If you’ve been wearing dentures for a while, you may have some complaints. They might fit poorly and shift or click when you talk or eat. Poor fit can lead to discomfort and sores in the mouth that worsen over time, or they can collect food underneath them, leading to bad breath.
If this sounds familiar to you, there might be alternatives for you. One of the newest developments in dentures is the pairing of standard dentures with dental implants. The dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone, providing the kind of stability only previously offered by natural teeth. Dentures fixed in the mouth with dental implants become something new: hybrid dentures.
Dentures that utilize dental implants as their anchors are very stable. They enable denture wearers to enjoy foods previously denied them, such as crisp, healthy foods or chewy cuts of meat. Eliminating the food restrictions present for many denture wearers allows them to eat a wider variety of foods, helping to reduce the risk of poor nutrition and the poor health associated with it, including digestion difficulties.
Because of this increased stability, the denture itself can be made smaller. A standard denture covers the roof of the mouth completely, inhibiting the taste and texture of foods. A denture designed around dental implants, however, has an open roof and facilitates a greater enjoyment of foods of all kinds, as well as a more natural feel for your tongue.
Dental implants also stimulate bone by mimicking natural tooth roots. This stimulation allows the bone to continue to be strong and alive, whereas the bones of the face can begin to shrink once a tooth has been extracted. This bone shrinkage leads directly to poor denture fit. Dental implants used with dentures avoid this issue.
If you are a denture wearer and you’d like to see some changes in how your dentures fit, talk to your dentist to see how using dental implants can improve your denture experience.
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Nobody is happy with yellow or brown teeth. Ugly stains from smoking or consuming foods and drinks prone to discoloring your teeth can make you a good candidate for teeth whitening. There are many techniques available to restore your bright smile. The main two categories of teeth whitening are either at-home kits or professional treatment in a dental office. Let’s learn about these to see which you’d like to use to brighten your smile.
At-home teeth whitening
There are a variety of products you can try yourself to whiten your teeth. These treatments usually take a few weeks of use before your teeth are noticeably whiter. Also remember that most of these products cannot achieve as high of a level of whiteness as those performed professionally.
- Kits – whitening kits contain a tooth mold and gel to place inside the mold. You wear the filled mold for about 30 minutes for 2-3 weeks.
- Strips – thin whitening strips are coated with peroxide gel, and then you apply the strips directly to your teeth for 30 minutes for 14 days. Results become evident in a few days and last about four months.
- Toothpaste – brushing with whitening toothpaste must be done consistently and you must be patient because reaching the desired outcome usually takes a couple of months.
Professional teeth whitening
Treatments done by a dentist are the fastest and most effective way to regain your pearly whites.
- Laser whitening – the dentist coats your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution and then shines a laser light on them. This oxidizes the stains and gives them a whiter appearance.
- Porcelain veneers – if your teeth are severely stained and other whitening techniques haven’t done the trick, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. These shells permanently cover your teeth and provide a beautiful smile.
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Severe dental phobia can cause people to completely avoid dental examinations and treatments. Anxiety about dental treatment can develop for many reasons, including fear of pain, the feeling of not having control, fear of needles, a strong gag reflex, or a history of bad dental experiences. If you suffer from extreme dental fears causing you to neglect necessary oral care, sedation dentistry may be the answer to your problem.
A trained sedation dentist can offer a variety of options to address your situation:
- Minimal sedation in the form of nitrous oxide allows you to be awake but relaxed during dental treatment and may be a good option for cleanings, routine examinations, or minor procedures. Your dentist is able to control the amount of sedation you receive.
- Oral conscious sedation also allows you to remain awake during procedures, but may cause you to feel drowsy and will keep you from having much memory of the treatment. A stronger dose can be given to produce more moderate sedation, in which case you may fall asleep but can easily be awakened.
- IV sedation is when a sedative drug is administered through a vein. This type of sedation works rapidly and also allows your dental professional to adjust the level of sedation during treatment.
- General anesthesia provides deep sedation through medications administered that cause nearly complete or total unconsciousness. With general anesthesia you cannot be awakened until the effects of the drugs have dissipated.
Sedation dentistry can be used for any type of dental procedure, from routine cleanings to more complicated, invasive procedures. Thanks to advances in sedation dentistry, you no longer have to fear the dentist and avoid necessary oral health care.
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Cosmetic problems with your teeth can make it embarrassing to show your smile. Thanks to dental veneers, you can erase flaws and create a brand new look that will make you want to show off your pearly whites instead of hiding them.
Veneers are very thin shells that are usually made of porcelain. They are custom-made to fit right on top of the fronts of your teeth. The veneers are securely bonded in place so that you can feel confident and comfortable with your smile. The porcelain is matched to the same color as your natural teeth, or a few shades brighter if you’d like to whiten your smile. This material reflects light in the same way that real teeth do, so that others can’t even tell the veneers are there. Porcelain is also very durable, and will not stain like real teeth.
Dental veneers hide many different kinds of problems with your teeth. Some of the most common reasons that people choose to recreate their smiles with veneers include:
- Teeth damaged from injury or decay, including chips and cracks
- Unsightly gaps between teeth
- Stains or discoloration that isn’t corrected with teeth whitening
- Misshapen teeth that do not match the rest of your smile
Veneers are a quick and painless solution. Your natural teeth will be slightly prepared so that the veneers attach properly, but the process is not uncomfortable. Once your veneers are placed, you can expect them to last years without needing to replace them. Maintenance involves routine brushing and flossing just as you would normally, and keeping regular checkups with your dentist.
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Sedation dentistry is rapidly becoming an extremely popular choice for patients, offering them the best oral care available while providing them with a comfortable, stress-free experience. Benefits exist for both the patient and the dentist, especially for certain patient groups, who may only be able to obtain dental care they need while under some kind of sedation.
Sedation dentistry uses various medications to help the patient relax while undergoing a dental procedure. The sedation allows the patient to be free of fear, anxiety and stress, and in some cases, to have a reduced memory of the treatment itself. This allows for a much more favorable experience, especially when undergoing invasive, extensive or multiple-visit treatments such as extractions, gum surgery, root canals, or some cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Because sedation dentistry is specifically designed to reduce or to alleviate fear and anxiety, the patient is more relaxed during the dental visit. Dentists working on tense or anxious patients are often aware of the problem and have to work with greater care. The removal of this patient tension allows the dentist to work more quickly and surely, leading to a shorter appointment and a more positive experience for both doctor and patient.
Dentists require cooperation from the patient in order to proceed with any dental procedure. Patients who are very young, have special needs, an acute gag reflex, or movement control issues can be extremely challenging for dentists to administer the necessary care. Sedation dentistry can solve this problem, allowing for patients to be cooperative and still, providing the safest, best experience for patient and doctor alike.
Patients who have positive experiences at the dentist are more likely to return for regular dental check-ups. These patients have overall better dental hygiene and tend to have fewer serious dental issues over time. Patients who have good oral care will feel better about their smiles and will be more confident and comfortable throughout the day.
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Gone are the days when chewing gum is considered poor etiquette. In today’s society, you can find people chewing gum in business meetings, church, and just about every other situation. With gum chewing so prevalent, you may have wondered what it’s doing to people’s teeth. You may be surprised to learn that research shows that chewing sugarless gum has a number of dental benefits. Let’s see how it can actually be a helpful addition to your oral care routine.
Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which rinses away food particles. Saliva also neutralizes acids that result from bacteria in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay. Known to carry with it calcium and phosphate, increased saliva flow also helps strengthen your tooth enamel.
Choose gum with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal, indicating it as met the required safety and effectiveness criteria. This approval means that you can trust the gum’s packaging and labeling to be true.
The only gums carrying the ADA Seal are sugarless. They contain sweeteners that don’t cause cavities, like aspartame, mannitol, sorbitol, or xylitol. Chewing gum with xylitol is especially recommended, because it has been shown to combat tooth decay and cavities.
Even though chewing gum can be beneficial, remember that brushing and flossing are still the best ways to care for your teeth. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss every day to remove plaque and debris between your teeth. Between these dental hygiene tasks, however, it is acceptable to chew sugarless gum to continue caring for your mouth during the day.
We look forward to seeing you in our Ottawa dental office