Posts for: February, 2017
In real life he was a hard-charging basketball player through high school and college. In TV and the movies, he has gone head-to-head with serial killers, assorted bad guys… even mysterious paranormal forces. So would you believe that David Duchovny, who played Agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files and starred in countless other large and small-screen productions, lost his front teeth… in an elevator accident?
“I was running for the elevator at my high school when the door shut on my arm,” he explained. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital. I had fainted, fallen on my face, and knocked out my two front teeth.” Looking at Duchovny now, you’d never know his front teeth weren’t natural. But that’s not “movie magic” — it’s the art and science of modern dentistry.
How do dentists go about replacing lost teeth with natural-looking prosthetics? Today, there are two widely used tooth replacement procedures: dental implants and bridgework. When a natural tooth can’t be saved — due to advanced decay, periodontal disease, or an accident like Duchovny’s — these methods offer good looking, fully functional replacements. So what’s the difference between the two? Essentially, it’s a matter of how the replacement teeth are supported.
With state-of-the-art dental implants, support for the replacement tooth (or teeth) comes from small titanium inserts, which are implanted directly into the bone of the jaw. In time these become fused with the bone itself, providing a solid anchorage. What’s more, they actually help prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs after tooth loss. The crowns — lifelike replacements for the visible part of the tooth — are securely attached to the implants via special connectors called abutments.
In traditional bridgework, the existing natural teeth on either side of a gap are used to support the replacement crowns that “bridge” the gap. Here’s how it works: A one-piece unit is custom-fabricated, consisting of prosthetic crowns to replace missing teeth, plus caps to cover the adjacent (abutment) teeth on each side. Those abutment teeth must be shaped so the caps can fit over them; this is done by carefully removing some of the outer tooth material. Then the whole bridge unit is securely cemented in place.
While both systems have been used successfully for decades, bridgework is now being gradually supplanted by implants. That’s because dental implants don’t have any negative impact on nearby healthy teeth, while bridgework requires that abutment teeth be shaped for crowns, and puts additional stresses on them. Dental implants also generally last far longer than bridges — the rest of your life, if given proper care. However, they are initially more expensive (though they may prove more economical in the long run), and not everyone is a candidate for the minor surgery they require.
Which method is best for you? Don’t try using paranormal powers to find out: Come in and talk to us. If you would like more information about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework,” and “Dental Implants.”
While it is common knowledge that brushing and flossing your teeth every day contributes to a healthy mouth, it is often overlooked that your diet also plays a large role in the health of your teeth. Understanding the effects of certain foods and beverages on your teeth can help you take the extra initiative to avoid them, helping your teeth remain healthy and clean for years to come. Find out more about the best diet for your teeth with Dr. Jeffrey Bell, Dr. Dale Collins and Dr. Amy Cravath at Abington Dental Arts in Clarks Summit, PA.
What are the best foods for my teeth?
One of the best things you can do for your smile is to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Most doctors recommend a minimum of eight glasses of water a day to stay fully hydrated. Additionally, crunchy vegetables help wash away food particles and bacteria from the mouth. Calcium-rich foods like dairy help keep your teeth strong and healthy to stand up to everyday wear and tear which could otherwise harm them.
Which foods should I avoid for a healthy smile?
Often, when paired with a healthy at-home oral care routine, avoiding some known decay-causing foods is the easiest way to avoid tooth decay altogether. Sugary foods like candies and drinks like sodas are well-known for contributing to tooth decay which, in turn, causes gum disease. However, not everyone is willing to stay away from these foods at all times. If you do consume sugary foods or drinks, be sure to follow them up with a glass of water or, better yet, brush your teeth after consuming them. This will help wash away or remove the bacteria and food particles left behind on the teeth to help prevent tooth decay.
Routine Examinations and Cleanings in Clarks Summit, PA
A strong at-home dental routine consists of brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once. However, this is only half of the recommended oral care regimen. Patients at average risk of tooth decay and gum disease should see their dentist at least twice yearly for routine tooth examinations and professional cleanings. These important visits will further contribute to preventing problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
For more information on keeping your teeth and oral tissues healthy through your diet, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Bell, Dr. Dale Collins and Dr. Amy Cravath at Abington Dental Arts in Clarks Summit, PA. Call (570) 586-1411 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!
Teething is an important phase in your baby's dental maturity. During the approximate two-year process, they will acquire their first set of teeth.
It can also be an unpleasant two years as each tooth sequentially breaks through the gums. The severity of teething problems differs with each child, but there are common signs: irritability, biting and gnawing, chin rash, drooling or ear rubbing among them. Although for most babies the discomfort isn't that great, the pain can occasionally be a lot for them — and their care-givers — to handle.
Although having a very unhappy infant can be nerve-jangling, there's no real cause for concern health-wise. If, however, they begin to run a fever or experience diarrhea, that could be a sign of something more serious. In those cases, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Otherwise, there are some things you can do to make them more comfortable during teething episodes. One thing to remember: cold items for biting or gnawing usually work wonders. So, be sure you have chilled teething rings or pacifiers (but not frozen — the extreme temperature could burn their gums). For older children, an occasional cold food like a popsicle can bring relief.
You can also try massaging the gums with your clean finger, which will help counteract the pressure of an erupting tooth. But avoid rubbing alcohol or aspirin on the gums, and you shouldn't apply numbing agents to children less than two years of age unless advised by your doctor.
If their pain persists, it's permissible to give them a mild pain reliever like the appropriate dosage for their age of baby acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Again, you should give this by mouth and avoid rubbing it on the gums.
By the time they're three, all their primary teeth should be in and teething symptoms should have largely dissipated. In the meantime, make them as comfortable as you can â?? in no time the unpleasantness of teething will pass.
If you would like more information on coping with your child's teething, 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 “Teething Troubles: How to Help Keep your Baby Comfortable.”