Brighton’s Gentle Dental Protocol

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Beneficial Impact of A Gentle Dental Protocol

This is a protocol that aims at ensuring patients do not experience excessive discomfort during treatments. Gentle dental entails the application of five distinct techniques on patients. The techniques have a proven record of success. The details of the five techniques are herein discussed.

Patient control

This is a technique used to make patients feel at ease. It means that when a patient feels uncomfortable, the systems set in place allow the procedure to stop immediately whenever a patient raises their hand as a show of discomfort. This procedure gives a patient reassurance and control since they are confident that nothing discomforting will happen through the dental procedure.

Laser diagnostics

This is a small tool usually held in the palm. Dentists use it to identify whether fillings are required. The laser diagnostics tool is not invasive and hence considered safe by dentists. The biggest advantage with laser diagnostics is the ability to identify and locate conditions which normally would not have been found out using conventional techniques. Cavities that have just begun to develop may not be identified or seen through x-ray processes.

The conventional probe by dentists may as well miss early dental cavities. Conventional dental probing has limitations in terms of what it can identify. The tooth can be undergoing some weakening or decay that normal probing cannot identify. In such circumstances, laser diagnostics is very useful. Through the use of light reflections from a laser beam, a dentist would be able to identify an area with imminent decay before such decay becomes identifiable using the conventional probing methods. The dentist will then institute preventive measures aimed at protecting any further tooth deterioration and need for serious treatment henceforth.

This means that a patient will experience less discomfort and less stress. Diagnostic laser is easy to use and is also painless. It is an important tool in fighting tooth decay and in preservation of healthy teeth.

Cool drilling at low speed

Unknown to most people, the reason pain is felt during drilling is not the drilling itself but the heat produced from friction during drilling. Some dentists utilize specialized electric drilling equipment that applies lower drilling speeds. This special drill eliminates heat from the drilling process hence alleviating pain.

Double anesthetic

The first instance of anesthesia is usually regional. This is standard practice although the second instance of anesthesia neutralizes the pH therefore ensuring the body gets ready for a surgical procedure or any other invasive procedure lined up by the dentist.

Micro abrasions

High tech technology has been introduced in dentistry with an objective of eradicating tooth decay by the use of air. This technology removes the need to drill or cause pain to a patient in such ways. Through the use of laser diagnostics the dentist has an articulate map of the solution to institute. The next obligation is to carry out the remedial treatment with minimal pain (if any).

Gentle dental is an approach implying that patients could get treatment from a dentist without having to experience any discomforting pain and unrest otherwise characteristic of conventional dentistry. Patients can now expect to get treated without having to experience pain.

Permanent (Fixed) Denture Options

permanent denture infographic

 

Permanent and Removable Denture Options

There are different denture options from which dental patients can choose from.  This piece provides relevant denture options from which patients can make a choice. It includes the different restoration methods and procedures.

Is it possible to get permanent dentures?

Yes it is. Only a professional dentist has the ability to advise on whether a permanent denture would work well with you. Permanent dentures often are better alternatives to the removable ones. The permanent denture is often more costly than the removable option. Additionally, the mouth takes longer to heal with permanent dentures. The incredible benefit with these dentures is their ability to avert ridge deterioration and bone loss.

Most people will often prefer the removable type, never minding the bother of having to wear them and remove them often.

Functional qualities of implants

Dental implants are made up of three distinct options. In some instances a missing tooth is replaced by a single dental implant. This implant is often made from titanium. The implant is attached to the bone through screwing. After the gum has healed, a crown is placed on top of the implant. In some other instances, two implants are utilized as a way of providing support to the bridge or for some other dental restoration purposes. This is often done when more than one tooth is missing.

What are dentures that are implant supported?

Dental bridges often require dental implants for support. This is because they require the support of something so as to be placed inside the mouth. This requires a lengthy time of healing. Patients must endure the wait until healing is over before the bridge is positioned inside the mouth.

In case you desire permanent dentures with less pain through the treatment process and at a lower cost consider this treatment known as ‘all on four’.

Permanent or removable dentures are options available when all teeth in the upper and/or lower jaws are missing. In case you have a good number of teeth it would not make any logical sense to get implants or removable teeth alongside the implants.  Removable dentures could be made where a few teeth are missing but in such a manner that the dentures are supported by natural teeth. No additional costs on dental implants should be incurred in such a case. A dentist can suggest non removable teeth solutions for the missing teeth, if such missing teeth are a few.

Preference for patients

Even though removable teeth will function just as well and provide the needed comfort as the natural teeth would, there is some slight emotional difference which makes many people prefer permanent dentures. They are psychological in nature. Patients with dentures find them comfortable even when they are removable. All they require are teeth capable of chewing and eating. The two denture types may be natural and aesthetic although the permanent types are better both in functionality and resemblance.

Bone support and soft tissue

The region where the dentures are positioned so as to function correctly with minimal interference with health and aesthetics is very important. It may be the determiner as to whether you get removable or permanent dental implants. Permanent dentures require a good bone surface and soft tissue since the implants have to be precisely placed in proper alignment with the teeth. If some bone and soft tissue are missing then rebuilding must first be done prior to placing any implants. This is likely to increase implant costs.

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.