Posts for: September, 2016
If you have ever had a regular dental examination, you are probably aware that your dentist sometimes takes x-rays of your mouth. In the past, these x-rays were taken on radiographic film with a process similar to camera film. However, state-of-the-art digital radiographs are faster, more effective, and can save you time and money. Learn more about this crucial dental tool with Dr. Sanjay Patel at My Dentist in San Bernardino, CA.
Conventional X-rays vs. Digital Extra-Oral Radiographs
Digital x-rays available from your San Bernardino, CA dentist, are a state-of-the-art, modern form of radiographs. Digitally x-raying the mouth eliminates the need for developing film. Similar to a film camera versus a digital camera, film x-rays require more time and effort to get to the final pictures. Digital radiography, however, has instant results which appear on a computer, skipping the developing process and saving you and your dentist time and, in the long run, money.
Why are digital radiographs necessary?
X-rays are an important part of modern dentistry. They allow your dentist to see your teeth, their structure, any bone loss which has occurred, and issues which may be unseen to the naked eye. Your dentist uses x-rays during your regular dental examinations to ensure there is no cavities or damage that they may have missed. X-rays also help dentists map out how much tissue and tooth to remove during a procedure like a root canal.
The Benefits of Digital Radiographs in San Bernardino, CA
Digital radiographs require less radiation than conventional x-rays to achieve their results. Taking x-rays digitally also gives your dentist the ability manipulate the image’s contrast and brightness, giving a clearer picture. Additionally, digital radiography provides a more detailed image than traditional x-rays. Dentists also have the ability to store their radiography images digitally, making organization and storage more streamlined.
For more information on digital extra-oral radiography, please contact Dr. Sanjay Patel at My Dentist in San Bernardino, CA. Call (888) 599-7005 to schedule your appointment for a bi-annual examination and cleaning with Dr. Patel today!
When you’re among the top players in your field, you need every advantage to help you stay competitive: Not just the best equipment, but anything else that relieves pain and stress, and allows you to play better. For top-seeded Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic, that extra help came in a somewhat unexpected form: a custom made mouthguard that he wears on the court and off. “[It helps] to not grind my teeth while I play,” said the 25-year-old up-and-coming ace. “It just causes stress and headaches sometimes.”
Mouthguards are often worn by athletes engaged in sports that carry the risk of dental injury — such as basketball, football, hockey, and some two dozen others; wearing one is a great way to keep your teeth from being seriously injured. But Raonic’s mouthguard isn’t primarily for safety; it’s actually designed to help him solve the problem of teeth grinding, or bruxism. This habitual behavior causes him to unconsciously tense up his jaw, potentially leading to problems with muscles and teeth.
Bruxism is a common issue that’s often caused or aggravated by stress. You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to suffer from this condition: Everyday anxieties can have the same effect. The behavior is often worsened when you consume stimulating substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other drugs.
While bruxism affects thousands of people, some don’t even suspect they have it. That’s because it may occur at any time — even while you’re asleep! The powerful jaw muscles that clench and grind teeth together can wear down tooth enamel, and damage both natural teeth and dental work. They can even cause loose teeth! What’s more, a clenching and grinding habit can result in pain, headaches and muscle soreness… which can really put you off your game.
There are several ways to relieve the problem of bruxism. Stress reduction is one approach that works in some cases. When it’s not enough, a custom made occlusal guard (also called a night guard or mouthguard) provided by our office can make a big difference. “When I don’t sleep with it for a night,” Raonic said “I can feel my jaw muscles just tense up the next day. I don’t sense myself grinding but I can sort of feel that difference the next day.”
Â An occlusal guard is made from an exact model of your own mouth. It helps to keep your teeth in better alignment and prevent them from coming into contact, so they can’t damage each other. It also protects your jaw joints from being stressed by excessive force. Plus, it’s secure and comfortable to wear. “I wear it all the time other than when I’m eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly,” said Raonic.
Teeth grinding can be a big problem — whether you put on your game face on the court… or at home. If you would like more information about bruxism, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”
You may be familiar with a dental implant used to replace a single tooth — but implant technology can do much more. Implants can also support other restorations including total teeth replacement on a jaw.
The reason they're so versatile is because implants replace the tooth root as well as the visible crown. We use a metal post, usually made of titanium, which we surgically implant in the jawbone as a root substitute. Because of a special affinity with titanium, bone around the implant grows and adheres to it and creates a durable bond.
With a single tooth replacement (the implant's original purpose when they were introduced in the 1980s) we attach a life-like porcelain crown to the individual titanium post. But with their continuing development we've adapted implants for other applications, like using a few strategically-placed implants as a stable platform for removable dentures or fixed bridges.
We're now able to use implants to support a full prosthetic (false) dental arch. Though similar in appearance to a removable denture, this particular prosthesis is permanently joined to the supporting implants with retaining screws.
Of course, the application requires careful pre-planning, which includes making sure you have enough healthy bone to support the implants. We'll also need to determine how many implants you'll need (usually four to six for this application) and create a surgical guide to place them in the best location for supporting the prosthesis. A dental technician will then create the prosthesis to match your jaw ridge contours and facial structure.
Using implants this way has a benefit other types of restorations can't provide: they may help stop future bone loss. The jawbone life cycle depends on stimulation from the attached tooth as you bite and chew — stimulation that ends when you lose the tooth. Traditional dentures and other restorations can't replicate that stimulation. Implants, on the other hand, directly encourage bone growth and can stop gradual bone loss.
If you need some form of total teeth replacement, consider one supported by implants. You may find they'll provide an excellent long-term solution to both function and appearance.