Posts for: September, 2021
Losing all your teeth can dramatically impact your life for the worst. Fortunately, we can give you your "teeth" back. The most common way, at least until a few decades ago, is with custom dentures, which reasonably restore life-like appearance and dental function. But it does have one major drawback—it can't stop bone loss.
Loss of bone in the jaws often occurs with missing teeth. Normally, the bone continuously generates newer cells to replace older ones that have died. Chewing stimulates this growth as the force generated travels up through the teeth to the bone. But when teeth go missing, new bone growth slows, eventually causing the bone's volume and density to decrease.
Dentures can't reactivate this lost stimulation, and so bone loss may continue. Dentures even accelerate this loss as the compressive forces applied to the bony ridge are detrimental. This often leads to a "loosening" of a denture's fit that can make them uncomfortable and less secure to wear.
Today, however, patients with total tooth loss have another option that could alleviate the problem of bone loss—dental implants. Since their inception forty years ago, implants have become the preferred method of both dentists and patients for tooth replacement.
Implants consist of a titanium metal post that's surgically imbedded into the jawbone. Bone cells are attracted to this particular metal, readily multiplying and adhering to the implant's titanium surface. Because of this, an implant can slow or even stop bone loss.
Most people are familiar with the single tooth implant with an attached lifelike crown. Although this use of implants could be used to restore total tooth loss, it can be quite costly replacing over two dozen teeth individually.
But implants could still be part of the answer for someone with complete tooth loss, because they can also be used to support traditional restorations. A few implants strategically placed around the jaw can support either a removable denture or a fixed bridge.
Besides being a cost-effective way to add support to these traditional tooth replacements, the inclusion of implants will likely decrease continuing bone loss. Most importantly, it can give you back your dental function—and your smile to boot.
If you would like more information on dental implant options, 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 “New Teeth in One Day.”
Emergency dental situations often catch us by surprise. There are of course steps we can take to prevent some of these, but that's not always possible. In the event of an accident, the best advice you can put into action is to quickly contact your dentists. The second, is not to panic, as most dental emergencies in Fargo, ND, can be treated. Learn more about what you should do in dental emergencies by reaching out to Dr. Jon Anderson, Dr. Brad Anderson, and Dr. Breding of Anderson Dental.
Pain, especially if it's severe, should be examined by your dentist as promptly as possible. The reasons for toothache vary widely and it could even stem from a sinus infection. Most commonly it's due to a deeply decayed or damaged tooth, where the soft tissue at the center of the tooth becomes infected. A typical treatment for these infections is a root canal to alleviate the pain and to save your tooth.
Your doctor can often repair minor injuries, such as chipped teeth with dental bonding. For these instances, if there is no pain that accompanies the chip it may not be a dental emergency. You should still contact your dentist and schedule a visit so they can guide you toward the best course of action. If you do feel pain, or if the edges of your tooth are sharp and can cut your cheeks, you may require emergency care.
Losing a tooth can be a shocking experience, but if you act quickly, and calmly, you may be able to have your same tooth restored. Find the tooth and handle it very gently so as to not damage the nerves at the root. Call your dentist right away and transport the tooth in a container with milk. The goal is to keep the tooth from drying out, so you can place it between your cheek and your gums if no other means are available.
A lost or loose crown, dental filling, or any other similar implement should be repaired by your dentist as they can leave your tooth exposed to infection.
Dental Emergency Treatment in Fargo, ND
For all those dental emergencies you can't prevent, your Fargo, ND, professionals are here to help. Dial (701) 232-1368 to reach the office of Dr. Jon Anderson, Dr. Brad Anderson, and Dr. Breding of Anderson Dental.
Inauguration night is usually a lavish, Washington, D.C., affair with hundreds attending inaugural balls throughout the city. And when you're an A-List celebrity whose husband is a headliner at one of the events, it's sure to be a memorable night. As it was for super model Chrissy Teigen—but for a slightly different reason. During the festivities in January, Teigen lost a tooth.
Actually, it was a crown, but once she told a Twitter follower that she loved it “like he was a real tooth.” The incident happened while she was snacking on a Fruit Roll-Up (those sticky devils!), and for a while there, husband and performer John Legend had to yield center stage to the forlorn cap.
But here's something to consider: If not for the roll-up (and Teigen's tweets on the accident) all of us except Teigen, her dentist and her inner circle, would never have known she had a capped tooth. That's because today's porcelain crowns are altogether life-like. You don't have to sacrifice appearance to protect a tooth, especially one that's visible when you smile (in the “Smile Zone”).
It wasn't always like that. Although there have been tooth-colored materials for decades, they weren't as durable as the crown of choice for most of the 20th Century, one made of metal. But while gold or silver crowns held up well against the daily grind of biting forces, their metallic appearance was anything but tooth-like.
Later, dentists developed a hybrid of sorts—a metal crown fused within a tooth-colored porcelain shell. These PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal) crowns offered both strength and a life-like appearance. They were so effective on both counts that PFMs were the most widely used crowns by dentists until the early 2000s.
But PFMs today make up only 40% of currently placed crowns, down from a high of 83% in 2005. What dethroned them? The all-ceramic porcelain crown—but composed of different materials from years past. Today's all-ceramic crowns are made of more durable materials like lithium disilicate or zirconium oxide (the strongest known porcelain) that make them nearly as strong as metal or PFM crowns.
What's more, coupled with advanced techniques to produce them, all-ceramic crowns are incredibly life-like. You may still need a traditional crown on a back tooth where biting forces are much higher and visibility isn't an issue. But for a tooth in the “Smile Zone”, an all-ceramic crown is more than suitable.
If you need a new crown (hopefully not by way of a sticky snack) or you want to upgrade your existing dental work, see us for a complete exam. A modern all-ceramic crown can protect your tooth and enhance your smile.
If you would like more information about crowns or other kinds of dental work, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
Crown lengthening is a cosmetic procedure for treating a gummy smile. A gummy smile occurs when excess gum tissue conceals more of the teeth than is typical. This can cause the teeth to appear short. Crown lengthening exposes more of the surface of teeth by removing excess gum tissue. Dr. Jon Anderson and Dr. Brad Anderson, the skilled cosmetic dentists at Anderson Dental in Fargo, ND, perform crown lengthening to treat gummy smiles.
Crown Lengthening Procedure
Crown lengthening is a simple surgical procedure for removing excess gum tissue from around affected teeth to reveal more tooth enamel. In some cases, a small amount of bone tissue might also need to be removed from around each tooth being lengthened. After the procedure teeth will look longer and the patient’s smile will no longer appear “gummy.”
To begin the procedure, local anesthesia is first administered to numb the area being treated. The dentist then makes incisions in the gum tissue around each tooth being lengthened. This makes it possible to pull the gums back from the teeth, which exposes the roots and bone. Excess gum tissue is carefully removed. If enough of the tooth is still not visible, a small amount of bone tissue is also removed. Afterward, the treatment area is cleaned and stitched closed.
Additional Reasons for Crown Lengthening
The most common reason for performing crown lengthening surgery is to reduce the appearance of a gummy smile. However, the procedure can also be helpful when preparing teeth to receive crowns or veneers. Exposing more of the natural tooth surface can aid in performing certain types of cosmetic or restorative dental work, such as placing crowns or veneers. The experienced cosmetic dentists at our Fargo, ND, practice can determine if your smile could benefit from crown lengthening.
Crown lengthening is an effective method for reducing the appearance of a gummy smile. In Fargo, ND, the cosmetic dentists at Anderson Dental treat gummy smiles. To learn more about crown lengthening and to find out if it might be right for you, schedule a consultation with Drs. Jon or Brad Anderson by calling our dental office at (701) 232-1368.
Along with fessing up to cherry tree surgery and tossing silver dollars across the Potomac River, George Washington is also famously known for wearing wooden dentures. Although we can't verify the first two legends, we can confirm Washington did indeed wear dentures, but not of wood—hippopotamus ivory and (yikes!) donated human teeth—but not wood.
Although they seem primitive to us today, Washington's dentures were the best that could be produced at the time. Still, the Father of Our Country suffered mightily from his dentures, both in physical discomfort and social embarrassment. Regarding the latter, our first president's dentures contorted his lips and mouth in an unattractive way, faintly discernable in Gilbert Stuart's famous portraits of our first president.
If only Washington had lived in a later era, he might have been able to avoid all that dental unpleasantness. Besides better versions of dentures, he might also have benefited from an entirely new way of replacing teeth—dental implants. Just four decades after this state-of-the-art restoration was first introduced, we now recognize implants as the "Gold Standard" for tooth replacement.
In recognition of Dental Implant Month in September, here are 4 reasons why dental implants might be the right tooth replacement choice for you.
Life-like. While other restorations provide a reasonable facsimile of natural teeth, implants take like-likeness to another level. That's because the implant replaces the root, which then allows for a life-like crown to be attached to it. By positioning it properly, implants and the subsequent crown can blend seamlessly with other teeth to create an overall natural smile appearance.
Durable. Implants owe their long-term durability (more than 95% still functioning after ten years) to a special affinity between bone and the titanium post imbedded in the jaw. Bone cells readily grow and adhere to the implant's surface, resulting over time in a more secure hold than other restorations. By the way, this increased bone growth around implants can help slow or even stop progressive bone loss.
Low impact. Dental bridges are another well-regarded tooth replacement option, but with a major downside: The natural teeth on either side of the missing teeth gap must be crowned to support the bridge. To prepare them, we must permanently alter these teeth. Implants, though, don't require this form of support, and so have a negligible effect on other teeth.
Versatile. Although implants are a practical choice for individual tooth restorations, multiple teeth replacements can get expensive. Implants, though, can also be incorporated into other restorations: Four to six implants can support an entire removable denture or fixed bridge. Implant-supported restorations are more durable than the traditional versions, while also encouraging better bone health.
If you need to replace teeth and would like to consider dental implants, see us for a complete examination. You may be an ideal candidate for this "best of the best" dental restoration.