Month: October 2021

what to expect during your consultation for dental implants in philadelphia 62a20dfde8353

What to Expect During Your Consultation for Dental Implants in Philadelphia

Find out if you’re a candidate for dental implant surgery.

Dental implants can completely transform your smile and boost your self-confidence in a way few other dental restorations can. They can fill in the gap from a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, and they provide a beneficial alternative to traditional dentures. Best of all, dental implant surgery is very safe, success rates are high, and the implant itself can last for life.

However, dental implants aren’t for everyone. From age to chronic health conditions, there are temporary or permanent obstacles that may make dental implant placement too risky. This is why your dental implant consultation is such a crucial step in your prosthodontic smile makeover.

What You Can Expect During Your Dental Implants Consultation

After expressing interest in dental implants, our team will schedule a consultation for you with Dr. Bentz. Your consultation isn’t a treatment appointment but, rather, an in-depth examination of your oral health. Think of it as your usual six-month checkup but even more thorough.

During your consultation, Dr. Bentz will evaluate the following candidacy factors.

Current Oral Health

It’s important to have an optimal level of oral health before moving forward with dental implant surgery. Through visual examination and digital X-rays, Dr. Bentz will take a look at how your oral health is at the moment. He’ll be particularly interested in any signs of gum disease, especially periodontitis, as well as active tooth decay and chronic dry mouth.

In some cases, Dr. Bentz might postpone dental implant surgery until the patients’ active oral health issues are resolved.

Medical History

During your consultation, you’ll find that Dr. Bentz takes a keen interest in your medical history. Just like standard checkups, he’ll ask about any recent changes to your health, new medical concerns, and changes to medication. It’s important to be open about your general medical history, as this plays an important role in dental implant candidacy.

For example, uncontrolled diabetes, a suppressed immune system, or active chemotherapy are some health factors that may heighten risks and prevent candidacy.

Jawbone Health and Density

Dr. Bentz will also look at your X-rays to evaluate the health and density of your jawbone. A dental implant post requires a normal level of bone density in order to be successful and long-lasting. If you’ve previously lost a tooth, such as a few years ago, your jawbone may have already shrunk in the area you’d like the dental implant.

In this case, Dr. Bentz may first need to do a bone graft to rebuild the structure before the post can be placed.

Gum Tissue Health

In addition to bone health, you also need healthy gum tissue for a dental implant to succeed. Dr. Bentz will look for signs of active gum disease and recommend treatment of that prior to moving forward with dental implant surgery.

If your gum disease has already healed but your gum tissue is sparse or receded, it’s possible to also have a gum graft to rebuild this area prior to implant surgery.

Sinus Problems

Chronic sinus problems could be problematic for dental implant surgery. In fact, if you often experience sinus infections or similar issues, you should mention this to Dr. Bentz when discussing your medical history.

In some cases, bone recession from a lost tooth in the upper jaw can leave minimal space for a dental implant. In this case, a sinus lift can help make space for the post and bolster bone density.

Nerve Location

The location of nerves impacts where the dental implant post will be placed. If it’s placed too close to a nerve, the dental implant will result in chronic pain, sensitivity, and even numbness. Dr. Bentz will evaluate the structures surrounding the proposed implant site and determine if a post can be safely placed without impacting any nerves.

Oral Hygiene Habits

Your own oral hygiene habits also play a role in candidacy. Dental implants require no special care and can be treated exactly like your natural teeth. However, if you often forget to brush and floss, it increases the chances of implant failure, just like it would increase the chance of a cavity. Dr. Bentz will help you create an at-home dental care plan that addresses your needs and helps you develop healthy habits.

You just might find that the excitement about permanently replacing your missing teeth renews your motivation to prioritize your beautiful smile!

Candidates for dental implants can move forward with treatment.

After your consultation is complete, Dr. Bentz will have a confident idea of whether or not dental implant surgery is the best choice for you. If you are a candidate, congratulations! From here, you can schedule any necessary pre-surgery appointments you might need or move directly onto booking your surgery date.

If you’re not a candidate for dental implants, there are beautiful alternatives.

Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with missing teeth. In fact, that’s far from the truth! Dr. Bentz offers a number of dental implant alternatives, including dental bridges and full or partial dentures. If Dr. Bentz discovers that dental implants aren’t the right choice for you, he’ll guide you toward the lowest-risk alternative that will benefit your smile.

Has your consultation for dental implants been scheduled yet?

If your dental implant consultation hasn’t been scheduled yet, you can do so right now by calling our office or using this online form.

can tooth scaling and root planing cure your gum disease 62a20e079ba34

Can Tooth Scaling and Root Planing Cure Your Gum Disease?

If you have gum disease, you have likely been told by your dentist that it can impact your smile and overall health. Unfortunately, gum disease is quite common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. When not treated, gum disease can lead to infection in the soft tissues that surround your teeth. This can lead to bone loss in the jaw. To prevent gum disease from worsening, your dentist may suggest tooth scaling and root planing therapy.

What is scaling and root planing?

Sometimes referred to as “deep cleaning,” scaling and root planing is the removal of dental plaque and calculus. When the scaling or removal is completed, the root surfaces are smoothed, otherwise known as planing, removing cementum or dentine full of calculus, toxins, or micro-organisms that lead to inflammation. Many patients with gum disease prefer scaling and planing as it is a part of non-surgical periodontal therapy.

However, many patients don’t understand the difference between scaling and root planing and regular dental cleaning. Patients need to realize that regular dental cleanings, such as those conducted during your visit to the dentist every six months, are done to maintain the cleanliness of the teeth and gums. But, the tartar that is removed in a typical dental cleaning isn’t quite as invasive as that tartar that is removed during scaling and planing therapy.

If you’re wondering how long a scaling and root planing takes, you should know that therapy is generally completed within one to four visits, depending on the extent of your condition. You may also be wondering if scaling and root planing is painful. Patients with sensitive gums sometimes find that scaling and root planing therapy is mildly uncomfortable, however, Dr. Bentz uses an anesthetic to make your gums numb and reduce discomfort.

Who needs scaling?

Regular dental cleanings are critical for all patients, and should occur every six months. But scaling and root planing therapy are necessary for patients who have gaps between their gums and teeth that a dentist can’t get to in a typical dental cleaning. Plaque gets trapped in these gaps, and brushing twice a day and flossing once a day isn’t enough to remove it either. When these gaps are left untreated, patients can experience bone and tooth loss, thus, patients with these gaps who have gum disease are candidates for dental scaling and root planing.

The benefits of scaling and root planing for gum disease.

If your dentist has suggested root planing and scaling to cure your gum disease, you will experience many benefits from this therapy.

  • Root planing and scaling is non-surgical and may be the only treatment necessary.
  • Gum tenderness and chronic inflammation will be alleviated after the bacteria and plaque are removed.
  • You will have fresher breath.
  • Your wide periodontal pockets caused by the infection will heal and reattach to your teeth, allowing your gum tissue to fit snugly around your tooth, providing a barrier to decay.
  • Root planing and scaling is a highly effective treatment for gum disease.

Aftercare tips for scaling and root planing therapy.

As with any procedure, there can be risks and it is no different for tooth scaling and root planing. This type of therapy can introduce harmful bacteria into your bloodstream. Your gum tissue is also at increased risk of infection while it heals from the procedure. Dr. Bentz will prescribe antibiotics before and after surgery for patients with a high risk for severe infection or if an infection would be particularly dangerous based on their pre-existing medical conditions. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for patients with heart problems, an impaired immune system, or for anyone who has had major surgery recently.

The great news is that if you maintain good dental care after your therapy is completed, the progression of gum disease should stop. Your gums will heal and become firm and pink again. Patients should brush and floss regularly afterward, as without proper dental care at home, your gum disease may progress. Further, it is highly recommended that patients stop all use of tobacco, as smoking or using spit tobacco reduces your ability to fight infection in the gums and delays healing.

It is also important to know that if anesthesia is used during your scaling and root planing therapy, your mouth may remain numb for a few hours. Finally, if you have dental implants, periodontitis will not affect the implant itself, but can affect the surrounding teeth, gums and jaw. Thus, scaling and planing are still used for those who have dental implants.

Chat with the Bentz Dental team to learn how tooth scaling and root planing can cure your gum disease.

If you have gum disease, you probably have a lot of questions about what to do to prevent the illness from worsening. If you live or work around the East Norriton, PA, area, then Dr. Bentz can help. Feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bentz at any time to learn more.

are you a good candidate for dental implant surgery 62a20e115fa9b

Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implant Surgery?

Achieving Candidacy for Dental Implant Surgery To Replace Your Missing Teeth

If dental implants have caught your interest as a potential solution for your missing teeth, chances are you’ve heard or read that the average adult is a candidate for dental implant surgery. But what exactly does this mean, and do you fall into the “average” category?

Dental implant surgery offers incredible benefits, but it’s also an invasive procedure with a lengthy healing period. These two factors limit candidacy more for dental implants than other procedures like root canals or dental crowns.

Here’s what you need to know as someone interested in becoming a candidate for dental implants.

There are three main prerequisites for dental implant surgery.

There are many factors that may impact your candidacy for dental implants, but most dentists will first look for these three prerequisites while performing an evaluation.

1. You’re an adult whose jawbone is fully mature.

Unlike other forms of restorative care, such as a dental bridge, dental implants are strictly for adults. It’s imperative that your jawbone and other facial bones are done growing. For this reason, the minimum age for candidacy generally starts after age 18, depending on your own body’s maturity.

Having dental implants placed before the jawbone is fully mature can lead to alignment issues with the teeth, causing an improper bite, issues with crowding or gaps, and even change in the appearance of the face and jaw.

2. You are in good health, without chronic medical conditions.

As with most elective procedures requiring surgery, a general guideline is that you have to be in relatively good health without chronic medical conditions. The surgery itself and the following period of healing is stressful on the body. For a healthy adult, the risks of dental implant failure or infection are exceptionally low. But for an adult with an uncontrolled medical condition, the risks of dental implant failure and other complications can be significantly higher.

The chronic medical conditions most likely to complicate dental implant surgery include uncontrolled diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, and immune disorders.

3. Your jaw has enough bone to support an implant post.

In addition to a fully mature jawbone, you also need to have a certain level of bone density present to support the implant post. Bone loss in the jaw naturally occurs when teeth have been missing for a while, usually from a previous extraction. Bone loss in the jaw may also be present because of periodontitis (gum disease), which causes gum recession and permanent damage to the teeth and bone.

On the subject of gum health, it’s important to have enough healthy gum tissue as well. The surgical site must be free from gum disease and inflammation in order for the dental implant to succeed.

It’s possible to improve your chances of candidacy for dental implants.

If you’re not an immediate candidate for dental implant surgery, don’t lose hope. It’s often possible to achieve candidacy at a later time by improving your health or undergoing qualifying dental procedures.

Here are five examples based on the above three prerequisites.

1. Receive a bone graft or sinus lift to improve jawbone density.

A bone graft adds density to areas of the jaw that have experienced shrinkage, often due to past tooth loss. A sinus lift is similar to a bone graft but adds depth as well as density. If your bone loss is located in the upper jaw and there is a lack of depth due to the sinus cavity, a sinus lift may be a better choice than a simple bone graft.

2. Undergo periodontal therapy to treat your gum disease.

Gum disease must be treated before dental implant surgery. If active gum disease is the obstacle in your path toward dental implants, focus first on getting your gum disease under control and completely halted. Your dentist can start you on an effective treatment plan.

3. Receive a gum graft to repair gum recession.

Gum recession from periodontitis can be fixed by first treating the gum disease and then receiving a gum graft. The gum graft will add healthy gum tissue to the area that is to receive the dental implant to help encourage a successful surgery and an aesthetically pleasing result.

4. Wait for your health condition to stabilize.

Uncontrolled health conditions may take some time and different medications to stabilize. It’s better to wait until this occurs before attempting dental implant surgery. Even if it does take some time, remember that you can still become a candidate with a future bone graft if you do need immediate extractions.

5. Wait until your jawbone is adequately matured.

Similar to the health condition obstacle, waiting until your jawbone is mature is also a waiting game. You may not be a candidate now, but wait a few years while taking great care of your teeth and you will be.

There are dental implant alternatives if you’re not a candidate.

If you’re not a candidate for dental implants right now, there are other prosthodontic alternatives for you to consider. Dental bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures are all great choices for filling in a gap or replacing full arches of missing teeth, respectively.

Best of all, these alternatives can be removed and replaced with dental implants at a later time if you are able to achieve candidacy.

Discover if you’re a candidate for dental implant surgery by booking an evaluation.

The only way to know for certain if you’re a candidate for dental implant surgery is to see a dentist experienced in prosthodontics for an evaluation. Dr. Bentz provides an exceptional level of care for dental implant patients in and around East Norriton, PA.

You can schedule your consultation with Dr. Bentz today by calling our office or using our online form.

7 dental implant care tips to enjoy a seamless life after surgery 62a20e1ad22f0

7 Dental Implant Care Tips to Enjoy a Seamless Life After Surgery

Find out the best ways to care for your new dental implant.

Are you preparing for dental implant surgery? This is a remarkable procedure that can transform your appearance, increase your comfort, and improve your quality of life.

Before the big day, your dentist will walk you through a recommended aftercare routine to help you recover as quickly and successfully as possible. This includes explaining how to care for dental implants the right way. There are many things you can do (and avoid) at home to encourage your body to heal.

Today, we’re sharing our top 7 dental implant care tips to help you learn more about what to expect!

1. Brush gently.

Of course, we never recommend brushing your teeth too hard or too fast. Applying too much pressure can damage your enamel and increase tooth sensitivity.

However, it’s especially important to be gentle when you’re taking care of dental implants. Allow the surgical area to heal for one week and keep that area clean with your prescribed oral rinse.

Then, you can use a soft nylon toothbrush to carefully clean around your implant. It’s important to keep this area clear of food and debris, but it can become irritated if agitated. Brush the inside, outside, and top surface of your implant once it is no longer sensitive.

2. Floss regularly.

Flossing is an important part of dental implant care after surgery. Once you return home, you can brush and floss any of your teeth that were not impacted by the implant.

After the one-week mark has passed and the initial sensitivity has subsided, you can begin flossing your full mouth again. Again, take this step slowly. Your dentist will demonstrate how to clean dental implants, including the proper flossing technique to use.

3. Eat soft and semi-soft foods.

To be effective, dental implant care and maintenance must include more than keeping your teeth clean. You’ll also need to consider your diet as well.

Your dentist can provide specific information on which foods to choose and which to avoid. The following are great choices, with soft textures that will not irritate or harm your new implant:

  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Soft fruit
  • Milkshakes
  • Mashed or boiled potatoes
  • Cool soup

All of these foods require little to no chewing. They are also rich in nutrients and can provide you with a balanced diet during your recovery period. You can avoid many dental implant problems by sticking to this soft diet until your dentist gives you the green light to introduce a greater variety.

4. Schedule regular dental visits.

While you’re at home following your dental implant home care instructions, don’t forget that we’re only a phone call away. In addition to answering any questions you might have, our team can also help you stay on top of your routine, preventive dental visits.

While it might be tempting to forego these appointments, it’s important to stay on track. Falling behind on your regular checkups can cause other underlying issues to go untreated.

These cleanings can help keep your dental implant in great shape and allow you to connect with your dentist on a regular, recurring basis. Make a list of any questions you have about implant care for dental hygienists and bring them with you!

5. Avoid abrasive products.

Over-the-counter tooth whitening products will not be a part of your dentist’s dental implant care instructions. Products like these can be abrasive to your enamel and can increase tooth sensitivity.

The same goes for any type of toothpaste that is specially formulated to help remove stubborn stains, such as those designed for smokers. The abrasive materials in these products are usually derived from chalk or silica, both of which can wear down your enamel.

Over time, prolonged use of these products can lead to a range of dental issues, including periodontitis. Overbrushing or using harsh toothpaste can lead to gum recession, which exposes your tooth root. Not only does this lead to heightened sensitivity, but it can also cause your gums to become red, irritated, and swollen.

6. Avoid sticky or hard foods.

What can you not do after dental implants? To start, there are certain foods you’ll want to avoid out of the gate. These include any types of sticky or hard foods that could damage your implant, such as:

  • Raw vegetables
  • Popcorn
  • Granola
  • Pretzels
  • Toffee or caramel
  • Hard candies

At the same time, it’s also best to avoid any foods that are highly acidic, spicy, or sugary during your recovery period. You can also increase your risk of developing a dry socket by using a straw, so drink from a cup instead.

It might go without saying, but another part of tooth implant care is avoiding smoking and alcohol. During this critical healing period, your body needs to rebuild blood cells, blood vessels, and gum tissue. These substances can impede this process and delay your recovery.

7. Don’t neglect your dental implant.

How long does it take for dental implants to heal? The answer depends on how seriously you take your at-home dental implant care.

It’s true that an implant can restore your smile and improve your dental function. However, it isn’t impervious to disease or decay. Remember, it’s designed to look and function just like a normal tooth.

Once that area is no longer sensitive, there is no reason to avoid it while brushing or flossing your teeth. Before long, you’ll be treating it like it was always there!

Ace your at-home dental implant care.

Dental implant surgery can be life-changing. To make sure yours goes smoothly and delivers the results you expect, it’s important to follow the dental implant care tips outlined above.

These 7 steps can make all the difference in your road to recovery. Along the way, our team at Bentz Dental is here to answer your questions and ease your mind. Feel free to contact our office if you have any concerns or want to learn more about our dental services.

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East Norriton, PA 19401

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610-272-6949

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