Getting the Most out of Cosmetic Dentistry

shutterstock_66213397Using dental techniques and procedures to improve the appearance of teeth, gums, and the overall smile is called cosmetic dentistry. Dentists in this specialty area focus on making teeth look whiter, straighter, more youthful, and generally more appealing. Cosmetic dentistry provides a way to look as good as possible by improving your smile.

The first thing you must consider about your smile is what you dislike about it. Figure out what it is that makes you unhappy about your look, and then arrange a consultation with a cosmetic dentist to learn what treatments might help. You should also prioritize the faults with your smile so you can decide what treatments to pursue in the order of importance to you. The dentist will help identify which problems should be addressed before others, as some procedures might be dependent upon others. In addition, some treatments do not work well with others. An example might be that veneers do not work well over dental implants, so your dentist may suggest better solutions for that situation.

Consider setting a budget for your cosmetic dental work. This will help you decide which treatments to pursue, and set a timeframe for getting the dental work done. You may choose to get cosmetic dental procedures done in stages, which can help in terms of cost as well as recovery or other issues.

It is very important to choose a cosmetic dentist that you are confident in and can trust to do a good job with your procedures. Make sure you research the dentist’s qualifications, experience, and reputation. Ensure that the dentist has performed the procedures you are considering, and ask for before and after photos to get an idea of the dentist’s work.

Cosmetic dentistry can change your life by creating amazing improvements in your smile. Decide what you’d like to see changed about your smile, and then go for it!

 

If you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in Shreveport LA, contact our office to schedule a consultation.

 

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Saving a Tooth with Root Canal Treatment

rootcanal2014With a reputation of being one of the worst dental procedures around, root canal treatment is sometimes the only way to save a damaged tooth. If decay or infection reaches inside the tooth to the pulp, it must be removed and filled with a safe material that restores your tooth’s health and allows you to keep your tooth. Advancements in dentistry have improved root canal treatment so that it is not nearly as bad as its reputation.

How does pulp become damaged?
The root canals of your teeth contain blood vessels and nerves that contribute to the health of your teeth. When the outer layers of your teeth are neglected, infection and decay can reach the root canals and damage the blood vessels and nerves. The pulp can die and become painful, swollen, and even abscessed.

What does root canal treatment involve?
The root canal is cleaned and damaged tissue is removed during this procedure. Usually performed in two or more dental visits, anesthesia is used to make you more comfortable during treatment. Antibiotics may be prescribed before treatment if an active infection is present. To perform the root canal treatment, the dentist accesses the tooth’s pulp chamber with a dental drill and then removes the infected tissue. Once the entire area is thoroughly cleaned, a temporary filling will be placed. During the next visit, the root canal will be filled and a crown will be placed on top to protect the tooth from breaking in the future.

What can I expect after treatment?
Your root dentist in Shreveport will provide a list of safe foods to eat during the treatment process and initially afterwards, which usually means eating soft items and avoiding sugar. Over-the-counter pain medications are usually sufficient in dealing with discomfort, as most patients describe the process as similar to getting a regular tooth filling. With proper care, the tooth that received root canal treatment will be restored for a lifetime.

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The Steps in the Dental Implant Process

shutterstock_65134006Dental implants provide a whole new way for restoring missing teeth. A titanium rod replaces the missing tooth root in the jaw, and then an artificial tooth is placed on top to finish the restoration. It is a permanent, comfortable, and natural-looking way for patients to regain their smiles. Although every dentist may be slightly different, there are some basic steps to the dental implant process.

Planning
To prepare for implants, the dentist creates models of the teeth to see spacing issues and exactly how the mouth fits together. X-rays will be taken, and perhaps a CT scan of the jaw to aid in computer-generated planning. Dentists use a variety of techniques to help determine the best plan for each patient in order to achieve the best dental implant results.

Implant placement
Because it is oral surgery, dental implants are placed using local anesthesia in a surgery setting. Sedation is sometimes used as well for patients with anxiety or who are having additional procedures like bone grafting. In very complex situations, general anesthesia may be advised. The first part of implant placement involves placing the titanium implant under the gums, and then waiting for a couple of months for healing to take place. Once healing is complete, impressions will be taken so that the artificial tooth can be created. A temporary tooth may be placed over the implant until the final tooth is ready.

Implant restoration
The final stage involves placing the final restoration. It is checked in the patient’s mouth for size, fit, color, and placement. If it is acceptable, the artificial restoration will be placed using dental cement or the screw fitting that was placed with the implant. This should complete the dental implant process, and the patient will be able to fully enjoy once again having a full set of teeth.

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What to Look For in a Family Dentist

family_top1Every member of your family should routinely visit the dentist, so it makes sense to establish a relationship with a professional that all of you can use. A family dentist treats patients of all ages who have a wide range of oral health concerns. You want to find the right one to meet your family’s needs. If you are looking for a family dentist, you should be prepared for your search with a list of qualities that make a dentist appealing to you and your family members. Consider these general guidelines.

Reputation
One of the best ways to find a dentist is asking your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers for recommendations. A great dentist will have great patient referrals.

Dental care
Look for a dentist who emphasizes dental care and takes pride in helping patients achieve better oral health. Make sure the dentist performs a complete examination, and find a family dentist who offers X-rays and other common tests in the office.

Personality
A good dentist takes the time to get to know each patient. Procedures and tests should be explained. Visiting the dentist should be a pleasant experience, and you should have confidence in both the dental care you are receiving as well as the fact that the dentist and staff have your best interests in mind.

Location
Find a dentist whose office is within easy driving distance from your home, since all of your family members will be using the same practice. Convenience is a factor in keeping dental appointments.

Availability
Ask about the dental office hours and the availability of the dentist. Look for a practice that can fit you into the schedule, instead of having to wait a long time for appointments. This is especially important for dental emergencies.

 

If you are looking for a family dentist in the Shreveport, LA area, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

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