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Removing Diseases and Repairing Damages Prevention works the best when an oral cavity has no chronic diseases or interfering damages.
If you are a new patient, we will always provide a complete examination of your teeth, gum, and other areas in your oral cavity. We will provide a detailed report and treatment proposals. You will be an active partner with us in formulating a treatment plan that fits your budget and time frame. As treatment progresses, you are constantly advised of what can be done to prevent the same problems from occurring again. You are in the know, and you are in control!
Home Care—the Most Important Part of Prevention We cannot emphasize enough the importance of brushing and flossing after each meal, and a comprehensive hygiene routine after dinner. It is important to know how to brush properly. We also recommend waterpik and interproximal brushes to help cleaning your teeth. Mouth rinses should be used after your teeth are properly brushed.
Periodical Dental Visits—Another Important Part of Prevention We recommend six-month regular check-ups and teeth cleaning for most patients, and three-month maintenance for patients with gum disease and other special conditions. During your regular visits, we will check your teeth and gums. If they need treatment, it is to your advantage to get them done promptly so that the damage is minimal.
Preventing Physical Damages Physical damages are preventable if you pay attention to them. We recommend mouth guard if you are active in sports activities, and night guard if you grind your teeth at night.
Orthodontic Treatment—Multi Factorial Prevention When front teeth are flared, it is easy to
suffer fracture or trauma. When teeth are crowded, it is much harder to perform proper home hygiene and consequently it is easy to get cavities, gum diseases and TMJ disorders. Therefore, we recommend braces or Invisalign to straighten your teeth so that a proper maintenance can be achievable.
Other Preventive Measures We recommend reduce consumption of food or drinks with high sugar contents, quit cigarette smoking, and get sealants and fluoride treatment for children. Patients who are pregnant, have diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases or cancer, or are on certain medications
should consult us on how to customize a preventive program to maintain your oral health as well as your general well-being.
What is a Bridge and Why Are Crowns Involved? A bridge is a custom device anchored to neighboring teeth that replaces one or more missing teeth. When a lost tooth is replaced with bridgework, the teeth on either side of the missing one must be prepared as crowns to serve as abutments to hold the prosthetic teeth in place. This gold standard for replacing missing teeth has be challenged in recent years when dental implants becomes preferred treatment for missing teeth. However, if implant treatment is not possible, and your adjacent teeth were previously crowned and in need of replacement, we may still make bridges for you, and we will educate you on proper maintenance for long term success.
What is Involved for Getting Crowns and Bridges? After careful examination of your teeth, bone and gum condition, and both the dentist and patient agree on a crown and/or bridge treatment, it takes two visits to finish the treatment, 2 weeks apart.
Single tooth missing
When an implant is placed to replace a single missing tooth, the best restoration is an implant supported crown that looks and feels like the original tooth.
Multiple teeth missing
When two or more consecutive teeth are missing, an implant supported fixed bridge is the best option for restoration. Comparing to one implant per missing tooth, it requires fewer implants, less surgery, and more affordable.
All teeth missing
If all teeth are missing, there are many choices to restore the lost function and esthetics. We will present more detailed discussion with you at your free consultation appointment. Briefly, the more popular options are:
- One or more fixed implant bridges
- Hybride fixed denture
Complete Dentures Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate.” Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed. If patient cannot be without teeth right after teeth removal, an immediate denture can be made prior to teeth removal, and inserted right after teeth removal. Bear in mind this type of denture can only be used as a temporary solution and used mainly for cosmetic considerations. Patients who chooses this treatment should expect some initial discomfort and multiple Adjustment after.
Partial Dentures A removable partial denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink -colored plastic base, which is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. One or more metal clasps clips on natural teeth for retention. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw.
Pros and Cons of Dentures (when compared to other treatment modalities, such as fixed bridges or implants)
- Pros: economical, relatively short treatment time, no surgeries needed after teeth removal, easy to clean and easy to repair.
- Cons: adaptation difficulty (especially full dentures) affecting speech, eating, salivation and unnatural mobility, multiple adjustments needed, continued jawbone reabsorption and gum shrinkage.
However, once patient gets used to dentures, many of the initial problems will disappear. For better alternatives, we recommend implant-retained over dentures or implant supported fixed bridges.
What causes Gum Disease? Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.
Gingivitis–Reversible Gum Disease
The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called “gingivitis.” In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist. It does not involve bone loss.
Periodontitis–Involving Bone loss and Damaging Your Heart and Other Organs
When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to “periodontitis”. In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.
Periodontitis and Your General Health Due to chronic infection of the gums, our body produces high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) which increases risks for heart attack, stroke and other systemic diseases. Women are more susceptible to gum disease due to hormonal fluctuations. Periodontitis during pregnancy may also harm your baby. Once treated, these harmful effects can decrease or disappear.
How to Prevent Gum Disease? Regular dental visits and due diligence with daily brushing and flossing are the most important steps in gum disease prevention. If gum disease is diagnosed, prompt treatment is imperative for better teeth and better health. Treating gum disease can improve your general health, your social life, and even your longevity.
Gum Recession (Noninfectious)—Under Treated but Prevalent Gum Disorders Gum recession can be caused by as simple as overzealous brushing. It can also be caused by abnormal biting force (night bruxism, crooked teeth, etc), aging, eating disorders, dipping tobacco, gum disease or adult braces treatment. When gums recede, tooth appears longer and shows black triangles. Also affected tooth may be sensitive to cold or even touch. Untreated gum recession deteriorates over time, and exposed roots may suffer decay. Eventually it may cause tooth loss.
There are only two procedures that can be done to stop the infection: RCT or extraction. Taking an antibiotics can be a temporary help, but it cannot eradicate the infection. If tooth structure is still sound, a RCT is the treatment of choice to save it. If a tooth is severely damaged, and the foundation of it is compromised, tooth extraction and dental implant may be a better option. A canal in the center of a root contains nerves and blood vessels. A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory — to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth. RCT procedure involves administering a local anesthesia to numb the tooth, removing decays or damaged tooth structure, removing the nerves along with the other soft tissue in the canal, cleaning and shaping of the canal, and sealing the canal with a rubber-type material. Afterwards, a temporary filling material is placed to fill the tooth. The final step may involve further restoration of the tooth. Because a tooth that needs a root canal often is the one that has a large filling or extensive decay or other weakness, a post and a crown are needed to protect it, prevent it from fracturing, and restore it to its full function.
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