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Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork!

Why does my dentist need to know my health history?

So, you go to the dentist for a matter concerning your teeth or perhaps you’re there for your bi-annual dental check-up and cleaning and your exam begins with a bunch of questions about your overall health.

What gives?
Why does a dentist or hygienist want an update of your medical history at every visit?

This is a very legitimate question. After all, you may be coming in for just a simple visit and do not understand what the rest of your body has to do with your mouth.

We are caring for you – not just your teeth!

20140915_103718_resizedYou may have read somewhere about the “Body – Mouth” connection. There are medical conditions that significantly impact your oral health, determine the course of future dental treatment or explain why a particular problem keeps reoccurring.

When we exam you we are seeing more than just your mouth. We are caring for you, not just your teeth! We are concerned with making accurate diagnoses and following up with individualized treatment.

Obviously, patients with more complicated health histories will require more attention than others. In order to maximize our patient’s time with us we routinely ask that they keep a current copy of their medication list in their wallets for quick reference and let us know in advance of their visit here if there has been any significant changes in their health.

Sometimes, it is necessary to follow-up a health issue with the family doctor. Your family physician may prescribe some medication for you to take prior to your dental treatment, especially if you have recently had a new body prosthetic placed or have had a heart stent procedure. Other times, a medication may have to be temporarily discontinued before a particular dental procedure can begin.

As such, we ask that our patients bring in a copy of their medication list when they see us for their check-ups so that we can up date our records and advise as necessary.

Never underestimate the value of your health history…

MedsWe understand that your time is valuable and that you would like to get to your dental matter at hand rather than filling out forms. Updating your medical information may seem like an imposition to you or you may not want to disclose certain personal health issues to us, but it is important to understand that it is with your safety in mind that we must collect this information and ask any pertinent follow-up questions.

What may seem like an irrelevant health issue to you may turn out to be the essential information we need when diagnosing, treatment planning, using materials in your mouth or prescribing medications. Knowing these details can save your life!

Patient health histories are clearly documented and updated regularly in our office. We need you to be as comfortable with us as you would be with your family physician. We would like to think that our patients appreciate that we hold their health in such high regard and that we do not omit this part of your care.

At Your Smile Dental Care we treat our patients as we do our own family and friends. Keeping current and accurate patient records help us deliver the very best care to you – our valuable patients.

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Yours in Better Dental Health,
Your Smile Dental Care Team 
(905) 576-4537
(416)783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com


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Your Stinky Floss

… and the debate continues

 

Even though it was last year that the Associated Press report suggested that flossing was overrated and unnecessary, we are still being asked by patients whether flossing is necessary or not.

 

The simplest answer seems to be answering their question with another question: “What do you suggest for cleaning plaque and food from in between teeth and under the gums?”

 

Although there are other effective interdental aids for cleaning in between teeth, flossing is the only device that can actually get into the tight area between teeth – assuming there is not already a space or gap.

 

With the toothbrush only able to reach 3 of the 5 tooth surfaces,
what does this AP report suggest people do to clean the other 2 surfaces?

 

People will have to excuse their dental care providers for getting a little defensive when the health benefits of flossing is called into question. At Your Smile Dental Care, we’ve seen the value that flossing brings to our patients’ oral care over the past 30 years and we will continue to dig in our heels on the subject.

 

We only need to use our common sense about flossing. If you have something in a body part that is causing a foul odour and inflammation that can lead to loss of surrounding tissue, infection and loss of said body part, would you not want to get it cleaned out?

 

Dental neglect is preventable and flossing is an inexpensive addition to
your
oral care routine to help you take care of your teeth and gums.

 

Practicing the best oral care you can with the tools available is important when it comes to your overall health. The link between gum disease and a number of other serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and immune system disorders has been well established.

 

Most of us are already making changing in our lifestyles so that we can live healthier and longer. A daily 2 minute routine seems like one of the easier changes we could be making.

The bottom line is this: There is research and studies that both sides of this argument can cite to continue their claims. No doubt, the debate will go on and on while the plaque and tartar build up and up!

 

Note to the Associated Press: For all those people that are able to remove meat and popcorn caught between their teeth using their floss – Is that evidence enough? How about how stinky our floss is after use – Is that evidence enough?

 

Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care  Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com


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What is a Periodontal Screening?

Does your smile pass the Test?

No doubt, you have heard how important it is to take care of your gums for the health of your teeth, but it can also affect your overall health. Gums, also known as gingiva, is a barrier tissue that covers and protects your teeth and the bone that surround and support your teeth.

When gums become tender, swollen and begin to bleed, it is usually a sign that the body’s immune system has been triggered.

Our mouth is home to a complex ecosystem of microorganisms. While much of the bacteria is our mouth are beneficial in preventing disease, there are some that are harmful if allowed to take over. The proper balance of these germs is critical for a healthy mouth. Certain processes take place everyday to keep this balance from being disrupted so that a response from our immune system is not triggered.

Some patients become aware that something is going on when they begin to notice bleeding when they brush their teeth. Others have had progressive gum disease for a long time and are surprised to learn of it.

Periodontal Screening

Watchful Eyes

Your dentist and dental hygienist are trained to not only help you maintain healthy mouth and teeth, but they are always monitoring your mouth for signs of the onset of gum disease. By routine – usually once a year – they will perform a gum evaluation called a periodontal screening.

During this screening, they are assessing the health of your supporting gum and bone structures and evaluating the look of your gums.

Healthy gums are pink and firm. Unhealthy gums are red, swollen, spongy-looking and may bleed. They also look for signs of gum loss (recession) and use a tiny instrument called a probe to measure the depths of the pockets between the teeth and gums. The pocket is a free space located around each tooth. In between each tooth it is where your floss enters for cleaning.

In a healthy mouth, this free space becomes attached gum about 2-3 mm of the way down. When bacteria is allowed to accumulate in this space inflammation occurs that triggers the immune system to send white blood cells. Unfortunately, the WBC not only destroys bacteria but gum tissue also. When the attachment portion of the gum tissue gets destroyed, the pocket become deeper and more bacteria, dental plaque and food can accumulate.

If left untreated or unnoticed, this pocketing will lead to bone loss. Eventually, enough bone is lost that the tooth becomes loose and cannot be saved.

Early detection is key

This is why it is important to identify this pocketing early in order to prevent further gum and bone loss. There are various treatment options available for gum disease and your dentist may refer you to see a gum specialist (Periodontist) for ongoing care.

Unfortunately, gum disease is called a “silent disease” that often goes unnoticed until a significant amount of damage occurs. This is usually the case for people who do not see a dentist routinely where the health of their teeth and gums can be monitored on a regular basis.

Periodontal disease has long been the leading cause of tooth loss in adults which is why every patient should have a periodontal screening performed annually. Early detection is key and can make all the difference.

The good news is that gum disease is an easily preventable disease. By simply brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and attending to regular dental check-ups and cleanings you are already helping your mouth and teeth.

To keep them in tip-top shape you need to start looking at your other habits:

  1. Meal frequency – Reduce snacking in between meals to allow your saliva to repair damage done by acid attacks. Read here
  1. Do not sip on sugary drinks or coffee/tea with milk, cream and/or sugar frequently or all day long.
  1. Use an antiseptic mouth rinse once a day
  1. Ensure that other medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease is monitored by your physician regularly and is under control.
  1. Consider a smoking cessation program as smokers are almost three times as likely as nonsmokers to have periodontitis
  1. Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet that  helps to control inflammation.

Suggestions:

  • green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards
  • fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
  • fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
  • nuts and legumes
  • olive oil
  1. If you suspect gum disease, never ignore the signs and see a dentist.

Signs:

  • red, swollen gums
  • tender and/or bleeding gums
  • loose gums that have pulled away from your tooth
  • sensitive teeth
  • pain when eating
  • receding gums; tooth appears longer
  • spaces between tooth and increased food impaction
  • loose fitting partial dentures
  • persistent bad breath

 

Keeping your gums healthy and strong is the simplest way to maintain your overall health and help to ensure you keep your teeth for life. If it has been a while since you have been to the dentist for a check-up or suspect you may be having problems with your gums please contact our office today at 905 – 5SMILES (905.576.4537). You’ll be glad you did!

Your in better dental health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com


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A Partial Glimpse into Dentures

Mithing some Teeth?
Here’s a Partial Solution!

24-03-2014 3-24-55 PMIt is unfortunate when you are missing several teeth and eating and smiling has become difficult – even embarrassing.

Finding a solution that is the right fit for you involves a number of considerations and your dentist will help you understand the factors involved in your specific-to-you situation.

Although implants are the most advanced tooth replacement, are cost-effective and are available for even the most complex cases, not every patient is an ideal candidate or can afford them at the time needed.

So, what are your other options then?

Perhaps, the idea of dental implants can be revisited at a later date. Until then, the spaces can be filled with bridges or dentures. Today, let’s take a look at your partial denture options:

 

Dentures are classified into 2 main categories: Full or Partial dentures.

 

Full Dentures – Are available for patients who have all of their teeth missing in the upper or lower arch or both. They are removable, but fortunately, full dentures can be secured to dental implants for added support and confidence while still being removable. They are made of acrylic and can be relined with more material as your jawbone changes in size and height due to missing roots.

 

Partial Dentures – Are designed for patients who are missing several, but not all the teeth in the upper or lower arch or both. There are several different types of partial dentures depending on design and materials used. They are supported by teeth and gum tissue, so the health of these are considered during selection. Each type of partial denture has their own set of pros and cons with some dentures using a combination of materials.

 

dnetures

 

Cast Metal:

– thin, metal alloy framework and claps

– more expensive

– metal not very aesthetically pleasing

– biocompatible metal, so hypoallergic for most people

– not usually harsh on health of gum tissues

– soft liner can be added to increase gum comfort

– preferred type of partial denture in terms of strength, durability, retention, thickness and fit.

– can have coloured plastic added that look like gums.

– more difficult to reline as gum and jaw changes unless soft liner added.

– more teeth can be added as needed.

 

Flexible

– made of nylon or another type of composite material

– moderate cost

– very aesthetically pleasing and can be colour blended to match gums

– very flexible and thin

– more comfortable in the mouth for chewing and speaking.

– hypoallergenic

– better on gum health than acrylic

– more damaging to natural teeth than a metal denture

– very good retention using clasps and undercuts

– more teeth can be added as needed, but some flexible material do not bond together well making the addition of new teeth ans relining more difficult and expensive.

 

Acrylic:

– made of a rigid plastic material

– much more affordable option as they are less expensive and easier to make.

– gum-coloured plastic is more pleasing than metal

– weaker and less durable than metal.

– plastic can pick up odours and stains

– can break more easily than Metal or Flexible

– plastic can be allergenic for some people

– more damaging to natural teeth than a metal denture

– can have more plastic material added if jaw/tissues change shape

– more teeth can be added as needed.

 

What You Should Know

In general, partial dentures:

  1. can interfere with speaking
  2. are less stable than natural teeth, bridges or dental implants
  3. may have supporting clasps that can break or bend, but they usually can be fixed readily
  4. need to be relined as jaw dimensions change
  5. need to be removed nightly to keep mouth tissues healthy
  6. prevent shifting of adjacent teeth until a more long-lasting, permanent solution is selected
  7. can wear down over time by natural teeth
  8. can be lost since they are removable
  9. need maintenance or repair of framework and components as they wear
  10. can be relined to accommodate changes to the underlying bone. Expense depends on type of material used to make partial denture.
  11. can have their fit impaired by any changes to the existing teeth because of decay, repair or loss.
  12. have artificial teeth that can be easily repaired or replaced.

 

 

Tendering in Tradeoffs

 

04-11-2014 2-04-12 PMNothing in life is as good as the real thing. There are tradeoffs that are made when we have to repair or replace our natural teeth. This is why caring for your teeth properly your whole life will increase the likelihood of “Teeth for Life!”

Every dentist has heard a patient say that they are just plain sick and tired of having to care for their teeth and think that by removing and replacing them with dentures they will become worry free of dental problems.

Wrong! They are trading one problem for another. Dentures come with their own set of issues, and, like teeth, they still require care yo prevent damage and prolong their life. Speaking, eating, comfort, mouth sores, and stability are just some of the issues you will likely face with dentures at one time or another.

How long a partial denture will last also depends on the proper care of existing teeth. There is no 100% perfect replacement for your natural teeth. The time and effort you put into caring for them is never a waste as it can make a huge difference in your dental health.

Furthermore, it is important to understand that dentures and bridges do not replace the missing tooth roots – only the visible tooth crown. Eventually, the jaw bone that once supported the roots will begin to shrink and reduce in overall size. This is an important consideration as dental implants need healthy jaw bone height and volume into which they are placed and eventually integrate into. The jawbone can be augmented using bone grafts, but this increases the complexity and cost of the dental implants.

 

Short Term vs Long Term

 

07-09-2015 6-03-36 PMEveryone knows the feeling of being faced with options. Decisions are not always easy and the more options available, the harder the decision. Your dentist is there to help you sift through all of the information, weigh all the factors and understand the tradeoffs you may have to make. Do you opt for an affordable solution that has limitations, a shorter lifespan and will require more on-going maintenance or do you invest now in the premium permanent option?

Being an informed patient who understands fully the pro and cons of each dental treatment option helps you move forward to the day when you can eat and smile with confidence.

Lastly, it’s Your Smile. Dental care is necessary for your remaining teeth. The function of chewing is meant to be distributed amongst many teeth. Expecting a few to do the job of many will result in wear and breakdown and you will run the risk of losing your remaining teeth through disease and dental collapse. If you are missing one or more teeth, see your dentist today to discuss your treatment options today. You’ll be glad you did!

 

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Your in Better dental health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com


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Aging Well

Top 10 Aging Smile Solutions:

Aging can affect your oral health just like it can your overall health. Even if you have taken care of your teeth meticulously over the years, your teeth can show the signs of aging and can make you look older than you are or feel!

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to correct or at least minimize these changes.

1. Dark Teeth – As you get older your teeth can appear slightly darker or dull looking. This is usually because the outer, whiter enamel begins to wear as the inner yellow dentin begins to thicken. Staining foods/drinks and previous injuries to your teeth can also cause discolouration. Solution: Tooth whitening or veneers can brighten your tired smile. Avoid foods/drinks that stain which can compound the natural darkening of your teeth.

Whitening

2. Dry mouth – Some medications can reduce the amount of saliva your body produces leaving you with a drier mouth. This interferes with chewing and increases the likelihood of gum disease and cavities. Solution: There are sugarless gums and oral products that you can find at your local pharmacy which can help increase saliva stimulation and fluoride rinses to help strengthen enamel. Speak with your family physician to find out if one of your medications is causing your dry mouth. Perhaps there is an alternative medication that can be prescribed.

3. Longer teeth – Ever heard the saying, “Long in the tooth?” If you are losing gum tissue (recession) more of your tooth begins to show. If this gum disease process continues, eventually the softer, more sensitive root portion of your tooth will become exposed. Solution: Fluoride varnishes/rinse and sensitive toothpastes can be used to decrease discomfort. Avoid hard, abrasive toothbrushes and toothpastes. Use lighter force when brushing. Consult your dentist to find out if you are experiencing the effects of gum disease. Therapy can be started to slow down this gum loss.

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4. Smaller Teeth – Teeth naturally wear over time, making them appear shorter and flatter. Clenching and grinding can also cause the biting surface of your teeth to wear down. Solution: A night guard can slow down this process and prevent further tooth loss. Filling and dental crowns can be placed to repair more extensive damage.

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5. Smaller jaw – Bones change over time and forces are constantly remodeling your facial bones. As the years pass, you will eventually lose volume in the size of your jaws. Losing one or more teeth without replacing them will also cause the jaw to shrink. Solution: Replace missing teeth as soon as possible to maintain jaw strength and size. Eating a well-balanced diet will help to ensure that you are receiving the nutrition necessary for bone growth and maintenance.

6. Sagging Facial Skin – If your jaws and surrounding facial muscles are shrinking and losing definition, the overlying skin may begin to sag causing you appear older than you really are. Solution: Aside from cosmetic facial surgery, proper nutrition, chewing and replacing missing teeth sooner than later are beneficial in reducing bone loss. We now know that replacing a missing tooth with a bridge or denture will restore chewing, but will also accelerate bone loss in the jaws. A dental implant, however, takes the place of and functions like the missing root while maintaining the valuable facial bone.

7. Tooth Sensitivity – The tissue that surrounds the root of your tooth is not as naturally calcified as enamel, is more sensitive to chemical and thermal changes in the mouth and is less decay-resistant. If your gums are receeding then more of the root will begin to show increasing the likelihood of decay and discomfort. Solution: Fluoride can be applied to these areas to strengthen the root tissue and the use of sensitivity toothpastes usually provide effective relief. It is important to keep plaque away from the weaker root surfaces in order to reduce the chance of cavities. Never use a hard toothbrush, abrasive toothpastes or forceful scrubbing tooth brushing action.

Muriel8. Chipped Front Teeth – Your broad, multi-rooted molars are designed for forceful chewing and grinding not your slender, smaller front teeth. If you have had several molars removed in the past and are now using your front teeth to chew your foods, you run the risk of breaking/chipping your front teeth, fracturing your root and/or loosening these teeth. Solution: Most chipped and broken front teeth can be repaired, but a permanent solution to restore proper chewing function must be undertaken to avoid continued breakdown and eventual loss of the front teeth. High quality dentures and implants can be made to replace missing molars. Loose or ill-fitting dentures are now a thing of the past now that they can be supported by an implant.

Note: Filling do not last forever. Maintain regular dental exams so that fillings can be checked and replaced/repaired if necessary.

9. Poor Mobility – Dexterity can become a serious issue as one ages. Arthritis, strokes and Alzheimers are just a few conditions that can making tooth brushing and flossing difficult. Solution: Caregivers must be diligent in their efforts to help Seniors with their care to prevent plaque and calculus build-up that can cause cavities and gum disease. Using less toothpaste and a toothbrush with a larger grip or an electric toothbrush can make tooth care easier.

10. Nutritional Deficiency – Missing teeth, tooth sensitivity, poor-fitting dentures and impaired taste can compromise the ability and desire to eat a well-balanced diet leading to nutritional deficiencies and a decline in overall health. Solution: Food may be easier to consume if they are softer, cut into smaller pieces, and more flavourful. Ill-fitting dentures can be modified or replaced and sensitive areas of the mouth repaired or protected with dental materials.

While we may be living longer, healthier lives, we are also facing many challenges in attending to and prioritizing all of our health care needs. Unfortunately, dental issues are among one of their most common health problems experienced by the aging population. With almost over 30 years of experience, we know first hand the frustrations, challenges and barriers that can hinder a person’s access to care. Whether you are someone who is looking to obtain optimal oral health as you begin to age or are someone who is looking to bring in your elderly parent/s for a long, overdue examination, at Your Smile Dental Care we are here to team up with you and offer you support and solutions while maintaining a strong focus on prevention.

Dr. Sam Axelrod offers a wide range of dental services to make it easier for you and your family to receive the care they need. Call us today at (905) 576-4537.

09-08-2014 9-12-36 AM

Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team


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The Consequence of Missing Teeth

16-03-2015 5-58-09 PMAs dentists, we hate it when we are faced with a situation where a tooth must need to be removed due to disease or injury. We are in the business of saving teeth, so when a tooth must be removed we become concerned for the remaining teeth and how the loss of this tooth will affect them…and it will!

Over time. missing teeth can result in serious complications, if left untreated.

A tooth here, a tooth there.

With the human dentition containing a total of 32 teeth (28 if the wisdom teeth have been removed), it is understandable why some people still believe that it is not essential to replace missing teeth when there are other teeth still left to do the job.

The Domino Effect

The loss of a permanent teeth leads to a whole host of other problems if it is not replaced in a timely manner. If it’s true that a picture paints a thousand words, then let’s look at the one below:

 

16-03-2015 3-31-21 PM

 

This is a typical scenario when even just one tooth is removed without being replaced.  At first glance, you can see some movement and tipping of surrounding teeth, but it’s the significance of this situation that needs further explanation.

Teeth are arranged in the jaw in such a manner so that they support one another and withstand the chewing forces together as a team. When one is lost without being replaced, it sets into motion a collapsing situation where teeth begin to move out of position and alignment. Convincing patients that are in pain or injured that they need immediate treatment is not difficult because their signs and symptoms are usually sudden and uncomfortable. A situation like this is not often ignored for too long. However, the destabilization that occurs with dental collapse happens over a period of time. The signs are not as obvious and damage is often taking place silently. It is easy to understand why treatment recommendations are sometimes ignored or postponed.

16-03-2015 6-26-10 PM

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1. Supraeruption (Over-eruption)

Although the process is more complex, quite simply put, when teeth first appear in the mouth they emerge out of the bone and gum tissue as their roots and surrounding bone grow and push them out. The only reason they stop is because they meet the teeth that are also emerging in the opposite arch. Their biting surfaces fits into one another like a puzzle and an even distribution of contact throughout the entire dentition allows for proper chewing and equalized forces.

When an opposing lower tooth is lost and not replaced it’s upper partner now has no opposition and begins to adapt to this new space by moving downward. In doing so, it loses contact with it’s neighbouring teeth on either side and begins to bite more heavily with the teeth in the opposing lower arch. The bite is thrown off it’s ability to distribute an equal force among all the teeth, and this can cause headaches, jaw tension, root exposure, tooth breakage, grinding, clenching and wear.

2. Tipping23-03-2015 9-44-50 AM

When a tooth is lost and not replaced, the bone shrinks in the space and the teeth on either side now have a vacant area in which to tip and move into. In doing so, they lose contact with their other adjacent teeth. Teeth are designed to touch one another to prevent food impaction that can damage tissue and cause cavities. If enough of the vacant space becomes occupied by tipping teeth then the space becomes too small to make replacement a viable option without modifying other teeth.

Loss of contact3. Loss of Contact

Teeth that are beside one another contact each other at their greatest bulge (curvature).  Think of the place between two teeth where your floss “snaps” through. This is the contact point. Although gum tissue hides the area underneath, there is actually a space between the gum and the tooth. Your floss cleans out any food and plaque that may accumulate here, but one of the reasons for a curvaceous shape of the tooth crown is to prevent too much food impaction by deflecting food away from this area. When teeth are in alignment with one another, this action works well and efficiently.

4. Plaque and Food Impaction

Aside from the first space that was created by the missing tooth, more spaces begin to develop as adjacent and opposing teeth begin to move out of their original positions. These teeth lose contact with their neighbouring teeth and leave spaces and pockets into which plaque and food can gather. Oftentimes food impaction occurs frequently and can be difficult to remove as the space continues to grow. Plaque and food accumulation leads to cavities, gum and bone destruction and gum disease.

5. Bone Loss

During the formation of teeth, bone grows in and around the root of the teeth for support and nourishment. Teeth are necessary to maintain healthy jaw bone. When a tooth is removed there is no longer the need for bone and it resorbs (shrinks) away. Healthy, dense bone is an important factor when considering the placement of implants for replacement. The longer you leave the space, the smaller the height and width of the bone becomes. Bone loss also occurs in the areas where adjacent and opposing teeth have lost contact with their neighbouring teeth because of the destructive nature of the gum disease process. Even the floor of your sinus bone collapses into spaces where there used to be teeth. Bone loss can significantly impact your chances of becoming a good candidate for any future dental implant placement.
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Complications

Chewing/Nutrition – When teeth are missing, we chew in the areas of the mouth where teeth are present. Sometimes, people have to use teeth that are smaller, more slender and not designed for the chewing capacity of large molars. Other times, remaining teeth are loose or uncomfortable to use. As the dentition collapses over time, chewing can become difficult and nutritional deficiencies arise.

Gum Disease – Gum disease is a process that happens over time and is usually silent until a lot of destruction is done. Missing teeth create the perfect condition for gum disease to form and progress. Teeth stabilize one another and protect the gum tissue that surround them. In turn, the gum tissue and ligaments protect and secure the tooth to the bone socket. When teeth move and create spaces, food and plaque begin to accumulate in the spaces under the gum and eventually destroy enough tissue to create a pocket into which more food and plaque can gather. Cleaning out this pocket can be difficult and the space continues to grow destroying gum and bone along the way. When enough tissue is lost the tooth starts becoming loose and you may face the loss of another tooth. Gum disease and tooth loss can be a vicious cycle. Trying to control and correct all of the factors that allow this disease process to progress can be exasperating.

23-03-2015 10-41-47 AMBone level in an unhealthy and healthy mouth

Increased food and plaque accumulation – When teeth lose contact with one another the space that forms between them allows for food to easily collect in the area. Food impaction can injure 23-03-2015 11-32-01 AMgum tissue and cause bad breath. Continual food impaction can cause cavities, destroys gum tissue and surrounding bone creating large pocketing into which more debris can gather. Because this cycle of destruction happens below the gum line, it can go unnoticed for a long time. Only regular visits to the dentist will allow you to get baselines charted and monitored.

Tooth Decay – With increased food impaction comes a higher incidence of tooth decay. Food impaction can become a chronic situation. You will likely feel the need to floss after almost every meal and food can become submerged so far into the gum pocket that it becomes difficult to removed. Decay can go unnoticed until pain or a dental exam.

Sinus collapseSinus Collapse – When an upper tooth is removed, over time, the floor of the sinus begins to collapse into the space where the tooth root used to occupy interfering with the space needed for a future dental implant.

Root Exposure – The root of the tooth is covered with a tissue that is much less calcified and more sensitive than enamel. As a tooth moves out of it’s position when it over-erupts or tips more of the root tissue will become exposed. Patients often notice more sensitivity to hot and cold sensations and a higher incidence of cavities along this softer root portion of the tooth.

Muscle Tension – When remaining teeth move out of alignment the whole bite can be thrown off. Forces may not be evenly distributed among the teeth and some teeth may meet before the others do when chewing. This imbalance causes extra stress on facial muscles and joints (TMJ) that are also compensating. Tense muscles results in headaches, neck pain, earaches, upper back and shoulder discomfort.

TMJ – An uneven bite can quickly become a TMJ issue. Clicking, popping jaw joints, grating sounds, pain in the cheek muscles and uncontrollable jaw or tongue movements are not uncommon side affects of the missing teeth.

Fracture – The uneven bite that can occur with missing teeth often causes a few teeth to bear the biting forces that should ideally be shared by all teeth. This overload of forces can cause teeth to chip and fracture. If a fracture runs through the tooth and into the root surface then the tooth cannot be save. Unfortunately, it will become another tooth that must be removed.

Facial Collapse – Our face shape and size changes as we age and although facial collapse is usually more pronounced in someone who has lost most or all of their teeth, patients who have lost several teeth may begin to notice a “caved” in look to their face compared to others of their own age group who have more teeth.

 

Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for missing teeth that will restore the beauty and function to your mouth. It used to be that dental bridges were the most common way to replace missing teeth. Nowadays, thanks to advanced technology, dental implant are the most permanent, long term treatment solution.

Dental Implants are so effective that many of our patients who choose this option tell us that their implant is completely undistinguishable from their other natural teeth in both appearance and function!

Been a while?

Ignoring the certainty of dental collapse now will eventually leave you facing more extensive and expensive dentistry in the future. Your options will also be limited if you experience bone loss and collapse over the years. If it was many years ago that your had teeth removed and are wondering what can be done now, don’t delay any further. Your dentist will evaluate your dentition and let you know if your bite can still be restored and any missing teeth replaced.

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Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533


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Dental Implant Procedure

Have Missing Teeth?  Loose Dentures?
Thinking about getting Dental Implants?

28-03-2016 2-39-09 PMDental Implants are modern dentistry’s highly successful, long-lasting, and natural-looking substitute for missing teeth or for supporting dentures. Dental implants actually fuse directly to your jaw bone becoming one with your living bone structure. In doing so, implants help to maintain your jawbone – which would otherwise begin to disintegrate once your tooth is removed.

So What Exactly are Dental Implants?

Simply put, your natural tooth is comprised of two main parts – the root portion, which is the part of the tooth in the bone and the crown; what you see in the mouth. Dental Implants replace the root portion of your lost tooth then an additional portion is placed that extends above the gum line to support whatever type of final restoration is needed such as a crown, bridge or denture.

How do I begin the Implant Process?

The dental implant process involves several steps – each one essential to ensure the long term success of the implant and final restoration.

Consultation Appointment – The first thing you would do is to let your dentist know that you are interested in finding out more about dental implants. Your dentist will discuss your specific dental issues with you, take some diagnostic x-rays and let you know if your dental and medical health makes you a good candidate for this type of procedure. Not everyone can have a dental implant placed since you need to have a certain amount of bone available to support an implant. Your dentist will check to see how much bone volume and density you have in the area where your tooth is missing. If you have deficient bone levels, you may be able to have a bone regeneration procedure done which is designed to help restore bone to an area.

Referral – If your dentist does not provide Implant dentistry, they will arrange a referral to another dentist that does. You will probably then have the final restoration, that is placed on top of the implant, done by your own family dentist.

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Diagnostic Appointment
– After your initial consultation visit, the dentist will decide the type of dental implant that best suits your needs and take some additional x-rays so that precise measurements can be determined. After the consultation and diagnostic x-rays, the process for dental implants involves two main surgical procedures at least 4-6 months apart.

3-22-2016 10-18-44 AMFirst Stage – At this appointment, the implant post is inserted into your jawbone. The site is then closed with sutures. This stage can usually be performed using local anesthetic. You will then return to the office about 10 days later to have the sutures removed and the surgical site examined. The site is then left to heal for several months. During this time, bone cells grow around the post so that the jawbone and post become fully and firmly fused together. This fusion period is essential so that the implant will not move and is strong enough to support the final type of crown, bridge or denture that will be place on it.

Second Stage – At this stage, the implant site is then reassessed and evaluated to determine if the post and bone have fully fused with one another. If fusion has been successful, then another type of post, called an abutment, is placed into the implant post. This abutment extends above the gum line and an impression is taken. This impression is used by the dental laboratory to create your custom crown, bridge or denture.

Third Stage – Your final crown or bridge is cemented permanently to the abutment. If you are having a denture made, it can be made to be permanently fixed to this abutment or a removable alternative can be made.

Night Guard Protection – If you have a grinding or clenching habit,  your dentist will probably recommend that your wear a night guard while you sleep to protect your implants and your investment from the destructive forces of this habit.

Follow Up Visits – Dental Implants are to be cared for as you would your own natural teeth. Maintaining your regular dental re-care visits is crucial to the implant’s success. Like any body part that is replaced, attending to re-examination appointments allows the dentist to evaluate the stability and health of the implant, bone and gum. Understanding that all of the teeth and their supporting bone/gum structures work together and support one another will help you appreciate why the health of all the parts of your oral cavity have a direct affect on your implant also.

Success

Dental implants have the highest success rate of any other tooth replacement option. Implants have been around in dentistry for well over 50 years! They are designed to last a lifetime, so they are well worth the investment. The great news is that if you ever need to have the crown, bridge or denture replaced or replaced, it can be done so without ever even affecting the implant itself!

Understand however, that the long-term success of any body replacement part requires regular re-care examinations and maintenance so that the site and surrounding areas can be closely monitored for health. Of course your mouth is not a car, but let’s use this analogy so we can drive (excuse the pun) this very important point home.  You would never buy a new car then drive it off the lot never to give consideration to it’s future maintenance. Your regularly maintained dental visits allow your dentist to inspect the implant for the presence of inflammation, bone loss, mobility etc. as well as the integrity/functioning of the restoration that is attached to the implant.  As with any unhealthy condition in the body, early detection is key to effective and successful repair treatment. At your own risk and peril do you ignore this recommendation.

Book Your Consultation today:

Our team at Your Smile Dental Care will be happy to discuss the entire dental implant process with you and answer any questions you may have. You can contact us at (905) 5SMILES to schedule a consultation with Dr. Axelrod to see if dental Implants are the right choice for you and Your Smile.

 

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Yours in Better Dental Health,

Dr. Sam Axelrod & the Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com