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  • Dental implants: How to take care of them after surgery

    The whole dental implant process can be a very long and tedious journey. This time is necessary to give the implant every chance at success. And the one thing that makes the whole process stay on time is how they are taken care of after surgery.

    After surgery, the first 48 hours are the most crucial as the implant is in a more vulnerable state. Maintain a soft food diet full of vitamins and minerals, avoid brushing that area, and take all the medications that the doctor prescribed. After 24 hours, you can begin salt water rinsing.

    Laying low after dental surgery is the best thing to do, allowing the body to use its energy to heal. In this post, I go over what we discuss with our patients that are thinking about implant surgery or currently going through the implant process.

    How you take care of dental implants can impact how long they last for. From what you eat, and what your oral hygiene routine is like, it can make an impact on preventing implant failure.

    Dental implants are an expensive investment and worth every penny, in my opinion. Having them function properly and last for as long as possible is the ideal outcome.

    It’s important to be fully aware of the entire process, risks involved and how to maintain them so hopefully there are no surprises!

    How to take care of dental implants after surgery

    The biggest threat to dental implants is bacteria. Some bacteria are good, but if there are too many and the wrong type, it can lead to infection and implant failure.

    I don’t want to scare you or be forceful, however, it’s really important to follow all the instructions that were given to you by your doctor/dental professional.

    You don’t want anything coming in contact with the surgery site for at least 24 hours. Just leave it alone.

    It’s normal to experience some swelling, discomfort and light bleeding in the first 24-48 hours. But if you are concerned, give your dental professional a call.

    An ice pack will become your best friend. You will want to use it as much as you can to try and reduce the swelling. Wrap the ice back in a cloth to protect your skin, and you will want to hold it against your cheek/jaw for about 20-30 minutes, and then take it off for the same amount of time. Keep repeating that process for the first few days. Swelling usually peaks at day 2-3.

    You will want to begin doing salt water rinses after the first 24 hours. The salt water rinses will cleanse the mouth and kill some bacteria. Take a mouthful of the salt water mixture, and you can just tilt your head slowly from side to side. It’s important not to vigorously swish it around your mouth.

    Swishing vigorously can disrupt the surgery site and healing. Be gentle and easy on the surgery site.

    Your doctor will have given you some gauze to take home with you. And you probably left the dental office biting down on some. If there is mild bleeding, you will want to replace the gauze. Make sure the gauze is damp, this is crucial. If you don’t dampen the gauze, it will likely adhere to the tissues and could disrupt the blood clotting, and cause more bleeding.

    Taking the medication that the doctor prescribed, including recommended pain relievers, will help with recovery. It will also prevent discomfort and infections. It’s very important to use the medications exactly as intended and instructed.

    What not to do after implant surgery

    If you can think back to when you had your wisdom teeth extracted, or any other tooth that was taken out, the what-not-to-do list is pretty much the same.

    You want to avoid any strenuous activity that will get your blood flowing faster or anything that could hit your face. This could dislodge any blood clot that is forming around the implant to help it heal and integrate into the bone. The blood clot contains vital cells that will help the implant surgery become successful.

    Other activities that can cause disruptions are smoking, spitting, and drinking through a straw. The sucking and forceful motion, when doing these things, can suck the blood clot out.

    Avoid all of these activities for the first 24-48 hours after the implant is placed.

    What to eat after dental implant surgery

    For the first 24 hours after dental implant surgery, you will want to have a liquid diet. Soup, smoothies (eaten with a spoon, not a straw), and yogurt are some examples of good foods to eat.

    Smoothie bowls are a great food to have because the combinations are endless, the fruit adds vitamins and minerals, and protein powder can be added to them to make them more filling. The only thing I suggest to avoid in the smoothies are fruits with seeds. Even if you have a powerful blender, it may not be able to break up all the seeds.

    The seeds can get stuck in the surgery site and cause delayed healing and even infection.

    Foods to avoid: hot, spicy, hard, crunchy, acidic foods, coffee, tea, and alcohol. All of these foods can disrupt the surgery site and delay healing.

    How long will recovery take

    Recovery time can look different for everyone. Medications, overall health, age, and home oral care can all impact the recovery time.

    After the implant surgery is done, the average time for healing before the implant crown can go on is around 3 months. But, often it can go beyond that.

    Before the implant crown is put on, a torque test will be done. This test is to determine how stable the implant is and how tight the bone is integrated around the implant.

    You don’t want to rush putting the implant crown on because,

    if the implant isn’t fully stable, adding the pressure from eating and clenching the teeth together, can cause the implant to fail.

    How to clean dental implants during and after recovery

    First 24-48 hours

    Like mentioned at the beginning of this post, you don’t want to go near the surgery site for at least the first 24 hours. After that, you can introduce the warm salt water rinses.

    If there is light bleeding or oozing, you can bite down on some damp gauze for about 30-60 minutes.

    48-72 hours

    Continue with the salt water rinses. You can start to use an extra soft toothbrush with warm water around the area to clear away bacteria and food debris. A toothbrush made for babies is the best option because the toothbrush head is very small, and the bristles are extremely soft. You don’t need to use any toothpaste around the area, as it can irritate the delicate tissues.

    After a few days

    Keep up with the warm salt water rinses for at least a week after the implant surgery. You can start to clean the area more with the toothbrush and incorporate other oral hygiene tools. Keep avoiding hard and crunchy foods around the surgery area.

    After the implant crown is placed

    After the implant crown is placed, keeping consistent with oral hygiene will be needed to prevent gingivitis and gum disease. You will need to floss around the implant and make sure the amount of bacteria and food debris is reduced.

    Can dental implants fail and how can you tell

    Dental implants need to be taken care of like normal teeth, to prevent gum disease that can occur around them, which can contribute to them failing.

    When there is chronic inflammation around the implants, both the gum and bone can start receding. Because the bone is in direct contact with the implant, it leaves in more susceptible to gum disease. In a natural tooth, there are a lot of connective tissue ligaments that attach to the bone to the tooth.

    If there is active gum disease around the dental implants, it is so important to have more regular dental hygiene cleanings.

    Signs of a failing implant can be difficulty eating on it, pain, loose feeling, receding/inflamed gums, and swelling around the implant site area.

    Other causes of implants failing can be due to excess cement around the crown, too much force being applied to the implant and poor oral care, to name a few. If you are worried about the health of your dental implant, you should consult with your dental professional for an exam.

  • The 3 Best and Worst Candies for Your Teeth

    The Best Candies

    1. Dark chocolate is the best candy for your teeth by a wide margin. Chocolate may be more effective than fluoride at fighting tooth decay, according to several studies, due to a compound in chocolate that helps harden tooth enamel. Compounds in cocoa beans also have an antibacterial effect that fights plaque. That’s why my patients get a dark chocolate square along with floss and a toothbrush in their goodie bag when they leave the office after appointments.

    2. Sugarless gum and sugarless candies, such as candies with stevia or candies that diabetics consume. Sugar feeds bacteria and upsets the healthy ratios of pH and bacteria in the mouth, so a sugarless candy comes in as “second best” here. I’m still not a fan because whenever you see the sugarless label, the candy tends to have other bad chemicals in it that are detrimental to health in another way.

    3. Candy bars with nuts. Candy bars with a lot of nuts can break up the stickiness, and it’s the stickiness of a candy that increases chance of cavity, so having nuts (and the protein/fiber that nuts provide) can break up the “badness” of the sticky parts of the candy. Nuts can also break up some of the biofilm of the teeth. My favorite “candy bar” which I’ve found to be tastier than my old favorite Payday and extremely low in sugar — around 5 to 6 grams depending on the flavor — are the KIND bars. My favorite flavor is Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt.

    The Worst Candies

    1. Anything Sticky. The stickier the candy, the worse it is — that’s Jujubes, Tootsie Rolls, etc. The effects of these sticky candies will linger because they stick around, increasing the chance for a cavity. The same goes for dried fruit, which is just as bad for your teeth because of the stickiness and concentration of sugar. Stick to real fruit, which is far less concentrated in sugar and is packed with fiber and water that keep you full.

    2. Lollipops. That’s because when it comes to how bad a candy is for your teeth, frequency of exposure is more harmful than quantity. If you eat the candy quickly and brush your teeth and it’s over very quickly — as far as your teeth go (not talking about blood glucose systems and the effect on the rest of the body) it’s much better than sucking on a candy all day long, like in the case of a lollipop. Frequency of exposure increases chance of harm to teeth – but if you throw it down the hatch and brush and floss right after, damage to (teeth only) can be minimal.

    3. Gummy worms, because they’re the most acidic. Acid is bad for your teeth because it wears down the tooth enamel, which protects your teeth. This makes it easier for teeth to become chipped or broken. Enamel also insulates the tooth. A lack of enamel can expose the nerves in your teeth, which are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature of the things you eat and drink.

  • Weed Prevented Cavities Thousands of Years Ago

    While minty toothpaste is the norm today, ancient people had to get creative when it came to keeping their teeth clean. Some civilizations used abrasive ingredients like burnt eggshells and ox hoof ashes to scrub their teeth. But others turned to a natural, herbal solution to keep their teeth healthy. It was a weed with a distinctive smell…but likely not the “weed” you’re thinking of. It’s called purple nutsedge.

    The transition from a hunter-gatherer diet to grains

    It turns out that early humans didn’t have to deal with tooth decay due to their meat-heavy, hunter-gatherer diet (This is where your Paleo diet friends can chime in with their I-told-you-so chorus). It wasn’t until the advent of farming and the introduction of a much more grain-based diet that tooth decay became a serious issue.

    However, in one area of post-agricultural, ancient Sudan, the problem of tooth decay was nonexistent. A team of researchers scoured the cemetery of Al Khiday 2, a burial site that dates back roughly 2,000. They discovered that, of the remains buried there, fewer than one percent showed signs of tooth decay, including cavities.

    Upon further investigation, the researchers discovered that many entombed in the cemetery had feasted on purple nutsedge, a weed that still grows prevalently within the area. And it truly is a weed in every sense–once this menace gets in your garden, it’s very hardy and tough to eradicate. For the purposes of oral health, however, eating and digesting this plant drastically reduces bacteria growth within the mouth, limiting tooth decay.

    While it’s impossible to know for sure whether purple nutsedge is the only reason these ancient humans escaped painful cavities and other oral health problems, it likely played a big factor. It’s not tasty to eat and it has a very pungent odor, but scientists believe the tubers of this plant were often consumed for general medicinal purposes, and we all know medicine typically doesn’t taste good.

    Can this weed still prevent cavities today?

    So you may be wondering if this weed can still work to protect teeth today. Maybe the key to healthy teeth is as simple as growing your own purple nutsedge? Well, it still contains those same bacteria-fighting properties, but the human diet has changed drastically.

    In particular, we consume far more sugar today than we did even a century ago. With this drastic increase, it is difficult to say how effective purple nutsedge would be in reducing cavity risk, especially for those not living on a strict Paleo diet. Plus, modern toothpaste does a pretty good job of cleaning and protecting your teeth, while giving you a fresh, minty taste. So skip the stinky weed and stick with your trusty fluoride-based paste and floss to keep your teeth clean and healthy.

  • Si pierdo un diente, ¿qué ventajas tiene colocarme un implante?

    Ventajas de los implantes dentales

    Si comparamos detenidamente el tratamiento con implantes que realizamos en nuestra clínica con los puentes o las dentaduras de quita y pon, nos daremos cuenta de que los primeros presentan mayores ventajas:

    1. Son permanentes y duraderos

    Uno de los principales motivos por los que la gran mayoría de personas elige los implantes se debe a que son una solución fija ante la pérdida de dientes.

    Es decir, una vez colocados, exigen los mismos cuidados que los dientes naturales, no interfieren en la rutina diaria y no requieren ser retirados para dormir, como las dentaduras postizas.

    Esto, unido a la resistencia y durabilidad que proporcionan, hace que el tratamiento con implantes sea una solución a largo plazo.

    2. Son muy naturales

    La naturalidad que ofrecen los implantes conlleva, a su vez, dos ventajas.

    Por un lado, las coronas que se colocan sobre el implante son muy estéticas y permiten conseguir infinidad de tonos, por lo que se asemejan al color de los dientes naturales. De esta manera, no se diferencian del resto de piezas dentales que hay en la boca.

    Por otro lado, los implantes permiten al paciente tener las mismas sensaciones al masticar, hablar o sonreír que tenía con sus dientes naturales.

    Esto, por ejemplo, no ocurre con las clásicas prótesis removibles. Además de ser menos naturales, son incómodas ya que deben ser retiradas cada noche y no se ajustan completamente a la boca del paciente.

    Al no quedar ajustadas, se mueven, lo que ocasiona roces y molestias en las encías.

    3. Son seguros

    La colocación de implantes es una cirugía menor, que tiene un buen postoperatorio. De hecho, el 85% de los pacientes que se somete a esta intervención puede ir a trabajar al día siguiente.

    Además, se estima que, hoy en día, la tasa de éxito de los implantes dentales se sitúa en el 98%.

    A pesar de estos datos, hay muchas personas que sienten miedo y ansiedad al tener que someterse a este tipo de tratamiento. Para aportar mayor relajación a estos pacientes, en nuestra clínica contamos con un servicio de sedación.

    De esta manera, la persona estará semiconsciente todo el tiempo que dura la cirugía. Y, además, podrá tener la tranquilidad de que el procedimiento estará supervisado por un médico anestesista.

    4. No ocasionan daños al resto de dientes

    Cuando colocamos un implante, el resto de piezas dentales sanas que se encuentran en la boca permanecen intactas.

    Sin embargo, cuando lo que se coloca es un puente, sí que se compromete el estado de las piezas adyacentes, ya que es necesario tallarlas.

    Este tallado es irreversible e implica reducir su tamaño.

    Además de esto, es importante resaltar que la sustitución del diente perdido también evita movimientos indeseados en el resto de piezas dentales que hay en la boca.

    Para ello, partimos de la base de que los dientes tienen una tendencia natural a moverse y a buscar contactos entre ellos.

    Es decir, si hay un espacio desocupado, el resto de dientes tenderá a inclinarse y desplazarse, perdiendo la posición adecuada dentro de la arcada dentaria.

    5. Ayudan a conservar el hueso

    Con el tiempo, la pérdida de un diente acaba ocasionando la reabsorción del hueso que soportaba esa pieza dental. Esto se debe a la ausencia de la raíz del diente y a que el hueso no recibe la estimulación propia de la masticación.

    La progresiva pérdida del hueso ocasiona, además de un deterioro funcional, un daño estético. Debido a la reducción ósea, los labios comienzan a retraerse y la apariencia se envejece.

    Por su parte, la colocación de implantes permite conservar el hueso, ya que el tornillo que se inserta en el maxilar reemplaza la raíz del diente natural, realizando su función.

    6. Permiten una buena higiene

    La higiene que lleva a cabo una persona que cuenta con todos sus dientes naturales es la misma que practica alguien con implantes dentales.

    Al ser la alternativa más parecida a nuestras propias piezas dentales, el cepillado debe ser el mismo. La rutina diaria de higiene debe incluir, además, el uso de seda y enjuague.

    Y, a diferencia de lo que ocurre con las dentaduras tradicionales, los implantes son fijos y no hay que extraerlos para limpiarlos.

    7. Son muy rentables para el paciente

    Es cierto que de las opciones mencionadas -puente dental y dentadura postiza-, los implantes son, a priori, la alternativa menos económica.

    Sin embargo, a la larga, resultan muy rentables. Como no podía ser de otra manera, esto se debe a que están pensados para durar muchos años.

    Teniendo en cuenta que son una solución a largo plazo, nuestra recomendación es la de realizar un esfuerzo inicial superior.

    Si el paciente sigue unos cuidados de higiene adecuados, los implantes apenas requieren mantenimiento. Sin embargo, sí ofrecen una durabilidad, comodidad y naturalidad que ningún otro tratamiento es capaz de ofrecer.

  • Top 8 reasons to get a Dental Implant

    If you’re missing one or more teeth, you can consider dental implants as a method of choice for replacing your missing teeth. A dental implant is typically a tiny titanium post that is inserted in the jaw and attaches to a dental crown to replace the missing tooth.

    There are many reasons why a tooth should be replaced, including cavities, fractures, periodontal disease, loose teeth, bone loss, painful teeth, crooked teeth, missing teeth, swollen gums, loss of support, failed dental work, poor-fitting dentures, injury or trauma, and medical problems.

    The top 8 reasons to get a dental implant are:

    1. Enhanced appearance: Dental implants fuse with the underlying bone and so are permanent and non-removable. Also, they look and feel like natural teeth, so unlike removable prostheses (aka dentures), they look more attractive and natural.
    2. Greater comfort and convenience: If you’re using a removable denture, the latter may cause sore spots in the mouth. With dental implants, there are no sore spots. Also, removable dentures need to be taken out at night and cleaned, which is rather embarrassing and inconvenient. Dental implants work like natural teeth and can be cleaned by regular brushing and flossing, just like other permanent teeth.
    3. Easier eating: Removable dentures can slide during eating, thereby making it a messy and unpleasant activity. The ability to chew foods improves dramatically with dental implants. Dental implants are 80% as efficient as natural teeth when compared to 25% for removable dentures. With dental implants, eating becomes an enjoyable and fulfilling activity again.
    4. Improved ability to taste food: A removable denture covers the roof of the mouth and food cannot be tasted as easily. Dental implants do not cover the roof of the mouth and so, food can be tasted more easily and better.
    5. Improved speech: With removable dentures, speech can be garbled and difficult to understand. The dentures may slip, resulting in mumbling or slurred speech. Dental implants do not slip in the mouth and result in normal speech.
    6. Cannot be lost, as well as long-lasting: Dentures can be removed from the mouth and can also be misplaced and lost. Dental implants cannot be removed and so, cannot be lost. Also, if taken care of, dental implants can last a lifetime and do not need to be replaced.
    7. Protects existing teeth: If a dental implant is not used to replace missing teeth, the surrounding teeth can deteriorate just like the jawbone. This can result in an increase in missing teeth over time.
    8. Greater and improved bone growth: As opposed to dentures, dental implants act as natural teeth and aid in bone stimulation and growth. Dentures, on the other hand, become more difficult to wear over time, due to continuing bone loss.

    If you have missing teeth, contact us at Doral Dental Studio. We specialize in dental implants and treat each patient holistically. Our Dental Implants provide a comfortable and permanent solution that can last a lifetime.

    At Doral Dental Studio, we treat every person as if they were a part of our family.

    So, don’t wait any longer. Contact Doral Dental Studio and rest easy knowing you’re in good hands.

  • Your oral health during COVID-19

    All of us are going through a lot of change right now. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted our lives in many ways. While there are a lot of things we can’t do, we can still take care of our health.

    With dental offices across the country postponing non-emergency dental treatment, it’s more important than ever to keep up with your dental homecare. We’re here to help with tips and answers.

    How should I keep my teeth healthy during COVID-19?

    With a lot of us working from home and adjusting to new routines, it’s easy to put aside our dental health. Here are a few tips to help:

    • Wash your hands – aim for at least 20 seconds before and after any personal dental care
    • Brush at least twice a day– be sure to get those hard-to-reach spots
    • Floss once a day – this helps remove bacteria and plaque in places your brush can’t reach
    • Eat a well-balanced diet – limit sticky, sugary snacks like cake and cookies
    • Limit frequency of snacking – frequent snacking increases your risk of cavities
    • Limit sugary drinks – soda and fruit juices can harm tooth surfaces
    • Drink plenty of water – drink water with meals and between meals
    • Avoid smoking – smoking limits blood flow to your mouth, making it easier for bacteria to grow

    What should I do in a dental emergency?

    For your safety and the safety of health care providers, please do not visit an urgent care clinic or an emergency room for your dental care needs. Please contact your dentist for guidance.

    Your dentist can handle many situations over the phone, such as helping with a toothache or a filling or crown that has become loose. If you’re unsure about your situation, your dentist will be able to help. The American Dental Association has also created several resources for patients and dentists to follow.

    Dental clinics may be postponing non-emergency procedures, but your dentist can still make appropriate arrangements if you need care.

    In general, something qualifies as a dental emergency if it puts a person in a high-risk condition. For example, uncontrolled bleeding or a bacterial infection that causes swelling and interferes with breathing.

    Are there some general guidelines to follow for dental issues that arise?

    You can temporarily solve certain dental problems with items from your medicine cabinet or pharmacy.

    • Dental pain – For dental pain, the key is whether there is swelling and if the pain continues. As with all medicines, please be sure to follow instructions.

    For pain without swelling – common over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines can help. You can take a combination of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen. Contact your dentist for appropriate dosage and if the pain continues.
    For pain with swelling – in addition to OTC pain medicines, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater for short-term relief. Consult your dentist for further guidance.

    • Fractured tooth, lost filling, lost crown or bridge – You can get OTC temporary filling material from the dental aisle of your pharmacy. Many of these products are also available online and can be delivered to your home. Ask or search for “loose cap or filling repair.”
    • Broken or ill-fitting dentures – Search your pharmacy for “denture repair kits” or “denture reline kits.”
    • Trauma – If you experience a physical injury to your mouth, contact your dentist for guidance. Your dentist will evaluate your situation and recommend next steps.
    • Gum, cheek, tongue and lip pain

    For children experiencing pain in any of these soft tissue areas, OTC pain medicines like children’s Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen can help. There are also children’s oral gels that can offer relief. Contact your dentist or pediatric dentist for help.

    For adults experiencing pain without swelling, common OTC medicated gels are available, including the brand name Orajel.

    If you’re in doubt about your situation, reach out to your dentist for help.

    What should I expect in the coming weeks and months?

    The dental community is continuing to adjust to the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19. In the short term, we’re focused on providing emergency dental care and giving people resources to help protect their oral health. As the situation evolves, we’ll adjust to federal and state guidelines to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and community.

    Visit us online if you need help with your dental care needs.

  • What Are Dental Implants?

    Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that provide a permanent base for fixed, replacement teeth. Compared to dentures, bridges and crowns, dental implants are a popular and effective long-term solution for people who suffer from missing teeth, failing teeth or chronic dental problems. Because they fit, feel and function like natural teeth, dental implants are quickly becoming a new standard in tooth replacement. Continue reading What Are Dental Implants?

  • PRP Blood Facial Benefits

    Why would anyone want to have their own blood applied to their face? A PRP Blood Facial benefits your skin by using your own blood to prepare a solution of your very own concentrated platelets and tissue building elements (Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP). The PRP Blood Facial benefits collagen and elastin fiber growth, which makes your skin smoother and all around clearer. It’s gotten so popular that this treatment is our most requested service. Continue reading PRP Blood Facial Benefits

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