Posts for: September, 2014
If you’re missing a tooth, you’re not alone; in fact 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth in at least one jaw! Whether it’s one tooth or many, it’s important to replace what’s missing. Depending on the number of teeth lost, the potential drawbacks to doing nothing may become hard to ignore: impediments to eating, interference with speech, and unaesthetic appearance, for example.
Traditional bridges and dentures are the most affordable options for replacing teeth. Tooth implants — tiny titanium, screw-like substitutes for a tooth’s natural root to which natural-looking dental crowns are attached — are pricier but offer an important extra benefit. In addition to addressing the common problems previously mentioned, by acting like the original tooth root, an implant can maintain or stimulate “remodeling,” of the jawbone below. Without a tooth root to provide stimulation, mature bone cells will continue to be removed, or resorbed, but no new bone cells will regenerate to replace them, leading to a progressive loss of bone width, height and density. The more teeth are lost, and with less bone structure to support it, the whole shape of the face can change.
Unfortunately, when greater numbers of teeth must be replaced, implants can become financially unrealistic for some people. But in appropriate cases there is a third option: a bridge or denture/implant hybrid. In the case of a bridge intended to fill a gap when multiple teeth are missing, an implant can be used on either side of the gap to support the bridge, leaving the natural teeth undisturbed. Strategically placed implants can be used to support a removable denture, too.
If you would like more information about dental implants, 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 “Dental Implants: Your Best Option For Replacing Teeth.”
Three Health Benefits of Straight Teeth (And How We Can Help You Get Them)
At Family Dental Center, we offer orthodontic services of braces and Invisalign to help you achieve a straighter smile. When patients come to our Glenview, IL dentist’s office, they often think of straight teeth as strictly a cosmetic benefits. While straight teeth are an appealing look, a beautiful smile is not the only benefit you will experience from straighter teeth.
Healthy gums are a must-have for your tooth roots to anchor your teeth in place. When your teeth are over-crowded or gapped, this can cause your gums to be swollen, red and painful. When your teeth are straighter, your gums are better able to fit around your teeth.
Crooked teeth are harder to clean than straight teeth. The uneven surfaces are easier to capture food particles. Unfortunately, these food particles are also more difficult to remove with traditional brushing and flossing. Through straighter teeth, you can more effectively care for your smile at home.
Less Tooth Friction
While your teeth may be strong, they can unfortunately be worn down over time. This is especially true when your bite and teeth are uneven. Your teeth are meant to fit together well. When they don’t, your teeth are subject to chipping and uneven wear and tear.
At our Glenview orthodontic office, we offer traditional braces as well as Invisalign therapy to straighten teeth. Braces are a series of brackets and wires placed on the teeth that can exert straightening forces with time. They are a tried-and-tested method for achieving straighter teeth and an aligned bite.
Invisalign is an alternative teeth-straightening method for those who do not wish to have visible braces. Invisalign uses a set of clear aligners that fit over the teeth and exert forces to gradually rotate and change the teeth’s position until they are better aligned. The aligners are changed every two weeks until they are in the desired position.
While Invisalign can be highly beneficial, the aligners are not right for every bite or tooth alignment issue. At Family Dental Center, our highly trained dental team can help you determine the best orthodontic method to straighten your teeth and enjoy the health benefits of a straighter smile.
For more information on Invisalign, braces and orthodontic services at our Glenview, IL dentist’s office, please call (847) 998-1281.
Actor Michael Douglas shocked TV audiences across the country when he announced on the David Letterman Show in 2010 that he has stage IV oral cancer. Fortunately, the cancer had not spread and his radiation and chemotherapy treatments were successful. This year, Douglas teamed up with the Oral Cancer Foundation to warn others about the dangers of the disease and the importance of early detection. In particular, he wants younger people to know that even if they don't smoke and drink a lot, as he admitted to Letterman that he did, they are still at risk.
As Douglas states in a PSA he made with the foundation, “the fastest growing segment of the people developing oral cancers are young, non smokers.” That's due to a strain of the Human Papilloma Virus known as HPV16 that can be transmitted through oral sex. So it's important to avoid risky sexual behaviors and to be screened regularly for this devastating disease that claims one life every hour in the U.S., according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.
An oral cancer screening is a simple visual and tactile exam done right here at the dental office. We will feel your neck for lumps and inspect your lips and all inside surfaces of the mouth, including the back of your throat, for any suspicious signs. If any are found, a biopsy (laboratory analysis of a tissue sample) can be ordered.
Most oral cancers are “squamous” (small scale-shaped) cell carcinomas that occur in the lining of the mouth and are often preceded by recognizable changes (lesions) of the oral membranes. White or red patches begin to form in the pre-cancerous stage, and as the cancer develops, a non-healing ulcer may appear. If you notice any such changes in your mouth, please let us know.
Michael Douglas ends his PSA with the following plea: “So please, the next time you visit your dentist or your medical doctor, ask for this simple screening. Finding oral cancer in its earliest stages may save your life.” We agree, which is why we always perform this screening during your regular dental check-up. If it's been a while since your last appointment, please come in and see us.
If you would like more information about oral cancer, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about the disease in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Cancer.”