The importance of having a family dentist who can take care of every family member’s oral health needs can’t be emphasized enough. You can prevent cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss by visiting your family dentist regularly. Not only that, your overall health and your appearance will also benefit.
Better oral health:
Regular examinations by your family dentist will check for problems like tooth decay and cavities. Gum disease is another oral health issue that your dentist will look for, so that it can be detected and treated early. Dental problems are much easier to handle when they are caught early, before they can advance to more serious stages which may even mean tooth loss. Your teeth will also have a thorough professional cleaning at dental visits, getting rid of unhealthy plaque and tartar. Children can begin visiting the family dentist around the first birthday, and checkups should continue throughout life.
In additional to advantages for your oral health, your smile will look more appealing when you maintain regular family dental visits. Your teeth will be in the best condition possible when you have examinations and cleanings as recommended. If you are interested in further treatment that your family dentist doesn’t specialize in, you may be referred to a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist.
Enhanced overall health:
You may not realize it, but seeing a family dentist does more than protect your teeth. Your overall health will be improved when you care for your oral health. Gum disease has been linked to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and pregnancy complications. So your risk for these serious health problems may be decreased with regular visits to your family dentist. Another health problem that dental checkups can catch is oral cancer. Most dentists perform routine oral cancer screenings during examinations, so that your chances for recovery are much greater with early detection and treatment.
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Your family, general, or pediatric dentist or orthodontist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for some dental treatments that require oral surgery. An oral surgeon is a specialist who has graduated from an accredited dental school and also completed additional education and residency related to surgical procedures needed to treat various oral diseases and conditions. An oral surgeon is trained in treating the following conditions:
- Removal of diseased or impacted teeth
- Placement of dental implants
- Treatment of facial trauma involving gums, jaws, nasal cavities, cheekbones, eye sockets, and forehead
- Evaluation of pathologic conditions such as cysts and tumors of the mouth and face or acute infections of the oral cavity, salivary glands, neck, and jaws
- Treatment of facial pain including those caused by temporomandibular (TMJ) problems
- Cosmetic or reconstructive surgery to correct jaw, facial bone, and facial soft tissue problems
- Corrective jaw surgery
- Cleft lip and cleft palate repair
- Surgical treatment for sleep apnea
There are many different techniques that oral surgeons use to accomplish your treatment goals. The choice of techniques may vary between surgeons and should be discussed between you and your surgeon prior to the procedure.
Many oral surgery procedures can be completed in an outpatient setting. Often you are only in the office for a few hours and can return to your regular routine in a matter of days. A good oral surgeon will be able to perform these procedures with little chance of complications, and will be able to provide you with the information you need to understand the recovery process. Your oral surgeon will often collaborate with other specialists, such as an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist, to achieve your ultimate treatment goals.
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Porcelain veneers hide your teeth’s imperfections so that you are happier with your smile. They are very thin shells that are adhered onto the fronts of your teeth to permanently give you the look you want. Veneers can make your teeth look straighter, whiter, and better than ever before.
How do you know if veneers might be right for you? Here are some things to consider when deciding whether veneers can help your smile:
- You would like to alter your teeth permanently.
- You want to change the color of your teeth.
- Your front teeth are broken or chipped.
- Your teeth are not evenly spaced.
- Your teeth are not aligned straight.
- You’d like to improve your smile quickly.
- You don’t want to affect much of your natural teeth.
- You would like a brighter smile.
If any of these statements describe your situation, then porcelain veneers might be a good choice for you. Of course the first thing you need to do is consult a dentist for advice. Many times, the ideal person for the job is a cosmetic dentist. This type of specialist focuses on performing procedures to help patients achieve their cosmetic smile goals. Veneers is one such treatment that has grown in popularity because it transforms smiles in just a few short appointments, and it is a painless approach.
When you visit a cosmetic dentist, you will be able to describe what bothers you about your teeth and learn if you are a good candidate for veneers. If so, the dentist will explain the simple process of having your porcelain veneers custom-made in a lab for you. Your natural teeth will undergo some minor preparation, and when your veneers are ready the dentist will securely attach them to your teeth. Then you will be set to show off your new smile!
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If you have lost all of your teeth or just a few, you are probably a good candidate for dentures. Dentures, also known as removable prosthodontics, are used for the dental restoration or replacement of missing or broken teeth. You may want to consider dentures if any of the following apply to your situation:
- You have very few remaining teeth and they are in poor condition.
- You have suffered bone loss in your mouth so severe it precludes you from considering dental implants.
- You have advanced gum disease that has resulted in the loss of multiple teeth.
- You have lost many teeth, and your remaining teeth are suffering from decay and receding gums.
- You are committed to practicing excellent oral hygiene in order to take good care of your dentures.
You may not be a good candidate for dentures if any of the following apply:
- You are a young patient whose jawbone has not fully developed.
- You grind or clench your teeth.
- You have a sensitive gag reflex.
- You are a smoker.
If you feel you are a good candidate for dentures, your dentist will evaluate the health of your teeth and gums and determine if full or partial dentures are the best choice for you. There are many factors to consider when having dentures placed, and your dental professional can help you make a decision that fits your needs and lifestyle. If you wish to regain oral functionality and improve your smile, dentures may be your answer to once again enjoying a full set of beautiful, natural looking teeth.
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By far, the best way to brighten and whiten your smile is through an in-office treatment performed by your dentist. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel used by your dentist is much higher than that which can be obtained over-the-counter by you in a drugstore. Lasers or special lights are employed by many dentists to achieve the best results.
With the rise in popularity of in-office teeth whitening, some specialty brands have emerged that offer different methods and ingredient strengths to address even the most stubborn stains.
- BriteSmile also uses whitening gel and a blue light, but their gel has a concentration of 15 percent hydrogen peroxide and a nearly neutral pH level, a mix that is easier on sensitive gum tissue.
- Lumbrite employs a custom light, known as the Sapphire Plasma Arc Curing and Whitening Light. This light has no destructive UV rays, although the gel is so strong it can work without the light. Lumbrite also has a desensitizing agent in its gel to reduce problems with sensitivity.
- GLO Science Professional has a specialized mouthpiece that employs Guided Light Optics (GLO) that works in tangent with a whitening gel, delivering light and heat to the tooth surfaces. The mouthpiece prevents oxygen from leaving the treatment area, giving optimal whitening results.
- Philips Zoom! is one of the most popular and well-known of the teeth whitening brands available at the dentist’s office. Their whitening gel uses a 25 percent concentration of peroxide which is stimulated by a proprietary blue light to achieve maximum whitening and is said to provide a more sparkling look to your enamel.
- Opalescence uses one of the most powerful gels available, utilizing a 40 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide as well as potassium nitrate to reduce gum and tooth sensitivity after treatment. It also contains fluoride which strengthens the tooth enamel and reduces decay.
Talk to your dentist today to determine which of these or any other professional whitening methods is best for you and your teeth whitening needs.
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What defines sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is any type of dentistry treatment performed in conjunction with the patient being given some kind of anesthetic. Sedation dentistry can give the dental professional the freedom to perform all types of therapies while the patient is completely comfortable and pain-free.
Is sedation dentistry safe?
While utilizing sedation dentistry, you will be monitored by your dentist at all times. Age, medical conditions and existing medications can all be factors to consider when choosing a type of sedation.
Is conscious sedation the same thing as sedation dentistry?
Conscious sedation is the term for a type of treatment a patient receives that allows the patient freedom from fear, anxiety and pain while still remaining aware enough to follow simple instructions given by the dentist’s team. Conscious sedation can be administered on several levels, customized to each particular patient’s anxiety level.
How is conscious sedation administered?
Conscious sedation can be administered orally, inhaled or by IV. Oral sedation is delivered via a pill. Most patients take the pill one hour prior to the treatment. Some choose to take a pill the night before to be certain to get a good night’s sleep. Inhaled sedation is commonly known as laughing gas, and can allow you to feel as though you are drifting away during a treatment. Deeper, faster-acting sedation can be achieved through intravenous sedation.
Should I choose sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a choice open to anyone who is in good physical shape who has fear, anxiety or stress about an upcoming dental treatment. If you find yourself dreading a visit to the dentist to get necessary work completed, be honest with your dentist about your fears and ask about all of the ways sedation dentistry can help you get the work you need, in comfort and ease.
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