San Diego Prosthodontics

Why is it Important to Replace Missing Teeth?

If you have recently lost one or more teeth, why is it important to replace missing teeth?  Many of our patients at San Diego Prosthodontics have asked us this question.

To begin with, loss of teeth has an effect on your overall oral health and appearance.  Remaining teeth in your mouth will shift to fill in the empty spaces.  This can cause healthy teeth that are straight to move and become less stable.

Teeth stimulate and support the bone around them.  When they are missing, the bone where your teeth used to be can resorb or atrophy, and your gums may recede.  This can be a problem for adjacent teeth that can develop decay or plaque buildup.

Depending on the number of missing teeth and the location of the missing teeth, facial distortions can occur that may detract from your overall appearance.  This can cause an effect on your overall facial aesthetics.  Not only your smile can be affected, but you may experience an appearance of aging.  This can impact overall confidence.

There are several solutions to fix missing teeth.  Dental implants, bridges, and dentures can each provide a solution depending upon each patient’s unique situation.  Prosthodontists Dr. Recksiedler and Dr. Gulbransen are trained to offer all these options.  Let them examine your mouth and help you determine what the best solution is for you. Schedule your consult today!

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Update on Covid-19 Safety Protocols at San Diego Prosthodontics

Patient and employee safety have always been a priority at San Diego Prosthodontics.  The Covid-19 virus has presented many new challenges for all of us in everyday life.  Our office follows the infection control and physical distancing recommendations from the American Dental Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. With this in mind, we have updated and implemented a number of new office protocols, keeping your safety as our first priority.

Scheduling and Confirming Appointments

We have modified our schedule to ensure that we limit the number of patients waiting in our waiting room and ensure physical distancing.  We have staggered the appointment times and limited the number of appointments per day. Our friendly office staff will explain our new safety policies over the phone and ask a few important questions in order to prescreen patients for Covid-19 prior to coming to the appointment.  Additionally, we have asked that only patients come to their appointments unless they have the necessary caregivers that must accompany them. Friends, spouses, and other non-essential companions are kindly asked to stay home to limit the number of people in the office and reduce the risk of transmission.  Caregivers are seated in the operatory, along with the patient, to minimize the number of people in the waiting room.

In-office Screening of every person entering the office

Every employee is screened and their temperature is taken daily before starting work.  Every patient and essential caregiver entering the office is also screened and has their temperature taken.  Personal masks are REQUIRED for entry into the office. As you enter, you will be asked to remove any outside gloves and use the sanitation station at the front door or wash your hands in the operatory.  We have propped open all doors to limit touching the door handles.

Staff Personal Protective Equipment

When you enter, you will notice every one of our staff members wearing their facemasks. Chairside, the doctors and their assistants will wear N95 masks and face shields. Once the chairside staff has their personal protective equipment on, you will be instructed that it is safe to remove your own face covering.

Continued Vigilance with regards to Sterilization and Disinfection

At San Diego Prosthodontics, we have always thoroughly cleaned and disinfected operatory rooms between each patient. We continue to do so.  Computer keyboards, dental chairs, lights, countertops—every surface is carefully cleaned between each patient. Our instrument sterilization techniques have maintained the highest standard as set by OSHA and the ADA. All of us, at San Diego Prosthodontics, wash our hands and use hand sanitizer regularly throughout the day and between each patient.

 

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April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. This campaign was started to help raise awareness of oral cancer screenings and the importance of early detection. The best method for early detection of oral cancer is through regular oral cancer examinations performed by your dentist or dental specialist.

Drs. Gulbransen and Recksiedler are trained in Maxillofacial Prosthetics, a subspecialty of Prosthodontics. They help detect, treat, and rehabilitate patients with oral cancers.

Our doctors at San Diego Prosthodontics realize the importance of early detection. As a part of every examination, Drs. Gulbransen and Recksiedler complete a full oral cancer screening.

Please visit https://oralcancerfoundation.org/ to find out more information.

National Prosthodontics Awareness Week

April 19-25 we celebrate National Prosthodontics Awareness Week!

This week is a time when we like to bring awareness to our dental specialty and educate people on what prosthodontists do. We often have patients that are referred to us by their family dentist and other dental specialists.  They may wonder, why did my dentist refer me to a prosthodontist?

This is a common question that we hear a lot! First of all, it is important to understand what a prosthodontist is. A prosthodontist is a dentist who has completed at least 3 additional years of advanced training. They specialize in the restoration of tooth and jaw structure and are considered experts when anything needs to be replaced in your mouth. Prosthodontists are highly trained in crowns, dental implants, dentures, bridges, and cosmetics. Prosthodontists are the team leaders who work alongside your family dentist and other dental professionals to help provide the best results possible when it comes to your oral health.

Your family dentist may refer you to a prosthodontist for a number of reasons. Some common reasons are:

  • Adjust your bite (open your bite)
  • Replace missing, cracked, or worn teeth (dental implants, dentures, crowns, bridges, veneers)
  • Get all new teeth in 1 day
  • Tooth related medical conditions
  • Uncontrolled tooth decay (high rate of cavities)
  • Tipped, rotated, or malpositioned teeth
  • Restoring existing, older dental implants
  • Severe advanced periodontal disease
  • Restoring a tooth after a root canal
  • Treatment following a cancer diagnosis

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What do I do if my dentures are loose?

If you are experiencing loose dentures, friction and pressure on your jawbones can cause sore spots and/or bone shrinkage. Your dentures should be examined every year to check for proper fit and to monitor any changes in your mouth.

Your dentures may need to be relined to improve the fit. Usually, a set of dentures will last from five to ten years. However, due to the changes in the shape of the mouth, bone loss in the jaw, and normal wear and tear of the denture, a denture reline is often necessary.

At San Diego Prosthodontics we have our own on-site dental laboratory staffed with two full- time dental technicians. This allows Dr. Recksiedler and Dr. Gulbransen to fabricate custom dentures, do laboratory relines for dentures and facilitates repairs to cracked or broken dentures in our office.

If you are not sure if you need to reline your dentures or if you need a new set of dentures, please contact our office for an appointment to see Dr. Recksiedler or Dr. Gulbransen. They are both trained specialists called prosthodontists. They would be happy to examine your mouth and discuss your dental options.

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Denture Sore Mouth (a.k.a. Denture Stomatitis)

Denture Sore Mouth or Denture Stomatitis is characterized by inflammation, irritation, and redness of the oral mucosa covered by a denture bearing surface.

While the incidence of complete edentulism is declining, continued growth in the population strongly suggests the rate of edentulism will remain constant or even increase. Thus, denture sore mouth and the need for proper denture care and maintenance will remain an important topic. Estimated by many studies, up to 2/3 of denture wearers have denture sore mouth.

Most often denture sore mouth can be symptomless; however, common complaints can be:

  • bleeding and swelling of the gum tissues
  • a burning sensation of the gums under the denture bearing surface
  • bad breath or unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • xerostomia or dry mouth

Denture stomatitis is a multifactorial disease with several predisposing factors:

  • denture cleanliness
  • oral infections (fungal or bacterial)
  • poor diet
  • impaired salivary flow/function
  • trauma from ill-fitting dentures
  • immunosuppression

Poor denture hygiene is one of the most common causes of denture sore mouth. Poorly cleaned dentures quickly develop a sticky biofilm and accumulate plaque. This biofilm contains bacteria and yeast that live on the denture surface and can colonize the oral mucosa or gums. Daily and proper denture hygiene is imperative to prevent denture sore mouth.

A close second to poorly cleaned dentures in the cause of denture sore mouth is an ill-fitting or inadequately made denture. An ill-fitting denture can cause increased stress to the gingiva and lead to denture sore mouth producing gum irritation and bone resorption. Call to make an appointment today to determine if you need a denture reline or new set of dentures.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene month! 

At San Diego Prosthodontics, it is our goal to help you attain a healthy smile.  We know that good dental hygiene starts at a young age. Dr. Recksiedler recently visited a local preschool to help educate children about the importance of brushing and flossing. 

 

 

Fixed Dental Prosthesis or Dental Implant-Supported Crown?

If you are missing a tooth, there are many factors to consider when creating a treatment plan to replace your tooth. There are two accepted therapeutic approaches, either a fixed dental bridge or an implant-supported dental crown, which both offer reasonable solutions for patients. Making a complex decision requires the consultation of an experienced clinician, well informed in your unique dental health. Dr. Gulbransen and Dr. Recksiedler are trained specialists in Prosthodontics and are well-suited to helping you decide which treatment plan best serves you.

Fixed Dental Bridge

A fixed dental bridge is a non-removable prosthesis which is attached to the remaining natural teeth adjacent to the space where the missing tooth was.   A dental bridge literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth are missing.  Teeth adjacent to the gap are prepared and capped with crowns and then the replacement teeth are attached to those crowns to form a bridge. For the fixed dental bridge, the location of the missing tooth as well as the condition of the abutment teeth can influence your treatment-planning decisions.

One of the problems associated with a fixed bridge is that the natural teeth on either side of the bridge must be filed down. This process can make these teeth more prone to bacterial plaque accumulation, decay or periodontal (gum) disease. In some cases, this can result in the need for future root canals.

 

 Fixed Dental Bridge Replacing Single Tooth

 

Implant-supported Dental Crown

This treatment option involves placement of a titanium dental implant into the original bone pocket or alveolus where the missing tooth used to be. Eventually, this titanium implant osseointegrates with the bone in the jaw, making a very stable anchor. This implant is then capped with a dental crown. This single tooth implant solution can avoid involvement with adjacent teeth. In addition, the dental implant helps to preserve bone in the jaw by preventing bone loss.

 Single Implant-Supported Crown

 

 

 

So how do you make a decision which option is best for you?

Both implant-supported dental crowns and fixed dental bridges are options for replacing missing teeth.  Every patient is unique.  Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant. Adequate bone in the jaw is necessary to support placement of a dental implant. Some patients have complex medical histories which do not make them good oral surgery candidates.

To learn if you are a good candidate for an implant-supported crown or a fixed dental bridge, schedule an initial appointment with Dr. Gulbransen or Dr. Recksiedler, trained specialists and Prosthodontists.  After thoroughly evaluating your mouth, Dr. Gulbransen or Dr. Recksiedler will advise you of all the options available to you to restore your beautiful smile.

Recipes to Try for New Denture Wearers

Recipes to Try for New Denture Wearers

Wearing dentures does not mean giving up all your favorite foods. Take heart: The key to learning to live with your new dentures is a bit of creativity and patience—not deprivation. The key is to find new ways of preparing and eating foods you previously included in your diet.

Choose non-sticky, protein-rich spreads such as hummus, tapenades, and spreadable salads (tuna, salmon, chicken, egg) to enjoy with your whole wheat breads and crackers.

Try using a crockpot and some of your favorite crock-pot recipes. Not only are the recipes delicious and healthy, but preparation is very easy. You spend about 10-15 minutes in the morning preparing the meat and the “ingredients”, adding them to the “pot”, and then turning it on LOW. Then, 6-8 hours later, you simply serve and eat and ENJOY!

EASY CROCK-POT CHICKEN CURRY

1 – 1 1/2 pound of boneless chicken breasts – cubed
1 medium potato – skinned, sliced, then cubed
1 can of condensed chicken broth
2 1/2 cups of water
3 Tbsp of Red Curry Powder
1/2 package of frozen mixed stir-fry vegetables (your choice)
1 Tbsp of cornstarch or flour

Combine chicken potatoes, broth, water, and curry powder in the cooker. Cook on LOW for 8 hours. During last hour of cooking, add vegetables and immediately dissolve cornstarch/flour into some of the cooking broth and stir into mixture. Cook for final hour. Serve over white or wild rice. GREAT!!

BLACK FOREST POT ROAST

3-4 lb. boneless chuck or round roast
1 medium onion – chopped
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup button mushrooms – sliced
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp pepper
1 clove garlic – crushed
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp water

Lightly brown roast on all sides in skillet, then place in slow cooker. In small bowl, combine onion, water, mushrooms, ketchup, wine, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic. (You can pre-sautee the onions and mushrooms first, if you wish) Pour mixture over roast. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours. Remove meat and slice – keep meat warm. Turn cooker to HIGH, dissolve cornstarch in water, stir into cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 15-20 minutes until thickened. Serve sauce with meat … is GREAT served over rice!

 POTATO SOUP 

6 potatoes pared and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
4 cups water
2 leeks washed and cut into bite-size pieces (optional)
1 1/2 teas salt
Pepper
2 onions chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 carrot sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
Chopped chives

Put all in crockpot except milk and chives. Cover and cook 10-12 hours. (High 3-4 hours) Stir in evaporated milk during last hour. If you want you may mash some of the potatoes before serving. Top each serving with chives.

 

Are You Too Old For Dental Implants?

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Are You Too Old for Dental Implants?

Are you too old for dental implants? It is a common misconception that dental implants are not appropriate for aging patients. The good news is that dental implants can be placed in adult patients of any age as long as there is sufficient bone present to support the implants and your overall general health is good.

Rather than your age, the main criteria for being able to pursue dental implant treatment revolve around your overall health. The ideal candidate for dental implants should possess good general health, adequate bone in the jaw, healthy gums free of periodontal disease and a desire to improve the quality of life.

It is possible for a patient to be too young for dental implants because implants should not be placed until growth is complete and the jawbone is fully developed. However, dental implants can be successful in patients in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

There are a number of factors to examine when considering options for replacing missing teeth. First, it is important to undergo a thorough dental evaluation by a dentist who understands all of your options. Dr. Gulbransen and Dr. Recksiedler  are  trained dental specialists in Prosthodontics. After examining you, they can discuss if you are a good candidate for dental implants.

With proper care and a healthy patient of any age, dental implants can be maintained for many years.  Please call our office to set up a consultation appointment to see if you are a candidate for dental implants.