Posts for: May, 2017


Losing permanent teeth is never good — unlike primary teeth, no natural replacements wait in the wings. But the good news is you have a number of options for replacing them with life-like prosthetic (false) teeth.

Today's premier choice is dental implants, preferred by dentists and patients alike for their durability and life-likeness. But because of their cost when replacing multiple teeth, many people opt for traditional dentures. And now dentures are easier to wear and maintain thanks to new, advanced materials and designs.

Still, there's one major area where implants have the definite edge over dentures — long-term bone health. Older bone cells die and dissolve (resorb), replaced then by newly formed cells. Teeth help perpetuate this cycle through the forces generated when we chew that travel through the roots to stimulate the formation of new bone.

But because this stimulation through a tooth ends when it's lost, new bone beneath the empty socket may not keep up with the resorption rate of older bone. As a result, you could lose as much as a quarter of normal bone width in just the first year after losing a tooth.

This bone loss will continue to accumulate even if you wear dentures, which can't replicate the bone growth stimulation of natural teeth. What's more, the constant pressure on the bony ridge of the gums can accelerate bone loss. Eventually, the firm, comfortable fit you first had with your dentures will become looser and less comfortable with the shrinking bone volume.

Implants, on the other hand, can stop bone loss and may even reverse it. This is because the titanium metal of an implant has a special affinity with bone cells that readily grow and adhere to it. This creates the anchorage responsible for the implant's durability, but it's also healthy for the bone.

Of course, this doesn't have to be a binary choice between the two restorations thanks to a new hybrid advancement that combines implants with dentures. We can install as few as two implants to support a removable denture. You'll enjoy greater stability, fit and durability with your dentures, while also improving bone health through the implants.

So before you decide on a dental restoration, be sure to discuss with us your implant options. Your oral health and appearance could benefit immensely.

If you would like more information on dental restoration, 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 “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”

By Today's Dental
May 10, 2017
Category: Oral Health

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Today's Dental
May 04, 2017
Category: Dental Care
Tags: WaterLase  

According to the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington, as many as 8  percent of Americans don’t see the dentist regularly due to dental anxiety. Many patients are anxious about going to the dentist because of the “dreaded drill.” The sound of the drill, combined with the heat and sensation is enough to keep them from getting required treatments. Now, your dental problem can probably be cured with a minimally invasive solution called Waterlase. It's a modern treatment that is available at Today's Dental in Houston, TX.

What Is Waterlase?
Laser treatments have become very popular in recent years because they are effective, relatively pain-free, and don't take a lot of time to administer. There’s a new laser solution available at the dentist’s office called Waterlase. It is a tool that uses highly energized water to remove unwanted tissue and decay from around a tooth. It’s considered an alternative to the dental drill.

How Can Waterlase Help Your Smile?
Waterlase removes hard decay, bad tissue and biological matter around your tooth without damaging the healthy tissue. So, if you have a cavity or infection, it can be used to cut away the decayed tissue so that the area can be properly cleaned and filled. Waterlase is also used to fix teeth that haven’t fully erupted (commonly wisdom teeth) and treat periodontal disease by removing inflamed tissue from around the gumline.

Waterlase Benefits
There are many benefits of Waterlase to consider in advance of your initial consultation with a Houston dentist at Today's Dental:

- It commonly requires a shorter visit compared to other treatments, like periodontal surgery
- Less need for shots and other forms of sedation dentistry
- No heat or uncomfortable vibrations during the procedure
- Reduced bleeding during the procedure and swelling  afterwards
- Less chance of developing hairline fractures in tooth compared to using a drill

Get More Information
A dentist at Today's Dental in Houston, TX can help you get your smile in better condition with a Waterlase treatment. Call (281) 580-0770 today to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Tiberiu Oancea or Dr. Jeromy Thornton.