Posts for: June, 2016

By Today's Dental
June 24, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants not only improve your smile, but also offer several other important benefits. Drs. Tiberiu Oancea and Jeromy Thornton, dental implantsyour Houston, TX, dentists at Today's Dental, are here to explain how you can benefit from dental implants.

Improved self-confidence

After the loss of a tooth, you may no longer feel like laughing or smiling because you feel self-conscious about the way you look. A dental implant offers a simple way to restore your smile and your self-confidence.

A whole new tooth

When you replace lost teeth with a dental implant, you receive a new tooth from root to crown. Dentures and bridges, the other tooth replacement options, only replace the tooth above the gum line. During the first step in the implant process, your dentist places a tiny titanium post in the space once occupied by your natural tooth roots.

During the next three to six months, your jawbone grows around the post and anchors it in place. When the implant fuses completely to the bone, your Houston dentist will attach the crown that will replace your tooth above your gum line. You'll have a new tooth that's just as strong as the one you lost when the process is complete.

Better oral health

Losing a tooth can affect the health of your remaining teeth. After tooth loss, the teeth on either side of the gap try to fill the space by leaning toward it. This drifting sets off a domino effect, and eventually, your teeth may begin to overlap. It's often impossible to remove plaque from overlapping areas, which may increase your risk of tooth decay. When you choose a dental implant, your surrounding teeth remain upright.

Excellent biting power

Dentures restore your smile, but reduce your biting power. If you opt for this tooth replacement option, it will be difficult or impossible to eat hard foods. Dental implants don't affect your biting power because they're firmly anchored in your jaw. When you choose implant-supported dentures, a entire row of teeth can be supported by just four to six implants.

Whether you need to replace one tooth or all of them, dental implants offer an excellent solution to tooth loss. Call Drs. Oancea and Thornton, your Houston, TX, dentists at Today's Dental, at (281) 580-0770 to schedule an appointment to discuss your tooth replacement options. Restore your smile with dental implants!


ThatSmallMouthSoreisLikelyNothing-butStillHaveitChecked

If you notice a small sore or a change in the appearance of the tissues inside your mouth, don’t panic. It’s likely a common, minor ailment that appears on a lot of skin surfaces (like the wrists or legs) besides the cheeks, gums, or tongue.

These small sores or lesions are called lichen planus, named so because their coloration and patterns (white, lacy lines) look a lot like lichen that grow on trees or rocks. They’re only similar in appearance to the algae or fungi growing in the forest — these are lesions thought to be a form of auto-immune disease. Although they can affect anyone, they’re more common in women than men and with middle-aged or older people.

Most people aren’t even aware they have the condition, although some can produce itching or mild discomfort. They’re often discovered during dental checkups, and although they’re usually benign, we’ll often consider a biopsy of them to make sure the lesion isn’t a symptom of something more serious.

There currently isn’t a cure for the condition, but it can be managed to reduce symptoms; for most people, the lesions will go away on their own. You may need to avoid spicy or acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, hot peppers or caffeinated drinks that tend to worsen the symptoms. If chronic stress is a problem, finding ways to reduce it can also help alleviate symptoms as well as quitting tobacco and reducing your alcohol intake.

Our biggest concern is to first assure the lesion isn’t cancerous. Even after confirming it’s not, we still want to keep a close eye on the lesion, so regular monitoring is a good precaution. Just keep up with the basics — good oral hygiene and regular checkups — to ensure you have the most optimum oral health possible.

If you would like more information on lichen planus lesions, 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 “Lichen Planus: Mouth Lesions that are Usually Benign.”


ArianaGrandeBreaksFree-ofHerWisdomTeeth

Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”

With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will "wisdom teeth removal" become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.

Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.

But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.

In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.

So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”