Sun10262014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Dental implants: Creating myriad health-restoring opportunities

Courtesy of Dr. Ken schweifler The above illustration identifies the components of a single-tooth implant crown.

If you’re old enough to remember dental treatment prior to the invention and implementation of dental anesthesia in the 1950s, you will be able to relate to my sentiment that nothing up to that point had such a profoundly positive influence on the field.

The ability to block nerve sensation transformed the way we practice, enabling the performance of even the most complex procedures in a pain-free, anxiety-free environment. Perhaps nothing has revolutionized the field of dentistry since as much as dental implants.

In the past, when a single tooth was lost, a typical option would be a fixed bridge. Such treatment relies on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, often requiring aggressive reduction of healthy teeth that wouldn’t otherwise need to be restored for their own structural benefit. Because fixed bridges are a series of attached crowns, they preclude the ability to use traditional dental floss. Even though there are hygienic options to thread floss underneath the bridge, the technique requires a high level of dexterity and motivation from the patient. In my experience, most patients don’t spend the time to care for them adequately.

Over time, the bone that supported the lost tooth (or teeth) dissolves, leaving excessive space between the bridge and the tissue below it and contributing to more plaque/food retention and tissue irritation.

Dental implants treat single-tooth problems with single-tooth solutions. An implant designed to replace a single lost tooth has three components: the titanium implant that fuses with the jawbone; the abutment that attaches to the implant and protrudes from the gumline; and the crown (cap) that adheres to the abutment, restoring function and aesthetics.

By avoiding the needless restorative treatment on adjacent teeth that a fixed bridge requires, those teeth are preserved with their longevity more likely. Single-tooth implants can be cleaned just like natural teeth, because nothing impedes the passage of conventional floss. When a tooth is lost and restored with an implant, the immediate replacement root (implant) “tricks” the bone, minimizing bone loss. Due to the overwhelming benefits of implants over fixed bridge treatment, to treat a candidate for implants with a fixed bridge would be considered below the standard of care today.

Another treatment option, usually selected when more teeth are missing than could be treated well with a fixed bridge, is a removable denture (partial or full). A partial denture uses metal clasps to anchor it to the remaining teeth, and acrylic rests in those areas where teeth are missing and serves as the attachment platform for fake teeth. These clasps are often torquing on teeth already periodontally compromised, leading to the acceleration of tooth loss.

Patients with these appliances often complain that they affect speech, impede the sense of taste and create a negative image of old age. Full dentures receive similar complaints, but more pronounced. As multiple teeth are lost, the bony ridge that supported them dissolves.

These patients traditionally have relied on the inadequate retention of acrylic against tissue on a shrinking bony ridge. The upper denture benefits from the suction created against the palate. The lower full denture lacks that anatomic advantage and is commonly considered the most annoying, ineffective treatment in dentistry. Complaints about it have been unanimous in my practice – until now.

Perhaps the most profound benefits of dental implants are in creating more retention for full dentures, especially on the lower arch. By simply placing two implants on the lower bony ridge and creating a denture that adheres to those implants, the days of uncomfortable, restricted chewing and embarrassing slippage of the appliance in social situations are over.

In my experience, reluctance to pursue dental implants has been due primarily to the expense or concerns about failure. Initial treatment for a single-tooth implant is typically more expensive than a fixed bridge or denture, but it’s a much more predictable option that preserves remaining teeth and bone.

Studies show that within five to seven years, there’s a failure rate of 30 percent in teeth adjacent to a fixed bridge or removable partial denture. Sure, a three-unit fixed bridge (to replace one missing tooth) may cost less money than an implant, but if it fails because the teeth supporting it succumb to disease, then it’s going to need to be replaced. If I could add up the cost of replacing a fixed bridge or a partial denture, perhaps several times over a lifetime, dental implants are definitely the more economical option.

Some of my implant candidates express concerns about the risk of failures. I have heard more about implants failing from conversations my patients have had with friends and loved ones than I have ever seen in my practice. The success rate for dental implants varies from study to study, but generally is more than 90 percent, much higher than any other tooth-replacing option.

The impact dental implants have had on the field of dentistry cannot be overstated. We’re fortunate to be living in a time when this technology creates comfortable, health-restoring opportunities.

Dr. Ken Schweifler practices dentistry at 802 Altos Oaks Drive. For more information, call 941-2166 or visit www.dentistlosaltos.com.

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