Years Since Your Last Dental Visit? No Lectures Here!
Posted on Jan 29, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
It’s not unusual to see a new patient who has not had dental care for years — sometimes ten years or more. I occasionally have these patients share that one of the reasons they’ve avoided care is dreading the lecture they’ll get. While this is often an unfounded perception, a ‘lecture’ by a Dentist or his/her staff tends to be a turn-off, particularly to those who have avoided care because of fear.
Trying to guilt an adult into dental care often has the opposite effect. Lectures and making patients feel ‘bad’ about their failure to maintain a healthy mouth typically causes one to feel belittled. This is unfortunate since it is difficult enough to motivate fearful adults into a dental office in the first place.
If you haven’t seen a dentist in years, you should know that the percentage of American adults who have dental fear is about the same as those with some level of gum disease. The first stage, gingivitis, is typically resolved with conservative periodontal therapy. Gingivitis is not only due to insufficient oral hygiene. It can also be caused by stress, smoking, age, genetics, hormonal changes, pregnancy, conditions such as diabetes, certain medications, and some diseases.
As dental caregivers, it is not our job to judge, but rather restore patients to optimal oral health. We know each person deserves to be respected since the step to receive much-needed dentistry can be a major one for many. This is especially true for adults who have high fear or anxiety associated with dental visits. The most important thing is to regain good oral health. The sooner this occurs, the bigger the savings in time and expense versus treatment necessary for advanced problems.
Ready for respect, TLC, and a terrific smile? Call (828) 274-9440 to arrange a consultation.
An Ideal Implant? Hmmm, Could Be…
Posted on Jan 25, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
Over the years, Dental Implants have evolved into what is becoming American adults’ preferred method for tooth replacement. And, why not? They restore the ability to chew comfortably, halt bone loss, and are designed to last a lifetime. As a matter of fact, Dental Implants have one of the highest success rates of all implant-in-bone types, including hips and knees.
One fairly recent implant is setting quite a precedent for all others. The ‘All-On-4’ implant system uses unique angles so it works well for even those who have experienced severe bone loss. Because it uses only 4 implants to support a full arch of teeth, it is a more-affordable option that many traditional types.
Another bonus of the All-On-4 is their ability to support teeth as soon as they are placed. They also hold teeth that are non-removable, so you can brush your teeth in your mouth and wake up with a smile!
I can’t think of one reason why a denture wearer would be miserable and struggle to chew when All-On-4 is such an ideal option. To discuss ‘All-On-4’ or any Dental Implant, call (828) 274-9440 to schedule a consultation.
A Fit Body Gives Oral Health A Boost, Too!
Posted on Jan 22, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
If your New Year’s Resolution to get in shape has you dragging about now, don’t give up! Your oral health could benefit, too! A study has shown that over 63% of American adults are either overweight or obese.
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine found that the risk of gum disease lowers when fat cells decrease. The study measured obese adults, some of whom were having bariatric surgery. All were given periodontal treatment and oral hygiene home care instructions. While both groups showed improvement, the surgery group showed the most favorable results.
Apparently, an overabundance of fat cells secrete more cytokines. This makes insulin more resistant to proper function, allowing more sugar in the blood. By reducing fat cells, insulin becomes less resistant and actually aids the body’s response to periodontal treatment.
Along with cytokines, the leptin hormone has been linked to inflammation. Because leptin helps to regulate metabolism, its production was reduced after bariatric surgery. This tends to boost the effectiveness of periodontal treatment.
Inflammation from gum disease can erode bone and cause tooth loss. It also enables harmful oral bacteria to enter the blood stream. This bacteria has been linked to preterm birth, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and more.
The study, too, is another example of how intricately oral health and overall health are connected. Keeping your gums and teeth in good condition prevent harmful bacteria from causing inflammation in the body. By the same token, a healthy body seems to create a better foundation for the gums. So, stick to your resolve to get in shape and remember to smile on that treadmill! It’s worth it!
Replacing Teeth Protects Other Teeth, And More!
Posted on Jan 18, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
Every tooth in an adult mouth has an important role, which goes far beyond esthetics.
When a tooth is lost, so is its ability to help the teeth on each side maintain proper position. A gap allows neighboring teeth to shift, allowing other teeth to move, also. It is a fact that when a natural tooth is lost, an adjacent tooth is statistically the next to be lost.
The tooth above or below are also compromised. When a tooth has no tooth to meet in a bite relationship, it grows longer. This traditionally conflicts with the neighboring teeth, top and bottom. Not only can this alter the bite, it typically leads to chips, fractures or breaks.
An issue many people are unaware of is bone resorption. This occurs when the jaw bone is no longer supporting the tooth root. Without this stimulation, the jaw begins to shrink, or resorb, affecting the stability of adjacent teeth. When several teeth in one area are lost, over time, facial changes can result from the shrinking bone. This is what gives long-time denture wearers a ‘sunken in’ mouth and a ‘granny look’ that ages them far beyond their actual years.
When a tooth is lost, replacing it promptly is the best option to preserve bone and protect the health of other teeth. Because Dental Implants recreate the presence of tooth roots in the jaw bone, this is the preferred method of tooth replacement. Dental Implants are also becoming the preferred tooth replacement choice for adults, regardless of how many teeth are missing, often because they are designed to last a lifetime.
Of course, a flattering smile is always a positive reflection. Having a gap in one’s smile or noticeable when laughing can send a message that is a ‘step down’ from who they really are.
To discuss Dental Implants, call (828) 274-9440 to arrange a consultation.