Holistic Dentistry – Lecture by Paige Woods, DDS at UCSD

FULL TRANSCRIPTION:


Intro: Good afternoon, everybody. Good morning, everybody. I’m really happy to see you here. Welcome to San Diego. I hope that you will have a very enlightened time here. And hopefully, we’ll get to answer a lot of your questions.

I wanted to introduce to you a very, very special person, who I’m very fond of on many levels. She’s a terrific human being. She is a very smart, charismatic, caring person, and an incredibly good dentist. So, please help me welcome Dr. Paige Woods.

Dr. Paige Woods: Thank you. Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here with you guys today. I’m a biological dentist in San Diego, and what makes it even more special to be here at UCSD talking to you guys about what I do.

So, let’s get started. You know, I’m constantly asked. People ask me where should they go to research, where should they go to find out what’s best for them. I know that with social media and with the Internet, if a patient gets a cough and they go to WebMD, they’re going to think they have cancer. So, we’re given tons of information, but who’s right?

And what I always tell my patients is, first and foremost, you have to trust yourself. If something doesn’t smell right, doesn’t sit with you right, then trust yourself and keep digging.

And that’s basically how I wrote my practice. And why my patients come to me is because they have kept pushing the limit and pushing the boundaries and asking why. Stepping away from the social norms, they find their way to me.

So, why do we need to take responsibility of our health? In dentistry, we’re taught to restore teeth. We’re given this list of materials and we learned everything there is to know about it –the bond strength, the compression strength, the sheer strength, everything you can possibly know, elasticity. But there’s no aspect really on the bio-compatibility of these materials—which I’ve always had an issue with it.

So, I think that that’s another thing that’s missing in this field. We have dental amalgams, for instance. They contain mercury. And we’ll talk about this a lot during this lecture. But another thing is for my pediatric patients. When they have decay that extends to the nerve, the standard of care is to remove the decay. We take a piece of cotton, we dip into formocresol which has formaldehyde in it, and we soak that tooth with this material. Formaldehyde is carcinogenic. It’s known to be carcinogenic. And then we have root canal sealers that are toxic as well.

So, there are all of these things that we’re putting into our mouths that contain non-toxic materials. By just stepping aside and asking, “Wait, what?” I think that that’s what makes us intelligent human beings.

We’ll get to some of these other things a little bit later, but just start kind of planting the seed.

So, my hope for you today is to provide you guys with a litte bit of knowledge to take with you to your healthcare provider and make sure that you’re getting the care that you want.

So, when patients come to me every day, these are the number one concerns that they have. They want to know about their silver fillings. Are they toxic? Are they good for them? Are they hurting them? What’s the deal, just the different metals on their mouth?

Root canals, root canals is another big issue right now as well as gum disease.

So, our mercury fillings, 50% mercury. So, aside from being 50% mercury, this is some of the things that we see everday. And just looking at the pictures, you have to ask yourself, “Do I want this in my mouth?” Let’s take mercury out of the equation. Do I still want this rusting piece of metal in my mouth?

So, aside from that, now let’s talk about the composition. It is 50% mercury. And that’s not according to me. That’s according to Health &Human Services which is the government.

We have these mercury restorations. How did we get it? Well, it goes back a long ways. It goes back to 1833 when two Frenchmen brought it over. They realized it was an easy to use material. They were able to place them into teeth and restore these teeth. We didn’t have anything else, and patients were able to function.
So, 10 years later, that was the standard of care. Everyone was using it. It makes sense.

But the American Society of Dental Surgeons caught on to the fact—and they were the ones that said, “Hey, it’s got 50% mercury. How can this be okay for the patient? How can this be healthy?” They wanted to eliminate it. And instead of that being eliminated, the mercury fillings being eliminated, the American Dental Association was founded and the American Society of Dental Surgeons was disbanded. So, the ADA has been a strong proponent of dental amalgam ever since.

So, as I was saying, mercury was one of the most toxic elements. It’s actually the third most toxic element according to Health & Human Services behind arsenic and lead. This is not me. This is not me telling you how to live your life, me telling you something is good or bad. This is the government. This is Health & Human Services telling you that mercury is the third most toxic substance and 50% of these fillings are mercury.

So, if that hasn’t convinced you enough, when you go to your dentist or in my own office—well, I don’t have this metal in my office. But if your dentist does have it in their office, this is a label from one of the containers that contains the mercury or amalgam for placing in these restorations. And right here, it says, “Warning: May cause neurotoxic and nephrotoxic effects.” So, you’re going to have neurotoxic and kidney devastating effects. This is the label. So that’s the toxicity based on the mercury content.

Let’s talk about just the fact of having the metal on your mouth. So if you think about highschool chemistry, highschool science classes, when you heat up a metal, it expands. You eat hot and cold food, this metal expands and contracts.

Well, teeth are really strong when they’re whole and there hasn’t been anything placed in them. You can put a lot of pressure. I mean, we put 250 lbs. of pressure on our molars. So, we have really strong jaws. But now you have a wedge inside of your tooth that’s expanding and contracting and it’s creating these cracks, and also, open margins. So, it expands, contracts, expands, contracts. You have all these openings for bacteria. Microscopic bacteria just flows right in.

So, aside from the toxicity effect, it’s also not a good restorable material based on the devastating effects long-term.

I can’t tell you how many clients—everyday, I do at least one (and mostly like two to three crowns) a day just because of the fractures that occur with these restorations.

Once we remove the amalgam—actually, this is a really nice picture. I know, this is not bad. But you can actually see here, you see this crack, it runs all the way across, all the way across. And sometimes, these teeth, this crack runs so deep that it runs to the root of the tooth and the tooth actually has to be extracted. So, a simple filling turns into a tooth extraction.

But there is good news. We are able to remove these amalgams in a safe way and restore them. This is a case from our office. We removed the metal, the mercury fillings, and we replaced it with some porcelain inlays and onlays. It looks much better.

So, a lot of times, my patients come in, and they’ve done a little bit of research—I’m really happy that they have. They’re on the right path. They’ve made the decision to have these toxic restorations removed—and they want to know what my protocol of choice is, if it’s Huggins or International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. These are all very great protocols. The fact that they’re removing these toxic restorations, A+.

But you’re taking your eye off the 8 ball. The key is making sure that none of these metal and this metal material is going to be ingested or inhaled when we remove it. And that all starts with this nice sealed rubber dam.

This is water-tight. We test it. Once we put this on, we put a clamp, we test it with water, we ask the patient, “Are you getting anything in?” before we even do this.

We add a second layer of protection. We use some homeopathy remedies to make sure. We give our patients a couple of tablets. If anything gets in—which it doesn’t—if anything does, it allows the body to flush that mercury out rather than being absorbed into the fatty tissues.

So, we have our rubber dam, our sealed rubber dam. We place an oxygen mask over the patient’s nose to make sure that none of these toxic gas is being inhaled.

And we section out the metal pieces. We section it out. We use electric hand pieces that we’re able to put the RPMs way down, so that it doesn’t heat up this metal too much, and we section these pieces out.

So again, this goes over our protocol that we used in our office. And we’ve had great success. We kind of combined a couple of different protocols, and it works.

So, some other things your dentist should be using in the office is homeopathy, acupuncture, a lot of natural ventilation, nutritional guidance, and of course, quadrant dentistry. We want to take care of each quadrant at a time.

So, once you remove these metal fillings, then what? What are we going to replace them with?

So, we have a couple of different options. We have composites and we have porcelain. Composites is basically plastic and glass. It’s not baked. And then, you have porcelain which is baked glass.

With the composites, unfortunately, at this point in time, we don’t have a perfect material. We have two types of composites. Ninety-nine percent of the composites out there in the market now contain BPAs. In my office, it doesn’t have BPAs in it, but it does have a little bit of flouride which we’re not a fan of. We don’t use flouride in our office, but this is the one material that does have it. We just find that we would rather sacrifice and have a minute amount of flouride versus containing a large amount of BPAs. We tend to go that way.

When I’m talking over these issues with what the options are with my patients, I put it really simply as, “Would you rather eat your food on a China plate or a plastic plate?” It’s up to them. But at least the choices are known.

So, I think that more and more dentists are starting to join and they’re starting to realize that these mercury fillings or amalgam fillings are not healthy. I’m actually really happy to see that dentistry is changing course. It’s taken a long time I think from what, 1833 to now. We’re starting to slowly move away, but we’re getting there.
So, oral and systemic disease, it’s all connected. There had been countless of research done showing that there was a direct connection between periodontal disease. And that’s been known for 15 years at least—hardcore evidence.

And then, lately, the ADA came out with a study that said that there actually isn’t. But I think that there’s more to that. I don’t believe that. I think that due to malpractice, if a periodontal condition isn’t seen or diagnosed, that the dentist is going to be liable for malpractice with their heart disease. So, I don’t believe that. There’s just too much evidence showing otherwise.

In the gums, you have a large amount of vasculature; in the teeth, you do as well. And it’s a direct connection to your heart. It’s commonsense.

So, what is periodontal disease is when we have a patient that has a large amount of bacteria that basically starts to form here. And it eats away. It’s anaerobic bacteria, so it doesn’t like oxygen.

So, when I have a patient that has four, five, six millimeter pockets, they’re not able to clean here. A normal toothbrush can get two to three millimeters if you’re really diligent. But once we get past that, this bacteria is just having a field day. It’s just going to town.

This is actually really interesting. So, some of that bacteria that we found in the bottoms of those pockets that I just showed you, they also found that same bacteria in patients that have pancreatic cancer. And yet, it’s not all connected.

So, how do you know if you have periodontal disease? Here, we have some areas where we have moderate gingivitis, and we’re getting into some moderate periodontitis here. You can see the recession, the gum tissue. And then, when you get to the more advanced—and we see this in our office actually more frequently than you would realize.

How do we treat it? In our office, we take a little bit of a different approach. Of course, we want to use our traditional hygiene—brush, floss. But with our patients, we find that the biggest resource that we can have is by their homecare.

You come to our office, you see our hygienist every four months? Then how is that bacteria being eliminated between then? I mean, do you clean your house every four months? No! You need a maintenance every day to allow new growth to attach to that tooth.
So, in our practice, we use ozone because it’s three molecules of oxygen. When you have these anaerobic bacteria, bacteria that hates oxygen, and you’re throwing three oxygen molecules at it, it’s the most we can do to try to eliminate this bacteria.

So, we have our patients buy a water pick. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. We just want a reservoir. We have them buy an ozone machine. You ozonate the water, and they basically put the ozone water, the ozone-infused water down into those pockets. That helps to eradicate that bacteria. And by doing that every day, we’re seeing these four, five, six millimeter pockets become those two, three and four—and even better.

And here are some of the statistics for an ozone machine that we recommend. Feel free to email me about this so we can help you.

And again, this is just talking about the water pick. I even have all my ortho patients, I tell them to use it because it’s harder to floss. The most important thing to realize is you’re just trying to flush that bacteria out.

I don’t want to say that it’s not important to keep coming to your hygienist. It absolutely is. You need to have the tartar removed. We learned how to brush our teeth when we’re really young. We all kind of get in there and go to town, but there are places that we miss. So, you have to continue to come to your hygienist and keep having these pockets measured to make sure that we’re getting new reattachment.

So, aside from hygiene and using ozone, some other things that we see that causes increased periodontal pockets and periodontal disease is a lot of crowding. Our teeth are supposed to be aligned in a certain fashion to where your saliva just flows through and it eliminates naturally this bacteria. But when you have all of these crowding, even the patient with the most diligent hygiene, it’s almost impossible. They’re just set up for failure. You’re going to see a plaque trapped here. You’re going to see it here.

Not only that, a lot of times, when they have this, some teeth are being worn more than others. You’ll see a lot of wear on the biting surfaces of the back teeth. So, we absolutely want—of course, there’s an aesthetic component of the braces which that’s the majority of why people get them. But what I care about is just the health of their mouth and eliminating these pockets and areas for bacteria to sequester.

So, it’s not perfect for every patient, but a lot of our patients are able to use these clear braces. They’re BPA-free. A lot of times, our patients don’t want to have metal in their mouth. So, this is a great alternative.

Okay! So, the big hot topic is root canals. I see patients every day. They’ve done a lot of research, and they want to know, “Is this root canal causing cancer? Is this root canal hurting me? Is it making me sick?” That’s a valid question. So, what is a root canal?
So, inside of this canal, you have a nerve, you have an artery and you have a vein. And when you have decay or trauma or something that causes this nerve to die, we have to have it removed.
So, we open the tooth. We open this up and clean all of these out and fill this area. That is a root canal.

So, traditional root canals are done with Gutta Percha and that sealant—that sealant that I was telling you about that’s made of a really toxic material. We have more bio-compatible materials now thankfully that I will recommend to some of my patients depending on their own situation.

So, traditional root canal materials, it’s a hydrophobic material. So, when it comes into contact with moisture, it actually starts to shrink. And over time, these materials shrink anyway.
So, if you think about this, when you fill this area with a material that’s starting to shrink and get smaller, it basically becomes a place where bacterial can just come and re-infest this canal. Whereas the new bio-compatible materials that are on the market and that we use in our office, when it comes into contact with moisture, it actually expands. So, it eliminates any of those pocketings or voids for bacteria to enter. And again, this is the traditional root canal material.

So, aside from whether or not we can do root canals with the bio-compatible materials or not, most of the patients that come in have done some research and they have come across Dr. Weston Price.

So, in 1920, Dr. Price did a study where he took some root canal treated tooth from some patients that had some systemic conditions. One patient had had a heart attack, and they took this tooth out. Another patient had diabetes. So, they had some of these root canal-treated teeth. He implanted them under the skin of some rabbits.

Eighty-eight percent of those rabbits developed the systemic condition that the patient had had that had the root canal-treated tooth. For instance, one of the patients had a heart attack. The rabbit had a heart attack after having this root canal placed under the tissue.

So, not only Weston Price, but the Mayo Clinic also had research as well showing the bacteria lodged in these root canal-treated teeth were connected to some of these systemic conditions.

So now that we know that, what do we do? That’s what my patients come to me. They’ve done this research. They have this information. They have this knowledge. It’s out there. It’s not a secret. What do we do?

This is the part that I love about my job. It’s because each patient is unlike any other patient.

So, we evaluate the tooth. I look at their situation. We look at the tooth. Does it have an infection? If it does have an infection, is it a tooth that they need for chewing? If we extract it, are we going to be able to utilize other teeth around it to replace it with a bridge? Do we have enough bone there for an implant?

These are the questions that I ask myself, ask the patient. We have to come up with a gameplan.

We also look at the systemic conditions of a patient. If this tooth is on a meridian where they have some other manifestation—let’s say they have a premolar that is infected and they have breast cancer along that meridian—I’m absolutely going to say, “No way! Get it out.” So, every case is evaluated individually.

Systemic manifestations on that meridian, are there life-threatening health challenges. Do we want to add to that possibility of introducing more bacteria into their system or is it better just to get rid of it completely? At the end of the day, it’s just a tooth. Their life matters more.

So, here are some examples of our tooth-organ relationship. Like I was saying, with the premolar, any breast cancer, thyroid, we’re not going to want to mess with that, a lower molar—and this is all online, this tooth-organ relationship. So, if you have any root canals that you’ve been questioning having re-treated or having removed, you can look this up and evaluate it.

So, with the bio-compatible option, if there is not a systemic condition along that meridian and the tooth is needed for function, then we do have an option. And this is what I will talk to my patients about.

So, it doesn’t use Gutta Percha, and it doesn’t have the hydrophobic sealers. It has this hydrophilic points that actually expand.
And here’s a research article basically talking about how it will expand when it comes into contact with moisture.

A little bit more about this study. I don’t want to bore you guys. You guys can look this up.

So, what’s my position on the root canals? I’m not an advocate for it. I’m totally opposed to it when it’s used with traditional materials. But it’s not off the table. I feel like that’s doing a disservice to my patients. I don’t want my patients to think if they come to me, we’ll have all your root canals removed. I can’t buy that.

But each patient, they’re an individual. They’re unlike anyone else. I need them to come to my office. Let’s sit down, let’s talk about it, let’s evaluate their case individually.

So, let’s say that we’ve decided to actually remove the tooth, then what are our options? Do we just leave it alone? Absolutely not. We have options.

So, what is the best thing? We have implants, bridges and removable partials. Maryland bridges aren’t done very much these days just because it takes a lot of maintenance. You have to have them recemented every few years or so. We’ll talk about it, but I think people are more in line with implants and bridges.

So, an implant is a titanium or a zirconium screw that’s put into the bone. We allow it to heal for a few months. And then ,we uncover it and then we can place a crown on it.

During those four months, the body will osteointegrate and basically move into the threads of this implant, and it’s accepted as part of the body and part of the bone.

You can see the threads. There’s bone going straight into these. It’s totally integrated. It’s solid.

Zirconia implants are also on the market. The problem with these right now is that it’s all one piece here—not to mention that it’s larger. So, it’s a ceramic implant. It has to be larger so that it can take on the mastication forces. You have all these micro-fractures that can occur if it’s smaller.

So, they’re still in the research and development phase right now. With it being one piece, the patient is able to actually bite on it immediately which I’m not a fan of because it’s not allowing the bone to actually integrate into the implant.

So, there is hope for having zirconia implants. They have come out with something that has two individual pieces, but they’re having problems with the attachment of the two pieces. So, for now, I’m not ready to advice my patients to go in this direction until I see a little bit more success. So, there are options.

If they don’t have enough bone, and there aren’t teeth for an implant—I mean for a bridge—then we can do something that’s removable to help them to bite.

This is what we do in the majority of cases. If a patient has restorations on two adjacent teeth here and we have to remove a tooth, then it’s kind of killing two birds with one stone. We can clean up those two adjacent teeth and place a bridge, a porcelain bridge.

If the two teeth are virgin teeth, then I would probably go more towards an implant.

And this is that Maryland bridge. This is not as common, but it’s still an option. So, you can ask your dentist how they feel and if you’re a candidate for them. Again, every case needs to be evaluated individually.

So, to reiterate, are there systemic manifestations along the meridien of the affected tooth? Are there life-threatening health challenges? And will intervention improve or decrease the quality of life? If we remove that tooth, are they not going to be able to eat on that side?

So, those are the things that we address in our office. I really appreciate you guys listening to what I have to say. Feel free to come and see us at Brighton Dental. Thank you. Thank you so much.

For a holistic dental consultation with Dr. Woods, call (619) 359-6569

Dental Implant Treatment Improvements

Dental Implant Treatment Infographic

 

Developments in Dental Implants: All-on-4 Procedure

For a patient who is missing a tooth or a number of teeth, dental implants are an obvious choice. This is because implants allow the dental patient to talk and eat normally as well as restoring the lost glamour of their smile.

When dental implants are recommended

For a dental patient with a missing tooth, a dental implant is perfect. The implant is made of a porcelain crown fitted on to some titanium post. The implant process allows the artificial tooth to blend perfectly with the natural teeth in the mouth of a patient.

Importance of dental implants

A gap in the mouth occasioned by some missing tooth can alter the health of the jaw, the bite, speech pattern, and eating behavior. It could even affect the way your mouth is shaped while smiling. With a dental implant, all these problems can be rectified.

The process of getting dental implants

The dentist will first take the mold of the missing teeth and the gum. Afterward, they create porcelain crowns and titanium screws that match the color, shape, and size of the natural tooth. The process of healing could take up to six months. This is because the jawbone has to grow, develop, and heal around the new implant.

Technological innovation in dental implants

Technological innovation has taken over in dentistry. Most people imagine that dentistry is still at the same place it was twenty years ago. Well, a lot has changed since then. The rate of success in dental procedures today is near perfect. Smaller implants with less pain, minimal invasion, and faster healing processes define dentistry today.

Could dental implants be used to replace an entire arch of teeth?

It is not recommended to have singular implants as a replacement for all the missing teeth in an arch. There is a better solution for such a situation. A new technology known as all-on-4 is a contemporary method used to replace teeth on either side of the jaw. The whole arch is anchored on four secure posts that are smaller than with traditional implants. This technology has allowed patients to walk into a dentist premise without teeth and walk out of the premise with all of them.

All-on-4 procedure

This is an advanced modern dental surgical process that applies specially designed implants for the purpose of providing strong anchorage for teeth replacement. The process provides a wholesome replacement for lost teeth within a single dentist appointment. The dental bridge is customized and fixed. The procedure will transform the toothless gum into an array of beauty.

Difference between all-on-4 procedure and dentures

Dentures rely on gum tissue for anchorage. This often causes loss of bone tissue, therefore, causing instability and discomfort. People who wear dentures can often only eat soft foods. For the all-on-4 dental implants, the process yields a permanent arch of teeth which feel and look like the natural teeth. The new teeth are stable and comfortable compared to dentures.

All on 4 benefits

  • Minimal or absence of bone grafting
  • Minimally invasive dental procedure
  • Requires a single appointment with the dentist
  • An immediate solution that is permanent

Choosing Between Dental Implants & Dentures

Dental Implants vs Dentures Infographic

 

Dentures versus Dental Implants

Dentures: You must have seen a situation (either in a movie scene or in a comedy show) where an old person is talking, eating, or partaking in some other activity and their removable dentures fall out of their mouths. You may also have seen an elderly person with a water glass with their dentures inside. Dentures could be a brilliant choice although most people find them uncomfortable and painful. Centuries ago, dentures were made from bone or ivory. Nowadays they can be made at a cheap price even though they are still quite problematic.

The agony and embarrassment of having the dentures fall out are real. A strong and tough adhesive material has to be used to hold the dentures in position. Large quantities of this adhesive must be applied to achieve this objective. Dentures must as well be cleaned every day. The daily obligation to fit and remove dentures can become tedious. Dentures are quite unstable. They could shift position while talking and/or eating. They could land the wearer into embarrassing situations. The denture wearer is often exposed to psychological trauma.

There are more issues with dentures. There are many systemic physical problems that come with dentures. The pressure exerted on gums and bones when wearing them coupled with the movements and shifting is likely to generate friction sores, ulcers, and burns. The consequences may be very painful.

Dental Implants: These are much easier on dental patients. They blend in much better with the normal teeth. The appearance and functionality of the teeth are just like regular teeth. They do not move or shift positions like dentures. Upon putting an implant in the mouth, a crown will be inserted on that implant, therefore, providing a lasting and permanent solution. Dentures do not offer this. Dental implants, unlike dentures, do not need separate cleaning. Implants will not exert pressure on the gums and the adjacent teeth.

Dental implants will also not cause undue pressure on the jawbone. Implants are embedded into jawlines, therefore, making them stronger, unlike dentures which make the jawbone weaker. Implants make it possible to maintain healthy jawbones for longer periods of time.

Unlike dental implants, dentures are a lot cheaper. This may be a primary reason why people shy away from dental implants. But, looking closely there is a good reason dental implants are a bit costly. Considering the purchase price of dentures, the glue and binding, and the medicine that helps deal with side effects sustained from these dentures, the entire cost of dentures may actually be more than dental implants would ever be. It is therefore wise to get dental implants rather than dentures.

Dental implants and dentures compared

Dental Implants

  • Function and feel like the normal teeth
  • Stable, secure, and strong – they fit comfortably as well
  • Does not require adhesives or creams
  • Permanent solution
  • Restore natural chewing
  • Easy to clean and take care of without having to remove them
  • Could last a lifetime
  • Dental patient maintains the ability to sense temperature and taste

Dentures

  • May feel unnatural and artificial
  • Subject to movements and slip, therefore, causing discomfort
  • May require adhesives and creams
  • Chewing capacity is a bit restrictive
  • Will require remaking or realignment eventually
  • Requires daily cleaning
  • Inexpensive but less effective
  • The cover plate minimizes the wearer’s ability to sense temperature and taste.

Gum Disease & Ozone Therapy

gum disease and ozone infographic

 

Using Ozone to Prevent Periodontal Diseases

There are many studies currently being run to investigate how the bacteria from periodontal diseases work inside the human body. There is enough reason to believe that the bacteria causing gum disease could cause a lot of harm to the entire body.

It is fundamental to brush the teeth with keenness. Using a smooth brush and warm water or some homemade toothpaste where possible, make sure to brush in the gum region in order to eliminate all bacteria. After this, brush the teeth using some toothpaste. The last step is to apply dental floss so as to get inside the areas where a normal toothbrush won’t get into.

Alleviating gum disease using conventional methods

Some of the patients seeking assistance from dentists have gum diseases that have gone too far and for extended periods of time the pockets that have developed, usually between 5 and 8 mm, have begun showing on the gums. Such patients require scaling treatment to stop further gum damage.

Tips for patients when employing the Ozone machine

  • Only use the Ozone machine in an area that is properly ventilated.
  • Make sure the Ozone machine in use has corona discharge.
  • Get an Ozone machine with an internal power source. One with a capacity of 1000 milligrams/hour is quite ideal. This type can be used for about 15 minutes until the process is completed.

Gum disease warning signs

It is no surprise that most people are unaware that they contend with gum disease effects. It is important for at risk patients to know exactly what to look out for. In order to promptly identify gum disease signs and ensure overall gum and body health, look out for these signs:

  • Swollen, tender, and bleeding gum
  • Missing or loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Some sour taste inside the mouth
  • A persisting foul breath
  • Red gums
  • Gum recession

Ozone therapy defined

Periodontitis and Gingivitis are the most pronounced inflammatory diseases of the teeth supporting tissue. Periodontal and gingival diseases are established to be influenced by Microbial etiology and a number of host responses. Ozone is also established as having a number of biological effects owing to the immune-stimulating and antimicrobial effects. Ozone is therefore recommended for periodontal and gingival disease treatment.

Ozone is quite useful in the process of killing bacteria. This is the reason it is applied in medical sterilization and gum disease treatment.

Protective qualities of Ozone

Ozone has a negative charge and is made up of three oxygen atoms. The outer wall of bacteria has a positive charge. Ozone will naturally combine with bacteria. This is how Ozone attacks bacteria. It is, however, true that bacteria could be the good type and the bad type. The objective is not to eliminate every bacterium in the mouth. Good bacteria have antioxidants fashioned to repel Ozone therefore maintaining their health effects on the mouth. This will help eliminate gum disease agents hence becoming an optimal solution for diseased gums.

The Root Canal Controversy

Root Canal Controversy

 

Understanding the Root Canal Procedure

History: Root canals have become a controversial method of dental treatment. This is a situation that has existed since the 1st century AD. This is the age where evidence can be adduced about the occurrence of teeth draining. The process was quite painful then and continued this way until 1756. It is at this time when Philip Pfaff began root canal fillings using gold.

Root canal defined

This is a treatment meant to save badly infected and damaged teeth through repair. Root canal procedures entail eliminating a tooth area that is damaged i.e. pulp, disinfecting, and cleaning the area prior to filling it and sealing it. Some of the common reasons why the pulp gets infected include cracked teeth, deep cavities, trauma, or frequent dental treatment targeted at a specific tooth. Root canal is a term derived from cleaning the canal in the root region of a tooth.

Root canal procedure

Prior to getting a root canal procedure make sure you consult a dentist. The steps involved include:

An X-ray: Whenever a dentist considers that a patient needs a root canal they examine an existing X-ray or take one to identify the region where the decay is situated.

Anesthesia: Some local anesthesia is used on the tooth affected. Many people are unaware that root canals are not any more painful than fillings.

Fillings: The opened root will be filled up with material and later carefully sealed using cement.

Advantages of a root canal

The process can put an end to acute pain. It can also help retain a tooth rather than having it replaced. The alternative helps retain teeth and arch integrity therefore assisting in keeping the other teeth intact inside the mouth.

Disadvantages of a root canal

Blood supply into the tooth will get irreversibly damaged and derailed. This could make the teeth get an infection hence making it weaker. Teeth weakening necessitates placement of crowns in order to hold it together.

Alternatives to root canal

The likely alternatives primarily depend on patient preferences and condition. Issues of immune system and general health influence the choice of an alternative. In cases where a patient does not have systemic issues and are in good health, having a root canal will be the most credible choice. Where general health is not present and there are immune problems it is advisable to avoid a root canal. Some possible alternatives include:

Fixed bridge

A root canal can be substituted with fixed bridges. Fixed bridges are composed of a false tooth and two crowns fitted in the mid area where there is a gap. The bridges could be made from materials that are non-metallic to enhance safety.

Maryland bridge

Where most of the teeth are in good health, it is not advisable to have the tooth structure damaged so as to get a root canal treatment. A Maryland bridge is an incredible alternative for such a situation. The treatment is first of all noninvasive and it entails reducing your teeth from one side and thereafter inserting the bridge.

Implants

Another option for the treatment of the root canal is through complete replacement of the tooth with another implant tooth. The new tooth is modeled to resemble the replaced tooth perfectly.

 

Military Retirees, Take Action: TRDP Is Ending, Sign Up For FEDVIP

benefeds

The TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) ends on December 31, 2018. But don’t worry: Signing up for a new FEDVIP plan means you’ll get great dental coverage without hassles or waiting periods – and you can continue your relationship with Dr. Woods and our team here at Brighton Dental in San Diego.

The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) replaces TRDP on January 1, 2019, offering comparable dental benefits and a choice of carriers, including Delta Dental. But you must sign up between November 12 and December 10 of this year for uninterrupted coverage. Except for orthodontic coverage with most plans, there’s no waiting period for full coverage.

You Must Take Action To Ensure Coverage

Coverage will not be continuous unless you take action to apply for FEDVIP coverage between November 12 and December 10. The TRDP program’s contract with the Department of Defense will end at the end of this year, according to provisions of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Selecting the new FEDVIP plan of your choice is required to continue benefits.

We know how important your dental health is to you, and we want the transition to be as easy as possible for everyone. Military retirees and dental offices like ours who proudly treat you must take action to ensure a smooth transition, and you can be sure we’re doing our part.

To prevent the possibility of a gap in your coverage, visit tricare.benefeds.com and sign up for the new FEDVIP plan between November 12 and December 10.

As always, we’re here to help you in any way we can. Just remember that this way of providing service is new to us as well. Still, please contact us with any questions or concerns – and take the action necessary to ensure continuous coverage. We want to take care of your dental and oral health care need for many years to come.

All About Dentures

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How Dentures Can Help You Get Your Smile Back

To many, getting dentures can be a little overwhelming. Will they fit well? Will they cause discomfort? Can I speak and eat better than I can now with them? While at first, dentures might be a little strange to wear, they come with many incredible benefits that will help you get back to living normally again.

What are Dentures?

Dentures are special devices that take the place of missing teeth in your mouth to help make things like talking and chewing easier. They are usually made out of strong plastic or other similar materials to help keep them durable.

Types of Dentures

There are a few different types of dentures you’ll find you can choose from. One of the most common types is a full denture. This is a type that is a complete set of teeth for your upper and lower jaw which you can choose from depending on what you need.

The other type of denture is a partial denture. This denture is ideal to use if you only have about one or two missing teeth that need to be replaced. It also works well at helping to support your existing teeth to keep them strong.

The last main type of denture is a fixed denture. A fixed denture is basically drilled and secured into your gum so it works and acts as if it were a regular tooth. Because it is fully secured into your gum, you don’t need to remove it which makes it an ideal choice for many. However, these are a little more expensive compared to the other types, so you’ll have to be prepared to invest a little bit in them.

The Benefits of Dentures

Dentures come with plenty of benefits. Below are some that you can enjoy when using them.

You’ll Be Able to Talk and Chew Better

If you’re missing teeth, it can make common things like talking and chewing not only difficult to do, but very painful. With dentures, they’ll replace the missing teeth to help ensure that you can get back to talking easily again and chewing all types of food without problems.

They Come in Different Types and Can Be Customized

Dentures come in many different types which might come as a surprise to many. Because of this, you’ll be able to find a pair of dentures that fit your needs the best. They can also sometimes be customized by your dentist if you have a special request for them. You’ll be able to customize how the teeth are shaped and even the gum color so you can get your natural smile back.

They are Durable

One of the best things about dentures is that they are durable. They can withstand heavy-duty usage for a long time so you won’t have to worry about investing in a new pair anytime soon.

Dentures can be very helpful when it comes to your dental health. They can help to not only replace missing or diseased teeth, but work to improve your speech and chewing movements that you might be having trouble with due to the lack of teeth in a certain area. Best of all, dentures will ensure that your natural smile returns.

The Different Types of Dentures

Many people often neglect using dentures because they feel self-conscious about wearing them or don’t want to invest in a costly pair. However, dentures today are very affordable and come in many different types which means you’ll be able to find ones that aren’t only comfortable to wear, but look exactly like your natural teeth. Below you’ll find the four most common types of dentures and how they can help you.

Types of Dentures

Full/Complete

A full/complete denture is one that will replace most of your teeth. This is the most traditionally used one and can easily be put on your top or lower gum. After having been inspected by a dentist and any necessary treatments done, the full denture will then be placed on your gum where it can later be removed if needed.

Partial

Partial dentures replace only one or a few teeth. They come in small pieces and can eventually be adjusted to replace new spots if need be. These pieces are removable so you can take them off to clean them. This type of denture is ideal to help you if a few missing teeth have left you feeling immense pain in your mouth or trouble speaking and chewing.

Implant-Supported

Implant-supported dentures use special tools that are drilled into or around your jawbone. Typically, this type is used for the lower section of your mouth because it fits better and is easier to install here. You’ll find that implant-supported dentures come in two types: bar-retained and ball-retained:

  • Bar-Retained: Uses a thin metal bar around the curvature of your jawline which the denture is attached to.
  • Ball-Retained: Uses a few small metal pieces that are drilled into your jawbone at various points so the denture can be attached to it.

Custom

While a little expensive, custom dentures are the best way to help you look as if you’re not wearing any type of denture. A dentist will use intricate technology to make a map of your mouth and then make a denture mold of it. You’ll find that while they’re a beautiful set of teeth, they look very natural because the teeth aren’t always perfectly aligned which gives the denture a very natural look.

What are Dentures Made Out Of?

When you shop for dentures you’ll find that they are made out of many different types of materials. The two most common types are acrylic and porcelain.

Acrylic

Acrylic is the most affordable material and is very easy to clean. It doesn’t place unnecessary pressure on your jawbone which other types sometimes tend to do. However, it might feel a little heavy and can take some time to get used to.

Porcelain

Porcelain dentures are made to feel and look exactly like natural teeth. While they cost a tad bit more than acrylic, they are much more durable.

Dentures are helpful tools that can not only give you your smile back, but can eliminate any painful dental problems you might have. They are easy to use and clean and will help you get back to living more comfortably.

 

 

All About Porcelain Dental Veneers

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Dental Veneers Made from Porcelain

The instance of yellow or discolored teeth is quite unsettling for anyone. Having some yellow teeth with discoloration, in addition to abrasions, broken, chipped, unevenly shaped, or grinded teeth is even worse. Self-confidence and esteem comes down to the smile you wear. Any time you get ashamed or nervous about your dental appearance the infectious smile will disappear and self-confidence will seize.

Porcelain veneers emotional and aesthetic impact

A good number of dentists consider using porcelain veneers. The porcelain veneer is a category of veneers in dentistry usually used for the treatment of biological tooth problems. Embarrassing teeth for a patient is quite damaging although in some different way. This is why porcelain veneers are an important innovation to help reclaim the confidence of a patient and give them the deserved teeth they would be happy to smile with without getting ashamed.

Techniques of putting porcelain veneers on

Some two decades ago, putting on porcelain veneers required some difficult and invasive surgical processes on a patient’s mouth. Most patients were quite cautious about getting them. The level of aggression with this dentistry would frequently result into further problems than the procedure would have solved.

Understanding porcelain veneers

In simple terms, porcelain veneers can be understood as thin shells made of porcelain. The shells get stuck into the front area of the teeth, and they get glued there. Incredibly strong veneers will withstand friction hence resisting fracture. They are compact enough to allow for chewing and they can also last for quite some time. Upon getting porcelain veneer fittings they could remain in position for decades immediately after they are properly bonded.

Porcelain veneers holistic approach

Porcelain veneers will always be a magnificent alternative for patients. This product has gone through numerous changes since their initial development. Conventional dentists often recommend the traditional veneers that apply composite materials which do not last long enough. The composite alternative of veneers does get easily stained hence causing the same initial problem for which a patient was treated.

Excellent solution

These veneers are a painless, safe and magnificent solution for giving a dental patient a clean smile they have always desired. They help address issues of yellow teeth, broken teeth, and bad teeth spacing. The treatment process is not invasive and within a limited time following consultation, any person contending with the aforementioned challenges can encounter an experience that will help them regain their confidence and motivation.

Benefits

  • Long-lasting: They could remain for between 10 and 15 years if properly maintained.
  • Durability and strength: They are made from durable and strong porcelain material. It is possible to enjoy various foods without having to get worried.
  • Customizable: Teeth impressions are sent to an oral lab for hand crafting of veneers that fit a person’s teeth perfectly.
  • Natural looking: They are specifically manufactured to resemble natural teeth.
  • Simple and quick procedure: Within a time of two dentist visits, the veneers could get installed.
  • Cosmetic benefits: They enhance the appearance of chipped, cracked, discolored, misaligned, and broken teeth. They are applied for their cosmetic value and positioned on the front side of visible teeth.
  • Resistant to stains: Unlike the natural tooth, the porcelain veneers resist stains. They could maintain their brilliant white color even when enjoying a cup of black tea, coffee, or other products which would normally cause stains.
  • Enhance confidence: The improved smile could assist in helping improve confidence in appearance. This helps improve quality of living.

Dental Implants.. Are They Right For You?

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Relevance of Dental Implants

Dental implants have great value to a large number of patients although they may not be the optimal solution to everyone’s dental issues. Any dentist will primarily consider the quality and health of the jawbone against which the dental implant is to be placed. Dental implants are not always recommended and hence other treatment options may be more appropriate to some patients. For some, dental implants are good solutions to their dental problems. The availability of various treatment alternatives makes it possible to afford the best fitting treatment for any patient.

Zirconia treatment alternative

Zirconia is a treatment alternative that has proven its worth more so due to the fact that the treatment is more biocompatible. This means that the treatment is not likely to affect the body like titanium would. This is not to mean that zirconia has no imperfections. Due to the fact that the treatment option is relatively new in the market, the few companies that model the implants have not yet mastered the art. Zirconia implants are often larger than implants made from titanium. This means that the implants will be more intrusive inside the mouth upon surgical procedures.

Zirconia defined

This is a metal classified in the family of titanium. The material is often found in electrical appliances and dinnerware. It is preferred due to its durability. This property makes Zirconia ideal for use as dental crowns, more so for posterior crowns which need more strength for the purpose of grinding and chewing. Zirconia is gaining popularity as an incredible crown material. The product is supplied to dental professionals as blocks which thereafter get milled through automated cutting machines to form imitations of the natural tooth.

The whole process from modeling to performing a dental implant on a patient by use of Zirconia can be achieved in a single dentist visit. This is part of the reason the material has become very popular with dentists. It is more versatile compared to conventional porcelain crowns which consume more time to manufacture and cement on patients.

Benefits of Zirconia crowns

The main reason Zirconia is gaining popularity among dentists is its durability and appearance. Other advantages include:

  • Extremely tough
  • Withstands wear & tear
  • Biocompatibility
  • Modifiability of color, shape, and size
  • Does not require a metal fuse
  • Minimal tooth removal
  • Close to the natural tooth appearance

Titanium implants

If dental implants are the appropriate decision for patients, then the other most appropriate dental implant preferred by dentists is the less invasive titanium implants. These titanium implants are covered with a ceramic layer. The reason for the ceramic cover is because ceramic is more biocompatible compared to titanium hence it alleviates any possibility of contamination. The implant will be given time to slowly integrate and bond with the bone. After the bonding, the crown will then be placed upon the implant. This procedure affords the implant some incredible success in implant integration.

It is important for any dental patient to inquire from a qualified and experienced dental implants expert on the best solution for their situation.

Don’t Wait Until Your Unused Dental Benefits Expire!

 

Another year is winding down, have you made the most of your dental benefits? If you have any benefits remaining, there’s still time to use them before you lose them!

Most companies do not allow you to carry these over to the next year.If you have any unused benefits, they will not rollover. When the new year begins, you will need to meet a deductible again and this year’s benefits will be lost.

The office will be closed from December 24th to January 1st.. don’t wait until it’s too late, call us at 619-359-6569 to schedule your appointment.