Are you someone who is interested in a full mouth restoration, but are hesitant to start the process because the unknowns? The cost, pain and/or fear of not loving your smile at the end of the process are all normal thoughts. However, at Sensational Smiles, we know you will love your new smile.

Before photo of a full mouth restoration patient. This patient suffers from acid reflex and was concerned with the discoloration and wear of their teeth. They were also not happy that the bite and midline was off-center.

It’s important to know what exactly a full mouth restoration is. A simple definition, it’s a process of rebuilding, restoring or replacing most or all of the teeth on the upper and lower jaws. The goal is to help strengthen and support the healthy oral tissues and tooth structures, and also fall in love with your smile again. A potential candidate for full mouth restoration would be someone who has multiple dental complications, which included cracked, broken, decayed or missing teeth. This treatment can also address problems with gums, bite, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or jaw muscles.

There are a number of steps that are involved with a full mouth restoration. The first one being finding the right dentist for you. Here at Sensational Smiles, Dr. Mark Berdahl specializes in this kind of treatment, and has been helping people for over 30 years.

The journey starts by sitting down with Dr. Berdahl, where I hear him always say, “I can help you. What would you like to do?” He, along with his team, spends as much time needed to fully understand your goals and dreams for your mouth. During this part of the process, they will utilize photos and any x-rays needed to answer all your questions about where you are and the possibilities of getting where you want to be. I know that they think this is an important part of the journey because I also hear him say, “Every great journey begins by clearly knowing where you want to go and a good plan on how to get there.”

Treatment on the journey can include anything from making sure the foundation of your teeth is healthy and strong, bleaching, implants, veneers, crowns, bridges and other methods for improving the strength, beauty and function of your mouth. Oftentimes, there are options for accomplishing this. Dr. Berdahl and his staff fully explore them and make sure you are clear on the process and investment to achieve your goals.

Final results photo. At the final appointment, we removed the healing cap(s), placed the screw, retained implant abutment/crown(s), and verified with a PA image that it was fully seated. Dr. Berdahl used a manual torque wrench to tighten the screw. He then placed Teflon tape in access opening and applied Monoband. Once that was dry, he filled the opening using Filtek Supreme. And finally, he did any bite adjustments and polishing.

A full mouth restoration creates a new and healthy smile. Dr. Berdahl takes a lot of pride in all of his work and is more than happy to meet with you to help answer any questions you may have.

Lately, we have noticed a number of female patients talk about changes in their oral health during their pregnancy and/or since they gave birth. A couple of these changes could be never having a cavity before and now have multiple to take care of, or they have noticed that their gums are sore or swollen.

There is an old wives’ tale that warns women to expect a lost tooth for every pregnancy. It is a myth that calcium is lost from a mother’s tooth during pregnancy.  The truth is if mom’s calcium intake is inadequate, then the mother’s bones, not her teeth, will provide the calcium her growing baby needs. However, you may experience some changes in your oral health.

Pregnancy can lead to dental problems for some women, including gum disease and increased risk of tooth decay. During pregnancy, your increased hormones can affect your body’s response to plaque (the layer of GERMS on your teeth). The gum problems that occur during pregnancy are not due to increased plaque, but rather a result of increased hormone levels.

Common causes of dental health problems during pregnancy can include:

  • Gum disease
  • Vomiting
  • Cravings for sugary foods
  • Retching while brushing teeth

While unfortunately we cannot predict or avoid getting sick during pregnancy, there are some suggestions to help with your oral health when become sick during your pregnancy:

  • As bad as it sounds, don’t brush your teeth immediately after vomiting. While the teeth are covered in stomach acids, the vigorous action of the toothbrush may scratch the tooth enamel.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly with tap water
  • Follow up with a fluoridated mouthwash
  • If you don’t have a fluoridated mouthwash, put a dab of fluoridated toothpaste on your finger and smear it over your teeth. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Brush your teeth at least an hour after vomiting.

Some pregnant women find that brushing their teeth, particularly the molars, provokes retching. An easy solution to this would seem to be skipping brushing altogether. While this may sound very appealing to you, when you don’t brush regularly you risk tooth decay and gum disease and could potentially lead to premature birth.

Here are a few suggestions so you can continue to brush:

  • Use a brush with a small head, such as a brush made for toddlers.
  • Take your time. Slow down your brushing action.
  • It may help to close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing
  • Try other distractions, such as listening to music
  • If the taste of toothpaste seems to provoke your gag reflex, switch to another brand. Alternatively, brush your teeth with water and follow up with fluoridated mouthwash. Go back to brushing with fluoridated toothpaste as soon as you can.

Again, not brushing regularly during your pregnancy can result in tooth decay and gum disease leading to premature birth. Research has found a link between gum disease in pregnant women and premature birth with low birth weight. Estimates suggest that up to 18 out of every 100 premature births may be triggered by periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gums. Appropriate dental treatment for the expectant mother may reduce the risk of premature birth. Excessive bacteria can enter the bloodstream through your gums. If this happens, the bacteria can travel to the uterus triggering the production chemicals called prostaglandins which are suspected to induce premature labor.

These findings are a huge reason why we push the importance of taking care of your oral health during every pregnancy. It is less likely that you will have dental problems during pregnancy if you already have good oral hygiene habits and maintain those good habits during your pregnancy. Suggestions of habits to pick up if you are planning on getting pregnant or if you know that you are in need of improving your oral health are the basic instructions you will get from any dentist:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss between your teeth
  • Visit your dentist or oral hygienist regularly.

Your oral health is important even after baby has arrived. Make sure to see a dentist after you give birth as well. While most types of gum problems caused by pregnancy hormones resolve after birth, a small number of women may have developed a deeper level of gum disease that will need treatment to resolve.

Many of our patients have seen firsthand the benefits of incorporating a water flosser into their daily routine. But how do you know if a water flosser is right for you? Water flossers (Waterpik is a popular brand) utilize a small jet of water to help remove plaque and debris in hard-to-reach places. They are great in the following cases:

  • Cleaning around orthodontic appliances (brackets, wires, retainers)
  • Gently cleaning around implants (where food is more likely to get trapped)
  • Cleaning underneath of bridges
  • Flushing plaque and bacteria out from between your teeth

One study found that water flossers removed 29% more effective than string floss for overall plaque removal (Goyal et al., 2013). Less plaque in the mouth results in healthier gums.

Your dental hygienist is your best resource. At your appointment, they can make an assessment of your gums and talk about whether you would benefit from using a water flosser.

Source: PubMed.org

Have you ever wondered why your dental hygienist asks you how often you floss? Does it really make that much of a difference? And can they really tell if you haven’t been flossing regularly? The answer is — yes!

Brushing alone can leave as much as 40% of your mouth un-cleaned — that is a lot! The bristles of your toothbrush cannot reach between your teeth, leaving plaque and bacteria behind. The plaque sitting along the gums and between teeth causes inflammation (red, puffy gums) and cavities. Flossing daily is your best protection against these problems.

Floss holders and floss threaders are a great way to clean between the teeth if holding traditional ‘string’ floss is a challenge. We often recommend that young children start flossing with floss threaders, since dexterity is a challenge at a young age. Many other alternative flossing tools are available to help clean around bridges, implants, and in larger gaps between teeth. Your hygienist will be able to recommend the flossing tools that will work best for your mouth.

And remember — if you aren’t bending, you are just pretending! Use this technique to make sure your floss is working its best: lightly pull the floss against the front and back side of each tooth (forming a ‘C’ shape around it). Pass the floss up and down against each tooth several times. This gentle “scrubbing” will help clean off any food and plaque that has formed on your teeth.

Follow these recommendations and you will be on your way to better oral health!