As we move through our adult years, our dental health faces real challenges. Tooth decay is the major component of adult dental disease. Sugary liquids sipped throughout the day and candy habits, are the primary causes of cavities. Back teeth restored with dental fillings in our younger years become weaker over time, so broken back teeth can become an issue for us. Failure to keep our gums healthy leads to gum disease, resulting in loose and drifting teeth. Poor adult dental care can lead to other medical problems as well. Medical research shows a clear connection between gum disease and general disease processes including respiratory infection, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Life is busy; where does the time go? Most adults want to keep their teeth forever, so what are our options?
Our staff could write pages of adult dental care tips…But most of us just want straight, simple facts without “the fluff”. In all sincerity, we invite you to sink your teeth into our long list of self-help suggestions to help you enjoy your teeth forever.
– Most adults need to brush morning and evening, every day
– If you are the impatient type, buy an inexpensive, motorized tooth brush, hold it near your gums, and move it slowly along your teeth on the cheek side, then the tongue side
– Use floss, toothpicks, rubber tips, waterpic, or small brushes between your teeth at least several days per week, or often enough to keep your gums from bleeding
(Dr. Loughran prefers the plastic toothpicks we give away)
– Brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper daily
– Try brushing one time each day without using toothpaste
– Consider limiting all sugary foods and drinks to just meal time
– Drastically limit the number and duration of moments spent snacking throughout the day and limit snacks to plain fruit, nuts, and vegetables are the only game in town.
– Avoid sipping sugary drinks; make the total drink a single five-minute event
– Eat a balanced diet
– Seriously consider ending your tobacco habit; ask for help if necessary
– Get a professional cleaning and exam often enough to have healthy gums and teeth
– Ask yourself if procrastination threatens your dental health both now and long-term, then end the procrastination
– Remember you may be a role model for children around you
Once someone discovers their own cavity, 90% of the time it is far bigger in size than two years prior when a dentist could have found it during a dental exam.
Active adults currently pay $126 for a periodic, full-mouth cleaning and exam in our practice. The fee is fixed and remains unchanged even when routine radiographs are necessary. Our hygienists Nicole and Rose, are among the very best in Southern Illinois. Appointments with them are comfortable and thorough.
The new patient experience is known as “Investigative Time with Dr. Loughran” and involves at least 75 minutes of chair time, including everything necessary to help prospective patients understand their dental health condition and what may be in their dental future. The fee is fixed at $225.00 and patients often comment that they received their best dental exam experience ever at their initial examination with us.
At both the initial investigation and the periodic cleaning/exam appointments, we share information about your dental condition in lay-person’s language. It is important to us that you see and understand everything we feel may be important to you, and we utilize a large television monitor to show you your radiographs and intra-oral views.
Fillings done by Dr. Loughran are always tooth-colored “composites”. Our practice ended placement of amalgam (metal) restorations in 1996. We feel that the modern composite restoration is superior because it is less stressful to back teeth with small-to-medium size fillings than metal fillings would prove to be.
Crowns provide strength to back teeth that are broken or prone to breaking. If we recommend one for you, we make sure that you understand the reason. For back teeth, crowns made of porcelain-to-gold or full-gold give the best long-term performance. When you are quoted a fee for a crown containing metal, you should always inquire about the quality of the metal it is made of. Our crowns are made with the best metal available regardless of the fluctuation in the gold market.
In our practice, we only offer top-quality Dentures, utilizing a quality dental laboratory and the best materials available. We believe “you get what you pay for” and economy dentures are unpredictable for everyone involved. Our immediate-placement dentures are delivered when final teeth are removed, and come with six-months of unlimited adjustment visits provided at your request. Standard dentures come with lifetime unlimited adjustment visits.
The goal of our website is to offer you preventive and corrective suggestions that enable a lifetime of adult dental care enjoyment. Gum disease, however, carries more serious overtones.
Your gum disease may be a factor in respiratory, cardiovascular, or diabetes control problems. Current medical research suggests that periodontal disease is a significant independent risk factor for several systemic conditions. An internet search reveals much about the connection between gum disease and systemic conditions, including estimates that at least 50% of adults in this country have gum disease. Helping you remain free of active periodontal disease has a real significance beyond just helping you avoid tooth loss.
In the 1980’s we began offering a then-revolutionary non-surgical plan for treating gum disease. We continue to refine our approach and currently provide periodontal therapy that utilizes technological advances including sustained-release medications. Every year we provide periodontal disease screening at local health conferences, and continue fine-tuning our ability to share information about this common oral health condition. We encourage everyone to look beyond their teeth and begin to understand how their oral health relates to their overall health.
Think of an implant as an artificial root that something can be anchored to. Natural teeth are anchored in our jaws by their roots. Where a natural tooth is missing, we can often provide surgical procedures that place an implant in the position. Sometimes we can place the implant at the time the tooth is extracted, known as immediate placement. Sometimes we can place a temporary tooth over the implant the day of surgery with contours that eliminate chewing forces in that area for several months. Sometimes we must submerge the top of the implant for several months for proper healing. Sometimes we place implants to anchor a loose denture.