Posts for: April, 2018
There are several denture options available if you have missing teeth and want to restore your smile. Dentures serve many functions in addition to replacing missing teeth. Dentures also improve speech, restore normal biting and chewing functions, and provide support for sagging facial muscles. A dentist can explain which denture options will work for you. At Three Fountains Family Dental, Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brooke Stoltz are your dentists in West Columbia, SC, for dentures.
Types of Dentures
The two main types of dentures are partial and full. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth still remain, while full dentures are needed when there are no natural teeth remaining. Full dentures are also referred to as complete dentures.
Types of partial dentures include transitional and removable. Transitional partial dentures are temporary and are typically used to fill in the gaps after having teeth extracted. Once your mouth heals from the extraction procedure, dental implants can be installed and the transitional partial dentures are no longer needed. Removable partial dentures are a long-term option for replacing missing teeth when dental implants or bridgework are not an option.
Types of full dentures include immediate and conventional. Like transitional partial dentures, immediate full dentures are temporary and are often used while the gums heal following extraction of the last remaining natural teeth. Once the gums heal, you can be fit for conventional dentures, which are worn long-term. Conventional full dentures are custom made to conform to your mouth for the best fit possible.
An additional type of denture is an implant-supported overdenture, which can be used whether you have some natural teeth remaining or none. Implant-supported overdentures are removable and fit over a few dental implants for a secure hold. The implants provide added support and stability so the dentures remain securely in place. Your dentist for dentures in West Columbia can recommend the appropriate type of dentures for your needs.
You have several denture options to choose from and your dentist can recommend the best type for your needs. For dentures in West Columbia, SC, schedule an appointment with Drs. Brooke and Peter Stoltz by calling Three Fountains Family Dental at (803) 755-0039.
Fans of the legendary rock band Steely Dan received some sad news a few months ago: Co-founder Walter Becker died unexpectedly at the age of 67. The cause of his death was an aggressive form of esophageal cancer. This disease, which is related to oral cancer, may not get as much attention as some others. Yet Becker's name is the latest addition to the list of well-known people whose lives it has cut short—including actor Humphrey Bogart, writer Christopher Hitchens, and TV personality Richard Dawson.
As its name implies, esophageal cancer affects the esophagus: the long, hollow tube that joins the throat to the stomach. Solid and liquid foods taken into the mouth pass through this tube on their way through the digestive system. Worldwide, it is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths.
Like oral cancer, esophageal cancer generally does not produce obvious symptoms in its early stages. As a result, by the time these diseases are discovered, both types of cancer are most often in their later stages, and often prove difficult to treat successfully. Another similarity is that dentists can play an important role in oral and esophageal cancer detection.
Many people see dentists more often than any other health care professionals—at recommended twice-yearly checkups, for example. During routine examinations, we check the mouth, tongue, neck and throat for possible signs of oral cancer. These may include lumps, swellings, discolorations, and other abnormalities—which, fortunately, are most often harmless. Other symptoms, including persistent coughing or hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and unexplained weight loss, are common to both oral and esophageal cancer. Chest pain, worsening heartburn or indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also alert us to the possibility of esophageal cancer.
Cancer may be a scary subject—but early detection and treatment can offer many people the best possible outcome. If you have questions about oral or esophageal cancer, call our office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Cancer.”
Your child’s dental care wouldn’t be the same without x-ray imaging. It’s one of our best tools for finding and treating tooth decay.
But since x-rays emit radiation, is your child in any danger when they’re exposed?
X-rays, an invisible form of electromagnetic energy, will form images on exposed film after passing through the body. Because it takes longer for x-rays to pass through dense tissue like teeth and bones, the corresponding areas appear lighter on the film than less dense tissue like the gums. We can detect decay because the diseased tooth structure is less dense and thus appears darker against healthier tooth structure.
The downside of x-rays, though, is the radiation they emit could potentially alter cell structure and increase the risk of future cancer, especially with children. That’s why we follow a principle known as ALARA when using x-ray imaging. ALARA is an acronym for “as low as reasonably achievable,” meaning the doses for an x-ray session will be as low as possible while still gaining the most benefit.
Advances in technology, particularly the development of digital processing, has helped reduce the amount of radiation exposure. We’re also careful with what types of x-rays we use. The most common type is the bitewing, a device with the film attached to a long piece of plastic that the child holds in their mouth while biting down.
Depending on the number of our patient’s teeth, we can usually get a comprehensive view with two to four bitewings. A typical bitewing session exposes them to less radiation than what they’re receiving from natural environmental background sources each day.
Keeping the exposure as low and as less frequent as possible greatly reduces health risks while still getting the full benefit of early decay detection. Still, if you have concerns about your child’s x-ray exposure, we’ll be happy to discuss our approach and all the precautions we take using x-ray imaging.
If you would like more information on x-ray diagnostics and your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “X-Ray Safety for Children.”