Endodontics or Root Canal Therapy

A tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma may need endodontic treatment, also called root canal therapy, in order to save the tooth. Although it may sound like a scary procedure, advances in dentistry have made it a much less painful or upsetting process than it used to be. This treatment is worth it to restore your smile as naturally as possible.

How do you know you might need endodontics? You may experience pain in the tooth, sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages, or swelling in the area. Severe cases may have a discharge of pus near the tooth. However, not all cases of a badly damaged tooth result in noticeable symptoms. That’s one reason it’s important to maintain regular checkups with your dentist, who will pick up on problems with a tooth that you may not realize is damaged. Examination and testing such as X-rays can help diagnose a tooth that is in dire need of repair.

When possible, dentists strive to save your real tooth. Sometimes the best way to do that is through root canal therapy, which involves removing the damaged tooth pulp from the interior of the tooth. Using local anesthesia to make you comfortable, the dentist or endodontist uses special tools to enter the root canal, remove the pulp, and clean the area thoroughly. Once the tooth is ready, a crown is usually placed on top of the existing tooth to protect it from future damage and to complete the process. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed if an infection was present to help ensure that you are in the best of health.

Endodontic treatment is often compared by patients to simply getting a regular tooth filling. The procedure is usually completed in one office visit and it won’t be long before you are back to your normal routine, with a fully restored natural tooth in your smile.


We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area

Tips about Receding Gums

Tips about Receding Gums

Receding gums not only look unattractive, they can harm your health. If you notice that your gums are receding, ask your dentist for help so that you can reverse the problem instead of allowing it to worsen. The goal is to catch gum recession early and get it under control before it turns into periodontal disease.

What exactly is gum recession?  It’s the condition in which the outer tissue on a tooth begins to wear away toward the root, leading to exposure of your tooth enamel and eventually your tooth’s root. If untreated, receding gums lead to periodontal disease. The best way to avoid this problem is to prevent it from starting in the first place. This is easily done by performing good oral hygiene techniques. Brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush using a circular motion and mild pressure. Also, floss your teeth every day.

If you see that your gums are starting to recede, it’s likely that practicing better dental hygiene will restore your gum health over time. A deep cleaning by your dentist will help kick-start your hygiene routine at home. In some cases, an even deeper cleaning called root planing may be necessary.

For more advanced cases of gum recession, your dentist may need to take tissue from other areas and use it to cover exposed roots. This can boost your gum tissue and make it healthy again. If you experience pain and increased sensitivity due to exposed roots, your dentist may prescribe medications to help.

The main thing to remember about receding gums is that quick action is important. Good dental care is key in both preventing it and in correcting the problem after it has begun. If you notice that your gums are pulling away from your teeth or experience sensitivity, start the healing process as soon as possible by asking your dentist for treatment advice.

We look forward to seeing you in our Shreveport dental office

What Alternatives Do I have to a Root Canal Treatment?

If you suspect you have an infected tooth, you might wonder if root canal treatment might be in your future. Do you have another option? Yes! One such alternative has been in existence for decades, but has only recently come to be more effective due to advancements in materials. This process is called pulp capping.

Pulp capping can help patients whose root infections have not yet reached the tooth’s nerve. Root infections begin when bacteria enters the pulp of the tooth through a crack or a large cavity. In a standard root canal procedure, the pulp and nerve of the tooth is hollowed out, cleaned and sealed, typically with a crown restoration.

With pulp capping, the nerve is preserved and the tooth is often repaired with a filling instead of a crown. Pulp capping allows the dentist to clean and protect the pulp, defending it from infection with medicine. With a successful pulp cap, the dentin of the tooth begins to regrow over the pulp cap. Advancements in the sealants used during these types of procedures has allowed for a greater percentage of success.

If you have a toothache, it’s important to see your dentist immediately. Pulp capping has a narrow window in which it can be performed. If your tooth is too infected, the pulp and nerve of your tooth may already be infected, and it’s too late for pulp capping to be effective.

A pulp cap is a far less invasive procedure than a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction, and there is less recovery time and tooth sensitivity following the treatment.

If you suspect you may have a tooth in trouble, talk to your dentist now. You might be able to save yourself a root canal treatment.


We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area

General Dentistry Why You Should Never Skip Regular Appointments

General Dentistry: Why You Should Never Skip Regular Appointments

Most of us know we should visit our general dentist every six months for exams and cleanings to ensure optimal oral health, but it seems we find many reasons to avoid those visits. Busy schedules or fear of dental treatments often mean people skip critical routine oral care. However, there are several reasons why you should make regular appointments with your general dentist a priority.

First, routine cleanings by your general dentist will give you a brighter, healthier smile. While brushing and flossing at home are important, it is impossible to remove all of the plaque that accumulates over time. Left untreated, plaque causes decay that leads to cavities and gum disease. Professional cleanings by your general dentist removes plaque and stains, leaving your breath fresher and your smile whiter.

Second, regular examinations allow your dentist to identify potential problems before they become severe. Cavities and gum disease caught early are much simpler to treat, preventing the need for procedures like root canal therapy, crowns, or even tooth extractions. Seeing your general dentist routinely will keep these types of problems in check, and save you from more complex and invasive procedures later.

Finally and most importantly, regular checkups with your general dentist can have a direct impact on your overall health. Poor oral health affects your entire body. A decayed tooth can cause a bacterial infection that spreads to other areas of your body. A general dentist checks your mouth for signs of disease, decay, and even certain cancers.

Stop making excuses and find a qualified general dentist with hours and an office location that is convenient to you. Consult with the staff about your dental fears and learn what types of services are offered to make your visit less stressful. If you value both your beautiful smile and your excellent health, be sure to keep regular visits to the dentist on your calendar.

If you need a dentist in Shreveport contact us today

Kids Dentistry

Some people have the wrong idea that taking their children to the dentist isn’t that important, and that it’s really a healthcare choice for adulthood. Young teeth are vulnerable to bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease, so teaching your kids how to practice good dental hygiene is a must. However, it’s just as important to get into the habit of taking your kids for regular checkups at the dentist.

Does it matter which dentist we choose?:
Sometimes the hardest part about the whole process is talking your child into seeing a dentist. Many kids are afraid of the dentist, even if it’s just the idea of an unknown experience. Then once they go to the dentist and see all the unfamiliar and sometimes noisy equipment, you can be in for an uphill battle. That’s why it’s important to choose a dentist who is experienced in treating kids and equipped for their unique needs. Select a dental office that strives to make kids comfortable and helps them through the process. You may even want to consider a pediatric dentist, who specializes only in treating kids.

What can we expect at a checkup?:
The goal of a dental visit is to clean and protect your child’s teeth, and to prevent and treat diseases or other problems. The dentist will start with an examination and X-rays if needed, in order to get a better view of your child’s oral health. The appointment will also include a teeth cleaning, which provides a much more thorough and deep cleaning than your child is able to perform at home. If there are any problems diagnosed, treatment procedures will be discussed and you can decide with the dentist how to proceed.

If you need a dentist in Shreveport contact us today

teeth whitening dentist

Teeth Whitening Trends

Nobody is happy with yellow or brown teeth. Ugly stains from smoking or consuming foods and drinks prone to discoloring your teeth can make you a good candidate for teeth whitening. There are many techniques available to restore your bright smile. The main two categories of teeth whitening are either at-home kits or professional treatment in a dental office. Let’s learn about these to see which you’d like to use to brighten your smile.

At-home teeth whitening
There are a variety of products you can try yourself to whiten your teeth. These treatments usually take a few weeks of use before your teeth are noticeably whiter. Also remember that most of these products cannot achieve as high of a level of whiteness as those performed professionally.

  • Kits – whitening kits contain a tooth mold and gel to place inside the mold. You wear the filled mold for about 30 minutes for 2-3 weeks.
  • Strips – thin whitening strips are coated with peroxide gel, and then you apply the strips directly to your teeth for 30 minutes for 14 days. Results become evident in a few days and last about four months.
  • Toothpaste – brushing with whitening toothpaste must be done consistently and you must be patient because reaching the desired outcome usually takes a couple of months.

Professional teeth whitening
Treatments done by a dentist are the fastest and most effective way to regain your pearly whites.

  • Laser whitening – the dentist coats your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution and then shines a laser light on them. This oxidizes the stains and gives them a whiter appearance.
  • Porcelain veneers – if your teeth are severely stained and other whitening techniques haven’t done the trick, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. These shells permanently cover your teeth and provide a beautiful smile.

Teeth Whitening dentist in Shreveport

Wisdom teeth dentist

Wisdom Teeth: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

Wisdom teeth, your third set of molars, are named that because they are the final teeth to erupt. They usually come in between ages 17 to 25, and are located in the very back of your mouth on the top and bottom. Your dentist will examine you to find out if your wisdom teeth are properly positioned and healthy. If they aren’t, your dentist will recommend removal.

How do you know wisdom teeth should be removed?
Some of the signs there is a problem with your wisdom teeth include pain, infection, cysts, gum disease, damage to nearby teeth, and tooth decay. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your dentist for an examination.

What are impacted wisdom teeth?
Sometimes your teeth just don’t have room to grow in properly. They can erupt at angles within your jaw, sometimes even horizontally. If wisdom teeth aren’t able to erupt normally they can become trapped, or impacted, inside your jaw. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are pain, infection, and swelling. When teeth are impacted, they can lead to serious problems. Many dentists want to avoid impacted teeth and therefore remove your wisdom teeth before they erupt or grow too big.

Are there less obvious reasons to remove wisdom teeth?
It’s not always clear when these teeth way in the back of your mouth are causing problems, or might in the future. Many dentists remove them in teens or young adults so they don’t cause problems later, or become too firmly planted in the jaw. Also, sometimes wisdom teeth are removed as part of orthodontic, periodontal, or restorative treatment plans.

What happens if I don’t have them removed?
Some dentists prefer to wait and see what happens with time to your wisdom teeth. Make sure you continue to have these teeth monitored, because the risk of problems doesn’t go away with age. Removing wisdom teeth isn’t always necessary, because if there’s room in your mouth and they come in properly, they work just like any other teeth. The key is to watch them to make sure problems don’t arise in the future.

Dental office for wisdom teeth removal

Restoring Your Oral Health Through Root Canal Therapy

A toothache can make your life miserable. It may involve terrible tooth pain as well as headaches, sleeplessness, and difficulty eating. A trip to the dentist’s office is a must if you want relief. An examination might reveal that you need root canal treatment to save your tooth and eliminate your symptoms.

Severe tooth decay, a faulty crown, repeated tooth procedures or trauma are common causes of tooth damage. These issues can also lead to infection of your tooth’s pulp, which is on the inside of your tooth. Also called endodontic therapy, root canal treatment focuses on getting rid of the damaged tooth pulp. If infection is present, it is also removed. The root canal is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and then the area is filled with a special material called gutta-percha. Finally, the tooth is typically restored with a dental crown to provide maximum protection from future damage.

Some of the benefits you can expect from root canal treatment include chewing with normal biting force and sensation, maintaining natural tooth appearance, protecting other teeth from excessive wear, and avoiding a troublesome gap in the smile. In as little as one or two appointments, these benefits can be achieved without a great deal of discomfort. Innovations in technology have made the experience of root canal treatment usually no more painful or difficult than simply getting a dental filling. Once root canal treatment is complete, the tooth can last a lifetime with regular checkups and proper oral hygiene.


We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area

vitamins and your teeth

Vitamins and Minerals that Keep Teeth Healthy

As we age, our teeth and gums change. Proper care of your teeth as well as eating a good diet can keep your smile beautiful and strong. Certain vitamins and minerals also help promote optimal oral health.

As we age, our teeth and gums change. Proper care of your teeth as well as eating a good diet can keep your smile beautiful and strong. Certain vitamins and minerals also help promote optimal oral health.

Vitamin A
Besides aiding with vision, Vitamin A also helps with the development of healthy teeth and gums. As well, Vitamin A contains beta-carotene, which has antioxidant properties. These antioxidants assist in getting rid of free radicals, chemicals that speed up decay in the body.

Vitamin C
Also called ascorbic acid, Vitamin C assists with the absorption of iron, maintains healthy connective tissues, and promotes strong teeth and gum tissue. Because Vitamin C is water-soluble, it is washed out of the body once it has what it needs, people should take in Vitamin C every day.

Vitamin D
Created after exposure to sunlight, Vitamin D encourages calcium absorption as well as helping keep the right levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood stream. Children need to get enough Vitamin D so that they will develop healthy teeth and bones, so it is often added to milk.

Calcium
No matter your age, every person needs to take in enough calcium because this mineral is crucial in the development and maintenance of teeth and bones. In fact, your jaw bone forms the foundation that houses your teeth.

Getting What You Need
Eating a balanced diet will ensure that your body has the vitamins and minerals needed to keep your smile vibrant for a lifetime. Dairy products like yogurt and cheese as well as vegetables such as broccoli and peas are high in calcium. Have lots of egg yolks, fatty fish, and fortified dairy products when you need Vitamin D. Citrus fruits, melons, berries, and tomatoes offer plenty of Vitamin C, and you can find Vitamin A in dark green or yellow fruits and vegetables, eggs, or low-fat dairy products.

 

Feeling Better about your Smile with Veneers

Teeth that cause you to be embarrassed about your smile may be hidden using a popular cosmetic dentistry technique called veneers. Broken, chipped, discolored, or misaligned teeth can easily be hidden with this long-lasting dental solution.

Veneers are very thin shells, usually made of durable porcelain, placed over your teeth to hide the flaws. It is a simple process for your dentist to attach them to your teeth, and you and your dentist can even choose the color of your veneers for the most natural and appealing look. The process is pain-free and does not require lots of time at your dentist’s office. Veneers feel like regular teeth and do not cause irritation of your gums.

One of the greatest things about veneers is that the porcelain resists stains, so you can eat and drink whatever you would like without avoiding items that are known to discolor teeth. Caring for veneers does not require anything additional to your normal oral hygiene routine. Proper maintenance will help keep your veneers looking great and your teeth healthy.

Finding a dentist to do your veneers is usually easy. Many dentists practice this technique, it is just a matter of inquiring to find out which ones provide the service and determining who you are most comfortable with to do your dental work. You should make sure that the dentist you choose is experienced and qualified in providing dental veneers. Asking for before and after photos of other patients with veneers is a good idea too.

Once you have chosen a dentist and decided together that veneers will be helpful in your case, you will be on your way to a beautiful smile.

Our dental office is located in Shreveport

Is Your Smile Aging You?

The first impression you make on the world often starts with your smile. Dingy, dull, crooked or chipped teeth create the appearance of an “old” smile, making you look older than your actual years. Restoring your smile’s youthful look is an easy way to subtract years from the image you portray to the world. Thanks to advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, your smile can appear as young as you feel.

As tooth enamel thins with age, teeth lose their shine and appear darker. Thin enamel also causes teeth to weaken, making them easier to chip and causing wear and shifting. Cosmetic dentistry offers many procedures and treatments to address these problems and help return your smile to a younger, more vibrant state. Just a few options you may want to consider include:

  • Professional teeth whitening to improve the color of teeth that have been darkened by stains or discolored from age.
  • Porcelain veneers and bonding to correct gaps, chips, and teeth with uneven lengths. Veneers can also reshape teeth, restoring the youthful appearance created by longer teeth. Veneers can also be used to build up your back teeth to support the cheekbones, replacing the fullness lost with aging and giving your face the appearance of a “lift”.
  • Orthodontia with either clear or traditional braces corrects the misalignment caused by teeth that shift as you age.

If your desire is to look as youthful as you feel, cosmetic dentistry may be a perfect solution to address the problems of an aging smile. Many procedures can be completed in as little as one office visit, with little to no recovery time. Consult with a qualified cosmetic dentist to find out how you can achieve a younger, more perfect smile.

If you live in the Shreveport area contact us today

dentures

Dentures: Frequently Asked Questions

Dentures have improved dramatically over the past several years. Whether it’s your first set of dentures or your fifth set, you probably have questions. Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about dentures:

  • Will dentures change how I look? Today’s dentures are personalized to your mouth, making their appearance more natural than ever. Dentures also support your cheeks and lips, making you look years younger.
  • Will dentures change how I feel? After a period of adjustment, dentures should make you feel more confident than ever.
  • Will dentures alter my speech? While speaking may be difficult initially, with practice, your speech should quickly return to normal. Practicing reading and counting out loud will help to speed up the adjustment.
  • Will dentures affect how I eat? Eating may take some practice, and you should start with a soft food diet while you adjust to the differences between eating with your natural teeth and dentures. Take small bites and try to chew on both sides of your mouth at the same time. Avoid hard, crunchy or chewy foods that can damage your dentures.
  • How do I care for my dentures? Clean dentures daily, brushing immediately after every meal if possible. Use a soft brush and gentle cleanser, taking care to avoid hard abrasives. Be careful when they are out of your mouth not to drop them or clean them on hard surfaces.
  • Once I have dentures, will I still need to see the dentist? Regular dental examinations and professional denture cleanings are vital to maintaining your oral health. Have your dentist periodically check the fit of your dentures to ensure they are comfortable and last for as long as possible.
  • When will I need to replace my dentures? With care, dentures typically last 5-10 years. Because your mouth continues to change shape as you age and denture teeth wear down, you should have them checked yearly to avoid any significant problems.

Consult with your dental professional about any additional questions or concerns you may have about your future with dentures and your potential for a bright, new smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Shreveport dental office

Should You Choose Crowns or Veneers?

If you have damaged or decayed teeth you may be considering options to restore both the look and function of your smile. Crowns and veneers are both utilized by cosmetic dentists to accomplish these goals. Which should you choose? Both crowns and veneers have pros and cons, and some distinct differences.

A crown is a cap that is placed over the tooth to reinforce the tooth and restore its original size and shape. Crowns are bonded into place and cover the entire tooth that is visible above the gum line. Crowns are most often used when the tooth has serious problems with structural integrity, often caused by decay. Cracked, broken, or worn down teeth also get crowns. Crowns modify how the tooth looks, and can help restore a more perfect smile. Crowns can be made of stainless steel, resin, porcelain, ceramic and other metals.

Veneers are similar to crowns in that they are used to restore the appearance of a tooth. Veneers utilize a thin shell of either porcelain or composite material that is placed over the tooth to protect it from damage and correct its appearance. Veneers require the structure of the tooth surface to be altered to bond it to the tooth.

Veneers are most commonly used to restore the outward appearance of a tooth, while crowns are typically used for structural repair. If your goal is simply to change the appearance of your teeth, veneers may be the best option. If you have extensive tooth decay or trauma, a crown might be the best choice. Consult with your dental professional to find out if a crown or veneers would be most appropriate for your specific dental issues.

We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area

Getting Dentures: What to Expect

With an estimated 49 million adults in the United States wearing dentures, there are lots of lessons learned about wearing them. Virtually everyone will say that it took a little adjustment time before they were comfortable and confident with their new teeth. It can help to know what to expect with wearing dentures at first.

Your dentures may feel very strange the first day you get them. They can seem too big for your mouth, and as though your lips are out of place. These strange sensations will disappear with time. You may also notice more saliva than usual in your mouth. This is a natural response of your mouth as it grows accustomed to the appliance.

A liquid diet is recommended by many dentists for the first couple of days after getting dentures. Then you may begin eating soft foods, like cooked vegetables, eggs, and fish. Take small bites and chew slowly. Avoid biting into foods with your front teeth.

Mouth soreness from your dentures should go away after a few days. If it lasts longer than a week, call your dentist to ask if you should be seen. You may experience minor mouth sores for the first couple of weeks that you wear dentures. This is normal as you give your mouth time to adjust. If the sores are severe, call your dentist.

Dentists recommend that you remove your dentures for a minimum of eight hours each day to give your gums a rest. Most patients do this at night while sleeping. Your dentist will provide instructions about how to care for your dentures and where to store them when not wearing them. Be sure to follow the instructions for care to ensure that your dentures last as long as possible.

We look forward to seeing you in our Shreveport dental office

Types of Dental Crown and Bridge Materials Available

Types of Dental Crown and Bridge Materials Available

Restorative dentistry has made incredible advancements in the technology of restorative dental materials, and there are more options than ever today for your dental crown or dental bridge. Zirconium and porcelain have proven to provide lasting strength and durability, exhibiting the most natural cosmetic dental restorations available today. Each tooth in each mouth is different, however, and in some cases, resin composite or metal alloy might be the choice recommended for you.

Metals are a common choice for dental crowns and dental bridges. Gold or palladium alloys, as well as chromium or nickel (base-metal) alloys can be excellent choices. Metal alloy crowns show the least “wear down” over years of use. They almost never chip, break or wear down opposing teeth. The primary complaint about metal alloy materials is that their color is metallic and thereby unnatural. They will not blend with the surrounding teeth, and as such, they are chosen more for back molars where they won’t draw attention.

Dental composite/resin materials are a popular choice that can be made to blend with the surrounding teeth, but they’ve been shown to wear down over time and are more prone to fractures and breaking than other materials.

Porcelain can be fused to metal to form a natural-appearing crown or bridge, and because of their appearance, are a good choice for front or back teeth. Over time, however, discoloration can appear along the gum line as the porcelain wears away, leaving a dark, unsightly line. The porcelain can be fused to zirconium, however, which eliminates the dark line and is a good cosmetic choice for front teeth.

Crowns and bridges can also be made from all-porcelain or all-ceramic materials. These materials are the best choice for natural-looking teeth of the types of dental crown and dental bridge materials available in restorative dentistry today. Because they contain no metal, they are excellent choices for patients with metal allergies. They tend to be weaker and less durable than materials containing metals, however.

Talk to your cosmetic dentist today with any questions you have regarding what type of dental crown or bridge material is best for your smile needs.

Schedule your appointment at our Shreveport dental office

Causes and Effects of Gingivitis

Any stage of gum disease (or gingivitis) can cause inflammation, pain, and sensitivity. It can make eating and talking difficult. It’s important to know what causes gum disease and what can happen if it develops, so that you can avoid it altogether or at least catch it before it wreaks havoc on your mouth.

What causes gingivitis?

Plaque buildup is the main cause of gum disease, although other factors can lead to it as well. These include:

  • Illnesses, especially those that interfere with your immune system. Patients with HIV, diabetes, and cancer are often at higher risk for gingivitis.
  • Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, menstruation, puberty, and menopause.
  • Some medications affect oral health by decreasing saliva or causing abnormal growth of gum tissue.
  • Smoking can hamper the healing of your gums.
  • Poor dental hygiene, including neglecting brushing or flossing, or using improper techniques.
  • Family history of gum disease.

What are the symptoms?

Gingivitis can sneak up without symptoms, even in the later stages of the disease. However, there are signs that may point to some level of gingivitis. These include bleeding, red, or swollen gums. Ongoing bad breath and receding gums are other symptoms. Deep pockets may form between the teeth and gums, and teeth may shift or loosen. You might also notice changes in how your teeth fit together when you bite down. Your dentist can recognize symptoms even if you don’t, so make sure you have checkups regularly.

How is gingivitis treated?

Treatment depends on the stage of your gum disease, how you responded to previous treatment, and your general health. Treatments range from therapies to control bacterial growth to surgery to restore gum tissue. Often gingivitis can be controlled with dental visits and good dental hygiene.

What can happen without treatment?

Gingivitis may advance to periodontitis, causing permanent damage to your mouth. Advanced gum disease has been linked to stroke, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes complications.

Our dental office is located in Shreveport

Erasing Flaws with Dental Veneers

Cosmetic problems with your teeth can make it embarrassing to show your smile. Thanks to dental veneers, you can erase flaws and create a brand new look that will make you want to show off your pearly whites instead of hiding them.

Veneers are very thin shells that are usually made of porcelain. They are custom-made to fit right on top of the fronts of your teeth. The veneers are securely bonded in place so that you can feel confident and comfortable with your smile. The porcelain is matched to the same color as your natural teeth, or a few shades brighter if you’d like to whiten your smile. This material reflects light in the same way that real teeth do, so that others can’t even tell the veneers are there. Porcelain is also very durable, and will not stain like real teeth.

Dental veneers hide many different kinds of problems with your teeth. Some of the most common reasons that people choose to recreate their smiles with veneers include:

  • Teeth damaged from injury or decay, including chips and cracks
  • Unsightly gaps between teeth
  • Stains or discoloration that isn’t corrected with teeth whitening
  • Misshapen teeth that do not match the rest of your smile

Veneers are a quick and painless solution. Your natural teeth will be slightly prepared so that the veneers attach properly, but the process is not uncomfortable. Once your veneers are placed, you can expect them to last years without needing to replace them. Maintenance involves routine brushing and flossing just as you would normally, and keeping regular checkups with your dentist.

Our dental office is located in Shreveport

Risks Associated with Dental Implants

Dental implants provide an innovative solution for replacing missing teeth. A titanium rod is surgically placed in the jaw so that it can fuse with the bone, and ultimately an artificial tooth is placed on top to complete the process. This type of surgery is an intricate process that should be performed by a qualified and experienced dentist or oral surgeon. Even patients under the care of the most skilled professionals sometimes encounter problems with dental implants. Here are some risks to watch out for with this procedure.

Infection:
The most common concern with nearly any type of surgery is the possibility of infection. Oral surgery is no different, with the risk of infection related to tissue and gums. Carefully following the dentist’s instructions for aftercare and any restrictions is vital in avoiding infection.

Nerve and tissue damage:
During dental implant surgery, various nerves and tissue are involved. A qualified healthcare professional should have years of experience in carefully performing the surgery so that tissue and nerves are not damaged in the process.

Improper fusing:
One key element of a successful dental implant is for it to fuse properly with the jaw bone. If that does not occur, pain or other issues may result. The dental implant must be attached carefully and the patient must follow the recovery guidelines in order to help guarantee a successful outcome.

Dental implants are becoming more and more common to restore the function and appearance of a healthy mouth. The best way to steer clear of the risks associated with this procedure is to seek treatment from a reputable and well-established professional. Between having a high-quality procedure and making smart choices throughout recovery, the likelihood of a successful dental implant increases.

We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area

Dental crowns

Understanding the Basics About Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges

There are times when a tooth is so damaged from decay, trauma, or cracking that a filling isn’t the best choice. In these cases, a dental crown may be recommended for long-term tooth health. If a tooth is missing completely, your dentist may suggest a dental bridge to fill the gap between two bordering teeth.

Dental crowns, or “caps,” completely cover and protect your damaged tooth. It is bonded in place, giving you a stable, strong, and attractive alternative for your original tooth. Because it is customized for you using impressions your dentist makes of your teeth, it is a perfect match in size, shape, and position to your natural tooth.

Dental crowns can be the perfect solution to a severely damaged tooth. You won’t need to worry about pain, tooth stability, or your appearance when you choose a dental crown. Depending on what material is used, your crown can look as natural as your own tooth.

Dental bridges are designed to span a gap caused by a missing tooth. Having a gap in your smile can affect you in more ways than just cosmetics. Chewing and talking can become problematic as teeth adjacent to the gap begin to shift, leaving the potential for gum disease or jaw issues.

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap between two teeth. They are cemented onto the pair of teeth that border the empty space vacated by one or more missing teeth. The bordering teeth act as anchors for the bridge, and are trimmed down to hold a dental crown. Between the two crowns is a replacement tooth, customized for you by your dentist. Once the bridge is in place, you will regain the ability to smile freely while the bridge maintains the shape of your face and lips. You will speak more clearly and be able to eat a greater variety of foods. A dental crown also protects your healthy teeth from issues related to bite alignment.

Dental crowns and dental bridges are excellent choices for overall dental health, and can last a lifetime. To prevent damage to your dental work, avoid chewing things like ice or hard candy. It is also important to maintain regular dental checkups.

We offer dental crowns at our Shreveport dental office

 

Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Kids

In many households, the bedtime routine is no fun. One of the trickiest parts for some parents is getting their kids to brush their teeth. However, it’s not a part of your child’s routine that should be skipped. To help make taking care of their teeth fun for children, here are some ideas for parents.

Toothbrushes

Provide your kids with fun toothbrushes! By choosing a brush decorated with their favorite character or color, your children will think of their toothbrush more like a toy than a dental tool. Consider getting more than one toothbrush, so each night they can choose the one they want to “play” with at the time.

Toothpaste

Children are picky about their toothpaste flavors just like their foods. Select toothpaste that you know your kids will like. Some of the flavor options include bubble gum and fruits, as well as the standby mint.

Floss

If they start flossing at a young age, your kids will likely view it as part of their oral hygiene routine all of their life. Try using some of the fun flossing tools on the market today, because they may help get your child interested in flossing. There are many colors and shapes to choose from, so keep trying until you find one that motivates your child.

Rewards

Enticing your children with rewards is often an easy way to encourage them to perform a task without arguing. Consider making a rewards chart and giving them a sticker each time they brush and floss. By the end of a week filled with good dental hygiene, a special reward will await them!

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What’s the Difference Between Dental Implants and Mini Dental Implants?

Many patients seeking the stability and durability of dental implants wonder what the difference is between mini implants or standard sized dental implants. The basic differences are with regard to their intended function.

A standard dental implant is larger than 3 millimeters in diameter and is made up of two parts: the screw and the abutment. The screw portion of a dental implant is made of titanium, a non-toxic metal well tolerated by the body. The success of all dental implants is due to this bio-compatibility. Materials that aren’t tolerated by the body can create a response by the immune system and may lead to serious problems over time.

With a standard implant, the screw has two threaded areas: external, to screw into the bone and internal, to accommodate any components that are screwed into the implant for security. This internal area provides for the abutment. It is on this abutment that the tooth portion of a dental implant is attached. It also holds dentures firmly in place.

A mini dental implant is smaller than 3 millimeters in diameter and has one solid piece instead of screw and abutment. A mini implant has a solid screw body with a rounded ball shape that extends out of the jawbone. This rounded ball can hold a denture with a corresponding slot, keeping the restoration firmly in place.

Because they are smaller, mini implants provide less support than a standard implant. For example, four mini implants would be needed to hold a patient’s lower dentures in place securely. For the same job, only two standard sized implants would suffice.

Consult your dentist to determine if mini implants or standard implants are right to address your missing tooth or teeth. Get the right implant for your specific needs.

If you need a dentist in Shreveport contact us today

Simple Ways to Protect Kids’ Teeth

Kids don’t always play it safe or make the best decisions when it comes to protecting their teeth. Tooth decay and mouth injuries are just a couple of things parents must worry about for their kids, whether it’s the elementary school or college years. Here are some simple ways that parents can teach their kids to protect their teeth.

Limit sports and energy drinks.
Sports and energy drinks are both heavily marketed toward today’s youth. It is true that sports drinks help replace electrolytes during exercise, but many people drink them too much or outside the exercise realm. Experts have deemed sports drinks to be unnecessary in the lunchroom or as a snack on the playground. The high acid levels in these drinks can erode tooth enamel, with energy drinks determined to cause twice as much damage. It is recommended to save sports drinks for very strenuous activities, and instead stick with water for hydration and refreshment without the negative effects.

Insist upon mouthguards.
Parents should provide mouthguards for kids in nearly any sport, even if it isn’t considered mandatory by the school or team. Mouthguards can prevent chips, fractures, or knockouts of teeth, as well as protect the soft tissues of the mouth. According to research estimates, 3 million teeth were knocked out in youth sports in 2011. Dentists suggest that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain oral injury. Inexpensive basic mouthguards or the boil-and-bite variety are available at sporting goods stores, or customized mouthguards can be purchased through your dentist.

Say no to oral piercings.
Although it applies primarily to teenagers and older, the Academy of General Dentistry advises against oral piercing for active people. Those with piercings should remove them before participating in sports, because puncture wounds can lead to infections related to increased blood flow and breathing rates during exercise. If your child is considering and oral piercing, make sure you discuss the risks and need for removal during physical activity.

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Get a Dazzling Smile with Veneers

Veneers are a terrific option to create a dazzling smile. These shells fit right over your real teeth to hide a variety of cosmetic problems. Veneers are typically made of porcelain, giving you a natural and long-lasting smile.

How are they applied?:
Once you and your dentist decide that veneers are right for you, a small amount of your tooth enamel will be removed so that they fit correctly. An impression of your teeth will be made and sent to a dental lab for the veneers to be custom made. When they are ready, you will return to your dentist to have the veneers attached to your teeth with a special adhesive.

What are the benefits?:
It is hard for others to tell you have veneers because they look very natural. They are shaped just for your smile, and you select the color. Veneers resist stains from things like coffee, red wine, and tobacco use. Veneers are also a great choice because they fit right over your own teeth, without requiring more extensive procedures.

Are there disadvantages?:
Some patients experience increased tooth sensitivity after getting veneers due to the minor enamel removal. Also, veneers are permanent and the process cannot be reversed. Another thing to keep in mind is carefully choosing your veneer color, so that your smile isn’t overly white or unnatural.

Are veneers right for everyone?:
Veneers are great for hiding chips, cracks, gaps, or uneven teeth. They are whiten teeth that haven’t responded well to other methods. Veneers may not work for patients with weak teeth from decay, large fillings, or fractures. Patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaws may also be poor candidates because consistent wear can crack or chip the veneers.

What about maintenance?:
Veneers last ten years or more with good care. Practicing proper dental hygiene is important to avoid decay of your teeth under the veneers. Avoid nail biting or chewing on hard items like ice or pencils, which may break the thin veneers. Normal brushing and flossing is acceptable, and regular dental checkups are important in maintaining good oral health.

Our dental office is located in Shreveport

Crowns and Bridges When Problems Arise

Crowns and Bridges: When Problems Arise

When you have a tooth or multiple teeth with extensive damage, your dentist may recommend a crown or bridge to restore your smile. Most of the time these restorations provide complete and successful results, but occasionally problems arise.

Tooth decay:
Good hygiene is imperative after a crown or bridge because plaque can build up in the area where the tooth and crown meet. Your crown can’t decay, but your tooth still can. Follow your dentist’s instructions for proper brushing, flossing, and fluoride use.

Gum disease:
Plaque buildup around a crown can cause gum disease called gingivitis, and if untreated advance to periodontitis.

Chipping or breaking:
Crowns and bridges are susceptible to damage like fracturing or chipping. Many crowns are made of porcelain, which can chip or completely fail. Heavy wear or stress such as teeth grinding can cause this type of damage, as well as an accident like hitting your restoration. Small chips may be repaired with composite filling, but larger damage can mean total replacement.

Incorrect color:
When having your crown or bridge made, you can choose from a selection of colors. However, the whitest shade is not advised because it likely won’t match the rest of your smile or it can look fake. Make sure you consider the color carefully or else you’ll be faced with redoing the restoration if you dislike it.

Falling out:
Several problems can cause your crown to fall out. The core may fail so that the interior portion of your crown is unable to provide a strong base for the restoration. Less likely, the cement can fail so that the crown simply needs stronger adhesion. Or, the post crown can dislodge so that you’ll see a large post sticking out of your crown. If your crown falls out, be sure to save it for your dentist in case it can be reinserted.

In most circumstances, these problems with your crown or bridge do not occur and you can enjoy a long lifespan with your restoration. If you do notice any of these issues, schedule an appointment with your dentist to ensure optimum oral health.

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The Role of Dental Implants in a Smile Makeover

Are you getting a smile makeover? Do you have one or more missing teeth? Your cosmetic dentist will definitely want to replace those teeth during your smile makeover in order to prevent future problems. Issues may result from your teeth shifting to fill the empty spaces that can affect the overall shape of your face. One of the best and most desirable options for tooth replacement is dental implants.

Dental implants are the top-of-the-line choice for tooth replacement. They are the most like natural teeth in both form and in function. No one will know by looking at you that your tooth is an implant, and you might not even be able to tell it yourself when you’re eating! A dental implant is so secure, it can feel just like your natural tooth.

There are two main parts to a dental implant: the screw base and the tooth restoration. The screw-like base is typically made of titanium. This gives it incredible strength and longevity. The implant is placed directly into the bones of the jaw where it begins to function as a natural tooth root. Over time, oseointegration will occur and the implant will fuse with the bone. The tooth portion of the implant is created in a lab where dental artists are careful to replicate the surface texture and translucency of your natural teeth.

Dental implants can also be used to anchor dentures. Because they’re so strong, they give the dentures a stability that adhesives and suction can’t ever provide. Denture-wearers will never have to deal with embarrassing slipping or clacking again when dental implants are utilized with their dentures.

Consult your cosmetic dentist to see what role dental implants can play in your smile makeover. Begin enjoying your new smile as soon as possible.

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