97205 Dentist | Different Patients Require Different Teeth Cleaning Protocols

Portland, OR Dentist

Learn Which You Need: Prophylaxis or Periodontal Teeth Cleaning Maintenance

Downtown Dental Associates of Portland

It is a common misconception among dental patients that there is only one kind of teeth cleaning needed to maintain a healthy mouth. But understanding the difference between prophylaxis and periodontal maintenance can help you see why your dentist might recommend one over the other and why that matters for your dental and overall health.

If you think of teeth cleaning as a spectrum, prophylaxis is on one end and periodontal maintenance on the other. That’s because prophylaxis is teeth cleaning for an already healthy mouth and is preventative in nature against disease. It includes tartar removal and leads to better mouth aesthetics, fresher breath and can be used to spot health issues early on, including oral cancers, diabetes and kidney problems.

Periodontal maintenance, on the other hand, is treatment for a mouth that is suffering from periodontal disease and so is in need of more aggressive and frequent care. Periodontal disease in a spectrum in and of itself, ranging from simple inflammation of the gums to a more advanced state of the disease that can result in damage to the soft tissue of the mouth, bone loss and even the loss of teeth.

While periodontal disease is not curable, it is very treatable, meaning regular maintenance at home and by dental professionals can help you sidestep the very serious problems that can result from periodontal disease.

Risk factors for periodontal disease include smoking, hormonal changes in women and girls, diabetes and other diseases and their treatment and medications and being predisposed to it through genetics.

Signs that indicate periodontal disease are:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

The team at Downtown Dental Associates of Portland wants you to be educated about the best approach to oral care for you and your family. Please feel free to ask us questions about your dental health and treatment options.

Dentist Near Me | The Advantages of Dental Implants Over Other Tooth Replacement Options

Portland, OR Dentist

Key to a Good Choice is Understanding How Dental Implants Work

Downtown Dental Associates of PortlandIt’s easy to see why replacing a missing tooth is important for cosmetic and health reasons. A missing tooth, even a back tooth, can negatively affect your appearance by diminishing your smile or changing the shape of your face as well as potentially affecting your speech and ability to chew. But it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons of your options – dental bridges, partial dentures and dental implants – before settling on what is right for you.

Bridges and partial dentures are good options for patients who, for health reasons, cannot undergo the oral surgery needed for dental implants. But for patients who can undergo surgery and who want a lasting, cosmetically appealing option that maintains jawbone density, dental implants are the obvious choice.

Dental implants are titanium posts that are placed surgically into the jaw and act as solid anchors onto which your dentist affixes replacement teeth. Titanium is a strong, lightweight metal that the human body readily accepts.

Aside from the fact that implants are the closest option to natural teeth, they can last for many years or even decades, do not involve nearby teeth and help prevent bone loss. That’s because the body quickly reacts to missing teeth by re-absorbing the bone where the root had been. Dental implants, on the other hand, mimic the action of real teeth, putting stress on surrounding bone and causing it to remain robust.

Bridges don’t do anything to stop the bone loss associated with missing teeth and, in fact, have a negative impact on the teeth around them. In order for a bridge to work, the dentist must grind down surrounding teeth to support the bridge. Removable dentures come with their own disadvantages. They are less stable than other options, can be uncomfortable and must be replaced more frequently.

That said, not all implants are created equal. At Downtown Dental Associates of Portland, we are committed to using the best possible practices when it comes to providing dental implants. That’s why we never offer implants in one visit. Healing and bone growth are key to successful implants, so we allow the time for the patient to heal after the native tooth is removed as well as after the titanium rod is surgically implanted. This healing time allows the bone to grow around the rod, which is precisely what makes an implant such a strong and lasting option.

If you are considering dental implants or any other options for replacing missing teeth, call us to schedule a consultation so we can review them with you and help you settle on the one that’s best for you.

Dentist in Portland, OR | How Sedation Dentistry Can Help You Overcome Dental Anxiety

Portland, OR Dentist

Overcoming Dental Anxiety Using Sedation Dentistry

Putting off your dental visit to Downtown Dental Associates because of fear or anxiety only increases the potential for tooth decay or gum problems. At our office, Drs. Jake Becker, Stephen Persichetti, Alyse Drakulich, and Ryan Voge and our team offer solutions that allow you to relax, without any pain, so you can keep your mouth healthy. Our solutions can help with many different anxiety issues for both adults and children. Continue reading to learn how sedation dentistry can help you or your family overcome dental anxiety.

How Sedation Dentistry Can Help You Overcome Dental Anxiety

Nitrous oxide is an excellent choice for most patients. Sometimes referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide can be regulated to provide you with the amount of sedation you need. When used before a local anesthetic, the injection will not be uncomfortable and you should not notice any pain during your procedure.

If you plan to use nitrous oxide, you can drive yourself to your appointment. In most cases, you will be fine to drive after your treatment: the sedation wears off quickly. Nitrous oxide can also be used along with other sedation techniques to produce a higher level of sedation.

Oral sedatives are available in a liquid or pill form. If you experience moderate anxiety levels, you can be given a tablet to take before your appointment. This type of sedation will be beneficial in relieving the anxiety that can build before your procedure. However, if you choose this method, you cannot drive yourself to your appointment.

Help With Major Dental Anxiety

If you experience extreme levels of stress and anxiety about dental treatment, you may wish to discuss deep sedation or general anesthesia. With these techniques, you will be barely conscious or unconscious during your procedure. You will not feel discomfort or pain. Once you have experienced dentistry with a sedation technique, your anxiety level may decrease on its own.

People are not born with the fear of a dental exam. Unfortunately, most anxiety issues are due to a bad dental experience or childhood trauma. Sometimes anxiety comes from listening to the tales of others, who may have exaggerated their story. Talk to Drs. Jake Becker, Stephen Persichetti, Alyse Drakulich, and Ryan Voge and our team about your dental concerns or fears. Let us help you so you can get the dental care you need for a healthy mouth for life.

For more information about overcoming dental anxiety, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Jake Becker, Stephen Persichetti, Alyse Drakulich, and Ryan Voge, please give us a call at our convenient Portland, OR office!