San Diego Prosthodontics

How to Choose Your Restorative Dental Specialist

What is the Difference between DDS and DMD?

What is the difference between a dentist with DDS after his name and a dentist with DMD after his name?

Often, we get asked what the meanings of DDS and DMD are. Is one designation better than the other?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there is no difference between the two degrees. Dentists with either degree have graduated from an accredited dental school and are highly trained professionals in their fields. They have the same type of training and both fulfill the curriculum requirements set by the ADA. It’s up to the universities to determine what degree is awarded, either DDS (which stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (which stands for Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry).

Why should you go to a prosthodontic dental specialist?

We often get asked the question—why should I go to a prosthodontist, or a dentist that specializes in replacing missing teeth? This is a very good question. There are many dentists out there that claim to be specialists in prosthodontics. But a closer look is required.

The fact that the dentist took a weekend seminar in restoring implants does not make him/her a prosthodontist.  The American Dental Association does not recognize cosmetic dentistry or implantology as dental specialties. Dentists who advertise as cosmetic dentists or implantologists may not have any additional formal training beyond four years of dental school.  In fact, continuing education in ‘cosmetic/implant dentistry’ is largely unregulated. Patients should understand that there is a significant difference between residency trained specialists and dentists who have taken a weekend course on reconstructive dental work.

 

The specialty practice of prosthodontics is one of the nine recognized specialties within the American Dental Association [ADA]. Prosthodontists have at least three years of advanced training following their dental school education. Prosthodontists are trained to replace missing teeth, gum tissues and bone in the mouth.

Most importantly, prosthodontists are trained to offer you all of your restorative options. Every patient is unique—there is no cookie-cutter solution. Prosthodontists specialize in the restoration and replacement of teeth.  Treatment can range from replacing a single tooth, multiple teeth or all of the teeth in the mouth.  Prosthodontists are the architects of your smile and often the ‘quarterbacks’ of your dental treatment plan, coordinating with your general dentist and other specialists to achieve optimal outcomes for your unique dental needs.

While many dentists can do some of these treatments, prosthodontists are the specialists trained for restoration and replacement of your teeth.  Because of their extensive training, prosthodontists can advise you of all of your options when it comes to tooth replacement, including the most complex full-mouth reconstruction cases!

Dr. Gulbransen and Dr.Recksiedler are both residency trained prosthodontists and would be happy to perform a thorough examination and advise you of your dental options.  Please contact our office for an appointment.

Five Tips for Better Oral Health

Having more candles on your birthday cake doesn’t have to mean having fewer teeth in your mouth. Though it’s commonly believed that you’ll have to lose your teeth as you age, it’s simply not true. There are some things you can do to maintain excellent oral hygiene and decrease the need for dentures.

The teeth are not immune to the aging process. Even with proper dental care, senior patients may experience natural wear and tear on their teeth, making it especially important for seniors to practice particular care with their dental health routines.

Five Tips for Better Oral Health

  1. Brush twice a day for two minutes. Brushing too fast or not thoroughly enough can leave behind harmful plaque and tartar. Be sure to use a soft bristle toothbrush as hard bristles can be tough on the enamel of your teeth. An electric toothbrush is another option that can make brushing easier.
  2. Floss every day to remove plaque and food particles from those hard-to-reach spots between your teeth.
  3. Drink plenty of water each day to help wash away bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Increasing saliva production to avoid dry mouth is another reason to drink water. Certain medications and diseases can affect how much saliva your mouth produces.
  4. Kick the habit. If you’re a smoker, quitting not only can reduce your risk for heart disease and lung cancer, but it may help keep gum disease and tooth decay at bay, not to mention tooth loss.
  5. Schedule regular dental checkups to ensure your teeth and gums are in tip-top shape. Regular dental exams and cleanings are key for senior dental health. Regular dental exams catch oral health problems early and cleanings can keep the teeth free of plaque and tartar buildup.

Whether you’re 62, 102, or somewhere in between, you can enjoy excellent oral health by committing to healthy oral hygiene habits. Give us a call today to book your next appointment!

Bring a Complete List of Medications to your Dental Appointment

Why is it Important to Bring a Complete List of your Medications to your First Dental Appointment?

 In order to provide patients with a comprehensive dental evaluation, it is first necessary for your dentist to review your health history. It is very important to bring a list of your current medications as well as a list of medical conditions and allergies that you may have to your first appointment at San Diego Prosthodontics so that Dr. Gulbransen or Dr. Recksiedler can determine if it is safe to proceed with treatment. Many medical conditions complicate oral health and no treatment plan is complete without looking at the “big picture”. At times, it may be necessary to modify your treatment based on your overall health.

It is important that you include the names and dosages of all of your medications. Some medications and medical conditions directly affect the way oral health care will be delivered. For example, diabetes, high blood pressure, artificial heart valves and joints each can affect your overall treatment plan. While Dr. Gulbransen and Dr. Recksiedler treat every patient with the same level of respect, they also will treat you as an individual with detailed attention to your specific needs and concerns.

A complete list of your medications will help Dr. Gulbransen, Dr. Recksiedler and their staff provide you with the best care at the highest level of comfort. We know that your dental health is very important. At San Diego Prosthodontics we strive to provide optimal prosthetic dental care for our patients in a relaxed, comfortable and safe environment.

Implant-Supported Dentures

What is an implant-supported denture ?

An implant-supported denture is a type of overdenture that is supported by and attached to implants, while a conventional denture rests on the gums. An implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn’t have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants. Special attachments are used to snap the denture onto the implants.

Although it is easy to remove an implant-supported denture from the mouth, some patients prefer to have fixed (permanent) crown and bridgework in their mouths which cannot be removed. Your prosthodontist will consider your specific needs and preferences when suggesting fixed or removable options.

It is important to understand the “behind the scenes” processing that is required for implant-supported dentures. Your prosthodontist has an in-depth knowledge of human anatomy and chewing function as well as an artistic talent to produce teeth that are both natural in appearance and esthetically pleasing. This also requires an extensive knowledge of quality dental materials.

At San Diego Prosthodontics, all removable prostheses, whether conventional or implant-supported dentures are fabricated in our in-house dental laboratory. This insures a high degree of quality control as well as timely delivery of prostheses to our patients.

 

What are the advantages of implant-supported dentures over conventional dentures?

Dental implants provide several advantages when used to anchor implant-supported full bridges and implant-supported dentures. Implants prevent bone loss by transmitting load forces during the chewing process down into the jawbone. The jawbone reacts to this loading by increasing the bone density. Implants are well known in their ability to stop bone loss.   With conventional dentures, the bone that previously surrounded the tooth roots begins to resorb(deteriorate). Over time, the dental ridges required to support a conventional denture will shrink, creating a problem with regards to retention and stability of the denture. Dental implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep the bone healthy and intact.

Implant supported full bridges and dentures are more comfortable and stable than conventional dentures, allowing patients to retain a more natural biting and chewing capacity. This often results in improved nutrition in many patients.

To see if you are a candidate for an implant-supported denture, please contact our office for a consultation with Dr. Gulbransen or Dr. Recksiedler, both trained specialists in this area of prosthodontics.

Caring for your Dental Bridge

Caring for Your Dental Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dental Bridges Need Regular Cleaning

When you have a dental bridge, it is very important to keep the adjacent teeth and gums healthy so they can continue to provide support for the bridge. Initially, it may be challenging to keep your bridge and the surrounding gums and teeth plaque-free. Dental bridges are notorious for trapping food particles which can allow bacteria to grow that causes plaque to form. It is essential to clean plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces underneath bridges. Poor bridge hygiene can affect the health of adjacent teeth, resulting in tooth decay and gum disease.

To care for you bridge, brush normally after each meal as you would your own teeth. However, tooth brushing alone is not adequate because there is a thin space between the bridge and the gums that plaque can accumulate in. Use Superfloss to keep this area free from plaque and food debris and dramatically help with your home dental care routine.

Superfloss is a special kind of dental floss. It is cut into pre-measured segments for your convenience. One end of the Superfloss is stiff to allow you to thread it through tight areas. It also has a tufted, fuzzy segment that helps remove plaque and food particles from your gums and the bridge as you floss.

Fixed bridge cleaning with Superfloss

  • First insert the stiff end of the Superfloss into the area between the bridge and your gums. Pull the Superfloss through until the tufted, fuzzy part is under the bridge.
  • Wrap the floss around your adjacent natural tooth, slide up and down and clean the adjacent tooth surface.
  • Gently move the fuzzy part of the Superfloss between the gum and the underside of the bridge, using a soft back-and-forth motion to remove plaque and food particles under the false tooth.
  • Then wrap the fuzzy floss around the real tooth on the other side of the bridge, sliding up and down to clean the adjacent tooth surface.
  • Finally, gently pull the Superfloss out from the space between the tooth and the bridge.
  • Then you can use the regular floss segment of the Superfloss to floss the rest of your teeth.

If you do not have Superfloss, you can use standard dental floss and a floss threader. The threader is a filament that is narrow on one end and has a loop on the other end. You simply put the floss through the loop, insert the pointed end of the threader into the area you want to floss, and pull the threader all the way through. Then you floss under your bridge as you normally would.

 

 

 

 

Where can you find Superfloss?

Superfloss can be purchased at many retail stores, including Walgreens and Target.

 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office.

How Can Dental Implants Reduce Long-term Dental Costs?

Patients who experience tooth loss have a variety of treatment options available to them.   It is important to seek consultation with your prosthodontist to consider all of your options and weigh the long-term benefits s associated with each treatment plan.

Dental implants are the most advanced tooth replacement method that dentists can offer their patients. However, many patients are worried that the costs of implants are out of their price range. It is important to carefully evaluate the long term costs and benefits of implants when comparing them to the alternative treatments.

Initially, the cost for implants may be higher than other alternatives such as permanent bridges and partial or complete dentures. However, this gap narrows when you consider the possibility that tooth replacements other than dental implants, may have to be adjusted frequently and even replaced.

With proper care, dental implants are designed to last a long time. Once an implant has successfully integrated with the jawbone, the implant will last decades. Unlike alternatives such as permanent bridges and partial dentures, dental implants integrate into the jawbone and mimic the biological teeth roots that they are replacing. This process, called osseointegration, prevents further bone loss or resorption. By comparison, patients with bridges, partial or complete dentures, continue to lose bone and these devices will need to be adjusted, relined and possibly replaced as the jawbone continues to change shape. These alternative treatments other than dental implants do not have any component that is analogous to a tooth’s root, and the jaw continues to wear away.

In addition, dental implants have no impact on surrounding teeth. Because they are integrated directly into the jawbone, they stand alone and do not affect neighboring teeth. Alternatives like dental bridges require crowns to be placed on adjacent teeth for support. This process necessitates sacrificing healthy enamel on those teeth which can require additional treatment down the road. Also, further bone loss can ultimately cause a bridge to fail long-term.

Patients considering dental implants should not dismiss this treatment plan merely because of the upfront initial costs.   Be sure to weigh the long-term costs and benefits of dental implants.

To learn more about dental implant treatment, please contact our experienced prosthodontic dental team at SAN DIEGO PROSTHODONTICS.  Dr. Harold Gulbransen, Dr. Scott Recksiedler and their qualified staff will be happy to schedule a consultation to discuss your individualized treatment options.

Image result for happy seniors

Are You a Candidate for a Dental Bridge?

Are you a Candidate for a Dental Bridge?

If you are missing one or more teeth you may be a candidate for a dental bridge. Not only is a gap between your teeth unsightly, but other problems may arise as a result of the missing teeth. Missing teeth is not just a cosmetic problem. Chewing and talking may be more difficult and the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth can shift, affecting your bite.

One solution is to fabricate a dental bridge which literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Dental bridges are designed to look, feel and function like the natural teeth they are replacing. Dental bridges are cemented to your natural teeth or to implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth are referred to as abutments and they serve to anchor the dental bridge. The replacement tooth is called a pontic and is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. Pontics can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials.

 

Dental bridges:

  • Restore the ability to chew and speak properly
  • Restore your smile
  • Maintain the shape of your face, preventing lip or face collapse
  • Distribute the forces of your bite, alleviating stress on other teeth
  • Prevents the remaining teeth from drifting out of position and into the gap

 

There are several types of dental bridges, each made with different materials and better suited for certain area of the mouth and for certain types of situations. A Fixed Dental Bridge is a non-removable prosthesis which is attached to remaining natural teeth.

While conventional fixed dental bridges are highly effective in restoring oral health to the mouth, they do require the natural teeth surrounding the gap to be trimmed down and capped with crowns that will support the bridge. Implant-supported bridges are an ideal alternative for some patients who have sufficient jawbone density.   Dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone, where they integrate into the bone and can be used to support the bridge without the need for alteration of natural, healthy teeth.

Every patient is unique. To learn if you are a good candidate for a dental bridge, with or without dental implants, schedule an initial appointment with Dr. Gulbransen or Dr. Recksiedler,  trained specialists and Prosthodontists. After evaluating your mouth, they will advise you of all the options available to you to restore your beautiful smile.

 

Implant-supported Fixed Dental Bridge

 

Conventional Dental Bridge

E-max All Ceramic Dental Crowns

E-max All Ceramic Dental Crowns

Significant new developments in all-ceramic materials have led to the introduction of the e.max dental crown. Previously, dental crowns made from the most natural appearing materials weren’t as durable as those made of less esthetic materials like gold or other precious metals.

However, e-max crowns are fabricated with the newest in cosmetic porcelain, a lithium disilicate glass ceramic material that is natural in appearance yet stong enough to withstand the pressures and demands of the human mouth.  Researchers at the Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics at the New York University College of Dentistry (NYU) found that the lithium disilicate ceramic material used in e-max dental crowns was far less likely to chip or fracture when compared to veneered zirconia-based crowns.

E-max dental crowns are designed using efficient pressed ceramic technology.  They represent the ultimate in metal-free esthetics and durability.  Unlike traditional dental crowns, there are no copings or metal substrates.  This means that e.max crowns are more natural in appearance and do not have the telltale “black line” of the crown’s metal substructure at the gumline like traditional crowns do.  In effect, the patient benefits from the best of both worlds–the beauty of all-ceramic dental crowns without compromising strength or durability.

Dr. Harold Gulbransen and Dr. Scott Recksiedler, at SAN DIEGO PROSTHODONTICS, are  proud to offer the latest techniques in the field of Crown and Bridge Dentistry.

Custom-Milled Dental Implant Abutments

Custom-Milled Dental Implant Abutments

Dental implants offer one of the most successful and predictable restorative options for patients missing one or more teeth. The relative ease of placement of dental implants coupled with advances in implant design have made this process largely routine.

However, due to the fact that implants require certain volumes of bone in order to integrate in the mouth, implant placement often presents challenges for the restorative dentist. Traditionally, angled or two-piece stock abutments were employed to allow the prosthodontist or restorative dentist to correct for less than ideal implant placement. These stock abutments often presented limitations because of the sizes and shapes available to the restorative dentist.

With the advent of custom-milled patient specific abutments that are computer designed and milled, prosthodontists and restorative dentists can offer patients unsurpassed accuracy and precision when restoring dental implants. Custom-milled abutments can compensate for offset or angled implant placement while maintaining an anatomical shape This process combines state-of-the-art 3D optical scanning, advanced computer software, and precise manufacturing methods to deliver patient-specific abutments needing minimal or no modification. Each abutment is unique to each patient and is designed to simulate the natural tooth shape it replaces. Custom abutments are fabricated to mimic the crown preparation of a natural tooth while following the existing gum and soft tissue contours.

CAD/CAM custom-milled implant abutments are available for a wide range of implant systems. These unique abutments can be made of titanium, titanium anodized to a gold color, or zirconia, a tooth-colored ceramic material that gives a more aesthetically pleasing result when restoring anterior teeth.

At SAN DIEGO PROSTHODONTICS, Drs. Harold Gulbransen and Scott Recksiedler maintain a fully-equipped dental laboratory where he is able to offer the latest advances in implant restorations. Our two full-time dental laboratory technicians provide on-site support when restoring dental implants.

 

Time to reline your Dentures?

How do you know when it’s time to reline your dentures?

 

When a patient has new dentures made, they are custom fabricated, according to the shape of the individual’s mouth. This assures proper fit and retention of the dentures. 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. Both complete and partial removable dentures should be evaluated periodically to see if they need relining.

If your dentures no longer fit as well as they once did you may need to have a procedure done to refit the base of the denture, called a “reline” procedure. This procedure will enable your denture to fit better, and tighter, than it has previously. This procedure can be done by your prosthodontist, a specialist in denture care and maintenance.

At SAN DIEGO PROSTHODONTICS, the office of Dr. Harold Gulbransen and Dr. Scott Recksiedler, we have a laboratory on site that routinely performs lab relining for complete and partial dentures. We prefer laboratory relines in our office because they are the best and longest lasting type of denture reline, offering the best comfort for the patient. Laboratory processed denture relines are superior to chair side relines because the lab reline is fabricated with a more durable, less porous material.

Laboratory quality relines are completed in house at our on-site dental laboratory at San Diego Prosthodontics. The denture relining procedure involves capturing an impression of the current shape of the patient’s gums, transferring this information into our in-house laboratory, where this impression is converted into new acrylic resin in the denture.

Having our own dental laboratory staffed with two full-time dental technicians also allows Dr. Gulbransen and Dr. Recksiedler to do most denture repairs while patients wait. We stock thousands of teeth and can match any shape, size and shade of tooth. Tooth replacements and cracked dentures can be repaired easily on site.

Dr. Gulbransen and Dr. Recksiedler assist patients in determining their optimal treatment plan. Their advanced training in Prosthodontics geared with extensive clinical experience and our on-site dental laboratory, gives our patients optimal results.

Please Click Here to contact our office if you have any questions or wish to make an appointment for a comprehensive dental evaluation.