Our Current Blog Articles
September 15, 2017
What You Need to Know About Dermal Fillers
Here at Wimmer Dental in Centennial, our expertise goes beyond dentistry. Today, let’s talk about what you need to know about dermal fillers. If you are interested in refreshing your appearance or smoothing out wrinkles, dermal fillers may be the right option for you.
Why Consider Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are used to alleviate a number of concerns related to the appearance of aging. Here are some of the issues dermal fillers can potentially improve:
- Dermal fillers can add volume and smooth out your nasolabial folds, those deep creases that run from your nose to your mouth (also known as laugh lines).
- They can add volume to your lips and smooth the lines that tend to appear around the edges of aging lips.
- Dermal fillers can enhance the shape of your cheeks which can assist in making you look younger.
- If you have hollow areas under your eyes, they can fill them out to help make you look more alert.
- They can make indented scars (from chicken pox or acne) less prominent and even out your skin’s surface.
- If areas of your face seem a little gaunt from fat pads shifting, such as in your lower cheeks or temples, dermal fillers can increase the volume.
What are Dermal Fillers and How are They Different than Botox?
Dermal fillers are FDA approved materials, either synthetic or naturally derived, that are injected into the skin. The purpose of using dermal fillers is to plump up the injection area to smooth wrinkles, depressions, or folds. The effects of dermal fillers can last as long as six months and up to two years, though this varies depending on the type of dermal filler used. There are also fillers that are considered semi-permanent or permanent. Those fillers can last as long as five years, with some reports of even longer periods of time.
What you need to know about dermal fillers is that they are not the same as Botox which is frequently used around the forehead and eyes to relax muscle movements and prevent muscle movement that results in wrinkles. Botox is also used to alleviate TMJ issues. Botox does not produce the plumping effect of dermal fillers. Often, patients of Wimmer Dental will opt to have both dermal fillers and Botox injected in different locations to help their face look remarkably younger.
Natural Dermal Fillers
Naturally derived dermal fillers, such as hyaluronic acid, are considered lower risk because these fillers breakdown in the body over time and are absorbed. Naturally derived dermal fillers also have a better track record when it comes to allergic reactions, but what you need to know about dermal fillers is that allergic reactions still do still occur.
Naturally derived dermal fillers do not last as long as synthetic fillers. Some can last as little as three months, while others can last as long as 18 months. Naturally derived dermal fillers will require follow-up injections to maintain the results, sometimes more than once a year. They also come with the risk of migration and lumping, in addition to allergic reactions, though these reactions are generally fairly rare. Plus, if you experience any reactions, they typically dissipate as the substance is absorbed into the body. So any issues are not really permanent, generally lasting only as long as the filler is expected to last.
Synthetic Dermal Fillers
The main benefit of synthetic dermal fillers is that they last longer. They are considered semi-permanent. Some people refer to them as permanent though, because the substances don’t really dissipate. The wrinkles return only because your face continues to age and suffer damage by sun exposure. Synthetic dermal fillers have the same risks of migration, lumping, and allergic reaction. The only problem is that because synthetic dermal fillers are permanent additions to your body, the potential risks can be permanent as well. It is possible to correct unwanted results, but it can be difficult.
Dermal Filler Risks
As mentioned above, the risks of fillers are lumping and migration. Dermal fillers can also cause light bruising. The downside to getting fillers can be how long they last (or don’t). Different fillers interact with the skin differently and there are a number of different injection techniques, some which work better with specific fillers. Some fillers work best in specific injection areas as well. Be sure that any questions or concerns you have are addressed prior to your treatment, and we will provide what you need to know about dermal fillers.
Is There a Dermal Filler that is Considered the Best?
There really isn’t one dermal filler that is considered to be better than others, despite what you may have heard. They all share similar risks (though thankfully, those risks are pretty rare). If you are interested in getting dermal fillers, you can contact us at Wimmer Dental in Centennial for a consultation. We can talk through your questions about different dermal fillers and botox to determine what may be the best option to achieve the results you want.
When to Consider Dermal Fillers
There is not really a best time to get dermal fillers. If you want to have a dermal filler procedure prior to a special occasion, we recommend getting it done a few weeks prior, just in case you experience mild bruising. Dermal fillers can solve some annoying skins issues beyond what even a great skincare product is capable of accomplishing. It is important to recognize that even with great skincare products and a solid skincare regimen, gravity, sun exposure, muscle movement, age, and fat loss will all change how your face ages. Dermal fillers can help you reverse some of the changes that time brings.
Now that we’ve covered what you need to know about dermal fillers, contact us at Wimmer Dental in Centennial if you are interested in a procedure. We can help you determine the best course of action to achieve the appearance improvements you desire. We can help you with any wrinkles or age effects that you’re not excited to see in the mirror.
August 14, 2017
What is Dental Scaling and Root Planing?
What is dental scaling and root planing? Here at Wimmer Dental in Centennial, we use this type of cleaning for those patients who may have symptoms of gum disease. If you have ever had your teeth cleaned by a hygienist, you probably know that routine professional cleaning involves scaling the gumline and your teeth to remove tartar and plaque. Your hygienist will also polish your teeth to smooth your teeth’s surfaces and remove stains. A planing and scaling treatment, on the other hand, is a deeper form of cleaning when you need more than your regular cleaning.
When is the Scaling and Planing Procedure Used?
When your teeth and gums are healthy, your gum tissue fits closely to each tooth. When plaque and tartar build up under the gums and around your teeth, the tissue that should cling to your teeth starts to loosen and periodontal disease begins to develop. This allows deep pockets to forms in your gums.
A healthy gumline will only have 1 to 3-millimeter depths when measured by your hygienist. Your gumline measurements will start to exceed 4 millimeters if there’s an issue. Other symptoms of gum disease include bad breath and heavy tartar, in addition to the deeper gumline measurements.
So, what is dental scaling and root planing? Performed by your hygienist or by your dentist, this deep cleaning treatment often takes more than one appointment to complete. The heavier your gum disease, the more appointments you may need. The procedure can be a bit uncomfortable so often a general anesthetic is used.
The first part of the procedure includes scaling all plaque, tartar and bacterial toxins from your teeth and root surfaces. The scaling removes as much of the problematic material as possible. Once it is removed, your roots and gums are planed, or smoothed. Smooth surfaces on your roots and gums are a deterrent to bacterial growth. Tartar and plaque have no place to adhere to your gumline. Ideally, the lack of plaque and bacteria allow your gums to reattach firmly and heal.
Following the Procedure
You will need at least one follow-up appointment to ensure that your gums are healing as expected from the scaling and root planing. Your hygienist or dentist will want to re-check your gumline pockets and inspect your mouth for any issues. In many cases, the good news will be that your gums are recovering nicely and are now firmer and pinker than they were before the procedure.
The amount of bleeding gums should be much more reduced and your gumline pockets should be smaller when measured. If your gums and teeth responded well to the treatment, you may need no additional treatments other than your regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings. You should follow the recommendation offered by your dentist or hygienist. They know best what course to take to keep your mouth healthy.
The planing and scaling treatment is not entirely risk-free. Scaling and root planing can cause harmful bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Your gums can also get infected following your procedure. Your dentist or hygienist may recommend taking antibiotics before and/or after the root planing and scaling procedure, particularly if you have any health conditions that increase your risk of a serious infection.
Examples of health conditions that may increase your risk of infection include heart problems, weakened or suppressed immune systems, or anyone who has recently experienced a major surgery. If you have such a health condition, be sure to share your condition or conditions with your dentist or hygienist. It is important that your overall health is taken into account when formulating a treatment plan for your teeth and gums.
Serious Periodontal Conditions
One or more scaling and planing visits, on the other hand, may not solve more serious periodontal conditions. In such cases, surgical intervention may be required to stop bone loss and halt the advance of the periodontal disease. A scaling and planing procedure is often used first though, to lessen the amount of surgery. Your dentist will make a plan to determine the best course of action for your situation.
Following a treatment for periodontal disease, whether it was planing and scaling and/or surgery, you may need more frequent maintenance and cleaning visits. Sometimes, your dentist will schedule you for check-ups every two months, or possibly every four months, or more.
Do not be alarmed if you need to visit your dentist more frequently. This is just to ensure that the treatment you received does not need to be repeated and that your gums remain healthy. Frequent follow-up visits allow for any remaining or reoccurring issues to be spotted and treated before a more serious issues develop. Frequent visits are a useful way to avoid needing surgery.
Prevention of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease can be quite sneaky. Sometimes you have little to no warning prior to experiencing a major gum issue. Regular check-ups and cleanings can help avoid gum disease. Prevention starts with a solid mouth care routine which should include the following:
- Brushing twice a day with a good toothbrush and toothpaste. Fluoridated toothpaste is generally recommended. Electric toothbrushes can be especially effective.
- Replace your toothbrush if the bristles are worn or misshapen. Regardless of its condition, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
- Floss daily to remove food from in between your teeth, crowns, implants, or bridge work. Though some recent studies indicate flossing may not be necessary, our experience is that flossing encourages better oral health.
- If you smoke, try to quit. Smoking slows healing. Smokers have a higher propensity for oral health issues. Quitting can improve your oral and overall health very quickly.
What is dental scaling and root planing? Knowing more about how this procedure can benefit you and treat your gum disease is worthwhile. If you have symptoms of potential periodontal disease, call us here at Wimmer Dental in Centennial. We can help you get your mouth back to a healthy happy and healthy state.
July 18, 2017
Oral Surgery and What to Expect
Here at Wimmer Dental in Centennial, we want you to know more about oral surgery and what to expect, especially if you require this type of care in the future. Oral surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure, using either a local or general anesthetic. Since it is an outpatient procedure, you will be able to go home shortly after the procedure is completed, as long as your doctor approves.
A Little History
Oral surgeries first occurred in the U.S. during the Civil War. Both Union and Confederate dentists attempted facial reconstruction on injured soldiers. These were some of the first successful oral surgeries. In the 19th century, horses were the first veterinary oral surgeries and in the 20th century, veterinary oral surgeries expanded to other animals. Today’s oral surgeries can address a wide range of issues from facial reconstruction to tumors to wisdom tooth extractions.
When is Oral Surgery Used?
Oral surgeries are often used for root canals and tooth removals, but they can also be used for cleft palates and benign tumor removal. Oral surgeries are often used as a part of facial reconstructions and other cosmetic surgeries. Some of the more complicated surgeries can be quite costly, so it is good to know that such costs can be covered by a combination of dental and health insurance, depending on your coverage and your situation.
Oral surgery is also used to correct severe overbites and TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) relief. It can also be used for bridges, jaw reconstruction, and dental implants. Talk to a dentist, such as one of our dentists at Matthew Wimmer Dental in Centennial to figure out whether oral surgery would be the best option for you.
As with any procedure, you should have a few preliminary appointments. This is the best time to be sure that any questions or concerns you have are addressed. If you have more than a couple questions, it may be a good idea to make a list to be sure that you don’t forget any issues and to ensure all your concerns are addressed.
Preparing Your Home
When it comes to oral surgery and what to expect, downtime is inevitable. Since you will spend your recovery at home, it will be important to make your recovery time easy. You may need to spend a great deal of your time in bed and so extra pillows and entertainment options may be in order. You may want to gather some magazines, books, or other entertainment to keep you from being bored when you are not sleeping. You may spend a great deal of time sleeping though, so don’t plan to get anything done. Your body needs to sleep when it is recovering.
Before Your Surgery
Be sure you have arranged transportation to and from your oral surgery appointment. You should not attempt to drive following your oral surgery because anesthesia can impair your driving abilities. You will be required to fast prior to your surgery, the number of hours may vary depending on your procedure. You should follow your surgeon’s directions. If you are diabetic or on any medication, be sure to address what you should do with your surgeon.
Stick to Soft Foods
Following oral surgery, you will need to eat soft food to avoid problems with your surgical site. Soups and yogurt are great options because they can be rich sources of vitamins and are soft. Immediately after surgery, you should make sure your food and drinks are not hot. The anesthetic can mask pain for a while after, so you may not be able to tell if you are burning your mouth.
Alcohol and drinking with a straw should be avoided for at least 24 hours, depending on your surgery. Crunchy and hard foods, like pretzels and popcorn, may also need to be avoided for 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the kind of oral surgery you had. No smoking while you are recovering because the suction of inhaling can cause damage and bleeding. It will be important to follow the recovery instructions provided by your oral surgeon, to ensure the best recovery possible.
Following oral surgery, you may experience swelling. Using an ice pack for up to 15 minutes, followed by at least 15 minutes of rest can help minimize and reduce such swelling. Some ice packs should not be used directly on your skin, so be sure to avoid direct contact if needed. Rinsing with salt water can help speed your recovery, depending on the type of oral surgery. You may be directed to rinse your mouth with salt water 3 or more times a day and following meals to help your healing. Again, be sure to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your oral surgeon.
Swelling and discomfort are generally greatly reduced after the first 48 hours. This will be the time you should spend mostly in bed. Strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided. After the initial 48 hours, the longer portion of your healing will differ depending on the type of oral surgery.
For oral surgery and what to expect, common procedures such as wisdom tooth extractions are generally healed in one or two weeks. On the other hand, some jaw surgeries may heal in a month or more. The healing is dependent on the kind of surgery involved. The more invasive the surgery, the longer the healing time will be. Your oral surgeon is best able to determine the correct healing schedule to expect.
Speed Your Recovery
The best way to recover quickly is to follow the care instructions from your doctor as closely as possible. The better you are with following the instructions, the quicker your healing will be complete. Keep in mind, that as with any procedure, individuals may experience differing speeds of recovery depending on their individual circumstances, but generally, you can expect faster healing if you take good care of yourself and your surgical site.
Now that you know more about oral surgery and what to expect, you have a basic understanding of the process. If you think you may need oral surgery or are in need of a consultation, contact us here at Matthew Wimmer Dental in Centennial.
June 13, 2017
What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
What is cosmetic dentistry? At Wimmer Dental in Centennial, we want you to understand more about cosmetic dentistry so that you know whether there may be treatments available that would benefit you. There are a number of different cosmetic procedures that could improve almost any smile and restore your confidence.
Traditional dentistry focuses on oral disease prevention and treatment. It also improves your oral hygiene and general condition of your teeth. Traditional dentistry is focused on necessary treatments for your oral health. Cosmetic dentistry, on the other hand, focuses on improving your smile—its appearance, the look of your mouth and teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is elective and focused on making you happier with the appearance of your smile.
Restoring Your Teeth
Some of the primary cosmetic treatments that many people take advantage of are restorative in nature. For example, people usually get fillings to treat cavities or decaying teeth. Previously, the materials used for these fillings included amalgam, gold, and other material that left dark spots on the teeth. Today’s fillings can consist of composite materials or porcelain that matches the color of your teeth. This makes these types of fillings cosmetic. The material used is unnecessary for the repair but improves the appearance of your smile because it is cosmetic.
There have been a number of technological advances in both traditional and cosmetic dentistry. In general, dentists are trying to conserve more of a person’s original tooth structure in any treatment. This is considered to better for your teeth, gums, and mouth in the long run.
Many of the cosmetic treatments available have materials that are more durable and better looking for your smile. Cosmetic dentists often have laser treatments available, which can make cosmetic treatments less painful and reduce recovery time. This also allows for procedures to be done without having to be referred to a specialist.
In cosmetic dentistry, inlays and onlays are also referred to as indirect fillings. These are made from porcelain or composite materials and are aesthetically pleasing and long lasting way to repair tooth decay or structural damage to a tooth. It is different than a filling because inlays and onlays are created in a lab before being fitted adhesively to your tooth by your dentist.
Traditional fillings are molded into teeth during the same office visit. Inlays refer to bonding the material with the center of your tooth, while an onlay is bonding involving the tooth surface, such as on the cusp or point of a tooth.
For chipped, decayed, discolored, or broken teeth this procedure uses dental composite material during the composite bonding procedure. The material is similar to the look of enamel and dentin creating a restoration that looks like the rest of your smile. Most composite bonding only requires one visit to your dentist, though more complicated situations may need more.
Teeth whitening is frequently recommended as a basic cosmetic procedure at the dentist. Our day to day eating and drinking habits can darken our teeth. Smoking and poor oral hygiene can also cause your teeth to change color over time. Whitening or bleaching your teeth can make your smile appear brighter and whiter.
Bleaching your teeth refers to when teeth are whitened beyond their natural color and the product used must contain a type of bleach, such as carbamide peroxide. Whitening is a more generic term for any procedure that helps restore or whiten the color of your teeth. Whitening can be used to describe bleaching; however, bleaching can only be used when the procedure meets the above criteria.
Laminates that consist of porcelain or composite material are bonded adhesively to the tooth surface. This can be used to correct chips, cracks, or improve the overall appearance of a tooth. Veneers can also be used to correct gaps between teeth without braces. Veneers are also sometimes recommended when teeth have worn enamel or when the teeth are uneven.
It is important to recognize that the removal of the original natural structure of your teeth is permanent, so this is not a procedure to take lightly, though it does have positive benefits.
Dental implants are used when a root replacement is needed and/or when a tooth is missing and/or needs to be replaced entirely. Dental implants can beautifully enhance your teeth and make your smile look younger. Missing teeth can make you appear older because your face can appear slightly collapsed. Implants are an excellent remedy in such a situation. Dental implants are also used to prevent or cease jawbone loss. Implants can help improve some rather serious tooth and jaw issues.
Makeover Your Smile
A comprehensive assessment of your smile may reveal that more than one procedure is needed to produce the look you desire. When multiple procedures are involved, it is often referred to as a smile makeover. In a smile makeover evaluation, your dentist will look at different variables such as your teeth alignment and spacing, your smile’s balance, color, health, as well as the shape or your lips and teeth, and more. All of the factors are taken into consideration to figure out what procedures will give you the smile you want while improving your mouth health.
If there are functional problems with your bite, bone structure, muscles, or teeth structure, you dentist may recommend reconstruction. Reconstruction corrects these issues while improving the beauty of your smile. Often a reconstruction is recommended when there are serious issues involved. Reconstruction may require multiple serious procedures to fully address the problem(s) involved. A full mouth reconstruction makes it possible for you to get treatments that are durable and functionally sound, while looking great at the same time.
What is cosmetic dentistry? Now that you know more about the various procedures involved, give us a call at Wimmer Dental in Centennial. We can get you started with a consultation to find out more about what your want for your smile, as well as what you need to improve your overall oral health.
May 18, 2017
What's the Better Choice, Dental Bridge or Implant?
Sometimes, patients who come in to see us at Wimmer Dental in Centennial are not sure what’s the better choice, dental bridge or implant. Thanks to advances in technology, patients who have lost teeth or who may need to have a tooth pulled have more options than in the past. It is a good idea to consider all the factors before making the best choice for your situation.
The more traditional restorative dental bridge involves grinding down adjacent teeth and using them as anchors. A three-tooth bridge is created and in the process.
On the other hand, a dental implant only involves the one tooth. Dental implants are very similar to crowns. While a crown uses the original root as the base for a cap, an implant creates an artificial root as the foundation for the crown.
Implants are comprised of three parts. The implant is actually a titanium post that is screwed into the patient’s jaw. The tissues of the surrounding jawbone grow around the post, creating a stable base for the crown. An abutment is then placed over the implant protecting the gum line as the tissue continues to grow. In the last step, a permanent crown is adhered to the abutment.
Because dental implants involve surgery, there is a larger risk of complications. There is a possibility of infection at the site. The surrounding teeth can suffer as a result of the surgery or infection. There is a chance of permanent nerve damage that can numb your mouth. If the implant is done in the upper portion of your mouth, there is a risk of unexpected sinus problems. However, this risk is fairly rare these days.
The lower jaw has a higher risk of nerve damage. The actual surgery to your lower jaw is much longer in surgery time as a result, and the cost associated with lower jaw surgery is higher. Many people will opt out of an implant in their lower jaw due to these factors and the possibility of a numb chin. Additional risks for implant surgery include issues with the bone failing to fuse with the dental implant and failing bone grafts (for larger implant procedures).
The risks of a dental bridge are more minimal, but a dental bridge can still collapse if the teeth used for support are not strong enough or healthy enough. An ill-fitting bridge may also result in decay of the tooth underneath.
Healing for most implants takes longer anywhere from two months to 11 months (if a bone graft is involved), though for the most straightforward implants the healing can be completed in as little as a month. Traditional dental bridge-work, on the other hand, can take as little as two or three weeks. For some people, the length of healing time is an important consideration.
Dental implants can be costly and may not be covered by insurance or if it is covered, the rate of coverage may be lower. Bridges, being more traditional, tend to be well covered by insurance. The most costly part of an implant is not the implant itself, but the crown, which is needed for either procedure. For whatever reason, some insurance companies will not cover a crown that is being applied to an implant, but will cover one being applied for a bridge. If cost is a concern for you, thoroughly investigating what your insurance will cover will be an important part of you decision. Our staff can certainly help you sort out what’s covered by your insurance and how much your final cost will be. We also accept financing through Care Credit.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Some people must make a decision about whether to get a bridge or an implant based strictly on what option their current health will allow. While a bridge seems to work well for almost anyone as long as the surrounding teeth are in good condition, a dental implant has many more health considerations.
Children are generally not good candidates for implants because the bones in their jaws have not reached maturity. People who smoke or have weakened immune systems are not considered to be good candidates for implants. Diabetics are also generally considered unsafe candidates for implants. The best potential patients for implants have healthy jawbones that can support an implant and also have healthy adjacent teeth surrounding the implant (this can make a difference in a person’s long-term oral health).
The overall history of a patient’s oral health is often considered. Patients who have issues with their oral health may not be good candidates. An oral surgeon will often consider how well an implant may last given the patient’s oral health history. If a patient doesn’t take care of their mouth in general, it is questionable how long an implant will last in such an environment. The health history of adjacent teeth is important as well. If your adjacent teeth are missing, have crowns, or have had a root canal, you may be a better dental bridge candidate. Good bones are also an important health consideration. Having a solid oral history and bone health is particularly important for the long-term success of an implant.
What’s the better choice, dental bridge or implant? The answer will depend heavily on your situation and personal circumstances. Many people who have implants are incredibly happy in the long run. Implants can last and preserve the overall health of your other teeth. Other people opt for bridges for a multitude of very good reasons and very happy with the results in the long run.
If you still have questions, call us at Wimmer Dental in Centennial, and we can help you determine which option may be best for you given your particular circumstances. If you know which option you would prefer, we can also get you set up for a consultation for the option you have chosen to confirm whether it is the best for you and your oral health.