Here at Dazzling smile Dental Group we answer some of your questions regarding your dental health.
Q: What causes tooth loss?
A: Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common causes of tooth loss. Tooth decay takes place when most of the tooth's mineral makeup has been dissolved away and a hole (cavity) has formed. While tooth decay primarily affects children, periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects mostly adults. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque, and its earliest stage is known as gingivitis.
Q: How many times a day should I brush my teeth?
A: Most dental professionals recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing after every meal (and flossing at least once a day) is also a good way to maintain dental health.
Q: When should a child have his/her first dental appointment?
A: A child should have his first dental appointment no later than his third birthday. Many dentists recommend a child have his first appointment when his first tooth comes in.
Q: What causes oral cancer?
A: Tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) is the most common cause of oral cancer. Combining tobacco use with heavy drinking can also foster the development of oral cancer. Bad hygiene, prolonged irritation of the oral cavity, and extended exposure to strong sunlight on the lips are among other causes of the disease. Many dentists believe vitamins A and E can help prevent the acquisition of oral cancer.
Q: What are the warning signs of oral cancer?
A: Early symptoms of oral cancer include: a sore on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat that does not heal; a lump on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat; a red or white patch found anywhere in the mouth; unusual pain or bleeding in the mouth; swelling of the mouth; and any difficulty or discomfort felt in chewing or swallowing.
Q: What is a Periodontist?
A: Periodontist is a dentist who works to prevent and treat diseases of the gums and bone around the teeth. Most periodontists are also involved in the placement and maintenance of dental implants.
Q: What is a periodontal disease?
A: Periodontal disease is a serious, chronic bacterial infection that attacks the gums and bones that support your teeth.
Q: What causes periodontal disease?
A: The major cause of periodontal disease is the buildup of plaque, which results from the overgrowth of the mouth's naturally occurring bacteria. In order to prevent the development of periodontal disease, an individual needs to maintain sound hygiene practices by brushing his / her teeth and flossing daily.
Q: What are the treatments for periodontal disease?
A: If periodontal disease is caught at an early stage (when it has not progressed beyond the point of gingivitis), it can be treated with scaling and root-planning (removing plaque around the tooth and smoothing the roots' surfaces). If the disease progresses to a later stage, the patient may need surgical treatment, which involves cutting the gums, eliminating the hardened plaque build-up, and repairing the damaged bone.
Q: What is gingivitis?
A: Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums around the roots of the teeth. It marks the early stage of periodontal disease, and it is characterized by red, swollen gums.
Q: Where can I find a periodontist in my area?
A: At Dazzling Smile Dental Group we have a Periodontist who can take care of any bleeding gum issues and discuss with you your concerns regarding your gum health.
Q: What is Prosthodontics?
A: Prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the restoration and replacement of missing teeth and parts of the jaw (often using dentures or bridges).
Q: What is a prosthodontist?
A: A Prosthodontist is a dental professional who creates, restores, and replaces human teeth. After completing four years of dental school, a prosthodontist has to complete three additional years of training in a post-doctoral program.
Q: What are dentures?
A: Dentures are a partial or complete set of artificial teeth used to occupy the upper or lower jaw, usually attached to a plate. Simply put, dentures are a set of false teeth.
Q: What is an oral surgeon?
A: An oral surgeon is a dentist who specializes in different aspects of surgery in and around the mouth. He / she performs simple extractions and difficult, complex extractions, including the removal of wisdom teeth. Most oral surgeons are qualified to install dental implants and perform jaw realignment procedures. They usually have about four years of advanced education after finishing dental school.
Q: What is oral/ maxillofacial surgery?
A: Oral and Maxillofacial surgery is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of defects, injuries, and diseases involving the head, mouth, teeth, gums, jaws, and neck.
Q: Who needs to have their wisdom teeth extracted?
A: Anyone who is in danger of developing impacted wisdom teeth (third molars that only partially erupt or get trapped or stuck in the jaw) should have them removed so that they do not damage adjacent molars and cause other oral problems. In addition, anyone who is getting dentures should have their wisdom teeth removed.
Q: Do oral surgeons treat TMJ?
A: Yes. Oral surgeons treat Tempero Mandibular Joint disorder.
Q: Who needs dentures?
A: If you have lost most or all of your teeth, you are a perfect candidate for complete dentures. If you still have some natural teeth remaining, a partial denture is recommended to help improve chewing ability, speech, and support for facial muscles.
Q: Are there any prosthodontic associations?
A: Yes. The American College of Prosthodontists, The American Prosthodontic Society, and The Greater New York Academy of Prosthodontics are all prosthodontic associations.
Q: Is the concept of dental implants a new one?
A: Modern implantology began in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. However, popularity really grew in the 1980’s with the increased success of the titanium cylinder. Since then, many brand name implants with minor variations have been approved.
Q: What factors contribute to the long term success of dental implants?
A: Long-term success depends on multiple factors. Firstly, success will depend on the quality and quantity of bone. The better the bone and the more available, the greater the chance of long-term success. Secondly, the experience and ability of the dental surgeon will be a factor. As with any surgical procedure, there is no substitute for the experience and individual talent of the dentist. And finally, the quality of the restoration placed on top of the implant will play a big role in long-term success. If the design of the implant crowns or overdentures are poorly constructed, and biting forces are not balanced, even the best-placed dental implant will have a compromised survival rate.
Q: Who can place a dental implant in my mouth?
A: A Periodontist, an oral surgeon, or an implantologist places dental implants. The periodontist and oral surgeon are teamed with a restorative dentist. They will place the implants and then the patient will be seen by a restorative dentist for completion of the crowns or overlying appliance. There will be two dentists during the course of treatment. An implantologist is trained in both dental implant surgery and restoration of the dental prosthesis. An implantologist will do both the surgery and the restoration, and there will be only one dentist during the course of treatment. Click here to find an implantologist near you.
Q: Who can restore the teeth on top of the dental implants?
A: A general dentist trained to restore implants, an oral implantologist, or a prosthodontist can restore teeth. It is the choice of the patient to use a ‘one doctor approach’, whereby the oral implantologist does both the surgery and the restoration, or the ‘two doctor approach’, whereby the surgery and restoration are performed by two different clinicians. Click here to find an implantologist near you.
Q: Are there any age limitations for dental implants?
A: No. Any person at any age can have dental implants as long as there is enough bone available in which to place the implants.
Q: What might be some factors that would prevent me from being an implant candidate?
A: There are some medical factors that might prevent a person from being a good candidate for dental implants. Some of these may be uncontrolled diabetes, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, parathyroid disorders, blood disorders, rare bone disorders or bone marrow cancer. Some physical factors may include insufficient or poor quality bone, low sinuses or nerve bundles.
Q: How often will I need to have my implants checked?
A: The success of your implants will depend greatly on how well you maintain them. They will need to be professionally cleaned by a hygienist and examined by your implant dentist every three to four months. This hygienist should be trained in the specific procedure of maintaining dental implants. Also, brushing and flossing daily is absolutely necessary for long-term success.
Q: Is dental implant surgery painful?
A: No. An effective local anesthetic is used during the surgery so that you do not have any discomfort during the placement of the implants. The mild discomfort you might experience after surgery can be controlled with medications.
Q: When can I return to work after implant surgery?
A: You can go to work the next day, unless some particular surgical circumstance arises. Your implant dentist will discuss all postoperative instructions with you.
Q: Are there any professional organizations for implant dentists?
A: Yes. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry and The International Congress of Oral Implantologists are professional organizations for implant dentists.