Taking the Fear Out of Dentistry

Getting Your Smile Back After Drug Addiction

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You’ve traveled a long and hard road to get back on your feet and restore your health after a long period of drug addiction. You’ve got a good job and restored your relationship with your family and friends, along with anyone else you may have betrayed in the throes of addiction. In short, you are alive again and have every reason to smile when you wake up each morning. However, the years of neglect have taken a toll on your teeth. Although you have gotten dental work to repair most of your dental issues, your teeth still look terrible. Why not go the extra mile and have your teeth capped with veneers? What are veneers? Veneers are very thin caps that are cemented to the front of teeth that are cosmetically unattractive. Your teeth may be discolored, broken, misshapen, or just a glaring mismatch with the rest of your smile. Veneers are designed to change the shape of your teeth and to brighten your smile, or at least make the color of your teeth consistent if many of them are in good shape. How are veneers produced? You will go to a dentist at a place like Advanced Family Dental Care LLC for an initial consultation to inform the dentist about the results you would like to achieve, such as the specific teeth that you wish to cover with veneers. The dentist will examine your teeth to determine what is possible. You may need to get x-rays or impressions of your teeth to facilitate the production of the veneers. The dentist will also remove some of the enamel from the front of the teeth that will get veneers. Impressions will be made of the newly shaved teeth and sent to a lab that actually produces the veneers. you can choose between porcelain veneers, which most resemble natural teeth, and resin compounds, which are less expensive but lack a little of the natural look of porcelain. How are veneers attached to your teeth? The dentist will clean the teeth and roughen the surface slightly so that cement that is used to attach the veneers to the teeth will bond properly. Before the actual cementing takes place, the dentist will position the veneer on the tooth multiple times, shaping it if necessary.  When the veneer is cemented into place, the cement is then cured by a special light used for bonding. The veneer is then permanently  attached, and can last for years before being replaced. Of course, you need to take care of the veneer as you would your natural teeth to avoid staining and discoloration. This shouldn’t be a problem. Now that you have every reason to smile, you’ll be extra vigilant in keeping it...

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3 Unusual Things That Can Harm Your Dental Implants

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If you have been considering dental implants as an alternative to dentures, you’ll need to be prepared for repeated dental appointments, as the procedure needs to be done in multiple steps. While it may take more time for your implant procedure to be completed, the results can be dramatic and life-changing. To keep your implants looking their best and to avoid surface damage, there a number of simple lifestyle modifications that you should consider. Here are three unusual things that can hurt your dental implants, and what you can do about them: Liquid Vitamin And Mineral Supplements If your physician has told you that you are anemic or have another nutritional deficiency, you may have been prescribed liquid vitamin and mineral supplements. Liquid preparations may be better absorbed than tablets or capsules, however, the iron, or ferrous sulfate content in the liquid supplement may lead to dental staining. While implants and other dental restorations such as crowns and bridges are generally more resistant to stains and damage, they still can happen. If you take a liquid vitamin supplement, drink it through a straw. When you drink through a straw, the liquid is less likely to make contact with your dental implants, and therefore, less likely to stain the surface. While most vitamin supplements can be diluted in water, check with your physician before doing so to make sure the potency or absorbency is not being affected.  GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is another thing that can potentially harm the surface of your dental implants. GERD causes irritating stomach acid to migrate up into your upper digestive tract, and in severe cases, the acid can reach the back of your throat and into your mouth, making contact with your implants. While dental implants may be more resistant to the effects of gastric acid, their surface can still be compromised by acid erosion. If you suffer from GERD, avoid trigger foods such as chocolate, peppermint, garlic, citrus fruits, and coffee. Also, sleep with the head of your bed elevated so that acid stays down, and try to keep a healthy weight. In addition, take your prescribed GERD medications, limit smoking and alcohol consumption, and drink plenty of water throughout the day to help dilute stomach acid. Salivary Gland Dysfunction If you have an autoimmune disorder, you may develop problems with your salivary glands. When this happens, adequate flow of saliva may be compromised, and because of this, you may develop an extremely dry mouth. Saliva helps wash away bacteria in your mouth, and when bacteria is allowed to build up in the oral cavity, you are at greater risk for gingivitis. Severe gum disease can destroy the bones that hold your natural teeth and dental implants in place, raising the risk for loosening of the posts and displacement. If you experience a dry mouth as a result of salivary gland dysfunction or from medications, talk to your dentist about prescribing a moisturizing oral rinse that will help lubricate your mouth.  If you have dental implants and take liquid vitamin supplements, have GERD, or experience frequent dry mouth, work with both your physician and dentist like Kenneth Schweizer DDS PA. By developing an effective treatment plan to manage your conditions, you will be taking steps to extend the life and quality...

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Same-Day Crown Guide

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A dental crown is a necessity if you have a root canal, since this will effectively cover the hole and provide a permanent guard against infection. The inconvenience for many people is that it can take a couple of appointments before the permanent crown is placed. Fortunately, some dentists are able to provide same-day crowns. The following can help you better understand the procedure so you can decide whether it is a good choice for you. Is a temporary crown still necessary? No. The permanent crown is formed and fitted in a single visit, so there is no need to have a temporary crown or to return for a permanent fitting at a later date. How is the crown made? The crowns are made of ceramic, just like traditional crowns. The difference is in the mechanics. Instead of taking an impression of your tooth and sending it to a lab for the the crown to be custom formed, the dentist will use a special wand to photograph the tooth. The imaging results are then fed into a machine that forms the crown. This means the crown is still custom fit to your tooth. Are they suitable for all teeth? Same-day crowns are primarily used on the molars, since they may not be perfect in shape. Generally, any minor imperfections aren’t highly noticeable unless they are on a front tooth. Your dentist can help you determine how likely a perfect match is for you so you can make an educated decision on which type of crown to use. Will the color match? Yes. Just like when a dentist mixes up a filling or orders a traditional crown, the machine will match the color of the crown it forms to the natural color of your teeth. Are there sensitivity issues? Any crown placement will most likely result in a short term sensitivity to hot and cold. The difference is duration. Traditional crowns can take one or two weeks to be placed once the temporary crown is installed. This means you will be dealing with sensitivity for at least this long. With same-day crowns, the sensitivity usually fades within a couple of days. What other care concerns are there? Very few. Same-day crowns are just as durable as traditional crowns. You brush and floss them the same as you would any other tooth. You do want to be careful when eating hard or sticky foods, as these can crack or chip a crown. This is true for both traditional and same day varieties. For more help, talk to a dentist in your...

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Frequently Asked Questions about Gum Disease in Children

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Gum disease and gingivitis affect children frequently for a variety of reasons. Gum disease is a result of food and bacteria building up on teeth, leading to plaque. When plaque builds up and causes tartar, the gums become inflamed. If you suspect that your child has gum disease, these questions and answers may help you figure out what steps you should take next. What are the most common causes of gum disease? Gum disease is often caused by poor oral hygiene, but it can also be related to genetics. It is also common in cases where the teeth are very close together, causing food to become trapped. What are the consequences of gum disease in children? Children who experience gum disease may lose teeth over time, as the disease can damage tissue and bone under the teeth. Gum disease also comes along with plenty of pain and swelling. What are the symptoms of gum disease? The earliest symptom of gum disease is redness and swelling of the gums, often followed by bleeding during a brushing. A symptom that develops over time is bad breath. These symptoms tend to emerge around puberty. This is because of the increase in hormones that occurs in those pre-teen and teenage years. How do pediatric dentists treat gum disease in children? If you realize that your child has gum disease, it is important to speak with a dentist about going in for a proper cleaning. If the condition worsens, you may need to consider a deep cleaning or even treatment with antibiotics. Surgery is required in severe cases, but it is not common in children. How can you prevent gum disease in your child? The best way to prevent gingivitis leading to gum disease in your child is to encourage him or her to have good oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice a day is a necessity for children, even those with only their baby teeth. Flossing and using mouthwash are both fantastic ways to keep up with oral health too. As a parent, you can be a good role model for your children from an early age and discuss the need for dental hygiene. Don’t forget about the necessity of regular dental visits either. Once your child has his or her first tooth, they need to be seeing a dentist twice each year. Early diagnosis is the best way to fight back against plaque, tartar, and gum disease. For more information about gum disease in children, talk to a dentist like those at Dentistry For Children &...

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Avoiding Dental Treatments? 3 Things Your Dentist Wants To Tell You

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Going to the dentist is something you should be doing at least twice per year. Cleanings should be done at least once every six months for optimal dental care. If you haven’t gone to the dentist in a long time for treatments that you need, you could be putting your health and maybe even your very life in danger. Here are three things that your dentist wants you to know if you are avoiding dental treatments. Realize This: Treatments Can Be Pain-Free Thanks to advancements in medical and dental technology, modern dental treatments can be pain-free. There are now a variety of sedation dentistry options that will suit anyone who is afraid of pain or the dental treatments themselves. You don’t have to suffer to get your dental health in order. Depending on the treatment, there may be some pain after the procedure, but that can be managed with prescription and over-the-counter pain medications. Realize This: Teeth Never Heal on Their Own No matter which false claims alternative medicine websites may claim, no tooth has ever healed itself. That just doesn’t happen. If you are putting off a root canal, you should know that the problem just won’t resolve on its own. The affected tooth and abscesses that pop up in your mouth from potential infections won’t just get better when left untreated. Yes, the nerve may eventually die, but a lot of unnecessary pain is likely to be felt until that happens. What’s even worse is that the infection will still be there after the nerve dies, and the infection will continue to spread. Root canals stop the infection by stopping its attack on the living pulp that’s inside the affected tooth. Realize This: Dental Treatments Are Affordable for Nearly Any Budget If you are avoiding dental treatments because you are low on funds, your dentist wants you to understand that there are multiple options for payment. You don’t have to delay treatments for your own health and well-being just because finances aren’t great. You may find that your dental insurance covers treatments. Other payment options may include financing your dental care with a bank or directly with a dentist or putting your dental treatments on a low-interest credit card. Contact your dental office to see if they can work out payment arrangements that will work for you. Finally, keep in mind that there is no need to skip those visits to the dentist’s office. Your dentist has your best interests at heart and wants to help you achieve optimal dental health. Make an appointment with your dentist, and you may find that your fears are quickly put to rest as you receive the dental care treatment you need and deserve. For more information, talk to a dentist at an office such as Paul G. Isler...

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Is Turkey Good For Your Health?

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With the holidays fast approaching, you need to prepare for some serious turkey consumption. If you are a fowl fanatic, you will relish the leftovers as much as you do the original meal. While you are gorging yourself on this meaty bird, you may take a break to wonder if turkey is actually good for you. Fortunately, you can generally eat turkey without harming your health. You may even improve it. Dental Health Because protein is usually not harmful to your enamel, eating turkey is dentist approved. As a bonus, when the phosphorus in turkey combines with vitamin D and calcium, it can help strengthen your teeth, something that is good for everyone. Of course, after any big meal, you need to brush and floss your teeth, but you can rest assured that turkey is generally tooth-friendly. Low Calorie If you layer on enough other ingredients, like gravy and dressing, you can make your turkey high in calories. However, turkey by itself is quite low in calories, particularly the white meat. A four-ounce portion of turkey breast without the skin is only 153 calories. At that low rate, you can fill up on turkey without worrying about your waistline.  You will have to add a few calories to that total if you are a dark meat fan, but overall, stuffing yourself with turkey is not a problem. Nutrients Turkey is a pretty good source of nutrients as well. You can easily get your daily allowance of protein by eating turkey, but you also get additional benefits. In addition to the phosphorus mentioned above, you also get zinc, iron, potassium, and vitamin B. Turkey is actually a tasty and affordable way to eat healthy when it is eaten along with other low-calorie, low-fat choices. Problems The unhealthy aspect of Thanksgiving has little to do with turkey. The side dishes and assortment of desserts are what add fat, calories, and sugar to the dinner. If you make turkey the main part of your meal and choose steamed vegetables as an accompaniment, you can get through the holidays in a healthy manner. Of course, you can add small servings of less healthy food, but keep it to a minimum. Eating healthy during the holidays may seem impossible, but you can be easier on your body and your teeth if you focus on foods like turkey and other unadorned dishes. You will take in fewer calories and also get some much-needed nutrition. Plus, turkey in any form is downright delicious. For more information, contact a dentist like Marc E. Segal,...

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Second (And Third!) Opinions On Dental Procedures: What Dentists Have To Say And Why It Matters

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Patients often decide that a medical diagnosis is incorrect and they want a second opinion. They may even want a third or fourth opinion just to confirm what the first doctor said. Yet, what do you do when you disagree with what a dentist says? Dentistry is not typically a profession that experiences an influx in “second opinion” patients, but you are actually allowed a second opinion (or third) if you disagree with what your first dentist said. Here is what dentists might have to say on the subject and why it matters. Fresh Eyes and Fresh Equipment Sometimes Yield Better Prognosis If you have been seeing the same dentist for decades and that dentist does not have the latest equipment, then a second opinion could save you a lot of pain and misery. For example, if the first dentist tells you after just visually examining your teeth and looking at an x-ray that you need a wisdom teeth removal. Since this is a painful, long, and difficult procedure, a second opinion with fresher eyes and newer equipment may be in your best interests. The second dentist may decide that you just need a little orthodontic work to correct your bite or give your mouth more room for the wisdom teeth, which definitely equals less pain than fracturing four teeth and surgically removing them piece by piece. Oral Cancer, Abscesses, and Cold Sores: Misdiagnosis Relieved  A misdiagnosis of oral cancer is a terrifying thing. Now imagine if you got a second and third opinion and the next dentists felt you only had a cold sore in your mouth or an abscess. Makes a world of difference, doesn’t it? When the second dentist says it is not cancer, you may want a third opinion to confirm what one of the two previous dentists declared was the problem. That way you know for sure if you have oral cancer or if you just have a cold sore or abscess that is being mistaken for cancer. (It also goes hand in hand with new equipment, since a sample of what the dentist sees is placed on a slide to confirm or deny the diagnosis and the new equipment helps.) Second Opinions for Multiple Treatment Options Second opinions also yield multiple treatment options. Many patients assume that the loss of one or a few teeth means that they have to wear dentures or install dental implants. But, other dentists may be able to provide you with options your original dentist cannot. It helps to ask around. To discover more about this, contact local...

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3 Tips for Keeping Your Teeth and Braces Clean

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When you first get your braces on, you will realize what a new world it is when it comes to keeping your teeth and braces clean. Thankfully, you will be able to figure out the most effective methods for brushing and flossing your teeth to get them clean as time goes on and with the help of your orthodontist. There are also other things that you can do to ensure that your teeth and braces are always as clean as possible. This article will discuss three tips that can help with this.  Brush After Every Meal One of the best yet simplest things that you can do to keep your teeth and braces as clean as possible is to brush them after each meal. This immediately gets the food out of your teeth and stops you from walking around with unsightly food in your teeth and braces all day long. This can also stop bacteria from forming and causing infections in your gums and prevent cavities from forming between your teeth. In order to make it easier for you to brush after each meal, you can carry around a portable toothbrush with you. This will make it easy for you to whip the toothbrush out and give your teeth a good brushing no matter where you are.  Use a Water-Powered Flosser When you have braces, flossing your teeth with regular dental floss can be an incredibly time-consuming and difficult thing. Trying to thread the floss under and around all of your wires can sometimes get difficult, and this is especially true if your teeth are close together. Another great method for flossing that is much easier and very effective is to use a water-powered flosser. This is a tool that shoots out pressured water on your teeth and allows you to clean between each of them. A water-powered flosser is going to be a small investment, but the time it can save you as well as its effectiveness can be well worth the cost.  Use a Proxy Brush for Hard-to-Reach Areas If you notice some areas between your teeth and up by your gums that you just can’t seem to get as clean as you would like with your braces on, then you can use a proxy brush to clean these areas. A proxy brush is a very small type of toothbrush that has a triangular head full of small cleansing bristles. This makes it effective not only for getting into tight spaces but also for effectively removing whatever is stuck in these spaces.  For more information, talk to a professional such as Braces...

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Constant, Dull Jaw Aches? A Look At The Possible Causes

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A constant, dull ache in your jaw can really interfere with your ability to enjoy life and get necessary tasks done. Even if the pain’s not overly severe, it’s hard to think about anything else! Far too many people ignore this aching jaw pain rather than tackling it head-on because they’re not sure what’s causing it. Here’s a look at the possible causes and what you can do to handle each one. TMJ Irritation Is the pain originating from the spot where your lower jaw meets the portion of your skull near your ear? What you’re experiencing is probably irritation of the TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. It can be brought on by dental misalignments, grinding your teeth at night, or an accident. In the short-term, you can calm TMJ pain by applying ice to the area and sticking to soft foods. To ease the pain in the long-term, you’ll need to see a dentist. He or she can analyze the contributing factors to your TMJ pain and recommend a mouth guard, exercises, or orthodontics as needed. Tooth Decay Sometimes, the pain from a decayed or infected tooth can be “deferred” to the jaw. If you have not been to the dentist for a checkup for a while, now is the time to go. Other signs of tooth decay include a nasty odor in the mouth that does not go away with mouthwash and the appearance of black or brown spots on the tooth. Your dentist can address tooth decay with a filling, crown, or root canal, and your jaw pain should go away. Impacted Wisdom Teeth If you’ve never had your wisdom teeth removed and they have not erupted into your jaw, there’s a good chance they’re causing your jaw pain. Wisdom teeth can sometimes grow sideways or underneath your other teeth, exerting pressure on your jaw. Having them removed surgically is really the only way to permanently get rid of this discomfort. While you may have some pain and soreness after surgery, it will be worth it since impacted wisdom teeth can cause infection and headaches in addition to the jaw aches you’re already experiencing. In the short-term, holding ice against the sore area and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen can help. Don’t ignore jaw pain. Even if you cannot figure out what could be causing it, you’re better safe than sorry. Talk to your dentist sooner rather than later. Contact a clinic like Jeffrey N Kenney DDS for more...

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Taking Care Of Temporary Dental Crown

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A temporary dental crown can make you nervous. You might worry that it’s going to fall out and it might hurt. If you take care of your dental crown and mind a few simple guidelines, you really have nothing to worry about. First, Remember It Is Just Temporary The first thing to remember is a temporary crown is just a placeholder. It is meant to reserve a spot until your dentist can create a mold for your new, permanent replacement. While temporary crowns are also custom made, it is never going to match as perfectly as a permanent crown. For this reason, you need to take some of the following precautions until your permanent crown is ready. Watch What You Eat: The first thing you need to do when you have a temporary crown is to make sure you stay away from certain foods. You don’t want to try eating caramels or any other sticky candy that could easily pull the crown from your tooth. Don’t chew gum as that can easily pull at the temporary cement the dentist used to attach the crown. A more permanent cement will be used to place the permanent one, but the temporary crown needs to be easier to remove. Other things to avoid include harder foods such as raw veggies or something that might break the crown. Be Gentle When Brushing Your Teeth: When you are brushing and flossing, remember to be gentle around that tooth. Be mindful while you’re brushing your teeth as it can be easy to forget when you’re doing something that is normally routine. Don’t brush too hard and when you floss, slide the string out instead of lifting it out which can pull the crown off. Why Should You Do if The Crown Comes Off? Despite your attention to taking care of your tooth, it is possible for the temporary crown to come off. When this happens, it is important to get to a dentist right away and let them replace it. The longer the temporary crown is off, the greater the chance the tooth will move and a whole new temporary crown will have to be created. This, unfortunately, means a whole new permanent mold would need to be made for the permanent replacement. Your temporary crown is made from a resistant acrylic, so there is no reason for you to panic and think it is going to come off with every day use. As long as you take care of your temporary crown and be mindful that it is there, you shouldn’t have any trouble making do with the temporary fix until the permanent crown is ready to be installed. You might also want to talk to your dentist about getting a dental implant...

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