Dental Notes
March, 2008 - Issue #41
Dental Implants are the Better Alternative to Dentures
Implantology is the science of the replacement of teeth that have been lost due to accident or disease. Before the development of dental implantology, patients had to adapt to dentures, removable partial dentures, or bridgework. Patients often complained of not being able to chew food properly or eat many of the foods they enjoyed. Some would have pain and discomfort because of ill-fitting dentures due to bone loss. Until recently, dental implantology only offered some relief by allowing a "snugger" fit of the patient's dentures. Now, dental implantology offers every patient the opportunity to have much of the natural tooth function restored. Properly designed and placed, the implant will restore much of the chewing strength, appearance and security of natural teeth. Dental implants can be placed either into the bone, or in the absence of available bone, on the top of the bone. When the implant is placed into the bone, this is called an Endosseous implant. When the implant is placed on top of the bone, this is called a Subperiosteal implant. A bone grafting procedure can be done when bone availability is at a minimum.
resource: Dr. Derick, DDS of Smile Focus 287-1523

Dental Phobia is Real
Dental phobia is the serious, often paralyzing fear of seeking dental care. An estimated 120 million Americans fear the dentist. As a result, 30 to 40 million Americans do not seek regular dental care. Dr. Bruce Freund is a New Jersey dentist who has seen many white knuckled patients in his dental chair. He offers tips for understanding and overcoming dental fear. "The first thing you can do is to realize that your dental fear can be overcome," says Dr. Freund. He adds, "Fear is a learned behavior which, therefore, can be unlearned." This will obviously take a team approach between you and your dentist and his/her staff. Communication is the key. You must feel comfortable expressing your fears and concerns and feel that you are being listened to. You should never compromise the level of communication that you feel is necessary to give you a sense of control over your situation in the dental office. Modern dentistry with a compassionate dental team can be truly painless.
resource: Dr. Abbassian, DDS FAGD 259-9100

Teens at Risk for Permanently Damaging Teeth

"Premature loss of tooth enamel and weakening of overall tooth structure are two devastating oral effects of teens' poor diet that cannot be reversed later in life," explains Jane Soxman, DDS, author of a study that appears in the January/February 2003 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Adolescence is the time of peak bone growth, a time when more nutrient-packed calories are essential to fuel growing bodies and strengthen teeth and bones, however adolescence is the same time when soda and sugary, high-carbohydrate foods are rapidly displacing healthy foods such as milk, fruits and vegetables. "The easy access of sugary beverages and foods from home to school and everywhere in between has compromised the health of teens' teeth and helped fuel the national obesity epidemic," says AGD spokesperson Julie Barna, DMD, MAGD. Dr. Soxman's report shows drinking carbonated beverages seems to be one of the most significant causes of increased cavities and obesity for today's teens.
resource: Dr. Dell Goodrick, DDS FAGD of A Unique Dental Experience 254-4000

Orthodontics Benefit the Whole Person
Orthodontics can contribute to mental as well as physical health because first impressions often are based on the appearance of a person's face, mouth and teeth. A person with facial deformity or crooked teeth often is judged negatively not only on appearance but also on many other characteristics such as intelligence and personality. Independent research studies have shown that children and adults who believe their teeth or jaws are unattractive may suffer from lack of self-esteem and confidence. In some cases, the psychological impact of crooked teeth has been found to hamper a person's social or vocational growth. Although dental health concerns are frequently the primary impetus for orthodontic treatment, it is not unusual for treatment to be initiated for the patient's emotional well-being. In many cases, orthodontics provides both physical and psychological benefits.
resource: Dr. Bobby Irani, DDS of Valencia Dental Arts 799-9989
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