Getting to Know Dental Implants

The first question that pops into mind would be, “what are dental implants?” Simply put, dental implants are the most effective remedy for missing teeth—long term. Although false teeth and bridges are also solutions to missing teeth, however, they do tend to slip and shift inside the mouth. With dental implants, it is more permanent because metal frames are mounted on the jawbone surgically. This then forms the artificial roots so that replacement teeth can be mounted on top of these frames and have a sturdy base.

Benefits of a Dental Implant
When compared to getting bridges, commonly the neighboring teeth are used as anchors and they need to be ground down or “prepared” so that the bridge can be put in place. If these neighboring teeth are in good condition, you are essentially breaking it down. And if you opt for dentures, often times people would complain of pain due to poor ridges and sore spots. And wearing dentures is not that comfortable plus it requires periodic adjustment.

On the other hand, a dental implant does not have all these problems and it lasts a lifetime. It does not destroy neighboring teeth nor is it going to be uncomfortable. You do have to note that there is surgery involved and there will be pain in the beginning.

Who Can Get an Implant?
Anybody with a missing tooth or teeth can opt for an implant, except for young people because their jaws are still growing. Further, the person must have adequate bone density in the jaw to support the surgically implanted frame and must also have healthy gums. Let’s just say that you don’t have healthy gums and jawbone. There are ways and procedures to rebuild bone and make your gums healthy, that is why it is a must for you to visit with your dentist on a regular basis.


What Are the Different Teeth Whitening Products?

Cosmetic enhancement has become the rage in recent decades. People are so aesthetic hungry that they have devoured any beauty enhancement procedure offered. Many people who have experienced teeth whitening have reported that their confidence levels going up and that people find them pleasant to be with because of their ready smile.

Essentially teeth whitening products work through its active ingredient, the peroxide. Peroxide can whiten teeth through the process of oxidation and peroxide can penetrate the enamel after a few minutes of applying the product on the teeth. The oxidation process releases free radicals within the teeth enamel and reduces residual molecules. This leads to whiter teeth since the compounds on the enamel’s matrix are now colorless.

Essentially there are 4 different teeth whitening products and these are:
Toothpaste and Mouthwash – this is the commonly bought teeth whitening product on the market because not only is it affordable, but everybody uses toothpaste as part of their hygiene. So, instead of buying the plain toothpaste or mouthwash, they have opted for those with added whitening power. With this product, whitening results are not easily visible and may take months to take effect and only with diligent and constant use. 
Whitening Strips and Gels – These are sold in most grocery stores and are easy to use. All you need to do is apply the strips on your teeth and let it sit for a designated amount of time, remove the strips and rinse. Teeth whitening strips and gels can whiten teeth right away compared to toothpaste and mouthwash.
Teeth Whitening Trays and Kits – Teeth whitening trays and kits are the top of the line when it comes to DIY teeth whitening. It may be more expensive than the teeth whitening strips and gels, but it is definitely more effective. With just one use, teeth can get several shades whiter. 
Dental Teeth Whitening Procedure – Dental teeth whitening procedure can only be had from your dentist. The results are definitely guaranteed and done under your dentist’s supervision. Of course, the result is whiter teeth. The procedure does not take longer than an hour.


Veneers 101: Your Brief Guide 

Veneers are thin layers of restorative materials that are bonded to the surface of the teeth to protect the damaged teeth or improve its appearance. It is used to treat different defects of the teeth such as chipped or worn teeth. They can also be used to restore the natural color of teeth that have been damaged because of stains. A veneer can also be used to cover large gaps between the teeth. 

Types of Veneers
There are different types of veneers depending on the type of materials used to make them. The most popular is the porcelain one. Also called porcelain laminates, the thickness is around half a millimeter and is fixed on to the front of the teeth in order for you to have a beautiful outcome. This type of material mimics the teeth structure because it is hard. It also resists wear thus it can last for a long time. 

Another type of veneer is the dental composite that is made from synthetic resins. This type of veneer is cheap, insoluble, and very easy to manipulate. It is also very tolerant to dehydration and is equally as beautiful as those made of porcelain.

Caring for Your Veneers
Taking care of your veneers largely depends on how they are used or taken care of. Taking care of these dental structures require good oral hygiene. Aside from flossing, it is crucial to brush your teeth using a non-abrasive toothpaste that contains fluoride. This will help reduce the decay especially in the areas of the tooth or teeth that do not have veneers. 

It is also important to avoid exposing them to too much pressure especially if you have porcelain veneers, as they are incapable of withstanding strong impacts. Make sure that you don’t bite on hard objects or avoid clenching or grinding your teeth.


Invisalign Helps Straighten Your Teeth 

In order to straighten teeth, the most common method that is available is teeth braces. However, if you are looking for an innovative teeth-straightening system, then you can always opt for Invisalign which uses clear aligners in order to reposition and straighten teeth. This particular method uses plastic aligners that are fitted over the teeth. The benefit of this particular method is that it they are NOT conspicuous at all—thus, they are preferred by a lot of adults who want to straighten their teeth.

What are the Benefits of Invisalign?

The advantage of getting an Invisalign is that they are quite comfortable to wear. And few people are recorded to have suffered from irritation while wearing teeth-realigning system. Unlike metal braces, they can be difficult to wear as the metal can cause blisters as well as irritation to your mouth. 

Another benefit of Invisalign is that they are very easy to clean. Unlike metal braces that are bolted to your mouth, plastic aligners can be easily removed so you can floss and brush as usual. Another problem most people have with metal braces is that they have to sacrifice eating hard, sticky and/or crunchy food. So, a person with metal braces are limited to eating a few food choices to prevent food from sticking in between their braces that will eventually cause tooth decay. People who have Invisalign can eat any food without worrying about food stuck on their plastic aligners. Since you can clean your teeth properly with Invisalign, then you prevent other dental problems from setting in.

Why Invisalign?

Invisalign is a great option for those who want to try a convenient and embarrassment free teeth-straightening method. However, not all people are qualified to get this particular procedure especially those who have teeth that require rotation. But, if you only have a common orthodontic problem such as underbites, jaw misalignment or overbites, then you can use this system and skip the metal braces.


What Are Dental Sealants?

Brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist are the three key ingredients to having healthy teeth and gums. These things are great in preventing the onset of gum diseases and tooth decay. But as dental technology develops, new treatments are discovered to prevent tooth decay. One of them is dental sealants.

What Are Dental Sealants?
This new treatment method employs a thin and clear plastic coating applied on the teeth to protect it against tooth decay. A sealant is applied to the surfaces of a tooth especially those that are used to chewing food as these surfaces are most likely to be affected by tooth decay. 

The sealant keeps gems as well as food particles out of the teeth especially within the grooves where food particles are often collected. This type of treatment is best used for permanent teeth particularly the molars. It is very effective when applied shortly after the permanent molars have erupted in order to prevent tooth decay.

How Is It Applied?
Sealants are very easy to apply, and it does not even require drilling or removal of any tooth structure. The dentist will clean the teeth first before applying the special gel. Leaving the gel on for a few seconds before the teeth are rinsed and dried before the sealant is painted on. A special light is often used to harden the sealant. Once applied properly, it can last for 5 to 10 years as long as proper dental hygiene is observed.  It is also crucial that you visit the dentist regularly to check on the condition of the dental sealant.

In the long run, sealants are very beneficial as it prevents cavities which can affect the health and quality of your teeth. However, it is good to know that you do not use sealant as a replacement for regular oral health habits. 


A Brief Guide to Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are procedures that help restore damaged teeth. It is basically a false tooth custom-made for patients who have missing tooth or teeth so that they can have a natural-looking smile.  It is often anchored to the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. Once they are in place, they can last for 10 to 15 years as long as you maintain good oral hygiene as well as visit your dentist regularly.


Types of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are made from different materials that include metal and porcelain. The type of dental bridge used will depend on where your missing tooth is located. Below are the types of bridges used by dentists.

Fixed bridge: This type of bridge fills gaps by connecting an artificial tooth in between two crowns. The crowns are used to support the bridge and are then cemented to the teeth that are adjacent thus making the bridge look and feel natural. This type of bridge is permanent.
Maryland bridge: This type of bridge is used for the front teeth. A resin is used to bond the bridge. Moreover, it uses metal wings to attach to the artificial tooth.
Cantilever bridge:  This type of bridge is similar to the fixed bridge. However, it is bonded only to a single tooth.

How Is It Done?

Before bridges are installed, the dentist needs to file down two healthy teeth in order to prepare them for the bridge. If you don’t have adjacent healthy teeth, your dentist may suggest giving you an implant. Once the healthy teeth are prepared, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create a mold. The mold will be used to create a permanent bridge. Meanwhile, as the bridge is being created, temporarily, your dentist will fit a temporary one to safeguard the exposed teeth. The permanent bridges are cemented once it is ready.


Dental Crowns: What You Need to Know About Them

Dental crowns are one of the treatments used by dentists for teeth restoration especially if the tooth has a very large filling that exceeds the natural structure of a tooth. This particular dental procedure is often done if you previously had a canal therapy or dental filling. You can also get this procedure for aesthetic purposes. For example, people get a golden crown to add a sparkle to their smile, literally.

What Is A Dental Crown?
The dental crown is basically an imitation of your tooth. It is a hollow structure that fits over the tooth like a smooth cap. It fits around the tooth to keep out debris and bacteria from the real tooth inside. The dentist will then prepare the tooth for the crown. This means that he or she will chip away certain amounts of the tooth as well as the filling material so that the crown will snugly fit around it. During the preparation, the dentist may discover decay on the tooth. The decay is removed, and a composite core is immediately placed in the tooth before the crown is installed in place.

How Are Crowns Installed?
This procedure is done by applying a local anesthetic on the affected tooth. The dentist will fabricate a dental crown using the maxillary or mandibular arches. It is important that the crown needs to match the dental structure of your gums. The dentist will also try to make several considerations such as the type of crown and color of your teeth. The thing is, the crown needs to look as natural as it can. 

The permanent crown takes time to make thus the dentist usually prepares a temporary crown and installs the permanent a few days later. While waiting for the permanent crown, the dentist may place a dam over the tooth in order to hold it securely in place.

Are Dentures for You?

Dentures, also called fake teeth or prosthetic teeth, are designed to replace diseased or missing teeth. They are made exclusively for each patient, so it can fit snugly in the mouth.  People who have lost their teeth or are suffering from decayed teeth can get prosthetic teeth especially when their dentists have ruled out that other treatment options such as medication, cleaning, or gum flap surgery are no longer effective.

Types of Dentures

There are two types of prosthetic teeth: partial or complete. The type of fake teeth that are used will depend on the needs of the patient. But nevertheless, let us discuss the different types of prosthetic teeth that are available in the market.

Partial prosthetic teeth: Partial prosthetic teeth are done on patients that have a few missing teeth. The partial prosthetic teeth can be fixed or removable depending on the recommendation of the dentist. For instance, if only a tooth is missing, the dentist may suggest a fixed denture. However, fixed dentures are more expensive than removable prosthetic teeth.
Complete prosthetic teeth: Complete dentures are often installed when the entire set of teeth–lower or upper jaw–need to be replaced.  There are four types of complete prosthetics and these include standard, immediate, implant retained, and Cu-Sil prosthetic teeth.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Prosthetic Teeth

There are several things to consider when choosing the type of dentures and these include support, retention, and stability. It is important that the tissues and gums can support the dentures by preventing them from moving vertically and getting out of place. Another factor, stability, has to do with how the prosthetic teeth are kept from moving horizontally or sideways, forward, and backward. Lastly, retention refers to the matching of the inner surface of the denture base so that the dentures will have the best retention.


Extractions What is It and Its Healing Time

Tooth extraction is a common procedure performed by a trained dentist. Extractions are also called oral and maxillofacial surgery. It involves the removal of the tooth from the bony socket where it is attached to. Tooth extraction can be painless with the help of a local anesthesia via intravenous application. 

Am I a Candidate for Tooth Extraction?

There are a lot of reasons why tooth extraction is performed. One of the most common reasons why patients need to undergo the procedure is that the tooth might be impacted or can’t erupt properly on its own. In fact, the most common teeth that need to be extracted are the third molars—commonly referred to as the wisdom teeth. 

Process and Recovery for Extractions

Before extractions are started, the dentist usually performs a series of tests in order to find out the orientation of the molar, veins, and nerves on the mandible. By doing so, the dentist will be able to carefully plan out how to perform the operation with minimal risks. 

Once the procedure is done, the patient might have to endure some mild side effects which include bleeding, swelling, and numbness on the area. However, these should go away after a few days. During the convalescence period, the patient is discouraged from eating solid foods for the first few days. In fact, the patient needs to rest for seven days until the symptoms are gone. For the gum to completely heal, the patient needs to wait three to four weeks before it completely closes up.

If the patient suffers from complications such as dry socket or infection, the healing or recovery time can take longer. Problems with infection can easily be remedied by taking antibiotics while dry socket should let up after a few days. It is crucial to take note that the healing time varies from one patient to the other. Generally, it will take five to seven days for the patient to recover from extractions but those with weak immune systems often require a few weeks more to fully recover.


Dental Cleaning: An Overview

Brushing and flossing can help keep the plaque at bay. But aside from personal oral hygiene, it is important to have regular teeth cleaning done by a dentist to keep your teeth in top condition. If you don’t have your teeth cleaned, you can still develop tartar that will lead to many types of periodontal diseases like gingivitis or even losing a tooth due to infection.

How Important Is Teeth Cleaning?
Having regular dental cleaning will cost you money but it will get you a lot of benefits.  Not only will it allow you to achieve that perfect smile, but it also helps you protect your overall dental health. Having white teeth and a brilliant smile is not the only thing you get from having professional dental cleaning. Didn’t you know that dentists can detect any sign of oral cancer especially during routine cleaning? 
Having your teeth cleaned will help with the early detection of oral cancer. Another benefit of teeth cleaning is that you also reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Many studies have indicated that gum diseases are linked to stroke and heart attack. Thus, the cleaner your teeth are, the lesser the risk for heart disease you have.

How Often Should You Get a Dental Cleaning?
And so, we go to the proverbial question of how often should you get a dental cleaning? Many dentists agree that it is best to visit the dentist every six months regardless of your oral condition as well as your oral hygiene habits. Although those who have severe problems with tartar or plaque buildup may be required by their dentists to visit more often to be able to treat their dental problems.

And while professional teeth cleaning is necessary every six months, it is crucial for you to practice good personal oral hygiene to prevent the buildup of products that are responsible for gum diseases.


Root Canal Treatment Can Save Your Infected Teeth

A dental decay, if left untreated, can progress deep inside the tooth and end up destroying the pulp tissue. While conventional method of dealing with an infected tooth is by tooth extraction, a root canal is a more sustainable means because it does not involve removing the remediable tooth.

The root canals of the teeth are comprised of nerves as well as blood vessels. When a decay reaches the pulp tissues of the teeth, they get inflamed and eventually die. Once the pulp tissues decay, it is replaced with pus and other infected materials causing immense pain and swelling. In severe cases, the infection can also damage the surrounding bone structures causing tooth abscess. 

How Is the Root Canal Procedure Done?
Also called endodontic treatment, the root canal treatment cleans and sanitizes the root canal by removing the infected tissues. First, the dentist needs to access the pulp tissues by drilling on the upper layer of the teeth. Next, the interior of the tooth is cleaned. This procedure may take multiple visits to complete depending on the tooth that is infected.  Once the infected tissues are removed and the interior of the tooth is cleaned, fillings are placed by the dentist before it is sealed with a crown.

What to Do After the Treatment?
Aftercare, after undergoing the procedure, is very easy. Make sure that you refrain from consuming hard foods until the treatment is done. Eating hard food like candies can cause the crown to chip and expose the temporary filling. It is also crucial to maintain good oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth. 

The root canal procedure may take multiple sessions to complete but it saves you the trouble of having your infected teeth removed. This is a great option for people who dislike the idea of wearing dentures. And with proper dental hygiene, your root canal treatment will last you a lifetime.


How to Choose the Right Dental Filling

Dental fillings are one of the most popular dental cosmetic procedures that people get to restore their teeth’s general appearance. If you are planning to get a dental filling, then there are some things that you need to know to be able to choose the right one for you.

Types of Dental Filling
There are two types of fillings that dentists use, and these include the amalgam fillings and composite resin fillings. The former is traditional fillings used by many dentists. It is made from liquid silver, mercury, zinc, or copper. However, recent studies indicate that some of the metal fillings particularly mercury pose a hazard to the health as it may be released from the amalgam fillings. Composite resin fillings are made from plastic resins thus making it a good alternative to metal fillings. Fillings that are made from plastic resin are also strong and durable as well as very safe for the health.

How Are They Placed on The Tooth?
Your dentist will usually recommend that you get a filling if there are minor damages to your tooth or if it is slightly discolored. If you decide to get fillings for your teeth, the dentist will first prepare your teeth by injecting a local anesthesia to the gums where the fillings are to be placed. The dentist will drill on your tooth as well as use micro air-abrasion to remove the decayed part. Once the affected area is removed and cleaned, a special tool is used to open the dentin where the fillings are placed. To set the fillings, a special light is used to harden each layer. 

A dental filling has the ability to preserve as well as restore the natural look of your teeth. However, it is important to take note that it is not enough to protect your teeth from damage and decay. This is the reason why your dentist might also recommend for you to get a dental crown.


Wisdom Teeth Extraction Cost

Wisdom teeth extraction is a common oral surgical procedure that involves the removal of the third molar. The third molar or better known as the wisdom tooth is the last set of teeth to erupt. It usually comes out when a person is between the ages of 17 and 21. In most instances, there is not enough space on the jaw for it to grow, often causing the problem of impacted growth. Consequently, it becomes necessary for wisdom teeth extraction; otherwise you may experience pain and other dental problems if left unaddressed.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Extraction
The price of wisdom tooth extraction often depends on several factors: the experience of the dentist, location of the dental clinic, your dental insurance, and the extent or complexity of the entire procedure.  If you engage the services of an oral surgeon over a regular dentist, then chances are you will need to pay a bit more for the procedure.  Moreover, the degree of impaction has a bearing on the cost of the extraction.  You may need to pay more if your dentist has to perform more complicated procedures to remove your third molar.

The Real Score
A wisdom tooth extraction costs between $75 and $600 per tooth, depending on the type of the impaction. However, it is important to note that the fee does not cover the X-ray, sedation and medication. So, you may need to spend a few hundreds more to cover the entire cost.  In most cases, you need to prepare an additional $500 for the cost of other fees including the dentist’s consultation fee. 
If you have a dental insurance, then they may cover as much as 50% of the total cost of the procedure, especially if it is deemed as medically necessary. While some dental plans have an annual spending cap of $1,000. The thing here is, wisdom teeth extraction can involve a substantial amount of money, so it is important that you are not only prepared physically but also financially. 

The Importance of Proper Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene is a crucial element to everyone’s well-being.  Having a poor dental habit can lead to many dental diseases like gum disease, tooth decay, infection, stomach problems, and loss of teeth. Moreover, you might experience pain and discomfort as your tooth deteriorates. While most people think that good oral hygiene only involves flossing and brushing, there is more to proper oral hygiene than just having clean teeth and a fresh breath.

Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Didn’t you know that your teeth are the first step in the entire digestive process? Well, you use them to chew your food. Thus, practicing proper oral hygiene will help you maintain the function of your teeth. Poor oral habits can lead to tooth loss, infected gums, cavities, and many others that can hamper your ability to eat and so it affects your overall health. In fact, studies have indicated that women–particularly pregnant women—who suffer from gum disease have greater incidence in terms of giving birth to babies with low birth weight. Further, people who suffer from poor dental health are at risk of developing heart diseases and irritable bowel syndrome to name a few

What Makes Up Good Dental Hygiene?
Good dental hygiene has a lot to do with keeping your teeth and the totality of your mouth clean and healthy. Doing this requires more than just brushing once or twice a day. It also involves flossing at least once a day and using mouthwash to kill germs at least once a week. While your daily habits are important, it is also crucial to visit your dentist at least twice a year to look after your teeth as well as your bone structure. Dentists are adept at spotting problematic areas so that they can implement the right treatment before the problem balloons way out of proportion.


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