July 12, 2011

The Importance of Mouthwash

For healthy teeth, you have to eat right and practice daily oral healthcare at home. Teeth should be brushed two times a day, flossed once a day, rinsed after meals, and cleaned professionally at least every six months. Additionally, your entire mouth can benefit from mouthwash. Antiseptic oral rinses and fluoride rinses are two types of beneficial mouthwashes that can promote healthy teeth and gums (and help refresh your breath too!).

Antiseptic mouthwashes, such as Scope and Listerine, decrease plaque and oral bacteria. In conjunction with brushing and flossing, these rinses help remove oral debris, temporarily suppress bad breath, and refresh the mouth with a pleasant taste (flavored versions only). To avoid drying out the tissues of the mouth, rinsing with a non-alcoholic mouthwash is recommended so be sure to check the labels!

Fluoride mouthwashes can also decrease oral bacteria. In addition to acting as an antiseptic, fluoride effectively prevents the growth of cavity-causing dental bacteria and strengthens tooth enamel. ACT, a common over-the-counter fluoride rinse, slows down or even stops the progression of cavities when combined with proper brushing and flossing. For high-risk patients, dentists can provide stronger concentration fluoride supplements or rinses to protect against cavities.

Rinsing with any mouthwash for 30 seconds loosens remaining debris and contributes to good oral health. If you live in the Atlanta area and want healthy teeth for a lifetime, contact me, Dr. Peter Pate at (404)266-9424. I provide preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry to families in Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Lenox, Atlanta, and surrounding areas.

July 5, 2011

The History of Dental Implants

As the leading tooth replacement option today, you would think the dental implant is a fairly recent technological advancement.

Believe it or not, the first dental implants date back more than 1,300 years. Here’s a timeline of dental implants.

Ancient History: Ancient Mayans and Egyptians hammered tooth-like pieces of shell, ivory, and animal bone directly into their gums to replace teeth.

1700s: Lost teeth were often replaced using the teeth of human donors, but the process was unsuccessful due to infection from the foreign materials used during the implant process.

1800s: Gold, platinum, and other metal alloys were used experimentally and placed into sockets where teeth had been recently extracted. Long-term success rates were poor.

1952: A doctor in Sweden accidentally discovered that titanium can bond with living bone tissue when he placed a titanium screw in an animal’s thighbone. He had the idea to use titanium posts to bond dental implants to patient jawbones.

1965: Modern dental implants made their world debut!  This was the beginning of implanting titanium in bone for the purpose of rooting prosthetic teeth.

1981: Per-Ingvar Branemark, the Swedish doctor who discovered the fusing power of titanium, published a paper reporting all the data he had collected about titanium implants.

1982: The Toronto Conference on Osseointegration in Clinical Dentistry created the first guidelines for successful implant dentistry.

2002: An American Dental Association (ADA) survey showed that oral and maxillofacial surgeons, periodontists, and general dentists nearly doubled the number of implants performed per dentist between 1995 and 2002.

Today: Dental implants are the number one tooth replacement procedure.

Dr. Peter Pate uses dental implants to give his patients beautiful, complete, and healthy smiles that will last a lifetime. Call Dentistry in Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia at (404) 266-9424 to reserve your consultation appointment with Dr. Pate.