Let’s start with what dental implants are. When a tooth or teeth are missing, dental implants can be thought of ‘replacement tooth roots’. There are different situations for most people but the most common type of dental implant used today is the ‘root-form’ dental implant.

Implants can be used to replace one or all missing teeth. There are many advantages of dental implants, here are just a few.

1. They preserve the tooth bearing bone. 2. Avoiding reducing healthy tooth structure to support fixed bridges. 3. Provides excellent cosmetic results. 4.Implants are not suseptible to tooth decay.

If you choose to do nothing about your missing tooth or teeth, the risk of bone loss, shifting of the remaining teeth in to the new position, additional stress on the remaining teeth which can cause chipping or cracking and greater force placed on the jaw joints leading to TMD.

Every situation is different for everyone. If you have missing teeth, see your dentist to evaluate, diagnose and treatment plan if you are good candidate for dental implants.

Wisdom Teeth Removal – Is It Necessary?

Wisdom teeth are your final set of molars, usually not appearing until your late teens or early 20s. When they grow in properly, they can improve the efficiency of your chewing and are an asset to your mouth. More often than not, however, these teeth are misaligned and must be removed, which could be an expensive procedure if you do not have dental insurance.  Sometimes the wisdom teeth can even be stuck deep in the jaw bone, or even simply remain below the gum, and will never grow in. Wisdom teeth that will not grow in are “impacted.”

Your dentist will visually examine the area as well as take X-rays to assess the situation under the gum line. This helps determine if and how the wisdom molars need to be extracted. Dentists recommend extracting them by age 18 if they look like they could be problematic. Patients aged 35 and up have a greater risk of complications from the procedure, because the impacted teeth fuse to the jaw bone as people age. An extraction may be necessary if it looks like the wisdom teeth might interrupt normal sinus functionality or cause the other teeth to shift. Third molars that never emerge from the gum can be painful as well.

Does Wisdom Teeth Extraction Require Surgery?

If one or more of your wisdom teeth must be taken out, the procedure can vary from a simple extraction to full surgery under anesthesia. The type of procedure typically depends on the position of each wisdom tooth.

  • If the tooth is fully visible and completely erupted through your gum, a general dentist can quickly and easily remove it without surgery.
  • If the tooth is impacted under your gum or embedded in your jaw bone, it will require more complicated intervention. An oral surgeon or dentist will make an incision in the gum, and any bone covering your tooth will be removed. The impacted tooth is then taken out, often in small sections to minimize the amount of overlying bone that must be sacrificed. This complex procedure often requires an oral surgeon.

Will dental insurance cover the procedure?

Most dental insurance will help lower the cost of your wisdom teeth extraction if you have met your deductible.

Follow your dentist’s instructions! Recovery from a wisdom tooth extraction usually takes no more than a few days to a week, but if you ignore the dentist’s directions for how to take care of the area, you could face additional problems. Dry socket, for example, is a painful situation where the blood clot comes out instead of closing the wound where the tooth originally was. This occasionally happens completely on accident, but more often than not, it occurs when the patient fails to clean the area or doesn’t eat soft food. If you want to avoid expensive complications, listen to your dentist or oral surgeon.

In a recent article, the American Dental Association listed top reasons public water should be fluoridated. Here they are:

1.  Its the single, most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay

2. Natural fluoride is already present in all water sources, including the oceans

3. Similar to fortifying other foods and beverages

4. Prevents dental disease

5. Protects all ages against cavities

6. Safe and effective

7. Saves money

8. Recognized by more than 100 organizations

9. Availability of fluoridation continues to grow

10. Endorsed by the American Dental Association

For more information go to www.ADA.org/fluoride

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is embarrassing, and can affect your  self-esteem and make you insecure.  90 million people in the  United States are burdened with bad breath. Popping a breath mint or rinsing  with mouthwash may appear to freshen up your breath, but these remedies only  temporarily mask the problem, instead of eliminating it; eventually your bad  breath returns.

To get long-lasting fresh breath, incorporate natural remedies,  such as drinking water and chewing minty, sugar-free gum. Chewing gum stimulates the flow of saliva in your  mouth. Saliva rinses your mouth and helps wash away germs and food particles. Try sipping water throughout the day. Water keeps your mouth moist and helps keep  bacteria at a minimum. It also promotes saliva flow, which naturally rinses your  mouth.

Visit your dentist at least twice a year; tooth decay and other dental  problems can contribute to bad breath. Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day, once before bedtime and once in the  morning, with a fluoride toothpaste. Good oral hygiene promotes fresh  breath.

Consult your doctor if bad breath persists because bad breath can indicate a  medical condition, such as diabetes and kidney or liver disease.

Hello to our patients!

You’ve been doing such a great job of referring your friends that we thought it was time to set up a referral program to reward you!

We are partnering with some local businesses in the South Boulder Shopping Center.  For each person you refer to us, we will let you choose a $20 gift card from any of the following businesses.

South Side Walnut Cafe

Southern Sun Pub

Boulder Cycle Sport

Neptune Mountaineering

Start sending in your friends and family!  We’ll see you soon!

Tooth loss in the elderly has been a serious public health concern for years. Although the number of people with missing or no teeth has decreased over the past two decades, it is still relatively common in the older population.

24% of older people in the U.S. aged 65 to 74 years have nearly lost all of their teeth. Among those 75 years or older, nearly one-third are edentulous (have no remaining natural teeth).

Tooth loss not only compromises oral function, it can affect over all heatlh and well being. A study found that dentition status is associated with nutritional status in the elderly. Deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, proteins and caloric intake can affect the immune systems of older people compromising their bodies ability to fight off disease or infection.

Tooth loss can affect a person in a lot of ways. Social embarrassment, limited food choices can all affect one’s quality of life. It is a serious issue in the elderly and teaching prevention and steps to prevent it is important.

There are many reasons for tooth loss in the older generation. Age, sex, race, socioeconomic factors, tobacco use, attitude towards dental care, inadequate oral hygiene and periodontal health are a few. Systemic health and physical disability are also factors that play into tooth loss as well.

From a clinical perspective, if a patient presents with a high risk of losing a tooth or teeth, it is essential that the dentist know how soon the failure will occur so that the treatment plan can be adjusted and preventative strategies can be encouraged to prevent tooth loss and minimize the effects.

Armed with information, dental professionals can develop treatment plans ahead of time to detect potential changes in patients teeth increasing postitive clincial outcomes and quality of care for the elderly.

Did you know the bite of the Komodo dragon is known as one of the deadliest bites among all animals?

It has nothing to do with sharp teeth or anything of that nature. Instead, it’s the horrendous dental hygiene and a mouth filled with infectious bacteria, enabling the animal to kill prey rather easily.

The researchers also claim that the infectious bacteria spread though groups of the dragons, which makes the community as a whole more dangerous. The researchers from the University of Texas concluded that the bacteria spread by prey that isn’t killed.

There are about 58 strains of bacteria located in the saliva of the Komodo dragon. About 93 percent of that is considered to be pathogenic (deadly). One species of bacteria, called Pastuerella multocida, killed mice after the mice were injected with the bacteria.

The Komodo dragon is the world’s largest dragon, and they can grow as long as nine feet. The dragons inhabit five small islands in Indonesia. Their bite allows them to kill animals much larger than they are.

Lets all be glad dental professionals dont have to deal with mouths like the Komodo Dragon!

Tooth sensitivity after having fillings put in or replaced is a common thing.

Some sensitivity is normal after any tooth has been worked on, especially if there has been tooth decay. Decay irritates the tooth, and working on that tooth irritates it further, to where it can develop into a painful sensitivity.

If this is the only cause, expect the tooth to gradually get better, usually within a couple of days, but it can last for several months. As long as the tooth gradually improves, there should be no cause for concern.

The decay could have been close to the pulp of the tooth. In this situation, some bacteria will always be present in the thin porous dentin between the filling and the tooth. With the tooth being irritated from being worked on, it creates a situation in which the tooth can easily become infected. If the sensitivity persists, it indicates that the tooth is not recovering from this tooth infection and will need a root canal. This is fairly uncommon however, but still important to be aware of.

If the tooth is sensitive to biting down, it may need only a simple bite adjustment.

With composite fillings, there is an unusual kind of sensitivity that sometimes occurs. With this sensitivity, the tooth is not sensitive when you clench your teeth together but will experience a sharp pain when food is chewed.

When it occurs, either adjusting the bite where the filling was placed or replacing the filling with another composite filling usually eliminates the sensitivity. If left untreated, the sensitivity may go away over a period of several months, or it may get worse.

There are other possible causes for sensitivity or pain after new fillings. A dental examination may be required to discover another source of the problem.

Bottom line is if you have any kind of sensitivity after a filling is placed well after giving it time to adjust, see your dentist!

Cold sores are groups of painful, fluid-filled blisters often called “fever blisters”. These unsightly sores usually erupt on the lips, and sometimes on skin around the lips. Clusters of small blisters also may occur on the gum tissue near the teeth and/or on the bony roof of the mouth.

Cold sores are caused by herpesvirus Type 1 or Type 2 and are contagious. The initial infection (primary herpes), which often occurs before adulthood, may be confused with a cold or the flu. The infection can cause painful lesions to erupt throughout the mouth, and some patients can be quite ill for a week. Most people who become infected with herpes do not get sick.

Once a person is infected with herpes, the virus stays in the body, where it may remain inactive. Unfortunately, in some people, the virus becomes activated periodically, causing the cold sore to appear on the lips or other sites. A variety of irritants wind, sun, fever,and stress can cause a outbreak.

Cold sores usually heal in about a week. Once the blister breaks, an unsightly scab forms. Over-the-counter topical anesthetics and protectants or anti-inflammatory agents or topical antiviral agents may provide temporary relief for the discomfort, but they do little to speed healing.

As with the common cold, there is no cure for these viral infections. Topical or systemic antiviral drugs can be prescribed by your dentist, but they are ineffective after three to four days of blister formation and usually are not recommended in otherwise healthy patients.

Not all sores are harmless. Schedule an appointment if you notice any change in your mouth, including pain or discomfort, or the presence of sores in the mouth, even if they are not painful. A biopsy usually can determine the cause or rule out another disease.

Your dentist can recognize and often diagnose the type of mouth sore or spot on the basis of its appearance and location.

After researching some history, it is amazing how many famous (and infamous) people there are/were in the field of dentistry.

Steve Arlin became a DDS after playing for the Padres from 1969-1974.

Edgar Buchanan, primarily known for his later career as an actor in shows like Petticoat Junction, started off as a dentist.

Martin van Butchell was an eccentric British dentist who put his dead wife on display, reputedly because of a clause in a marriage contract. Butchell became a dentist in the 1760s London. When his wife Mary died on January 14, 1775, he decided to have her embalmed and turn her into an attraction to draw more customers.

John “Dok” Hager – Cartoonist whose nickname came from his days as a dentist.

Jim Lonborg – In the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, he is now a dentist.

Thomas Bramwell Welch – Founder of Welch’s was a dentist.

Even the wild wild west had a infamous dentist. Dr. John Henry “Doc” Holliday. Known for his role as an outlaw and was in the infamous gunfight in Tombstone, AZ at the O.K. Corral along side Wyatt Earp.

Before he lead the life of gambling and gunslinging, he received his dental degree from The Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in 1872 and practiced in Atlanta, GA and Dallas, TX. Doc Holliday died from tuberculosis in Glenwood Springs, CO.