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Posts Tagged: tooth replacement

Wisdom Teeth: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

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.


Basic Dental Care Exam

Dentists recommend regular dental care to preserve your oral health. They can also help you in finding the most suitable yet affordable treatment. Routine oral health care is a great way to achieve a healthy mouth and teeth for years to come. Regularly visiting your dentist for basic dental care exams and cleaning is a great start!

Reputable Prescott, AZ dentist, Dr. Mark Costes suggests scheduling a visit with your local dental hygienist to clean and polish your teeth every six to nine months. Also, you need to have routine examinations and X-rays. Based on the findings from these examinations, additional preventative dental care may be suggested to ensure good oral health longterm.

Dental Exam and Common Procedures

Complete Oral Examination – This will detect problems such as deteriorating fillings and conditions affecting your overall health such as oral cancer and gum disease. Your dentist will explore each tooth, gums, the tongue.

Panoramic X-ray – This refers to taking a shot of all of your teeth as well as your upper and lower jaws to gain a clear picture of your mouth’s condition. It shows the entire mouth in one image, identifying problems like fractures, bone abnormalities, infections, tumors, and impacted teeth. This imagery method is often used when planning treatments like dentures, braces and implants.

Dental Surgery – This includes everything from a simple tooth extraction to a complicated procedure like dental implant surgery. It is primarily done to relieve pain as well as to boost the appearance and function of your smile. It can be performed in a dentist’s office without having to be referred to another office.

Dental Care Basics

  • Brush at least twice a day – Do not rush when you brush. Proper brushing will require at least two minutes. Also, do not neglect the gum line, areas around fillings, crowns and hard-to-reach areas.
  • Clean in between teeth – Your toothbrush can’t reach all the areas to be cleaned. As such, it is very crucial for you to use floss or interdental cleaners to clean the areas that the toothbrush cannot reach. Brushing your tongue is also important since this will remove bacteria to ensure fresh breath.
  • Eat a balanced diet – Make it a habit to eat a balanced diet that contains foods from the five major food groups. You need to limit snacks containing high levels of sugar.
  • Visit your dentist regularly – Dental visits must be done every six months or more for early detection of any dental problem including tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Routine fluoride application is also a must. This can be done during your routine dental examination and cleaning.

Basic dental care will involve your daily participation. Your smile will greatly depend on these dental care basics, so always keep them in mind and put them into practice. Call us today to set up your appointment!


Tooth Decay Treatment

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.

Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists today!


What is a Flipper for Teeth and Do You Need It?

Losing a tooth or teeth makes eating and speaking a little bit difficult and uncomfortable.

Aside from these obvious effects of tooth loss, there are also the non-obvious effects, such as bone loss. When you lose a tooth and you take too long to take it to a dentist, the surrounding bone that used to support your tooth could also lose its form and density. If you have more than one tooth missing, your facial structure will eventually change as the distance between the chin and the nose decreases.

Typically, the first tooth that you lose is a back tooth. Back teeth develop early during childhood and are more prone to decay. When this happens, the best thing for you to do is to go and visit a dentist as soon as possible. However, before going there, you may want to learn a few things.

What is a flipper for teeth?

A flipper is a temporary replacement for a permanent tooth after it has been extracted. It is usually prepared before the extraction, and once it’s ready, can simply be inserted into the mouth for immediate use. Flippers are used instead of a permanent implant at first because implants need to be prepared for a period of time which sometimes takes months. According to research, it is unhealthy to go on without a tooth replacement for a long time as it could already alter the bone that surrounds the teeth as well as the jawbone.

Flippers are removable dentures made of resin and work almost just like a retainer. The contours of a flipper follow that of the roof of the mouth and the same is true if you need it for the bottom teeth. This dental appliance can be made of porcelain or plastic, which is the cheaper option. Once you get your flipper, your dentist may ask you to eat only soft food for the first week so you can gradually adjust to using it.

Keep in mind that flippers are just supposed to be temporary.

You need to have a dental implant eventually as flippers do not have a very long shelf life – the material is not as durable as dentures, and the fit may become loose over a relatively short period of wearing them.

On the other hand, for kids who lost a tooth, only a flipper is advisable as a tooth replacement. Children need to wait until the jawbone has stopped growing at around 17 or 18 years old. Dental implants can then be performed.

If you have lost a tooth or you think you are about to lose one, you need to have it checked by your dentist immediately. Visit your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist to know the right solution for your specific needs.


The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

Last February 19 and 20, 15 international specialists with years of knowledge and experience among them assembled in Madrid for the Perio-Diabetes Workshop led by the European Federation of Periodontology and the International Diabetes Federation to tackle one of the biggest health issues in the society today:

The relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease.

While diabetes is characterized as a complex disease that involves deterioration or complete inability of an individual to produce or respond to the hormone insulin, periodontal disease (often called gum disease) is defined as the inflammation and irritation of the gum line.

More often than not, both illnesses result in more severe problems such as bone corrosion and teeth loss.

A group of experts have worked together to finally solve this massive dental dilemma.

During the workshop, it was discussed that patients who have periodontitis are also the ones who are most likely susceptible to pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Those who have diabetes, on the other hand, are very much prone to acquiring periodontal disease. People who suffer from periodontitis and other gum diseases find it difficult for their bodies to keep their blood pressure normal.

Now that it has been revealed that there is actually a strong resemblance between periodontal disease and diabetes, it is important that you also know how to treat or manage both conditions.

For those with periodontal disease, it has been shown that self-performed oral hygiene at home is an effective practice. By simply establishing a habit of regular brushing and flossing, you can save yourself from one of the most severe dental diseases.

Based on the workshop’s conclusion, diabetes can be treated while one practices self-care techniques for periodontal disease. The length and type of treatment varies from one patient to another, depending on the level of their infection. As a rule of thumb, it is still always the best option to consult a Prescott, AZ dentist to assist you throughout the procedure.

As for diabetes, there are injections prescribed by doctors that can help pump one’s bloodstream with enough insulin to treat diabetes. As expected, addressing diabetes also creates an impact on periodontal disease as both of them heal at the same time. It is important to know that the condition should be treated with utmost urgency, as more serious complications to one’s health may arise if left untreated for a long time.

To learn about other professional treatments, you can search for credible online sources or simply contact your dentist for advice.


5 Things You Need to Know About a Dental Bridge Procedure

If you have lost a tooth or a few teeth, one of the treatments your dentist will recommend is a dental bridge procedure. This is a highly recommended treatment if you wish to preserve the healthy structure of your mouth despite the loss a tooth or more.

You may be unsure about this solution especially with all the other options available, but if you’re gravitating toward this treatment, here are five things you need to know about it.

Compared to other types or restorative dentistry solutions, it’s definitely more affordable.

And if you’re just focused on appearance, it can achieve the same natural “look” that dental implants can produce because a crown would also be used to replace your missing tooth or teeth.

For a successful dental bridge procedure, you would need to have healthy surrounding teeth that would serve as an anchor for the bridge, says a Prescott, AZ dentist. Here’s something that you need to understand about the placement of a dental bridge: surrounding teeth need to be reshaped for the crown to fit securely and hold the bridge in place. This is something you need to think about especially if you care a lot about the health of remaining good teeth.

There three main types of bridges: traditional, cantilever and Maryland.

The first type, which is the traditional bridge, has a crown attached to each side of the artificial tooth. A cantilever bridge, meanwhile, is an artificial tooth attached to only one crown, and a Maryland bridge is an artificial tooth bonded to existing teeth on both sides.

When your teeth have been reshaped, the dentist will make an impression of the missing tooth and the surrounding teeth.

The will be used to customize a bridge that fits your mouth perfectly. While that is being created, your dentist will provide you a temporary bridge to use. You can expect your permanent bridge to be completed in a few weeks and once it’s ready, there’ll be evaluations on how it fits and affects your bite so it can be improved for your comfort.

And lastly, dental bridges can last you over a decade but you need to practice good oral habits.

You need to care for your dental bridge just like your real teeth because there’s always the risk of developing gum disease if you don’t.

A dental bridge procedure is a great option to consider especially if you’re not a good candidate for dental implants. It’s a quicker process to restoring the original look of your teeth and preventing your original teeth from shifting. Contact our dentists today to schedule an appointment!


Overbite Correction Options

Model of human jaw with wire braces attachedA person’s teeth are often the first things that will be noticed as he or she interacts with other people. It’s a prominent facial feature that most people try hard to maintain and protect.

However, not everyone is born with perfect teeth. Sometimes the teeth in the upper jaw (maxillary) protrude and overlap the teeth in the lower jaw (mandible), creating an unpleasant overbite appearance.

In cases like these, people seek out the available options for overbite correction by asking experts such as a Prescott, AZ dentist to help them with their dental problem. Contrary to what some believe, an overbite can still be treated using a wide range of dental correction techniques, including the following:

Invisalign

Much like traditional retainers, Invisalign is a type of dental correction tool that reconfigures one’s teeth. Although it is often confused with a retainer, Invisalign is significantly different from its more old-fashioned counterpart.

As its name suggests, Invisalign is hard to detect when worn. Unless one carefully and critically observes the wearer’s teeth, it is nearly invisible to the naked eye. It’s clear and translucent material is what does the trick. As much as it is aesthetic, Invisalign has also been clinically proven to be effective not just in treating overbites but other dental misalignments as well.

Orthodontics

One of the oldest teeth realignment techniques is dental braces installation. It involves attaching metal brackets to the teeth, guiding each tooth to their appropriate positions. Sometimes, the need for screws, headgear, and rubber bands arises, which can make it a less appealing option for overbite correction. It is, however, one of the most affordable and effective choices available.

Surgery or realignment of the jaw

When one’s overbite is too severe to fix with Invisalign and other non-invasive methods, it is time to consider more serious solutions. Surgery is often the last resort for those who suffer from an overbite; it is a medical procedure wherein a person’s jaw is realigned. In some cases, the lower jaw is too large to be in the same position as the maxillary, which creates the possibility of restructuring it to the right proportions.

Aside from the abovementioned options, there are many other overbite correction alternatives available on the market today. Thanks to modern technology, dental experts can now use advanced dental correction procedures to help patients achieve dental perfection without having to experience pain and discomfort.

Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!


Denture Problems | Potential Issues You Should Be Aware Of

Denture ProblemsWhat Are Some Potential Denture Problems?

Tooth loss can dramatically reduce your quality of life. That’s why many patients see dentures as a life-saving solution. Despite the emergence of newer tooth restoration options, dentures continue to be a popular choice for patients all over the world because of its convenience, ease of use and affordability.

Dentures today offer a more comfortable and snug fit compared to past models. High-quality, well-fitting dentures are now made of sophisticated materials that do a good job of mimicking the appearance of natural teeth.  

While most major complaints about dentures have been solved with modern denture technology, some common denture problems still remain.

If you’re thinking of getting dentures, it’s important to ask yourself, What are some possible denture problems? This way, you can make the necessary preparations to reduce or manage these complaints.

Excessive saliva production

First-time denture wearers often experience saliva overflow. This is brought about by the presence of a foreign object inside your mouth, causing your salivary glands to work harder than usual. As your body gets more used to the dentures, saliva production will gradually go back to normal. Mints or hard candies can help you temporarily manage the uncomfortable sensation.

Wearer discomfort

Another sensation that might cause you to feel uncomfortable is the feeling as if your dentures are too large or taking up too much space in your mouth, to the point that your lips feel stretched. If the dentures have an exact fit, this sensation is most likely a normal part of the adjustment period. The only way to make it go away is to wear your dentures more often – eventually, your mouth will learn how to accommodate them.  

Wobbly wear

Some first-time wearers also complain about dentures feeling unstable, making them fear that their fake teeth might accidentally slip out of their mouth altogether. To give dentures a more secure hold, apply a denture adhesive. However, it’s a different matter if the slipping is caused by ill-fitting dentures due to improper measurements or because the gum tissue and jawbone have already shifted or shrunk after some time. If this is the case, consult your dentist immediately.

Mouth sores, inflammation and pain

Another possible problem is pain and inflammation. This is common during the early stages and can be relieved with a warm water and salt gargle and medicines prescribed by your dentist. But if pain and sores continue to persist, check with your dentist to make sure it is not caused by poor fit. Also, prevent inflammation due to bacterial infection by following the proper dental and denture cleaning and care routine.  

Questions or problems with your dentures? Don’t attempt to solve them alone. Contact your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist for professional help.


Single Tooth Replacement

Single Tooth ReplacementSingle Tooth Replacement – Why Choose an Implant Over a Bridge?

If you have lost an adult tooth and you want to replace it with something that’s not removable, you have two options: a permanent bridge and a single tooth replacement with a dental implant.

A permanent bridge is a good option if you have teeth around the missing tooth. Now, if you don’t have those, and the tooth in question is possibly a back molar, the better single tooth replacement option would be a dental implant. A dental implant will replace not just the natural tooth but also the root permanently.

Dental Implants

Dental implants take much longer to put into place and they require good oral health. If you have gum disease and other oral health issues, you’ll have to treat them first for the safest “installation” of the implants. Dental implants definitely offer the best, look, feel and function. Just like your natural teeth.

Implants often outperform dental bridges because they do not affect the health of neighboring teeth; when a bridge is applied, the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth actually need to be ground in order to support the cemented bridge. This means that from having healthy, proper shaped teeth, you end up with altered ones just to accommodate the bridge, which isn’t an issue with dental implants.

Another advantage you get with a dental implant is that it can actually preserve your jawbone better since it integrates with the bone. With a bridge, on the other hand, the bone that used to surround the (missing) tooth will deteriorate over time and then will create an uneven gum shape, which isn’t pretty and/or healthy.

Implant Durability

Likewise, as already mentioned a dental implant is very stable; plus, it’s so much easier to clean than a bridge. You can brush, floss and rinse your implant like you would your regular teeth. Meanwhile, with a bridge, the cement can wear away over time due to various activities (this includes your oral care practices), and the changing shape of the gums. It’s worth noting that when the cement holding the bridges slowly washes out, this can create room for bacteria and germs to proliferate, which then can lead to decay of the teeth anchoring the bridge. The area with a bridge can really appear discolored or unhealthy even if you implement the best oral health practices regularly.

So, if you need a single tooth replaced and you have the money for a dental implant, go with this option — it will provide a better set of oral health benefits as well as value for your money. Contact your local Prescott Valley dentist at Horizon Dental Group today! 

 


A Tried and Trusted Method of Tooth Replacement

Tooth ReplacementFull and Partial Dentures – A Tried and Trusted Method of Tooth Replacement

Are you missing a few teeth? Do you wish to have all your teeth replaced? If you find yourself in this predicament, the obvious answer is to head to your chosen Prescott, AZ dentist and get dentures. Full and partial dentures have been the solution to missing teeth for a long time.

You want to enjoy all of your own teeth for the rest of your natural life, but the odds of you needing dentures increase as you get older. At times, it can’t be helped and some people require them while they’re still young.

Accidents or disease can happen to anyone, so it’s good to learn about dentures in case you ever need them. To begin with, there are three basic kinds of tooth replacement: partial dentures, full dentures, and overdentures. What does each one do and how does it work?

Partial dentures

These attach to the teeth you still have. They bear a gum-colored portion to blend into your actual gum as well as prosthetic teeth to fill in the gaps left by your missing teeth. They have been used for a long time to replace a set of teeth that were grouped together or scattered across the upper or lower jaw. Removable partial dentures come in many variants, each one with its own pros and cons. You’ll have to discuss with your dentist which one is suitable for you.

Full dentures

Just like partial dentures, these are made of prosthetic teeth that are meant to replace your missing teeth and a gum-colored portion that’s supposed to blend in with your real gum. Their main difference from partial dentures is that they’re used to replace an entire set of upper or lower teeth, or perhaps even both.

Overdentures

These are a later innovation that combines traditional denture technology and more recent advancements in dental implants. They basically have two implanted attachments established to the lower jaw so that they sit securely in place, boosting comfort, retention, and stability. They do away with the usual lower-jaw full-denture issue of dislodgement due to the limited foundation and movement of the tongue muscle. They also benefit the wearer in decreasing the amount of bone loss experienced with traditional dentures, thereby helping preserve integrity of the facial structure.

Whether dental patients should get full and partial dentures or overdentures can be determined through consultation with your trusted Prescott dentist. Either way, you’ll have an effective solution to your missing teeth.