A New Smile with Veneers

One of the most common procedures in cosmetic dentistry today is dental veneers. Many types of problems can be remedied with veneers, such as teeth that are chipped, broken, gapped, misshapen, or discolored. A veneer is a very thin shell usually made of porcelain that is bonded to the fronts of teeth to hide flaws.

Benefits:
One of the best things about dental veneers is that they immediately transform your smile the minute they are placed. They are very natural-looking because the porcelain reflects light in the same way as real teeth. Discolored or stained teeth are erased by veneers that are created in the shade you choose. Porcelain resists stains so you no longer have to worry about discoloration. You get to keep your original teeth since veneers are attached directly to them. Veneers are not only an attractive choice, they are also strong and durable.

Procedure:
The process for getting dental veneers takes two or three appointments. At the first visit, you will have an examination and X-rays to learn if you are a good candidate for veneers. If this type of restoration is suitable for you and will help you achieve your goals, your dentist can customize your smile based on your facial features, coloring, complexion, and other characteristics. A mold will be taken of your mouth and sent to a dental laboratory for your veneers to be made. When they are ready in about a week, you will return to the dental office to have them attached to check for things like fit and color. The veneers will then be permanently bonded to your teeth and final modifications will be completed.

Care:
Your normal oral hygiene routine can be continued, including gentle regular brushing with a soft toothbrush and daily flossing. Regular dental checkups every six months should be maintained for checkups and cleanings. Avoid chewing or biting on hard items so that your veneers will not chip or break. If you follow these guidelines, your veneers should last a very long time.

Schedule your appointment at our Shreveport dental office

Dairy and Your Dental Health

Many people find foods such as cheese, yogurt, and milk to be a very enjoyable part of their diet. Not only are some of these dairy items tasty and nutritious, did you know they can also help your teeth and gums? Studies show that consuming dairy products regularly can lower the occurrence of dental diseases. Let’s see which dairy items you should consider incorporating into your diet and why.

Reduce gum disease

The primary benefit of dairy to your dental health is lowering your risk of periodontal disease. Also known as gum disease, this condition affects roughly 75 percent of Americans at some level. It may be minor gingivitis or advanced periodontitis. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss, contribute to heart disease and stroke, and worsen diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis. Lactic acid is one of the key ingredients in many dairy items, and researchers believe that lactic acid is related to reducing gum disease.

Choose your dairy

Just because a food is identified as a dairy product, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely healthy for you. Here are some tips to help you choose the ideal foods and beverages for your dental health:

  • Look for low fat and non-fat options.
  • Choose white milk instead of flavored milk, such as chocolate. The added sugars can lead to tooth decay.
  • Consider natural and organic products when possible.
  • Select unsweetened yogurt without sugar or artificial sweeteners. A good alternative is Greek yogurt which you can add fruit or honey to create an appetizing, healthy snack.

Enjoy additional benefits

Avoiding gum disease isn’t the only benefit of eating dairy. It helps build strong teeth and bones, and is rich in vitamins that are good for your overall health. So the next time you get hungry, try some cheese or a glass of milk because these foods will not only satisfy your hunger but also keep you smiling.

If you live in the Shreveport area contact us today

Why You Should Replace Missing Teeth with Dental Implants

Most people will eventually lose one or more teeth. Even with vigilant oral care, accident or injury can cause the loss of a tooth. As we age, simple daily wear can cause damage to your teeth resulting in tooth loss. More commonly, periodontal disease or tooth decay will cause you to lose one or more teeth.

While you may think one missing tooth, especially one that does not actually show, is not a problem, most dentists recommend immediately replacing a missing tooth. Missing teeth are not only unappealing aesthetically, but also cause problems with your bite and speech. More critically, missing teeth can cause a chain reaction that results in more missing teeth. Because teeth shift to fill the space created by the missing tooth, those teeth become loose and may eventually fall out.

Another problem caused by missing teeth is jaw bone loss. The pressure of tooth roots into the bone cells keeps them from dissolving. If the root is missing, the bone cells die and the bone disintegrates. The loss of jaw bone results in facial collapse, giving you a caved in and much older appearance. Bone loss also causes remaining teeth to become loose and fall out.

One of the best options for replacing lost teeth are dental implants. The placement of dental implants and tooth restorations can prevent the bone loss that results from missing teeth. Not only do dental implants restore the look of your natural teeth, they also provide the function and feel of your original teeth. Dental implants allow you to return to eating and speaking normally, and return your smile to its natural glory. To find out if dental implants are a viable solution to your missing teeth, contact your dentist for an examination and evaluation. With dental implants you can restore the look, feel and function of your natural smile.

If you live in the Shreveport area contact us today

FAQ about Dental Veneers

Porcelain veneers can transform your smile from one that embarrasses you to one that you’re proud to show off. A thin shell of porcelain is bonded onto the fronts of your teeth to improve the shape and color. If you’re looking to close gaps between your teeth, reshape your teeth, or brighten stained teeth, porcelain veneers may be your answer. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about veneers.

How do veneers work?:
Made from durable and natural-looking porcelain, veneers are customized to fit your teeth. Your face shape, skin tone, eyes, height, and even your personality are considered when designing your dental veneers. They are bonded securely to your teeth to give you the smile you always wanted.

Is it a long process to get them?:
The process for getting veneers usually takes about four to six weeks. At your first appointment, your teeth will be shaped and their surface will be slightly roughened. Impressions will be taken to create models of your mouth so that the veneers can be personalized for you. At the next appointment, your teeth will be cleaned and polished before a special adhesive is used to bond the veneers to your teeth. A high-intensity light is used to set the adhesive.

What will my teeth look like while I’m waiting for veneers?:
After your teeth have been prepared for veneers, usually you will be fitted with specialized temporary veneers. These interim veneers look better than your original teeth, so you won’t feel self-conscious during the waiting period.

How long do veneers last?:
Porcelain veneers typically last from ten to twenty years. Porcelain is very strong and durable, and resistant to stains and wear.

What are the advantages to veneers?:
Since the bond to your original teeth is strong, porcelain veneers can be treated just like your own teeth. They appear very natural because the porcelain looks similar to your tooth enamel. Veneers can also protect your teeth from further damage if they are chipped or worn down, so they not only cover your teeth with a layer of protection but also create a beautiful bright smile.

Our dental office is located in Shreveport

Advantages of Dental Veneers

Veneers are a great solution for many people who are unhappy with their smiles and want a permanent improvement. These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the surface of teeth to make the smile more appealing. You and your dentist can choose the shade you prefer, and a minimal amount of preparation is required before attaching the veneers.

Many kinds of problems disappear with dental veneers. Some of the common reasons that people choose veneers include:

  • tooth discoloration or staining
  • crooked teeth
  • worn teeth
  • too much gums visible
  • uneven teeth
  • misshapen teeth
  • bite problems
  • overly sensitive teeth

No matter what flaws you might be getting dental veneers to hide, these restorations offer a number of advantages:

  • Your real teeth may look unhealthy and damaged, but covering them with veneers gives them a healthy glow of a well-cared-for smile.
  • Veneers look very natural, because the porcelain material is translucent and offers a glassy appearance.
  • Porcelain resists stains so your smile will stay as white and bright as the day you got the veneers.
  • Veneers last anywhere from ten years to a lifetime, depending on the quality of the application and your proper maintenance of them afterwards.
  • There is no special care required other than your usual brushing and flossing routine.
  • Veneers can increase your self-esteem, since you can feel confident that your smile is the best it’s ever been.

If you live in the Shreveport area contact us today

An Overview of Root Canal Treatment

Sometimes a tooth is so severely damaged that the only way to save it is with root canal treatment. There is no reason to turn and run if your dentist advises this procedure. The treatment has advanced to the point that it’s often compared to getting a filling. There are certain steps that will be performed as part of nearly every root canal procedure.

Preparation

X-rays may be taken as part of the diagnosis process or to determine the extent of damage. Once the dentist is ready to begin treatment, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area throughout the procedure.

Pulp removal

A rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to separate the area from the rest of the mouth, and to keep it dry from saliva. The tooth will be opened, often using a small dental drill, to gain access to the pulp inside the tooth. The damaged pulp will be removed, and if there is an abscess it will be drained.

Cleaning and filling

After the pulp is eliminated, the dentist will thoroughly clean the area. The root canal will be widened if needed to create an adequate space for the filling. Depending on the extent of the damage, this step of the process can take up to several hours to complete or it can be spread over more than one visit. A temporary filling is sometimes used to seal the area between visits. If infection is present, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics.

Sealing

The temporary filling will be removed and the permanent filling placed to fully seal the tooth and prevent future infection. If the tooth has been filled at the root, the risk of breaking is higher so a crown may be recommended for protection.

Crown placement

Crowns help prevent further damage or fracturing. If needed, the tooth will be reduced somewhat to allow space for the crown. It will be held in place securely with dental cement.

Recovery

After root canal treatment, the tooth should survive for many years. The procedure may be repeated if re-infection occurs.


We look forward to seeing you in our Shreveport dental office

cosmetic dentistry

Choosing the Best Cosmetic Dentist for Your Smile Makeover

Straight, white smiles are in high demand, and choosing who is going to perform your smile makeover is not a decision to be taken lightly. The American Dental Association does not include cosmetic dentistry as one of the eight specialties, meaning there are no legal restrictions against any dentist calling themselves a “cosmetic dentist.” Therefore, it is vital to the success of your treatment to do research and find the best cosmetic dentist to perform your smile makeover. When searching for a qualified cosmetic dentist, consider the following:

  • Ask your potential dentist about their cosmetic studies. Beyond dental school, a trained cosmetic dentist should have taken postgraduate courses and training in the particular types of procedures you are seeking.
  • Find out what organizations they belong to that focus solely on cosmetic dentistry. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is the most notable, and offers an accreditation program that includes extensive continuing education and rigorous testing to ensure outstanding skills. Dentists who complete this accreditation are considered to be the very best in their field.
  • Ask to see “before and after” photos of patients they have treated for smile makeovers. It is important you like the style and quality of the work shown in the photos before moving forward with your chosen cosmetic dentist.
  • Inquire about testimonials and reviews from patients who have been treated for cosmetic problems similar to yours. An internet search can also yield information and reviews from previous patients about the cosmetic dentist you are considering.
  • Find out how long the cosmetic dentist has been practicing and which cosmetic dental procedures they most commonly perform.
  • Ask about the technology in their office. Current dental technology is one way to determine the level of advanced care in a cosmetic dentistry practice.
  • Is the dentist and office staff friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable?

Be sure you feel comfortable and confident with your choice of a cosmetic dentist before proceeding with a smile makeover. Making the best choice can mean enjoying years of a beautiful, bright smile.

We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area

What Can a Smile Makeover Change?

With advances in cosmetic dentistry, almost every aspect of your smile can undergo a transformation with a smile makeover. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, a combination of cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatment procedures can help you to achieve the beautiful smile of your dreams. Some of the dental issues that can be changed with a smile makeover include:

  • Dull, yellow or stained teeth can be whitened and brightened up to 10 shades through a variety of teeth whitening methods.
  • Chipped, cracked, stained or gapped teeth can be hidden, repaired and straightened by utilizing porcelain veneers or dental bonding.
  • Missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants that restore the look, feel and function of natural teeth.
  • The problem of missing teeth can also be corrected with the placement of a dental bridge.
  • Receding gums, or an uneven or low gum line can be fixed with gum contouring and grafting procedures.
  • Crooked or misaligned teeth can be corrected with orthodontic options like Invisalign or traditional metal braces.

In coordination with a qualified cosmetic dentist, a customized treatment plan can be created to address any or all of your cosmetic dental concerns. Your plan may start with just one procedure or include a combination of several treatments to achieve the look you desire for your smile. A smile makeover can not only change the look of your smile through a series of dental treatments, it can also change your self-confidence by giving you a beautiful new smile with which to face the world.

Our dental office is located in Shreveport

Choosing the Right Dentures

No matter how much you want to preserve your real teeth, it’s not uncommon for people to lose teeth. It may occur with age, decay, gum disease, or injury. If this happens to you, there’s no reason to go through life missing teeth in your smile. It’s better to quickly see your dentist for replacement teeth, so that you avoid shifting of your remaining teeth, speech problems, or saggy facial muscles. One solution that your dentist will likely offer to restore your smile is dentures. Here are some tips to help you select the right dentures for you.

Dentist

An important step in the process of getting dentures is making sure you have a qualified and experienced dentist treating you. Most dentists provide dentures as part of their services, or you may choose to go to a prosthodontist. This type of specialist focuses on restorative dentistry. No matter who you choose, make sure that you are confident you will get dentures that meet your specific goals and needs.

Type of dentures

There are several types of dentures available, each with their own attributes. These are the main kinds:

  • Full dentures – an acrylic appliance that replaces all of the teeth in your upper jaw. These are functional and replicate your real teeth, and are usually comfortable when fitted correctly.
  • Partial dentures – these replace one or two missing teeth using a dental arch. Partial dentures are made of acrylic, metal, plastic, or a combination of these materials. These are attached with a clip that holds them in place in your mouth.
  • Permanent dentures – these dentures are permanently attached and require almost no maintenance. They are the costliest of the types of dentures.

Color

Dentures are available in various shades of white so that you can select the color that is most natural for you. Be careful about choosing the brightest white color, which may look unnatural compared to the color of your real teeth. Your dentist will help you find a neutral color that looks best with your smile and complexion.

If you need a dentist in Shreveport contact us today

Tips for Avoiding Plaque

Tips for Avoiding Plaque

Plaque is your mouth’s enemy. It is a film of bacteria that forms on your teeth, and produces acid as it mixes with sugar from foods and drinks you consume. Over time, these acids destroy your tooth enamel and lead to decay. Plaque can also form under your gums and affect both the gum tissue and the bones supporting your teeth.

So how can you avoid getting the plaque that causes these problems? Here are some helpful tips.

Brush

Use a fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush all of your tooth surfaces, as well as your tongue.

Floss

As much as many people don’t want to, flossing your teeth every day is important in getting rid of plaque between your teeth and at your gum line.

Eat healthy foods

Some foods help keep plaque off your teeth. Munch on apples, cucumbers, carrots, and other raw vegetables and fruits. Crunchy foods like these will help clean your teeth while filling you up and giving you helpful nutrients.

Avoid junk food

On the other hand, limit the amount of junk food that you eat. Sugary drinks and foods introduce sugar into your mouth that will stick to your teeth and lead to plaque formation.

See your dentist

Even if you practice good oral hygiene, some amount of plaque usually forms. It hardens to become tartar, which can only be properly removed by your dentist. Dental checkups every six months will help you keep plaque under control, and a healthy smile on your face.

If you need a dentist in Shreveport contact us today

Veneers for teeth

Can Dental Veneers Straighten My Smile?

Do you have gapped or crooked teeth? Have you wondered if braces are the right choice to correct your alignment issues? Slight imperfections that haven’t bothered you as you grew up might now seem like glaring issues to you. If the thought of wearing braces or some other kind of orthodontia for years is something you’re dreading, you should talk to your dentist; dental veneers may be exactly what you need to correct your smile concerns.

Dental veneers are very thin wafers of porcelain, composite resin or some other tooth-colored material that are permanently bonded to the surface of your natural tooth. Dental veneers are incapable of correcting alignment (or “bite”) issues, but they can create an illusion of perfectly straight, white teeth. Veneers don’t require any of the metal hardware you might imagine with braces, and they take only one or two office visits to complete. Veneers are very durable and long-lasting, and with proper care can last up to twenty years before they need replacing.

If you have good general health, you are a candidate for dental veneers. Because veneers rely on the strength of the natural tooth to bond, a tooth that is decayed or infected cannot have a veneer. Dental problems such as fillings or other issues must be corrected before a veneer can be placed. Patients who possess healthy mouths with teeth that are simply crooked, gapped, discolored or chipped should look to dental veneers to correct their problems.

If you are unhappy with your smile, talk to cosmetic dentist Dr. Jennifer Cooper in Vancouver today. Dental veneers could be the perfect solution for you. There’s no reason to wait for the results of braces when dental veneers can give you the smile you want now.

We look forward to seeing you in our Shreveport dental office

Speed Up Your Root Canal Recovery!

If you are about to undergo root canal treatment to save a compromised tooth, your oral surgeon or dentist will likely provide you with a list of aftercare instructions. It is vitally important that you follow these recommendations to avoid complications and ensure the success of your endodontic treatment.

There are a few tips you can follow to speed up your recovery time, promote healing, and prevent serious dental problems and infections following root canal treatment:

  • Do not chew on the treated side of your mouth until all of the numbness from the anesthetic has worn off completely.
  • To manage swelling, apply an ice pack or bag of frozen peas on the treated area for thirty minutes. Repeat once an hour for about fifteen minutes each time until swelling subsides.
  • For several nights after treatment, keep your head elevated while sleeping.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water regularly for the first few days after root canal treatment.
  • Refrain from smoking for a minimum of 24 hours and try to curb tobacco usage as much as possible during the healing period.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity or exercise for 48 hours after your root canal procedure.

Contact your dentist immediately if you experience any excessive swelling or pain, the appearance of a rash or hives, or a return of original symptoms. By listening to the recommendations of your dentist, and following these extra tips, you can assure yourself the best chance of a rapid and complication-free recovery from root canal treatment.


If you live in the Shreveport area contact us today

Professional Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure that dentists perform today. It can have a dramatic effect on your smile at a smaller cost than other cosmetic procedures. You can whiten your teeth yourself using at-home techniques, but often professional whitening with your dentist’s help achieves the fastest and most effective results. Let’s examine the whitening options provided by most dentists to help you evaluate what might work for you.

Whitening at your dentist’s office:
The dentist applies a whitening product to your teeth containing higher percentages of hydrogen peroxide than what is available in at-home kits. Heat or light may be used also. This technique produces quick, uniform results, but it does sometimes cause temporary gum irritation or tooth sensitivity. This method is expensive, ranging between $500 to $1,200.

Home whitening supervised by your dentist:
A customized mouthpiece will be created by your dentist for you to fill at home with whitening gel, which contains a lower strength of hydrogen peroxide then the in-office gel. You wear the mouthpiece at home for several hours each day, and your dentist supervises the whitening with regular checkups. This method is convenient and less expensive at $300 to $500, but it produces slower results than in-office methods.

Repeating the process:
Whichever type of teeth whitening technique you might choose, remember that it isn’t a permanent repair to your teeth. You will need to repeat the process every year or two. The length of time between treatments will increase if you don’t smoke and avoid foods that are known to stain your teeth, such as coffee and red wine.

Schedule your appointment at our Shreveport dental office

Cosmetic dentistry procedures

What are Cosmetic Dental Procedures?

Age, bad habits, and food and drink choices can all add up to be hard on our teeth. If you are unhappy with your smile and wish you could improve it, consider cosmetic dental procedures. Cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of options for restoring your smile.

Teeth whitening
One of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures, teeth whitening can either be performed at your dentist’s office or at home. Methods used by your dentist work quickly and can provide dramatic results, but many patients are very pleased with home methods as well. Home treatments may be as simple as using products you purchase at your drugstore, or your dentist can provide customized bleaching trays for home use.

Bonding
Tooth-colored resin can be applied to your teeth to correct chipped, broken, stained, or decayed teeth in a single dental visit. The resin is molded onto the surface of your damaged tooth, shaped, and then polished to match your other teeth.

Veneers
If you’re looking for a long-lasting and stain resistant solution to damaged teeth, porcelain veneers are a good choice. These thin custom shells are adhered to your teeth to cover them so that they provide a beautiful smile.

Composite fillings
A material called composite resin is used to restore decayed teeth or to reshape your teeth to improve their appearance. Composite fillings can correct minor imperfections like a chipped tooth, or it can restore a whole tooth like a molar to a fully functional tooth.

Inlays and onlays
For large cavities or cracks in your back teeth, inlays and onlays may be used instead of fillings. These tooth-colored restorations are created in a laboratory, and then adhered to your teeth so they fit perfectly.

Cosmetic dentist in Shreveport

Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

People are talking about dental implants. They’re talking about what a secure, longterm solution they are for patients with missing teeth and how successful they are for dental patients of all types. Are you wondering if you’re a candidate for dental implant treatment? The answer is yes, you probably are!

The one factor that’s a must for being a dental implant candidate is that you must have a missing tooth. The AAOMS (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons) estimates that as many as 70% of all adults have lost a minimum of one adult tooth. If you are among this group and you have a missing tooth, you’re a candidate for dental implants. Some patients are better suited to this particular treatment, however, so making an informed decision regarding your particular tooth replacement is vital.

The healthier you are, the more successful your dental implant surgery will be. Some health conditions and diseases should be strongly factored into whether or not dental implants are the best tooth replacement option. Patients with the following conditions may experience difficulty in the fusing of implant and bone:

  • Smoking
  • Cancer
  • Radiation to the jaws or face
  • Diabetes
  • Drug or alcohol dependency
  • Acute gum disease/periodontitis

Typically, a tooth is lost due to an accident, tooth decay, advanced gum disease or a failed root canal treatment. Even though the cause of the tooth’s loss might be through poor oral health, the healthier your mouth and surrounding teeth are, the more successful a dental implant will be.

Because the health of the bone is directly related to the strength of the fusion of the bone to implant, patients with healthier bones will have more successful experiences with dental implants. Maintain a diet high in calcium and other bone-nourishing nutrients and drink plenty of fluids.

Our dental office is located in Shreveport

Is a Family Dentist Right for Your Kids?

Proper dental care is vitally important for every member of your family. Children should begin visiting a dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts, which in most cases is by their first birthday. Your family dentist is trained to take care of both adult and pediatric dental needs. An experienced family dentist can offer a wide array of dental care services to the children in your family.

A family dentist can perform routine pediatric oral exams and twice yearly professional cleanings, as well as other preventative care such as treatment with fluoride and protective sealants. In the unfortunate case your child should suffer trauma to a tooth, your family dentist is available to treat a loose, broken, or knocked-out tooth. Your dentist can diagnose and treat gum disease, tooth decay and cavities as well as identify and treat misaligned or crooked teeth and jaw or bite problems.

Your family dental practice may also offer a variety of kid-friendly amenities to make visits to the dentist less stressful. Game rooms, televisions with kid videos, and treasure box treats are just a few of the things that might be available to help your child feel at ease.

As your child ages, there will be no need to switch dentists because your family dentist can treat your child from infancy to adulthood. Having the same dentist for your entire family makes life easier when it comes time to schedule routine examinations. Often you can schedule several family members at the same time. Your family dentist will be familiar with your entire family’s dental history, which is a major benefit of taking everyone to the same dentist.

When the time comes to choose a dentist for your children, you can feel confident your family dentist will provide a lifetime of excellent dental care.

Our dental office is located in Shreveport

oral cancer screening

Watch Out for Oral Cancer

Each year, more than 30,000 Americans receive an oral cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, less than 57 percent will live beyond five years. In fact, the death rate for oral cancer is higher than cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, brain cancer, and liver cancer. Usually seen in older patients, oral cancer in individuals under 40 is on the rise.

Fast Facts about Oral Cancer

• Early detection increases the survival rate to almost 90 percent.
• Initially, oral cancer patients may have few obvious symptoms of the illness.
• Certain factors, such as gender, lifestyle choices, and age can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. An estimated 25 percent of oral cancer patients, however, have no risk factors for the disease.
• Famous people who have battled oral cancer include Michael Douglas, Roger Ebert, Aaron Spelling, Humphrey Bogart, Eddie Van Halen, and Babe Ruth.
• Signs of oral cancer include a sore that does not heal after two weeks, color change in oral tissue, hoarse or scratchy throat, and difficulty with chewing or swallowing.
• Side effects of oral cancer may include chronic discomfort, loss of oral function, and difficulty in chewing, swallowing, or speaking.
• Research suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables decreases your chances of developing cancerous lesions.
• Routine dental visits allow your dentist to look for signs of oral cancer, which can lead to early detection if there is a problem.
• Tobacco and alcohol use can result in a 75 percent chance of receiving an oral cancer diagnosis.

We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area

The Basics of Kids Dental Care

Many children aren’t excited about seeing the dentist, either as a result of comments others have made or the idea of an unknown experience. Dental visits are necessary for everyone though, beginning around the child’s first birthday. Here are some basics to know about your child’s dental care.

What happens at the first appointment?:
When your child sees the dentist for the first time, the dentist will look for tooth decay and determine your child’s risk for it. You will be shown how to properly clean your child’s teeth. Also, your dentist will explain the risks of habits that may affect your child’s teeth, such as thumb sucking or sugary drinks.

How often should my child see the dentist?:
You should continue to take your child to visit the dentist every six months, or in some cases more often if your child’s risks are high for tooth decay. Regular checkups can reduce your child’s risk for cavities because plaque will be removed and fluoride will be applied to strengthen the teeth. Also, potential dental issues may be caught early to avoid problems in the future.

What if further treatment is recommended?:
Even though your child might not have permanent teeth yet, dental work may be required on baby teeth too. Cavities can be painful and should be filled. Also, healthy baby teeth help your child properly chew, speak, and develop permanent teeth.

How can I help my child feel more comfortable?:
It is important to help your child’s dentist visits go smoothly so that lifelong habits of regular checkups without fear can be developed. You might consider choosing a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral health and is trained to help kids through the dental visit. Discuss an upcoming dentist appointment with your child, and explain what to expect during the visit. If possible, take your child by the dentist’s office before your first appointment to see what it’s like. During the checkup, remain near your child to increase feelings of security and comfort.

Schedule your appointment at our Shreveport dental office

Treating Receding Gums With Oral Surgery

While minor gum recession can be treated by your dentist with deep cleaning and antibiotics, serious gum recession can only be treated with oral surgery. A loss of bone and gum pockets that are very deep require gum surgery to address the pain and damage left by acute gum recession.

Three treatments are used primarily in the treatment of serious gum recession, in order of invasiveness: pocket depth reduction, regeneration, and soft tissue graft. Pocket depth reduction involves a deep cleaning of the affected area. The periodontist folds the gum tissue back and utilizes tooth scaling and root planing to remove any tartar and plaque built up around the tooth. Once the gum pockets are clean, the surgeon pulls the gum tissue gently around the tooth, eliminating the deep pockets altogether or significantly reducing their depth.

Regeneration utilizes a similar treatment to pocket depth reduction, but it also addresses any bone loss that occurred due to acute gum recession. In this process, a regenerative agent such as graft tissue, membranes or tissue stimulating proteins is added to the affected area. The gum tissue is then tucked into place and stitched down. Over time, the regenerative agent will work to rebuild lost bone and tissue, leaving healthy and thriving tissue behind.

The most common soft tissue graft is taken from the patient’s own mouth, either by removing tissue from the roof of the mouth or from the gum tissue near the affected tooth. The healthy gum tissue is placed in the affected area, over the exposed tooth root, protecting it from infection and damage.

To prevent the need for oral surgery to address your receding gums, have good oral hygiene habits. Brush, floss and see your dentist twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings. Talk to your dentist if you have any other questions about how to reverse or prevent gum recession.


If you live in the Shreveport area contact us today

Avoiding Pregnancy Gingivitis

Avoiding Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnancy brings many kinds of excitement and joy to a mother’s life, but gum problems aren’t one of them. Pregnancy gingivitis not only causes gum trouble, it can also lead to higher risks for preterm labor and problems with the newborn baby. If you are pregnant and notice swelling or inflammation of your gums, you might have pregnancy gingivitis. It results from plaque buildup that irritates your gums, and can harbor bacteria that gets into your body. The bacteria can travel to your uterus and affect your pregnancy and unborn child. How can you avoid pregnancy gingivitis?

Oral hygiene

Brush and floss your teeth properly. Try to brush after all meals and snacks, especially those high in sugars or starches. See your dentist for frequent cleanings, aiming for two to three times during your pregnancy. This will remove more plaque from your teeth that you can at home, serving to lower your risk for plaque buildup.

Education

Consult your dentist before, during, and after your pregnancy. You will learn how to best care for your mouth, and what to watch for in case a problem does arise.

Nutrition

Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy will not only benefit your overall health and that of the baby, but will also limit your sugar intake which promotes plaque formation.

Dental care

Try to have dental procedures performed before you become pregnant. Some emergency procedures are safe during pregnancy, but it is best to have treatment done before pregnancy.

Bacteria control

Avoid sharing food and utensils so that you don’t transfer bacteria from person to person. Your goal is to limit the amount of bacteria in your mouth as much as possible.

Xylitol gum

Chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva, which help equalize the acids in your mouth and fight plaque buildup. The ingredient xylitol has been shown to help prevent bacteria from being able to stick on your teeth, therefore fighting tooth decay.

We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area

dentures

Options for Complete Dentures

Denture technology has come a long way since the days of George Washington and his wooden teeth. Unfortunately, people still lose teeth for a variety of reasons including periodontal disease, trauma, and decay. Missing teeth make talking and eating difficult, and can ultimately cause sagging facial muscles. However, with today’s advances in technology it is more possible than ever to replace those lost teeth with natural and comfortable dentures.

Complete dentures cover both upper and lower jaws. The options for complete dentures range from immediate dentures to highly customized implant dentures. Immediate dentures are pre-made and available at your dentist’s office. They are not custom fitted and are set into gum sockets immediately upon removal of your teeth. While these offer the convenience of walking immediately out of the dental office with your new teeth in place, once gum tissue heals and swelling reduces they may shift and become loose. This issue requires follow-up visits for your dentist to make adjustments. People with immediate dentures may also have difficulty speaking, or experience a “clicking sound” when talking.

Conventional full dentures can be made 8 to 12 weeks after tooth loss or removal. Once the gums have healed, your dentist takes a series of impressions of your mouth to be sent away to a dental lab to create your dentures. This process may require multiple visits to your dentist to ensure a proper fit and correct bite. While this process takes longer and is more involved than immediate dentures, you will achieve a more secure and personalized fit. Both conventional and immediate dentures require the use of denture adhesives to keep them securely in place.

For an even more custom, natural looking and secure denture option, implant dentures are an excellent alternative. With implant dentures, small implants are placed in the jaw where they heal in place surrounded by the bone. The denture then snaps into the implant with attachments under the denture. These attachments keep the denture stable, providing more comfort and confidence. You do not have to worry your dentures will slip or fall out while you are eating, talking, or laughing. Implant dentures do not require the use of any denture adhesives.

Talk to your dental professional to determine the best use of denture technology to ensure many years of a confident and comfortable smile.

We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area

Oral Surgery FAQ

If you or a loved one is scheduled to have or has recently had oral surgery, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most common questions:

  • One of my stitches came out after my surgery, should I be worried? Losing a stitch isn’t a problem. In the majority of cases, stitches are put in place during surgery to assist in clot formation and bleeding control. If you have undergone a bone-graft procedure, however, contact your surgeon because you may need to be seen immediately.
  • What can I eat after surgery? Immediately following surgery, eat only soft foods of tepid temperature. Avoid very hot or very cold foods. Eat nothing that is crunchy or chewy so you won’t damage the surgical site.
  • I am having a lot of pain following my procedure, what should I do? If you have been prescribed pain medication, take it as recommended. If no prescription was given, use over-the-counter medicines containing natural anti-inflammatory properties such as ibuprofen. Stay hydrated by drinking room temperature water and get plenty of rest.
  • I had a tooth extracted, how can I tell if I have a dry socket? Dry socket is the result of the loss of the blood clot present in the extraction site. Smoking, using a straw, poor oral hygiene or failure to rest properly following the extraction procedure can lead to this condition. Typically dry socket will present within one week of extraction and is treated with sterile wash and pain-relieving, medicated gauze.
  • I had a procedure this morning and am still bleeding. Is that normal? Bleeding following extractions or other surgical procedures is common. If you are bleeding more than normal, bite down on some sterile gauze or a damp teabag for twenty or thirty minutes. Don’t keep removing the gauze to look for blood; that can make the bleeding worse. Call your surgeon if you feel your bleeding is excessive.

Your oral surgeon can answer these questions and more. Don’t hesitate to call the surgeon’s office to get the peace of mind you require to heal comfortably following your procedure.

If you live in the Shreveport area contact us today

Cosmetic dentist in Shreveport

Get Rid of the Guilt – You Deserve a Smile Makeover!

Have you always disliked your smile? Did childhood school pictures find you smiling closed-lipped and tense? Did you spend your teens fearful of making personal connections? As you aged, did you find yourself facing more and more mounting oral difficulties? Dental problems are difficult enough to deal with when it’s just one or two cavities or a problem remembering to floss, but when you’re dealing with a lifetime of bad oral health, it can become so much more.

Often, those who need the most professional oral care are those who avoid it completely. Many have had negative experiences in the dental chair as children, or are fearful of the pain or process that is necessary to makeover a smile that’s been unattractive and unhealthy for most of the patient’s life. These patients sometimes avoid professional care because of shame and embarrassment, fearful that the dentist is going to judge them.

Smiles go bad for many, many reasons, some of which are completely out of the patient’s control. Poor nutrition growing up because of a lack of money or parental education can be a large factor. Some medicines, if taken during childhood, can cause adult teeth to degrade, and there are many genetic factors that can be passed on to a child that leads to extremely poor quality teeth. If this sounds like you, don’t let shame in your situation keep you from getting the smile you always wanted.

Find a skilled cosmetic dentist in Shreveport and schedule a consultation. Nothing has to be done at this first meeting, it’s just talking to the dentist. If that dentist isn’t helpful and supportive, get up and walk out and find yourself another dentist. The majority of cosmetic dentists understand the backgrounds that can lead to poor oral care. It can have nothing to do with how much you brush or floss, but everything to do with your history.

You deserve to have the smile you’ve dreamed of all your life. Don’t let fear or shame hold you back. Work with your cosmetic dentist to make a plan, and take the first steps you need to completely makeover your smile!

Transforming Your Smile with Dental Veneers

When your appearance gets you down because you are embarrassed about flaws in your smile, dental veneers can turn your life around. The process is simple and in only a couple of visits to your dentist, you’ll have a brand new beautiful smile.

Getting dental veneers is painless. Your dentist just takes impressions of your natural teeth and then the mold is used to create veneers just for you in a dental lab. The thin shells, usually made of porcelain or composite resin, are bonded onto the fronts of your teeth to hide all kinds of imperfections.

There are many reasons that patients consider veneers to transform their smile. Here are some common ones:

  • Stains – severely discolored and stained teeth sometimes do not respond to teeth whitening treatment, or the results just aren’t dramatic enough to make you happy with your smile. The shade of dental veneers is chosen by you and your dentist, so you can achieve the exact color you’d like.
  • Chips – teeth that are chipped or cracked are easily hidden under veneers. The damaged portion of the tooth is supplemented so that it looks brand new, and the hard coating supplied by the veneers protects the weakened tooth from further damage.
  • Misalignment – if braces or other orthodontia didn’t work for you or if you want to avoid the sometimes lengthy and embarrassing process, veneers make your smile appear straight and perfect. Uneven or crooked teeth can cause low self-esteem, but veneers will make you proud to smile.
  • Gaps – extra spaces between your teeth can also be upsetting, especially large gaps that might even call for invasive procedures like dental implants. Your dentist may be able to cover awkward gaps with veneers to give you an even smile without any pain or prolonged recovery time.

Veneers aren’t for every dental problem, but many of them can be addressed with this easy and quick solution. Ask your dentist if they are right for you.

Schedule your appointment at our Shreveport dental office

Kids’ Ages and their Dental Care

Teaching your kids good dental habits and making sure they get dental care are some of the most important things you can do for them. Guidelines for helping your child improve their oral health depend upon their ages. Here are some oral health tips for various stages of childhood.

Infants (up to 2 years):
It’s never too early to begin oral care! Clean your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings to remove bacteria. Once the first tooth erupts, use a soft toothbrush for babies to gently brush the teeth and gums. Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste and brush at least twice a day. Around the first birthday, begin taking your child to the dentist for regular checkups.

Preschoolers (2-4 years):
This age group has the highest incidence of tooth decay, because most preschoolers love sugary foods but may not love brushing their teeth. Brush your child’s teeth yourself until they are old enough to do it well, but continue supervising the process to make sure all areas are clean. Consider flavored or character fluoride toothpastes if it encourages your child to brush. Also, limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes.

Young elementary (5-7 years):
As more and more teeth grow in, your child needs to brush carefully with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure all areas of your child’s mouth are being reached, and help your child use dental floss to clean between teeth and gums. Continue helping your child make healthy diet choices.

Older kids (over 8 years):
Most children should be able to brush on their own by age 8, but performing spot checks is a good idea to make sure they are doing a good job. Teach your child to brush after meals, especially when eating sugary or sticky foods, and emphasize the importance of flossing every day. Continue taking your child for regular dental checkups every six months, which will help create a life-long habit of good oral care.

If you need a dentist in Shreveport contact us today