Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What are Dental Implants and How do they Work?

Anyone who has lost a tooth or teeth due to injury or periodontal disease may be an ideal candidate for dental implants. Dental implants are permanent devices implanted into a patient's jaw in order to substitute a natural tooth root. They can be used to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place and they rely on the jawbone for support.

There are two types of dental implants: Endosteal (which are inserted into the jaw bone) and Subperiosteal (placed on top of the jaw bone). Endosteal is the most commonly used type of dental implant and can be a great alternative to dentures. Subperiosteal implants are generally used in patients who are unable to wear conventional dentures or those who have minimal bone height.

While dentures are less costly, many patients are choosing implants instead of dentures due to their more natural appearance. Because dentures are removable, patients who use them also have to deal with applying fixatives, which don't always create a secure bond, causing discomfort and embarrassment if the dentures should come loose while eating or speaking.

Depending on your situation, your dentist may advise dental implants, but an ideal candidate should have the following qualifications:

  • Good general and dental health.
  • Adequate bone in their jaw.
  • Have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
If you would like to learn if dental implants are the right choice for you, contact Dr. Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh: 919-782-0548

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Friday, December 14, 2012

What are Dental X-Rays Used For?

Periodically, Dr. Simon Melcher and the dental staff at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh will want to take X-rays of your teeth in order to catch any possible issues that may be hiding under the surface. Radiographs (X-rays) help your dentist determine the presence of a number of dental problems. Some of these problems include periodontal disease, abbesses and abnormal growths such as tumors or cysts.

In addition to uncovering the issues mentioned above, X-rays will allow your dentist to pinpoint the location of cavities and other conditions that may be too subtle to see during a visual exam. Without periodic X-rays, patients are more likely to experience serious dental problems. This is because early detection is the key to preventing a more serious issue later on.

Some patients are nervous about getting X-rays, due to radiation exposure. Although radiation can be harmful if a person is exposed to it in high levels, rest assured that our team is trained to follow all safety precautions when taking X-rays. By using state-of-the-art technology, such as digital radiography, and by staying knowledgeable about recent advances, we are aware of which techniques, procedures and X-ray films can minimize your exposure to radiation.

To learn more about dental X-rays or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Melcher, please visit our website at www.TheRaleighDentists.com or call us at 919-782-0548.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Is Fluoride Harmful to My Health?

Last year, new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prompted many Americans to question the health benefits of fluoride. Despite raising a few eyebrows, the research did not uncover anything that would link significant health risks to fluoride.

It seems the CDC concluded that 2 out of 5 adolescents developed streaks or spottiness on their teeth, caused by ingesting too much fluoride. In rare, extreme cases, some young teens even experienced pitting on their tooth surface, but these cases were so mild that they were only detectable by a dentist. This most likely occurred not from routine dental procedures, but by ingesting fluoride from other sources - namely, drinking water. Most water supplies in the U.S. are fluoridated, which means they are purposefully treated with fluoride.

Fluoride is a compound of the element fluorine, which is found universally throughout nature. You won't just find it in water; it's also in soil, air and in most foods. Fluoride is absorbed easily into the tooth enamel, especially in children's growing teeth. Once the child's teeth are developed, fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes re-mineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is visible.

While ingesting too much of anything can cause adverse reactions, it is extremely rare to experience any health issues related to fluoride. Dental fluorosis is the most common affliction associated with excessive fluoride intake (note the keyword here is EXCESSIVE). Dental fluorosis is characterized by mottled, chalky white or brown appearance on the teeth.

It has been theorized that, over many years, too much fluoride can lead to other health problems, but many of these reports are unfounded. The highly reputable organizations in our country such as the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry continue to recommend fluoride, especially for children.

If you take it upon yourself to research this topic, make sure you are careful about where you get your information. Your best resource is to ask Dr. Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry.  Give us a call today to learn more or to schedule an appointment: 919-782-0548

News Sources:

MSN Healthy Living - A Little Fluoride Goes a Long Way
CBS News- Fluoride is Good For You, We Mean Bad for You

Related Post:

Does Bottled Water Contain Fluoride?