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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By EDWIN YEE
February 05, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dealing with tooth loss? Here’s how our Pensacola, FL, dentist can help you!

Give your smile a new leash on life when you say goodbye to your tooth loss and hello to proper dental care. Our Pensacola, FL, dentist Dr. Edwin Yee has been giving countless patients back beautiful healthy smiles after tooth loss and you could be next. Dental implants have become a popular way to replace missing teeth because they offer some unique and long-term benefits.

 

How do dental implants function?

When you break it down, a dental implant is made up of three different parts,

  • The implant: This metal post or screw, often made from titanium, is placed into the jawbone where your missing tooth once was. Implants can be placed on both the upper or lower jawbone.
  • The abutment: This component of the implant can be made from different material such as titanium or porcelain. The abutment sits on top of the implant and it’s designed to connect the implant (the part that lies within the jawbone) with the dental crown or false tooth (the part of the restoration that will be visible when you smile).
  • The false tooth: This is the part of the dental implant that sits above the gums and is visible when you smile. If you are getting a single dental implant then we will place a dental crown over the abutment to complete the restoration; however, if you are looking to replace multiple teeth several implants can be placed along the jawbone to support and hold dentures in place.

 

What goes into the implant process?

Getting implants takes time, patience, and a minor surgery performed under local anesthesia where the implant will be placed into your jawbone. After this surgery, there is a required recovery time in which the implant will naturally fuse with the jawbone. This process is called osseointegration and generally takes between three and six months. Once this fusion is complete, the abutment and false tooth will be placed on top of the implant and your smile will be complete once again!

 

Interested? Give us a call!

If you are interested in getting dental implants in Pensacola, FL, then it’s time to call our office today to schedule a consultation. Let us know that you are interested in finding out whether you are the ideal candidate for dental implants when you dial (850) 479-3355.

By Edwin Yee
December 31, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   smoking  
WhySmokingandDentalImplantsDontMix

With a 95-plus percent survival rate after ten years, dental implants are one of the most durable replacement restorations available. Implants can potentially last much longer than less expensive options, which could make them a less costly choice in the long run.

But although a rare occurrence, implants can and do fail—often in the first few months. And tobacco smokers in particular make up a sizeable portion of these failures.

The reasons stem from smoking’s effect on oral health. Inhaled smoke can actually burn the outer skin layers in the mouth and eventually damage the salivary glands, which can decrease saliva production. Among its functions, saliva provides enzymes to fight disease; it also protects tooth enamel from damaging acid attacks. A chronic “dry mouth,” on the other hand, increases the risk of disease.

The chemical nicotine in tobacco also causes problems because it constricts blood vessels in the mouth and skin. The resulting reduced blood flow inhibits the delivery of antibodies to diseased or wounded areas, and so dramatically slows the healing process. As a result, smokers can take longer than non-smokers to recover from diseases like tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, or heal after surgery.

Both the higher disease risk and slower healing can impact an implant’s ultimate success. Implant durability depends on the gradual integration between bone and the implant’s titanium metal post that naturally occurs after placement. But this crucial process can be stymied if an infection resistant to healing arises—a primary reason why smokers experience twice the number of implant failures as non-smokers.

So, what should you do if you’re a smoker and wish to consider implants?

First, for both your general and oral health, try to quit smoking before you undergo implant surgery. At the very least, stop smoking a week before implant surgery and for two weeks after to lower your infection risk. And you can further reduce your chances for failure by practicing diligent daily brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

It’s possible to have a successful experience with implants even if you do smoke. But kicking the habit will definitely improve your odds.

If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “Dental Implants & Smoking.”

By EDWIN YEE
December 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Dental Porcelain VeneersEven a healthy smile can use a little cosmetic improvement at some point. From stains and discolorations to chips, cracks, and spacing, everything from your dietary and lifestyle habits to unexpected accidents can cause functional and cosmetic damage. Dental veneers are one of the quickest, most effective and minimally invasive options available to improve a damaged smile. Dr. Edwin Yee, a dentist in Pensacola, FL, offers a range of dentistry options to help you look and feel your best under any circumstances.

Dental Veneers in Pensacola, FL

Veneers are made of a thin layer of porcelain which is bonded directly onto the surface of the tooth and adjusted to change to the size, shape, and color. A very thin layer of enamel may have to be shaved in order to ensure a smooth and natural looking fit for the veneer.

Porcelain veneers are a good cosmetic option for some of the following common dental problems:

  • Permanent stains and discolorations that can't be removed with surface teeth whitening treatments (also known as intrinsic stains, which develop at the dentin layer inside the tooth)
  • Mild to moderate chips and cracks
  • Gaps and spacing issues (if you have bite or alignment issues you may need orthodontic treatment)
  • Lengthen or reshape damaged or cosmetically unattractive teeth
  • Reinforce a tooth that has fractured or been treated with root canal therapy

With good oral hygiene and regular preventive dental care, veneers typically last for five to ten years, often much longer. Once in place, veneers are cared for just like natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing and a dental exam and professional cleaning every six months.

Find a Dentist in Pensacola, FL

For more information about dental veneers and other cosmetic and restorative dentistry options, contact our office by calling (850) 479-3355 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Yee today.

CrazyLittleThingCalledHyperdontia

The movie Bohemian Rhapsody celebrates the iconic rock band Queen and its legendary lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury. But when we see pictures of the flamboyant singer, many fans both old and new may wonder—what made Freddie’s toothy smile look the way it did? Here’s the answer: The singer was born with four extra teeth at the back of his mouth, which caused his front teeth to be pushed forward, giving him a noticeable overbite.

The presence of extra teeth—more than 20 primary (baby) teeth or 32 adult teeth—is a relatively rare condition called hyperdontia. Sometimes this condition causes no trouble, and an extra tooth (or two) isn’t even recognized until the person has an oral examination. In other situations, hyperdontia can create problems in the mouth such as crowding, malocclusion (bad bite) and periodontal disease. That’s when treatment may be recommended.

Exactly what kind of treatment is needed? There’s a different answer for each individual, but in many cases the problem can be successfully resolved with tooth extraction (removal) and orthodontic treatment (such as braces).┬áSome people may be concerned about having teeth removed, whether it’s for this problem or another issue. But in skilled hands, this procedure is routine and relatively painless.

Teeth aren’t set rigidly in the jawbone like posts in cement—they are actually held in place dynamically by a fibrous membrane called the periodontal ligament. With careful manipulation of the tooth, these fibers can be dislodged and the tooth can be easily extracted. Of course, you won’t feel this happening because extraction is done under anesthesia (often via a numbing shot). In addition, you may be given a sedative or anti-anxiety medication to help you relax during the procedure.

After extraction, some bone grafting material may be placed in the tooth socket and gauze may be applied to control bleeding; sutures (stitches) are sometimes used as well. You’ll receive instructions on medication and post-extraction care before you go home. While you will probably feel discomfort in the area right after the procedure, in a week or so the healing process will be well underway.

Sometimes, dental problems like hyperdontia need immediate treatment because they can negatively affect your overall health; at other times, the issue may be mainly cosmetic. Freddie Mercury declined treatment because he was afraid dental work might interfere with his vocal range. But the decision to change the way your smile looks is up to you; after an examination, we can help you determine what treatment options are appropriate for your own situation.

If you have questions about tooth extraction or orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Simple Tooth Extraction” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

WhyemBigBangTheoryemActressMayimBialikCouldntHaveBraces

Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”