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All Posts Tagged: Cosmetic Family Dentistry

dental implants at smith and cole dentistry

Repair and Improve Your Smile with Dental Implants

dental implants at smith and cole dentistryDental implants are a way your doctor can replace missing teeth and repair damaged teeth. They are also used as abutments for complete or partial dentures. Our doctors work in tandem with our oral surgeon so that you can get your new implants right here in our office. This helps maintain the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Smith and Cole Dentistry in Austin. Your new implant will look and feel just like your natural teeth.

Placement of implants takes several months and several appointments. The reason for this is because after each step you will need time to heal. An implant is made up of three key elements: the cylinder or post which is implanted into your jaw (this cylinder replaces the root of your tooth), the post extension or abutment which is screwed or placed onto the post, and the crown which is placed onto the abutment. Together these elements create a strong and natural looking replacement for your tooth, and with proper care will last for many years.
Implant Placement

Placement of an implant takes several visits and you will need time to heal between each visit. At the first visit the oral surgeon will talk to you about your general health and any medication you are taking. He will examine your mouth and jaw and determine if you need a bone graft. If your jawbone is too thin or brittle it will not be able to support the implant. Bone from another part of your body (usually your thigh) is grafted onto your jawbone and left to ossify, or heal.

Once you have healed from the bone graft the oral surgeon will place the post into your jaw. It may take several months to heal from this procedure. The next step is to place the abutment. The abutment extends the post. In some cases, you may be able to receive the abutment the same day you receive the post.

At the next visit the oral surgeon will take molds of your teeth and jawbone so they can be sent to the lab for the fabrication of your new crown. He may place a temporary crown while you wait for your permeant crown. When the new crown arrives from the lab you will come in and the doctor will place it onto the abutment and you will have a brand-new tooth that feels and looks just like your natural teeth.

Caring for Your New Implant

You may have some tenderness and pain after the placement of your crown, but these symptoms should go away in a few days. If you experience a lot of pain or fever, be sure to contact the doctor. Care for your new implant just like you do your natural teeth. Brush, floss, and keep up on your regular checkups and your new implant will last for several years.

If you have a damaged or missing tooth, call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today and ask about dental implant options.

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Why Oral Cancer Screening is Important

During your regular oral exam your doctor will also be on alert for any signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer is a serious disease which kills more people than other cancers such as thyroid, cervical, and other forms of the disease. One of the reasons oral cancer is so deadly is not because it is hard to treat, but because many times it is not discovered until it has developed into the late stages of the disease. This is why oral cancer screening is so important. Here are some sobering facts about oral cancer:

  • Almost 50,000 people in America will be diagnosed with pharyngeal or oral cancer this year.
  • Oral cancer will kill over 9,500 per day which is roughly one person per hour, 25 hours a day.
  • Of those diagnosed just a bit more than half will survive over five years. This is because of the advanced stage oral cancer is diagnose.

Oral cancer is also so dangerous because many times there is no pain or obvious symptoms noticed by the patient. Your best defense against this disease is regular oral cancer screening done during regular dental exams.

Oral Cancer Screening

Screening for oral cancer takes only minutes. Your doctor will examine your gums, hard palette, and soft tissues of the mouth, look for any changes in tissue, and may take digital images. This includes the inside of your gums, tongue, and lips. Your doctor will also examine your neck and the symmetry of your face. Your doctor will also feel you neck for any swollen lymph nodes. Your doctor may do other procedures which are used for screening.

If any suspicious areas are found, your doctor may perform a biopsy. A biopsy is a sample of tissue which is then sent off to the lab for evaluation. A biopsy may be a simple swab sample, or you may need a surgical biopsy depending on where the area is and how far your doctor feels the disease may have advanced.

Don’t take chances with your health. If caught early, oral cancer has a high survival rate. Call and set up regular oral cancer screenings today.

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Is it Sleep Apnea or Just Snoring?

Many people snore, some snore more than others. But did you know snoring is a symptom of a very serious condition known as sleep apnea? Sleep apnea occurs because the soft palette in your throat relaxes while you sleep blocking off your airway. This is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Another type of sleep apnea is not as common and known as central sleep apnea occurs when the brain “forgets” to tell your body to breath during sleep. Sleep apnea is directly related to serious health issues such as high blood pressure and stroke, and if left treated even death.

Between 50 to 70 million in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea disrupts your natural sleep pattern leaving you feeling exhausted and tired in the morning. Since you stop breathing your body is not getting the oxygen it needs. This can occur several times a night causing your blood oxygen levels to drop to a dangerous level. You or your partner may notice you stop breathing or snore very loudly and often. Some of the other symptoms of sleep apnea include the following:

  • Waking up gasping for air
  • Rapid heartbeat upon waking
  • Feeling exhausted during the day
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Entering REM sleep (the sleep stage in which you dream) as soon as you close your eyes
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Irritability

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms speak to your doctor. Treatment of sleep apnea is fairly simple and straightforward. Some patients use a CPAP or Bi-PAP machine to provide positive airflow during the night while others may find relief with a mouth guard or dental appliance.

A dental appliance is custom fabricated to pull your lower jaw out a bit to keep your airways open. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth as well as digital images and send them to the lab. Once your appliance is finished you will return for a fitting and wear your appliance while you sleep. Many people find relief from sleep apnea using a dental appliance.

If you experience any symptoms related to sleep apnea talk to your dentist and doctor to formulate the best treatment for your case. Sleep apnea is a serious condition, but it is easily treated so you can stay healthy for many years.

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Why Do I Need to See the Dentist Every 6 Months?

2015-04-20 04.12.08-1Your dental health is directly related to your overall wellbeing. Studies show a link to a healthy mouth and a healthy body. Your dental health also has an impact on how you feel about yourself. If you have a bright white smile then you will have more confidence. At Smith and Cole Dentistry we recommend you visit one of our dentists every six months. This is an important step for not only healthy teeth and gums, but toward your overall health as well.

The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Many people don’t realize the health of your mouth affects your entire body. According to the Mayo Clinic studies have shown a direct link between your overall health and the health of your mouth. Your mouth naturally contains bacteria. Good oral hygiene is important to keep the harmful bacteria at bay. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are painful enough, but they can also be contributing factors to serious conditions such as heart disease. If your health is compromised and you have a weak immune system, good oral hygiene and regular checkups are vital.

Cancer Screening

Oral cancer affects over 40,000 Americans each year. If caught early during a routine visit, the survival rate is very high. Oral cancer can affect the gums, tongue, soft palette, lips, cheek lining, and jaw. When you have regular dental visits, your doctor will perform routine cancer screening which can catch the symptoms of oral cancer before the disease progresses. If you have a sore that won’t heal, red or white patches inside our mouth, difficulty speaking or swallowing, or if your teeth shift be sure to ask your dentist about oral cancer screening  as these are all symptoms.

Healthy Smiles

Besides good at home oral hygiene the number one way to keep your smile bright and white is with regular visits to your dentist. At a checkup the doctor will examine your teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken and the doctor will discuss your overall health and medications with you. If any problems are found they can be addressed before they become painful and expensive to fix. For example, if you have a cavity starting to form the doctor will identify it and address it while it is in the early stages. If you wait the problem could progress to the need for a root canal or extraction.

Regular dental visits are also very important for children. Since their adult teeth are forming beneath their baby teeth, their oral health will affect the condition and strength of their adult teeth when they come in. Doctors recommend beginning regular dental checkups on your child as soon as their teeth start to erupt through their gums.

Don’t take chances with your health. Call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today and set up a schedule of regular visits. We want you to have the best smile possible, and with checkups every six months your smile will be bright and white.

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