Do you brush your teeth daily? Everyone knows they should, but only 50.5% of Americans claim to floss daily. Brushing is not enough. It is recommended by the American Dental Association that we should floss at least once per day. Flossing helps remove plaque from between your teeth, which is full of bacteria and causes gum disease and tooth decay.
Along with daily dental hygiene and avoiding sugary foods, an important aspect of having healthy teeth is making sure to visit a local dentist regularly. Some people avoid visiting a dentist because they suffer from dental anxiety, usually from a fear of impending pain. But the truth is that most dental procedures aren?t painful; those that are painful can be medicated before and after to reduce discomfort. In addition, there is help for the anxiety and nervousness that you may experience. In the past, pre-procedure methods included the use of nitrous oxide or ?laughing gas,? but the latest technology in sedation dentistry provides safer, more efficient means.
Sedation dentistry is also sometimes referred to as ‘relaxation’ or ‘sleep’ dentistry. It is administered by a trained practitioner, a sedation dentist. The latest technology in sedation dentistry is now offered by many dental practices, whether they are an oral surgeon or family dentist.
Another growing technology in the dental field is dental implants. Scientific research has reported that dental implants have a 98% success rate, and over 3 million Americans currently have implants. Implants are a better alternative to the traditional crown and bridge process, at least for most people. Currently over 15 million Americans have crown and bridge replacements, and while they are effective for a long time, around 20 years or so, they don?t last as long as implants do. In addition, the crown and bridge method requires the dentist to grind down the enamel on the adjacent teeth; not only is enamel the hardest substance in the human body, but it is essential to the health of your teeth. So there is a risk in grinding it off to replace it with a crown, especially if the tooth was healthy to begin with. With dental implants or any oral surgery, the latest technology in sedation dentistry should be an important part of your procedure.
As we get older, the importance of this decision increases, because the older we get, the more likely we are to have dental issues. In fact, according to the NIDCR, senior citizens have an average of less than 20 remaining teeth, and need implants. It?s important that we work on our healthy smiles now to reduce tooth loss later. Brushing and flossing daily, eating healthy foods, and visiting our family dentist regularly are all a part of preventative dental hygiene.