Are Dental Implants or Dentures More Beneficial?

woman replacing teeth with unnoticeable dental implantAfter tooth loss, your missing teeth need to be replaced. Two options for achieving this goal are dental implants and dentures. But which one provides more benefits?

Dental Implants

Dental implants consist of titanium rods that are surgically placed in your jawbone. The rods fuse with your jawbone, and act as an anchor to hold your false teeth firmly in place. Implants are the newest option for replacing lost teeth, and provide a number of benefits. Their biggest benefit is that they help to maintain the strength and structure of your jawbone, preventing the bone loss that accompanies tooth loss. Other benefits include:

  • Low maintenance. They can be cared for just like natural teeth.
  • They are permanent, are not removed except for maintenance by your dentist.
  • Feel and function just like natural teeth.
  • Your teeth won’t slip out of place, or rub against your gums, making them more comfortable.
  • Improved speech.
  • Better digestion.

Despite all of these wonderful benefits, implants do have a few drawbacks:

  • They require surgery, though it is usually pain free.
  • They’re more costly then dentures.
  • Treatment time is longer

Dentures

Dentures are the traditional option for replacing missing teeth. Teeth sit in an acrylic gum colored base, that is supported by your gums. Improvements have been made on dentures over the years to improve their likeness to natural teeth and make them more comfortable. Benefits of dentures include:

  • Lower Cost
  • Do not require surgery.
  • Restored eating and speech.
  • Restored, beautiful smile.

Dentures do have a few drawbacks that often make implants the more appealing option:

  • Require significant maintenance.
  • They can slip around in the mouth, interfering with speech and eating, or causing embarrassing moments.
  • They can rub against your gums, causing painful sores.
  • Your jawbone still continues to resorb with dentures, which means you may need to be refitted for a new pair every few years.

Implant Supported Dentures

One great option for replacing teeth is combining these two treatment options into an implant supported denture. As few as two implants placed in the lower jaw can help stabilize a lower denture. This results in greater comfort and stability. An important benefit to having this extra support is that it helps to preserve the jawbone. This improve the potential to be able to wear the dentures comfortably for a lifetime.

Implants are fast becoming the popular option for replacing missing teeth as they offer a permanent solution for replacing teeth. This may or may not be the best option for you.

If you have suffered tooth loss, schedule an appointment with your dentist to learn which choice is best for you.

Please contact us at 631 265-2700 with any questions regarding replacing your missing teeth.

Keep Smiling LI…

Bad Oral Habits that Are Dangerous

Some people think that a bad oral habit is not really going to do much other than maybe hurt a tooth. However, there are some really bad oral habits that people need to stop doing, as they can have much larger consequences. If you do any of these bad habits, you need to stop doing them right away. It could be the best way to protect yourself from long-term harm.

Bad Habits to Stop Doing Immediately

Chewing on a toothpick is one of the worst habits that you can have. It may not seem like a big deal, but it can actually be not only dangerous, but also deadly. More than 9,000 people each year get injured from chewing on toothpicks, and some of those people have even died.

Chewing on ice is another bad habit that people need to stop doing. Not only can it fracture your teeth to chew on ice, but it can also splinter into sharp shards that cut into your cheeks or other oral tissues. Chewing on ice is also known to cause increased dental sensitivity and make your mouth more prone to cavities. Ice chewing can be a sign of low iron levels in the body. See your physician if you have this urge.

Using your teeth as a tool to open something, such as to open a bottle, can significantly damage your teeth. It often causes teeth to crack or break, which can lead to pain, infection, or even choking on the tooth.

If you consistently do any of these things, then you need to make sure to stop doing them. Plus, you also need to make sure that you talk to your dentist. They need to make sure that your mouth is in good health, and that your teeth are also strong. Doing any of these things could leave your teeth with hairline fractures that could become painful down the line, or even cause your teeth to break off.

Please contact our office for more information on breaking bad oral habits.

Can Wet Weather Induce Bad Breath?

Have you ever noticed that when you get a lot of rain and are forced to stay indoors more than normal, your breath tends to get worse? It’s not just in your mind.

When there is a lot of rain, people tend to struggle more with bad breath than during any other type of weather (not including emergency situations, obviously). If you get a lot of rain, or are worried about bad breath, you may want to know what you can do to combat it.

How Wet Weather Influences Your Breath

When the weather is wet, it tends to increase the amount of mold spores floating around the air, even the air in your house. When breathed in, people tend to get stuffed up from these spores. The stuffy nose leads to breathing through the mouth, which then leads to dry mouth.

Unfortunately, dry mouth is one of the leading causes of bad breath because it increases how many bacteria are alive and well in your mouth. This means that you are more prone to cavities, and you are likely to struggle with bad breath.

If you are worried about your breath, then you want to make sure that you are taking care of your teeth. Despite the weather, you need to make sure you brush twice daily, floss one of those times, and drink lots of water.

This can help you receive less damage during those times where the weather is making you more susceptible to damage. You also need to make sure to regularly see your dentist, as that can make a huge difference in your overall oral health.

If you have trouble with dry mouth or weather-induced bad breath, make sure to contact our office. We know the best things you can do to keep bad breath at bay!

Can Insomnia Harm Your Oral Health?

Do you struggle to sleep at night? If so, it could be doing a number on your teeth. The inability to sleep can do a lot of damage to your teeth. Your mouth does its best healing at night. When you don’t sleep, your mouth struggles to heal.

This means your mouth may go from being relatively healthy to struggling to maintain its health all because you couldn’t sleep.

If you can’t sleep, you may want to get help, if nothing else, then for the sake of your teeth.

What Lack of Sleep Can Do to Your Teeth

During your sleep, your mouth heals. That’s when it is able to work best. The saliva you produce in your sleep helps to lower the pH from acids you ate all day long, and it coats your teeth in calcium. This lets your teeth get strong, and avoid damage caused by acid.

If you aren’t sleeping, this healing process doesn’t happen as much, sometimes not at all. This can leave your teeth exposed to a wide range of problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss.

If you are struggling with the inability to sleep, you need to call both your doctor and your dentist. Your doctor needs to know what is going on so that changes can be made that may help you sleep.

Your dentist needs to be informed so that he or she is able to monitor the health of your teeth. They may want to see you more often so they can watch your teeth until you start sleeping regularly again.

Contact our office today and find out from them what you can do to protect your teeth from insomnia. They may have a few tips that can keep your teeth from suffering the brunt of this ailment.

The Dental Bonding Experience

Before dental bondingI consider myself very fortunate as I have a profession that comes easily to me. I often ask my new patients why they trust me to take care of their dental issues and find that often their response is the same. They go back to a statement that I made either during the exam or consultation appointment where I stated “I can fix that.”. They often talk of the confidence they felt that goes along with the statement. I take that trust they place in me seriously. The following patient is one of those new patients who came to me with doubts about how his front teeth could be fixed.

Before dental bondingTim is a new patient of mine who had an accident and broke his front teeth seven years ago. At that time, he went to several dentists to repair the damage and was told he needed crowns to restore his broken teeth . He wasn’t happy about the solution they presented as he would have to sacrifice good tooth structure for the crowns and the repair would be costly. He was told that bonding his teeth was not an option since the dental bonding wouldn’t be strong enough or esthetic enough.

One look told me that Tim was actually a great candidate for dental bonding. In a worst case scenario, if we did the bonding and it did not hold up, all of the other options were still available since bonding is an additive process. None of his good tooth structure had to be removed for the bonding process. I never tell my patients that they need to be careful with anything they eat because bonding is durable. Corn on the cob, crispy Italian bread are all still on the table as I believe that my patients should not have to baby their teeth. If what I do for them can’t hold up to their lifestyle then it is the wrong restoration. There are too many other things in our lives to worry about.  My patients should not have to worry about their teeth.

The Dental Bonding Process

I transformed Tim’s smile in one visit. First, he spent a few days at home with tooth whitening trays to whiten his smile before we began the restorations.

Here is a picture of the process halfway through:

During dental bonding

I just bonded the two front teeth on the left side of the photo. Dental bonding is the process where a tooth colored filling material, called composite, is fused to the existing tooth structure. The correct color is achieved by layering different colors and translucency of composite material. Sizing is critical when creating new front teeth. The position of the unrestored teeth, as well as the width of the teeth, help me to establish how long I want his two front teeth. Longer is better as it is easier to shorten teeth then have to make them longer.

The Final Result

The whole process took me about 90 minutes to complete. Here are the after photos:

Smile after dental bondingTeeth after dental bondingTim was thrilled with his new smile. The best part about it was he felt like he had back the old smile he remembered that he hadn’t seen in years. I was happy for him. It is truly a privilege for me to be able to help make my patients feel the way they do. I changed this man’s life. The reality is that putting that smile on his face changes my life too.

Is bonding something that can help you? Contact us for a free consult. You will be glad you did!

Keep Smiling LI…

 

 

Ways to Remain Calm When a Dental Emergency Arises

Dental emergencyWhen you find yourself facing a dental emergency, it is important that you remain calm. When you are calm, you think more clearly and you are able to function better. When facing a dental emergency, if you panic, you could hurt the person more who was already in pain, and make things worse.

Making yourself remain calm is not always easy, but if you know what to do before the moment hits, it can make things easier on you. Here are a few things that you can do to help remain calm if you ever find yourself facing any type of dental emergency.

Helping Yourself Remain Calm to Function During a Dental Emergency

The first thing that you can do to avoid the freak out that comes with a dental emergency is by having a regular dentist that you can trust. If you don’t have a dentist to turn to when a dental emergency pops up, it can cause you to panic even more, trying to figure out what to do.

Next, make sure that you remember that an untreated emergency is only going to get worse. Many times, people know that worrying is going to slow things down. If you can focus on getting help as soon as possible, this can help alleviate some of the fear and allow you to stay calm and get help.

Finally, remember that the more you worry, the higher your blood pressure goes. This can increase bleeding, swelling, and pain. Make yourself stay relaxed until you are in a dentist’s chair, then you can let the dentist worry for you.

Contact our office today. We want to have a good relationship with you and build up that rapport. Let us show you that we will be there, no matter what, by turning to us when you really need it.

Ways to Relax to Stop Clenching Your Teeth

woman experiencing bruxismMost people don’t know the term bruxism, but are familiar with the idea. When you get stressed out, you tend to bite down and clench your teeth, or grind them back and forth. This is common, but it is also dangerous to your teeth.

If you have been struggling with clenching, then you need to figure out ways of keeping your teeth protected. One way you can do that is by learning to relax so you don’t keep causing damage to your teeth.

Nighttime grinding can also be a result of breathing problems such as sleep apnea. If you are experiencing grinding along with daytime sleepiness see a physician who specializes in sleep medicine. If you do have sleep apnea we can fabricate a dental sleep appliance to keep you breathing during the night.

Simple Relaxation Options to Keep Your Jaw Relaxed

Taking a moment to stop and take a deep breath can do a lot when it comes to keeping yourself calm and relaxed. Just stopping, inhaling deeply, then exhaling through pursed lips can help you relax and refocus on whatever is going on, allowing you to regain control.

Getting regular massages can help you remain more relaxed. It allows you to remain in control, and it keeps your body looser, making it to where you clench your jaws less.

Exercise can help you get your mind focused without the need to tense up any part of your body. It helps to keep you healthy, but it also allows your body to relax more between times that you exercise.

Meditation also gives you the opportunity to remain relaxed, more often than not. You can meditate during different parts of the day, and then still remain relaxed during the rest of the day.

Making a note whenever you begin to clench is another way of keeping that from happening as much. Once you recognize that you are clenching your jaw, you can contact our office. The mouth guards they can provide can go a long way towards protecting your teeth from the damage that clenching can cause.

How Can You Tell if Your Teeth are Shifting Around?

As you get older, you may notice some of your teeth becoming crowded, or overlapping. This is caused by several factors, some natural and some not so much.

You can tell in some regards because of physical appearance, sometimes you can tell by the feeling, and other times you may experience pain associated with the shift.

It can happen gradually or suddenly, and can actually lead to tooth loss.  If caught early, there are some limited options, but not always.

Why Does This Happen, and What Can I Do?

Tooth mobility can be caused by many things. It can have to do with gum disease, trauma, or even just aging. Any of these causes can have varying degrees of severity, and it is difficult to evaluate any repair options at the source. It is all very dependent. If the teeth are salvageable as they begin to move, options are limited.

One potential help is wearing a retainer daily and attempting to keep the teeth in the places that they are currently in. Another option is replacing certain teeth with implants, to keep other teeth from crowding to fill in the gap. Braces are a potential option, and veneers or crowns can also cosmetically enhance your smile back to what it was before.

It is natural, and if it is due to an infection or unnatural cause, there are options to repair the infection. While there are not a lot of options to fix it, there are some, and these options are made available to our patients.

We do everything we can to give you back all the confidence you need to beam brightly at everyone you see. Contact our office to see what we can do for you, and to see what option would best suit your various needs and financial budget.

Dangers of Self-Diagnosing Dental Problems without Seeing a Dentist

Woman with dental problemsLong story short, you could be wrong. Let’s say you have been experiencing a toothache or other dental problems for quite some time. You think long and hard about what it must be before making your decision. Perhaps you google it.

You think you have found out what the problem must be, and in that case you believe you now know how to fix it. Self-treatment is a whole different ball game. But self-diagnosing can be just as dangerous.

You Could Be Wrong

You looked around on the internet for a while, and while you think about what you are feeling, you are convinced it must just be a cavity. That can wait a little while, you think. I’ll pencil in an appointment when I have time, you think. So, you go on with your life. While you are, though, the bacterial infection in your jaw that is really there is rotting your tooth from the inside out. By the time you come to see us, you wind up needing oral surgery to get everything flushed out.

So? Moral of the story? Don’t guess. Dentists have many more years of experience with this than you do. We have the technology to see what you can’t, the collaboration to discuss findings to ensure a correct diagnosis, and the schooling to know what to look for. What you brush off could very easily be something so much worse.

A lot can go wrong when it comes to the mouth, but a lot can get worse when left alone. If you are feeling any kind of pain or discomfort, we urge you to contact our office.

We can spot easily spot dental problems and take care of them in a jiffy, no hassles and no potential for it to be left untreated until it is eventually becomes even a bigger problem. We are here to help and to find a solution that is in your best interest.

 

Are You Causing Your Own Enamel Loss?

Woman with loss of enamelLosing the enamel that coats your teeth can be a really bad occurrence for your mouth. It can leave you with a bunch of painful cavities, plus really sensitive teeth. Your teeth may hurt with each bite or drink you take, leaving you miserable. The best way to avoid this pain is to keep your teeth ultra-healthy.

This means that you brush and floss like your dentist tells you to, and you go in and see your dentist on schedule. Plus, it also means you take care to keep the enamel on your teeth.

Issues That May Be Costing You Enamel

If you do things like chewing on ice, pens, and fingernails, you are damaging your teeth. It wears down your teeth, costing you valuable and precious enamel. Don’t let your teeth become painful from a bad habit. Instead, stop these bad habits and let your teeth heal back up.

Eating the wrong foods can be costing your own enamel to degrade. Diets that are high in starches and sugars can cost you enamel, as those foods break down into sugar that feeds the bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria feed on sugars, which increases how much damage they are capable of doing. Changing your diet to one that is full of protein and produce, ideally vegetables, can go a long way towards restoring your enamel.

Drinking sports drinks, fruit juice, and soda all the time can cut down on how much enamel you have. These drinks are full of acid, and that acid erodes your enamel. Switch over to water, and you will likely notice a significant difference in the durability of the enamel on your teeth.

Contact our office if you have any questions about what you may be doing that is harming your teeth. They can examine your mouth, and give you some pointers on how to make your mouth healthier!