Category: Blog

Are Dental Implants Right For You?

Dental implantDental implants can offer a huge amount to many patients, but are not always the very best option for everybody. The key things that a dentist will consider if a patient wants dental implants is the health and amount of the bone that they have in their jaws. For some, dental implants will not be a good option and so other treatment options will be given to them. For others, on the other hand, dental implants may be a good choice, and this opens up a whole new set of choices.

This is because not all dental implants are the same. Some will use different materials in their construction, and the most popular two are titanium and zirconia. Titanium has been used safely for yours, and is used in many other medical ways for treatments. The main downside of titanium is that it is a metal, and so can introduce traces of that metal into your bloodstream and your body over time.

Zirconia is an alternative that is proving very popular because it is much more biocompatible; that means that it is not going to affect your body as titanium would. That does not mean that zirconia is perfect, of course –as it is a relatively new treatment option, there are fewer companies making the implants, and they are much larger than titanium implants and so are more intrusive to put into the mouth through surgery. They will also require reshaping which can cause microfractures within the dental implant itself. That is why we do not offer zirconia dental implants at this time, though when they can be created smaller and therefore easier to implant, we will probably make the change over.

It was once believed that larger implants would be better for patients because people assumed that they would last longer, and be more reliable. However, current academic research is actually showing that the opposite is true, which is why dental implants vary in size.

Another option that you will need to consider is how the different components are going to fit together in your mouth. For some patients, the crown is cemented directly onto the implant, and in other patients it is screwed into the bone. For some, the crown just clicks on which is known as a cold weld.

For my patients, when a dental implant is the right decision for them, we often go with a very small and hence less invasive implant made from titanium, with a biocompatible ceramic layer over the top to prevent any contamination. This implant will be slowly allowed to integrate into the bone, and then and only then will the crown be placed upon it. This gives us a 95% success rate of good integration.

Other dentists will undoubtedly offer you a much larger implant, but research has demonstrated that the smaller ones are actually the most reliable and the ones that will last longer – and are much less invasive to place into the mouth. Sinus lifts and bone grafts are not necessary for this smaller surgery, giving you much less discomfort and pain in the process of receiving your dental implants.

To find out if dental implants are the best solution for you, call (619) 359-6569 for a free consultation with Dr. Woods.

Oral Conscious Sedation To Alleviate Fear In Dentistry

At my dental clinic, this is the most commonly asked question of the lot, and I probably hear it about five or six times a week. ‘I’m terrified of the dentist, what do I do?’ ‘Is it possible for me to see you for just five minutes?’ ‘How can I get this filling sorted if I am too anxious to even come to the surgery?’ ‘I’ve fainted every single time I have tried to have a dental check up, and the last one that I had was ten years ago!’

I can completely appreciate the fears and anxieties that people have when it comes to visiting the dentist – trust me, even though I am a dentist myself! It is something about the unknown, and the lack of control that can often put people on edge, and for other people it’s the physical aspect of having someone else’s hands in your mouth! What I have spent a large portion of my career working towards, however, is a way that people who are often overcome with terror at the thought of the dentist to receive check ups and treatment without them being overwhelmed, because they are often the people who need treatment the most because they have left seeing a dentist for so long.

sedated patientSo what are your options if the thought of sitting in a dentist’s chair makes you want to bring up your last meal? Well, one of the most extreme options is complete sedation, where you will be put under through a sedative and then brought back round when the entire treatment option is over. Now this is only something that would be offered to the most extreme cases, because it brings with it its own complications, especially for those who have weak hearts and those who are elderly. It is not a type of treatment that I would give to just any patient; I would need to discuss with them exactly how they have worked on processing their fears, and it would also depend on just how bad their dental problems have got because they have avoided seeing a dentist for so long.

At the other end of the spectrum is receiving psychological care and treatment, so that the fear of the dentist itself could be removed from the patient. This is something that can be an on-going treatment option, and can often delay any medical or dental treatment while this process is continuing, and is not therefore something that is generally recommended for those who require immediate or emergency dental care. By the time that the fear of the dentist has been conquered a huge amount of damage could have happened with their teeth – although after the initial dental treatment has been given, I will often recommend that my patients try to work on their fears head on, to make it easier for them to come back to me for a check up.

So where does this leave most people? Well, I find that the most common and most popular treatment to give my patients who have a real difficulty with visiting the dentist is something called oral conscious sedation. It may sound a little odd, but when it comes down to the basics, it just means that I would give my patient a small amount of sedation – not enough to completely put them to sleep, but enough for them to feel the effects – around the oral and dental area. This will allow them to feel quite sleepy and relaxed, so that the fear reflex is lessened, and they are able to almost remove themselves from the situation. This allows me to get in there and give them their treatment, without their bodies panicking and making it impossible for me to treat them.

In some cases, patients are actually able to fall asleep naturally because they are so relaxed, and that for me is the highest compliment. For a person who has up until now been completely unable to even sit in a dentist’s chair long enough for them to be examined to receive treatment without a traumatic experience is everything that I strive for, and it is so wonderful to see the beautiful and healthy smiles o my patients after they have received treatment under the oral conscious sedation technique.

If you, or someone that you know, finds coming to the dentist difficult because of fear and anxiety, then perhaps the oral conscious sedation could make a real difference for you or that person. It is never a good idea to leave seeing a dentist for more than a year in any case, and if you have not seen a dentist for longer than that then now is the time to act. I am very happy to talk to anyone who is feeling worried about their experience at a dental clinic, and together we can find a way to help you get here and home happily and healthily – Call (619) 359-6569.

Homeopathy at the Dentist

In many people’s minds, homeopathy is quite a controversial treatment options, especially for people who are in the medical profession. After all, how can a couple of tablets that do not have a huge amount of ingredients inside them make any difference to a patient, other than the very powerful placebo effect?

Homeopathic dentistry is one branch of holistic dentistry which is a way of thinking about a patient as a whole, rather than ignoring 90% of the body to focus on just their mouths. So how does homeopathy help dental patients?

Arnica Homeopathic Tablets

Arnica Homeopathic Tablets

One of the most commonly used homeopathic treatments is arnica, but there are many more that are just as useful. Aconite is used for shock, Zingiber for gagging and nausea; Gelsemium for nerves, Chamomilla for reducing numbness, and Ledum will reduce pain from injections. All of these and more can be useful for dental patients. Almost every dental procedure will involve the tiny tubules that you can find inside the root of a tooth, which is why sensitivity after a treatment or procedure is very common. Hypericum is very useful for this problem by reducing the pain to nerves, and so is often used after a root canal. Magnesium phosphorus is often used for pain, which is why it is commonly referred to as homeopathic aspirin. Sensitive teeth can use Plantago, which can also be applied directly to a cavity.

The advances in dental technology and research means now that a patient can achieve in one visit what would have taken five or six appointments twenty years ago. Everyone is going after that perfect smile, whether it be from crowns, whitening, veneers, or inlays – but all of these treatments involve holding your jaw open for a very extended period of time. Magnesium Phosphorus and Causticum are often used for cramping of the jaw, and Arnica is taken for soreness and bruising. For a soothing mouthwash after such procedures, you can use a couple of drops of Hypericum and Calendula in warm water.

Chamomilla is often given to teething babies, providing relief from the stress and pain – and homeopathic professionals also advise that if your child is happy to take solid foods, you should not give them any milk after midday. A rising temperature from the pain of teething can actually curdle milk inside the stomach of a child, causing even more pain and upset.

If your child – or yourself – suffers from anxiety to the extent that it can cause nausea or even vomiting, then Nux Vomica is the perfect solution. Ruta can be used for those who are experiencing discomfort from braces, and is also brilliant for putting around a tooth that feels loose. Staphysagria and Calendula are perfect if braces are cutting into the soft delicate tissue of the mouth.

If you want bone splinters to soften up, then use Silica 6C twice a day – but if this is due to implants, use Ruta instead as Silica can cause implant rejection. The two most common side effects of a dental procedure are pain and swelling, but taking Arnica before and after the procedure will greatly reduce them both.

If you are bleeding in your mouth and the blood is very bright, then you should use Phosphorus – but if it has a slight blue tinge, then use Lachesis. After a tooth extraction the area may become infected, but you can use gunpowder to ease the pain, and prevent the infection. Abscesses require Belladona, and Mmyristica will help if there is also swelling. Hepar Sulph 6C can be used if the abscess keeps recurring, and allow your body to remove the pus developing. Any ulcers can be treated with Feverfew, and if they continue to return then use Feverfew for a few days after it has disappeared. Cold sores will require Rhus Tox, and when having amalgam fillings removed, use Merc Sol to flush all of your body of the mercury.

There are several remedies for toothache.  If you have:

  • Sensitivity to heat – Pulsatilla
  • Pain accompanied by bruising – Arnica
  • Shooting pain – Magnesium phosphate
  • Sensitivity to cold – Coffea
  • Pain aggravated by clenching – Staphisagria
  • If rubbing the cheek helps – Merc Sol
  • Pain after being in cold, dry wind – Aconite
  • Pain with swelling or abscess – Silica
  • Throbbing pain – Belladonna
  • Pain that originates in the nerve – Hypericum or Chamomilla

Although some tooth pain will originally come from the tooth itself, in some cases gum disease is to blame. Treating gum disease with homeopathic remedies is much more complicated than the above health issues, so you will need to discuss your exact situation with a homeopathic dentist.

For cold sores, go with Rhus Tox.

For a consultation with YOUR Homeopathic Dentist, Paige Woods, call (619) 359-6569 today.

You Just Got New Dentures.. Now What?

Dentures are one of the best ways for an individual to replace unhealthy natural teeth, and although they come with a very wide range of benefits, that does not mean that they are easy to get used to at first! This adjustment period may include some difficulties with your dentures that you were not expecting, but this is a very natural part of the process, and can last between one month and three months, depending on the individual, their age, the health of their mouth, and what kind of dentures they have.

uncomfortable denturesThese are some of the more common changes that you may experience with new dentures:

Changes in your expression 

Your facial muscles will take a little time to get used to the dentures in your mouth, so don’t be surprised if your face looks a little different when you first get dentures.

Too much saliva 

Our body’s instinct when we put something in our mouth is to increase saliva output in case it is edible, and you may find that your mouth does this, but it will only take a few days for your mouth to adjust.

Soreness 

Our mouths are very sensitive, and the pressure and/or rubbing of new dentures can sometimes create sore spots. Your dentist may want to make slight changes to the shape and size of your dentures based on this, and so you must always make sure you have follow up appointments to check that the fit is just right.

Problems with speech 

Our teeth affect the way that we talk, and so it is natural that dentures will change this slightly. You will have to be patient and practice if this is you, and one of the best ways to do this is to read aloud to yourself, and repeat frequently any words that you find difficult.

Difficulty chewing 

If sore spots have developed, you may find chewing to be very uncomfortable, but there are easy ways that you can lessen this. Taking smaller bites and eating softer foods will immediately make a positive difference, as will chewing up and down rather than side to side at the beginning. As your dentures get more used to this, you can move on to more foods.

Kitchen sink syndrome 

Everything except the kitchen sink in your mouth? Don’t worry, it is natural for your dentures to feel strange and unnatural in your mouth. This feeling may continue for days or weeks, but it will subside.

Feeling loose 

When all of the adjustments have been made, your dentures will feel very natural, but until then you may find that natural movements by your tongue and cheeks may move them. This does not mean that they are necessarily loose, but it can be quite unsettling. If this happens, close your mouth, push your lips together, and suck gently on your dentures. This will make them stop moving.

Gagging or nausea 

Some people will find that their gap reflex is forced when they start to wear dentures, and this can cause nausea as well. Your dentist can reduce the pressure that your dentures are putting on your upper palate, which will reduce this.

Many, if not all of these problems can be lessened or reduced by using small diameter implants when you have your new dentures fitted.

For a free consultation regarding denture adjustments, call Paige Woods, DDS at (619) 359-6569.

comfortable dentures

Homeopathy for Dental Emergencies

If you experience a dental emergency, then you can use this information to help you as a first aid choice before you see a dentist. That does not mean that you should not go and visit a dentist, and all proper dental advice should be followed. You can also use this advice to help you with the pain and discomfort after dental treatment.

For fear of the dentist:

  • Aconite 12C: five pellets the night before and the morning of your appointment will lessen any panic or restlessness, and you can have another dose around 45 minutes before the procedure itself
  • Gelsemium 12C: five pellets the night before and the morning of your appointment to reduce nausea, diarrhea, sleepiness or weakness, and you can have another dose around 45 minutes before the procedure itself
Aconite & Arnica Homeopathic Tablets

Aconite & Arnica Homeopathic Tablets

For acute dental issues:

  • Arnica 30C: three to five pellets every 20 minutes until the pain from inflammation and trauma after procedures such as injections, extractions, surgery, and new dentures has gone
  • Hypericum 9C: three to five pellets every 30 minutes until pain from tooth extraction or gum surgery has gone
  • Myristrica Sebifera 6C: five pellets around 15 minutes before you have any invasive dental procedure
  • Belladonna 6C: three to five pellets every 30 to 60 minutes if you experience gum abscess, sensitivity, inflammation, or rednes
  • Ferrum Phos 6C: three to five pellets every 15 to 30 minutes for bleeding that has occurred due to extraction or surgery
  • Hepar Suphuris Calcareum 6C: five pellets every four hours if you can feel an abscess begin to develop, and higher dosages of 30X or 200X can be taken to prevent any pus from being formed
  • Silicea 6C: five pellets every hour to drain pus
  • Myristica 6C: five pellets four times a day to reduce the swelling and pain due to an abscess, particularly useful for wisdom teeth
  • Ledum 30C: three to five pellets every hour after a dental injection until all symptoms have gone
  • Staphysagria 30C: five pellets every 30 minutes after surgery until all symptoms have gone
  • Apis Memifica 9C: five pellets every hour for swelling and edema, especially if you also experience a burning or prickling sensation, until all symptoms have gone

For teething babies or young children:

  • Camomilla 12C: three pellets every 30-60 minutes for children who want physical cuddling comfort when they are teething
  • Hypericum 9C: five pellets every 30 minutes for teething pain in the nerves

For a cold sore:

  • Graphites 7C, Phus Toxicodendron 7C, Arsenicum Album 7C, Petroleum 9C: three pellets of each every 30 minutes, 3 times a day, which you can begin as soon as you notice it developing

For toothache:

  • Belladonna 15C: three pellets every 30 to 60 minutes when experiencing throbbing pain when moving, chewing, or being touched, until the symptoms have gone
  • Magnesia Phosphorica 9C: five pellets every 30 to 60 minutes for toothaches that are worse with the cold and better with heat, until the symptoms have gone
  • Coffea cruda 9C: three pellets every 30 minutes for toothaches that are worse with the heat and better with cold, until the symptoms have gone
  • Aconitum Napellus 7C: five pellets every 15 to 20 minutes for toothache that has sudden extreme pain that is in the root of the tooth, until the symptoms have gone

For intense muscle spasms:

  • Cuprum Metallicum 9C: three pellets every 20 minutes, until the symptoms have gone
  • Hypericum Perforatum 9C: three pellets every hour, until the symptoms have gone – also useful for preventing spasms

Things to Remember for Maximum Effectiveness

  1. Ensure that you do not touch the pellets, but instead put them in a cap or glass, and then put straight into your mouth
  2. Put the pellet under your tongue, and allow it to naturally dissolve
  3. You cannot eat 20 minutes before or 20 minutes after taking your pellet
  4. Certain natural plants such as coffee, tea, and mint can counter-act the beneficial effects of these homeopathic remedies, so you must avoid them
  5. Do not store any of your homeopathic remedies near products that contain camphor or perfume

When symptoms have gone, stop using the homeopathic remedy.

For a free consultation with Homeopathic Dentist, Paige Woods, call (619) 359-6569.

Understanding Dental Ozone Therapy

What Is Ozone?

Just like the ozone that we talk about when it comes to the atmosphere, ozone is a compound of three oxygen atoms that have joined together. This is a naturally occurring form of oxygen, and is often created by lightning or ultraviolet energy. In my dentist lab of course, I don’t use lightning! Instead, I have an ozone generator which can simulate the same conditions that lightning creates, and this forms ozone. Nature uses ozone in our atmosphere in order to counteract a lot of the pollution that is up there, and your mouth can do almost exactly the same thing.

O3 ozone moleculeThis is because ozone has some amazing properties that are almost unique to itself, which is why we use it in dentistry so often. Its anaerobic sterilization properties are really efficient, and although some dentists will choose to use chlorine to do the same job, ozone doesn’t have any acidity in it or toxicity that can damage your mouth and/or overall health. Smaller concentrations are used: in fact, you only need one single ozone molecule to do the same amount of work as around 10,000 molecules of poisonous chlorine, and ozone can actually destroy those pathogens much more quickly.

The Battle Against Oral Infections

By using medically graded oxygen and an ozone generator, a corona discharge reaction will create just as much ozone as you will need in order to kill the pathogens that want to live inside your mouth and do a huge amount of damage.

A huge part of the dentistry work that I do boils down to fighting infections. It’s a common problem in today’s modern world, and because of what we eat, drink, and smoke, horrible pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and even fungi can easily find their way into your mouth and cause infections – infections that can spread through the rest of your body to create even more complicated health problems. Dental infections can be really difficult to get rid of, which is why sometimes other dentists will accidentally leave some of that bacteria in the mouth, just continuing the problems.

Thankfully most bacteria and other pathogens have one weakness that they all share: ozone. It is almost impossible for a large number of pathogens to even exist when in the presence of ozone, and ozone even encourages your body’s natural defences to fight back against the invading bacteria. This is why ozone is so brilliant: because it works with your body, and not against it.

Therapeutic Goals Of Ozone Therapy

When I believe that it is right to prescribe one of my patients with ozone therapy, I have a load of targets and goals that I want to meet through that therapy. Most of the time those goals include:

  • Completely eliminating the pathogens
  • Encouraging the body to restore correct oxygen metabolism
  • Circulation increasing in the gums
  • Activating the immune system to fight back
  • Encouraging the body to use its own antioxidant systems

There are three different ways that you can apply ozone to the tissue of your gums: ozonated water, ozonated olive oil, and ozone gas. In my case, I often use ozone therapy with water, and combine it with all of the best of my other treatment and diagnostic tools, such as pocket-probing, x-rays, and clinical examinations.

Two Scientific Facts Behind Dental Ozone Therapy

  1. Ozone is created when energy is forced upon a normal O2 molecule causing it to split into two O1 molecules. Each one of these will then combine with a standard O2 molecule, creating two O3 molecules, or ozone. Sunlight will create this in nature, as will lightning.
  2. Ozone is a natural ozidizer, or oxidant. This means that it can accept an electron from another molecule, which in turn then adds oxygen to that molecule and making it more oxygen filled. Cells that are healthy will have antioxidants within their cells that make sure that this does not happen to them if they get any contact with ozone – but pathogens do not have them, so they are destroyed.

How Ozone Can Help You

Protection and prevention. Ozonated water that is used regularly with disinfect your mouth and sterilze it without any nasty chemicals.

Treatment. In the cases of some gum disease, ozone or ozonated water is used to remove bacteria and infection without resorting to antibiotics or toxic chemicals, and can be used for any infection type or size.

Ozone treatment has been used in Europe for decades to help the body to heal much quicker, and to

In Europe, ozone treatment has been used for decades to speed the healing of wounds and treat and to treat illnesses that will benefit from an increase in ozone. In fact, research into the benefits of ozone therapy has been carried out as far back as 1900, and when used by a professional such as myself, it is completely safe without any side effects. Better than many medications, you can avoid putting anything unnatural or unusual in your body as the ozone molecules are more than powerful enough for anything that you can pit them against. Before you know it, you can have a healthy and happy mouth again.

Home Ozone Unit

Home Ozone Unit

Reverse Your Cavities

It may sound a little far-fetched, but because ozone naturally encourages your body to fight back, it also encourages the body to grow back – and that means gum and bone in areas that have previously been attacked by bacteria. This means that, over time and continuous use, your cavities will reduce in size by up to 2 millimeters which is actually a huge amount comparatively.

Minimally Invasive Treatment For You

Within all of the different treatment options that I have available to me, for any sort of dental problem at all, there is nothing so safe and dependable as ozone therapy. I especially like to use it to rid people of early stages gum disease, because then it prevents so many of the problems that ozone therapy can also treat. It is non-invasive and not harmful at all. In fact, ozone therapy can even have beneficial effects under the enamel, without harming the enamel itself to get there. This means that the deep structure of the tooth is healed and encouraged to grow back healthy.

There will be times when surgery is going to be the best option for a patient, and that is a more invasive option – but more and more I am using ozone therapy as an initial treatment, often lessening the amount of invasive work that I have to do, if not negating its use completely.

To find out how dental ozone can help your oral health, call (619) 359-6569 today.

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Porcelain Dental Veneers

Hello! I’m Dr. Paige Woods, and I have dedicated my career to making sure that people can enjoy the teeth that they have. I’m a holistic dentist, which means that I look at the entire person’s health and experience, not just their teeth.

Having discoloured or yellowing teeth can be quite upsetting, but that is nothing to when it is combined with abrasions, grinded teeth, chipped or broken teeth, and unevenly shaped teeth. So much of our self-confidence can be boiled down to the way that our smiles look, and if we are nervous or ashamed about the way that our teeth are, then we will often not smile that much, if at all. So what can someone like me do about that?

Color Matching For Dental Veneers

Color Matching For Veneers

The Aesthetic / Emotional Impact of Porcelain Veneers

Many dentists will consider porcelain veneers, a type of dental veneer, as a treatment option for a biological problem, but I approach things a little differently. I know that having teeth that embarrass the patient can be damaging in a totally different way, and so I will always consider porcelain veneers for them as a way to reclaim that confidence back, and have teeth that they are proud to smile about, not ashamed. Porcelain veneers are a brilliant modern dental treatment, and everyone who wants them should be offered that treatment.

Placing Porcelain Veneers (the latest techniques)

Twenty years ago, porcelain veneers required very invasive and difficult surgery in order to apply to the mouth, which made people wary of getting them – and understandably so! This aggressive sort of dentistry often would lead to more problems than it would actually solve. Thankfully modern dentistry has completely changed, and we can now use strong and safe bonding materials that do away with the need to grind and cut into our patients at all.

What Exactly Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain Veneer

Porcelain Veneer

Put very simply, these are thin porcelain shells that are stuck onto the front of your teeth and glued on. Immensely strong, porcelain veneers are resistant to fracture, strong enough to chew with, and are very long lasting. Once you have a set of porcelain veneers fitted, they can stay on your teeth for decades at a time, once they are bonded on.

The Holistic Approach to Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a brilliant treatment option that I can offer my patients, and they have changed a lot since they were first created. Traditional dentists will often still prescribe them in this way, using composite materials that are not as long lasting. Composite veneers also stained easily, bringing the same problems back to the patients who had gone to their dentist for help in the first place! Composite veneers also have an unhealthy chemical make up which is not as good for the body as porcelain veneers, and can lead to health problems in the long run. That is why I always use porcelain veneers in my treatments.

When fitting porcelain veneers onto a patient, I will very slightly reduce the front of the tooth – although in many cases, I do not need to do this at all. Then the porcelain veneers are ready to go onto my patient.

Porcelain Veneers: A Great Solution

Porcelain veneers are a brilliant, safe, and painless way of giving yourself the smile that you have always wanted, correcting those concerns like bad spacing, yellowing teeth, and broken teeth. This non-invasive treatment option is one that can be done with a few weeks of the initial consultation, making it a truly life changing experience.

If you’re interested, why don’t you pop down and see me about them? Call (619) 359-6569 to schedule a free consultation.

Holistic Dental Staff

Dentures

Senior with denturesDentures are a big decision, which is why I love it when my patients come and talk to me about their thoughts, concerns, and queries. I’m a holistic dentist, which means that I focus on the overall wellbeing of my patient as well as the individual dental issues that they have – and I want to make sure that anyone who has dentures also improves their speech, looks, and comfort, not just their biological chewing. I do this by taking a lot of measurements and analysis of your face, so I can make dentures that perfectly fit you, and no one else.

Why Is Dr. Paige Woods The Right Choice?

I have dedicated my life to the care of teeth and gums. That means that everything I do is in your best interests. I don’t have a particular ‘favourite’ treatment or think that only one is ever going to work; I know that everyone is different, and will need a different approach to the care of their teeth.

When it comes to dentures, I work hard to give you your natural smile back, make sure that you can chew and swallow with ease, and I make comfort a priority so you can almost forget that you are wearing them.

What Kinds Of Dentures Are Available?

There are two kinds of dentures out there, and so you can decide which is the right sort depending on what you are looking for. Complete dentures are usually given when a patient has none of their original teeth, and partial dentures are given when a patient has some of their natural teeth still left. Having a set of partial dentures will also stop those remaining teeth from moving.

woman holding denturesJust to make things a little more interesting, you can also choose conventional or immediate installation for complete dentures. Conventional means that you will have your dentures made for you after you have had all of your teeth removed, which means around six weeks without any teeth whatsoever. Immediate installation, on the other hand, is when you have your dentures made for you in advance, and can be placed in your mouth as soon as you have your teeth removed.

Are Denture Alternatives Available?

There really is only one alternative to dentures, and that is a dental implant, used to support other crowns and bridges. However, a permanent bridge attached to implants is a much more expensive procedure, giving the feeling of real teeth. If you do not get accustomed to the feeling of your dentures and want another option, this is the best sort – but not everyone is a suitable candidate for implants. Come and see me if you are interested, and we can have a look at your teeth and gums and see whether it is possible for you.

Are Dentures Covered By Dental Insurance?

For most people, their dental insurance actually covers some if not all of the cost of dentures – and if you get in touch with my office, I can talk you through exactly how your insurance company and I can work together.

What Are The Steps Involved In Getting Dentures?

You and I will have three appointments together, usually over a period of three to six weeks, in order to create your dentures to precisely your mouth and gums. This process involves:

  • Making molds and impressions of your jaw, mouth, and any remaining teeth
  • Creating models and wax projections of what your teeth and dentures will look like
  • Trying on the model in order to see whether we have got a good shape, color, and fit
  • Deciding on the right measurements, and then making those dentures for you
  • Adjusting for the final fit

Dentures have come a long way in the last decade, and in many cases no one will be able to tell that you are wearing them at all. Come and have a chat with me about your thoughts on dentures, so we can create the best possible teeth for you. Call (619) 359-6569 to make your appointment.

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Root Canal: The Controversy

Hi! I’m Dr. Paige Woods, and I’m a dentist that wants to explain the ins and outs of dentistry to people who perhaps do not have a dentist who talks them through their diagnosis and treatments. This blog post is about root canals, and the surprising controversy that has followed them.

The History Of The Root Canal

Believe it or not, root canal treatments are controversial, even from the first century AD which is the earliest evidence that we have that teeth were drained. This was painful, and continued to be painful right up to 1756, when Philip Pfaff started to fill in root canals – with gold!

By the 1900s, root canal treatments looked a lot more like they do now, and by the 1960s, dentist were achieving an 80% success rate when they used them. However, it was only in 1963 that endodontics, which is the study and practice of root canals, was officially seen as a new branch of dentistry.

Advantages & Disadvantages

One of the best things about root canal treatment is that it can stop acute pain, and keeps your tooth instead of replacing it. This keeps the integrity of the arch in place, helping to keep your other teeth in place in your mouth.

However, there are disadvantages to root canal treatment. The blood supply to the inside of the tooth is irrevocably damaged and stopped, which can make your tooth more likely to be infected, and the tooth becomes more brittle, often needing a crown to stay together. For immune-compromised patients, root canal treatments are just not an option.

Root Canal Alternatives

So what alternative do you have? Well, I always think it really depends on the patient, and exactly what sort of general health and immune system they are enjoying. If you don’t have any systemic problems, and you’re healthy, then a root canal is actually the best decision – and if you are not generally healthy and you have immune problems, then a root canal is best avoided.

The other option is often the removal of the tooth completely, to prevent it from getting infected or collapsing, but there are consequences to this treatment option too. If there is already some infection here, a large amount of cleaning will need to be carried out after the extraction, and then something will need to be done with the gap that has been left in your mouth. For some people, after a root canal extraction they do not want anything else – but in most cases, to maintain the structural integrity of your mouth, you’ll need a replacement.

Fixed Bridge vs Root Canal

An alternative to root canal treatment is a fixed bridge, comprised of two crowns and false tooth in the middle where the gap is. These bridges can be made out of non-metallic materials to make it even safer for you. The only downside is that fixed bridges only work if you have two strong teeth either side of the gap – if either of them may need work or have crowns or fillings already, that won’t work.

Fixed Bridge

Fixed Bridge

Maryland Bridge vs Root Canal

If most of your teeth are pretty healthy, then you do not have to damage the tooth structure in order to receive treatment for root canal problems – and the Maryland bridge is a great example of this. This non-invasive treatment involves reducing the tooth on one side, and popping in the bridge. Most of my patients who have Maryland bridges tell me how much they love them, and they only need re-cementing in very rarely.

Implant vs Root Canal

Another root canal treatment option is to replace the tooth completely with a new implant tooth, that is made to look exactly look your other teeth. If made with zirconium, it will be completely metal free, but this is a very large implant option, and will often need rather aggressive bone removal in order to fit the implant into your mouth properly. This increases the amount of surgery that you need to have. Titanium implants, on the other hand, do not need such drastic measures to be taken. Titanium implants are only made out of one piece, unlike the two pieces of the zirconium, and so also take up less room and require less change within your mouth.

Some grinding will be necessary in order to make sure that there is room for your new implant, but it is very little compared to what you could need. The implants that I always use are called Bircons and are titanium, but are actually half the size of other titanium implants so that your mouth has a really easy time of accepting them. They are completely biocompatible, so unless you specifically have a reaction to titanium itself, your body will not reject them.

Removal Bridge vs Root Canal

Last but by no means least, you can have a removal bridge instead of root canal treatment. Although this is easily the cheapest option out of them all, that is mainly because it does not have a good quality of life opportunity for you, especially as you will need to remove it frequently, putting pressure on your teeth and gums when you do.

The Biocompatible Root Canal

Traditional root canal treatments that are given by other dentists have lots of issues, and they are primarily based around the way that they were placed into the mouth of the patient. For example, traditional root canal treatments were usually filled up with something called guttapercha, which is actually a type of rubber. Some sealant would be added to the traditional root canal treatments as well, which is rather toxic – and because they were hydrophobic, which means they moved away from water, they would actually withdraw and get smaller, breaking the seal around the traditional root canal treatment. Infections would get in, and the treatment would fail, allowing bacteria to grow in the tooth.

New technologies and new materials for traditional root canal treatments mean that a new sealant is used, called calcium hydroxide-based osteogenic. This actually promotes the growth of the bone around your tooth, which naturally closes up and becomes a sealant itself, swelling to protect the root from infection and bacteria, keeping your tooth nice and healthy. I use Bee Sealer in my dentist practice, mainly because it has a pH of 12.8, and partly because it does not solidify for up to two days after being put into the mouth – which means that it can be sterilising for all of that time. The American Society of Microbiology has shown that the most bacteriais killed when at a pH off 12 – the exact pH level of the Bee Sealer.

To find out more about which option might be best for you, call (619) 359-6569 for a free consultation with Dr. Woods.

Holistic Dental Staff

Avoiding Periodontal Disease With Ozone

Click here to skip down to the instructions for ozonizer operation

Many people in the United States are surprised when they learn that they have gum disease. This is because they do not realise that the little gaps between their teeth and their gums has been created by anaerobic organisms: bacteria. In fact, this is the same bacteria that has been found in heart disease, and some of the bacteria that causes gum disease has even been found in patients with pancreatic cancer.

The Link To Disease In Other Organs

systemic connectionCountless studies are being run at the moment so that we can better understand exactly how this bacteria works in our bodies, but from my point of view, there is already enough evidence that the bacteria in gum disease can do a huge amount of damage to the rest of our body. That is why I do not think you should leave your gum disease any longer, but treat it now.

There are plenty of different options when it comes to treatment for gum disease, and there will probably even be a few that you haven’t even heard of! Dentistry has moved fast in this area to meet the need, but other dentists are not so quick to explain these new treatments to their patients. I would say, actually, that almost all of my patients who come to me for the first time have never been taught how to brush their gums properly. Here’s a quick tutorial:

Brushing the gums properly is very important.

  1. Grab a soft brush, and some warm water – or homemade toothpaste, if you have it
  2. Ensure that you are brushing right into the gums, so you can get all the bacteria out
  3. Now put some toothpaste on your toothbrush, and brush your teeth
  4. Lastly, use dental floss in order to get into those places that your toothbrush can’t

Traditional Methods of Preventing Gum Disease

For some of the patients who come to me, their gum disease has gone on for so long that they have pockets in their gums that are between five or eight millimetres, which means that I offer scaling treatment in order to prevent further damage. This gets all of the bacteria out of the pockets, but will need to be done about twice a year: it’s not a permanent fix.

In very severe cases I will also recommend gum trimming, which is very basic gum surgery. This involves moving back the gums and removing all of the bacteria from underneath, but this leaves your teeth really sensitive, and is not a very popular option!

Thankfully, there are many more options when it comes to treatment methods.

Using an Ozone Machine to Prevent Periodontal Disease

An ozone machine is also called an O3 machine, and it works by adding more oxygen to water – something that bacteria hates. Killing bacteria with oxygen is not something many patients are aware we can do, but even for the most severe cases this can help. I will teach you how to use a water pick, and you can then use a 1000mgh ozone machine.

One of the reasons that no one used to use ozone machines is because they were just so expensive, but they are much cheaper now – and they are totally work it, because they can reduce the size of gum pockets by around 2 milimeters. This makes cleaning out bacteria and keeping your gum disease under control so much easier.

Here are the tips I give my patients when using an ozone machine:

  1. Use the machine in a well-ventilated area
  2. Always use one that has a Corona discharge
  3. Get one that has its own power source – 1000mg per hour is ideal, and you can then use it for 15 minutes and be finished

The water pick

Ozonizing Waterpik Resevoir

Ozonizing Waterpik Resevoir

Once you have the ozone machine, you will also need to get a water pick which you can buy on its own or with a container. I would always advise against getting a travel water pick, because they do not allow enough water in, so make sure that it has a reservoir to hold the water. You should always use the middle pressure when using your waterpick, because the highest pressure option will make your gum pockets larger, not smaller. It isn’t just people with gum disease that will benefit from using a water pick – and even gum pockets of 2 to 3 milimeters can be helped.

Consult Your Dentist

Whatever treatment option you choose, always make sure that you are visiting me regularly, so I can see what progress is being made, and I can advise you on the next best course of action. Gum disease should be taken seriously, and catching it early will make it all the easier to treat.

To find out how ozone can help heal your gums, call (619) 359-6569.

 

 

How To Operate Your 1000mgh Ozonizer