Dental Tips Blog

Sep
22

Dentures: How They’re Made

Posted in Dentures

Wondering how people get such realistic-looking “false teeth?”

Long gone are the days of using outdated materials or even natural wood/bone as they did in centuries prior to ours. Today’s denture process results in smiles that are as beautiful as they are functional.

Measuring Your Mouth

The first step in denture fabrication is determining your mouth’s shape so that a denture is the right size. A dentist starts by taking an impression with a putty material. Once the impression sets, it serves as the base for creating a cast model.

Stone models are then set up on an articulator, or frame, which helps the denture designers to determine at which point the teeth should meet.

Creating the Denture

Typically, the dentist sends the models and measurements to a dental lab for designing the actual denture. Some dentists are able to do it themselves.

Either way, the next step is placing wax over the model’s “gums.” Then, false teeth selected to match the shape you want are placed into the wax wherever teeth are needed.

Once the whole layout looks correct, the model gets put in liquid stone which holds the teeth in place when it hardens. After that sets, the wax in the model is boiled away and acrylic is poured in, to fill out the gums and palate.

The denture comes out ready for try-on.

Interested in a Denture?

Dentures are great substitutes for teeth that have been lost to decay, trauma, or gum disease.

But having a quality denture made can take a little time, what with all the adjusting and sending back-and-forth. Your new teeth could take around five separate appointments to have made.

So if you’re thinking about getting a denture, then contact your dentist soon to set up a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Marvin Village Dentistry
8161 Ardrey Kell Road
Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 579-5513

Sep
22

Which Should You Get, a Cap or Veneer?

Posted in Veneers

That front tooth is bothering you, again. Just when you think you’ve forgotten about it, you catch a glimpse of your teeth in the mirror.

Whatever your complaint may be, you are not alone. Many people live in fear of having their photo taken due to having a tooth they’re embarrassed by.

But each year, many people take their dental fate into their own hands.

Dental crowns and veneers have proven to be the perfect options for covering up less-than-perfect teeth. What are the differences between these two restorative techniques? And which is right for you?

Crowns vs. Veneers

Dental crowns are often made from metal, porcelain, or a combination. The cap covers the entire tooth like a snug winter mitten on a hand. Crowns are load-bearing and thus meant to improve the strength of a tooth.

Veneers, on the other hand, could be likened more to a potholder rather than a full mitten. Just as you only need a little fabric to shield your hand from hot elements, a veneer provides only partial coverage for the front of a tooth. Placed over the visible “smile” surface of upper front teeth, veneers are porcelain shells that improve the appearance of enamel.

What Your Tooth Needs

For a front tooth that only needs some cosmetic enhancement, you could go either way. If that tooth has significant structural damage or decay or experiences a lot of bite force, then a crown is the secure option.

But if your tooth doesn’t need total reinforcement, then a conservative and lightweight veneer may be all you need.

To find out which option is most effective for restoring your tooth, contact your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Dentistry of Highland Village
3651 Weslayan St. #208
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 360-7700

Sep
22

Parents, Don’t Become Guilty of Dental Neglect!

Like any other loving parent, you hate to see your child suffer. Even so, too many loving parents make the same mistake of concluding their kids’ baby teeth aren’t as important as the permanent ones. This view usually leads to dental neglect.

What Is Dental Neglect?

Willfully overlooking the treatment needs of your child’s teeth and mouth adds up to serious infection. Neglect is learning that your child needs a filling or improved oral hygiene but then doing nothing to help them.

Why Your Child’s Dental Health Matters

Baby teeth seem unimportant since they’re going to fall out. Most children aren’t huge fans of brushing and flossing, anyway. But those first teeth act as placeholders for the adult ones to follow.

Letting baby teeth just rot away can cause your child unnecessary pain and pave the way for more serious problems involving adult teeth.

When Choosing Treatment for Your Child

It’s normal to feel disappointed when you hear your little one needs a costly procedure. But your dentist is neither implying you’re a bad parent nor suggesting unnecessary treatment just to make a profit.

At a dental checkup, your child can be accurately diagnosed with x-rays and other tools. It’s also the best way for you to learn how to prevent oral health problems.

So the best way to avoid dental neglect is through prevention and following a dentist’s recommendations.

Still don’t like the diagnosis you’re hearing? Before ruling out dental treatment for your child, consider getting a second opinion. This way, you can be sure of acting in your child’s best interests!

Get a head start on your child’s oral well-being by contacting a local dentist to schedule a checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Riverheart Family Dentistry
8618 Mexico Road
O’Fallon, MO 63366
(636) 205-4045

Sep
22

It’s Just Gingivitis – What’s the Big Deal?

Posted in Gum Disease

Discolored teeth and gingivitis can’t do that much harm, right?

“Dirty” teeth aren’t just stained. They also host lots of bacterial species, both good and bad. Leave those bacteria on your teeth long enough, however, and some will start to cause trouble.

Some germs, for example, cause cavities. Others, when left in contact with the gums for more than a day, will trigger a case of gingivitis.

What Is Gingivitis?

Your gums react to bacteria the way your skin reacts to a splinter.

Irritants trigger an automatic immune response. Gum tissues swell to allow more pathogen-fighting agents to get to the site of infection. As a result, your gums will start to look puffy and redder than usual.

This is gingivitis – the first stage in the process of gum inflammation.

Why Gingivitis Means Trouble

If those germs that caused the inflammation don’t go away, neither will the swelling.

More plaque bacteria can sneak into the tight space between tooth and gum as the gums swell and pull back from the teeth. Over time, this space can widen and allow more debris to slip in and aggravate the infection.

Your body will step up its disease-fighting game, but this process also damages gum tissues and bone. You could be left with a vicious cycle in which the bacteria multiply and your gums continue to break down. The end result is a destructive condition called periodontitis.

Periodontitis causes bad breath and gum recession and can lead to tooth-loss and other health issues.

So don’t brush off a mild case of gingivitis as nothing. Ask your dentist for periodontal treatment options to reverse the inflammation while you still can!

Posted on behalf of:
Meridian Campus Family Dental
3201 Willamette DR NE
Lacey, WA 98516
(360) 200-5505

Sep
22

How Long does it Take to Get Used to Braces?

Posted in Braces

One of the first questions almost everyone asks before getting orthodontic treatment is this: when will I get used to my braces?

Fortunately, the answer is: sooner than you think!

Getting the Braces Put On

Bonding the brackets and placing the wires doesn’t hurt at all. The process of getting braces is more long than it is uncomfortable.

The First Few Hours

One thing you’ll notice right away is that your braces will trigger a lot of drooling. This may last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. You mouth needs to get used to the presence of a weird new object and reacts as if you have food in your mouth. Thus, all the extra saliva.

The First Few Days

Your braces will likely feel tight from the moment the wires are snugged into place. You’ll probably find the tension annoying, at first. Stay busy in your normal routine to keep your mind (and tongue) off your braces.

Over-the-counter pain meds, ice water, and a soft foods diet will help you get through the discomfort of the early days.

It also helps to sleep on your back so your sore teeth don’t get pressed against your cheeks and lips.

The First Weeks of Having Braces

You should be well-adjusted to your braces by the time the first week is up. From then on out, it all gets easier. Subsequent adjustment appointments will cause some more tightness, but you’ll recover faster than you did the first time.

Remember that if your braces are making you slightly uncomfortable, it means they’re moving your teeth!

Ask your dentist or orthodontist for more detailed instructions on how to stay comfortable during your orthodontic treatment.

Posted on behalf of:
Huebner Smiles Dentistry and Orthodontics
12055 Vance Jackson Rd #103
San Antonio, TX 78230
(210) 625-7056

Sep
22

Dental Implants: Improve Your Smile and Your Oral Health with One Procedure

Posted in Dental Implants

People are quick to write off dental implants as too expensive to bother contemplating. But dental implants may offer even more value than their price tag states.

So before you dismiss dental implants all together, consider their benefits.

An Implant Will Make You Look Better

For starters, an implant is going to fill in the gap in your smile, making you instantly look younger, healthy, and more attractive.

An implant looks and feels far more natural than a removable false tooth. It’s permanent so you’ll be able to eat without fear of it falling out.

Caring for an implant is simple. You just brush and floss as usual.

You’ll feel so confident with an implant that you won’t be able to help but smile all the time!

Dental Implants – Game Changer for Your Health

As long as you have that gap in your smile, you’ll always have to deal with the annoyance of food getting stuck there. You may even have to cut up food into tiny bites beforehand, depending on which teeth and how many are missing.

But an implant will change the way you eat, forever. You can securely and comfortably chew all of your favorite healthy foods your body needs.

Another benefit is that an implant will help preserve tooth alignment. When other teeth tip or shift out of position, they become prone to disease. So preserving their natural positions helps keep your smile healthy.

Of course, not everyone’s position allows them to successfully get a dental implant. If an implant isn’t an option for you, then your dentist will let you know of other options. Schedule a dental implant consultation to find out more.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. C Family Dentistry
13514 E 32nd Ave
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
(509) 591-9317

Sep
22

Could In-Utero Fluoride Exposure Affect Cognitive Development?

A study by Environmental Health Perspectives (EPH) released in September 2017 suggested a link between high fluoride levels during pregnancy and subsequent low IQ scores in the babies born.

299 mother-child pairs in Mexico were followed for 12 years following the birth of the babies. The children were tested twice for intelligence according to standardized measurements. Samples of the mothers’ urine were analyzed for fluoride content.

There was a pattern indicating that kids’ IQ scores dipped lower in proportion with their moms’ increased levels of fluoride. Above 0.8 milligrams per liter, every 0.5 milligram increase was mirrored by a drop in the intelligence score.

Before you throw out your fluoride toothpaste in a panic, consider these facts:

  • Mexican mothers tested were exposed to fluoride via supplemented salt and dental products, not fluoridated water. They averaged levels of 0.9 mg/L in their urine.
  • The US Department of Health and Human Services has regulated water fluoridation to no more than 0.7 mg/L.
  • Developing babies are extremely sensitive to many minerals in large amounts, including iron and folate
  • There is no evidence fluoride affects children the way it may affect babies still developing in the womb
  • Many other naturally-occurring elements in “healthy” sources can prove toxic in high amounts, such as thiocyanate in kale
  • Even the researchers involved in this study admit that more and larger studies are necessary to prove the connection

If you use fluoride products according to the age-appropriate recommendations your dentist gives, then your family will be safe. As far as pregnancy goes, it’s best to contact your doctor or obstetrician for more information on safe fluoride use until more data becomes available.

Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Sep
22

Can Your Dentist Get Your Teeth Any Whiter?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Whether you’ve just noticed your teeth darkening, or have hated your yellow teeth for years, you’re ready for a solution.

The good news is that your dentist has a variety of methods for lightening tooth color.

Pumice Polish

A basic dental cleaning may be all you really need. At that appointment, the dental hygienist uses a paste fortified with a gentle grit made from pumice. This isn’t ideal for everyday use, but it’s great to have at your occasional dental cleanings.

The pumice is scrubbed against your teeth with a spinning rubber cup to break down superficial stain from every angle.

Air Polish

Some dental offices are equipped with a special kind of tooth polisher. This instrument jets a blast of air and baking soda particles in a powerful stream. The fine particles work exceptionally well at breaking down very stubborn stain in hard-to-reach places.

Professional Bleaching

When it comes to changing the actual color of your teeth, you need to call the pros onto the playing field.

Professional teeth bleaching treatments vary from take-home kits that let you whiten at your own pace to in-office procedures that get you results in an hour. Your dentist will let you know which teeth whitening method is right for your teeth.

Veneers

When all else fails, it may be time to cover up the crime!

Dental veneers are thin porcelain covers that slip over the front of upper teeth and completely mask deep stain. They are the best way to get the results you want in an instant, but they do require a tiny bit of drilling on your teeth.

Ask your dentist for more information on the best teeth whitening techniques.

Posted on behalf of:
Brentwood Dental Group
2440 S Brentwood Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63144
(314) 962-6643

Sep
22

Bone Grafting – What and Why?

Posted in Dental Implants

A bone graft is when an oral surgeon places new bone material in a part of your jaw when it doesn’t have enough.

This process comes in handy for things like:

  • Preparing a site for a dental implant
  • Rebuilding the jaw to support a denture
  • Repairing areas damaged by trauma or disease

Getting a bone graft could mean improving the function of your mouth and even enhancing the look of your smile or face.

The graft material could be taken from your own jaw or another body site. It might also be of animal origin, from another human, or some other synthetic material that stimulates the growth of new bone.

So how do you know if you need a grafting procedure?

Ultimately, only your dentist or oral surgeon can make that call.

If you need treatment such as dentures or an implant, you will find out well in advance whether bone grafting is part of the process.

There’s a good chance you’ll be told you need bone grafting if you have:

  • Been missing teeth for many years
  • A history of severe gum disease
  • Been told that you don’t have enough bone to support an implant

Being told you may need a bone graft isn’t even the end of the matter. You may be able to avoid one, altogether.

Some dental implants, for example, are designed to get a secure hold in minimal amounts of bone.

The bottom line is that bone grafting is a very straightforward procedure. Your surgeon will carefully explain your options and you’ll be on your way to a new smile!

Ask your dentist for more facts on bone grafting if you’ve got a list of smile restoration procedures.

Posted on behalf of:
Mendota Springs Dentistry
6317 McKee Rd #500
Fitchburg, WI 53719
(608) 957-7709

Sep
22

Are There Any Risks to Getting a Filling?

Posted in Fillings

Dental fillings have been at the heart of dentistry for ages.

Until recent years, dentistry was all about repairing damaged teeth. Nowadays, there’s more of a preventative focus which helps people avoid the need for restorative work, altogether.

But there’s still a good chance that you’ll need a few dental fillings in your lifetime.

If you face the possibility of having a tooth filled in the near future, you might be a little worried about the process.

Some of the risks of getting a dental filling include:

  • Sensitivity
  • Pain after the procedure
  • Retreatment
  • Complications with sedation

Sensitivity and Pain

The actual process of getting a filling shouldn’t hurt at all. Your dentist will give you an injection of local anesthesia to completely numb the treatment site.

After the numbing shot wears off, however, your tooth may be a tad achy and sensitive.

The good news is that this goes away on its own within a matter of a week or so.

Retreatment

Fillings rarely need to be redone once they’re in place. But they won’t last forever, either. While a tooth benefits from the protection of a filling, it’ll never be as strong as it originally was.

With time, all fillings need to be replaced. 

Sedation 

Most people don’t need dental sedation for a few little fillings. But if you do decide on sleep dentistry, just know that it has some inherent risks that filling procedures on their own do not.

A certified and well-trained dental team will make sure any sedation procedure you have is as safe as possible.

Find out more about the risks and benefits of dental fillings by scheduling an appointment with a dentist near you.

Posted on behalf of:
Dona W. Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
(712) 274-2228

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