Overcoming Your Fear of Seeing the Dentist

Overcoming Your Fear of Seeing the Dentist Wimmer Dental DenverHere at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, we want to help you with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. We understand that while it is generally not a fun experience, it is necessary for good mouth health. Ultimately, avoiding your dentist makes the situation worse because you will increase your chances of needing more work done. We have put together a few tips to help make your visits to the dentist better.

Lack of Control

One of the primary reasons people do not enjoy the dentist is a lack of control. You are in a chair in a prone position and there is a person with their hands in your mouth. This prevents you from speaking and generally results in a strong feeling of a lack of control. Additionally, our mouth is primary to our survival. We need our mouths the breath, eat, and drink. In general, our deepest instincts direct us to avoid letting people touch inside our mouths. It is understandable then that many people don’t really enjoy visiting the dentist.

The Tools

The tools required for fillings, crowns and more do not necessarily help with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. Sharp metal instruments do not generally inspire a sense of calm and needles are a major source of fear for a number of people. Additionally, the whirring and clicking noises are not calming. Unfortunately, there are a number of sources of a fear response at the dentist’s office.

The First Step

If going to the dentist is a bit like pulling teeth, for either you or a loved one, starting by admitting there is a problem is helpful. A number people make excuses and come up with reasons why they can’t make it to the dentist. Admitting that fear of the dentist is a problem will help you better come to terms with potential solutions. It is also helpful to identify what the exact issue is. Is it the needles? Have you had a bad dental experience before? Is it the chair? Pinpointing your exact fears will help you better determine effective strategies for addressing your issues.

Find a Good Dentist

Finding a good dentist can help alleviate the fear of a botched dental experience. You can ask family or friends for recommendations and you can look for dentists who are concerned with their patient’s comfort and are willing to address dental anxiety. Additionally, finding a dentist with a sense of humor may be helpful. A study found that use of humor in a dentist’s office does have a positive effect on the level of fear for dental patients.

If you need a caring professional who can help with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist, contact us here at Wimmer Dental for a consultation. 

Use Distraction

Maybe your issue is the sounds of the drills and suction. Finding ways to take your focus away from the noise may be helpful. You could consider wearing noise-canceling headphones or earplugs as a way to help reduce or eliminate the disturbing sounds. A number of dental offices now offer movies or television programs that you can watch on screens on the ceiling as a way to provide a distraction. You can also bring earbuds and your iPod or phone so that you can listen to music instead of the drills.

Relaxation Techniques can be Helpful

There are a number of relaxation techniques that can be very useful in being less anxious and overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. Meditation can be a helpful way to deal with dental anxiety. Visualizations, prayer, and controlled breathing can also be effective. All of these offer some method for helping you control your level of stress and fear at the dentist’s office. If these don’t work, you can also ask about sedation dentistry.

Pay Attention to Your Gut Feeling

Sometimes the relationship between you and your dentist is not a good one. It doesn’t mean your dentist is not effective, just that they may not be the best dentist for you. A positive relationship with your dentist and their staff is important to helping you overcome your dental fears. If you feel like the dentist or the staff is not the best fit, it may be helpful to try a different dentist office. A number of offices these days are putting forth extra effort to attract patients who are fearful of going to the dentist. Trying a different office may be a good strategy for finding a good dentist near you.

Slow Dental Work is Better Than None

Instead of trying to get all your dental work done in a short period of time, you may be better served by shorter appointments over a longer period of time. A little treatment is better than no treatment because as we all know ignoring a problem is rarely an effective method of making something better. Small amounts of repeated, successful exposure can be effective in diminishing your dental anxiety.

Good Preventive Care will Help

Good dental habits will help you with having to have painful work done in the first place. Brushing your teeth well, flossing daily, and eating a good diet will help you avoid having to have some of the dental work that causes you anxiety. Prevention can be a great way to need easier visits and help you with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist.

Talk to Your Dentist

Open and honest communication with your dentist will help your high anxiety. Your dentist may have additional helpful tips for dealing with your fears. It will also help your dentist be more mindful of your situation. Keeping your dentist informed is a good way to avoid inadvertent anxiety-causing situations.

Overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist can be done with a little patience and determination. If you need a dentist that will help you with your dental anxiety, contact us at Wimmer Dental, serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We provide a positive atmosphere for our patients and will help you address your dental fears while taking excellent care of your teeth.

Get to Know Dental Implants

Get to Know Dental Implants Wimmer Dental DenverHere at Wimmer Dental, serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, we want you to get to know dental implants. This option can be a very natural looking solution to certain dental issues, and they can be so real looking and feeling that many people forget they even have them. Dental implants can be an excellent and long-lasting way to improve your smile.

What is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants position a synthetic tooth root in a patient’s jaw. This root will be set so that it can hold either a bridge or a replacement tooth. Depending on the number of implants that will be done, a session can be completed in as little as an hour or it can take a few hours. In some cases, the implants may be done over multiple visits.

Dental Implant History

Long before today’s version of dental implants, ancient civilizations performed the first dental implants. Mayans actually were the first to try a version of these procedures. They would use tooth-shaped shells and would insert them into their jaws and gums to allow the jawbone to grow around the pieces to provide sufficient support.

The Modern Implant

Once you get to know dental implants, you’ll see that we’ve come a long way over the years. The modern implant can be a long-lasting solution for your dental issues. At some point though, the implant may wear down and a replacement may be necessary. The average span of dental implants is 10 years. The great thing is that implants can be replaced without needing additional oral surgery. Sometimes, with regular dental care and check-ups, your implant can actually last a lifetime.

Dental implants are often cylindrical shaped posts. They’re made of medical-grade titanium because of the material’s durability and strength. Often the implant is attached to a patient’s jawbone during a surgical procedure. The patient usually receives a regional anesthetic and sedation. Following the surgery, the site of the implants is given time to heal and the implant is given time to fuse with the patient’s jawbone.

Generally, dental implants have three parts to them. The first part is the implant which is kind of like a screw that permanently attaches to your jaw. The second part is the abutment which is like a connector. It is permanent but removable by your dentist. The abutment is what holds the tooth or teeth that are being put into place. The third part is the crown which is the part that looks like a tooth or teeth. This part is generally made out of porcelain or zirconium to provide a durable but natural look.

If you think implants would be a good solution for your dental issues, contact us at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, and get to know dental implants.

Endosteal Dental Implants

This is one of the most common implants. The implant is molded into the shape of a tooth’s root and is placed into a patient’s jawbone. This kind of implant can be done for one or several teeth. It can even be performed for an entire set of teeth. Endosteal implants are available in a variety of sizes allowing your dentist to choose sizes that will look the most natural in your mouth.

There are two parts to this type of implant. In the first step, the dentist creates an implant size hole. For step two, the root part of the implant is inserted into the hole. In general, it can take 3 to 6 months to recover fully from an endosteal dental implant procedure.

Plate Implants

For patients with narrow or short jawbones, this plate implants may be a more suitable choice. Plate implants involve a long flat plate inserted; the gums are closed with stitches. The jawbone and gums will grow up around the plate and the crown will be connected to the implant after recovery is complete. Recovery from plate implants can take up to 6 months.

Subperiosteal Implants

This last type of dental implant is only performed when a plate implant is not possible. Custom-made implants act as artificial jawbone and attach to the patient’s real jawbone, if possible. Subperiosteal implants are fit to rest on top of the patient’s jawbone but under the patient’s gums.

Who Benefits from Implants

Dental implants have increased in popularity over the years because they are effective, strong, and durable. After recovery, people with implants have no lists of food to avoid. This is a clear benefit over options like dentures. The people who may find that implants are a great option include the following:

  • Patients with missing or damaged teeth. Dental implant procedures can help improve a patient’s smile. The effect can be natural and healthy looking.
  • Patients who may need to have one or more teeth pulled because the tooth is failing.
  • Patients who are dissatisfied with their smile.

Possible Problems

A patient may not be a candidate for an implant if their jawbone is in poor condition or if the patient’s oral health is too poor. Your dentist will provide information for you about what options would be most suitable for your specific situation.

Once you get to know dental implants, you’ll see that it’s like any other kind of surgery. It comes with a risk of infection. Some patients may experience rejection which is when the body treats the implant like a foreign object. In rare cases, the implant may fail.

Your dentist or oral surgeon can discuss the potential risks of having dental implants. Overall, most patients enjoy having dental implants and are pleased with the end result. This is part of the reason implants have grown in popularity and use.

Cost

The cost of an implant procedure will vary depending on your situation and your insurance. Discuss your options with our office to determine what the cost may be for you.

You can get to know dental implants by contacting us for an appointment here at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We can help you determine if dental implants would be the right solution to improve your smile and correct the oral health issue you may be experiencing.

All About Botox and Dermal Fillers

All About Botox and Dermal Fillers Wimmer Dental DenverAt Wimmer Dental in Centennial, we want to share all about Botox and dermal fillers. Wrinkle treatment options are on the rise and are more widely available now more than ever before. You can get treatments over-the-counter and now many healthcare providers, like our own Wimmer Dental, offer treatments for those who want longer-lasting options. Botox and dermal fillers are two of these longer-lasting options.

Both Botox and dermal fillers are used to treat facial wrinkles. Both also are administered via injections, often in multiple locations. Though they are similar, they are not the same and they are not used in the same ways. So let’s talk all about Botox and dermal fillers.

Botox

Botox is a kind of muscle relaxer that is made from bacteria, called botulinum toxin type A. It has been available for over twenty years. It has been used as a treatment for neurological disorders that result in muscle weakness as well as for migraines. Botox is also used to treat other medical issues.

When Botox is used for treating wrinkles and it is usually used on dynamic wrinkles. These are the wrinkles that occur as a result of using your facial muscles to form expressions. Such wrinkles are usually located around your eyes and mouth. They are also found between your eyebrows. As people age, these dynamic wrinkles become more pronounced and can result in people feeling like they look tired or grumpy all the time. Botox relaxes the dynamic muscles so they don’t move and this reduces the dynamic wrinkles in your face.

Botox is not used for wrinkles caused by the breakdown of collagen. Here at Wimmer Dental serving the Centennial and Littleton areas, we inject Botox into the muscles that are responsible for those dynamic wrinkles you would like treated. The whole process is very quick and within two weeks you will see a noticeable difference.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are primarily used for smile lines, but can also be used to plump up areas of the face and lips. Sometimes they can be used to reduce the appearance of scarring. Dermal fillers are not approved for use on other parts of the body. Some of the dermal fillers available include:

  • Calcium hydroxylapatite
  • Collagen
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Poly-L-lactic acid
  • Polymethylmethacrylate beads

Botox Effectiveness

Botox injections are very effective and the side effects are minimal. The most common side effects, such as bruising, disappear after a short period of time, sometimes only a couple days. Results are clear within a week or sometimes a little bit longer. There are a few medications that interfere with the effectiveness of Botox. You should consult with your provider for information on side effects, contraindications, as well as any questions you have.

Botox treatments last for approximately 3 to 4 months. To maintain the improvements of the treatments, you will need to have repeated sessions.

Dermal Filler Effectiveness

Dermal fillers are also highly effective and severe side effects are rare. Each dermal filler lasts for a different length of time and is made of different materials.

  • Calcium hydroxylapatite can last up to approximately 18 months and is composed of a temporary gel substance
  • Collagen can last four months.
  • Hyaluronic acid can last as long as 12 months, though some patients need maintenance after six months.
  • Poly-L-lactic acid is a man-made material that lasts for approximately two years though there are some reports of longer periods.
  • Polymethylmethacrylate beads is a permanent dermal filler.

With some dermal fillers, an allergy test may be recommended to ensure that the treatment will be safe for you. Your provider will have recommendations to minimize any common side effects. Be sure to discuss which treatment may be best for your situation and be sure to ask questions.

Side Effects

Both Botox and dermal fillers have side effects. The most common side effects are swelling and bruising. For each product, there are different potential side effects that you should discuss with your provider.

Costs

The costs for Botox and dermal fillers vary. Insurance companies generally will not cover these sorts of treatments. Some providers will work with you on a payment plan or financing. You should discuss the possibility of these options with your provider if you need them.

Time

These procedures do not take very long, most of them only last a few minutes. You may need to have a consultation appointment first and possibly a follow-up appointment to ensure you are pleased with the results. Some offices may not require multiple appointments, so this may vary by provider. Overall, Botox and dermal fillers do not take much time and can have great results.

Results

The overwhelming majority of patients are pleased with the results of the Botox and dermal filler treatments. Many patients enjoy feeling younger and more youthful as a result of their treatments. Given the minimal side effects and how pleased patients are with the outcome, this explains why these procedures have been in use for so many years.

Questions to Consider

When discussing potential Botox or dermal filler injections, here are some questions you may want to explore with your provider:

  • How satisfied have your previous patients been?
  • What qualifications do you have?
  • Do you have any examples and pictures of before and after to show me?
  • What after-care will I need?
  • What products do you use and recommend and why?
  • What are the potential side effects?
  • Are there any conditions that would preclude me from using your available products?

It is important to be sure that you and your provider have a clear understanding of your treatment plan and that any concerns you may have are fully addressed ahead of your chosen treatment.

If you are interested in Botox or dermal fillers, contact us at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We know all about Botox and dermal fillers. We can discuss your needs and expectations to determine the best options for you.

About TMJ and Its Causes

About TMJ and Its Causes Wimmer Dental DenverHere at Wimmer Dental in Centennial, we want to share a little about TMJ and its causes. A lot of people suffer from TMJ or TMD. If you are experiencing facial or jaw pain, perhaps a toothache or issues chewing, you may be wondering whether you have TMJ or TMD.

On either side of your head, there are temporomandibular joints (TMJ). These joints work in conjunction with your ligaments, muscles, and bones. All together, they are what enables you to speak, eat, yawn, chew, and more. Often mistakenly called TMJ, temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are conditions that can cause your temporomandibulars to stop working properly.

TMD Causes

According to the American Dental Association over 15% of Americans suffer from TMD that cause chronic facial pain, headaches, earaches, and jaw pain. TMD can be a temporary issue for some but for others, the condition can be long-lasting. Women tend to suffer from TMD more frequently than men. The cause is not clear, though many dentists think that problems stem from the jaw joint or the surrounding muscles. Additionally, TMJ issues are associated with the following:

  • Clenching or grinding teeth
  • Stress, particularly if you clench your jaw or teeth as a result
  • Dislocation of the ball and socket disc
  • Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis of the TM joints
  • Jaw, head, or neck injuries

 

Diagnosing TMD

To determine whether you have TMD, your dentist will check your jaw and your bite. You will be examined for jaw tenderness or locking of your jaw. Your dentist may also check for clicking or popping noises which may also be an indication of a TMD. Your dentist may also need to take x-rays. If warranted, you may be referred to an oral surgeon to be treated.

Symptoms

If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you should see our dentist at Matthew Wimmer Dental serving the Centennial and Littleton areas.

  • Neck, shoulder, or facial pain when you chew, talk, or open your mouth
  • Trouble or difficulty opening your mouth fully and easily
  • Jaw locking
  • Grating, popping, or clicking sounds when you open or close your mouth
  • Problems when you chew or issues when you bite
  • Facial swelling, particularly on the sides of your face
  • Headache, toothaches, or neck pain
  • Hearing loss, dizziness, or earaches

 

Treatment Options

Your dentist will have recommendations for your TMD that may vary based on your situation. You may need to wear a night guard or a splint. Your bite may need correction or you may have specific teeth that need to be treated. You may be encouraged to eat softer foods, avoid chewing gum, and limit your stress over situations that may prompt you to clench your jaw. Surgery may also be needed, but it should only be a last resort.

Now that you know about TMJ and its causes, contact us here at Wimmer Dental in Centennial to make an appointment. If you are concerned about a potential TMD problem, let us take a look and determine the best course of action to provide you with relief.

Save Money with End of Year Dentistry

Save Money with End of Year Dentistry Wimmer Dental DenverDid you know that you can save money with end of year dentistry? We here at Wimmer Dental in Centennial want you to know how to save some money and get the most out of your dental benefits. So, don’t hesitate to make your appointment right away!

It is a simple thing. Use as much of your dental benefits as possible, before the end of your benefit year, to save yourself possibly hundreds of dollars on preventative treatments and more. If your dental insurance runs on a calendar year, the end of the year is a great time to take advantage of savings before the year runs out.

Here are the basics of how to save money with end of year dentistry.

Annual Maximum

There is an amount, called the annual or yearly maximum, which is the most your dental insurance will pay for your dental work in one year. The yearly maximum is reset at the beginning of every year (usually on January 1st) and is often around $1,000 (on average). Any unused benefits do not roll forward to the next year so using up your benefits is a great way to make the most of the dental insurance you have.

Your Deductible

Your deductible is the amount of money your insurance requires you to pay before your insurance will cover some of your dental needs. The fee varies from insurance company to insurance company. If your dentist is not a network dentist, your deductible is likely to be higher. Your deductible will also start over at the beginning of the year, so it is best to get whatever work done before the deductible resets. The average deductible can be as low as $50, though yours may be much higher or lower.

Premiums

You pay an amount every month to your insurance company. This is called a premium. Your premium will frequently cover a certain number of dental cleanings every year, as well as other treatments. If a treatment is provided as part of your benefits, it is to your advantage to use them, otherwise, you’re paying premiums and getting nothing in return.

Fee Increases

At the beginning of the year, it’s not unusual for your insurance premiums to increase or your benefits decrease. Even your annual maximum may change. Taking advantage of work before the year is over will frequently save you money because the amount you’ll pay out of pocket will typically be lower.

Your Small Problem Can Grow

Waiting to get dental work done risks needing more serious work. Frequently, cavities and other problems get worse with time, making them more expensive to treat. Don’t wait to take care of your dental issues. It truly will save you money.

Save money with end of year dentistry here at Wimmer Dental in Centennial. Use your benefits before the year is over and get your dental issues cared for now. If you need dental work done, call us for an appointment. We will help your mouth feel better and use your benefits before the year is out. It is a great way to save money.

What You Need to Know About Dermal Fillers

What You Need to Know About Dermal FillersHere 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.

What is Dental Scaling and Root Planing?

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.

The Procedure

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.

Risks

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.

Maintenance

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.

Oral Surgery and What to Expect

Oral Surgery and What to ExpectHere 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.

Preliminary Appointments

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.

Aftercare

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.

Healing Time

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.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

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.

The Basics

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.

Some Trends

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.

Inlays/Onlays

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.

Composite Bonding

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.

Whitening Teeth

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.

Veneers

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.

Implants

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.

Full Reconstruction

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.

What’s the Better Choice, Dental Bridge or Implant?

What's the Better Choice, Dental Bridge or ImplantSometimes, 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 Process

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.

Risks

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.

Time

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.

Cost

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.