Tooth loss generally is caused by aging, but some patients keep their teeth for a lifetime with proper hygiene and little to no decay. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to avoid developing periodontal or gum disease. This disease is caused by harmful bacteria that attacks the gums. For many patients, they don’t even know they have this disease, which advances quickly without proper treatment. Dr. James Vito in Wayne, PA, can examine your teeth and offer treatment options that are successful at preventing the further development of periodontal disease in your teeth and gums.
About Periodontal Disease
The early signs of periodontal disease are known as gingivitis. If this is left untreated, it can progress quickly to periodontitis, which can lead to bone loss around the teeth themselves. After this begins, the gums can even detach from the teeth forming pockets where this harmful bacteria can live. As periodontal disease progresses, it can lead to more bone loss and in some severe cases, tooth loss. The good news is that with the help of general dentistry from Dr. Vito in Wayne, this can be treated successfully without harmful consequences.
Some of the most common symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Swelling/redness of the gums
- Receding gums
Ultimately, treatment for periodontal disease will vary on the stage in which each patient is in. Plaque removal and/or scaling or root planing are the most common successful treatment methods. In the most severe cases, surgery may be needed. The type of treatment used will depend on the stage of gum disease a patient is in as well as their existing gum and tooth structure. To schedule an appointment to see what your Wayne, PA, general dentist can do for your oral health, call our office today at 610-971-2590.
Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!
If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.
If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?
As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.
And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!
If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?”
For centuries, people who've lost all their teeth have worn dentures. Although materials in today's dentures are more durable and attractive than those in past generations, the basic design remains the same — prosthetic (false) teeth set in a plastic or resin base made to resemble gum tissue.
If you're thinking of obtaining dentures, don't let their simplicity deceive you:Â a successful outcome depends on a high degree of planning and attention to detail customized to your mouth.
Our first step is to determine the best positioning for the prosthetic teeth. It's not an “eyeball” guess — we make a number of calculations based on the shape and size of your jaws and facial features to determine the best settings within the resin base. These calculations help us answer a few important questions for determining design: how large should the teeth be? How far forward or back from the lip? How much space between the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are at rest?
We also can't forget about the artificial gums created by the base. How much your gums show when you smile depends a lot on how much your upper lip rises. We must adjust the base size to accommodate your upper lip rise so that the most attractive amount of gum shows when you smile. We also want to match as close as possible the color and texture of your natural gum tissues.
There's one other important aspect to manage: how your upper and lower dentures function together when you eat or speak. This means we must also factor your bite into the overall denture design. This may even continue after your dentures arrive: we may still need to adjust them while in your mouth to improve function and comfort.
Ill-fitting, dysfunctional and unattractive dentures can be distressing and embarrassing. But with careful planning and customization, we can help ensure your new dentures are attractive and comfortable to wear now and for years to come.
If you would like more information on removable dentures for teeth replacement, 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 “Removable Full Dentures.”
Everyone loves a concert where there's plenty of audience participation… until it starts to get out of hand.Â Recently, the platinum-selling band Fifth Harmony was playing to a packed house in Atlanta when things went awry for vocalist Camila Cabello. Fans were batting around a big plastic ball, and one unfortunate swing sent the ball hurtling toward the stage — and directly into Cabello's face. Pushing the microphone into her mouth, it left the “Worth It” singer with a chipped front tooth.
Ouch! Cabello finished the show nevertheless, and didn't seem too upset. “Atlanta… u wild… love u,” she tweeted later that night. “Gotta get it fixed now tho lol.” Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of ways to make that chipped tooth look as good as new.
A small chip at the edge of the tooth can sometimes be polished with dental instruments to remove the sharp edges. If it's a little bigger, a procedure called dental bonding may be recommended. Here, the missing part is filled in with a mixture of plastic resin and glass fillers, which are then cured (hardened) with a special light. The tooth-colored bonding material provides a tough, lifelike restoration that's hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. While bonding can be performed in just one office visit, the material can stain over time and may eventually need to be replaced.
Porcelain veneers are a more long-lasting solution. These wafer-thin coverings go over the entire front surface of the tooth, and can resolve a number of defects — including chips, discoloration, and even minor size or spacing irregularities. You can get a single veneer or have your whole smile redone, in shades ranging from a pearly luster to an ultra-bright white; that's why veneers are a favorite of Hollywood stars. Getting veneers is a procedure that takes several office visits, but the beautiful results can last for many years.
If a chip or crack extends into the inner part of a tooth, you'll probably need a crown (or cap) to restore the tooth's function and appearance. As long as the roots are healthy, the entire part of the tooth above the gum line can be replaced with a natural-looking restoration. You may also need a root canal to remove the damaged pulp material and prevent infection if the fracture went too far. While small chips or cracks aren't usually an emergency (unless accompanied by pain), damage to the tooth's pulp requires prompt attention.
If you have questions about smile restoration, please contact us and schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty As Never Before” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
Dental implants fill in the gaps in your teeth to give your smile a full and beautiful appearance. However, implants can do much more than just replace a missing tooth. Learning about this versatile dental restoration can help you determine if this is your best treatment option. Find out more about dental implants and what they can do for you with Dr. James Vito in Wayne, PA.
What can dental implants do for me?
Dental implants can achieve several different results, depending on your situation and what your dentist thinks is the best treatment plan for you. Some of the most common uses for dental implants include:
- Single Tooth Replacement: Replacing a single tooth requires a single implant. The tooth will stand on its own, unlike a traditional dental bridge and not require the help of surrounding teeth to hold the prosthetic tooth in place.
- Multiple Tooth Replacement: Patients missing several teeth in a row can use two dental implants on either side of their gap to hold a row of prosthetic teeth in place. This dental bridge keeps the bone underneath the gum line stimulated while filling in the gaps left behind by the missing teeth.
- Implant-Supported Dentures: Patients who require dentures can benefit from this type of implant. Four or more implants placed along the arch of the mouth hold an entire full denture in place. The denture can be permanent or removable depending on your situation and what your dentist suggests.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants replace not only your missing tooth or teeth, but their roots as well. This unique feature of implants makes them the most effective and permanent tooth replacement option available. By replacing the root, implants decrease the chances of bone atrophy, a side effect of a missing tooth. Additionally, replacing the missing tooth keeps the surrounding healthy teeth from shifting or moving to accommodate for the extra space in the mouth. Perhaps the most noticeable benefit of dental implants is the final result of a full, beautiful smile.
Dental Implants in Wayne, PA
For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. James Vito in Wayne, PA. Call (610) 971-2590 to schedule your consultation for dental implants with Dr. Vito today!
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