Our Current Blog Articles
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.
April 16, 2017
What’s Considered a Dental Emergency?
Wimmer Dental in Centennial can always help when you have problems with your teeth, but sometimes it’s hard to know what’s considered a dental emergency and should be addressed right away. It helps if you know what to do if you find yourself in a dental emergency. The first thing you should do is call our office. We will assist you in resolving your emergency and getting you in to see Dr. Wimmer as soon as possible.
Loose or Repositioned Tooth
If you have a tooth that is loose or repositioned, it’s important to call us right away.
- Do your best to push the tooth back into its right position. You can press it gently with your finger, but don’t try to force it back in place.
- You can gently bite down on the tooth to keep it from moving.
- Sometimes we may need to splint the tooth to the teeth next to it to keep it stabilized.
- If the tooth is repositioned and stabilized in one hour or less, it has a much better chance of staying alive. If it takes longer than an hour you could end up losing your tooth.
A knocked-out tooth needs immediate attention. If you follow these suggestions immediately after the tooth has been knocked out, the opportunity for us to reinsert the tooth is very good.
- If the tooth has been knocked out completely, hold it by the white crown end, rinse it gently with water only, (do not wipe it or scrub it). Rinse the tooth socket with water, and place the tooth back into the socket.
- If you can't get it back in the socket, store the tooth in Hank's Balanced Salt Solution or Save-A-Tooth (available at pharmacies), milk, or saliva by keeping the tooth between your cheek and your gums, be careful not to swallow the tooth!
Chipped and Cracked Teeth
What if your tooth gets chipped but you don’t feel any pain? You should still call us, but if there is no pain there may not be anything you need to do immediately. You might be able to wait a few days to come see us. In the meantime, be careful while chewing so as not to damage your tooth anymore. We may be able to smooth the chip out or add some composite filling material to repair the tooth.
A cracked tooth is serious because there is probably damage to the inside of the tooth as well as to the outside. Sometimes the fracture is too severe for the tooth to be saved. If you crack your tooth, call us and we will get you in as soon as possible.
In the meantime:
- Clean your mouth out by gently rinsing your mouth with warm water.
- If facial trauma caused the fracture, keep a cold compress to the area to keep any swelling down.
- Take acetaminophen (not aspirin) for your pain.
- Never apply a painkiller (even Orajel) to the gum because it can burn the gum tissue.
At your appointment, we will take X-rays to diagnose the condition of your tooth. You may need a root canal if the soft tissue inside the tooth is damaged. If the pulp isn’t damaged, the tooth may just need a crown. If the tooth can’t be saved, your options may be dental implants or bridges.
Injuries Inside the Mouth
Any injuries inside the mouth to the lips, cheeks, mouth and tongue, are tissue injuries and are considered dental emergencies. Clean the area that’s injured with warm water. If your tongue is bleeding, pull it out and put pressure on the wound using gauze. Don’t take aspirin or ibuprofen which can cause increased bleeding. But you can take acetaminophen for the pain.
If your temporary crown comes off, don’t worry, it’s not an emergency. Just put it back over the tooth so that the tooth stays in place. Call us so we can get you in to see Dr. Wimmer.
A temporary crown can easily be put back onto your tooth by placing either toothpaste, Vaseline, Chapstick or even a little bit of denture adhesive into the temporary crown and putting it onto your tooth with a little bit of pressure.
Infection or Abscess
An infection or abscess in your mouth can be a very serious emergency and will need immediate care.
Most emergencies can’t be anticipated but there are a few things you can do to help prevent some of them. If you have routine checkups we can make sure your teeth are in good shape and catch any potential problems before they become an emergency. Please wear a mouthguard when you play sports. It’s really important because the mouthguard will help keep your teeth from being broken or knocked out. Avoid chewing on ice or anything hard that could break your teeth. Get a dental checkup before you travel for an extended period of time.
If you have any injuries, severe pain, or trauma to your teeth give us a call and explain your situation. Our staff at Wimmer Dental in Centennial knows what’s considered a dental emergency and we will tell you how you should address your problem. If it is an emergency, we will do everything we can to fit you into our schedule as quickly as we can. Please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer you the appropriate advice and get you an appointment. Our friendly staff will help you in any way that we can. We offer a variety of dental treatment services and our office also caters to the needs of our anxious and fearful patients, Dr. Wimmer provides oral sedation and nitrous oxide to alleviate your fears and provide a pleasant experience for your visit.
March 14, 2017
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Our dentist, Dr. Matthew Wimmer in Centennial, can answer the question, what is sedation dentistry and how can it make your dental experience more pleasant? We know that many of our patients feel anxiety or fear about going to the dentist. That’s why we do everything we can to make your feel comfortable. Let’s discuss your three options for sedation dentistry, including oral sedation, nitrous oxide, and IV sedation. We can explain what they are and how they work.
Basically, sedation dentistry, sometimes called sleep dentistry, uses medication in different forms to help you relax while you have a dental procedure or cleaning. However, patients are usually awake. According to a WebMD article, sedation dentistry can relieve your anxiety and allow you to complete needed dental procedures, anything from filling a cavity to teeth cleaning.
Sedation dentistry can also be a successful way to complete dental work for people who have a low threshold of pain, have trouble sitting in a dental chair, have a sensitive gag reflex, have sensitive teeth or need a lot of dental work done.
This option uses a prescription pill that you take at home before you come to our office.
The medication in a pill form causes drowsiness and amnesia and helps you feel relaxed. The most common medication is Halcion (triazolam). It is taken about an hour before the dental procedure. It gives a deep level of relaxation and amnesia effect. For children, the most common medication is Versed (Midazolam) which is a liquid. The medication makes you drowsy, although usually, you will still be awake.
With oral sedation, some people do sleep through their dental appointment but usually can be awakened easily. You will need to have someone else drive you to your appointment and drive you home. The effects of the oral sedation medication will wear off within one to two hours after your appointment.
Some of the advantages of oral sedation are that it’s easy to administer, you just swallow a pill or liquid, it has a low cost, the medication is safe and easy to monitor, and it works well for most patients. It’s great for standard procedures like check-ups and cleanings.
Another kind of sedation that we offer at Wimmer Dental is nitrous oxide, sometimes known as laughing gas. It is an inhaled sedation. You breathe in the nitrous oxide combined with oxygen through a mask that is placed over your nose. The gas you breathe in helps you relax while Dr. Wimmer properly controls the amount of sedation you receive.
Nitrous oxide provides you with a relaxed feeling that takes away your anxiety during your dental procedure. The gas tends to wear off quickly. Usually, only a few minutes after your dental procedure has been completed, the effects of the nitrous oxide are gone. It is still best if you have someone drive you home.
Some advantages of nitrous oxide are it works quickly, it can be controlled, it has very few side effects, you recover fast, it has flexible duration, and it’s effective.
For more intensive procedures like extractions and implants, IV sedation might be the best solution to calm their fears.
If you need a deeper relaxation, then IV moderate sedation may be your choice. With this type of sedation, medication is given to you through an IV in one of your veins, so it goes to work more quickly. The doctor can adjust your level of sedation. It will let you relax more deeply and is more controlled than with oral sedation. With IV moderate sedation, you can talk to Dr. Wimmer and will likely be awake, but you will be extremely relaxed. You might even fall asleep and may not remember the dental procedure.
Often, in addition to these types of sedations to make you feel less anxiety, Dr. Wimmer may also use a numbing medication at the procedure location to help relieve any pain or discomfort that may occur.
Children and the Elderly
If children are afraid of going to the dentist or won’t cooperate during a visit, they may benefit from sedation. Nitrous oxide has been shown to be safe for children. We make sure we follow the recommended dose for the child's age and weight.
Our older patients do very well with sedation but should always consult their regular health care provider prior to dental sedation.
Each state's dental board carefully regulates the use of sedation techniques. It’s important that the dentist is well-trained and highly qualified to administer any type of sedation. Dr. Wimmer is a member of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, The American Academy of Implant Dentistry, The International Congress of Oral Implantologists, The American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, and the Academy of General Dentistry.
Before your dental procedure, Dr. Wimmer will discuss your medical history to make sure you are an appropriate candidate for sedation and ask you about any medications you're currently taking.
These types of sedation are very safe, but there are certain people, like those who may be extremely overweight or have obstructive sleep apnea, who should talk to their doctor before using sedation. In addition, people with chronic conditions, have asthma or other respiratory conditions may want to avoid sedation unless absolutely necessary.
Our experienced dentists and highly skilled dental team will always closely monitor your level of sedation to guarantee the greatest safety possible.
Hopefully, we have answered your questions about what is sedation dentistry and if it might be right for you. Wimmer Dental Care in Centennial takes the comfort of our patients very seriously and we will do everything we can to make sure we address your anxiety and concerns. We never want to let your fear or anxiety get in the way of good dental care. Dr. Wimmer provides the option of sedation to alleviate your concerns and provide a pleasant experience for your visit. At Matthew Wimmer Dental, we help our patients get the best care possible and provide dentistry that will improve your life. Contact us today if you’d like to schedule an appointment.