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.
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.
Relaxing at the Dentist: Facts About the 4 Sedation Dentistry Types
From a simple tooth cleaning to invasive procedures, using sedation is a great technique to get patients relaxing at the dentist. How it will be used will depend on the patient’s level of fear or comfort.
Sedation dentistry makes use of a certain medication to help patients feel relaxed while undergoing dental procedures. According to a Prescott, AZ dentist, the levels of sedation used will include the following:
Minimal sedation. The patient is awake but relaxed.
Moderate sedation. The patient may slur his words when speaking and won’t remember much of the procedure.
Deep sedation. The patient is on the edge of consciousness. General anesthesia. The patient will become completely unconscious.
4 Types of Sedation Dentistry
1. Inhaled Sedation
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the common agent used for inhaled sedation. This is a colorless, odorless and non-irritating kind of gas. It is combined with oxygen and administered via nasal cannula or face mask a few minutes before the procedure. The gas will help the patient feel relaxed. This type of sedation is used only for procedures that will allow patients to go home right after the procedure.
2. Oral Sedation
Oral sedation will have minimal to moderate effectiveness. The patient will just take a pill an hour before the procedure for minimal sedation. A larger dose will be given to produce moderate sedation.
Generally, this is the commonly used type of sedation dentistry. The patient will feel drowsy and groggy, and can even fall asleep. However, he can still be easily awakened by gentle stimuli. After the procedure, he will need assistance on his way home since the sedative effect of the drug can still be active.
3. Intravenous Sedation
Intravenous or IV sedation, otherwise known as deep dental sedation, is an invasive procedure. The anesthetic medication will be administered through the intravenous route. Since the medication is directly delivered into the bloodstream, it causes rapid effects. It will instantly lower the patient’s ability to recognize any stimuli.
IV sedation will provide a higher degree of muscle relaxation, so it requires very strict monitoring before, during and after the dental procedures. The patient will also be assessed for allergies to any IV medication and the existence of other comorbid medical conditions. This type of sedation dentistry will allow the dentist to continuously regulate the level of sedation.
4. General Anesthesia
General anesthesia will make the patient completely unconscious. In other words, he will be in a deep sleep with reduced sensory perception. Since this type of sedation has a very high sedative effect, constant patient monitoring must be done during the dental procedure. Medications will be administered via face mask. After the procedure, the patient will feel uncomfortable and dizzy, so assistance is highly advised for those who will undergo this type of sedation dentistry.
For patients who need help relaxing at the dentist, sedation dentistry is highly indicated. Also, this is used for those who have phobias undergoing dental procedures and those suffering from mental health conditions. So call us to schedule your appointment today!
Are you new in Prescott, AZ and you’re looking for reputable Dentist who can take care of your family’s dental care needs?
Meet Dr. Reed – make that Dr. Sean Reed, one of the most trusted dentists in the Prescott community. He’s been working at Horizon Dental Care in Prescott, AZ for many years now. Dr. Reed is a proud member of the community and enjoys raising his family here.
Originally from Chicago, IL and Denver, CO, life took him to Brigham Young University in Utah where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and minor in Spanish. After this, he moved to New York to secure his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at NYU.
He then returned to Utah for his yearlong residency in general dentistry at the University of Utah and now he’s enjoying his career as one of the leading providers of superior dental services to the locals of Prescott. Dr. Costes recognized Dr. Reed’s talent and hired him on as an associate and eventually a partner in our Prescott office.
Dr. Reed is a beloved personality in Prescott. He is known for building strong relationships with his patients by getting to know their families, and carefully listening to their concerns so he’s able to deliver results and ensure a positive experience for each and every one of them.
Patients have consistently provided him great reviews because they appreciate his sincerity and the dedication he displays. Likewise, they laud him for being very helpful with all of their concerns. He doesn’t cut corners when it comes to the true state of a person’s oral health, and he always makes sure to explain concerns in the most comprehensible way possible for patients, which is why patients say they remain loyal to Horizon Dental Group.
Loyal patients of Horizontal Dental Group also pointed out that Dr. Reed doesn’t only pay attention to dental concerns; he also carefully tackles his patients’ nerves. He is well aware that there are people who have dental phobia, or are just very nervous about unfamiliar procedures, or are simply the nervous kind. Dr. Reed is very patient and does his best to help patients overcome the jitters. He assures each and every one of them of the safety of treatments and even provides tips on how patients can personally deal with their nerves.
So, if you’re looking for a dentist you can trust for your family in Prescott, visit Horizontal Dental Group’s clinic (which also has a branch in Chino Valley) and meet Dr. Reed – the friendly dental expert of the community.
As you approach or go through your early 20s, you may think that you’re just about done with all the growing and developing that your body does. By this time, you think to yourself, you ought to have successfully hurdled the crucial biological stages and are now ready to live life to the fullest.
Unfortunately, typically from the ages of 17 and 21, you will still be going through some significant changes. In particular, your teeth aren’t all fully and perfectly erupted at this point — you may still discover your wisdom teeth beginning to emerge.
Why the name, wisdom teeth?
These teeth are called such because they appear in a person’s mouth when they are at a slightly older and ideally wiser age.
You may indeed be older, but you can still feel pain all the same — and pain is something that wisdom teeth usually create. Sometimes these teeth come through correctly, but more often than not, there is no longer enough space for them to emerge properly in the right position. Wisdom teeth often become impacted, which means that they are unable to come out from under the jaw and to the surface of the gums.
Should you have your wisdom teeth removed?
Your dentist can closely monitor the development of your wisdom teeth. With regular brushing, flossing and check-ups with your dentist, wisdom teeth that come out correctly can help you chew better and cause no issues at all.
However, if you notice some of the following signs, your wisdom teeth may become increasingly problematic as time goes on:
Your wisdom teeth are starting to crowd or even cause damage to your other teeth
You feel pain and some swelling in the jaw caused by a bacterial infection to a partially erupted wisdom tooth
Food is often trapped around an improperly erupted wisdom tooth, leading to cavities
A cyst forms near the impacted tooth, putting the surrounding teeth’s roots as well as the bone supporting the teeth at risk
Thorough and routine examinations of your mouth, along with x-rays of the affected area, can help your dentist determine if removing the wisdom teeth is the ideal solution to your particular dental situation. Removal is also often recommended if you are being treated for certain other dental conditions and if you will be getting braces.
Talk to your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist about the best options for your teeth and find out whether your wisdom teeth can prove to be beneficial for you.
Since you were a young kid, you’ve heard the adults tell you to limit your consumption of sugary treats. They reasoned out that food laden with sugar can lead to tooth decay, or even worse, tooth loss.
“How does sugar cause tooth decay?” you might ask.
It’s actually not the sugar in food
Contrary to what you may have heard, it is not exactly sugar itself that causes tooth decay and other dental problems.
Sugar is just one of the major factors involved in a series of events that occur after eating sugary and starchy food.
A glimpse into your mouth’s eco-system
Much as you would like to believe that your mouth is clean and free from bacteria, the truth is that it is home to hundreds of bacteria.
Now, some of these bacteria may be harmful, but there are also beneficial bacteria that can be found inside your mouth.
When you consume food rich in sugar, you are essentially feeding the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Some of the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and then release acids.
In turn, these acids corrode the teeth’s enamel, the protective layer of the tooth. Over time, these acids can create a hole in your teeth. Left unchecked, these holes can go to the deeper layers of the teeth which lead to toothaches and even tooth loss.
Little helpers inside your mouth
Your teeth are constantly bombarded by acids that corrode the enamel. But your teeth are not defenseless.
The acids in your mouth remove minerals from the enamel through a process known as demineralization.
But another key process takes place inside your mouth: remineralization. In this process, the minerals leeched away from the teeth’s enamel are replaced and the teeth are strengthened.
Your saliva plays a crucial role in this process, providing the teeth with minerals like calcium and phosphate. These minerals help repair the teeth.
Your teeth need your help
However, the saliva can only do so much. When you eat too much sugary and starchy food, your teeth has little time to repair themselves.
This is why it is crucial to limit your intake of treats laden with sugars and starch.
But apart from limiting your consumption of sugars and starches, a Prescott, AZ dentist says there are a few other things that you can do to protect your teeth against cavities.
For one, you should add more fruits and veggies to your diet. These facilitate the production of more saliva. Dairy products, on the other hand, are rich in the minerals that help strengthen the teeth. Drinking green and black teas can also control the population of harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Dentists also recommend drinking fluoridated water and brushing the teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay and even reverse it during the early stages. Schedule an appointment with our doctors today!
When it comes to restorative dentistry, dental implants generate the most interest. Unlike other procedures, implants achieve the feel and function of original teeth the best. It’s like you never lost your teeth at all.
However, to be a good candidate for dental implants, you need to have enough bone density to securely anchor the implants. If you don’t, additional work needs to be carried out.
Dental bone graft is performed for patients whose bone under the gums is not wide, tall or dense enough. This procedure is a rather complex one, so it greatly increases the overall cost of dental implant surgery.
To further understand this crucial treatment that is included in some dental implant procedures, listed below are things you need to know all about dental bone graft procedures.
This process will rebuild or replace bone in the jaw to support dental implants. Bone loss is usually caused by periodontal disease, trauma, an abscess, or aging and not having teeth for a long time already.
Bone grafts make use of bone (cadaver, cow, patient’s own bone) or bone-like material (synthetic bone).
An oral surgeon, prosthodontist or periodontist commonly performs extensive bone grafts several months before the dental implants.
A single bone graft using bone from a cow, cadaver or synthetic bone can cost between $250 and $1100. Meanwhile, for bone graft using the patient’s own bone, the procedure can cost between $2000 and $3000 – obviously more expensive as it includes two surgical sites, anesthesia and hospitalization.
The cost of bone grafts is dependent on the following factors:
size and shape of the surgical site, source material used, and where the bone is harvested from.
Additional costs can be expected, and they’re for X-rays, CT scans and consultation fee of other specialists.
Dental insurance normally doesn’t cover the cost of dental implants but may cover a portion of the cost of a dental bone graft due to bone loss’s impact on a person’s wellbeing.
The safest graft material is your own bone because it naturally integrates well and there’s no risk of infectious disease, tissue rejection and contamination. This is usually harvested from the chin, jaw, shin or hip.
Least ideal bone graft material is synthetic bone. While it’s second to your own bone when it comes to safety, this material is absorbed by the body and needs to be replaced over time.
Lastly, recovery from bone grafting usually takes about four to nine months so it’s a long waiting time before dental implant surgery can be performed. During the recovery/waiting period, you are expected to consistently practice proper oral care and to follow a healthy diet to ensure the success of the dental implant.
Cases of missing teeth among young children are often deemed cute occurrences (which is probably why there’s a popular song about missing teeth). But when you’re old, missing teeth can be a health risk.
Apart from a sagging facial appearance that can make you look sad and older, missing teeth can also have other negative consequences. One is the high likelihood of “shifting” – teeth can move a bit toward the gap. This movement creates spaces between the teeth that will not only alter alignment and bite but can also make teeth prone to harmful bacteria buildup that can lead to gum disease. A more serious consequence is bone loss, which will put you at greater risk of losing more teeth as you get older.
One of the best solutions to missing teeth is a dental bridge. What it does is it literally bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth. It is made of two or more crowns (depending on the missing tooth’s location). One crow will serve as the replacement for the missing tooth, and the other/s for the anchoring tooth or teeth (called abutment teeth).
Maintain the healthy shape of your face (no more hollow areas).
Maintain your proper teeth alignment and bite.
Preserve your original teeth better.
There are different types of dental bridges that your dentist can put in for you depending on where your missing tooth or teeth are, and they are:
Cantilever bridges – These are the type of bridges used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing teeth. Cantilever bridges are not used that often anymore because they are not ideal as restorative solutions for missing tooth at the back of the mouth where there’s usually a lot of pressure on surrounding teeth.
Maryland bonded bridges – These are also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge. They are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums held together by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings, usually placed on just one side of the bridge, are anchored or bonded to your existing teeth.
Traditional bridges – These consist of a crown for the tooth or implant on both sides of the missing tooth, with a pontic or a dummy tooth in between. Traditional bridges are the most frequently used type of bridge and they are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
The application of dental bridges takes multiple visits to the dentist, which can take several weeks. But once the bridges are permanently placed in, you’re sure to feel a big difference in the way your mouth feels and functions. Ask your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist about the best treatment for you.
Contrary to the common belief that tooth decay is only caused by not brushing teeth regularly – this is the main reason, but it can actually be the result of frequent, hard brushing as well. When you brush your teeth too much and you brush rather vigorously, your tooth’s enamel gets scratched, creating small “abrasions” or cavities that if not taken care of may result in serious tooth decay.
Whatever type of tooth decay you may have, immediate treatment is important for tooth decay only gets worse over time, says a Prescott, AZ dentist. It’s worth noting too that decay spreads rapidly and when it reaches the more sensitive parts of your teeth, you can expect pain to intensify and occur more often. Other complications may arise as well, such as face swelling, pain that radiates to other parts of the head, and in severe cases, flare-ups of other health issues such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Tooth decay treatment is affordable especially if it will be performed for the prevention of further damage instead of for the purpose of removal. For small abrasions or erosion on your enamel, prevention of further damage has to be done right away. The dentist will perform the treatment using filling materials that contain fluoride, calcium and phosphates.
Now, for tooth decay that has already reached the dentin, repair is performed using a dental filling. There are different kinds of filling; there’s amalgam, which is composed of silver and other metals, or a tooth-colored resin material, which has a much nicer appearance though not as durable as amalgam.
For damaged teeth that have changed in shape and size, the dentist will fill them and then add a crown to help strengthen and restore shape and function. The application of a crown can be expected to increase the cost of treatment.
As for the worst case of tooth day, meaning there’s an abscess, these are your treatment options:
A root canal treatment, followed by a crown because teeth can become more brittle after this treatment and are likely to break easily.
An extraction – this when there are no other means to save the tooth.
These only go to show how important it is to have consistent, good oral care practices because tooth decay is a serious health issue. On top of this, treatment can cost you a significant amount of money. So brush, floss, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash and visit your dentist regularly to prevent the pain and cost of tooth decay.