September 26th, 2017
Does the thought of getting a dental implant put knots in your stomach? There are many people who don't enjoy getting dental work done and there is a myriad of reasons why. For whatever reason you aren't at your best when you arrive at our Sioux Falls, SD office, we'd like to offer some tips that can help put you at ease for your implant procedure.
For lengthy visits like an implant procedure, sedation dentistry may be an option for you. With sedation dentistry you are given sedation medication, usually orally with a pill or intravenously, which allows you to drift through the entire procedure without any memory of it afterward. If you decide on oral sedation, typically you take the medication about an hour before your procedure starts.
To avoid any complications, a complete medical background check is made along with a record of any allergies before any sedation is administered. Your vital signs are also monitored throughout the entire procedure.
If you decide sedation is not the right option for you, there are other techniques that you can benefit from. Some of these include:
- Communication: This may seem obvious, but communicating any fears or anxiety you may have about your procedure with us is extremely helpful. Not only does this build a relationship of trust but it allows us to try and alleviate your anxiety as much as we can.
- Herbal teas: Drink some herbal tea (like chamomile or lemon balm) before you visit the office. Many patients find this is a great help in relieving anxiety and putting them sufficiently at ease.
- Relaxing music: Bring a pair of headphones along and listen to your favorite music during treatment (preferably something low-key). Or why not catch up on your reading when you visit us — some patients like to listen to audiobooks too!
- Meditate or practice deep breathing: Meditation and deep breathing are good to practice in general, since they relax both the body and mind. They can be effective in the case of anxiety, too!
September 19th, 2017
Many people suffer through headaches for years without getting to the root cause of their problem. If you find yourself constantly popping painkillers to get through the day, it might be worth a trip to see a medical professional – but it may not be the person you think.
Talking to Dr. Cody Henriksen can be a great start when dealing with chronic headaches, because dental issues frequently contribute to head pain. In fact, the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain estimates that 80% of headaches are caused by muscle tension, which often originates in the jaws.
What Do Tension Headaches Feel Like?
A tension headache can originate on one side of your head or can pervade your entire skull. Typically, tension headaches feel like a dull, throbbing ache inside your head. Some patients at our Sioux Falls, SD office report that they feel as though a metal band has been wrapped around their head and is causing significant pressure. Several common symptoms suggest that tension headaches may be caused by dental issues:
- Feeling as though your head or scalp is painful to the merest touch
- Experiencing a dull or throbbing pain behind the eyes
- Clicking or popping sounds in your jaw joints
- Grinding teeth or clenching the jaws, particularly in times of anxiety or during the night
- Feeling as though your jaw muscles are sore when you wake up from sleep
Dental Origins of Headaches
Several dozen muscles control your facial expressions, jaw movements, and motions such as swallowing. When these muscles are contracted for long periods of time, tension builds up within the muscle and can lead to headaches. This may happen if you clench or grind your teeth at night, your bite is misaligned, or you have muscle imbalances in the jaw or neck.
Dental Treatments for Tension Headaches
Fortunately, a trip to Dental Comfort Center can be a fruitful way to alleviate your headaches, including the following treatments:
- Bite. In many cases, correcting your bite through orthodontics releases the stress on your jaw and muscles, and reduces the frequency of headaches.
- Nightguard. A nightguard, which resembles a sports mouthguard, may also be helpful if you frequently grind your teeth or clench your jaws during sleep. Nightguards distribute the tension from your clenched jaws and reduce the possibility of dental damage.
- Physical therapy and relaxation. Correcting the posture of your shoulders, neck, and head may alleviate muscle tension associated with headaches.
September 12th, 2017
Since dental implants first started being implemented in the 1980s, they have been primarily made of titanium. Recent advances in implant technology have allowed dental implant manufacturers to shift from all-metal implants, to part-metal and part-ceramic implants, to the newer all-ceramic or zirconia implants.
Zirconia implants are made of high-impact resistant ceramic called tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (ZrO2+Y2O3). They remedy many of the issues and complaints doctors and patients have with traditional metal implants and have several advantages—let’s take a look at some of them.
Advantages of Zirconia Implants
- Do not cause allergic reactions – Although titanium is considered non-toxic, some people still have allergic reactions to titanium. Zirconia implants are inert, non-corrosive, and hypoallergenic.
- Have been used for decades in medical applications – Millions of patients have had zirconia used safely and effectively as the base material for their hip replacements. The zirconia used for medical applications also undergoes strict radiation monitoring to ensure its safety for use within the body.
- They are incredibly strong – Unlike titanium implants, zirconia offers a much higher degree of resistance to scratching, corrosion, and fracture. The aerospace industry even uses zirconia (ZrO2) due to its high resistance to heat and fracture. This all means a safer and more aesthetically pleasing result for the patient.
- One-piece design is more hygienic – Zirconia implants are a one-piece design, meaning there is nowhere for bacteria to build up or liquids to penetrate like with titanium implants. They are highly biocompatible (how a material reacts with the human body) which leads to healthier gums and no risk of corrosion.
- Implant margin is at gum not bone level – With titanium implants the margin (or gap between the implant and the tooth) is at bone level, which can lead to bacterial buildup since you can’t brush there. The zirconia implant margin, which is at gum level, allows you to brush and clean your implant and restoration regularly.
If you are in need of a restorative dental implant, it would be wise to consider zirconia due to its many advantages. It might not work in every situation, but feel free to discuss your options with Dr. Cody Henriksen or one of our Sioux Falls, SD staff members.
September 5th, 2017
A dental office on the cutting edge of technology offers numerous benefits to its patients. Whether you are in need of a simple cleaning or extensive restorative work, these technologies will help you stay more comfortable and give you better results than the outdated tools used in many offices. Here are some of the technologies that you can expect to see in our modern dental office:
- Digital radiography – Digital X-rays and imaging expose patients to far less radiation than traditional X-rays. Not only that, but these digital images provide a more detailed and easier-to-view snapshot of what is going on in and around your teeth. They make it easier for patients to see what's going on since we can show them right on the computer monitor. It's also better for the environment because there’s no need for the toxic chemicals used to develop traditional X-ray films.
- Panoramic X-rays – This digital X-ray gives Dr. Cody Henriksen a more in-depth understanding of the entire structure of your mouth and head than a regular X-ray. The panoramic X-ray machine rotates around your head and takes a 3D image of it, giving us a very complete picture that allows for more effective and timely treatment planning.
- Bioceramic implants, prosthetic devices, and sealants – Advances in implants and prosthetic devices over the past several decades has led to the creation of bioceramic (nontoxic) materials ideal for crowns, veneers, and implants. These materials allow for more visually appealing dental work since there are no metals used with these high-tech ceramics.
- Paperless bills and records – We all know the inconvenience of paper bills and receipts; they can create clutter and get lost. Our office has done away with this trouble by going paperless. This means you'll receive all your pertinent paperwork in your email inbox and records will be kept digitally at the office. No more wall full of patient records!
This is just an overview of the many advances that we’ve made to our Sioux Falls, SD office to make it cleaner, quieter, more comfortable, and more efficient, helping you spend less time in the chair and more time smiling!