Friday, January 15, 2016

Seeking the Right Restorations

When it comes to determining the best solution for restoring your smile post-trauma, decay, or extraction, patients often find themselves considering a broad spectrum of factors such as cost, recovery, and long-term function. While it may be tempting to select treatment based on which is least expensive, it is important to consider the long-term health implications that less comprehensive treatments may have on a patient’s overall oral health and function. With this in mind, patients should consider the following when picking their restorative treatments:

While some restorations may provide adequate function, patients should be looking for a restorative treatment that closely mimics their natural teeth. For example, dental implants and implant-supported restorations are designed to function precisely like natural teeth, providing individuals with a comfortable prosthetic tooth that is highly resilient and able to withstand routine wear and tear. With dental implants, patients are able to once again enjoy long term oral function.

While minimal restorations are often able to enhance the natural beauty of the smile, extensive damage can often require less-aesthetically driven restorations. As a result, patients with full or partial dentures may find themselves unsatisfied with the bulky look and feel of their prosthetic. In contrast, dental implant restorations are uniquely matched to the natural teeth, providing patients with a seamless, natural looking smile.

To provide the most functional benefit to patients, conventional restorations such as bridges, dentures, and partials are supported by surrounding oral structures such as neighboring teeth and gums. This can compromise the long-term health and function of these oral components, potentially leading to more extensive dental issues in the future.

In comparison, dental implants are surgically embedded into the jaw bone, eliminating the need to alter the neighboring teeth. The surgical placement of implants also has the added benefit of incorporating the jaw bone into treatment. Not only does this provide a sturdy foundation for the future restoration, but it also encourages improve bone health, thereby preventing additional bone deterioration and tooth loss.

Initially, conventional restorations may seem to be less expensive. However, the long term maintenance and replacement costs can quickly add up, making these treatment options consistently more expensive. While dental implants may require greater initial investment, the health and functional benefits of this treatment often provide patients with a greater return on their oral health investment.

At Mark T. Ngo, DDS, our Puyallup dental team is committed to providing patients with the best solution for their oral health needs. For patients considering long term restorative solutions, Dr. Ngo works with leading local oral surgeons to place and restore dental implants. For more information, contact our Puyallup dentist today. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Understanding Periodontal Disease

While highly preventable, gum disease is an exceedingly prevalent gum condition capable of wreaking havoc on a patient’s dentition. Often patients aren’t even aware that they are exhibiting symptoms of the gingival condition until their dentition and oral health have already been compromised. As a result understanding what gum disease is and how to identify symptoms are a critical part of patient education that can make the difference in protecting your smile.

What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease occurs when plaque builds up and hardens into tartar. During this initial stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, the accumulation of tartar fosters accelerated bacteria growth, which causes gum irritation and redness. When left untreated, gingivitis progresses into periodontitis. In this second phase of the disease, the bacteria begin to create pockets between the teeth and gums, causing visible gum recession as well trapping food and bacteria in these periodontal pockets.

The final stage of gum disease, known as advanced periodontitis, is marked by the bacteria beginning to attack the bone and connective tissue which hold the teeth in place. As a result, patients experiencing this final stage of gum disease may also notice that their teeth becoming loose or even falling out in areas where the soft tissue has been severely affected by gum disease.

The Symptoms of Gum Disease
Often, patients fail to recognize the symptoms of gum disease before they are ready well into the second and third stages of periodontal disease. However, early identification can help patients protect their smile from the extensive damage that can be caused by untreated periodontal disease. Some of the initial symptoms patients experiencing gingivitis may exhibit include:
  •  Swollen, soft, tender or puffy gums
  • Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath

As the condition progresses into periodontitis or advanced periodontitis, patients may experience additional, more noticeable symptoms. These may include:
  • Gums change color from a healthy pink to a bright red or purple
  • Swollen or tender gum
  • Gum recession, evidenced by the teeth appearing longer than normal
  •  New spaces developing between the teeth or a change in how the teeth fit together
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath or a bad taste

Diagnosing Gum Disease in Puyallup

At the South Puget Sound dental practice of Dr. Mark T. Ngo, our team is committed to helping patients regain their oral health. By providing periodontal care and long-term maintenance, our Puyallup dentist can help you regain a healthy smile. For more information about periodontal care, contact Dr. Ngo today