Waterford, MI Dentist
Lloyd H. Alpert, D.D.S.
4025 Highland Road
Waterford, MI 48328
(248) 682-6010

Posts for: April, 2016

April 26, 2016
Category: Dental Implants
Tags: Implants   teeth   oral   dental impacts   oral surgery  

Dental Implants

Despite improvements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer tooth loss -- mostly due to tooth decay, gingivitis (gum disease), or injury. For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. But, today, dental implants are available.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.

 What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

There are many advantages to dental implants, including:

• Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.

• Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.

• Improved comfort. Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.

• Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.

• Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.

• Improved oral health. Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.

• Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.

• Convenience. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care (see below), implants can last a lifetime.

Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders -- such as diabetes or heart disease -- or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?

In general, dental implants are not covered by dental insurance at this time. Coverage under your medical plan may be possible, depending on the insurance plan and/or cause of tooth loss. Detailed questions about your individual needs and how they relate to insurance should be discussed with your dentist and insurance provider.

 What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?

The first step in the dental implant process is the development of an individualized treatment plan. The plan addresses your specific needs and is prepared by a team of professionals who are specially trained and experienced in oral surgery and restorative dentistry. This team approach provides coordinated care based on the implant option that is best for you.

Next, the tooth root implant, which is a small post made of titanium, is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing process can take from six to 12 weeks.

Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post -- called an abutment -- is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth. To make the new tooth or teeth, your dentist makes impressions of your teeth, and creates a model of your bite (which captures all of your teeth, their type, and arrangement). The new tooth or teeth is based on this model. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment.

Instead of one or more individual crowns, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant that retain and support a removable denture.

Your dentist also will match the color of the new teeth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replacement teeth look, feel, and function just like your own natural teeth.

How Painful Are Dental Implants?

Most people who have received dental implants say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anesthesia can be used during the procedure, and most patients report that implants involve less pain than a tooth extraction.

After the dental implant, mild soreness can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or Motrin.

How Do I Care for Dental Implants?

Dental implants require the same care as real teeth, including brushing, flossing, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, and regular dental check-ups.

 

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr., DMD on January 26, 2015

© 2015 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

 


What Can You Do About Sensitive Teeth?

Tooth sensitivity can affect one or more teeth. It’s most common when you eat or drink something hot, cold, sweet, or sour. Sometimes a breath of cold air can set it off. The pain can be sharp and sudden and can shoot deep into the nerve endings of your teeth.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

You get sensitive teeth when your gums pull back and expose the surface beneath, called the dentin. This soft layer makes up the inner part and roots, which have thousands of tiny tubes that lead to the tooth's nerve center (the pulp). These channels allow the trigger -- for example, the hot, cold, or sweet food -- to reach the nerve in your tooth, which results in the pain you feel.

Other things that can cause sensitive teeth are:

•Wear and tear. Over time, brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush or grinding your teeth can wear down enamel and expose the dentin.

• Tooth decay near the gum line.

• Gum disease (gingivitis). Inflamed and sore gums pull back and expose the roots of your teeth.

•Damage. Chipped or broken teeth may fill with bacteria. The bacteria can enter the pulp, causing inflammation.

• Teeth grinding. Grinding or clenching your teeth may wear down the enamel and expose the dentin.

• Tooth-whitening products. These products may be major contributors to sensitive teeth.

•Age. Teeth are most sensitive between ages 25 and 30.

•Plaque buildup. The presence of plaque on the root surfaces can cause sensitivity.

•Acidic foods. Food and drinks with a high acid content, like citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, and tea, can wear down enamel.

•Dental work. Teeth cleaning, root planing, crown placement, and tooth restoration can make teeth sensitive. This should go away in 4 to 6 weeks.

Steps to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity

The good news is there are many ways to control sensitive teeth. You can:

•Brush, floss, and rinse regularly. Use proper brushing and flossing techniques to thoroughly clean all parts of your teeth and mouth. Rinse with a fluoride and antiseptic mouthwash daily.

•Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush gently and carefully around the gum line so you don’t remove gum tissue.

•Use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Several brands are available. Regular use should make teeth less sensitive. You may need to try several brands to find the product that works best for you. Another tip: Spread a thin layer on the exposed tooth roots with your finger or a Q-tip before you go to bed. Use a fluoridated toothpaste, not a tartar control one.

•Watch what you eat. Avoid lots of highly acidic foods and drinks.

•Use fluoridated dental products. Using a fluoridated mouth rinse daily can decrease sensitivity. Ask your dentist about products available for home use.

•Don’t grind your teeth. Use a mouth guard at night.

•See your dentist every 6 months (or sooner, depending on your condition).

If you still have discomfort, talk to your dentist. There may be a procedure that can help. He might recommend:

•White fillings(bonding) to cover exposed root surfaces

• Fluoride varnishes applied to the exposed root surface

•Dentin sealers applied to the exposed root surface

WebMD Medical Reference

View Article Sources Sources

Reviewed by Michael Friedman, DDS on October 26, 2014

© 2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


April 06, 2016
Category: Sealants
Tags: Sealants   dental sealants  

Dental Sealants

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are usually placed on the chewing (occlusal) surface of the permanent back teeth — the molars and premolars — to help protect them from decay.

Why are dental sealants placed on teeth?

The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves — "fissures" — that make them vulnerable to decay. These fissures can be deep, are difficult to clean, and can be narrower than even a single bristle of a toothbrush. Plaque accumulates in these areas, and the acid from bacteria in the plaque attacks the enamel and cavities can develop. Fluoride helps prevent decay and helps protect all the surfaces of the teeth, dental sealants provide extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas by providing a smooth surface covering over the fissured area.

When are dental sealants placed?

 The first dental sealant to be placed is usually on the fissure of the first permanent molar tooth, once the chewing surface of the tooth has erupted completely beyond the gum. This tooth grows in behind the baby teeth. If the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of these teeth are sealed, the dental sealant will help protect the tooth. Except for the wisdom teeth, which come through much later, the molars and premolars continue to erupt until eleven-thirteen years of age and the chewing surfaces of these teeth can be sealed after they have erupted beyond the gum.

Dental Sealants

Are dental sealants only placed on the chewing surface of molar and premolar permanent teeth?

Dental sealants are usually placed on the chewing surfaces of these teeth because these are the areas and teeth that typically have deep fissures. Dental sealants are sometimes also used on other permanent teeth if they have grooves or pits, to help protect these surfaces. In some children, the molars in the primary dentition (baby teeth) also have grooves that could benefit from dental sealants and in this situation your dentist or hygienist may recommend dental sealants on the chewing surfaces of these primary teeth.

Can dental sealants be place on the teeth of adults?

Yes — while less common, dental sealants are sometimes placed in adults at risk for caries, on deep grooves and fissures that do not already have fillings or dental sealants.

What do dental sealants look like?

Dental sealants can be clear, white or have a slight tint depending upon the dental sealant used.

How are dental sealants placed?

Firstly the tooth surface is thoroughly cleaned with a paste and rotating brush by your dentist or hygienist. Next the tooth is washed with water and dried. Then a solution that is acidic is placed on the fissured area of the tooth’s chewing surface for a number of seconds before being rinsed off. This creates small microscopic areas and a fine rougher surface than the surrounding tooth enamel, that can be seen with a microscope. The rough surface and microscopic areas enable the dental sealant to attach to the tooth. After the tooth is dried again, the liquid dental sealant is placed on the tooth and hardened. Dental sealants are hardened by using a light that hardens the dental sealant, or sometimes by using a two-component dental sealant that sets without using a light. Once the dental sealant has hardened it becomes a hard plastic varnish coating, and you can chew on the tooth again.

How long does a dental sealant last?

Dental sealants have been used and have been proven to be effective since the 1970s. Many studies have shown that they are effective in helping to prevent decay on chewing (occlusal) surfaces. Dental sealants can last many years. If necessary, it is also possible to place a new dental sealant on the tooth.

Do I still need to use fluoride if I have dental sealants?

Yes. Dental sealants only protect the surface area that they are placed on. Fluoride helps protect all the surfaces of the tooth from decay and cavities.

Article Courtesy of:  Colgate Oral Care Center

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/procedures/sealants/article/dental-sealants




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