Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.
In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.
For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.
Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.
It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.
That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”
We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?”
When you’re looking for a treatment that helps with the re-growth of bone around your teeth, try the LANAP Laser Gum Treatment offered by our dentist, Dr. William Schlotz at Plaza Health Dentistry in Saint Louis, MO. We use state-of-the-art FDA-approved tools such as the Periolase that gives the highest quality laser gum therapy possible.
About LANAP Laser Gum Treatment
The PerioLase is better than an average dental laser and few dental offices use it. When looking for laser gum therapy in Saint Louis, Missouri, opt for an office like ours that uses this type of laser. It uses a selective means of bacterial removal and guides the light energy toward the darkest pigmented areas. This dental tool has gone under peer reviewed tested, unlike other dental lasers.
This treatment places the tiny laser fiber between both the tooth and the gum. It clears away any infection in that area. The treatment procedure is fast compared to other surgery options for gum disease. It takes just a couple of two-hour sessions or can be done in one session if the patient is diligent. This requires no cutting or stitches, which makes it a great choice for younger patients and those with dental anxiety. This type of treatment makes it possible to treat diseased teeth that may need to be extracted otherwise. There’s minimal discomfort with this treatment. This therapy method is safe for individuals with health problems such as diabetes or those who take blood thinners. It allows patients of all ages to heal fast and with a reduced risk of infection than other treatments.
For a consultation regarding laser gum therapy in Saint Louis, MO today, call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Schlotz at 314-843-0500. He can diagnosis you properly and the degree of your gum infection.
Most children's permanent teeth erupt on a fairly predictable schedule. Sometimes, though, one or more teeth might not develop as they should — or at all.
These absent teeth pose functional problems for chewing and hygiene, which can affect long-term dental health. But they can also have a disruptive effect on an otherwise attractive smile if the missing teeth are the upper lateral incisors in the most visible part of the smile.
You normally find this pair of teeth on either side of the upper central incisors (the two front-most teeth). On the other side of the lateral incisors are the canine or eye teeth, known for their pointed appearance. Without the lateral incisors, the canines tend to drift into the space next to the central incisors. This can produce an odd appearance even a layperson will notice: only four teeth where there should be six!
It's possible to correct this abnormality, but it will take time and expense. The first step is usually to move the teeth in the upper jaw with braces to their correct position. This puts teeth where they should be and also opens space between the canines and central incisors so we can eventually replace the missing teeth with dental implants.
But the key to all this is timing. It's usually appropriate to undertake tooth movement with braces during late childhood or adolescence. But implants shouldn't be installed until the person's jaw fully matures, usually in early adulthood. An implant placed before then could eventually become misaligned.
To accommodate the time between bite correction and implant placement, the patient can wear a retainer appliance that will keep the newly created space open. We can also attach artificial teeth to the retainer to camouflage the empty space.
It usually takes a team of a family dentist, an orthodontist and a surgeon to see this kind of “smile makeover” project through, possibly over several years. But the gains in better aesthetics and health are well worth the time and expense.
If you would like more information on replacing non-developing teeth, 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 “When Permanent Teeth Don't Grow.”
Are you ready to find out if you could get a straighter smile with your St. Louis dentist?
Whether you are in college or already in the professional world, there comes a time where people want to get a straighter smile but think that they are too old for braces. It can be embarrassing to have a mouth full of metal braces when you have classes to go to and work colleagues to interact with. This is why our St. Louis, MO, dentists, Dr. William Schlotz and Dr. Art Von Rump, offer our teen and adult patients Invisalign.
These are some of the major factors that play into whether or not you are right for Invisalign:
Your Dental Issues
Invisalign is able to tackle quite a host of dental issues such as:
- Spacing issues
- Open bites
However, this doesn’t mean that Invisalign is able to handle all cases. Even though it can still treat more serious issues, if your smile requires complicated tooth movements or realignment of the jaws, then traditional braces will be a better approach to treating your issues.
That’s right; your age plays a factor in whether or not Invisalign is right for you. While you are never too old to consider Invisalign treatment, you may actually be too young. Children’s teeth are still growing, which can negatively affect how these custom-fitted aligners fit. In this case, it’s important that a good candidate is old enough that their teeth have fully matured.
Invisalign aligners are removable as well as clear, making them an ideal treatment for someone who needs to straighten their smile but hates the idea of wearing braces. Invisalign makes it far more discreet. Of course, while you need to remove these aligners prior to eating, drinking, brushing or flossing, you’ll want to wear them for at least 20-22 hours out of the day. If you are someone who thinks they will sneak their aligners off more regularly then this may not be the ideal treatment for you.
Is Invisalign the treatment you’ve been looking for? If so, Plaza Health Dentistry in St. Louis, MO, has you covered. Call us today to schedule a consultation. Let’s find out if Invisalign is right for you.
Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.
In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.
Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.
What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.
Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.
A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”
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