Tooth discoloration may result from drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine; or from smoking. The aging process also can stain and darken your teeth. Here are some options to consider when looking for whiter teeth. Before deciding whether in-office teeth whitening is right for you, we conduct a comprehensive examination of your teeth and gums to ensure proper health, and talk with you about your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits to determine if you will benefit from whitening. This helps us agree on the whitening product or technique that’s best for you.
If your tooth is broken, chipped, or fractured, see your dentist as soon as possible. Otherwise, your tooth could be damaged further or become infected, possibly causing you to end up losing the tooth.
Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied to the tooth surface. Bonding is a simple procedure that typically does not require numbing the tooth. After shaping the bonding material to look like a natural tooth, we use an ultraviolet light to harden the material, which ultimately “bonds” the material to the tooth.
There are several different options available to change the shape of your teeth. You can choose to make your teeth look longer, close spaces between your teeth or repair a chipped or cracked tooth. Among the options are bonding, crowns, veneers, and re-contouring.
Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied to the tooth surface and hardened with a special light, which ultimately “bonds” the material to the tooth.
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that are placed over teeth. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
Veneers (also called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that are designed to cover the front surface of teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth.
Re-contouring or reshaping of the teeth (also called odontoplasty, enameloplasty, stripping, or slenderizing) is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change a tooth’s length, shape or surface.
Each option differs with regard to cost, durability, and “chair time” necessary to complete the procedure and the best cosmetic approach to resolving your specific problem. We would be glad to discuss which one is right for you.
Tooth decay, also known as a cavity, occurs when bacteria living in your mouth make acid that begins to eat away at your teeth. Untreated tooth decay may cause infection, extreme pain and the loss of tooth. The decay process begins with the unnoticeable damage to the enamel of your teeth and then steadily progresses to deeper layers of the tooth, eventually leading to the pulp. The pulp of your teeth contains highly-sensitive blood vessels and nerves. Proper oral hygiene includes brushing your teeth regularly, flossing regularly and brushing your tongue. If possible brush your teeth twice a day – morning and night.
The top causes of tooth decay include: Poor Oral Hygiene, Improper Nutrition, Sugary Foods, Acidic Foods and Drinks, Dry Mouth Issues, Tooth Grinding, Genetics, Age and Avoiding the Dentist.
The main cause of bleeding gums is the buildup of plaque at the gum line. This will lead to a condition called gingivitis, or inflamed gums. Plaque that is not removed will harden into tartar. This will lead to increased bleeding and a more advanced form of gum and bone disease known as periodontitis. Bleeding gums can happen for a number of reasons, from gingivitis to a side effect of pregnancy. Changing your oral care routine can also make your gums bleed. We recommend brushing and flossing regularly and getting your semiannual dental visit in to stop your gums from bleeding. Certain medicines also increase the likelihood that your gums will bleed. If changing your oral care habits, adjusting your medications, and maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t help your gums stop bleeding, your next step should be to make a dental appointment.
To relieve your dry mouth try chewing sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies to stimulate the flow of saliva. For some people sugar-free gum or sugar-free candies may cause diarrhea or cramps if consumed in large amounts.
To relieve your dry mouth you can try limiting your caffeine intake because caffeine can make your mouth drier. Also don’t use mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they can be drying. You could stop all tobacco use if you smoke or chew tobacco. Sipping water regularly can help (and that’s a healthy thing to do) to keep the saliva flowing and has shown to relieve the symptom. There are also some over the counter products made by Biotene that have helped many of our patients with their dry mouth symptoms.
When the hard enamel is worn down or gums have receded, causing the tiny dentinal tubule to be exposed, pain can be caused by touching your teeth with hot or cold foods and beverages, or exposing them to cold air. Exposed areas of the tooth can cause pain and even affect or change your eating, drinking, and breathing habits. Taking a spoonful of ice cream, for example, can be a painful experience for people who have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients. Some toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients that may be too harsh for people who have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can be reduced by using a desensitizing toothpaste; having your dentist apply sealants and other desensitizing and filling materials, including fluoride; and decreasing the intake of acid-containing foods.
If a tooth is highly sensitive for more than three or four days and reacts to hot and cold temperatures, it’s best to get a diagnostic evaluation from your dentist to determine the extent of the problem.
Yes, if diabetes is left untreated, it can take a toll on your mouth. Here’s how:
- You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry (dry mouth is discussed above)
- Because saliva protects your teeth, you’re also at a higher risk of cavities
- Gums may become inflamed and bleed often (gingivitis)
- You may have problems tasting food
- You may experience delayed wound healing
- You may be susceptible to infections inside of your mouth
- For children with diabetes, teeth may erupt at an age earlier than is typical
Regular dental visits are important. Research suggests that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control in patients living with diabetes, decreasing the progression of the disease. Practicing good oral hygiene and having professional deep cleanings done by your dentist can help immensely.
YES. Because our patients love us they often refer their friends and family because they want to see them receive the same level of care. We are proud of the confidence our patients have placed in us by being a referral only based practice.
In order to treat each and every patient, as an individual with unique dental needs it is vital to completely assess their current oral health. We perform an oral cancer screening; we look at muscles and joints that open and close the mouth. We will look at your teeth, and your gums and bone that hold the teeth (the periodontium). We then take photos and x-rays when necessary. With this information we can determine the type of treatment that is right for you. The first visit usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour.
Please bring the following items with you to your appointment:
1. Patient Information Form (If the form is filled online, no need to bring it to the appointment. To fill the form online, click here)
2. Dental Insurance Card (if applicable)
3. Identification such as Driver’s License, Military ID or State ID
If you haven’t filled out our online patient intake forms, please arrive 10-15 minutes early to do so. If you would like to fill the forms online, please click here.
Please be sure to request a prescription prior to your appointment, or if you are unsure, contact us and we can help.
Many people do not see a dentist on a regular basis. They only go when they have a problem. This is known as “crisis treatment” versus “preventive treatment.” While these patients may feel they are saving money, it often ends up costing much more in dollars and time. This is because many dental problems do not have symptoms until they reach the advanced stages of the disease process. An example is tooth decay. It is typical to hear, “Nothing hurts… I don’t have any problems.”
Tooth decay often does not hurt until it gets close to the nerve of the tooth. It is not uncommon to see a patient with a huge cavity who has never felt a thing. The dentist can usually detect a cavity 3-4 years before it develops any symptoms. This early detection can help you prevent root canal treatment.
In a perfect world everyone would brush and floss twice a day. Plaque builds up over time and this sticky bacterial film can solidify and turn into calculus or tartar. This cement-like substance is removed by the hygienist at your regular cleaning visits. A six-month interval not only serves to keep your mouth healthy and clean, it allows potential problems to be found and diagnosed earlier.
The bacteria that causes gum disease doesn’t only inhabit the front of your teeth – they like to coat the surfaces between your teeth as well. These surfaces can usually not be reached by your toothbrush. Daily flossing disrupts the colonies of bacteria, cleans away food particles that may be stuck, and helps you keep your breath fresh and healthy.
Your at-home oral care routine is one of the most important factors in keeping your mouth – and the rest of you – healthy because it helps control oral bacteria every day. Proper brushing and flossing disrupts the biofilm of plaque, preventing it from turning into tartar, also known as calculus. If tartar does build up, the bacteria can cause periodontal disease and begin to destroy both the gums and the bone. Brush at least twice a day for two full minutes, especially before bedtime. Flossing before you brush can be helpful because it clears the bacteria from between your teeth, which can then be swept away with the toothbrush.
Gum disease is often painless in the early stage, so many patients are unaware that they have it. Regular checkups and screenings are crucial for that very reason. We can detect the early signs of periodontal disease and stop it before it begins to affect your health. If you have any bleeding when you brush and floss or are experiencing chronic bad breath, please call us right away to schedule a periodontal check-up.
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then we can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.
After testing numerous brushes, we have concluded that electric, if used, is the best. We usually recommend electric toothbrushes because of their design, ease of use, and availability. There are numerous models on the market that work well. If you have a question about a specific brand, please ask us.
The most important part of brushing your teeth is the technique used. Toothpaste is important for what it supplies: fluoride and tartar control. Be careful of the whitening brands because some are abrasive and they can remove enamel from teeth.
There are several methods to make teeth whiter. We can “whiten” them in the office or place porcelain veeers. The best whitening technique has been dentist-prescribed whitening systems; they change the color of teeth with minimal (if any) side effects. Veneers are an option for more difficult cases. There are many other ways to improve the appearance of your smile. If you are interested in a cosmetic consultation to assess your cosmetic needs please let us know.
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. We are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
We realize that even though dental care has come a long way in terms of patient comfort, there are still those with concerns and fears. Dental care should not be an unpleasant experience so we provide a full array of options for those patients. We offer several techniques to help you relax so please ask us about the different methods we offer.