Monthly Archives: October 2018

Flexible Dentures: What You Should Know

Flexible Dentures: What You Should Know

Your natural teeth are always the best, but if you lose them due to dental disease or trauma, there are options to help restore both your smile and your ability to chew. If you select dentures rather than dental implants, there are several different types from which to choose. A lesser-known type that is perfect for some situations is a soft, customized flexible denture. Here’s what you should know.


Traditional Dentures

Traditional dentures consist of an acrylic base, possibly with a metal support structure below. Artificial teeth of resin or porcelain are attached, which can appear highly realistic.

However, it can be tough to get used to traditional dentures. A partial denture uses metal clasps or precision attachments to connect to the natural teeth, which may interfere with functionality and can be visible when speaking or smiling. A full upper denture uses suction to adhere to the roof of the mouth, while a full lower denture rests on the gums. Traditional dentures can cause mouth soreness, and they may slip and pinch. The acrylic base can also cause allergic reactions.


Flexible Dentures

Flexible dentures consist of a clear, soft, nylon base that is highly unlikely to trigger an allergy. The natural gums show through, while the material clings to the gums on its own. No attachments, clasps, or adhesives are required. Flexible dentures are more comfortable than traditional dentures, and many people find it easier to speak and chew. Flexible dentures are also far less likely than traditional dentures to break if they are dropped.


Disadvantages of Flexible Dentures

Of course, like any other medical device, flexible dentures are not right for everyone. The nylon base is more likely than a rigid acrylic base to build up bacteria that can cause gingivitis. If you are prone to gum disease, it is especially important to remove the dentures twice per day and thoroughly brush them with a soft toothbrush, and then use a medicated mouthwash.

Some patients also notice that flexible dentures provide less bite strength than rigid traditional dentures. Of course, dental implants are the best way to restore virtually all of your original bite strength, but whether flexible dentures cause problems for you depends in part on your normal dietary habits and how many teeth you are missing.

No single solution is right for everyone. If you are missing teeth, your dentist will work with you to find the restoration that best fits your needs, budget, and goals for treatment. For many patients who do not want dental implants, though, flexible dentures are a more comfortable and less visible alternative to traditional dentures on an acrylic base.


Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Dental Consultation: What to Expect

Dental Consultation: What to Expect

At Savannah Dental Solutions, it is extremely important to us that all patients feel comfortable, knowledgeable, and empowered to participate in their own dental health. That’s why we put a great deal of time and effort into each dental consultation. Here is what to expect.


Dental Exam

First, we will perform a detailed dental exam. Whether you are scrupulous about receiving your twice a year cleanings or have steered clear of the dentist for some time, we never want you to feel shy or uncomfortable about coming to see us. We will perform a judgement-free complete dental exam to determine how we can best restore or maintain your oral health.

We will examine your teeth, gums, and jawbones for signs of cavities, enamel erosion, or gum disease. We will also check your existing dental restorations for any wear or damage. Any issues we find will be carefully noted.


Dental X-Rays

Next, we will take X-rays to assess the areas that are hidden to visual inspection. This gives us a more complete look at your tooth structure, bones, and soft tissue. If you have recently had X-rays taken by another dentist, please let us know. We like to minimize our patients’ exposure to radiation, so we may be able to use another provider’s X-rays to formulate our own treatment plan.


Discussion

After the exam and X-rays are complete, we will sit down with you for an in-depth discussion of your dental goals and desires. You can prepare for this conversation by scrutinizing your smile in the mirror before your appointment. Pinpoint what you like and dislike about your teeth, and take detailed notes. If you are considering cosmetic dental work, it is also helpful to bring in photos of smiles that you particularly admire. If cost is a concern, as it is for most people, please be honest with us about your budget. Many times, we can create treatment plans that maximize insurance benefits and minimize out of pocket expenses.


Treatment Plan

With the information we obtained from your exam, X-rays, and discussion in hand, we will generate your treatment plan. If the dental issues you have can be treated in multiple ways, we may create several treatment plans, complete with timelines and cost breakdowns, for you to consider. Your treatment is a collaborative process, so please ask any questions you might have and volunteer any thoughts that might occur to you.


Next Steps

Before your consultation concludes, we will work with you to set up your next step. If you have a clean bill of health and no cosmetic concerns, your next step might be a cleaning. If you have complex oral health issues, your next step could be oral surgery or impressions or any of a myriad of other possibilities. No matter what your next step may be, we will set up your appointment and help you understand how best to prepare.


Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

How to Choose Between Braces and Invisalign

How to Choose Between Braces and Invisalign

Traditional braces were long the gold standard for straightening teeth, and they remain highly popular today. Increasingly, though, patients and dentists are turning to Invisalign, “the clear alternative to braces.” Both options can solve the majority of orthodontic issues, and in most cases, the decision is yours. Here’s how to choose.


Treatment Planning

You will receive a customized treatment plan for whichever option you choose, but the process is different. When planning for braces, we will show you the existing problems with your teeth and tell you how the braces will help. After the braces are placed, you will not see your teeth without them until the completion of your treatment.

With Invisalign, we will create a digital 3-D model of your current smile, and then morph the model to show you exactly what to expect at each stage. When you are happy with the models, we will use them to create your personal series of aligners. You will change aligners at home, allowing you to track your progress at home.

When deciding which is better, consider your personality. Do you love surprises? Then you might enjoy having a big reveal at the end. Are you a planner who likes to know what to expect? Invisalign removes the guesswork.


Control Issues

We retain control over traditional braces. We place them, adjust them, and remove them. You will learn a new oral hygiene routine and memorize a list of forbidden foods, but otherwise you only need to worry about keeping your appointments. If any emergencies arise, such as a loose bracket or a popped wire, you will need to see us right away.

Invisalign puts you in control. We will place attachments on your teeth and show you how to care for your aligners, but your treatment is otherwise up to you. You will wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day for two weeks, or as directed, and then change to the next set of aligners at home. You can remove them to eat and perform oral hygiene as normal. We will see you just once every four to six weeks to keep an eye on your progress.

Which you prefer is up to you. Those who like to feel in control and are responsible enough to keep up with their aligners generally prefer Invisalign. Those with a lot on their minds who don’t want to deal with something extra usually like braces better.


Comfort and Aesthetics

Invisalign aligners are generally considered more comfortable than braces. There are no sharp edges or wires to poke, scrape, or scratch the delicate tissues in your mouth. Many people with braces never quite adapt to the feeling of a mouthful of metal.

Aesthetics are a highly personal choice. Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, meaning that no one needs to know you are straightening your teeth. Those who like to make bold statements, though, often like braces in fashion colors.


Cost Considerations

For many years, braces were a good bit less expensive than Invisalign, but this is beginning to change. Upgrades, adjustments, and emergency visits must be added to the base price of braces. Invisalign’s transparent pricing model includes all aligners and all office visits.

Dental insurance is complex, and benefits vary dramatically between plans. Some plans cover both braces and Invisalign, some cover one or the other, and some do not cover orthodontic care at all. Our knowledgeable office staff will help you understand your coverage and out of pocket costs before treatment begins.


Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.