Posts for: June, 2016

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
June 20, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: mouth sores  

If you notice a small sore or a change in the appearance of the tissues inside your mouth, don’t panic. It’s likely a common, minor ailment that appears on a lot of skin surfaces (like the wrists or legs) besides the cheeks, gums, or tongue.

These small sores or lesions are called lichen planus, named so because their coloration and patterns (white, lacy lines) look a lot like lichen that grow on trees or rocks. They’re only similar in appearance to the algae or fungi growing in the forest — these are lesions thought to be a form of auto-immune disease. Although they can affect anyone, they’re more common in women than men and with middle-aged or older people.

Most people aren’t even aware they have the condition, although some can produce itching or mild discomfort. They’re often discovered during dental checkups, and although they’re usually benign, we’ll often consider a biopsy of them to make sure the lesion isn’t a symptom of something more serious.

There currently isn’t a cure for the condition, but it can be managed to reduce symptoms; for most people, the lesions will go away on their own. You may need to avoid spicy or acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, hot peppers or caffeinated drinks that tend to worsen the symptoms. If chronic stress is a problem, finding ways to reduce it can also help alleviate symptoms as well as quitting tobacco and reducing your alcohol intake.

Our biggest concern is to first assure the lesion isn’t cancerous. Even after confirming it’s not, we still want to keep a close eye on the lesion, so regular monitoring is a good precaution. Just keep up with the basics — good oral hygiene and regular checkups — to ensure you have the most optimum oral health possible.

If you would like more information on lichen planus lesions, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Lichen Planus: Mouth Lesions that are Usually Benign.”

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
June 12, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.

In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.

For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.

Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.

It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.

That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”

We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
June 09, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Ever wondered if there was a way you could brighten up dark teeth or maybe fill in some missing gaps in your smile?

If you live in Marion, AR and are looking to improve your smile, consider calling Dr. Wayne Cook. A qualified general and cosmetic Cosmetic Dentistrydentist, Dr. Cook can give your smile a whole new look.

Cosmetic dentistry refers to dental procedures designed to improve the appearance of damaged, decayed or discolored teeth or otherwise repair flaws in your smile such as missing teeth, bite issues and/or spacing issues. Such procedures can be as simple as tooth whitening or bleaching to as complex dental implants. Whatever your issue, you can be sure your Marion cosmetic dentist will have a practical, appropriate and affordable solution for you.

The following are some of the cosmetic dental services Dr. Cook and staff offer:

  • Bleaching – A simple, painless procedure during which the patient wears a mouth guard-like tray that contains a whitening chemical used to remove stains or lighten the color and shade of teeth.
  • Bonding – A simple, painless procedure during which your dentist will use a resin material to fill in small gaps, cavities and chips in your teeth.
  • Braces – Braces are used to correct bite issues and overcrowding issues. Traditional braces usually consist of metal bands and wires your dentist places permanently onto your teeth and periodically adjusts. Newer systems, such as Invisalign, can be worn and removed as necessary by the patient, however, these systems are most appropriate for milder, less complicated issues.
  • Cosmetic contouring- A procedure in which your dentist will carefully remove a small portion of enamel from your teeth to improve the shape, then smooth and polish them.
  • Crowns and bridges – Crowns are prosthetic devices used to cover a damaged or decayed tooth. During this procedure, the dentist will take an impression of the tooth to custom build the crown, then file down the tooth and permanently attach the crown. Bridges are prosthetic devices usually used to replace 1-3 missing teeth, and are attached to two healthy teeth or implants on either side of the space being filled.
  • Implants – A dental implant is a replacement option for missing teeth. In this procedure, the dentist drills a hole in the jawbone and places the implant, which then becomes part of the jawbone. Once the implant is firmly anchored by new jawbone tissue that has grown around it, the dentist will place a titanium post in the implant and permanently attach a crown. This usually takes several months and more than one trip to the dentist.
  • Specialty dentures – Specialty dentures are false teeth custom designed and made specifically to your needs.

If you are seeking a qualified dentist for cosmetic or general dental services in Marion, AR, consider contacting Dr. Wayne Coo at (870) 739-8799.

Marion, AR Family Dentist
Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
303 Bancario Rd.Suite 7
Marion, AR 72364
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