Three Reasons to Consider Dental Implants

Dental Implants have been around for years. But Despite improvements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer tooth decay and tooth. Most of this damage to teeth can be blamed on poor oral care, periodontal disease, or an injury to the fame or mouth. For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing or damaged teeth were bridges and dentures. But, today, dental implants are available.

First, some history on dentures: Dentures are essentially false teeth, and their origins date back thousands of years. Humans had bad oral care habits back then, so it is no surprise that they frequently suffered from teeth loss. They constructed new sets of false teeth using existing human teeth or teeth from animals. Later, wood was used a substitute. Animal horn, ivory and porcelain were also used as false teeth. Beeswax was used to create the mold, and then the ‘teeth’ were adhered to a frame made of an animal bone or metal. Needless to say, the pain and discomfort associated with early denture and false teeth brought on the modern era of oral care. People started caring for teeth to avoid the horror of dentures.

What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

There are many advantages to dental implants, including:

  • Healthier appearance. In today’s society, particularly in the Western world, nice looking teeth are considered essential. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth because they are designed to fuse with the jawbone. For this reason, they become permanent if correctly implemented.
  • Improved speech. The tongue and teeth need to work together to make sounds, and this isn’t possible with poorly constructed of poorly fitting dentures. This leads to an inability to enunciate and mumbling, which modern society considers unacceptable.  Dental implants allow you to speak with these concerns.
  • Easier Chewing. Because dental implants function more like real teeth, they are much better at breaking down food, making it easier to swallow and digest, which leads to better overall health.
  • Confidence and Self-Esteem. If you look good you feel good, so dental implants can lead to a much richer life of health and happiness
  • Improved Oral Health. Dental implants are much more sanitary, don’t require extra cleaning and maintenance, and don’t need bridges. This means your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health and oral hygiene.
  • Better comfort. Because they are part of the new oral structure of your teeth and mouth, implants are much more comfortable that dentures.
  • Ease and Convenience. Dental implants eliminate the unpleasantness of having to remove and clean teeth like denture require. And there is no need for the icky sticky adhesive that denure require to hold them in place.
  • Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.


How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of over 90%%. With proper care implants can last a lifetime.

We’ve listed a lot of the advantages of dental implants over dentures, but here are three we feel are most important to you.

Cost Effectiveness

Technical improvements have made dental implants safer and less expensive. There is no longer a financial excuse to avoid implant or choose denture over them. The cost benefit gap has been closed. Unfortunately, it is unlikely your insurance  carrier will cover the cost of you implants, but even out of you own pocket, it is worth it.

Easier and Less Painful

As with most cosmetic treatments, advancements in procedural technology for dental implants has improved greatly in recent years. This means it is less painful and easier to manage, which generally means higher overall satisfaction.

Improved Appearance and Self Esteem

Let’s face it, if you weren’t concerned with your smile and how your teeth look, you would not have made it this far in this article. The fact is, you cannot place a value on happiness, and the better you look and feel, will directly result in improved happiness and quality of life.

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Strange Health Facts -- Explained

Why are yawns contagious?
Human beings mirror the behaviors of people they care about, and yawning falls into this category, speculate researchers. In a recent University of Pisa study, researchers observed more than 100 men and women yawning in front of strangers, acquaintances, friends and family. The infectious influence of yawning was twice as likely among friends, and three times as likely for family members as it was for strangers and acquaintances.

Why do teeth shift as we age?
Teeth are held in an arch form between the tongue, and lips and cheeks. “Your tongue pushes outward on your teeth, causing spacing, while your lips and cheeks push inward, causing crowding,” says Dr. Andrew Trosien, a private-practice orthodontist in Tracy, Calif. Over time, these pressures can change, shifting the equilibrium, and your teeth can start to feel excessive pressure from either the tongue or lips.

Generally speaking, a little bit of crowding or spacing is not a concern. Sometimes though, tooth movement can be a sign of gum disease or other problems. In addition, if the teeth shift into a bad alignment, they can wear down, chip or cause other functional issues. Make sure to ask your dentist if you’re concerned, and most orthodontists will offer a free consultation.

Can achy joints really give the weather forecast?
“Yes. This is something I hear from my patients on a regular basis,” says Dr. David Borenstein, who’s treated arthritis patients for more than 35 years in Washington, D.C. When bad weather is coming, the barometric pressure drops in the atmosphere, and it causes a fluid shift in all human bodies. It’s slight, and most of us don’t notice a change, says Borenstein, but in patients with joint injuries, damage or arthritis, the fluid can’t move through these joints as effortlessly, resulting in feelings of stiffness and pain.

Why do women have colder feet and hands than men? 
“Women conserve more heat around their core organs than men do, which means less heat makes it to a woman’s extremities,” says Borenstein. Since women are biologically geared to carry babies, it’s vital that their bodies keep their vital organs warm. So blood flow in women is designed to support the central part of the body, compared to the arms and legs.

Stop Dry Mouth Now!

With the possible exception of major-league baseball players, nobody wants to think much about spit. But the truth is, having drought in your mouth is no good for teeth, gums and breath -- plus, it could signal a bigger health problem.

Common Culprits of Dry Mouth
Saliva is your mouth’s cleaning crew: It washes away bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay, gum diseases and infection in the mouth. It also lends a hand when you eat, helping you chew, swallow and digest food -- not to mention, actually enjoy flavors.

But when saliva drains, it leaves your mouth defenseless and your teeth and gums prone to disease. What’s more, dry mouth could be a symptom signaling a serious underlying problem, including diabetes, lupus, kidney disease and nerve damage.

The good news, however, is that dry mouth is actually almost always a side effect of medications. In fact, a whopping 400 different medicines can affect the salivary glands’ ability to manufacture saliva, including antihistamines, antipsychotics, anti-inflammatories, diuretics, sedatives and drugs prescribed for depression, high blood pressure and pain, according to Dr. Raymond K. Martin, a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. And if you take several medications, your saliva is even more likely to suffer. 

Dry Mouth Rx
The first thing to do if your mouth is constantly dry is to discuss it with your doctor, suggests Martin. If you are otherwise healthy, sometimes simply switching to a different drug manufacturer or slightly lowering the dosage can do the trick. Your physician may also recommend artificial saliva mouthwashes, gels, sprays or medications that boost saliva production.

But if your mouth still feels like it’s not wet enough to whistle, pump up the moisture by trying out some of these handy tips:

  • Drink some water … and keep drinking. You probably already know that you should drink eight glasses of water a day, but this is especially important if you have dry mouth.
  • Chew sugarless gum. Chewing gum helps generate more saliva, naturally keeping your mouth moist and your teeth protected from bacteria.
  • Limit salty, spicy and sugary foods. All of these can make you even more parched.
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol and caffeinated drinks, which quickly dry the mouth.
  • Use moisturizing lip balm. It helps heal cracked lips, a common consequence of dry mouth.
  • Brush and floss regularly. Be extra-conscientious about your oral care habits, since a lack of saliva can make the mouth a breeding ground for bacteria and cause cavities.
  • Opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash. Research shows that alcohol in high concentrations contributes to dry mouth, causing bad breath. Check the product label to make sure alcohol is not an ingredient.
  • Consider fluoride gel. Talk to your dentist about whether you should use an over-the-counter fluoride rinse or a prescription fluoride gel to protect your teeth from decay.

Get Healthy at Home, Virtually

Want to see your doctor, therapist or dentist in the comfort and privacy of your own home? Thanks to telemedicine it’s possible. From video chat sessions to personal phone consultations, doctors, therapists and even dentists are giving new meaning to the words house calls.

The best part about it: costs are often covered by health insurance. If the patient doesn’t have insurance, fees are minimal; whereas some companies charge a monthly fee of less than $40; others charge a consult fee, which is usually under $50.

Have a consult with your doc

At AmeriDoc, a leading telemedicine company, a patient signs up to become a member, and then calls to speak with a representative from the company. The representative asks numerous questions about the patients’ health and symptoms. An assigned doctor will then call the patient within a three-hour window. “We can schedule video chats for our members with doctors or set up phone consultations,” says Stephanie Manley, executive vice president of Operations for AmeriDoc. “Usually our patients prefer phone consultations. The doctor spends as much time as possible with the patient on the phone, and calls that patient’s pharmacy if prescriptions are needed.”

Perk up your mental health

Dr. Rebecca Gladding of Strategic Planning and Psychiatrist at Health Link Now, a major telemedicine service, sees patients online and over the phone. “Our patients come from all over the country,” she says. “They are people who are looking for medication management, therapy or both. They have a wide range of diagnoses or reasons they are seeking out help. In addition to treating anxiety, depression, bipolar or other mental health needs, we focus on improving wellness, helping people manage and cope with chronic medical conditions, and complete consultations for patients wanting to undergo weight loss surgery or receive a transplant.”

Join a weight loss clinic

Some people lose weight better when they are part of a group. At BMIQ, weight loss management is geared toward people who have a high body mass index (BMI), which is associated with medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

BMIQ offers 8- and 16-week programs with registered dieticians. “The cost of our programs is less than $20 a week,” says Laura Cipullo, who is one of BMIQ’s registered dieticians and who has her own private practice in New York City.

Each online meeting is 45 minutes; patients get to ask questions, and between meetings patients can email questions to their registered dietician.

“The online live class teaches patients what and how to eat healthy while providing the support you need to make those changes,” says Cipullo.

Get a teeth checkup at home

Even the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Council of Dental Practice will discuss creating standards and guidelines for teledentistry when it meets later this month. According to the ADA, The University of Nebraska began a teledentistry project in 2003, while the Division of Dentistry at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and the University of Minnesota offers teledentistry to their patients.

The Pacific Center for Special Care at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in California offers a virtual dental practice for school-age children in low-income areas. Most of these students have a higher rate of not going to dentists than students from more affluent neighborhoods. For that reason, it makes sense to bring the dental care to them.  

Dental technicians go into those communities, take X-rays and photos of the students’ teeth, and share that information and photos with dentists. After a dentist looks at those uploaded records, they can determine who needs to come into their offices for treatment.

Making health convenient

For people who skip out on doctor or dentist visits, because they can’t spare the time, telemedicine options can help make health a priority. “The major advantages are that people can receive care at home or in their office, wherever it is convenient for them,” says Gladding. “They just need access to high-speed Internet, a webcam and a computer or mobile device.”

While a lot can be done over the phone or via computer, it isn’t a cure-all. Doctors and dentists will ask patients to come into their offices for blood work or if their findings show something critical that needs to be treated in person.

The Secret to Instant Attraction: A Beautiful Smile

Want a better smile and cavity-free teeth? Brushing and flossing are merely the beginning. Turns out there are a host of incredible edibles that fight bacteria, attack plaque and build enamel with every bite, says Wendy Bazilian, a registered dietitian and author of The Superfoods Rx Diet. Here, her surprising foods for a camera-ready smile.

Better Smile Food No. 1: Whole Grains
You know whole grains are filled with cholesterol-lowering fiber. But were you aware that the B vitamins and iron they contain help keep your gums healthy too? According to a McMaster University study of 34,000 men in Canada, those who ate three daily servings of whole grains -- think brown or wild rice, barley, oatmeal and whole-wheat bread -- were 23 percent less likely to suffer from periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease.

Better Smile Food No. 2: Carrots
They’re not just good for your eyes; carrots are packed with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that is key to building and maintaining strong, healthy teeth. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin are also excellent sources of this wonder nutrient.

Better Smile Food No. 3: Celery
Water-rich vegetables -- like celery -- cleanse the teeth, washing away sugar and starches that can cause cavities and plaque. In addition, munching on crunchy veggies massages your gums, which increases circulation and can help remove bacteria.

Better Smile Food No. 4: Dairy Products
Dairy products such as yogurt, low-fat or nonfat milk and cheese are all rich in calcium, a mineral that is essential for preserving and rebuilding tooth enamel. Calcium also aids in saliva production, which helps kill the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.

Better Smile Food No. 5: Sesame Seeds
Another great calcium source, sesame seeds have a gritty texture that acts like 100 tiny toothbrushes to tackle plaque buildup. Try them sprinkled on cereal or vegetables, or blend them into yogurt, soups, and homemade breads and muffins.

Better Smile Food No. 6: Lean Protein
Eggs, poultry and lean beef are rich in phosphorous, a mineral that is critical to maintaining strong tooth enamel. In addition, phosphorous helps balance pH levels in the mouth, discouraging the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.

Better Smile Food No. 7: Water
Substituting water for sugary sodas and sports drinks may be the tooth-friendliest move you can make. Frequent exposure to liquid sugars allows cavity-causing ingredients to reach the most remote surfaces of teeth and gums. Sugary drinks also contribute to the formation of decay-causing acids in the mouth. (If you must indulge your cola cravings, be sure to sip through a straw to reduce exposure.) Water, on the other hand, contains no harmful ingredients and helps wash away bacteria from food, making it one of the cheapest, best dental health boosters around.

What do you eat to get your best smile? Tell us below or @Completely_You