Dental Implants

Dental Implants: Are You a Candidate?

Did you know according to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 36 million Americans are missing multiple teeth? More so, 125 million are missing at least one tooth. If you are one of the many missing teeth, a dental implant may be the solution for repairing your smile. While most people can get implants, some factors make one a better candidate than others.

What Makes a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Healthy Gums

If you have gingivitis or periodontitis, then getting an implant may not be the best route for you. Because implants are titanium posts screwed into the bone, you must have healthy gums. With advanced periodontal disease, there is a high risk of implants falling out due to a lack of gum support. Also, if one intends to maintain gum health, one will likely take care of the dental implant.

Dental ImplantsBone Density

The implant is screwed into your jaw, so you must have enough bone density. A dentist can perform a simple test to determine the density of the bone. The dentist may opt for a mini dental implant, pending the test’s outcome. This mini implant has a ball at the end that a tooth replacement snaps to. This piece, a crown, looks like a natural tooth.

Not a Smoker

When you smoke, the risk of a tooth implant not fusing properly to the jawbone is higher. Also, smokers will heal more slowly after the dental implant procedure.

Good Dental Hygiene

If you take great care of your teeth, your dental implant will last longer. Bi-annual dental appointments, brushing and flossing twice daily, and a healthy diet are all part of your oral care. Your dentist will need to be able to monitor the implant’s condition, so consistent visits are a must. Keep in mind, if you have other dental issues to correct, your dentist will treat those concerns first.

Minimal Bruxism

If you grind or clench your teeth, your dentist may decide dental implants are not for you. Implants are sturdy and function as regular teeth. However, the amount of pressure exerted by bruxism can cause damage. If an implant is the best recourse, it may be necessary to have a custom-fitted nightguard.

Patience with the Process

Getting an implant can take four to twelve months to complete. The implant procedure is multi-faceted, depending on your jaw and the number of implants. You must be patient throughout the process and follow your dentist’s instructions.

If you need a tooth replacement, don’t put it off. Talk to one of our dental team at Crosstown Dental Group Palmyra today. We can assess your dental health and determine the best procedure for achieving your perfect smile.

Gum Recession

Gum Recession: Causes and Treatment

Gums help keep your teeth in place.  But if your gums begin to recede, gaps can develop between the teeth and gums, causing dental problems.  One of the biggest problems is your becoming loose and even falling out. This problem affects nearly half the adult population over 30. This percentage increases for people over 65.

Causes of Dental Recession

Gum RecessionBraces – As braces realign the teeth, it can sometimes cause gum recession.

Brushing too hard – Aggressively brushing your teeth causes many problems. Use a soft toothbrush and leave the serious cleaning to the pros.

Bruxism – This is when you grind your teeth. If you do this often, it can irritate your gums until they pull away from your teeth.

Diabetes – Diabetes can keep nutrients from reaching the gums. This weakens the bones holding teeth in place.

Genetics – Sometimes, you can do nothing to avoid receding gums. If they are in your genetics, being proactive in your dental care and talking to your dentist is necessary.

High Frenal attachment – The frena membrane attaches the muscles that move your lips and cheeks. If your frena is too high, they can tug at your gums and cause a recession.

Periodontal disease – Gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, can cause swollen, irritated gums. If left untreated, it can cause bacterial buildup, inflammation, infection, and gum recession.

Poor dental hygiene –Failing to brush and floss daily leaves behind bacteria. This bacteria becomes plaque. The longer plaque is on your teeth, the thicker it becomes, making it more difficult to remove.

Smoking – This weakens the body’s ability to fight infection, so gum disease is easier for the mouth to succumb to.

Vitamin C deficiency – Vitamin C is essential to many functions of the body. Several studies have found that people with low amounts of vitamin C are more prone to gum recession. Scientists have also found that smokers and those exposed to second smoke have lower levels of vitamin C.

Treatment for Gum Recession

Braces – Yes, braces can sometimes cause gum recession. But sometimes, the best approach is to let the orthodontic work happen. When the tooth realignment has occurred, the gum may correct itself over time.  In cases where gums do not adjust, a gum graft may become necessary.

Dental Bonding – Depending on the severity, the recession can often be camouflaged with tooth-colored resin. The resin covers the exposed tooth root so that it is less noticeable.

Topical antibiotics – Should periodontal disease cause the recession, your dentist or periodontist may prescribe an antibiotic. Your dentist may also work with you to help you develop better oral health habits.

Scaling and planning – This deep dental cleaning is done under local anesthesia. The process removes bacteria that has built up under the gum line.

Gun recession is not something to ignore. If you suspect your gums have begun to recede, call our office for an appointment as soon as possible.


Dental Floss: Tips and Tools for a Healthier Smile

Brushing your teeth twice a day, using mouthwash, and going to the dentist won’t replace flossing your teeth. They can prevent cavities. But they are not enough to altogether avoid dental problems! Flossing is essential in minimizing cavities and other dental concerns. Unfortunately, it is also something most people skip as part of their oral health routine.

Flossing at least twice daily is one of the best ways to protect your teeth. Proper flossing removes plaque from between the teeth and away from the gumline. This means less tooth decay and periodontal disease for a healthier, brighter smile. But flossing is more than just moving a piece of ‘string’ between your teeth. There is a way to do it to get optimum results.

How to Floss

1. If using floss, pull out about 16-18 inches and wrap it around your middle fingers. Leave a gap so you have 1-2 inches to work with. There will be extra floss to move into position as needed.
2. Pinch the floss between your thumb and index finger. Move the floss between the teeth in a zig-zag motion.
3. Using the floss, make a “C” shape around each tooth.
4. Slide the floss up and down the tooth’s surface and beneath the gum line.
5. Remember to floss both sides of each tooth.
6. You are getting the plaque out if the floss is brownish or frayed.
7. Unwind more floss from your fingers and continue until you have cleaned between all your teeth.

Types of Floss

FlossTraditional Floss (waxed or unwaxed)

The most common are nylon floss, monofilament floss, or dental tape. Each of them does the job, so it often comes down to personal preference. Nylon floss is great if you have teeth that are very close together. Monofilament is a single strand of polytetrafluorethylene fiber easily slid between teeth. It is more break-resistant, so you usually will not need to replace it as often when you floss. Dental tape is a multi-strand nylon tape. It is excellent for people with larger spaces between their teeth.

Super Floss

This is pre-cut floss that has three distinct sections. It has a stiff end for threading it under bridgework, implants, or braces. A sponge-like section is designed for the spaces under a dental appliance, and a portion is regular floss for cleaning under the gums.

Interdental Brushes

These are available in several sizes. They have tiny tree-shaped brushes great for people treated for periodontal disease. The brushes are also effective for those who have healthy gums.

Flossing Pics

These are single-use products perfect for people who have trouble holding the floss between their fingers. They are also great for children lacking the dexterity needed for flossing. These tools are typically small plastic pieces with floss strung between the tines.

Brushing, mouthwash, and dentist visits are essential.  But don’t forget to floss, too!  If you have questions about flossing or other proactive methods for healthy teeth, ask one of our team members at Crosstown Dental Group Palmyra.