Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

The eternal quest to replace missing teeth

By
From page A9 | June 23, 2013 |

Replacing missing teeth has been a human quest from even earlier than you would believe. “The Phoenician Dental Bridge” made of four natural teeth and two carved ivory teeth bound with a gold wire dates back to 2,500 years ago. Teeth carved out of shells and implanted in jaws by the Mayans date back to about 1,500 years ago.

Modern concepts of replacing missing teeth are an extension of this ancient quest; but today we are much better equipped and far more sophisticated.

There are many other benefits to having teeth besides chewing. Teeth maintain smiles, aid in speech, and help define the shape of the face. Teeth, when fit properly, also maintain the harmony in which the jaw joint, nerves, bones and muscles of the face function together.

Dentures are probably the most commonly known, yet dreaded option for replacing missing teeth. It will not be surprising if someday scientists prove that George Washington’s grim-faced portrait on the dollar bill is mostly due to him wearing dentures. Although modern denture materials are more natural-looking, lighter and less bulky, most studies concur that dentures provide only 20 percent of the bite strength of natural teeth.

Until the advent of modern tooth implants, dental bridges have been the most popular option. A patient is guaranteed to have a temporary plastic bridge that can provide immediate function and aesthetics in one visit, while the final bridge is being made at a laboratory within a couple of weeks.

But this is at the expense of removing healthy tooth structure from neighboring teeth to anchor the bridge. These supporting natural teeth will then further suffer from excessive load, future inevitable dental work, and even the risk of tooth loss, turning one tooth problem into multiple issues.

Dental implants are currently the best available solution. A titanium root is placed in the jaw bone and supports a natural looking tooth without any damage to neighboring teeth. Dental implants do not decay and have an overall success rate of about 95 percent; however, they can still develop gum and bone disease and thus require maintenance similar to that of natural teeth. They also require a longer healing time of up to four months before they can be fully functional, when compared to bridges.

So what is next? Recently, scientists were able to re-grow a tooth from mouse stem cells and transplanted it into an adult mouse. It would be wonderful if we could witness re-growing teeth in humans in our life time!

— Dr. Alassaad is in private dental practice in Davis. Contact him at [email protected]

Comments

comments

Samer Alassaad

.

News

Davis team wins world robotics championship

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
 
Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Suspect in UCD assault arrested

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Watch them in action

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

We did it (together)!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

 
$2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Those texts still linger

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

 
New ways of giving locally and beyond

By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

 
Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Water, water everywhere?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

By Our View | From Page: A12

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

Poker proceeds help youths

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Invest in water of the future

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Anaheim, where The Force is with you

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

.

Sports

Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

Davis Roots hires new general manager

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Comcast announces speed upgrade

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

Whitney Joy Engler

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Valente Forrest Dolcini

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8