Posts for: May, 2017
Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.
“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.
Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.
“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.
Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?
Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.
Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a thirdÂ to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.
Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”
Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.
If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”
When you lose a tooth, the smile gap affects more than your personal appearance. Your self-confidence, how well you bite and chew and the strength and size of your jaw bone rapidly decrease. Your St. Louis, MO dentists, Dr. Jeffrey Johnson and Dr. Jodi Johnson, offer tooth replacement options which restore your oral function and your self-image. They place state-of-the-art dental implants--today's most natural-looking, feeling and functioning prosthetic teeth. How do implants work, and could they restore your smile?
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a completely artificial tooth made up of a titanium metal root, a metal alloy extension post and a custom-made porcelain crown. An implant may be placed singly or used in multiples to replace teeth lost to oral trauma (such as a blow to the face), deep decay and infection, or advanced gum disease. Using simple oral examination and digital imaging, your dentist in St. Louis, MO can tell if you are a candidate for dental implants.
Candidates for dental implants possess:
- Adequately dense jaw bone
- Good oral health (no active gum disease or extensive decay)
How does a dental implant work?
During a simple, in-office procedure, Dr. Johnson places the implant device right into the patient's jaw. During the next several weeks to months, the jaw bone adheres to the implant through a process called "osseointegration." Osseointegration is the reason why dental implants are so secure and last so long. In fact, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry says that dental implants remain in place for a lifetime when properly cared for with regular at-home and in-office oral hygiene. This group of expert dentists indicates that other tooth replacement options have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years and can not strengthen the jaw bone because they only set on top of the gums.
Additionally, dental implants possess great versatility. Dr. Johnson can use them to support full or partial dentures or fixed bridge work. During a personal consultation, the dentist and patient can decide what option is right for his or her particular situation.
You could achieve a vibrant, long-lasting smile through dental implants. If you wish to explore these amazing tooth replacements, please contact the office to arrange a consultation with Dr. Johnson. The professional team will be happy to answer all your questions. Please call (314) 427-7400 today.
When it's time for your child to visit the dentist (we recommend around their first birthday), you may want them to see your family dentist. But you might also want to consider another option: a pediatric dentist.
The difference between the two is much the same as between a pediatrician and a family practitioner. Both can treat juvenile patients — but a family provider sees patients of all ages while a pediatrician or pediatric dentist specializes in patients who haven't reached adulthood.
Recognized as a specialty by the American Dental Association, pediatric dentists undergo about three more years of additional post-dental school training and must be licensed in the state where they practice. They're uniquely focused on dental care during the childhood stages of jaw and facial structure development.
Pediatric dentists also gear their practices toward children in an effort to reduce anxiety. The reception area and treatment rooms are usually decorated in bright, primary colors, with toys and child-sized furniture to make their young patients feel more at ease. Dentists and staff also have training and experience interacting with children and their parents to help them relax during exams and procedures.
While a pediatric practice is a good choice for any child, it can be especially beneficial for children with special needs. The “child-friendly” environment is especially soothing for children with autism, ADHD or other behavioral/developmental disorders. And pediatric dentists are especially adept in treating children at higher risk for tooth decay, especially an aggressive form called early childhood caries (ECC).
Your family dentist, of course, can presumably provide the same quality care and have an equally welcome environment for children. And unlike a pediatric dentist who will typically stop seeing patients when they reach adulthood, care from your family dentist can continue as your child gets older.
In the end it's a personal choice, depending on the needs of your family. Just be sure your child does see a dental provider regularly during their developing years: doing so will help ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on visiting a pediatric dentist for your child's dental needs, 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 “Why See a Pediatric Dentist?”