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Posts for: May, 2016

By Gilbert Dental Care
May 27, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Regardless of if you are missing one tooth or all of your teeth, you may feel as though there is no saving your smile. However, there is dental implantsan answer to your problem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and restore your biting surface to make eating, speaking, and chewing easier. Learn more about dental implants with help from your Philadelphia, PA dentists at Gilbert Dental Care.

How does a dental implant work? 
Dental implants are made up of three separate parts:

  • Fixture: The implant’s fixture is a very small titanium post which your Philadelphia dentist implants into the jawbone underneath the gum line. Over time, the fixture integrates into the bone, becoming a permanent part of your mouth. This essentially takes the place of the missing tooth’s root and provides a sturdy foundation for the replacement tooth.
  • Abutment: The implant’s abutment connects the fixture to the replacement tooth.
  • Prosthesis: Customized in a dental laboratory, the implant’s prosthetic tooth or teeth attaches to the implant itself to fill in your gap. The prosthetic tooth can be a dental crown, dental bridge, or a full denture.

What can dental implants do for me?

  • Single Tooth Replacement: Replacing a single tooth requires a single implant to replace the tooth’s root and hold a dental crown in place.
  • Multiple Tooth Replacement: If you are missing several teeth in a row, two implants on either side of the gap anchor a dental bridge in place. The bridge has several prosthetic teeth in a row with anchor points on both ends.
  • Full Arch Replacement: Implant-supported dentures require several implants strategically placed throughout the arch. After successful integration, the implants give a permanent or removable denture a base on which to attach.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants? 
Much like a muscle, when a bone is no longer used, it begins to atrophy. One of the side effects of a missing tooth is the breakdown of the bone underneath the gap due to lack of stimulation. Dental implants require sufficient bone volume to integrate into. Additionally, good candidates for dental implants are in good general and dental health and able to undergo general anesthesia as required by the procedure.

For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Steve Gilbert, and Dr. Carlos Velez, DDS at Gilbert Dental Care in Philadelphia, PA. Call (215) 972-0406 to speak with an associate about scheduling your consultation for dental implants today!

By Gilbert Dental Care
May 21, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: gummy smiles  

You’re a bit self-conscious about your smile. But not because of your teeth — it’s your upper gums, which seem too prominent when you smile. While “too much” is a matter of perception varying from individual to individual, it’s generally accepted that a smile is “gummy” if four or more millimeters (a bit more than an eighth of an inch) of the gums are visible.

The good news is there are ways to improve the appearance of your gums. Which method we use, though, will depend on the underlying reason why the gums are prominent. The amount of gum tissue, in fact, may not be the problem at all, but could be the size of the crowns (the visible parts of teeth), the upper lip’s range of motion, the upper jaw’s position in relation to the face, or a combination of any of these.

For example, if your teeth didn’t erupt and develop properly, the gums might not have moved back to their proper position and stabilized as they should in your late teens or early twenties. A normal crown (the visible part of a tooth) is about 10 millimeters long, with a ratio of width to length of about 75-85%. Below those measurements the teeth can appear smaller, making even normal gum tissue appear larger. In another scenario, the upper lip may rise too high when you smile (hypermobility), which reveals too much of the gums.

If tooth size is the problem, we may recommend a periodontal surgical procedure called crown lengthening that reveals more of the tooth. A hypermobile lip can be treated with Botox shots to temporarily restrict the movement (it must be repeated every six months) or by surgically repositioning the lip muscles that control movement. Similarly, surgically repositioning an overlong upper jaw to make it appear shorter may be the right course.

That’s why our first step is to determine why your gums are too prominent with a complete dental examination. Knowing exactly why they stand out will help us devise a treatment plan that will greatly enhance your smile.

If you would like more information on improving a gummy smile, 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 “Gummy Smiles.”

By Gilbert Dental Care
May 06, 2016
Category: Oral Health

For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.

Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.

If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.

If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.

When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.

When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment. Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.

And as for Noah Galloway:  In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!

If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”