The Toothy Dilemma Of A Missing Tooth

Dental implants in Albuquerque, NM | Dr. Steven Holbrook Remember losing your baby teeth and anticipating a monetary visit from the Tooth Fairy?
As an adult, there may be no eagerness in your smile if you are missing one or more of your teeth. Commonly, teeth are lost due to poor dental habits which result in gum disease, infection and decay. Take heart! Dr. Holbrook specializes in putting a smile back on your face.

Dental pain and missing teeth are often emotional issues.

  • If you are dealing with slipping dentures, it can be embarrassing to eat and painful to smile.
  • Perhaps you have old crowns or bridges that are painful and need to be replaced.
  • And then there is the pain of a missing tooth which can affect your self-esteem and the quality of your life.

Dr. Holbrook specializes in a more permanent, long-term solution, designed to give you back a huge part of your life, restore your self-confidence and put your worries about your missing teeth to rest.

Consider dental implants as a way to restore your smile.
Dental implants are the closest thing to your natural teeth.

  • A dental implant begins with a titanium post (that functions like your tooth root) that is surgically positioned into your jawbone beneath the gum line.
  • The post fuses with your bone and allows the replacement tooth to be mounted.
  • By the time your custom-made crown is placed over the post, it has become a sturdy foundation.
  • Implants can’t come loose like dentures can and they don’t have to be anchored to other teeth like bridges.

Dental implants look, function and feel just like real teeth, but they cannot decay. You must take extra good care of them, however, by flossing and brushing and visiting Dr. Holbrook regularly.

You must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. If your bone is thin or soft, you may require a bone graft. Dr. Holbrook can explain everything you need to know and determine whether or not you would be a good candidate for this procedure.

Get ready to smile! Schedule a consultation, today: (505) 881-1159.

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Just Don’t Leave It On Your Bed Post Overnight!

dental health albuquerque new mexico | child dentist NM | Steven E. Holbrook D.M.D.Chewing gum may have been your school teacher’s favorite nemesis but there’s a lot more to chewing gum and it’s benefits than meets the eye – or the teeth.

Did you know that sugar-free chewing gum that has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) is proven to be good for you teeth? So good in fact, that if you chew sugar-free gum after eating, it increases the flow of saliva…which in turn bathes your teeth and gums, helping to neutralize and wash away the acids from food that break down tooth enamel and cause decay.

Pretty amazing, right?
But wait…there’s more.

  • Increased saliva carries with it more calcium and phosphate to help strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Studies have shown that 20 minutes of chewing sugar-free gum after eating can help prevent tooth decay.
  • In the future, gum might contain active agents that could enhance the gum’s ability to remineralize teeth and reduce decay, plaque and gingivitis.

Before the toothbrush as we know it was invented, humans chewed to help clean their teeth.

  • The Native Americans of New England chewed Spruce Tree sap.
  • Grecian women favored chewing mastiche, the sap of the mastic tree, to clean their teeth and sweeten their breath.
  • Modern chewing gum evolved from a chicle-based gum brought to the United States in the early 1860s. Chicle is derived from the milky juice (latex) of the Sapodilla tree that grows in tropical rain forests of Central America.
  • The sugar-free gum we enjoy today is blended with a synthetic gum base, softeners, artificial, non-cavity causing sweeteners, flavorings and colors.
  • When brushing immediately after eating isn’t possible, chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to help keep teeth clean and your breath sweet after eating or drinking.

The positive effects of chewing sugar-free gum are great but it can’t and shouldn’t replace your daily oral health routine. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing and a dental check-up twice a year are essential.

Dr. Holbrook is committed to your dental health.
Call our offices today to schedule an appointment…for your smile’s sake!

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Consider A Bridge Over Your Troubled Teeth

dental bridge albuquerque new mexico | missing tooth NM | Comprehensive Dental CareHere come the holidays… complete with family gatherings and parties with friends and co-workers. It’s the time for joy, celebrating and happy smiles. Chances are, however, that if you are missing teeth, especially a front tooth, you aren’t much into smiling…regardless of the time of year.

And did you know that missing teeth tempt fate? It’s true. Gaps in your teeth set the stage for future dental problems. When you bite and chew you create energy. Your teeth transfer that energy down through your tooth into your jaw, stimulating the bone to regenerate itself and maintain a healthy mass. Without the stimulation from one or more teeth, the bone beneath the empty space begins to deteriorate and lose mass. A missing tooth also creates a space where the adjacent teeth try to move in and and fill it. When your teeth move, your bite and tooth alignment become a problem.

If you have a missing tooth or teeth, you have two options: implants or a bridge.

  • A bridge spans the gap of your missing tooth. It requires healthy teeth on each side of the space (abutment teeth) to hold the replacement tooth (pontic) in place. The replacement tooth is made of porcelain or ceramic, to your unique dimensions, from impressions taken of your teeth.
  • Caps (crowns) are placed onto the teeth on either side of the missing tooth and the replacement tooth sits between them, forming a bridge.

To prepare for a bridge, the abutment teeth have some of their enamel removed to make room for the caps. Impressions are taken of your mouth so that the bridge can be made. A second appointment is necessary to check the fit of the bridge and to ensure that your bite is correct.
When the fit is perfect, the caps are cemented onto the abutment teeth…and…the gap is bridged!

Of course, cavities can still form under the bridge, so it is important to practice good dental habits and follow Dr. Holbrook’s instructions for care and maintenance.

It’s the perfect time to smile! Call for an appointment, today: (505) 881-1159.

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What You Should Know About Oral Cancer

oral screening albuqueque New Mexico | oral cancer NM | Steven E. Holbrook D.M.D.Just hearing the word “cancer” is scary. It’s something we fear and usually don’t want to talk about. For some, a visit to the dentist is additionally scary…but that fear can complicate matters when it comes to the discovery and treatment of oral cancer.

Oral cancer is the growth of abnormal cells on any part of the mouth, lips, tongue, or gums.
It can also occur on the lining of the cheeks and the roof of the mouth.
Most oral cancers begin in the lining of the mouth or lips, which is made up of thin squamous cells.

Consider these facts:

•Approximately 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year.
•Just over half will be alive five years later. Those are frightening statistics!
•Oral cancer’s high death rate is primarily due to its late discovery.
•If caught early, oral cancer is highly treatable.
•Twice yearly dental exams and cleanings are vitally important in the early detection, prevention and treatment of oral cancer.

Oral cancer may be caused by:

•Exposure to UV light from the sun or the use of tanning beds
•Having some types of human papillomavirus (HPV)
•Tobacco use, in all forms – tobacco use accounts for 90% of all oral cancers
•Alcohol use
•Marijuana use

Symptoms of oral cancer include:

•Difficulty swallowing, chewing or talking
•Persistent pain, tenderness, or numbness on your lips or in your mouth
•A change in your voice that isn’t due to a cold or allergies
•Feeling like something is caught in your throat
•Red or white spotty patches on your tongue or in your mouth
•A lump or thickening in your cheek or neck
•A thick, rough spot or a small area in your mouth that looks like it’s wearing away
•An irritation on your mouth or lip that bleeds easily and doesn’t heal

To prevent oral cancer or catch it when it is treatable, it is important to visit your dentist for a check-up and cleaning twice a year.
Call to book an appointment with Dr. Holbrook, today: (505) 881-1159.

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tooth care in Albuquerque, NM | Dr. Steven Holbrook


For hundreds of years, brushing one’s teeth has been a social and hygienic necessity…and important in the prevention of gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.

In the 18th century, the British included crushed china plates in their toothpowder recipes!
But today, you have a wide selection of toothpastes to aid in removing the nasty bacterial film or plaque that builds up on your teeth every 12 to 24 hours.

Have you ever wondered what is in this substance you use to scrub your pearly whites?

One of the main reasons to use toothpaste is to make the action of brushing more effective. in order to remove stains, you need a substance with a little graininess.

Abrasives or mild polishing agents, clean while preserving tooth enamel. The abrasives in your toothpaste may include hydrated silica or calcium carbonate. Abrasives won’t clean teeth without the scrubbing action of a toothbrush and brushing without an abrasive-containing toothpaste will not adequately clean and polish tooth surfaces and will not remove stains.

Toothpaste foams because it contains a detergent which breaks down substances on your teeth allowing them to be dissolved and rinsed away with water. Detergents in toothpastes are mild and won’t irritate sensitive oral tissues. Sodium lauryl sulfate is the most common detergent in toothpaste and is also found in other beauty products that foam, such as shampoo.

Introduced into toothpaste formulas in 1914, fluoride is the most valuable component in toothpaste. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to decay because it is actually incorporated into the enamel structure.

Humectants are a combination of ingredients that retain moisture in the toothpaste and keep all the ingredients from separating. If toothpaste didn’t have these components, it would dry out or require stirring before use just like paint.

Toothpaste would taste awful without the addition of flavoring agents. That’s why you will find various natural and artificial flavorings and sweeteners in your toothpaste.

You know The Golden Rule of tooth care: Brush and floss at least twice a day! JUST DO IT!

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Show Me Those Pearly Whites!

oral health in Albuquerque NM | Dr. Steven HolbrookDid you know that scientists studying decay inside an ancient wisdom tooth recently discovered the earliest known evidence of dentistry, dating back to the Paleolithic era?

Looking through an electron microscope, the scientists noticed a pattern of chipping and scratches that researchers say were made using a tiny stone pick.

Our teeth are pretty amazing!

And…did you know:

  • The average adult has 28 to 32 teeth, depending on whether or not they have kept their “wisdom” teeth.
  • The hardest substance in the human body is tooth enamel.
  • Tooth decay is the most widespread disease of mankind…and the oldest.
  • •The second most common disease in the United States is tooth decay. The first is the common cold.
  • Most tooth loss in people over the age of 35 is from periodontal disease.
  • Most tooth loss in people under the age of 35 is from athletic trauma, fights or accidents.
  • A tooth that has been knocked out starts to die within 15 minutes. But if it’s held in the mouth or put in milk it will survive longer.
  • People with hyperdontia have extra or ‘super-numerary’ teeth. Most remain hidden below the gum line, but occasionally they erupt and crowd other teeth.
  • The ancient Summarians called tooth decay “tooth worms.”
  • If you don’t floss regularly, you miss cleaning 40% of your tooth surfaces.
  • Sadly, 73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss.
  • Happily, over three million miles of dental floss is purchased in North America each year.
  • More than 300 types of bacteria combine to make dental plaque.
  • The average person brushes for a mere 45-70 seconds a day…the recommended amount is 2-3 minutes.
  • The first nylon bristled toothbrush with a plastic handle was invented in 1938.
  • The electric toothbrush first appeared in 1939.
  • Babies begin to develop their primary teeth just six weeks after conception.
  • About one in every 2000 babies is born with ‘natal teeth.’

And last, but not least…

  • The Statue of Liberty’s mouth is three feet wide…now that’s a lot of teeth!
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Cavities 101: Restoring Your Teeth and Smile

aesthetic dentistry albuquerque new mexico | cavities NM | Comprehensive Dental CareThere is so much more to a cavity than just a hole in the tooth, and many people often overlook the cause. The truth is that a cavity results from a decay in the tooth that develops over time. Many of our patients are victims of this nasty situation, and we urge them to seek our dental services to treat the problem. Then again, we still believe that prevention is better than treatment.

Know what’s inside your mouth!

Believe it or not, we carry a mouthful of bacteria — literally. Inside our mouths are different types of bacteria, which stay in the teeth, tongue, gums, and in every corner of the mouth. There are good bacteria, yet there are also harmful ones that play a huge part in the tooth decay process. Decay develops when there is an infection in the mouth with a type of bacteria that utilizes sugar in food and converts it into acids. Over time, such acids are responsible for the development of cavities.

How does a cavity form?

As we eat and drink, our teeth are frequently exposed to acids, especially when the food and drinks we consume contain sugar and starches. When the teeth are exposed to frequent acid attacks, the tooth enamel begins to lose minerals. This can be seen as a white spot where the minerals in the teeth have been lost.

At this point, decay can still be stopped or reversed, as enamel has the ability to repair itself with the use of the minerals found in our saliva, as well as from toothpaste and other sources. However, if no intervention is made and the decay continues, more and more minerals are lost, and the enamel begins to weaken. Eventually, it’s destroyed and a cavity forms. The bad news is that a cavity is considered permanent damage.

The good news is that it can still be repaired!

You can still make good use of your teeth by treating your cavity with composite fillings. Give us a call today at (505) 881-1159 to book an appointment with Dr. Holbrook and discuss how your teeth and your smile can be restored.

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