Posts for: April, 2018
Dental implants are best known as restorations for single missing teeth. But there’s more to them than that—they can also be used to support and secure removable dentures or fixed bridges.
That’s because a dental implant is actually a root replacement. A threaded titanium post is inserted directly into the jawbone where, over time, bone cells grow and adhere to it. This accumulated bone growth gives the implant its signature durability and contributes to its long-term success rate (95%-plus after ten years). It can support a single attached crown, or serve as an attachment point for a dental bridge or a connector for a removable denture.
The method and design of implants differentiates it from other restoration options. And there’s one other difference—implants require a minor surgical procedure to insert them into the jawbone.
While this might give you pause, implant surgery is no more complicated than a surgical tooth extraction. In most cases we can perform the procedure using local anesthesia (you’ll be awake the entire time) coupled with sedatives (if you have bouts of anxiety) to help you relax.
We first access the bone through small incisions in the gums and then create a small channel or hole in it. A surgical guide that fits over the teeth may be used to help pinpoint the exact location for the implant.
We then use a drilling sequence to progressively increase the size of the channel until it matches the implant size and shape. We’re then ready to insert the implant, which we remove at this time from its sterile packaging. We may then take a few x-rays to ensure the implant is in the right position, followed by closing the gums with sutures.
There may be a little discomfort for that day, but most patients can manage it with over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen. It’s what goes on over the next few weeks that’s of prime importance as the bone grows and adheres to the implant. Once they’re fully integrated, we’re ready to move to the next step of affixing your crown, bridge or denture to gain what you’ve waited so long for—your new implant-supported smile.
If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implant Surgery: What to Expect Before, During and After.”
Oral hygiene maintains healthy teeth and gums. Really, it's the mainstay of preventive dentistry, and it starts with you, the dental patient. At Ajax Dental Centre, Dr. Saeid Jafarpour, Dr. Kevin Kwong, and Dr. Azza Elhaddad, your Ajax, ON, dentists, want you to understand what good oral hygiene habits are so you have a smile that lasts and looks great.
Brushing and flossing
You know they're important, but are you doing them correctly? Well, the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) says that brushing twice a day for two minutes is the minimum. Choose a soft-bristled brush, and use a fluoride toothpaste with the CDA Seal for best results. Floss once a day with the product that suits you best. Strand floss, Y-flossers, interproximal brushes and water flossers are popular choices. Most people floss at bedtime.
What's the point of these tried and true hygiene practices? Both combat bad breath and dental stains. Additionally, they remove soft, sticky plaque formed from carbohydrate-based food residues. Left alone, plaque hardens into tartar, or calculus. Both plaque and tartar contain oral bacteria which actively secrete corrosive acids, the bottom-line cause of tooth decay, gum disease and ultimately, tooth loss.
What's in your mouth?
Yes, what you eat and drink are part of oral hygiene. Be sure to limit processed sugars, and increase your water intake. Reduce between-meal snacking, and if you smoke, please see your primary care physician for a tobacco cessation program. Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco contain dangerous toxins which degrade tooth enamel, gum tissue, and underlying bone. Plus, both increase the incidence of oral cancer, says the American Cancer Society.
At Ajax Dental Centre, your professional team asks to see you semi-annually for your oral examination and hygienic cleaning. During your cleaning, your hygienist will scale your teeth to remove any plaque and tartar you miss with your home hygiene. Also, she'll polish your teeth with a rotary brush and mildly abrasive toothpaste.
Finally, your hygienist and your Ajax dentist will tell you ways to improve your home care. They may suggest a new floss, show you where you should clean your teeth more carefully or demonstrate the best way to brush your new porcelain veneers or crown.
Your good oral hygiene pays big dividends. Dr. Jafarpour, Dr. Kwong, and Dr. Elhaddad look forward to helping you keep a sparkling, healthy smile for life. Call Ajax Dental Centre today for your routine cleaning and exam: (905) 426-8304.
Your child’s dental care wouldn’t be the same without x-ray imaging. It’s one of our best tools for finding and treating tooth decay.
But since x-rays emit radiation, is your child in any danger when they’re exposed?
X-rays, an invisible form of electromagnetic energy, will form images on exposed film after passing through the body. Because it takes longer for x-rays to pass through dense tissue like teeth and bones, the corresponding areas appear lighter on the film than less dense tissue like the gums. We can detect decay because the diseased tooth structure is less dense and thus appears darker against healthier tooth structure.
The downside of x-rays, though, is the radiation they emit could potentially alter cell structure and increase the risk of future cancer, especially with children. That’s why we follow a principle known as ALARA when using x-ray imaging. ALARA is an acronym for “as low as reasonably achievable,” meaning the doses for an x-ray session will be as low as possible while still gaining the most benefit.
Advances in technology, particularly the development of digital processing, has helped reduce the amount of radiation exposure. We’re also careful with what types of x-rays we use. The most common type is the bitewing, a device with the film attached to a long piece of plastic that the child holds in their mouth while biting down.
Depending on the number of our patient’s teeth, we can usually get a comprehensive view with two to four bitewings. A typical bitewing session exposes them to less radiation than what they’re receiving from natural environmental background sources each day.
Keeping the exposure as low and as less frequent as possible greatly reduces health risks while still getting the full benefit of early decay detection. Still, if you have concerns about your child’s x-ray exposure, we’ll be happy to discuss our approach and all the precautions we take using x-ray imaging.
If you would like more information on x-ray diagnostics and your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “X-Ray Safety for Children.”