Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life threatening disorder involving repeated pauses in breathing while asleep. The most common form of this condition is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when there is an obstruction of an individual’s airway that interferes with the flow of oxygen through the nose or mouth during sleep. In someone afflicted with obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles of the throat and mouth relax during sleep to the point where they fall back into the upper airway and create a blockage that restricts breathing.
The signs and symptoms of this disorder during sleeping hours may include, loud snoring, episodes of breathing cessation, abrupt awakenings, episodes of gasping for air, along with difficulties getting a good night’s sleep. An individual with sleep apnea will exhibit problems during the day as well. Sleep apnea can lead to a morning headache, excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.
While there are now many ways to replace a missing tooth, among the most common and predictable way is with a fixed, permanently cemented bridge for both aesthetic and functional reasons, it is important to replace any tooth that has been extracted in the presence of empty spaces. Teeth will shift and cause further dental problems. One way to replace a missing tooth is with a fixed bridge. During this procedure, your dentist will prepare the tooth on either side of the space for a cray. After the preparations are completed, an impression of the prepared teeth will be made and sent to the laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. Your dentist will then make a temporary bridge to cover the preparations and the missing tooth. This will remain in the mouth until the final bridge is completed. At the next visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and the permanent bridge will be fitted. After approval of aesthetics and checking function, the fixed bridge will be permanently cemented.
Fixed dental bridges involve the preparation and crowning of teeth on either side of an area missing teeth to support artificial teeth to span the edentulous area.
A fixed bridge is a non-removable appliance fabricated to replace missing teeth, which closely resembles a patient’s natural dentition. Besides serving to restore the appearance and performance of a complete smile, a fixed bridge also prevents teeth that are adjacent to or opposite the edentulous area from shifting to protect the integrity of the occlusion. Fixed bridges are strong, durable and natural looking restorations, which once they are permanently cemented into place allow all manner of normal oral function.
Maintaining a healthy smile depends upon keeping your teeth and gums clean with a daily routine of brushing and flossing. According to the recommendations of the American Dental Association, it is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time with a soft bristled toothbrush. Remember to use a soft bristled toothbrush and apply gentle pressure so as not to cause damage to your teeth or gums. Brushing your teeth with a fluoride containing toothpaste that has been awarded American Dental Association seal of acceptance helps to keep your smile healthy and vibrant. Remember to change your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles are frayed.
Crowns are dental restorations that are necessary when there is no longer enough tooth structure to support fillings or after the completion of root canal therapy. There are many reasons why a tooth may need a crown. These include restoration after root canal therapy to repair a tooth that has decay under a large filling to restore teeth with broken fillings, or to save teeth that have fractured in order to prepare the tooth for a crown. Your dentist will reduce approximately one and a half millimeters off of every aspect of the tooth to create room for the crown. An impression of the prepared tooth will then be taken. This impression will be sent to the laboratory where the final crown will be fabricated. After acquiring an impression, your dentist will place a temporary crown on the tooth and will arrange an appointment to insert the permanent crown when it comes from the laboratory. At the subsequent visit, the temporary will be removed and the permanent crown will be tried in. Your dentist will check the fit, the bite, and the aesthetics. When the desired results have been attained, your dentist will cement the permanent crown. This restoration should provide years of service, comfort, and be aesthetically pleasing.
Once commonly referred to as, “porcelain jackets,” today’s all-ceramic crowns are fabricated from advanced generations of aesthetically appealing, lifelike materials affording strength and durability approaching that of tradition metal and porcelain fused to metal crowns (PFM).
When a tooth requires a full coverage restoration to rebuild its structural integrity and appearance, how good the crown will look and how well it will withstand the forces of oral function are major considerations in choosing the type of crown. In the past, only metal crowns or ones fabricated out of porcelain fused to an underlying substructure of metal offered the strength required to bite and chew without breaking. While porcelain fused to metal crowns to this day remain a popular choice for strong, attractive and long-lasting restorations to rebuild teeth that are damaged, decayed, misshapen, worn down, undersized, or have had a root canal procedure, there are some drawbacks. For one thing, the thin metal margin at the collar of a PFM crown may be visible at the gumline (especially in the presence of receding gums). Also, due to the presence of an underlying metal shell, porcelain fused to metal crowns do not come close to handling light in the same way as natural tooth structure or dental ceramics.
Sometimes it is necessary to extract a tooth. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Extractions are commonly performed in cases where a deciduous “baby” tooth is reluctant to fall out, a severely broken down and non-restorable tooth is present, or “wisdom tooth” is poorly positioned and unable to fully erupt into place.
The most common of all dental restorations performed is the dental filling. These restorations are designed to remove decay and restore the tooth to normal function. The most popular materials used are composite, the tooth colored restoration and amalgam. The silver restoration tooth decay is caused by bacteria, which breaks down the enamel. The decay of left untreated will spread from the enamel to the dentin. The softer inner layer, which surrounds the dental pulp or nerve decay, may appear anywhere on the tooth from the biting surfaces to the areas between the teeth. Your dentist will diagnose decay utilizing x-rays, and by performing a clinical examination of your teeth using a dental drill and other instruments, the dentist will remove the decay and prepare the tooth to accept the filling material. After the decay is completely removed and the tooth has been properly prepared to receive the restoration, be it composite or amalgam, your dentist will then place the restoration in the prepared tooth. This will restore the natural contours of the tooth and return it to proper function. Whether the restoration was done in composite or dental amalgam, it is designed to restore the proper function of the tooth. Dental restorations are generally very long lasting and easily maintainable.
With advances in dental materials and science, restorative materials that are aesthetically pleasing as well as strong and durable are widely available for the filling and repair of teeth that have been affected by tooth decay or dental injuries.
Composite fillings, which are frequently referred to as either “tooth colored fillings” or “white fillings,” are a combination of biocompatible resins and finely ground, glass-like filler materials. Composite fillings, which are manufactured in a complete range of natural looking shades, provide a more cosmetically pleasing alternative to traditional “silver” fillings. Often used to fill a tooth by replacing tooth structure that is missing due to injury or decay, dental composites can also be placed to modify a tooth’s color or shape to dramatically improve its appearance as well as repair dental defects and close gaps between the teeth.
Home Tooth Whitening
A teeth whitening procedure or bleaching simply refers to any process that will make the teeth appear whiter. It is considered a non-invasive procedure that is designed to whiten and brighten teeth that are stained, discolored, darkened, or yellowed. First introduced to the public in the 1980’s, the popularity of teeth whitening products and procedures has soared. According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, when respondents were asked, “What would you like to improve most about your smile?” The most common response was: whiter and brighter teeth.
A home whitening system from the dentist along with custom trays that have been fitted to the teeth is also an excellent option. Custom trays keep the bleaching agent in maximum contact with the teeth and away from the other areas of the mouth. With a take-home teeth whitening system, maximum results are less rapid than an in office procedure and are typically achieved over a longer period of time. A home whitening system can be used by itself or as recommended by the dentist as a follow up to an in office procedure in order to perfect or maintain the results.
Dental implants represent the most recent and advanced method of replacing lost or missing teeth. Invented in 1952 by a Swedish surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark, dental implants today offer a highly effective, long-term solution for replacing missing teeth to reestablish a fully functional and attractive smile. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or all of the upper and/or lower teeth.
A dental implant is a small, biocompatible post that is surgically positioned by means of a minimally invasive procedure into the jawbone beneath the gums. Once healing takes place and the implant integrates with the bone, it behaves in much the same way as the root of a natural tooth to provide support for an aesthetically appealing dental crown or bridge. A period ranging from 3 to 6 months is required for the jawbone to fuse with the implant via a process known as osseointegration.
This video will describe periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a disease of the supporting structures of the teeth, which include the gums and the supporting bone. On average, 85% of all people will be affected to one degree or another by periodontal disease. A periodontally healthy mouth has pink, uninflamed, gingival, and no bone loss left untreated. Periodontal disease will advance from gingivitis, which is an inflammatory disease of the gums and can be treated easily to periodontitis, which begins to break down the supporting bone of the teeth to advanced periodontitis, where much of the bone around the teeth is destroyed and mobility occurs. This process is slow to progress and takes years to advance. It is imperative to catch the disease early and to treat it before bone loss can affect the viability of the teeth. Using radiographs and periodontal probes, your dentist will be able to determine the extent of the problem. A perio charting will be completed, which will identify any problem areas. Your dentist will then begin a treatment plan. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria which live in soft plaque, calculus or tartar. In order to eliminate periodontal disease, it is imperative to remove the calculus on the tooth surface and the root. While treating early periodontal disease may require simple visits of scaling and root planning. More advanced cases may require surgical intervention to maintain the viability of the teeth.
Periodontal disease damages the surrounding soft tissues and bone that support the teeth. It is predominantly caused by the accumulation of bacteria, mucus and other particles in the form of plaque or tartar that sit between the teeth and the gums. Periodontal disease can range in severity from a simple gum inflammation, known as gingivitis, to a more serious inflammation of the periodontal tissues. Left untreated periodontal disease can result in significant tissue damage and eventual tooth loss.
This is a video about ceramic veneers. Veneers incorporate extremely conservative preparations and deliver outstanding cosmetic results, which can alleviate many aesthetic and functional problems. There are many applications for the use of ceramic veneers. They include repairing large anterior restorations, cracked teeth, closing spaces between teeth and transforming discolored teeth. Depending on the type of veneer to be used, your dentist will either make a very conservative preparation of the tooth or may not prepare the tooth at all. An impression of the teeth will then be taken. This impression will be sent to a laboratory where the veneers will be fabricated. Depending on the degree of the preparation, your dentist may or may not place temporary veneers until the permanent ones return from the laboratory. At the next visit, the temporary veneers will be removed and the permanent veneers will be tried in. Your dentist will check the fit, the bite, and the aesthetics. Once aesthetics and fit have been confirmed and approved, the veneers will be cemented with state-of-the-art bonding. Cement veneers will provide for years of improved aesthetics function, and a beautiful smile.
For teeth with imperfections that cannot be addressed with teeth whitening procedures, but are not so flawed as to require full coverage crowns, dental veneers can provide the desired cosmetic improvements.
Dental veneers are custom-fabricated facings that offer a conservative and cosmetically pleasing way to improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, gapped, worn, slightly crooked, misshapen or darkly stained. With dental veneers, the color, shape, size, and length of the teeth can be changed for the better. Bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth, veneers can be used to enhance the appearance of a single tooth or multiple anterior teeth.
Wisdom teeth, which are also known as the third molars, are the last permanent teeth to develop in the oral cavity as well as the final ones to come into place. However, as is often the case, many wisdom teeth do not have sufficient room to erupt, are not developing properly, or are causing issues for the adjacent teeth and the surrounding tissues. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons frequently see patients with impacted or problematic wisdom teeth for an evaluation or extractions as indicated.