Posts for: November, 2018
Although primary (“baby”) teeth have a lifespan of only a few years, they’re still important to a child’s current and future dental health. In the present, they help a child eat, speak and smile properly. They also help create a healthy future as placeholders for developing permanent teeth yet to come in.
If, however, a child loses a primary tooth prematurely due to decay, the corresponding permanent tooth could come in misaligned. That’s why we do what we can to help a decayed primary tooth reach its full lifespan. And there are different ways to do this depending on the type of tooth.
With front teeth, which don’t encounter the same chewing forces as those in the back, we may use a tooth-colored filling. This approach is also preferable for appearance’s sake since front teeth are highly visible when a child speaks or smiles.
Primary molars, on the other hand, need a more robust solution. A filling may not be able to withstand the level of long-term chewing forces that these back teeth normally encounter. And because they’re less visible than front teeth, there’s less concern about aesthetics.
That’s why many pediatric dentists prefer stainless steel crowns for molars. Just like their permanent teeth counterparts, a primary crown fits over and completely covers a tooth. They’re typically pre-formed, coming in different shapes and sizes that can then be customized for the tooth in question. After preparing and removing any decayed material from the tooth, we can usually install the crown in one visit with local anesthesia and a sedative (if the child needs it for anxiety).
While a steel crown isn’t the most attractive restoration, it typically handles the higher chewing forces in the back of the mouth better and longer than a filling. That’s especially critical for primary molars, which are some of the last teeth to fall out (as late as ages 10-12). And besides preserving it as a permanent tooth placeholder, a crown also helps the tooth function effectively in the present.
Regardless of what method we use, though, preserving primary teeth is a primary goal of pediatric dentistry. And with a stainless steel crown, we can keep those important back molars functioning for as long as they’re intended.
If you would like more information on caring for primary teeth, 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 “Stainless Steel Crowns for Kids.”
Edentulism, the loss of all of a person’s teeth, is more than an appearance problem. As one in four Americans over 65 can attest, total tooth loss can lead to emotional suffering, social embarrassment and a lack of nutrition caused by limited food choices.
But there are solutions like the removable denture, an effective dental restoration for more than a century. In its current advanced form, the removable denture is truly a functional, affordable and attractive way to restore lost teeth.
Creating an effective denture begins first by taking detailed impressions of a patient’s gum ridges. We use the measurements obtained from this process to create a plastic resin base colored to resemble the natural gums. Using old photos and other resources documenting how the patient looked with teeth, we choose the best size and shape of porcelain teeth and then position them onto the base.
Finally, we fine-tune the dentures the first time they’re in the patient’s mouth to make sure they have a secure fit and a balanced bite when the jaws come together. We also want to be sure the dentures are attractive and blend well with other facial features. The result: a new set of teeth that can do the job of the old ones and look nearly as real and attractive.
Dentures, though, do have one major drawback: they can’t stop bone loss, a common consequence of missing teeth. In fact, they may even accelerate bone loss due to the pressure they bring to bear on the gum ridges. Continuing bone loss could eventually cause their once secure fit to slacken, making them less functional and much more uncomfortable to wear.
But a recent innovation could put the brakes on bone loss for a denture wearer. By incorporating small implants imbedded at various places along the gums, a denture with compatible fittings connects securely with the implants to support the denture rather than the gum ridges. This not only relieves pressure on the gums, but the titanium within the implants attracts bone cells and stimulates their growth.
Thanks to this and other modern advances, dentures continue to be a solid choice for tooth replacement. Not only can they restore a lost smile, they can improve overall health and well-being too.
If you would like more information on dental restorations for missing teeth, 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 “Removable Full Dentures.”
Learn some helpful tips for how to keep your teeth and gums their healthiest.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy shouldn’t be challenging. What can you do to ensure that you are maintaining good oral health? Below are some everyday tips you should follow for a healthier, happier smile. Our Streamwood, IL, dentist Dr. Christopher Schneider helps patients of all ages dealing with cavities, gum disease and other issues
Flossing is Vital
Even if you brush your teeth you still need to floss your teeth if you want to get the sides of your teeth clean, too. A brush cannot fully get into these areas of your smile, which means that plaque and food can be left behind and build up, hardening into tartar and leading to both cavities and gum disease. Flossing is quite simple and it only needs to be performed once a day to really get your teeth completely clean.
Stay Away from Soda
Everyone knows by now, but sometimes it bears repeating that if you want to keep teeth enamel strong one thing to avoid is soft drinks. All you have to do is look at the nutrition label and you’ll be amazed at just how much sugar is in one can or bottle of soda. No wonder people who drink soda are at a much higher risk for cavities than those who don’t; however, if you thought diet soda was safe because it doesn’t have sugar; think again. The acids found within soda, both regular and diet, can also erode tooth enamel.
Get Regular Dental Checkups
No matter how stellar your at-home care is you still need to turn to our Streamwood, IL, general dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and checkups. After all, many people who have cavities or gum disease never experience symptoms, so the only way to detect these issues early on and to get to the root of the problem is through these checkups. Plus, these visits are also a great time to talk with us about other tips and advice for keeping your oral health in tip-top shape.
Do you need to schedule your next routine cleaning for yourself or your child? Are you looking for a dentist in Streamwood, IL, that can provide you with comprehensive dental care, whether it’s preventive or restorative? If so, Dr. Christopher Schneider and the compassionate dental team here at Streamwood Smiles is ready to help. Call us today to learn more.