Posts for: September, 2021
Dental implants help restore your smile by replacing missing teeth and their roots. Whether you are just missing a single tooth or several teeth, dental implants are versatile and can be used in conjunction with crowns, bridges, and implant-supported dentures to fill in the gaps where teeth are missing. In Clarks Summit, PA, dental implants are available at Abington Dental Arts, where Dr. Jeffrey Bell, Dr. Dale Collins, or Dr. Amy Cravath can restore beauty and function to your smile.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small metal titanium posts that resemble screws and are placed directly in the jawbone to function as roots for tooth restorations, such as crowns or bridgework. Implants are the most secure and longest-lasting method for replacing missing teeth. Crowns, bridges, and dentures held in place by dental implants will not come loose or shift out of place. An abutment piece at the top of each implant securely connects the tooth restorations to their new “roots.”
Candidates for Dental Implants
There are so many reasons to choose dental implants for replacing missing teeth, but not everyone is a candidate. Individuals without enough bone tissue in the jaw will not be able to benefit from this tooth-replacement option since the implants are placed in the jawbone. Unfortunately, the loss of bone tissue in the jaw is a common side effect of tooth loss.
If there is not enough bone tissue, then there will be nowhere to place the implant. Additionally, the bone and titanium implant naturally fuse together over the course of a few months, which is what makes implants so secure. Without an adequate amount of bone tissue, this process cannot occur.
Candidates for dental implants should also have healthy gums. Having healthy gums is essential because an incision must be made in the gum tissue to place the implants in the jawbone. Candidates should also be in good overall health with a strong immune system. The experienced dentists at our office in Clarks Summit, PA, can determine if implants are a possibility for replacing your missing teeth.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
A number of benefits are associated with dental implants. Not only do they restore smiles, but they also reduce the negative side effects that typically accompany tooth loss. Benefits include:
- Similar to natural teeth since they serve as roots
- Longest lasting tooth replacement option
- Stop bone loss by preventing the body from reabsorbing it
- Reduce facial sagging by supporting muscles in the face
- Reduce excess wear and tear on teeth compensating for missing ones
- Improve speech affected by the gaps where teeth were missing
- Prevent teeth from shifting by filling in gaps
- Restore biting and chewing functions
Restore your smile with the longest-lasting tooth replacement method available today. For dental implants in Clarks Summit, PA, schedule a consultation with Dr. Bell, Dr. Collins, or Dr. Cravath by calling Abington Dental Arts at (570) 586-1411.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs wrapped up the NFL regular season in January, setting single-season records in both catches and receiving yards. The Bills handily beat the Miami Dolphins, earning themselves the second seed in the AFC playoffs, and Diggs certainly did his part, making 7 catches for 76 yards. But what set the internet ablaze was not Diggs' accomplishments on the field but rather what the camera caught him doing on the sidelines—flossing his teeth!
The Twitterverse erupted with Bills fans poking fun at Diggs. But Diggs is not ashamed of his good oral hygiene habits, and CBS play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan expressed his support with “Dental hygiene is something to take note of, kids! There's never a bad place to floss” and “When you lead the NFL in catches and yards, you can floss anytime you want.”
We like to think so. There's an old joke among dentists:
Q. Which teeth do you need to floss?
A. Only the ones you want to keep.
Although this sounds humorous, it is borne out in research. Of note, a 2017 study showed that people who floss have a lower risk of tooth loss over periods of 5 years and 10 years, and a 2020 study found that older adults who flossed lost an average of 1 tooth in 5 years, while those who don't lost around 4 teeth in the same time period.
We in the dental profession stress the importance of flossing as a daily habit—and Stefon Diggs would likely agree—yet fewer than 1 in 3 Americans floss every day. The 2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, revealed that only 30% of Americans floss every day, while 37% floss less than every day and 32% never floss.
The biggest enemy on the football field may be the opposing team, but the biggest enemy to your oral health is plaque, a sticky film of bacteria and food debris that builds up on tooth surfaces. Plaque can cause tooth decay and gum disease, the number one cause of tooth loss among adults. Flossing is necessary to remove plaque from between teeth and around the gums where a toothbrush can't reach. If not removed, plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by the specialized tools used in the dental office. Regular professional dental cleanings are also needed to get at those hard-to-reach spots you may have missed.
If Diggs can find time to floss during a major NFL game, the rest of us can certainly find a couple minutes a day to do it. While we might not recommend Diggs' technique of flossing from one side of the mouth to the other, we commend his enthusiasm and commitment to keeping his teeth and gums healthy. Along with good dental hygiene at home—or on the sidelines if you are Stefon Diggs—regular professional dental cleanings and checkups play a key role in maintaining a healthy smile for life.
Although the air we breathe has one destination—the lungs—it can arrive there via two possible routes: through the nose or the mouth. In terms of survival, it matters little through which path air travels—just so it travels one of them!
In terms of health, though, breathing through the nose is more beneficial than through the mouth, and is our default breathing pattern. The nasal passages filter minute noxious particles and allergens. Air passing through these passages also produces nitric oxide, a gaseous substance that relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow.
On the other hand, chronic mouth breathing during childhood can impact oral health. While breathing through the nose, the tongue rests against the roof of the mouth and thus becomes a mold around which the upper jaw and teeth develop. But mouth breathing places the tongue on the lower teeth, which deprives the upper jaw of support and can lead to an abnormal bite.
So why would people breathe through their mouth more than their nose? Simply put, it's more comfortable to do so. Because breathing is so critical for life, the body takes the path of least resistance to get air to the lungs. If obstructions caused by allergic reactions or swollen tonsils or adenoids are blocking the nasal pathway, the action moves to the mouth.
But chronic mouth breathing can often be treated, especially if addressed in early childhood. This may require the services of an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) and possible surgical intervention to correct anatomical obstructions. It's also prudent to have an orthodontist evaluate the bite and institute corrective interventions if it appears a child's jaw development is off-track.
Even after correcting obstructions, though, it may still be difficult for a child to overcome mouth breathing because the body has become habituated to breathing that way. They may need orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT), which retrains the muscles in the face and mouth to breathe through the nose.
Chronic mouth breathing isn't something to be ignored. Early intervention could prevent future oral and dental problems and help the person regain the overall health benefits for nose breathing.
If you would like more information on overcoming chronic mouth breathing, 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 “The Trouble With Mouth Breathing.”