Mark J. Gordon, DDS

Dental Implants: High Tech Teeth

What are dental implants? Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that provide a foundation for both fixed and removable replacement teeth. Like roots, dental implants are secured within the jawbone and not visible once surgically placed. Teeth replacement is not new to dental technology. Early civilizations practiced teeth replacements; archaeologists have discovered skulls where teeth have been replaced by cast iron and sea shells. Despite their primitive methods, some of these implants were fused with bone like modern dental implants! However, unlike the ancient cast iron or sea shell implants, modern implants are composed of titanium. Titanium is lightweight, strong, and biocompatible.

Dental Implants-High Tech Teeth

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device — 98%. Dental implants are available in several designs that meet individual needs: single tooth replacement, multiple tooth replacement, implant supported prosthesis (removable), and an implant stabilized denture. Aside from meeting individual needs, there are a few other advantages to having dental implants:

  1. Improved appearance. Dental implants are designed to fuse with bone, and look and feel like your natural teeth.
  2. Improved comfort. Because dental implants become an extension of your natural mouth, implants remove the discomfort associated with removable dentures.
  3. Easier eating. Dental implants act as your natural teeth, allowing you to eat without the pain and discomfort that often accompany slipping of dentures.
  4. Improved self-esteem. Dental implants give your best natural smiling, helping build self-confidence!
  5. Improved oral health. Dental implants are the only proven way to prevent bone loss after the loss of natural teeth. The jawbone needs consistent chewing action to stimulate continual bone growth. Tooth/teeth replacement with dental implants offers a solution to prevent bone loss.
  6. With proper care, consistent brushing, flossing and routine dental visits, dental implants can last 40-years to life.

If you are interested in dental implants, or have any questions regarding the procedure, call Mark J. Gordon, DDS at Prairie Village Office Phone Number (913) 649-4042 today!

Smile Emergency: Facial Trauma and Cosmetic Dentistry

Accidents happen! Facial trauma can occur anywhere from sporting events and motor vehicle accidents, to work or home. Something as simple as an accidental fall could leave you with severely damaged teeth – but there’s no need to worry! Oral surgery and cosmetic dentistry offer a world of solutions for traumatic tooth injuries. Take a look at some common tooth injuries and available treatment options!

Smile Emergencies Facial Trauma and Cosmetic Dentistry

Tooth Injury:

Broken blood vessels in the teeth’s pulp can cause tooth discoloration and cause the nerve and blood supply to deteriorate. Tooth trauma causes blood to leak into the dentin layer and become visible through the enamel.

Treatment

Endodontic treatment (root canal therapy) may be necessary to save the tooth.

Treatment for the discolored tooth may include the following options:

  1. Veneers are porcelain shells that are bonded to the front of teeth to improve appearance. They’re designed to match the color of your natural teeth, making them a perfect solution for treating discoloration – chipped teeth, too! Veneers are durable and, if properly cared for, will last for many years.
  2. Whitening is a treatment for trauma induced discoloration. There are a variety of whitening options to restore your tooth’s natural color, from at home whitening treatments to in-office bleaching.
  3. Full coverage tooth colored crowns may be indicated depending upon the strength of the remaining tooth structure.

Tooth Injury:

Chipped and fractured teeth are among the most common results of sports injuries and falls.

Treatment

As mentioned above, veneers don’t just treat tooth discoloration – they also fix chips and fractures. However, they’re not always necessary. Placing tooth colored bonded fillings is sometimes all it takes to fix minor chips. During a bonding treatment, we treat the surface of the tooth by placing a tooth colored bonding adhesive and then a tooth color plastic resin to replace any missing tooth fragments. If the broken fragments are retrievable they can sometimes be bonded back onto the injured tooth. 

If teeth are fractured too badly full coverage crowns may be indicated.

Crowns are porcelain caps that are secured over damaged teeth and cemented in place to restore appearance and function. They also correct tooth decay and fractured fillings, stabilizing teeth after root canal therapy. Porcelain crowns resemble and feel like natural teeth and with proper care may last many years.

Tooth Injury:
Avulsed (knocked out) teeth need to be replaced to maintain your jawbone health. Without teeth to support, the jawbone may deteriorate from underuse.

Treatment
In some cases, the missing tooth can be reattached. However, this isn’t always an option. Dental implants are artificial teeth that are secured in the jawbone with titanium posts that serve as placeholders for missing teeth. They look just like real teeth and are equally functional.

 

Give Mark J. Gordon, DDS a call at Prairie Village Office Phone Number (913) 649-4042 if you want to transform your smile emergency. We are more than happy to discuss treatment options and get you back on track after your facial injury!

Order of Your Oral Hygiene Routine

You’re awake, congratulations! Now, you are standing in front of the bathroom mirror, you’ve been wanting to upgrade your oral hygiene routine but you’ve heard a lot of conflicting information. There are so many tools and what order should you do them in? We’re here to help! If you’ve ever wondered, “What comes first brushing or flossing?” Read on!

  • You’ve probably heard us stress the importance of flossing at your appointments. Flossing is very important. Flossing your teeth should take place at least one time per day. We recommend at night so that food does not rest in between your teeth while you sleep. Flossing before brushing is a lot like dusting before you vacuum. The particles will loosen with flossing and the brushing will sweep them away.
  • You may have guessed it: the second part of your oral hygiene regimen should be a 2-minute brushing. Our office recommends an electric toothbrush as they are more efficient at removing plaque and food debris.  Whether you use a manual, hand held brush or electric – make sure the bristles are soft as these are less likely to damage the tooth and supporting gum attachment. Dentists look at your mouth in terms of quadrants. Therefore, your mouth consists on four separate quadrants and to ensure proper use of your two minute brushing session, we recommend spending 30 seconds in each quadrant. This brushing routine should take place two times a day!
  • Brushing your teeth alone will not eliminate the majority of the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Cleaning your tongue is an easy addition to your routine and will benefit your mouth greatly. Take your toothbrush, apply a very small amount of toothpaste and brush your tongue in gentle, circular motions. You may opt for a tongue scraper instead, they can be purchased at most grocery stores.
  • The finishing touch for optimum oral health is mouthwash. Sip a small amount and swish for 30-40 seconds. Spit it out and you are done!

It may seem like a lengthy routine but it actually only totals about 4 minutes. If you value your oral health and want to spend less time in a dental chair, it will be worth your time, we promise!

 

Gum Disease- Locating a Silent Adversary

Gum-Disease-Silent A simple check-up in our office can detect signs of gum disease, allowing us to help you develop a plan to stop it in its tracks. Halting the progression of this disease is very important. If it is allowed to progress, the procedures we must use to manage it become perhaps more invasive, complex and expensive.

Please call our office if you notice any of the following gum disease indicators…

Bleeding gums during/after tooth brushing or flossing. Unless you’re brushing extremely hard (bad for your enamel) you shouldn’t be bleeding from your gums. We can help you determine if the blood that you notice in the sink is connected to gum disease.

Red, swollen, or tender gums. Changes in the appearance of gum tissue or sensitive gums are also common symptoms of gum disease. Some patients may even notice gum tissue that has pulled back or receded.

Persistent bad breath. Your bad breath may not just be because of the coffee you had this morning. Improper flossing technique can lead to plaque collecting in the area between teeth making them especially prone to gum inflammation. Another symptom similar to this is a bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away.

Loose or shifting teeth. Some people with periodontal disease may experience movement or migration of their teeth. The rate of movement may depend on the level of gum disease you have. This can lead to changes in the way your teeth fit together (occlusion) and may affect your smile too. Help us to catch this symptom early!

Depending on the type of gum disease, some of the available treatment options include:

  • Removal of plaque and calculus through scaling.
  • Medication.
  • Surgery in order to control and minimize the progression.

If you are concerned that you may have gum disease, contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about the disease. Call us today!

Dental Implants: FAQ

Dental implants are becoming more and more popular these days, and we can see why. The ability to replace a missing tooth with a brand new one is an attractive concept.

Dental Implant FAQWe know that people often have questions about implants, so we have put together this page to answer those common questions:

What is a dental implant?
Implants are artificial teeth that function exactly like your natural teeth.We take titanium in the shape of a tooth root, attach it to your jaw, allow the jaw to integrate around the implant. After a period of healing we construct a crown in the shape of the lost tooth and attach it to the implant.  It will feel exactly like your old tooth used to when you had it.

How quick is the procedure?
It depends on just how strong and healthy your jaw is. Your jaw may very well be ready to receive the new tooth quickly, but it may also take time to integrate around the implant. If your jaw is weak, we can also transplant bone from other parts of your body first, or use a synthetic bone like material, via another procedure called “bone grafting”, to grow a fresh, strong base where the implant can be inserted. If that is the case, the whole process takes more time, but again, it depends on your case.

Does it hurt?
No. Medications and anesthesia are available to reduce or eliminate pain. You shouldn’t feel a thing.

Since it’s an artificial tooth, do I need to care for it as if it were alive?
You should clean and maintain your implant exactly like you do with your living teeth. Though the implant isn’t going to die, it can still allow bacteria to build up, like your other teeth do. Clean all of your teeth with care, and they should all stay healthy.

How long do they last?
With the same attention to daily plaque removal we do for our own natural teeth along with professional teeth cleaning visits, dental implants may last a lifetime.

What should I eat after the procedure?
Eat soft food. We will help you decide on a diet that works for you depending on the specifics of your case and treatment.

Have more questions? Call us! We would be glad to set up an evaluation.

Winter Oral Health Tips

If you get a runny nose this winter, you may be tempted to breathe through your mouth. While we know cold weather wreaks havoc on our lips (let’s just call it “Chapped-Lip Season” instead of winter), breathing through your mouth also triggers sensitivities and other oral health issues! Itchy skin and dry mouth are just two things that can irritate you this season however, here are some of tried-and-true methods to keep your mouth healthy all winter long.

Brush UpWinter-Oral-Health-Tips

Brush gently with a soft toothbrush. Aggressive brushing can cause more sensitivity! If you find that your teeth are feeling extra sensitive, use a desensitizing toothpaste. Rinsing with mouthwash daily and flossing your teeth will stimulate your gums so that they are less likely to recede in the cold months.

Drink Up

We know our bodies need at least eight glasses of water for optimal health, but did you know it’s important for oral health too? Drinking water rinses out your mouth and keeps it moist—keeping bacteria at bay. Moisture depletion can be maintained with proper hydration reducing the feeling of a dry mouth.

Bundle Up

Our teeth may be hard, but they are not immune to extreme cold! In fact, fluctuating in temperature too drastically can cause your teeth to expand and contract, this may cause hairline fractures in the surface. Limit your time in cold weather, and when that isn’t an option, trap heat near your face by wearing a scarf or mask when you have to brave the cold!

What Type of Floss Should I Use?

We know we don’t have to tell you this—but flossing at least once a day is key to healthy gums and teeth! And while studies have shown it doesn’t really matter what kind of floss you use (as long as you do it!), people are more likely to use floss that’s easy for them to use. We’ve broken down the different types of floss, so you can decide which is best for you!

Waxed and Unwaxed

What Type of Floss Should I UseWaxed floss will glide easier, but there isn’t really any other difference between waxed and unwaxed floss. If your teeth are close together, try one of these.

Ultra Floss

Ultra floss is a thicker floss that can be stretched to fit between tight spaces between your teeth; this is a good option if the closeness of your teeth varies.

Tape

Dental tape is a relatively new addition to the floss family. This fatter floss option is made from plastic and has a bit more stretch. If you have wide spaces between your teeth or have sensitive gums, try this ribbon-like floss.

Flossing picks

If you find yourself on the go—or if you find it difficult to wrap around your fingers—try disposable picks that have handles to make flossing a little easier!

Oral Irrigators

Recent trials are inconclusive on whether using a water flosser is as effective as traditional floss, but studies agree that using an oral irrigator is better than not flossing at all!  Our office has seen very good results with the HydroFloss which can be purchased through our office or online.

So which one is the best? Any one you’ll actually use! Don’t hesitate to ask us for different types of floss at your next cleaning to see what works best for you!

Porcelain Veneers for a Flawless Smile

You may already love your smile – that’s great! But what if you’re not happy with some of the minor details? To perfect an already great smile, we may recommend veneers. Porcelain veneers are a great tool for correcting minor imperfections on the surface of teeth and spacing issues as well!

Here are some common questions we are asked regarding veneers:

Will they feel weird on my teeth?

Porcelain-Veneers for a flawless smileYou won’t feel a thing. Veneers are thinner than your fingernails, so you won’t even notice them in your mouth.  They look and feel natural in your mouth.

How long do they last?

Longer than your car. A good, properly placed veneer can last from 10-20 years. And, just like a car, the better you take care of your veneers, the longer they’ll last. A great investment for an enhanced smile!

Will they ever fall off?

They’re not going anywhere. Veneers are attached to your tooth with a very strong bonding compound. It’s like superglue designed for teeth. They do not fall off and provide years of durable use.

Do veneers look like natural teeth?

You can count on it. Porcelain is the perfect material to copy tooth enamel, as it incorporates luster, shine and translucence to look just like your natural teeth. People will be remarking on your great smile for years to come.

What if the surrounding teeth are a different color?

We’ve got you covered. Generally we recommend a whiter shade of porcelain for the veneer and perform tooth whitening in conjunction with the veneer to give you a perfect match throughout your mouth.

Do veneers stain?

They are color-stable. Porcelain veneers do not stain, even over time. That’s one of the reasons that we use this material!

 

If you want to take your smile to the next level, ask us if veneers are a good option for you!

 

Dental Implants – What to Expect

If you have been considering dental implant surgery, you might be concerned about what to expect. Questions such as: “Will I need to take time off of work?”, “Will I need bone grafting?” and “How quickly will I heal?” are not uncommon. We get that you’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers.

 

Placing a dental implant is a process that is different for each patient. The healing process and the steps required all depend on what’s going on in your mouth. The only way to know exactly what to expect is to consult with us at our office, but we’d be happy to give you an overview here:

 

Can I go back to work right away?Dental-Implants-What-to-Expect

You may have read that it can take months to completely heal from a dental implant procedure. This is true, but a little misleading. Many patients are able to return to work the next day, but the mouth takes time to truly be ‘good as new’. It all depends on your specific procedure. We recommend that you plan to rest for a day. Keep in mind that your body will heal faster if you avoid exhausting yourself. If you take good care of yourself, you should be back to work very quickly.

How can I care for myself while I heal?

After the surgery, you will need to go easy on your mouth. Just like after any oral surgery, we recommend eating only soft foods for at least two weeks. You may be given antibiotics and instructions to rinse with salt water. Keeping your mouth clean is important to prevent infection. Avoid smoking.

About Bone Grafting

It may be the case that your bone is not strong enough to support the implant. In this case, bone grafting may be necessary. During this routine procedure, we take bone from a stronger part of your jaw or another part of your body, implant it into the jaw and are thus able to encourage your body to begin growing strong, new bone in its place. If you only need a small amount of bone, it may be possible to do the procedure during the same appointment as your implant surgery. However, it may be the case that you need to wait for bone growth to occur prior to us placing the implant. Every case is different.

 

Let us properly inform you on what you personally can expect! Schedule an appointment today!

4 Surprising Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

4-Surprising-Signs-of-TMJ-DisordersCommon symptoms of Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder such as jaw pain, clicking or popping of the jaw and clenching are well known, but did you know that you can experience symptoms of TMJ disorders throughout your whole body? TMJ disorders can be difficult to diagnose when your symptoms are not restricted to the jaw area, so to make diagnosis easier we’ve listed some symptoms you might be surprised to find out are related to TMJ disorders!

  • Earache: Because the jaw muscles run from ear to ear, TMJ related jaw pain can also trigger ear pain, which is often mistaken for an ear infection. The pain actually doesn’t come from the ear at all, but originates directly beneath or in front of the ear.
  • Neck pain: The temporomandibular joint plays a major role in keeping the head balanced on top of the spinal chord. The head weighs roughly 8 pounds, but bad posture due to joint misalignment causes this weight to be distributed unevenly, putting added stress on the neck and spine and causing the head to have a 30-pound pull on your muscles. No wonder neck and back pain are symptoms of TMJ disorders!
  • Pinched nerves: When TMJ alignment is skewed, your muscles overwork themselves to compensate for the imbalance. The back is prone to TMJ related pain, as it becomes strained in order to maintain the body’s balance. This tension can lead to numbness in your extremities, so if you’re experiencing any tingling sensations in your arms, legs, fingers or toes, it could be a sign of a TMJ disorder.
  • Obstructed airways: The tongue is attached to the lower jaw, so the position of the tongue in the mouth depends on your jaw alignment. Misalignment of the lower jaw could cause your tongue to sit too far back in the mouth and obstruct your airways. If your breathing feels abnormal, especially while sleeping, a TMJ disorder could be the culprit.

We hope that reading about these lesser-known symptoms will answer some of your questions about TMJ disorders. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule a consultation with us to learn about your treatment options!

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