Tooth Talk

8/24/2015 4:08:59 AM | Dr. Vaughn Tidwell

Walter-Tidwell-Dental-comfort-dogI know more than anyone how nervous people can get in the dental chair. At Tidwell Dental, we have a solution for that. And it comes with two big ears and a soft, fluffy coat.

Walter is our certified Comfort Dog. He has been specifically trained to sense and respond to stress and anxiety. His special training – combined with natural instincts of compassion and innate friendliness – has earned Walter the designations of emotional support animal and “Good Citizen” from the American Kennel Club.

Walter is on the job every day at the office to provide comfort, cheer – and two very soft ears – to anyone who wants a little extra care. He is trained to assist children and adults who feel uneasy in the dental chair.
He has proven his value over and over. He is a part of our team, and many patients specifically ask for him to be with them during their visits.

Walter loves his job as much as we do and cannot wait to meet you!
When he’s not on the job, Walter can most often be found chasing balls, napping and going on boat rides.
Call or Text 503-359-5481 for an appointment and ask for Walter by name.

Please remember, at Tidwell Dental, we are here for you 24/7.  Walk-ins are always welcome, Monday – Thursday, 8am – 6pm. After hours, we’re available through our service.  Call any time: 503-359-5481. Visit our website and learn more about us here: www.TidwellDental.com.

Link here for an online appointment request.



8/24/2015 3:12:05 AM | Dr. Vaughn Tidwell

Implant-supported-lower-denturesThe transition to dentures can be both an exciting and unnerving time in your life. First of all, your lifestyle is going to improve immeasurably: you’ll be able to eat, talk, swallow and smile in a whole new way. Implant patients also report a dramatic rise in their self-esteem and confidence, as their new smiles radiate from well below the surface.

But new dentures can also be scary. Will they hurt? How long does it take? What if my dentures wiggle around in my mouth or – mercy! – what if they fall out?

The Unique Case of Lower Dentures

While upper dentures have the ability to create suction through the roof of your mouth, thereby holding the denture in place, the same isn’t true for lower dentures. Lowers will invariably wiggle around, shift, cause sores, and live out their lives in the bottom drawer of your nightstand.

overdenture-implant-supported-lower-dentureNot to Fear: Support from Dental Implants

With the new and improved technology of dental implants, Dr. Tidwell can place two “receiver balls” (on implants) into your jaw, which will secure the lower denture in place – snug as a bug in a rug.

A typical lower denture rests on the gums, with nothing to secure it in place except gravity. This is why lower dentures always shift inside your mouth, making them uncomfortable and causing sores. Lower dentures supported by implants, on the other hand, are locked into position with a “ positioning ball” and “receiver cup” (see photo).

This procedure gives the lower denture incredible stability, eliminating the “floating boat” syndrome of typical lower dentures.

You may be surprised to learn that this procedure takes a very short amount of time, is often completely painless, and post-operative recovery time is extremely fast.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Dentures

We know you have questions, and that’s why Dr. Tidwell offers free consultations on implants and dentures. (He always has and he always will.) Included with your complimentary session with Dr. Tidwell is a state-of-the-art, 3-dimensional “cone beam” x-ray for the best possible diagnostics. And you have absolutely no obligation to move forward with the procedure.

Dr. Tidwell will develop your Treatment Plan with you as an individual – as your mouth, your needs and your goals are unique to you. In the meantime, here are some important insights into implant-supported dentures:

Tooth Extraction

Removing teeth is often an integral part of receiving dentures. It is important to note that Dr. Tidwell uses advanced tools and techniques to perform tooth extractions. This new process eliminates the need to pull your teeth/tooth with dental pliers. Rather, each tooth is gently pried loose with a method that is easier, faster and smoother, and with a quicker recovery period. Our promise to you: The traumatic stories of old that you may have heard from your parents or grandparents about tooth extraction are a thing of the past and have no place in the work of Tidwell Dental.

Implant Procedure

Implant diagram

Illustration courtesy of Zest Anchors, http://www.zestanchors.com

There are four components of an implant-supported denture, each placed in its proper sequence:

  1. The Implants: Two titanium posts are inserted directly into your jaw in the same location as your eye teeth would be. These implants permanently fuse with the bone. Once placed, it takes approximately 3-4 months to heal in a natural process called osseointegration. (Dr. Tidwell calls this period of time “the mystery, the joy and the excitement” of the dental implant process.)
  2. The Positioning Balls: Two gold “positioning” balls are placed on top of the implants. Then an impression is taken of your lower gums, including the implants, for fitting to a denture.
  3. The Receiver Caps: Two small rubber “caps” embedded in your lower denture connects the “ball” on your implants to the denture. This mechanism self-aligns, allowing you to “seat” your lower denture with ease.
  4. The Implant-Supported Denture: The set of teeth click into place on your lower jaw, with the receiver ball secured into the cap. The dentures then become the workhorses of your mouth, doing all the chewing (and smiling).

Long Term Benefits

Also known as “overdentures,” implant-supported lower dentures are the gold standard in treatment options for people with missing teeth. They replace your teeth with strong, stable dentures, which you can remove at will, but fit snugly into place until you want to take them out for cleaning or maintenance.

Jaw bone loss Implant-supported dentures

Without lower teeth, your jaw experiences progressive bone loss, dramatically aging your profile.

Dentures supported in this way give you the stability that only implants can offer with the economical cost of dentures.

It’s very important to note that, in addition to the benefits of function and aesthetics, dental implants also act as a tooth root. This is critical to your appearance because without teeth – roots and all – your jaw will inevitably experience bone loss. Bone loss, in turn, leads to a “caved-in” or receding profile (see photo panel below).

Our Dental Implant Credentials 

Dr. Tidwell has earned the coveted status of Diplomate in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI). His lead surgical staff assisting with implant procedures has also received the highest possible accreditation for surgical assistance from the ICOI. Together, they are among the finest dental implantology teams in the business, bar none.

So great is their learning, Dr. Tidwell and his staff have been conducting monthly Implant Study Clubs (for over a decade) for interested colleagues. What all this means to you is that you will receive the highest possible standard of expertise and care when receiving your implant treatment at Tidwell Dental.

CAPTION: Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Tidwell (with no obligation for services). Call or text us at 503-359-5481.

P.S. Shhh … here’s a special secret: With implant-supported dentures, you’ll be a better kisser. True.

 

 

 



7/25/2015 6:39:45 AM | Dr. Vaughn Tidwell

“The gold of life is for those bold and brave in life.” —Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

Cast Gold Restorations

Gold inlay, onlay, overlay, dental repairThe very best thing you can do to repair a tooth that has a cavity – or has been cracked or chipped from an old filling – is to treat it with cast gold. Typically called onlays or inlays, gold restorations perform better and last longer than any other dental substance.

In the olden days, dentists worldwide primarily repaired cavities by drilling out the tooth decay and filling the indentation with an amalgam* substance (liquid mercury combined with a powdered alloy of silver, tin and copper). This filling, over time, would invariably shrink and separate from the healthy enamel. The tooth would inevitably crack, fracture and/or chip as a result.

Today, fortunately, you can “go for the gold” instead, and enjoy the many benefits that only gold can offer. (Most notably keeping you out of the dentist chair over and over again.)

Cast gold inlay dental repairTop 10 Advantages of Gold Restorations

  1. Precision: The gold repair is cast in a laboratory, creating a more precise fit in the effected tooth as well as the opposing and surrounding teeth.
  2. Safety: Gold is not toxic to humans (mercury is a known toxin)
  3. Durability: Gold inlays/onlays/overlays last much, much longer than amalgam or porcelain, typically 20-30 years or longer.
  4. Consistency: Gold does not chip or fracture like amalgam and porcelain.
  5. Strength: Gold restorations actually strengthen the tooth and prevent it from fracturing.
  6. Protection: Gold decreases the possibility of future decay because it repels bacteria.
  7. Flexibility: Gold expands and contracts with the tooth when exposed to hot and cold temperatures (i.e. ice cream and coffee).
  8. Pliability: Gold is soft and pliable, perfect for rebuilding and finely shaping the repair to the original structure of the tooth.
  9. Improves Over Time: The more your chew, the tighter the gold adheres to the tooth, which prevents decay from forming in the thin border between the filling and the tooth.
  10. Best Value: Though gold restorations cost more upfront than their porcelain or amalgam counterparts, they are a far better solution that will last years, often decades, longer.

3 Other Things to Consider

  1. Time: Because they are cast and then bonded to your tooth, rather than packed in from a malleable substance, gold restorations take longer to implement than traditional fillings (two visits instead of one).
  2. Expense: Gold restorations cost more than amalgam or porcelain. (They also last years/decades longer.)
  3. Expertise: Gold restorations require great finesse and precision to install. Make sure your dentist has the expertise and experience you deserve.

Technically Speaking

inlay_onlay_overlay-captionsInlays, onlays and overlays are cast – formed in a laboratory to fit the exact impression of your tooth, as opposed to fillings, which are packed into the tooth’s cavity. There is also a difference in the dental chair between a gold inlay, an onlay and an overlay. [See illustration (right) courtesy of http://www.zahnarztpankow.de.]

  • The Inlay sits completely inside the corners of the tooth
  • An Onlay repairs a larger cavity than an inlay, but does not extend to the cusps (corners) of the tooth
  • An Overlay covers at least one cusp

Summary

Inlays, onlays and overlays that are cast from gold make the finest possible tooth repairs and restorations. The benefits of using gold in the restoration and repair of your teeth are vast and significant. Gold is simply the very best substance dentists can use to restore decayed, fractured or chipped teeth. Cast gold restorations perform better and last many years longer than amalgam, composite and porcelain. Gold even helps protect your teeth from future decay. And that’s an investment worth smiling about.

*Dental amalgam, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. Approximately 50% of dental amalgam is elemental mercury by weight.



6/28/2015 9:23:58 PM | Dr. Vaughn Tidwell

Dental implants are becoming increasingly popular as technologies evolve and more and more people are discovering that they look and perform like real teeth.

So … what are dental implants? How long do they take to install? What is the procedure? How much do they cost? How long do they last?

Dental implants are quicker, easier and more affordable than ever. Schedule your complimentary consulation today. Information only; No obligation!

Dental implants are quicker, easier and more affordable than ever. Schedule your complimentary consultation today.

We know you have questions, and that’s why Dr. Tidwell offers free consultations on implants. (He always has and he always will.) Included with your complimentary session with Dr. Tidwell is a state-of-the-art, 3-dimensional “cone beam” x-ray for the best possible diagnostics. And you have absolutely no obligation to move forward with the procedure.

In the meantime, here are some important insights into dental implants:

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are new teeth (typically made of porcelain or gold) supported by surgical pegs placed in your jawbone. Implants look and function like natural teeth, giving you the best possible appearance, comfort, convenience and confidence.

How Long Do Implants Take to Install?

From start to finish, implants take roughly six months to install, though some implants require a much shorter time. If you choose to proceed with implants, Dr. Tidwell will establish an Implant Treatment Plan specifically for you, considering your goals, needs, and the unique structure of your mouth.

What is the Implant Procedure?

There are three components of an implant, each placed in its proper sequence:

Tidwell-dental-implants-illustration

The implant (blue) is fused into the jaw bone. The abutment (green) attaches the crown to the implant.

  1. The Implant: A titanium post is inserted directly into your jaw, which permanently fuses with the bone. Once placed, it takes approximately 3-4 months to heal in a natural process called osseointegration. (Dr. Tidwell calls this period of time “the mystery, the joy and the excitement” of the dental implant process.) Surprisingly, this procedure takes a very short amount of time, is often completely painless, and post-operative recovery time is extremely fast.
  2. The Abutment: Another titanium piece (illustrated in green, right) connects the implant in the jaw to the crown on the surface. Both the abutment and crown are typically placed at the same time, once the implant is fused to the jaw.
  3. The Crown: A porcelain (or gold) tooth is attached to the abutment. The crown is the only part of the implant you’ll see. It is the workhorse of the implant, doing all the chewing (and smiling).

How Much Do Implants Cost?

There are many variables that will contribute to the cost of your implant/s. You are unique and so will you implants be. Fortunately, our fee structure depends on the projected ease or difficulty of the procedure. Other dentists and oral surgeons typically charge an (often prohibitive) “one-size-fits-all” flat fee. Our fee structure opens the door to people who otherwise haven’t been able to afford dental implants.

Also, your implant treatment will be entirely in Dr. Tidwell’s care. He won’t refer aspects of your implants to an oral surgeon or periodontist to complete. His comprehensive expertise saves you time and money.

Only with a personal consultation (at no charge) can you be quoted an accurate cost for dental implants suitable for you. All associated costs will be provided to you and explained in detail before you make your decision whether or not to proceed.

Tooth human implant (done in 3d graphics)

How Long Do Implants Last?

Dental implants, maintained properly, can last a very, very, very long time. With proper dental hygiene – and dental checkups twice annually – implants can last a lifetime. Factors that often contribute to implant failure include:

  • Poor health prior to the implants
  • Periodontal disease
  • Neglect (not having the implants adjusted on a regular basis)

Our Dental Implant Credentials 

Dr. Tidwell has earned the coveted status of Diplomate in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI). His lead surgical staff assisting with implant procedures has also received the highest possible accreditation for surgical assistance from the ICOI. Together, they are among the finest dental implantology teams in the business, bar none.

So great is their learning, Dr. Tidwell and his staff have been conducting monthly Implant Study Clubs (for over a decade) for interested colleagues. What all this means to you is that you will receive the highest possible standard of expertise and care when receiving your implant treatment at Tidwell Dental.

Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Tidwell here (with no obligation for services).



6/19/2015 5:36:32 AM | Dr. Vaughn Tidwell

Sooner or later, nearly everyone experiences tooth pain. The healthier your teeth are – through diligent brushing and professional cleanings – the less likely and less severe your toothache will be. Your diet, age and previous dental work (such as nasty mercury fillings) will also affect the frequency and severity of your toothache.

The two most common reasons for a toothache are:

  1. Woman with hypersensitive teeth eating ice lollyYou’ve cracked or chipped a tooth and exposed a nerve. Ouch. You will most likely experience pain when you eat or drink something cold. Or when you bite down on something hard, like tortilla chip. (It happens more often than you might imagine!)
  1. You have an infection under the tooth. Super ouch. This is going to get exponentially worse with each passing day. You have two choices: a root canal or an extraction. The root canal will be more expensive than the extraction, but you won’t have a hole where your tooth should be. Unless, you have an implant placed where the tooth used to be, which in turn costs exponentially more than a root canal. Read more about dental implants here.

Whenever you have tooth pain, don’t procrastinate. The sooner you see your dentist the better off you’ll be. It’s easy to put off a toothache until it really, really hurts. But the longer you delay, the more extensive – and expensive – the repair will be. The most common treatments for tooth pain vary from fillings, to root canals, to extractions, based upon the damage to your tooth and your budget.

Regular check-ups and cleanings will help prevent the onset of a sudden toothache. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. When it comes to healthy teeth, I couldn’t agree more. If you’re human, like the rest of us, and end up with a bad toothache, “bite the bullet” and see your dentist right away. You’ll be so glad you did.

For more information on tooth repair, including fillings, gold onlays, root canal therapy, dental implants and more, visit our website at www.TidwellDental.com.



6/4/2015 1:10:38 AM | Dr. Vaughn Tidwell

1.     Brush & Floss: For healthy teeth and gums – and to avoid time in the dental chair – make brushing and flossing a daily habit. At the very least: morning and bedtime.

Use the right tools for the job of keeping your teeth healthy, including proper brushes and regular visits to your hygienist.

Use the right tools for the job of keeping your teeth healthy. And don’t use your teeth as tools!

2.     Use the Right Tools: Get a new toothbrush every few months, and for pity’s sake, don’t get one with hard bristles. They will damage your gums. (Speaking of tools, teeth are for chewing food, not for opening bags of potato chips or pop bottles.)

3.     Food for Your Teeth: Eat cheese, chicken and nuts and drink milk: The calcium in these food products strengthen the enamel in your teeth.

4.     Don’t Chew Ice. Ever. ‘Nuff said.

Floss on the go for a clean and healthy smile

Floss on the go for a clean and healthy smile.

5.     Floss On the Go: Keep handy flossing tools in your car, purse, wallet or backpack.

6.     Keep it Clean: Regular teeth cleaning with a professional hygienist will help prevent tooth decay and keep you smiling your brightest.

7.     Be Proactive: Replace your amalgam (mercury) fillings with porcelain fillings or gold onlays … before they cause painful cracks and chipping.

Bonus Tip: It’s all too easy to ignore little issues with your teeth. But these little problems never go away; they just get bigger and bigger.

Replace amalgam (mercury) fillings with gold inlays BEFORE they chip or fracture your tooth.

Replace amalgam (mercury) fillings with gold inlays BEFORE they chip or fracture your tooth.

The sooner you get a problem looked at, the easier – and much less costly – the fix will be. When you think might you have a little problem, have it checked out and taken care of.

To learn more about the proper care and feeding of your teeth, the process and costs of good dental hygiene, and the tremendous benefits of gold onlays – or anything else that’s on your mind about dental care – call our dental office in Forest Grove, Oregon at 503/359-5481 or visit our website at www.TidwellDental.com. Keep smiling!



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