Modern Dentistry is in fact quite modern.
To some older people, missing 2-4 teeth may be quite common, and their parents often were missing even more teeth. With newer techniques in oral home care, along with preventive dental therapies such as flossing, fluoride, and sealants, people are holding onto their teeth much longer.
Just over a hundred years ago, it would not be unusual to see someone of distinction walking around without a tooth in the front of their mouth. Fortunately, today, we have digital x-rays for early diagnosis, composite fillings for esthetic fillings, and much more to help us find and treat small cavities early and hopefully prevent what was inevitable tooth loss for our grandparents.
In addition to preventing cavities, nutrition awareness, and better home care have contributed to better teeth. In fact, for many dentists seeing young teenagers without having a single cavity is getting more and more common. This is amazing, because just 30-40 years ago, nearly 80% of the population would have a cavity in their “six-year” molar by the time they were young teenagers!
In addition to preventing tooth loss, we have more predictable techniques for replacing teeth that are missing. Thanks to the development of dental implants, patients don’t have to walk around with missing teeth and spaces in the smiles. A dental implant is a titanium post that is screwed into the jawbone and a crown is placed on top of the fixture. Often these can provide as strong of chewing force as your own natural teeth and they look natural if placed well in to the gums accurately.
If a cavity should get deep and hit the nerve, we aren’t taking out teeth like they did 100 years ago. Root canal therapy, also called endodontics, is a field of dentistry specializing in cleaning and shaping the inner part of the tooth roots where the nerve and blood supply come in. After cleaning it out and sealing the tooth, most patients are experiencing a significantly higher success rate of saving the tooth today than just 50 years ago.
In the event that you lose multiple teeth from either gum disease or from multiple cavities, we offer the option of dentures to replace your teeth and give you back gum support and help with chewing and speech. Newer techniques allow us to place a few dental implants into the jawbone and use those fixtures as supports for a denture, giving them more stability than simply resting on the gums. Our dentist, Dr. Maria Bustamante of Seven Star Smiles in Cincinnati is trained to help with any or all of these procedures and would love to help you keep your smile. Give us a call today!