Posts for: July, 2017
You’ve decided to obtain dental implants for your missing teeth. It’s a good choice — they provide the closest restoration to the function and appearance of natural teeth. You will, however, need to undergo a surgical procedure to imbed the implants’ threaded titanium posts into supporting bone.
It’s understandable if you’re a little apprehensive about undergoing surgery. We’re here, though, to set your mind at ease: implantation is a relatively minor procedure carefully planned in advance. Most patients experience no discomfort during the procedure and very little afterward.
We begin by completely numbing the surgical site with a local anesthetic. If you have a high level of anxiety, we can also administer a sedative or similar medication to help you relax. We then access the underlying bone through a series of incisions that create a flap in the gum tissue that we’ll later suture closed.
It’s quite common to have prepared a surgical guide or template beforehand. The template placed in the mouth marks the exact site for a small channel (or hole) we create in the bone. We then incrementally increase the size of the hole by drilling until it matches precisely the implant’s size and shape. This takes time to avoid overheating and damaging the bone.
We then remove the implant from its sterile packaging and insert it into the opening. We’ll also take x-rays to ensure correct positioning, which is critical for achieving an attractive result. We then suture the gum flap in place using stitches that will eventually dissolve. The implant will then integrate with the bone for a few weeks to create a strong, durable hold before we continue with the restoration.
Most patients can manage any post-surgical discomfort with mild anti-inflammatory pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen, although we can prescribe something stronger if you need it. We may also prescribe a mouthrinse with an anti-bacterial agent like chlorhexidine for you to use while the gums are healing to reduce the risk of infection.
Implant surgery is part of a long process that will eventually result in regaining the function of your lost teeth. What’s more, undergoing this minor procedure will also help you regain something just as important — a beautiful smile.
If you would like more information on dental implant restoration, 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 “Dental Implant Surgery.”
Would you like to try Botox, but aren't sure if it's a good choice for you? Chattanooga, TN, periodontists Dr. Charles Felts and Dr. Elizabeth Randall of Chattanooga Periodontics & Dental Implants explain what criteria is used to determine if you're a good candidate and discuss the benefits of Botox treatment.
Can I benefit from Botox?
You may be a good candidate for Botox if:
- You are 18 or older.
- You are in good health and have no skin infections.
- You aren't pregnant or nursing a child.
- You understand that the effects of Botox injections are temporary, and realize that you'll have to undergo follow-up treatments to maintain your results.
How can Botox help me?
Botox injections temporarily block nerve impulses to the muscles you use to make facial expressions. When the muscles no longer contract, wrinkles in the skin on top of them become smoother. The injections are often used to:
- Eliminate Vertical Lines Between the Eyes: When you concentrate intently or squint into the sun, vertical lines appear between your eyes. After years of making the expressions, the lines don't go away when you change your expression. Injecting Botox into the muscles relaxes the vertical lines.
- Forehead Furrows: Vertical lines are often accompanied by wrinkles that extend the width of your forehead. Botox injections are equally effective at smoothing those horizontal lines.
- Crow's Feet: Do you have multiple lines radiating from the corners of your eyes? Botox treatment in our Chattanooga office can make your crow's feet much less noticeable.
Would you like to look younger and more energetic? Botox injections offer a simple, non-surgical method to reduce common signs of aging. If you would like to find out if you're a good candidate for Botox, schedule an appointment with Chattanooga, TN, periodontists Dr. Charles Felts and Dr. Elizabeth Randall of Chattanooga Periodontics & Dental Implants by calling (423) 756-2450.
When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?
For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.
Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.
Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:
- It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
- A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
- Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
- Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!
Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!