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Posts Tagged ‘tooth loss’

Dentures vs. Dental Implants

In Dental Implants on June 23, 2011 at 4:30 AM

When it comes to missing teeth, we usually have to choose between one or the other; Dentures or Implants. But how can we be sure we’re making the best choice for optimal long-term oral health?

We can start by communicating with our dentists.

Then we can continue to educate ourselves by asking friends and family that have experienced one particular solution or another for their missing teeth. Surely the opinions and surrounding circumstances will vary, but we’ll certainly gain some additional insight into the dentures vs. implants equation.

Dentures are removable prosthetic devices or appliances designed to replace missing teeth. When we think of dentures, lots of people think of “false teeth” and Polydent® commercials and Martha Raye.

Dental Implants are fixed, permanent solutions to missing teeth. Implants are surgically inserted into a patient’s jawbone, resulting in a more comfortable and permanent solution to a removable hockey player smile.


Sometimes – and much to the detriment of our optimal oral health – we make dental healthcare decisions based on cost. This is often the case when we’re presented with the treatment options necessary to replace a missing tooth, or teeth.

When it comes to choosing between dental implants or dentures, we’re best served doing as much homework as possible. After all, we’re talking about our teeth…unless we want to drink our food for the rest of our lives; this isn’t a decision to enter into lightly.

And it shouldn’t be one based solely on cost.

Yes, dentures are usually more affordable than dental implants. But do we really want to be bargain hunting when we’re talking about our teeth, let alone overall systemic health and wellness?

Furthermore, if we factor in the maintenance, possibility of loss or damage, and the probability of ill-fitting dentures needing to be re-fitted every so often (7-15 years on average); is there still such a cost disparity between dentures and dental implants?


There are lots of problems that can arise from wearing dentures. From poor-fitting prosthetics to inflamed gums, dentures often become more of a hassle and require more maintenance than the more permanent solution of dental implants.

In doing our research as responsible dental patients, when confronted with the dentures vs. implants question, comfort would definitely be the biggest gripe. Simply put, dentures can’t be too comfortable.

They can slip, crack, or simply just stop fitting so well due to changes in our bone structure.

Did you know dentures may lead to bone loss in the area where the tooth or teeth are missing?

According to the AAOMS (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons), statistics show that 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay. Furthermore, by age 74, 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth.

When it comes to closing that gap tooth smile, or replacing our chompers in their entirety, the dentures vs. implant question will be presented to us.

How we answer will determine the amount of time needed for upkeep, costs involved, and comfort level achieved.

Choose…but choose wisely!





New Research Links Periodontal Disease to Breast Cancer

In Dental Care on February 17, 2011 at 4:00 AM

As gum disease and oral systemic dentistry research continues, it seems we are learning more everyday about how gum disease and tooth loss can negatively impact not only our oral health and appearance, but our overall physical health as well. Recent news out of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden highlighted some seriously alarming links between gum disease and breast cancer.

The study, conducted on over three thousand patients, showed that out of the 41 people who developed breast cancer, those who had gum disease and tooth loss were 11 times more likely to develop cancer. We can now add breast cancer to the already widely accepted connections between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and low birth weight or even risk of fetal death.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study on the association between periodontitis and breast cancer,” Birgitta Söder, DrMedSc, PhD, Lic Odont Sc, RDH, a professor emeritus at Karolinska Institute, told (Erin Archer, R.N. contributing writer, November 18, 2010)

That is alarming, especially when we consider how preventable gum disease can be. Moms and soon to be expectant Moms need to pay attention, the old-wives tale of gain a child lose a tooth need not apply. We now know better. Did you know that estimates that over half the teens in America have some form of gum disease?

Sure there are always environmental and genetic factors in play, but in order for most of us to develop gum disease wouldn’t we need to be ignoring our teeth?

Is it possible to develop gum disease even if you brush twice daily, and floss on the regular?

What are some early signs of gum disease?

All good questions for us to ask next time we pay our dentist a visit, but we need to remember to do so. Most likely your dentist already tries to inform you of these important health concerns, whether through a monthly email newsletter or a chairside conversation. Sometimes we just need to pay better attention, and consider time with our dentist an invaluable opportunity to learn how taking better care of our teeth and gums, can significantly improve our health and wellness.  

Ask your dentist for more information on gum disease and oral systemic dentistry, and be sure to share the information you receive with friends and family.

Dental Emergencies

In Dental Care on October 11, 2010 at 3:00 AM

It can happen in the blink of an eye: an accident that leaves a tooth hanging by a thread or lying on the ground. Kids, athletes, soccer hooligans – it can happen to just about anyone. Ouch! But if it does happen, it’s important to know the proper first aid:

In our experience, most dental emergencies take place over the weekend. Here’s some tips to keep handy, we figured we’d re-post.

– If the tooth is loose (even extremely so!) but is still attached in any way, leave it in place. Do not remove it!

– If it is out of its socket completely and unattached, but still in the victim’s mouth, it is best to have the person hold the tooth in their mouth, if possible, until a dentist can attempt re-implantation.

– If the tooth is out of the mouth, do not let it dry out. Handle it as little as possible. Do not attempt to disinfect the tooth, or scrub it, or remove any tissue attached to it.

– If the tooth is recovered from the ground or other soiled area, rinse it off in lukewarm water. Preserve it in milk until a dentist is available. If milk is not available, lukewarm water will suffice.

Time out of the socket is critical in the long-term success of re-implantation. After 30 minutes, the success potential begins to decline. However, re-implantation is still possible after several hours, so the attempt can still be made even if the tooth has been out for a long period.

Remember, even if re-implantation fails, you have a variety of other options. For more information on emergency dental care or tooth replacement, please don’t hesitate to call us immediately, the doctor’s personal cell phone is on our voicemail, the system may even connect you directly depending on your telephone provider.