Category Archives: Dental Implants

A Simple Guide To Understanding The Dental Specialties

If I ever wanted to learn a foreign language, French or Spanish would top my list.  pebble skipping on water

Some that would not make my list are Legalese, Techno-jargon, Pig Latin (does that still exist?) and Mumbo Jumbo….

I would need a translator!

And one that wouldn’t make your list is ‘Dental-ese’.

At times, when the dental treatment you need is more than what we can provide, we refer you over to the pros who can.

To help you better understand which dental specialist does what, here is a plain-English breakdown of the pro-list:

1. Endodontists

Oh, the nerve. I don’t mean to play favorites, but I will. Endodontists are root canal wizards. If you have a toothache that won’t go away, or an infection headed to funky town, this is where you need to go.

They test, they diagnose, they get you out of pain. A root canal is the last resort to save your natural tooth, and if it can be salvaged, they’re the ones who can help.

2. Periodontics

Masters of all things related to gums and bone, periodontists will pull you back if you’re teetering over the edge of periodontal disease. In addition, they’re pros at placing dental implants to replace missing teeth, as well as help identify and treat various gum ailments.

3. Pediatric Dentists

They see little people…aka kids. They are the go-to specialists for children who need to be sedated for treatment, are really young, or have special needs.

However, even kids who don’t need any of the above sometimes feel more comfortable in a pediatric dental setting–and who could blame them? Their offices are more colorful and fun than those for adults, and they know how to cater to their pint-sized patients.

4. Orthodontists

Brace yourself…..they will set you–and your teeth–straight. If you’ve had braces, no doubt you’ve  spent many an afternoon in an orthodontist’s office. Get checked early enough and they can check for any funkiness in your jaw growth or an off-kilter bite.

Make no mistake, though. They treat adults as well, those who perhaps didn’t get the chance to straighten their smile growing up.

5. Oral-Maxillofacial Surgeons

Now that’s a mouthful. Better known as “Oral Surgeons“, not only do they take wisdom teeth out and place dental implants, they also do fancy-schmancy stuff like sinus lifts, facial reconstructions after trauma and help those with birth defects such as cleft lip or palate.

6. Prosthodontists

Prosthodontists are like specialized general dentists. For complicated situations that involve full mouth reconstruction or perplexing bites or jaw issues, they are your best resource.

(The American Dental Association lists a few more specialties, but the above list includes those commonly seen for most dental issues.)

It’s always more comforting to understand (rather than guess) the different aspects of dental treatment, should you need it.

Hopefully the above guide served as a good translation of ‘Dental-ese’ to help better understand the major dental specialties.

Still have questions? Ask us in the comments. Or, call or email us:

(214) 522-3110          www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Dental, Dental Implants

OMG! Did She Just Say Those Aren’t Real?

I’m talking about teeth, of course. What else?

Every now and then teeth have the audacity to fail on you. They can split, fracture, or just plain decay into the nether regions where no amount of heroic effort can bring them back to live the good life. Time to say adios, amigo.

But before you send your tooth on to tooth heaven, you may want to decide what’s next-how to replace it (or not).

Once the tooth has been declared a goner . . . ahem . . . “non-restorable”, talk to your dentist about your options, and the pros and cons of each. In some situations, a replacement may not even be necessary.

Of the options available today, the latest and the greatest is the Dental Implant. The implant, when restored, comes closest to making the finished product look natural and blend in with your smile.

Dr William Dragolich, our friendly neighborhood periodontist, specializes in the placement of dental implants, and has treated many of our patients, with great success.

Here is a great overview about implants by Dr Dragolich:

There is a lot of talk these days about implants. Mostly the references are to “cosmetic enhancements”. But, let’s talk about dental implants.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. It can also stabilize a loose or uncomfortable denture. Dental implants are an ideal choice for people in good general oral health and of all ages, who have lost one or more teeth.

Implants serve to support replacement teeth that look, feel and function like your natural teeth. In addition to keeping your smile attractive, you’ll find that with dental implants, bone health can be maintained. With a bridge or denture, some of the bone that previously surrounded the missing tooth starts to deteriorate. The loss of the jawbone can result in collapse of the cheeks and wrinkling. Excessive loss of the jawbone could increase the risk of a fracture. A dental implant keeps the jawbone healthy and intact by stimulation of the bone similar to a natural tooth.

Now, let’s look at another benefit of dental implants; they allow the remaining teeth to maintain their integrity. Because an implant stands alone, the replacement does not depend on the support of the neighboring healthy teeth. With a conventional tooth-supported fixed bridge, the adjacent teeth are ground down to support the cemented bridge. If these ground-down teeth suffer additional damage such as tooth decay or gum disease, the support of the bridge is compromised and may be lost. In addition, the teeth supporting the bridge may also be lost. Studies also indicate that a tooth anchoring a bridge is 3 times more likely to need a root canal.

Bothersome problems of dentures are also avoided with dental implants. By anchoring the denture to implants, there is less movement, less discomfort and better chewing function. In addition, confidence is gained in social settings knowing the dentures are secured while talking.

When considering implants, it should be noted that the start-to-finish timeline is a few weeks longer than conventional treatments, while the cost remains comparable to the fixed bridge option.

The success of dental implants is achieved through comprehensive evaluation and thoughtful planning by your general dentist and periodontist (gum doctor). Dr. Rao and Dr. William Dragolich, working together, will provide you with the information you need to decide if dental implants are the right choice for you.

Questions? Feel free to comment, call or email us and we’d be happy to answer them!

(214) 522-3110   www.raodentistry.com  raostaff@sbcglobal.net

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Filed under Cosmetic, Dental Implants