Friday, April 11, 2014

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

 For those who are missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be a great alternative to the usual solutions of bridges or dentures. Because implants do not rest on the gum line like removable dentures or require the surrounding teeth to serve as anchor points like bridges, they are considered a long-term answer.

Anyone who is considering dental implants should be aware that certain health conditions might rule them out as an option. The reason is due to the fact that implants are fused to the bone. When the bone is in a weakened state, dental implants are just not always a choice. The conditions that most commonly prevent a patient from having dental implants are the following: uncontrolled diabetes, cancer, radiation to the jaws, smoking, alcoholism, or uncontrolled periodontal (gum) disease. Some medications and herbal supplements can also hamper the possibilities for this line of treatment. For these reasons, it is vital to inform your dental professionals about any health issues-past or present, that you have experienced.

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, "Statistics show that 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay. Furthermore, by age 74, 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth." Missing teeth cause embarrassment, make eating difficult, and can severely impact one's self-confidence. An issue with dentures and bridges is that over time they can cause further bone loss. Another strike against them is that they usually need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years.

That is why, for the ideal candidates, dental implants make a lot of sense! An implant is essentially a crown on a titanium post. The post is fused with the jawbone and is the next best thing to a healthy, permanent tooth. Unlike dentures or bridges, that can potentially slip or make clicking sounds when talking or chewing, dental implants remain firmly in place. Another plus is that they do not decay or cause bone loss.

Our dental implant patients frequently report how wonderful it is to be free of the day-to-day frustrations caused by missing teeth, ill-fitting bridges and dentures. With their self-confidence restored, many have said they truly have, "a new lease on life," which is something we love to hear!

If you would like to learn more about dental implants, dentures, bridges, or just need experienced and professional dental care, please contact the office of Dr. Simon Melcher of Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh.

From bridges to wisdom teeth, our team of dental professionals is skilled and experienced in the latest strategies and treatments for improving the dental health and hygiene of our clients. Simply call 919-782-0548 to schedule an appointment.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Think Dental Hygiene is Just for Kids?

Many adults regard the practice of brushing and flossing as kids' stuff when, in fact, our teeth can last a lifetime with proper care. As we age, our teeth and gums change and can be affected by a variety of factors, including medications, diet, illness, and injury. Please consider that no matter what your age, daily brushing and flossing is a must. Combine those habits with a healthy diet that's low in sugar, artificial ingredients, and processed foods, and you will have plenty to smile about!

Here are a few reasons why we should always pay proper attention to our dental health:
  • Plaque has a tendency to build up more quickly on the teeth of older adults. Left unchecked, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Always use a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily because cavities and decay that form on the surface of the teeth are more common as we age.
  • Many adults have receding gums, which makes brushing and flossing sometimes painful. When anti-sensitivity toothpastes don't work, it's time to come see us. Sensitivity may be an indication of a more serious condition, such as a cavity or a cracked or fractured tooth.
  • Certain medications or medical conditions can cause individuals to have a lack of saliva, which leads to a condition known as dry mouth. If not treated, this lack of moisture can actually damage the teeth. A visit to Dr. Simon Melcher can help patients discover various methods to restore moisture in the mouth, as well as appropriate treatments or medications to help prevent the problems associated with dry mouth.
  • Several serious disorders can affect one's dental health. Please contact our office if you are facing illnesses such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, because they can each impact your dental well-being.
  • If you have dentures or bridgework, schedule regular check-ups with your dentist to ensure they are doing their job and being maintained correctly.
  • Did you know that anyone over the age of 40 is more at risk for gum disease? Rule it out of your life completely by brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding stress, not smoking, eating healthy foods, and monitoring other serious conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Sticking to those practices can prevent it and even reverse gum disease when it is detected in the early stages.
  • Fun toothbrushes and colorful bottles of cavity fighting dental rinses are not just for kids! Treat yourself to a new toothbrush, minty-waxed floss, and even some sugarless gum to liven up your routine and brighten those pearly whites!
We hope these  reasons for maintaining excellent dental health help motivate you to take good care of your teeth.  Please call Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant & General Dentistry to schedule an appointment today: (919) 782-0548