Tooth Loss Facts

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Dec 10, 2019 2:23:33 PM

Tooth Loss Facts GraphicQuiz Question: Which of the following tooth loss facts is true?

  1. A. At least 36 million Americans are missing all of their teeth.
  2. B. The number of people who are missing at least one tooth is increasing.
  3. C. Losing teeth can feel devastating.
  4. D. All of the above 

The answer is: D (All of the above)

Many people in the United States have missing teeth and the number is growing. Losing your teeth can feel devastating! Loss of teeth affects your overall health, appearance and lifestyle. But you can avoid losing your teeth by following a rigorous oral health routine. There are many options for tooth replacement.

Why do people lose their teeth?

Tooth loss can occur because of gum disease, tooth decay, injury or cancer. Tooth loss affects older people and the economically disadvantaged more than any other group.

Dry mouth can be caused by medications or illness and contributes to tooth loss. Tooth decay and infection increase in people who have dry mouth.

How common is tooth loss?

Thirty-six million people in the United States are missing all of their teeth. Because life expectancy is increasing, the number of people with missing teeth is also increasing. At least half of elderly people are missing all of their teeth. One study found that 96% of adults over the age of 65 had tooth decay.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, periodontal “gum” disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults.

What happens to the person when they lose their teeth?

Losing your teeth can feel overwhelming because it affects many aspects of life such as appearance, physical health, comfort, nutrition, social relationships, confidence level and speech. Tooth loss can even lead to depression and make you feel older.

Bone loss in the jaws occurs when teeth are missing leading to changes in facial structure, and leads to a sunken appearance.

Living without teeth can be embarrassing. Many people try to hide the fact that they have missing teeth. Avoiding embarrassing incidents can be a full time job.

Tooth loss limits food choices. Chewing foods is a challenge and the risk of choking increases. Maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult.

Losing your teeth is no laughing matter but it has often been the brunt of jokes in literature, comic strips, on stage, television, movies, in songs and even in animations.

Some people begin to avoid social situations. They turn down parties, stop dining out in restaurants, avoid eating in public, and cover their mouth when they talk or laugh. Food choices can become limited.

What are the health implications of tooth loss?

Studies indicate that tooth loss and periodontal disease may be related to the risk of oral, esophageal, head and neck, upper gastrointestinal, lung and pancreatic cancer. There is an association between periodontal disease, tooth loss, cancer, cardiovascular disease and preterm birth.

Can people avoid tooth loss?

Yes, you can prevent tooth loss by making healthy diet choices and taking care of your teeth.

Quit Smoking! Smoking is a major risk factor associated with gum diseases that cause inflammation around the teeth. This inflammation affects bone and supporting structures, and can lead to tooth loss.

Protect Your Teeth. While participating in sports, wear a mouth guard. A direct impact to your teeth can fracture or knock them out. If you are prone to clenching or grinding your teeth, discuss the problem with your dentist and consider wearing a night guard.

Practice Thorough Oral Hygiene. Dental plaque causes tooth decay that destroys enamel and inflames gum tissues. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Visit your dentist every six months for routine oral hygiene care and dental exams. Contact your dentist immediately if you have a dental problem or pain in your teeth.

Make healthy dietary choices. Avoid sugary acidic beverages. Limit candy and sweet snacks.

Dr. Wolfinger says, “A healthy dentition is essential to your psychological and medical well-being.”

What should people do if they have loose or missing teeth?

If you already have missing teeth, there are several tooth replacement options to consider.

Removable dentures are worn by 90% of people who have missing teeth. These prostheses typically cost less than permanent options and can restore appearance and function. Removable dentures can be used for a full or partial arch of missing teeth. Many people are able to adapt and find them to be a comfortable option. Others find them difficult or even unbearable. Over time the shape of the jaw changes and, as a result, removable dentures can become loose and uncomfortable.

A removable denture can be a good temporary option for patients who plan to get dental implants in the future.

A bridge may be an option when some of the teeth are healthy and others are missing. A bridge can be supported by adjoining teeth or by dental implants. Dental bridges are designed to match the shade and proportion of adjacent natural teeth. They eliminate unsightly gaps in the mouth and can improve occlusion. However, over time, a tooth-supported bridge can compromise the strength of supporting teeth.

Dental implants are, by far, the best choice for the replacement of missing teeth. A dental implant is a small man-made titanium fixture that replaces the root of a missing natural tooth. Most dental implants are titanium, which is compatible with our human body. A dental implant is an anchor for the artificial tooth. Dental implants can support a single crown, a partial bridge or an entire arch just like roots hold natural teeth in place. Research has shown that implants are a successful long-term option.

Unlike a tooth supported bridge, dental implants provide additional support where teeth are missing without putting excess force onto remaining natural teeth.

Pi Dental Center has successfully placed over 23,000 dental implants since it opened in 1986. Both Dr. Glenn Wolfinger and Dr. Robert Slauch are board certified prosthodontists. They have advanced skill and training in all types

“Invest your time and money in your mouth to avoid losing your teeth,” Julia, Registered Dental Hygienist at Pi Dental Center states. Contact Pi Dental Center if you have questions about your teeth or would like to schedule an appointment. We look forward to talking to you.

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Tags: tooth replacement, dental implants, dental treatment, dentistry, permanent teeth, dental pain, missing teeth, tooth loss

Acid Erosion and Your Teeth

Posted by Chris Raines on Feb 8, 2018 11:56:27 AM

Comparison of acidic foods and beverages

Acidic beverages and sugary foods can wear away tooth enamel. Unfortunately, damaged tooth enamel is permanent and increases the risk for tooth decay.

Tooth enamel is the thin outer covering of the teeth. It is the hardest substance in your body. But acidic foods and beverages can wreak havoc on tooth enamel. 

Soft drinks, fruit drinks, alcoholic beverages and sports drinks are highly acidic and frequent consumption of these acidic beverages can harm your tooth enamel. Sugary foods and some medications, such as aspirin, can also damage tooth enamel. Acid reflux is another culprit.

Recent studies show that teens are especially at risk for tooth erosion. One study confirmed that over 45% of teens aged 13 to 19 have tooth erosion. Another indicated that 56% of teenagers aged 18 to 19 had tooth erosion.

Photo illustrates how teeth can be eroded by soft drinks.Tooth enamel cannot be regrown or regenerated, so it’s important to protect the teeth. Prevent tooth erosion by limiting intake of acidic and sugary beverages and foods. Sipping water while you eat sugary treats can help to wash particles from teeth. If acid reflux is a frequent occurrence, see your doctor. Many effective treatments are available. Follow a regular oral care routine by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.

Fluoride has been shown to be beneficial in strengthening and protecting teeth. Over 50 scientific studies have documented the benefits of fluoride in protecting tooth enamel.

Some toothpastes contain minerals that help to replenish calcium in weak spots. These toothpastes reinforce areas where erosion has occurred and can lessen further damage.

Talk to your dentist about which toothpaste is best for you.

Get regular dental checkups with and oral hygiene cleaning to identify problems early and address them promptly.

Tooth enamel erosion can be readily identified.  Symptoms of enamel loss include increased sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet foods, yellowness of the teeth, and roughness on the edges of the teeth. (Photo illustrates acid erosion of teeth caused by frequent consumption of soft drinks. View before and after photos of patient).

Acid erosion can become so extensive in some cases that root canal therapy or even tooth extraction may be indicated.

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger stated, “Lost tooth enamel can be replaced with porcelain restorations (veneers or dental crowns). Crowns tend to be the stronger and more effective way to replace missing enamel.”

Prosthodontists are the specialists in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Dr. Wolfinger is a board certified prosthodontist in the Philadelphia area, and can provide expert diagnosis and treatment for tooth erosion.

Call us at 215-646-6334 to discuss acid erosion and your teeth and to learn about rebuilding a smile. If you’ve noticed changes in the appearance or sensitivity of your teeth like breakage, discolorations, shifting or tooth pain, feel free to give us a call to discuss treatment options. At Pi Dental Center, we create sparkling smiles.

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Tags: dental treatment, dental fillings, dental pain, create sparkling smiles, board certified prosthodontist, dental health, rebuilding a smile, Dr. Glenn Wolfinger

Can This Tooth Be Saved?

Posted by Chris Raines on Apr 13, 2017 11:03:39 AM

Illustration presents various choices when considering whether to save a painful tooth

What happens when a tooth becomes painful? Can this tooth be saved?

When a tooth is painful, the decision whether to save or remove a tooth must be determined. If this tooth can be saved, we determine whether the patient wants to save it. Time constraints and financial concerns are just two of the variables that affect this decision.

Is a damaged tooth always painful?

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, board certified prosthodontist at Pi Dental Center, was asked if a damaged tooth is always painful. He said, “Not always. A damaged tooth is usually initially uncomfortable. Pain will increase with swelling. But sometimes the pain goes away and the patient mistakenly believes the tooth has gotten better. However, this may mean that the nerve has died inside the tooth, which is a source of infection.”

What about an infected tooth?

Dr. Tom Balshi added, “An infected tooth can lead to medical and heart problems and can go into the blood stream and eventually lead to the brain.” Daryl Weiss, dental assistant, mentioned, “Bone loss can occur and the infection can spread to adjoining teeth.”

What if a tooth is mobile?

Wolfinger continues, “Not every mobile tooth needs to be extracted. All teeth have some level of mobility. Periodontally compromised teeth tend to be more mobile. Increased mobility is a sign that a tooth needs to be evaluated.”

How do we decide if a tooth should be saved or extracted?

“Restorability is the most important part of the decision.  We determine if the tooth can be restored with a filling or a crown. Sometimes root canal is needed.”

“There are times when a tooth is not restorable. At that point a root canal would not be indicated. If the tooth cannot be restored properly, an extraction is the only option.”

“If a tooth is restorable, then it is up to the patient to decide if they want to save the tooth.”

How do patients feel about losing a tooth?

Losing a tooth can be very traumatic. The decision to extract a tooth can be very difficult, even when it is necessary. But it is important to understand that treatment options, like dental implants and AvaDent Digital Dentures that effectively provide healthy, esthetic, and functional results.

What are the criteria?

If decay approaches the bone level, then restoration may not be possible. If there is a root fracture, extraction is indicated.

Can this tooth be saved? Illustration of healthy tooth, tooth with some bone loss, tooth with advanced bone loss

What about extracting the tooth and leaving an open space?

Leaving an open space is not always the best solution. While the actual fee for an extraction is inexpensive, the long term cost is not cheap. Adjacent teeth can shift and make restoration more difficult later on. Missing teeth present an esthetic and functional deficit for the patient.

Is there more than one choice treatment?

There are several options for treatment. During the evaluation, the doctor and patient discuss several aspects of treatment to learn the patient’s most important priorities and explore all available options. Comprehensive treatment plans that outline each option in detail are provided.

To make the best decision, we consider:

  • What is the best choice in terms of dental health?
  • Which option will last the longest?
  • Which will feel the most comfortable?
  • Which choice will allow the patient to eat and speak adequately?
  • Which is the most strong and durable?
  • Which is the most attractive?
  • Which can be achieved most quickly?
  • How does the cost of each choice compare?

How can a patient avoid tooth extraction?

“If the patient maintains a regular oral hygiene schedule and allows us to adequately evaluate the health of the mouth, including radiographic examination as needed, tooth extraction can usually be avoided. Small problems become big ones when they are undiagnosed.”

So what should you do if you suspect a problem?

Try not to wait until a problem becomes an emergency. Schedule an oral hygiene visit at least every 6 months. Contact us as soon as you suspect a problem. Provide the scheduling coordinator with as much information as possible when you schedule your appointment.

Visit Pi Dental Center's YouTube Channel to learn more about dental implant treatment options.

If you have questions, feel free to call us at 215-646-6334.

Pi Dental Center’s mission is to go beyond the preservation and maintenance of teeth to provide the best functional and aesthetically ideal treatment. Our aim is to make your dental experience painless, convenient, and comfortable. Our supportive team helps to make your decision painless, straightforward and uncomplicated.

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Tags: dental implants, bone loss, dental pain, tooth loss

The Strength Of A Lion’s Bite

Posted by Chris Raines on Apr 25, 2016 3:16:52 PM

A Lion Without His Bite Is Not Really A Lion

Aslan is a rare 10 year-old male white lion that lives at the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa.  When Aslan broke his canines a few years ago, his personality changed; he became like a different cat. Aslan was more agitated and more aggressive. He isolated himself from the pride.

Kevin Richardson, lion whisperer and animal behaviorist states, “A lion without its bite is not really a lion, it’s really important for a lion to have a full set of teeth that are usable.” Fixodent enabled a complex and risky 4-hour surgery to be performed on Aslan, to repair the damaged teeth, and they produced a fascinating video telling the lion's story about his dental journey.

Link to Video Telling The Story Of Aslan The White Lion

View Video About Aslan On Omeleto on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/omeletocom/videos/10154116130789494/?pnref=story

Aslan's, surgery was completed on-site at the sanctuary and lasted almost six hours.  Once Aslan's teeth were repaired and his pain was gone, he was a more secure, happier lion.  Soon he was able to be successfully reintroduced back into his pride. Within a short period of time, the lions were all lying together contentedly. As Mr. Richardson affirmed, "The king is back!"

Aslan's reaction to his dental pain was just like what people experience. "Dental pain is a chronic...debilitating pain," states Dr. Gerhard Steenkamp, Animal Dentist, "It's a pain that you don't want to do things, you're just thinking of the tooth all the time." Tooth pain stops people from doing what they want to do. It holds them down and prevents them from accomplishing their goals. It controls their lives and results in a poor quality of life. Dental pain can also have a negative impact on family relations.

Many people tend to compartmentalize their dental health. When they have a physical problem, they readily seek treatment, but these same people will endure persistent tooth pain for ages. They view the mouth as separate from the rest of the body. The question to ask them is, 'How is this affecting the rest of your life?' Chronic tooth pain can disrupt sleep, diminish the ability to learn and affect nutrition. Imagine the possibilities for a better life, if tooth pain was eliminated!

Are you someone who has been enduring tooth pain? Or do you know someone who is living with tooth pain? Perhaps it is time to find an answer.

Understanding your best options for treatment can feel overwhelming. A visit to Pi Dental Center will help you to understand your choices and move forward.

Pi Dental Center is unlike other dental centers, providing unsurpassed dental care and expertise with two renowned board certified prosthodontists, ongoing research, a skilled and experienced team and state-of-the-art clinical facility. Exceptional and consistent patient care is Pi Dental Center’s top priority ensuring the best care for each patient.

Visit Pi Dental Center to restore your mouth with functional, comfortable and attractive teeth, renew your energy and revitalize your life, so that you can say, "The King is Back!"

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More about Aslan: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3018157/Aslan-lion-receives-dental-operation-successfully-remove-broken-canine-teeth.html#ixzz46afYY3nq

Link to Omeleto's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/omeletocom/?fref=nf

Tags: dental surgery, dental pain, dental and medical health, dental medical health connection, oral health and quality of life, dental health and quality of life

How Biting Forces Effect Teeth With Large Fillings

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Aug 27, 2012 1:48:00 PM

A description of how biting forces

Filling or Crown?

When a patient has a cavity (caries), the dentist must consider whether a composite restoration (filling) or a crown is the best option to repair the tooth.  If the cavity is large, biting forces exerted on the tooth must be considered.

When a person chews, tremendous forces are exerted on the teeth.  Up to 573 pounds can be exerted on the molar teeth!  This is why it is so important for dental restorations to be strong enough to withstand those forces.   Once a filling becomes too wide or too deep, the integrity of the tooth is compromised.

Large fillings destabilize teeth and, over time, biting forces from the opposing teeth can cause cracks, breakage, inflamed roots and pain.

Biting forces can cause the tooth to crack at the base.  Decay can occur causing tooth to fracture.

Complete crowns are restorations that cover the entire tooth. They offer a better option by providing more stability than a large filling. 

 

 

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Tags: dental implant treatment, dental fillings, dental pain