Posts for: February, 2015
With their durability, versatility and life-likeness, there’s no doubt dental implants have revolutionized teeth replacement. If you’re considering dental implants, however, there are some issues that could impact how and when you receive implants, or if you should consider another type of restoration.
Cost. Dental implants are initially more expensive than other tooth restorations, especially for multiple tooth replacement. However, be sure you consider the projected cost over the long-term, not just installation costs. Because of their durability, implants can last decades with little maintenance cost. In the long run, you may actually pay more for dental care with other types of restorations.
Bone health. Dental implants depend on a certain amount of bone to properly situate them for the best crown placement. If you’ve experienced extensive bone loss, however, there may not be enough to support the implant. This can often be overcome with grafting — immediately after extraction, at the time of implantation or a few months before implantation — to encourage bone growth. In some cases, though, bone loss may be so extensive you may need to consider an alternative restoration.
Gum Health. While implants themselves are impervious to infection, they’re supported by gum and bone tissues that can be affected. Infected tissues around an implant could eventually detach and lead to implant failure. If you have periodontal (gum) disease, we must first bring it under control and render your gums infection-free before installing implants. It’s also important to maintain effective oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings and checkups for optimum implant health.
Complications from osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis — in which the bones lose bone density and are more prone to fracture — are often treated with drugs known as bisphosphonates. In less than 1% of cases of long-term use, a patient may develop osteonecrosis in which the bone in the jaw may lose its vitality and die. As with bone loss, this condition could make implant placement difficult or impractical. Most dentists recommend stopping treatment of bisphosphonates for about three months before implant surgery.
If you have any of these issues or other complications with your oral health, be sure to discuss those with us before considering dental implants. With proper planning and care, most of these difficulties can be overcome for a successful outcome.
If you would like more information on pre-existing conditions that may affect implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Osteoporosis & Dental Implants” and “Infections around Implants.”
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.”
Your child's primary or baby teeth are important to his or her dental health and overall health, too, both now and in the future. These 20 little teeth help your child with chewing and speaking and also play an crucial role in how the mouth and jaw develop and mature.
So, it's vital to begin good dental habits at an early age. That includes going to the dentist regularly. Routine dental care helps ensure a bright, healthy smile in the smallest of tots right on into adolescence and the adult years, too.
When is it time for a child's first dental appointment?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that a child should be examined by a pediatric dentist within 6 months of cutting that very first tooth or by age one. While that might seem too soon to parents, dental professionals say that about a quarter of all young children children get a cavity by age 4. So, to preserve those baby teeth as long as possible, diligent dental hygiene and examinations are important.
What happens during the first dental appointment?
With the child seated on the parent's lap, the dentist carefully and gently examines the teeth and gums. The exam is very brief, but the doctor takes the time to look for:
- how the teeth are positioned in the mouth
- any decay
- shape and growth of the tongue, gums and lips
- how the teeth and jaws close together
This first visit is also the perfect opportunity for the dentist and parent to discuss important day-to-day issues such as how to brush a child's teeth, fluoride, toothpaste, nutrition, teething, bottle-feeding, thumb-sucking and prevention of common childhood accidents involving the mouth. X-rays are usually not a part of this first examination, but parents should expect them at age 5 to 6 years when the adult teeth can begin pushing through the gums.
How to prepare for your child's first dental visit.
It's important to select a pediatric dentist as he or she is experienced in a fun and comfortable way to examine a child's mouth. The dentist should be able to create a great rapport with parent and child alike and be willing to discuss any questions or concerns mom or dad may have. As the parent, be sure to talk to your son or daughter in a happy, positive way about going to the dentist.
Contact Dr. Thomas Ryan.
In the Naperville, Illinois area, Thomas Ryan DDS of North Creek Dental Care is very experienced in the area of pediatric dentistry. Dr. Ryan knows how best to care for your child's dental health from the earliest age on to adulthood. Call North Creek Dental Care of Naperville at 630-983-9877 for your child's first dental appointment.