Oral Health Advice

Dr. Larry Kessler, Periodontist

Dr. Larry Kessler, Periodontist

My mom is 85 and has lost her teeth. Her natural teeth were not straight. Her dentist has made her an upper denture, but she is unhappy. She says they look like false teeth. She is healthy, so what can be done to make her happy?

Dentures should be a thing of the past. Dental implants can eliminate a lot of her problems. We can place dental implants properly so that the new teeth are place where they are most cosmetically pleasing. It’s instant orthodontics! With the proper number of implants, a bridge can be made so the teeth look natural, like her own. Also, unlike a denture, there is no coverage of the palate, so she can really taste her food.

With implants, she can have teeth that snap in, making it easy to keep the mouth clean and healthy, or something that is fixed in place that looks natural and needs normal oral hygiene. The implants stimulate the bone and prevent atrophy or shrinkage of the jaw, which causes that “old lady look” when the face caves in. She also would be able to eat anything, unlike her denture restrictions. Implants can certainly make her happy again.

I was shopping recently and got into a conversation with a lovely woman around 60 years old. She knew I was a periodontist and asked about dental implants. She said she was unhappy with her smile. She had a lower front tooth that was somewhat out of line with her other incisors. In addition, her teeth were not bright white.

She asked if I could remove the tooth and place an implant. I told her it was possible, but I had a better idea. Why not use a removable orthodontic appliance such as Invisalign and move the tooth back into proper position with her other front teeth. There is a very good possibility that the color of the crown over the implant would not perfectly match her other natural teeth and she would end up unhappy. She was very appreciative of having another option to solve her problem.

My 7-year old was fighting with his older brother and was hit in his mouth. I don’t see anything broken, but his gum is swollen and one baby tooth is turning colors. Should I be concerned?

Please take him to a pediatric dentist. He should have an X-ray of the area to rule out any damage to the underlying permanent tooth and to make sure there is no abscess formation.

Oral injuries to children are very common, and include both teeth and soft tissues. Such injuries can be damaging to a child’s general health.

You’ll want to keep the area clean. You can use alcohol-free Chlorhexadine to rinse twice a day for a week to prevent plaque buildup and debris collection. Just use a cotton tip to apply.

Your child also should avoid hard crunchy foods. He should brush with a soft tooth brush for about a week. Keep an eye on the area to ensure there is no swelling of the gum, as your son will probably not complain. The discoloration of the tooth is coming from injury to the nerve pulp. Root canal therapy usually is usually not necessary on an injured deciduous or baby tooth. Luckily, kids have good healing ability. Better get them to stop fighting!

For more information, visit online at <www.WeSaveSmiles.com.>

Dr. Kessler’s office is located in the Dadeland Medical Building, 7400 N. Kendall Drive, directly across the street from Dadeland Shopping Mall and he may be reached at 305-670-3800 or at Lkgums@aol.com.

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