Do You Have A Missing Tooth? Consider Dental Implants

It’s easy to believe we will only lose our teeth once – when our baby teeth leave us and new permanent teeth enter our mouths. But, our teeth don’t always stay for a lifetime. Life events like falling or getting hit in the mouth may result in a tooth getting knocked out. There is also the chance you may encounter dental problems, resulting in a tooth extraction. Other causes of tooth loss include poor oral hygiene (see my post on the importance of good oral health), poor habits, poor nutrition or even finances.

Losing an adult tooth impacts you greatly. People who lose teeth often keep their mouths shut and don’t smile. We already know how much this affects self-image and self-esteem. But, there are many other long-term ramifications of living day-to-day with a missing tooth.

How Your Missing Tooth Affects You

Beyond aesthetics, you may also experience the following symptoms and physical problems:

  • Speech problems
  • Diet changes and nutrition problems
  • Crooked teeth
  • Bone loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Premature aging
  • Anxiety and self-consciousness

The affects are overwhelming. This is why it is important to treat the problem as soon as possible.

Why You May Consider Dental Implants

You can closely imitate the natural look of your smile’s shape and color with dental implants. If you have a cracked or missing tooth, you can replace it with a permanent tooth, which helps to minimize gaps and avoid long-term dentures. If you are struggling with this issue, please see me. I’ll first provide a 3D x-ray so we can look deeply at the tooth, determine its condition, examine the bones and gum lines, and then discuss potential dental teeth implants.

Successful dental implants can take up to several months. We take our time to ensure proper results and follow the latest standards of dental excellence and care during dental implantation.

If dental implants aren’t right for you – and we’ll determine that together after looking at your dental history as well – other options we may need to consider include dental bridges or root canals. It largely depends on your case. And, in some instances, we opt for porcelain veneers. Veneers are normally used to cover up chipped, worn, crooked, stained or discolored teeth or to correct worn enamel.

The most important thing is that your dental situation be evaluated by a caring dentist who will help you make the right decision based on your long-term dental plans. Please contact me to set up a time for us to chat.

Why Patient Amenities are so Important to Me

Before I became a cosmetic and restorative dentist, I walked in your shoes. No matter how much I knew I needed to get my teeth cleaned and examined as a teenager and young adult, I still had a slight unsettling feeling about the experience. This is pretty common for most people when they think about dental care. It can be a frightening and uneasy visit; especially if you find out that you need additional dental work.

That’s why I want to do everything in my power to make patient visits the most enjoyable and relaxing as they can possibly be; trying my best to eliminate the fears and anxiety. Those who know me and my everyday personality know that I am soft-spoken individual and not the least bit intimidating. And, while I am very gentle, sometimes the extra – what we call amenities – benefits really help my patients calm down and relax.

We gave it a lot of thought and invested in the full patient experience. Here are some of our most popular amenities:

  • Hand warmers. Mimicking a spa-like approach, we want you to remove physical stress and tension. Heat is a great way to sooth the body.
  • Moisturizing lotions. The perfect compliment to the hand warmers!
  • Neck pillows and blackets. Because why wouldn’t you want to close your eyes and relax on a soft pillow and snuggle up under a warm blanket?
  • Personal movies. As other dental offices now offer, we like to make ours even more personal by offering our patients earphones a large video collection to choose from.

If I find that my patient is still unable to rest, I do offer oral sedation – often called sleep dentistry. This is often used for complex restorative or cosmetic procedures.

I hope these delicacies help improve your office visit. If not, Pam and I are sure to make you laugh with our fun, giggling personalities. 🙂

Hope to see you soon!

The Importance of Good Oral Health

We all know how much our smile affects our self-image and self-esteem. And even though there are ways to boost your confidence and smile, understand that more serious issues may result from poor oral hygiene.

In fact, your oral health is more important than you may even understand or realize. Here are some ways your teeth affect your body and health:

  • Although mostly harmless, your mouth is full of bacteria, which we normally keep under control with daily flossing and brushing. When we don’t maintain good oral hygiene, we run the risk of reaching levels that might lead to oral infections.
  • Since our internal body may not be self-cleaning as much as thought, research now shows that chronic dental infections can be a source of inflammation that contributes to cardiovascular disease, stroke and many other related diseases. (Dr. Thomas Connelly)
  • Sticky plaque can lead to gum disease and gingivitis and ultimately severe periodontal disease, which has been linked to diabetes, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis and even premature birth.

So, my advice? Make oral health a priority in your life. Do what you can at home with proper dental maintenance and definitely see your dentist regularly so he or she can help evaluate your dental state and make any necessary correction recommendations so you stay healthy overall.

Restorative Care

In the event you need to consider restorative care, including tooth replacements, dental teeth implants, root canals, dental crowns and bridges, don’t be alarmed. It isn’t as scary as you may think. Our dental staff will educate you on necessary procedures and minimize pain during your treatment. And, our practice offers wonderful patient amenities to help you relax.

If you have are missing teeth, have misshaped teeth, experience dental pain, have gum disease, contact me to restore your dental health and leave you with a comfortable and approachable smile.

How Your Smile Affects Your Self Image and Self Esteem

One of the first things you see when you look in the mirror and smile is your teeth. Many patients come to me with crooked, stained, chipped, crowned or even missing teeth and seek help. They simply don’t like what they see. And, although it is a cosmetic issue for most, the underlying affects go much deeper. Often low self-esteem results from a poor self-image, which can ultimately even cause depression and a decline in your overall health.

How we perceive ourselves tells a lot about our health state. Here are a few ways our teeth affect our self-image and self-esteem:

  • A missing tooth might make you more inclined to hide your smile or hesitate to speak in a public setting. It may also give you the appearance of looking older or more mature as facial features change with gap. For example, your cheeks may sink in a little.
  • Slightly irregular or crooked teeth may cause worry over the possibility of needing braces or oral surgery to fix them. Others experience social anxiety as they also avoid conversations; especially with people they do not know.
  • Children are also affected as they sometimes feel embarrassed at how their teeth may look to their friends. The possibility of being teased at school causing shyness, isolation or reluctance to participate in school activities.

How to Boost Your Confidence

Repairing your teeth can improve overall mental health. If you are experiencing issues with your teeth, first maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and eating healthy foods and vitamins. Here are some of the best foods for your teeth – so eat them – and here are some of the worst foods for your teeth – avoid them!

In some circumstances, you may also want to consider cosmetic dental care, which can include porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, orthodontics, dental bonding and cosmetic periodonitcs. Talk to your cosmetic dentist about these procedures and decide together if they are right for you.

I’ve seen first-hand how much a bright, white smile makes people feel better about themselves, boosting confidence and restoring smiles. It’s important to be serious about your dental care so you remain healthy inside and out!

Why Your Teeth Will Thank You

Many of us try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising regularly. But, did you know that your teeth benefit from eating vegetables as much as your overall body? We recently explored some of the worst foods for your teeth, but let’s now focus on the best food and drinks.

Here’s a few to help you get you started on the right path:

  • Water. We’re surrounded by it here in the Lowcountry, but are you consuming it regularly? When you drink it, acid and sugars are naturally washed off your teeth. Also, water contains flouride (did you know that?), which helps protect against tooth erosion.
  • Dairy. Cheese and milk contain calcium, which we all know helps to create a beautiful smile since it helps to protect tooth enamel.
  • Leafy vegetables. Any veggie that requires a lot of chewing like lettuce and spinach can help clean your teeth with the natural saliva that develops while munching.
  • Apples and Pears. Fruits with high water content helps to stimulate saliva flow. This ultimately helps to protect against tooth decay.
  • Strawberries. They contain a natural enamel whitener because they are loaded with malic acid. This is the first time I’ve heard of this – and I haven’t tried it – but recently shared an at-home whitening treatment using strawberries:

Crush a strawberry to a pulp, mix it with baking soda, and spread it on your teeth using a soft toothbrush. Five minutes later, brush it off, rinse and voila: a whiter smile. (Be sure to floss, though, as tiny strawberry seeds can easily get trapped between your teeth.

If you try it, let me know what you think and if it worked! Share your experience with me.

Just remember that good oral care begins with a healthy diet and basic prevention measures like brushing and flossing regularly. It’s also highly important that you see your dentist twice a year for cleanings. Let’s schedule yours now…

Guess Which Foods are Bad for Your Teeth

I recently asked my Facebook fans to take a guess at which foods are the worst for your teeth. You probably aren’t surprised by the responses – sodas and sweets – you know, all the things we enjoy!

The usual suspects always come top of mind. But, what about the more obscure ones? For instance, would you have guessed dried fruits or citrus fruits? Most people normally believe anything with “fruit” in it must be good for you – and while that can be true in part – dried fruits are loaded with sugar and citrus fruits have a lot of citrus acid, which can wear down tooth enamel over time.

Dr. Uche Odiatu, doctor of dental medicine based in Toronto, recently shared his thoughts about the worst foods for your teeth with Huffington Post.

Did you guess any of these would be on the list?

  • Dried Fruit
  • Pickles
  • Sugar
  • Wine
  • Pop
  • Hard Candies
  • Chewy Candies
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Fruit Juices
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Crackers

As a Mom, I know many of these food items are seen regularly in children’s’ diets. It’s so important that children begin seeing a dentist as soon as their first tooth cuts and maintain regular bi-annual visits throughout their lifetime. Preventative care, which largely encompasses having a healthy diet, is the best way to keep your teeth and beautiful smile.

So, will you change your diet based on these results? What foods were you surprised NOT to see on the list?

Here’s a great summary video of with dental care tips for your children:

Diet Coke May be Bad for Your Teeth

Have you ever heard of “coke mouth?” When you drink too much and too often, your teeth run the risk of rotting. A recent study compared it to methamphetamine or crack cocaine.

I’m sure most would never associate Diet Coke to cocaine; one would never assume a harmful illegal drug would have the same affect on your teeth as something as simple as drinking a favoriate beverage. But, the journal General Dentistry published the results of their study, comparing a woman in her 30’s eroded teeth to those similar of a 29-year-old meth addict and a 51-year-old longtime crack user.

So, how does this happen? Think about the amount of acid that is in a regular or Diet soda. It is actually very similar to methamphetamine and crack cocaine.

“Paired with poor dental hygiene, the citric and phosphoric acid in soda can lead to substantial damage and decay.” – NYDailyNews

Regardless if you are a soda drinker or not, it’s so important that you take care of your teeth. Preserving your natural teeth is my number one concern. I’ve provided some preventative care measures to get you started:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride. We’ll provide you with an ADA-approved toothbrush during your visit.
  • Floss once a day right after you brush your teeth to remove the food and buildup that is very difficult to reach with a toothbrush.
  • Maintain a balanced diet and limit highly acidic beverage intake.
  • Visit me, your dentist, twice a year to help reduce the buildup of tartar or plaque in between your teeth and gums with gentle cleanings.

I have more patient education on preventative care as well as restorative care. And, remember, the next time you’re thirsty, consider healthy alternatives to soda like water!

Welcome Note from Dr. Ammons

May 18, 2012


In: Practice News

After practicing cosmetic and restorative dentistry for more than 15 years, I decided it was time to have my very own website! Hence, I started this blog and site as a way to connect with you – my patients, perspective patients, colleagues and community at large – more and on a deeper level. I invite you to explore our dental topics and ask questions along the way.

I hope you also find a few minutes to take a look at the website. Here are a few things worth checking out:

  • New Patients – we would LOVE to have you as a new patient at our office. We’re currently offering a complimentary cosmetic consultation. Visit our contact page to set up your free appointment. I can also do this with you at the end of your first, initial exam and teeth cleaning.
  • Services – we offer everything from simple corrections to complete reconstructions. I’ve included a detailed information about our General, Cosmetic, Restorative and Complex Restorative services here.
  • Patient Education – find out about many of our dental procedures through our interactive ADA library. You can download our articles or watch related videos.
  • Request an Appointment – I’m honored you’ve selected me as your dentist and welcome you to contact our office to set up your first or next appointment.

Take a look around and let me know what you think! And, I hope to see you soon in our practice!

– Araby Keith Ammons, DMD