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COVID-19 Updates

3d render of jaw with teeth and dental molar implant over white background

Do Dental Implants Hurt?

Instead of compromising surrounding teeth with a fixed bridge or having to wear a partial denture, many dental professionals recommend a dental implant. Implants are made out of surgical-grade titanium, which will naturally fuse and bond with the bone once it has healed into place. You can expect the implant to heal in less than half a year and provide you with a firm anchor for dental crowns and even dentures.

What are Implants?
An implant is a thin titanium post that is surgically inserted beneath the gum line and into the bone. The implant relies on a process known as osseointegration, which simply refers to the point when the bone begins to grow in and around a foreign object within the body. This process takes roughly five months, but this time can be longer or shorter for some patients. Implants are generally used to replace missing teeth without the need for a fixed bridge or partial denture. Some full denture wearers find that intricately placed implants keep their prosthetic firmly in place.

Do They Hurt?
When most people think of surgery, they often wonder if the procedure is going to hurt or if it’s worth going through the process at all. Dental implants are done comfortably in-office and take just about an hour to complete, depending on the amount of implants you’ll need. The procedure can cause some discomfort after the initial sedation or anesthetic wears off, but it isn’t typically anything that an over-the-counter pain reliever can’t help. Over the course of about a week, the discomfort and soreness related to the surgical site will begin to fade and the implant will feel practically nonexistent once full osseointegration takes place. Dental implants hurt no more or less than simple extractions or other advanced dental procedures. Many patients only need local anesthetic to even place the implants, proving that it’s a simple, quick procedure.

What is Implant Surgery Like?
The surgery involves creating an incision through the gums and drilling an implant into the actual bone of the jaw. The incision is sutured and you’ll be given crucial post-op instructions to ensure that the surgical site heals correctly and quickly. You may need to come in for follow-up appointments to check on your implant and to ensure it’s going through osseointegration. Implants will normally heal fully in less than half a year with proper care and patience. Dental implants are often recommended for healthy adult patients who would benefit from the advantages of the procedure. An exam as well as consultation is required prior to having surgery performed. The consultation is the perfect time for you to ask any questions you may have regarding surgery.

Cigarette smoking has been know to promote gum disease for years, but what about the dangers of vaping on the teeth and gums?

We are learning  that the bacteria in the mouth from vaping is almost the same as those who smoke cigarettes.  Smoking  cigarettes and vaping can both upset the bacterial balance of the mouth.  This in turn can make it more prone to inflammation and infection.

While cigarette smokers showed more gum disease than those who just vaped,  both were significantly higher than in those who did not.

Even though there is not tobacco in the vape devices, what seems to be most damaging to the cells in the vaping devices is the heating up of the liquid that contains nicotine and other substances, like propylene glycol, glycerol and flavoring. The heating creates a “vapor” and additional toxic chemicals that are inhaled.

Why are my teeth shifting?

What is causing my teeth to move? Various cause can include grinding your teeth, growth of jaw and jawbone, aging, gum disease, wearing an oral appliance such as a CPAP, nightguard or occlusal splint.  It is best to see a dentist or periodontist to rule out if you may have gum disease and to evaluate your bite.  


Synthetic enamel?

Did you know that the hardest substance in the body is tooth enamel? Enamel is essentially the tough outer covering of the portion of the tooth above the gumline. Over time, dentists have repaired damaged and decayed teeth with many different materials such as beeswax, amalgam alloys, resin composites, ceramics and now newer materials that are stronger and more esthetic than previous generations. But all these options are synthetic materials and display wear and weaknesses. A team of scientists are in the process of making a new material that mimics enamel’s fundamental properties of strength and elasticity. Not only could this material be used in the oral cavity, but could also possibly be used to strengthen fractured bones, improve pacemakers and treat other biological indications. Stay tuned! Do I still need to take antibiotics before my dental appointment just because I had my knee/hip replaced? For decades, we have been advocating taking antibiotics prior to dental visits in those who have artificial joints. However, according to a study from England, we no longer have a reason to take antibiotics before a dental visit. (That said, your medical doctor might still request that you do.) Much of the rational for no longer prescribing these medications to patients is due to a large and unnecessary financial burden on individuals and the health care system. It also creates an unnecessary risk to patients, from adverse drug reactions, and can contribute to antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The risk of heart disease risk increases after COVID — even with a mild case

A study has shown that even with a mild case of COVID-19, a person’s risk of cardiovascular problems (heart attack and stroke) can increase for at least a year after diagnosis. Age and risk factors did not seem to play any role in this either.


Could a Chewing Gum in Pregnancy Help Prevent Premature Deliveries?

Gum disease has been linked to a number of systemic health concerns, including increased risk for preterm birth. A long-term 10 year study which included over 10000 women suggests that chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol during pregnancy may lower this risk. While xylitol is chemical responsible for lowering this risk, the study only looked at its use from chewing gum and not using it other forms (i.e. lozenges, rinses, drinks, etc).
The findings showed that pregnant women who chewed the gum were less likely to deliver early, as compared to women who only received education (12.6% vs 16.5%. Women even saw improvements to their overall oral health.

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