Posts for: June, 2016
Missing teeth have many hidden side-effects which can decrease the functionality of your mouth and jaw and cause aesthetic issues. However, whether your smile has one gap or you are missing all of your teeth, dental implants can reduce or eliminate the risk of these side-effects and give you a smile to be proud of. Learn more about dental implants with help from your Rockville, MD dentist, Dr. Mehr Tucker.
How can dental implants benefit me?
Dental implants are the most permanent and effective tooth replacement option available. This is beneficial on a number of levels. Implants’ permanent design means you only require one implant procedure, one time. Implants feel and function just like your natural teeth, allowing you to eat the foods you love without worrying about the consequences. Since implants are so similar to natural teeth, they require the same oral care routine. Simply brush your natural teeth and implants with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice daily for at least two minutes. Floss at least once a day, using a separate strand of floss for each quadrant of your mouth to cut down on the spread of bacteria. Finally, see your dentist at least twice a year for regular examinations and cleanings.
Dental Implants in Rockville, MD
Implants have three main parts:
- Fixture: The implant’s fixture is a tiny titanium post. Your dentist implants the fixture into the jawbone beneath your missing tooth. Over time, the fixture integrates into the bone to replace the tooth’s root.
- Abutment: The abutment connects the fixture to the prosthetic tooth.
- Prosthetic: Made from porcelain, the prosthetic tooth fits onto the fixture via the abutment to replace the missing tooth. Prosthetics can be a single dental crown or a row of false teeth called a bridge which replaces several teeth at once. Additionally, the prosthetic can be in the form of a denture which anchors into place using the implants, replacing all of the teeth on an arch.
While the implant process may seem overwhelming at first, this one-time surgery can give you a smile you love which will last a lifetime. A new smile could be just a phone call away. For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Tucker in Rockville, MD. Call (301) 963-8900 to schedule your consultation today!
If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”
What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.
You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.
Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.
Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.
“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…
We’ve been treating one of your decay-prone teeth for some time with one filling after another. Each incident required a little more removal of decayed tooth material until now there isn’t enough structure to support another filling.
We could remove the tooth and replace it with a bridge or a dental implant, both viable restoration options. But keeping the tooth if possible would be more beneficial in the long-run for your gums, bone and remaining teeth. If it still has a healthy and stable root, it’s possible to permanently cover or “cap” the tooth with a life-like crown.
Crowns have been used for decades: the first were mainly composed of metal like gold or silver and later dental porcelain, a ceramic material that could be molded, shaped and oven-fired to resemble a real tooth. The earliest porcelains, though, were brittle, so a hybrid with a metal interior for strength and a fused exterior porcelain layer for appearance came into prominence.
Today, advances in materials have led to all-porcelain crowns strong enough to withstand biting forces. While the metal-porcelain hybrid still account for about 40% of crowns installed annually, the all-porcelain types are steadily growing in popularity.
Regardless of the type, though, the process for fitting any crown is relatively the same. The first step is to reshape the affected tooth so that the future crown will fit over it, followed by an impression mold of the tooth a dental technician will use to form a custom crown. Once the new crown has been prepared, we then permanently bond it to the tooth.
With a crown, you’ll be able to enjoy normal function and have a tooth that looks as healthy and normal as its neighbors. Be aware, though, that your underlying tooth is still subject to decay — so diligent, daily hygiene and regular dental visits are a must. With proper care your newly crowned tooth can continue to serve you and your smile for many years to come.
If you would like more information on dental restoration options, 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 “Crowns & Bridgework.”