Dealing with tooth loss is never easy. Whether you are missing just one, a few, or all of your natural teeth, rest assured that you are not alone. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 175 million American adults are missing at least one tooth. Approximately 40 million adults are missing all of their natural teeth. While the risk of tooth loss increases with age (30% of adults with no remaining natural teeth are between the ages of 65-74), there is no age limit on potential tooth loss, which can (and does) strike adults of all ages at any time. Dental implants are the closest replica of a natural tooth. Dr. Richard Bauer and Dr. Jerrold Gultz, dentists at Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of Delray Beach, recommend dental implants for healthy adult patients with varying degrees of tooth loss.
A New and Improved Smile with Dental Implants in Delray Beach, FL
Dental restorations like crowns and dentures do a good job of restoring function and improving the cosmetic aspects of a smile damaged by missing teeth. Implants go a step further and replace the root of a missing tooth in its socket, not only securing the crown in place, but allowing healthy new bone tissue to grow in the gums.
Why is this important?
When a tooth falls out, the supporting bone tissue begins to erode, increasing the risk of periodontal (gum) disease and even further tooth loss. An implant is made up of a small titanium screw surgically placed in the socket of the missing tooth. Once in place, the implant fuses with the surrounding bone tissue in a process known as osseointegration, essentially locking in place and protecting your gums from further bone loss. After the implant has healed, the cosmetic crown is attached. In order to qualify for dental implants, you must be in good general health and have enough bone density in the gums to support the implant. You must also be able to commit to rigorous oral hygiene and regular follow up care with the dentist.
Find a Dentist in Delray Beach, FL
To learn more about dental implants and how they can improve your smile and oral health, contact Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of Delray Beach by calling (561) 243-8833 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bauer or Dr. Gultz today.
Periodontal (gum) disease is the most likely cause of a loose, permanent tooth. This progressive infection causes damage to the gums and bone tissues that hold teeth in place, leading to looseness and ultimately tooth loss.
Gum disease, however, isn’t the only cause: although not as common, excessive biting forces over time may also lead to loose teeth. The excessive force stretches the periodontal ligaments that hold teeth in place, causing the teeth to become loose.
This condition is called occlusal trauma. In its primary form, the patient habitually grinds or clenches their teeth, or bites or chews on hard objects like pencils or nails. Generating 20-30 times the normal biting force, these habits can cause considerable damage. It can also be a factor when gum disease is present — supporting bone becomes so weakened by the disease, even normal biting forces can cause mobility.
If you recognize the early signs of grinding or clenching, particularly jaw soreness in the morning (since many instances of teeth grinding occur while we sleep), it’s important to seek treatment before teeth become loose. The symptoms are usually treated directly with muscle relaxants, an occlusal guard worn to soften the force when teeth bite down, or stress management, a major trigger for teeth grinding. The sooner you address the habit, the more likely you’ll avoid its consequences.
If, however, you’re already noticing a loose tooth, treatment must then focus on preserving the tooth. Initially, the tooth may need to be splinted, physically joined to adjacent teeth to hold it in place while damaged tissues heal. In some cases, minute amounts of enamel may need to be removed from the tooth’s biting surfaces to help the tooth better absorb biting forces. Other treatments, including orthodontics and gum disease treatment, may also be included in your treatment plan.
If you notice a loose tooth, it’s critical you contact us as soon as possible for an evaluation — if you delay you increase the chances of eventually losing it. The earlier you address it, the better your chances of preserving your tooth.
If you would like more information on loose teeth, 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 “Loose Teeth.”
We can easily take for granted the comfort we now experience when we undergo dental work. For much of human history that hasn't been the case.
Local anesthesia has been a major factor in the evolution of pain-free dentistry. The term refers to the numbing of nerve sensation in the tissues involved in a procedure. This type of anesthesia is usually applied in two ways: topical and injectable.
We apply topical anesthetic agents to the top layers of tissue using a cotton swab, adhesive patch or a spray. Topical agents are useful for increasing comfort during cleanings for patients with sensitive teeth or similar superficial procedures. Topical anesthesia is also used in conjunction with injections as a way to prevent feeling the minor prick of the needle. In essence, you shouldn't feel any pain or discomfort from beginning to end of your procedure.
Injectable anesthesia deadens pain at deeper levels of tissue. This makes it possible for us to perform more invasive procedures like tooth extraction or gum surgery without using general anesthesia. The latter form is a more intense undertaking: it renders you unconscious and may require assistance for lung and heart function.
Most important of all, subtracting pain sensation from the procedure helps relieve stress: first for you and ultimately for us. If we know you're comfortable, we can relax and concentrate on the work at hand. The procedure goes much more smoothly and efficiently.
Many people, though, have concerns about how long the numbness will linger after the procedure. This has been viewed in the past as an annoying inconvenience. But in recent years, dentists have become more adept at fine-tuning the agents they use as a way to reduce post-procedure numbness. There's also promising research on chemical agents that can quickly reverse the numbing effect after a procedure.
All in all, though, using local anesthesia broadens the range of dental work we can perform without putting you to sleep. More importantly, you'll be able to relax as we perform procedures that could improve your dental health for years to come.
Mouth injuries in children and teens are more common than you might think: about one out of three boys and one out of four girls will have experienced an injury before they graduate from high school. Besides contact sports, other types of accidents like car crashes or falls are high on the cause list.
Although most dental injuries aren’t considered true emergencies, there are a few where prompt action may mean the difference between ultimately saving or losing a tooth. One such situation is a knocked out tooth.
In the event of a knocked out (or avulsed) tooth, your primary goal is to place the tooth back into the empty socket as quickly as possible. Teeth that have been out of the mouth for less than five minutes have the best chance of reattachment and survival. The first step is to quickly locate the missing tooth.
Once you’ve found it, use only cold, clean water run or poured over the tooth to carefully clean off dirt or debris (no soaps or cleansers). You should also avoid touching the tooth root or scrubbing any part of it. After cleaning it of debris, gently place the tooth back in its socket, then immediately contact us or visit an emergency room. While you’re en route to our office the patient should carefully hold the tooth in place. If the tooth can’t be immediately placed into the socket (the patient is unconscious, for example), then you should place the tooth in a clean container and keep it moist with cold milk, a sterile saline solution or even the patient’s saliva.
Taking these steps increases the chances of a successful re-implantation, although the injury may ultimately affect the tooth’s lifespan. Replanted teeth can suffer from root resorption (where the root tissue dissolves) or a process known as ankylosis in which the tooth fuses directly to the jawbone with no healthy periodontal ligament in between. Either of these conditions can lead to tooth loss.
Still, it’s worthwhile to try to save the tooth, even if for a few more years. Those extra years can help you prepare for a future restoration.
If you would like more information on responding to dental injuries, 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 “Accidental Tooth Loss.”
Find out if the symptoms you are experiencing could mean a root canal is in your future.
Ouch! Why does my tooth hurt? A toothache happens more often than you might think and it’s certainly not something you want to ignore. After all, this nagging tooth could be trying to tell you that you need a root canal. Don’t worry; our Delray Beach, FL, dentists, Dr. Richard Bauer and Dr. Jerrold Gultz, are here to tell you why you shouldn’t fear a root canal and why you should turn to a dentist right away if you are dealing with a toothache.
A toothache is a classic sign that you might require a root canal. Why? Well, if decay, infection or trauma to the tooth continues to spread it can reach the dental pulp (a soft tissue structure that lies inside the tooth). The dental pulp is made up of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, and since the pulp contains nerves you can think of it as the “feeling center” of the tooth. If the pulp is infected you’ll most likely face a pretty nasty toothache.
Of course, not everyone will experience textbook signs alerting them to the fact that they need a root canal. A toothache can manifest itself in many different ways. You may experience anywhere from minor to significant pain. The pain may only appear when you are putting pressure on the tooth or biting down, or the pain may be constant. The pain might also be dull and gnawing or sharp and stabbing. No matter what kind of dental pain you are in you need to call your Delray Beach general dentist right away if this is happening to you.
Other signs that you might need a root canal include:
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
- Darkening of the tooth
- Swollen, red or tender gums surrounding the tooth
- A bump on the gums (called an abscess)
Don’t let a toothache ruin your day (and your smile!). Our Delray Beach, FL, dental team is here to provide you with the fast, reliable dental care you need to get your oral health in order. Call us today and let us know how we can help you.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.