Tooth loss can have a profound impact on your oral and general health, as well as your quality of life. Despite the many advancements in dental technologies and treatments, as well as increased awareness of the effects of gum disease, millions of American adults are still living with various degrees of tooth loss. And contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be over the age of 60 to feel the effects of gum disease, it can and does affect people of all ages and backgrounds. The good news is that if you have recently experienced tooth loss or have been living with it for some time, it is not too late to restore your smile and your oral health. Dr. Linda Trotter in Jacksonville, FL, recommends dental implants for healthy adults missing anywhere from one to all of their natural teeth.
Give Your Smile a New Life with Dental Implants in Jacksonville, FL
Implants are the only dental restoration the replaces the root of a missing tooth as well as the crown. In addition to restoring the cosmetic and basic functional aspects of your teeth, which allow you to chew your food, speak clearly and smile with confidence, implants help to preserve your oral health by preventing bone loss in the gums. The implant portion of the restoration consists of a small biocompatible titanium screw that takes the place of the root of the missing tooth.
Once in place, the implant fuses to the surrounding bone tissue in the gums, which helps to prevent erosion of healthy bone tissue and spur the growth of new healthy tissue. When the implant heals, the cosmetic crown is attached, completing the restoration. Implants are available to replace a single tooth or even an entire set of dentures with just a few implants. In order to qualify, you must be a healthy adult with enough sufficient bone tissue in the gums to support an implant.
Find a Dentist in Jacksonville, FL
Tooth loss no longer has to be permanent. For more information about the benefits of dental implants and to find out if they are the right dental restoration option for you, contact our office by calling (904) 389-3451 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Trotter today.
Children's permanent teeth normally erupt over several years after first forming below the gum line. All their permanent teeth should come in by the time they reach early adolescence.
Unfortunately, this process doesn't always happen as it should. If the erupting teeth become crowded due to a poor bite (malocclusion), teeth still to come in may not have enough room to fully erupt. They become impacted, a condition in which the visible crown remains partially or completely submerged below the gum line.
Impacted teeth create consequences for other teeth and dental health overall. They more readily cause abscesses (a localized infection within the gum tissue) and can damage the roots of nearby teeth. Impacted front canine (eye) teeth can interfere with bite function and their visual absence mars an otherwise attractive smile.
If your child's canine teeth have failed to erupt properly, there is a way to help them fully come in if you act before their mouth structure fully matures. The first step is an orthodontic evaluation of their entire bite. This will determine if there's enough space to move other teeth to make room for the impacted canines.
If so, we would then find the exact position of the impacted teeth using x-rays and possibly cone beam CT scanning for a detailed three-dimensional image. The teeth could be in a variety of positions, such as angled toward the roof of the mouth or cheek or buried high in the jawbone. If the teeth are too far out of position the best course of action may be to remove them and replace them later with a dental implant.
If the impacted teeth, though, are in a feasible position for retrieval, we first expose each tooth through the gums with a minor surgical procedure and bond a small bracket to it. We then attach a small gold chain to the bracket that loops over an orthodontic appliance attached to other teeth. The appliance will exert pressure over several months to pull the tooth into proper position.
If successful, your child will gain the use of these important teeth and a more attractive appearance. But don't delay — this desired outcome will become much harder if not impossible to attain as their teeth and jaws continue to develop.
If you would like more information on treating impacted teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Exposing Impacted Canines.”
During his former career as a professional footballer (that's a soccer star to U.S. sports fans) David Beckham was known for his skill at “bending” a soccer ball. His ability to make the ball curve in mid-flight — to avoid a defender or score a goal — led scores of kids to try to “bend it like Beckham.” But just recently, while enjoying a vacation in Canada with his family, “Becks” tried snowboarding for the first time — and in the process, broke one of his front teeth.
Some fans worried that the missing tooth could be a “red card” for Beckham's current modeling career… but fortunately, he headed straight to the dental office as soon as he arrived back in England. Exactly what kind of treatment is needed for a broken tooth? It all depends where the break is and how badly the tooth is damaged.
For a minor crack or chip, cosmetic bonding may offer a quick and effective solution. In this procedure, a composite resin, in a color custom-made to match the tooth, is applied in liquid form and cured (hardened) with a special light. Several layers of bonding material can be applied to re-construct a larger area of missing tooth, and chips that have been saved can sometimes be reattached as well.
When more tooth structure is missing, dental veneers may be the preferred restorative option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They can not only correct small chips or cracks, but can also improve the color, spacing, and shape of your teeth.
But if the damage exposes the soft inner pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be needed to save the tooth. In this procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed and the tooth sealed against re-infection; if a root canal is not done when needed, the tooth will have an increased risk for extraction in the future. Following a root canal, a tooth is often restored with a crown (cap), which can look good and function well for many years.
Sometimes, a tooth may be knocked completely out of its socket; or, a severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted (removed). In either situation, the best option for restoration is a dental implant. Here, a tiny screw-like device made of titanium metal is inserted into the jaw bone in a minor surgical procedure. Over time, it fuses with the living bone to form a solid anchorage. A lifelike crown is attached, which provides aesthetic appeal and full function for the replacement tooth.
So how's Beckham holding up? According to sources, “David is a trooper and didn't make a fuss. He took it all in his stride." Maybe next time he hits the slopes, he'll heed the advice of dental experts and wear a custom-made mouthguard…
If you have questions about restoring damaged teeth, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma and Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “Children's Dental Concerns and Injuries.”
Don’t just settle for your smile. Improve it with the help of dental veneers.
How often do you find yourself smiling during the day: When you shake the hand of a colleague? When you meet someone for the first time? When you find your first date’s joke funny? There are many scenarios that may cause you to smile and while this is typically a great thing, it may not be quite as great if you have imperfections that embarrass you. Our Jacksonville, FL, dentist, Dr. Linda Trotter, wants to turn your embarrassment into confidence with the help of dental veneers.
Tell Me About Dental Veneers
With just these thin, simple custom-made porcelain shells you wouldn’t believe just how much you can transform and alter your smile for the better. Here are just some of the things you can change when you choose to get dental veneers in Jacksonville:
Color: There are many reasons why teeth dull, stain and yellow. It could just be due to aging or it could be from cigarettes or the foods you’ve enjoyed over the years. While these stains can often be treated with professional teeth whitening, if you have deep-set stains or internal stains caused by trauma or medications, then dental veneers will be the only way to cover these discolorations and get your smile whiter.
Shape: Do you hate that the only thing you notice when you smile is that cracked or chipped front tooth? Do issues like this keep you from the perfect smile? If so, then dental veneers may be the best option. When veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth they easily cover a variety of different flaws to give you the ideal shape, no matter what might be going on underneath those veneers.
Size: Do you have a gummy smile? Do you notice that one of your teeth is significantly longer or shorter than the rest? Getting an even smile has never been easier with dental veneers. These shells can easily make teeth appear longer so that your smile looks more balanced.
Alignment: Most people are born with the perfect smiles, and often times they need a little help from braces to make that possible. Of course, if you only have minor spacing, overlapping or crowding issues, then you may not want to wear braces for months. In this case, dental veneers may be able to close up gaps, improve the look of crooked teeth and even improve your bite without ever needing braces.
If you want to find out how dental veneers can improve your smile then it’s time you called our Jacksonville, FL, cosmetic dentist to learn more. We would be happy to determine if veneers are the best cosmetic enhancement for you.
Many people learn they have periodontal (gum) disease after noticing gum swelling, soreness or bleeding. But what you can see or feel may be only the tip of the iceberg — the damage may extend much deeper.
Gum disease is caused mainly by dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles built up on teeth due to ineffective brushing and flossing. Infection of the visible gums is only the beginning — left untreated, it can advance well below the gum line and even infect supporting bone.
One critical concern in this regard is the areas where the roots of a tooth separate from each other, known as furcations. Here an infection known as a furcation invasion can cause the bone to weaken and dissolve.
This usually occurs in stages (or classes) we can detect through manual probing and/or with x-rays. In the earliest stage, Class I, we might only notice a slight pocket in the gums with no significant bone loss. In Class II, though, the pocket between the roots has become a horizontal opening of two or more millimeters, indicating definite bone loss with increased pocket depth getting “under” the crown of the tooth. Class III, the last and most serious stage, describes an opening we can probe under the crown all the way to the other side of the tooth; the bone loss now extends “through and through” the furcation.
The basic goal of gum disease treatment is to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from all tooth and gum surfaces. But removing plaque below the gum line, especially “into” the furcations, can be challenging. We will need instruments called scalers to clean root surfaces, assisted sometimes by ultrasonic equipment to vibrate plaque loose. With furcations we may also need to employ surgery to aid gum or bone tissue regeneration or to make the area easier to access for future cleaning.
Of course, the best way to protect against furcation invasions is to prevent gum disease in the first place. Be sure to brush and floss daily and visit us for thorough dental cleanings and checkups at least every six months.
And don’t delay contacting us if you see any signs of teeth or gum problems. The sooner we can identify gum disease, the more likely we’ll be able to prevent it from doing serious damage to your gums, bone and teeth.
If you would like more information on treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “What are Furcations?”
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