A New Smile, A New You: How to Choose the Best Cosmetic Dentist

If you’re searching for a cosmetic dentist, you aren’t alone. There are plenty of professionals that can give you the smile you always dreamed of having.

Some people look for cosmetic dental services because they have a special event coming up. Others want to look younger.

Everyone has their own reasons for looking for cosmetic dentists. Nearly 86% of people surveyed said that they’re using cosmetic dentistry to improve their self-esteem or to improve physical attractiveness. 

Regardless of your reasons for trying to find the best cosmetic dentist in your area, we’re here to help. Read on to learn how you can find the right dentist to meet your unique needs.

10 Essential Tips for Finding a Cosmetic Dentist

Finding a cosmetic dentist is a little different than finding a regular dentist. You aren’t going to them for a health and wellness check-up. You’re searching for one that can improve your appearance and give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

When you’re new to the world of cosmetic dentistry everything can seem a little overwhelming. But if you follow these tips, you won’t have a problem finding the right dentist for your needs.

1. Think About What You Want

If you walk into a cosmetic dentist’s office without having an idea of what you want, you’re going to waste everyone’s time.

You may not know about the right treatment options for your dental needs, but you should at least know what you want the dentist to focus on improving.

Don’t just say that you hate your smile. Think about the specific things you’d want to change about your smile.

Do you think that your teeth could stand to be a little whiter? Are you tired of looking at your crooked teeth? Could a dental implant or two make you smile a lot more?

Take a little time to really dive into what you want your dentist to change. Once you have an idea of what you want, you can really start your search.

2. Check Their Credentials

You’re blown away by their before and after photos and the practice was referred to you by a trusted friend. You may be blown away by what you’re seeing and hearing, but you should still check their qualifications.

It’s not difficult to check out a dentist’s backgrounds online. You can easily do a quick search to see their medical school credentials, continuing education, professional organization affiliations. 

A great place to start your research is the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Most cosmetic dentists are a member, and they have a very easy database you can search.

3. Check Reviews

Want to learn other people’s opinions of the dentist? Are you curious about whether or not other patients were pleased with the results they got?

If you want to learn more about your dentist, go to the source. There are a lot of active review sites and forums that can tell you everything you need to know about your potential future dentist.

There are plenty of specialty sites that focus on reviews for medical practitioners, but sites like Yelp and Angie’s List can be just as helpful.

Read as many reviews as you can before you decide. And be sure to think about specific concerns to you that go beyond the procedure

See what other people thought about the fees that they paid for their work. Pay attention to stories of people who have had trouble with billing or front desk help.

4. See Their Work

Any dentist that performs excellent cosmetic dental work should be more than eager to show off their accomplishments. Don’t be afraid to ask to see examples of their work. There should be plenty of before and after photos to show you what they’ve done for other patients. 

Some dentists may display before and after photos online, and others may make them available upon request. 

It’s important to be aware that it is possible to fake before and after photos. Make sure that the photos you’re seeing are genuine, and don’t be afraid to ask them to give you an in-depth explanation of what they’ve done.

5. Know Their Specialties 

Some cosmetic dentists may be a better fit for you than others when you take their specialties into consideration.

You could find a specialist that’s an expert in dental implants but may not be the best at teeth whitening. You could find an expert in dental veneers and whitening who can also give you full mouth reconstruction surgery.

The important thing to remember is that you won’t know unless you ask. Never choose a cosmetic dentist by assuming that they can do what you want. Always ask them their specialties before you make a commitment. 

6. Ask About Experience

People have varying opinions and comfort levels with a dentist’s years of experience.

Regardless of how you feel, it’s important to ask about your dentist’s experience in cosmetic dentistry and in the specific procedure you are considering. You could find a dentist with decades of experience who has only performed the procedure you’re interested in a handful of times.

Don’t be afraid to ask about the specific background in the procedure you’re interested in getting. Ask how familiar and comfortable they are with the procedure, and how complicated they think the procedure will be in your case. 

7. Consider Payment Options 

Dental insurance companies consider cosmetic dentistry as elective and will not cover elective procedures.

This is why it’s important to understand payment and financing options with your potential cosmetic dentist from the start. Every dentist is different, and some will offer different coverage options than others.

Some dentists may work on a sliding scale and work with their patient’s budget. Others could offer discounts or coverage through financial institutions. 

It can also be helpful to take some time and think about what your current budget allows. You don’t want to pick a dentist you can’t afford.

8. Think About the Location 

It would be great if everyone who searched “best cosmetic dentist near me” found something that was right around the corner from their house. More often than not, you’ll have to travel a little to find the help you need.

Keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to get everything done at once. A lot of cosmetic dental procedures can take multiple treatments.

Depending on the procedure, you may also need to be under sedation for some of the procedures. You won’t be able to drive after those treatments and will need someone who can provide transportation. 

This is why it’s important to seriously consider distance when choosing a dentist who best fits your situation.

9. Don’t Forget About Comfort

Let’s face it, people can have some serious anxiety when they have to go to the dentist. 

If you’ve always been nervous around doctors or dentists, don’t expect to be able to feel at ease at every cosmetic dentist you find. Try to find a cosmetic dentistry practice where you can feel comfortable. 

Look at patient reviews and see what people are saying about the office. Pay attention to what they have to say about the staff, waiting room, and amenities while waiting. 

It’s also okay to get a sneak peek of the area before you go on. Ask if you’re able to tour the facilities before you make your appointment. Most dentist staff members are happy to show you around.

10. Ask About Materials and Help

If you’re getting crowns or veneers as a part of your cosmetic dental procedure, you should ask dentists about the materials they use.

Dentists can use a variety of materials when they work on your smile. As with any industry, there are some high-quality and low-quality materials they could use.

While you’re asking about materials, also be sure to ask a few questions about the help during your procedure. Ask if they plan on using a master lab technician to make materials or assist the dentist.

Get Your Ideal Smile 

Consider these 10 simple issues in your search for a cosmetic dentist that can suit your needs.

Do you have any questions about cosmetic dental procedures? 

Do you want to learn more about what a cosmetic dentist can do for you?

Contact us today so you can get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Let’s Put a Smile on That Face

Do you avoid smiling in photos because you’re worried about how your teeth look? 

You’re not alone. Many people have chipped teeth, missing teeth, or discoloration from injury or neglect. While this can make you feel self-conscious, it can also interfere with how you eat and speak. 

Luckily, there are many cosmetic dentistry treatments that can correct this problem, giving you a reason to smile again. And the good news is, many of them are less invasive and more affordable than you might have imagined. 

Let’s take a look at some of these procedures, and find out which one’s right for you!

Lumineers®

Lumineers® are an alternative to veneers, which have been around for years but have some drawbacks. One is needing to file down teeth before they will adhere properly. Lumineers are basically super-thin porcelain covers that get rid of staining, chips, and other problems. They are easy to install without any major prep work.  

Lumineers have been proven to last up to 20 years. You can remove them, and they take only two or three visits to the dentist for the best results. 

Dental Implants

If you have one or more missing teeth, then dental implants may be the cosmetic dental treatment you’ve been looking for. Unlike dentures, which can sometimes require dental glue to keep them from slipping, dental implants are permanently attached using metal posts

Dental implants can look more natural than dentures, and can also help stimulate your jawbone, so you don’t lose more teeth, and you maintain your facial structure. 

Another advantage of dental implants is that they can replace a single tooth or a group of teeth, including full arch implants that replace all upper or lower teeth. 

Smile Contouring

Your teeth may be in good shape, but your smile is not as brilliant as you want it to be because there’s too much gum covering them up. “Gummy smile” is one term that has been used for this issue. 

In this case, gum and smile contouring can be a solution. After freezing your mouth, excess gum tissue can be trimmed away to increase the amount of tooth surface that’s showing. 

If you’re looking to improve your teeth aesthetic, then gum contouring is an option you may not have considered. 

Teeth Whitening

Teeth can become dull or discolored due to daily coffee drinking or wine staining, as well as smoking or just pure neglect of oral health. In fact, you could follow all of the rules of proper dental hygiene, and still end up with yellowish teeth that you’re not proud to show off. 

There are a couple of ways you can achieve whiter teeth – at home using a kit, or in an office performed by a dental professional. Both ways can work. 

• In-office whitening is actually the better choice for quicker results. In fact, using special bleaches and targeted light can produce noticeable results in as little as half an hour. 

• While the take-home treatment kits are generally more economical, you’ll be waiting a bit longer for results – and you’ll have to wear trays filled with the whitening solution for extended periods of time. 

Whichever one you choose, a study shows that having whiter teeth can improve your success in both your career and personal life. It can also help you make a better first impression. 

Crown Lengthening

Getting a crown means getting a cap on your damaged tooth, but crown lengthening literally takes this cosmetic dental treatment a bit further. 

This particular treatment is for teeth that have been broken near the gumline. The dentist will remove some of the tissue of the gum to expose more of the tooth, to allow the prosthetic to be put in place. 

The procedure can also be used for repair if there’s an existing crown or filling, and there is some decay happening underneath it. After the initial steps, a permanent crown can usually be put in place after two or three months. Crown lengthening is a good option if you have a tooth that can still be saved, before considering other approaches. 

Dental Composite Bonding

This is a technique in teeth cosmetics that involves using bonding to fill gaps in your teeth or damaged teeth. It can also be used as a teeth whitening method, covering over stains and blemishes. 

Composite bonding is a faster option than veneers because they can be completed in a single visit. It’s also an ideal option if you have a healthy smile, but there’s something about it that irks you – like that slight gap between your two front teeth. 

However, dental composite bonding is a cosmetic dental treatment that’s recommended for minor damage to teeth – it won’t fix overbite, underbite or significant damage. 

Smile Makeovers

This is an approach that can make many changes to teeth cosmetics, from partially chipped teeth to missing teeth, to gum problems. 

Smile makeovers look at the whole picture of your teeth aesthetic and recommend solutions that are tailored to you

Full Mouth Restoration

This is an option to fix multiple problems with your oral health. It uses a combination of other dentistry treatments to achieve this, including dental implants or dentures, veneers, or even extractions if necessary. 

While this can be an involved process, it’s also considered a long-term solution.

Tooth Colored Fillings

You’ve probably caught a glimpse of someone’s dark dental fillings when they’re laughing or eating, and it’s not a flattering look. Perhaps you’ve seen your own fillings staring back at you in the mirror, and cringed. 

Older fillings are black, due to metal alloys and liquid mercury. However, thanks to advances in teeth cosmetics, you can get composite fillings that match much more naturally with teeth. They’re also safe and durable. 

Porcelain Inlays

Inlays are a good option for those teeth that are beyond a filling but don’t need a crown. The advantages are also that they can be custom made to perfectly fit a tooth, and they are durable and feel like your natural teeth. 

Other Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

While cosmetic dental procedures by a professional are designed to improve the look of your smile, they can also help in other ways too that can positively impact your health. For example, adding porcelain inlays and onlays or straightening your teeth could help reduce the amount you grind your teeth at night (medically known as bruxism.)

Straightening teeth to create more space can also help you get that floss and toothbrush in there a little more easily (and help you avoid getting food stuck in there in the first place), which will go a long way in helping you maintain your oral health between dental visits. 

Fixing chips and decay can also reduce the chance of infection or further damage. 

Having a properly aligned bite can also help you chew your food more effectively, which is important in the digestion process. In fact, chewing food properly is a key step in the process of breaking down certain carbohydrates.

Replacing missing or damaged teeth can help you eat foods that you avoid because you think your teeth can’t handle them. 

And of course, there’s no value you can put on just feeling more confident with your smile!  

Choose an Expert

Many dentists offer cosmetic dentistry treatments as part of their service, but not all dentists can do it well. In fact, in the case of Lumineers, you have to be certified to perform this cosmetic dental treatment. 

It pays to find a dentist that not only excels in cosmetic dentistry, but can also offer preventative care to help you avoid problems with decay and even disease between appointments.

Regular teeth cleaning visits can help you minimize the risk of gum disease, and the dentist can also spot other potential problems before they escalate. 

A dentist that specializes in cosmetic dental procedures can ensure every step is customized to your mouth, and that the work in performed safely and properly.

Fortunately for you, we have the perfect dentist in Dr. Dan Thompson! You can ready about Dr. Dan here.

Don’t avoid showing off your smile to friends and strangers any longer – imagine your best smile, and then achieve it!

Take the first step in improving your smile, contact us to schedule your appointment with Dan Thompson, D.D.S.

How to Keep Your Teeth White After a Professional Teeth Whitening

By 2021, the global teeth whitening market is set to be worth US$3.78 billion, and with good reason.   

Professional whitening is one of the many cosmetic dentistry services available that offer a range of aesthetic benefits for your teeth. And, unlike dental implants, braces or other procedures, the results can be almost instant. 

In fact, if you opt for an in-office whitening treatment, you’ll walk out of your dentist’s office ready to dazzle the world with your brighter, whiter smile!

But once you’ve had your teeth whitened, you’ll want them to stay that way for as long as possible. Read on to learn how to keep your teeth white after professional teeth whitening. 

Use a Specialized At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit

Opting for an in-office whitening treatment is the fastest way to get results. When you first have your teeth bleached, you’ll notice the difference in an instant and be amazed by your whiter smile. 

But this whiteness tends to fade over the first few days. To minimize this regression, the best teeth whitening practice is to combine an in-office treatment with an at-home teeth whitening kit from your dentist. 

Unlike the kinds of kits you can buy at the store, this will include specialized trays made from a precise mold of your teeth. As a result, your teeth will experience more contact time with the active ingredients, helping to further eliminate stains and discoloration.  

If you opt for a combined whitening treatment, your dentist will show you how to whiten teeth at home using the kit. They’ll also advise you how long to continue the home treatment for optimum results and are likely to schedule follow-up appointments for monitoring. 

Steer Clear of Stains

After your professional whitening session, and especially if you are continuing with at-home whitening, make sure to avoid anything that can stain your teeth. 

The obvious culprits are tea, coffee and wine, and you should also quit smoking if you haven’t given up yet. Smoking is the worst offender for stained teeth so continuing to smoke will drastically reduce the amount of time that your pearly whites stay that way. 

Aim to avoid these staining substances for at least two weeks (but preferably longer) after your last whitening treatment. Other foods to avoid include berries, dark sodas, chocolate and sauces like ketchup.  

If you find it difficult to give up your morning coffee or want to enjoy a glass of red with dinner, consider using a straw. Although it will look a bit odd, sipping through a straw does keep these staining agents away from your bright white smile. 

Get an Electric Toothbrush

Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential for keeping your whiter smile gleaming. And the best tool for the job is an electric toothbrush. 

An electric toothbrush is more effective at removing food particles, plaque and stains. This is because the bristles move faster than you can achieve with a manual brushing motion, meaning they can get in between teeth better and polish to a higher degree.  

And, electric toothbrushes don’t just help to remove surface stains. Because of the way they vibrate, rotate and break up bacteria, electric toothbrushes provide deeper cleaning and help to prevent intrinsic discoloration too. This is the internal kind of staining that comes as the result of decay or a dead nerve, discoloring the tooth from within. 

Floss Every Day

Many people consider flossing an afterthought. But even the best electric toothbrushes can’t reach all the tiny particles of food that get caught between your teeth. 

And, as well as removing any stray food particles, flossing does around 40 percent of the work needed to remove invisible plaque from your teeth. When you don’t floss, this plaque has ample opportunity to form cavities, irritate the gums and cause discoloration from within. 

Make a habit of flossing at least once a day. Regular flossing will help to remove the particles and plaque that can build up over time, stopping them from causing serious damage to your teeth. And, by improving your dental health you’ll help to prolong the results of your teeth whitening treatment as a result. 

Rinse Your Mouth After Eating 

To keep your newly whitened teeth shining bright, you might be tempted to brush them after every meal. But over-brushing can damage your tooth enamel and increase the possibility of further staining over time. 

Instead, you should rinse your mouth out with water after you’ve finished eating or drinking. All foods and drinks try their hardest to cling onto the surfaces of your teeth. And the sugars and acids in some foods nourish from the bacteria that gets left behind, leading to decay and discoloration. 

A quick rinse of water will help to dislodge any debris, washing over your teeth in a natural way to help your teeth stay cleaner and brighter for longer.  

Go for Regular Dental Check Ups

Don’t think you can just head to the dentist for your whitening treatment and then disappear into the sunset forever. 

Maintaining regular dental cleaning check-ups every six months will make all the difference to how long your new whiter teeth remain as gleaming as can be. Regular professional-level cleaning and polishing will help remove surface stains and prevent discoloration from taking hold. 

Also, your dentist will be able to check on how your teeth have responded to the whitening treatment in the long term. As a result, they may have new observations or recommendations that will help you maintain your confident new smile for longer. 

Drink Plenty of Water

As well as rinsing with water after eating, you should make a point of drinking more water throughout the day. 

Not only does water help to clean your teeth by washing away bacteria, drinking more water means drinking less of other drinks, such as soda, juice and sports drinks. All of which leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth while also wearing down your enamel with the acids they contain. 

Also, drinking plenty of water helps encourage saliva production and stop dry mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s defense against tooth decay as it washes away leftover food and keeps your teeth strong by coating them with calcium, phosphate and fluoride. 

Dry mouth, on the other hand, puts you at risk for tooth decay so drinking lots of water will help to keep this at bay.  

Choose Crunchy Snacks

You know what foods to avoid to maintain your whiter smile for longer. But what foods should you be eating to promote whiter teeth? 

Crunchy fruit and vegetables are a great place to start. Think apples, pears, celery, peppers, cucumber and carrots. Snacking on these crunchy fruits and vegetables is like brushing your teeth while you’re eating. That’s because they help to scrub the surfaces of your teeth, removing stains in the process. 

And, chewing on these foods also helps to remove other food particles. This stops plaque from building up and stimulates blood flow to the mouth and gum area. Not to mention, these foods are full of nutrients to promote better health from within, meaning a stronger, healthier you from your teeth to your toes. 

Eat Enamel-Boosting Dairy Products 

Another food group that’s good for your teeth is dairy products.

First of all, as foods like milk, cheese and yogurt are generally white or light-colored, they don’t have any potential to cause staining or discoloration. 

But, that’s not the most important reason to make dairy part of your post-teeth-whitening diet. Dairy products contain calcium and phosphates, which are crucial for building strong teeth and bones. These minerals strengthen your teeth by fortifying your tooth enamel, undoing the damage that harmful acids and sugars from other foods may have done.  

Dairy products are also high in proteins which help to strengthen and protect your tooth enamel, making it more resistant to future staining. 

Maintain Whiter Teeth After Professional Teeth Whitening 

Whiter teeth are often perceived as being healthier. Although that’s not always the case, maintaining good oral health is the best way to ensure your teeth stay white after professional teeth whitening. 

Of course, this boost in daily care is great news for your teeth and gums, meaning your teeth won’t just look healthier, they’ll also be healthier too. 

And healthy habits, from your brushing and flossing routine down to what you eat and drink, will also ensure that your smile stays brighter and whiter for longer. 

For more information about our professional teeth whitening services, feel free to contact us with any questions or queries. Or, you can fill out our online form to request an appointment today!

The Top Benefits of Dental Implants

Have you ever cracked, chipped or lost a tooth?

It’s easily done. Eating food, falling over, and any kind of facial trauma are just a few reasons you might be missing a tooth or two!  

You wouldn’t be alone either. 120 million people have a tooth missing in the US. That same source states that 30 million Americans actually have no teeth at all. That’s a lot of people around the United States with gaps in their mouths!

Unfortunately, losing a tooth can have all sorts of negative effects. People commonly complain of poor self-esteem, a reluctance to show their smile, and/or having issues with their eating.

Likewise, some forms of treatment for missing teeth (such as dentures and bridges) pack their own set of problems. For example, you might struggle to eat your favorite foods or worry about having denture-related mishaps in public.

Dental implants are a great way to tackle the issues of missing teeth. Indeed, 3 million people in the US already have them! Why? Because there are major advantages to having them fitted.

Keep on reading to learn all about the benefits of dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

First, let’s take a quick look at what dental implants actually are.

Dental implants are a modern alternative to older, less effective solutions to missing teeth. They’re replacement roots, made out of titanium, which is inserted tightly into the bones. Mimicking the role of an ordinary tooth, into these new roots are placed bridges, crowns or dentures.

It’s like getting a brand new, metal tooth that looks, feels and acts exactly as an ordinary tooth would.

The 9 Top Benefits of Dental Implants

Now we know what dental implants are, let’s turn to the benefits they have to offer. Here are 10 of the key advantages of having dental implants.

1. Enhanced Aesthetics

Personal appearance is often one of the greatest concerns for people who are missing one or more of their teeth.

People can often feel less attractive and become reluctant to smile in public. The missing teeth can become a source of extreme stress and shame.

Dental implants offer a way of taking all those negative feelings away. With brand new teeth fitted and acting as normal, it’ll be exactly like having a full set of teeth again. They look great and come with none of the aesthetic issues that can accompany dentures. For example, your implants will stay in place rather than coming out and moving around in the mouth.

It would be easy to forget you ever missed a tooth in the first place!

2. You Smile More

That increase in confidence and self-esteem makes you more likely to smile.

You’ll feel better in yourself, which makes smiling automatically more likely. You’ll be wanting to show off your brand new set of pearly whites too!

The knock-on effects of smiling more are all positive. Smiling improves your relationships, makes you more likable, and actually makes you live longer.

3. Long Lifespan

Dental implants are amazingly durable. Indeed, they have the potential to last a lifetime.

With the right care, they will stay in place for as long as you need them to. This is in comparison to alternative treatments, such as bridges. Bridges can last for around a decade and will require replacing. That isn’t the case with implants.

The reason for that is in part to do with the nature of the materials used (titanium), plus their integration with your jaw. The compatibility of implants with your body means they’re unlikely to be rejected either.

That all adds up to a new tooth that will last you an exceptionally long time.

4. No Gum Disease

Anyone who has lost a tooth will know how easy it is to get food caught in the gaps.

The bacteria that can build up, as a result, can easily lead to gum disease. Gum disease is a significant issue in the United States. It’s estimated that almost half of Americans suffer from it.

That’s almost 65 million people! And the implications of gum disease aren’t pleasant. Think inflammation, pain, and an increased chance of getting diseases like diabetes.

Likewise, it becomes a slippery slope: gum disease can itself lead to tooth loss. You lose a tooth and have a higher chance of getting gum disease, which then increases your chance of losing further teeth.

Dental implants plug the gap between your teeth and function as an ordinary tooth would. This reduces your chances of gum disease.

5. No Bone Loss

The bone of your jaw is somewhat reliant on the teeth affixed there.

Having missing teeth removes the stimulation the bone would otherwise get. That dip in stimulation causes the bone to deteriorate in the space left behind.

A significant amount of bone will be lost unless an implant is fitted within a year of losing the original tooth. The implant works as a tooth and provides the stimulation required for bone growth.

6. Greater Functionality (Versus Dentures)

We’ve all heard the horror stories related to dentures.

Now, it’s true that properly fitted dentures can work well. And they’ve long been the go-to solution to missing teeth. But, in truth, they’re far from the best way to counter the problem.

Among other issues, they’re uncomfortable, slip around the mouth, and make it harder to eat certain foods. Then there’s the maintenance and upkeep involved.

Dental implants offer a great alternative. They don’t require any adhesive, nor do they have to be removed for cleaning. Moreover, there’s no risk of them falling out, and they don’t entail the covering of the roof of your mouth.

Eating is easier too. Dentures can move and make noise. Equally, they might not have the chewing power required to eat certain foods. Implants face none of these issues.

7. Improved Speech

Losing a tooth can have a negative impact on your speech, such as causing a lisp.

That won’t happen all the time. It depends on where you lose the tooth. However, it does happen and dental implants offer a solution to the issue.

Likewise, dentures can also lead to certain speech-related problems. Where they move and slip it can be more difficult to pronounce certain words and speak without slurring and mumbling. Obviously, this will never be a problem with implants, which essentially gives you an actual tooth.

8. Enhanced Chewing Ability

There’s nothing worse than losing the ability to eat your favorite food.

That can sometimes happen when you lose your teeth. Even with dentures, you may lack the means to grind your teeth together properly. Equally, missing a front tooth may make it far harder to cut through certain times of food too.

Dental implants restore this capacity. You’ll be able to eat whatever you want to again! Similarly, your chewing capabilities with implants are better than dentures. We mentioned this previously but it’s worth reemphasizing!

Simply, dentures don’t allow you to eat everything you might want to. They may not be strong enough or move around too much in your mouth. Implants suffer none of these flaws.  

9. Preserves Surrounding Teeth

Losing a tooth can create numerous problems. The gap left between your teeth can be one of them.

That gap can lead to the adjacent teeth slowly moving into this space. Space is there and the teeth move into it, pulling them out of position. The result of this is a potential alteration to your overall bite. It will affect your ability to chew and impact how it feels to clench your teeth.

More debilitating though is the potential problem that can cause to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This, in turn, can cause pain, discomfort and result in headaches.

Having dental implants prevents this problem. Remember, you’re essentially plugging that gap. This stops the adjacent teeth from moving and means you’ll avoid the ensuing oral challenges.

The prevention of such issues speaks to the benefits of getting implants sooner rather than later. The longer the gap is in place, the greater the likelihood of problems occurring.

Time to Wrap Up

There you have it: the 9 top benefits of dental implants.

Tooth loss is a significant part of American life. Millions of people are missing their teeth! Thankfully, implants offer a solution to the problem.

Implants can help people feel confident in their appearance again, which will lead to happier, smiley individuals. Implants last a long time too, will help prevent gum disease, and stop the loss of bone.

They’ll have greater functionality over alternative forms of tooth replacement, and help improve your speech in the process. Next, dental implants help you chew your food, and, finally, will preserve your surrounding teeth from further damage.

Hopefully, knowing these benefits will persuade you to reap the rewards for yourself!

Are you interested in getting dental implants fitted but want more information? Click here to learn more about why dental implants might be for you.

Smile Makeover: What Does It Involve and Why Might You Need One?

You’ve definitely heard that smiling is contagious. But did you know that that’s actually a proven scientific fact?

Your smile is one of the first facial expression you ever make, and it has an impact on how approachable you appear. Because it’s such an important aspect of your appearance, people who aren’t happy with their natural smile may want a smile correction.

If you’re one of many individuals who aren’t satisfied with their smile, a smile makeover can help you turn that frown upside down. This cosmetic dentistry makeover can fix everything from broken teeth to the fullness of your face.

If that sounds like the smile you’ve always wanted, keep reading to find out all of the details.

What is a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover involves the use of cosmetic dentistry procedures with the aim of improving the appearance of the smile. The various procedures that can be involved include:

  • Composite bonding
  • Dental implants
  • Dental veneers
  • Whitening

Smile corrections are the best option for individuals who require more than just a single cosmetic dentistry treatment to achieve their desired smile.

When considering a smile makeover, you’ll work directly with a dental professional to customize a treatment that enhances your smile in accordance with your physical appearance as well as your desires.

What’s Involved in a Smile Makeover?

Your customized treatment plan will be developed between you and your cosmetic dentist. This combination of treatments will improve the aesthetics of your smile. But they’ll also employ functionally restorative procedures that improve how your teeth function.

Treatment plans will address the following dental concerns in restoring and improving your smile.

Tooth Alignment

One of the more obvious signs of an imperfect smile is crooked, overlapping, or unevenly spaced teeth. Part of a smile restoration might involve correcting any issues with straightness or alignment. This can be achieved with orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign or with veneers.

Missing or Broken Teeth

Having missing or broken teeth not only affects your outward appearance. It can also cause problems with your bite and puts you more at risk for tooth decay. Fixing these issues means avoiding potential problems that can arise down the road.

Implants, bridges, and partial dentures can be used to treat missing teeth depending on the severity. Cosmetic bonding can be used to correct unevenness as well as repair chips and cracks.

Tooth Color

For many of the smile improving procedures involved in a smile makeover, the color and shade of your teeth is an important consideration in your evaluation.

If you’re in need of porcelain veneers, bridges, crowns, composite bonding, or dental implants, then your cosmetic dentist will have to consider your tooth color. This should be evaluated in relation to your skin tone and hair color. An experienced and skilled cosmetic dentist will be able to find the exact right match for your physical characteristics.

Whitening is a great option for reducing the appearance of stains on teeth. They can also improve the appearance of dull teeth. Composite restorations can also replace silver or amalgam fillings for a cleaner and more uniform look.

Gum Recontour

Most people don’t realize how important your gum line is as it relates to your smile. Both recession of the gums and prominent gums can throw off the proportions of your smile and negatively impact your appearance.

A cosmetic dentist can use gum augmentation or gum contouring to balance your gum line with your teeth and smile. Gum augmentation is used for treating gum recession whereas gum contouring is best for prominent gums that need to be reduced.

Maintaining Your Smile Makeover

Once you have the smile you’ve always dreamed of, you have to maintain it. Maintaining your smile correction involves regular treatment and preventative care. It’s practicing good hygiene and avoiding activities that could damage the work you’ve had done.

Your particular maintenance routine will depend on the procedures you’ve had done. Your dentist can help you develop a maintenance and treatment plan that will give you the best results for your particular situation.

Hygiene

Brushing and flossing your teeth are 2 key components of maintaining your new smile. You should be brushing at least twice per day. Flossing can be performed once per day and no more than twice per day (to avoid gum irritation).

Brushing

Avoid using a highly abrasive toothpaste or toothbrush. These can cause scratches on the surface of your teeth, implants, or veneers and, eventually, it will cause them to lose their polish and luster. Instead, look for a fluoride toothpaste that’s non-abrasive. 

Flossing

Nobody likes to floss – except when it’s 1 hour before your next dentist appointment and you’re trying to trick the dental assistant. But it’s a hugely important part of your dental hygiene and maintaining your smile.

Flossing removes plaque and built-up debris from between your teeth and gums. Beyond preventing gum disease and tooth decay, regularly flossing will increase how long your new smile lasts. And because veneers require good gum health, flossing is an essential task for patients receiving this treatment. 

Mouthwash

A note about mouthwash: don’t use it if you have composite fillings, crowns, or veneers.

Why?

Because mouthwash that contains alcohol (i.e. the majority of mouthwashes), will degrade your restorations as well as your teeth. If you can find alcohol-free mouthwash, that’s a much safer option for someone who has had a smile makeover.

Diet and other Precautions

You should know that the food and drink you consume affects your teeth. For example, drinking a lot of coffee can stain teeth and leave them looking yellow. Smoking has the same effect.

So after having a teeth whitening or any other smile correction procedure, you want to avoid anything that can negatively affect the color or structure of your new teeth.

That means staying away from high-sugar foods and drinks. This can help prevent cavities. You should also stay away from coffee, soda, and tea – all of these have a tendency to stain tooth.

Alcohol also has an effect on dental work. As such, alcoholic beverages should be limited and never consumed in excess.

Try not to chew or bite on hard objects that could crack or chip your teeth. And in the case that you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding), you should get fitted for a nightguard.

Cosmetic Maintenance

Some dental treatments require follow-ups to ensure they continue performing.

If you have your teeth whitened, you may have to repeat the procedure to maintain the whiteness and brightness. That’s especially true if you don’t kick old habits that led to staining in the first place.

Veneers can chip and break. When this happens, you’ll be required to visit the dentist and have them fixed or replaced. 

Crowns generally need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years regardless of how well you’ve taken care of them. Composite bonding is prone to staining and the occasional enhancement or replacement can fix that promptly. Even gum contouring may require upkeep.

Are You a Good Candidate for a Smile Makeover?

If you’re in good dental health overall but you struggle with cosmetic issues, you might be a good candidate for a smile makeover. A good candidate will also have realistic expectations as to what can be accomplished in their smile restoration. They should be aware of, and accept, the risks and recovery process as well as the potential maintenance requirements.

If you’re not happy with how your smile reflects what’s inside, a smile makeover gives you a chance to correct that. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

The Dental Implant Process: What to Expect

Have you been debating getting dental implants?

Nobody wants to have surgery. It’s normal to be nervous about the procedure and the recovery afterwards. 

Going under the knife isn’t anyone’s favorite way to spend an afternoon. However, the numerous benefits to getting implants is worth it for most people.

If you’ve lost teeth to injury or disease, you could get dentures.

With that route, you don’t have to bother with a procedure or recovery. But, you will have to deal with slipping, soreness, and impeded speech. You have to take them out often to clean, so they’ll always be on your mind. 

On the other hand, after you’ve recovered from dental implant surgery, your new teeth will feel natural to you. They look better than dentures and there’s much less maintenance. 

Though the benefits are huge, you might still be feeling tentative about undergoing surgery. Knowing exactly what to expect can make you less worried and will allow you to make an informed decision as to whether this is right for you.

If you’re considering this surgery, you should understand what the procedure involves. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the dental implant process. 

Before Surgery 

After your initial consultation, your dental surgeon will put together a surgery plan for you. This will be tailored to you and your situation. It will depend on how many teeth you’re replacing, the health of your gums, and more. 

Your surgeon will also give you pre-surgery prep instructions. It’s important to follow these directions to the letter so you have a smooth and successful procedure.

These instructions may include rinsing with an anti-bacterial mouthwash. You could be given antibiotics to take in the days before surgery. Depending on whether you’re going under anesthesia or not, there could be additional directions. 

Before your surgery, your surgeon will explain the process of what they’ll be doing. But generally, most dental implant surgeries follow the same steps. 

During Surgery 

Dental implants require two separate procedures. After the first surgery, you’ll require some time to heal which can be anywhere between six to twelve weeks. 

First Procedure

Depending on your treatment plan, you could be put under anesthesia. Another option is that your mouth is numbed and then you’re sedated for your comfort. 

Once you’re ready, the dental surgeon will make an incision in the gum where the implant will go. Then, a hole will be drilled into the jawbone to make room for a titanium post. 

The post will be inserted and secured. Then, the gum is stitched back up. 

Over the next few months, the bone will heal around the post. This will lock it securely in place. 

You will also have dental impressions taken so crowns can be created. Using a computer model, crowns will be designed so they have the right bite for your mouth. Additionally, they will be made to match the exact shade of white of your other teeth.

Length of Surgery

The amount of time this surgery will take depends on the patient. One consideration is the health of the mouth. 

Another consideration is the number of posts that will be implanted. The more teeth being replaced, the longer the surgery will take. Someone who is getting one post inserted can expect the surgery to be around an hour long. 

Whether or not you are sedated or put under general anesthesia will also affect the time frame. Your surgeon can give you the closest estimate for how long they expect the surgery to take. 

Second Procedure

In the second procedure, your custom made crowns will be secured to the titanium posts. The amount of crowns put in the mouth depends on the needs of the patient. 

You might have one singular crown attached to replace one missing tooth. Another option is a three tooth crown. 

This type of crown might be used if a cluster of three teeth are missing. It can also be used if only one tooth is missing but the surrounding teeth are damaged or diseased. Then those other teeth will be extracted in the first procedure. 

The benefit of have a three teeth crown is that they can support each other making the implants more secure. 

A full arch implant is the final option. This is for someone who needs crowns for the entire upper or lower row of teeth.

After Surgery and Recovery 

After surgery, you’ll be given some time to bounce back from the sedation or anesthesia. When you’re fully awake and coherent, you will get some aftercare instructions. 

Prior to your procedure, you likely arranged to have someone accompany you or to pick you up after. As with any surgery, it’s unsafe to drive yourself home after because you’ll be impaired. 

When you get home, the recovery can begin. 

Medication and Pain Management 

To minimize the risk of infection, you will probably be prescribed an antibiotic. 

Your doctor might also prescribe you some medication to ease any discomfort or pain after surgery. This could be a narcotic or a prescription level dose of Ibuprofen. If you’ve been prescribed something, you will probably want to take it that first day or two.

But, the more posts that were implanted, the longer you can expect to be sore or need the prescribed painkillers.

When the bulk of the pain subsides, keeping up a regiment of over the counter Advil or Tylenol should take the edge off. You can also ice your jaw to keep any potential swelling down.

Eating 

It’s important to keep your mouth clean after surgery. That means avoiding foods that could get stuck in incision areas, like popcorn or nuts. 

You can brush your teeth to keep things hygienic and get rid of food particles. But, you must be extremely careful and gentle.

The food you eat for the next few days should be soft and require minimal chewing. This will minimize soreness and will keep you from opening up the incision areas.

Save the well-done steak and corn on the cob until your mouth is healed!

You might want to comfort your mouth with a nice, cold milkshake. But be sure to avoid drinking it with a straw, as they can create painful dry sockets. 

Additional After Care 

To deal with any bleeding, you can gently bite down on gauze for 20 or 30 minutes. Don’t exercise or do anything strenuous as that can make bleeding worse. 

But rest assured, the recovery process for dental implants is brief. You should be good to go back to work the next day. 

However, if the next day you’re worse off than you were before, it could be a sign of a complication. 

Possible Complications 

Installing a dental implant is a routine procedure. But every surgery presents potential risks, no matter how unlikely they may be. 

If you’re going under general anesthesia, that presents its own possible complications. It’s important to be upfront with your dental surgeon about your medical history so they can decide if you’re safe to go under. 

You might think that some of your history won’t affect your dental surgery. For example, having a history of seizures might seem irrelevant. But, that can actually affect your risk level in regards to the anesthesia. 

Other complications include infection around the implant. Your body could also end up rejecting the implant. 

It’s important to be aware of these possibilities so you can look out for warning signs. If you do sense that something isn’t going as it should, get back to your dental surgeon right away. 

But again, these are unlikely scenarios. The vast majority of people recover quickly and go on to have a satisfying relationship with their new smile. 

Taking Care of Your Implants 

After your crowns have been put on, you’ll still schedule additional follow-up appointments. Your dental surgeon will want to check on you to make sure that the implants are feeling and looking good. 

Your dentist might give you additional instructions for how to brush and floss around the implanted tooth. But mostly, you’ll be taking care of it like your natural teeth. That means seeing a dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months

What to Expect From the Dental Implant Process

No one likes to have work done on their teeth. But, knowing what to expect from the dental implant process will set your mind at ease. Once it’s over, you’ll have the beautiful and confident smile you want. 

Want to find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implants? Then request an appointment with us today!