Dental Tips Blog

May
16

4 Health-Related Reasons to Get Braces

Posted in Braces

Getting braces will certainly give you a better-looking smile. But it’s not all about looks, alone. You might be surprised to learn that orthodontic treatment can also have a positive impact on your oral health in four main aspects…

Your Enamel Will Last Longer

When top and bottom teeth don’t line up correctly, they can wear against each other in unnatural patterns that cause premature enamel loss.

Braces put your teeth back in line so that you can chew normally with no risk of losing enamel.

You’ll Get Fewer Cavities

Twisted and overlapping teeth are hard to get clean. As a result, these crooked teeth are very prone to decay. Straighten them out with braces, however, and you’ll find it much easier to brush and floss.

Your Gums Will Be Healthier

Braces keep teeth in their natural and healthiest positions. This makes the gums around them healthy, too.

Your gums can get inflamed and infected from plaque left on your teeth. It’s easier to remove this plaque from teeth that are aligned properly, so braces play an important role in improving gum health.

Crooked teeth can also put stress on the gums and cause recession. Braces can prevent this problem as well by pulling teeth upright.

You Can Avoid TMJ Trouble

Did you know that a bad bite can put stress on your jaw? The TMJ is a complex joint and sensitive to the slightest imbalance. Orthodontic treatment can correct your bite and take a load off your TMJ disorder.

What can braces or some other orthodontic procedure do for your smile? Find out more about the benefits by contacting a dentist or orthodontist in your area to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-7118

May
16

‘Why Won’t My Dentist Pull My Teeth So I Can Get Dentures?’

Posted in Dentures

Extracting your teeth to get dentures may seem like the solution to all of your dental problems.

So why won’t your dentist just do what you asked and get it over with?

There’s Nothing Like Your Natural Teeth

A denture can’t compare to having natural teeth, so your dentist is in no hurry to replace them with a denture.

Dentures tend to dull your sense of taste and they reduce your ability to bite and chew. They also cause your jawbone to wear away and rapidly shrink.

Dentists know it’s bad practice to extract perfectly healthy teeth unless there’s a good reason to. You should only consider this option if you have very few teeth left or if your remaining teeth are not strong enough to support implants or fillings.

Dentures Don’t Eliminate the Need for Good Oral Hygiene!

If you want dentures just so you never have to brush or floss again, then you’ll be sorely disappointed. Dentures require just as much care and maintenance as natural teeth do.

You won’t have to brush and floss the same way you do for natural teeth, but dentures do need to be brushed, soaked, and rinsed daily. Otherwise, they can cause problems like:

  • Bad breath
  • Gum sores
  • Bacterial and fungal infections

Dentures Don’t Work Like You Expect

You can’t just put in a denture and get a perfect smile like magic. It takes time and planning and practice to get a beautiful denture that’s easy to use.

If your dentist discourages you from getting a denture, it’s just because he or she knows you’ll be better off keeping your natural teeth.

Contact your dentist to find out how dentures can affect your smile for better or worse.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

May
15

How Can Only 2 or 4 Implants Support a Denture?

Posted in Dentures

One of the most common types of full mouth reconstruction treatments is to use dental implants to support a fixed denture (“plate.”)

Some people assume that in order to replace their missing teeth with implants, they need an individual implant for each tooth that is missing.

Fortunately, that just isn’t the case. And it all has to do with how durable implants are to begin with! 

Strategic Placement and Support

A pair of dental implants can support the weight of multiple teeth. That’s why dentists often use them to anchor bridges up to 4-5 teeth long. But when you need a longer prosthesis — such as a denture or hybrid plate design — you may only need four implants total.

Each of the implants is placed in strategic points of the jaw, so that they bear weight and provide a firm anchor that prevents the denture from slipping. If you’ve heard of an “All on 4” treatment or “implant supported hybrid dentures” this is usually what’s involved.

Removable Stabilized Dentures

If you prefer to have dentures that can still be removed, it’s possible to use just two implants to act as anchors that stabilize the plate during the day. This extra support prevents the need for adhesives or messy pastes, but still allows you to take your denture out for easy care and maintenance.

Are You a Candidate for Implants?

Getting dental implants is an efficient way for adults of all ages to enjoy a healthy smile. They may even be able to place after you’ve had a denture made, retrofitting it to snap over the abutments. Talk to your dentist about the choices available for your needs.

Posted on behalf of:
Elegant Smiles
1955 Cliff Valley Way NE #100
Brookhaven, GA 30329
404-634-4224

May
15

My Tooth Doesn’t Hurt. Why Should I Fill It?

Posted in Fillings

It’s hard to feel motivated to get a cavity filled if your tooth doesn’t hurt to begin with. But like any dentist will tell you, not all cavities cause pain!

Using dental X-rays is a great way to intercept tooth decay when it’s smaller and less-invasive to treat. In fact, we can sometimes stop cavities in their earliest stages before a filling is even needed.

But if you have a visible cavitation inside of your tooth — and continue to go symptom free — you should have it treated right away.

Cavities Spread…Fast

A small cavity on one tooth at your dental checkup, if it goes untreated, can quickly turn into two cavities by the time of your next appointment six months from now.

Not only do cavities “jump” from tooth to tooth, they grow larger. It’s possible to have an extremely severe area of tooth decay that extends well into the nerve of the tooth to the point of creating an abscess, without the tooth ever hurting.

Don’t Wait for it to Hurt

Pain is a symptom to look out for, but it’s not the only way to spot a cavity. A large number of dental fillings are placed on teeth that never hurt to begin with, but only show the physical signs of a hole eroding into the enamel.

If you really love your smile, you’ll treat the cavity before it hurts you or your pocketbook! Small fillings save you money and preserve the most amount of enamel possible.

Talk to your dentist today about how a small filling can help you avoid a crown or root canal later on.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

May
15

Gold vs. Porcelain Crowns: Which Should I Choose?

Posted in Crowns

You may be wondering why some dentists still use gold crowns for their patients, when more cosmetically appropriate materials are available to choose from.

The truth is that while porcelain and ceramic crowns do look better, there are sometimes instances where a tooth needs to be covered with something that’s more responsive to heavy pressure.

Advantages of Gold

Gold is more pliable and responsive to heavy pressure than ceramic or porcelain. So, if you’re covering a tooth toward the back of your mouth (especially one of the top, back molars) it may be a better material to use if there’s a risk of heavy pressure and/or grinding (bruxism.)

A gold crown can gently bend/flex with the tooth as you chew, but a porcelain crown can’t. While the gold crown would stay intact, the porcelain one might chip. 

More Durable Ceramics

Changes in materials and advancements in restoration designs are proving that today’s modern ceramic crowns are more durable than they have been in years past. When you need to restore a front tooth or one that’s visible while you’re smiling, they offer a better option than a “flashy” gold cap.

Unlike gold, ceramics can be custom matched to a variety of different shades and hues. This allows the final restoration to blend in with your smile and makes it far less noticeable when you’re talking or laughing in front of other people.

Need a Crown?

If you’ve been putting your dental crown off for too long, it puts your tooth at risk for breaking apart or needing to be extracted. Talk to your dentist about which materials are right for your individual smile needs.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

May
15

How to Clean Around Your New Fixed Bridge

Posted in Dental Bridges

Now that you’ve gotten a traditional (or implant-supported) dental bridge, you probably feel a sense of relief knowing that your missing tooth has been replaced.

But your bridge isn’t invincible. In fact, if you don’t care for it properly each day, the teeth (or implants) supporting it can experience secondary oral health issues, causing the entire restoration to fail.

Flossing is a Must 

You’ll need to floss under your bridge and around the supporting teeth at least once a day. Both teeth and implants can be affected by gum infections, so flossing is essential.

Additionally, flossing helps reduce the risk of recurrent tooth decay in the teeth that support your bridge. Because the area just under the bridge is the hardest to clean, this takes special effort.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Use a floss threader or “super floss” to thread the strand under your bridge
  • Wrap the floss around the supporting tooth, cleaning up and down below the gums, then across the bottom surface of the bridge and against the other tooth
  • Consider getting a water flosser, if traditional floss is too difficult to use 

Brush Along the Gumlines

Take a few extra seconds when you brush twice daily to be sure that you’re getting the edges of the bridge, where it meets your gumlines. Because their margins tend to offer prime surface areas for plaque to adhere to, they need extra attention to keep them completely clean.

Remember to schedule a checkup and cleaning at least every six months to have a dental professional clean away tartar buildup that accumulates in hard-to-reach areas!

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565

May
15

What is a Virtual Smile Makeover?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Have you ever wished it was possible to see a digital mock-up of what a specific type of dental treatment looked like, much like the “before and after” beauty apps that exist?

It’s actually possible.

In more traditional atmospheres, a dentist would consider making what’s called a “wax up” for his or her patient to see what a treatment like veneers would look like. The wax up would be temporary restorations made to fit the mold of the patient’s mouth.

The Digital Difference

A virtual smile makeover is one that uses advanced computer software built into your dentist’s treatment planning program. With a few clicks, a side-by-side comparison can be flashed on the screen to show what your teeth could look like if you got:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental veneers
  • Braces
  • Crowns or bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Tooth recontouring

…or a combination of several of them.

“Try Before You Buy”

Virtual smile makeovers aren’t something that you can physically try on, like you would a pair of shoes or a new dress. But they do let you see what you would look like in a photo or while standing in front of the mirror.

During your cosmetic dental consultation, ask your dentist if the virtual makeover photos can be printed out. Bring them home to show your family, to lunch with your best friend, or to ask your favorite co-worker what they think. Getting a “new” smile is an exciting experience, you want to make sure you’re happy with the results.

After you’ve gotten everyone’s feedback, you can decide whether it’s time to move forward with the real treatment. Talk to your dentist today to see if virtual makeovers are offered in their office.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

May
15

Four Things You Need to Know About Dental Implants

Posted in Dental Implants

Implants are biocompatible restorations that function as artificial tooth roots. Compared to other missing tooth treatments, they have a number of advantages worth considering. Here are a few you should keep in mind: 

They Can Last for Life 

In 98% of cases, dental implants are expected to last for the lifetime of the patient. They offer one of the best returns on investment of any modern-day tooth replacement treatment. 

They’re Stronger Than Your Teeth 

An implant can support more weight than natural, healthy teeth. That’s why we can use them in pairs to support multiple-tooth restorations like bridges or dentures. But even though they’re strong, you don’t want to use your implants as tools or to open packages (there’s still a risk of fracturing the implant crown or tooth next to it!) 

You Still Have to Floss Around Them 

No, dental implants can’t get cavities. But, the bone that supports them can still be affected by an implant-variation of gingivitis, known as “peri-implantitis.” To keep the gums and bone healthy, plaque needs to be removed through daily flossing along the base of the implant. 

They’re Healthier for the Rest of Your Smile

Traditional types of tooth replacement treatments involve reshaping or working on adjacent teeth that may be otherwise completely healthy. If you get a bridge, you’re putting a crown on the teeth on either side that support it. But implants are non-invasive to other teeth, because they stand independently from everything else around them.

Are implants right for you? How many do you need? Book a consultation with your dental implant provider today to learn more.

Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
678.730.2005

May
15

Five Signs it’s Time for a New Denture

Posted in Dentures

Like any other dental restoration, dentures don’t last forever. Here are a few things to look for if you suspect it’s time to invest in a new pair. 

You Have Sore Spots on Your Gums 

A bad-fitting denture can wear abnormal pressure spots on your gums. That’s because our bone changes over time, and since that’s what creates the shape of our mouth, the gums follow right along with it. Too many changes without having your denture adjusted or relined can lead to painful sores or infection. 

You’re Slurring When You Talk 

Are your speech patterns starting to change? A new denture can take some practice to get pronunciations and talking down, but if it’s something that’s gradually gotten worse over time, it could be due to how the denture fits against the rest of your mouth. 

Eating/Chewing is More Difficult than Ever 

Being able to eat a balanced diet is one of the most important reasons for having a set of dentures made. But if you’re only able to eat soft, processed foods, it’s not doing you any good. 

They’re Cracked and Worn Down 

Dentures can wear down, too. If you’ve had them repaired multiple times, tried to patch up a crack down the middle, or the tooth look shorter than they used to, it’s time for an upgrade. 

Your Facial Profile Has Changed

Part of the job of a properly fitting denture is to support the soft tissues like your cheeks and lips, filling out your facial profile. If everything looks “sunken in” then you may need a new prosthesis!

Book a denture exam with your dentist for a proper diagnosis!

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

May
15

Why Do Misaligned Teeth Wear Down?

Posted in Braces

If teeth are the most durable substance in the entire body — even stronger than bone — then how is it that some of them can wear down in what seems like only a few years?

“Occlusion” and Why it Matters

The way teeth occlude is how they bite against one another. When you bite down, each tooth fits like a puzzle piece against the ones on the opposite arch. Fortunately, when they occlude properly, the teeth can function for years.

But when the teeth bite together improperly (that is, have a “mal-occlusion”) it makes pressure points hit heavier on certain areas.

Over time, that abnormal pressure makes tooth enamel wear itself down. Yes, it’s the hardest structure in your body, but with excess pressure from other enamel forces come bearing down, it can cause damage instead of being a good thing. 

How to Stop Tooth Wear

It’s possible to prevent flat, worn, chipped teeth before they start (or get worse.) Talking to an orthodontist about correcting the alignment of your teeth is one of the best and most holistic ways to extend the lifetime of your smile.

With orthodontic appliances such as braces or removable aligners, the teeth can gradually be nudged in the right position to help them bite together and function properly. 

It’s Not Just Your Teeth

Even your existing dental work like crowns or fillings can wear down and break if the opposing teeth are grinding against them with too much pressure. Correcting your bite extends the lifetime of the restorations that you’ve already invested time and money in.

Are you starting to notice flattened or jagged biting surfaces on your teeth? It’s time to schedule an orthodontic evaluation!

Posted on behalf of:
Broad Street Braces
2010 South Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
213-234-3030

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