The entire process of getting a dental implant can take over a year. For some, the procedure gets completed for much longer, especially when complications arise. If you’re getting this restorative dental solution, this means you’ll basically be going through a long time of looking rather odd because of a missing tooth or teeth.
This can become a challenge to your self-confidence, but not if you use a flipper while waiting for dental implant.
What is a dental flipper?
According to a trusted Prescott, AZ dentist, a dental flipper is a traditional solution to restoring a missing tooth and it’s a highly recommended provision for people who are waiting for their dental implant. The following are the removable types:
- Removable dental flipper or retainer – This is very similar to the retainer worn by those who have had their orthodontic braces removed. However, it comes with a false tooth or teeth to fill in the space of a missing tooth or teeth.
- Delineator – This is quite similar to the traditional retainer or removable dental flipper, but it’s made of a different material that is moderately pliable. This is not a widely available option because it’s only suitable for some people.
- Essix style retainer – This looks like an Invisalign tray but with a tooth or teeth in it.
- Snap-on smile – This covers multiple teeth and it looks like a removable bridge, which covers all of the front teeth.
Pros and Cons of Dental Flippers
All the different dental flipper options do the job of filling in the space created by a missing tooth so your mouth doesn’t look weird while you’re waiting for your dental implant. Plus, they can help prevent surrounding teeth from shifting during the long waiting period.
However, even this dental flipper option tends to look and feel differently in the mouth. Some are more comfortable than others (Essix can actually make you talk funny during the first few days of wearing them, while the delineators press on the gums). Also, some definitely look better than others. You have to factor in these differences when making a decision on which type to use.
In addition to those minor issues, creating the perfect match tends to be tricky for all of the options. Getting them to look natural is never easy.
It’s important to note that these are rather affordable solutions and they can be prepared and ready for you to use in just a matter of days so you won’t have to go around with a missing tooth. And remember, these are just temporary solutions, and when you get your dental implants, you’ll get the best teeth replacement.
The cost of dental care has constantly risen over the past decades. Aside from the increasing dental cost, the number of people with access to dental insurance has decreased.
In fact, a new poll finds that most Americans can’t afford even the basic dental care. More than half of the people surveyed also said that they did not know how they would get affordable dental care after they turn 65.
If you do not have access to dental insurance or you lack money to pay for the high cost of dental care, there are cost-saving measures to help you save money.
7 Ways to Save Money on Quality Dental Care
1. Use Low-Cost or Free Dental Providers
There are some dental professional providing services to patients without insurance. They also operate on a sliding scale, which means that they set rates based on your income.
If you can’t find or you still can’t afford a dentist operating on a sliding scale, consider receiving dental services from a free medical clinic. Generally, eligibility is limited to low-income patients.
2. Participate in Medical Studies
There are some organizations and universities performing research on certain dental treatment methods. You can actually participate in medical studies in exchange for free dental care, like having a wisdom tooth extracted or dental cleanings.
3. Look for Online Savings and Coupons
Check out online sites that occasionally provide deals and coupons for dental care services like fillings and cleanings. These sites can be your lifesaver if you do not have insurance.
4. Receive Dental Care from Dental Students
Dental students must acquire experience before they graduate and get their license. You can help them get the experience they need while receiving affordable dental care. Whenever these students operate, they are supervised by a licensed dentist.
5. Ask for a Discount
Most dentists understand that some of their patients are uninsured. So don’t be afraid to inform the dentist about your financial situation and ask for a discount. Also, try to negotiate ahead of time.
6. Find a Job with Dental Benefits
Most jobs will require you to be a full-time employee so you can receive insurance benefits. However, there are others that are more flexible. So long as you meet a certain number of hours worked each month, you can qualify for health and dental insurance.
7. Use Government Resources
Most government organizations are established to help uninsured and low-income people so that they receive the medical and dental attention they need. The Health Resources and Services Administration or HRSA provides listings of the affordable dental providers in your area that you might be eligible to use.
Taking care of your teeth on a daily basis must be your priority even if there are ways you can save on dental care. Although some dental problems are unavoidable, preventative dental care practices can minimize the chances and costs of most dental problems.
Brush your teeth daily. Floss at least once a day. Visit your Prescott Valley dentist regularly.
These are all a part of good oral hygiene. But what some people do not know is that a healthy diet can contribute greatly to achieving excellent oral health.
Dental cavities are a serious dental condition that affects the permanent teeth of over 90 percent of adults. Left untreated, cavities can lead to pain and costly treatments.
As such, it is crucial to protect your teeth from this dental malady using different strategies, including the consumption of the right types of food.
You are probably aware that overconsumption of sweet and starchy treats can lead to tooth and gum problems. But do you know that there are foods that prevent cavities and other gum and dental issues?
Here’s a brief list of foods that you should add to your shopping cart the next time you go to the supermarket.
Apples and fresh fruits may contain a high amount of sugars and acids, but these are natural and can help stimulate the flow of saliva. In turn, the more saliva is produced in your mouth, the less likely it will be for the bacteria in your mouth to cause damage.
Cheese and dairy products
Cheese and other dairy products help in the prevention of the formation of cavities. The main reason behind that is because these food products alter the pH level of plaque. This increase in the pH level, along with the high level of calcium and stimulation of saliva, make dairy products staples that every household should have.
It may sound counter-intuitive to chew gum if you want to keep your mouth healthy. But according to a Prescott, AZ dentist, it boils down to choosing the right kind: sugar-free.
Unlike conventional chewing gums which are loaded with sugars and can cause cavities, sugar-free gums contain xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that can help in the prevention of cavities. If you are thinking of consuming sweets, reach out for a sugar-free gum instead.
Tea leaves contain properties that allow these to keep bacterial growth in check while preventing the build-up of plaque. Green and black tea come highly recommended, especially after indulging in sugary treats. But do make sure that you don’t add sugar or cream to your beverage.
Red wine is rich in proanthocyanidins which in turn contain antioxidants that help ward off the bacteria which cause tooth decay.
Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists today!
is no laughing matter. Studies reveal that there’s a strong link between gum disease and certain cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. Sadly, despite the call to commit to proper oral health, a lot of Americans are guilty of not doing what they’re supposed to in order to protect their gums and teeth.
A study titled “Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States 2009 and 2010” reveals that around 64.7 million American adults have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis. Among adults 65 years old and older, the prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent. This study only goes to show that a significant percentage of Americans are at high risk of severe health complications due to gum disease.
Gum disease is typically caused by the following factors:
- Poor health due to smoking or tobacco use
- Hormonal developments such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause in women
- Stress (that weakens the body’s autoimmune system, which is responsible for fighting off infection and diseases)
- Bruxism (tooth grinding and clenching)
- Malnutrition (not getting the necessary nutrients for gum health)
If you’re suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, it’s quite likely that you have some type of gum disease. Commonly, for women going through hormonal development, the case is rather mild; after pregnancy, gum disease eventually goes away.
However, immediate dental attention is required if the following symptoms manifest:
- Frequent gum bleeding
- Loose teeth
- Increasing gaps or spaces between teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus around the teeth (infection)
- Receding gums
- Redness and puffiness of gums
- Soreness and tenderness of gums
All of these are advanced gum disease symptoms, says a Prescott, AZ dentist. Once you have any of these symptoms, it’s imperative to go for a checkup. Your dentist will be able to explain what your mouth is going through and inform you of what needs to be done to restore the healthy condition of your mouth.
There are effective treatments for severe gum disease. You can even restore the healthy appearance of your gums and teeth through surgical restorative dentistry.
Treatment, however, can take some time. It will include different dental solutions, as well as various lifestyle changes. Typically, the dentist needs to see the effects of certain procedures and lifestyle changes first before proceeding with the rest of the treatment. Your dentist can educate you thoroughly about all of these, so don’t delay — set an appointment for a checkup right away.
According to a study published in the Journal of Structural Biology, human teeth are as strong as shark teeth. If you’ve ever seen the jaws of these underwater creatures in action, you will certainly have a hard time believing that human teeth can be as tough as a shark’s scary choppers.
But even if you won’t be munching on fish bones and other hard objects (as sharks do), you still need to keep your teeth strong all the time. This is because having strong teeth is one of the most important considerations in maintaining good oral health.
To strengthen your teeth, a Prescott, AZ dentist share some dental hygiene trends and tips that can help you out:
Increase your fluoride use and intake
Fluoride fortifies your teeth by making the crystals that form tooth enamel tougher. This element, therefore, remineralizes one’s teeth and enables them to resist acid and decay better.
You can help your teeth get more of this mineral by using toothpaste, mouth rinses, and dental treatments that contain fluoride. You can also do this by drinking fluoridated water and eating foods high in fluoride concentrations such as fish and green tea.
Avoid food and drinks that demineralize the enamel
The enamel is the outermost and protective layer of your teeth. This layer protects your teeth from decay and physical damage. The enamel’s natural enemies are fermentable carbohydrates that come from acidic and sugary foods and beverages such as candies, cookies, and carbonated drinks. The carbohydrates from these items combine with bacteria in your mouth to create harmful acids that destroy the building blocks of your tooth enamel through a process called demineralization.
To keep your teeth strong, avoid or at the very least, minimize your consumption of acidic and sugary foods and drinks. Also, make sure you brush your teeth properly at least twice daily and floss once a day.
Consume foods rich in calcium
Lastly, you can prevent teeth demineralization by increasing your calcium intake. This means consuming more foods and drinks rich in this nutrient such as milk, yogurt, celery, dark leafy green vegetables, sunflower seeds, almonds, and Brazil nuts.
Cheese is also a good source of calcium and will help keep your teeth strong. In addition, cheese also promotes healthy saliva flow which helps maintain the right pH level in your mouth and inhibit acid production.
Proper brushing helps greatly in strengthening one’s teeth as well. As such, with the right diet and good oral care, you can have strong teeth and one less thing to worry about in terms of dental health.
Electric Vs. Traditional Toothbrush – Which Is Better?
There’s a growing selection of dental supplies available in the market today and these are in line with the call for making a strong commitment to oral health. Among the many options today are different kinds of toothbrushes.
In terms of designs, the choices can prove to be overwhelming. However, if you’re more focused on function, the only issue really is whether to choose an electric toothbrush or a traditional toothbrush.
Electric vs Traditional Toothbrush
It’s imperative to establish that both items do the job well. The main difference is that the battery or electrically powered option can make the task easier because it does the brushing for you. Children, in particular, can benefit from this mechanism, especially since they’re still honing their motor skills.
Another advantage provided by electric toothbrushes is that they can be a time-saver. The head can stroke teeth 6,000 to 30,000 times per minute. Therefore, it works so much faster in getting teeth’s surface clean; this means that instead of the usual two to three minutes of brushing advised by dentists, you can cut that time in half.
As for the disadvantage with electric toothbrushes, even the cheapest brands you find in the market are still more expensive than most manual toothbrushes. It’s important to mention that the bristles tend to get worn faster too, and at times, the vibration of the heads can prove to be too much for people with sensitive teeth and gums.
Manual toothbrushes, on the other hand, are what everybody’s more familiar with. They’re much easier to control, so if you have sensitive spots around your mouth, you don’t have to worry about excessive vibrations.
When it comes to efficacy, a manual’s toothbrush will work well if you know how to brush your teeth well for that perfect smile. Therefore, if you tend to just speed through brushing your teeth, you’re not going to get your chompers thoroughly clean, says a Prescott, AZ dentist.
As for cost, even the most expensive manual toothbrush won’t cost as much as a branded electric toothbrush. It’s definitely a winner as a cost-effective option.
The con with this option, however, is the difficulty some people have in using it. Those who have arthritic hands and fingers will find it hard to brush thoroughly; ditto with young children who still do not have refined motor skills.
There you go – one is not necessarily better than the other. It’s best to choose one kind of toothbrush over the other based on your preference or the limitations you have. Schedule your appointment with one of our dentists today!
6 Dental Issues That Require Oral Surgery
Most types of surgery can automatically strike fear in some people; however, some are performed rather quickly, and recovery from them is usually speedy.
Oral surgery, for example, is one that usually doesn’t take long to perform and is required for certain dental issues. A Prescott, AZ dentist lists six of the most common dental issues that he treats effectively through oral surgery.
When there are lesions in the mouth, dentists try to establish right away if they’re early signs of mouth cancer. Through simple oral surgery, they can remove a small piece of tissue for analysis.
This popular restorative solution consists of two to three oral surgeries so that new, natural-looking teeth will feel and function like original teeth. It involves “opening” the gums so metal posts can be implanted into the jawbone in order to enable gum tissue and bone to fuse over time.
Teeth that have been knocked out and broken jaws are treated through oral surgery in order to restore function and appearance.
Most wisdom teeth do not cut through gums properly, creating great discomfort for many. They are surgically removed to get rid of pain and also to preserve the structural integrity of surrounding teeth.
There are all sorts of discomforts for people with misaligned jaws. Not only that, this issue affects appearance and function as well. Oral surgery can take care of the problem for enhanced physical appearance and proper, painless functioning.
This condition can lead to even more serious health woes and a simple oral surgery that removes excess tissue from the back of the throat can improve sleep quality and reduce other symptoms of the condition.
Although oral surgery is rarely as complex as other surgical procedures, it demands proper aftercare. No matter how quick and simple it was, the right aftercare is necessary to ensure speedy recovery.
The Prescott, AZ dentist recommends taking prescribed pain relievers for tenderness, sensitivity and pain. He likewise says it’s important to avoid any type of physical exertion that will cause blood to flow to the head, and to use ice packs to reduce swelling. It’s important as well to stick to soft food for a while to avoid disturbing the treated area, loading up on vitamin C to speed up cell regeneration and the body’s overall ability to recover, and frequently but gently cleaning the mouth with a mild solution to prevent infection.
Common Reasons People Need Dentures
If you are one of those who have been religiously observing proper oral care since you were young, chances are you won’t be needing dentures when you get old. But if you are one of those who constantly put off regular brushing or call off dentist appointments, then you may find yourself needing dentures as you age.
A denture, commonly known as false teeth, is a removable replacement for missing teeth and gums. It can either be full or partial, depending on your needs, and your dentist will help you choose the type that is best for you.
It is also worth noting that there are several situations wherein you might need dentures. A Prescott, AZ dentist states the common reasons people need dentures below:
- Loss of natural teeth
The loss of natural teeth, whether from tooth decay or injury, is one of the primary reasons people need dentures. Tooth loss due to mouth disease does not happen at once, unlike accidents or injury. It is a gradual process that starts when you neglect caring for your pearly whites.
Having said so, losing one or more of your teeth due to decay and gum disease is avoidable, yet it still remains to be among the top reasons for getting dentures.
- Difficulty chewing and speaking
Dentures might not be your first choice, but when you are missing some teeth, you may find it difficult to chew certain types of food and to speak properly. When this happens, getting a set of dentures may become your best option.
Because the front teeth are important in speech, pronouncing certain words becomes challenging when you are missing some of your teeth. Denture placement can restore essential oral functions like chewing and speaking.
- Facial sagging or altered facial contour
Missing or underdeveloped teeth causes the facial muscles to sag and the facial contour to alter and appear hollow. Dentures help individuals have an improved appearance by filling out their facial features. This will help individuals gain back their self-confidence or self-esteem.
New dentures may feel awkward at first and it will take some getting used to. It will require practice to speak and eat with your dentures on, but your dentist will help you deal with some of the challenges you may experience.
Caring for your dentures is also important to ensure that they will last a long time. Careful handling is also vital because they are delicate and can easily break. Of course, regular dental checkups are still necessary even if you have dentures on.
What You Should Know About Dental Health And Aging
Aging brings about various indications of physical, physiological, and mental degeneration. Dental health is among the most common concerns for older adults. As you get older, the risk of experiencing dental problems also increases.
Because of impairments in the normal bodily processes associated with aging, older people may find it more challenging to perform oral hygiene and self-care.
The most common dental conditions experienced during old age are:
Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
The golden years are considered cavity prone years. Cavities during old age are commonly caused by dry mouth. Xerostomia or dry mouth is not a normal process in aging; rather, it is a result or a side effect of various medications, which are usually taken by older adults to treat or control high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, and other illnesses that come with aging.
Dry mouth can lead to cracked lips, fissured tongue, caries, and mucositis. A Prescott, AZ dentist recommends increased fluid intake and avoidance of alcoholic and carbonated beverages to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth and prevent cavities.
Periodontitis or gum disease
Dental health and aging are linked together in many ways. As a person grows older, he may start to experience receding gums, which exposes the roots of the teeth. This increases the risk of developing decay.
In addition, poor dental hygiene also causes the buildup of plaque, causing the gums to become irritated and swollen.
In general, gum disease, in its early stages, is painless and does not present any symptoms. As such, it is often left undiagnosed and untreated until it is in the advanced stages. Advanced gum disease affects not only the gums, but also the bones and ligaments supporting the teeth.
Good oral hygiene through regular and proper brushing are very helpful in preventing periodontitis. Regular visits to a dentist for professional cleaning are also advised to remove hardened plaque.
Root and coronal caries
The four elements needed for dental caries to form are the tooth surface (enamel or dentin), fermentable carbohydrates, bacteria, and time. Dental caries could lead to advanced gum disease and tooth loss when left untreated.
Regular brushing using fluoride-containing toothpaste remains to be the main preventive measure for dental caries.
Because older adults may not be fully capable of caring for themselves, it is important to have a caregiver who can help them maintain their personal hygiene, including dental care. It is essential to discuss dental care and self-care with professionals such as dentists and doctors.
5 Things You’re Doing That Cause Bleeding Gums
Habits That Cause Bleeding Gums
Do your gums often bleed? That probably happens often because of certain practices. It may also be due to health conditions that you’re not aware of. If you wish for your mouth to be healthier and for bleeding to stop, it’s crucial to know the real causes.
So, what usually causes bleeding gums?
You floss too hard.
Flosses can often cut through the fleshy tissues of your gums if you don’t know how to handle them properly. Also, there are flossers that really are too sharp, so even if you’re careful, they cut your gums anyway. Get instructions from your dentist on how to properly floss to prevent injuring your gums, or how to be more meticulous in choosing flossers for your teeth. Perhaps invest in sonic air floss, which uses a strong jet stream of water instead of a waxed string to dislodge food debris between teeth and gums.
Brushing too thoroughly with a hard-bristled brush.
If you think a hard-bristled brush performs better in getting rid of food particles, bacteria and germs in the mouth, you’re wrong. Such a toothbrush can leave scratches on your teeth’s enamel and they can also cut your gums especially if you brush too hard. Use a soft-bristled brush instead and brush more gently to prevent scratching both your teeth and gums.
You’re using a mouth appliance that doesn’t fit well.
The wrong fit of mouth appliances (such as dentures and mouth guards) can constantly put pressure on teeth and gums, and this can lead to bleeding. They can also move out of place, especially when you’re eating or talking, which can injure your gums. This is why it’s imperative to visit your dentist regularly and have him check the fit of the mouth appliance you’re using.
You don’t brush regularly.
Not brushing regularly encourages the proliferation of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. Gum bleeding is one of the symptoms of periodontal disease and if this gum disease is not treated right away, it’s not just gum bleeding you’ll experience — you may lose your teeth eventually as well.
You’re taking medication.
There are certain drugs for the treatment of certain illnesses that have a blood-thinning effect. If you take these regularly, gum bleeding is always a risk. Therefore, you should consult your physician on what you can do to reverse this side effect of your medication, or perhaps have him recommend a different drug that doesn’t have this particular side effect.