August 12th, 2020
What to do to prevent gum disease? If left untreated, gum disease can lead to discomfort, infection, and even tooth loss. Bacteria in our mouths form a film called plaque. Plaque sticks to our teeth and can lead to gum inflammation. This inflammation can cause our gums to pull away from the teeth creating “pockets” which are home to infection and result in tooth and bone loss. Since the early stages of gum disease are often invisible, what is the secret to keeping our gums healthy?
Luckily, there is no secret to it at all! Preventing most gum disease is a simply a matter of following well-known guidelines, at home and in our Burke office.
Healthy Habits at Home
- Regular brushing and flossing
At least two minutes of careful brushing twice a day will help reduce bacteria and plaque. Use floss, picks, and other interdental tools to remove plaque from tight areas between the teeth that your brush might miss.
- If you smoke, now is the time to quit!
Smoking weakens your immune system, making it harder to fight infections and to heal. If you need another reason to quit, improving your oral health is a great one. Talk to us about ways to stop.
We all know sugar is no friend to dental health, and encourages bacterial growth. But eating apples, carrots and other crunchy vegetables can help remove food particles and stimulate the production of saliva, which fights bacteria production. Vitamins and minerals help strengthen bones and build healthy gum tissue. And a balanced diet supports not just your oral health, but the health and well-being of your entire body. Ask us for suggestions for a dental-healthy diet.
Regular Checkups and Cleanings
- We recommend a visit to our Burke office every six months for a checkup. Drs. Medhat Ghannam and Paola Annoni Patel can discover and treat gingivitis (early periodontal disease) and recommend a periodontal exam if there are signs of more severe gum disease. There are some individuals who develop gum disease even with great brushing and flossing habits, so it’s important to have a dentist’s evaluation.
- Having your teeth cleaned every six months will remove plaque that brushing alone can’t handle. If there are signs of more serious gum disease, a periodontal cleaning will remove plaque and tartar from both above and below the gumline.
Brushing, flossing, avoiding smoking, eating well, seeing Drs. Medhat Ghannam and Paola Annoni Patel regularly—there’s no secret here! Talk to us about what you can do and what we can do to keep your gums healthy for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
August 5th, 2020
According to the International Congress of Oral Implantologists it is rare that your body will reject your dental implants. However, this does not mean that your dental implant will not fail. A successful dental implant is one that is placed in healthy bone and is properly cared for after the surgery takes place.
There is only one major reason why a dental implant would be rejected: a titanium allergy. The majority of dental implants are made with titanium because it has proven to be the most biologically compatible of all metals. On average, less than one percent of potential dental implant recipients reported an allergy to titanium.
Dental Implant Failure
The most common cause of dental implant failure in the upper and lower jaw is bacteria. Everyone has bacteria in their mouth. If you have bacteria in your jawbone at the time of your dental implant, it can spread from implant to implant, causing dental implant failure.
If you do not take proper care of your dental implants, that could also cause them to fail. You also have to take proper care of the implant and keep your mouth clean. The development of excessive bacteria around the implant and in surrounding tissues can lead to implant failure.
Teeth grinding is another reason dental implants fail. When you grind your teeth, it can move the implants out of position. Therefore, you should wear a mouthpiece when you go to sleep if you know you grind or clench.
If you take care of your implants by practicing good oral hygiene and visit our Burke office, you should not have any problems with your new dental implants. As always, ask Drs. Medhat Ghannam and Paola Annoni Patel about any questions or concerns you have about you dental implants.
July 29th, 2020
Imagine this scenario: you go to the dentist to have a cavity filled, and an hour after the procedure you have a runny nose, scratchy throat, and your arms are breaking out in blotchy, red hives. In other words, you’re in worse shape after the visit to the dentist than you were before you walked in to have the cavity fixed. If you experience any of these types of symptoms or side effects, chances are you have a latex allergy.
What is a latex allergy?
A latex allergy is a hypersensitivity to latex proteins. If you have this allergy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you avoid direct contact with any materials that contain latex. While latex gloves are known to cause allergic reactions in people with a latex allergy, certain metals, plastics, and other materials used in dental care can also cause an adverse response.
A runny nose and itchy eyes are common allergic reactions to latex. However, Drs. Medhat Ghannam and Paola Annoni Patel and our team at Artisan Dental want you to know it can also trigger more severe symptoms, including asthma, wheezing, and cardiovascular and gastrointestinal ailments.
A latex-safe dental environment
Many dental offices screen patients for a latex allergy. This is only beneficial, however, if you’re already aware you have a latex allergy. The best thing you can do to ease your allergies is to find a dentist who has a latex-safe environment. A latex-safe dental environment observes the following protocols:
- All patients are screened for a latex allergy.
- No personnel use latex gloves.
- All latex products are removed from the patient’s vicinity, including rubber dams and elastics.
- Work areas contaminated with latex powder are cleaned frequently.
- Signs are posted to communicate all latex allergy procedures in case of an emergency.
If a latex allergy is part of your medical history, then it’s in your best interest to find a latex-free dental environment. To learn more about latex-free dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Medhat Ghannam and Paola Annoni Patel, please give us a call at our convenient Burke office!
July 22nd, 2020
The use of mini dental implants (MDIs) is on the rise. MDIs are about the diameter of a toothpick (1.8 to 2.9 millimeters with lengths between ten to 18 millimeters) and are primarily used to secure loose upper or lower dentures or partial dentures.
MDIs are particularly useful for patients who suffer from osteoporosis or otherwise aren't well enough to get the bone grafts sometimes required by traditional dental implants. Their diminutive size also allows them to replace smaller teeth where the placement of a dental implant isn't feasible or called for.
Some of the benefits of MDIs include:
- The procedure is quicker and less invasive – Since MDIs don’t require the cutting of gum tissue or sutures, Drs. Medhat Ghannam and Paola Annoni Patel can place the implant quickly, resulting in a shorter healing process. MDIs go directly through the gum tissue and into the jawbone.
- Lower cost – MDIs run in the range of $500 to $1500, whereas traditional dental implants can cost around $4,000.
- Less risk of surgical error – Since MDIs don't go as deep into the tissue or jawbone, there is less risk of surgical error, like hitting a nerve or sinus cavity.
- Can be used in thinner areas of the jawbone – Since MDIs don't require as much gum tissue or jawbone, they can be used in thinner areas of the jawbone, where a traditional dental implant would require a bone graft.
Although there are many advantages to MDIs, they aren't for everyone or every situation. There are some drawbacks, especially when it comes to their durability and stability. MDIs also haven't been studied nearly as much as dental implants.
Whatever your situation, it's best to speak with Drs. Medhat Ghannam and Paola Annoni Patel about your options, and whether an MDI or a dental implant would work best for your specific case. Schedule an appointment at our Burke office to learn more.