At Contemporary Family Dentistry, we treat patients as family and offer them the best possible care both with the environment we provide and the techniques we use. We stay at the forefront of the dental industry by using state-of-the-art dental practices and equipment such as digital x-rays and TMJ screening. We strive to provide a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere where you can experience the most comprehensive evaluation and treatment in a stress and pain-free environment.
If you've lost all of your natural teeth, whether from periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury, complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. You'll be able to eat and speak things that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost.
There are various types of complete dentures. A conventional full denture is made and placed in the patients mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed which may take several months. An immediate complete denture is inserted as soon as the remaining teeth are removed. The dentist takes measurements and makes models of the patients jaws during a preliminary visit. For the best retainer extensive, jaw, joint, and airway records are taken so that your final dentures are the best for your overall health. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period.
Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque. Dentures should be worn at nighttime to support your airway and prevent sleep apnea.
Use a mouth guard during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth. A properly fitted mouth guard can help prevent broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. It will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breath.
It’s obvious that mouth guards are necessary for contact sports, such as basketball, football, wrestling, and boxing. In today’s world there are many other sports that mouth guards offer benefits, such as: motorcycle riding, snow boarding, snowmobiling, and mountain biking.
Talk to your dentist about having a custom mouth guard made specifically for you. This will fit comfortably and offer the best protection for your smile.
Tooth sensitivity is caused by the stimulation of cells within tiny tubes located in the dentin (the layer of tissue found beneath the hard enamel that contains the inner pulp). When the hard enamel is worn down or gums have receded-causing the tiny tube surfaces to be exposed-pain can be caused by eating or drinking food and beverages that are hot or cold; touching your teeth; or exposing them to cold air.
Hot and cold temperature changes cause your teeth to expand and contract. Over time, your teeth can develop microscopic cracks that allow these sensations to seep through to the nerves. Exposed areas of the tooth can cause pain and even affect or change your eating, drinking and breathing habits. Taking a spoonful of ice cream, for example, can be a painful experience for people with sensitive teeth.
Is tooth sensitivity a common condition?
Sensitive teeth is one of the most common complaints among dental patients. At least 45 million adults in the United States and 5 million Canadians, suffer at some time from sensitive teeth.
How do I know when it's time to see a dentist?
Prolonged tooth grinding and clenching, particularly at night can cause abfractions, where the enamel thins at the gum line breaking away, leaving exposed dentin.. If a tooth is highly sensitive for more than three or four days, and reacts to hot and cold temperatures, it's best to get a diagnostic evaluation from your dentist to determine the extent of the problem. Before taking the situation into your own hands, an accurate diagnosis of tooth sensitivity is essential for effective treatment to eliminate pain. Because pain symptoms can be similar, some people might think that a tooth is sensitive, when instead, they actually have a cavity or abscess that's not yet visible.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may seem. There is a very shallow v-shaped crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums. Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket: generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket.
Periodontal diseases are classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. Gingivitis may lead to more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis.
Some factors increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:
- Tobacco smoking or chewing
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes
- Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therpy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Fillings that have become defective
- Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives
Several warning signs that can signal a problem:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Your dentist has recent good news about progress against cancer. It is now easier than ever to detect oral cancer early, when the opportunity for a cure is great. Currently only half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years.
Your dentist has the skills and tools to ensure that early signs of cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. You and your dentist can fight and win the battle against oral cancer. Know the early signs and see your dentist regularly.
You Should Know
- Oral Cancer often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth.
- It can affect any area of the oral cavity including the lips, gum tissue, check lining, tongue and the hard or soft palate.
- Other signs include:
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal within 10-14 days
- A color change of the oral tissues
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
- A change in the way the teeth fit together
- Oral Cancer most often occurs in those who use tobacco in any form.
- Alcohol use combined with smoking greatly increases risk.
- Prolonged exposure to the sun increases the risk of lip and skin cancer.
- More than 25% of oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and have no other risk factors.
- Oral Cancer is more likely to strike after age 40.
- Studies suggest that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may prevent the development of potentially cancerous lesions. www.cancerproject.org
Regular Dental Check-ups Important
Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have a very small, but dangerous, oral spot or sore and not be aware of it.
Your dentist will carefully examine all areas of your mouth. In about 10% of patients, the dentist may notice a flat, painless, white or red spot or a small sore. Although most of these are harmless, some are not. Harmful oral spots or sores often look identical to those that are harmless - testing can tell them apart. If you have a sore with a likely cause, your dentist may treat it and ask you to return for re-examination.
Dentists often will notice a spot or sore that looks harmless and does not have a clear cause. To ensure that a spot or sore is not dangerous, your dentist may choose to perform a simple test, such as a brush biopsy, which usually is painless and can detect potentially dangerous cells when the disease is still at an early stage.
If your dentist notices something that looks very suspicious and dangerous, a scalpel biopsy may be recommended. This usually requires local anesthesia. Your general dentist may perform this procedure or refer you to a specialist for it.
If you're missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in chewing and speaking. There are options to help restore your smile.
Bridges help maintain the shape of your face, as well as alleviating the stress in your bite by replacing missing teeth.
Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. The restoration can be made from precious metals, porcelain or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.
Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist. Removable bridges may be the best option for cost reasons or as an intermittent measure to prevent adjacent tooth shifting. An implant attaches artificial teeth directly to the jaw or under the gum tissue. Depending on which type of bridge your dentist recommends, its success depends on its foundation. So it's very important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong.
If you want a smile that's your crowning glory, you may need a crown to cover a tooth and restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance.
It can cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't enough tooth left. It can be used to attach a bridge, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore a brittle tooth from endodontic treatment (i.e. root canal). A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It's also used to cover a dental implant.
If your dentist recommends a crown, it's probably to correct one of these conditions. Your dentist's primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright -- literally, your crowning glory.