Mark D. Phipps, D.D.S. - Implants & General Dentistry
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Summer Time! George Washington's Teeth and Corn On The Cob!

Summer Time!  When I think of summer, well the first thing that pops into my head is bar-b-que, corn on the cob and home made ice-cream!  Big slices of juicy watermelon.  I’m sure you all have your favorites that evoke that feeling of wonderful summers gone by.  It also makes me think about things of a patriotic nature like our first President, George Washington.  He would have had a difficult time with that bar-b-que and especially that corn on the cob.  

You may remember from your history classes that George Washington wore dentures.  Lots of stories have circulated about how his teeth were made of wood.  Actually this is not true.  During his life, Washington had nine different dentists.  His favorite dentist was John Greenwood.  John Greenwood made four sets of teeth for George Washington and none of them were made from wood.  They were carved from hippopotamus and elephant ivory.  Sometimes the teeth were set in gold.  His dentures had gold springs to hold the upper and lower teeth together.   Washington was not able to travel to New York where John Greenwood had his office because of his responsibilities as a general and then as President.  Instead, he had to send his teeth through the mail to be repaired or adjusted.  Sometimes he fixed his own dentures.  He wrote letters to John Greenwood describing his problem and asking for the right tools to fix them.  He requested files to adjust his teeth, scrapers to clean them, and pincers to fasten the wires.  Once he even asked for material to make an impression of his mouth for new dentures.   Washington started losing his teeth in his 20’s!  His dentures were held together by coiled springs and gold wire.  He had an untreated infection from the old root fragments left in his gums which contributed to his death.  His dentures hurt his mouth and would give him frequent headaches.   He suffered from deafness caused by an unnatural motion of the lower jaw when he wore his dentures.  He was embarrassed to speak in public because the dentures changed the shape of his face and the sound of his voice.   

For me, the most interesting part of the story about Washington’s teeth is the mechanism of their fabrication. The upper and lower gold plates were connected by springs which pushed the upper and lower plates against the upper and lower ridges of his mouth to hold them in place. Washington actually had to actively close his jaws together to make his teeth bite together. If he relaxed, his mouth would pop open. There is speculation that this is the reason that the Father of Our Country always looks so stern in his portraits. Take a look at a dollar bill. Washington isn’t upset - he’s just trying to keep his teeth in!!!   

So it’s pretty safe to say that 222 years ago, George Washington was not enjoying corn on the cob.  So many changes have taken place in the world of dentistry since his time.  Why today, George would have undoubtedly been fitted with dental implants, he would have experienced the comfort and ease of having teeth that are as secure and feel as natural as your own. Corn on the cob, steak bar-b-que, a crisp apple, would have been no problem.   Getting up in front of folks, speaking in public would have brought new confidence for our First President, no worries about his dentures slipping when he spoke, with dental implants his speech as well as his smile would be very natural.    

Do you sometimes feel like George Washington?  Embarrassed to speak in public, not happy with your smile, insecure about your teeth, don’t like the way they feel when you eat, unable to eat the things you would really enjoy?  Call us today and come in for a no cost consultation including in office digital x-rays, we’ll tell you if you are a candidate for dental implants and how they might just be the solution you’ve been waiting for!  Don't miss out on another summer bar-b-que!    

Dental Implants - Making You Smile, Modern Restorative and Esthetic Dental Solutions

Attractive, natural-looking teeth help us look and feel our best.  They let us enjoy the foods we love. And they allow us to be naturally confident where it really counts-at home, on the job, on the playing field, but especially on the inside. 
That is why the loss or damage of even a single tooth can have a considerable impact on everyday life and self-esteem.  Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a variety of ways to restore or replace teeth.  In fact, with today’s latest technologies and materials, individual teeth-or even entire rows of teeth – can be replaced for natural-looking appearance and restored function.
Missing teeth can and should be replaced.  This is because each and every gap in your tooth placement potentially poses problems to your long-term dental health.  In fact, even one missing tooth can ultimately lead to the loss of additional teeth and, ultimately, a permanent change in your facial appearance.
People lose their teeth for many reasons – from accident and illness to deficient care.  Whatever the reason, the immediate consequences can have a negative impact on one’s quality of life.  People may no longer eat many of the foods they once enjoyed.  Self-conscious about their physical appearance, they stop laughing and smiling spontaneously.
Unfortunately, these short-term changes may only be the beginning.  Adjacent teeth can collapse into the gap, while teeth in the opposing jaw can grow into the gap.  Long-term missing teeth also cause the bone to be resorbed – or to gradually break down.  This weakens the adjacent teeth until they, too, can fall out.  In short, the loss of even a single tooth can unleash a chain reaction which, left unchecked, can lead to even more permanent, irreversible physical damage.
Dental implants are artificial roots that serve as a replacement for missing teeth.  Research indicates that dental implants biocompatible surfaces actually stimulate  the required fusion with the bone.  Once that has been achieved, the crown, bridge, or whole tooth replacement can be fixed to the implant or implants to feel and function like natural teeth.
Dental crowns and bridges are replacement teeth that are individually produced to meet your own personal needs.  It is recognized that all-ceramic crowns and bridges offer the best esthetic solution.  They are custom shaded to match your own natural teeth.
Implants can be used for all kinds of restorations.  Unlike a traditional bridge, a single implant restoration replaces a tooth without the need to grind down the adjacent teeth.  Bridges anchored with an implant are free standing and do not rely on the support of the surrounding teeth.  Fixing a partial restoration on implants also avoids the need for less esthetic anchoring methods, like clasps.
Dental implants deliver a proven, successful solution, help you maintain a youthful appearance, preserve your healthy teeth, with a solution that is comfortable and lasts providing stable retention and security.
If you have been thinking about implants, you would like more information about, or would like to explore implants for yourself or a loved one, call our office today and schedule a Free Implant Consultation including in office digital x-rays.  530-885-0697  You CAN have the smile you want and the feeling of comfort and function that you desire.