My Blog

Posts for: September, 2015

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
September 23, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: gum disease  

In the fight against dental disease and other conditions your general dentist is your first line of defense for prevention strategies and treatment. Sometimes, however, your condition may require the services of a dental specialist to restore health to your mouth.

A good example of this is an advanced case of periodontal (gum) disease. While your dentist and hygienist are quite skilled at removing plaque and calculus, there may be extenuating circumstances that may benefit from the knowledge and expertise of a specialist. In the case of gum-related issues that would be a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases or disorders related to the gums and bone that support teeth.

There are a number of reasons why you may be referred to a periodontist regarding your gum health. Besides advanced stages of the disease (loose teeth, periodontal pocketing or bone loss) that require surgery or other invasive techniques you may have a particular form that requires advanced treatment, or a secondary condition, like pregnancy or diabetes, which could impact your periodontal condition. There may also be a need for a periodontist’s consultation if you’re preparing for cosmetic restoration, most notably dental implants, that could have a bearing on your gum and bone health.

As your primary oral health “gatekeeper,” your general dentist is largely responsible for determining what you need to achieve optimal health. Likewise, your periodontist or other specialists for other problems will be equally committed to providing you the right care for your situation. Your general dentist and other specialists will work together to ensure that your condition will be cared for, and that you’ll continue to enjoy the highest level of oral health possible.

If you would like more information on the role of periodontics and other dental specialties in oral health, 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 “Referral to a Dental Specialist.”

By Office of Dr. Hamrick-Stotts
September 16, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental ImplantsYour Redlands, CA dentist can help you regain a complete smile for life.

When you are dealing with tooth loss it might feel like a losing battle, but your Redlands, CA dentist Dr. Brenna Hamrick-Stotts is here to tell you that dental implants can treat your tooth loss and give you back that healthy smile for a lifetime.

About Dental Implants

Dental implants are your long-term solution for one or more missing teeth. While the process will certainly take longer than other treatments like dentures or dental bridges, it's worth the wait! Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that we surgically place into the jawbone of the missing tooth’s socket.

After a couple months of healing, your Redlands, CA dentist Dr. Hamrick-Stotts will uncover the implant and place an abutment on top. This piece serves to connect the implant that is under the gums with an artificial tooth that sits above the gums. We will give the gums a couple more weeks to heal, and then your last visit will entail placing your custom dental crown over the implant.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants certainly boast a multitude of benefits for those who get them:

Built for life: If properly cared for, dental implants are designed to last you the rest of your life. Even though nothing beats natural teeth, dental implants are the next best thing. They are strong, resilient and both look and act just like a natural tooth.

Preserve jawbone health: When you lose a tooth, the tooth roots no longer stimulate the jawbone, which means that bone cells will start to die. In order to protect your bone health, you must opt for a treatment that stimulates the production of new bone cells, which only dental implants can do. Preserve your natural facial structure and promote a healthy jawbone with implants.

Easy to care for: You might think that complex dental work such as implants would require a lot of extra care, but, happily, they don't! Treat your implants just like you would the rest of your smile - brush twice and floss once a day. Also, keep up with those six-month cleanings with Dr. Hamrick-Stotts at her Redlands, CA office.

Renewed confidence: Anyone who has had to deal with an incomplete smile knows that it can be embarrassing, particularly when out in public. But dental implants restore your smile, and, with it, your appearance. A new tooth is certainly something to smile about!

These are only some of the benefits you can look forward to when you get dental implants in Redlands, CA. Find out if dental implants are right for your smile needs by scheduling a consultation with us today. It’s never too late to get back that beautiful smile.

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
September 08, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

A recent episode of “America’s Got Talent” featured an engaging 93-year-old strongman called The Mighty Atom Jr. The mature muscleman’s stunt: moving a full-sized car (laden with his octogenarian “kid brother,” his brother’s wife, plus Atom’s “lady friend”) using just his teeth. Grinning for host Howie Mandel, Atom proudly told the TV audience that his teeth were all his own; then he grasped a leather strap in his mouth, and successfully pulled the car from a standstill.

We’re pleased to see that the Atom has kept his natural teeth in good shape: He must have found time for brushing and flossing in between stunts. Needless to say, his “talent” isn’t one we’d recommend trying at home. But aside from pulling vehicles, teeth can also be chipped or fractured by more mundane (yet still risky) activities — playing sports, nibbling on pencils, or biting too hard on ice. What can you do if that happens to your teeth?

Fortunately, we have a number of ways to repair cracked or chipped teeth. One of the easiest and fastest is cosmetic bonding with tooth-colored resins. Bonding can be used to fill in small chips, cracks and discolorations in the teeth. The bonding material is a high-tech mixture of plastic and glass components that’s extremely lifelike, and can last for several years. Plus, it’s a procedure that can be done right in the office, with minimal preparation or discomfort. However, it may not be suitable for larger chips, and it isn’t the longest-lasting type of restoration.

When more of the tooth structure is missing, a crown (or cap) might be needed to restore the tooth’s appearance and function. This involves creating a replacement for the entire visible part of the tooth in a dental lab — or in some cases, right in the office. It typically involves making a model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors, then fabricating a replica, which will fit perfectly into the bite. Finally, the replacement crown is permanently cemented to the damaged tooth. A crown replacement can last for many years if the tooth’s roots are in good shape. But what if the roots have been dislodged?

In some cases it’s possible to re-implant a tooth that has been knocked out — especially if it has been carefully preserved, and receives immediate professional attention. But if a tooth can’t be saved (due to a deeply fractured root, for example) a dental implant offers today’s best option for tooth replacement. This procedure has a success rate of over 95 percent, and gives you a natural looking replacement tooth that can last for the rest of your life.

So what have we learned? If you take care of your teeth, like strongman Atom, they can last a long time — but if you need to move your car, go get the keys.

If you would like more information about tooth restoration, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”