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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

SupermodelAshleyGrahamsUnpleasantDentalEncounterWithaFrozenCookie

Ashley Graham has a beautiful and valuable smile—an important asset to her bustling career as a plus-size model and television host. But she recently revealed on Instagram a “confrontation” between one of her teeth and a frozen oatmeal cookie. The cookie won.

Holding her hand over her mouth during the video until the last moment, Graham explained how she sneaked a cookie from her mom's freezer and took a bite of the frozen treat. Taking her hand from her mouth, she revealed her broken tooth.

Okay, maybe it wasn't an actual tooth that was broken: the denticle in question appeared to have been previously altered to accommodate a porcelain veneer or crown. But whatever was once there wasn't there anymore.

Although her smile was restored without too much fuss, Graham's experience is still a cautionary tale for anyone with dental work (and kudos to her for being a good sport and sharing it). Although dental work in general is quite durable, it is not immune to damage. Biting down on something hard, even as delicious as one of mom's frozen oatmeal cookies, could run you the risk of popping off a veneer or loosening a crown.

To paraphrase an old saying: Take care of your dental work, and it will take care of you. Don't use your teeth in ways that put your dental work at risk, tempting as it may be given your mouth's mechanical capabilities.

¬†Even so, it's unwise—both for dental work and for natural teeth—to use your teeth and jaws for tasks like cracking nuts or prying open containers. You should also avoid biting into foods or substances with hard textures like ice or a rock-hard cookie from the freezer, especially if you have veneers or other cosmetic improvements.

It's equally important to clean your mouth daily, and undergo professional cleanings at least twice a year. That might not seem so important at first since disease-causing organisms won't infect your dental work's nonliving materials. But infection can wreak havoc on natural tissues like gums, remaining teeth or underlying bone that together often support dental enhancements. Losing that support could lead to losing your dental work.

And it's always a good idea to have dental work, particularly dentures, checked regularly. Conditions in the mouth can change, sometimes without you noticing them, so periodic examinations by a trained dental provider could prevent or treat a problem before it adversely affects your dental work.

We're glad Ashley Graham's trademark smile wasn't permanently harmed by that frozen cookie, and yours probably wouldn't be either in a similar situation. But don't take any chances, and follow these common sense tips for protecting your dental work.

If you would like more information on care and maintenance of cosmetic dental work, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty as Never Before” and “Dental Implant Maintenance.”

By PETRA I MAYER DDS
September 15, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

When you lose teeth, dental implants in Albuquerque, NM, can provide you with the long-term replacement that you need to complete your smile. Over the years, implants have become one of the most popular treatments for missing teeth. Dr. Petra Mayer offers dental implants to restore function to your smile.

How Implants Work

Implants are inserted directly into your jaw bone. A strong metal post is implanted into the bone and is topped with a custom-made dental crown. Your new implant will blend right in with the rest of your smile so people won't realize that you were ever missing a tooth in the first place. A dental implant will prevent bone loss in your jaw and make sure your mouth is as strong as possible. 

Will Implants Help You?

Getting dental implants in Albuquerque, NM, can improve your appearance and help your smile remain healthy. Just a few different ways that they can help you include:

  • Filling in the gaps in your smile, helping to provide you with a better overall look and appearance
  • Preventing your remaining teeth from shifting
  • Supporting your facial muscles
  • Maintaining your jaw bone density by stimulating the area

So if you're missing a tooth, a high-quality implant is a great option to consider. Often, they can be used in place of bridges or dentures.

Talk to Us Today

Do you need dental implants in Albuquerque, NM, and you aren't sure where to turn? Reach out to Dr. Mayer right away to learn more. We can give you the kind of implants you need to protect your oral health. Call us at (505) 881-2400 to set up an appointment.

By PETRA I MAYER DDS
September 13, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Tooth Extraction  

Your periodontist, Dr. Petra Mayer, performs tooth extractions for patients with damaged teeth. Sometimes when a tooth is damaged, it's best for the health of your mouth to remove it completely. Keep reading for signs your tooth needs to be extracted, and contact us today if you need a tooth extraction in Albuquerque, NM!

Signs you need a tooth extracted

When a tooth is hopelessly decayed or damaged, it's best for the health of your mouth to have it completely removed. These are some reasons you may need an extraction:

  • Damage by trauma 
  • A tooth cracked below the gum line
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Overcrowding

In these cases, removing teeth would be beneficial for the health of your mouth, and sometimes it's necessary to remove teeth for orthodontic treatment, too. You may have some swelling and discomfort for a couple of days, so we can recommend anti-inflammatory medication to help.

Extractions

If you need a tooth extraction in Albuquerque, NM, don't panic! This is a routine procedure for your periodontist, and your mouth will feel back to normal in just a few days.

Your appointment will likely start with an x-ray. This helps your doctor assess the tooth and predict any complications with the extraction. Typically, you will be numbed with local anesthesia, but other sedatives like oral medication and nitrous oxide can be used as well. A tooth may need to be sectioned, or broken into pieces, to remove each root.

After the extraction, the empty socket is packed with gauze to stop any bleeding. It's important to adhere to a soft food diet while you heal and call us if you notice any complications. Come see your periodontist in Albuquerque, NM, when you need a tooth extraction. To book an appointment with Dr. Mayer, call (505) 881-2400.

By Petra I Mayer DDS
September 08, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   crowns  
WhichImplantCrownAttachmentMethodisBestforYou

If you've decided on a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, you've made a great choice. Implants are a big favorite of both dentists and patients, not only for their life-likeness, but also their durability. Studies show that more than 95% of implants survive after ten years.

As you may know, single tooth implants are composed of two main parts: a metal post (usually titanium) imbedded in the jawbone; and a life-like crown affixed to the end of the post. But what you may not know is that there are two ways to attach the crown—either with screws or with dental cement.

Neither way is superior to the other—both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. A cemented crown, for instance, usually looks more like a natural tooth than a screw-retained crown (more about that later) and dentists have more flexibility in making them look natural.

But cemented crowns require an additional piece of hardware called an abutment to better match it with the implant, something unnecessary with a screw-retained crown. Some people can also experience a reaction to the cement resulting in inflammation or even bone loss. And once installed, removing the crown later for repair or replacement is much more difficult than with a screw-retained crown.

Besides attaching directly to the implant, screw-retained crowns don't require cement and are more easily attached and removed. But the screw-hole can pose some aesthetic problems: Although it can be filled with a tooth-colored filling, the tooth's appearance isn't as ideal as a cemented crown.

So, which one is best for you? That will depend on the type and location of teeth being replaced, as well as your dentist's preferences. For instance, a more attractive cemented crown may be better for a visible front tooth, while a screw-retained crown might be a good choice for a back premolar or molar where appearance isn't as big a factor.

In the end, it's likely your dentist will discuss the pros and cons for each method as it pertains to your individual case. Whichever way your crown attaches, the end result will still be a life-like tooth that could last you for years to come.

If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “How Crowns Attach to Implants.”

By Petra I Mayer DDS
August 09, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  
HowCelineDionOvercameHerSmileObstacle

For over three decades, Celine Dion has amazed audiences and fans with her powerful singing voice. Best known for her recording of "My Heart Will Go On," the theme song for the movie Titanic, Dion has amassed global record sales topping 200 million. In her early singing days, though, she struggled with one particular career obstacle: an unattractive smile.

The Canadian-born performer had a number of dental defects including crooked and discolored teeth, and—most prominent of all—abnormally large cuspid or "canine" teeth (located on either side of the four front incisors). They were so noticeable that one Quebec celebrity magazine gave her the unflattering nickname "Canine Dion."

This isn't an unusual problem. Since human canines are already the longest teeth in the mouth, it doesn't take much for them to stand out. Our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors needed these large, pointed teeth to survive. But with the evolution of agriculture and industry, canine teeth have become gradually smaller—so much so that when they're abnormally large, they don't look right in a smile.

So, what can be done if your canines embarrassingly stand out from the rest? Here are some of the options to consider.

Reduce their size. If your canines are just a tad too long, it may be possible to remove some of the enamel layer in a procedure called contouring. Using this technique, we can reduce a tooth's overall size, which we then re-shape by bonding composite resin to the tooth. It's only a good option, though, if your canines have an ample and healthy layer of enamel.

Repair other teeth. The problem of prominent canine teeth may actually be caused by neighboring teeth. When the teeth next to the canines are crooked, the canines can appear more prominent. Alternatively, other teeth around the canines may be abnormally small. Braces or clear aligners can correct crooked incisors, and applying porcelain veneers to smaller teeth could help normalize their length.

Apply dental crowns. In some instances, we can reduce the canines in size and then bond porcelain crowns to them. This is the option that Dion ultimately chose. The natural teeth are still intact, but the crowning process transforms them into properly proportioned, life-like teeth. There is, however, one caveat: The alteration to these teeth will be permanent, so they will need a crown from then on.

Besides crowning her canine teeth, Dion also underwent other dental work to straighten and whiten her other teeth. As a result, this superstar performer now has a superstar smile to match and so can you if your teeth are less than perfect. These or other cosmetic enhancements can give you the look you truly desire. All it takes is an initial visit with us to start you on the road to a transformed smile.

If you would like more information about various cosmetic solutions for your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Dental Crowns.”