If you have had esthetic enhancements to your teeth or are fortunate enough to have your own set of perfect teeth, you may be wondering how to maintain your smile. To maintain a healthy smile, you have to know what might damage your teeth. Identifying and eliminating bad oral habits is the key to retaining a great smile for many years. Some habits which may be harming the health of our teeth:
• Grinding your teeth
• Casually biting your fingernails or a pen
• Crunching ice?
• A diet high in sugar (such as soda, chewing gum and candy)
• Drinking coffee, red wine and tea. Smoking or chewing tobacco
• Forcing your tongue against your upper teeth
We can’t predict the exact effects bad oral habits will have on your perfect teeth, however, the longer the duration of the habit, the greater negative effect it will have on the longevity of your smile.
How Can I Eliminate My Bad Oral Habits and Protect My Perfect Teeth?
The first step to eliminating a bad habit is to identify and acknowledge that you have one. If your habit is crunching ice, you must alter or eliminate it from your day-to-day routine.
Other habits are harder to break like grinding your teeth. Grinding the teeth is generally an involuntary action and usually occurs when asleep. Because the habit is difficult to break, a plastic nightguard is the best solution to prevent excessive wear of your teeth.
A nightguard is a clear plastic mouthpiece that is custom-fitted to snap over your teeth, much like an athletic mouthguard. The nightguard is designed so your teeth grind on the plastic, not your teeth. The nightguard will wear out, but your teeth will not.
Do not neglect your teeth, especially if you have had esthetic enhancements. They will not last forever, so in order to preserve your perfect teeth, have regular dental check-ups and do your best to eliminate bad oral habits.
Contact us at Rye Smiles for Life by calling 703-352-2010 if you have any questions about how to protect your teeth and your smile so that your perfect smile will last a lifetime.
The risk of adult tooth decay is on the rise due to the trend in bottle water and the high percentage of people on medications (OTC,RX and Herbal Supplements). These medications are proven to cause a reduced salivary flow resulting in an increase in cavities.
We have attended numerous courses raising our awareness on this matter.
Who Needs Fluoride?
1. Everyone – If you have a pulse
2. High Risk Group
a. Tooth Sensitivity
b. Gum Recession/Bone Loss
c. Prescription Medications
d. OTC Medications (Especially allergy/sinus meds)
e. Herbal Supplements
f. 60 years or older (naturally have a reduced salivary flow)
g. Decay within the past 2 years
h. If you drink more bottled water than tap
i. If you drink soda (diet or regular)
j. A diet high in sugar
k. Cosmetic or full mouth dentistry patients
l. An extensive dental history, resulting in numerous crowns, bridges, veneers
m. Orthodontics or Invisalign
At Rye Smiles for Life we take pride in our role as our patients’ preventative care specialist to help them achieve your maximum oral health. We provide an Adult Fluoride treatment after each Preventative Care appointment. We determine the frequency that best meets our patients’ needs (1-4 times per year).
Contact us at 703-352-2010 if you have any concerns about your oral health.
Our very own Annie recently attended the 1st Annual meeting of the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health in Chicago and is a founding member of the organization. Our team is very passionate about the oral systemic link between periodontal health and whole body health. Attendees at the meeting included physicians, nurses, dentists, dental hygienists and cardiologists. The mission of the conference was to present the most recent research on the links among periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and the most effective ways of treating these disorders.
According to the CDC, Heart Disease is still the number one cause of death, and stroke was ranked third. Diabetes is expected to be one of the fastest growing diseases in America over the next few decades. The good news is that because of medical research and new diagnostic techniques, there has been a paradigm shift from treatment of late stage disease to the prevention or early detection. It starts with risk assessment. Gum disease can increase your risk of a cardiovascular event by 13 times depending on the specific bacteria that are present in your mouth. With the new salivary diagnostic test available to dentists, we are able to identify and measure the bacteria that can cause this inflammatory response in our patients. Some adverse effects of bleeding and inflamed gums can be an increase in: blood pressure, LDL – Your BAD cholesterol (and lower HDL – GOOD cholesterol), lipids and certain inflammation enzymes like C-reactive protein and Lp-Pla2. When the gums are treated successfully all of these health markers improve. They are directly related!
For diabetic patients, the same research results apply. Gum disease (gingivitis and periodontal disease) directly affects the blood sugars and will raise the glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). We have many diabetic patients who have been able to reduce their daily dose of insulin as a result of treating their gum infections.
Medical research available today has made it abundantly clear there is a direct link between oral disease and other systemic diseases and medical conditions. Now that you are aware of this connection be proactive in ensuring your total body health. Contact us at 703-352-2010 and schedule an appointment for oral salivary testing today.
Should you Replace Your Bridge or Get Implants?
Recently one of my patients was struggling with the decision of whether to replace an existing bridge with a replacement bridge or with dental implants. I explained the pros and cons to her and she is considering her options. With the increasing popularity of dental implants (due in large to technology improvements which enable dentists to place dental implants with more predictable results than in the past), there are many people in her situation, grappling with the question of what is the best solution to their dental problem. Here are the considerations when trying to decide whether to replace your bridge with a replacement bridge or dental implants:
Pros of Replacement Bridge:
1. A replacement bridge will be less expensive than dental implants.
2. You are familiar with the functionality of and care for a bridge, so you won’t experience much change in your oral hygiene habits.
Cons of Replacement Bridge:
1. The average life of a new or first bridge is about 12 years, although some of our patients have bridges that have lasted 30+ years). Life span length is dependent on care & supporting natural teeth stability.
2. The average life span of a second bridge is about 9-12 years. The second bridge life span usually is not as long as the patient’s original bridge. This is because the factors that contributed to the original bridge failure have been exacerbated with function over time.
3. A replacement bridge can fail, 60% of the time due to the loss of one of the two teeth that support it.
Pros of Implants
1. Easier to maintain & perform home care
2. Implants have a 95-98% success rate over a 30 year time span (dependent on patient care)
3. Stabilizes bone & reduces or eliminates loss
4. Lower “Lifetime” cost
Cons of Implants
1. Higher Initial Cost
2. Known risks associated with any oral surgical procedures
If you are wondering whether implants are the best solution to your dental problem, contact us at (703)-352-2010. We will provide you the information you need to decide on the treatment plan which best meets your needs.
On my way home Monday night, I found myself looking back over the past three days with excitement. I had learned several new techniques for placing implants, and for grafting to create enough bone in situations were implants might otherwise not be possible. I was taught by world-class clinicians as we worked together on the patients, and in turn I taught some of the less-experienced doctors as they assisted me. From the perspective of professional development, the trip was extremely rewarding.
The most rewarding part, though, was seeing how grateful these people were. I will never forget the sight of patients pressing against the glass doors to the clinic, anxious to get their share of a dream of getting their lost teeth back.
The Implant Seminars group is considering future trips with plans for prosthetic constructions as well as continuing implant procedures. I expect to return next year. There is more work to do and I think they are counting on us to follow through. It would be great if dental ceramic companies can get involved to more effectively permit completion of the cases begun on the recent trip. It is not enough to just go place implants on people if you can’t finish what you started.
All in all, our trip to the Dominican Republic was a hard-working, great learning experience. The many new techniques I learned will now benefit my patients here in Northern Virginia.
To learn more about the dentistry we offer at Rye Smiles for Life, call our office at 703-352-2010.
Today was much like Friday and Saturday, arriving at the facility at 8:30 am and staying until after darkness had fallen. The instructors were all exceptionally renowned educators with extended experience and training in implant procedures. The Universidad staff and other support personnel took responsibility and their jobs seriously and the whole weekend went without a hitch. Patients were brought in immediately on completion of procedures on the previous patient. The only delay in moving from treatment of one patient to the next was the time required to turn the surgical suites around. We were provided hi-tec equipment, including surgical supplies, cadaver transplant tissues, cat scan radiography, piezoelectric surgical equipment and state of the art operatories.
Dr. Garg and Implant Seminars did a spectacular job of screening patients, providing support staff and supplies, and coordinating this large group of people performing complex dental procedures.
Please contact us to find out more.
Again our arrival on Saturday coincided with a line of people waiting to be treated. Again, we worked over twelve hours, treating about 60 to 80 patients, many patients needing multiple procedures. Treatments today ranged from single or multiple implants, ridge preservation procedures, bone ridge augmentation procedures in conjunction with implant placements or as a preliminary procedure to improve the site for future implant placements, and lateral sinus lifts to expose the sinus so bone augmentation procedures could be performed. We also performed bone ridge splitting procedures where narrow bone was expanded to provide adequate width for implant placements. When necessary, we performed extractions and placed immediate implants with simultaneous bone filling/stabilizing procedures.
The patients were so grateful to receive treatment and rewarded us with bashful smiles and generous hugs.
Please contact us to find out more.
Over Labor Day weekend, while my kids were getting ready to go back to school, I was on a dental training mission to the Dominican Republic. I was part of a group of about 30 dentists organized by Dr. Arun Garg of Implant Seminars. To date dentists associated with Implant Seminars have provided more than $1.5 million in gratis health care. Over three days, we treated hundreds of patients who waited for hours for the free care.
I arrived late Thursday night after flying to Miami for a connecting flight to Santo Domingo. I had just enough time for a good night of sleep before meeting my transportation to the Universidad to begin work Friday morning. We began at 8:30, and worked through 9 pm.
On arriving at the facility, we saw prospective patients waiting to be screened for treatment. Patients were selected in advance based on financial need, and clinical exams including a panoramic radiograph completed before treatment.
After meeting other members of the team, we jumped right in. We initiated implant procedures, placing implants for those that could not afford the procedures without assistance. In many cases, preliminary bone work was necessary before implants could be placed. I began work with a dentist from New Jersey. We performed a maxillary sinus lifts, bone augmentation, and placed implants. One of our patients, a forty one year old female, had no posterior teeth. She received sinus lifts and bone augmentation so that in six months she will be ready for implants.
I lost track, as most of us did, of how many patients we actually saw, how many implants we placed, and how many procedures we performed. I was keenly aware, however, of the feeling one gets when one donates his time, talents and training to a population in need. I am grateful for the unparalleled training I received on this trip as well as the smiling, appreciative faces I encountered along the way.
Please contact us to find out more.
Smiles are an interesting feature of everyone’s life. Everyone has one, but everyone feels differently about their own. Consider a few interesting facts about smiles:.
• 62 – Number of times a day the average woman smiles.
• 8 – Number of times a day the average man smiles.
• 63% – Percentage of people who say they look best in photos when they are showing their teeth.
• 99.7% – Percentage of adults who say an attractive smile is an important personal asset.
• 74% – Percentage of people who say that an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances for business or career success.
• 23% – Percentage of people who say they look the best with their mouth closed.
Mark Twain once wrote, “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been!” The act of smiling is a very uncomplicated and important human activity. It really isn’t important that your smile be perfect- but that you feel good about it and you give it away! If your stingy with your smile because it’s something less than what you want it to be, we can help – Smiles are what we do best.
Give us at Rye Smiles for Life a call at (703) 352-2010 and we’ll set up a time to talk about getting you a smile that you can’t just keep to yourself.
For those of you who have had the joy of extensive dental work, you are familiar with what a crown looks like. They are essentially caps that are placed over your teeth and are a sort of “last resort” for a tooth that has too much damage for a normal filling to fix. In your father’s day, technology was such that these special tooth caps had to be made of metal with a simple porcelain overlay to mimic the look of a normal and real tooth. But the metal underneath caused the crown’s look to worsen considerably over time.
Some of you may have this type of crown or have seen it in others. The aging of the crown can be seen even just while talking as metal is exposed at the gum line or in the way the color or stain of your crowned tooth just doesn’t match the rest.
But the dark ages are over and no one needs to know which of your teeth have crowns just by casting a glance. New technology is now available. Cosmetic dentists can now offer you all porcelain or all acrylic crowns. These crowns do a much better job of being inconspicuous among the rest of your teeth and give off a much more natural look.
If you are interested in replacing your old crowns or are in need of crowns for the first time, contact us at Rye Smiles for Life by calling (703) 352-2010 to find out if all-porcelain crowns can be a good fit.