Why Should Missing Teeth Be Replaced?

Missing Teeth Chester SpringsWhile missing teeth may not seem to be a big deal, especially if it’s not visible when you smile, it’s still important to replace them. In addition to reduced functionality, missing teeth can pose a threat to your oral health.

Dr. Jason Petkevis is a Chester Springs, PA dentist specializing in helping patients achieve healthy, beautiful, and functional smiles. Our restorative dentistry can restore your smile’s function and appearance according to your needs and budget.

Consequences of Missing Teeth

Missing teeth can affect jaw bone health, increase your risk of gum disease, and make the remaining teeth less stable. The biggest risk is jaw bone loss, which risks the long-term health of your smile.

When teeth are missing from their sockets, the jaw bone is no longer stimulated in that area and begins receding. When this happens, the surrounding teeth become less stable and may become loose, crooked, or cause jaw alignment issues.

A misaligned jaw or loose or crooked teeth can increase your risk for gum disease. Crooked teeth are inherently more difficult to clean, because certain areas of the teeth are covered or less accessible. Loose teeth may allow bacteria to settle in to small pockets in the gums which may eventually cause gum disease. These teeth can also become overcrowded as the jawbone continues to deteriorate, posing a risk of tooth fracture or tooth decay.

How to Replace Missing Teeth

It is important to replace missing teeth to keep the jaw in alignment and protect the teeth from decay. Missing teeth may result in issues with bite stability and cause problems eating or speaking, so seeking treatment is important.

There are several treatments available to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are a popular long-term tooth replacement option, as they permanently replace missing teeth and restore full functionality. Dentures or dental bridges are another option but are less permanent. If you have multiple dental concerns, you may benefit from a smile makeover, which is a combination of several treatments to give you the results you’re looking for.

Missing Teeth Treatment in Chester Springs, PA

No matter your goals, Dr. Petkevis at Dental Distinction can help you! Schedule a consultation with our experienced team online today or call 610.400.1459 to learn more about restoring your smile.

Posted in: Cosmetic Dentist Chester Springs

5 Benefits of Dental Crowns

restorative dentist chester springs paWhen teeth become damaged, whether from injury or tooth decay, it’s important to repair it using the right treatment. A dental crown is one of the options available to dentists to repair damaged teeth and preserve as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. Crowns allow you to use the damaged tooth for biting and chewing and look like your natural teeth.

Dental crowns are made to resemble your existing teeth and are custom-fitted to each patient’s mouth. They can be used for both medical and cosmetic purposes.

Dr. Jason Petkevis of Dental Distinction in Chester Springs, PA offers dental crowns as a restorative and cosmetic treatment to patients looking to repair damaged teeth. Read on to learn about dental crowns and how they can protect your oral health.

1. Crowns are a simple procedure.

You might think that getting dental crowns is a complicated or intense procedure. In reality, this treatment is minimally invasive and relatively straightforward. Once your enamel is cleaned and the damaged parts healthy or removed, your dentist will shape the tooth so that it can securely hold a crown. 

Next, your dentist will create a mold of your tooth for the crown to be cast. The crown itself is made in a dental laboratory and usually is ready in about two weeks. You will be given a temporary crown in the meantime. When it’s ready, your dentist will secure it over your prepared tooth with a strong bonding cement.

2. Crowns help relieve pain from damaged teeth.

Dental crowns are often used to complete a restorative treatment, repairing damage to a tooth’s enamel or structure. If you suffer from extensive decay, an infection of a tooth’s root, or injury to your tooth enamel such as a fracture, chip, or break, you may feel pain when you eat or drink. If the issue is severe enough, you may have constant discomfort.  

Once your dentist addresses the underlying issue in your tooth with an appropriate treatment (filling, root canal, etc.), the remaining portion of the tooth may still be vulnerable to further damage or discomfort. A dental crown can protect your tooth against further damage while also reducing sensitivity.

3. Crowns can restore the appearance of teeth.

Dental crowns are mainly intended to restore teeth to health and relieve dental discomfort, but they also offer numerous cosmetic benefits. Because they fit over the existing tooth, they can instantly correct discoloration, staining, misshapen teeth, crookedness, chips, cracks, fractures, and more. 

4. Crowns are custom-made for you.

Our dental lab team will design your dental crown to match the shape, size, and hue of your existing tooth. Once the area surrounding the tooth heals, you will most likely forget you even have a crown and no one will be able to tell.

5. Crowns last many years.

We use strong materials to create our patients’ dental crowns. With conscientious care such as daily brushing and flossing, as well as routine examinations and cleanings at Dental Distinction, these prosthetic teeth can last between 15 and 30 years.

Enjoy the Benefits of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns can enhance your natural smile and protect your teeth from further damage. Schedule an appointment with Dental Distinction online or call us at 610.400.1459 to find out whether they’re right for you!

Posted in: damaged teeth philadelphia

How Does Smoking Affect Teeth?

oral health chester springs dentistSmoking and using tobacco poses many health risks and proven negative effects on your health, and that includes the teeth. While a smoker’s risk of developing breathing problems, COPD, lung cancer, and heart disease is increased, so are their risks for developing oral health problems. Dr. Jason Petkevis is a dentist in Chester Springs, PA who can help you mitigate these risks and have a healthier smile.

How Does Tobacco Affect My Teeth?

Smoking cigarettes slows down the body’s ability to heal, and your teeth may wear down faster as a result. Many tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, cigars, snuff and tobacco leaves contain tiny particles that wear away at tooth enamel. Once enamel is worn down it cannot be replaced. 

Tobacco use and smoking also limits the effectiveness of dental treatments. Smoking reduces blood flow and increases inflammation and bacteria count in the mouth, making healing after restorative procedures slower. In some cases, people who smoke may not be able to utilize restorative dental procedures.

Dental implants or dental bridges may not be an option for smokers because the surrounding teeth and jawbone may have already weakened or deteriorated. These treatments require healthy teeth surrounding the affected area, so people who smoke may not be able to benefit from these treatments. Dental implants in particular are much more likely to fail in people who smoke versus nonsmokers.

Smoking Increases Your Risk of Gum Disease

People who smoke are twice as likely to develop gum disease compared to nonsmokers. Smoking dries out the mouth, increasing the number of oral bacteria, and it also inhibits the immune system’s ability to fight infection. Using tobacco products can cause a simple infection to turn into an abscess or sepsis.

Smoking restricts blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the gum tissue, making it more difficult to heal after oral surgery or deal with symptoms of gum disease. Good oral hygiene habits cannot ward off the effects of smoking on your oral health. 

What About Chewing Tobacco?

Chewing tobacco, also called snuff or smokeless tobacco, causes cancers of the mouth, lip, tongue, and pancreas. Chewing tobacco contains at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals, just like cigarettes.

Problems caused by chewing tobacco include:

  • Increased risk of cancer of the esophagus, colon, and bladder due to swallowing toxins
  • Irritation of the gums, leading to gum disease
  • Increased risk of tooth decay due to sugar added to enhance the flavor of tobacco
  • Tooth sensitivity and erosion due to the abrasive nature of tobacco

How to Improve Oral Health If You Smoke

Tobacco dependence is an addiction, and there are resources available to you. It’s not uncommon or unusual for people with a nicotine addiction to need psychological or physiological support. If you’re a smoker, work with your doctor and dentist to find a strategy to help you quit for good.

The effects of smoking on your oral health can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and make restorative or cosmetic dentistry impossible. For more information or help restoring teeth after tobacco use, schedule with Dr. Petkevis at Dental Distinction by calling 610.400.1459 or request an appointment online.

Posted in: Oral Health

What You Should Know About Teeth Grinding

TMJ Therapy, Chester Springs, PAOne of the most common culprits behind frequent headaches or worn or broken teeth is teeth grinding. This condition, clinically referred to as bruxism, can happen both during the day and during sleep and can negatively impact quality of life and put your oral health at risk. Dentists like Dr. Jason Petkevis in Chester Springs, PA can easily identify and help you manage teeth grinding.

Why Do I Grind My Teeth?

People who grind or clench their teeth often have an issue with the bite. The “bite” is how dentists refer to the alignment of your teeth. People with bruxism often have uneven bites, such as an overbite or underbite.

Bruxism is also commonly associated with stress, whether from environmental factors in your life or stress inside the mouth and jaw from a dental problem. The teeth and jaw work using an intricate system of muscles in the mouth and neck, and when this system doesn’t work properly, it results in tension. This tension can lead to headaches, teeth grinding, and face and neck pain.

Signs of Teeth Grinding

Dentists can usually easily identify signs of teeth grinding, such as:

  • Worn or dull teeth, especially chips or flat spots
  • Frequent headaches
  • Cuts or sores on the inside cheek
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Jaw pain

How to Stop Teeth Grinding

Reducing your stress levels may help you stop grinding your teeth, but if that stress is out of your control as the result of a dental problem, you’ll need other ways to help stop teeth grinding. Often, a combination of stress reduction and occlusal appliances are used to treat bruxism.

There are a few different kinds of occlusal appliances. You might be familiar with night guards, which are custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to fit over the top or bottom teeth to stop nighttime teeth grinding.

Another type of occlusal appliance are mandibular advancement devices, which bring the jaw forward when the dentist suspects a sleep disorder as the cause of the problem. You may be familiar with these as “snore guards,” which can reduce snoring by aligning the jaw during sleep to help with sleep apnea.

Bruxism Treatment in Chester Springs, PA

Teeth grinding can damage teeth and keep you from living a pain-free life, so it’s important to seek treatment if you grind your teeth. Dental Distinction is a full-service dental office that can help you put an end to bruxism and keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Schedule an appointment online or call 610.400.1459 today.

Posted in: family dentist philadelphia area

10 Tips for a Healthy Smile

With all the health advice available today, it’s hard to know what’s actually important to your oral health. Dr. Jason Petkevis and his team at Dental Distinction in Chester Springs, PA want you to know the top 10 dental care tips so you can keep your mouth and body healthy for years to come.

1. Use toothpaste with fluoride

Fluoride helps strengthen the teeth and may help reverse early signs of tooth decay. It’s an important ingredient in toothpaste to strengthen weakened spots in enamel and prevent cavities.

2. Brush your teeth every day

There’s a reason you hear this advice all the time. Brushing your teeth is the single most important way to prevent tooth decay. Brushing removes leftover food particles and oral bacteria, which when left on the teeth causes cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.

3. See your dentist twice a year

Even the best oral hygiene regimen still needs to include seeing your dentist regularly. Your dentist can spot early signs of tooth decay or gum disease, helping you avoid painful or complicated dental procedures. Annual X-rays will examine the jaw to ensure teeth are firmly in place.

4. Flossing is as important as brushing

We know if you haven’t been flossing! Flossing is important because it removes bacteria and plaque from between teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Tooth decay often starts between teeth because these places are cleaned less often. 

5. Limit sugar intake, including sugary drinks

Sugar contributes to tooth decay because it feeds the bacteria that live in our mouths. Bacteria feed off of the leftover food particles on the teeth, and if the food contains a high sugar content, bacteria can multiply even faster. Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet will help keep oral bacteria at bay.

6. Maintain a healthy diet

Teeth need nutrients, too. A healthy diet filled with fresh vegetables and food that requires a lot of chewing is good for saliva production. More saliva means the mouth is naturally washed out more often, helping prevent plaque from forming.

7. Stay hydrated

Your body needs water to produce saliva, which naturally washes out the mouth and helps prevent tooth decay. This helps prevent excess plaque build-up.

8. Take care of your toothbrush

Your toothbrush doesn’t need any special cleaning, but make sure it dries after each use and there is no leftover toothpaste. Store it upright and exposed to air and your toothbrush will be good to go!

9. Don’t chew on hard items

This may go without saying, but try not to bite down on hard candies or even non-food items like pen caps or fingernails. This can damage teeth.

10. Don’t forget your tongue

Your tongue shouldn’t have a white or yellow appearance. When you brush your teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper to remove foul-smelling bacteria that can cause bad breath.

Our Dental Distinction team is here to help you maintain your oral health. Schedule an appointment today to keep your smile healthy!

Posted in: family dentist philadelphia area

Are Dental Implants Safe?

The installation of dental implants is a surgery, and as with any surgery there are inherent risks. Dentists have been placing dental implants for decades now, and the technology has advanced greatly. Today’s dental implants are now very sophisticated prosthetics designed and placed by highly trained professionals like Dr Jason Petkevis of Dental Distinction in Chester Springs, PA. As of right now, dental implants are one of the most durable, reliable and naturally functional ways a dentist can offer to their patients to replace missing teeth.

Benefits Of Dental Implants

Dental implants discreetly replace missing, damaged, or infected teeth, allowing patients to eat, speak and smile with confidence and in comfort. Implants are renowned for their durability and will usually last a lifetime,often with only minimal adjustments or none at all. Because they are rooted into the jawbone using a titanium screw, implants remain stable while also promoting the growth of new, healthy bone tissue as natural roots of teeth do.

Risks Of Dental Implants

There are risks and possible complications that can occur with implants as with any surgery. However, problems with a dental implant are rarely seen, usually minor and easily repaired.  Risks include:

  • Infection of the site
  • Damage to teeth, blood vessels, or nerves in the surgical area
  • Implant rejection
  • Sinus problems
  • Material of replacement tooth and potential allergies (usually made of titanium or zirconia)

Working with an experienced and professional dentist like Dr. Petkevis means that your implant procedure has a much smaller risk of issues.

Some patients that have been missing teeth for some time may have lost bone tissue to deterioration with the roots of teeth present. For these patients, bone graft surgeries may be a necessity to make the jawbone tissue once again stable enough to support an implant. In a bone graft surgery, bone is harvested from other areas of the body and implanted on the jaw bone where it will eventually fuse with the existing bone, strengthening it to hold an implant. Because these are additional surgeries they come with their own risks and complications such as risk of infection, more discomfort and more time needed to recuperate.

The Success Rate Of Dental Implants

Dental implants generally have a hearty success rate of about 95%, although this rate can vary depending on the patient, the dentist, the number of implants needed, the methods used, and other factors.

However, when you choose a dentist experienced with the procedure of installing dental implants like Dr. Petkevis they are inherently safe. 

Dental Implants in Chester Springs, PA

If you have lost teeth or have teeth that cannot be saved, implants may the solution to restore the appearance and function of your smile. For patients in the Chester Springs area, please call 610.400.1459 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Petkevis at Dental Distinction to learn more!

Posted in: Dental Implants Chester Springs

What Should I Expect at the Dentist?

If you’re not experiencing a problem with your oral health, you might be tempted to skip your dental check-ups. Most dentists recommend a check-up every six months, and there are several reasons why you shouldn’t miss these appointments. Keeping regular appointments with Dr. Jason Petkevis will keep your smile healthy for a lifetime.

What To Expect At A Regular Dental Visit

A regular dental visit has two parts: a professional cleaning by a hygienist and a full-mouth examination by a dentist. Usually the cleaning is performed first, but if are due for your annual X-rays, those will be taken before the dentist comes to examine your mouth.

The visit gives the dentist the opportunity to check for cavities, ensure teeth are rooted properly, and to identify and prevent small issues from becoming major problems. Even a good at-home oral hygiene regimen that includes brushing and flossing every day needs to be supplemented by a professional cleaning and exam.

Why Are Professional Teeth Cleanings Necessary?

Brushing and flossing at home are the most important parts of your oral health, so why is it important to get professional cleanings?

Over time, even with excellent oral hygiene, plaque and tartar build up on teeth and require special tools to be removed. Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria that builds up as oral bacteria break down sugars from leftover food particles in our mouths. Even though brushing and flossing remove a lot of plaque, it’s still difficult to get it all, and over time it builds up to form a hard layer on the teeth called tartar. Tartar cannot be removed with floss or a toothbrush, and is the first stage of tooth decay.

During a cleaning, your hygienist uses special tools to remove tartar and can offer you insight on areas where you might need to take extra care such as behind the teeth or in between the molars. They will also use a professional-grade toothpaste to brush your teeth and floss to make sure there is no plaque buildup.

Prevent Tooth Decay With Regular Dental Checkups

Tooth decay affects everyone and if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems such as tooth loss, abscesses, and other systemic health problems. Many people with tooth decay don’t know they have it until it’s a big problem. Your dentist will spot any problems before they become major, saving you money and discomfort by treating them early. Small cavities are much easier to treat than abscesses!

Schedule an Appointment with Dental Distinction

Scheduling and keeping checkups with your dentist is essential to maintaining good oral health and will help you avoid potentially uncomfortable and expensive procedures. If you need a checkup, call 610.400.1459 or schedule your appointment online.

Posted in: Chester Springs Family Dentist, Dentist Office Chester Springs

How Can Crooked Teeth Be Fixed?

How Can Crooked Teeth Be Fixed?If you are self-conscious about showing your teeth in photos or when you smile, you might have considered cosmetic dentistry, but thought that metal braces were the only way to correct the problem. Thanks to modern dental technology, there are several cosmetic dentistry treatments available to straighten crooked teeth and close gaps between them. Cosmetic dentists like Dr. Jason Petkevis offer a variety of treatments like dental veneers, invisible braces, and dental bonding.

Veneers

Porcelain dental veneers are thin, porcelain coverings that are affixed directly onto existing teeth. Veneers can be shaped to give the appearance of straighter, whiter teeth, and can even be positioned to close gaps between teeth. If teeth only have minor misalignments, veneers might be a better treatment than invisible braces, but your dentist will consult with you to determine which treatment is best. Veneers are resistant to stains and can last more than 20 years with proper care.

Invisible Braces

Invisible braces are a common method of straightening teeth in teens and adults. Yes, even adults can benefit from invisible braces! Clear aligners are custom-fitted to your teeth and are a comfortable and discreet way to align teeth over a period of six months to 2 years.

The aligners are designed to be worn around 22 hours out of the day and can be easily removed for cleaning, brushing teeth, and eating. No one will be able to tell you are wearing them. Your cosmetic dentist will give you a specific treatment plan and let you know when it is time to change aligners. Invisible braces can also help fix your bite alignment, but your dentist will determine the best choice for your needs, goals, and budget.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a painless means of correcting uneven or crooked teeth.  Your dentist applies a composite resin to the front surface of the problem tooth or teeth.  Bonding, also referred to as cosmetic bonding, is the ideal for closing those annoying gaps between teeth, reshaping teeth and even lightening dark or yellowed teeth.

Although it may be surprising, cosmetic bonding is a minimally invasive procedure.  There is no need for needles or anesthesia. Cosmetic bonding can be applied in a single office visit.  Cosmetic bonding produces natural-looking results, letting you feel free to once again smile as much and as wide as you want to smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Chester Springs, PA

You don’t need to be unhappy with your smile when a cosmetic dentist can bring out the best it. A cosmetic dentist can correct alignment issues, crooked teeth and more. If you want to enhance your smile, then give Dr. Petkevis in Chester Springs, PA a call at 610.400.1459 or contact us online. And be on your way to a healthier and brighter smile today!

Posted in: Chester Springs Dentist, cosmetic dentist philadelphia

Top 6 Reasons to Floss Every Day

why is flossing importantWe get it — no one likes flossing their teeth. It’s an often-overlooked step in an oral health routine, and it’s sometimes difficult to do correctly or comfortably. Yet flossing every day is critical to preventing serious tooth decay and health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and heart problems.

There are many reasons why dentists urge their patients to floss every day. Dr. Jason Petkevis of Dental Distinction in Chester Springs, PA wants you to know the top 6 reasons why you should floss every day.

1. Brushing alone only gets 60% of the plaque off of your teeth

Around 40% of the plaque that needs to be removed from teeth is hidden between teeth in places a toothbrush can’t reach. While brushing is important to your oral health as well, nearly half of the plaque can’t be reached by brushing alone! Flossing, or some form of interdental cleaning such as an oral irrigator, is the only way to reach in between the teeth.

2. It prevents bad breath

When bacteria builds up between and around teeth, the acids they produce cause bad breath. Removing this bacteria and the food particles they feed on will limit this process and prevent bad breath, not to mention preserve gum health.

3. Flossing removes cavity-causing bacteria from hard-to-reach places

Over 500 different bacteria species live in the mouth, and when they feed on leftover food particles between the teeth, they can cause cavities. Since brushing cannot reach between the teeth, flossing is the only way to prevent cavities in this area.

4. It reduces your risk of gum disease

In addition to cavities, bacteria can cause gum disease. What starts out as a little bleeding when you brush your teeth can quickly turn into severe decay without you noticing other symptoms. Regularly removing the plaque that causes gum disease will keep it from progressing into a serious condition.

5. Gum disease is directly linked to serious health problems

New studies are finding links between Alzheimer’s disease and gum disease, and it’s already well established that gum disease is linked to cardiovascular problems. When it comes to gum disease, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and brushing and flossing are the best way to prevent gum disease.

6. Flossing saves you money in the long run

Flossing helps save you money by preventing gum disease, cavities, and bad breath, which might otherwise require complex dental procedures to treat. The easiest, cheapest way to prevent oral health problems is with some dental floss, a toothbrush, and toothpaste.

Expert Dental Care in Chester Springs, PA

Dr. Petkevis is an experienced dentist in Chester Springs who offers patients affordable, compassionate dental care in a professional and welcoming environment. To schedule an appointment with our office, call 610.400.1459 or request your appointment online today!

Posted in: Chester Springs Dentist, oral hygiene

We Can Help You Stop Snoring

If your partner has ever told you that you snore when you sleep, you might have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is a serious medical condition that can negatively affect your health. The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, but Dr. Jason Petkevis of Dental Distinction in Chester Springs, PA offers an alternative treatment to help you have more restful sleep without a CPAP machine.

Q: What causes sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is associated with obesity or being overweight. As the muscles relax during sleep, extra tissues can obstruct the airway, restricting oxygen flow to the rest of the body. It’s not uncommon for the sleeper to wake up several hundred times per night gasping for air or to feel tired during the day and have problems with memory and concentration. If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause cardiovascular problems and other diseases.

Q: I thought the only option for sleep apnea was CPAP therapy. What treatment can my dentist offer?

Dr. Petkevis offers an oral appliance for you to wear while you sleep, and it keeps the airway open as the muscles relax. The oral appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to keep the airway open by repositioning the lower jaw, moving it forward to keep soft tissue from collapsing over the airway. Instead of constant airflow like the CPAP, the oral appliance is a less invasive method of keeping the airway open. It’s also sturdy enough to withstand teeth grinding, so if you grind your teeth at night, you can still use it.

Q: How comfortable is a sleep apnea oral appliance?

Dr. Petkevis will meet with you for an individual consultation to examine the mouth and design the mouthpiece for you. It does reposition the jaw while you sleep, but since it’s custom-fitted to your mouth, it will fit comfortably with minimal disruption to sleep. Most patients report a reduction in snoring while using the appliance.

Q: Do I have to see a dentist to get it?

What makes an oral device comfortable and effective is how well it’s fitted to the individual patient’s mouth. Dr. Petkevis will meet with you to discuss your needs, gather precise measurements and your mouth’s specific details, and will work with you to make sure the device is as comfortable as possible. The last thing we want is for you to stop snoring but wake up with a sore jaw!

Our caring staff at Dental Distinction in Chester Springs, PA wants to help you get better sleep. Call 610.400.1459 or schedule an appointment online today.

Posted in: OSA treatment, sleep apnea therapy philadelphia