The Magic of Smile Makeovers

Your smile says a lot to others about your personality and how you take care of yourself. Often, it’s the first thing that people notice about you. Unfortunately, teeth that are stained, broken, or otherwise damaged may not give the impression you’d like. If you’re unhappy with your smile, it may be time to consider getting a smile makeover.

What is a smile makeover?
You’ve heard of makeovers for hair or clothes, and a smile makeover is just what it sounds like. The goal is to make improvements on the aspects of your mouth that you dislike, and end up with a smile that you are proud of and improves how you feel about yourself. Each person’s smile makeover is different, as some people need only minor cosmetic changes while others might require extensive dental work.

What can you expect?
The first step is selecting a qualified and experienced cosmetic dentist who performs the procedures you might like. Make an appointment for a consultation to discuss the things you’re not happy with about your smile, and find out what the dentist recommends for improvements. The dentist will examine you and note your goals and features. Some things that might be discussed are the size, shape, and color of your teeth, alignment issues, gum health, and the overall balance of your mouth and face. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and state your goals.

What are some common smile makeover procedures?

  • Teeth whitening to brighten your smile
  • Porcelain veneers to hide imperfections
  • Bonding to repair chips or breaks
  • Crowns to repair teeth
  • Gum contouring to correct the appearance of gums
  • Implants to restore missing teeth
  • Bridges or dentures for missing teeth
  • Braces to alter alignment or tooth placement

These are some of the popular procedures that Beaverton cosmetic dentist Dr. Enayati offer, but there may be even more choices of ways to give you the beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed about.

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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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Symptoms and Benefits Surrounding Root Canal Treatment

Sometimes tooth pulp, which is at the interior of each of your teeth, becomes infected or severely damaged. When this occurs, often root canal treatment is the best way to save your tooth. It involves removing the damaged tooth pulp, cleaning and sealing it, and placing a crown on top. The dangers of losing your natural tooth are eliminated.

A variety of symptoms can indicate a problem inside your tooth. Here are some of the most common signs:

  • Pain – probably the most well-known symptom of a problem is sudden or unprovoked pain. Damaged tooth pulp can be caused by severe decay, bad crowns, chips or cracks, teeth grinding, infection, trauma, repeated dental procedures, or gum disease. Inflammation can result, which leads to pressure building up inside the pulp cavity and impacting the nerves of the tooth. Severe pain can result.
  • Referred pain – inflammation and tooth pain may lead to referred pain, which means that it is hard to locate the source of your pain. Often pain occurs when you consume hot or cold foods or drinks.
  • Facial swelling – the area near your affected tooth may swell enough to be noticeable on the outside of your face.
  • Gum swelling – the gums near the affected tooth might swell and become irritated.
  • Tooth loosening – your damaged tooth may begin to loosen.
  • Pus – sometimes pus oozes in the area around the affected tooth.
  • Discoloration – damage to the tooth pulp may be evidenced by tooth discoloration.
  • No symptoms – sometimes there are no symptoms of a damaged tooth pulp. X-rays or other dental tests can reveal problems that you don’t realize exist. This is one reason that regular checkups are important for good oral health.

Root canal treatment offers numerous benefits. It can save your tooth, which allows for a more natural appearance and proper function. Your other teeth benefit because they are not exposed to greater wear related to missing teeth. Real teeth provide normal sensations in your mouth and standard biting force. Your diet can remain the same instead of having to eliminate foods based of abnormal mouth function. With all these benefits, there’s no reason to avoid this safe and effective procedure.

If you need root canal treatment in Beaverton Oregon, contact our office today.

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Bruxism: Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching

Many people clench or grind their teeth, but often don’t even realize they are doing it. That’s why it’s important to recognize the symptoms of these behaviors, as well as maintain regular visits to the dentist because the signs will be noticeable to a dental professional.

Here are some things to watch for and suggestions on how to deal with bruxism.

Bruxism is when you hold your top and bottom teeth tightly together or slide your teeth back and forth against each other. Dentists say that there are a variety of causes for bruxism, such as smoking, sleep disorders, depression, caffeine, medications, anxiety, and drug use. The overall common link to these behaviors though is reported to be stress.

It’s important to know what effects to look for that might indicate you are grinding or clenching your teeth. Common signs include:

  • Aching facial muscles and jaw
  • Headache
  • Ear ache
  • Inability to open your mouth as wide as usual
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Disrupting others when sleeping due to noise caused by grinding
  • Irritated or receding gums
  • Tight or stiff shoulders
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
  • Uneven or excessive tooth wear or breakage

If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your dentist for a checkup. Bruxism patients may be fitted with a night guard, an appliance worn while sleeping to protect your teeth and help relieve your symptoms. Your dentist will also help you identify the cause of your bruxism, likely stress. In addition to determining the source of your stress and trying to reduce it, there are some techniques to relieve stress and reduce your bruxism symptoms that may be helpful. These include practicing yoga, eating anti-inflammatory foods, performing deep breathing exercises, journaling to release distracting or nagging thoughts, and exercising to release tension.

Targeting the root cause of your bruxism is a good way to get control of the problem, and seeing your dentist for ways to protect your teeth and gums will help save you from suffering the effects of bruxism.

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Making the Most of Your Dental Veneers

One way to immediately change the whole look of your smile is to get porcelain dental veneers. These thin shells bonded securely to the front surfaces of your teeth can alter the color, size, length or shape of your teeth. The exact shade of the veneers is chosen by you and your dentist to achieve your specific smile goals. They look very natural and your existing chips, cracks, stains or gaps will be long gone when you flash your pearly whites.

Veneers are one of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry today. They typically last from 10 to 15 years if you take good care of your teeth and follow your dentist’s directions.

Here are some guidelines to follow that will help you protect your new smile.

Practicing good oral hygiene
One of the greatest advantages of veneers is that they don’t require extra care; follow your normal oral hygiene routine! Brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. Even though veneers aren’t susceptible to decay, your natural teeth underneath still are. Brushing and flossing helps protect them from damage and extends the life of your veneers.

Using the right tools
Choose a soft toothbrush that won’t harm your veneers or teeth. Hard bristles can scratch your new smile. Also select a gently toothpaste without harsh abrasives.

Watching your diet
Avoid foods and drinks that are prone to staining teeth. Although your porcelain veneers resist stains, the adhesives that attach them are not and can become yellowed or discolored. Avoid items like coffee, teas, sodas, dark sauces, or berries and get in the habit of drinking through a straw.

Avoiding hard objects
Veneers aren’t as strong as your real teeth and may chip or break. Steer clear of chewing on hard objects like ice, pencils and fingernails. Never use your teeth as tools for opening things.

Breaking bad habits
You can severely harm your veneers by teeth grinding or clenching. Ask your dentist for help stopping bad habits like these, or consider getting a mouth guard made to protect your teeth.

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Warning Signs after Root Canal Treatment

Root canal procedures are a common element of dentistry. They provide a great way to save teeth that have severe decay or damage. Whether or not the tooth is causing pain, it may require root canal treatment for the best results. If this happens to you, seek treatment from a qualified and experienced dentist.

After your procedure, you will be given instructions for caring for yourself during recovery.

There are some typical signs to watch for that you will want to consult your dentist if you notice them during your recovery.

Pain
Most patients only need over-the-counter pain medication following root canal treatment. If you experience pain that these medications do not relieve, ask your dentist for stronger prescription medication. Make sure you follow the directions carefully, including dosages, timing, alcohol or driving restrictions.

Swelling
It is a normal side effect to have some swelling after a root canal procedure. Use ice during the first day of recovery and any longer as directed by your dentist. If swelling worsens or comes back, contact your doctor.

Infection
If you notice a pimple near the affected tooth, call your dentist because it may require an appointment to ensure an infection isn’t starting. This is especially important for an upper tooth to avoid an infection spreading into your sinus cavity. If an infection develops, it is usually treated with an antibiotic.

Loose stitches
If you believe a stitch seems loose, call your dentist to determine if a new stitch is needed. This can occur as a result of eating hard foods too soon, or even just from poking around the area too much with your finger or tongue. Most stitches dissolve on their own, but your dentist will tell you if a follow-up appointment is needed to remove them.

A root canal procedure is often the best way to save a damaged tooth. Don’t hesitate to undergo treatment when it is recommended. If you are alert during recovery and follow the instructions, you should feel as good as new in only a few days.

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What Type of Dental Veneer is Right For You?

shutterstock_129124205If you’ve been looking into dental veneers to achieve your smile goals, you may be aware that there are several different veneer types available to you. Each type will sit on top of your natural tooth in thin, wafer-like shells, correcting issues such as gaps, misalignment, discoloration or teeth worn with age.

The two most common materials for dental veneers are porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers are created in a dental laboratory by a skilled technician. They are known as “indirect veneers.” Those veneers are then bonded to the surface of your natural teeth. Other veneers are created utilizing the composite resin directly onto your teeth while you’re in the dental chair. These veneer types are known as “direct veneers.” They require a level of artistry from the cosmetic dentist that is not as necessary as with indirect veneers.

Porcelain veneers can best correct extensive damage, discoloration, extremely worn teeth or very gapped or uneven teeth. Composite resin veneers are the best choice for small tooth issues like small cracks, chips or minor discoloration.

Porcelain veneers often require the permanent removal of some of the enamel of the tooth, a process known as enameloplasty. This is necessary in order to accommodate the bulk of the porcelain veneer on top of the tooth. If too little enamel is removed, a veneer can look puffy or artificial.

Some porcelain veneers are available that are so thin that they require only the smallest amount of enamel be ground away. These are called “no prep” veneers, and they are rising in popularity due to their ability to preserve more of the tooth’s enamel.

Talk to Beaverton cosmetic dentist, Dr. Enayati to find out more about dental veneers and what type is the best one for you and your smile goals.

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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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