Q. What are Dental Implants and What Does the Procedure Involve?
Dental Implants are part of a tooth replacement treatment. They are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. These implants are metal posts or frames, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed under your gums. They then fuse to the bone of your jaw and act as roots. Replacement teeth, called crowns made of porcelain, are then attached to the implant. They will fit securely to your gums because they are held in place by bone, allowing them to look and function just like natural teeth.
Once the implants are in place, your dentist will typically wait a few months to proceed with crowns – temporary appliances are available for you to wear while you wait.
Q. Fillings… Silver or White… What’s the Difference?
Many of us who grew up before the time of fluoridated water have a mouth full of silver fillings. These fillings known as amalgams, have proven to be extremely durable restorations, but they are not very pleasing to the eye.
Fortunately, recent advances in dental materials have made it possible to use tooth coloured filling materials. These materials can be virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth and are used to achieve long lasting and attractive restorations. In our practice, we use tooth coloured materials for almost all the fillings that we place. We even use these materials to replace old amalgam fillings that have started to deteriorate or that simply detract from the appearance of our patient’s smiles.
Feel free to contact our office if you have any concerns about your old silver fillings. We will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Q. My Partner Says I Grind My Teeth When I Sleep. Is This Something to Worry About?
Tooth grinding or bruxism, is a serious issue that can result in damage to your teeth, poor sleep patterns and soreness in the muscles of the face and neck, not to mention an unhappy spouse. Fortunately, this problem can normally be corrected with the use of a dental night guard.
Night guards look much like a sports mouth-guard, but are specially designed to prevent muscle tension and withstand the intense pressure exerted by tooth grinders. Only your dental office can provide a custom-made night guard that will fit you perfectly.
Ask us about dental night guards or other treatments available to relieve tension and discomfort in the jaw and neck.
Q. How Can I Help Myself to Prevent Bad Breath?
According to recent studies, almost half the population of adults in North America suffers at least occasionally from bad breath (halitosis). The most common cause of bad breath is oral bacteria in the mouth and on the back of the tongue. These bacteria produce a volatile sulfur compound, which in turn produces a smell similar to “rotten eggs”. Other causes of halitosis include certain foods, smoking, alcohol, hormonal changes or simply being hungry.
Depending upon the type of bad breath, the treatment usually begins with ensuring meticulous oral hygiene. Your dentist or dental hygienist will check for gum disease and if necessary prepare a detailed treatment plan. Tongue scraping (don’t worry, it’s easy and painless), should also become an important part of daily home care and part of your regular tooth brushing routine.