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Posts for: July, 2019

By Western Slope Dental Center
July 22, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Dental Implants  

Ever wonder why you're seeing more advertisements for dental implants? On TV, in magazines, and on highway billboards, it's hard to miss all the publicity these dental restorations have been getting lately. There's a good reason for all the excitement - dental implants have gained a deserving reputation for being the longest-lasting and most attractive way to replace missing permanent teeth. Dr. Brandon Berguin, Dr. Kira Funderburk, and Dr. William Berguin of Western Slope Dental Center in Grand Junction, CO, are here to explain more about dental implants and answer some questions they commonly hear from patients who are considering them.

How long do dental implants last?

With proper care, your dental implants can last several decades or as long as a lifetime. While they can't decay, the bone and gum tissue around them needs to be healthy in order to support them. Brushing and flossing each day and taking time to visit your Grand Junction dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup are all that's needed to keep your dental implants stable and looking great for many years to come.

Are dental implants expensive?

It may seem at first that dental implants are more costly than other restorations. However, when considering the permanence of dental implants versus the cost of routine adjustments, maintenance, and replacements on bridges, crowns, and dentures, dental implants from your Grand Junction dentist make good financial sense. They are, simply put, an investment in the future of your dental health. Financing is available through a third party for those who qualify. Some insurance companies offer partial coverage on dental implants; our office staff can work with you to determine your options.

Do dental implants hurt?

For most patients, the amount of time and anesthesia needed to place a dental implant post is on par with getting a cavity filled. Your Grand Junction dentist will make sure that the placement site is thoroughly numb before beginning the procedure. Typically, all that's needed afterwards is a mild analgesic, such as ibuprofen, to offset any discomfort. Downtime and restrictions are not usually necessary because the placement site is filled in with the post and doesn't leave an open wound to maintain.

To learn more about the benefits of dental implants, contact Western Slope Dental Center in Grand Junction, CO, to make an appointment with one of our dental team members.


By Western Slope Dental Center
July 14, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
SingerDuaLipaSeestheWisdominPostponingTourDates

When die-hard music fans hear that their favorite performer is canceling a gig, it’s a big disappointment—especially if the excuse seems less than earth-shaking. Recently, British pop sensation Dua Lipa needed to drop two dates from her world tour with Bruno Mars. However, she had a very good reason.

“I’ve been performing with an awful pain due to my wisdom teeth,” the singer tweeted, “and as advised by my dentist and oral surgeon I have had to have them imminently removed.”

The dental problem Lipa had to deal with, impacted wisdom teeth, is not uncommon in young adults. Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums), generally making their appearance between the ages of 18-24. But their debut can cause trouble: Many times, these teeth develop in a way that makes it impossible for them to erupt without negatively affecting the healthy teeth nearby. In this situation, the teeth are called “impacted.”

A number of issues can cause impacted wisdom teeth, including a tooth in an abnormal position, a lack of sufficient space in the jaw, or an obstruction that prevents proper emergence. The most common treatment for impaction is to extract (remove) one or more of the wisdom teeth. This is a routine in-office procedure that may be performed by general dentists or dental specialists.

It’s thought that perhaps 7 out of 10 people ages 20-30 have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Some cause pain and need to be removed right away; however, this is not always the case. If a wisdom tooth is found to be impacted and is likely to result in future problems, it may be best to have it extracted before symptoms appear. Unfortunately, even with x-rays and other diagnostic tests, it isn’t always possible to predict exactly when—or if—the tooth will actually begin causing trouble. In some situations, the best option may be to carefully monitor the tooth at regular intervals and wait for a clearer sign of whether extraction is necessary.

So if you’re around the age when wisdom teeth are beginning to appear, make sure not to skip your routine dental appointments. That way, you might avoid emergency surgery when you’ve got other plans—like maybe your own world tour!

If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”


By Western Slope Dental Center
July 04, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental visit  
YouMayNeedtoPostponeanUpcomingDentalVisitifYouHaveShingles

Chicken pox is a common viral infection that usually occurs during childhood. Although the disease symptoms only last a short time, the virus that caused it may remain, lying dormant for years within the body's nervous system. Decades later it may reappear with a vengeance in a form known as herpes zoster, what most people know as shingles.

A shingles outbreak can be quite painful and uncomfortable—and it's also not a condition to take lightly. Occurring mainly in people over fifty, it often begins with an itching or burning sensation in the skin. This is often followed by a red rash breaking out in a belt-like pattern over various parts of the body, which may later develop into crusty sores. Symptoms may vary from person to person, but people commonly experience severe pain, fever and fatigue.

Besides the general discomfort it creates, shingles can also pose major health problems for certain people. Individuals with other health issues like pregnancy, cancer or a compromised immune system may experience serious complications related to a shingles outbreak.

In its early stages, shingles is contagious, spreading through direct contact with shingles sores or lesions or through breathing in the secretions from an infected person. This characteristic of shingles could affect your dental care: because the virus could potentially pass to staff and other patients, dentists usually postpone cleanings or other dental treatments for patients with shingles, particularly if they have a facial rash.

If you're diagnosed with shingles, most physicians recommend you begin antiviral treatment as soon as possible. You should also let your dentist know if you have shingles, which may put off any scheduled treatments until your doctor determines you're no longer contagious.

There's one other thing you can do, especially if you're over 60: obtain a shingles vaccine, available from most physicians or clinics. The vaccine has proven effective in preventing the disease, and could help you avoid this most unpleasant health experience.

If you would like more information on shingles and its effect on dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.