Prosthodontic Dentistry of Washington, DC

5 Tips for Jaw Surgery Recovery

recovery tips

Orthognathic surgery, also known as “jaw surgery”, is used to correctly align an improper bite or jaw position. If you are thinking of undergoing jaw surgery, here are a few tips to help you with your recovery.

  1. Get Plenty of Rest
    A key to helping your body recover is to rest as much as you can. Find things to keep you entertained as you take it easy such as coloring, reading, or a new TV show. Keeping yourself entertained will help the time to pass faster.
  2. Stay on a Regular Schedule
    While resting is important, staying on a regular schedule will help you feel productive while you recover. As you begin to feel mobile, take short walks outside.
  3. Apply Heat and Ice
    Applying heat and ice regularly will help to combat facial swelling and reduce your discomfort. You will be the most swollen during your first week of recovery. Keep an extra ice pack in the freezer so you always have one ready to go.
  4. Meal Prepping
    Meal prepping before your procedure will help you in the long run. During recovery, you may not feel like cooking. Having pre-planned meals will let you easily prepare nutritious meals with minimal effort. Some great meal ideas to prepare ahead of time are smoothies, soups and homemade juices.
  5. Stay Hydrated
    Drinking enough water is important for allowing your body to heal and for avoiding dehydration. You might have to remind yourself to drink water so keep a water bottle handy and sip throughout the day.

Corrective jaw surgery recovery can seem like a long process, but once your jaw has healed, you will have a more healthy, attractive and functional jaw. If you believe that you would be a good candidate for jaw surgery, contact our office for a consultation at Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. Phone Number 202-244-2101.

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait For Your Dental Implant

the sooner, the better

You need a dental implant, but you are reluctant to get started. We understand that there is some hesitation and life gets in the way. However, here are a list of reasons as to why you shouldn’t wait.

  1. Stop your remaining teeth from moving. Your teeth help keep everything in place. When you are missing a tooth, and have a gap, your teeth will start to shift to fill in that gap. That could cause not only uneven teeth, but teeth that are harder to clean and, in the end, that cost you more to fix.
  2. Save Your Jawbone. When you are missing a tooth, your jawbone slowing starts to deteriorate and shrink away. The roots of your teeth keep the jawbone stimulated to maintain the bone mass. The longer you are missing the tooth, the more the bone will disintegrate, making the implant process more difficult.
  3. The appearance of your face. Living without a tooth can eventually change how you look, especially if you suffer from bone deterioration. The longer you go, your skin could begin to make your cheeks sag, which will make you look older than you are.
  4. The way you speak. When you are missing a tooth, it could make it hard to annunciate words, making you sound like you have a lisp.
  5. Your overall self-esteem. Getting a dental implant will allow you to feel like your normal self. You won’t have to worry about how you look or how you sound. The implant looks and feels like a normal tooth. No one will know that you have an implant unless you tell them.

These are just a few reasons as to why you should wait to get your dental implant. If you are experiencing any hesitations or have further questions, contact our office. We are happy to ease your mind and get you on track to a beautiful smile. Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. Phone Number 202-244-2101

What You Should Know About Dental Implants

woman getting fit for dental implantsIf you are looking for an alternative to dentures and would like to replace your missing teeth, dental implants may be for you. Dental implants are a popular long-term method for restoring your smile. Many people decide to get dental implants after they have experienced loss of teeth due to variety of reasons. Dental implants give you back your freedom from missing teeth.

Who gets dental implants?

Those who are in overall good health and are looking for a long-term solution for their missing teeth are candidates for dental implants. This includes those who are tired of dentures and are looking for a more comfortable and convenient alternative.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

There are many advantages of getting dental implants, including:

  • Convenience: dental implants are a long-term option for replacing missing teeth. They have the added benefit of being a permanent fixture in your mouth unlike dentures that can be abrasive to the gums and can cause difficulty speaking.
  • Easier eating: you may have found that eating has become more difficult with missing teeth. A dental implant allows for more efficient chewing and will allow you to enjoy your favorite foods once again.
  • Improved appearance: Dental implants look and feel like real teeth. They can be designed with the same color and shape as your surrounding teeth, making them natural looking
  • Confidence: Dental implants can give you a youthful appearance and increased self-esteem. You may find yourself smiling more than ever with your new implants.

How do I care for my dental implant?

The great thing about dental implants is that they require the same care as real teeth. This means regular brushing, flossing and routine dental checkups. If taken care of properly, your new implant can last you a lifetime!

If you are interested in dental implants, contact Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. at Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. Phone Number 202-244-2101 to set up a dental implant consultation.

5 Tips for a Healthier Smile

woman smiling holding fruit slicesSometimes we skip a tooth brushing every now and then, which may seem like no big deal. While, in the grand scheme of things, it may seem like missing a tooth brushing here in there isn’t the end of the world, it may lead to unhealthy dental habits, which eventually could result in serious dental damage! By adopting healthy, regular dental habits, you can lower your chance of tooth decay and cavities. Here are some helpful tips towards a healthy, happier smile!

Brush and Floss Regularly:

You should brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss once. If you want to have impeccable oral hygiene, you may also brush your teeth after each meal or snack. If brushing isn’t a post-meal option for you, thoroughly rinsing your mouth with water will help as well.

Use Mouthwash:

Using mouthwash twice a day after brushing is a great way wash away leftover bacteria and give your mouth that super clean feel.

Eat Tooth-healthy Foods:

Believe it or not, there are certain foods that are good for your teeth and will help to strengthen them and fight against bacteria and plaque build-up. Some foods that will benefit your dental health include but are not limited to: fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, unsweetened coffee, tea, and sugar-free gum.

Make Routine Dental Visits:

Professional teeth cleanings and dental check-ups should be scheduled for every six months. If you have a history of dental issues, or if you know you need special attention, visiting your dentist more often than every six months may be best for you.

Consider Dental Sealants:

During your next dental visit, ask about dental sealants. Dental sealants will seal up small grooves and nooks in your teeth, preventing bacteria build-up in those hard to reach places. They can also help prevent tooth decay and can last up to ten years with proper dental care!

If you have any questions about your oral health, please give us a call at Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. Phone Number 202-244-2101.

Bone Grafting for Dental Implants

woman holding a model of a dental implantBone grafting and dental implants typically go hand-in-hand, as the loss of a tooth can wear down the surrounding jawbone structure and a dental implant is a common procedure to replace lost teeth. As soon as a person loses a tooth, bone loss begins. In order to place a sturdy, reliable dental implant, a bone grafting procedure is often required in order to rebuild the jawbone. While bone grafting sounds daunting, it is a safe and reliable procedure that prepares the jaw bone for a dental implant, and in most cases, is necessary to build up a sturdy foundation.

In a bone graft procedure, bone tissue taken from another part of the body is grafted into the jawbone. Another method utilizes processed bone from animals, but results in the same regrowth of your jaw. It can take several months for the graft to set and grow into a stable foundation for a dental implant.

Depending on the amount of bone loss, bone grafts can be placed at a variety of times during the implant process. For example, if only a minor bone graft is needed, we may be able to place it at the same time as the dental implant. However, if a larger bone graft is necessary, it will have to rest for months before the dental implant procedure can be performed.

Bone grafting is a very important and often overlooked procedure when it comes to preparing for a dental implant! Dental implants have increased in popularity and effectiveness over the years, as they provide the most reliable replacement for natural teeth. Dental implants look and feel like normal teeth, and if treated properly, can last the rest of a person’s lifetime! Bone grafts and dental implants work together to restore smiles.

Contact us today at Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. Phone Number 202-244-2101 to schedule your dental implant consultation, and we can talk about your bone grafting options!

4 Foods That Cause Dental Emergencies

tooth next to first aid kitEvery day, we have patients visit our office for help with a dental emergency. A lot of these emergencies are caused by biting into foods that are too hard, resulting in a cracked tooth, loss of a filling or a broken dental crown.

To avoid a painful and inconvenient dental emergency, here are some foods you should avoid (or be extra cautions while eating):

Popcorn

As delicious as this buttery snack may be, it’s not as innocent as it seems. The husks can get wedged between your teeth or underneath your gums causing a popcorn abscess. Be sure to floss after you eat popcorn to avoid that from happening. However, the true culprits here are the kernels. If you grab a large handful of popcorn and don’t know that a kernel is hiding in the middle, all it takes is one chomp down and oops! there goes your tooth! The next time you eat popcorn, chew slowly to avoid those kernels and enjoy the fluffy buttery goodness that is on top.

Almonds

You might be surprised by this fact: As nutritious as almonds can be, they also cause a lot of chips, fractures and cracks in teeth. Instead of eating the almond whole, try slivered or sliced versions, which make them softer and easier to chew.

Carmel Candies

Yes, this delicious and chewy candy seems harmless with its soft exterior, but it can cause issues with your teeth. When you chew down, the candies wedge between your teeth and pull out any loose dental work/restorations that you have had. Other candies that have the same sticky qualities are starburst and taffy. They might be hard to resist, but doing so is key to avoiding dental emergencies.

Ice Cubes

You might find this strange but many people love to chew on an ice cube on a hot day. But before you put an ice cube in your month, imagine chewing on a rock, which would basically have the same effect as ice. Ice is hard on enamel, and can easily crack and break teeth.

These are just a few kitchen items that you should avoid if you want to save your teeth. Some foods may be more tempting than others, but at the end of the day, one little snack isn’t worth a busted tooth!

If you experience a dental emergency, call our office at Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. Phone Number 202-244-2101 to schedule an appointment.

When Should You Consider Dental Implants?

woman being fit for dental implantsYou may have heard in the past that dental implants are one of the most effective ways to replace missing or damaged teeth. Dental implants are a great option for a lot of different situations, but when is getting a dental implant the best option for you? There are a few circumstances where receiving an implant might be the best option for improving your smile.

Dental implants typically consist of three components: the post, the abutment, and the restoration. The post is a screw which is inserted into the bone. The abutment is attached to the post and the restoration is placed on top, giving the finished product a beautiful, realistic look.

To restore and preserve your appearance.

One of the main functions of dental implants is to restore a smile back to its original glory. They are built to last a lifetime and last much longer than dental bridges. If you are looking for a permanent solution to damaged or missing teeth, dental implants are your best option.

To protect and preserve a healthy jawbone.

Missing spaces in your smile can lead your jawbone to deterioration, which causes it to lose its strength. Dental implants are the only option which will protect and save your natural bone. Waiting to get a dental implant can continue to increase the chances of your jawbone not being able to support dental implants in the future.

To stop your teeth from shifting.

Losing a tooth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift and look unnatural. These teeth can become crowded or can be shifted unevenly. This can cause your teeth to become harder to clean and can also cause your face to sag and appear sunken.

These are just a few of the instances in which you should consider getting dental implants. Dental implants are one of the most useful and successful restoration options available today. For more information on how we can restore your smile with dental implants, contact Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. at Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. Phone Number 202-244-2101 today.

What Do I Do When Told to Have a Tooth Extracted?

Get a second opinion.

Unfortunately, in today’s environment with implants being available, patients are told to have teeth extracted and replaced with implant supported crowns. Although we are very experienced with implant restoration (over 2,500 implants inserted and restored in our office), I will always try to save a tooth rather than extract, if our patient so desires, as demonstrated by the following example.

Our patient presented with a desire to replace her crowns which were not aesthetically pleasing (Fig. 1, arrow). Unfortunately, unbeknownst to her, she had extensive decay leaving very little tooth structure upon which to place a crown (Fig. 2).


Although many dentists would recommend extraction and replacement with implants, we were able to reconstruct the tooth abutments (Fig. 3) and fabricate two very natural looking crowns (Fig. 4).

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How to Keep Your Gums Healthy

woman smiling holding appleKeeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays clean and your teeth stay intact and in pristine condition. This blog will focus on the best ways to make sure your gums stay healthy in order to prevent gum disease and keep your smile shining bright for years to come.

1) Floss, Floss, Floss

Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to fight against gum disease and keep your gums healthy. Flossing once a day helps clean those areas in between your teeth which are hard for your toothbrush to reach.

2) Brush and Rinse

Brushing twice a day is the most commonly preached method of keeping your mouth fresh and clean. It is also a good idea to rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash twice a day in order to protect your gums. Rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to thoroughly clean your mouth, because it reaches areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.

3) Use the Right Toothpaste

Choosing the right toothpaste is important to keeping your gums healthy. Make sure to grab a toothpaste that contains fluoride in order to get the best results when brushing. Also make sure to look for the ADA seal of acceptance in order to ensure that you’re getting a toothpaste backed by experts at the ADA!

4) Regular Dentist Checkups

Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in preventing diseases and ensuring that your teeth remain healthy and clean. Your dentist will be able to see early symptoms of gum disease and is the only way for you to get rid of tartar and plaque which are stuck to your teeth and can have a negative impact on your gums if not cleaned.

These four steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of gum disease. If you have any more questions about how to keep your gums healthy or how to prevent gum disease, give Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. a call at Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. Phone Number 202-244-2101 today!

Are All Crowns the Same? Part II

Crowns: How to Achieve All Natural Aesthetic Outcomes

In Part I of “Are All Crowns the Same?”, we discussed the differences in the quality of the crowns. In Part II, we are comparing the aesthetic results of milled crowns, crowns fabricated in a commercial laboratory, and custom crowns fabricated by an in-house technician as we do at Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington, D.C.

Milled Crowns and Commercial Labs
To begin with, milled crowns (on a CAD/CAM milling machine) are fabricated from a “library” of usual and customary crowns. As such, they are a stock image that is put over the digital image of your prepared tooth and made to fit within that space. Since there are hundreds of types of teeth, the anatomic form is not an exact match to your other teeth. These crowns are frequently too opaque or too gray and have a shape that is not always a match to your own natural tooth anatomy. Crowns fabricated in a commercial laboratory, while more custom, can also fall short in form, color, and/or translucency.

In-House Dental Lab: Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington, D.C.
To obtain the most natural aesthetics, our in-house technician evaluates the proper shade, translucency, and anatomic form of our patient’s other teeth (Figs 1 and 2). First, we use an extended shade guide (Fig. 1) that allows us to develop the right shade at each level of porcelain. After all, if teeth have internal colorations and different translucencies at each internal level, then we need to take a shade for each level.

Once the crown has been developed, it is tried in and either internal color is added or custom staining is performed to make the crown match the adjacent teeth to make it appear natural (Figs. 3 and 4).

For over 30 years, we have worked with our in-house technician to provide internal colorations and custom staining to create all-natural looking crowns.

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