Friday, May 31, 2013

Choosing Family Dental Insurance For Your Child


Choosing Family Dental Insurance For Your Child



I'm sure you've noticed that you and your child are two distinct people with entirely different needs, including dental health needs. When employers label children as dependents, however, they often see them as extensions of their parents. That means when it comes to awarding family dental benefits, you must be on the same policy. It's important to be sure you select a dental plan that works for both of you. Here are some things to consider when choosing your dental insurance carrier:

  • Your child has the right to see a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to address the unique dental needs of young children, such as early preventive care and alleviating dental anxiety. If your family dental insurance plan only allows your child to see a pediatric dental specialist after an unsuccessful visit to a general dentist, consider making a change.
  • What is the extent of your preventive care coverage? Children's teeth are in a critical stage of development. Any potential problems should be identified and resolved as early as possible. It's also crucial to establish positive dental care habits right from the start. This means dental exams early and often. If your dental plan puts unreasonable restrictions on a child's early dental care, look for dental coverage elsewhere.
  • What other procedures are covered? As mentioned, your child's teeth are only just developing. If they do not grow properly, your child can experience pain or misshapen facial structure. Special care, such as orthodontics, is often required to correct the problem, and is often medically necessary. If your family dental insurance plan considers this specialized care to be cosmetic, and therefore not covered, look for something better.
  • What is the extent of your emergency care coverage? Kids have accidents - it's a fact of life. Not only are they generally more active than many adults, playing sports and climbing trees, but many have not yet developed refined coordination. That means plenty of falls or balls to the mouth. If your child loses a tooth or experiences some other sort of dental trauma, be sure your plan allows you to seek immediate emergency care without anybody's permission.
  • It's important for you to have a reasonable amount of control over your child's dental care. If your dental insurance company makes it difficult to choose or change dentists when you feel it's necessary, or allows you very little say in whatever treatment is performed, shop around.
Insurance may seem like a costly investment, but a family dental plan that truly fits you and your children's needs is well worth it. The preventive and emergency care you'll receive will ensure all of you will enjoy good oral health for a lifetime.


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, May 30, 2013

What's the Difference Between a Dental Bridge and a Dental Implant?


What's the Difference Between a Dental Bridge and a Dental Implant?



What is used to get across a gap -- a bridge of course! A dental bridge spans the gap between one or more missing teeth giving you a better smile.

Your teeth not only help you chew and speak correctly, but also contribute substantially to your smile and overall appearance (your teeth give form to your face and without them, your facial features can be significantly affected.) If lost teeth are not restored, other teeth often shift, causing crooked teeth, leading to cavities and gum disease. Dental bridges restore potentially compromised oral health to full function.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A bridge is a special dental appliance used to restore missing teeth. There are several types of bridges used to span the space. The three most common types include:

  • Fixed Dental Bridge - This type of bridge is cemented next to the teeth adjacent to the gap, called the "abutment" teeth. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to crowns that provide added support and cover the abutment teeth. Fixed bridges can only be removed by the dentist.
  • Removable Partial Dentures - When the span is large, your dentist may suggest this type of bridge. A removable partial denture fastens to natural teeth with clasps or attachments. This type of appliance can be removed for cleaning and is less expensive than the fixed type. However, it's usually not as durable as the fixed bridge.
  • Dental Implant Supported Bridges - When implants have been placed in spaces that have no teeth, they serve as "abutments" or anchors for a bridge.
What Materials Are Used in a Dental Bridge?

An assortment of materials are available depending on the function and appearance. Porcelain, tooth-colored acrylics, gold alloys, and alloys made from non-precious metals all provide important restorative qualities along with making your smile the way you want it.

What's Involved in the Procedure?

Normally at least two visits are needed for preparing the teeth, custom-designing the bridge, and making adjustments for proper fit and comfort.

How Do I Care for My New Dental Bridge?

With bridges, extra care must be given to your gums and teeth. Bridges add more stress to existing teeth and must be supported by healthy gums. Otherwise, these key teeth are susceptible to decay and affect the bridges.

Brushing twice a day and flossing daily along with regular dental visits are essential to good oral hygiene. Flossing is often easier by using floss threaders that help to remove cavity-causing bacteria between the dental bridge and adjacent teeth.

Because bridges are intricate and sometimes difficult to clean, your dentist might suggest a special instrument that helps in caring for your teeth. Similar in design to professional dental cleaning instruments, it's made of tiny filaments that rotate to "swoosh" into the crevices between the teeth and below the gum line. Ask your dentist about this special cleaning device.

With good oral hygiene, a fixed dental bridge can last eight to ten years or more and provide years of service enhancing your smile and appearance and your oral 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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Periodontitis and Gum Disease Treatment


Periodontitis and Gum Disease Treatment



It's natural to want to lump people together in some Big Category. Natural, but wrong. Like, "Baby Boomer." President Clinton and home run slugger Mark McGwire are both "Boomers." But are these two guys exactly alike?

It's the same in health and dental care. Your oral chemistry is as unique as your thumbprint. Yet magazine stories claim "you" need only one dental appointment a year to stay healthy. They don't know you. They're referring to an "average" patient. Insurance plans also tend to believe in this mythical "average patient" and may not pay for more than a biannual visit.

Sure, two visits are fine for many patients, even most. But some mouths build up more tartar than others. Others are naturally decay-prone. Still others - and this is critical - may be showing signs of periodontal (gum) disease.

Bleeding gums need to be taken seriously. They're signs of an infection that can be a significant risk factor for heart disease, and, in fact, many serious illnesses. If you had a bleeding sore on your hand that didn't heal you'd get to a doctor for a checkup, right? Type I periodontitis (gingivitis) consists of tender gums and a little bacteria-filled pocket between your tooth and gum. It's easily treatable at this point. But if the infected pockets are allowed to enlarge and you get swollen gums, that inflammation can extend to the bone beneath and erode it.

Your periodontist's concern is for your health and your teeth, not whether you've made the standard number of appointments for this year. He or she wants the chemistry to be right in your mouth... and between the two of 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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Teeth Whitening And Teeth Bleaching - Explore The Revolutionary Advanced Dental Techniques Bright, White Teeth.



Teeth Whitening And Teeth Bleaching - Explore The Revolutionary Advanced Dental Techniques Bright, White Teeth.



Teeth Whitening And Teeth Bleaching - Explore The Revolutionary Advanced Dental Techniques Bright, White Teeth.
Advanced dental techniques now provide consumers with exciting, new options for enhancing their smiles. Revolutionary methods are now available for tooth bleaching to make smiles sparkle!

Teeth bleaching or whitening lightens the color of teeth whether darkened from age, coffee, tea or tobacco. The brightening effects of teeth whiteners can last up to five years after the treatment depending on your personal habits, such as smoking or drinking coffee or tea.

Is Tooth Whitening Right for You?

Teeth bleaching has a higher than 90% success rate. It is tough on stains but gentle on your teeth! Results vary depending on several factors such as teeth stained from smoking; from taking certain medications such as tetracycline during tooth development; or from fluorosis, a condition occurring in the presence of too much fluoride.

A tooth whitener will not lighten fillings or artificial materials used in dental repair such as crowns, porcelain veneers, etc. Your dentist may discourage treatment if you have sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, teeth with worn enamel or if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.

Tooth Bleaching - Several Options Available

Some tooth whitening treatments are performed in the dental office using an in-office bleaching system, such as laser bleaching. This method lightens teeth instantly. The same results may be obtained more economically through dentist-supervised at-home tooth bleaching, but take longer to achieve. Some teeth whitening systems, which bleach your teeth while you sleep, work in 10 to 14 days (or more accurately nights)! Others bleach your teeth from two to four hours a day requiring three to six weeks to complete.

It's important to know that certain types of stains respond better to different types of whitening materials. In such cases, your dentist may recommend one tooth whitener method over the other.

Teeth Bleaching - The Steps to Bright, White Teeth
  • Your dentist will first examine your teeth and gums and discuss the procedure best suited to your individual needs. Any cavities or gum problems must be treated before teeth bleaching can begin.
  • The in-office method generally takes one to three hours and results in an immediate noticeable change.
  • For the at-home method, special molds will be made of your teeth. These will be used to make custom-fitted flexible trays that will hold the bleaching gel comfortably in your mouth.
  • When you get your tooth bleaching trays, you'll receive instructions about wearing them. These directions must be carefully followed. Only the materials provided by the tooth whitening dentist can be safely used.
  • After completing the treatment, your teeth will be checked by your dental provider to discuss the results.
  • Smile. Your new white teeth will radiate a bright look!

Safety

Research over the last five years has proven that teeth bleaching is both safe and effective. The American Dental Association's seal of approval has been given to a wide range of tooth whitener products. Generally, the only side effect from treatment may be some sensitivity to hot and cold foods. If this occurs, sensitivity normally disappears within 48 hours.


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, May 27, 2013

Wouldn't You Love To Have White Teeth and a Bright Smile?


Wouldn't You Love To Have White Teeth and a Bright Smile?



How would you feel if your smile was a bit brighter than it is right now? White teeth not only look sensational, but they build the kind of inner confidence that really gives a smile its electricity. You might be surprised at what simple, affordable professional teeth whitening, teeth bleaching and other cosmetic treatments can offer to do just that and which are available today.

You may have seen advertising for tooth whitening toothpastes. However, the results of those teeth whiteners can’t match the results we can give to you with our professional teeth whitening. Our tooth whitener effectively lightens brown and yellow enamel discoloration. We use a special gel inside a custom-made tray that covers your teeth.


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, May 24, 2013

Teeth Bleaching Questions


Teeth Bleaching Questions



Do you wish that you had whiter teeth? Have you tried and been disappointed by the over-the-counter teeth whitening products, whitening toothpaste and those mail order kits? Well, here is a safe, easy, and successful way that you can REALLY whiten your teeth.

Using a professional teeth whitening system, you can get dramatic results in a matter of days by teeth bleaching at home. Some products use a pH neutral formula that has been approved by the FDA. Interested? Questions?

Q: What is tooth whitening?

It is a whitening process that lightens the discolorations of enamel and dentin. The teeth whitening system uses a whitening gel that is retained in a custom-fitted appliance.

Q: Is the process safe?

Clinical research has shown that using a properly formulated professional tooth whitening gel under the supervision of a dentist is safe for teeth and gums.

Q: How long does it take?

Results are usually seen in the first several days. Maximum results generally occur when the process is continued for 10 to 14 days (or nights).

Q: How long do the results last?

The teeth will ALWAYS be lighter than they were. However, some patients may choose to touch-up periodically, one or two nights every six months. If you think that you might benefit from this tooth bleaching process, be sure to let your dentist know. He or she would be happy to assist in providing you with whiter teeth and a brighter smile!


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, May 23, 2013

Types Of Discount Dental Plans - Coverage for Individuals and Families


Types Of Discount Dental Plans - Coverage for Individuals and Families



DENTAL PPO PROGRAM

A dental PPO – preferred provider organization – is a individual dental insurance plan that uses a network of contracted dentists to provide a better value. Like a medical PPO, the dentists on the dental PPO network have agreed to a discount dental plan set of fees that have been established to be below the usual geographic area.

The dentists have agreed to the reduced fees in order to attract additional patients that might not have come to their office otherwise. The PPO network can replace some of the advertising that a dentist or dental group might rely on to bring in new patients. So you can see how medical and individual dental insurance plans are alike.

DENTAL CAPITATION PROGRAM - DHMO

A dental capitation or “Cap” program is another variation of discount dental coverage. They are sometimes referred to as Dental HMOs or DHMOs.  Unlike the traditional discount dental plans described above, a dental capitation insurance plan does not use the fee-for-service system, but pays the dentist a fixed amount for each patient each month.

The capitation refers to this fixed monthly payment, which is determined from a combination of the premium received and the historic utilization of that group. While a way to transfer some of the risk of the cost for extensive services to the dentist, it can also be a source of conflict when a number of patients need multiple services from the same provider.

DENTAL REFERRAL or DISCOUNT DENTAL PLANS

A dental referral plan is not insurance. This type of dental plan uses a network of contracted dentists, like a PPO or DHMO, but the benefit is simply a discounted fee on their individual dental insurance plan. Nothing is paid on behalf of the member; they are simply entitled to a lower fee for their dental care. While this can appear to be of limited value, some referral plans are able to save their members a significant amount of money in dental fees.

Be sure when you are purchasing a discount dental plan that you are aware of the nature of the plan. A dental referral plan may help you with special fees at a limited number of dental offices, but it does not provide emergency benefits when you are away from home unless you contact the plan office and find a participating dentist where you are visiting.

GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR DENTAL INSURANCE

Dental insurance is focused on the preventive and diagnostic services for higher coverage. To get the maximum benefit from your insurance plan, you need to consider the following issues:

  • Is there an option that uses a PPO or DHMO network where you premium dollars will get more dental services? Often, using a PPO dentist can save you 10 – 20% from the usual fees.
  • Whether you are in a PPO or not, will your dentist provide a treatment plan for a large amount of work? To be sure that your dental services will be covered by your plan, it is best to have your dentist send in a pre-estimate of services. That way you will know that the services are covered and what your portion of the costs will be.
  • Can the treatment be set up in stages? If some care is more urgent than other services, perhaps your dentist can provide the services over two calendar years, thus utilizing two annual maximums. Annual maximums are usually $1500 or more, but that can be reached quickly with multiple services.
  • Are there alternatives? Often, a dental problem can be solved in several different ways, all satisfactory and appropriate, but different. For instance, missing teeth can be replaced by implants, or by a bridge (in most instances) or by a partial denture. All of these are acceptable dental care, but the costs can vary widely. Talk to your dentist about why he or she believes that this treatment is best for you and if you still have questions, seek a second opinion.
  • How often can you get your teeth cleaned? Some plans indicate twice per year, while others limit you to once every 6 months.  If you have the second kind and your cleaning occurs before 6 months have passed, the insurance will not pay the benefit. Be aware of your plan coverage and the specifics before you get surprised.
  • Are your children too old for coverage? Dental insurance for your family usually covers children as dependents up to age 18 or 19. If your child is over 18, you should understand when coverage ends and if they are a full-time student, what you must do to prove that for the insurance company.
  • Are the services that your dentist is proposing covered? Sometimes, new forms of dental treatment or cosmetic services are not covered by your dental insurance. Be sure to check your benefits guide and/or have your dentist submit a pre-treatment estimate to confirm that the services will be covered. If the services are denied, you or your dentist may need to write a letter and send more explanation regarding the need for these services.
  • Do you have coverage from both parents? The dental insurance companies will then use coordination of benefits to determine which insurance is primary and which is secondary for your children. Once you know that, the claim should be submitted to the primary carrier first.
  • Does your dentist give a discount for cash? Some offices will allow you to pay and receive a discount for cash and then send in the insurance yourself. This method could save you up to 10% at some offices.
  • Does your dentist give a discount for referrals? If you send in your friends and neighbors, will the office give you a break on your bill? Ask what discounts might be available at your dental office to see how you might save more on your bill.

Understanding Your Dental Insurance Plan Options

The market place has provided you multiple options:
  • Discount Dental Plans
  • Dental Insurance
  • DHMO Plans
  • Capitation Plans
  • All of these plans have their pros and cons. Talk with the a dentist you trust to help you make the best choice to maximize your individual dental coverage need.


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, May 22, 2013

Replacement Of Missing Teeth With Implant Dentistry

Replacement Of Missing Teeth With Implant Dentistry



In implant dentistry, devices are used to replace missing teeth. They are made of titanium, an inert metal that bonds with the bone, forming a very tight union called osseointegration. The modern system of dental implants, the endosseous system, is extremely successful and has a 90% to 95% success rate.

The dental implant itself replaces the root of the tooth. It is usually in the shape of a screw or a cylinder. The implant connects to a component (the abutment) that joins the implant to the replacement tooth (the crown).

Dental implants are ideal replacements for teeth. When healthy teeth have to be prepared for crowns or bridges, healthy tooth structure needs to be removed. But if only one tooth is missing, the dental implant can simply replace it without having to sacrifice the adjacent teeth.

Dental implants can also be used to replace many missing teeth. Multiple teeth can be replaced with implant dentistry and can avoid the need for a removable denture. Removable dentures can be hard to get used to. They may have clasps that can be unsightly and put additional stress on the existing teeth. Full dentures may be difficult to wear and may interfere with eating and speaking. People that wear dentures for a long time may have additional loss of the bone that supports the denture. This bone loss can be accelerated by osteoporosis, and eventually dentures may be very difficult to wear if not impossible. Poor-fitting dentures can interfere with proper nutrition and quality of life.

Generally, one implant is needed to replace each missing tooth. In some situations, several implants need to be joined together into a bridge. This adds greater strength to the implant restoration. If there is not enough bone available to replace a whole set of teeth, implants may be used as anchors for dentures. When dentures are supported by implants they can be much more stable and the implants help prevent the deterioration of the bone that supports the denture.

The endosseous system of implant dentistry has been used for over 30 years. They can look and feel like natural teeth, adding comfort and improving the smile of people of all ages.


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, May 21, 2013

Learn how you can find the best implant dentistry in your area.



Learn how you can find the best implant dentistry in your area.



When the concept of dental implants and the mechanisms in which they work were introduced to mainstream dentistry during the late 1970's, the advent of dental implants opened up an excitingly new chapter in dentistry.

Through the 1980's, the news of the successful procedure of dental implants spread at an explosive rate. It took approximately ten years of repeated long-term success for the procedure to gain validity.

By the early 1990's dentists readily accepted implant dentistry as an adequate and routine substitute for missing teeth in all areas of the mouth.

Restoring dental implants has undergone a paradigm shift from simply validating that dental implants work to recreating missing teeth with a chameleon-like effect. Even though implants can be restored with a very high degree of success, one of the most difficult and critical areas in the mouth to achieve great esthetic results is in the upper front jaw -- specifically when replacing a single upper central incisor tooth.

Single-tooth implant dentistry present dentists with unique challenges. When a single central incisor tooth is removed due to periodontal disease, tooth decay, trauma, or nerve failure, the body responds by shrinking the bone and gum tissue in place of the missing tooth. The body no longer needs the supporting bone structure; therefore, the bone is decreased and the gum tissue shrinks because of bone resorption.

In order to achieve a natural appearance to the final restoration, restorative dentists must attempt to replace what nature he as taken away. An unnatural appearance will be the result if the tooth is replaced without considering augmenting or "plumping up" the support structures. It would be like placing a great painting in the wrong frame, thus having a diminished outcome.

Achieving Esthetic Implant Dentistry with Crowns

Certain steps are necessary to achieve a successful outcome, especially in the most demanding implant cases, like replacing a single upper front tooth. Before the decision to place an implant is made, patients should know the sequential steps.

The process starts with a thorough exam. Clinically, dentists should examine the affected area and the entire mouth. A comprehensive exam of the bone and soft tissues must be performed along with taking specific X-rays and possibly detailed bone scans to identify any potential complications.

An analysis of your smile should also be performed. Do your teeth and gums show when you smile? Does your upper lip drape over your teeth? If the patient has a high lip line that shows teeth and gums, the need for bone and soft tissue grafting may be necessary.

By discussing several of the aspects necessary for implant treatment, you can be more aware of the possibilities, as well as the limitations, associated with implant dentistry. Armed with various soft and hard tissue grafting techniques, ceramic material advancements, and better dental implant components, dentists are able to satisfy even the most esthetically-minded patients.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics
http://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.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Look Younger With Teeth Whitening


Look Younger With Teeth Whitening



No doubt about it. We're living longer, we're living better. All that effort put into diet and exercise is paying off. And while you're going through your paces on the treadmill, consider another part of you that might need a bit of improvement: your smile and whether or not you have white teeth.

With age, one of the first things to go is the freshness of your smile. At about thirty, tooth color begins to dim. There is a natural tendency for dentin, just beneath the enamel, to yellow. And if you smoke or overindulge in coffee or cola, the darkening can be dramatic. Exercise and low-fat foods count for less if your smile gives you away.

But just as our health habits have improved, so has cosmetic dental technology. Now we have the tools and teeth whitening products to perfect the color, and the healthful look, of your teeth.

Teeth whitening systems take many forms. There are gels and solutions accelerated by light; laser tooth whitening is coming into use to "jump-start" the tooth whitening process. We can change color fast or over time.

In any case, the result is visible in days and, with touch-ups, will last as long as you do.

You've lived this long, you've earned it. While perfect thighs are next to impossible, a pretty smile is within everyone's reach. Go for it; don't let your smile age faster than the rest of 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, May 17, 2013

Implant Dentistry Gives You Better Fitting Denture Implants


Implant Dentistry Gives You Better Fitting Denture Implants



The art and science of implant dentistry has advanced rapidly during recent years and new techniques and materials have greatly improved our ability to replace missing tissues with functional and natural-looking artificial prostheses called dentures implants. However, it must be remembered from the outset that no prosthesis or artificial substitute will ever function as well as the original living tissues. Research has shown that the chewing efficiency of experienced denture patients is, at best, less than 20% as efficient as the average chewing efficiency of patients with natural teeth.

Why Is the Lower Complete Denture So Hard to Wear?

Both upper and lower dentures are retained in the mouth by an intimately close fit of the plastic denture base to the gums. The intimately close fit is achieved by a combination of muscle control and suction. Mastering the function of the lower denture is more difficult than learning to use an upper complete denture. By comparison, the lower denture has less stable tissue with which to rest on than the upper denture. The lower denture stays in place largely due to the ability of the denture wearer to control their tongue well enough to hold the denture down while they speak and chew. Therefore, lack of tongue coordination in a lower complete denture wearer can severely affect the patient's ability to wear a lower complete denture.

Bone Loss and Complete Dentures

For various reasons, teeth have to be removed. After tooth removal, the residual bone that is used to support the teeth will then shrink away quite rapidly over the first year because the body knows that the residual bone is no longer needed. The greatest amount of shrinkage occurs during the first year after tooth removal. Research has shown that wearing dentures will accelerate jawbone shrinkage. As the shrinkage of the jawbone support progresses over time, new dentures will need to be fabricated in approximately six to ten years. Because each denture wearer is unique, sometimes the internal surface of the denture needs to be readapted to the gum tissues. This procedure is called a reline.

Lower Complete Dentures and Denture Implants

Some patients are never able to adapt to functioning day-to-day with their complete dentures. Many of these patients do not have adequate bone to stabilize a lower denture. Others never develop enough muscle coordination to learn to chew with their dentures. For many years, dentistry had nothing more to offer patients other than a denture adhesive. Today, such problems can often be managed through the use of implant dentistry. Even with as few as two dental implants, the retention and stability of a lower denture can be greatly increased with denture implants. In fact, the chewing efficiency can also be greatly increased. Some patients have estimated that they regained up to 70% of their original chewing capacity. Overall, patients feel more confident when they are in public because they no longer fear that their dentures will slip or cause them embarrassment with denture 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.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stop The Color Purple With Tooth Whitening and a Great Dentist!


Stop The Color Purple With Tooth Whitening and a Great Dentist!



Stains on your teeth can advertise your vices – coffee, cola, nicotine – or tell the world what you do for a living. Trumpet players and copper miners, for instance, can be picked out of a crowd by the blue-green stains on their teeth from copper dust. Furriers work with nitric acid, which causes the blackening of enamel.

Red teeth stains might show a history of typhus, cholera, pulp injury, or just beets for supper. And the color purple indicates a non-vital tooth or probably not – leprosy.

Whatever the color of your teeth stain, our teeth whitening methods can whiten it, mask it, correct it, and give you back your pearly white teeth.


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, May 15, 2013

Raisin Eyebrows: Is Dried Fruit Good for Your Teeth?

Raisin Eyebrows: Is Dried Fruit Good for Your Teeth?



Do you remember how disappointed you were as a kid when some concerned adult dared put raisins in your Halloween bucket? Your mother was probably relieved, convinced they would be far better for you and your pearly whites than the rest of the junk food you'd strung out across the kitchen table. As a pediatric dentist, however, and you might get a different story.

It's true that there are a number of benefits to eating raisins. They're low in fat and cholesterol, but boast plenty of fiber, calcium and potassium. Unfortunately, they're also both sticky and high in sugar, putting them high on the list of foods that can cause cavities. Some health professionals lump them in with all the other typical junk foods kids eat. Don't worry, raisins aren't the only foods once thought healthy that can contribute to tooth decay. Go ahead and add other dried fruit, sweetened cereals and even fruit juices to the list.

Don't chuck raisins out just yet, however. According to Vincent Iannelli, M.D., raisins were recently found to contain phytochemicals, which have been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria that are commonly linked to cavities. Note that this study was conducted in a lab, and no study has even been done to show that cavities are either more or less likely to find kids that eat raisins.

So, where does this leave you? A good general rule when it comes to eating for good health is to stick with whole fruits and vegetables whenever possible. If you must eat something that you aren't sure is good for you, do it in moderation. Be sure to drink lots of water, and always either brush your teeth and rinse your mouth out with warm water after eating sugary or acidic foods to prevent tooth decay!


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, May 14, 2013

Tooth Implants, The Single Missing Tooth Solution


Tooth Implants, The Single Missing Tooth Solution



Single Missing Tooth Problem:

You're missing a single tooth. Until recently your only options were limited: a fixed bridge or a removable partial denture -- which meant removing enamel from adjoining teeth. It was a very short list.

Single Missing Tooth Solution:

Thanks to modern dentistry techniques, single tooth implants are now a good alternative. Although most patients use tooth implants to replace an ill-fitting denture, or to bridge a large gap of several missing teeth, it's now possible for you to have a single tooth replacement.

You're a good candidate for single tooth implants if you are in good health and the jawbone where the tooth implant will be fitted has not receded. You have to be of age, since your facial growth must be complete.

There are many advantages to this procedure. Single tooth implants are strong. Unlike dentures, they require less care. And the implants look and feel natural. So instead of being embarrassed by a missing tooth, you'll have something to smile about.


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, May 13, 2013

Dental Insurance, What Should You Know


Dental Insurance, What Should You Know



Dental insurance is not meant to be a pay-all. It's only meant to be an aid. You are very fortunate if you have dental insurance coverage and don't have to pay the entire dental fee plan out of your own pocket. Many patients don't have any dental insurance at all. Some patients have excellent dental insurance policies, some have fair policies, and some have poor policies. Many plans tell you you'll be covered up to 80% - 100%. In spite of what you're told, most plans cover only 15% - 70% of the average dental fee plan. We realize that every bit of help you get from your insurance company is a big help, and we are glad you have coverage. However, it must be understood that how much your policy covers has already been determined by how much your employer paid for your insurance policy. The less he/she paid for the insurance, the less you'll receive.

FOR EXAMPLE: PLAN Costs a lot of money Costs 1/2 the amount Deductible is $50.00 Deductible is $100.00 Pays $84.00 on a filling Pays $35.00 on a filling Yearly maximum is $1,000 Yearly maximum is $800 It has been the experience of many dentists that some insurance companies tell their customers that "fees are above the usual and customary" rather than saying "our benefits are low."

Your insurance company sets the "allowables" or " a usual and customary dental fee plan" depending on how much your employer paid for your policy. It's just like your car insurance. The lower the benefits you choose, the less it costs you in premiums. Many necessary routine dental services are not covered by dental insurance at all. Again, what is covered and what is not is determined by what benefits and dental fee plan your employer purchased for you.

We do not believe it is in your best interest for your treatment to be compromised in order to accommodate an insurance policy's restrictions that may provide you with a quality of care that is considerably less than you deserve.

We strongly feel that you, not your insurance company, should choose the treatment you feel is best 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.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tongue Scraping, Improve Your Oral Health


Tongue Scraping, Improve Your Oral Health



Tongue scraping is a relatively new phenomenon in dentistry. It is simply the process of removing all the debris that gets trapped in between the taste buds (or bumps) on your tongue. While cleaning this "gunk" off your tongue has been recognized and recommended by dentists for over 50 years, it is only recently that studies have been conducted to show the decrease in halitosis (bad breath), gum problems, and tooth decay by scraping your tongue.

How Does Tongue Scraping Work?

There are dozens of different types of tongue scraping appliances. They are all made for at home use, ideally just before brushing. One popular and inexpensive model is a soft flexible plastic strip that you simply bend and pull over your tongue. Usually two or three strokes is enough to remove the "gunk." The sight of the gunk on the tongue scraper is a little unpleasant, until you recall that it's the same gunk that you would have left sitting on your tongue.

Who Benefits from Tongue Scraping?

Tongue scraping is acceptable and easy enough for anyone to do. People with halitosis (bad breath) will benefit greatly from tongue scraping. It also is very effective for smokers and people who enjoy pungent or strongly odored foods. Also, some people who get a condition called "Brown Hairy Tongue," a fungal growth, will really see a big change.

Will a Toothbrush Work?

Sure, a toothbrush will work well to clean your tongue. And it certainly is better than nothing. Toothbrushes just aren't nearly as effective as some of the scrapers available. Ask your dentist for suggestions on the method of tongue scraping that may work best 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.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Top 10 Reasons Not to Dodge Your Dental Cleaning Appointment


Top 10 Reasons Not to Dodge Your Dental Cleaning Appointment



Sure, regular cleanings with our office promote good oral hygiene, but did you know it can also prevent a multitude of diseases? That 2 o'clock chair-side rendezvous may not seem nearly as exciting as a late lunch with a friend, but it will be well worth it in the end. Here are 10 really great reasons to stick with your regular cleaning schedule!
  • It Prevents Oral Cancer. You may or may not realize that you're screened for oral cancer during your regular dental cleaning. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, an American dies of oral cancer every hour of every day. It's a sad proposition, especially when you consider that it is highly curable with early diagnosis.
  • It Wards Off Gum Disease. Gum disease, or an infection in the gum tissues and bone that keep your teeth in place, is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. It can be treated and reversed if diagnosed early. Unfortunately, not receiving treatment will lead to a more serious and advanced state of gum disease. Regular cleanings and check ups and daily brushing and flossing are key weapons in the fight against these conditions.
  • It's About More Than Your Mouth. Sure, not getting regular check-ups may make you less kissable, but did you know that studies have linked heart attacks and strokes to gum disease associated with poor oral hygiene? A trip to your dentist every 6 months could reduce your risk of serious health problems!
  • You Want to Preserve Your Smile. As mentioned, gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. To keep your pearly whites intact, stick with your cleaning schedule.
  • It's Best to Detect Dental Problems Early. We've already touched upon early detection of gum disease and oral cancer, but don't overlook more basic dental problems. Cavities and broken fillings are easy to treat. Without regular trips to the dentist, these problems can lead to root canals, gum surgery and tooth extraction. Which sounds worse: A 30-minute cleaning or an hour under the knife?
  • You Want to Know You're Doing it Right. Maybe you bought a fancy new electric toothbrush, or aren't keeping up with what current research has to say about caring for your teeth. Either way, check ups allow your dentist to examine your mouth and keep you on the right path.
  • You Have Dental Insurance. Consider how much money you put into your insurance plan. Take advantage of it and save a lot of money in the long run by avoiding costly procedures that result from poor dental habits.
  • You Want to Upgrade Your Smile. If you're already suffering from tooth decay or gum problems, regular appointments will allow our office to create a personalized treatment plan that will give you the best smile possible.
  • You Want to Dazzle. Regular cleanings remove most tobacco, coffee and tea stains, polishing your teeth to a beautiful shine!
  • You Need Some Time Alone. Okay, maybe not completely alone, but the time you spend in the waiting room and chair is really your time. You can forget about the office or the stresses of family life and just relax. Read a magazine or work through a crossword if you want. Take advantage of the time you're given, rather than worrying about how to fit it in your tight schedule. Your health and well-being should never take a back seat to your daily planner.
If it's been more than 6 months since your last check up and cleaning, call your dentist to schedule an appointment 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.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Xylitol: Chew Your Way To Healthier Teeth and Gums?


Xylitol: Chew Your Way To Healthier Teeth and Gums?



Are you crazy about gum, but not so much about its affect on your teeth? (Good for you!) Researchers presenting at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Annual Session in Cincinnati found a natural sweetener may not only improve the taste of gum, juice and candy, it may also reduce tooth decay.

Their study observed children of Belize over the course of several years, some of whom chewed gum with sugar, others with artificial sweeteners. Results showed that those who chewed gum artificially sweetened with Xylitol, a natural sweetener found in trees and fruit that does not cause cavities, suffered from less tooth decay over the duration of the study.

Another study done in Finland found fewer mothers transmitted cavity-causing bacteria to their children when they chewed gum with xylitol. The bacteria transmission occurs when mother and children share eating utensils.

Xylitol is widely available in most supermarkets, but know that it's difficult to achieve the correct dosing. To see results, you'd have to chew gum with a high dose of Xylitol frequently and for prolonged durations. Products containing this natural sweetener may also cost more than those artificially sweetened with other additives.

So, the next time you're dying for a piece of chewy goodness, consider grabbing a brand containing Xylitol. While it can be difficult to obtain optimum results through its use, it is certainly far healthier to chew than gum containing sugar.


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, May 7, 2013

Create The Smile That You Always Wanted With Tooth Whitening


Create The Smile That You Always Wanted With Tooth Whitening



Since the beginning of time, people have battled the effects of aging in order to look and feel younger. History has repeatedly shown us that people will journey to the far ends of the earth for ways to improve and maintain a youthful appearance - whether it is in search of the fountain of youth or to find a plastic surgeon or cosmetic dentist to surgically enhance their facial structures. Plastic surgeons have been instrumental in making facelifts and other related procedures more common to the mainstream population. As a result, a paradigm shift has occurred in how we view ourselves as we get older.

Dentists can now use laser tooth whitening to whiten teeth.

The shift has made the average person more knowledgeable of the link between lifestyle and appearance. Consequently, people are changing their habits, attitudes and preconceived perceptions of aging.

More than ever, people are more willing to dedicate the resources necessary to find the balance between their image, spirituality and life choices. In response to the shift in people's thought processes, the medical community has developed newer and more predictable anti-aging techniques to slow the affect of aging on the human body.

With a large segment of the population reaching the significant milestone of 50, the increase in appearance-enhancement therapies will continue to rise significantly in coming years.

Everyone knows that if you want to cheat the aging process, the person you go to for help is a plastic surgeon. However, if you only consider a surgeon for help, you could leave out an integral part of the rejuvenation equation. Your laser tooth whitening dentist must be included in your quest for a youthful appearance because you will not maximize the benefits of your anti-aging procedures without a smile analysis.

Your Smile Affects How Old You Look

Laser tooth whitening dentistry procedures are like great paintings and sculptures. Your body is the canvas or clay, your face and bone structure are the frame, and at the center of the painting is your smile. In order to make masterpieces appear life-like, artisans must have an understanding of general anatomy and bone structure.

Equating those concepts to aging, you can say that your youthful appearance is as dependent upon how much support you have for your soft tissues. The old adage "Beauty is only skin deep" does not apply to plastic surgery and cosmetic dentistry. Time has a way of shrinking the underlying bone and teeth. If surgeons and cosmetic dentists do not restore what is lost, they will not be able to achieve a natural look.

Using cheek and chin implants in conjunction with facelifts are just some of the ways surgeons restore facial support and beauty. Cosmetic dentists use laser tooth whitening, bonding and porcelain veneers to create a more youthful smile.


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.