Posts for: February, 2017
If you've undergone treatment for periodontal (gum) disease, you know how involved it can be. After several sessions of plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) removal, your swollen, red gums finally begin to regain their healthy pink color.
But with gum disease, the battle may be over but not necessarily the war. If we don't remain vigilant, there's a high chance you'll experience a re-infection.
That's why periodontal maintenance (PM) is so important for gum disease patients after treatment. Plaque, the thin film of bacteria and food particles responsible for the infection, can grow again on your tooth surfaces as it did before. You'll have to practice diligent, daily brushing and flossing to curb that development.
But it's also important to keep up regular dental visits for advanced cleaning to remove hard to reach plaque and calculus. For most people that's usually twice a year, but for gum disease patients it could be up to four times a year, especially just after treatment. And there's more to these visits than cleaning.
Since our goal is to reduce the chances of re-infection as much as possible, we'll thoroughly examine your teeth, gums and any implants for signs of disease (we'll also include an oral cancer screening). We want to assess the health of your teeth and gums and to see how well you're doing hygiene-wise with plaque control.
If we find signs of gum disease, we'll discuss this with you and schedule a new round of treatment. The sooner we initiate treatment, the better your outcome. In some cases, we may perform procedures that make it easier to access and clean areas where plaque tends to build up.
Overall, we want to prevent the occurrence of any future disease and treat it as soon as possible if it re-occurs. Keeping up diligent PM will help ensure your gums continue to stay healthy.
Restore your whole smile with dental implants. Missing teeth can be permanently replaced with dental implants so your smile will be whole again. In addition to being permanent, dental implants also look and function just like natural teeth. Caring for them is as easy as maintaining good oral hygiene at home combined with regular dental checkups. In Winter Park, FL, dental implants can be installed by Dr. James Outlaw at Outlaw Dental.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth and root that is used to replace a missing tooth. Since dental implants are affixed to the jaw bone, installation is permanent. There are three components to a dental implant: the metal implant, an abutment and a porcelain crown. The metal implant sits below the gums like a tooth root and is the part that fuses with the jaw bone. The crown sits above the gums and serves as the replacement tooth. The abutment is used to hold the crown securely in place on top of the metal implant.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants have many benefits. For many patients, one of the most exciting benefits is the confidence boost they feel once they see their new smile. By filling in the gaps where teeth were previously missing, patients see their smile transformed. Dental implants offer several other benefits, including:
- Replacement of missing teeth
- Restoration of your whole smile
- Blending in as they look just like natural teeth
- Installation is permanent
- No risk of slipping out of place
- No need for messy dental adhesives
- Improved tooth functioning (e.g., biting and chewing)
- Reduced strain on surrounding teeth
- Improved speech
Dental implants give you a full set of teeth, which makes functions like biting and chewing easier while also protecting the surrounding teeth. When teeth are missing, other teeth compensate and take on additional strain doing all of the biting and chewing. This can cause these teeth to wear down more quickly than they would otherwise. By giving you a full set of functioning teeth again, dental implants alleviate extra wear and tear on the other teeth so that they last longer. Your Winter Park area dentist can help you decide if dental implants would work for you.
Dental implants can restore your whole smile, boost confidence and improve tooth functioning. For dental implants in the Winter Park, FL, area, contact Outlaw Dental to schedule an appointment with Dr. Outlaw by calling (407) 671-6506.
Some people are lucky — they never seem to have a mishap, dental or otherwise. But for the rest of us, accidents just happen sometimes. Take actor Jamie Foxx, for example. A few years ago, he actually had a dentist intentionally chip one of his teeth so he could portray a homeless man more realistically. But recently, he got a chipped tooth in the more conventional way… well, conventional in Hollywood, anyway. It happened while he was shooting the movie Sleepless with co-star Michelle Monaghan.
“Yeah, we were doing a scene and somehow the action cue got thrown off or I wasn't looking,” he told an interviewer. “But boom! She comes down the pike. And I could tell because all this right here [my teeth] are fake. So as soon as that hit, I could taste the little chalkiness, but we kept rolling.” Ouch! So what's the best way to repair a chipped tooth? The answer it: it all depends…
For natural teeth that have only a small chip or minor crack, cosmetic bonding is a quick and relatively easy solution. In this procedure, a tooth-colored composite resin, made of a plastic matrix with inorganic glass fillers, is applied directly to the tooth's surface and then hardened or “cured” by a special light. Bonding offers a good color match, but isn't recommended if a large portion of the tooth structure is missing. It's also less permanent than other types of restoration, but may last up to 10 years.
When more of the tooth is missing, a crown or dental veneer may be a better answer. Veneers are super strong, wafer-thin coverings that are placed over the entire front surface of the tooth. They are made in a lab from a model of your teeth, and applied in a separate procedure that may involve removal of some natural tooth material. They can cover moderate chips or cracks, and even correct problems with tooth color or spacing.
A crown is the next step up: It's a replacement for the entire visible portion of the tooth, and may be needed when there's extensive damage. Like veneers, crowns (or caps) are made from models of your bite, and require more than one office visit to place; sometimes a root canal may also be needed to save the natural tooth. However, crowns are strong, natural looking, and can last many years.
But what about teeth like Jamie's, which have already been restored? That's a little more complicated than repairing a natural tooth. If the chip is small, it may be possible to smooth it off with standard dental tools. Sometimes, bonding material can be applied, but it may not bond as well with a restoration as it will with a natural tooth; plus, the repaired restoration may not last as long as it should. That's why, in many cases, we will advise that the entire restoration be replaced — it's often the most predictable and long-lasting solution.
Oh, and one more piece of advice: Get a custom-made mouthguard — and use it! This relatively inexpensive device, made in our office from a model of your own teeth, can save you from a serious mishap… whether you're doing Hollywood action scenes, playing sports or just riding a bike. It's the best way to protect your smile from whatever's coming at it!
If you have questions about repairing chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”