Posts for: July, 2017
Since their introduction over thirty years ago, dental implants have become the most popular choice for dental restoration. Their large variety of shapes and sizes — a far cry from the limited choices of the 1980s — has only served to increase their popularity.
In recent years there's also been an expansion in their applicability. Most people recognize them as replacements for individual teeth — but they can do much more. They're now playing a pivotal role in other dental restorations or situations.
Here are 3 of those “cutting edge” ways implants could change your dental health and smile for the better.
Fixed bridgework. In a traditional bridge, prosthetic (false) teeth use the natural teeth on either side of the empty space for support. In this updated version, implants become the support base for the bridge. For example, a bridge as small as three crowns can be supported by two implants attached to the outside crowns of the bridge. Four to eight implants can support a bridge as large as an entire arch of teeth.
Over-dentures. In cases of significant bone loss, a full or partial denture may be a better option than a fixed bridge. Traditional dentures, though, can contribute to even more bone loss, which can cause the dentures to eventually lose their fit. Implants not only can help stop further bone loss but can also stimulate increased bone density. Two or more standard or mini-sized-sized implants can support a full or partial denture.
Orthodontics anchorage. People with missing teeth aren't the only ones who can benefit from implants. While most bite repairs only require the back teeth to provide anchorage for braces, certain complex bites may need a different point of anchorage. Orthodontists can create a more feasible anchorage point with an implant or a temporary anchorage device (TAD) imbedded in the jaw. This can help isolate teeth that need to be moved from those on the arch that don't.
If you would like more information about how dental implants could improve your dental health and appearance, 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 “Dental Implants: Your Best Option for Replacing Teeth.”
In the age of the Internet, information is available with just a few clicks. Unfortunately, some of that information can be outdated or completely false. This is a particular problem with root canals, which many people still believe are a painful or unnecessary procedure. Your family dentists in Madisonville, Kentucky, Dr. Stuart Baldwin and Dr. Ben Baldwin, want to dispel any of the myths surrounding root canals by answering a few "fact or fiction" questions here.
Claim: Root canals are a necessary procedure.
This is a fact. If your Madisonville family dentist tells you that you need a root canal, it's because decay has progressed into the inner portions of the tooth, which can be extremely painful and put you at risk for infections. A root canal removes these infected tissues and the nerves associated with them, which saves the tooth and stops the infection in its tracks. A crown on the top of the tooth also seals off any other contaminants and allows you to eat and smile comfortably.
Claim: It's easier to have a tooth pulled than have a root canal.
In most cases, this is fiction. While tooth extraction used to be common, the dental industry has evolved over time, both with techniques and knowledge. We know now that when a tooth is pulled, it can put the remaining natural teeth at risk for shifting and decay, as teeth need the support of their "neighbors" to function properly. That's why your Madisonville family dentist will do a thorough evaluation to make sure the tooth can support a root canal. Teeth that are cracked below the gum line or those with severe decay may need an extraction to prevent further problems. Dental implants are often recommended in these cases.
Claim: Root canals are painful.
This is fiction as well. Before anesthesia was widely used, almost all dental procedures were painful! While patients know how that they will be thoroughly numbed before a cavity filling or other treatment, root canals haven't been able to shake that reputation. Your Madisonville dentist assures all patients that the most up-to-date anesthetic will be used during their root canals, and reminds patients that in many cases, a root canal eradicates the pain associated with advanced decay.
To learn more about root canals, or any other dental procedure, we encourage you to contact the Baldwin Dental Group in Madisonville, Kentucky to make an appointment with one of our skilled and friendly family dentists!
Everyone loves a concert where there's plenty of audience participation… until it starts to get out of hand.Â Recently, the platinum-selling band Fifth Harmony was playing to a packed house in Atlanta when things went awry for vocalist Camila Cabello. Fans were batting around a big plastic ball, and one unfortunate swing sent the ball hurtling toward the stage — and directly into Cabello's face. Pushing the microphone into her mouth, it left the “Worth It” singer with a chipped front tooth.
Ouch! Cabello finished the show nevertheless, and didn't seem too upset. “Atlanta… u wild… love u,” she tweeted later that night. “Gotta get it fixed now tho lol.” Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of ways to make that chipped tooth look as good as new.
A small chip at the edge of the tooth can sometimes be polished with dental instruments to remove the sharp edges. If it's a little bigger, a procedure called dental bonding may be recommended. Here, the missing part is filled in with a mixture of plastic resin and glass fillers, which are then cured (hardened) with a special light. The tooth-colored bonding material provides a tough, lifelike restoration that's hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. While bonding can be performed in just one office visit, the material can stain over time and may eventually need to be replaced.
Porcelain veneers are a more long-lasting solution. These wafer-thin coverings go over the entire front surface of the tooth, and can resolve a number of defects — including chips, discoloration, and even minor size or spacing irregularities. You can get a single veneer or have your whole smile redone, in shades ranging from a pearly luster to an ultra-bright white; that's why veneers are a favorite of Hollywood stars. Getting veneers is a procedure that takes several office visits, but the beautiful results can last for many years.
If a chip or crack extends into the inner part of a tooth, you'll probably need a crown (or cap) to restore the tooth's function and appearance. As long as the roots are healthy, the entire part of the tooth above the gum line can be replaced with a natural-looking restoration. You may also need a root canal to remove the damaged pulp material and prevent infection if the fracture went too far. While small chips or cracks aren't usually an emergency (unless accompanied by pain), damage to the tooth's pulp requires prompt attention.
If you have questions about smile restoration, please contact us and schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty As Never Before” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”