Monday, December 29, 2014

Fallout on Mars Mission


We can send a man to the moon, but we can’t stop his teeth from falling out along the way.

One would think zero gravity would prolong bone strength because of the low impact, but, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, astronauts in space lose bone density and mass up to 10 times faster than the earth-bound. At that rate, a journey to Mars could be long enough to cause tooth loss! (This is disconcerting news for the Mars Society, which is dedicated to Mars exploration and settlement.)

So, why is space so bad for teeth? As the bone repair mechanisms in the body shut down in space, bone thickness rapidly degrades and the body is depleted of calcium. (That’s good news for the Aeronautical Milk Advisory Board.) Once back on earth, though, the problem will stop, but the damage already done will be permanent.

Kinda makes you think twice about moving to Mars.

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Brave New Year

Setting goals is easy. Follow-through is much tougher. Many of us will gain inspiration from some of my newest patients who have followed through with a remarkable challenge: overcoming their fear of the dentist.

Bravely, they mustered the will to make a change for the better- to improve their oral health, and ultimately, their physical health. They came to our office, either because a friend or family member said great things about us, or because they had read this column, or because we were on their dental plan. The improvements came incrementally, as we proceeded to rebuild their smiles from the ground up. Today, they are smiling testimonials. To them we say:

Pat yourself on the back for being inspirational to others in 2014!

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Family Values


Parents transmit their own dental hygiene values (good or bad) to their children from the time they are born.

A study by members of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry shows how certain Hispanic and Native American populations have high numbers of very young babies and children with cavities. The parents put their babies to sleep with a bottle and allow the young children to drink sodas and high-sugar drinks. Interestingly, these parents had been educated about decay prevention and the dangers of all-night bottle feeding and sugar sweetened drinks, but continued to do it.

Over time, each generation of children may grow up to believe that cavities are an inevitable part of childhood and neglect their own children’s oral hygiene.

Being good role models for children is so important. Children learn about cavity prevention in school, but it needs to be practiced at home.


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Monday, December 8, 2014

Hungry Burglars Should Eat Chocolate


Forensic dentistry, most commonly associated with identifying plane crash victims, has also helped the police identify hungry burglars who find it hard to resist snacking on food they find in their victims' houses. But, even if they wipe their fingerprints, they don't clean their plates, leaving police their tell-tale left-overs. In the past 10 years, a few criminals have even been identified and convicted of their crimes because they left their bite-marks behind.

Now we have even more evidence to catch the thieves; Traces of saliva left on food can hold enough DNA to identify a criminal.

Interestingly, chocolate is almost useless in identifying DNA. This could be due to the small size of the left-over pieces, rather than the chocolate itself.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Dry Mouth Dilemma


If you have dry mouth, you know how uncomfortable it can be. What you may not know is how dangerous dry mouth can be to your teeth.

When your mouth is not being continuously bathed in saliva, natures mouth cleanser, your teeth are at risk for decay. Plaque, the sticky precursor to decay, loves to hang out in a dry mouth. It adheres to the unprotected teeth, creating the perfect environment for decay and infections to develop. Therefore, plaque needs to be brushed and rinsed away continuously to prevent cavities and infections from starting.

Causes of dry mouth may include certain prescription drugs (such as antidepressants), cancer therapies and dieting. Using a “dry mouth formula” toothpaste and chewing sugarless gum with xylitol are two good ways to stimulate saliva and fight cavities. Your dentist may even prescribe saliva-enhancing tablets. No matter what, always drink plenty of water.


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Monday, December 1, 2014

Elvis' Teeth


Elvis Presley had a crown on his front tooth that was particularly prone to breaking, so his dentist always kept a spare handy. In 1971, when Elvis was performing in Las Vegas, he chipped his crown on a microphone. The dentist's son hopped on the next plane to Vegas with spare crown in hand.

In 2007, a model of Elvis Presley's teeth and a spare porcelain crown were put up for auction on eBay. The items were being sold by the family of Elvis' Memphis-based dentist. When bidding for the items closed on January 14, the top bid was $4,300- not enough to meet the family's reserve price.

The model of the King's teeth is encased in a custom glass display. The set also includes various letters of authentication and notarized documents, all proving the legitimacy of this on-of-a-kind rock and roll collectible.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Getting Gums in Shape is Easier and Faster than Gym Workout


Got bleeding, irritated, swollen, reddish-pink gums? Until you get to the dentist to check this condition, you can actually do much to get your gums in better shape.

Since gum disease starts because of plaque build-up, preventing its accumulation is the first step. Three easy workout tools you can use in your car, at work or while watching TV are: floss, Rotopics and salt water. Flossing is the best way because it works between teeth and under gums in one sweep. Roto-pics are specially-designed plastic toothpicks that clean between teeth while massaging the gums. Salt water is one of nature's tissue healers. Swishing with it will almost instantly relieve gum irritation.

These workout methods work quickly. You'll notice improved health within two weeks of daily practice. Now drop down and give me thirty.... , er, floss-ups!..?

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I’m Dreaming of a White Filling


The holiday season is such a busy time, but it’s also the season to enjoy yourself. Plan now to have dental work completed beforehand, so you won’t miss out on the fun.

Do you have a bothersome tooth? Prevent the painful possibility of cracking a weakened or decayed tooth as you crunch down on a cinnamon candy cane.

Got sensitive teeth? Imagine eating homemade fudge or enjoying a warm Egg Nog without cringing.

Do you have halitosis (bad breath) or gum disease? Have it treated now, so you will feel confident conversing with co-workers at the company holiday party.

Do you wish for a star-bright smile? Safe and effective tooth whitening will boost your confidence to laugh and be merry.

Before the shopping rush. Before the tiresome lines. Before the holiday parties, complete your dental treatment first and smile for many seasons to come.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Boning Up With Implants



Do you have a missing tooth in your mouth? There are two good standard options to fill in the gap, such as a fixed bridge or removable partial dentures. Both use other teeth for strength and support. Neither is an ideal way to actually replace the full utility of the missing tooth.

To solve this dilemma, man created the dental implant. This surgically-placed post actually fuses with the bone in the jaw. After a crown is place on it, it can withstand nine times more biting pressure than a denture and, after several years of use, will still be going strong.

Talk to your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate for implants. You need to be in good health, have healthy gums and adequate bone structure. You must also have excellent oral hygiene habits and maintain regular dental visits.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cold Season is Here!

Keep yourself healthy and flu free with some facts and tips from the Natural Health Advisory.

With winter just around the corner, catching a cold is getting easier and easier. The drop in humidity that comes with winter’s chilly weather helps respiratory viruses and infections spread faster. The most common virus is influenza. Influenza is “more stable in cool, dry air,” and goes hand in hand with winter weather. [Respir Med, 2009 Mar:103(3):456-62.] A temperature drop and humidity drop at the same time creates higher chance of the influenza virus spreading.


Low humidity makes our throats dryer and more susceptible to viruses like influenza that are attracted to the respiratory tract.  A drop in humidity also means that viruses can travel faster. In low humidity weather, the water droplets in the air are smaller and therefore can move around faster, infecting more people more easily. In high humidity, water droplets are larger and therefore heavier, resulting in slower movement and less spread of the virus.

A great tip to make cold season less a bit easier is to get a humidifier. Humidifiers can decrease the chances of viruses and infections spreading by making the water in the air heavier and slower. Natural Health Advisory says that having a humidifier set around 60% humidity is healthy but setting it too high can cause mold to grow. Be sure to check around your home when you have a humidifier to make sure that there isn’t any mold growth, as mold can be detrimental to your health.

Telling your kids to recommend to their teacher to get a humidifier for school can be beneficial as colds are often spread at school. Having a humidifier at school can help decrease the risk of catching a bug in the classroom.

www.nationalhealthadvisory.com

Friday, November 21, 2014

Flossing For Fun or Practice


Flossing is as important for keeping teeth and gums healthy as brushing because it can reach areas where the brush can't reach. Flossing takes less time than connecting to the Internet. Why, then, don’t more people floss?

Floss gets lost....at the bottoms of purses, in the glove box or hidden behind bottles in the medicine cabinet. Flossing is difficult...like learning to tie your shoes. Flossing is not a choice time-filler...when stuck in traffic, you'd rather call a friend on the cell phone.

How can flossing be converted into a “front burner” habit? Keep it handy... next to the remote or to the mouse. Make it a daily ritual like reading the morning funnies or counting the days until your vacation. Soon you may actually get grouchy if you miss a workout.

Go to it! Your teeth will thank you.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Diabetics' Dental Health


According to information from the Academy of General Dentistry, one half of all diabetics don’t even know they are diabetic. Without this awareness of their condition, these diabetics aren’t able to take the necessary precautions for maintaining their physical and dental health.

Diabetics are more susceptible to oral infection than non-diabetics. And their infections tend to be more severe. Tooth decay resulting from “dry mouth” and receding gums from accelerated plaque build-up are two common infection problems diabetics encounter. To avoid these infections, diabetics may need to use prescribed antibiotics and/or medicated mouth rinses, in addition to frequent cleanings, to help maintain their oral health.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential for a diabetic. Keeping blood sugar levels under control, communicating any health changes with the dentist, and treating infections immediately will help to prevent periodontal disease and other serious oral infections from developing.


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Monday, November 17, 2014

For Men Only


You can now scrap the Corvette compulsion. Your new road to virility begins at the front door of your dentist’s office.

These are the facts: More men than women have periodontal (gum) disease. Men are twice as likely to get oral cancer than are women. Men who take dry mouth inducing medications for the heart, blood pressure or depression are at-risk for tooth decay.

In today's competitive employment arena, dressing to impress won't get you far without a good-looking smile. A bright smile, with no missing teeth, says it all.

You want to be healthier. You want to promote a positive image at work. You know what to do. Now get in your Ford Pinto and go see your dentist.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blood Thinners and Dental Treatment


If you have a health condition which requires prescribed use of blood thinners such as Coumadin or aspirin, it is important to share this with your dentist.

Because the clotting mechanism is decreased by blood thinners, healing from injury can be difficult. This applies to the gums as well. Bleeding of the gums can occur during certain dental treatments and may be difficult to stop. Depending on the circumstances, the dentist may request that the patient discontinue use of the blood thinners for up to three days prior to all dental appointments. At home, it is a good idea to use a soft toothbrush and soft brushing technique and floss regularly. See your dentist regularly as well.

Your physical and dental health are mutually influenced. Therefore, it is very important to communicate with both your physician and your dentist regarding all aspects of your health.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Can Gymnema Sylvestre Stop Sugar Cravings?

This week, Natural Health Advisory (if you don't know it, check it out here) just posted a great article about sugar cravings so we thought we would share it with you.
The same properties that make gymnema sylvestre a beneficial supplement for diabetes treatment appear to give it the ability to stop sugar cravings as well. That would certainly be good for someone trying to reduce appetite and lose weight, but is there evidence the supplement really works? 
If you struggle with a sweet tooth, you may have heard of the sugar-buster herb, gymnema sylvestre. This fascinating herb contains gymnemic acids which, when placed directly on your tongue, actually fill the sugar receptors in your taste buds, effectively blocking your ability to taste sweetness.[1] Furthermore, researchers believe they may also reduce the intestine’s ability to absorb sugar molecules, reducing blood sugar levels.[1] It’s no wonder this herb is often used as a natural supplement for diabetes.

 Gymnema sylvestre – can increase the pancreatic output of insulin

An animal study found that gymnemic acid IV decreased blood glucose levels in diabetic mice by 14% to 60% within 6 hours of administration as compared to the anti-diabetic drug glibenclamide, and it also increased insulin levels.[2] A human study also found an insulin-elevating effect[3] as a result of gymnema’s unique ability to repair beta cells in the pancreas. In diabetics, up to 80 percent of their beta cells aren’t working.

Together, these effects may reduce the need for medication. One study looked at 22 people with type 2 diabetes. Patients were administered 400 mg of gymnema per day for 18 to 20 months. At the end of the study, 16 of the patients reduced their traditional oral medications and five had ceased taking them.[3]

Gymnema for weight loss

The herb may also play a beneficial role in weight control. Several studies suggest that it is a promising anti-obesity aid.[2,4] It offers several benefits.

Curbs cravings, appetite.

Not only does the herb reduce the sensation of sweetness,[7] which can help stop sugar cravings and lessen the allure of high-sugar and high-calorie foods, but it may also curb appetite in general. Researchers examined the effect of gymnema on people who were fasting. Those who took the herb one hour before being offered food ate less than the control group.[7]

Lessens weight gain from high-fat diet.

In one study, rats were given high fat diets to induce obesity. Rat who were given a saponin-rich fraction of a gymnema sylvestre extract ate less and had significantly decreased body weight.[8]

Benefits cholesterol.

Research also shows that Gymnema sylvestre improves the ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol.[10]

How to take gymnema sylvestre:

To try gymnema sylvestre, look for an extract that is standardized to contain at least 25 percent gymnemic acid. Some supplement manufacturers produce an extract standardized to 75%. Clinical studies have looked at doses of 200 to 400 mg per day. Gymnema sylvestre can cause stomach upset, so take it with food or take three to four smaller doses throughout the day. Don’t take the supplement if you are pregnant, lactating or allergic to milkweed. Talk to a physician before taking it if you are currently taking anti-diabetic medication as a cumulative blood-sugar lowering effect could be dangerous.

How to get off the sugar

A diet high in sugar has been linked to dementia, weight gain, diabetes, osteoporosis, and more, and reducing or even eliminating it from your diet is a worthy goal. Gymnema sylvestre appears to be an effective tool to curb sugar cravings, assist in weight loss, and improve sugar metabolism by increasing the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin.

Share your experience

Have you tried gymnema sylvestre for weight loss? Diabetes? Any other conditions? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.
 Like what you read? Read more Natural Health Advisory articles on their website

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bleaching for Boomers


 Bleaching or “whitening” teeth is an inexpensive, safe and easy way for many of us over 44 to regain the sparkly smiles of our high school yearbook photos. If your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea or smoking, you are a prime candidate for successful bleaching.
A professional tooth whitening could help you:
Land a job in these competitive times where youthful appearance is becoming more important.
Make a better first impression with potential clients.
Capture the attention of someone you like, just by flashing a pearly white smile.
Win your way onto your favorite game show as a contestant.
Win over an IRS auditor or loan officer.

Aging is inevitable, but it doesn't have be the first thing others see in you.

Note: All blogs posted here are the property of Tobias Maynard DDS, and may not be copied or used without his consent. All articles created by Dr. Maynard and may have also been published in magazines, newspapers or online.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What do Funeral Directors and Dentists Have in Common?

Amalgam dental fillings!


Amalgam, which contains mercury, is commonly used to fill tooth cavities. When a body is burned, mercury from any silver fillings vaporizes. Once released into the atmosphere, mercury returns to the Earth in rain or snow, ending up in lakes and other bodies of water, where it can lead to elevated levels of mercury in fish. In humans, mercury damages the nervous system and can harm childhood development.

This health risk to the living was Colorado health officials' unprecedented argument last year against a funeral director who planned to build a crematorium close to a residential neighborhood. He was told to either install a costly filter on the smokestack or... (yikes!) extract the filled teeth before cremation.

If you are concerned about your own metal fillings, we can remove them safely now, so a stranger won't have it later.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Year-End Planning


In spite of the weak economy, many of our patients are diligent about their dental care. But, there are some who are steering clear of our office until it really hurts. When the time comes, the cost will be exponential. If you're trying not to spend anything on dental care, please read and consider the following:
  • Nearly all major dental problems start as minor tooth trouble.
  • Major dental problems mean more sick days and lost work time.
  • This year, thousands of people will contract oral cancer, a disease
    that can be found early with a simple dentist's exam.
  • Dental insurance benefits are wasted if not used by year's end.
  • Toothaches and holiday fudge don't mix.
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Monday, November 3, 2014

...This is halloween... Everybody SCREAM!

We celebrated Halloween in the office this year with some fun costumes!

Can you guess who we dressed up as?


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Does Your Pet Need a Dentist?


Did you know there are veterinary specialists who provide dental care to pets? They offer many of the same services humans can have, such as crown and bridge restorations, braces, oral surgery, x-rays and gum therapy. In fact, in most any veterinarian's office, you will find brochures discussing the close relationship of a clean mouth to a pet's physical health.

This means that, like his owner, Fido builds tartar on his teeth and, if he doesn't eat the right foods, brush daily,or see his veterinarian regularly, he may develop bad breath or bleeding gums when he eats and/or brushes.

If the infectious bacteria travels from Fido's mouth, via his bloodsteam, to major organs of his body, other health problems may develop.

Sound familiar?

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

“Frequent Flyer” Dental Patients Earn Rewards


Some people have an unabated fear of flying in airplanes. Willingly, they avoid long-distance travel, or opt for train or car travel. This plan works well until a personal emergency or last-minute business trip occurs.

Some people have an unabated fear of seeing the dentist. Willingly, they avoid dental check-ups and feel they are brushing well enough. This plan works until a dull annoyance becomes a piercing tooth ache while on a last minute business trip. Murphy’s Law strikes again.

Emergency calls to the dentist are most frequently made by patients who come in only “when it really hurts”. Conversely, “regular” patients have fewer emergencies and their symptoms are less severe and more easily treatable. because the dentist is familiar with the patient’s dental and health histories.

Regular dental visits offer the advantages of continued health and lots of leg room.

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Keyword: Free Money

Having dental coverage is like getting free money. But, it (poof!) goes away on December 31. So, NOW is the time to complete needed dental treatment before that free money slips away. Consider the following suggestions:
Take advantage of free cleanings for you and your family now, before you lose that cost-free benefit.

Know your yearly maximum and complete any unfinished treatment.

Got an incentive plan? A dental visit today means a higher percentage next year.

Retiring? Complete all work before coverage terminates.

Remember, insurance saves you money by covering your cleanings, check-ups and even some major treatments. That’s an easy way to keep your smile healthy.

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Elder Dental Challenges


 

Studies show that our growing, older-adult population is better educated, wealthier and healthier than its parent generation. Improvements in quality of life have allowed these people to live longer and keep their permanent teeth... permanently. It is still very important to monitor an elederly person's oral condition.

Older adults who still have permanent teeth are faced with challenges in spite of their good behavior: Wear-and-tear from years of use may result in worn -away enamel. Diminishing immunity defenses may encourage cavities, gum disease and other oral infections. Prescriptions medications and cancer therapies may cause "dry mouth". Physical weakness can make chewing difficult. Swallowing may be difficult if food is not chewed well enough.

Because older adults' health can be unpredictable, it is important that their teeth are brushed daily and that they see the dentist more frequently to monitor oral health conditions and to keep up-to-date health records.

For more information on our office, go to http://www.pearlywhitesdds.com

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Check-in Offer for Yelp!

Check in on Yelp when you come for your next appointment and receive $50 discount off of an in-office tooth whitening when purchased with take-home trays.
 

Originally $495, with offer: $445. 

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Have Happy Teeth!


Wondering what to give out to trick-or-treaters this Halloween that won't create screaming sugar monsters in your home? Frustrated with the supermarket candy glut? Worry no more. Availability of healthy treats is on the rise. Healthy or sugar-free treats won't spike blood sugar levels, preventing  tummy aches and headaches   Opt to hand out pre-packaged mini bags of pretzels, raisins or apple slices, baby carrots or even fruit gummies. Giving out healthy snacks can also save you money because they are lunch box staples; any left-overs will not go to waste! If you still want to give out candy, you can find sugar-free lollipops at www.practicon.com and www.iherb.com (organic). As always, make sure to have candy eaters brush  teeth or chew sugarless gum after eating sticky treats!


If you are looking for an alternate way to trick or treat with your kids & receive healthy snacks, Disneyland is open several nights in October for trick-or-treating, with plenty of options for treats to satisfy almost any craving.
That way, you can have the happiest teeth on Earth at the happiest place on E arth! Check out Disneyland’s website for more information.

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Boo (Hoo) : Halloween candy consumption and you!



With Halloween just around the corner, it may be increasingly difficult to refrain from dipping your hand into the candy bowl. Of course, the short-term benefits of a sugary snacks are just that. Short-term.  The long-term effects from eating sugary foods can be detrimental not only to your dental health but can raise your blood sugar to harmful levels.

Checking out a Glycemic Food Index is also useful in determining which foods to eat to maintain a steady, healthy blood sugar level. Compare your favorite candy's sugar levels before you indulge. For example, one Fun Size 3 Musketeers bar has 10 grams of sugar, whereas one Hershey’s Kiss with Almonds is only 2.2 grams per Kiss. If you can satisfy your sugar craving by eating a Hershey’s Kiss instead of a 3 Musketeers bar, you can apply the "sugar savings" on food that fuels, instead.

Maintaining a healthy body includes keeping your teeth healthy, too. The increase in consumption of sweets around the holiday season can also create plaque build up and yellowing of the teeth if not teeth are not tended to correctly. Make sure to floss, brush your teeth and/or chew sugarless gum after consuming sugary foods and drinks.

So, over the next few weeks, take precaution and be more mindful about what you are putting into your body.

 The Natural Health Advisory gives a great list as to the symptoms of high blood sugar levels. See below for the list of symptoms:
       Increased thirst
       Dry mouth
       Always being hungry
       Frequent urination and/or urination during the night
       Dry and itchy skin
       Daily fatigue or extreme tiredness
       Difficulty concentrating
       Excess abdominal fat/weight gain
       Recurrent infections
       Blurred vision
       Impotence
       Slow healing of cuts and wounds
       Nerve problems
       Stomach problems


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Natural Sleep Help for Dental Anxiety

Many people can't relax or sleep from anxiety the night before a dental appointment. Prescription sleeping pills and muscle relaxers are a big help to many. Others may prefer to try an herbal supplement endorsed by Clark's Nurtrition, such as Albezia, American Ginseng, Ashwaganda, Chamomile, Hops, Kava, Lemon Balm, Skullcap and Valerian. A helpful Clark's team member may help you evaluate which of these herbs may help you.

Feel free to visit our practice for more information:
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Monday, January 6, 2014

Deciding on Dentures

Fifty years ago, it was popular practice to pull "problem" teeth and replace them with dentures or "plates". The result was a long-lasting biting surface that would reduce the need for future dental appointments and, hopefully, keep the dentist away! Today, dentists want patients to keep teeth and use dentures as a last resort, rather than a quick fix.
Dentures are not intended to be a substitute for teeth, but, instead, should be a substitute for NO teeth.

Those who would prefer to replace natural teeth rather than restore them should understand that, at best, dentures can only be 40% as effective as natural teeth. In addition, like a car, dentures need scheduled maintenance for best performance.


Dentures are an excellent option for those who need them (i.e. already have several missing teeth), but should not be considered if damaged teeth can be restored.

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