Bone Grafting for Dental Implants

Sink your teeth into the cosmetic miracle of implant restorative dentistry. Different from dentures, dental implants serve as an artificial tooth root. When you undergo this procedure, your oral surgeon will surgically position metal posts into the jawbone beneath the gum line allowing us to mount replacement teeth or bridges to that area.

If you’re missing one or more teeth, the cosmetic results of dental implants are unbeatable. However, if you are considering implant restorative dentistry, continue reading below to find out the bone grafting steps that may be required if your gums and bones can’t support the procedure alone.

Bone Grafting Procedure

If an oral surgeon finds your jaw bone to be too thin or soft to hold an implant in place, you may be asked to consider a bone graft for your dental implants. This is necessary because if your natural bone cannot support an implant, it may cause the implant surgery to fail.

In a bone grafting procedure, the surgeon will remove an area of bone from another part of your body, or use a bone grafting material, and transplant the new bone onto your jaw. After this, there will be a healing period up to several months to wait for the graft to create enough new, strong bone that will support and secure an implant.

On some occasions, it’s possible that a minor graft procedure may be able to be done at the same time as the implant surgery. Every scenario is case by case and will be determined by your dental specialist.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

A dental implant appears and acts the same as a regular tooth, and a successful implant is nearly undetectable.

A dental implant has two pieces: a metal cylinder that is placed into the jaw bone and functions like the root of the tooth, and an abutment that screws into the first piece. A crown is then placed on the abutment, creating the appearance of a tooth.

An implant doesn’t come loose like a denture can. Dental implants also benefit general oral health because they do not have to be anchored to other teeth, like dental bridges do.

Questions about Bone Grafting and Implant Restorative Dentistry? Contact Us Today!

There’s a lot to take in when it comes to implant restorative dentistry, which is why our team at Brar Family Dentistry in Nashua and Merrimack is happy to address your questions or concerns. Contact us today at (603) 889-0601 or utilize our user-friendly online form to make an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!

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What Is A Dental Abscess?

What Is A Dental AbscessToothaches — we’ve all had them and to different degrees, but sometimes that toothache can be a sign of a deeper, more serious dental issue known as an abscess.

Learn more about this condition today—what it is, what are the symptoms, and what steps you can take to prevent your mouth from developing one.

A dental abscess is a bacterial infection that causes pockets of pus near the root of the tooth. If left untreated, a dental abscess can cause severe pain and further complications. Abscesses are caused by an excess of bacteria, usually in the form of tooth decay. Abscesses affect teeth; however, there are two types of abscesses that target the gums.

Gingival (early stage)- An abscess that affects the external part of the gums and occurs when food gets trapped inside the gums, causing the buildup of bacteria.

Periodontal (late stage) – An abscess that occurs deeper in the gums and expands into the surrounding tissues and jaw bones.

Common Symptoms of A Dental Abscess

Now that we know what a dental abscess is, we can discuss a few common symptoms that characterize the condition. Knowing these symptoms will help you detect an abscess if one develops. Symptoms include:

  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Severe Pain
  • Difficulty Chewing Or Swallowing
  • Tooth Discoloration
  • Tooth Sensitivity Or Toothache
  • Bad Breath
  • Bitter/Foul Taste
  • Bleeding Gums

How to Prevent A Dental Abscess

Dental abscesses are easily preventable if you maintain good oral and dental care. First, this involves having routine check-ups with your family dentist in our Nashua and Merrimack, NH offices. Since an abscess is tied to the presence of tooth decay, we also stress that you brush twice a day and floss at home, and also replace your toothbrush every three months. Additionally, consider regularly using a mouthwash that has fluoride as an active ingredient to add an extra layer of protection against bacteria. And lastly, minimize the consumption of sugary foods/drinks and consume healthier options like water and green vegetables.

Schedule An Appointment at Our Nashua and Merrimack, NH Family Dentistry

If you have identified more than one of the abscess symptoms listed above, schedule an appointment with our Nashua and Merrimack, NH family dentistry for a full dental evaluation. At Brar Family Dentistry, our mission is to provide superb comprehensive dental care to the greater Nashua and Merrimack, NH area and surrounding communities. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Join Brar Family Dentistry in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

On Sunday, October 14th, a group of us from Brar Family Dentistry will be taking part in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. This event will be held at Greeley Park In Nashua beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Every three- to five-mile Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk is a powerful and inspiring opportunity to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about steps we can take to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society lead the fight against this disease with groundbreaking breast cancer research, information and support 24-7, and access to mammograms for women who need them. Every step you take is personal, and together we are helping to finish the fight against breast cancer.

We need your help and financial support. Please help us by sponsoring our team. Tax deductible donations can be made on-line by CLICKING HERE or, if you’d like, send your check made out to the American Cancer Society to 33 Broad Street, Nashua, NH 03064.

We would truly appreciate your donation. Every dollar raised brings us one step closer to a world with less cancer and more birthdays – a world where not another life is lost to this disease.

Thank you so much for your support. Together, we will finish the fight!

Dental Hygiene in The Summer

Dental Hygiene in The SummerThey say one swallow doesn’t make a summer, and this applies to dental hygiene as well. As warmer temperatures arrive, we know kids and families are enjoying longer days, travel plans, less routine, and plenty of ice cream! While we encourage all of these indulgences, let’s discuss ways to maintain a good dental hygiene routine so that guilty pleasures don’t lead to cavities.

Set a Bedtime

Possibly the best part of summer, staying up extra late and sleeping in a little longer can do the most damage on proper dental hygiene routines. During the school year, kids establish habits of brushing and flossing before bedtime and upon waking, but when those routines disappear, so will those good habits. This is why your dental experts at Brar Family Dentistry encourage parents to set a flexible bedtime during the summer so kids continue to care for their teeth. Beyond supporting healthy and strong teeth, a flexible routine in the summer will lead to a smoother transition when school schedules come back into full swing!

Camps, Classes, & Sports

Another way to create a sense of routine in the summer can come from signing your child up for camps that encourage them to explore new interests and hobbies. These activities do not need to take up an entire day or full week, but some structure will provide a sense of normalcy that kids rely and thrive on. Of course, setting a healthy balance between activities and free time is important to ensuring kids still enjoy their summer break.

Commitment

Discussing dental habits during the summer may seem out of the blue, but years of experience teach us that summer break can lead to the breakage of healthy dental habits. Talking about the subject can help keep it from escaping your kids’ minds. So, on your next camping trip or family getaway, take advantage of the opportunity to teach your child about their lifelong commitment to dental health by packing toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss, and committing to routines while on the go. Your kids will thank you later when their next trip for their pediatric dentistry is a positive one!

Contact Brar Family Dentistry Today!

Of course, making an appointment with a dentist is another sure way to maintain excellent dental health. And summer is an ideal time to make an appointment when kids do not have to miss learning time in the classroom to come in for visit. Contact us today in our Nashua or Merrimack, NH office to schedule your next visit now!

Canker Sores

Canker Sores.pngImagine that you’re brushing your teeth or diving into a plateful of your favorite food and you suddenly feel a sharp pain in your mouth. Once you get in front of a mirror you get a closer look and you see a small, white sore. You’ve just found yourself a canker sore, and they’re never fun. The good news is that your local Nashua and Merrimiack, NH oral health experts at Brar Family Dentistry are here to help you with all the information about canker sores that you need to know for prevention and treatment.

What Are Canker Sores?

A canker sore is simply a small, shallow ulcer or lesion that can develop on the soft tissues in your mouth, including the insides of your cheeks, the base of your gums, and even on your tongue. The sores typically have a white or yellow coloration with a red border and form in a circular or oval shape. The size of a lesion is about the size of a pea or a kernel of corn on average, but it is possible for the sore to be larger in certain cases.

Canker sores are often split into two main categories: simple and complex. Simple sores are the most common, especially among those 10 – 20 years old, with the average person developing a sore about 3 – 4 times each year. Complex sores are larger and more painful sores compared to simple sores. They are less common for the most part; however, people who have had canker sores in the past are at a higher risk of developing them.

Regardless of the type of sore, they are painful and can often make simple tasks like talking, eating, or brushing your teeth more difficult. Depending on the type of sore that you have, it can take anywhere from 1 – 6 weeks to completely heal.

The Difference Between Cold Sores & Canker Sores

Canker sores are often confused with cold sores, but they have some very distinct differences. While canker sores always appear on soft tissue inside of the mouth, cold sores appear outside of the mouth on the lips. As for their cause, canker sores can be the result of a wide range of factors, but cold sores are caused by a virus and are extremely contagious.

What Causes Canker Sores?

The exact cause of canker sores has yet to be perfectly pinpointed, but we do know the different factors that can increase the chances of developing them. The potential causes of canker sores are:

  • Injury & Tissue Damage – Dental trauma caused by an impact during sports, irritation caused by orthodontic appliances or a chipped tooth, and anything that can damage the soft, sensitive tissue in your mouth can lead to the creation of a canker sore.
  • Stress & Hormones – Heightened stress levels or fluctuations in hormones affect your body in many ways, such as higher blood pressure and blood sugar levels. These factors could potentially contribute to the formation of canker sores as well.
  • Food – Highly acidic or spicy foods can cause enough irritation to the soft tissue to create a canker sore. Those with food allergies can also develop canker sores as an allergic reaction.
  • Vitamin Deficiencies – low levels of iron, zinc, vitamin B-12, and folate are all linked to increased risk of developing canker sores.
  • Allergic Reaction to Bacteria – There are approximately 100 – 200 types of bacteria in your mouth at any given time, and all it takes is an allergic reaction to one of these types of bacteria to result in a canker sore.

What Can I Do to Prevent Canker Sores?

Since there is no immediate cure to canker sores, getting one means that you have to wait for the sore to heal and go away on its own. That makes prevention the best option for fighting against canker sores. Actions that you can take to prevent the development of canker sores include:

  • Managing Your Diet – Doing your best to avoid foods that will irritate your mouth like citrus or spicy foods can reduce your chances of getting canker sores. Meanwhile, filling your diet with healthy foods like vegetables and whole grains can give you essential vitamins and minerals to prevent the development of a deficiency.
  • Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene – Remember how we mentioned that there can be 100 – 200 types of bacteria in your mouth at any time? If you have a great oral hygiene routine, there will be about 1,000 to 100,000 individual bacteria on the surface of each of your teeth. If you don’t practice good oral hygiene, that number jumps up to 100 million – 1 billion individual bacteria on each tooth, which can cause a lot more problems than just higher chances of canker sores, for example serious tooth decay.
  • Protecting Your Soft Oral Tissue – If you play sports or use an orthodontic appliance, protecting your teeth may already be second nature for you, but make sure you’re also protecting the rest of your mouth. Wear a mouthguard to prevent your teeth from cutting into your soft tissue, or apply orthodontic wax to any sharp edges of your appliances so they don’t cause irritation.
  • Keeping Low Stress Levels – While this may be easier said than done, trying to keep your stress levels low can reduce your risk of developing canker sores. Adding some stress relieving activities or habits into your routine will help your body in the oral health department, as well as in other aspects of your life!

When to See A Doctor about Canker Sores

While most canker sores will go away on their own, there are some cases where it is recommended that you seek out help from a doctor or dentist. Most often, cases of canker sores that require medical attention involve larger, more painful sores that appear and either do not seem to completely heal or consistently reoccur. It is also recommended that you see a doctor if the pain from a canker sore is too extreme and cannot be managed with an at home solution (such as pain killers or numbing medicine like benzocaine), or if you develop a high fever along with the sore.

How Are Canker Sores Treated?

For cases of canker sores that cannot be treated with at home remedies and require medical attention, treatment can vary depending on the patients’ needs and severity of the sore. One common treatment for canker sores uses a dental soft tissue laser, which helps close the wound, clear away any harmful bacteria, and jump start the healing process to provide immediate relief. Another effective treatment option for canker sores is the use of cleaning antiseptic medication, typically in the form of a mouth rinse. By rinsing with such medication 3 – 4 times each day, you can prevent infection and decrease the amount of time it takes for a canker sore to fully heal. For canker sores that are caused by vitamin deficiencies, simply taking a supplement to counteract the deficiency will often help speed up the healing process.

Contact Us for More Information!

If you have any questions about canker sores, how they are caused, and how to treat them, or if you are in need of professional dental treatment, contact us at Brar Family Dentistry! A member of our staff will be more than happy to answer your questions, and help set you up with a dental appointment in our local Nashua or Merrimack, NH office. Our talented dentists and dental team have been providing families with superior care for over 50 years, and we look forward to providing you with the high quality dental experience that you deserve. We hope to see you in our office soon!

Understanding Tooth Pathology

Understanding Tooth PathologyIn order to take good care of our teeth, we need to understand the different diseases and conditions that can affect them. One of our goals at Brar Family Dentistry is to help our patients understand the potential issues that our dental care addresses. That includes breaking down scientific terms like tooth pathology, which refers to all conditions involving our teeth that can be present at birth (congenital diseases) or acquired throughout life. Continue reading below to learn more.

Congenital vs. Acquired Diseases

Tooth pathology consists of dental conditions that fall in both the congenital and acquired categories.

Congenital Diseases

Some congenital conditions for teeth, both common and rare, include:

  • Malocclusion: Misalignment of teeth, which can affect your bite, face shape, tooth health, and speech. Most malocclusions can be corrected through orthodontic treatment.
  • Hyperdontia (Also called supernumerary teeth): having too many teeth beyond the normal amount of both primary (20) and adult (32) teeth. Interestingly, this condition is twice as common in men as it is in women.
  • Hypodontia: A condition where you are missing some teeth (six or more = oligodontia) or even missing all of your teeth (anodontia).
  • Enamel defects: Two common enamel defects that affect children are hypoplasia and hypocalcification, both of which affect the strength and health of a tooth’s enamel. Patients dealing with these conditions often complain about tooth sensitivity because the enamel is thin or worn down quickly.

Acquired Diseases

Unlike congenital diseases, acquired diseases develop after birth. Cavities (also called tooth decay) and caries are the most common acquired diseases, and two of the most common health problems in general. They are caused by several factors: plaque formation, bacteria in the mouth, sugary foods and drinks, and ineffective oral hygiene. Once plaque forms on a tooth, if it is not cleaned off properly it will create an acid that eats through the enamel and causes a cavity. Other medical conditions associated with tooth decay include diabetes, eating disorders, oral cancer, and TMD (temporomandibular disorder).

Anyone can get cavities, including infants, but cavities are more common among children, teenagers, and older adults. Cavity symptoms can vary, but they commonly include toothaches, increased sensitivity, visible holes or pits in the tooth, and dark stains. If left untreated, cavities can grow in size and depth, affecting deeper layers of your teeth and increasing the chances of infection and tooth loss.

Prevention

PreventionBeing proactive rather than reactive works in almost any circumstance, and that applies to your oral and dental health as well. Seeing a dentist now, then scheduling regular follow-up cleanings and exams, will help prevent problems and also allow your dentist to spot any potential issues early on, thus letting you get the jump on treating them.

Your dentist can suggest treatments and practices to improve and maintain good oral hygiene and dental health at home too. Some general tips for best oral hygiene and preventing tooth decay and cavities are:

  • Floss once a day, brush at least twice a day, and rinse with mouthwash once a day. This is the trinity of good oral hygiene.
  • Watch what you eat and drink. Cut back on the sugary drinks, as well as sugary and starchy foods. Instead, drink more water and eat more fruits, vegetables, and non-processed foods.

Find Your Path to Healthy Teeth

The staff at Brar Family Dentistry is dedicated to providing the best dental care, whether it’s for a simple cleaning and exam or for a more serious tooth pathology issue. Please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment at our Nashua, NH office. We will gladly answer any questions you may have about your teeth and oral health. We hope to hear from you soon!

How to Prevent Teeth Staining

pasta (1)As dental professionals, we understand that keeping your teeth white and healthy is an investment that takes a lot—from diligent oral hygiene at home to regular visits to our Nashua, NH family dentistry. However, the buck doesn’t stop there. According to Colgate, there are certain foods/drinks that create teeth discoloration or staining. If you want to protect your teeth from staining, learn about these foods/beverages and how they can affect your smile today!

Pasta Sauce

You might think twice about cooking lasagna or spaghetti for tonight’s dinner. Not only does tomato sauce have acidic properties, it is generally a bright red color, which can negatively affect the color of your teeth long term. If you are going to eat something heavy in tomato sauce, give your teeth a chance by prepping them with a green appetizer, such as a salad, steamed broccoli, brussels sprouts, or whatever your favorite green vegetable may be. These vegetables create a protective layer around your teeth that makes them less vulnerable to what comes next.

Curry

If you’re a huge fan of Thai or Indian food, chances are you also love curry. Because of curry’s deep, rich colors though—yellow, orange, red—your teeth are at risk for staining. So, if you are going to eat curry, dilute it a bit with more rice, green vegetables, etc.

Balsamic Vinegar

Because of its natural dark hue and sticky consistency, balsamic vinegar can leave your teeth with a dark film. Adding more crunchy green vegetables and less balsamic vinegar to your salads will reduce the dressing from sticking to your teeth and causing discoloration.

Dark Berries

No matter if you’re eating fresh berries, drinking them in a concentrated fruit juice, or enjoying them as a jam on toast, dark hued berries can lead to teeth discoloration. We’re not suggesting you skip out on berries altogether (they can be very healthy for you), but be sure to drink water or milk to wash away any residue afterward. Also, try a yummy alternative such as a fruit smoothie.

Certain Beverages

coffee (1)Lastly, various beverages including coffee, soda, energy drinks, wine, and tea can all cause teeth staining along with damage to your enamel. It’s both the acidic traits and colors of these beverages that pose a double threat to your dental health. Since most people drink some assortment of these beverages regularly, your family dentists recommend monitoring your intake (moderation is key) and drinking plenty of water.

Call Your Nashua, NH Family Dentistry

Our Nashua family dentistry is more than happy to help you find additional ways to keep your teeth looking beautiful past watching your intake of certain foods and beverages. We have years of experience working with patients of all ages. Feel free to give us a call at (603) 889-0601 or contact us online. We look forward to seeing you in our office!