Month: May 2022

What is scaling and planing?

happy woman smiling looking beautiful and elegant Has your dentist recommended a scaling and planing? It might sound like some kind of dental torture, but it’s not really. It’s actually a procedure that can protect your teeth from damage and keep your mouth healthy. Read on for more information on scaling and planing and why it’s nothing to be scared of!

Do you need a scaling and planing?

This procedure, which is actually very common, is nonsurgical and is simply a deep cleaning underneath the gums. As the name implies, there are two steps to this procedure, which are typically done together. The “scaling” involves cleaning the portion of the tooth that is deep beneath the gums, while the “planing” is done to smooth out any rough patches on the tooth root, which can help to prevent bacteria and plaque from adhering.

Scaling and planing may be recommended if plaque (that sticky film that is filled with bacteria) has had a chance to build up on your teeth. When it gets really bad, the gums become inflamed and irritated and eventually start to pull away from the teeth. This forms “pockets,” which traps even more plaque and bacteria. This can lead to gum disease and eventually even tooth loss.

All of this plaque build-up is very difficult to remove with brushing and flossing, and over time it gets to be so bad that even a regular cleaning at your dentist’s office can’t even remove it. After a scaling and planing procedure, the gums will be healthy once again and they will start to reattach to the teeth.

It may take more than one visit to really get your teeth clean with a scaling and planing procedure, and it may leave your gums sensitive, swollen, and tender for about a week afterward.

Scaling and planing really isn’t dental torture. It is an important procedure that can help to make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy. Make an appointment with the staff at the Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center if you are having tooth pain or if you need help with your oral health. Call (610) 272-6949 for an appointment today!

what is the best dental implant choice for you in philadelphia pa and beyond 62a207633a211

What Is the Best Dental Implant Choice for You in Philadelphia, PA, and Beyond?

5 Factors in Successful Dental Implant Surgery

When it comes to replacing one or more missing teeth and restoring your oral health, dental implants are tough to beat. In fact, they are considered by many to be the superior prosthetic tooth option available today.

Despite myths about dental implants still floating around, the demand for this restorative procedure continues to grow as their many benefits become more widely known. Millions of dental implants are placed annually and the long-term success rates remain well over 90%. You might already be aware of these advantages and that’s triggered your interest in getting dental implants to transform your smile.

If you find yourself dreaming of beautiful dental implants and a full, youthful smile, here’s what you should consider.

1. Number of Teeth That Need to Be Replaced

How many teeth do you need replaced with dental implants? Dental implants can replace teeth individually, meaning one implant post per missing tooth, or they can be used to replace consecutively missing teeth or an entire arch.

Single dental implants are a complete system made up of three parts:  the titanium implant post, an abutment, and a dental crown. They can be used for patients who only have one missing tooth or, if they have a few missing teeth, in different areas of their mouth. When a person has extensive or complete tooth loss, a better solution is to opt for an implant-supported appliance. This allows a prosthodontist to place fewer implant posts per arch while still visually replacing all missing teeth.

2. All-on-4® vs. Traditional Arch Replacement

Extensive tooth loss is a common problem, especially as we get older. Dentures have long been the go-to solution for restoring smiles, but they aren’t without their disadvantages. Prosthodontists now have a few options for helping patients in these situations permanently restore their smile without a high number of implants being needed.

Traditional arch replacement requires healthy jawbone density as anywhere from six to eight or more implant posts will be used to support the prosthetic. The prosthetic used is similar to what a dental bridge pontic resembles, meaning it replicates just the teeth and not the gum tissue.

Another alternative, and one that Dr. Bentz offers, is called All-on-4. This treatment option utilizes only four individual posts on each arch. These implants will support a denture-like prosthetic that beautifully replicates teeth and gum tissue. The advantage of this option is there’s a wider acceptance for candidacy, surgery is quicker and can be done in a single visit. During that single visit, you’ll also have the denture placed, which means you’ll have your new smile in one day.

You’ll be able to weigh the pros and cons of traditional vs. All-on-4 treatment with the help of Dr. Bentz. He’ll go over why he believes one is a better choice for you over the other and you’ll come to a decision together.

3. Picking a Prosthodontist to Work With

The single most important thing you can do to ensure your dental implant surgery is successful is to choose the best prosthodontists that you can. Every facet of your dental implant restorations rides on the skills and experience of the prosthodontist, from the initial consultation to your long-term oral health.

Look for a prosthodontist who is board-certified and has extensive positive reviews for their practice. Visit their website and see what education the prosthodontist has accomplished. For example, Dr. Bentz has had additional training in dental implant placement and many years of success in this field of restorative care. He is also an active member of renowned dentistry associations, showing that he has a passion for prosthodontics and remains up-to-date with the newest developments.

After finding a promising prosthodontist, schedule a consultation or initial new patient visit to get to know them in person. Ask questions, discuss your smile goals, and see how you get along. It’s important to choose a prosthodontist that makes you feel relaxed, comfortable, and—most importantly—heard and respected.

4. Preventing Infection While Healing

After your dental implant surgery is complete, it’s essential to do everything you can to take care of the surgery site and your overall oral health to prevent infection. Though infection and rejection of a dental implant are pretty rare, they can occur when oral hygiene is poor. This could happen if you begin smoking or drinking alcohol, eat hard foods that irritate the implant post, or don’t keep your mouth clean between meals.

Your prosthodontist will give you strict guidelines on how to care for your smile post-surgery. This includes what oral care products to use, how to clean around the implant, and what foods you can and can’t eat. Immediately after surgery, you will need to be very careful with your diet, eating only soft foods and staying hydrated.

5. Maintaining Long-Term Oral Hygiene and Health

Achieving and maintaining optimal oral health is what will help ensure your dental implant restoration will last.

Eat a nutritious, varied diet, drink plenty of water, and limit your daily sugar consumption. Brush at least twice a day for two minutes per session and floss daily. Use oral care products recommended by your dentist and be sure to continue seeing them for checkups and cleanings every six months.

Also, be aware of your gum health. Peri-implantitis—a form of periodontitis unique to dental implants—can lead to implant failure. If your gums bleed when brushing or flossing, you notice chronic bad breath, or your gums feel tender, consult your prosthodontist right away.

Best Dental Implants Near Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Bentz is a board-certified prosthodontist near Philadelphia, PA, who specializes in dental implant restorations. We also provide comprehensive dental care to meet all of our patients’ needs: from routine preventive appointments to the best in cosmetic dentistry services.

Our welcoming East Norriton, PA, office is outfitted with the latest in advanced dental technology to ensure you have as comfortable an experience as possible. If you’re interested in learning how dental implants can benefit your smile, we invite you to visit our practice for a consultation.

Schedule your consultation with Dr. Bentz today by calling our office or requesting a visit online.

5 things you should know about bone healing with modern dental implants 62a20768581f3

5 Things You Should Know About Bone Healing With Modern Dental Implants

Facts About Jawbone Health and Implant Surgery

Dental implants are a marvel of modern-day dentistry. They allow prosthodontists to replicate the feel and function of a natural tooth in a prosthetic form with a high success rate and minimal care requirements post-healing.

If you’re interested in dental implant surgery, you’re likely aware that dental implant surgery involves a lengthy healing period that lasts for months. You’ll eagerly anticipate the end of this recovery phase since it marks your surgery’s success. Still, some fascinating things happen during the six months post-surgery, such as osseointegration and bone remodeling.

Here are a few facts about bone health and growth after dental implant surgery.

1. Osseointegration begins immediately after an implant post is placed.

Our bodies are adept at healing themselves. From a papercut on a finger to a broken bone, our bodies begin to heal injuries immediately, even though we can’t necessarily see or feel these things happening at first. The same effect happens after dental implant surgery.

Osseointegration is the process in which your jawbone begins to integrate or fuse with the implant post. The process starts right after the implant post is placed, and in as soon as four days, bone formation is already occurring. Although bone does take longer to completely heal and reform than soft tissue, our bodies take action to trigger the process just as quickly.

2. Titanium is used because it’s uniquely capable of osseointegration.

Dental implant posts are made of medical-grade titanium. Although the posts themselves may vary in design or size, the popularity of titanium remains consistent.

Titanium is favored for dental implants and other medical use because it’s super strong and biocompatible, meaning the likelihood of your body rejecting it is very low. It is also more resistant to the harsh environment inside your body and therefore less likely to erode over time. This, plus its ability to osseointegrate with bone, are the main reasons it remains dentists’ material of choice for implants.

3. Bone grafts may be necessary before dental implants if you lack jawbone density.

Tooth loss from decay or periodontal disease doesn’t just leave a gap in your smile. It also leaves space in the jawbone where the tooth root would typically be anchored. Without the tooth present, the jawbone begins the process of resorption.

Bone resorption happens when the body breaks down bone and reabsorbs it as calcium into the bloodstream. This causes the jawbone to shrink. Unfortunately, this can leave the bone too fragile or shallow for a dental implant. When this happens, a prosthodontist can offer a bone graft before surgery.

Bone grafts use human or animal bone, and sometimes a synthetic material, to build back jaw density. Osseointegration occurs, and the remaining bone fuses with the graft. Afterward, dental implant surgery can move forward as usual.

4. The bone healing process has two distinct phases that take roughly three months.

It takes about six months for the average dental implant to integrate with the jawbone fully.

The bone is healing during the first three months but remains in an “immature” state. The bone will be actively growing and rebuilding, but the initial new bone growth is spongy. As osseointegration advances and the bone fuses with the implant, bone remodeling happens.

Bone remodeling is the process of the body reshaping and rebuilding injured bone or immature, spongy bone. The second three-month phase of bone healing is finalized with a complete remodeling, resulting in a dental implant with mature, dense bone growth.

5. Dental implants stimulate healthy bone structure and natural bone remodeling.

Your dental implant will be considered fully healed after six months, but the bone will continue to mature and strengthen over time.

Most importantly, your dental implant will stimulate your jaw bone, like natural teeth, encouraging healthy bone remodeling and preventing bone resorption. Simply put, your dental implant will keep your jawbone strong through normal oral functions, like chewing.

The benefit of jawbone stimulation also applies to the All-on-4 implant system! Compared to traditional dentures, your All-on-4 smile will be healthier and stronger, with minimized risk of bone resorption.

Lifelong dental implant success begins with choosing the right prosthodontist.

Maintaining a healthy, stable dental implant for life depends on prioritizing oral hygiene, reducing risks of oral disease, and regular dental checkups. But getting to this point is impossible without a knowledgeable prosthodontist.

Choosing a prosthodontist specializing in dental implant surgery, and who continues to expand their education in this field, is the most valuable factor in the success of your treatment.

Their skilled hands will place your implant post precisely using the latest dental technology and tools. Following surgery, they’ll guide you through every step of the healing process and provide support whenever you have questions or concerns. They’ll also have you return for follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process and ensure osseointegration is on the right track.

Dr. Bentz, a distinguished prosthodontist near Philadelphia, provides this level of superior care.

Schedule a dental implant consultation with Dr. Bentz today by calling our East Norriton, PA office or requesting a visit online.

What is that spot on my gums?

woman suffering from tooth sensitivity At the very least it can be a surprise when you see it – at the worst it can cause you to panic just a bit. One day you are flossing or brushing, and you happen to notice an ugly black spot on your gums. But is this spot something you should be concerned about? Should you rush to your dentist or can it wait until your next cleaning appointment?

Should you be worried?

The answer is, most likely, “no.” That spot on your gums is most likely what is known as an “amalgam tattoo,” and they are fairly common. They might be black, grey, or a bluish color. They are found in patients who had metal amalgam fillings in the past – cavity fillings made up of a combination of metals, such as tin, mercury, silver, and copper (nowadays, composite materials and ceramics are used for fillings). These fillings may have been placed a long time ago; over time they can sink down into the gums or even the lips or cheeks. They can be pushed out of the tooth and into tissue when your dentist removes this amalgam filling or when tooth decay is being removed.

Although the odds are pretty good that your spot is an amalgam tattoo, you should also know that these can look very similar to mucosal melanomas, which are rare but deadly. Mucosal melanomas are typically found in people who have used tobacco for many years, on the palate or the inner part of the sinus cavity. Besides the spot in your mouth, other signs of a mucosal melanoma are that your mouth feels painful and swollen and your dentures don’t fit as well as they used to. If you think you might have a mucosal melanoma, you should see your dentist or doctor right away.

If you notice a spot on your gums, it’s probably nothing to worry about – but do mention it to your dentist if you are concerned. Dr. Bentz and the staff at the Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center can help you to keep your teeth and gums healthy and problem-free. Call (610) 272-6949 for an appointment today!

Confidence Eat Anything

Dental Implants Give You Confidence to Eat Anything, Smile, & Laugh Again

What are dental implants?

Dental implants have helped many people with missing teeth restore their ability to eat and speak naturally and gain the self-confidence that comes with a complete and stunning smile. This treatment is worth it for so many people already, and they could be just what you’re looking for.

Dental implants are titanium posts that are implanted into the jawbone to serve as a support for replacement teeth. They can be used to support individual crowns and bridges, or they can be used for a full mouth tooth replacement with the All-on-4 system.

The titanium posts play the same role as natural tooth roots in supporting dental crowns. When a tooth is completely extracted, or other factors make using it as a base for a crown impractical, a dental implant allows the patient to receive a tooth restoration anyway.

Dentures vs. Implants

All-on-4 implants provide a replacement for your entire set of teeth. In fact, All-on-4 is sometimes referred to as “permanent dentures.” However, there are some key differences between dentures and implants.

Dental implants are securely implanted in the jawbone to provide a strong, permanent support for a crown or bridge. The crowns, bridges, or entire rows of replacement teeth that are attached to the implants are very secure. They do not move like dentures do, which eliminates the soreness and potential long-term bone loss that removable dentures can cause.

The Dental Implant Process

Every dental implant process starts with a thorough consultation. Various health issues need to be assessed to determine whether dental implants are a suitable solution for you. In some cases, patients may need to receive bone grafts to increase the width or depth of their jawbone before the process can start.

The titanium post of the implant has a screw-like base that is embedded firmly in the jawbone. Titanium is biocompatible and allows for osseointegration, the fusing of the natural bone with the implant. This provides an incredibly strong foundation.

Once the area around the implant has healed, the prosthodontist will attach the crown, bridge, or All-on-4 replacement to the top portion of the post. From there, the patient can live their life and enjoy the benefits that show dental implants are worth it.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants can be used to provide tooth replacements in a wide range of cases, whether the tooth loss was due to decay, infection, tooth root resorption, physical damage, or other causes.

Dental Implants Are Easier to Live With Than Dentures

People who are missing all of their teeth have long relied on dentures to restore their ability to eat and speak. However, dentures have many downsides, including that they:

  • need to be taken out and cleaned each night
  • can require denture adhesives
  • can cause soreness
  • can lead to decreased jawbone mass

Dental implants are strong and sturdy. They don’t need to be removed and are essentially like having a full set of natural teeth. They don’t lead to the long-term jawbone issues that dentures can cause. Instead, they bond with the natural bone to provide even greater strength.

Cleaning requirements are also much simpler. You can brush your dental implant tooth replacement just like you would your natural teeth. Plus, there’s no need for special denture cleaning solutions.

Natural Eating and Speaking

Eating is more natural with dental implants. The key reason for this is that the titanium posts provide a strong, sturdy foundation. Patients who receive mouth implants are able to chew with just as much force as with their natural teeth. There’s also no need to worry about implants shifting while eating like dentures often do.

Your dental implants will perform just like natural teeth, making speaking very natural as well. Anyone who has gone a long time without natural teeth will have an adjustment period when they receive their implants, but it will be shorter than the time needed for dentures.

Dental Implants Give You a Confidence Boost

Your dental implants will provide you with a straight, bright, and stunning smile that will have you talking, grinning, and laughing just like anyone with a full set of natural teeth.

You won’t have to worry about the inconvenience of dentures or the embarrassment of missing teeth. Dental implants are worth it when it comes to living your life as fully as possible.

All-on-4 Dental Implants Near Philadelphia

Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center is your Philadelphia prosthodontist for all types of dental services and smile restorations. We provide All-on-4 full-arch restorations that can give you the long-term health and aesthetic results you’re looking for. Just contact our office today to book your consultation.

Cracked Tooth 1

It’s Nighttime and I Cracked My Tooth – Now What?

What counts as a cracked tooth?

Dental emergencies can happen at any time of the day or night. When they happen late at night, many people aren’t sure whether they should seek immediate treatment or wait until the morning. While a knocked-out tooth requires immediate treatment to save it, the answer for a cracked tooth depends on a few different factors.

The term “cracked tooth” isn’t exactly a technical term. There are a number of different types of damage a tooth can undergo that can be called a cracked tooth. Depending on what kind of damage has happened, cracked teeth can have different treatment requirements.

The most common cases involve a vertical crack that runs from the top of the tooth toward the roots but doesn’t necessarily span the full height. These cracks can sometimes go below the gumline as well, possibly affecting the roots. Vertical cracks can also damage the tissue inside the tooth and leave it exposed to potential infections. This is a serious threat to long-term oral health that will require treatment, but it isn’t a pressing emergency that would require immediate treatment that very night.

Many adults will develop “craze lines” as they age—faint cracks on the surface of their teeth. These are very small cracks that only affect the outermost layer of the tooth. They aren’t any cause for concern and don’t require treatment. The tooth can also crack on the chewing surface of the tooth, the cusp. This can cause severe pain when chewing and lead to more serious damage if left untreated.

When a cracked tooth is not treated, it can split in two entirely. Can you save a tooth that has cracked in half? The answer will vary depending on the extent of the damage. For severely damaged teeth, a replacement may be the best option.

Dealing with Your Cracked Tooth

Cracked teeth can result from a range of causes, from occlusal disease to physical accidents. When they happen suddenly after hours, there are several potential ways to deal with them.

You will have to see a dentist to repair cracked tooth damage. However, this can probably wait until the morning in almost all cases. If a tooth has split entirely, you should seek out immediate care from an emergency dentist.

In other cases, the level of pain and swelling are the most important things to consider. If you’re in severe pain due to a cracked tooth, you should seek treatment. Even if your dentist isn’t available, it could be enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room.

If the tooth pain is less severe, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers to manage it until the morning. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. You should avoid taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) for this type of injury.

Holding an ice pack against your cheek can help with tooth pain and swelling. Pain relievers and an ice pack will help reduce pain until the morning, when you should reach out to your dentist so they can repair cracked tooth damage.

Your Treatment Options

Several cracked tooth restoration options can provide effective treatment in different cases. Depending on the severity of the crack, bonding could be used. This involves simply filling the crack with the dental resin used in many other tooth restoration procedures.

For cracks affecting the cusp, removing the damaged section and smoothing it out can be an option if the crack is only in the enamel. This will leave the tooth looking different from before, but it will prevent further damage or tooth pain.

A crack that affects the appearance of your smile but isn’t a health concern can be fixed with a dental veneer. A thin layer will be removed from the front of the tooth to make room for a ceramic veneer that presents a flawless look for your smile without affecting your ability to speak or eat.

When a tooth is severely cracked, a dental crown could be the best option. This process removes a significant portion of the tooth to prepare a base for a ceramic tooth replacement.

With the latest digital impression scanning technology, a prosthodontist can provide a perfect replacement without physically taking a mold of your teeth. This method is both more convenient and more accurate. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology further streamline the process to repair cracked tooth damage. Patients can receive crowns, bridges, inlays, or onlays in just one visit.

Emergency Dental Care in Philadelphia

If you’re dealing with a cracked tooth or any other dental emergency, you can reach Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center through our after-hours emergency phone line. We’ll see you as soon as possible and let you know your options for cracked tooth restoration.

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2601 Dekalb Pike
East Norriton, PA 19401

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610-272-6949

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