4 Amazing Facts About Dental Implants

People and blogs alike have been telling you about the amazing benefits of dental implants. Some have even perhaps conveyed certain myths about dental implants. We take you a little deeper into the concept and unravel some accurate information with these 4 amazing facts about dental implants.

1. Titanium implants are better than Zirconia

If you have read about zirconia implants being as good as titanium implants, you might want to reconsider a little bit! If you haven’t heard about zirconia implants yet, keep reading and you’d get an idea.

Zirconia implants are relatively new in the market and they come in one piece. This means two things. First, they haven’t been in the market for long enough to prove how durable they are against the proven durability of titanium implants.

Second, since they come in one piece, an oral surgeon would have a tough time adjusting the implant with your teeth in terms of alignment. Coupling that with the fact that they are more expensive than titanium implants gives you a clear green signal to choose titanium implants over zirconia implants, eyes closed!

2. Lost a lot of bone? You can still have implants

One popular belief is that if you have lost too much of your jawbone, you’d better choose dentures over implants. That’s one myth to debunk. With subperiosteal implants, you get a metal framework underneath your gumline that acts as the jawbone to support the implant.

This is less complex as compared to bone grafting, although both of the procedures can get you implants even if you have lost too much jawbone.

3. Dental implants are not stronger than your natural teeth

How many times have you read that due to the fact that they are made of titanium, dental implants are stronger than your natural teeth? In fact, this is what even some dentists tell their patients. So, time for some facts check!

The compressive strength of a dental implant is 182 MPa, while the compressive strength of the enamel and dentin of your natural tooth are 384 MPa and 297 MPa respectively. Thus, your natural teeth are surely stronger than any existing dental implants.

But one thing is for sure! They’re much stronger and more durable than any other form of dental restoration.

4. It isn’t feasible to restore a full mouth with dental implants

Yes, maybe not if you’re in your old ages (which you probably are if you’ve lost all teeth). However, those patients who still have a lot of life ahead, dentures still isn’t the better option!

With all-on-4 dental implants, it would only take 4 implants to restore all the teeth in either jaw. So 8 implants would restore your full smile! And you thought you’d need 32 of them?

Hope we could do debunk some myths besides disseminating some valuable information about dental implants, to help you decide on your own. Made up your mind yet? Get the best dentist for dental implants in Houston TX.

5 Facts You Should Know Before Getting a Dental Filling

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, “92% of the adults belonging in the age group of 20-64 years, have cavities in their permanent teeth”. This is what calls for the need for a dental filling. Before you dive into the facts related to a dental filling, consider a few of the following answers to some commonly asked questions on the concept.

What is it?
Your dentist simply removes the decayed part of your teeth and fills the area with appropriate metal or non-metal material.

Does it Hurt?
It does hurt, but just a little bit! Patients have reported that the pain is absolutely tolerable. It is not one of those experiences to make you groan!

When to Consider One?
If you clearly have visible cavities in your tooth/teeth, you must immediately consider one. Besides, if your dentist thinks appropriate, he/she might also recommend you to get one.

Is it High Maintenance?
A dental filling does require some post-care. However, it is nothing compared to that of an implant or a root canal.

Which Filling Material to Choose?
Gold cast is the most popular choice for dental fillings. However, if you value aesthetics over durability, go for ceramics! Your choice also depends on the recommendation of the dentist, and the cost that you are willing to consider for the material.

Now that you have a clearer idea about the concept, here are the five crucial things you should know before getting a dental filling:

1. Fillings are Temporary

If you were expecting a filling that would last forever, such advancements have not arrived yet! However, fillings are expected to last over a decade. So, you need not worry about their cost effectiveness!

2. Severe Cavities Require more than Just Fillings 

Dental fillings are only meant to heal comparatively minor visible cavities. To be precise, they are meant for small cavities that have surfaced on the teeth and has not deeply penetrated the pulp.

In case of a bigger cavity, you might as well require a dental crown. This is because the cavity would have become so big that a major part of the tooth would have to be removed. This makes lesser sense than getting a new crown altogether!

If the cavity has penetrated too deep, your dentist is likely to inspect whether it has found its way into the pulp. In that case, you are likely to receive a root canal treatment. You must report the amount of pain that you are experiencing from the cavity, to prompt your dentist to inspect further

 3. You may get an Indirect Filling if you do not have Sufficient Tooth Structure 

Indirect fillings are given to patients who do not have sufficient tooth structure to support a filling, and neither is the cavity too big for them to get a crown.

How does it work?
It consists of 2 visits. During the first visit, the dentist will remove the cavity-stricken part of the tooth, and send the impression of it to the dental lab.

Until then, a temporary filling would be placed on your tooth.

By the time of your second visit, a filling, shaped as per the impression, would be created, and fitted into your tooth.

4. Fillings can Look Perfectly Natural

Prior to the advent of ceramics as a viable material for dental fillings, a dental filling used to look unnatural, due to the color mismatch with the rest of the teeth. However, now you can get perfectly natural-looking fillings. Although gold casts or silver could also attempt at duplicating your natural teeth color, ceramics do it much better. However, they do not have a long durability.

5. Cavities can Still Occur, Post Filling

Fillings do tend to crack.

They are not as strong as implants and are susceptible to chewing and grinding.

The Consequence:
Bacteria from your mouth could enter through those cracks and form cavities underneath.

And, you’re good to go! If you are indeed considering a dental filling, you pretty much know everything you need to for a starter, to prep you up! In case you are a little bit confused regarding the type of material you would prefer for your filling, this article by Oral Health Foundation might help you decide!

9 Top Tips for Maintaining A Healthy Smile

What’s the first thing you notice about someone? Their eyes? Their smile? Those are the most common answers. So when someone notices your smile, are you embarrassed by what they see? Are your teeth getting the attention they deserve?  Follow these 9 tips to improve your oral health so you can smile with confidence!

1. Floss Like a Boss

Flossing isn’t just a trendy dance the kids are doing now…it’s one of the most important aspects of your dental health! Flossing regularly helps to prevent tooth decay by removing plaque and preventing plaque build up. It also ensures you are removing those stubborn food particles that are in hard to reach places. Leftovers should be in the fridge not your mouth!

2. Get your Good Side

We all know the right angle can make all the difference in a photo. The same goes for brushing your teeth! By angling the bristles of your toothbrush 45 degrees to the gum line, you are allowing the brush to access the gaps between your teeth, to stimulate the gums and ultimately be more effective at removing plaque. A brush parallel to the gums can give you an incomplete clean and can apply too much pressure.

3. No Ice, Ice, Baby!

It’s a common habit to crunch on the ice that is literally “just chillin” at the bottom of your cup. It’s a bad habit dentists recommended stopping asap. The cold temperature and hard texture of the ice can lead to tiny microscopic fractures on your enamel, compromising your tooth integrity and leading to dental problems in the future.

4. Happy Little Teeth

Bob Ross made millions of people smile each day by painting beautiful paintings using short, gentle strokes and focusing intently. He took his time painting his “happy little trees”. Doing the same when brushing your teeth is a great idea. We don’t want to aggressively brush up and down. We want to brush in a circular motion, focusing on small areas at a time. This allows the bristles to bend as needed and really massage that gum line. Ahh…happy little teeth.

5. Say no to Plaque!

Brushing  and flossing before going to bed is an amazing way to ensure a healthy mouth. When you go to bed without an oral care routine, plaque is left on the teeth. This is especially damaging as it remains undisturbed during the night. The plaque continues to build and will start to harden…which leads to calcification. AKA bad news. Stop it before it starts, brush off those food particles each night so you aren’t feeding the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth.

6. Find your Dental Home:

Having regular dental cleanings and exams ensures you can have a healthy smile. You can prevent future issues, avoid costly dental bills and be in the know about your most noticeable feature! Let’s face it, the dental office isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s important you find an office that makes you feel comfortable. Establishing your care with an amazing office who truly makes you feel cared for can make all the difference in your regularity. Call up your local dentist and ask for a tour!

7. Don’t Brush in a Rush!

It’s hard sometimes to get everything ready before flying out the door. It may seem like you are being more productive by brushing your teeth while putting on your shoes or typing up an email. Distracted brushing leads to incomplete cleaning and shorter brushing times. Brushing your teeth should only take two minutes of your time and it takes those full two minutes to ensure the fluoride in your toothpaste can attach to your enamel. The average person brushes for 45 seconds…eek!

8. 30 Minute Wait

If you just washed your car, would you immediately take it out to the beach? Hopefully not. Same with your teeth! After brushing and flossing, wait at least half an hour before eating or drinking. This will help the fluoride remain effective without the risk of it being washed away.

9. Soft Serve

A soft bristle toothbrush serves you best! You want to gently remove plaque not remove the protective coating on your teeth. Look for a brush that is a good fit for your mouth with soft bristles. You want the toothbrush to be able to reach the back of your mouth and around the teeth. The bristle type should be listed on the package, avoid medium and hard bristled brushes.

What Causes Sleep Apnea and How to Resolve It?

Are you aware of the fact that there are certain ailments that wreck havoc in your personal life? Sleep Apnea is one among them. In colloquial terms, individuals vexed with the trouble of snoring while asleep are the sleep apnea patients. Let us delve into the details of this ailment and jot down the solutions or treatment alternatives for this oral issue.

What is Sleep Apnea in a Brief?

In the simplest terms, sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when breathing is obstructed during sleep. Consequently, your body wakes you up intermittently in order to resume normal breathing. But this wakefulness is so short lived (for a second or a fraction of it) that the patient is not able to recall it the next morning. So, in a nutshell the problem of snoring while at sleep can be attributed to this disease called sleep apnea.

Have you Ever Wondered What Makes your Snore?

Snoring is that sound which is produced when a person cannot freely breathe through the nose and throat during his sleep. This phenomenon is a resultant of many factors. Some of them are:

  • Candidates who have excessive throat and nasal tissue or floppy tissue that is more likely to vibrate while inhalation and exhalation, the individual snores.
  • The vibration of respiratory structure might lead to the snoring too. This is also due to the obstructed air movement.
  • Obstruction occurs due to a number of other factors like a faulty sleeping position, alcohol consumption, nasal problems, etc.

It however goes without mentioning that snoring is a major symptom of sleep apnea, but regular snoring might also sometimes just be a sign of something else. It might simply indicate that you need to change your sleeping position or have some nasal congestion.

The most important vertical of this discussion is: What are the treatment options for Sleep Apnea?

The most significant determinant is the cause of your sleep apnea. Whether it is a nasal congestion, smoking, obesity issue or malformation of the TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) that makes your jaws intrude too much obstruction the airways – treatment options are chosen accordingly.  The two most common devices that are used to get rid of sleep apnea symptoms are:

      • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airways Pressure)
      • Mouth devices to be used at night

The CPAP Machine:

The mechanism is simply keeping the flow of air down your throat with the help of a continuous pressure at night. Your airways are allowed to remain wide open while you sleep. The information that follows would help you to understand the performance of the CPAP machine – it performs the job with the help of three parts:

      1. A mask that fits over your nose and mouth, held in place with the help of straps on either side.
      2. A motor that blows the air inside.
      3. The Cannula which is a large tube responsible for connecting the mask to the source of the air.

Although the CPAP machine is a portable, light-weight and easy-to-use device, yet, it often causes significant amount of discomfort to the patient. The very act of wearing a mask throughout the night and keeping your sleeping position unaltered is evidently not an easy job!

A mouth device:

This is another alternative. The working of a mouth device is almost similar to wearing braces on your teeth. It is an oral appliance that aids in keeping your air passage unobstructed by holding the tongue or your jaws in place. Essentially therefore, there are 2 variants of oral devices:

Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)

It looks similar to the mouth guard used in sports and makes possible the easing of the lower jaw forward. This keeps the jaw from obstructing the free flow of air through your airways at night.

 A Tongue Retaining Device

This is a vlesser used appliance as compared to MAD. It is simply used to hold back your tongue in place such that it does not recede too much to interrupt your inhalation.

Sleep apnea, to be precise, may have more causal factors than can be thought of instantly! Age and gender are two such elements.  A normal individual can be affected with sleep apnea with age. As far as gender issue is concerned, sleep apnea is more common in males than in females. Even physiological structures have a role to play! If you have inherently small airways, you could be a sufferer of this phenomenon too.

So, the next time you find your partner snoring, don’t complain! Remember, it could be a more complicated illness than it actually seems to be!



What was your favorite part of summer?

It’s the end of summer, and fall is just around the corner. Soon the temperatures will cool down, the leaves will start to change, and Dr. Melanie and Dr. Farnam and our team at FMS Dental are sure that you’ll soon be thinking about Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving plans in no time. But wait! First, we want to know about your favorite parts of the summer! Did you go on a wonderful family trip? Did you pick up a new hobby? Did you try to spend as much time outside and in the sun as possible?

Share your favorite memories, stories, or photos with us by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Celebrate Labor Day by Getting Away

Labor Day honors the contributions that workers have made to this country, and for many Americans, the holiday is a great time to relax at home with family and friends. But there are quite a few people who celebrate the holiday by getting out of town, with an estimated 33 million people traveling more than 50 miles over Labor Day weekend each year. If you’re dreaming of a great Labor Day escape but you’re not quite sure where to go, here are a few ideas from our team at FMS Dental to give you some travel inspiration.

Explore a National Park

On a national holiday like Labor Day, it’s only fitting to experience the beauty of America’s landscapes by heading to the nearest national park. If you’re confined to an office most days of the year, national parks can provide a relaxing and scenic escape, whether you’re by yourself, traveling with a group of friends, or bringing the whole family along. Depending on how close you live to the nearest park, you can stay for an afternoon or for longer than a week. With 58 parks located in 27 states, there are plenty of beautiful areas to choose from.

Chow Down in a BBQ Haven

Barbecuing is a popular Labor Day activity, but instead of sweating over your own grill or oven, try visiting one of the country’s BBQ capitals. U.S. News and World Report names Memphis as the top BBQ destination, with more than 80 BBQ restaurants in the city, most notably Corky’s BBQ and Central BBQ. Kansas City is also known for the sweet taste of its sauces, while central Texas is said to have perfected the technique of smoking tender and flavorful brisket.

Relax on the Beach

Many people think of Labor Day as the unofficial start of fall, which brings cooler temperatures, more rain, and for many people, an end to lazy days at the beach. End your beach days with a bang by taking a trip to one of the coasts or to a lakeside beach. For an added dose of festivity, find a city or town that celebrates the occasion with a fireworks display over the water.

Whether you’re looking to turn your getaway into a full week affair or you simply want to experience a quick escape, make the most of your holiday by changing your surrounding scenery. Happy Labor Day from the dental practice of Dr. Melanie and Dr. Farnam!

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Tooth Anatomy

Although each tooth is covered by a hard outer shell, the interior of a tooth consists of dental pulp. This pulp is soft, containing blood vessels that bring nutrients to the tooth. Each tooth also has an associated nerve, which resides within a root canal passing from the tooth’s root into the dental pulp. This nerve provides information about temperature, allowing teeth to sense heat or cold.

Symptoms of Nerve Infection

Damage to the dental pulp or nerve tissue leads to a rapid multiplication of bacteria within the interior of the tooth. The result may be an abscess, a small pocket near the root of the tooth that becomes full of pus. This infected area commonly causes the following symptoms:

  • Intense pain or sensitivity when pressure is applied to the tooth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, even after the heat or cold has been removed
  • Darkening or discoloration of the affected tooth
  • A small, persistent pimple that forms on the gums
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Swelling in other areas of the face, neck, or head

Nerve infection may occur due to deep decay, although repeated dental procedures, facial trauma, chipping or cracking of a tooth, or large fillings may also contribute to an abscessed tooth.

What to Do if You Think You Need a Root Canal

Only a visit to Dr. Melanie and Dr. Farnam can confirm whether a tooth’s nerve has become infected. We will perform an oral examination and X-rays to confirm whether the tooth is abscessed. If a root canal procedure is needed, a small hole will be placed in the tooth. The pulp and nerve tissue are removed from the tooth, which is thoroughly cleaned and filled. Then, the hole is sealed with a special compound to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth’s interior. The entire procedure is performed under local anesthesia to numb pain.

If you think you may have tooth or nerve decay, call our Houston office today to schedule a diagnostic appointment.

The Secret to Fresh Breath

Wash your hands well, then put your finger in your mouth, way in the back. Scrape a little saliva from the back of your tongue, and then dab it on the back of your hand. Wait for one minute, then hold your hand to your nose and sniff. Is it fresh as a daisy? Or do you need to keep reading and learn how to freshen your breath?

How Bad Breath Starts

There are several ways that bad breath starts. Knowing the causes of bad breath is a solid start toward the cure.

  • The bacteria in your mouth: Bacteria is always in your mouth. It covers your gums, hides between your teeth, and hangs out on your tongue. As it multiplies, it produces toxins that cause the foul odor in your mouth.
  • Your bad habits: If you smoke cigarettes, a pipe, or cigars, or chew tobacco, you are not only harming your mouth and body, you are creating some really smelly breath.
  • Your tonsils: If you still have your tonsils, they can be the cause of bad breath. They are pitted, so smelly substances can collect in the pits and lead to bad breath.
  • Stomach issues: A stomach virus, ulcer, GERD, and other stomach issues could be the cause of your bad breath. A low-carb diet can put your body into a state of ketosis, which causes very bad breath.
  • The foods you eat: Garlic, onion, and other pungent foods will linger with you … on your breath.

Tips for Busting Bad Breath

Achieving fresh breath isn’t difficult, but it does require a little work. Try these tips for fresher breath and a healthier mouth.

  • Brush your teeth after every meal. You can also pick up a tongue scraper to use a couple of times a day to remove any lingering bacteria on your tongue.
  • Floss once a day to remove food particles between your teeth as well as plaque. Your mouth will thank you.
  • Gargle with special mouthwash to banish bad breath. The oxygen in it will kill the bacteria in your mouth that is causing your bad breath, and leave you fresh as a daisy!
  • Drink water to avoid dry mouth, which is a common cause of bad breath.
  • Ease your tummy troubles with antacids and other remedies. Ginger tea is a great tummy tamer.
  • Chew gum that contains xylitol. Saliva keeps your mouth moist, and chewing gum makes you salivate. Bye bye, bad breath!
  • Eat yogurt. It contains “good” bacteria that helps balance your gut and gives you a healthier mouth.
  • Soothe your sinuses. Sinus infections can cause you to have bad breath. Actually, it is the post-nasal drip that causes the foul odor. Cure the infection and your breath will improve.
  • Avoid all tobacco products (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff).
  • Eat a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.

And don’t forget! Get regular dental checkups at FMS Dental.

Is soda really bad for your teeth?

Is that true? Is sweet soda the enemy of a healthy smile? The answer, unfortunately, is that one glass might not hurt your teeth, but drinking soda regularly can do some real damage.

Sodas are one of America’s favorite drinks. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says about half of us drink soda regularly, averaging 2.6 glasses each day.

That’s a lot of soda considering the drinks are acidic, full of sugar, and have little or no nutritional value. It may surprise you to learn that it’s actually the acidity of cola, not the sugar, which poses the biggest threat to teeth. Over time, repeated exposure to soda wears down tooth enamel, leaving teeth stained and less able to prevent cavities.

As enamel wears away, teeth can become discolored, take on a rough texture, and become highly sensitive to hot or cold. Your teeth may start to tingle, and brushing or flossing can cause pain. If not checked by dental care, teeth may start to erode, becoming thinner and more likely to crack. It’s a pretty high price to pay for a glass of soda.

Of course, sodas are not the only culprits in tooth erosion. Coffee, wine, and some fruit juices are also acidic, though these drinks tend to have less acidity that a typical soda.

So what can you do to protect your teeth?

1. Cut back – way back – on acidic drinks.

2. Add more water to your daily diet in place of sodas.

3. Use a straw when you drink.

4. Don’t confuse diet soda with a healthy alternative. Diet drinks are just as acidic as regular sodas.

5. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking soda. The rinse may remove some acid from your teeth, although abstaining from the soda would do more good.

6. Hold off on brushing your teeth after drinking soda. Brushing too hard can weaken enamel that is already covered in acid.

7. Pay attention to your teeth, both how they look and how they feel. Let Dr. Melanie and Dr. Farnam know if you see signs of discoloration or erosion, or feel tingling. Make an appointment at our Houston office if you feel tooth or gum pain when eating or drinking.

What to Look for when Choosing a Mouthwash

Fluoride mouthwashes

Fluoride has been the subject of many debates in the oral health community. If you live in the United States, the tap water already contains small amounts of fluoride to promote dental health. You may not need to use a fluoride mouthwash if this is the case. However, if you are cavity-prone, fluoride creates a protective film over the teeth that protects against these buildups. It also helps strengthen the enamel over the teeth, maintain good dental hygiene, and keep your teeth strong for the rest of your life.

Alcohol mouthwashes

Alcohol in mouthwash works as an antiseptic: it clears the mouth of germs and some viral infections. However, if you have issues relating to dry mouth, alcohol can exacerbate the problem. If this is the case, consider using an alcohol-free mouthwash. This will free your mouth from the drying effects of the alcohol base. Also, if you have children, you will want to get an alcohol-free children’s mouthwash, because kids are prone to swallowing the substance, and this can lead to toxic side effects. Even if you are an adult using the mouthwash, if it contains alcohol, you should avoid swallowing it.

Antibacterial mouthwashes

Antibacterial mouthwashes have chemicals to help fight gum disease and other infections. Most mouthwash products contain at least trace amounts of these antibacterials; however, some mouthwashes are made specifically to fight bacterial infections. Remember that mouthwash is prevention, not a cure, so if you are presently suffering from a bacterial infection, you should visit our Houston office right away. Dr. Melanie and Dr. Farnam may be able to recommend a more powerful antibacterial mouthwash that can help you reduce your pain and other symptoms.