My Blog

Posts for: January, 2017

By Inland Oral Surgery
January 26, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Americans are very concerned about the appearance of their smiles. According to research by IBISWorld, cosmetic dentistry is a $3 dental implantsbillion per year industry. One cosmetic problem that some patients urgently want to fix is smile gaps caused by missing teeth. If you're insecure about the appearance of your teeth for this reason, know that you don't have to live forever with a gapped smile. Dental implants by Inland Oral Surgery in Spokane can fill in those gaps and give you a stronger, healthier and more attractive smile.

Living with a Gapped Smile
Smiling with confidence isn’t always easy when there’s a large gap. It can make taking photos and participating in basic social interactions a challenge. Having a large space in the teeth could also make a dental patient more vulnerable to oral health problems like gum disease. Food can get trapped in the space and promote the growth of bad bacteria. Also, when you have one or more missing teeth you may find it more difficult to pronounce certain words.

Close Gaps with Dental Implants in Spokane
Dental implants allow your Spokane dentist to replace missing teeth. The crown that’s placed on top of the dental implant can be shaped to perfectly fill in the space between the teeth. In the case of a row of missing teeth, a custom device called an “All on 4” can be created. It’s a denture that’s made with four dental implants that keep it anchored to your gumline.

Permanent Results
The best part of getting dental implants to closed a gapped smile is that the results are permanent. With dentures, the device can be removed and must be replaced at intervals. With dental implants, you don’t have to worry about taking the device out periodically to clean it or when you’re sleeping. Dental implants will last for decades if you prioritize good oral health habits.

Gapped Smile No More
See a dentist at Inland Oral Surgery to discuss how your gapped smile can be fixed with dental implants. Call the Spokane office at (509) 321-1404 today for an initial consultation.

By Inland Oral Surgery
January 18, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   flossing  

Though you don't like to admit it, you don't floss very often. Oh sure, you know it's important to remove the film of bacteria and food particles called plaque that builds up between and on your teeth. And you know you should do it every day.

It's just that, well… you're not very good at using dental floss.

While it's effective, dental floss takes some technique to hold it with your fingers and work it between your teeth. It can be hard for people to get the hang of it — and some aren't physically able or have obstacles like braces that make it harder.

There is a solution: an oral irrigator. Available for home use for decades, these devices deliver pulsating water at high pressure through a handheld device that looks like a power toothbrush. The water flows through a special tip to loosen and flush out plaque from between teeth.

You may have encountered oral irrigation during dental visits. They're a regular part of dental cleanings especially for treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. Because gum tissue weakened by disease may gradually separate from the teeth, large voids or gaps called periodontal pockets can form. These pockets can become further infected and accumulate plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) that can also extend to the roots. Oral irrigation is a way to remove much of the plaque from these hard to reach places.

Oral irrigators have also proven effective for orthodontic patients whose brace hardware inhibits regular dental floss. A 2008 study, for example, found orthodontic patients were able to remove five times as much plaque with an oral irrigator as those who used only a manual toothbrush.

If you're simply looking for an effective alternative to dental floss, an oral irrigator is a good choice. We can help choose the right model for you and give you tips on using it. Your goal is the same as if you were using dental floss — remove the plaque between your teeth to keep disease at bay and your smile healthy.

If you would like more information on flossing options, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleaning Between Your Teeth.”

By Inland Oral Surgery
January 03, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.

“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavi­ties. How did this happen?

Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.

While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.  Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.

This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”

Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:

  • Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
  • Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.

Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.

“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”

If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”