If you’re looking for an alternative to dentures for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are something to consider. These natural-looking and long-lasting restorations give you back a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing smile.
Dental implants, usually made of titanium, are surgically inserted into your jawbone to create an artificial tooth root. The implant fuses with your bone so that it becomes a permanent part of your body. Once it has healed, a post is placed on top so that an artificial tooth or crown can be attached to complete the restoration. The process requires multiple dental visits over the course of a couple of months.
Most dentists perform implant procedures, although some patients choose to seek treatment from a specialist such as an oral surgeon. If your dentist does not offer this procedure, ask for a referral to another qualified professional for treatment.
With proper oral care, dental implants can last for at least twenty years. Once you have them, you and others won’t even realize they are there. Some other benefits of dental implants are:
- No replacements or updates are necessary.
- There are no diet restrictions.
- Implants look like natural teeth.
- They can be maintained with normal brushing and flossing.
- Implants do not develop tooth decay or cavities.
- They are securely attached to the jaw so there is no risk of loosening.
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While general dentistry focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating oral health issues, cosmetic dentistry deals with the appearance of your smile. Some typical problems that cosmetic dentists face are missing, chipped, discolored, crooked, gapped, or broken teeth. If you have any of these dental issues, you have a number of choices in cosmetic dentistry procedures that can improve your smile.
Missing teeth can be restored with a natural-looking and comfortable modern procedure called dental implants. Titanium roots are surgically inserted into your jaw bone and then covered with an artificial tooth. Implants provide a permanent way to restore smiles.
Very thin porcelain or resin shells that are bonded onto the front surfaces of your teeth are called veneers. They hide many kinds of flaws and can last many years with proper care.
Composite resin material can be applied to the surface of damaged teeth, molded into shape, hardened with a special light, and then polished to look natural. Bonded teeth blend right into your smile and repair problems like chips, cracks, stains, and gaps.
Performed on healthy teeth, contouring involves altering the shape, length, or position of teeth to improve the appearance. Contouring is most often done for minor flaws, and the immediate results are evident.
Soft tissue grafts are used to transfer healthy gum tissue to a different area of the mouth. These gum grafts can stop gum recession or bone loss, as well as create a more attractive smile. It also reduces sensitivity to cold or hot that sometimes accompanies gum recession.
Orthodontic braces improve crooked smiles, as well as correct jaw and bite issues. There are a variety of types of braces that patients may choose for their goals and preferences.
To eliminate stains or just to brighten your smile, teeth whitening is a popular treatment offered by cosmetic dentists. It is a simple and quick way to enhance your appearance.
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Teeth that have become stained or yellowed can really affect your appearance. Not only can it make it appear like you don’t take care of your teeth, it also tends to make you look older. The goal of whiter smiles has increased the popularity of professional teeth whitening, which provides quick and dramatic results. Here are some facts about professional teeth whitening that you may not realize.
The most common side effect associated with teeth whitening is increased tooth sensitivity, especially to cold items. Each patient is different, as some people are affected and others experience no side effects. Typically the increased level of sensitivity disappears within 24 to 72 hours after treatment.
The professional whitening process involves applying a bleaching agent to the teeth and then exposing it to ultraviolet (UV) light. Research shows that using light during the process increases the whitening effectiveness by one-third. Precautions like glasses and sunscreen should be taken to protect your eyes and skin from the UV radiation during the procedure, which usually lasts about an hour.
Foods that stain
Once your teeth have been whitened, it doesn’t mean you no longer have to worry about discoloration. Avoid foods and drinks that are known to stain, such as tea, coffee, red wine, dark sauces, and berries. Tobacco use is another culprit for causing teeth stains.
Your dentist may give you a kit to use at home to help maintain your bright smile. It usually includes a hydrogen peroxide agent and bleach tray. You may be instructed to use the kit a couple of times a year to maintain the whiteness level of your smile. If you have habits like using tobacco or consuming staining foods often, you may be advised to use the home bleaching kit more frequently.
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A popular choice that people are making is to take the whole family to a dentist who specializes in offering services to entire families. This type of dental office meets the needs of all ages and oral health conditions that your family might have. This allows everyone to be treated in the same location by the same staff.
There are a variety of services that most family dentists in Shreveport offer their patients. One is preventative care to help avoid dental problems in the future. A dental checkup every six months will provide family members with thorough examinations, so that issues like tooth decay or gingivitis might be identified before symptoms even appear. Another important aspect of the checkup is professional cleaning so that everyone in your family will have a bright, healthy smile.
Another part of regular checkups is to make sure that everyone in your family knows how to properly care for their teeth and gums. Your family dentist will demonstrate the best techniques for oral care for all ages, whether it’s for young children, teens, adults, or senior adults. Family dentists will be able to answer all questions and help with any decisions that need to be made about dental care.
In addition to preventative care, family dentists offer various other services and treatments. Fillings, veneers, bonding, dental implants, dentures, crowns, and teeth whitening are some choices that family dentists may provide. Each dental office chooses which types of procedures they offer, but if a particular treatment isn’t provided, you will likely be referred to someone else who can perform the work.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental care are the best ways to a healthy smile throughout life. Each member of your family deserves a chance for good oral health, and a family dentist may be the ideal way to achieve it.
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