening.” Or you can contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination and discuss what treatment options will be best for you. And to read the entire interview with Cat Cora, please see the article “Cat Cora.”