Posts for: October, 2016
You probably already know that using tobacco causes significant health risks: It increases your odds of getting various cancers and coronary diseases, to name just a few. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to kick the habit, even when they know they should. Tooth loss is another issue that can cause trouble for your health, in the form of bone loss, malnutrition, and social or psychological problems. Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth — but does smoking complicate the process of getting implants?
The short answer is yes, smoking can make implant placement a bit riskier — but in the big picture, it doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) have this procedure done if it’s needed.
Smoking, as you know, has harmful effects in your mouth (even leaving aside the risk of oral cancer). The hot gases can burn the oral cavity and damage salivary glands. Nicotine in smoke reduces blood flow to the soft tissues, which can affect the immune response and slow the processes of healing. At the same time, smoking promotes the growth of disease-causing oral bacteria.
How does this affect dental implants? Essentially, smoking creates a higher risk that implants may not heal properly after they are placed, and makes them more likely to fail over time. Studies have shown that smokers have an implant failure rate that’s twice as great as non-smokers. Does this mean that if you smoke, you shouldn't consider implants to replace missing or failing teeth?
Not necessarily. On the whole, implants are the most successful method of replacing missing teeth. In fact, the overall long-term survival rate of implants for both smokers and non-smokers is well over 90 percent — meaning that only a small percentage don’t work as they should. This is where it’s important to get the expert opinion of an implant specialist, who can help you decide whether implants are right for your particular situation.
If you do smoke, is there anything you can do to better your odds for having a successful dental implant? Yes: quit now! (Implants are a good excuse to start a smoking-cessation program.) But if you can’t, at least stop smoking for one week before and two weeks after implant placement. And if that is not possible, at least go on a smoking diet: restrict the number of cigarettes you smoke by 50% (we know you can at least do that!) Try to follow good oral hygiene practices at all times, and see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?
For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.
Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.
Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:
- It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
- A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
- Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
- Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!
Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!
Are you ready to find out whether dental bonding could be the best option for altering your smile?
While your smile may look great at first glance you know that you can’t stand the small discolorations, chips, and spaces between teeth. We understand your frustration. After all, these issues are visible but not so significant that they warrant dental crowns, veneers or even braces. If this sounds like you then you may want to talk to our Boca Raton, FL cosmetic dentist Dr. Alfred Huber about dental bonding.
If you are looking for an economical way to improve your smile then look to dental bonding. This cosmetic dentistry procedure uses a dental resin, the same material that is used to fill a tooth after a cavity, that is matched to the color of your tooth and is sculpted over teeth to hide common imperfections such as:
- Broken teeth
- Small gaps between teeth
- Worn down, uneven or misshapen teeth
How is dental bonding performed?
Your Boca Raton dentist will first examine your smile to make sure that the goals you have for treatment can be achieved with this procedure alone (remember, dental bonding is a quick fix but it can’t handle all issues). If bonding is right for you we will then clean your teeth and apply a solution to the surface of your teeth (don’t worry; this doesn’t hurt!).
This solution will roughen the surface of the teeth to make the resin stay in place. Then the resin is applied and sculpted until we achieve the results you want. Then a special light is directed at the resin to harden it permanently to your tooth. With a final polish of the resin to give it a natural-looking sheen, your smile is good as new.
Dental bonding is an amazing way to fix minor dental flaws so that you can have a smile that you just can’t wait to show off. We know a healthy smile instills confidence and at Reserve Dental Group we want to provide Boca Raton, FL patients with the dental care necessary to give everyone the smile they deserve.