March 2nd, 2019
Many questions follow when dental implants are brought up as a possible treatment option to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Many folks have heard that you can get your implants and teeth all in one day and wonder if that is really true. The answer is yes and no.
There are two different times that implants are placed: at the same time that the tooth is removed, or at a time after the tooth has been extracted. It takes the bone about 6 months to fill in the area of the extraction site. If you are not getting an implant right when the tooth is removed, it is advisable to wait at least six months to have the implant placed (or more if your dental surgeon advises).
When implants are placed the same day, ("immediate implant") as the tooth or teeth are removed, you can have a temporary tooth or temporary fixed denture made so that you have something right away attached to the implant or implants. The temporary however, is not super stable, as the bone has not yet had a chance to grow around the threads of the implant. Since the implant is not as stable as it will be after it is fully healed (3-4 months on average), the implant shouldn't be "loaded" with the full amount of force that it will eventually be able to accommodate. This means that it is inadvisable to place a temporary crown with an immeidate implant that is in a position of the mouth that will be taking a lot of force (think of the chewing molars and premolars). If it is a front tooth that is an area that doesn't take a great force in normal function, it may be an option to have a temporary crown that you don't really chew with and benefit more from the esthetics of having it there.
Additionally, a temporary fixed denture can be made to be attached to immediate implants if the surgeon determines at the time of surgery that the implants are stable enough. However, the temporary denture can't be used to chew foods and function as it will when the implants are fully healed. Usually during the healing period, a temporary fixed denture wearer is limited to soft foods that can be cut with a plastic fork. Once the surgeon determines that the implants have healed, a permanent fixed denture is made and that will be the one that can do the heavy chewing.
Whether immediate implants (and their temporaries) can be placed is best decided by the dental surgeon and restoring dentist. Every patient and every situation is unique and what works for one patient may not be the best treatment for another.
At Stevens Family Dental, we place and restore implants at our Lakewood, CO dental office and would love to work with you to determine the best treatment options for your unique situation.
July 25th, 2018
Back-to-School-Time is a great opportunity to discuss healthy options for school lunches and snacks for the upcoming school year. Of course fruits and vegetables are wonderful choices. Proteins such as meats, nuts, cheeses and beans are also great for overall and dental health. Where we start to get into trouble are the carbohydrate-type snacks such as cookies, granola bars, and candy. The bacteria that cause dental decay use the sugars from these foods to live. The more sugar that is present, the more "food" the bacteria have to survive and turn into acid that can destroy enamel and cause tooth decay.
In addition to sugary food, sugary drinks can also be harmful to our dental health. The sugars from juice can also be use by cavity-causing bacteria to cause tooth decay. Drinking water or milk are the best choices, but if you are going to drink juice, find juices that have the lowest sugar content. Many sports drinks are also full of sugar. Reading the labels on drinks is the only way to know exactly how much sugar is in them.
We wish everyone a happy and healthy school year!
June 26th, 2018
June is National Candy Month, so what better time to discuss the impact that sugary treats can have on your teeth?
We know that many of our patients love candy...in fact, we do too! However, knowing some tips and alternatives in order to minimize the damage that candy can cause is always helpful.
Let's start by addressing some of the worst aspects of candy: The longer candy is in your mouth, the more damaging it can be. Hard candy that you suck on falls into this category. Instead of eating the candy within a couple minutes, and then allowing your saliva to start to neutralize and wash it away, sucking on hard candies for long periods of time, allows your teeth to be continually bathed in sugar. Alternatively, if you eat hard candy quickly and crunch down on it, you risk fracturing a tooth, filling or even a crown! If you've got to satisfy your hard candy fix, opt for a hard candy with an alternative sweetener (something not made from sugar, such as Xylitol) and don't bite down on it.
Chewy and sticky candy can also wreak havoc in your mouth. The stickier and chewier candy is, the more it bind to your teeth, especially all of those little grooves on the chewing surface of your molars. Again, the longer the sugars are present in those little grooves, the more likely that the sugars will cause damage. Also, chewy and sticky candy can bind to permanent crowns and pull these off rather easily. Avoiding chewy and sticky candy altogether is probably your best bet here.
"Is gum chewing OK for my teeth?" is a question we get often. Chewing gum that has the sweetener Xylitol in it, can actually fight cavities! Your best bet is reading the label on gum to see if it contains Xylitol or real sugar. The downfalls to gum chewing (even with Xylitol in it) can include the gum binding to crowns and pulling them off. For some people, chewing gum can exacerbate the tightness of their chewing muscles, causing pain and discomfort. If you're going to chew gum, choose one with Xylitol in it. If you notice your jaw joints and jaw muscles are feeling tight or painful, stop chewing gum for a few days a give your muscles and joints a break.
We hope that your June is filled with delicious treats in celebration of National Candy Month, but proceed with caution!
May 19th, 2018
Oh no! It's Monday morning, you're on the way out the door, but before you leave you decide to grab a quick snack. You reach for that leftover bagel on the counter top, begin chewing and the next thing you know, something feels different in your mouth. Your tongue scans around everywhere and it's then that you (and your tongue) notice that the tooth you recently had dental work on feels different. You feel something hard in your mouth and spit it out...it's the temporary crown! What should you do next?
Losing or breaking a temporary crown is unfortunately something that can happen during the period of time between the crown preparation appointment and the crown cementation appointment. The temporary crown is formed with a temporary material and is cemented with a temporary cement. The reason being, that when you return to the office for your permanent crown fitting and cementation, we would ideally like to remove the temporary crown with ease, by either gentle pulling it off, or cutting it off. There is a fine line between having a temporary crown that stays on between visits and having a temporary crown that is then easy to remove in order to fit the permanent crown.
If your temporary crown comes off, first assess if you are having any pain. If your tooth has had a root canal prior to the crown, you likely will not feel much at all, since the tooth no longer has a nerve. If your tooth has not had a root canal, you may experience some or no sensitivity, especially to hot, cold or air. Second, try to get to a mirror where you can see your tooth and attempt to place the temporary back on the tooth. The temporary crown is a custom fit on your tooth and is like a puzzle piece, in that it only fits one way. DO NOT bite it into place, but instead try to fit it onto your tooth with your fingers. As your family dentist in Lakewood, CO, we advise you at this time to call the office and we will help guide you on next steps. Office Contact Information Of course, If you feel uncomfortable trying to or can't place the temporary back on, please also call the office and we can help guide you with next steps.
It is important that a temporary crown is on a tooth that has been prepared for a crown as much as possible. The temporary crown protects the underlying tooth structure, as well as maintains the space between the adjacent and opposing teeth. Even a temporary crown that has been off for a few days can make for a situation where the permanent crown has to be remade. The new permanent crown may not fit between the teeth anymore, due to the adjacent teeth moving. Teeth move surprisingly fast, so it's best to call the office if you have a temporary crown come off or break.
November 13th, 2017
Happy Holiday Season to you all!
During this Season of Thanks, we want to take the opportunity to tell you how grateful we are for our patients! Seeing each of you at the office brightens our days and we enjoy working with each of you.
Our Candy Buy Back was a great success! Thanks to our Colorado National Guard Members who came out for the afternoon and everyone who donated their candy.
From now until December 15, we are hosting a food drive to support Food Bank of the Rockies. Drop off non-perishable cans and boxes of food, diapers, toiletries and dog food anytime during business hours at the office. Thanks in advance for your support.
Tis the season for picture taking and social events. This month, we will have our whitening gel buy one get one free, so that you can look your best for all of your holiday events. Stop by the office anytime during business hours to purchase whitening gel.
We hope that this is the start of a wonderful holiday season for you and those you care about!