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All Posts in Category: Dental Procedures

Periodontal therapy fuels the patient’s brush with good health

Dental phobia, according to the website colgate.com, is far more than the condition represented by those two simple words. It’s estimated that between 9 and 15 percent of Americans — 30 to 40 million people — avoid dentist visits because of fear surrounding the prospect for pain. They’ll go to whatever lengths to skirt care, often braving broken teeth and gum infections in the meantime. They’re not only anxious. For them, the visit represents bona fide terror. And the longer the wait, the greater the chance for complications that lead to infection and tooth loss.

Big Word, Bigger Complication

Eric Mehler, DDS, has built relationships in Sunrise around just such cases, providing compassionate understanding amid the patient’s anxiety. He’s also seen the effects of dental neglect (according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, adults between the ages of 20 and 64 lose an average of seven permanent teeth through inadequate care on the part of the patient). An important corollary, he says, lies in the fact that health compromises in other parts of the body can impact the gums and teeth. Among the ill-effects of neglect is periodontitis, a big word for a bigger complication. It’s popularly known as gum disease, and it can destroy gums and even bone; the symptoms can appear without warning. It occurs in four stages, with the earliest seen in gingivitis, or swollen, bleeding gums. Bone loss is thought not to have occurred at this point, making the condition reversible. Stages two and three indicate the onset of periodontal disease, with bleeding often the result of a simple brushing or flossing. Stage four has occurred when bacteria has spread between the teeth and into the gums, possibly resulting in loosening of teeth and pain on chewing. Laser therapy or surgery may be indicated in attempts to reach the infection.

Scaling and Root Planing

Another form of such extreme therapy involves scaling and root planning, a nonsurgical method wherein the dentist or hygienist debrides the plaque, tartar and toxins from the teeth and root surfaces, then smooths the rough areas on the roots to keep foreign bodies from re-adhering (the practitioner often uses a local anesthetic to perform the procedure). The healthiest gum tissue fits easily around the teeth, with a 1- to 2-millimeter tissue depth being ideal. A depth of 4 millimeters or more can invite periodontitis. Moreover, the American Dental Association has cited increasing evidence linking gum disease with other health problems. Tooth plaque, it’s found, can eventually spread to other parts of the body, such as the heart. The association also notes links between dental problems and diabetes, dementia, respiratory ailments, and certain cancers. Meanwhile, the mouth-body connection is well-established in some circles. Hippocrates insisted that he saw an instance of arthritis cured by the pulling of a tooth. The British conducted an adult dental health survey in one community in 1968 and found that nearly 75 percent of adults over 55 had none of their own teeth, having them excised out of an abundance of caution. But in today’s periodontics sphere, follow-up visits every two to four months will usually reveal that the gum tissue has become strong again and that bleeding has slowed or stopped. More advanced conditions may require surgery, but scaling and planning are also designed to reduce the extent of surgery.

You’re On Your Own

Dr. Mehler reminds patients that they can do plenty to prevent periodontitis. Brushing for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste; replacement of toothbrushes every three months; daily flossing of teeth and bridgework; and the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes go a long way in assisting the practitioner in his efforts to reverse the effects of gum disease. As to the toothbrush itself, electric and manual models have their own advantages; the American Dental Association approves either instrument that’s proven safe. The bristles vibrate or rotate on the electric type, micro-moving every time you move the brush. Studies show that electric toothbrushes are more effective against plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. One study revealed that after three months of use, the plaque was reduced by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent. Electric brushes also may be helpful to those with mobility issues, such as arthritis, and with appliances such as braces. Meanwhile, electric toothbrushes are more expensive than manuals. Prices range anywhere from $15 to $250 a brush. New replacement brush heads usually come in packs of multiples and cost between $10 and $45. Disposable electric toothbrushes cost $5 to $8 plus the cost of batteries. Meanwhile, manual toothbrushes have been around since 1938, and the first bristles were made of nylon. Patients can get one almost anywhere for $1 to $3. One study found that people were more likely to brush too hard with a manual, and brushing too hard can damage the gums and teeth. In either case, Dr. Mehler says, the patient is the central figure in the prevention of gum disease and other oral conditions. He and his hygienist staff invite Sunrise into a lasting partnership toward the preservation of a vital resource in the best possible quality of life.

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How To Take care of Dental Crowns and Bridgework

Missing or broken teeth affect how you bite and chew. Also, depending on their position, they have a negative impact on your smile. That is why it is important to restore or replace them using cosmetic dental treatments such as crowns and bridgework. However, the longevity of these treatments is dependent on how you care for them. Read on to find out more.

What are dental crowns and bridges?
Crowns and bridges are dental prosthetic devices. They are different from dentures because you cannot remove them – they are cemented onto implants or existing teeth. Since you cannot take them out daily for cleaning, like dentures, they require you maintain high oral hygiene.

How do crowns and bridges work?
A dental crown covers a damaged tooth. It not only strengthens a damaged tooth but also improves its shape and appearance as well as its overall appearance. Most crowns are made of porcelain and ceramic so that they can match the appearance of teeth.

However, some are made from acrylic, gold, and other metal alloys. You may prefer gold or metal alloys since they are stronger than porcelain and ceramic. Or, you may have your dentist in Sunrise install a porcelain crown bonded to a metallic shell. Such a crown will be strong and attractive.

Dental practitioners use crowns to:
• Restore broken or fractured teeth.
• Conceal discolored and poorly shaped teeth.
• Cover teeth after root canal treatment.
• Strengthen weak teeth to protect them from fracturing.

Bridges are used when you are missing a tooth or more. Replacing missing teeth is important as the gaps may cause the remaining teeth to shift or rotate. The result is an inconvenient bite. Also, the gaps left by missing teeth can cause gum disease and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues.

Bridges are created using crowns. They span the gap left by a tooth using at least three crowns. Two crowns are placed on the healthy teeth on both sides of the gap. In dentistry, the healthy teeth are called abutment teeth. They support the third crown which is placed in the gap. The third crown is referred to as a pontic.

Caring for crowns and bridges
Like natural teeth, crowns and bridges require care so that they can remain healthy and functional for a long time.

After-care guidelines for crowns and bridges
Taking care of crowns and bridges should start as soon as you leave the dentist’s office. Their installation requires the use of anesthesia. Therefore, make sure you do not accidentally bite the sides of your cheeks and your tongue. Also, until the anesthesia wears off, avoid chewy foods.

Note that, a temporary crown or bridge is used before a permanent one is placed. The temporary crowns and bridges require extra care as they can shift and dislodge easily. In case the temporary crown feels uncomfortable, see your dentist immediately. Most importantly, do not attempt to glue back a temporary crown or bridge if it comes off.

On the temporary crown, avoid chewing hard and sticky foods such as candy, gum and hard crusty bread. You can brush your teeth as usual. However, avoid flossing.

Long-term care guidelines for crowns and bridges
After the placement of the permanent crown, watch out for the following conditions to keep the crown in good health:

Sensitivity
Your dentist will use dental cement to fix the crown or bridge permanently. The cement might cause irritation, which then leads to sensitivity to cold. Use sensitivity toothpaste to combat the irritation. After a few days, the irritation should not be a problem.

Oral hygiene
There is a common misconception that crowned teeth and bridges no longer need maintenance. Note that, a crown does not replace the whole tooth. The area under the gumline is still vulnerable to decay. Therefore, you still have to brush and floss. If you have a history of a high rate of tooth decay or periodontal disease, you should use high fluoride content toothpaste or fluoride rinse.

Fracturing
Crowns and bridges are made from strong materials, which do not discolor. However, just like a normal tooth, these materials could still fracture. That is why dentists recommend that you don’t do anything with a crown or bridge that you would not do with your natural teeth. For instance, do not chew ice. The extremely cold temperature makes porcelain and ceramic more vulnerable to fractures.

Pontic cleaning
The area under the pontic – the third crown placed in the gap left by the missing tooth – requires additional cleaning. The area can be hard to reach with normal brushing and flossing. That is why dentists recommend a bridge threader, which is a type of thread you can use to floss the area under the pontic.

Unusual bite
If your bite seems off or unusual after a few days of the installation of the crown, go back to your dentist for an adjustment.

How long do dental crowns and bridges last?
Ideally, crowns and bridges are supposed to be permanent. Unfortunately, sometimes they do fall off due to trauma or injury, and lack of proper care. You should be especially careful with the teeth supporting the crowns. If such teeth get damaged or decay, the crowns will fail.

To ensure your crown or bridge lasts a long time, visit a dentist for regular checkups. The dentist will assess the crown for signs of damage, thereby preventing potential problems. Are you looking for a dentist in Sunrise? Eric Mehler, DDS provides exceptional patient care and is one of the leading dental practices in the area. Contact them today.

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Understanding Why Dental Crowns and Bridgework are Still Used Despite the Availability of Implants

When you have damaged or missing teeth, dental crowns and bridgework are the only choices before resorting to dental implants or dentures. Dental crowns and bridgework offer superior alternatives to partial dentures that are difficult to clean and install. Dentures are too soft and can be scratched if you brush them using a regular toothbrush. This means that the partial denture piece has to be installed and uninstalled frequently, soaked, and eventually replaced. The metal retainers that hold them in place can irritate gums and cause gingivitis. Simply removing the teeth and living with large gaps is embarrassing and can significantly alter speech, the shape of your face, and eating habits.

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Root Canal Treatments: Debunking the Myths

When you find out that you need a root canal procedure, it’s easy to let fear get the better of you. After all, there is a great deal of misinformation out there that’s capable of creating panic. However, by learning the facts and dismissing the myths, you’ll discover there’s really no reason to fear the procedure. Before you let rumors get the better of you, learn the facts of this beneficial dental treatment.

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zoom teeth whitening procedure in sunrise florida

Zoom! Teeth Whitening Treatment in Sunrise, Florida

Fine Cosmetic Dentistry Services in Sunrise, Florida
It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in Zoom! teeth whitening or in dental bonding. Eric Mehler General & Cosmetic Dentistry in Sunrise, Florida can tend to your wishes. Eric Mehler, DDS is a trusted local dental practice that specializes in all sorts of cosmetic dentistry treatments that can help patients feel terrific about their smiles. If you dream of having teeth that are sparkling white and clean, you should learn all about Zoom! teeth whitening and all that it can do for you.

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root canal specialist sunrise

Root Canal Treatment-Understanding This Dental Treatment Procedure

Nothing can be scarier than having a root canal. But as scary as having a root canal can be, having a professional root canal specialist take care of your root canal can offer plenty of relief and peace of mind. Eric Mehler, DDS offers modern density just to make root canal treatment a straightforward process for our dental patients. We truly value our patients’ relationships, thus we strive to provide exceptional care you can never get from any dentist in situated in Sunrise, Florida. We work hard towards ensuring you feel at ease by offering exceptionally great patient care in a convenient, relaxed atmosphere.

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dental resolutions

The 14 New Year’s Resolutions Your Smile Wants You to Keep!

Discover how to have your best and brightest year for teeth ever

You’re at the party. The space is beautifully lit, people are dancing, the drinks are flowing, and everyone’s dressed to impress. After all, it is New Year’s Eve. Good cheer hangs in the air like perfume. You can practically taste the festivities and hopeful joy for the upcoming year.

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7 Amazing Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Can Enhance Self-Esteem

cosmetic dentistry in Sunrise, FL

The goal of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the appearance of your teeth, bite or gums by focusing on the shape, size, alignment, color, and position of your teeth.

Sharing your smile with the world has multiple proven benefits to you and those around you, but if you’re too embarrassed by your teeth to smile, you’re missing out on these benefits.

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