Thursday, October 27, 2011

Periodontal Disease and Cardiovascular Health

Researchers have discovered that if you have periodontal disease, you may have an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and infective endocarditis.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the teeth, gums, and bone that surrounds your teeth. It's caused by the bacteria that live in plaque, the sticky film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth. The bacteria infect the tooth roots and cause pockets of infection to form in the gums. This results in red and swollen gums that bleed when you brush or floss.

The connection to cardiovascular health

Even with early periodontal disease, bleeding gums can create an open doorway that allows harmful bacteria to enter your bloodstream. More advanced periodontal disease can be even worse. It can be compared to a nine-square-inch open wound around your teeth, offering significant opportunity for harmful bacteria to enter your blood.

Research indicates that the bacteria associated with periodontal disease may cause inflammation in the arteries. This inflammation could lead to the buildup of fatty deposits and the formation of blood clots that can block your arteries and even trigger a heart attack.

These deposits may also build up in the carotid arteries in your neck. In serious cases, if these fat deposits break apart and are carried away in your bloodstream, they can lodge in your brain, block vessel, and cause a stroke.

Additionally, some studies have also shown that when plaque bacteria enter the bloodstream through infected gums, you may develop a heart condition call infective endocarditis. This is potentially fatal bacteria infection that inflames the sac around the heart, the valves of the heart, ant the heart muscle itself.

So as you can see, it's vital to your overall health, as well as your oral health, to keep your gums healthy. If we determine that you have periodontal disease, we'll see you frequent professional cleanings and recare appointments, and we'll work with you to create a suitable oral hygiene routine.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

CEREC Crowns & Partial Crowns, One-visit dentistry

Technology today is changing our everyday lives. Many people, however, aren’t aware that technology also is impacting dentistry in new and exciting ways. Cutting-edge innovations in dental instruments are requiring less time in the dental chair, causing less discomfort and creating satisfying results. One breakthrough instrument, called CEREC, allows dentists to quickly restore damaged teeth with natural-colored ceramic fillings, saving patients time and inconvenience in one appointment.

How does the instrument work?

CEREC uses CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) technology, incorporating a camera, computer and milling machine in one instrument. The dentist uses a special camera to take an accurate picture of the damaged tooth. This optical impression is transferred and displayed on a color computer screen, where the dentist uses CAD technology to design the restoration. Then CAM takes over and automatically creates the restoration while the patient waits. Finally, the dentist bonds the new restoration to the surface of the old tooth.

What does this innovation mean for a patient?

A tooth-colored restoration means no more silver fillings discoloring smiles. The restoration is natural-looking, compatible with tissue in the mouth, anti-abrasive and plaque-resistant. Dentists no longer need to create temporaries or take impressions and send them to a lab. Because of this, the traditional second visit has been eliminated.

The CEREC has over two decades of clinical research and documentation to support the technology. The restorations have been proven precise, safe and effective.

                                                          THE CAD/CAM COMPUTER
                                                            THE MILLING UNIT

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Importance of Regular Dental Exams

Because of our commitment to preventive dental care, we recommend a checkup every six months. Most dental problems start small, but then they go through a rapid growth phase. Regular checkups enable us to catch these problems before they become serious conditions:
  • Plaque buildup
  • Gingivitis
  • Cavities
  • Cracked or leaking fillings
  • Bad bite
Serious conditions begin as treatable problems

Plaque, which is a sticky film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth, can harden in as little at 24 hours to become tartar. Even with proper brushing and flossing, most people aren't able to remove all the plaque every day. The result is tartar buildup.

Plaque and tartar buildup are the main cause of gingivitis, which is an inflammation that make gums swell and bleed. Gingivitis is reversible, but if it's not treated, it can lead to periodontal disease, which is an infection that causes receding gums, bone loss, and sometimes tooth loss.

The bacteria in plaque also cause tooth decay. A small cavity can easily be fixed, but if it grows into the softer inner dentin layer of the tooth it can reach the pulp chamber very quickly, causing pain and further infection.

Failed fillings can also lead to more decay. Unless it's treated early, decay will most likely lead to a need for root canal treatment and crowns.

Misaligned or missing teeth can contribute to problems with the jaw joint, such as pain and soreness, difficulty in opening and closing your mouth, earaches.

Regular checkups allow us to treat problems early

To keep these dental problems from becoming serious, we recommend twice yearly checkups. Regular cleanings enable us to keep tartar from accumulating on your teeth. During your regular visits, we will also perform a thorough exam to check your gums, measure the bone levels around your teeth, look for cavities, check your restorations, and examine your bite.

Regular exams are the best way to eliminate the growth phase of dental problems, and minimize the time and money you spend in the dental chair.

Copyright 2005. Patterson Dental Supply, Inc. All rights reserved. #PD 1001 10/31/04