All posts by Jeannie Jaggi

Pediatrics Care – 5 Key Considerations In Choosing A Pediatrician

By | Children's Dental | No Comments

In pediatrics care, choosing the right pediatrician is highly important and a very diligent decision for parents to make. Pediatricians affect the physical and social development of a child. Because all the care that parents do for their children is dependent on a pediatricians’ advice, selecting the right one is vital. Apart from the skills and experience there are few more things that can help parents in finding the right pediatrician.

 1-Location Convenience

Ideally, the pediatrician must be available at a maximum of twenty minutes drive from your house. This helps you reach the clinic on time, making emergency situations easier. An exception might be made if there is a really good doctor a little farther, but you have to keep distance in mind when choosing a pediatrician.

2-Accepting New Patients

Unless a pediatrician is accepting new patients, you can’t see them, so this bit of information is very important. It is very easy to find such pediatricians on the web though.

3-Accepting Your Insurance

You must know if they accept your insurance program and are a part of it. Also, in any case, find out about any additional fee they are charging. This can also be cross checked against others so that any pediatrician who might be exploiting is avoided.

4-The Way They Connect

The key role of doctors in pediatrics care is to satisfy concerns and unless listened to, they can’t be satisfied. If a pediatrician feels annoyed by your questions or their manner is not welcoming, it should concern you. All pediatricians do interviews once a week so this is the time to know about it.

5-Must Be A FAAP

FAAP or Fellow of American Academy of Pediatrics is a qualification and those who have it, have their credentials mentioned on their badges. It is visible for you to check out. You may also find this during your search based on referrals. FAAP adds to the profile and credibility of a pediatrician and FAAPs are good ones to trust your child with.

Overall, these five basic considerations help you in getting a reliable pediatrician. Their presence ensures good Pediatrics Care on their part. Also, these are things you basically require in your preferred pediatrician so finding them also satisfies your concerns.

Varnish Treatment

By | Preventative | No Comments

Of all the various types of varnish treatments, the most popular one is Fluoride varnish. The varnish is applied or ‘painted’ on the tooth surface and used as therapy in the session. The process requires teeth to be dried and varnish must be applied meticulously to every tooth.

According to RDHmag, 20 to 30% of adults in the United States exhibit sensitive teeth. Varnish treatment offers significant benefits for sensitive teeth. Exposed dentins experience a painful reaction when subjected to thermal, mechanical, or chemical stimuli.

The treatment is only just catching on in the United States, but has been in use in Western Europe, Canada and Scandinavian countries, since the 1980s. The varnish is very tenacious and settles even in the presence of saliva. The varnish is recognized as an effective desensitizing agent and fluoride varnish has proven its efficacy against tooth decay, according to the California Dental Association.

Varnish types

Fluoride varnishes have high concentrations of fluoride in them, as a result of the formation of the salt of silane, in a fast drying alcohol or resin based solution. Other Varnish types include calcium, inorganic phosphate, and fluoride ions.

MI varnish and Enamel Pro varnish are two varnish types that release calcium and inorganic phosphate ions, respectively. These varnish types are suited for different cases. Fluoride varnish treatments tend to be more cost effective than the others, but still costs more than gel.

Disadvantages of Fluoride

Fluoride varnish does not have a natural flavor, but can be added. It leaves a yellow pigmentation on the tooth upon drying and hardening. This weighs against the patient as it gives poor visual appearance making it embarrassing for the patient to even smile. Another factor that affects the patient’s acceptance of the treatment is the dosage. It comes in unit-dose, which have their convenience, and multi-dose applications, which leave the patient encumbered. Both doses need to take a certain amount of time, at least 4 hours according to this source.

Development

Varnish treatments continue to advance in technology, making treatment more efficient, comfortable and significantly increasing effectiveness. New products leave the tooth better colored for a bright smile, and can be flavored for a pleasant taste.

Risks and indications

Varnish treatments will not be applied if there are sores or blisters in the mouth. The taste of treatment in the mouth can also cause nausea. After the treatment is over, counter prescriptions need to be taken, which is not the case with gel. Children should avoid swallowing, as swallowing too much can result in the development of white spots on teeth. You should also avoid brushing teeth the first night, after the treatment.

Children should undergo these treatments twice a year. The elderly may undergo them frequently to prevent rising prevalence of root dentin lesions.

Understanding Periodontitis Disease

By | Preventative | No Comments

Swollen and bleeding gums, if left untreated, can become a serious problem as you may enter the advanced stage of periodontal disease better known as periodontitis. Unlike gingivitis, which is the early stage of periodontal disease and seldom painful, periodontal disease is a painful inflammatory gum infection that can destroy the soft tissue and bone structure, resulting into tooth decay and loss.

But the destructive capability of this gum infection doesn’t end here. It goes beyond opening gateway to more severe health problems like increased risk to cardiac attack, strokes and high blood sugar level.

Periodontitis—What Causes it?

Periodontitis is primarily the result of poor oral hygiene which triggers the periodontal bacteria that is naturally present in our mouth to get into action. Poor oral hygiene provides periodontal bacteria the ideal condition to grow in number and eventually become harmful. The ideal conditions for periodontal bacteria are created when the layer of plaque starts to build up on your gums because of the leftover particles of food and drinks in the mouth that you consume daily.

If this layer is not removed through brushing, the bacteria deposit minerals in the plaque with time. It hardens into tartar. Tartar serves as the breeding ground for bacterial growth, helping bacteria to thrive and multiply.

The harmful by-products of bacterial growth stimulate your body’s natural defensive inflammatory response. This causes gum inflammation and swelling which creates gaps or pockets between gums and teeth. If left unchecked, these pockets begin to fill with tartar and plaque. The swelling in the soft tissue traps plaque in the gaps which damages the tissues and bone that surrounds the tooth and eventually results in tooth loss.

Alarming Signs of Periodontitis 

Signs that indicate that you might have periodontitis include:

  • Gum inflammation
  • Bright red or purple gums
  • Your gums hurt when you touch them
  • Receding gums—your teeth begin to look longer
  • Spaces and gaps between your teeth
  • Pus may develop between your gums and teeth
  • Bleeding when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • It feels different than the usual when you bite your food

Factors that Can Put You at Risk for Periodontitis 

Besides poor dental care, other factors that can increase your risk of developing this condition include frequent tobacco use, hormonal changes, medications that reduce saliva, genetics, AIDS, and diabetes. Studies show that the risk of periodontitis is high in females, especially during pregnancy, puberty and post-menopause due to hormonal changes.

Complications of Periodontitis 

Failure to seek immediate treatment for periodontitis can expose you to numerous medical conditions such as:

Cardiac Problems

Having long term gum infection can increase your risk of strokes and heart attacks. Research shows that the periodontal bacteria have the tendency to travel through the bloodstream and into the arteries. It causes the narrowing of arteries and triggers inflammation that leads to heart attack. Besides this, it can also develop blood clots which increase the chances of experiencing a stroke.

Complications during Pregnancy 

Pregnant women suffering from periodontitis are more likely to have premature babies as compared to women who have healthy gums. It is believed that periodontitis limits fetal growth inside the womb and produces high levels of substances that induce labor.

Pneumonia 

Those people who already have lung problems and are suffering from periodontitis can become victims of pneumonia. Periodontal bacteria, when inhaled from the mouth into the lungs, can cause pneumonia.

Increased Blood Sugar Level

Though diabetes puts you at a higher risk of developing periodontal diseases, the gum infection can further aggravate this problem by shooting up your blood sugar level which is harder to control.

Treatment

Treatment for periodontitis must be sought right away. In general, treatment for this infection is performed using a combination of medication and non-invasive therapies like scaling and root planning. However, if you have more advanced periodontitis, your dentist may advice you soft tissue grafting, bone grafting or a flap surgery.

Please call (208) 342-0315 to schedule an appointment today with our experienced periodontist, so that our periodontist can examine your mouth and determine the right treatment for your case.

All You Need To Know About Gingivitis

By | Preventative | No Comments

Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? Are they swollen and red? Chances are that you might have gingivitis. Gingivitis is the initial stage of a periodontal disease. It is important that you schedule an appointment with a periodontist right away for treatment because if left untreated, gingivitis can gradually transform into a serious gum disease known as periodontitis and result into gum decay and tooth loss. And that is definitely something you don’t want.

To help you develop a better understanding, here’s all that you need to about gingivitis.

Gingivitis—What causes it?

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that is characterized by gum inflammation. The leading cause is poor oral hygiene. When you don’t follow a good dental hygiene routine, it builds up plaque on your gums. Plaque is a colorless, unpleasant and sticky film of bacteria. It is a combination of the leftover particles of food and drinks that are consumed daily.

Overtime, plaque hardens and changes into tartar. Tartar is the breeding ground for infections and may lead to serious dental problems. It is extremely hard to remove tartar with the toothbrush. It acts like a protective shield for bacteria, causing irritation and inflammation in the gums.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Gingivitis causes redness, irritation and inflammation of the gingiva. Gingiva is the part of the gum surrounding the base of the tooth. Healthy gums are pale pink and firm. However, if you have gingivitis, they may become puffy and swollen due to inflammation. Other classic signs and symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Bad breath
  • Dark or dusky red gums
  • Bleeding of the gums when brushing or flossing
  • Tender gums
  • Receding gums

Besides these signs, gum disease can also be spotted if you start to notice that your teeth have an elongated appearance or there are pockets between the gums and teeth. This is where the food debris collects and plaque builds up.

Risk Factors of Gingivitis 

Gingivitis is a gum disease that can happen to anyone including children and adults. However, factors that increase the risk of developing this oral condition include the following:

  • Poor dental care regime
  • Older age
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Smoking
  • Dry mouth
  • Genetics
  • Medical conditions like fungal or viral infections
  • Use of certain drugs like Phenytoin and birth control pills
  • Use of calcium-channel blockers
  • Hormonal changes related to menstrual cycle and pregnancy
  • Vitamin C deficiency
  • Poor dental restorations that don’t properly fit
  • Crooked teeth that may cause brushing difficult
  • Health conditions that lower immunity like HIV, AIDS, leukaemia, and cancer treatment

Prevention and Treatment 

The good news is that gingivitis is treatable and reversible. This means that you can easily overcome this dental problem and prevent it from occurring. However, for this, good and regular oral hygiene is a must.

  • Proper Brushing with Flossing

To remove plaque, you must brush properly for at least two minutes twice daily—particularly when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night. If you can brush your teeth after meals, it is even better. After brushing, make sure to floss. Flossing at least once every day is vital for oral health. Flossing helps remove the loosened particles of food and bacteria.

  • Follow Good Health Practices 

By following good health practices like eating right and including Vitamin C in your diet, you can prevent gingivitis. Furthermore, avoid smoking and chewing tobacco.

  • Schedule Regular Checkups with Your Periodontist 

It is important to schedule an appointment for dental checkup with your periodontist every 6 to 12 months. The dentist can examine your oral condition, clean up tartar and identify any problem before it transforms into a serious dental condition.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gingivitis stated above, please call on (208) 342-0315 to schedule an appointment today with our experienced periodontists.

Peri-Implant Diseases in Focus

By | Preventative | No Comments

Dental implant is a popular and an effective tooth restoration technique. Made using titanium, dental implants are placed carefully in the jawbone and integrated with the natural bone to provide a sturdy foundation for tooth replacement. It is the most sought-after treatment for tooth restoration in clinical dentistry primarily because of it mechanical and biological properties.

Good oral hygiene is equally important after getting dental implants as the prevalence rate of inflammation around the dental implant is relatively high. The condition is better known as the Peri-Implant disease.

Understanding the Peri-Implant Disease 

Peri-implant disease can be best described as an inflammatory condition. This condition affects both hard and soft gum tissues near dental implants. This is caused due to poor oral hygiene and implant maintenance. The bacteria begin to build-up on the implant’s base, right below the gum line. The bacterial growth irritates the gum tissue overtime. This causes inflammation in the gums and damages the tissue. If the problem is not addressed immediately, it can lead to bone loss and eventually dental implant loss. Though it resembles periodontal infection, the treatment options for peri-implant disease are different.

Types of Peri-Implant Disease 

The peri-implant disease is of two types—peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis. Let’s take a closer look at the two types of peri-implant disease to develop a better understanding:

  • Peri-Implant Mucositis

The peri-implant mucositis basically manifests in the soft tissue. The signs are similar to gingivitis. It causes swelling, redness and inflammation but is only confined to soft tissues. It can be best treated if it is detected early by calculus and biofilm removal. In other words, treatment of peri-implant mucositis is non-invasive and simpler as compared to peri-implantitis. So, far there is no evidence of bone loss due to peri-implant mucositis; however, it is a precursor of peri-implantitis.

  • Peri-Implantitis 

In this type of peri-implant disease, gum inflammation occurs around the soft tissue that leads to deterioration of the bone that supports the dental implant. It is also described as a serious and destructive inflammatory dental process in clinical dentistry. It promotes both peri-implant hard and soft tissue loss affecting osseo-integration.

Diagnostic considerations that have been proposed for the timely detection of peri-implantitis disease include probing, suppuration, pre or post radiographs, microbiological testing and mobility. Initial dental implant probing must be performed once the restoration is properly installed with the help of the conventional periodontal probe with light force. Mobility and radiographs can also be used to supplement its diagnosis.

Peri-implantitis is sometimes compared to periodontal disease because of its inflammatory nature. However, one of the most important differences between the two is that peri-implantitis has the tendency to develop on the lingual and facial aspects of the dental implant in such a way that it is undetectable and hard to identify using traditional radiographs. Studies show that in this case, the most effective technology is the cone beam computed tomography. It is proven for identifying lingual, proximal bony and lingual lesions surrounding dental implants. The diagnosis for peri-implantitis is aided by acquiring baseline bone level 360-degree scans of the implants. If peri-implantitis condition is suspected, CBCT scans are compared with baseline scans to determine the definitive bone loss including the severity and location.

Though the presence of pathogenic biofilm is the top factor, local and systemic factors should also be identified as all these factors can lead to the development as well as progression of peri-implant disease. Systemic factors include smoking, diabetes and immunosuppression while local factors include excessive occlusal forces or residual cement.

In most cases, surgical therapy is advised to patients with moderate & severe peri-implantitis. It provides access for proper cleaning and also helps develop an environment that enable patients to both maintain and reconstruct lost tissue.

Statistics show that 80 percent of the people with dental implants develop peri-implant mucositis and that nearly 56 percent suffer from peri-implantitis.

For more information about peri-implant disease or if you are experiencing inflammation around implants, get in touch with us today. Call (208) 342-0315 to schedule an appointment with our experienced periodontist for a proper oral examination and diagnosis.

Snoring appliances & why you should consider buying one

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Are you tired of people complaining about how loud your snore is? Or are you tired of your loved one mimicking an elephant while sleeping? If you can relate to the presented scenarios, you should consider buying a snoring appliance. It is the perfect solution to all of your problems. Snoring is completely normal and it happens to almost everyone, but when people start snoring so loudly that they can wake an entire building, it is then when snoring becomes a problem.

These appliances are an effective way of treating snoring and sleep apnea. They are available in different sizes and types as well. Only a doctor can tell you which snoring appliance is the best for you as they will take into account a variety of factors before prescribing the best appliance.

Some of the factors that the doctors will take into consideration are; the size of your mouth, how loud you snore and your medical history. Once the doctor has evaluated your issue from every perspective, they will then prescribe the snoring appliance that will provide you and your loved ones expedited relief from the noise you make while sleeping.

Basically these appliances are worn while sleeping and are attached to the mouth just like a sports mouth guard or a retainer. It maintains an open upper airway by positioning the jaw in a forward position that helps subside snoring.

These days the amount of people using snoring appliances is increasing, as more people want to curtail their snoring habits. Although a substantial amount of these people only consider snoring appliances because they are tired of their loved ones complaining about the noise they make. Let’s face it they cannot hear themselves snoring while sleeping. However, people who snore do occasionally face breathing issues that can be dangerous, which is another reason why snoring appliances have become so popular.

Why should you consider a snoring appliance?   

Currently there are many treatment options available for patients that snore. Most of them include intrusive methods such as surgeries. But patients can easily avoid the turmoil of undergoing surgery by considering a snoring appliance. These appliances are a non invasive treatment method that can perfectly align with your current lifestyle and they provide many different versatile benefits. Some of these benefits are mentioned below.

  • Cost effective
  • Easy to wear
  • Comfortable
  • Can improve the quality of your sleep
  • Convenient and easy to travel with
  • Reduces the amount of noise you make while snoring significantly

Which snoring appliance is the best for you?

Choosing the best snoring appliance can prove to be quite difficult because of the sheer amount of products available in the market today. However, if you contact your local doctor, they will take every factor into account and will recommend the most effective appliance for you.

We would recommend conducting research and speaking to your doctor before you make your purchase.

So next time a loved one is snoring, do not try to use a pillow to muffle the noise as that could kill them. Simply invest in a snoring appliance.

Why you should consider in office teeth whitening

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There are many teeth whitening products that you can use in the confines of your home, but these products mostly contain bleach which deteriorates the quality of your teeth.  Beside this there have been many cases of people suffering from adverse reactions because of using these products and have to be rushed to the hospital.

The underlying reason why these products are not safe is because of the fragility of the human anatomy. Each one of us is unique in our own perspectives. This means that a product that works wonders for you can actually display completely opposite results for another person. This is exactly why in office teeth whitening has become popular as people finally understand the dangers involved with using random products on their teeth. Even if you read the label behind these products, they clearly state that there is a risk of contracting side effects and adverse reactions.

In office teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that takes place under carefully monitored conditions.  These conditions are carefully monitored to make sure that nothing goes wrong and that the patient isn’t harmed in any way during the procedure. It is not only safe but a completely painless procedure that uses a high concentration of bleaching gel to immediately whiten your teeth.

Some of the benefits of in office teeth whitening are mentioned below:

  • Produces immediate results
  • It is a completely pain less procedure
  • Performed in a controlled environment
  • Zero chances of side effects
  • Cost effective
  • Can remove even the most persistent stains

So next time you want to whiten your teeth to perfection, consider in office teeth whitening as the solution to your stained teeth problems.

Do you need a night guard?

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Have you ever woken up in the morning with a sore jaw on a frequent basis? Well you might be suffering from a dental condition known as Bruxism. However, only a certified doctor or dentist can effectively diagnose this condition as there could be other issues you might be suffering from.

Bruxism is completely normal and studies have proven that approximately 15% of adults suffer from this condition. Basically this condition forces the patient to grind while sleeping.

Although this may sound trivial, but the pressure these patients exert on their teeth while grinding is quite damaging. Not only does the patient suffer from excruciating jaw pain in the morning, but it also induces headaches and severe pain in the teeth. So no matter how much sleep these patients have, they will never be able to wake up in the morning full of life. This is exactly why every patient suffering from the condition should seek help immediately before their condition inflicts irreversible damage to their teeth.

Currently the most effective treatment for this condition is a night guard. This simple treatment has the capacity of saving the patient from a world of pain and is available at most pharmacies without a prescription. The night guard is simply attached to the teeth while you sleep and protects your teeth from the damage that this condition entails. These night guards are offered at an affordable price and most dentists can even have custom made night guards according to their specifications.

We would recommend that before you make this purchase you first contact your dentist and have him or her ascertain whether you require a night guard or not. Even though a night guard can help patients on so many different levels, it still does not cure the condition or reduce the symptoms. So the patient will keep grinding for the rest of their lives and will have to wear the guard to protect their teeth. If they forget to wear the night guard, they will have to deal with the pain once again. This is exactly why there are alternative treatments available for this condition.

Some of these alternatives are mentioned below.

  • Teeth straightening: Most dentists state that grinding occurs when teeth are out of alignment, so braces can be used to straighten the teeth.
  • Stress prevention: Another root cause of this condition is stress and anxiety. So your doctor can prescribe stress prevention techniques to reduce the chances of you grinding your teeth in your sleep.
  • Medication: There are also different medicines out there that can inhibit grinding significantly, but only a certified doctor or dentist can prescribe such medication. They will take into account a whole host of factors before prescribing such medicine to patients.

Rest assured this condition is treatable and you can find solace from the pain. Contact your dentist as soon as possible in order for the treatment to start.

Teeth loss and the immediate solution

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With time our teeth deteriorate and that happens due to a variety of reasons and eventually we all require the help of a dentist in such a case. Many people have a common misconception that people only loose teeth at a very young age or when they are old, but this is not true as decaying teeth can plague any age group.

Tooth loss has severe consequences and it deteriorates the quality of life by a substantial margin, some of the immediate consequences are mentioned below.

  • Impairs speech pattern
  • Sagging appearance of the face
  • Poor nutrition as diet has to be modified
  • Loss of self confidence
  • People stop smiling

Out all of the consequences the most disturbing one is the fact that people stop smiling once they start losing teeth.  A smile is the closest distance between two people and is the universal language of communicating your happiness. This is exactly why no one should be deprived of the ability to smile.

Currently the most effective treatment for teeth loss is partial dentures. These are artificial teeth that replace the missing teeth. They can be modified according to the structure of your teeth and your jaw bone, besides this it also preserves the contours of your face. Partial dentures are removable and are considered to be the immediate solution for people who have lost some of their teeth.

People who have lost their teeth can easily contact their dentist who will take a couple of factors into consideration and will then prescribe the best partial dentures that will meet the patients’ specifications.

However, to help people understand why they lose their teeth in the first place, we have articulated a list of factors that contribute to teeth loss.

Inadequate oral hygiene 

One of the factors that contribute the most to teeth loss is bad oral hygiene. Having bad oral hygiene causes acid to produce bacteria that results in cavities and the expedited deterioration of the teeth. This is exactly why it is imperative that every individual makes sure that they brush their teeth more than twice a day.

Poor nutrition 

Another factor that contributes to teeth loss is poor nutrition as our diet plays an integral role in maintaining the quality of health. People who eat a lot of junk food and do not consume the essential vitamins and minerals, have a higher chance of suffering from teeth loss. Our teeth require calcium in order to resist normal wear and tear. Calcium is also responsible for bone density, which is exactly why dentist recommend a high intake of calcium.  Besides this poor nutrition can also decrease the mouth’s resistance to infections and deteriorates the oral hygiene significantly.

Smoking and drinking 

Everyone is aware about the adverse effects of smoking and drinking, but most people do not have any idea how these habits harm their teeth. As both these habits increase the chances of developing gum diseases that can result in teeth loss.

Why Dental Bridges Are Used

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As the name suggests, the major purpose of a dental bridge is to cover the gap left behind by a broken teeth. It is also used to fill cavities that are developed as a result of a bacterial infection. Bridges are permanently cemented into mouth and cannot be removed on a temporary basis. If a bridge is not placed in between the teeth, they will lose their original position in an attempt to fill up the empty space.

How is a Bridge Made?

A bridge is made by placing dental crowns on two or more teeth present around the gap. These teeth act as a support post for the bridge and are referred to as abutment teeth. A false tooth is often placed between abutment teeth to occupy the empty space and is called Pontics. The false tooth is made up of alloy, gold, porcelain or other similar material. Natural teeth and implants can both be used to provide support to the bridge.

Types of Bridges:

Bridges can be categorized into the following three types depending upon their structure:

  • Traditional Bridge:

Traditional bridge is the oldest yet the most common type of bridge. It is supported on two natural teeth with a false tooth in between. These bridges are quite strong and can even replace molars if needed. The enamel of adjacent teeth is cleaned so that crowns can be placed on the top. The crown cannot be removed as the absence of enamel leads to infection.

  • Cantilever Bridge:

Cantilever bridges are installed at the ends of mouth, where supporting teeth are present only on one side. A pontic is used in this method as well, but it supports only a single side. It is not recommended anymore due to the immense damage it inflicts upon the remaining teeth.

  • Maryland Bonded Bridge:

It is also known as Resin-bonded Bridge and is made of porcelain fused on metal. This approach holds pontic with porcelain support and this frame is connected with adjacent natural teeth to keep it intact. There is no need to file the adjacent teeth due to a lack of crowns. It is an alternative for traditional bridge and eliminates the need of enamel cleaning.

A bridge is suitable for filling up the empty space created when a permanent tooth falls down. It restores the eating capabilities that were affected due to teeth loss.