Posts for: November, 2021
Although getting an implant requires surgery, it's usually a minor affair. Chances are good that after just a few days recuperation you'll be back completely to your normal activities.
But like many other minor surgeries, an implant procedure does pose a slight risk of post-op infection. That's especially so with any dental procedure like implant surgery, since the mouth harbors numerous strains of bacteria that could escape into the bloodstream. For most people, though, a post-op infection doesn't pose a major problem since their immune system kicks in immediately to defeat it.
But some patients with less than robust immune systems or other health problems can have serious complications from an infection. Among other things, infected tissues around an implant may not heal properly, putting the implant at significant risk for failure.
If you have a condition that makes a post-op infection problematic, your dentist or physician may recommend you take an antibiotic before your procedure. Known as prophylactic (preventive) antibiotic treatment, it's intended to give a weakened immune system a head-start on any potential infection after a procedure.
Using antibiotics in this way has been a practice for several decades, and at one time were recommended for a wide list of conditions. That's changed in recent years, though, as evidence from numerous studies seems to show the risk to benefit ratio isn't significant enough to warrant its use in all but a handful of conditions.
Both the American Dental Association and the American Heart Association recommend prophylactic antibiotics for patients with prosthetic heart valves, past infective endocarditis, a heart transplant and some congenital heart conditions. Some orthopedists may also recommend it for patients with prosthetic joints.
Even if you don't fall into these particular categories, prophylactic antibiotics may still be beneficial if you have a compromised immune system or suffer from a disease like diabetes or lung disease. Whether or not a prophylactic antibiotic is a prudent step given your health status is a discussion you should have with both your physician and your dentist.
If they feel it's warranted, it can be done safely in recommended doses. If your health isn't as robust as it could be, the practice could give you a little added insurance toward a successful implant outcome.
If you would like more information about dental implant surgery, 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 “Implants & Antibiotics.”
In the realm of dental restorations, not all crowns are alike. And, one type isn't necessarily superior to the others. One type of crown may work better for a particular tooth, while a different crown is better suited to another.
Therefore, knowing your options can help you make a more informed choice with your dentist regarding the best crown for your needs. Here, then, is a quick primer on the main types of dental crowns used today.
Metal crowns. Early in the last century, crowns made of gold, silver or other metals were the go-to dental restoration. Because of their strength and durability, metal crowns are still used today, mainly in back teeth that encounter heavy biting forces. Their drawback: They're decidedly not the color of natural teeth and so can stand out if they're placed in the visible "smile zone."
PFM crowns. The first crowns made with dental porcelain solved the appearance problem, but couldn't adequately handle biting forces as well as metal. Out of this came the porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crown, which contains an inner core of metal overlaid with tooth-colored porcelain. Providing both strength and life-likeness, PFM crowns were immensely popular until the mid-2000s.
All-Ceramic crowns. The development of porcelains more durable than earlier versions eventually dethroned the PFM (although the latter is still used today). Sixty percent of the crowns installed in recent years are all-ceramic, many reinforced with a strength material known as Lucite. Many all-ceramic crowns reaching the 15-year mark are still in place and functioning.
All of these crowns continue to be viable options for dental patients. The biggest factor in choosing one particular crown over another is the type of tooth involved and its location. As mentioned before, metal or PFM crowns are usually better for back teeth where durability is a higher priority than aesthetics. All-ceramics work well in high-visibility front teeth that normally encounter lighter biting forces than back teeth.
Regardless of which kind eventually caps your tooth, any of today's modern crowns will function as intended. But the best crown for you will be the one that both protects your tooth and enhances your smile.
If you would like more information on dental crown restorations, 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 “Porcelain Dental Crowns.”
Many people are very careful about regular brushing and flossing of their teeth. If you are really careful with in-home dental care, is visiting a dentist important to maintaining your smile? Dr. Scott Stone is a Lansing dentist who can provide dental care at Smile by Stone in Lansing, MI, which will bring you to a new level of oral health.
Flossing and brushing your teeth can remove plaque and help prevent a number of problems, but the only way to ensure long-term oral health is with regular cleaning and tar removal.
Plaque vs. Tartar vs. Your Teeth
Plaque is a thin, filmy substance formed by bacteria. It sounds unappealing, and it can make your smile look yellow and dull, but more importantly, it can be very unhealthy for both your teeth and gums. Without regular brushing and flossing, plaque can accumulate both above and below the gum line. The bacteria will cause acids on your teeth that can degrade enamel and cause cavities. With plaque accumulation below the gum line, this same bacteria can cause infections and lead to periodontal disease.
Over time, plaque can combine with the minerals present in your saliva and harden into plaque. This can also happen above and below your gum line. Because tartar is a hard substance, you won't be able to brush it away. That is where regular cleanings come in.
What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?
During a cleaning, your Lansing dentist in Lansing, MI, will use dental tools to scrape tartar build-up off your teeth. They will not only scrape the visible tooth surface, but also any tartar below the gum line. Periodically during your cleaning, you will be able to rinse your mouth and spit out any tartar. At the end of your cleaning, the dentist or hygienist will buff your teeth with toothpaste. The process is not painful but talk to us if you are worried about this procedure or have questions.
Dr. Stone with Smile by Stone is a Lansing dentist in Lansing, MI, who can provide a range of dental services and is committed to personalized care. Contact us today at (517) 482-5546 to schedule your cleaning and make your smile last a lifetime.