Posts for: November, 2017
Tooth decay is a primary cause of tooth damage and loss, with annual treatment costs in the billions of dollars. It arises mainly from oral bacteria, which proliferates in the absence of effective oral hygiene. There are, however, other risk factors besides poor hygiene that could make you more susceptible to this disease.
Many people, for example, have genetically inherited deeper grooves (fissures) and depressions (pits) than the average tooth anatomy. These may be harder to reach with a toothbrush and can become havens for bacterial plaque. Others may have health conditions that indirectly affect the mouth: bulimia or anorexia, psychological conditions that involve self-induced vomiting, or GERD, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, in which stomach acid could regurgitate into the mouth. These conditions could result in a highly acidic mouth environment.
Some medical and — ironically — dental treatments could also increase your tooth decay risk. Some medications can reduce saliva flow, which inhibits acid neutralization and re-mineralization of enamel. Retainers, braces, bite guards or other dental appliances may also reduce the saliva wash over teeth, and can make brushing and flossing more difficult.
There are also risk factors that result from our lifestyle choices. Eating a lot of foods rich in sugars and other carbohydrates, for example, or acidic beverages like soda, energy or sports drinks contributes to the rise of bacteria in our mouths.
There are ways to reduce the effects of these risk factors. In addition to a daily habit of effective brushing and flossing, you should also include semi-annual cleanings and checkups at our office a part of your routine. If you have genetic, medical or dental issues that are out of your control, we can discuss solutions, such as alternatives to medications or different techniques for cleaning around dental appliances. For lifestyle-related factors, you should consider removing the habit or modifying it: for example, snacking at specific times or drinking acidic beverages only at mealtime.
While tooth decay is a serious, destructive disease, it is highly preventable. Addressing all your risk factors, not just hygiene, will reduce your chances of having it.
If you would like more information on tooth decay prevention, 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 “Tooth Decay: How to Assess Your Risk.”
What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.
"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."
But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.
"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."
What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.
Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.
To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.
Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?
"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.
Discover the many benefits of getting dental implants to replace missing teeth.
Tooth loss is certainly not something to ignore. If you are dealing with gaps in your smile due to missing teeth then it’s time you did something about it. The sooner you seek treatment, the better the outcome. While dentures and bridges may not seem like ideal options for you, our Anchorage, AK, dentists Dr. Robert Morehead, Dr. Max Swenson and Dr. Frank Cavaness have a long-term solution that could have you smiling again.
Dental implants are the only tooth loss treatment that offers you a lifelong restoration. This is because implants are designed to naturally fuse together with the jawbone, where one of our Anchorage, AK, general dentists will place it during a minor in-office surgery.
Implants offer many incredible benefits including:
- Preserving the overall shape and integrity of the jawbone
- Maintaining your face shape and preventing sagging skin and premature lines
- Preventing teeth from shifting out of alignment
- A durable artificial tooth that could last a lifetime
- A greatly improved appearance
- A major boost to your self-confidence
- Fully restoring your ability to chew and speak properly
If you are thinking about getting dental implants to replace one or all of your missing teeth then you may be wondering if this is truly the best option for you. Coming in for an evaluation is the only way to determine whether you are healthy enough for implants.
When you come in for an evaluation, we will need to run X-rays to make sure that there isn’t any undetected gum disease, cavities or significant bone loss. Besides checking your oral health, we will also need to go through your medical history to see if there are any chronic health problems we should know about that could impact your treatment.
Ideal candidates will be adults who are in good health who are non-smokers and who aren’t pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant during the course of their treatment. It’s also important to note that you will have to undergo at least one minor outpatient surgery in order to get your implant.
Do you have questions about getting dental implants in Anchorage, AK? Want to find out if you are a candidate for this treatment? Then turn to Anchorage Dental Arts for all of your smile needs.