Posts for: July, 2019
There's no doubt treating dental problems can improve your health. But because the mouth is among the most sensitive areas of the body, many dental procedures can be potentially uncomfortable after treatment.
We rely on pain medication to alleviate any dental work discomfort, especially during recuperation. Our arsenal of pain-relieving drugs includes strong opioid narcotics like morphine or oxycodone which have effectively relieved dental pain for decades. But although they work wonders, they're also highly addictive.
We've all been confronted in the last few years with startling headlines about the opioid addiction epidemic sweeping across the country. Annual deaths resulting from opioid addiction number in the tens of thousands, ahead of motor vehicle accident fatalities. Although illegal drugs like heroin account for some, the source for most addiction cases—an estimated 2 million in 2015 alone—is opioid prescriptions.
Dentists and other healthcare providers are seeking ways to address this problem. One way is to re-examine the use of opioids for pain management and to find alternative means that might reduce the number of narcotic prescriptions.
This has led to new approaches in dentistry regarding pain relief. In a trend that's been underway for several years, we've found managing post-discomfort for many procedures can be done effectively with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. They don't share the addictive quality of narcotics and are regarded as safer when taken as directed.
There's also been a recent modification with using NSAIDs. Dentists have found that alternating the use of ibuprofen and acetaminophen often amplifies the pain relief found using only one at a time. By doing so, we may further reduce the need for narcotics for more procedures.
The trend now in dentistry is to look first to NSAIDs to manage pain and discomfort after dental work. Narcotics may still be used, but only in a secondary role when absolutely needed. With less narcotic prescriptions thanks to these new pain management protocols, we can reduce the risk of a dangerous addiction.
In the event of tooth loss or pervasive gum disease, the jawbone often becomes the subject of gradual deterioration. If this bone loss isn't stopped, not only will your face begin to sag, but any potential tooth replacement treatments become more complicated as well. Fortunately, with modern grafting techniques, the jawbone can be built up again. Led by Dr. Ramyar Elyassian, Dental Implant and Laser Surgical Specialists offers bone grafting treatments to patients in the areas of Orange, Tustin, Santa Ana, and Irvine, CA—here are some reasons why you may need to undergo this procedure.
You may require bone grafting if your bone is too soft or thin to support an implant. The grafting materials can come from a variety of sources, including the patient's own body in some cases. Laboratory-processed bone and synthetic bone graft materials from a donor can also be used.
Following the graft, an implant can be anchored into the jawbone just like a real tooth, a characteristic that can stop bone loss and stimulate growth.
Saving Loose Teeth
Affecting almost half of American adults over the age of 30, advanced gum disease (i.e. periodontitis) can cause jawbone loss and the loosening of teeth. However, if the condition is caught and treated, the jawbone can thankfully be regenerated through bone grafting. This increases bone support and helps keep your previously loose teeth in place.
A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from its jawbone socket, and these days, it's very common to deposit bone grafting material into the socket after the tooth has been removed. That way, should you want to replace your missing teeth with dental implants later on, that option will be available. Getting a bone graft right after a dental extraction can often avert the need for bone grafting just before dental implant surgery.
Think that you may need bone grafting? Give us a call
Take the first step towards a brand new smile today by calling Dental Implant and Laser Surgical Specialists at 714-730-3746 to schedule a dental consultation in Tustin, CA. We want everyone in the Orange, Tustin, Santa Ana, and Irvine, CA, areas to have healthy smiles that look great, too!
How many actresses have portrayed a neuroscientist on a wildly successful TV comedy while actually holding an advanced degree in neuroscience? As far as we know, exactly one: Mayim Bialik, who plays the lovably geeky Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS' The Big Bang Theory… and earned her PhD from UCLA.
Acknowledging her nerdy side, Bialik recently told Dear Doctor magazine, “I'm different, and I can't not be different.” Yet when it comes to her family's oral health, she wants the same things we all want: good checkups and great-looking smiles. “We're big on teeth and oral care,” she said. “Flossing is really a pleasure in our house.”
How does she get her two young sons to do it?
Bialik uses convenient pre-loaded floss holders that come complete with floss and a handle. “I just keep them in a little glass right next to the toothbrushes so they're open, no one has to reach, they're just right there,” she said. “It's really become such a routine, I don't even have to ask them anymore.”
As many parents have discovered, establishing healthy routines is one of the best things you can do to maintain your family's oral health. Here are some other oral hygiene tips you can try at home:
Brush to the music — Plenty of pop songs are about two minutes long… and that's the length of time you should brush your teeth. If brushing in silence gets boring, add a soundtrack. When the music's over — you're done!
Flossing can be fun — If standard dental floss doesn't appeal, there are many different styles of floss holders, from functional ones to cartoon characters… even some with a martial-arts theme! Find the one that your kids like best, and encourage them to use it.
The eyes don't lie — To show your kids how well (or not) they are cleaning their teeth, try using an over-the-counter disclosing solution. This harmless product will temporarily stain any plaque or debris that got left behind after brushing, so they can immediately see where they missed, and how to improve their hygiene technique — which will lead to better health.
Have regular dental exams & cleanings — When kids see you're enthusiastic about going to the dental office, it helps them feel the same way… and afterward, you can point out how great it feels to have a clean, sparkling smile.