All Posts in Category: Dental Insurance

Top 10 Reasons to Get Dental X-rays

Top 10 Reasons to Get Dental X-rays

Dental X-rays, also known as (radiographs) are the images of your teeth that your dentist uses to assess your oral health. The images are taken using low levels of radiation in order to help your dentist to identify and treat various issues. Radiographs are not as complex as they seem to be, they’re actually common and are just as important as teeth cleanings.

There are several types of dental x-rays that work differently in monitoring your oral health. Vita Dental Spring shows you ways in which x-rays are important in helping to detect and prevent oral issues.

To Spot Decay and Infections

Bitewing x-rays are used to reveal decay or abscess between teeth and changes in bone density. The bitewing shows a tooth from its crown to the level of the supporting bone. It also helps to check between the tooth and gum for tumors or any changes in the root canal.

To Reveal Impacted Teeth

Panoramic x-rays can be used to check on impacted teeth, unexplained bleeding, or migrating teeth. It’s a dental x-ray examination that captures the whole mouth in one image that can help physicians diagnose correctly. It also provides valuable information about sinuses and other bone abnormalities.

To Detect Abnormalities of The Root

Periapical x-rays show the whole tooth length from the crown to the end of the root to where the tooth is anchored in the jaw. Each periapical x-ray includes all the teeth in one allotment of either the upper or lower jaw. This kind of radiography is used to detect any deformities of the surrounding bone and root structure.

Identify and Prevent Full Blown Cavities

A patient who had an early cavity during a previous visit and is now regularly brushing and flossing, an x-ray can be useful to confirm that the decay is not developing. In some cases, dentists could advise on a procedure known as CT Scans which provide 3-D x-ray images of the teeth, roots, skull, and jawbone.

To Develop a Treatment Plan

Radiographs are a vital part of any dental care treatment plan. They can be diagnostic and preventative in a way that it helps a dentist to identify a potential oral care issue in a patient’s mouth before it becomes a major problem. Dentists at Vita Dental Spring use Cephalometric projections which is a type of an extraoral x-ray which shows the entire side of the head. This is important for examining the teeth in connection to the jaw and profile of the individual. It’s mostly used by orthodontists to help them develop their treatment plans.

See Status of growing Teeth

Children need x-rays more often than adults because their jaws and teeth are not fully developed. Occlusal x-rays show full tooth placement and development by revealing the entire arch of teeth either on the upper or lower jaw. As teeth grow, x-rays are important in making sure that the mouth is large enough to accommodate incoming teeth.

Check for Development of Wisdom Teeth

X-rays are also able to detect the growth of wisdom teeth and to monitor if the teeth have been unable to emerge through the gums. It also helps to determine whether the primary teeth are being lost quickly enough.

Identify Gum Disease in Pregnant Women

There are instances where pregnant women should have dental x-rays carried out. Women who have periodontal disease are at a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, therefore teeth should be checked at this point. It is crucial that you discuss the issue with your dentist so that you balance both your dental and prenatal health. The dental assistant will ensure that you wear a lead apron and a lead collar for the thyroid to help protect exposed body parts from harmful radiation.

Identify Placement of Implants

A CT scan shows the body’s interior structures as a three-dimensional(3-D) image. This type of x-ray can be performed in a hospital, radiology center, or a dental clinic to identify issues such as tumors or fractures in the bones of the face. The scans can also be used to assess the bone for the positioning of dental implants and difficult extractions. This will help the surgeon avoid any likely complications during and after a clinical procedure.

To Look for Salivary Gland Problems

Sialography is an x-ray procedure that involves the examination of the salivary glands by injecting a dye then followed by the usual x-ray projections. Dentists may request for this type of test to look for problems in the salivary glands such as blockages. These glands are responsible for releasing saliva in the mouth which is important in breaking down carbohydrates and neutralizing acidity in the mouth.

We at  Vita Dental Spring, are committed to ensuring that our patients, be it children, pregnant mothers, or adults have a dental experience that is safe and comfortable. An x-ray examination twice a year is enough, but it all depends on your individual requirements and the dentist’s recommendations.

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Treatment for Stress-Induced Jaw Pain

Treatment for Stress-Induced Jaw Pain

Jaw pain can be a source of discomfort to any person. One of the many factors that always cause this pain is stress. Stress is always brought about by how people engage in strenuous activities like carrying heavy weights, doing heavy work or exercises. Stress leads to teeth clenching frequently thus creating a lot of pressure within the jaw. As the pressure builds up with time, it can result in poor control of jaw muscles.

If this problem is not resolved on time, the brain loses its ability to remember the normal and usual movement of the jaw. The jaw pain can affect the ability to eat or even speak well.

Below are the possible causes of stress-induced jaw pain

  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular joints, TMD are joints at the hinge joints on every side of the jaw. When a person applies too much stress on this muscle, it transfers the pressure to the hinge joints which develop pain and tenderness near the jaw.

Continuous chewing of food increases pain and results in clicking sounds and a grinding sensation within this area.

Stress causes people to clench their jaws or grind their teeth when sleeping (a condition known as bruxism) which causes the muscles around the jaw to tighten.

  • Cluster Headaches and Sinuses

Cluster headaches cause pain near or behind the eyes, but the pain can go through to the jaws as well. Sinuses are located close to the jaws and if they become infected with a virus or bacteria, it can lead to excess mucus which pressures the joints thus causing pain.

When faced with stress-induced jaw pain, Vita Dental Spring recommend that patients should adopt the following methods or ways of treating the problem

Use of Moist Heat or Ice Packs

Wrap ice in a plastic bag then put on your face for around 10 minutes. You can also run warm water over a cloth and apply it in your area of pain. The moist heat or the ice relaxes the jaw muscles hence relieving the pain. Alternatively, buy heat or ice packs to help in the relaxation of the muscles.

Massage the Affected Jaw Areas

Another form of treatment is massaging the painful jaw area. Massaging increases blood flow around the jaw hence reducing muscle tightness. This can be achieved by the rubbing of the muscles gently next to your ears where the temporomandibular joints are situated. Do this several times for a maximum effect.

Use Mouthguards

When the jaws are tight, consider wearing mouthguards. These guards help to reduce pain especially if the jaw pain is due to clenching and grinding of teeth.

Avoid Chewy Foods

When experiencing the pain, avoid chewy food as it may worsen the condition. Chewy or crunchy food place too much strain on your jaws leading to more pain and discomfort. When chewing food, its best to avoid chewing from one side of the jaw. Continuous chewing on the same side of the jaw exerts more force and pressure on that particular side thereby causing pain.

Use of Muscle Relaxers

Muscle relaxers are used mostly when the mouth guards fail to work. The relaxers help in contracting the jaw muscles. Wearing the relaxers over time helps to reduce the pain.

Botox Injections

Using Botox injections is a more extensive way of treating stress-induced jaw pain. Botox contains botulinum toxin which when injected into the jaw muscles, it prevents the muscles from clenching thereby relieving the pain. The injections last for the month after which re-injection is required again. Botulinum may affect the other adjacent muscles. To prevent botulinum from spreading, a patient is advised to avoid rubbing or massaging the injected areas hours after the injection.

Jaw Surgery

When the pain does not heal with time, a doctor can recommend undergoing jaw surgery. Jaw surgery involves removing the affected area of the jaw and sometimes replacing it with fillings. This is, however, a more advanced and costly process of dealing with the condition.

Diathermy Laser Treatment

Diathermy laser treatment is another medical way of treating the pains. The method involves using a high-frequency current that stimulates the generation of heat within the body tissues. The heat helps in improving the mobility of tissues and muscles that have contracted. This ultimately helps to relieve the pain.

The heat also increases the flow of blood thereby flexing the muscles tissues in the jaws.

With all these treatment options at our disposal, prevention is sometimes better than cure. People can exercise and observe the below tips to minimize or reduce the risk of stress-induced jaw pains.

Visiting A Doctor

Always visit your dentist to have your jaws and teeth checked up. The checkups can help in identifying other problems that may lead to jaw pains. It also enables the dentist to begin treatment before it gets out of hand. At Vita Dental Spring  we offer medication for stress-induced jaw pain. Book an appointment and have your jaws feeling strong and healthy again.

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Best Reasons to Visit Your Dentist

Best Reasons to Visit Your Dentist

Visiting the dentist is perhaps, not a walk in the park, but it is essential. Sometimes, it is easy to disregard an appointment with your dentist, especially when you have no obvious signs of dental issues. However, if you have a check-up every six months, then it is for a reason, especially because prevention is always better than cure. We at Vita Dental Spring value our patients, and we encourage you to show up for appointments. However, visiting the dentist may also be necessary without an appointment. Here are some of the best reasons to visit your dentist. 

Preventing Tooth Decay

A dentist can easily detect tooth decay, caused by the consumption of sugary foods or as plaque slowly builds up around the teeth. The condition of tooth decay worsens every month, and it is advisable to stay ahead of the problem by making an appointment every six months, or at least once a year. Once the outer layer of your teeth begins to erode, you need to see the dentist. Progressive cavities cause pain, increase tooth sensitivity, and cause deep dental cavities that require more expensive fillings. Cavities may also lead to gum irritation, and if left untreated can cause tooth loss.

Preventing Plaque

Plaque is a sticky deposit, that clings to your teeth and gum line, and houses harmful bacteria. The buildup of plaque on teeth causes tartar which causes teeth discoloration. Plaque buildup is often caused by improper brushing, irregular brushing, and not flossing. However, making an appointment with your dentist at Vita Dental Spring   will ensure that plaque is cleaned up before it can cause further damage.

Control Gum Disease

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, half of the adults aged 30 and above suffer from some form of gum disease. It is unfortunate that the majority of the population have some form of gum disease, and because it is painless, it is easy to ignore. As gum disease progresses, it becomes more painful and uncomfortable, and in advanced cases, it can cause tooth loss. By visiting your dentist, you can ensure that any signs of gums disease are treated early. The dentist can also advise you on proper oral hygiene techniques to prevent gum disease.

Save Costs in The Future

Identification of oral problems early could save you more money in the future. For example, plaque buildup that causes tooth decay can be eliminated before filling, or tooth extraction is required. Tooth replacement is also costly and it is, therefore, advisable to take care of your teeth. Making an appointment with Vita Dental Spring  today means that you will not be faced with a future unexpected bill.

To Treat Pain

If you are having pain in your gum, teeth or even jawbone, you should visit your dentist. Pain in the gums is an indication of gum disease, while pain in your teeth is a sign of cavities. Pain in the jawbone could be a symptom of a serious condition that may require the attention of a specialist. Even if your general dentist may not treat advanced oral problems such as jaw misalignment, he/she can recommend you to a specialist.

To Make Sure Everything Is in Shape

If you have had work done, such as a filling, or an ongoing root canal, dentures, braces, or implants, regular checkups are important. The dentist will ensure that all your oral fixes are in place, to avoid costly replacements later on. The dentist will also advise you on taking care of dental works such as braces, that make regular brushing, flossing and eating more complicated.

If You Have Ongoing Medical Issues

It is important to make your dentist part of your medical team because he/she is a doctor after all. This is especially important for people suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorder, or are HIV positive. If you are also undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation or hormone replacement therapy, involve your dentist for the best oral treatment approaches. 

If You Are Pregnant

Pregnancy comes with its fair share of complications, and one of these problems may be teeth deterioration. This commonly occurs if you are expectant and do not consume enough nutrients for yourself and the baby. Also, if your visits to the hospital affect your dental checkups, visit the dentist to make new appointments. Maintaining oral health during pregnancy is important, especially because you need your teeth to eat for two.

To Improve Your Smile

A bright smile will make you confident, especially when you interact with other people. Eventually, removing plaque, cavities, and keeping your dental work in check will ensure that your smile is white, bright and beautiful. When all your teeth are healthy and in place, then you can comfortably carry on with your life until the next appointment with your dentist.

Keeping your teeth in shape is easy to achieve by making regular appointments with your dentist. To ensure that your oral health is maintained, book an appointment with Vita Dental Spring , or visit us at our offices for more information.

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Live Better in Spring Texas with Dental Implants

Live Better in Spring Texas with Dental Implants

The self-consciousness of missing teeth affects our confidence, our smiles, and consequently our interactions with others. Fortunately, it is possible to replace missing teeth and restore your beautiful smile. Dental implants provide an efficient and effective solution for people with missing teeth.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is perhaps one of the best replacements for a missing tooth. It comes as close to mimicking a tooth because even the root is replaced. A dental implant has three parts: the implant screw, abutment, and the crown.

The implant screw is the root of the dental implant. This part is what sets dental imparts apart from other tooth replacements such as dentures and dental bridges. When you lose a tooth, the bone begins to shrink, and this causes a shrunken jaw appearance. With dental implants, the presence of a root keeps the jaw healthy and maintains the smooth jawline.

The abutment is the part that connects the root to the crown. Just like the root, it can be made of titanium or porcelain. It is peg-shaped and is attached to the screw before the crown is placed. The crown is the last piece of the dental implant. The crown is the part that shows in a smile and gives you back your confidence. Depending on the number of teeth being replaced, a crown may be a single tooth or come as a dental bridge.

Are You a Dental Implant Candidate?

The only way to know if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants is by visiting an experienced dentist at Vita Dental Spring . The dentist will assess if:

  • You are missing one or more teeth
  • You have general oral health
  • You would like a permanent tooth replacement
  • You are willing to undertake costs of treatment
  • You are willing to endure the period of treatment
  • You are willing to quit smoking if you smoke
  • Your jawbone can support an implant

Unlike other techniques, dental implants require sufficient bone before the procedure is conducted. If the dentist conducts tests and determines that your jawbone is insufficient, then you will have to undergo corrective procedures before an implant is installed. The procedure is known as a bone graft, and it augments the bone in a targeted region. Almost all patients are good candidates for bone grafting, which means that getting an implant is possible for you.

What is the Dental Implant Procedure?

The first step is to visit the dentist for a consultation. You will have to undergo several tests and also x-rays. The purpose of the consultation is to plan for the dental implant procedure. Once your oral health and jawbone are restored to its optimum, then the installation process can begin.

The dentist will install the screw into the jawbone. Thanks to advanced technology, the dentist will have mapped out the exact point for the installation of the screw. Once the screw is placed, time for a process known as “osseointegration” is allowed. This is the fusion of the titanium screw and the bone, to create a durable bond. The healing and fusion may take several weeks, and even months, but is essential for the long-term performance of your dental implant. During this period, the dentist will install a temporary tooth.

Once the screw is secure, the abutment will be put in place. The dentists will scan your teeth to ensure that your new crown(s) are matched to your natural teeth color. This will ensure that the replacements blend in. This is the final stage of the dental implant procedure; after which you will be free to enjoy your teeth.

What are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

  • They look like and feel like real teeth
  • Provide optimal chewing surface
  • They are a secure fit
  • Have the potential to last a lifetime
  • Restore the jawbone, maintaining the facial appearance

Mini Dental Implants

Some people are suitable candidates for mini implants. These implants are smaller in size than normal ones and are suitable for some patients with an insufficient bone to support conventional implants. Because of their reduced size, the implantation surgery, and healing period are shorter. The procedure is sometimes completed in one session. To find out if you are a candidate for mini dental implants, visit Vita Dental Spring.

Dental Implants for Dentures

If you want dentures with improved stability, then you should consider getting implant-supported dentures. The denture will remain the same, customized to fit your mouth. In this case, however, the dentures will be supported by implants. This will prevent the dentures from becoming loose over time, and move in your mouth. The dentures can be removable or fixed in place depending on your situation.

Choosing A Dentist for Your Implants

Dental implants require invasive procedures and as such, your dentist of choice should be qualified, experienced, and have the requisite capacity to carry out all the procedures to the end. Vita Dental Spring provides all necessary dental procedure required for your dental implants. Visit us today for a consultation.

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Water Flosser: A Good Idea in Spring Texas?

Water Flosser: A Good Idea in Spring Texas?

Do you find yourself forgetting to floss? Only half of Americans floss daily and about 18.5% do not floss at all. Even if you do not always do it, flossing is an important part of your oral care routine. It gets to place between the teeth and gums where a toothbrush would never reach.

However, using dental floss is not your only option. Another option that you have is a water flosser. Like many people, you may not really know how this device works. That is why we at  Vita Dental Spring have decided to educate you a bit on this device. By the end of this post, you should have been able to decide whether to use one or not.

About the Water Flosser

A Water flosser or a water pick is an oral irrigator. It cleans the oral cavity by shooting a stream of water that can dislodge food particles between the teeth. The Water flosser needs to be plugged into a power outlet. It also requires a water reservoir for it to function.

Who Should Use It?

If your regular flossing and brushing routine work just fine, you probably will not require this device. In fact, regular flossing and brushing are one of the most effective ways to take care of your oral health. Thus, a water pick should not be a substitute for regular flossing and brushing. However, there are people who would greatly benefit from the use of a water flosser that we at  Vita Dental Spring think should have one. Let us look at a few of them.

People with Constant Gum Bleeding

If you keep seeing blood on the dental floss, it might be because you have early signs of gum disease. If you think your gums are in poor health, make an appointment with your dentist, otherwise, you might lose your teeth.

If you floss too hard, it might also cause your gums to bleed. You can find useful tutorials online on how to floss in the right manner. If you have gum disease, flossing may not work for you. In such a case, using a water flosser might be a great choice. It can help you floss inflamed gums without causing any bleeding.

If you have sensitive gums, the last thing you want is to stop flossing them. If you use a water flosser, you can get most of the food particles out. Later on, you can use the dental floss to get rid of any remaining food particles gently.

People with Braces

If you have braces, a water flosser is a great option. This is because people with braces tend to have more food particles stuck between teeth. Not only is this annoying, it also increases the risk of developing cavities.

Your orthodontist may even offer you an inexpensive, manual oral irrigator that does not need to be plugged in. These devices work well and they are portable. Ask the orthodontist if they have one before you invest in an electric device.

People with Dry Mouth

Various medications and genetic predisposition can make it hard to produce saliva. The saliva naturally cleans your mouth and prevents plaque from building up. Thus, dry mouth may cause cavities and gum disease.

When you use a water flosser, it helps to moisturize the mouth and remove plaque caused by dry mouth. It may not be a long-term solution but it is a great quick fix. It helps to remove all food particles that are not swept away by the saliva.

You Always Have Food Particles Stuck in Your Teeth

Some people have the misfortune of having more food particles stuck between the teeth than others have. This does not mean you are a messy eater. It has more to do with how your teeth are shaped. People that have small gaps whether gums and teeth meet are prone to this problem.

It also afflicts people whose teeth are not properly aligned. This is caused by genetics and the rotated teeth can create the perfect food traps. The food particles can also be stuck in bridges and implants. If you use a water flosser, it can help to clean most of these areas.

How to Use the Water Flosser

If you decide to utilize a water flosser, you should start on a gentle setting. It will feel weird at first but you will get used to it. There are even versions that you can use in the shower. This help to contain the water spray to a place that you do not mind getting wet.

Summary

Water flossers, if they are used in the right way, can be a great boost to your oral care routine. They can be effective in special circumstances like those mentioned above. We at Vita Dental Spring  would most definitely recommend them if we thought you were a suitable candidate.

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