Dental Tips Blog

May
20

Hate Going to the Dentist? Try Dental Sedation

Does the mere idea of going to the dentist fill you with anxiety?

Sedation could help you successfully endure your next dental procedure, no matter how “routine” it may seem.

What Is Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation is the use of medications to help patients feel relaxed and comfortable during treatment.

Sedation isn’t the same as being unconscious. The medications used at the dental office come in oral, IV drip, or inhaled forms and they all simply help to relieve anxiety. Patients actually remain conscious even though they may not remember much of what happened during their appointment.

How Dental Sedation Works

Dental sedation medication is administered several minutes before the treatment starts, so that it has time to take effect. Some can even be taken the night before to alleviate extreme anxiety and help you get a good night’s rest.

Other kinds like the inhaled medication (laughing gas) take effect immediately.

Once you’re sedated, you’ll feel very relaxed and calm, perhaps even sleepy. Some people do fall asleep, but this isn’t the same as being unconscious. The goal is for you to be able to answer questions and respond to instructions during treatment.

Dental sedation helps people avoid the negative effects of anxiety and have safe dental treatment.

Is Dental Sedation Right for You?

Dental sedation can help almost anyone have a better experience at the dental office, but it isn’t right for everyone.

Your dentist will talk with you about safe options for you to choose from, and discuss the precautions to take. As long as you honestly disclose all of your health conditions and current medications, your dentist can make a safe recommendation about sedation.

Contact your dentist today to learn more about dental sedation possibilities.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

May
20

Should You Change Out Your Metal Crown?

Posted in Crowns

Perhaps you got your metal cap years ago but now you regret having a silver tooth.

Should you upgrade your crown?

There are a few things to consider first.

What Happens When Changing a Crown

Removing a dental crown and putting on a new one isn’t like changing out shoes. Almost every time you get a crown, your tooth has to be freshly trimmed and shaped. This means that you lose a little more natural tooth structure each time you get fitted for a new restoration.

As you might guess, you tooth can only be whittled down so far and still be able to support a crown.

Be mindful that while changing out your crown for cosmetic reasons is still an option, you don’t want to do so too often or you could weaken your tooth.

How Old Is Your Crown?

If you’ve had your metal cap for ten years or more, then it has served you very well already. There is a chance that it could be hiding some decay underneath that you’re not aware of yet, and it might not even show up on x-rays.

Your dentist may recommend removing an old metal crown to see what’s going on underneath, and then recapping the tooth with a fresh white one.

But metal crowns tend to be the longest lasting of all dental cap types. If you’ve recently gotten one placed, there’s no need to change it out in a hurry and weaken your tooth further, unless your tooth is in pain.

You just never know for sure whether a dental cap is ready for replacement until you have it examined by a dentist. Call yours today to plan an appointment.

Posted on behalf of:
Riverwood Dental
3350 Riverwood Pkwy #2120
Atlanta GA 30339
(770) 955-2505

May
20

Your 4 Alternatives to Getting a Dental Crown

Posted in Dental Implants

Dental crowns are great restorations, but they may be more than what you really need. Is there any way to avoid getting one?

Here are some options to consider depending on your dental health.

Do Nothing

You could decide to just not cap your tooth. The consequences, however, could be quite painful.

A crack in your tooth will worsen with time and a large cavity will only continue to spread. Sooner or later, you’ll end up with a terrible toothache and possibly even an abscess. The uncomfortable outcome could strike at a inconvenient time and force you to wind up with a root canal or an extraction.

You do have the right to not crown your tooth when the dentist recommends, but you’ll be better off taking preemptive action and getting the cap.

Dental Veneer

Upper front teeth with stain or a minimal amount of surface damage may qualify for veneers. A veneer is a slim porcelain restoration that only covers the front part of your enamel. It’s a more conservative option if you don’t need to cap your whole tooth.

Inlay or Onlay

Inlays and onlays can also be called partial crowns. They’re made just like dental crowns, but the difference is that they cover only the damaged part of your tooth.

Replace Your Tooth with an Implant

Is there a possibility your new crown could fail? If your tooth is in bad shape as it is, then you might consider skipping the crown altogether in favor of extraction. This is best if you have a plan in place for replacing your tooth with a dental implant.

Ask your dentist about the best restorative option for you.

Posted on behalf of:
West Hill Family Dental
132 New Britain Avenue
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(860) 563-3303

May
20

What’s It Like to Eat with a Denture?

Posted in Dentures

Eating with dentures in your mouth is nothing like chewing with natural teeth!

If dentures are in your near future, then it helps to know what you should plan for.

What to Know About Chewing with Dentures

Eating with dentures does bring along several challenges. At first, your prosthesis may feel very bulky. You might gag easily and salivate more than usual. All of this can complicate the eating process initially, but you will overcome the obstacles with time.

Dentures impact your ability to taste food because they block sensation in the roof of your mouth. They also can’t grip foods with the strength that natural teeth do.

A new or poorly-fitting denture can loosen and “float” around your mouth when you try to eat. This can result in food accumulating under your denture every time you eat.

Tips for Successfully Eating with Dentures

  • Bite and swallow to seat your denture and create a strong suction
  • Cut foods into smaller pieces before eating them
  • Avoid chewy, sticky, tough, and hard foods. The harder you have to work, the more likely your denture will slip out of place
  • Chew on both sides of your mouth at the same time to maintain balanced pressure
  • Eat small amounts and make sure the food clears out of your mouth before you take another bite
  • Swallow liquids quickly rather than letting them pool in your mouth – they can loosen the suction on a lower denture
  • Practice at home for a few weeks until you’re comfortable with your denture and then schedule social eating activities once your confidence grows
  • Try using denture adhesive

Eating with a denture is challenging, but not impossible. See your dentist for more tips.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

May
20

Should You Get Veneers or Dental Bonding?

Posted in Veneers

Dental veneers and cosmetic bonding are both popular aesthetic dental procedures and can accomplish similar results.

Does it matter which one you get?

The Difference Between Veneers and Bonding

Dental bonding involves molding a small amount of tooth-colored filling material onto a tooth. A dentist can do this to fill in chips or gaps and smooth out rough edges. It’s a non-invasive and cost-effective option.

Veneers are single-piece restorations that are usually made from porcelain. They go over the front of a tooth and completely cover the visible part of it, giving the tooth a new look from the outside. Dental veneers replace the outer layer of your tooth’s enamel.

Choosing Between Veneers and Bonding

Bonding may be cheaper, but ultimately, your tooth’s structural needs will determine which restoration is best.

If you have a front tooth with a small patch of decay, then a veneer won’t be sufficient. You may need bonding or an actual filling, instead. If you have a tooth with large surface area discoloration, then it’s likely better off covered with a lightweight veneer rather than a thick layer of bonding material.

Your lifestyle can also play a role in determining whether you get bonding or veneers. If you’re terrible about flossing your teeth, then costly veneers may only go to waste. But if you want long-lasting and secure results and are willing to maintain them, then veneers are a worthwhile investment.

The best way to figure out which procedure you need is to consult your local restorative dentist. He or she will take a look at your teeth and help you decide on the option that best suits your needs and goals.

Posted on behalf of:
ConfiDenT
11550 Webb Bridge Way, Suite 1
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 772-0994

May
20

Save Your Tooth or Get an Implant – Which Is Better?

Posted in Dental Implants

Whether your tooth has a crack or an abscess, you face a serious decision: treat it or pull it and replace it. An implant might be the best choice if an extraction is in your future.

Which option should you go with when you have a severely damaged tooth?

Try to Save Your Tooth

You should never take your teeth for granted since it’s not easy to replace them. Even implants can’t quite compare to having living teeth with nerves. That’s why your dentist won’t be in a hurry to extract them if there’s a problem.

If your tooth looks like it will respond well to treatment, such as a crown or a root canal, then it should be repaired.

When You Should Get an Implant

A “hopeless” tooth is one that doesn’t stand a good chance of being repaired. You might save more money by replacing such a tooth with a dental implant instead of patching it up over and over again with failed treatments.

Remember though, that the decision to get an implant shouldn’t be taken lightly. The whole process is a major investment of time. After you get an implant, you have to diligently maintain a good oral hygiene routine to keep it stable.

Making the Decision

Whether you should save your tooth or not mainly depends on what shape it’s in. You most likely need to get a dentist’s opinion in person to determine the odds of saving your tooth. If it turns out that neither an implant nor restorative treatment will work, then you may need to replace the tooth with a bridge or partial denture.

Contact a restorative dentist in your area for a consultation.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

May
20

How Acidic Is Your Mouth?

The pH scale measures the acidity of an environment. It starts at 1, which is the most acidic, and maxes out at 14, the most alkaline or basic. The balance of alkaline versus acid is an important one in body chemistry, especially when it comes to your mouth.

Too Much Acid in Your Mouth?

Having a low pH (too much acid) is disastrous for your teeth. Your pH only has to drop to 5.5 for the oral environment to become so acidic that it starts dissolving your tooth enamel. Enamel loss leads to sensitive teeth and cavities.

A healthy mouth should have saliva with a neutral pH of close to 7. That’s where pure water falls on the scale. But a saliva shortage and/or a lot of acids in your mouth can throw that off and cause an unbalanced environment.

A higher pH, on the other hand, allows teeth the chance to recover from acid exposure. Tooth enamel has the ability to remineralize in a basic environment. Saliva is basic and is a good source of the minerals your teeth need to protect themselves.

Prevent Acid Attacks

You can avoid the need for fillings, crowns and other dental restorations by cutting back on acidic foods like sugar, processed carbs, and citrus fruits. Foods like aged cheese and nuts are good for promoting remineralization. Rinse your mouth with water after every meal. Take saliva substitutes if you suffer from dry mouth.

Dental plaque is loaded with acidic bacteria, so daily brushing and flossing are essential to removing this source of acid. Fluoride-rich dental products will boost enamel remineralization and make your teeth more resistant to erosion.

See your dentist to learn more ways to reduce oral acidity and prevent enamel loss.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

May
20

Here’s How Long to Expect Your Dental Fillings to Last

Posted in Fillings

It would be nice if all of your dental work could last forever. Dental researchers are still working to find a way to make that possible. But for now, the unfortunate reality is that no dental filling can last a lifetime. The oral environment is a dynamic one where dental materials can only hold up for so long.

Why Do Dental Fillings Wear Out?

Fillings tend to fall apart when something happens to the tooth material around them.

For example, a tooth worn down by acid exposure or a grinding habit will have weak enamel that only gets weaker as time goes on. Any dental fillings in that tooth are at risk for popping out much sooner than expected.

Teeth with fractures or cavities also have a hard time keeping fillings in place.

Some dental restorations even discolor over time and become eyesores.

Factor That Affect the Lifespan of Dental Work

It’s hard to estimate how long your fillings will last, but the following factors could help you make a close estimate:

  • What your filling is made of, as some materials are stronger than others
  • Quality of the work done while placing your filling
  • Size of the filling (the smaller the better)
  • Environment of your mouth (dry mouth or an acidic environment is harmful)
  • How well you care for your teeth each day

On average, a silver amalgam filling should last you around 10-15 years. A tooth-colored composite resin filling can last about 10 years as well. Nowadays some people see their dental work last upward to 20 years.

Are you trying to decide which dental restoration will last the longest? Contact your dentist to find out your best options.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095

May
19

Could Flossing Spread Bacteria Around Your Mouth?

Posted in Gum Disease

The goal of flossing is to disrupt bacterial activity between your teeth. But some people would argue that sliding the floss through one germ-loaded spot and moving on to floss other teeth only helps spread the germs around.

Yes, it’s true that flossing does pick up and transfer bacteria. But the results aren’t as dramatic as you might think.

What Happens When You Floss

Plaque is a naturally-occurring film made up of food debris and bacterial colonies. To effectively kill all the bad germs, you have to physically stir up plaque and break down those colonies. This is what flossing is for.

Brushing and rinsing alone can’t get at all the plaque stuck between teeth and under the gum line. Flossing breaks up dental plaque, making it easier to brush and rinse away.

Bacteria in Your Mouth

Do you have a cluster of germs creating a pocket in the gums between two of your teeth?

If so, it means you have the germs elsewhere in your mouth. The bacteria only create trouble when they’re allowed to thrive undisturbed in a particular area.

Floss doesn’t transfer bacteria from a diseased tooth to a healthy one – the germs were already there to begin with. If you have one problematic tooth or patch of gum tissue, then there must be some reason it collects more germs than other places in your mouth.

Flossing Works!

Flossing will make it easier for you to control the levels of bacteria in your mouth and avoid periodontitis (gum disease) and other dental problems. For the cleanest results, follow up your flossing with two minutes of brushing and a rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

May
19

Can You Straighten Teeth Without Braces?

Posted in Braces

Braces can be uncomfortable, expensive, and even embarrassing for some people. Personally, you’ll do anything to avoid them!  If you’re tired of having crooked teeth, then you may want a way to fix them without getting braces.

Braces May be a Necessary

If you have a severe case of crooked teeth, then you most likely will need some form of orthodontic treatment.

Crooked teeth can put stress on your gums and lead to rapid tissue recession. They also tend to trap bacteria that cause cavities and periodontal disease. Straightening teeth will harmonize your bite and improve the health of your mouth.

Sometimes, there’s no other option save for physically encouraging your teeth to move.

Don’t DIY!

You’ve likely encountered several suggestions for straightening your teeth on your own. These include encouragement to press on your teeth with your tongue or to wrap rubber bands around your teeth before going to bed.

Such techniques can be ineffective at best, and downright dangerous at the worst. If you need to physically move your teeth, then do so with the guidance of an expert such as an orthodontist.

Trying to fix your teeth at home can cause permanent damage you’ll sorely regret.

Safe Alternatives to Braces

Depending on your needs, you may still be able to improve your smile without getting braces. Clear plastic aligners are a good alternative treatment.

If you just want to make minor changes for cosmetic purposes, then you can avoid moving your teeth, altogether. Dental bonding, veneers, or crowns can change the shape of a tooth to make it look like it’s in proper alignment.

There are many different types of braces.  Which teeth-straightening method is right for you? Find out by visiting your local dentist or orthodontist.

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

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