What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?

illustration of a dental implant being installed in the bottom row of teeth

 

One of the hottest topics in dentistry today is the use of dental implants. Implants have certainly revolutionized the field of replacement teeth. If you are considering tooth implants for missing teeth, you must know the facts. Dental implants have pros and cons, and Dr. Cho carefully weighs them before surgery can be scheduled.

Research continually shows that dental implants are the best long-term solution to replace missing teeth. However, like any type of surgery, there are advantages and disadvantages.

Cons of Dental Implants

No procedure is right for everyone, including dental implants. While there are some risks associated with dental implants, they are relatively mild. The disadvantages include:

  1. You have to meet a set of requirements
    To have dental implant surgery, you first have to meet certain criteria. As the procedure involves anchoring the implant to your jaw bone, if you’ve experienced significant bone loss due to losing teeth, there may not be enough for the dental implant to be successful. You must also be in good health so your jawbone can fully recover.
  2. The cost of the procedure
    While dental implants are the best long-term solution for tooth loss, they’re not always the most cost-effective. However, they are well worth the price for the comfort, confidence, and natural feel they give you. See what dental implants cost at Suburban Dental.
  3. The procedure can be lengthy
    Dental implants are not a quick fix and can take several months to complete. If you’re replacing an existing damaged tooth, this must first be removed. Your dentist must then prepare the tooth site before fitting the implant anchor. Once the anchor has been fitted, you’ll need to wait several months while it heals and the surrounding bone grows. The final stage of the procedure involves placing the artificial tooth.

Pros of Dental Implants

While dental implants have some drawbacks, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

  1. They look and feel like natural teeth
    Dental implants look like real teeth. In fact, once your implant has been fitted, you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference between your replacement tooth and your real teeth. Since the implants are anchored to your jaw, they’ll feel just as strong as your regular teeth.
  2. You can eat and chew with ease
    Unlike dentures, implants won’t feel any different from your regular teeth when eating and chewing. You can eat what you want once the dental implant procedure is complete! Whether you fancy crunchy snacks, chewy foods, or hot or cold drinks, you can eat and drink without concern—just remember not to overdo the sugary treats.
  3. Dental implants can last a lifetime
    Implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement solution. You may need to replace the crowns every 10-15 years, but if you look after the implants, they can last a lifetime.
  4. Dental implants are easy to take care of
    You should care for your implants like your regular teeth: with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups, and a healthy diet.
  5. Dental implants prevent bone loss
    Dental implants are anchored into your jaw, similar to your real teeth. The screw thread of the implant acts as the root of a natural tooth, so with dental implants, your jawbone remains strong, and you won’t experience bone loss.

Dental implants have been proven to be a great option for people who suffer from tooth loss. We always want to make our patients look and feel great, and dental implants are a great way to do that. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have! Call our Germantown, MD, dentist’s office today!

 

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How to Handle Dental Emergencies: First Steps

Dental issues might not be the first thing that comes to mind regarding emergencies. However, dental emergencies can occur unexpectedly and often require immediate attention to alleviate pain, prevent further damage, and ensure oral health. If you believe you are experiencing a dental emergency in the Germantown, MD area, call Suburban Dental at (301) 916-8570

Understanding Dental Emergencies:

Dental emergencies include various critical dental issues that demand prompt professional assistance. They can include severe toothaches, knocked-out or broken teeth, lost fillings, broken braces, and other emergencies. Recognizing the signs of a dental emergency is crucial to initiating timely action and minimizing potential complications.

Immediate Steps to Take:

When confronted with a dental emergency, staying calm and taking immediate steps to mitigate pain and prevent further damage is essential. Here are some actions you can take:

  • Toothache: Rinse your mouth with warm water, floss gently to remove any food particles, and apply a cold compress to the affected area for temporary relief.
  • Knocked-Out Tooth: If a tooth is completely knocked out, keep the tooth moist in milk or a tooth preservation kit and seek dental help immediately.
  • Fractured Tooth: Rinse your mouth with warm water, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling, and visit a dentist as soon as possible.
  • Lost Filling or Crown: Use dental cement, which can be purchased at a local pharmacy, to temporarily cover the exposed area until you can visit a dentist.

Seeking Professional Dental Care:

While the initial steps mentioned above provide temporary relief, it is essential to schedule a dentist’s appointment promptly. Dental professionals are trained to handle emergencies and can provide the necessary treatment to alleviate pain, prevent infection, and restore oral health. Delaying professional care can lead to more significant problems and complications down the line.

Prevention and Preparedness:

Although dental emergencies are unexpected, you can take preventive measures to minimize the risk. Maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, and visit a dentist for routine check-ups. Additionally, wearing mouthguards during physical activities and avoiding chewing on hard objects can help reduce the likelihood of dental injuries.

Dental emergencies can be distressing, but knowing how to handle them can significantly protect your oral health. By understanding common dental emergencies, taking immediate steps to alleviate pain, seeking professional care promptly, and practicing preventive measures, you can minimize the impact of these situations. Remember, in any dental emergency, always consult a dentist for the best course of action. Stay prepared, stay calm, and prioritize your dental well-being. 

Visit Suburban Dental to learn more about dental emergencies and the available services.

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How to Fix an Overbite

Boost Your Confidence and Breathe Easy: The Impact of Fixing Your Overbite

Overbites are very common in both children and adults, with many having at least a tiny overbite. While not typically the most serious dental problem, a significant overbite can lead to several dental health problems. There are several ways to prevent or treat an overbite, and here at Suburban Dental, we can help find the right treatment for you or your child.

What is an Overbite?

An overbite occurs when a person’s upper teeth extend beyond their bottom front teeth. The most frequent cause of this is the size of the jaw or teeth—there may not be enough space in the jaw to fit one’s teeth.

Other causes can include frequent nail biting, teeth grinding, and, for children, thumbsucking and using a pacifier after age three. Read more about the causes of an overbite.

Is an Overbite Bad?

An overbite can cause problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw discomfort. Since the upper and lower teeth are misaligned, an overbite can also cause enamel to wear down or teeth to be chipped or cracked due to friction between teeth. An overbite can also make it more difficult to chew and bite.

How to Fix an Overbite

There are different ways to treat children and adults for an overbite. For children, braces can slowly shift the teeth into a proper alignment. This is followed by a retainer to keep the teeth in place. Another treatment option for children is using palate expanders, a growth modification device, to reposition the jaw during growth spurts. Another option is to extract baby teeth or permanent teeth to create room for adult teeth.

Extracting teeth to create room for the remaining ones is also an option for adults. Another treatment option is to use clear aligners to reposition teeth impacted by the overbite. This is an excellent option for many adults, as they are discreet and can be removed when eating.

Come to Suburban Dental for Overbite Correction Treatment

If you or your child is experiencing an overbite, don’t wait for serious issues to develop. Call our Germantown, MD dentist office today at 301-916-8570. We’re here to help you get the best possible treatment in a safe and comfortable environment!

Water Floss vs. String Floss: What’s Best?

Unleashing the Power of Water Flossing for a Healthy, Happy Smile

Water flossers or water picks, technically oral irrigators, if you’re asking, are increasingly popular, but are they effective? Only 32% of adults floss daily, so there is absolutely a need for an easier way to clean between teeth. Going without daily flossing, or some form of interdental cleaning, leaves all of those people, most of us, at serious risk of gum disease. So, let’s find out if water picks live up to the hype.

Are Water Flossers Better Than String Floss?

Water flossers seem to be very effective according to current research. A 2013 study on the effectiveness of water flossers compared to string floss found that water flossers were “significantly” more effective than string floss. Specifically, they found that after a single use water flossers were 29% more effective at removing plaque. They were particularly better at removing plaque and accumulations from between teeth, and that’s most of why we floss, isn’t it?

Something that may be worth considering is that one of the authors of the 2013 study, Deborah Lyle, was employed by the Waterpik Corporation from May 2004 until January 2022 as their Director of Clinical Research. Waterpik’s page for clinical research about water flossers lists many studies that include Deborah Lyle as a contributor.

However, other researchers were involved, and other studies point to water flossers’ effectiveness. A 2021 study on the effectiveness of water flossers compared to string floss is an example, though they did not have such strong conclusions as the 2013 Deborah Lyle study did. They found instead that water flossers were just as effective as string floss, not more so. That is why they recommended water flossers to those with braces, retainers, or who have fine motor skill issues.

So, water flossers do seem to work and could potentially replace string floss or floss picks in your oral health routine. But are they superior to string floss? They might be, but considering, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to knock yourself if you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon just yet.

Are There Any Downsides to Water Flossers?

While great at cleaning your teeth, there are a few things to consider before you run out and get one. Water flossers can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, according to a 2021 study. Because water flosser heads touch your mouth and stay wet, oral bacteria can grow on it. Even despite following the provided cleaning recommendations. That’s not all, this study limited itself to studying only the nozzle, not the hose or water reservoir itself. So, while trying to clean your mouth there is the possibility that you could be spraying your teeth with bacteria.

Bacteria

It’s no secret that toothbrushes can be a source of illness and serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. However, proper storage and sanitary precautions, even ones as simple as rinsing your toothbrush and letting it dry, have been shown to reduce bacteria considerably. Allowing it to dry is crucial and would be much more time-consuming to practice with a water flosser. Because a water flosser is a reservoir of water with an attached hose it seems proper cleaning would require draining it and its components and allowing them to dry after each use, at a minimum. Certainly, it is more time-consuming than standard care and cleaning instructions for proper use.

Travel

Besides cleanliness, it’s worth considering that no one is likely to travel with a water flosser. That means you’ll need to keep using string floss for overnight stays. That is to say, even if you get a water flosser, don’t throw out all your old string floss. You’ll still need it if you intend to keep up a daily hygiene routine.

If I Get One, What’s The Best Water Flosser? 

The ADA, the American Dental Association, has an approved list of water flossers. The ADA only allows its seal to be used on products that “include data from clinical and/or laboratory studies that demonstrate safety and efficacy according to product category requirements developed by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs”. The ADA is one of the largest professional organizations for dentists, meaning that any product bearing the ADA seal can be reasonably trusted. If you are considering trying a water flosser we strongly encourage you to factor the ADA’s recommendations into your decision.

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What Does Flossing do?

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Flossing prevents gingivitis, or gum disease, by preventing the build-up of plaque on and between your teeth. Plaque is a form of biofilm a sticky bacteria that if left unchecked can cause serious harm to your teeth by causing cavities, decay, and even risking infections if you have an oral injury.

Flossing can also prevent halitosis, or bad breath, by removing excess food particles from your mouth. Some bacteria that naturally occur in your mouth also cause bad breath if left unchecked. The American Dental Association recommends flossing, stating that it can remove the vast majority of plaque. By flossing you prevent the bacteria from growing and spreading to the point where it can smell. Much of the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath will also feed on food stuck in your teeth.

Is Flossing Really Necessary?

Some people might feel like they already have oral health issues or that since they’ve neglected flossing so far, so there’s no reason to start now. But the truth is that there is never a point where starting good oral hygiene habits won’t help.

The long-term effects of allowing bacteria to grow are serious and can range from cavities to gum disease and eventually loss of teeth and bone loss. Losing bone from your jaw is a serious and effectively irreversible consequence of long-term oral health neglect. But preventive maintenance, including flossing, can greatly reduce the risk of any of these problems.

Tips for Effective Flossing

A study published in a journal by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) found that flossing before brushing is the most effective. This is particularly true when using toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Traditional string flossing has also been shown to be more effective than pick-style flossers. However, the most effective form of flossing is what works for you and will make you more likely to floss. While we might recommend that you try to floss the old-school way, the most important thing is that you figure out a style and routine for flossing that you’re able to maintain.

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Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Whitening Procedures at Suburban Dental

Teeth whitening has been around for decades and millions of people use whitening products – including plenty of dentists. According to dental professionals, they haven’t seen an increase in problems like cavity risk or tooth fractures after teeth whitening procedures. Suburban Dental works to provide safe teeth whitening services for our patients in Germantown.

Teeth Whitening Side Effects 

  1. Teeth sensitivity: your teeth may become more sensitive after getting them whitened. You may experience this after your first or second treatment, and it can diminish with time. Ask your doctor if they can recommend products for treating sensitivity at your next appointment.
  2. Irritated gums: you may also experience gingival irritation, which happens when your gums become irritated. If the whitening products touch your gums, then they may become irritated, but Suburban Dental takes precautions to eliminate this risk.

Benefits of Teeth Whitening

  1. Safety: The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that hydrogen peroxide whiteners are safe and effective.
  2. Quick process: you can have whitened teeth in just one session rather than waiting months for at-home products to take effect.
  3. Saves time: you don’t have to have your teeth professionally whitened very frequently whitening your teeth frequently can damage your teeth. With just a couple of sessions of professional whitening, you can achieve the desired color of your smile.
  4. Don’t have to worry about safety: we take care of your teeth like they are our own at Suburban Dental. We only provide the safest procedures at our office, the side effects of teeth whitening usually apply to at-home products that can damage your smile.

If you are worried about your upcoming teeth whitening procedure or worried about an at-home product you are using, you can always ask your doctor if the product is safe. Suburban Dental offers professional teeth whitening that is safe and effective. If you would like to schedule a teeth whitening appointment, use the button below to schedule online or learn more about teeth whitening at our Germantown, MD office.

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Is Vaping Bad For Your Teeth?

The Relationship Between Vaping and Your Oral Health

Vaping, or e-cigarettes, is popular with older former smokers and younger first-time nicotine users. As the health effects of vaping are discussed and researched, most attention has been on lung health. But you may be wondering, does vaping affect oral health, and is vaping bad for your teeth? Whether trying to make an informed decision about the health of your teeth, are about to get braces, or are prepping for oral surgery we’ll look at what effects vaping can have on your oral health.

Is Vaping Bad for Your Teeth?

Vaping does have many negative effects on overall oral health. These range from increased bacteria, to damage to tooth enamel and cosmetic changes. 

  • It increases the amount of bacteria stuck to your teeth. Vegetable glycerin is a common base for vape liquids which can trap bacteria on your teeth. This increases the risk of cavities. This additive alongside other additives can also soften enamel, presenting more opportunities for cavities to form.
  • An ingredient called propylene glycol lowers saliva levels. Saliva naturally reduces the amount of bacteria present in the mouth and stuck to teeth. Dry mouth can cause cavities and other issues such as gum sores.
  • Vaping could worsen other oral health issues. Because vaping can soften enamel, trap bacteria, and lower saliva levels it has the potential to worsen other ongoing oral health issues.
  • Teeth stains can be caused or worsened by vaping. Vaping’s effects on enamel hardness and bacteria retention can create conditions for or worsen teeth discoloration or yellowing.
  • There is evidence of a range of health problems caused by vaping. Research indicates that vaping can disrupt the oral microbiome, increase the risk of gum disease, and expose users to chemicals that can cause oral and other cancers.

Vaping, Braces, and Oral Surgery

Vaping can negatively impact the effectiveness of orthodontic treatments. Nicotine use can change the rate at which teeth move when wearing metal braces, Invisalign, or other aligners. This could lead to slower corrections and prolonged treatment. 

Any oral surgery that requires healing can be slowed by vaping. Nicotine use lengthens the body’s natural healing time. Boston University research has shown no evidence of harm reduction between smoking and e-cigarettes. Advice to avoid smoking after certain dental procedures covers any nicotine use because of the increased healing time associated with it. This is doubly true of any oral nicotine use because it increases bacteria in the mouth and the risk of infection after certain procedures. 

Harm Reduction and Surgery Recovery

If you’re concerned about the effects vaping or other nicotine use can have on your oral health, stopping is the best way to prevent further damage. Of course, nicotine cessation is not easy. If quitting isn’t possible but want to limit any negative effects it’s best to stick to the fundamentals of oral hygiene. Twice a day brushing, flossing, using a fluoride mouthwash, and scheduling regular checkups can all help.

If you are planning a treatment for which it is recommended you temporarily cease nicotine use or if you want to quit for your long-term oral health the Mayo Clinic has an online guide to help.



How To Avoid Dry Socket After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure where the back set of molars is removed. This is typically done because many people develop impacted molars. Impaction occurs when there is not enough room in the mouth for the teeth to develop normally.  When teeth are removed, either through wisdom teeth removal or through a tooth extraction, a socket is left in your bone where the tooth was removed. A blood clot is supposed to form in the hole, that heals overtime. This blood clot serves as a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve endings in the empty tooth socket. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot becomes dislodged, exposing the socket to nerves, air, food, and bacteria. At Suburban Dental, we want to provide you with tips to prevent you from getting dry socket.

How to Avoid Dry Socket

  1. Avoid straws. Using straws creates a suction in your mouth, which can cause the blood clot to move or become dislodged, and result in dry socket. You should avoid straws for a least one week after your procedure.
  2. Do not consume tobacco in any form, including chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes. The chemicals and suction created during smoking can easily disrupt the healing processes or result in dry socket.
  3. Avoid beverages and foods that are extremely hot or cold. These can dissolve your blood clot, exposing the nerves and resulting in pain.
  4. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is a critical part of the recovery process. Acidic beverages can also cause the clot to become dissolved.
  5. Eat soft foods. Soft foods are less likely to disrupt the clot or get stuck in your socket.
  6. Continue proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing twice, daily.

Symptoms of Dry Socket

If you experience any of these symptoms, you could be experiencing dry socket.

  • Severe pain within a few days of your extraction
  • Loss of the blood clot, either partial or complete loss within the socket
  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Bad breathe

Summary

Dry socket can occur as a result of bacterial contamination or trauma at the surgical site, after you’ve had one or multiple teeth removed. It can result in complications if left untreated, including delayed healing, infection in the socket, or infection in the bone. If you’re experiencing pain after your extraction, over-the-counter pain medication can help relieve any discomfort. If your pain levels continue to increase in the days following your extraction, contact Suburban Dental in Germantown, MD right away.

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How To Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay

Don’t Wait—Prevent Decay Today!

Cavities, often referred to as tooth decay, are tiny holes that develop in the hard surface of your teeth. They are most common in children and teenagers, but they can affect everyone including infants and toddlers. Join Suburban Dental as we take a closer look at what causes cavities and how you can prevent them.

Causes of Cavities

Cavities typically occur as a result of poor oral health habits but other various factors can increase the risk of getting a cavity, including:

  • Dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food stuck on the teeth and it counters the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth, which reduces the chance of cavities.
  • High-sugar Foods and drinks. Certain foods aren’t as easily washed away from saliva, making them more likely to cause decay. Foods you should limit include ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, cake, chips, cookies, and hard candy.
  • Constant snacking or sipping. Carousing or eating frequently throughout the day results in increased bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria produce the acids that attack tooth enamel.
  • Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities and can reverse the early stage of tooth decay. Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to help reduce your chance of cavities.

How to Prevent Cavities

Regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are the best protection against cavities. If you get a cavity, it should be treated right away. But, cavities left untreated get larger and larger, affecting the deeper layers of your teeth. Deeper cavities result in higher chances of experiencing severe toothache and infection. So, when it comes to cavities, prevention is key. Below are some of our cavity prevention tips:

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Brush and floss twice a day, ideally after each meal.
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque that builds up over time which isn’t removed by regular brushing and flossing. Going to the dentist twice a year is one of the best cavity prevention options.
  • Dental sealants. Sealants protect the tooth enamel from harmful plaque and bacteria.

If you think you have a cavity or tooth decay, call our Germantown, MD office at (301) 916-8570.

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What Is The Best Teeth Whitening Option?

Teeth can become discolored for a variety of reasons and many people want their teeth to be bright and white, so they look into teeth whitening. When it comes to getting a brighter smile, you can whiten your teeth at home or get a professional treatment. At home whitening typically includes over-the-counter products like whitening strips, pens, or toothpaste. Professional whitening includes custom-made whitening trays you take home or an in-office appointment. What might work best for some, might not necessarily work best for another. Suburban Dental wants to help you select what the best teeth whitening option is for you.

Both over-the counter and professional treatments use peroxide bleaching agents as the main active ingredient. The difference between each option is the amount of peroxide it contains. Over-the-counter solutions use 3 – 20 percent where professional solutions contain 14 – 43 percent. Solutions with higher amounts of peroxide should be left on for a shorter amount of time. Keeping the solution on longer will dehydrate your teeth and make them more prone to sensitivity.

Professional Whitening

Professional teeth whitening options are much safer and more effective. Additionally, it ensures that all of the proper precautions are taken. So, when it comes to protecting your gums, the whitening agent only gets on your teeth.

At-Home Whitening Products

Over-the-counter products are cheaper, generally take longer to see results, and have limitations depending on your tooth color and health prior. If used incorrectly, at-home teeth whitening kits can lead to burned gums, tooth sensitivity, or pain. It’s always best to talk with your dentist to decide the best treatment option for you. If you have questions about teeth whitening products, contact Suburban Dental in Germantown, MD.

If you choose to go for an over-the-counter solution, we recommend that you use one from the list of bleaching products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Bleaching Products with ADA Seal of Acceptance

 

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