Posts for: February, 2017
If you live in Fargo, ND, and have ever wondered how a dental bridge can help you, now is a good time to talk to Dr. Jon Anderson or Dr. Brad Anderson at Anderson Dental Center.
Maybe you have lost a couple of teeth over time. Maybe you have suffered some trauma, like an accident or injury that has caused a gap in your smile. Fortunately, there are options available for people in Fargo who have suffered tooth loss or might be facing tooth loss. One of the most common – and most successful – fixes, according to the American Dental Association, is a dental bridge, a prosthetic tooth or teeth attached to two existing teeth. The prosthetic device literally “bridges” the gap or space where the missing tooth or teeth used to be.
There are a couple of different types of bridges:
- In a fixed bridge procedure, your Fargo dentist attaches a prosthetic tooth or teeth between two existing teeth that serve as anchors. The dentist may need to remove some enamel by grinding or filing down the two anchor teeth in order to attach the bridge. This is considered a permanent procedure because only your dentist can remove the bridge.
- An implant bridge is also a permanent procedure. In this procedure, the dentist would install two implants directly into your jawbone; these two prosthetic devices serve as the anchors for your bridge.
- A removable bridge is actually a partial denture made specifically for you. It can be taken in and out by you as you see fit.
Most bridges are made from ceramic, porcelain, metal alloys, or some combination of these materials. Your dentist will help you decide what is best for your needs.
The important thing to remember, however, is that you don’t have to continue living with tooth loss. A dental bridge can help restore your smile and, with it, your self-esteem.
If you are seeking a qualified dentist in Fargo, ND, or you are seeking more information as to how a dental bridge can help you, contact Dr. Jon Anderson or Dr. Brad Anderson at Anderson Dental Center. Call (701) 232-1368 to make an appointment today.
Dentures in one form or another have been around for centuries. Although dental implants have earned a well-deserved prominence of late, the denture still remains a viable tooth replacement option.
What's more, dentures aren't reserved for total tooth loss only. Even if you've lost just a few of your teeth, we can fit you with a removable partial denture (RPD). Although mainly considered a temporary solution for missing teeth, some people depend on an RPD for many years due to finances or other issues.
The traditional RPD consists of a rigid acrylic plastic base that resembles gum tissue supported by a metal framework, with prosthetic (false) teeth precisely placed to fill the space of the missing teeth. They're held in place with metal clasps that extend from the metal framework to fit over the remaining natural teeth.
Although they're an effective restoration, traditional RPDs have a few drawbacks. Some people find them uncomfortable to wear or have an allergy to the acrylic plastic. They also have a propensity to stain from beverages like tea, coffee or wine.
But there's a more recent version called a flexible RPD that addresses these and other concerns. It's made of a pliable nylon that's durable, yet comfortable to wear. Rather than metal clasps, they're secured in place with thin, finger-like nylon extensions that fit into the small, natural depressions in the crowns of the teeth around the gum line.
Flexible RPDs are also highly adaptable to appear life-like in many situations. We can fashion the nylon base to cover areas around natural teeth where the gums may have receded due to gum disease.
They do, however, have a few downsides. Unlike traditional dentures, they're difficult to reline or repair. Like any oral appliance, they can suffer from wear and neglect, so you must properly clean and maintain them. And, like any RPD their best role is as a temporary bridge rather than a permanent restoration.
In the meantime, though, you can count on a flexible RPD to restore your ability to eat and speak proficiently, as well as smile with confidence. It's a great affordable way to address a few missing teeth.
If you would like more information on dentures as a restoration option, 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 “Flexible Partial Dentures.”
Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.
“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavities. How did this happen?
Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.
While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods. Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.
This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”
Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:
- Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
- Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
- Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.
Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.
“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”
If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”