Knowing if Dental Veneers are Right for You

A smile that causes embarrassment is one way to bring a person down in most areas of life. It’s hard to enjoy talking, eating, laughing, or other activities if you’re hesitant to show your teeth. One way that cosmetic dentistry can change your smile is with dental veneers.

What are veneers?
Dental veneers are extremely thin shells that are adhered to the fronts of your teeth to cover problems. They hide problems that might make you embarrassed or uncomfortable about your smile. Veneers don’t require extensive tooth reshaping and are customized to your specific teeth.

What are the benefits of getting veneers?
Providing a natural appearance, veneers give you a whole new smile. The color may be chosen to either match your real teeth or give you a whiter look. Porcelain is the most common material for veneers, and it resists future stains. Also, gums are usually not irritated by contact with the porcelain. Veneers are a long-lasting, durable solution.

What problems can veneers help?
Dentists recommend veneers for patients with issues such as these:

  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Stains or discoloration from foods, medications, and personal habits
  • Worn down teeth from overuse
  • Uneven, misaligned, or misshapen teeth

Who is not a candidate for veneers?
Dental veneers aren’t the best solution for everyone. Your dentist may advise against veneers if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Untreated tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Insufficient tooth structure or enamel due to excessive wear or large fillings which won’t allow the veneers to attach properly
  • Teeth grinding habit which can cause the irreparable veneers to break

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Selecting a Cosmetic Dentist

Getting cosmetic dental work done is a great way to improve your appearance and self-esteem. The first step in changing your look is to choose a good cosmetic dentist who can help you achieve your smile goals. As you are looking for the right healthcare professional, here is a list of questions that you may want to ask in order to reach your decision.

What are the dentist’s qualifications?
Cosmetic dentists can become accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). This indicates that the dentist has taken education and training in cosmetic dentistry, passed related examinations, presented cases of cosmetic dental procedures to a panel of experts, and taken an oath for high ethical standards in cosmetic dental treatment. Accreditation by the AACD means that the dentist should be highly qualified, so looking for a professional with this stamp of approval is a good idea.

Does the dentist have experience in the procedures of interest to you?
Before visiting the dentist, it’s smart to research the types of procedures you think might help you. That way you can ask the dentist specifically about those treatments and if the dentist is experienced in them, as well as learning about other procedures you may not know about.

Can you see examples and speak to other patients?
Ask to see photographs or case histories of other patients so you can see the dentist’s handiwork for yourself. Ask about speaking to the patients to find out about their experience with the dentist and practice. Feedback from other patients is a great way to help you form a realistic impression of a dentist.

Does the dentist pursue continuing education?
AACD accreditation requires the dentist to participate in continuing education and learn about new technology, so this should be something a qualified dentist pursues. Cosmetic techniques are constantly being updated, so a dentist should be willing to learn and incorporate the latest advancements.

What about the service, atmosphere, and office itself?
The dentist and staff should be friendly and willing to make you feel comfortable and confident in the practice. The atmosphere should be inviting, relaxing, and reassuring. The office should be clean and professional, as well as equipped with modern technologies.

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Improving Your Oral Health Through Dental Implants

Advancements in dentistry have given people with missing teeth a chance for better oral health and beautiful smiles through dental implants. These restorations provide a permanent way to regain a natural-looking appearance. Made of durable titanium and fused directly into your jawbone so that they become part of your body, implants provide many benefits for patients over other alternatives like dentures.

Less discomfort
Removable dentures have a reputation of being rather uncomfortable for many patients. Implants eliminate discomfort because they permanently become part of your mouth. There is none of the gum irritation common with dentures, and you can enjoy your normal diet and lifestyle.

Better appearance
Because they are fused into your jaw, implants look and feel like your natural teeth. It’s hard for anyone to tell you have them, and they get rid of any holes in your smile created by missing teeth.

Easier care
No messy adhesives are needed with implants, and no worries about the possibility of losing your restorations. Fears are gone about your dentures popping out or coming loose during eating or talking. Oral hygiene is performed just like with your natural teeth.

Healthy alternative
All of your other teeth remain unaffected and your long term oral health is even improved. This is because implants stimulate your jawbone growth and prevent damage to the structure of your face.

Improved speech
Poor fitting dentures can negatively impact your speech, but permanent implants don’t affect your ability to talk normally.

Increased confidence
Without gaps in your smile or worries of restorations slipping in your mouth, your self-esteem and confidence will be improved.

Improved durability
Dental implants usually last 10 to 15 years with proper care and checkups. They are a great long-lasting solution for many patients desired to permanently replace missing teeth.

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Planning for Your Cosmetic Dentistry Appointment

shutterstock_177372305Congratulations on your upcoming cosmetic dentistry treatment! You’re on the road toward obtaining the smile of your dreams. Before your appointment, however, it’s important to make any necessary arrangements that will allow you to get home safely and recover quickly and completely, without complications.

If your cosmetic dentistry procedure requires sedation of any kind other than laughing gas, you may not drive yourself home after your appointment. Sedation dentistry, even that which is administered by an IV, is conscious, but it leaves the patient feeling dreamy and sometimes woozy or dizzy, and although you may walk and talk and respond to instructions, you are not alert enough to drive. Driving after sedation dentistry can lead to a terrible accident in which you or someone else may be hurt. Avoid this serious issue by arranging a ride home with a trusted family member, friend or coworker.

It’s important to wear comfortable clothing to your appointment, especially if you’re going to go right home to rest. Teeth whitening or dental veneers are simple cosmetic procedures that require little, if any dental sedation; however, dental implants, crowns and bridges or gum treatments will require sedation and therefore calls for rest at home afterward. Wearing soft clothing can allow you to slip right into bed or to recline comfortably on the sofa to begin your recovery.

Many procedures will leave you with a need to consume soft foods and tepid liquids. Have plenty of yogurt, applesauce or soft cheeses on hand. Milkshakes can be an excellent source of calories and energy following cosmetic dentistry.

Be sure to have plenty of anti-inflammatory pain medication on hand, such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. This can ease common post-procedure discomfort.

Ask your cosmetic dentist for more tips on how to prepare for your particular treatment. Just a little work ahead of time can make your recovery so much more comfortable.

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Tips for a Stunning Smile

smile4You don’t have to be a movie star or celebrity to have a stunning smile. The latest cosmetic dental technologies mean anyone can have beautiful teeth, using simple and affordable options such as cosmetic bonding, teeth whitening or Invisalign invisible braces.

The following tips will help keep your smile looking good, regardless of what you choose to do:

  • Regular dental checkups should be a top priority. The American Dental Association recommends biannual checkups. Regular exams enable your dentist in Beaverton, OR to monitor your dental health, and any small problems can be treated as they arise. Professional dental cleanings help keep your teeth sparkling clean and freshen up breath.
  • Make sure you have great oral care at home. It’s essential to brush at least twice a day, and floss once a day to keep your smile looking good. If you don’t keep up with these simple tasks you’ll increase the chances of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Aim for a naturally healthy look. The best and most attractive smiles don’t look artificial, so try to keep your facial muscles relaxed and your lips well moisturized to complete the overall look.
  • Practice relaxing. People who are less stressed and more relaxed about life and tend to radiate happiness, and this is reflected in your smile. If you have a stressful life, try taking time out for relaxation.
  • Practice your new smile. If your dentist in Beaverton, OR has recently improved the appearance of your teeth, it can take a while to get used to your new look. There is no harm in practicing in front of the mirror, or even smiling at strangers in the street. It could brighten up their day and you will probably get a nice smile in return.

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Answering Some Common Dental Questions

checkupTaking care of your oral health involves a variety of things, and sometimes you have questions about the best way to care for your teeth. In order to maintain healthy teeth, here are the answers to come common questions that people have about dental care.

What kind of toothbrush should I use?
Dentists recommend using a toothbrush with a soft bristle. It is gentler on your tooth enamel and gum tissue, so it cleans your mouth without damaging it. A soft bristle is also more flexible, allowing you to access areas that are harder to reach.

When should I replace my toothbrush?
Change your toothbrush about every three months, or sooner if the bristles look frayed or broken. Also change your toothbrush after an illness because it can harbor bacteria and cause reinfection. It is smart to store your toothbrush in an upright position to allow it to drain and dry between uses, which helps it remain in better shape until it’s time for a new one.

When should I brush?
Most people have heard it’s best to brush your teeth immediately after eating. Some experts suggest waiting about thirty minutes after consuming certain foods. Highly acidic foods, like sodas and fruits, can weaken tooth enamel. Waiting for a short time to brush may give your mouth time to stabilize and begin fighting the acid on its own, so that you don’t brush when your teeth are in a weakened condition.

Are checkups really that important?
If you don’t have any oral health issues that you know about, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to skip a dental checkup. Some conditions like tooth decay and gum disease can exist without symptoms, but your dentist can catch issues before symptoms occur. Also, having your teeth professionally cleaned is very beneficial to your oral health and will help keep your smile looking nice.

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The Role that Fluoride Plays in Your Oral Health

toothbrush1Your teeth are under attack all the time from acid, plaque, sugar, and bacteria that are hoping to create problems like tooth decay. One of the best ways to help fight this battle to protect your teeth is the use of fluoride. It creates a wall between your teeth and the bad things to which they are exposed.

What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral naturally found in water and food. Your tooth enamel contains minerals that are normally added and lost daily. Your teeth need minerals to protect them from sugars and bacteria, so you must restore lost minerals as much as possible. Fluoride is the best mineral to add back to your teeth and improve their health.

Is it important for everyone?
People of all ages need fluoride for their teeth. It is especially important for kids ages 6 to 16 to be exposed to fluoride during the time that they experience significant growth in both their primary and secondary teeth. Adults also need fluoride to maintain a healthy mouth. Some people who are at greater risk for tooth decay should be careful to get fluoride. These include people with xerostomia or dry mouth, gum disease, or a history of cavities.

What is the best way to get fluoride?
One of the simplest and most common ways to obtain fluoride is through your drinking water, especially because many areas add it to their water supply. Fluoride is also available in over-the-counter toothpastes and mouthwashes. People with serious oral health problems may benefit from stronger concentrations of fluoride, which may be prescribed by your dentist. Fluoride may also be professionally administered at your dental visit through gels or foams placed on your teeth.

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Reasons to Consider a Family Dentist

shutterstock_165818507There are lots of reasons that finding a family dentist is a great decision for everyone in your household. You can research and find a dental professional and office staff that you like only one time, and then feel confident everyone in your family is getting quality care in one location.

Here are some more reasons to find a family dentist.

One stop service
It is helpful to be able to meet your entire family’s dental needs in one location. Instead of having to drive yourself to one office and other family members to another, you can focus on just one office and one staff. No more going to one provider for cleanings and another for more complex procedures. You can get quality care from the family dentist you choose, and your life if made simpler in the process.

All ages welcome
A family dentist serves the dental needs of everyone in your household, from children to teenagers to senior adults. Things like first appointments, braces, teeth whitening, root canals, and dental implants are all possible with most family dental practices. Also, children may feel more comfortable going to the same place as parents.

Available treatment
Some family dental practices offer emergency service after hours and on weekends. So when someone in your family wakes up at night with a severe toothache, you can seek help. You can’t predict when dental accidents might happen, and it’s reassuring to be able to see your regular family dentist for treatment.

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What if You Need an Oral Surgeon?

shutterstock_144115603If you’re experiencing pain or other concerning dental problems, it’s always best to schedule as appointment to see your general dentist. The dentist will examine your teeth and gums to identify what is causing the problem, but sometimes it is better treated by a specialist such as an oral surgeon. If your dentist says that an oral surgeon is the best choice to treat your condition, follow through and make an appointment with a qualified surgeon.

Ask your dentist for recommendations for a reputable and experienced oral surgeon. You must be able to trust your surgeon and have confidence in your treatment. Also look for someone you feel comfortable with and like both the surgeon and the supporting staff. The less anxiety you have before, during, and after your procedure, the better you will feel about the whole experience. Even though it may be only a few times that you seek treatment from this type of specialist, choosing one you like and trust is still important.

When you visit your oral surgeon for the first time, you will not have the procedure done on the same visit. The first appointment allows you to get to know one another and decide together upon your treatment. You will learn what to expect during the operation and recovery, and obtain instructions about how to prepare for surgery. There are often specific directions on what to do and not to do so that you avoid complications during surgery. Your surgeon will also go over options for sedation or anesthesia, so that you can choose the best one to make you the most comfortable during the procedure.

Once you have seen the oral surgeon, gotten the information you need, and decided to pursue treatment, the next step is having the surgery and then following the aftercare instructions. If you take the doctor’s advice, you will likely be back to your old self soon and happy that you sought the care of an oral surgeon.

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Managing Your Pain and Anxiety During Your Smile Makeover

dentist2Smile makeovers can include some fairly extensive work, some of which might be worrisome or uncomfortable for the patient. If you’re facing a smile makeover, you’re excited about the results to come, but you’re probably nervous about how you’re going to get there. If you’re beginning the journey down your smile makeover path, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways for you to manage your pain and anxiety.

Before a procedure, your dentist may prescribe you an oral conscious sedative. This sedative is typically in the form of a pill and can be taken by mouth up to an hour prior to your treatment. If your anxiety is so great it affects your ability to sleep, you might receive an additional dose to take the night before. This ensures that you get a good night’s rest.

Once you’re in the dental chair, you might be offered nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. This gas is an inhaled conscious sedative and it can leave you feeling very relaxed and dreamy. You may even feel as though you’ve drifted off to sleep, but that’s an illusion; you are actually conscious and able to respond to instruction. Nitrous oxide wears off very quickly and you’ll feel alert soon after you stop breathing it in.

IV sedation is used for more involved procedures, especially those that require oral surgery. This sedation is also a form of conscious sedation, and you will be able to respond to commands, even though you may feel completely “out.” You are also likely to have no memories of events while you are sedated, as a side-effect of the medication is amnesia.

After your smile makeover, you will either have been prescribed narcotic pain relief, or you’ll use over-the-counter analgesics, like ibuprofen. In the days following your treatment, you’ll start to feel better and better, until one day, the pain is gone and all that is left is your gorgeous new smile.

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