A Look at Aging and Your Oral Health

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Your health changes in many ways as you grow older, and your oral health is no exception. Seniors are often susceptible to gum recession and tooth decay, for example, which can lead to the loss of natural teeth if left untreated for too long. If your teeth are already too damaged to be saved, an oral surgeon in San Diego can place dental implants to replace them. Implants, capped by natural-looking crowns, will restore your beautiful smile and oral health .

To hear about preventive care as you grow older, watch this featured video. This dentist explains that seniors are more likely to suffer from dry mouth, as common medications can cause this side effect. Chewing sugarless gum can improve saliva production, which helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria and food particles.

Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Residents of San Diego often choose dental implants to replace their missing teeth. Compared to dentures, tooth implants look, feel, and function just like any natural tooth. Consult an oral surgeon about whether implants could be the right choice for you.

Your jawbone has stopped developing.

Most people with missing teeth are adults, but it’s certainly possible for kids and adolescents to lose their adult teeth. Sports trauma and poor oral hygiene can cause this problem. If you’re a minor, your dentist may recommend a temporary solution until your jawbone stops developing. When you’re physically mature, you can revisit the idea of getting dental implants.

You lack certain chronic medical problems.

Your oral surgeon should have your full medical history, including any major medical treatments. Radiation treatment to the head or neck is one possible contraindication. Others can include diabetes, bleeding disorders like hemophilia, substantial immune deficiencies, and connective tissue disorders. If you must take medications that suppress the immune system, dental implants might not be appropriate for you. However, even if you have a possible contraindication, there’s no harm in consulting an oral surgeon. Some exceptions can be made, such as if your diabetes is well-controlled.

Am I a good candidate for dental implants?

You aren’t currently pregnant.

Women who are pregnant or could possibly be pregnant are advised to wait to have non-emergency oral surgery, although routine, preventive dental care is recommended throughout pregnancy. Local dental anesthetics are safe for use during pregnancy, but implant surgery requires stronger pain control measures that could harm a developing fetus.

You have sufficient bone mass and reasonably healthy gums.

Dental implants require enough bone mass to firmly anchor them in place. Even if you lack sufficient bone mass, you may still have implants if you first have a bone augmentation procedure. And even if you have gum disease, you might be a good candidate for replacement teeth after your gum disease is treated.

You don’t smoke or drink alcohol to excess.

Smoking is a major cause of implant failure, and it also significantly increases the risks associated with surgery and the post-op recovery period. If you’re currently a smoker, you’ll be instructed to quit before the surgeon will consider performing implant procedures. Alcohol abuse can also be problematic, as individuals affected by it tend to have poor oral hygiene and poor compliance with post-op care instructions.

Ways to Prepare for Your Dental Implant Procedure

If you have missing teeth, dental implants can be life-changing. Unlike dentures, which may not fit securely and which require extensive special care, dental implants look, feel, and act like natural teeth. You can brush and floss them as normal, and they don’t require any dietary changes. Taking the proper steps before you get dental implants in San Diego is an important part of ensuring that your procedure is successful. Follow all of your oral surgeon’s instructions to prepare for your appointment to get your implants. These steps will also help you get ready.

Have a Dental Exam

A dental exam is the first step to having a successful implant procedure. During this checkup, your dentist will take X-rays and make models of your mouth that will help to plan your dental implant treatment. He or she will also determine if you have a sufficient amount of bone in your jaw to support implants during this checkup. If you don’t, you may be referred for bone grafting before you get your implants in order to make the bone in your jaw more substantial.

Ways to prepare for your dental implant procedure in San Diego, CA

Have Lab Work Performed

Your oral surgeon may ask you to have lab work performed to determine if you have any conditions that could interfere with your recovery from the dental implant procedure. Be sure to have any recommended tests done well in advance of your procedure appointment date to avoid any delays in treatment. This lab work can be especially important if you plan to have general anesthesia during your procedure or if you have a chronic medical condition that cause slow healing or that makes you more vulnerable to infection.

Stop Smoking

Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your oral health, and it can be particularly problematic after you get dental implants. Smoking can increase your risk of infection and interfere with the healing process after your procedure. Smoking also increases the risk of side effects from anesthesia. If you need help quitting, talk to your oral surgeon or physician for advice.

Look Your Best This Season with Help from BOTOX® Cosmetic

The upcoming holiday season means parties and pictures, which also means that you want to look your best. You may be surprised to learn that the same oral surgeon that does dental implants and wisdom tooth removal in San Diego can also help you look younger with Botox injections . Here is a look at how Botox can give you a new, refreshed look for the holiday season.

What is Botox?

Botox is an injectable cosmetic treatment that is improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes and between your brows. It works on dynamic wrinkles, which appear in response to muscle movement under your skin. For instance, if you get wrinkles when your squint your eyes, the muscles around your eyes are causing the skin to fold. Botox injections work by reducing the movement of those muscles. When the muscles don’t move, that skin stays smooth. As a result, you’ll look younger and refreshed. Because Botox works on dynamic wrinkles, it doesn’t address sagging skin or static wrinkles—wrinkles that exist without muscle movement.

Botox injections in San Diego, CA

How do I prepare for Botox injections?

Botox injections are done in a fast, in-office procedure. No preparation is required. After choosing the appropriate injection sites, your oral surgeon will inject the Botox using a series of shots. No anesthesia is required, and most patients find the process virtually painless. There may be some minor swelling, redness, or bruising at the injection sites immediately after the procedure, which should go away quickly. Ideally, you should have Botox performed a few days before any major event, so that any minor side effects that do occur are gone.

How often do I need to get Botox?

You will usually begin to see results from Botox within 24 to 48 hours of treatment. Typically, people need touch-up treatments every few months to maintain their results. Your oral surgeon can help you decide how often you should repeat the injections.