My Blog

Posts for: January, 2015

By FAQs About Dental Implants
January 29, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Do you have missing teeth? Are you tired of your dentures being uncomfortable or causing you pain? Do your missing teeth cause you embarrassment? Then you should talk to Jeffrey A. Harris, D.D.S. in Warrenton to discuss dental implants.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a replacement for a natural tooth. Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or even all your teeth.

Why Choose Dental Implants over Dentures?

Dental implants are more secure, less painful, and easier to manage then dentures. With dental implants, you will be able to chew normally and be proud of your appearance.

What Can I Expect During the Procedure?

Dental implants involve replacing the root of a tooth with a prosthetic implant that is placed into your jawbone. The implant will then fuse to the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. This can take about three to six months to occur. In the meantime, the dentist will give you a temporary crown or dentures.

What Happens Next?

Once the prosthetic implant has fused to your jawbone, you are ready to get your permanent teeth placed. Your new replacement teeth will be created and fitted into proper position. The dentist will work to ensure that the color, size, and shape of your new teeth will blend in naturally.

Will the Procedure Hurt?

We will provide you with the proper anesthesia so you will feel as little discomfort as possible. Tooth extractions have been said to be more painful than dental implants. Most patients are actually surprised at how little pain they felt getting their dental implants done.

How Long Will Dental Implants Last?

Everyone is unique and has different health issues that may affect the longevity of dental implants. However, with routine practicing of good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups, your dental implants should last a lifetime.

How Expensive Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are expensive, but the cost of not doing them may be more expensive in the long run. The price will vary depending on how many teeth need to be done and the amount of work. Some insurance companies may pay for part or all of the implants and some insurance may not pay at all. We will work with you ensure that you know what your estimated cost will be.

Who Makes a Good Candidate For Dental Implants?

Your dentist will discuss with you your dental health as well as your general health. Some chronic illnesses, such as chronic alcohol abuse or heavy cigarette smoking, may prevent you from being a good candidate. Please share with your dentist all your past medical history and medications you may be taking.

Dr. Harris is here to help answer all your questions about dental implants. Please contact his office in Warrenton today at (540) 347-2777. We will work together to restore your smile!

By Jeffrey A. Harris, D.D.S.
January 28, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Singer Olivia Newton-John's daughter Chloe is now a lovely, grown woman, but Olivia recently recounted to Dear Doctor magazine a rather creative method she found to sooth Chloe's teething troubles many years ago.

“When Chloe was a baby and teething I remember using a frozen bagel for her sore gums,” Olivia said. “She loved it!”

Cold is often very soothing to a teething child's gums. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends using a clean, chilled, rubber teething ring, or cold wet washcloth. Chilled pacifiers can also be helpful. Be sure not to freeze teething rings or pacifiers as ice can actually burn sensitive mouth tissues.

Older teethers can sometimes find relieve from cold foods such as popsicles (or bagels!) but make sure your child eats these sugar-containing foods only at mealtimes so as not to promote tooth decay.

If your baby has not yet begun the teething (or tooth-eruption) process, you can expect it to begin usually between six and nine months. It may, however, start as early as three months or as late as twelve months.

Teething symptoms vary among children, as does the length of time it takes for a tooth to make its appearance. But many parents notice the following signs:

  • Irritability
  • Biting and gnawing
  • Gum swelling
  • Chin (facial) rash
  • Disrupted sleeping patterns
  • Ear rubbing
  • Drooling
  • Decreased appetite

These symptoms are usually most bothersome during the week that the tooth is breaking (erupting) through the gums, starting about four days before and lasting about three days after the tooth appears.

Occasionally, teething discomfort can be considerable. If that is the case with your baby, you can give her or him acetaminophen or ibuprofen in the appropriate dose (check with your pharmacist if you're not sure what that is). The medicine should be swallowed — not massaged into the gums, as this can also burn. Numbing agents should not be used for children under 2, except under the advice and supervision of a healthcare professional.

If you would like to learn more about teething or any other child-related oral health issue, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. If you would like to read Dear Doctor's entire interview with Olivia Newton-John, please see “Olivia Newton-John.” Dear Doctor also has more on “Teething Troubles.”

By Jeffrey A. Harris, D.D.S.
January 13, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   flossing  

A critical part of effective, daily oral hygiene, flossing removes bacterial plaque from between teeth that can’t be accessed with brushing. Unfortunately, it’s often neglected — string flossing requires a bit more dexterity than brushing and can be difficult to do properly.

It can be even more difficult for people with implants or who wear orthodontic appliances. For brace wearers in particular, getting access to areas between teeth with string floss is next to impossible; the metal brackets and tension wire also have a tendency to catch and retain food debris that’s difficult to remove with brushing alone.

Water flossing, using a device called an oral irrigator, is an effective alternative that addresses many of these difficulties. First available for home use in the 1960s, an oral irrigator delivers pulsating water at high pressure through a handheld applicator that forcefully flushes material from between teeth.

There’s no question that string flossing is effective in plaque removal between teeth — but what about oral irrigators? A 2008 study looked at a group of orthodontic patients with braces who used oral irrigators and compared them with a similar group that only brushed. The study found that five times as much plaque was removed in the group using the oral irrigators as opposed to the group only brushing.

Oral irrigators may also be effective for people who’ve developed periodontal (gum) disease. In fact, oral irrigators coupled with ultra-sound devices are routinely used by dental hygienists to remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) in periodontal patients. As with regular oral hygiene, though, it’s important for patients with gum disease to include water flossing with daily brushing (at least twice a day) and regular cleaning sessions at the dentist to ensure removal of all plaque and calculus.

If you’re interested in using an oral irrigator, be sure to consult with us at your next appointment. Not only can we recommend features to look for in equipment, but we can also instruct you on the techniques to make water flossing an effective plaque remover.

If you would like more information on water flossing, 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.”