I Need Dental Implants! What to Expect

July 1st, 2016

dental implantYou never thought it could happen, but your dentist tells you that you need dental implants. What exactly does that entail? A dental implant is an artificial tooth root similar to a screw that is placed in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Like a prosthetic for your smile. It will take a few procedures but once it’s done, it’ll be like you never had a missing tooth.

But what now? You have a basic grasp of daily oral care, but implants can’t possibly be the same to maintain as normal teeth, right? Does this mean you will need to retrain yourself a new dental care routine in order to look after them? Not exactly, but you will definitely have some things to alter a bit. The following are just a few things to keep in mind as you are going forward with your brand new teeth.

Once you have your implants in place, you will have a tooth/teeth that will look just like the others. You will be able to eat normally, speak without issue and no one will be able to tell so you can smile just as you did before losing the tooth. While implants are designed to withstand quite a bit, but just because they aren’t your originals, it doesn’t mean you can go neglecting them. They may not be able to get cavities like your originals, but they can go bad on you like the real versions. You can get inflamed gums and infections, or periodontal disease, just like before. So consider them exactly like your real teeth when you are looking after them. Dental implants are generally meant to last for decades to come, but they are still breakable. Handle them with care. Make sure you are careful when you are cleaning or caring for them.

Your “new teeth” will require periodic checking by your dentist to ensure that everything is working properly and the surrounding gums and bone are being maintained and remain healthy. They will also require x-rays periodically to evaluate the level of bone around your implants. If gum disease is taking place, your gums will recede, showing your implants and making them weaker and prone to breaking. Dental restorations attached to your implants will also require periodic checking by your dentist to verify that they are secure and functioning properly.

If you feel you may need dental implants, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

First Signs of Periodontal Disease and What To Do About It

June 15th, 2016

ThinkstockPhotos-481249532Periodontal disease or gum disease usually starts with the reddening and the swelling of the gums, or more commonly known as gingivitis. At this early stage, the gums may also bleed whenever you brush or floss your teeth. If your gums are bleeding, don’t think that it’s caused by brushing too hard. Bleeding from the gum tissues is not normal and chances are, could be an early sign of periodontal disease.

There are cases where periodontal disease does not start with the reddening, swelling and bleeding of the gums. In fact, the gums may not swell, bleed or appear reddish at all. Your mouth may be an indicator in this case, especially if it smells bad before after you’ve already brushed your teeth. Another indicator is a foul taste in your mouth.

If you choose to ignore the early signs and symptoms of gum disease, the infection may progress further and cause your gum tissues to recede. As a result, the root surfaces may become exposed, causing tooth sensitivity. Even worse is that the infection may cause pockets to form in the gum lines, causing bone loss in the supporting bone and tissues around your teeth.

In the later stages of gum disease, painful pus pockets or abscesses may form. The infection may then cause the teeth to drift and become loose, which can make eating and chewing to become difficult and very painful.

The worst possible result of periodontal disease is tooth loss. This is something that you never really want to happen. Aside from losing your teeth, the later stages of periodontal disease has also been linked to various complications in the heart, lungs and brain.

What You Can Do About It

If you haven’t been visiting the dentist as regularly as every six months, now would be a good time to start doing so. The bleeding and swelling in your gums is a likely sign of early periodontal disease, which is something that you definitely want to be checked by a dentist. Even just an initial checkup would help, as it will allow the dentist to assess just how bad your mouth’s condition is. Although, if you’ve only visited the dentist regularly before, the dentist would’ve caught the earliest signs of gum disease already and have taken the necessary steps to prevent it.

In the meantime, you can start taking better care of your teeth. Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush may help, as well as would brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once and rinsing with mouthwash.

Avoid taking in sugary foods and drinks as well, as they can only contribute to the decay and make things worse.

Ultimately, though, visiting the dentist is your best option. The sooner you set an appointment and seek treatment, the better off your teeth will be.

Remember, gum disease is a serious medical issue and can affect anyone at any age. It should never be left untreated.

Taking proper care of your teeth at home and visiting the dentist regularly are two of the best things that you can do for your oral health.

If you feel you may be suffering from periodontal disease, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information regarding gum disease.

What Is a Root Canal Treatment?

May 11th, 2016

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Have you recently been told that you need a root canal? If so, you’re not alone. There are millions of people that have had to have root canal treatment. While you may feel apprehensive about getting the procedure done due to all the stories floating around, I assure you they aren’t as bad as you may think.

As I mentioned there are many stories floating around about root canals, one being that they are painful. Though the truth is that root canals themselves are actually quite painless. However the same cannot be said about an infected tooth, which is probably what lead you to believe root canals were.

Root canal treatments are done to repair and save a damaged or infected tooth. The treatment involves your dentist or endodontist removing the damaged tooth pulp, cleaning out the infection, and then filling and sealing the tooth. Below includes a list of what you can expect during a root canal treatment:

  • X-rays- If your dentist seems to think that you may need a root canal, he will first take X-rays to confirm and to show where the decay is located.
  • Anesthesia- Before the actual root canal treatment begins your dentist or endodontist will administer local anesthesia to the affected tooth. Despite popular belief, root canals are no more painful than dental fillings.
  • Pulpectomy- After your tooth has been numbed an opening is created and the damaged tooth pulp is removed from both the crown and root.
  • Filling- Once the pulpectomy is done, the roots that have been opened are filled with a rubber-like material and sealed with dental cement.

Root canal treatments are known to have high success rates and can last a lifetime. However, if you aren’t practicing proper oral hygiene it can lead to further dental problems. So be sure to practice proper oral hygiene to ensure the success of your root canal treatment. The following list includes a few ways to take care of your teeth after a root canal:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene- Be sure to brush twice a day, for two minutes each time and to floss at least once a day. You can also use mouthwash to remove any loose bacteria and plaque. Practicing proper oral hygiene can help prevent against further dental problems.
  • Visit Your Dentist- It’s been recommend that you see your dentist every six months for checkups and professional cleanings. Make it a priority to visit your dentist regularly.
  • Avoid Chewing on Hard Items- As most people know, chewing on hard food or items such as ice or pencils can damage teeth, as well as harm root canals.

Now that you’ve been properly informed about root canal treatments, you should hopefully feel less hesitant and more relaxed about having the procedure done if you ever have to. Though, let’s hope you’re practicing proper oral hygiene, as to avoid dealing with such dental problems.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information regarding root canals.

Benefits of Dental Implants

April 14th, 2016

dental implantYour teeth are supposed to last your entire life, but sometimes they don’t. Teeth don’t just fall out from natural causes, however you can lose a tooth due to periodontal disease, injury and various other reasons. While some may think having missing teeth is no big deal, what they fail to realize is just how vital replacing a missing tooth is to their overall health and to the health if their remaining teeth. Not only will you lose your chewing ability, but missing teeth can cause your remaining teeth to be lost, tipped or crowded. There’s also the fact that missing teeth aren’t exactly attractive and can cause lowered self-esteem.

However, there are many ways you can go about regaining all off those lost attributes. One way being with the help of dental implants. Dental implants are an ideal and effective way to replace your missing teeth or severally damaged teeth, and are considered more predictable to alternative treatments. Not only do dental implants seamlessly blend in with your smile, they provide several benefits, both emotionally and physically.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Next Best Thing to Natural Teeth. Dental implants are durable, strong and stable due to the fact that the implant fuses to your jaw bone. This makes dental implants feel and function your natural teeth would. Not to mention that they seamless blend in with the rest of your teeth.
  • Designed to Last. While dental implants may need occasional adjustments, they can last you a lifetime when they are taken care of properly. You should take care of your implant the same you would your natural teeth.
  • Improves Speech. Missing teeth can cause for pronunciation problems and even slurred speech. By replacing missing teeth with dental implants, you can improve both speech and pronunciation problems.
  • Improves Facial Profile. When you’re missing several teeth it can cause your face to sag and appear sad or sunken in. Dental implants allow for you to improve or retain the natural facial profile.
  • Protects Jaw Bone. When tooth are lost it leads to empty spaces between your teeth which can cause further problems such as jaw atrophy, also known as jawbone deterioration. Dental implants are the only dental restoration that prevents bone loss and stimulates bone growth.
  • Improves Daily Life. One of the many bright sides to dental implants are that they can improve your quality of life. Dental implants won’t slip out while talking or eating your favorite foods.
  • Improved Self-Esteem. Not only do dental implants restore you smile, they help restore and boost your self-esteem as well. They can restore confidence in the simplest things such as eating, drinking, conversing or being intimate.

As you can see there are many benefits that stem from dental implants. So whether you should opt to replace your missing tooth with a dental implant or not shouldn’t be a question, but rather an answer.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding dental implants, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

 

Top 5 Root Canal Myths

March 16th, 2016

515225859When you hear the words “root canal”, does it send chills down your spine? If you think of a root canal as a tremendously painful dental procedure, you’re not alone, most people do.

Root canals have received a negative reputation over the years, but truth is they’re not as bad as most people think they may be. Thanks to technological advances in dentistry, root canal procedures can now be comfortable and quick.

There are several myths about root canals that have mislead many people, and it’s about time that these myths are put to rest.  While it can be quite frightening to be told you need a root canal, the more you know about the root canal procedure and what it can do for you and your oral health, the more relaxed and reassured you will feel.

Myth 1: Root canals are only need when you experience tooth pain.

In some cases, when teeth die they no longer cause pain and need to have root canal to avoid it from becoming infected. There several tests, such as temperature testing and percussion testing, that allow dental professionals to know when a tooth has died and needs to receive root canal therapy.

Myth 2: Root canals are painful.

Root canal treatment is quite painless. However, the same cannot be said for a tooth infection, which is most likely what lead you believe root canals were. Root canals are what relieve the pain associated with progressive and severe decay that has reach the root of a tooth and caused infection. With advanced dental technology, along with anesthetics, roots canals can be just as painless as getting a filling.

Myth 3: Root canals are long process.

Many people have been lead to believe that root canal treatment requires several visits to the dentist office, but that is not the case. In fact, a single visit is usually more than enough to restore the infected tooth and preform a root canal. However, in some cases, follow-ups are required, but only to have a filling or crown placed on the tooth to prevent further infection.

Myth 4: Root canals can cause illness.

This common myth indicates that root canals can lead to negative health risks, and was debunked due to research that was done over almost an entire century ago. Not only is a root canal treatment safe and effective, it eliminates the bacteria from the infected tooth, improving your oral health and overall health.

Myth 5: Tooth extractions are a better alternative to root canals.

Having a tooth extracted is a traumatic procedure that actually allows bad bacteria to enter the bloodstream. There’s also not replacement that will ever be like your natural tooth. Root canal treatment isn’t only cost effective, it allow you to keep your natural tooth. Replacement alternatives for missing teeth requires additional treatments, a lengthier process, and an elevated cost.

The myths listed above have mislead many people to date. Don’t let silly myths about roots canals steer you away from having both good oral health and overall health.

Rid yourself of tooth pain and save your tooth by scheduling an appointment with Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 today! Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com to learn more about root canals.

Best Way to Care for Your Dentures

February 4th, 2016

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If some or all of your permanent teeth have fallen out or have been removed, your dentist may have recommend that you wear dentures. Full dentures are used in cases where a patient has lost all of their permanent teeth, and partial dentures are used in the case where a patient is only missing one tooth or a few teeth. Both types of removable dentures require you to take proper care to keep both the health of the dentures and mouth. Keeping these following rules in mind can help you take the best possible care of your dentures, so that they last you years:

  • Handle Dentures with Care- Make sure while you’re cleaning your dentures not to bend or damage the plastic by brushing to aggressively. Be sure to always moisten your denture brush before cleaning to avoid scratching the surface of your dentures.
  • Remove and Rinse Them after Eating- Run water over your denture to help loosen and remove leftover food debris. You may want to place a towel below while you rinse them so dentures don’t break if you drop them.
  • Brush Dentures Daily- Be sure to clean your dentures at least once a day by soaking and brushing them with a non-abrasive denture cleaner to remove plaque or left over food debris. Never use dentures cleanser in your mouth.
  • Keep Your Mouth Clean- After you remove your dentures use a soft bristled toothbrush to clean your mouth. Brush your natural teeth, gums, tongue and palate.
  • Soak Your Dentures Overnight- Almost all types of dentures need to stay moist to uphold their shape. Store your dentures in a denture soaking solution or water. Always make sure to rinse your dentures off after removing them from a denture soaking solution.

What should be avoided?

  • Abrasive Cleaning Material- Avoid using firm bristled-brushes, harsh tooth paste, and strong dentures solutions.
  • Whitening Toothpaste- Toothpastes that are advertised as whitening pastes should be avoided because they are especially abrasive.
  • Hot Water- Be sure to avoid hot or boiling water because it can warp your dentures.
  • Bleaching Products- Do not use any sort of bleaching products on your dentures because these could weaken and change the color of them. Also don’t soak denture with metal framework in solutions that contain chlorine because it can tarnish the metal.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about dentures, contact Dumas Family Dentistry in Dumas, TX at 806-935-2725 or visit our website at www.dumastexasdentist.com

Teeth Whitening Aftercare Advice

January 28th, 2016

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So you’ve just gotten your teeth whitened for the first time and you’re unaware of how to care your newly whitened pearly whites. Well you’ve come to the right spot, Dumas Family Dentistry has all of the teeth whitening aftercare advice you’ve been searching for. To keep your pearly whites sparkling after getting your teeth whitened you must keep up with proper oral hygiene. Also, there are some foods and beverages that are best avoided, especially immediately after your teeth whitening treatment. The follow list below includes advices on how to keep your pearly whites sparkling:

  • You must avoid dark colored beverages immediately after your teeth whitening treatment. Beverages such as black tea, coffee, dark soda, and red wine can easily stain your teeth. If you choose to enjoy a cup of black tea or coffee every morning, consider drinking it through a straw as it will lessen the exposer of the liquid to your teeth.
  • Avoid eating any bright or dark colored foods immediately after your teeth whitening treatment, as they can cause staining to your teeth. Trying sticking to white foods such as potatoes, pasta or chicken.
  • You should avoid wearing any type of lipstick immediately after getting your teeth whitened. Lipstick is known to stain due to its semi-permanent color.
  • If you smoke, immediately after the teeth whitening treatment you should avoid smoking for at least 12 hours, or 24 if you can help it. There are many ingredients in cigarettes that causes staining.
  • Make sure to brush and floss your pearly whites daily to remove plaque build-up that can cause staining to your teeth. Proper oral hygiene calls for brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
  • Try rinsing your mouth out with water after every meal to get rid of remaining food debris that could potentially stain your newly whitened pearls whites.

After getting your teeth whitened, your long term results are determined on your lifestyle choices and how well you keep up with a proper oral hygiene routine. If you stick this teeth whitening aftercare advice your pearly whites will remain whiter for a much longer period.

If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, contact Dumas Family Dentistry in Dumas, TX at 806-935-2725 or visit our website at www.dumastexasdentist.com for more information regarding the dental services we offer.

Do You Suffer From Bruxism?

December 29th, 2015

200324634-001Bruxism is a disorder that is fairly common, but also poorly understood by many patients. Reports suggest that its rate of occurrence in the population ranges from 8-30%, but many patients tend not to get diagnosed because they are asymptomatic. Bruxism can occur during sleep or while awake, and the causes are not always fully understood.

Most people who grind their teeth are unaware of the problem. While some may be told that they grind their teeth by family who hear it at night, others may be told by a dentist that notices damage to the bite surfaces of teeth during routine checkups.

Patients may also notice some symptoms that they don’t immediately connect with bruxism:

 

  • Hypersensitivity can be due to worn enamel and dentin. As the tooth material is worn away by grinding, the teeth become more and more sensitive to hot and cold

  • Tooth fractures. Like hypersensitivity, as tooth material is worn, they become more likely to break. This applies to both natural teeth and restorations (such as crowns and implants)

  • Muscle soreness or fatigue of the jaw, tongue, or neck.

  • Pain, tenderness, or clicking in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), where the lower jaw attaches to the skull

  • Headaches, especially in the temple, caused by muscle soreness associated with the temporalis muscle

Because bruxism can permanently damage teeth, it’s important to diagnose and treat it as soon as any symptoms are noticed. The treatment options vary. Damage to teeth can be treated with normal dental procedures, but treating bruxism (the root cause) typically involves medical devices such as dental guards or medications such as benzodiazepines and muscle relaxers.

If you notice any of the symptoms of bruxism, or if you’re told by a family member that you grind your teeth in your sleep, speak to your dentist as soon as possible. Diagnosing and treating bruxism is important for maintaining the health of your teeth.

To learn more about bruxism call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dental Implants

November 21st, 2015

implant diagramDo you have a cracked tooth, severe cavity, or a tooth damaged by physical trauma such as a fall? While it’s possible that your tooth may not be able to be saved, modern dentistry has a number of options that look and feel like a natural tooth, and one of the most common solutions for teeth that can’t be saved is the dental implant.

Dental implants are a combination of procedures that work together to provide a fake tooth for patients. Dental implants are popular choices for dentists because they tend to last a very long time, have a high success rate, can be used for treating a wide variety of serious problems, and provide a replacement tooth that is almost indistinguishable from a natural tooth. Dental implants are popular among patients because the implant looks and feels like a tooth, implants do not require special cleaning like bridges, and they do not need to be removed nightly like dentures.

Implants consist of three primary components:

– A titanium post screwed into the bone of the tooth socket
– A titanium extension post is attached to the screw base and provides a socket for the crown
– A dental crown – often porcelain – is attached to the middle titanium post

The procedure for installing the implant is straightforward, but takes time. Once the tooth is extracted, the area is allowed to heal. At this time, the dentist will likely make a mold of the mouth so that the final implant can be created in a lab. Once the tooth socket is healed, the post is attached to the bone, and again the mouth is allowed to heal. During this time, a lightweight temporary crown will be placed (often using a retainer) to maintain the patient’s smile and protect the titanium post. Once the screw is healed in place, the new permanent crown is attached, and the patient has a new artificial tooth that looks exactly like the tooth it replaced.

Properly cared for, a dental implant may last for decades – 30 years, or more. If you have a tooth that is damaged, or if you believe a dental implant may be right for you, ask your dentist about implants. The procedure takes time, but is a great solution for severely damaged teeth.

To learn more about dental implants call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Tooth Decay

October 29th, 2015

459953231One of the most common problems for patients of all ages is tooth decay – bacterial colonies that eat away at a patient’s teeth, forming cavities that can eventually cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. While many patients know that tooth decay should be avoided, it can be helpful to explain tooth decay in simple terms, so that patients both know how to avoid tooth decay, and how it will be treated.

Feeding bacteria causes the physical action of tooth decay. These bacterial colonies create which break down the tooth material. The primary way to minimize tooth decay is to minimize the bacteria that can come in contact with teeth – by removing the bacteria, a patient can minimize the acids that break down teeth, virtually eliminating the risk of tooth decay.

The primary method of removing bacteria is removing food particles from the teeth and gums through brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing both removes food, which bacteria need to survive, and removes the bacteria on the surface of the teeth themselves. The bacteria will typically be present in a sticky, bacteria-rich substance known as plaque. Proper brushing and flossing can remove plaque from the surface of the teeth and the gum-line, but failure to do so regularly can allow plaque to harden into tartar, which is far more difficult to remove. As plaque hardens into tartar, the harder surface protects the bacteria, allowing it to damage teeth without being brushed or flossed away.

In addition to brushing and flossing, patients should have regular dental visits – every 6 months or so – and use fluoride mouthwash. The professional cleaning will help break down the hardened tartar deposits, and fluoride helps resist acid created by plaque.

As mentioned previously, failure to take proper care of your teeth will lead to decay – once diagnosed, a dentist will treat decay by removing the damaged tooth material with a high-speed drill. Once the decaying material is removed, the hole created will be re-filled with either a composite resin (tooth colored), or a metal amalgam filling (typically silver in color) – while they’re very different, they both serve the same purpose of filling the hole caused by decay, and protecting the tooth from further damage.

To prevent decay, cavities, drilling, and fillings, be sure to follow your dentist’s recommended oral hygiene routine – brush and floss daily, and have a professional cleaning every 6 months.

To learn more about oral health call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

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