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Posts for: November, 2021

By Anderson Dental
November 23, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

If you have a missing tooth, our skilled dentists can fill in the gap with a dental implant and crown. Dental implants are a close match for natural teeth because they replace missing teeth and their roots. In Fargo, ND, dental implants are available at Anderson Dental, where Dr. Jon Anderson & Dr. Brad Anderson can restore function and beauty to your smile.

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a metal post that looks similar to a small screw. The implant is inserted directly in the jawbone and functions like a root for a dental crown. Dental implants can also anchor other types of restorations in place, such as a dental bridge or implant-supported dentures. When used in conjunction with bridgework or dentures, several dental implants are needed.

Dental implants are the most secure and longest-lasting tooth replacement method available today. Placing them in the jawbone is the main reason why they are so secure. Over time, the metal implant post gradually fuses together with the bone tissue around it. Fusion is permanent, which means the dental implant will remain fixed in place. Tooth restorations anchored by dental implants do not shift out of place.

Candidates for Dental Implants

While dental implants are quickly becoming a preferred method among patients for replacing missing teeth, not everyone is a candidate. Since dental implants are inserted in the jawbone, to be a candidate you must have sufficient bone tissue. Otherwise, the dental implant cannot successfully fuse with the bone and will not be as secure. The unfortunate reality of tooth loss is that the body naturally reabsorbs bone tissue not supporting teeth. Consequently, bone loss is a common outcome of tooth loss.

It is also helpful for patients to have healthy gums since a small incision must be made in the gum tissue in order to place a dental implant in the jawbone. Candidates should also have a healthy immune system. The experienced dentists at our practice in Fargo, ND, can determine if dental implants are a possibility for you.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants can help your smile in several ways. On top of restoring beauty to your smile by filling in the gaps where teeth are missing, dental implants also restore function by making it easier to bite and chew food. They also reduce many of the negative side effects of tooth loss. Some of the many exciting benefits of dental implants include:

  • Replace missing or extracted teeth
  • Restore natural biting and chewing functions
  • Reduce strain on remaining teeth compensating for missing ones
  • Prevent additional bone loss by stopping the body from reabsorbing it
  • Reduce facial sagging by providing support for muscles in the face
  • Prevent teeth from shifting into gaps caused by tooth loss
  • Improve speech altered by tooth loss

If you have a missing tooth, a dental implant could restore your smile. Our highly skilled dentists can determine if you are a candidate for this exciting tooth replacement method. For dental implants in Fargo, ND, schedule a consultation with Drs. Jon and Brad Anderson by calling Anderson Dental at (701) 232-1368.


4ThingsYouCanDoAsanAdultCaregivertoEnsureTheirBestOralHealth

More than 50 million Americans care for an adult neighbor, friend or family member who can't care for themselves. A major part of that care is looking out for their health—including their teeth and gums.

Being a caregiver to someone is a labor of love—but it can be overwhelming. And with oral health especially, it's easy to miss signs of an emerging issue in their mouths that could impact the quality of their lives.

But you can be proactive about your loved one's oral health. In recognition of Family Caregivers Month in November, here are 4 guidelines that can help you ensure their teeth and gums are as healthy as possible.

Make oral hygiene easier for them. Brushing and flossing are basic to a dental disease prevention strategy. But an adult who needs care might have trouble performing these tasks: They may lack the cognitive ability or physical dexterity required. For the latter, larger handled-tooth brushes, floss threaders or water flossers can provide them better maneuverability. With cognitive decline, though, you may have to personally assist them with their hygiene tasks.

Watch for dry mouth. Also known as xerostomia, chronic dry mouth is caused by a lack of adequate saliva needed to fight disease-causing bacteria and to neutralize acid that can erode tooth enamel. For a variety of reasons, older adults are more prone to chronic dry mouth than other age groups. When this occurs, speak with their doctor about their medications (some can cause xerostomia). And, encourage your loved one to drink more water or use products that boost saliva production.

Accompany them to the dentist. Just as you would with other aspects of their health, become an active participant in their dental care. Forging a partnership with their dentist can provide you the information and guidance you need to better manage their daily home care. You can also bring up issues you've noticed with their oral health that can help guide their dentist's treatment.

Monitor their existing dental work. Your loved one may have full or partial dentures, or dental work like crowns or bridges. These existing restorations extend their dental function and protect their oral health from further disease. It's important, then, to have existing dental work checked on a regular basis to ensure its in good shape and functioning properly.

As the old saying goes, "Healthy mouth, healthy body." This is especially true for adults who need ongoing care. Keeping their teeth and gums are as healthy as possible will help them enjoy better health overall.

If you would like more information about oral care for an older adult, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Aging & Dental Health.”


WhatYouCanDoToReduceGumProblemsWhileWearingBraces

Wearing braces can ultimately give you a healthier and more attractive smile. In the short-term, though, your gums in particular may be in for a rough ride.

While we're all susceptible to gum disease, braces wearers are more likely to encounter it. This stems from two related factors: the difficulty braces pose to oral hygiene; and the potential irritation of soft tissues by the braces themselves.

The main cause for any form of gum disease is dental plaque, a thin bacterial film that accumulates on teeth. Removing plaque through brushing and flossing greatly reduces the risk of any dental disease. But braces wires and brackets make it difficult to brush and floss—as a result, some plaque deposits may escape cleaning, which makes a gum infection more likely.

To exacerbate this, braces hardware can irritate the gums and cause swelling and tissue overgrowth, also known as hyperplasia. The one-two punch of ineffective hygiene with hyperplasia are why braces wearers have a higher incidence of gum problems compared to the general population.

To guard against this, patients with braces need to be extra vigilant about keeping their teeth and gums clean of plaque. It may be helpful in this regard to use specialized tools like interproximal brushes with narrower bristle heads that are easier to maneuver around braces.

And rather than using traditional flossing thread, orthodontic patients may find it easier and more effective to use pre-loaded flossing picks or an entirely different method called oral irrigation. The latter involves a handheld wand that directs a stream of pulsating water between teeth to loosen and flush away plaque.

It's also important for patients to see their dentist as soon as possible for any gum swelling, bleeding or pain. The dentist can determine if it relates to gum disease, hyperplasia or a combination of both, and recommend treatment. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to remove the braces until the gums heal, so catching and treating any gum problem early is a priority.

Regardless of the risk for gum disease, orthodontic treatment is still well worth the investment in your health and appearance. Practicing effective oral hygiene and keeping a watchful eye on your gums will help further lower that risk.

If you would like more information on oral care during orthodontic treatment, 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 “Gum Swelling During Orthodontics.”


HeresWhyStartingYourChildsDentalVisitsbyAge1IsaSmartIdea

As parents, we want to do everything possible to help our kids stay healthy—and that includes their teeth. And just like other aspects of their health, it's better not to go at dental care alone. That's why we recommend beginning your child's regular dental visits no later than their first birthday.

You may think that's a bit premature, given the few teeth a child may have when they're a year old. But there are solid reasons why early childhood dental visits are a smart move, especially if you're playing the long game for their future dental health and development.

Minimizes damaging tooth decay. If a child loses just one primary tooth to decay, it could have an adverse, cascading effect on their developing bite. Dental visits begun sooner rather than later are more likely to catch and treat tooth decay, as well as provide other preventive measures that can ensure primary teeth aren't lost prematurely.

Provides you a partner for your child's dental care. A child's dental development and health depend on what you do in the home—daily oral hygiene, monitoring for signs of disease and avoiding habits that promote tooth decay. Regular dental visits help support the home front by providing you helpful insight and advice for supporting your child's dental health.

Identifies bite problems early. Although they usually develop gradually, there are often early signs of an emerging bite problem. Pediatric dentists especially are trained to notice early signs of an abnormal bite and refer you to an orthodontist for interventional treatment.

Reduces your child's dental visit anxiety. The unfamiliarity and clinical nature of a dental office can make a child susceptible to anxiety that could follow them into adulthood. Early childhood dental visits help normalize the dentist's office for your child, reduce anxiety and make it more likely they'll continue seeing the dentist later in life.

Life can be hectic with an infant in the home. But getting into the routine of regular dental visits at an early age is a worthwhile investment in healthier teeth and gums—now and in the future.

If you would like more information on good dental care practices for your child, 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 “Age One Dental Visit.”