Complete Family Dentistry Blog - Waukesha , WI
Posts for: October, 2018
Missing teeth not only impact personal appearance and self-image, they also change the position of remaining teeth and degrade gums and bone. What's the best tooth replacement post-extraction, you ask? At Complete Family Dentistry in Waukesha, Dr. Joel Jahimiak, Dr. Cathleen Raz, and Dr. Kendra Loch offer innovative dental implants—tooth replacements which optimize smile appearance and function, while actually strengthening support tissues. Could dental implants be right for you?
A popular tooth replacement
Dental implant patients number in the millions, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Why are these tooth replacements so numerous? Well, dental practices such as Complete Family Dentistry in Waukesha have found that implants offer distinct advantages over traditional fixed bridgework and full/partial dentures. These advantages are:
- A firm foundation for crowns, bridges, or dentures
- Improved jaw bone dentistry and gum viability (implants live right in the jaw, bonding to it through osseointegration)
- Treatment versatility (replace one or all teeth top or bottom)
- Biocompatibility (healthy individuals readily accept the titanium implant devices)
- Longevity lasting decades (other prosthetics need replacement every 10 years or so)
- Natural look, feel, and function
Plus, as reported in the Journal of Oral Implantology, dental implant procedures succeed 98 percent of the time.
Are dental implants right for you?
It is very likely that your body will accept dental implants. All you need is sufficient bone in your jaw, a healthy immune system and good overall oral health (no active gum disease or other issues). Your dentist will examine your mouth, take special imaging scans, and review your medical history to help you make a final decision on dental implants.
If all is in readiness, your treatment begins with a local anesthetic to numb the implant site. The dentist opens the gums and drills a small pilot hole in the jaw bone. He or she inserts the titanium implant screw and closes the gum tissue with a few sutures.
During the ensuing weeks, your jaw bone will bond to the implant, actually wrapping around it and stabilizing it. You cannot chew on the site at this time, but when it's fully healed, the dentist will bond a metal post and porcelain crown on to finish your new tooth. The results will be well-worth the wait as your implant is virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth in appearance and oral function.
Find out more
Avoid the problems missing teeth create. Look into today's most successful tooth replacement: dental implants. Contact Complete Family Dentistry today for your one-on-consultation with Dr. Raz, Dr. Loch, or Dr. Jahimiak: (262) 549-6850.
The vast majority of teeth and gum problems stem from two dental diseases: dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontal (gum) disease. But although these dental diseases are all too common in our society, there’s a good chance you can prevent them from harming your own dental health.
That’s because we know the primary cause for both of them—dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that can build up on tooth surfaces usually as a result of poor oral hygiene. Remove this plaque build-up daily and you dramatically decrease your risk for disease.
The primary way to do this is with a daily habit of brushing and flossing. While regular dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) from hard to reach places, it’s your regular practice that removes the bulk of daily buildup. Interrupting plaque buildup helps keep disease-causing bacteria at bay.
That also means performing these two hygiene tasks thoroughly. For example, you should brush all tooth surfaces, especially in the rear and along the entire gum line (a complete brushing should take at least 2 minutes). And by the way, “thorough” doesn’t mean “aggressive”—a gentle circular motion is all you need. If you scrub too hard, you run the risk over time of damaging your gums.
And while many people discount flossing as a hard and unpleasant task, it’s still necessary: at least half of the plaque in your mouth accumulates between the teeth where brushing can’t reach effectively. If you find flossing too difficult, you can take advantage of tools to make the task easier. A floss threader will make it easier to get floss through your teeth; you could also use an oral irrigator, a device that emits a pressurized spray of water to loosen and flush away some plaque.
Along with dental visits at least twice a year, daily brushing and flossing is the best way to reduce your risk of both tooth decay and gum disease. Avoiding these two diseases will help ensure your smile is attractive and healthy throughout your life.
If you would like more information on preventing dental disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Daily Oral Hygiene: Easy Habits for Maintaining Oral Health.”
Periodontal disease may start in the gums’ superficial layers, but it’s not likely to stay there. As the disease moves deeper it can wreak havoc on tooth roots and bone as well as gum tissue attachments. Teeth with multiple roots are in particular peril because of the “forks” called furcations that form where the roots separate from each other. Infected furcations can be very difficult to treat.
We primarily treat gum disease by removing its main source, a thin film of bacteria and food particles called dental plaque that builds up on teeth. To remove it we most often use special hand tools or ultrasonic equipment to vibrate it loose. As the plaque and tartar diminish, the infection begins to wane.
But we can’t be completely successful in stopping the disease if any lingering plaque deposits remain. This especially includes furcations where the infection can cause significant damage to the roots. Although cleaning furcations of plaque can be difficult, it’s not impossible with the aforementioned tools and antimicrobial substances to disinfect the area.
The real problem, though, is access—effectively getting to the furcations to treat them. We may need to perform a surgical procedure called flap surgery where we create a hinged flap in the gum tissue to move it aside and access the root area beneath. Afterward we replace the flap and suture the tissue back in place.
In some cases, the infection may have already caused significant damage to the tissue and underlying bone. We may therefore need to graft gum or bone tissues to these damaged areas to stimulate re-growth. We may also need to surgically reshape the gum attachments around a tooth to make it easier in the future to access and clean the area.
These additional treatments around furcations can be very involved and labor-intensive. That’s why the best outcomes occur if we’re able to start treatment in the early stages of an infection. So, if you notice red, swollen or bleeding gums contact your dentist as soon as possible. Treating gum disease as early as possible will help ensure your tooth roots won’t suffer extensive damage.
If you would like more information on treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “What are Furcations? Branching Tooth Roots can be Periodontal Nightmares.”
Many things can affect your child’s future dental health: oral hygiene, diet, or habits like thumb sucking or teeth grinding. But there’s one you might not have considered: how they breathe.
Specifically, we mean whether they breathe primarily through their mouth rather than through their nose. The latter could have an adverse impact on both oral and general health. If you’ve noticed your child snoring, their mouth falling open while awake and at rest, fatigue or irritability you should seek definite diagnosis and treatment.
Chronic mouth breathing can cause dry mouth, which in turn increases the risk of dental disease. It deprives the body of air filtration (which occurs with nose breathing) that reduces possible allergens. There’s also a reduction in nitric oxide production, stimulated by nose breathing, which benefits overall health.
Mouth breathing could also hurt your child’s jaw structure development. When breathing through the nose, a child’s tongue rests on the palate (roof of the mouth). This allows it to become a mold for the palate and upper jaw to form around. Conversely with mouth breathers the tongue rests behind the bottom teeth, which deprives the developing upper jaw of its tongue mold.
The general reason why a person breathes through the mouth is because breathing through the nose is uncomfortable or difficult. This difficulty, though, could arise for a number of reasons: allergy problems, for example, or enlarged tonsils or adenoids pressing against the nasal cavity and interfering with breathing. Abnormal tissue growth could also obstruct the tongue or lip during breathing.
Treatment for mouth breathing will depend on its particular cause. For example, problems with tonsils and adenoids and sinuses are often treated by an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist. Cases where the mandible (upper jaw and palate) has developed too narrowly due to mouth breathing may require an orthodontist to apply a palatal expander, which gradually widens the jaw. The latter treatment could also influence the airway size, further making it easier to breathe through the nose.
The best time for many of these treatments is early in a child’s growth development. So to avoid long-term issues with facial structure and overall dental health, you should see your dentist as soon as possible if you suspect mouth breathing.