Going All-In on All-On-Four?
Having a healthy smile that you’re proud of has a major positive impact on your self-confidence. On the flip side, poor dental health can have a major impact on your physical health, but also on your emotional health as well. When you don’t feel confident in your smile, it can be difficult to feel sure of yourself at all. Losing a singular tooth or multiple teeth makes you confront the physical and emotional issues that ensue. Thankfully, there is hope to have a full smile once more!
There are numerous kinds of dental implants that are available in the dental world today. Some implants cover a single tooth, while dental bridges cover multiple teeth. For some people, there are no viable teeth left in the mouth. Previous implant surgeries would require 6-8 different implant points in order to restore a dental arch (all of the teeth on either the upper or lower jaw). In the early 1990s, a new technique revolutionized the dental world: the All-On-Four implant was created.
What is the All-On-Four and Why is it Special?
As the name implies, the All-On-Four technique implants all of one of your dental arches (all of the teeth on either the upper or lower jaw) and it only uses four points of the implant. This significantly reduces the number of implant points needed to restore your smile. By only using 4 implant points as opposed to the previously used 6–8, it significantly reduces the amount of post-implant pain, recovery time, and risk of complications. For people who have osteoporosis or other issues where there isn’t a lot of bone material to work with, the All-On-4 technique requires no bone grafting in order to place the implants. For just 4 points of contact, you can have an entire arch of teeth put into place. While this still may be a bit uncomfortable, IV sedation is available to help with the discomfort that may be experienced.
What are the Limitations of All-On-Four?
As with any type of dental implant, there are limitations that apply to All-On-Four as well. One of the main disadvantages of the All-On-Four technique is the cost involved. In order to do the procedure, doing just one dental arch can cost upwards of 10-30 thousand dollars, varying widely by what kind of material is used. Luckily, most insurances cover a portion of the cost. Another disadvantage is that depending on the material used, dental restorations may be necessary later down the road. This could be a potential financial burden. However, most dental All-On-Four implants last well over 20 years with the potential to last a lifetime.
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. So what’s the best teeth whitening option 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 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 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.Learn More About Teeth Whitening
How To Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay
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. 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 from bacteria in the mouth, which reduces the chance for cavities.
- 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. Drinking or eating frequently throughout the day results in increased bacteria in your mouth. This 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.
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 preventions 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 overtime 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.