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What Is Osteoporosis?

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Osteoporosis is an age-related disease in which bone mineral density decreases, leading to brittle bones being more prone to breaking. The most common risk factor for osteoporosis is aging. Genetic factors also play a role, with men who have a father or brother with the disease being twice as likely to develop osteoporosis than those without this family history. A Boca Raton osteoporosis specialist can diagnose and treat the condition.

Causes

As you age, your bones start to decrease both in density and thickness (this process begins at around age 30). Areas with high bone turnover (such as the pelvis, spine, ribs, and hips) will weaken first. Men tend to lose bone at a slower rate than women; however, after menopause, many women experience accelerated bone loss due to a lack of estrogen.

The following factors can contribute to developing osteoporosis:

  • A family history of the disease.
  • Race and ethnicity (white and Asian women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than black and Hispanic women).
  • Being female (women have a 30% greater chance of developing osteoporosis than men, as mentioned above).
  • Undergoing hormone replacement therapy (men and women should talk to their doctors about the risks associated with HRT).
  • Having a history of smoking cigarettes.
  • Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • A sedentary lifestyle (low levels of exercise and activity will increase your risk for developing osteoporosis).

Symptoms

The symptoms of osteoporosis vary and often mimic other conditions. Osteoporosis may go unnoticed for years because the symptoms are painless and result in no more than a slow-healing bone fracture or a loss of height due to compression of vertebrae (a condition also known as “dowager’s hump”).

There are a few signs and symptoms that you can look out for to determine if you might have osteoporosis. If you experience one or more of the following, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible:

  • Unexplained loss of height (in a short period).
  • Back pain from compression fractures in the spine.
  • Fractures in the hip, wrist, or spine (especially after minimal force or impact).
  • A hunched back (in older individuals) due to compression fractures of the vertebrae.
  • Symptoms of a broken bone that takes a long time to heal.

Treatment

Depending on the severity of your osteoporosis, treatment will vary. The earlier you seek treatment, the better off you will be (hip fracture, in particular, can lead to impaired mobility, and immobility may result in further bone loss). Also, certain medications may improve bone health.

While there is no cure for osteoporosis, the following treatment options may help. Bisphosphonate bone-building drugs will slow down further bone loss and decrease your chances of developing osteoporotic fractures. You may need to take these medications for several years.

Calcitonin nasal spray or injection (for people who cannot take oral bisphosphonates)

Calcitonin (a hormone that speeds up the laying down of new bone and reduces bone breakdown) is given through a nasal spray or an injection. Calcitonin may not be as effective as other medications, but it can reduce the risk of vertebral fractures.

Estrogen replacement therapy for women after menopause (when estrogen levels drop)

In summary, osteoporosis is an age-related disease where bone mineral density decreases, leading to brittle bones that break easily. It mainly happens in men with a family history of the disease and women after menopause. Symptoms include unexplained weight loss, compression fractures in the spine, and a hunched back. Treatments vary depending on severity.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Health

Innovation Leads to Winning Smiles: Lebanese Dentist Dr. Mohammad Waizani Offers Insight Into the Science of Quality Veneers

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Dr. Mohammad Waizani has developed a reputation for giving his patients the smile they deserve. His highly-sought after veneer procedure uses a microscope for more accurate and long-lasting results. Considered highly innovative in the dentistry world, his patients’ testimonials serve as proof of the procedure’s effectiveness.

We sat down with Dr. Waizani to gather further insight into the process of applying veneers and learn more about the types of cases that benefit from this smile-saving technique. 

Are there any preconditions to receiving veneers? 

The primary condition for receiving veneers is having what we call a “normal bite.” There are many different kinds of bites, including open and closed bites. Veneers can be applied to normal bites. When we do veneers for normal bites we try to remove the minimum amount of the tooth to retain as much of the tooth’s original structure as possible. This also helps to reduce instability or sensitivity, as well as ensuring that the color will be natural and not appear fake. When you think about it, if you remove a little bit of the tooth, then the ceramic layer we place on after that can also be thin. The thinner the layers, the less fake and bulky the tooth will look. 

How does the procedure work? 

In the first session, we prepare the tooth and take measurements. This procedure takes around two hours to two and a half hours. When we finish, we put the temporary on the teeth. This offers protection from sensitivity and allows the patient to go about their daily life, and walk with a smile on their face. 

After one week, the veneers are finished in the lab and the lab sends them to our office. Once we receive the veneers, we can proceed with gluing them on. Usually we do the upper jaw alone and the lower jaw alone so the full smile needs around two weeks from start to finish. 

Where does the microscope come in and why is it so important? 

We employ microscopes in the procedure, to reduce the amount of surface enamel typically removed in the installation process. Using a microscopic approach, we are able to reduce the typical width of the removed layer from between 0.8 and 1.5 millimeters to  a mere 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters, keeping teeth stronger and healthier. The less we remove,  the less damage can occur and the teeth continue to look great for a longer period of time. 

How long do veneers last? 

Like the teeth you are born with, veneers, when properly cared for, don’t have an expiration date. As long as the patient cares for their veneers the same way they would with their natural teeth, they are a long term cosmetic solution for improving your smile while maintaining a very realistic and natural aesthetic. 

Are there any age requirements for veneers?  

We never do veneers for anyone under the age of 18. When we do veneers, or any preparation for veneers, the teeth should be fully matured so that’s why 18 and above is the perfect age. There are also the wisdom teeth to consider but that’s a different story. We don’t have to wait for wisdom teeth to apply veneers. 

What are some of the reasons your patients choose to receive veneers? 

There are three overarching cases where we recommend veneers: shape, color, or both. Some people have a good shape to their face and jaw, but they don’t like the color of their teeth or vice versa. In some cases it is both the color and shape that the patient wants to improve. If they have a normal bite and we just want to change the color, we will remove a minimal amount of the tooth. If we have a normal bite but we want to change the shape, we will remove more. 

Are there different types of veneers? 

Dental veneers come in many different forms. Dr. Waizani’s natural veneers make use of porcelain molds for more natural looking and natural feeling teeth. Porcelain contains particles particularly similar to those found in organic human teeth, allowing light to pass through in a similar manner. Where alternative veneer materials reflect light, porcelain’s translucent quality allows for artificial veneers that are virtually indistinguishable from normal tooth enamel, in addition to being more resistant to staining and chipping.

For more information, or to book an appointment with Dr. Waizani, contact waizani@outlook.com

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