Archive for June, 2011
Cracked, broken and missing teeth aren’t just unsightly – they can cause many oral health problems, says a prominent Dallas implant dentist. Broken teeth are an avenue for bacteria and decay, which can further deteriorate your teeth and cause infections that extend beyond your teeth. When one of your teeth is missing or broken to the root, the surrounding teeth will shift over time to fill the gap. This can result in teeth that don’t meet properly, which can in turn cause problems with biting, chewing and speaking. Missing teeth also promote bone loss, which can completely change the contours of your face. In short, a missing tooth starts a cascade of effects that can drastically affect your appearance and your health. Dental implants fill in the missing gaps, preventing the teeth from shifting and stopping the cascade of problems before they begin, says the Dallas implant dentist.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants provide a permanent replacement for missing teeth. Unlike bridges and dentures, dental implants stay in your mouth. Once they’re placed, they feel, look and behave just like real teeth. You don’t need any messy goop to keep them in your mouth, and you don’t take them out and drop them in a glass to clean them. Instead, you brush your teeth normally, and never have to worry about your dentures slipping or food getting under them to irritate your gums.
Dallas Implant Dentistry Options
While many people think of dental implants as a replacement for a single tooth, there are also options for those who need full dental replacements, or who have several missing teeth. The most common dental implant option for replacing multiple teeth are dental implants used to anchor permanent dentures. Instead of inserting a single titanium post into the jaw bone to support a single replacement tooth, the dentist installs two or more titanium posts to replace the roots of missing teeth. Once the bone has healed and incorporated the implants, the dentist will snap on dentures that have been crafted and created especially to fit your mouth. The dental implants anchor the dentures so that there’s no need for unsanitary and uncomfortable plastic palates that cause sores, affect the taste of food and generally make your life miserable.
If you live in or near Dallas, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mark Sowell, Dallas implant dentist, to learn how implant dentistry can change your life.
Do you feel rested in when you wake up? Are you tired after lunch, fall asleep when you sit down in a chair, nod off when you are in heavy stop and go traffic or in a line at a drive through at the bank? Do you snore, get poked in the ribs at night when you are trying to sleep or have trouble concentrating?
Research shows that 30% of the general population has a sleep disorder and that 90% of these people are undiagnosed. Wow- can you believe that? Sounds like we are just scratching the surface of this one. Here some more eye opening data, 70 % of people with high blood pressure or heart disease also have sleep apnea. Often are on blood pressure medication and have to take higher and high dosages when in fact they have sleep apnea which is undiagnosed and if it was treated they would not need the high doses of blood pressure medications and their side effects. Most patients with diabetes also have sleep apnea. Without good sleep our quality of life decreases, our performance decreases, our immune system efficiency decreases and we become more vulnerable to disease.
The fundamental problem is as we get older our airway narrows and we do not get enough oxygen to allow us to go into deep sleep. It is in deep sleep the body repairs and regenerates itself. When we do not get enough oxygen our body does not allow us to go into a restful deep sleep, keeping us in a shallow sleep struggling to get more oxygen into our blood stream. This affects our ability to concentrate, alertness and regenerative processes. A good nights sleep is a quality of life issue with serious health implications long term. The sad thing is we are unaware of the problem or consequences. We think we just snore and do not feel as alert and rested because we are getting older. If you feel you would like to find out if you fit in this category or have a spouse who you love and want to find out about just mention it to us at your next hygiene appointment and we will be happy to screen for sleep apnea.
I am flying back to Dallas after just spending the last 3 days at the Annual Spear Faculty club meeting. For those of you who do not know, I teach advanced dental procedures at Spear Education in Scottsdale, Arizona at the state of the art Scottsdale Center for Dentistry. This year topic is “Future technologies and Science in Dentistry”. I thought for some of you might be interested so I thought it would be a good time review what will be coming our way.
We have used digital x-rays since 1996 for cavity detection, and slowly the profession is changing. Currently 40% of the dental office across the country use digital x-rays. As you know this has cut down radiation exposure 5 fold or 500%. The next huge improvement with be not having to place the film or sensor inside the mouth. I know patients will absolutely love this. Replacing the Panorex machine (the one that goes around your head) is the 3D cone beam machines. This is a specialized Cat Scan (CT) x-ray machine for dentistry and I am dreaming of the day I can have one in my office. Currently we use it for virtual implant planning and we send our patients to an imaging center (Image dent) ,but it also picks up many dental problems we cannot detect with traditional 2D x-rays for example old root canals that have gotten reinfected.
In the world of dental materials porcelains continue to evolve. Although most office still uses a lot of metal, we have used only porcelain materials since 1996. This helps me create natural looking teeth, but the limiting factor has always been the strength of the porcelain. Currently lithium disilicate and zerconia have given us a big boost in strength which has decreased crown chips and fractures. This technology will only continue to improve as well as milling porcelain crowns in the office, currently the application is limited but it is getting better as time goes on. It will definitely be the future of dentistry.
Treating Sleep Apnea in the dental office with oral appliance is here to stay and we have been doing this with home sleep study monitors for 2 years now. The problem is diagnosis and education, most people who have it are not aware. Kind of like people not being aware they clench and grind their teeth? This is going to be huge in terms of improving people health over 40. Exercise, eat healthy in moderation and wear an oral appliance when you sleep will be the formula to feel good and getting off blood pressure medications and controlling most forms of diabetes, etc. Most people do not like wearing a C Pap machine to bed looking like Darth Vader.
The problem with oral cancer is it is 55% fatal once it hits the surface of the skin in the mouth. In other words, once we can see it, it will be too late 55% of the time. 50,000 Americans get oral cancer each year. Over time more and more devices have been developed to try and detect oral cancer before it erupts into the skin. Currently Velscope is the state of the art, but false positives are problematic. This is a special light device that is shined into the mouth, and picks up the lack of florescence of malignant tissues (dark areas under the scope).
Lasers are an exciting new application tool for dentist to use which helps to decrease patient discomfort following many dental surgical procedures. There are many different types of lasers and their effectiveness and price vary greatly. I have used what is considered the bench mark in lasers, the Biolase MD for 5 years now, and it allows me to do surgical procedures without any discomfort and at the same time as I treat the tooth , when in the past we had to so the surgical procedure and wait 6 weeks before we could treat the tooth. This has been revolutionary is expediting treatment and eliminating post treatment discomfort for patients. Also lasers are used as early cavity detection devices. A problem in the past has been false positives, but vast improvements have been made in this area.
Finally the most futuristic concept is genetically engineering new teeth. To date researchers have been able to induce the body to grown tooth like structures by introducing hydroxyapatite (HA) empregnated with stem cell derivatives. Stem cells are the key. Through this process the body will develop root like structures under the skin. The idea would be for this process to replace todays dental implants. This research is being done on mice but the science is fundatmental and will be improved in time. Currently the newest developments in this are is tooth transplantations, using a bicuspid to replace a traumatic injury to a young person losing a front tooth. The most common example would be to replace a front tooth that has been lost in an accident.
Anyways, it is always fun to image the future, I hope you enjoyed this preview.