Although teeth are quite durable, we can still lose them—even all of them—to disease or injury. The good news, though, is that we have effective ways to restore teeth after they're lost. One of these, the removable denture, has given people their teeth back for several generations. And with recent advances in technology, today's dentures are even better.
Although more advanced, today's dentures share the same basic structure as those from a century ago: prosthetic (false) teeth set in a plastic resin colored to resemble the gums. The traditional denture is molded to fit snugly over an individual patient's alveolar jaw ridges, which once supported the former natural teeth. The denture stays in place primarily through a suction effect between the denture and the ridges.
Modern technology, though, has greatly improved today's dentures. Digital imaging can be used to generate highly accurate impressions of the dental ridges that can lead to denture bases with better fit. Dentists using photographs of the patient, especially in earlier years, are better able to identify facial landmarks, which enables them to position the new teeth to more closely recreate the patient's former smile.
These technological aids now help dentists to create more attractive dentures with better support and comfort. But the fit that makes this possible may not last due to a particular weakness inherent in traditional dentures—continuing bone loss. When teeth are missing, the underlying jawbone can lose bone volume over time. Dentures don't stop this process and can accelerate it due to constant friction and pressure on the dental ridges.
But a new modification incorporating dental implants with dentures can help solve these problems. By placing a few strategically positioned implants in the jawbone that then connect with the denture, the appliance not only gains more stability, but also produces less pressure on the dental ridges. In addition, bone cells naturally grow and adhere to the titanium implant posts, which helps to stop or slow bone loss.
If you've experienced total tooth loss, dentures are an affordable and effective option. Thanks to modern dental advances, you can get back the smile and dental function you once lost.
If you would like more information on denture restorations, 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 “Removable Full Dentures.”
One of the major signs that a young person's dental development is nearing completion is the eruption of the last four permanent teeth: the third molars, located rear-most on either side of both the upper and lower jaws. But the advent of these molars, also called wisdom teeth, isn't always a cause for celebration: They can give rise to serious dental problems.
Wisdom teeth often arrive on an already crowded jaw, making them subject to erupting out of position or becoming impacted, totally or partially submerged in the gums. This can cause harm not only to themselves, but also to other teeth: They can impinge on and damage the roots of their neighbors; impede brushing and flossing and increase the risk of disease; and skew the alignment of other teeth to create poor bites that affect dental health and function.
Wisdom teeth are considered so prone to these problems (an estimated 70% between ages 20 and 30 have at least one impacted molar) that it's been a common practice to remove them before they show signs of disease or poor bite development. As a result, third molar extractions are the most common surgical procedure performed by oral surgeons.
But the dental profession is now reevaluating this practice of early removal. On the whole, it's difficult to predict if the eruption of wisdom teeth in a particular person will actually lead to problems. It may be premature, then, to remove wisdom teeth before there's sufficient evidence of its necessity.
As a result, many dentists now follow a more nuanced approach to wisdom teeth management. An impacted wisdom tooth that's diseased or contributing to disease is an obvious candidate for removal. But if the eruption is proceeding without signs of impaction, disease or poor bite development, many providers recommend not removing them early. Instead, their development is allowed to continue, although monitored closely.
If signs of problems do begin to emerge, then removal may again be an option. Until then, a more long-term watchful approach toward wisdom teeth may be the best strategy for helping a young person achieve optimal dental health.
If you would like more information on managing wisdom teeth treatment, 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 “Wisdom Teeth: Coming of Age May Come With a Dilemma.”
Keep calm and floss on!
Just how regularly do you floss your teeth? Do you know how often you’re supposed to be flossing your teeth to keep your smile healthy? The answer is once a day. Yes, you should be flossing every day if you want to get rid of plaque and food from between teeth and along the gum line. Our Gaithersburg, MD, dentists Dr. Steven Rattner and Dr. Andrew Donald, and their family dentistry team want to make sure all their patients are flossing regularly. Here’s why flossing is so crucial for your teeth and gums:
Flossing Can Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease results in inflammation and damage to the gums due to bacteria. The best way to get rid of oral bacteria and to remove plaque buildup along the gums is by flossing. Not even your toothbrush can remove plaque in all areas of your smile, so you must be flossing at least once a day along with brushing twice a day.
Flossing Can Prevent Tooth Loss
Tooth loss is one serious complication of gum disease. If you don’t know that you have gum disease you may not even realize it or experience symptoms until the disease has progressed. Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Therefore, by flossing daily to reduce your risk for gum disease you can also protect your teeth, as well.
Flossing Can Stave Off Bad Breath
This is a no brainer, but no one likes dealing with bad breath. This embarrassing problem is just downright unpleasant and may also be a hint that you aren’t keeping your teeth and gums as clean as you may think. Tartar buildup is the biggest culprit of bad breath, so it’s important that you are flossing and brushing regularly to prevent plaque from hardening into tartar.
Flossing May Prevent Heart Disease
You know flossing can prevent gum disease, but did you know that flossing may also prevent systemic and potentially serious health problems too? When bacteria enter the gums, it is also able to reach the bloodstream where it can then affect other parts of the body. Since there is a link between gum disease and heart disease, flossing could reduce your risk of these serious health problems.
Grove Dental Arts are proud to offer preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and family dentistry here in Gaithersburg, MD. If you are looking for a dentist for the whole family, then you’ve come to the right place. Schedule appointments for the family by calling (301) 637-2971 to reach Dr. Steven Rattner and Dr. Andrew Donald.
How cosmetic dentistry services from your dentists in Gaithersburg, MD, can give you the beautiful smile you deserve
Most people have at least one thing that bothers them about their smiles. If you are one of these people, there is good news! Cosmetic dentistry can give you an outstanding smile that people will notice. Dr. Steven Rattner and Dr. Andrew Donald of Grove Dental Arts in Gaithersburg, MD, offer a full line of cosmetic dentistry services, to give you the beautiful smile you deserve.
Cosmetic dentistry services offer you the opportunity to create a smile you will be proud to show off. Consider these cosmetic dentistry services to improve your smile:
Professional teeth whitening if you want to show off a younger-looking, brighter smile; professional teeth whitening from your Gaithersburg dentist allows you to whiten and brighten your smile up to 8 shades whiter. Your amazing results will last a long time too, even up to 5 years! Professional teeth whitening uses only the best products and methods, which have been approved by the American Dental Association, so you know the treatment is safe and effective.
Dental bonding if you want to repair small chips, cracks, or excessive tooth wear; dental bonding uses composite, a liquid resin that can be matched to the color of your teeth and sculpted to match your natural tooth contours. After placement, the composite is hardened with ultraviolet light, giving you a bonding treatment that enhances your smile.
Porcelain veneers if you want to achieve a dramatic and beautiful change in your smile; porcelain veneers are thin laminates that are cemented to the front surfaces of your teeth. They cover up both minor and major defects in your smile including tooth wear, cracks, lost tooth structure, and other damage. In some cases, porcelain veneers can even make overlapped, rotated, or crowded teeth look straighter.
When you choose cosmetic dentistry to improve your smile, get ready for some outstanding results that will amaze you. To find out more about what cosmetic dentistry can do for your smile, call Dr. Steven Rattner and Dr. Andrew Donald of Grove Dental Arts in Gaithersburg, MD, at (301) 987-5527. Call today!
After years of research, we're confident in saying that brushing and flossing daily are essential for maintaining a healthy mouth. A mere five minutes a day performing these tasks will significantly lower your risk of dental disease.
We're also sure about the essentials you'll need to perform these tasks: a soft-bristled toothbrush using fluoride toothpaste, and a roll (or picks) of dental floss. The only deviation might be a water flosser appliance instead of flossing thread.
Unfortunately, some folks deviate even more from the norm for both of these tasks. One of the strangest is a social media trend substituting regular toothpaste with substances containing activated charcoal. The proponents of brushing with charcoal claim it will help whiten teeth and kill harmful microorganisms. People brushing with a black, tarry substance also seem to make for good “gross-out” videos.
There's no substantial evidence to support these claims. Perhaps proponents of charcoal's whitening ability are assuming it can remove stains based on its natural abrasiveness. It could, however, remove more than that: Used over time, charcoal could wear down the protective enamel coating on your teeth. If that happens, your teeth will be more yellow and at much greater risk for tooth decay.
When it comes to flossing (or more precisely, removing food material from between teeth), people can be highly inventive, substituting what might be at hand for dental floss. In a recent survey, a thousand adults were asked if they had ever used household items to clean between their teeth and what kind. Eighty percent said they had, using among other things twigs, nails (the finger or toe variety) and screwdrivers.
Such items aren't meant for dental use and can harm tooth surfaces and gum tissues. Those around you, especially at the dinner table, might also find their use off-putting. Instead, use items approved by the American Dental Association like floss, floss picks or toothpicks. Some of these items are small enough to carry with you for the occasional social “emergency.”
Brushing and flossing can absolutely make a difference keeping your teeth and gums healthy. But the real benefit comes when you perform these tasks correctly—and use the right products for the job.
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