Alice P. Moran, DMD

Dental Implant Recovery

'dental implants'Dental implants, titanium posts that are placed within your jawbone, are an excellent option for restoring missing teeth. The process of getting dental implants typically takes a few appointments over the span of several months, and since the strength of dental implants comes from their fusion with the jawbone, proper healing from this surgery is absolutely essential. Here are some tips for a speedy and well-healed recovery!

Prepare

One of the best ways to promote a speedy recovery is to properly prepare for dental implant placement. Get ready for your procedure by:
● Getting plenty of sleep
● Avoiding smoking or drinking excessively
● Maintain your oral health! Brush twice a day and floss once a day!
● Arrange for someone to drive you to and from your procedure
● Plan to take some time off work so you can really focus on resting and recovering
● Pick up post-surgical prescriptions, gauze, cold compresses, and any other supplies
● Ask for a recovery timeline
Getting ready before your dental implant surgery can make a huge difference in the recovery afterwards!

Recovery Time Factors

Recovery time for the dental implants procedure depends on several factors. While each patient’s case is slightly different, these following factors are the main contributors to healing time:
● The number of implants: Having a single implant may take less recovery time than multiple implant placement.
● Whether or not you require preparatory procedures such as bone grafting
● Your oral and overall health: the healthier you are, the easier it will be for you to heal quickly.
Your oral surgeon will explain your unique estimated recovery time based on these and other factors at your initial consultation.

After Your Surgery

After the procedure, the healing process can be sped up through:
● Biting down on gauze to staunch the bleeding
● Avoiding any activity that could put pressure on your mouth
● Taking proper prescribed medication
● Eating soft foods and avoiding chewing near the treatment area
● Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater between meals
● Using a cold compress to reduce swelling
● Gently retaining oral health routines like brushing and flossing
Following these guidelines, you will be able to heal comfortably and successfully!
To learn more about this treatment, or schedule a consultation, call 949-361-4867 and come see us at Alice P. Moran, DMD Periodontist
Raymond L. Wright Jr. DDS Periodontist
Hamilton Le, DMD, FACP Prosthodontist today!

Learning the Lingo – Dental Implants

What They Are

Implant: The implant itself is a rod that is screwed into the jawbone.

Abutment: This is the connection between the implant and the crown.

Crown: A tooth shaped cap that is attached to the abutment. It is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line.

What They’re Made Of

'dental implant and tooth'Titanium: Most implants are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible metal.

Zirconia: Often used for crowns and bridges and can be used as a metal-free option. Zirconia is biocompatible just like titanium.

Where They Go

Endosteal Implants: Placed in the jawbone. These implants are typically shaped like small screws, cylinders or plates, and they are the most commonly used.

Subperiosteal Implants: Placed under the gum, but on or above the jawbone. These implants are mostly for people with smaller jaws or shallow jawbones.

What Happens To Them

Osseointegration: Creates strength and durability by fusing directly to the bone and is bio-compatible. Bone cells attach themselves directly to the titanium/zirconium surface, essentially locking the implant into the jaw bone. Osseointegrated implants can then be used to support prosthetic tooth replacements of various designs and functionality. Anything from a single tooth, to all teeth in the upper and lower jaws. The teeth/crowns are usually made to match the enamel color of the existing teeth to create a natural appearance.

Bone augmentation: Some people do not have enough healthy bone to support dental implants, so bone must be built. Procedures can include bone-grafting which means adding bone to the jaw.

Talk to us today at Alice P. Moran, DMD Periodontist
Raymond L. Wright Jr. DDS Periodontist
Hamilton Le, DMD, FACP Prosthodontist to discuss your options with an implant specialist!

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Lasers for Healthy Gums!

The first laser was developed in 1960, based on concepts developed by Albert Einstein many decades before. Shortly after the arrival of the first laser, dental researchers began to investigate how lasers may be used to aid dentists in their work. By the mid 1990s, the first dental lasers were released.

Lasers in Periodontics

'periodontal laser therapy on gums'For periodontal care, lasers are proving themselves to be less invasive tools for accomplishing (in most cases) the same mission: the cleaning of tissue and roots under the gums to avoid or treat gum disease. Traditionally, (and in some cases we still perform this method), we used hand tools to scrape calculus and plaque out of the gum line and around the tooth root. The advent of lasers, however, has allowed us to treat many of our patients in a less invasive way than what we have done in the past.

Lasers have several benefits over traditional root scaling and other periodontal surgeries:

  • Generally speaking, anesthesia isn’t required as the procedure is less painful, particularly when excising diseased gum tissue.
  • Healing time is usually shorter because of the less-invasive nature of the process.
  • Pain and bleeding is also less when lasers are used.
  • And, finally, lasers are very good at targeting diseased areas with precision, and therefore saving adjacent tissue from trauma.

Cost Considerations

The cost of the treatment is totally dependent on the extent of your gum therapy needs. However, it is worth pointing out that sometimes the laser procedures are less expensive than traditional periodontal surgery. This is due to the fact that fewer visits are required.

In short, if you’ve been told that you need to have extensive periodontal treatment and long-term care, you may benefit by starting with our laser process, right here in our office. Give us a call to find out if you are a good candidate for laser periodontal therapy!

 

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Going Green: Dark Green Vegetables and Dental Health

Everyone is going green, but did you know that “going green” can also benefit your oral health? Your pH levels inside your body can greatly affect your overall health. Too much acid in your system can make various parts of your body inflamed. This may include your gum tissues. Gingivitis (early gum disease) and periodontitis (advanced gum disease) are conditions of infection and inflammation. Aiming to consume a balanced diet with the goal of achieving an acidic-alkaline balance (balanced pH level) has been shown to reduce symptoms of many health conditions. One of the fastest and easiest ways to saturate your body with these nutrients is by consuming green fruits and vegetables. Some great green additions to your diet are spinach and green smoothies:

Spinach & Dark Green Vegetables

'green smoothie'Eating dark green veggies, like spinach, can have some great health benefits deeming it a “super food” among nutrition experts! The nutrients found in spinach are a powerful source of cancer-fighting properties, producing a substance that causes prostate cancer cells to self-destruct, and another compound that can prevent the formation of ovarian cancer cells. Spinach promotes cardiovascular health via properties that can lower blood pressure and prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Evidence shows that juicing dark green vegetables like spinach can improve your dental health, preventing gum disease and cavities!

Green Smoothies

Green smoothie can keep your gums, jawbone, and teeth healthier and stronger! The best part about drinking green smoothies is the taste. If you can get over the color, you will find how delicious a green smoothie can be. Spinach, cucumber, kale, lettuce, and zucchini can be blended with fruit to create a low-calorie, nutrient dense meal replacement that boosts your oral health. A great addition to your green smoothie is yogurt. Yogurt has been shown to strengthen teeth and prevent bad breath, as well as add a creamy consistency to your nutrient-dense smoothie.

If you have questions regarding your dental health, give Alice P. Moran, DMD Periodontist
Raymond L. Wright Jr. DDS Periodontist
Hamilton Le, DMD, FACP Prosthodontist a call at Alice P. Moran, DMD Phone Number 949-361-4867 today!

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Oral Health and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time when your body is going through many changes. You may be wondering how this will affect your teeth and gums. This blog is meant to answer your oral health questions and give you the information you need to help both you and your baby!

Keep Up Your Routine. It is important to keep up your brushing and flossing routine. You may be indulging your cravings for sweets, so make sure you brush regularly. It is important to continue regular check ups and cleanings. Let us know your stage of pregnancy when you make your appointment, as well as any changes in your medication or special advice you may have received from your doctor. If you have a high-risk pregnancy or other medical condition, we may recommend certain procedures be postponed.

Pregnancy Gingivitis. During pregnancy some women are prone to a mild form of gum disease, called gingivitis that causes gums to be red, tender, and sore. Keeping your teeth clean is important for the prevention of pregnancy gingivitis. We may recommend more frequent cleanings to help control any signs of the disorder, because if left untreated, it can lead to more serious gum disease.'pregnancy' 'oral health'

X-ray Safety. If you suffer a dental emergency or need an assessment, dental X-rays are sometimes necessary. Don’t worry – you will be covered with a leaded apron that will protect you and your baby from any harmful exposure.

Food for You and Your Baby’s Teeth. While pregnant, many women tend to crave sweets or snack more, both of which can put you at higher risk of tooth decay. It is important to choose low-sugar snacks that contain the nutrients your body needs. Your baby’s teeth will begin to develop between the third and six months of your pregnancy. Eating foods rich in vitamins A, C, and D, as well as protein, calcium, and phosphorous will give both you and your baby what you need for good dental health.

Morning Sickness. If you have frequent vomiting or morning sickness, rinse with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to stop stomach acid from attacking your teeth.

Being a mother is exciting, but it is a huge responsibility. Start your healthy dental routine now for the benefit of you and your baby!

 

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10 Tips to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease can be serious business if left untreated. The good news is, with regular maintenance and good oral hygiene; you can avoid and even reverse the early stages of gum disease. We’ve put together some tips for you that will help you prevent gum disease.

Maintaining a Clean Mouth

'how to prevent gum disease'Brushing your gums, as well as your teeth after every meal is the best way to take care of your teeth. Remove those food particles without being too hard on your enamel. We can show you the best method at your next appointment.

Dental floss can reach those spaces in your mouth that a toothbrush just can’t get to. Get in between your teeth with floss before you brush, so that any food you pull out can be picked up by your toothbrush.

While you shouldn’t rely on mouthwash alone, certain mouthwash products are great for killing bacteria. Consult our office for suggestions, as some products are better than others.

Practice Good Overall Health

Keeping a balanced diet keeps your whole body healthy. Staying away from eating too much sugar is a great place to start. Making sure you get all the nutrients you need helps your body fight bacteria, including those that can cause gum disease.

If you are a smoker, quit! Smoking is not just awful for your lungs, smoking leads to tooth decay, tooth loss and poor gum health. Smoking leads to the creation of pockets in your gums, where bacteria collect and form tartar. It also degrades the tissues that hold your teeth in place.

Talk to Your Doctor about your Medications

It may be worth talking with your doctor about the side effects of any medication you may be on. Some drugs lead to bacteria build up in the mouth, or affect the flow of saliva that keeps that bacteria from settling.

Hormones can also play a role in oral health. If you are experiencing hormonal changes, you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity, and promoting the development of gum disease.

Stress

Stress affects your body’s ability to fight infection. Evaluating the stress in your life and what you can do to manage it is a great idea to promote your general health.

Appointments

Regular oral health visits are the best way to pin down gum disease. The professionals at our office are trained to notice the kinds of things you may not see in your mouth.

You may not have considered that your crooked teeth put you at risk for gum disease. Having straight teeth means eliminating certain pockets where gum disease can develop. Braces are a great way to do this.

Contact our office today to set up your next appointment!

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Dental Implants 101

Whether you are missing a tooth, or at risk of losing many, dental implants may be a great solution for you. Dental implants are an increasingly popular fix for missing or dying teeth, and have many benefits.

What is a Dental Implant?

'Dental Implants 101'Dental implants are high tech teeth. The root of your current tooth is removed, and replaced with a screw attached to a ‘cap’ that looks identical to a natural tooth. Many people report higher confidence and comfort after receiving their new tooth.

What’s so Great About Them?

The cool thing about implants is that if taken care of, they can last for life. Usually all that needs to be replaced, if anything, is the cap. The other great thing about implants is that they can’t die like natural teeth. You still have to clean and maintain them like your other teeth, but no roots are any longer at risk of causing that tooth to fail. In addition to that, many implants can last a lifetime!

What is the Surgical Process Like?

The process is done either all at once, or in steps. This depends on the recommendations for your particular case. The first step is to remove the root of your natural tooth, and place the implant in its place. If there is not enough bone to place the implant, we may encourage you to have bone grafting first. The gum is then stitched closed and allowed to heal. This can take five to six months. The next step is to reopen the gum and place an abutment on the implant, along with a temporary crown so you can heal while the permanent crown is made for you. You then return to get your permanent crown attached in a few weeks. In other cases, all of these steps can be done in a single visit, but it depends on your specific case.

If you have any questions, please call our office for more information, we would be glad to help!

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On the Lookout for Oral Cancer

'woman being checked for oral cancer'Oral cancer screenings are performed regularly at dental exams, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be paying attention to your dental hygiene between appointments. Taking matters into your own hands is the best way to maintain your oral health. Not sure how to screen for oral cancer? We’ll show you!

What is oral pathology?

This branch of dentistry involves the evaluation and treatment of diseases of the mouth. The most dangerous, but not always the most obvious, of these diseases is oral cancer.

What should I look for?

Keep an eye out for these oral cancer symptoms during your self-screenings:

  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Lumps on the tongue or lining of the mouth
  • Mouth sores that won’t heal
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Chronic throat soreness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Mouth numbness

How do I perform an oral cancer self-exam?

  1. When performing your oral cancer self-screening, be sure to check all areas of the mouth, including the roof, floor, tongue, lips, cheeks and the back of your throat.
  2. Examine your face in the mirror for abnormal asymmetry and irregularities.
  3. Feel your neck and the back of your head with your fingers to look for any bumps or changes in texture.
  4. Examine your throat by placing your fingers around your thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple) and swallowing.

How often should I perform a self-exam?

Self-exams should be performed at least once a month. Changes to your oral health can occur rapidly, so it’s important to stay on top of things. Treatment is most effective if we detect symptoms early.
Ask us about performing an oral cancer screening when you visit – we’re here to ease your mind and give you the tools you need to maintain your health!

Laser Periodontal Therapy

'man being checked by periodontist'Periodontal (gum) disease is no joke – it goes deeper than gum tissue, potentially causing tooth loss and jawbone deterioration. That’s why we want to make sure you get the care you need to regain natural, healthy gum tissue. We take full advantage of laser technology to give you the best results with the least discomfort. Keep reading to learn more about our revolutionary treatment methods!

The goal

The goal of periodontal therapy is to stop gum disease at the root by tackling the source of infection. We target harmful bacteria that forms plaque and eventually calcifies to form tartar, or calculus, preventing it from irritating the gums. Our first priority is restoring your oral health, halting the progression of gum disease, but it is also our goal to reverse prior damage by reattaching infected gum tissue to the teeth.

Conventional treatment

Traditional periodontal therapy – known as “scaling and root planing” or “root debridement” – removes the bacteria that cause gum disease manually. This non-surgical procedure involves the use of hand-held ultrasonic instruments to eliminate plaque buildup that forms inflamed pockets between the teeth and gums.

Laser therapy

Laser periodontal therapy can be used independently or to supplement conventional periodontal treatment. We use the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) method, which targets only infected gum tissue, for high quality results. Because it doesn’t require a scalpel or sutures, LANAP is less painful and less invasive than root debridement.

After removing the infected pockets, we expertly agitate healthy gum tissue to promote natural re-growth. Our treatment pairs with the body’s ability to regenerate gum tissue – the gums naturally reattach to the teeth and bone, making it harder for gum disease to come back once it’s been treated!

Benefits of laser therapy

  • Minimized post-operative pain, swelling and discomfort
  • Minimal bleeding
  • No incisions
  • No need for stitches
  • Shorter healing time
  • Cost efficient
  • Long-lasting results

Ask us about your options for treating gum disease! We’re here to restore your oral health for the long run.

5 Facts About Gums

'gums checked by periodontist'It’s trivia time! We’ve got some lesser-known facts about gums and oral care for you. Test your knowledge of gum health with these five facts!

Fact #1

Gum disease is caused by excessive plaque formation. We all develop plaque buildup, even with good brushing and flossing habits. This is why regular dental checkups are so important! Dental cleanings every six months clear away plaque that unavoidably starts to build up under the gum line and harden to form tartar, or calculus.

Fact #2

Gums should not bleed when you brush or floss. Many people think this is normal, but it is actually a sign of gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Although you may not want to floss if your gums are bleeding, flossing is actually the best way to treat the cause of infection and stop the progression of gum disease.

Fact #3

Excessive brushing can cause your gums to recede. For the most effective tooth brushing that won’t damage gum tissue or enamel, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and move the bristles in gentle circular motions. Avoid brushing teeth with abrasive substances.

Fact #4

Gum disease affects more than just your gums. Infected gum tissue can cause more serious problems such as tooth loss and jawbone deterioration. As bacterial growth destroys gum tissue, the gums begin to recede. This causes teeth to lose their anchor in the gum and fall out. If missing teeth are not replaced, the jawbone atrophies from underuse because it doesn’t have teeth to support.

Fact #5

Bad breath isn’t just caused by the food you eat – it can also be an indicator of your gum health. Food residue between teeth leads to bacterial growth, which in turn can cause bad breath. In the early stages of gum disease, bacteria begin to grow between the teeth and the gums, forming infected pockets that contribute to your breath.

Keep these facts in mind when you perform your daily dental care routine – they’re game changers! Give us a call to learn more about gum health and overall oral care.