Posts for: June, 2017
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”
What your dentist in Winston Salem wants you to know about the importance of flossing
So what’s the big deal about flossing? Isn’t brushing your teeth enough? The answer is no. That’s because brushing only cleans part of your teeth. Brushing can’t get in between the teeth, where bacteria can hide. In fact, most tooth decay begins in between teeth. Flossing gets in the tight contacts between your teeth. Dr. Denise Perrotta in Winston Salem, NC wants to share why you shouldn’t neglect your flossing.
The plaque which forms on your teeth contains millions of bad bacteria that produce toxins. These toxins are strong enough to eat away at tough tooth enamel and cause decay. Along with damaging your teeth, toxins also cause inflammation and infection in your gums, a condition known as gum disease.
When you floss, you are disturbing and removing the plaque between your teeth before it can cause damage. Flossing should be a vital part of your oral hygiene routine to keep your smile healthy.
Let’s take a look at what can happen if you don’t floss:
- You can get tooth decay in between your teeth, resulting in the need for a filling or other restoration. If the decay is deep into the pulp of your tooth, you may also need a root canal or even tooth extraction.
- You can get gum disease, resulting in swollen, puffy, bleeding gums and pain.
- You can lose bone around your teeth, a condition known as periodontal disease. If you lose enough bone, your teeth can become loose and you may need a tooth extraction.
If you do need a tooth extraction, you are faced with either living without teeth or replacing your teeth with expensive implants, bridges, partials or dentures. All of these problems can be prevented just by adding flossing to your oral hygiene routine!
If you have difficulty flossing because of dexterity issues, arthritis, or other considerations, floss picks are an excellent alternative. You can use either waxed or unwaxed floss depending on your preference. The important thing is to floss every day.
For more information about flossing, dental care and services, call Dr. Perrotta in Winston Salem, NC. Don’t ignore flossing; get started on your routine by calling today!
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.”