My Blog

Posts for: January, 2020

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
January 28, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Dentures  

If you are missing one or more teeth, you may avoid looking in the mirror, laughing with friends and family, or speaking at social events. Facial muscles may sag, making you look older than your actual age, and your self-esteem might take a backseat because of this. Fortunately, our family dentist provides a long-lasting, durable solution that replicates the appearance of natural teeth. At Three Fountains Family Dental, Dr. Peter O. Stoltz and Dr. Brook M. Stoltz have several types of dentures available for patients who live near our West Columbia, SC, dental office.

When to Consider Dentures

When there are empty spaces in the mouth, you may experience pain while chewing, causing you to sacrifice the foods you once enjoyed. Dentures will close those gaps and improve your bite entirely. If gums are bleeding, swollen, or tender from periodontal disease or decay, dentures can restore their health, and make you want to smile again. Dentures also support the facial structures in the lips and cheeks, which can deliver a more youthful appearance, revitalizing your confidence in addition to your aesthetic appearance.

Types of Dentures Available

Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brook Stoltz provide patients with choices in our West Columbia, SC, dental office. Dentures improve tooth function, enhance your appearance and smile, and reinforce your facial muscles from missing or damaged teeth. At Three Fountains Family Dental, the types of dentures available include:

  • Transitional Partial - a temporary denture that transitions a patient from a full to a partial
  • Removable Partial - a metal framework that consists of replacement teeth that attaches to a gum-colored base
  • Conventional Full - a pink acrylic base designed to look like your gums that holds replacement teeth
  • Implant-Supported Over-dentures - supported by and attached to implants.

Caring For Your Dentures

Once our family dentist assesses the need for your dentures, the steps involved with the procedure will depend on the type that is best suitable for your specific situation. At Three Fountains Family Dental, we consider several factors during your smile assessment, such as the number of remaining teeth, periodontal health, and amount of bone loss. Once you receive your permanent set of dentures, it may take some time to adjust to their feel. They require the same attention as your natural teeth, which involve an adequate oral care routine of brushing at least twice a day, and flossing away food particles at least once a day.

At Three Fountains Family Dental, our staff is committed to building a foundation of trust with patients from their initial appointment throughout the course of a lifetime. If you'd like to correct your smile with restorative and cosmetic dentistry, visit family dentist, Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brook Stoltz to discuss one of the different types of dentures available. To make an appointment in our West Columbia, SC, office, please call (803) 755-0039.

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
January 24, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

When die-hard music fans hear that their favorite performer is canceling a gig, it’s a big disappointment—especially if the excuse seems less than earth-shaking. Recently, British pop sensation Dua Lipa needed to drop two dates from her world tour with Bruno Mars. However, she had a very good reason.

“I’ve been performing with an awful pain due to my wisdom teeth,” the singer tweeted, “and as advised by my dentist and oral surgeon I have had to have them imminently removed.”

The dental problem Lipa had to deal with, impacted wisdom teeth, is not uncommon in young adults. Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums), generally making their appearance between the ages of 18-24. But their debut can cause trouble: Many times, these teeth develop in a way that makes it impossible for them to erupt without negatively affecting the healthy teeth nearby. In this situation, the teeth are called “impacted.”

A number of issues can cause impacted wisdom teeth, including a tooth in an abnormal position, a lack of sufficient space in the jaw, or an obstruction that prevents proper emergence. The most common treatment for impaction is to extract (remove) one or more of the wisdom teeth. This is a routine in-office procedure that may be performed by general dentists or dental specialists.

It’s thought that perhaps 7 out of 10 people ages 20-30 have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Some cause pain and need to be removed right away; however, this is not always the case. If a wisdom tooth is found to be impacted and is likely to result in future problems, it may be best to have it extracted before symptoms appear. Unfortunately, even with x-rays and other diagnostic tests, it isn’t always possible to predict exactly when—or if—the tooth will actually begin causing trouble. In some situations, the best option may be to carefully monitor the tooth at regular intervals and wait for a clearer sign of whether extraction is necessary.

So if you’re around the age when wisdom teeth are beginning to appear, make sure not to skip your routine dental appointments. That way, you might avoid emergency surgery when you’ve got other plans—like maybe your own world tour!

If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
January 14, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer  

While sports like football, basketball and soccer have exploded in popularity over the last few decades, many Americans still have a soft spot for the granddaddy of them all: baseball. While technology has changed many aspects of the game, many of its endearing traditions live on.

Unfortunately, one baseball tradition isn’t so endearing and definitely hazardous to health—tobacco, primarily the smokeless variety. Players and coaches alike, even down to the high school level, have promoted or at least tolerated its use.

But there are signs this particular baseball tradition is losing steam. Not long ago, the San Francisco Giants became the first major league baseball team to prohibit tobacco in its home stadium—on the field as well as in the stands. The move was largely in response to a law passed by the City of San Francisco, but it does illustrate a growing trend to discourage tobacco use in baseball.

While smoking, chewing or dipping tobacco can certainly impact a person’s overall health, it can be especially damaging to the teeth, gums and mouth. Our top oral health concern with tobacco is cancer: Research has shown some correlation between tobacco use (especially smokeless) and a higher risk of oral cancer.

You need look no further than the highest ranks of baseball itself to notice a link between tobacco and oral cancer. Although from different eras, Babe Ruth and Tony Gwynn, both avid tobacco users, died from oral cancer. Other players like pitcher Curt Schilling have been diagnosed and treated for oral cancer.

Cancer isn’t the only threat tobacco poses to oral health. The nicotine in tobacco can constrict blood vessels in the mouth; this in turn reduces the normal flow of nutrients and disease-fighting immune cells to the teeth and gums. As a result, tobacco users are much more susceptible to contracting tooth decay and gum disease than non-users, and heal more slowly after treatment.

That’s why it’s important, especially in youth baseball, to discourage tobacco use on the field. While most of baseball’s traditions are worthy of preservation, the chapter on tobacco needs to close.

If you would like more information on the oral health effects of tobacco, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
January 04, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

Every year many parents learn their “tweenager” or teenager needs their bite corrected, often with specialized orthodontics. Imagine, though, if these families could go back in time to when their child’s poor bite was just developing to stop or slow it from forming.

Time travel may still be science fiction, but the approach suggested isn’t. It’s called interceptive orthodontics, a group of techniques and procedures performed during the early stages of jaw development. The focus is usually on getting abnormal jaw growth back on track, enough so that a poor bite won’t form.

The upper jaw, for example, may be growing too narrow, reducing the amount of available space for tooth eruption. If it isn’t corrected, teeth can erupt out of position. To correct it, an orthodontist places a palatal expander in the roof of the child’s mouth (palate). The appliance applies gentle pressure against the inside of the teeth, which stimulates the jaws to develop wider.

The expander works because of a separation in the bones at the center of the palate, which later fuse around puberty. The pressure applied from the expander keeps this gap slightly open; the body then continues to fill the widening expansion with bone, enough over time to widen the jaw. If you wait until puberty, the gap has already fused, and it would have to be reopened surgically to use this technique. Ideally, then, a palatal expander should be employed at a young age.

Not all interceptive techniques are this extensive—some, like a space maintainer, are quite simple. If a primary (baby) tooth is lost prematurely, teeth next to the empty space tend to drift into it and cause the intended permanent tooth to erupt out of place due to a lack of space. To prevent this an orthodontist places a small wire loop within the space to prevent other teeth from moving into it.

These are but two examples of the many methods for stopping or slowing a developing bite problem. To achieve the best outcome, they need to be well-timed. Be sure, then, to have your child undergo an orthodontic evaluation around age 6. If an interceptive orthodontic approach is needed, it could eliminate the need for more extensive—and expensive—treatment later.

If you would like more information on treatments to get ahead of bite problems, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.