Enamel Shaping and Bonding for an Improved Smile

Do have one tooth that is a little more square than another?  Do you have a rough spot on one of your teeth or a small chip in your tooth?  If so, you may be a good candidate for a painless cosmetic dental procedure called enamel shaping.  With enamel shaping, dentists use the same tools that are used to polish the teeth during a dental cleaning to remove a small amount of the tooth’s surface. This quick procedure can create an improved look and better feel.  Typically, enamel shaping is done without an anesthetic.  This may not be the case in patients with severe tooth sensitivity.

Dental bonding is another painless cosmetic dental procedure that is basically the opposite of enamel shaping. With dental bonding, a small amount of composite resin material is added to the tooth to fill in holes, cracks or gaps in the teeth.  Once the dental bonding material has hardened, it is polished to smooth the surface.

Enamel shaping and dental bonding are relatively inexpensive cosmetic dental procedures that can be used to improve your smile.  These procedures are appropriate when one or two of your teeth is in need of improvement.  If you wish to improve all of or a majority of the teeth that show when you smile, porcelain veneers may be a better option. This is also the case when there is severe tooth discoloration in multiple teeth.  With porcelain veneers, extremely thin shells are laminated to the front surfaces of the teeth to improve their appearance and bring balance to your smile.  Porcelain veneers are a highly effective way to dramatically improve the appearance of your smile but are quite a bit more expensive than bonding or enamel shaping.

If you are interested in improving the appearance of your smile but are not sure which type of cosmetic dental procedure to choose, talk to a qualified cosmetic dentist today.  After a thorough consultation, your dentist can recommend the procedure or combination of procedure that best suits your goals while staying within your budget.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health





Dental Phobia: More Common Than You Think

What do heights, small spaces, public speaking and visiting the dentist all have in common? The answer is that these are all common fears. If you have a dental phobia, you are certainly not alone.  In fact, statistics show that approximately 15% of Americans suffer from dental anxiety to some degree.  In some cases, the fear can simply cause anxiety and discomfort manifesting in symptoms such as an elevated heart rate and sweaty palms.  In others, it can cause panic attacks and debilitating fear.  Dental phobia can occur for a number of reasons but for many people, fear of the dentist begins with a painful childhood experience.  For this reason, it is important for children to have a positive experience on their first visit to the dentist and throughout their childhood.

If your fear of the dentist is mild to moderate, you can employ coping strategies such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, listening to music and talking through your fears to get you through your dental experience.  However, if your dental phobia is severe and makes it difficult for you to receive the dental care that you need to maintain healthy teeth and gums, you may want to talk with your dentist about Sedation Dentistry.

Sedation dentistry involves the use of either inhaled, oral or intravenous sedative medications.  These medications can be used to ease your dental phobia and anxieties make your experience at the dentist more tolerable and even enjoyable.  With today’s advanced dental techniques and technology as well as the various options for Sedation Dentistry, there is no need for you to fear going to the dentist.  If you have been putting off needed dental work or a dental cleaning and checkup due to a dental phobia, talk to your dentist about Sedation Dentistry today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


Severe Tooth Discoloration: Causes and Treatments

Aging and consuming certain types of foods and beverages can cause mild tooth discoloration that can typically be treated effectively utilizing a take-home whitening kit or with an in-office whitening procedure. However, if you have severe tooth discoloration due to tobacco stains, too much fluoride, genetic causes or tooth trauma, you may need to pursue other cosmetic dental solutions in order to achieve your desired results. This is because severe tooth discoloration that is caused by these factors is a lot harder to treat than simple stains on the teeth. However, don’t lose heart. With today’s advances in cosmetic dentistry, it is possible for virtually everyone to have a brighter and more confident smile. It just may take a little bit more work.

If you have one or a few teeth that are severely discolored, you may want to consider crowns. A crown is a covering that can be placed over the tooth to restore its strength and/or appearance. Crowns can be made of porcelain which can be closely matched to the color of the surrounding teeth for a more natural look.

If most or all of the teeth in your smile zone are severely discolored, you may want to consider porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are extremely thin shells that can be laminated to the front of the teeth in the front of your mouth to improve the appearance of your smile. Again, the porcelain can be closely matched to the color of your natural teeth for a more natural look.  In addition to treating severe tooth discoloration, porcelain veneers can be used to bring more balance to your smile if you have teeth that are too short, misaligned or otherwise unattractive.

If you have severe tooth discoloration on all or some of your teeth and want to achieve a more vibrant and youthful smile, talk to a qualified cosmetic dentist in your local area today. After a complete evaluation, your dentist can recommend the most appropriate cosmetic dental solution to help you reach your goals of a whiter, brighter, more beautiful smile.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


Need Additional Stability for Your Dentures?

If you wear dentures and are looking for additional stability to ensure that they do not slip or fall out, you may be interested in dental implants.  Dental implants are a revolutionary dental treatment that can be used to provide support for crowns, bridges or dentures.  The process involves inserting titanium screws into the jawbone and allowing the bone in the jaw to heal.  Once the bone has healed and the implants are anchored securely in the jaw, crowns, bridges or dentures can be attached to the implants to take the place of missing teeth.

When first invented, dental implants were used exclusively to provide support for dental crowns.  Today, their use has greatly expanded and they are used to support dental bridges and dentures.  Dental-implant-supported dentures provide more stability than conventional dentures and are less expensive than a full set of dental-implant-supported crowns.  For this reason, they are a good solution for many individuals with missing teeth.

If you are interested in dental implants to provide added stability to your dentures, the first step is to visit a dental implant specialist in your local area.  After a thorough evaluation and medical history, your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.  To be a candidate for dental implants, you must have enough healthy bone and tissue in your jaw to support the implants.  In cases where the quantity or quality of bone in the jaw is insufficient to support dental implants, other procedures may be needed to prepare the jawbone for successful placement of implants.  This may include any variety of bone grafting procedures.

If you have dentures that slip or fall out or if you are simply looking for a way to add stability to your dentures, talk to your dentist about dental implants today.  With dental-implant-supported dentures you can once again chew, smile, laugh and speak with confidence.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health




Protecting Your Teeth With a Mouthguard

Spring is in the air and that means soccer, baseball, lacrosse and other children’s sporting activities are in full swing.  While participating in contact sports can be great for kids in terms of exercise, character development and more, it can present a danger to their dental health.  That is, unless the proper protection is used to prevent dental traumas.  Basically, if your child participates in a contact sport, he or she needs to wear a mouth guard to protect his or her teeth.

There are three different types of mouth guards including the following:

•  Custom fitted

•  Stock

•  Boil and bite

Custom fitted mouth guards are made specifically for you, by your dentist.  This is the most expensive option but fits the best and may provide the best protection for the teeth.  This is because it is custom-fitted to your specific mouth.  Stock mouth guards can be purchased at most big box stores and come pre-formed, ready to wear.  Unfortunately, often times they do not fit well, and can make breathing and talking difficult.  Boil and bite mouth guards can be purchased at drug stores and most sporting goods stores.  They are first softened in water (boiled) and then inserted and allowed to conform to the shape of your mouth.  They provide a better fit than the stock mouth guards yet are less expensive than the custom mouth guards.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), custom-fitted mouth guards provided by dentists provide the best protection for teeth.  However, boil and bite mouth guards are a more economical option and do provide some measure of protection.  The important thing is for your child to wear some form of mouth guard to protect the teeth from trauma and injury.  When teeth are lost, it causes problems with smiling, eating talking and your overall dental health.  While there are good options for replacing lost teeth, they can be costly and labor intensive.

If your child is going to be participating in contact sports this spring, put a mouth guard on your list of equipment.  You will be glad you did!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health





Should You Invest in An Electronic Toothbrush?

When you walk down the aisle of the grocery or drug store these days, you are hit with a myriad of different choices of toothbrushes.  Not only are there many different brands, but there are also different types.  These different types include regular old-fashioned toothbrushes, battery-operated spinning toothbrushes and electronic toothbrushes that plug into an outlet, such as the Sonicare brand.  These toothbrushes are not only different in brand and type, but they are also very different in price.

The plain, old-fashioned toothbrushes are the least expensive followed by the battery-operated spinning toothbrushes.  The electronic toothbrushes that plug in, like the Sonicare brand, are the most expensive option.  But is an electronic toothbrush really worth the extra cost?  Most dentists will tell you that the most important thing is to brush your teeth thoroughly, using any type of toothbrush, at least twice daily.  They will also tell you to be careful about how hard you brush and the technique you use.  Dragging a toothbrush across your teeth and gums with too much pressure can damage your gums.  Using a toothbrush that is too firm can also damage your gums.  It is better to brush with a soft or medium bristled toothbrush and to make small circular motions.

One of the good things about electronic toothbrushes is the fact that they eliminate the need apply pressure when you brush.  You can simply hold the electronic toothbrush over the teeth and gums, and let it do all the work.  This is a good option for individuals who have gum recession or who tend to brush with too vigorously.

Your dentist is the best person to help determine which type of toothbrush is right for you.  If you have questions about what type of toothbrush to buy or about your oral health in general, please visit your local dentist today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health



Finding Ways to Pay For Your Dental Care

In today’s economy, every dollar counts.  Even though things seem to be getting better, there are still many individuals in the United States who are unable to find full-time employment, or any employment at all.  This can make it difficult to pay for the necessities in life, including preventive dental care.

If you are fortunate enough to be employed by an employer who offers a health Flexible Spending Account (FSA) option, you know what a great benefit this is. A healthcare FSA is a tax-advantaged financial account that can be set up through a cafeteria plan by an employer in the United States. An FSA allows an employee to set aside a certain amount of their earnings to pay for eligible healthcare expenses. The money that is deducted from an employee’s payroll check and placed in an FSA is not subject to payroll taxes. This provides a very smart and cost-effective means for employees to pay for their healthcare expenses, including dental care.  FSA funds can be used for dental expenses such as teeth cleaning, sealants, fluoride treatments, X-rays, fillings, extractions, dentures and more.

In addition, many dental practices now offer in-house and/or flexible payment plans.  This provides another good option to help families and individuals pay for needed dental care.  These plans allow you to get the care you need now and to spread the payments out over time.  This can be especially helpful when a major dental procedure such as dental implants or root canal therapy is needed.

The worst thing you can do, in any economy is to neglect your oral health.  This will only lead to more serious, painful and expensive dental health problems down the road.  You can avoid costly dental bills in the future by getting regular general and preventive dental care today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


What Is A Root Canal Procedure?

Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of men and women more than a root canal procedure.  For some reason, this highly effective dental procedure that can be used to treat a tooth that has become infected or is severely decayed has received a bad reputation.  Most people think that root canals are really painful when, in fact, a root canal procedure is used to eliminate the pain being caused by an infected tooth.  Although most people fear a root canal, most are not really certain what is involved.

A root canal procedure is a dental treatment that is used to restore and/or save a tooth that has an infection in the nerve and pulp contained in the center of the tooth.    The procedure involves removing the infected nerve and pulp from the center of the tooth, cleaning the area and then sealing it to prevent further infection.  Before a root canal procedure, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic using an injection at the site of the affected tooth.  This will serve to numb the area.  You may also receive either inhaled or oral sedative medications to help you relax during the procedure and to prevent pain.

In most cases, the recovery from a root canal procedure is quick and involves minimal pain.  Most people are able to manage the pain with over-the-counter, NSAID medications.  In some cases, prescription pain pills may be prescribed.  You should let your dentist/Endodontist know if you are experiencing significant pain after a root canal procedure as this may be a sign of a complication.

The bottom line is that there is no need to fear a root canal procedure.  The worst thing you can do is fail to seek treatment for an infected tooth as this can lead to serious complications such as an abscessed tooth and even tooth loss.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


Sedation Dentistry: What Is It?

Sedation Dentistry is a catch all term that can be used to describe dentistry that is performed while a patient is under some type of sedative medication or combination of medications.

Nitrous Oxide is one form of Sedation Dentistry. Nitrous Oxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be inhaled to produce a euphoric feeling and to alleviate or diminish pain. Under Nitrous Oxide, patients remain aware of their surroundings, however, the mild sedative helps to relax nerves and calm anxieties that may be associated with visiting the dentist.

Oral Conscious Sedation is another form of Sedation Dentistry. In this case, sedative medications are given to patients orally prior to a dental procedure. The oral sedative medications produce a drowsy effect and make patients slightly less focused on their surroundings but will not put them to sleep. For this type of sedation, transportation must be arranged both to and from the dentist’s office.

IV Sedation is another form of Sedation Dentistry that involves administering sedative medications intravenously.  This type of sedation also requires that the patient has transportation both to and from the dentist’s office from another reliable adult.

Sedation Dentistry is a good option for patients with dental phobias or a fear of the dentist. It can also be a good solution for patients with severe gag reflexes, difficulty getting numb and physical or developmental disabilities that make it difficult to receive dental treatment. Lastly, it can also be used for patients who simply desire a more pleasant dental experience.

Sedation Dentistry has been used effectively for many years. However, it is not right for everyone. Only you and your dentist can decide whether or not Sedation Dentistry is right for you and if it is, which type best suits your needs. If you have questions about Sedation Dentistry, talk to your dentist today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


More and More Patients Are Choosing Dental Implants to Replace Missing Teeth

Currently, the options for replacing missing teeth include bridges, partial dentures, full dentures and dental implants. Of these options, only dental implants provide a permanent solution that allows for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. For this reason, more and more patients are choosing dental implants to replace their missing teeth.

Dental implants are prosthetic tooth roots that are placed in a patient’s jawbone to take the place of missing tooth roots. Once the jawbone has healed and the implants are securely anchored into place (a process know as osseointegration), a crown or bridge may be fixed to the implants to take the place of missing teeth. Dental implants have become increasingly popular since their endorsement by the ADA (American Dental Association) in 1986. In fact, between the years of 1986 and 1999, the number of dental implants procedures in the United States tripled. It is now estimated that more than half a million dental implants are placed in the United States every year.

It is widely known that dental implants cost more than other tooth replacement options such as bridges and dentures. Why then is this procedure becoming so popular? Dental implants are the preferred tooth replacement option for most patients because they look natural, feel natural and allow for normal speech and normal chewing function. Perhaps most importantly, unlike dentures, dental implants are not at risk for slipping and falling out and do not require the use of messy, sticky and sometimes harmful adhesive creams. Patients who receive dental implants find themselves free from the shame and embarrassment of missing teeth and experience an increase in their confidence as well as their overall quality of life. To join the millions of Americans who have benefited from dental implants, contact a dental implants specialist in your local area today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health