Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Dental Procedure FAQs


New Dental Procedure FAQs



Q. What is the new technology dentists are using that reduces or eliminates discomfort from shots given during a dental procedure

A. A computerized injection system called The Wand has been shown to significantly reduce patient discomfort in delivering oral anesthetics. In a study of patients who have had procedures using it, more than 80% of them reported that it was a completely painless process. Consult your dentist regarding the dental procedure price of your dental care payment plan.

A very thin needle is attached to a pen-sized wand and placed near the gums. A drop of anesthetic numbs the gum before the needle is inserted. There is no prick or burning sensation with this system. As the needle glides through the gum, the anesthetic continues to be released. When the needle is fully inserted, the computer slowly releases the anesthetic. This eliminates the usual cause of the discomfort of the traditional dental shot -- the pressure associated with the stream of anesthetic flowing into the gum.

Q. How can early tooth decay be detected?

A. A dentist can put a "caries detection dye" on a suspicious tooth. This colored liquid helps identify the position and the extent of decay that is not visible to the naked eye. The dental procedure price may very.

Q. Are there any new prevention treatments for reducing tooth decay?

A. New prevention treatments are being studied. Research has shown that a tooth-decay inhibiting treatment can effectively eliminate the bacteria that cause tooth decay in humans. One promising treatment still in development is a caries vaccine, CaroRX, a tasteless, colorless antibody from genetically-altered plants, which is painted on clean teeth to prevent decay-causing bacteria from sticking to teeth. Planet Biotechnology, the manufacturer of CaroRX, hopes to gain FDA approval and make this product available to dentists within the next few years.

Q. What are intraoral cameras?

A. An intraoral camera is a miniature video camera that the dentist places in the patient's mouth so that together they can view any dental problems that the patient is having. The image from the camera is enlarged and sent to a monitor for viewing.

Q. What is the purpose of intraoral cameras?

A. The purpose behind intraoral cameras is to allow the patient to see the specific area that needs treatment so that they are more likely to understand the dentist's recommendation and accept it. Ask your dentist about the dental procedure price.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Your Tooth Implant Options


Your Tooth Implant Options



Dentistry has come a long way in the past 10 years - new cosmetic procedures, stronger dental materials, improved techniques all the way around.

Some of us, though, have not had the opportunity to take advantage of these breakthroughs until later in life. In fact, more than 42% of people over 65 have experienced significant tooth loss and must resort to dentures. Now there are options: dental implants.

Tooth replacement systems differ, but they are all intended to provide a better alternative to removable dentures. As any denture wearer will tell you, there's nothing more irritating than a slippery lower denture and the uncertainty it brings. An ill-fitting denture may cause accelerated bone loss, too, and aggravate oral decline. Teeth implants can bring back bite strength, stability and, most important, self-confidence.

The dental implant procedure is a three-stage process. First, an implant device is inserted into the upper or lower jawbone. Usually only local anesthesia is required, though a hospital stay may be advised. You will be given a temporary appliance so you can go on your way until the second stage.

After a healing period of some months, implant and bone have grown together. Posts are then attached to each tooth implant - these protrude through gum tissue. After a few weeks a fixed bridge or "overdenture," will be inserted. Then teeth will be attached to the posts. In some cases, an existing denture can be modified to secure over tooth implants comfortably.

The dental implant procedure takes some time and some money. You need sufficient viable bone in the jaw to support teeth implants, and a willingness to take good care of yourself during treatment. Finally, your expectations must be reasonable. Dental implants won't behave like natural teeth, but do promise better eating and speaking abilities and vitality.

Implant dentistry has been around for 25 years and the success stories are very impressive. In these, the best years of life, you owe yourself the gift of self-esteem. See your tooth implant dentist today!


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Look Younger With Tooth Whitener and Tooth Bleaching Products from a Trusted Dentist.


Look Younger With Tooth Whitener and Tooth Bleaching Products from a Trusted Dentist.



All that exercise and healthy diet is paying off. You're in good shape and maintaining your weight. Now, while you're swimming or doing those push ups, think about a part of you that gets exercised but is still aging every day -- your smile! It's time for you to think about tooth bleaching and tooth whitening systems.

At about age thirty, there's a natural dimming of dentin beneath your tooth enamel. If you smoke or drink coffee or colas, all the exercise and low-fat foods can't hide the yellowing effect. Your smile will give your age away.

Fortunately, we live in a time of advanced cosmetic dental technology, with new and improved tooth whitening and teeth bleaching techniques. And unlike building muscle, teeth whiteners can give you white teeth almost overnight.

There are also choices among tooth bleaching systems. New tooth whitener gels and solutions are accelerated by light; laser technology is new and very effective. Teeth whitening systems can give you white teeth fast in your dentist's office, or over time at home, at your convenience.

Either way, your teeth will whiten like magic, and you'll have a fresher, younger smile.

Tooth Whitener Can Get You The Smile You've Always Wanted.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Teeth Implants, Close Up and Natural - Is Implant Dentistry for You?


Teeth Implants, Close Up and Natural - Is Implant Dentistry for You?



Teeth implants are a tooth replacement therapy offering natural-looking options for patients. Dental implants anchor artificial or prosthetic teeth into the jawbone. Their performance is nearly equal to natural teeth, providing a secure and comfortable fit, a natural appearance, and a big dose of confidence for people of all ages.

A tooth implant duplicates the tooth's structure. Teeth implants are inserted into the jawbone is made of titanium. This metal does well in the body and rarely causes any reaction in patients. It is the same material that is used in knee and hip replacements.

  • The implant is cylindrical in shape, resembling a screw, and may even have a thread-like surface. They're uniquely designed with small holes at the outside surfaces for a very good reason. Like the roots of natural teeth, tooth implants stimulate bone growth. It even fools Mother Nature! Over time, the bone tissue actually grows into the small holes, securing the implant.
  • The abutment rests over the metal implant. It's a small piece of metal whose purpose is to connect the prosthesis to the tooth implant.
  • The prosthesis is the replacement tooth, a natural-looking crown or bridge (if there are multiple teeth missing). A prosthesis that's used to replace a complete set of teeth can be either fixed or removable. A removable prosthesis can be taken out for easy cleaning; a fixed one can only be removed by the dentist, but usually offers better reliability for chewing.
How Do These Different Teeth Implants Parts Work Together?

Since the tooth implant duplicates the tooth's structure, each part contributes to a natural-like functioning of the teeth. Whether replacing one or more teeth, the process of repair is the same. The teeth implants insertion procedure involves three main steps:

  • The first is the surgical insertion of the metal implants.
  • This is followed by a second surgery, about three to six months later, to insert the abutment.
  • The third step, usually two to four weeks later, is custom-making the prosthesis and attaching it to the abutment. There are typically several adjustments needed until the prosthesis is attached to the abutments.
Once the prosthesis comfortably fits, your future is secure. You'll enjoy comfort, confidence, and security in meeting the world and smiling in a whole new way with your new teeth implants.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Overcoming Dental Fear with Sedation Dentistry

Overcoming Dental Fear with Sedation Dentistry



Most people are well aware of the value of dental care, but cannot bring themselves to get into their dentist's office and climb into the chair. The reason: fear.

Dental anxiety, unfortunately, is sometimes a shared family experience. Whether it's just a bout of sweaty palms or acute anxiety, the fears and attitudes of parents can easily be passed along to children unintentionally. Perhaps you grew up without the technical advantages available today. Your memories of pain can be fierce enough to interfere with family dental education - and health.

Parents can begin to allay phobias - and keep from spreading them around - by examining the source of apprehension. Dental phobia generally hinges on fear of pain, choking, or loss of control. The dental environment might feel overwhelming. Invasion of personal privacy - the mouth - can be frightening. When you schedule an appointment, how do you feel about it? Do you find yourself cancelling appointments at the last minute? Do certain pieces of equipment make you uneasy? A little soul-searching can help pinpoint your fears.

You need to speak frankly with your dentist. Chances are, he'll understand. He'll take time with you to describe new techniques - and there are many - to overcome fear. His dental staff will take special care to respect your feelings and dispel any misgivings.

With some effort, nearly everyone can learn to relax. The direct benefits - you'll feel more comfortable when you visit, and, if you or your family have been avoiding the dentist altogether, your dental health will begin to improve. Indirectly, you'll offer a positive role model for your family. Take this step for yourself, and the family will follow. Call your dentist today to find out how he can help.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Use 'Em or Lose 'Em: Take Advantage of Dental Coverage


Use 'Em or Lose 'Em: Take Advantage of Dental Coverage



  • Yearly Maximums. Dental insurance plans put a maximum on the amount of money they're willing to pay for your dental coverage. Maximums vary from one company or policy to the next, but typically fall around $1000. Sounds like a lot of money, doesn't it? Insurance companies consider this amount to be a good investment. Allowing you to get regular dental care, your carrier can prevent the need for more serious (and more expensive) dental procedures down the road! Why not do you both a favor and use it, ensuring your mouth is in tip-top shape when next year rolls around?
  • Premiums. Most people pay a monthly premium for their dental insurance plans. Even if you don't need extensive treatment, you should use that money for regular check ups and cleanings to prevent them in the future. Don't throw your money away!
  • Deductibles. Insurance companies typically expect you to pay a certain amount of money for your dental care each year - usually about $500. If your smile isn't in good shape, your dentist can create a treatment plan to put you back on track. Deductibles begin anew each year, so spreading out this care over more than 1 year will mean you have to pay more out-of-pocket.
  • Inflation. It seems everything becomes more expensive from one year to the next, and dental materials and equipment are no exception. Putting off necessary dental care could mean that you'll have to pay more down the road.
  • Dental Problems Escalate. If your pearly whites are anything but, they're only going to get worse. That is, of course, unless you take advantage of your dental coverage and tend to your teeth and gums. A little cavity that isn't bothering you one year may become a major headache (or toothache!) the next.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dental Implants: Spare Parts, Small Miracles


Dental Implants: Spare Parts, Small Miracles



In spite of the tremendous reduction in dental cavities in the past 20 years, a missing tooth or teeth remain a problem in the adult population. The sheer numbers of tooth loss in people over 35 indicate many of us could benefit from dental implants.

Tooth implants have been part of many dentist practices for over 20 years. The success rate has been, and continues to be, over 95 percent.

Many people are now considering using implants to replace one tooth, or all their missing teeth. Many adults with missing teeth have partial or complete dentures and bridges, and they work fine.

However, conventional prostheses may not do for everyone - the patient may have trouble with a removable denture or is otherwise unable to chew. These are the very people who could stand to benefit most from as a few as two teeth implants.

How does the dental implant procedure work?

A root-form tooth implant is inserted into the upper or lower jawbone. After a healing period of a few months, posts are attached to each implant. Then a fixed bridge or overdenture is placed - the business end of the implant. Only the tooth part is visible.

For certain people, a single tooth replacement to bridge a gap is called for. Another patient might want to stabilize a lower denture.

The procedure is no more uncomfortable to the patient than a simple tooth extraction.

The success of the new dental implants is due to osseointegration, the meshing of implant and bone. The properties of the implant are such that a chemical and mechanical bond is formed. The jawbone actually grows into the implant. This contributes to the stability and comfort of the implant - and a patient rediscovering the joys of steak and fresh apples.

Give your dental implant dentist a call. Or find one using our search form above. Tooth implants might work for you.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dental Implant Cost: Comparison of a Three-Unit Bridge v. a Single Dental Implant


Dental Implant Cost: Comparison of a Three-Unit Bridge v. a Single Dental Implant



Tooth implants are considered the ultimate dental restoration solution for tooth replacement, especially when only a single tooth needs to be replaced.

Traditionally, the best dental restoration for a single missing tooth was a three-tooth bridge, better known as a three-unit bridge. This type of missing teeth restoration worked by linking three false teeth together. The middle tooth was used to bridge the gap. Even though this type of dental restoration was considered state-of-the-art for many years, it had its limitations.

For instance, the fabrication of a three-unit bridge required the teeth on both sides of the gap to be whittled down to allow for the false teeth to be slipped over the top of the teeth. Because the three teeth were linked together, they could not be cleaned in the same way as normal teeth. In addition, they required special dental cleaning tools in order to maintain healthy gum tissue.

Today, dental implants are the first choice to replace missing teeth and dental restoration. In the case of a single missing tooth, a tooth implant can be placed by the implant dentist in the jawbone area of the missing tooth. The implant will serve as a replacement for a tooth root and an individual dental crown. The total apparatus is referred to as a single-tooth implant crown.

Once in place, the dental implant crown will look, feel and function like your natural teeth. They are cleaned and flossed just like your natural teeth, and best of all, they do not require any special tools to clean around them, like bridges. Although tooth implants will not decay, they require that you maintain impeccable oral hygiene.

Does a Dental Implant Crown Last Forever?

Even though dental scientists are developing advanced materials to create a more durable crown, the old adage "nothing lasts forever" also applies to dental implant crowns. Because each patient is different, dental implant crowns last a varied amount of time depending on the patient.

Dental crowns that were thought to last only 3 to 5 years can last 10 to 20 years if meticulously cared for. On the other hand, dental crowns that should last for ten or more years can last only two years in a mouth that is neglected.

The dental implant cost factor is hard to determine precisely. The bottom line is that no one can tell you how long a tooth implant will last, but if you take excellent care of your mouth and see your dentist every six months, you stand a better chance of extending the life of your dental implants and other dental restorations.

How Does the Cost of a Dental Implant Crown Compare to a Three-Unit Bridge?

The cost of a three-unit bridge can range from $2,000 to $3,000. The cost of single tooth implants is approximately $3,000. If teeth associated with a dental bridge fail due to recurrent decay or periodontal disease, ordinarily, dental restoration must be done on the entire dental bridge and possibly add a new filling or build-up of the teeth.

The cost of any foundations under a new dental bridge will add to the dental restoration and tooth replacement cost. If and when an dental implant crown has to be reconstructed, most likely, it would be due to the wearing away of the dental crown material.

The only dental restoration cost would be for that of a new dental implant crown and would not incorporate any adjacent teeth. The dental implant cost over your lifetime would be much less than compared to a three-unit bridge, and is the most natural replacement for a missing tooth.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Periodontal Disease As A Risk Factor For Systemic Disease


Periodontal Disease As A Risk Factor For Systemic Disease



It is well known that periodontal (gum) diseases are a series of bacterial infections that destroy the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. What is commonly not thought of is how this oral infection can also affect the rest of the body.

An infection in the mouth can affect the overall health and have serious systemic (general body) manifestations. Like other infections, the bacterial cells that cause periodontal disease, or their toxic products, can enter the blood system and affect other organs.

Research studies indicate that periodontal infections can affect the overall health and that periodontal disease is a risk factor for many health problems.

Bacteremia: Bacteremia is an infection caused by infectious organisms in the blood system. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease can enter the blood system through cuts in the gum provoked by normal chewing or brushing habits.

The bacteria can also enter the blood system directly through the infected gum tissue in a periodontal pocket. The more infected the gums are, the more likely bacteria are to enter the blood system. These bacteria can travel and infect other organs. The best way to prevent bacteremia caused by oral bacteria is by maintaining oral health.

Infective endocarditis: People that have damaged heart valves, a history of rheumatic fever with subsequent heart valve damage, aortic stenosis, certain heart murmurs, and mitral valve prolapse with regurgitation are at greater risk of developing infective endocarditis -- an infection of the lining and valves of the heart.

If not treated immediately with antibiotics, this infection can be fatal. The best way to prevent infective endocarditis is by minimizing the amount of bacteria in the mouth. Several periodontal treatments, like meticulous home care with brushing and flossing, combined with professional cleanings and modification of risk factors related to periodontal disease, are essential in controlling the bacterial infection.

In addition, the American Heart Association has recommended antibiotic treatment prior to certain dental procedures for people that are at high risk of infective endocarditis. These dental procedures include tooth extraction, surgical treatment, scaling and root planing, and implant treatment. Your dental care provider needs to be aware of your medical history in order to better treat you and prevent systemic complications.

Cardiovascular disease: Evidence suggests that having periodontal disease puts you at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. The bacteria that are normally found in the mouth have been found in the artery walls of people with cardiovascular disease. These bacteria can irritate the arteries, leading to fatty deposits and eventual blockage of the arteries resulting in heart attacks or strokes.

Heart attacks: The bacterial infection that causes periodontal disease may also affect the heart. In fact, all other conditions being equal, people with periodontal disease may have twice the risk of having a fatal heart attack as people that don't have periodontal disease.

Strokes: Strokes occur when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked and there is reduction in the oxygen delivery to the brain cells. This can lead to paralysis, speech problems, and even death. A research study of 10,000 people found that periodontal disease can increase your risk of having a stroke by two-fold.

Artificial joints: Artificial joints or prosthetic devices may be vulnerable to infection by the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. These bacteria can enter the blood stream through small ulcerations in the gums or as a result of dental treatment. To prevent infection of artificial joints maintain meticulous oral hygiene and consult your dentist and physician about the possibility of antibiotic treatment before dental procedures.

Diabetes: Periodontal disease can increase insulin requirements and diabetic complications. Treating periodontal disease can actually reduce the need for insulin.

Respiratory disease: People with advanced periodontal disease are four and a half times more likely to have chronic respiratory disease. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease can be aspirated into the lungs increasing the risk for pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

Once again, to prevent the serious systemic complications related to periodontal disease infection, see your dentist or periodontist for a periodontal screening and treatment as indicated. Treatment of periodontal disease may save your life!

Premature, low-birthweight babies: If you do have periodontal disease and are pregnant, you may have a higher risk of having a premature, low-birthweight baby. Pregnant women who have periodontal disease are seven and a half times more likely to have a baby that is born too early or too small. This time, treating periodontal disease can help improve your health and that of your baby.

So, because periodontal infections can affect the overall health and periodontal disease is a risk factor for many health problems, seeking periodontal treatment can help improve your oral and overall health.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Dentistry, A Partnership For Your Health And Well Being


New Dentistry, A Partnership For Your Health And Well Being



A world of opportunities for dental health awaits us in the new dentistry. Using the old dentistry, dentists did their best to provide a high quality of service given the state of knowledge and technology at that time.

Through advancements in treatment, research, and the desire of the dental profession to do more and do it better, the new dentistry has emerged. It is based on a foundation with specific characteristics that are of great benefit to us as consumers.

  • Efficiency: Your time and your resources are valuable to you, and your dentist recognizes this. New dentistry treatment techniques and methods have considerably reduced the amount of time that the dental care now takes. The return on your investment in dental health is excellent.
  • Comfort: Not only are the dental chairs and the dentistry office environments more comfortable and pleasant, improvements in the use of local anesthetics and new equipment provide more comfort than ever before.
  • Collaboration: The dental relationship is now based on the value that you can derive from your dentistry team and what you want for your dental future rather than just on the techniques and procedures your dentist can do. Through continuing education, your dentist has the skills and knowledge to help you make decisions for your dental health in a positive and informed way.
  • Predictability: New materials and advances in treatment provide you with opportunities to maintain your dental health throughout your life. With the innovative cosmetic and specialized dentistry approaches to reclaiming teeth that formally would be lost, your dentistry professional can help create and maintain teeth and gums. Predictable treatment, effective prevention methods, and the longevity of treatment are now part of any dental plan.
  • Thoroughness: Advances in assessment and diagnosis now enable dentists to make thorough evaluations of your overall dental and oral health. The outcome is a plan for your health that will give you peace of mind, knowing you can have a well-informed dental plan in place.
  • Prevention: This characteristic of the new dentistry has received much publicity in recent years. It has been proven over and over again that there are several measures that you can take as a consumer of dental care to create and maintain your dental health in collaboration with your dental team. It bears repeating again -- flossing and brushing combined with regular dental hygiene checks are your greatest allies in maintaining your teeth and a bright smile.
  • Precision: The new dentistry utilizes instruments and technologies that are far advanced from what was available even 15 years ago. Both general dentists and specialists have access to technologies that provide precision in diagnosis and treatment. The value for you is higher quality care.
The dental profession has established a strong foundation for a pleasant smile and a healthy dental future for all of us. Dentistry improvements are continuously being made to this foundation. You can choose to avail yourself of these improvements by asking your dentist, "What can help me to maintain my dental health?" Your dentist has the knowledge and the desire to help you.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Research Your Dentistry and Dental Care Frequently Asked Questions


Research Your Dentistry and Dental Care Frequently Asked Questions



Q. What is endodontics?

A. Endodontics is the area of dentistry that specifically deals with what is called the pulp within a tooth.

Q. What is dental pulp?

A. The dental pulp is a soft tissue comprised of tiny arteries, veins, nerves and lymph vessels for the tooth.

Q. Where does the term root canal come from?

A. The tooth is comprised of three basic components. The first component is the crown/enamel, which is seen by the naked eye.

The next level of the tooth is dentin, which is under the enamel and the "housing” for the dental pulp. The final component is the dental pulp and is the core of the tooth. This bulk of the dental pulp is in the center of the tooth or the pulp chamber, and is connected to the Mandibular Canal through the root canals. The root canals are like veins for the dental pulp.

Q. What does the procedure root canal mean?

A. Root canal has become a term for a procedure involving the dental pulp. When the dental pulp has been exposed and damaged, it must be treated professionally and this process is usually referred to as getting a root canal.

Q. What does a root canal procedure entail?

A. Once the dental pulp has been infected, it must be removed from both the pulp chamber and the root canals. Once it has been removed, the pulp chamber and root canals are thoroughly cleaned and enlarged. Based on the level of infection, the dentists may choose to clean the area more than once. After the area is free of infection, the dentist will fill the root canals and pulp chamber with a filling that will prevent any bacteria from entering the area. Finally, the dentist will place a crown over the tooth to restore it to its original shape.

Q. What causes dental pulp to become damaged or infected?

A. Normally, when a deep cavity occurs, it exposes the dental pulp to the bacteria inside the mouth. When exposed to this bacteria, the dental pulp can become infected and thus cause the inside of the tooth to be infected.

Q. What can happen if infected dental pulp is not treated?

A. Overtime, the infected pulp will die. At the same time, pus from the infection will develop at the base of the tooth and cause an abscess to form. If this occurs, it is not uncommon for the abscess to cause the bone holding the tooth to deteriorate. If this deterioration becomes too severe, the tooth will fall out.

Q. What role does the computer play in the dental care industry?

A. In the future, patient records may be kept on computer disks, including visual images captured on intraoral cameras. A computerized workstation beside the patient’s chair will give the dentist the ability to view the patient’s history from disk.

Also, the dentist might use a voice-recognition system to ask the computer to assist in finding that data, or create a “before and after” image so the patient can preview the result of dental work before it is done.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What Occurs In Your Mouth During A Dental Care Examination


What Occurs In Your Mouth During A Dental Care Examination



During a dentistry examination, the dentist examines the mouth mucosa (soft tissues) for any abnormalities or pathology (including oral cancer), the teeth for tooth decay (dental caries) or defects, the gum tissues for periodontal (gum) disease, the neck for swollen lymph nodes, the amount of plaque, tartar (dental calculus), and debris on teeth, as well as the need to replace any missing teeth or dental prostheses.

The dental examination begins with a complete dental care and medical history, including medications the patient currently is taking. The skin of the face and neck is examined for any abnormalities, especially pigment changes. The lymph nodes in front and behind the ears, under the floor of the mouth and chin, and the midline of the neck, sides, and back of the neck are palpated to determine if any swelling or tenderness is present.

Inside of the mouth, the lips, cheeks, gums, and roof of the mouth are inspected and palpated. During this process, the tip of the tongue is placed on the roof of the mouth just behind the upper teeth for inspection of the front floor of the mouth and sides of the tongue.

The back floor of the mouth, the area behind the lower wisdom teeth, and the back sides of the tongue are inspected by grasping the tip of the tongue with a small gauze sponge and pulling the tongue forward and toward the opposite side of the mouth.

To inspect the back of the throat, soft palate, and tonsil area (sides of the throat), the tongue is depressed with a dental mirror or tongue blade and then a deep breath is taken by the patient.

To detect swelling on the floor of the mouth, the area inside the mouth is felt with the finger of one hand while a finger of the other hand feels below the chin. Salivary gland enlargement, saliva flow, or xerostomia (dry mouth) are determined by milking the major salivary glands to assess the quantity and consistency of saliva.

Today's dentist has many analytic tools available to pinpoint dental and oral diseases. The basic tools are the dental instruments, lights, and radiographs (X-rays). Depending upon the dentist and the individual's dental needs, additional diagnostic tests are available. Testing for essential proteins and buffering capacity can evaluate the protective ability of saliva.

To determine mouth caries risks, microbiological testing of saliva can measure the level of caries-producing organisms. Periodontal susceptibility tests, which test for the DNA of gum disease-producing organisms, can be performed to assess an individual's risk for gum disease.

If removable dentures are present, they are checked for bite, retention, stability, and overall fit. Dental impressions or models also may be taken to study the mouth and tooth structures to initiate fabrication of prostheses. Photographs may be exposed for a variety of reasons, including before and after treatment comparisons.

The level of oral hygiene and home care practices are assessed and reviewed. Recommendations for home care devices and products may be made. Instruction and methods for maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen can also take place.

Once basic information about oral health status is gathered, the dentist will be better able to discuss dental treatment alternatives that are available.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dental Implants - An Alternative To Missing Teeth: Are You A Candidate for Implant Dentistry?


Dental Implants - An Alternative To Missing Teeth: Are You A Candidate for Implant Dentistry?



Are you missing a permanent tooth? Do you have gaps in your smile? Do you wear dentures and experience some of the following problems:

  • Slipping and clicking while talking?
  • Irritation and pain when you chew?
  • Fear of eating in public?
  • Feeling or looking older than your age?
You may be a candidate for dental implants, an alternative to missing teeth. Dental implants use your jaw to hold a tooth replacement or bridge, rather than anchoring it to a healthy, neighboring tooth. The results are natural-looking teeth implants that look, feel and function as your own!

Healthy teeth are a gift we often take for granted. Losing one or more teeth impacts our smile, our confidence, and our enjoyment of our favorite foods. Dental implants are technology's way of taking us a step closer to a tooth replacement that feels secure and looks like our own.

What Is Involved in Getting Dental Implants?

Implants take several steps, but you will be able to continue your regular professional and social routines. Initially, the dentist will evaluate your mouth, teeth and jaw to determine whether dental implants are a good option for you.

For most patients, there are two surgical procedures involved. First, in the actual tooth implant placement, the implants are surgically inserted by an implant dentist into or atop the jawbone. Over the next three to six months, the implants are left alone, so that the anchor can bond to the bone, creating a strong foundation for the teeth to come.

Second, the new tooth or teeth are created and attached to the anchored dental implant. You now have teeth implants that might as well be your own: they look natural, are comfortable, and withstand the rigors of grinding and chewing. No one will know that your tooth has an artificial, man-made tooth implant root.

Dental Implants Are Not for Everyone

It's true. Your current dental health will influence whether you’re a good candidate for a dental implants. Some medical conditions may interfere with normal healing, such as diabetes or heart problems. Finally, the supporting bone in your jaw must be healthy; if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, the success rate for your dental implants will drop. Less success also is noted in smokers.

A complete examination and X-rays by your dentist will determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. You must also commit to a strict schedule of flossing, brushing, rinsing, and check-ups to keep them healthy.

Proven Technology for a New Quality of Life

Technology gets the credit for this exciting alternative to missing teeth, dentures and bridges. Researchers noticed in the 1950s that titanium and some other materials formed a strong bond to the bone. That gave rise to the use of dental implants. Today, there are patients who have had dental implants for more than 25 years. Hundreds of thousands of tooth implants have been inserted, boasting more than a 90% success rate! Metal joint implants used in other parts of the body were actually developed from the success of dental implants.

It has been around for decades and people know it works. Schedule an evaluation with your dentist to determine if dental implants are right for you. Discover how they can improve your quality of life and put a genuine smile on your face.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dental Implantology


Dental Implantology



Much is being said about dental implant procedures. A national radio spot states that steak and corn-on-the-cob are no longer just a memory for people with tooth loss. Tooth implants, they say, can bring back bite strength and, certainly, improve all-around dental function.

Just what are dental implants though?

Tooth replacement systems differ but continue to evolve as materials and methods allow. Teeth implants are a great and functional alternative to removable dentures.

An implant device is inserted into the upper or lower jawbone. After a healing period, posts are attached to each implant. And to that, a fixed bridge or "over-denture" is placed by the implant dentist. This is known as the "business end" of the implant. Only the "tooth part" is visible. The result is not new teeth. But for more and more people, tooth implants count plenty as the next best thing.

Why go for it?

Over 42% of people 65 and have a missing tooth or teeth. Dentures work fine in some cases, and not so well in others. In fact, ill-fitting dentures can contribute to the loss of supporting teeth or bone, and aggravate deterioration of your mouth.

Other tooth replacement alternatives?

Well, you could go toothless. But along with that comes a change in eating habits, quality of speech, and level of self-esteem.

"My mouth is me again."

In many dental practices, implant dentists have had great success with "osseointegrated" (osseo = bone) dental implants, a system where bone and implant mesh. As implant research has grown into dental implantology, many types of appliances have been tested (and some discarded). The Branemark implant, a titanium device developed in Sweden, has the longest track record, a 95% success rate over 20 years.

What makes a successful tooth implant?

In the Branemark system, it's the osseointegration, the meshing of implant and bone. The properties of the implant are such that a chemical and mechanical bond is formed. The jawbone actually grows into the implant. But the real benchmark for the success of a dental implant procedure is this: The patient has to be happy with it. For years.

For certain people, a single implant to bridge a gap is called for. Another person might require two to support a bridge, or two to four implants to stabilize a lower denture. In other people, bone loss is already severe, and what remains cannot support an overdenture, so a tooth implant procedure is not the solution. However, when they work, they're as real as it gets.

If you think you might benefit from teeth implants, call your implant dentist for a consultation.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Monday, April 8, 2013

What Is An Office Visit Co-payment, Dental Co-insurance And Plan Deductible


What Is An Office Visit Co-payment, Dental Co-insurance And Plan Deductible




What is an office visit co-payment and co-insurance?

An office visit co-payment is a fixed dollar amount or a percentage that you pay for each dentist visit or for each dental service provided. For example, with some plans you may pay a fixed amount such as $5 or $10 per visit. Other plans will charge you a percentage of the total fee - or dental co-insurance -- for the visit. So if your co-payment is 10% and the dentist visit was $200, you would pay 10% which, in this case, would be $20.

What is a dental insurance deductible?

A deductible is the amount of annual dental expenses that a dental plan member must pay before the plan will begin to cover expenses. For example, if your plan has a $50 deductible, you will pay the first $50 of your dental expenses before your dental plan begins paying the expenses. Only expenses for covered services apply towards the deductible. For example, if you paid $1,000 for orthodontic work that was not an expense covered by the plan, then the $1,000 will not apply toward your annual deductible.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Friday, April 5, 2013

What Occurs During A Dental Examination


What Occurs During A Dental Examination



During a dental examination, the dentist examines the soft tissues of the mouth for any abnormalities or pathology (including oral cancer), the teeth for tooth decay or defects, the gum tissues for periodontal (gum) disease, the neck for swollen lymph nodes, the amount of plaque, tartar, and debris on teeth, as well as the need to replace any missing teeth or dental prostheses. Regular examinations by a dentistry professional are crucial to maintaining your dental health and are a necessity in any dental care plan.

Dentists begin the dental examination with a complete dental and medical history, including medications the patient is currently taking. The skin of the face and neck is examined for any abnormalities, especially pigment changes. The lymph nodes in front and behind the ears, under the floor of the mouth and chin, and the midline of the neck, sides, and back of the neck are palpated to determine if any swelling or tenderness is present.

Inside of the mouth, the lips, cheeks, gums, and roof of the mouth are inspected and palpated. During this process, the tip of the tongue is placed on the roof of the mouth just behind the upper teeth for inspection of the front floor of the mouth and sides of the tongue.

The back floor of the mouth, the area behind the lower wisdom teeth, and the back sides of the tongue are inspected by grasping the tip of the tongue with a small gauze sponge and pulling the tongue forward and toward the opposite side of the mouth.

To inspect the back of the throat, soft palate, and tonsil area (sides of the throat), the tongue is depressed with a dental mirror or tongue blade and then a deep breath is taken by the patient.

To detect swelling on the floor of the mouth, the area inside the mouth is felt with the finger of one hand while a finger of the other hand feels below the chin. Salivary gland enlargement, saliva flow, or xerostomia (dry mouth) are determined by milking the major salivary glands to assess the quantity and consistency of saliva.

Today's dentist has many analytic tools available to pinpoint dental and oral diseases. The basic tools are the dental instruments, lights, and radiographs (X-rays). Depending upon the dentist and the individual's dentistry needs, additional diagnostic tests are available. Testing for essential proteins and buffering capacity can evaluate the protective ability of saliva.

To determine tooth decay risks, microbiological testing of saliva can measure the level of decay-producing organisms. Periodontal susceptibility tests, which test for the DNA of gum disease-producing organisms, can be performed to assess an individual's risk for gum disease.

If removable dentures are present, dentists check them for bite, retention, stability, and overall fit. Dental impressions or models also may be taken to study the mouth and tooth structures to initiate fabrication of prostheses. Photographs may be exposed for a variety of reasons, including before and after treatment comparisons.

The level of oral hygiene and home dental care practices are assessed and reviewed. Recommendations for home care devices and products may be made. Instruction and methods for maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen can also take place.

Once basic information about dental health status is gathered, the dentist will be better able to discuss dental care plans that are available.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics
www.lajollaperiodontics.com

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.