Posts for: November, 2015
Dental work isn’t performed in a vacuum — the state of your general health can have an impact on procedures and vice-versa. This is especially true if you’re taking certain medications like blood thinners.
Blood thinners such as Warfarin or Clopidogrel are used for a number of medical conditions as an anti-coagulant (inhibiting blood from clotting). They’re commonly part of a stroke or heart attack prevention strategy in patients with cardiovascular disease, or those with tendencies for thrombosis (blood clot formation within blood vessels) or pulmonary embolisms (blood clots within the lungs). They’re also used with patients with artificial heart valves or on a temporary basis with patients who’ve recently undergone knee replacement or similar surgical procedures.
In most cases, dental work won’t be affected by your use of a blood thinner. An issue might arise, however, if an invasive procedure has the potential to cause bleeding, like a tooth extraction or gum surgery. Because the blood doesn’t clot normally it may be difficult to stop the bleeding during such procedures.
To avoid undue complications, it’s always best to let your dentist or oral surgeon know what medications you’re taking, especially blood thinners (this includes low-dose aspirin, a common over-the-counter drug that’s often prescribed as a mild blood thinner). Depending on the procedure and your dosage, they may consult with your prescribing doctor to see if temporarily stopping the medication or reducing the dosage is an acceptable precautionary measure for your dental treatment. Your dentist may also take precautions during the procedure to help reduce bleeding such as using haemostatic agents around the wound site to help stabilize blood clotting, while carefully suturing the wound to avoid disrupting smaller blood vessels (capillaries) that easily bleed.
If your dosage has been temporarily stopped or reduced, you’ll usually be able to resume blood thinners immediately after the dental procedure. Working together, your dentist and doctor will help ensure that your health won’t be at risk and your dental procedure will occur without undue complications.
If you would like more information on dental work precautions with medications, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Surgery & Blood Thinners.”
Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”
Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.
A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:
- Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
- Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
- Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
- Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.
If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
Is Invisalign Right For Me?
The latest in orthodontic options, the Invisalign system offers a convenient, cosmetic, and hygienic alternative to metal braces. When most of us think about teeth alignment, we think of the early adolescent with colored metal wires attached to their teeth…but now there is a clear plastic alternative that offers many benefits. Instead of using tight wires to achieve teeth movement, Invisalign technology uses clear plastic covers that fit over your teeth and gradually move them into the optimal alignment over time.
A special computer model is made of your mouth, and the best alignment for your teeth is calculated. Several dozen plastic molded “trays”, rather like very thin mouthguards, are created that incrementally push your teeth into the appropriate place. Every two weeks, the trays are switched for the next set in order to create and maintain the gradual pressure required for teeth alignment. The trays must be worn for at least 20 hours per day in order to achieve this- as such, they are usually worn overnight as well as during the day.
Advantages of Invisalign
One of the most popular features of Invisalign is its discreet cosmetic nature- the aligners are clear and very nearly invisible while they are being worn, which allows one to retain a clear and bright smile while still achieving alignment. They can also be easily removed, e.g. for social functions, for up to 4 hours out of every 24.
The benefits extend beyond aesthetic advantages. Since the entire aligner can be quickly removed, you can easily clean your teeth just as you normally would, allowing you maintain better oral hygiene than with metal braces. There are also many fewer dietary restrictions than are associated with metal braces- for example, crispy foods are perfectly acceptable. Also, metal wires attached to teeth can cause irritation and injury to soft mouth tissue- which is totally avoided by the smooth plastic of Invisalign.
Should I Consider Invisalign?
If you wish your teeth were straighter, or your smile more aligned, then Invisalign could be the clear and simple solution for you! Treatment is available for both teens and adults. Avoid metal braces and all the complications…get the smile you’ve always wanted by calling Cesar Acosta, DMD Family Dentistry at (209) 250-2580 today!