3/30/2018 8:00:00 AM |
There may come a time when you need to restore a broken, cracked, or weakened tooth. As much you expect your teeth to last forever, tooth decay and dental trauma can cause significant complications for your smile.
When you have a tooth that is no longer functional on its own, consider restorative procedures. Durable and beautiful prosthetics such as crowns, bridges, dentures, and dental implants are popular options for improving the strength and stability of your teeth.
Particularly popular are dental implants, which consist of titanium screws that are placed within the jawbone. Although you might believe that only a dental crown is necessary, an implant can significantly improve both health and function.
Why an Implant May Be Necessary
The crown of your tooth is the visible portion of the gum line. It’s what you brush and floss on a daily basis, and it’s what makes up your smile. Although much attention is paid to the crowns of your teeth, much of your dentition is beneath the gums.
The roots of your teeth keep your crowns in place and supply them with necessary nutrients. When these are damaged, the is also vulnerable. Without healthy tooth roots, the crowns of your teeth are essentially useless.
A dental implant replaces the natural root of your tooth, increasing strength and functionality. Once the implant heals, a ceramic crown can be secured, creating a comprehensive replica of your natural tooth.
The implant and crown work together to restore the health of your smile. Without the dental implant, you may be putting yourself at risk for resorption, where jaw bone volume starts to diminish.
Life After Dental Implant Placement
Receiving dental implants may sound like a complicated treatment, but the procedure is safe and results in a healthy smile. Once your implants have healed and restorations are placed, you can expect your new restorations to act just like your natural teeth. You can eat and drink all of your favorite foods and practice the same oral hygiene techniques as you normally would.
The goal of dental implant treatment is to restore your smile to complete health. Dentition that is fully functional will improve your quality of life and ensure that you take full advantage of a healthy set of teeth.
Call Today to Learn More!
For more information about dental implants, contact our office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Dowd in Pleasant Hill today!
2/16/2018 8:58:00 AM |
At the office of Kevin T. Dowd, DDS, we focus on providing
our patients with quality dental care that benefits them holistically. In order
to better serve our patients of Contra Costa County, we provide only composite
resin fillings to protect our patients from the mercury found in traditional
amalgam fillings. With the county’s current ban, we too are focused on keeping
our community healthy and smiling. Below are some benefits of composite resin
fillings compared to amalgam.
Traditional metal fillings are noticeable in the smile. Like
porcelain, composite resin fillings have the look and feel like natural teeth,
while the shade of the material can be matched to the coloring of your existing
teeth. If you have a chip or a filling in the front or visible parts of your
smile, white fillings offer a discreet treatment that restores aesthetics. This
versatility allows for composite fillings to be used to treat chipped, broken,
or worn teeth, not just for cavities and decay.
Retaining Healthy Tooth
When receiving a metal filling, more of the tooth structure
must be removed to properly bond the restoration. Composite resin fillings
spare the additional preparation by removing less structure than needed for
traditional fillings. White fillings provide further support to the tooth
structure by chemically bonding to the enamel. This may require more time in
the chair and additional visits to ensure proper coloring and placement.
A small percentage of patients are allergic to the mercury
found in amalgam fillings. Mercury can be a highly toxic chemical and is
harmful to patients. Metal fillings can exude a low level of mercury vapor, and
over time this can be detrimental to overall health.
Composite resin fillings allow patients a healthier
alternative to amalgam fillings. Made from a mixture of plastics and glass
materials, tooth-colored fillings are safer for those with known metal
allergies. Although they do not last as long as metal fillings, they offer
long-lasting health benefits that keep the smile mercury free.
Schedule Your Appointment in
Pleasant Hill Today!
Composite fillings offer natural looking and healthier
alternative to metal fillings. If you are interested in learning more about
composite resin filings in Pleasant Hill and the surrounding communities
throughout Contra Costa County, contact the office of Kevin T. Dowd, DDS in
today for more information about our aesthetically pleasing restorations.
5/9/2016 12:00:00 PM |
Caused by the obstruction of the airways while asleep, sleepapnea
affects countless individuals across the country. While the cause of this
condition varies by patient, many are often recommended continuous positive
airway pressure (CPAP) therapy as a means of treatment.
While considered the gold standard by most physicians, CPAP
therapy can be difficult to adjust to, with many patients often choosing
non-compliance over a better night’s rest. To help tackle non-compliance, oral
appliances have become a popular method of treating mild to moderate cases of
In addition to eliminating the machine component of
treatment, there are several unique advantages of sleep apnea oral appliances,
Tailored to Your
: Every case of sleep apnea is unique. While CPAP is often considered
blanket treatment for all forms of sleep apnea, oral appliances are tailored to
comprehensively address the cause of each individual’s sleep apnea.
Custom Fit Appliances
Similar to other night guards, sleep apnea devices are created using custom
impressions of your dentition, resulting in a comfortable fit and effective
treatment. As the appliances are tailored to the patients’ smile, individuals
find themselves able to comfortably sleep with the appliance in place,
improving treatment compliance.
individuals that are constantly traveling, CPAP machines can be difficult to
fit into a carry on. As these machines can also be fairly expensive, purchasing
multiple machines for different locations is often not a feasible option. Oral
appliances are similar in size to orthodontic retainers or bruxism mouth
guards, making them easy to slip into a container and travel with.
machines are notorious for making noise when in use, making it difficult for
light sleepers to enjoy a good night’s rest. As oral appliances are silent,
many unable to tolerate the noise associated with CPAP find themselves able to
enjoy undisrupted sleep with this appliance.
With multiple tubes and masks, cleaning CPAP machines can become a hassle for
busy patients. Cleaning sleep apnea devices is a simple, 15 minute soaking
process that can be easily integrated into a daily hygiene routine.
In Pleasant Hill, Dr. Kevin T. Dowd and his team work closely
with local sleep specialists and other medical professionals to find the right
sleep apnea solution for each patient. For more information about using oral
appliances as an alternative to CPAP therapy, contact our Pleasant Hill dentist
2/1/2016 12:00:00 PM |
Braces are often considered a hallmark of childhood dental
care. However, as patients age many begin to notice changes in the alignment of
their smile. While there is no single factor that can be blamed for orthodontic
relapse, there are patient behaviors as well as developmental changes that can
negate orthodontic treatment.
Some of these factors include:
Failure to Follow a
Post-Treatment Plan: One of the most common causes of relapse is the
failure to maintain follow-up treatment plan recommended by your orthodontist. Wearing
a retainer post-treatment is critical to keeping the teeth in their new
position as it reinforces the new alignment.
Since the wisdom teeth are the last to grow, many patients undergo orthodontic
treatment before their wisdom teeth have emerged. If these third molars are not
able to breach through the gums and become trapped in the jaw, they may develop
incorrectly and become impacted. As a result, the neighboring teeth may be
pushed out of alignment as the wisdom tooth grow, negating any prior
orthodontic or alignment therapy.
Successful orthodontic therapy requires the permanent adjustment of the tooth
in relation to its position in the supportive bone. Repositioning the tooth too
quickly or failing to allow the bone to reintegrate the tooth in the new
position can encourage future relapse.
Failing the Eliminate
the Original Cause: If orthodontic misalignment is the result of a poor
oral habit such as mouth breathing or thumb sucking, the cause of misalignment
must be addressed in order for treatment to be successful.
Negative Habits: As we age, we often develop additional oral habits which
can play a significant role in the relapse of an orthodontia-treated smile. The
development of bruxism, clenching, or even nail biting as a response to
stressful scenarios can cause the bite to become misaligned, leading to the
need for eventual re-treatment.
Re-Treatment in Contra Costa County
At the Pleasant Hill practice of Dr. Kevin Dowd,
our team is committed to helping patients achieve optimal oral health and
aesthetics. For patients that have noticed their teeth reverting to their original
position following orthodontic treatment, our Pleasant Hill dentist offer
Realine® as a way to regain dental symmetry. For more information about this
re-treatment program, contact our practice today to schedule your consultation.
1/18/2016 4:48:00 PM |
While often underestimated, the temporomandibular joint, or
TMJ, plays a significant role in a number of daily functions. From enabling
chewing, swallowing and smiling to even to facilitating breathing, the TMJ is
an incredibly important part of your anatomy. As a result, temporomandibular
joint dysfunction, known as TMD, can significantly impact an individual’s
ability to perform those routine and necessary functions.
TMD is a fairly broad term used to describe a condition
affecting the functionality of the jaw joint. Normally, the mandible (jaw) is
able to move via a set of condyles which glide along sockets located on the
skull. Between the socket and condyle is a soft tissue disc, which ensures
smooth movement. However, when the disc becomes dislodged or worn, this gliding
motion can be extremely painful, causing movement limitation and affecting the
individual’s ability to effectively speak, chew, swallow, and even make facial
While there is no specific cause of TMD, there are a number
of factors that can increase the likelihood of developing a TMD as well as
pre-existing conditions that can lead to TMD. These include:
- Autoimmune Diseases or Infections
- Trauma to the area
- Dental procedures or instances of prolonged
- Genetic and environmental factors
Interestingly, studies on the prevalence of the TMD have
indicated that these conditions were more common among women in their
childbearing years, suggesting that hormones may play a role in the development
of the condition.
When it comes to alleviating the pain caused by TMD, night
guards have also been shown to be highly effective and non-invasive.
Stabilization splints act as a barrier between the upper and lower dental
arches. This allows the jaw to rest in a neutral position, preventing muscle
spasms as well as bruxism from occurring.
To determine the best stabilization splint for your case of
TMD, in-depth images of the patient’s dentition and jaw are taken to determine
the best type of oral appliance for your case of TMD. Advanced impressions are
then taken to create the splint. Once the splint has been made, final
adjustments are made and patients are free to take their oral appliance home
with them. At our Pleasant Hill dental office
, we also schedule follow up
appointments to ensure proper splint use and function.
Additionally, there are a number of home remedies that
patients can use to help minimize pain and inflammation. Some of these
self-care practices include avoiding hard, crunchy, or sticky foods, applying
ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw motion, practicing stress relief and relaxation
techniques, as well as trying gentle stretches to help increase and stabilize
Facing TMD Pain?
Contact Dr. Dowd today!
At our Pleasant Hill dental office, family dentist Dr. Dowd
offers night guards as a way to alleviate jaw pain caused by TMD. For more
information about treating this jaw condition, contact our team today
1/12/2016 7:41:00 AM |
Of all available dental procedures, root canals are often
among the least desired and most avoided treatments. However, endodontics are
sometimes necessary in order to save an infected tooth from extraction.
How does a Tooth
Infections occur when bacteria enters the inner cavity of
the tooth through an exterior crack, chip, or fracture. As bacteria multiply
they begin to destroy the tissue within the tooth, known as the dentin, as well
as attack the nerve of the tooth. If left untreated the tooth infection can
escalate into an abscess, during which the nerve dies and the bacteria spreads
to the bone, creating a pocket of dead tissue.
What are the
Consequences of an Untreated Infection?
In addition to being incredibly painful, neglecting
treatment for a tooth infection or abscess can have serious implications for
your overall health. In certain rare cases, the infection that caused the
abscess can spread to other parts of the body, putting vital organs at risk of
How Do Root Canals
Treat Tooth Infections?
Given the comprehensive nature of the procedure, root canals
are the most effective method of treating tooth infections. During the
endodontic procedure, a small opening is made in the top of the tooth. Special
tools are then used to remove the dead tissue and nerve. The inner cavity and
nerve canals are then cleaned, shaped, disinfected, and filled with a sealer
material. Patients return at a later date to receive their final restoration.
What Can I Expect During
My Root Canal?
If there is one thing that potential endodontic patients
should understand, it is that root canal treatment itself is not a particularly
uncomfortable procedure. Often, individuals tend to be nervous about the
procedure, thinking that it is incredibly unpleasant. In actuality, the side
effects of the tooth infection or abscess are often more unpleasant than the
procedure. Additionally, patients are fully anesthetized during the root canal
treatment, ensuring only minimal discomfort during their procedure.
What Symptoms Should
I Look Out For?
In addition to severe toothache, tooth infections can also
cause dental sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, sensitivity to the
pressure of chewing or biting, fever, facial swelling near the infected tooth,
and a bad taste or smell. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is
recommended that you schedule a visit with your dentist immediately.
While routine cleanings and an effective oral hygiene
routine can help minimize risk of developing a tooth infection, a root canal
may be needed into order to protect the health and function of a patient’s
smile. At the family-friendly dental
office of Dr. Kevin T. Dowd
, our team is dedicated to helping patients improve
the health of their smiles. Contact Dr. Dowd
today to learn more about root
canals in Pleasant Hill.
9/21/2015 4:38:00 PM |
We're excited to announce the official launch of our Kevin T. Dowd, DDS. blog.
We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.
We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.
If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Kevin T. Dowd, DDS, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.
Here's to your best oral health ever