Posts for category: Oral Health
You might be surprised to learn that dentists have been using dental implants to replace lost teeth for more than four decades. Implants are so versatile that they can be used to replace one tooth or a whole set of teeth. Perhaps you’re interested in dental implants, but are they right for you? Dr. Robert Hoffmaster at Hoffmaster Dental in York, PA, specializes in dental implants.
Why Are Dental Implants So Popular?
Dental implants are not only popular with York, PA, dental patients, but also with dental patients throughout the United States and Europe. Dental implants are durable and if you take care of them, they can last a lifetime. They are also the closest replacement you can get to your natural teeth in terms of functionality, comfort, convenience, and appearance.
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
Dental implants are not for everyone, but if you are interested in them as an option for your missing teeth, talk to Dr. Hoffmaster and he will be able to tell you if you are a good candidate for dental implants. To help you figure this out, here are some things you should discuss:
- Your medical history: This is important because if you have a history of bone disease, liver disease, periodontal disease, or you have recently had radiation or chemotherapy, you may not be a candidate for dental implants.
- Your bone quality: Bone density differs from person to person. The condition of your bones will depend on your overall health, your age, your history of gum disease, and lost teeth. Generally, the denser your jawbones are, the more stable your implants will be. If you do have signs of bone erosion, you may be able to have a bone graft prior to dental implants.
If you are a suitable candidate for dental implants, Dr. Hoffmaster will explain the procedure and the timeline. How long it will take for the full treatment to be complete will depend on the number of dental implants you are having and the condition of your jawbone.
If you are a York, PA, resident and you would like to find out more about dental implants, you can call Dr. Hoffmaster on 717-846-9428 to request a consultation.
Tooth decay is a destructive disease that could rob you of your teeth. But it doesn't appear out of nowhere—a number of factors can make it more likely you'll get cavities.
But the good news is you can be proactive about many of these factors and greatly reduce your risk of tooth decay. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to point you in the right direction for preventing this destructive disease.
Do you brush and floss every day? A daily habit of brushing and flossing removes buildup of dental plaque, a bacterial film on teeth that's the top cause for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Hit or miss hygiene, though, can greatly increase your risk for developing a cavity.
Do you use fluoride? This naturally occurring chemical has been proven to strengthen tooth enamel against decay. Many locations add fluoride to drinking water—if your area doesn't or you want to boost your fluoride intake, use toothpastes, mouthrinses or other hygiene products containing fluoride.
Do you smoke? The nicotine in tobacco constricts blood vessels in the mouth so that they provide less nutrients and antibodies to the teeth and gums. Your mouth can't fight off infection as well as it could, increasing your risk of dental diseases like tooth decay.
Do you have dry mouth? This isn't the occasional bout of “cotton mouth,” but a chronic condition in which the mouth doesn't produce enough saliva. Saliva neutralizes mouth acid, so less of it increases your risk for decay. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by medications or other underlying conditions.
Do you snack a lot between meals? Sugary snacks, sodas or energy drinks can increase oral bacteria and acidity that foster tooth decay. If you're snacking frequently between meals, your saliva's acid neutralizing efforts may be overwhelmed. Coordinate snacking with mealtimes to boost acid buffering.
You can address many of these questions simply by adopting a daily habit of brushing and flossing, regular dental cleanings and checkups, and eating a healthy, “tooth-friendly” diet. By reducing the risk factors for decay, you can avoid cavities and preserve your teeth.
If you would like more information on preventing tooth decay, 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 “Tooth Decay: How to Assess Your Risk.”
Daily oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings help keep your natural teeth and gums healthy and disease-free. But they're also a priority with dental implants. Here's why.
Unlike other restorations, an implant replaces both a tooth's crown and root, the latter by way of a titanium metal post imbedded into the jawbone. Bone cells grow and adhere to the metal surface, forming a secure and lasting hold.
But although quite durable, this hold differs significantly from natural teeth, which are actually held in place by a tough, elastic tissue called the periodontal ligament. The attachment of the ligament's tiny fibers to both tooth and bone secure the tooth in place, as well as supply it and the surrounding gums with nutrients and defensive antibodies to fight infection.
Implants don't have this relationship with the periodontal ligament. The tissues around an implant are thus susceptible to an aggressive form of periodontal (gum) disease called peri-implantitis. This kind of gum infection can progress rapidly, leading eventually to bone loss and possible failure of the implant.
Daily brushing and flossing of both natural and implant-supported teeth lowers the risk of gum disease, particularly peri-implantitis. It's also imperative that you undergo regular cleanings, at least every six months, with your dentist or dental hygienist.
These, however, won't be the typical cleanings performed on natural teeth. Hygienists don't use metal cleaning implements to remove plaque and tartar deposits because they can scratch the metal materials of the implant and crown. These microscopic scratches can then attract bacteria that trigger gum infections. Instead, they'll use instruments made of plastics or resins.
Hygienists also rely heavily on ultrasonic equipment that vibrates plaque loose on or around implants, which are then flushed away with water. The tips used with these instruments are also typically made of nylon or plastic sheathing.
Even with the extra hygiene care needed, implants still enjoy a 95% or higher survival rate after ten years. You can ensure your implants achieve that level of durability by keeping them clean and seeing your dentist at the first sign of a gum infection.
If you would like more information on maintaining dental implants, 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 “Dental Implant Maintenance.”
Think no one is looking at your smile when you’re out in public? Nick Jonas’ recent experience might convince you otherwise. While the Jonas Brothers were performing during the 2020 Grammys, fans watching on television picked up on some dark matter between his teeth.
To say Twitter lit up is an understatement. For many, it was that thing you couldn’t unsee: Forget the performance, what was that between his teeth? Jonas later fessed up by tweeting, “…At least you all know I eat my greens.”
We’re sure Nick and his brothers take care of their teeth, as most any high-profile entertainer would. You can probably attribute his dental faux pas to trying to squeeze in some nourishment during a rushed performance schedule.
Still, the Grammy incident (Spinachgate?) shows that people do notice when your teeth aren’t as clean as they should be. To avoid that embarrassment, here are some handy tips for keeping your teeth looking their best while you’re on the go.
Start with a clean mouth. You’re more apt to collect food debris during the day if you have built-up plaque on your teeth. This sticky bacterial biofilm attracts new food particles like a magnet. Remove plaque by thoroughly brushing and flossing before you head out the door.
Rinse after eating. Although your saliva helps clear leftover food from your mouth, it may not adequately flush away all the debris. You can assist this process by swishing and rinsing with clean water after a meal.
Keep a little floss handy. Even after rinsing, stubborn bits of food can remain lodged between teeth. So just in case, keep a small bit of emergency floss (or a floss pick) in your purse or wallet to remove any debris you see or feel between your teeth.
Watch what you eat. Some foods—like popcorn, sticky snacks or fibrous vegetables—are notorious for sticking in teeth. Try to avoid eating these foods right before a public appearance where your smile may be critical.
And here’s an added bonus: Not only will these tips help keep your smile attractive on the go, they’ll also help keep it healthy. Rinsing with water, for example, helps lower your mouth’s acid level after eating, a prime factor in tooth decay. And flossing, both as a regular practice and for occasional stuck food, decreases plaque and subsequently your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Remember, a healthy mouth is the starting place for a beautiful smile. Keep it that way with dedicated hygiene habits at home or on the go.
You don't have to choose between a smile that is beautiful and one that is healthy. A cosmetic dentist bridges the gap between preventive care and a smile you're proud to show off. To find out how it can help your specific case contact Dr. Robert Hoffmaster of Hoffmaster Dental in York, PA.
Perhaps what's most commonly associated with cosmetic dentistry is professional tooth whitening. Your dentist will achieve better faster results in an office visit than you can with over the counter products.
Chips, Cracks, and Cavities
Your cosmetic dentist may employ a composite resin bonding to sculpt your teeth back to their natural look. This is also useful in fillings for the same reason, avoiding that traditional silver appearance.
Deeper cavities can also be repaired through the use of inlays and onlays, a treatment for restoring the tooth with lab-made materials. They fill in the gap between regular fillings and complete crowns.
Full Smile Makeovers
Full smile makeovers can be achieved with cosmetic dentistry through the use of veneers. These bonded onto your teeth in a similar way to crowns, but these are thinner caps that don't require as much of your tooth to be reshaped.
But the result is a complete smile makeover. Perfect if you have a smile with a few imperfections.
Dental implants can replace an entire tooth, or a full denture, in a very permanent way. By fusing titanium posts onto the bone of your jaw, your dentist can attach a crown that will act and look, and feel, just like your natural teeth.
Your cosmetic dentist can help you with all those smile imperfections through a variety of treatments. Call today to find out which is best for you. Contact Dr. Hoffmaster of Hoffmaster Dental in York, PA, by dialing (717) 846-9428.