Florida Dental Centers Blog

Do I Really Need To Replace My Missing Teeth?

Missing teeth may be annoying, but do you really need your natural teeth? Well, yes. Each of our teeth are super important for the health of our whole mouth. Here at Florida Dental Centers, we have decades of experience with those who have missing teeth! Here is our normal reply as to why missing teeth are bad for your oral health:


A Weaker Jawbone

With a missing tooth root, our overall jaw health weakens. This is because tooth structures support the jaw just as much as our jaw supports teeth structures. Without one tooth, the jawbone structure begins to thin and weaken which could lead to other teeth falling out, pain while chewing, or even fracturing of the jawbone in extreme cases.

A weakened and thinning jawbone can also cause other conditions to arise such as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJD. This joint connects your jawbone to the rest of your head and can cause bruxism, tinnitus, serious pain, and other symptoms all from overcompensation caused by one missing tooth.

Reduced Chewing and Aesthetic Quality

Outside of jaw-related chewing issues, missing a tooth can impact how and what you eat. Not having one tooth can make chewing hard, gummy, fat meats, and many other chewier foods difficult to break down enough for digestion. Plus, depending on the nature of the missing tooth, the area where the tooth was could become infected if not treated carefully.

Beyond these serious health risks, the aesthetic of the teeth line is also impacted by missing teeth. No one likes missing teeth. This can have an impact on our internal self-critic and lower our self-esteem. Missing a tooth can also cause surrounding teeth to decay creating a problem that continues to get worse which can be truly demoralizing.


There Is A Solution… Dental Implants!

With many negatives for having missing teeth, the best option available for fixing this is to replace the missing tooth. The best replacement for a tooth is a dental implant! Why? Dental implants imitate the root structure which makes jaw decay significantly less likely to occur. The strength of dental implants makes them act like normal tooth structures which allow for normal use not long after placement. Plus, dental implants are made to match the surrounding teeth’ color so they will match your aesthetic. No one will know you have one!

If you are looking for the best dental implants in Largo, Florida, Florida Dental Centers is a must-go destination! With all our doctors trained to expertly handle many varied cases of missing teeth, we are in a great place to replace the tooth and have the lowest risk of dental implant failure. But don’t just take our word for it, look at our recent patient testimonies for evidence of our work. Or, if you call and make an appointment at our office in Largo, FL or any other location across the Tampa Bay Area, we can show you some visual examples from satisfied past clients. Do not wait for issues to arise, call us today to get your new smile!

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What Is The Difference Between Gingivitis And Periodontitis?

Everyone’s gums bleed, it’s a part of our oral health. But when does gum bleeding advance into gum disease? What are the long-term effects of those conditions? Here at Florida Dental Centers, we like to keep patients informed with up-to-date medical terminology and treatments. That is why we have put together this short piece about gum disease, the various kinds, and when you should go in for a visit.


The Difference In Types of Gum Disease

There are two main types of gum disease: Gingivitis and Periodontitis. They differ in severity and treatment but are both commonly referred to as gum disease.


Gingivitis is caused by plaque build-up on your teeth. The plaque is an invisible sticky substance that is caused by your mouth bacteria interaction with starches and sugars. Those plaques build into tartar, the yellowish substance that can be found near the roots and in between teeth. This will eventually lead to irritated gums which will lead to inflammation. This inflammation of the gums is gingivitis.

The risks factors for gingivitis include poor oral hygiene, use of tobacco products, age, poor diet, conditions that decrease immunity, hormonal changes, genetics, and different fungal and viral infections. Chronic gingivitis can lead to further health complications. The good news is, gingivitis is easily preventable by maintaining good oral hygiene, regular dental visits, and good holistic health practices.


Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue gums in your mouth. Periodontitis has a similar cause to gingivitis and is typically a result of not taking care of gingivitis quickly. Though, periodontitis can sometimes be caused by other chronic inflammatory diseases or even from a long vitamin C defficiency. Periodontitis is also commonly caused by indirectly by medications that dry out the mouth.

Though similar, Periodontitis has much more severe health effects. They can cause gums to recede, tooth decay and damage, and even lead to teeth falling out. Not only this, but the inflammation caused by periodontitis is much more painful than gingivitis which can lead to jaw irritation and pain when chewing.


Treatment for Gum Disease

Once gum disease has advanced to this point, you should immediately make an appointment to treat this before serious damage is done to your teeth, jaw, and gums. Fortunately, our team in Clearwater, Florida is expertly trained to handle the most advanced cases of periodontitis. In fact, we check for all forms of gum disease and inflammation in our regular check-ups!

If you are concerned about your gum inflammation, we got you covered! Schedule a consultation with our Clearwater, FL location! Not near Clearwater? No worries! We have many locations across the Tampa Bay region! Consider viewing our locations to find the best place for you to visit! We look forward to meeting you and putting your gum disease worries to rest!



Gingivitis, Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gingivitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354453

Periodontitis, Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/periodontitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354473

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Are Partial Dentures For A Few Teeth Possible?

Single dental implants can be too expensive for some. Even with excellent financing options and repayment plans, it can be a scary commitment to put down so much for such a small device. Fortunately, there are alternatives that are more cost-effective and still produce a similar result; partial dentures. Unlike full-arch dentures, partial dentures in Clearwater, FL are able to cover a few areas of missing teeth whilst keeping your healthy teeth intact.

But how do partial dentures work? What are some of the benefits and risks of using them?


What Are Partial Dentures?

Partial dentures are a great and effective way to replace missing teeth. They can replace a number of missing teeth or just a few depending on what you are in need of. We offer both metal and resin-based partial dentures.

How they work is a bit different from other denture options. Traditional full-arch dentures use adhesive to hold to the gum line to provide the needed support. This is different with partial dentures which traditionally use metal clasps and rely on the surrounding healthy tooth structures to support them and keep them in place, much like our root structures do in healthy teeth. Resin and flexible partial denture options rely on other teeth and adhesives.

It is worth noting that you should discuss with your doctor allergies to metal, resin, nylon, or plastic before considering different options. Partial dentures can be made out of metal or resin or even plastics and keeping you from having further health complications is a major goal with partial dentures, not to cause more.

How Long Will They Last?

In many cases, partial dentures are not considered to be a permanent option. This is because many people who require dentures are in need because of decay or damage caused to a region of the mouth with only one or a few teeth falling out thus far. This is a great option to monitor the continued progression of the affected area.

Many doctors will recommend considering dental implants over partial dentures because they last much longer. With partial dentures, there is always a risk of damage when taking the device out and sliding it back into place. This worry is eased with dental implants. That being said, partial dentures are still a solid option that is reliable in the majority of cases for providing functionality and aesthetics the patient is looking for at a lower price compared to single dental implants.


Discuss Your Options

If you want to discuss your options with a professional with decades of experience, look no further than Dr. Kieth Hutchinson. Having worked on scores of patients, Dr. Hutchinson has seen pretty much every possible scenario of disease and has worked to provide the care desired and needed by each patient.

Let us prove our quality care to you today by scheduling a consultation with our office in Clearwater, FL. We look forward to meeting you!

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What Are Hybrid Dentures, And How Do They Differ From Normal Dentures?

Dentures are a great way to replace a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. But a much stronger, longer-lasting, and greater cosmetic look comes from hybrid dentures in Largo, FL. These implant-supported dentures have dental implant posts sent into the jawbone to help hold the device in place and making them much more permanent than regular dentures. Florida Dental Centers are happy to share the differences and benefits of dentures and hybrid dentures.


A “Not-So-Subtle” Difference!

Do not be fooled by the word “dentures” in hybrid dentures as they are different options. Dentures offer a more affordable way to replace some or multiple missing teeth. With our standard plan of $850 or elite plan of $1150, dentures are a much easier option financially on some. Of course, there are certain drawbacks to dentures such as slippage, where the dentures shift out of place, and the meticulous cleaning process. They are still able to get the job done and provide individuals the ability to chew their food and properly engage with life again.

Hybrid dentures are similar to dentures in the materials use to create them but they are set into the jawbone making them a permanent solution rather than a more temporary one. Much like standard dental implants, posts are sunk into the jawbone and the dentures are modified to attach to those posts to avoid slippage and the pain that can come with slippage. This increases the cost by a few hundred dollars, making it more expensive – but it helps get rid of some of the worries with normal dentures. Not to mention, hybrid dentures can be cleaned like regular teeth. No more worries about complicated cleaning solutions!


Find Out What’s Best For You!

At Florida Dental Centers, we believe in a patient-first approach to any decision regarding oral health. That means evaluating your unique situation to understand the best treatment options with you. Dr. Kieth Hutchinson has worked for decades doing exactly this. Having taken control of the practice from his father in the early 2000s, Dr. Hutchinson’s non-stop commitment to the bettering of oral health and hygiene has granted him several awards in dental practices.

Not just Dr. Hutchinson though, our entire team is dedicated to providing the best quality service and support you on your oral health decisions. If you are looking for the best care for you, consider visiting our office in Largo, FL and scheduling a consultation so that we can start helping you today!

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Is Professional Teeth Whitening Worth The Cost?

Having bright, clean, white-colored teeth is a great sign of dental hygiene and beauty. But many of our teeth slowly lose their white glow as we age due to a number of factors. Diet, stress, smoking, age, and many other factors can slowly degrade the coloring. Many turn to teeth whitening products to show off their smile in confidence. But there is a huge difference between professional whitening in Clearwater, Florida and over-the-counter whitening products.


Over-The-Counter vs. Professional Whitening

Over-the-counter options are great if you fit the narrow minority of people who they are trying to help. Over-the-counter whitening products use a one size fits all approach to teeth whitening. The problem though is all teeth are different which makes this approach super effective for the few and unhelpful for the many. Generally speaking, an over-the-counter whitener will help the majority of people but will take a much longer time than any other product, sometimes taking over a year to see minimal results!

Professional whitening options are much more effective as the approach can be tailored depending on your teeth. These custom approaches allow for a much quicker turnaround of starting time and fantastic results. Since these treatments are also handled by professionals, many of the risks such as damaging gums or teeth enamel can easily be avoided. Professional treatments are also much longer-lasting than anything over-the-counter.


The Cost of Whitening

Despite knowing this, many people still opt for over-the-counter whiteners rather than professionals. The cost difference is fairly large with over-the-counter ranging between $15-$60 typically and professional costing anywhere from $250-$500 in some cases.

This decision is made without considering the length mentioned above though. If you are trying to whiten your teeth and it takes 6 months, 12 months, 2 years even to start getting the results you want, those over-the-counter options start adding up quickly. Because professional treatments are much longer-lasting, the initial cost is worth the results. Not only will the professional treatment save time to get that pearly white finish, but they will also cost less in the long run as whitening treatments are less frequent and further between.


Want Whiter Teeth Today?

If you live in Clearwater, Florida, and are looking for a smile you can wow anyone with, consider coming to the Florida Dental Center located at 2194 Drew Street, Clearwater FL. Dr. Hutchinson has plenty of experience with patients from all walks of life and all sorts of dental needs. Having worked and managed Florida Dental Centers since 1998, Dr. Hutchinson is always excited to meet new clients and provide a comfortable and custom treatment for them.

If you would like to set up a consultation to meet with Dr. Hutchinson or any other of our providers, call us at (727) 462-5555 to find a time that works for you. We are looking forward to meeting you and working towards the smile you deserve!

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Can I Go To A Dentist For An Oral Cancer Screening?

Cancer in any form can be absolutely terrifying. That’s why making sure you see the correct specialist will help tremendously with the process. The short answer is yes, you can see a dentist for oral cancer screening in Largo, FL. But what are some common signs of oral cancer? Here at Florida Dental Centers, we strive to provide accurate information to all who visit us. Here are some of the basics about oral cancer.


What To Look For

Oral cancer may take on a few different forms depending on the region of the mouth it is affecting. If you have a lip sore that does not seem to go away, that could be a sign of one form of oral cancer. Another type is a white or reddish patch inside your mouth. Some other common symptoms of oral cancer are loose teeth, mouth and ear pain, difficulty or pain when swallowing, and sharp pain while chewing.

Now, some of these symptoms could be from a number of other conditions such as a severe case of gum disease. But, if these symptoms are persisting, you should definitely visit a dentist. Why? Well, no matter what condition it may be, these conditions are serious and could lead to life-threatening, or potentially fatal, outcomes if left untreated.

The risk factors for oral cancer are the same for many other types of cancer. The most common risk factors for developing oral cancer are smoking, heavy alcohol use, excessive sun exposure, sexually transmitted diseases, and a weakened immune system. Whilst cancer continues to be studied for further causes and new cures, there are ways to help prevent cancer that help with both general oral health and good overall health.


Preventing Oral Cancer

Of course, some of these are directed towards the common risk factors. Stopping the use of controlled substances like alcohol and tobacco will greatly reduce your risk factor of developing oral cancer. Avoiding direct sun exposure to your lips is also a great way to reduce your chances of cancer.

But the number one way to prevent oral cancer is by visiting your dentist. Here in our office in Largo, FL, we have worked with hundreds of patients to help treat them with their oral cancer. Dr. Kieth Hutchinson has decades of experience in supporting patients with oral cancer with many success stories of those he has managed to help through to recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with oral cancer, the best thing to do is to visit a dentist. So why not visit a dentist with a proven track record in helping oral cancer patients? Consider calling us at (727) 507-9090 to get in touch with our staff to help schedule you an appointment. The sooner you call, the sooner we can help protect you from this fatal disease.

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What Is The Recovery Time After A Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Whenever possible, dentists prefer to offer patients conservative treatment options. However, tooth extractions can be necessary including wisdom tooth removal. In fact, simple and complex wisdom teeth extractions in Clearwater, FL are very commonplace, not to mention extremely safe when performed by a trained dentist and team.

Of course, it can be tough to answer one of the biggest patient questions that come with any wisdom tooth removal: “How long will it take for me to recover?” The best response, as with so many medical procedures, is that recovery time depends on a number of factors.

Take a look at three of those factors below.


Recovery Timeline Factor #1: How Many Wisdom Teeth Are Going to Be Removed?

A patient who has one wisdom tooth removed will naturally spend less time in surgery than a patient who has all four wisdom teeth extracted. Therefore, the patient who only had one wisdom tooth removed may feel less discomfort afterwards and be able to return to chewing regular foods faster, at least on one side of the mouth. On the other hand, the patient who has all four wisdom teeth removed may take longer to recover because each spot will heal at its own rate.

Recovery Timeline Factor #2: How Impacted Are the Wisdom Teeth?

In some cases, wisdom teeth have to be extracted because they are impacted. In other words, they have not fully erupted through the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth usually take longer to remove due to their awkward shape or placement. Consequently, the affected area may experience more trauma during surgery than if the wisdom teeth were not impacted at all. And that can lead to a little longer recovery.

Recovery Timeline Factor #3: How Well Does the Patient Comply With Post-Op Instructions?

After a wisdom tooth extraction in Clearwater, FL, a patient will receive a list of post-operative instructions to do and follow. These instructions may include everything from taking over-the-counter pain medications and applying ice packs to a sore jaw, to avoiding certain foods and staying home from school or work for a couple days. Patients who follow their dentists’ recommendations tend to have shorter, healthier, and more comfortable recoveries than those who do not.


Is a Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Clearwater Necessary?

It can be tough to tell if you need to have one or more of your wisdom teeth removed by a trustworthy dentist in Clearwater, FL. The best way to find out for sure is to make an appointment with a friendly, knowledgeable professional like Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team. For more than 20 years, Dr. Hutchinson has built a reputation as a compassionate, highly skilled dental provider. To make an appointment with us, please call our Florida Dental Centers office in Clearwater, FL at (727) 462-5555!

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How Can Gum Disease Lead to Dementia?

As the field of western medicine continues to progress, so does our understanding of holistic health. We are finding more and more as the days go by that all our health systems are linked together. This is the same between our dental and cognitive health. Recently, studies showed that chronic periodontitis, commonly known as gum disease, has a likely link to dementia. But how is this the case?

Here in Largo, Florida, we work to provide the most up-to-date knowledge on advances in dental health. That is why we believe it is important to discuss this link and share good information about it.


The Links Between Gum Disease and Dementia

A study conducted by South Korea’s National Health Insurance Service-Health Screening Cohort found there is a six percent increase in patients who had gum disease to develop dementia than those who did not. This risk increases in those who have or develop Alzheimer’s disease significantly compared to those with Alzheimer’s who never had gum disease.

Six percent may not seem like a huge deal but considering that the number of people who will develop dementia will triple over the next three decades, it is important to recognize the implications of this study.

There are three different theories as to how these conditions are linked. The first is related to the bacteria that cause gum disease. This bacterium, known as Porphyomonas gingivalis, is a big driver in inflammation. This bacterium is believed to travel through the bloodstream and pass the blood-brain barrier which then leads to inflammation in and around the brain which leads to dementia. This theory is supported as the bacteria has been found present in patients’ brains who have dementia.

The second theory is similar. The bacteria mentioned causes inflammation in the gums and then leads to a state of perpetual inflammation throughout the body which causes inflammation in and around the brain.

The third possibility relates to damage sustained to the blood vessels because of gum disease. This damage leads to an increase of toxic proteins consistent with those that are proven to damage the brain in patients with dementia.


Have Those Gums Checked!

All of this is to note the high importance of having proper gum and dental care. What better person to take care of those gums than Dr. Keith Hutcinson. For over 20 years, Dr. Hutchinson has worked to provide kind and compassionate care to all who come to visit him. He has worked with patients to prevent smaller cases of gingivitis from developing into chronic periodontitis as well as working to minimize the negative impacts of gum disease.

If you have questions and are looking for an expert in gum disease, consider calling (727) 507-9090 to schedule a consultation with Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team at our office in Largo, FL today! Let us help prevent your gum disease and fight against the risk of developing dementia later in life.

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Is Your Smile Gum-Centric? Crown Lengthening Can Help!

For the most part, everyone loves a beautiful, healthy smile. However, if your teeth are being overly covered by your gums, you may benefit from a treatment procedure known as crown lengthening. A dentist in Clearwater, FL can assess your teeth and gums to see if this procedure would be best for you and your smile!


About the procedure

Crowns are the caps on the top of your natural tooth that defines its shape. If you are interested in getting cosmetic dental procedures such as bridges or implants, a certain amount of tooth surface must be exposed or available. This may be a reason why this procedure may be beneficial for individuals that have gums that are excessively covering teeth, also known as a gummy smile. A common sign of a gummy smile includes “short” looking teeth. While this may or may not be related to genetics, having a gummy smile can be treated and cured by the crown lengthening procedure should there be a desire or want to do so. The crown lengthening procedure removes gum tissue, bone, or both, if necessary, to reveal more surface area of a tooth. Some reasons for reduced tooth surface area that may cause a need for tooth exposure can include:

  • Broken or cracked tooth at the gumline
  • Gumline extends too far along the tooth for it to receive cosmetic or restorative treatment
  • Weak tooth structure that is not viable for restoration
  • Crown or filling has fallen off or decay is present beneath it

Typically done by a periodontist, or gum specialist, the crown lengthening procedure usually begins with a review of your medical history and an X-ray of your teeth and gums. A dental specialist in Clearwater, FL may even suggest a teeth cleaning appointment before the procedure is done, to decrease risks of infection caused by bacteria or plaque. You may even receive a temporary crown on your tooth as a protection mechanism prior to the procedure. This allows the dental specialist to see how well the crown will fit on your tooth once the lengthening procedure has been completed. Your dental specialist will choose the best type of lengthening procedure, including a gingivectomy, surgical extrusion, and apically repositioned flap surgery, based on your individual needs.


The Options We Offer!

Dr Keith Hutchinson and the team of dental experts at Florida Dental Centers in Clearwater, FL offer fantastic procedures that address periodontal issues, including the crown lengthening procedure. The team also offers a range of treatment in periodontic dentistry, including:


If you are experiencing short teeth or a gummy smile caused by teeth being overly covered by gums, the crown lengthening procedure may be for you. Be sure to reach out to Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team at our office in Clearwater, FL today to get started and schedule a consultation!



Crown Lengthening. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/gum-disease/crown-lengthening

Crown Lengthening. https://www.healthline.com/health/crown-lengthening#purpose

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Removable Dentures: Worth The Price Or Just A Fad?

Missing teeth are a common occurrence. More and more Americans are not making it through their whole life with their original sets of teeth. This is due to a variety of factors, but one thing is clear, we need teeth. There are plenty of options for replacing missing teeth but knowing which one is right for you can sometimes be a tricky option. A growing number of people in the Largo, Florida area have been looking to removable dentures as an option to replace their missing teeth as a cheaper alternative to full arch dental implants. But would removable dentures be best for you?


What Removable Dentures May Offer You

Partial removable dentures, simply known as removable dentures, are a form of dental implant where only certain teeth and regions of the mouth are replaced. As the name implies, these dentures are removable, being supported using the remaining healthy teeth or other dental implants. This is different from normal dentures which use adhesive to stick to your soft tissue to avoid shifting around.

Removal dentures come in a variety of materials to allow for patients to choose what works best for them. One option is cast metal partial dentures which is a metal alloy-based form attaching to teeth using the metal base. This is one of the most noticeable partial implants due to the way the metal base is formed. Another option is acrylic flippers which are made from a pink-colored material that rests on the soft tissue of the mouth. These are especially good for people who have advancing periodontal, or gum disease, issues. Flexible dentures are the final option which are made from a soft nylon material. These hold to the teeth directly and have the most natural look.

What this allows for is a more cost-effective way to have functional and natural looking teeth. Full arch dental implants are expensive, usually costing over ten thousand dollars! Removable dentures never tend to cost more than half that price depending on the individual case. Some people may even opt to have both dental implants and removable dentures. This improves the overall stability of the removable dentures by having strong and supported implant structures whilst saving on cost by opting for some teeth to be replaced using dentures.


Want Removable Dentures?

If you are still unsure about what is the best option for you, consider making an appointment to meet with Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team at our office in Largo, FL. Dr. Hutchinson has performed thousands of dental implant procedures like crowns to dentures! With decades of experience in making patients comfortable and happy, Dr. Hutchinson is ready and happy to help you on your journey to better dental health. Call (727) 507-9090 to schedule an appointment now!

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