Kissimmee Family Dentistry

Invisalign – Your Smile in 3D

We live in a high-tech world. Technology is constantly changing and evolving, for the better! Cell phones have gone from large brick-like objects to wearable watches! We now watch movies in High Definition and 3-Dimensions, thanks to the impressive workings of computers.

“3D” derives its meaning from stereopsis, which means “solid depth” in Greek. The human eye sees everything in the world in many dimensions because objects have several angles. However, when an image is projected onto a screen, the image loses its angles and becomes “flat”. New advances in technology now mean that computers and imaging are able to imitate these planes and display an image that the h
uman eye can see as “three dimensional.”

'woman holding invisalign'It is this same level of advanced technology that allows Invisalign treatment to be totally customized to your mouth. First, we take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth, which are then inserted into a computer that creates a 3-D digital image of them. These images allow us to create a precise treatment plan completely tailored to your needs, including the exact movements of your teeth. Then we are able to approximate the length of treatment. We can even show you a virtual representation of how your teeth will move and look with each stage of the treatment. Once a treatment plan is in place, you will receive custom-made, clear aligners to take home.

Invisalign combines our clinical treatment plan with 3-D computer-generated software to make sets of unique custom-made aligners that move teeth in precise increments. Invisalign is innovative technology, based on biomechanical principles that achieve more precise and predictable tooth movement.

There are 2.6 million Invisalign patients, treated by 39.3 thousand doctors, with over 149 million unique liners! Now that’s a lot of customization!

Not all doctors are trained in Invisalign treatment, so know that you’re in good hands here at Kissimmee Family Dentistry because we offer Invisalign. Give us a call today!

High Quality H2O

Whether you’re drinking from a glass that is half-empty or half-full, drinking a glass of water is always beneficial to your health. Human beings are 60% water; so staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial for the hydration of tissue, the distribution of nutrients, and the removal of waste from your body. Not only is drinking water beneficial to your overall health, but your dental health as well!

Here are four reasons why water is the best beverage for your teeth:

1. Water keeps your mouth clean.

Water cleans your mouth with every sip! As your drink, water washes away leftover food and any residual cavity-causing bacteria. Water also reduces the pH of your mouth by diluting the acids produced by bacteria that live in your mouth. Don’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, but drinking water throughout the day will help keep your smile healthy and cavity-free.

2. Water strengthens your teeth.

'woman drinking water'Drinking water with fluoride, aka “nature’s cavity fighter”, is one of the easiest and most effective ways to fight cavities. While almost all water contains naturally-occurring fluoride, the community water systems that serve most American households adjust the level, usually by adding fluoride to achieve the right amount to reduce tooth decay. Health organizations, like the American Dental Association (ADA), say this is one of the major reasons most peope no longer need the dentures that were so common before widespread fluoridation, and studies have shown that it is why dental costs are lower and oral health problems have declined in fluoridated communities!

3. Drinking water fights dry mouth.

Saliva is the human mouth’s first defense against cavities. Saliva helps wash away residual food and coats your teeth in calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. When your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva, you run the risk for tooth decay. When your mouth is feeling dry, drink a glass of water to quench your thirst, and strengthen your teeth!

4. Water is free of calories.

Drinking sugary beverages can create a cavity-prone environment within your mouth, and can lead to weight gain. Studies show that drinking water, eight 8-ounce glasses or 8×8, can help you lose weight.

If you have questions regarding water consumption or your overall dental health, don’t hesitate to call Kissimmee Family Dentistry at Kissimmee Family Dentistry Office Phone Number 407 870-7404 today!

Learning the Lingo – Dental Implants

Dental implants are a safe and effective replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. The implant is placed in your jawbone and integrates with your natural bone. This implant then forms a stable, sturdy base for your new teeth.

What They Are

Implant: The implant itself is a rod that is screwed into the jawbone.

'dental implant and tooth'Abutment: This is the connection between the implant and the crown.

Crown: A tooth shaped cap that is attached to the abutment. It is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line.

What They’re Made Of

Titanium: Most implants are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible metal.

Zirconia: Often used for crowns and bridges and can be used as a metal-free option. Zirconia is biocompatible just like titanium.

Where They Go

Endosteal Implants: Placed in the jawbone. These implants are typically shaped like small screws, cylinders or plates, and they are the most commonly used.

Subperiosteal Implants: Placed under the gum, but on or above the jawbone. These implants are mostly for people with smaller jaws or shallow jawbones.

What Happens To Them

Osseointegration: Creates strength and durability by fusing directly to the bone and is bio-compatible. Bone cells attach themselves directly to the titanium/zirconium surface, essentially locking the implant into the jaw bone. Osseointegrated implants can then be used to support prosthetic tooth replacements of various designs and functionality. Anything from a single tooth, to all teeth in the upper and lower jaws. The teeth/crowns are usually made to match the enamel color of the existing teeth to create a natural appearance.

Bone augmentation: Some people do not have enough healthy bone to support dental implants, so bone must be built. Procedures can include bone-grafting which means adding bone to the jaw.

Talk to us today at Kissimmee Family Dentistry to discuss your options with an implant specialist!

Dental Implants 101

Whether you are missing a tooth, or at risk of losing many, dental implants may be a great solution for you. Dental implants are an increasingly popular fix for missing or dying teeth, and have many benefits.

'Dental Implants 101'What is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are high tech teeth. The root of your current tooth is removed, and replaced with a screw attached to a ‘cap’ that looks identical to a natural tooth. Many people report higher confidence and comfort after receiving their new tooth.

What’s so Great About Them?

The cool thing about implants is that if taken care of, they can last for life. Usually all that needs to be replaced, if anything, is the cap. The other great thing about implants is that they can’t die like natural teeth. You still have to clean and maintain them like your other teeth, but no roots are any longer at risk of causing that tooth to fail. In addition to that, many implants can last a lifetime!

What is the Surgical Process Like?

The process is done either all at once, or in steps. This depends on the recommendations for your particular case. The first step is to remove the root of your natural tooth, and place the implant in its place. If there is not enough bone to place the implant, we may encourage you to have bone grafting first. The gum is then stitched closed and allowed to heal. This can take five to six months. The next step is to reopen the gum and place an abutment on the implant, along with a temporary crown so you can heal while the permanent crown is made for you. You then return to get your permanent crown attached in a few weeks. In other cases, all of these steps can be done in a single visit, but it depends on your specific case.

If you have any questions, please call our office for more information, we would be glad to help!

Oral Bacteria: Get the Facts

'woman flossing teeth'We all have bacteria in our mouth, good and bad. But what exactly do these bacteria do? We’ve got all kinds of information on the role bacteria play in your oral health. Learn more about those pesky bacteria in your mouth!

Fact #1

There are anywhere between 500 and 1,000 different kinds of bacteria in our mouths.

Fact #2

Babies’ mouths are free of bacteria at birth. However, bacteria is transferred into their mouths from their mothers within hours of birth, mainly through kissing and food sharing.

Fact #3

Saliva flushes harmful bacteria out of the mouth by making it hard for bacteria to stick to the surfaces of our teeth.

Fact #4

Some foods can also flush bacteria from the teeth. Crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery stimulate the gums, while acidic fruits like apples increase saliva production to wash the teeth clean.

Fact #5

The tongue holds a significant portion of the mouth’s bacteria. It’s just as important to clean the tongue as it is to brush and floss, because bacteria on the tongue contributes to gum disease and bad breath. Try using a plastic or metal tongue scraper to clear out bacteria!

Fact #6

Hormonal changes during pregnancy put soon-to-be mothers at a higher risk of tooth erosion. Morning sickness and general hormonal changes cause acidity in the mouth to increase, which in turn erodes enamel.

Fact #7

Smoking increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Not all bacteria are bad; in fact, some are even necessary to maintain hygienic balance. However, smoking tobacco destroys helpful bacteria in the mouth, which promotes the growth of harmful oral bacteria.

Fact #8

Oral bacteria multiply in number every 4-5 hours. No wonder it’s so important to brush teeth twice a day!

Who knew something so small could have such a big impact on your oral health! Make sure to schedule regular dental exams with us to keep oral bacteria under control for a clean, healthy smile!

There’s More to Cavities!

We’re all familiar with cavities – the anxiety before going to the dentist, the satisfaction of leaving without having to return for fillings. As routine as cavity treatment seems, tooth decay, or dental caries, is more complex than we often realize. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on tooth decay and how you can prevent it!

What is tooth decay?

Dental caries, also known as tooth decay, is the bacterial destruction of the tooth’s enamel.

What causes tooth decay?

Even with an effective dental care routine, bacteria in the mouth cause plaque to form on the teeth. When the bacteria in plaque react with food in your mouth, it produces acid that wears away at the enamel.

Stages and treatments:

There is a range of treatment methods for dental caries depending on the severity of the decay:

Fillings and restorations are the most common cavity treatments. We use inlays and onlays to treat tooth decay because they’re similar to traditional fillings but are more stable and longer lasting.
Crowns are necessary if the decay goes deep enough to make the tooth weak or unstable. These tooth-colored caps are secured to the tops of damaged teeth to strengthen them and restore them to normal function.
Root canal therapy (RCT) is needed when the cavity goes deep enough to infect the pulp in the tooth. Sometimes the damage is severe enough that root canal therapy is not effective, and if retreatment is unsuccessful an apicoectomy is performed. During an apicoectomy, the infected pulp tissue is removed through the tooth’s root. Then the root tip is cut off and replaced with biocompatible material.
• If the tooth is beyond saving through one of these previously mentioned methods, extraction is the way to go. Dental implants offer a sturdy, long-lasting solution to extracted teeth to restore your smile.

 

Give us a call so you can achieve that bright, beautiful, healthy smile!

Natural Teeth Whitening

'woman cleaning mouth'How many different ways have you tried to get white, sparkly teeth? The Internet has all kinds of options, from teeth whitening strips to natural remedies like baking soda and lemon juice, or gargling apple cider vinegar. But have you heard of whitening your teeth with oil? Learn about the oil pulling method and why people are raving about this natural remedy for stained teeth!

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is the ancient Ayurvedic ritual where oils are used to detoxify the body, kill bacteria in the mouth, and whiten teeth naturally. Coconut, sesame, and olive oil are just a few popular oils used for whitening.

How to oil pull:

  1. Take a teaspoon of your preferred oil.
  2. Gently swish the oil around in your mouth for anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, swishing and pulling the oil through your teeth.
  3. Spit the oil out in a tissue and throw in the garbage (don’t spit down the sink, it will clog the drain!)
  4. Brush and floss your teeth regularly.

Oils and oral health

Oil pulling isn’t just a teeth whitening technique – it does amazing things for your overall oral health. Coconut oil and other edible oils have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that work to prevent cavities and bad breath. By removing bacteria, the oil prevents plaque buildup, which in turn strengthens gums and helps prevent gingivitis and more serious forms of gum disease (periodontitis).

Tips

  1. Don’t swallow the oil! You don’t want that bacteria from your mouth to stay in your body.
  2. Oil pulling is most effective in the morning before you eat or brush your teeth. This is because your mouth has the most bacteria when you first wake up. Plus, it can be easy to forget before bed with a busy schedule.
  3. The longer you oil pull, the more bacteria will be drawn from the mouth.
  4. Do something productive while you oil pull! It’s easy to multitask while whitening naturally: clean your room, play an instrument or kick back with a good book and let the oil work its magic!
  5. Natural teeth whitening doesn’t happen overnight: the best results occur approximately four months into your oil-pulling regimen. Keep at it!

5 Facts About Gums

'gums being checked by dentist'It’s trivia time! We’ve got some lesser-known facts about gums and oral care for you. Test your knowledge of gum health with these five facts!

Fact #1

Gum disease is caused by excessive plaque formation. We all develop plaque buildup, even with good brushing and flossing habits. This is why regular dental checkups are so important! Dental cleanings every six months clear away plaque that unavoidably starts to build up under the gum line and harden to form tartar, or calculus.

Fact #2

Gums should not bleed when you brush or floss. Many people think this is normal, but it is actually a sign of gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Although you may not want to floss if your gums are bleeding, flossing is actually the best way to treat the cause of infection and stop the progression of gum disease.

Fact #3

Excessive brushing can cause your gums to recede. For the most effective tooth brushing that won’t damage gum tissue or enamel, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and move the bristles in gentle circular motions. Avoid brushing teeth with abrasive substances.

Fact #4

Gum disease affects more than just your gums. Infected gum tissue can cause more serious problems such as tooth loss and jawbone deterioration. As bacterial growth destroys gum tissue, the gums begin to recede. This causes teeth to lose their anchor in the gum and fall out. If missing teeth are not replaced, the jawbone atrophies from underuse because it doesn’t have teeth to support.

Fact #5

Bad breath isn’t just caused by the food you eat – it can also be an indicator of your gum health. Food residue between teeth leads to bacterial growth, which in turn can cause bad breath. In the early stages of gum disease, bacteria begin to grow between the teeth and the gums, forming infected pockets that contribute to your breath.

Keep these facts in mind when you perform your daily dental care routine – they’re game changers! Give us a call to learn more about gum health and overall oral care.

Dental Implants: High Tech Teeth

Dental Implants-High Tech TeethWhat are dental implants? Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that provide a foundation for both fixed and removable replacement teeth. Like roots, dental implants are secured within the jawbone and not visible once surgically placed. Teeth replacement is not new to dental technology. Early civilizations practiced teeth replacements; archaeologists have discovered skulls where teeth have been replaced by cast iron and sea shells. Despite their primitive methods, some of these implants were fused with bone like modern dental implants! However, unlike the ancient cast iron or sea shell implants, modern implants are composed of titanium. Titanium is lightweight, strong, and biocompatible.

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device — 98%. Dental implants are available in several designs that meet individual needs: single tooth replacement, multiple tooth replacement, implant supported prosthesis (removable), and an implant stabilized denture. Aside from meeting individual needs, there are a few other advantages to having dental implants:

  1. Improved appearance. Dental implants are designed to fuse with bone, and look and feel like your natural teeth.
  2. Improved comfort. Because dental implants become an extension of your natural mouth, implants remove the discomfort associated with removable dentures.
  3. Easier eating. Dental implants act as your natural teeth, allowing you to eat without the pain and discomfort that often accompany slipping of dentures.
  4. Improved self-esteem. Dental implants give your best natural smiling, helping build self-confidence!
  5. Improved oral health. Dental implants are the only proven way to prevent bone loss after the loss of natural teeth. The jawbone needs consistent chewing action to stimulate continual bone growth. Tooth/teeth replacement with dental implants offers a solution to prevent bone loss.
  6. With proper care, consistent brushing, flossing and routine dental visits, dental implants can last 40-years to life.

If you are interested in dental implants, or have any questions regarding the procedure, call the office today!

On the Lookout for Oral Cancer

On the Lookout for Oral CancerOral cancer screenings are performed regularly at dental exams, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be paying attention to your dental hygiene between appointments. Taking matters into your own hands is the best way to maintain your oral health. Not sure how to screen for oral cancer? We’ll show you!

What is oral pathology?
This branch of dentistry involves the evaluation and treatment of diseases of the mouth. The most dangerous, but not always the most obvious, of these diseases is oral cancer.
What should I look for?
Keep an eye out for these oral cancer symptoms during your self-screenings:

  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Lumps on the tongue or lining of the mouth
  • Mouth sores that won’t heal
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Chronic throat soreness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Mouth numbness

How do I perform an oral cancer self-exam?

  1. When performing your oral cancer self-screening, be sure to check all areas of the mouth, including the roof, floor, tongue, lips, cheeks and the back of your throat.
  2. Examine your face in the mirror for abnormal asymmetry and irregularities.
  3. Feel your neck and the back of your head with your fingers to look for any bumps or changes in texture.
  4. Examine your throat by placing your fingers around your thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple) and swallowing.

How often should I perform a self-exam?
Self-exams should be performed at least once a month. Changes to your oral health can occur rapidly, so it’s important to stay on top of things. Treatment is most effective if we detect symptoms early.
Ask us about performing an oral cancer screening when you visit – we’re here to ease your mind and give you the tools you need to maintain your health!