Dentist Plano TX

5 Important Preventative Dental Treatments

5 Important Preventative Dental Treatments

Preventive dental treatments involve instruction, treatment, and the practice of keeping a proper oral hygiene routine. Preventative care is crucial for having healthy teeth and an attractive smile. The procedures are aimed at preventing cavities, enamel wear, and gingivitis (gum diseases).

Preventative Dental Treatments

Thorough Oral Examination

When you have a dental appointment, the dentist will conduct a comprehensive oral examination that may include any of the following:

Oral Cancer Screening: The dentist will examine your neck, lips, tongue, face, throat, gums, and tissues for possible evidence of oral cancer.

Diagnostic x-rays (radiograph): Sometimes, x-rays may be necessary to detect tumors, cysts, decay, and bone loss. Dentists also use x-rays during surgeries to discover root and tooth locations.

Examination for gum diseases: Sometimes, your dental professional will check the gums and bones surrounding the teeth for any evidence of periodontal diseases.

Checking current restorations: If you have had fillings, crowns, or implants, the dentist will check their condition for possible defects.

Oral Hygiene and Cleaning

Preventative dental treatment also entails dental cleaning, and usually include:

Plaque removal: Plaque is a muggy, pale film formed from the combination of bacteria, food remains, and saliva. The bacteria are toxic and potentially cause cavities and gum inflammation unless removed.

Elimination of calculus (tartar): tartar is a calcified plaque that builds up on the surface of the tooth. It usually forms below or above the gum line and can only be cleaned with specialized dental tools.

Teeth polishing: Polishing, when done by an expert dentist helps get rid of stains and plaques that exist on the teeth to give your teeth a cleaner appearance.

Placement of Dental Sealants

A dental sealant is a thin sheet of plastic placed on the grooves of the teeth, usually the back teeth since they are used more for chewing. The sealant shields the teeth from food debris and bacteria responsible for tooth cavities. If applied appropriately, dental sealants can protect your teeth from decay.

Dental sealant placement only takes between 30 minutes to one hour. The dentist will clean your teeth thoroughly using air abrasion to remove stains. The surface of the teeth will then be abraded to ensure that the sealant bonds well with the surface.

When the teeth surface is dry, the sealant will be applied to the grooves. Using laser or ultraviolet light, the dentist will proceed to harden the sealant to fuse it solidly to the teeth for maximum protection. The procedure ends when the sealant passes the final inspection by the dentist.

Home Care Education

Home care is necessary for preventing oral health conditions. Oral health is essential for your overall health. The dentist will inform you during your appointments of what home care measures you should take towards ensuring optimal oral hygiene.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride fortifies the teeth through remineralization, where minerals fuse to deteriorating areas of the tooth enamel. It also interrupts the production of acids by bacteria, to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is an economical way of maintaining oral health to avoid expensive procedures in the future.

You only need one dental appointment for fluoride treatment.

If you have any other questions or concerns, contact our office, and the staff will be glad to answer any additional questions you may have!

Looking for preventative dental treatments near the 75024 area? Call Texas Dental Specialists at (214) 619-6329.

What is a Dental Bridge?

Missing one or more teeth? Dental bridges are one of the more common dental treatments used when someone is missing teeth. Having one or more missing teeth tends to make someone smile less because they do not feel confident in the way they look when they smile. But did you know that when you are missing teeth it can also negatively affect the overall functioning of your mouth? When teeth are missing it directly affects the surrounding teeth. They will begin to shift and move, which can lead to your having to deal with additional oral problems.

Ready to find out how dental bridges can not only improve your smile but also improve your overall oral health? Call us now for more information.

What exactly is a dental bridge?

A bridge is a dental prosthesis that is used to hold a false tooth that is to replace the tooth that is missing. The false tooth stays in place when the bridge is permanently attached to the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth using crowns, which is able to offer the best strength and support. The dentist will carefully prepare the two teeth the bridge will attach to for the best and most comfortable fit. The entire process only takes a couple of trips to the dentist office, which is one of the reasons why patients often choose this option when they are missing teeth.

During the first appointment the dentist will take an impression of the area so that they are able to custom make the bridge, then a temporary crown will be installed until the next appointment. Once the custom-made bridge is created, the patient will return so that the dentist can install the new dental prosthesis, solving the patients issue of missing teeth.

Post procedure care

It is important to follow the dentist's after care instructions for the best chance of a full and speedy recovery. While the following are some basic instructions for post procedure care, understand that the dentist could add to these instructions depending on their patients' needs.

  • Do not eat any food for at least half an hour after the permanent bridge is installed.
  • Do not eat anything hard, sticky or chewy for at least 24 hours after the bridge has been installed.
  • Be aware of any swelling or redness and contact the dentist if any pain is experienced.

Need a dental bridge?

Nowadays, dental bridges are one of the most common dental procedures used when someone is missing one or more teeth. The entire process is one that can be done in only two or three trips to the dentist making it super convenient for those who live busy lives. If you happen to have any special requirements, please let us know so that we can do our best to accommodate you.

Call Texas Dental Specialists at (214) 619-6329 today for more information or to make an appointment. We care about your dental health!

Tips for Preventing Dental Caries From Your Plano Dental Office

Dental caries is a result of tooth decay and yet, completely preventable with the proper oral hygiene regimen. People may not realize the tooth decay begins with an erosion of the tooth enamel that causes holes in the teeth. These holes are known as cavities. If we do not treat dental caries, they will worsen to the point where we need to remove the entire tooth. In fact, this infection has the potential to spread to the root canal, gums and jaw bone. Dental caries can eventually result in tooth loss as well as bone loss.

Abide by these tips to prevent the formation of dental caries in your mouth.

Avoid Foods and Beverages Containing Sugar

Foods that have sugar and starch spur a reaction within the mouth that causes tooth decay. Sugar interacts with bacteria within the saliva to create an acid that leads to tooth enamel erosion. So do not consume sugar-laden beverages like soda and juice with artificial sugar added. If you have a hankering for sweets, choose dark chocolate and clean your teeth after indulging.

Brush Your Teeth at Least Two Times per Day

While it seems like brushing one's teeth two times per day would be easy enough, plenty of people fail to do it. Brush your teeth at least once in the morning and once at night. This brushing will eliminate built-up plaque and bacteria that cause dental caries and gum disease. Don't forget to brush your tongue as well. The tongue is chock full of bacteria. People need to clean the tongue thoroughly with a tongue scraper or toothbrush.

Make Fluoride Your Friend

Fluoride strengthens the enamel on the teeth and thwarts tooth decay. Fluoride is in tap water, toothpaste and specialized trays provided by the dentist. It might also be possible to take fluoride in pill form if the dentist believes it will assist with one's oral health challenges.

Floss at Least Once Each Day

Brushing in and of itself will not suffice for a thorough cleaning of the teeth. Floss is necessary to reach those small crevices the brush bristles cannot reach. The bottom line is if an individual does not floss, then the mouth is not truly clean. The plaque will gradually accumulate in the small spaces between the teeth and around the gum line, causing tooth decay, gum disease and other problems. So be sure to floss at least once per day. Ideally, the individual will floss after meals as well.

The Gums Matter a Great Deal

If a person notices any differences in his or her gums, it is a sign something bad is happening in the mouth. If the gums appear to be inflamed or the person sees blood when brushing, then the person needs to consider these signs of underlying issues. When flossing, people need to make sure to glide the floss between the gums and the tooth and move it around a bit to loosen all those food particles. Furthermore, it will help to swish with a mouthwash that has fluoride to combat dental caries and other issues with the gums.

Visit Your Dentist Twice Each Year

Abide by a regular schedule of dental examinations and treatments to minimize the chances of dental caries. The dentist will analyze the patient's mouth, check for dental caries, perform a thorough cleaning and help in other ways. The patient needs to follow the dentist's advice to combat dental caries. By doing so, the mouth will prove to be that much healthier as time progresses. Call Texas Dental Specialists at (214) 619-6329 to schedule an appointment today in our Plano office.

Here is What You Should Know About Wisdom Teeth Extractions

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Wisdom teeth extractions are among the most common oral surgeries performed by dentists, and orthodontists every day. Wisdom teeth have a tendency to come in later in life, often doing so at an unnatural angle that causes them to become stuck and unable to break the surface of the gums. When this happens, it is known as an impacted wisdom tooth.

Typically, wisdom teeth extractions take place in our dentist office unless you happen to be at a high risk for complications in which case the surgery will take place at a local hospital. In the event that you have some kind of an infection, like an infected root, we will wait until antibiotics have cleared up the infection before performing the extraction.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure

Wisdom teeth extractions are a relatively uncomplicated procedure. Upon arriving at our dentist office, the patient will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area around the wisdom tooth. In the event the patient has anxiety or desire to be asleep during the procedure, we can also give the patient a general anesthesia. Once the area is numb, or the patient is asleep, we will open up the gum tissue above the tooth and remove the tooth by separating it from the bone.

Some patients require stitches after we complete the surgery to make sure there is no excessive bleeding. Once the surgery is over, here is what the patient can expect.

Post Wisdom Teeth Extraction

We will give the patient gauze to place between the gums and have the patient bite down gently from time to time. The gauze acts to sop up any blood and ensure that one is not swallowing blood. Once the gauze soaks with blood, the patient can replace it with a fresh piece. The bleeding will gradually reduce and should not last more than 24 hours. If the teeth do have to bleed, especially heavy bleeding, beyond 24 hours, then the patient should immediately contact our office.

Applying an ice pack, every 10-15 minutes will help reduce the swelling. The patient can also use moist heat to reduce some of the pain by applying a warm washcloth for two to three days after the surgery. We may also recommend that the patient gargles with salt water after the first twenty-four hours. Rinsing with the saltwater will help to reduce the swelling of the gum and will also help to reduce pain.

Other tips

It is strongly advised that the patient avoids touching or running the tongue over the site of the surgery as this increases the potential of infection and can also cause complications with the healing. Patients need to exercise care when brushing teeth as well so that the bristles do not open up the wound causing it to bleed again.

You should also avoid heavy physical activity for a few days after wisdom teeth extractions as physical activity can increase the potential of bleeding. Similarly, smoking should be avoided as the sucking motion can cause the extracted tooth to start bleeding as well.Wisdom teeth extractions heal well and easily if you follow these simple steps.

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A Dental Office Debunks Popular Oral Health Myths

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As a dental office, we treat patients who are in need of emergency care, routine dental treatments, and preventative care. Regardless of why you come to our office, if you are experiencing discomfort, we will identify what the issue is, treat it, and discuss ways that you can prevent it from occurring again. Very often, this involves refuting common oral health care myths. Things like “milk is good for the teeth” has led parents to send their babies and children to bed with a bottle or cup of milk.

Since there is a lot of sugar in milk, this leads to baby bottle tooth decay in countless toddlers. Common myths, while seemingly harmless, can significantly impact your oral health. For this reason, we have compiled a list of oral health myths and our responses to them.

Oral Health Myths

Myth – Diet soda is okay for the teeth.

While we recommend drinking things low in sugar, diet soda has not solved the entire problem. Soda is full of acid, and when one places acid on his or her teeth, it can lead to erosion. A person only has a set amount of enamel, and once it erodes, it will not grow back. This makes it important to watch what a person exposes to his or her teeth, including diet soda.

We recommend that people limit how much diet soda they drink and rinsing the mouth with water after. If one drinks a lot of soda, then he or she also needs to brush three times a day with a fluoride toothpaste to strengthen the teeth. People will also benefit from visiting our dental office for regular teeth cleanings.

Myth – Men are the only ones who get oral cancer.

The largest group of people who are diagnosed with oral cancer are men over the age of 50. For this reason, many people assume that oral cancer is a male-exclusive disease. In reality, both men and women can get oral cancer, and age is not a determining factor. In fact, one of the leading causes of oral cancer is the HPV virus. Regardless of a patient's age or overall health, we can conduct a simple oral cancer screening during a dental checkup that takes only two minutes to search for any abnormalities in the mouth. We can go over more information during the appointment.

Myth – If you did not get cavities as a child, you will not get them as an adult.

A child's oral health can indicate how healthy the teeth will be as an adult. However, it is up to the parent to keep the child brushing and flossing regularly, receiving ongoing dental care, and eating a healthy diet. Eventually, the child will be able to take care of his or her own teeth. However, the oral health and the condition of the mouth will change with age. Thus, people cannot take health for granted. Additionally, things like medications can increase the risk of developing cavities if it gives an individual dry mouth.

Oral health, like all aspects of your health, is complicated, and it is best to receive your advice from an expert. To have your questions answered, call us at (214) 619-6329 and schedule an examination with our dental office.

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A Dental Cleaning in Plano Can Improve Your Health and Bad Breath

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If you need to improve your dental health and breath, a visit for a dental cleaning can help. When you take good care of your teeth, gums, and tongue, you are more likely to maintain a pleasant breath. In some cases, patients have other medical issues that cause their bad breath. We can improve chronic bad breath when people visit us for an examination and treatment. Continue reading to learn more about our steps to better breath and healthier teeth.

Important Preventative Dental Care

1. Proper brushing and flossing.

It may sound obvious, but brushing and flossing appropriately can help maintain better breath and a healthier mouth. The bacteria that causes unpleasant odors thrives in plaque that builds up on teeth and above and below the gum line. Removing this plaque and the bacteria associated with it daily will help it to not build up. Brushing can not do all the work by itself. Flossing will help remove plaque from harder to reach areas like between teeth. Flossing will also help remove food particles that have gotten lodged in tight spaces. Food particles, when not removed, begin to rot which also creates stench. If you have questions regarding brushing and flossing techniques, visit our office for a dental cleaning and for tips of basic brushing and flossing.

2. Do not forget your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Most people brush and floss teeth and gums religiously, but some people forget that it is important to also clean their tongue and the roof of their mouth. Plaque film can build up on these surfaces. When one does not clean the tongue and roof of the mouth, bad breath is more likely to be an issue after brushing.

3. Rinse with mouthwash.

Some patients underestimate the benefits of using mouthwash. Mouthwash kills bad breath causing bacteria in all parts of the mouth. This includes parts of the throat near the tonsils that cannot be effectively reached with a toothbrush. It can also kill bacteria between teeth and under the tongue.

4. Visit for a dental cleaning.

In addition to brushing and flossing properly, there is nothing more important than keeping up to date with dental visits. When you visit for a checkup and dental cleaning, we will notify you if you have any cavities or infection. These can also create bad breath. We will treat cavities and infection accordingly, increasing your likelihood of having better breath on a daily basis. A dental cleaning is also important in order to remove the harder plaque from the surface, between your teeth, and above your gum line.

A dental cleaning can reset your dental health which gives you better oral hygiene, better breath, and cleaner looking and feeling teeth. Let our Plano dental office help you maintain the best oral health possible.

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Milestones Bringing Your Child to Our Children's Dental Office in Plano

Dental OfficeAs a children's dental office in Plano, we are intimately aware of the concern many parents have about their children's oral health and development. We can go over the comprehensive steps to help children have healthy teeth and maintain healthy teeth as they age. The first step is to help children develop a positive attitude toward dental care by visiting a children's dentist.

Start the right dental care early

Along with a child's first steps and other milestones, dental developments are an important part of a child's life. From the first baby tooth coming in, to the same baby tooth falling out for the adult tooth, parents need to pay attention the dental milestones. We can help parents when they bring their children into a children's dental office in Plano. We can help parents plan for any challenges that arise with a child's dental development.

After examining a child's teeth, we will advise the parent on how to best care for the child's teeth and treat and problems that arise. To keep an eye on the development of a child's teeth and ensure that everything is growing in properly, the child needs to visit our office at least once every six months. With these regular visits, we are able to catch any problems that may arise early on and provide the necessary treatment.

The very first milestone is the appearance of the first baby tooth. Parents will celebrate the first baby tooth and we understand that it is the start of the child's dental health care.

Begin a life of healthy teeth for the child

According to the American Dental Association, parents need to plan on scheduling a visit for their child as soon as the first tooth erupts from the gums. If a child happens to be a late bloomer and does not have the first tooth by the time the child turns 1-year-old, then the parent needs to still schedule a visit at our children's dental office anyway.

While the teeth are constantly developing in the jaw bone, once the first baby tooth breaks the surface, the child is going to use this to start biting and chewing, as well as for the formation of words and language. Additionally, parents need to be aware that baby teeth are crucial for development and need constant care. A child's baby teeth play a very important role by being a placeholder for the permanent teeth to eventually take over.

Another important milestone in a child's oral health development is when a child loses baby teeth and the permanent teeth take their place. This is often a time of important transition in a child's dental health. It is also a time when children are frequently involved in sports, as well as having a penchant for sweetened goods which can lead to cavities. At our children's dental office, we know that this is the time to start looking for preventative as well as interventional remedies should your child have any problems like crowding of the permanent teeth or need orthodontic care.

Visit Our Office for Dental Restorations in Plano

Dental RestorationsWe provide dental restorations in Plano and encourage you to call us whenever you have a damaged, broken, or infected tooth.  In our dental office, we put our patients first.  Your health and your comfort are our top priority.  We also understand the critical role that your natural teeth and roots play in your overall health.  Many people do not realize that each tooth and root helps to keep your jawbone strong.

When you lose a tooth, the bone is no longer stimulated by it, and the body thinks that it has lost its function.  This can lead to resorption where the body begins to leach calcium from the jawbone.  This can have a negative impact on your appearance, making your face look sunken and like you are older than you are.  It can also pose a problem for your remaining teeth.  Each tooth is, therefore, incredibly important both to your appearance and your health.   By restoring a tooth that has been damaged or become infected, we can prevent tooth loss so that you can stay in the best possible oral health.

Knowing that there are several dentists you can choose from, we have taken steps to ensure that when you visit our dental office, your experience will be better than your expectations.  We are a true dental spa.  That means that when you come in with a damaged tooth, you will probably leave much more relaxed than when you came in.  Instead of asking you to visit a clinical environment, our office is warm and relaxing.  We also offer amenities like soothing music, comfortable blankets, the latest movies to watch, hand paraffin wax treatments, aromatherapy oils, and dental message chairs.  This way your experience is truly spa-like and relaxing – perfect for anyone that is struggling with a broken tooth.  In fact, the relaxing nature of our office makes it so that many of our patients do not feel the need for sedation though we do offer it.

When you come in for dental restorations in Plano, we will first examine your teeth to determine the extent of the problem.  This may also involve taking x-rays.  We will then discuss the various treatment options that are available to you so that you can make an informed decision regarding how to proceed.

Some of the solutions we offer are:

  • Dental veneers.  If you have a cracked or chipped your tooth, dental veneers are an excellent way to restore it in both form and function.  A veneer is a thin shell made of ceramic or porcelain that fits on top of your natural tooth.  Veneers are often used is cosmetic applications so many of our patients choose to have the damaged corrected and their smile enhanced at the same time. 
  • Dental crowns.  When you come in for dental restorations in Plano, there is a high chance that we will discuss crowns with you.  A crown is a cap that surrounds your tooth entirely.  It can correct teeth that are cracked or chipped and ensure that nothing can touch the damaged tooth.  

Give us a call to go over any other possible restoration solutions that you have an interest in and we will see what we can do. Regardless of what you choose, we can guarantee that your smile will look beautiful and that your experience will be a relaxing one.

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Learn More About Cosmetic Dentistry for Crooked Teeth

Cosmetic DentistryIf you have a crooked smile, you should look into cosmetic dentistry for crooked teeth. It is easy to assume braces are the only choice, but when you do not want to put the time and finances into such a treatment, you may be interested in learning about other options. With our cosmetic dentistry for crooked teeth, two of our most common treatments for patients who dislike their teeth are tooth contouring and dental veneers.

What is tooth contouring?

Tooth contouring and reshaping treatment is one of the most affordable routes for fixing crooked teeth. It works best on patients with specific teeth that stick out or are clearly misplaced. During our tooth contouring process, we use special shaping tools to scrape off and buff certain portions of dental enamel in order to create a more attractively shaped tooth. Those that have enamel removed will be sealed with a bonding material to protect it from decay, sensitivity, and damage. In some cases, we might even use our state-of-the-art laser sculpting techniques. Our tooth contouring will allow your teeth to fit together in a more attractive manner and also provide a better flossing ground for your at-home dental care.

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers, or porcelain veneers, are one of our most popular treatments, not just for improving crooked teeth, but also for fixing alignment issues and poorly shaped and discolored teeth. Our dental veneers are applied to the tooth fronts with a strong dental glue. They are thin, tooth-colored shells that will rest comfortably on your teeth and feel natural once placed. Depending on the state of your teeth, veneers may require part of your tooth to be shaped to allow for a flatter resting surface. Our dental veneers can be created and placed in two appointments, and provide immediate results. Veneers are also more affordable than most traditional straightening methods.

Is cosmetic dentistry for crooked teeth painful?

No matter which procedure you choose, we will make sure you are completely comfortable before we start working. We will provide the necessary anesthetics so you do not experience any discomfort during or following your treatment. Both of these treatments are minimally invasive, so they will not take long or cause discomfort.

Do you provide any other forms of cosmetic dentistry for crooked teeth?

Yes. Our crowns are another common option for crooked teeth that stand out. We can place a crown over a misshaped tooth that will give it a whiter and straighter appearance. When you visit our office for cosmetic dentistry for crooked teeth, we can go over a few other commonly used options as well.

Come and visit our cosmetic dentistry for crooked teeth. Don't settle for time-consuming straightening treatments that will require constant orthodontic visits and may cause discomfort after every adjustment. We can give you the attractive, long-lasting results you've always wanted, in a short amount of time.

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Dental Implants Are Important for Your Health and Appearance

Dental ImplantsThe technology behind dental implants has been improving drastically in the last several years. Along with this has come an increased demand for these prosthetic devices. As more and more people become aware of the fact that they do not have to be stuck with tooth loss, and that there are more permanent solutions available than dentures or bridges, they are turning in increasing numbers to dental implants. Already, over 3 million Americans have taken advantage of dental implants and given themselves a new lease on life after losing essential teeth. The bottom line is that we use dental implants as the most permanent, and hence the most effective, way to replace lost teeth. This is because dental implants are focused on the root of the tooth. Replacing the root with a tiny titanium screw gives the dentist, us, a chance to build a new fake tooth on a strong, stable base. This technology also allows the jawbone to create a symbiotic relationship, similar to the one it has with the natural root, with the dental implant. This combination of a relationship with the jawbone, and the strong, stable base that we create with dental implants gives you a tooth that can last a very long time. For dental implants, it has been an uphill battle to shed the image of being a purely cosmetic device to being a prosthetic that can actually change your quality of life. The truth is that dental implants have a very clear cosmetic appeal. In our office, we can place a dental implant, and then use it to fabricate and place a perfect tooth, in the form of a dental crown, automatically gives itself to beautiful teeth and hence a greatly improved smile. This has led to a misconception that dental crowns only bring aesthetic value. As a result of this many insurance companies labelled implant surgery as an elective, or optional procedure. This is contrary to conventional wisdom that says replacing a lost tooth is hardly an option. However, this label has prevented many insurance companies from supporting the procedure. This is gradually changing as the science is catching up with this popular perception. Today, scientists and dentists know that dental implants do more than give you a pretty smile. Dental implants help to support the jawbone by providing much-needed stimulus, for example. They prevent resorption of the jawbone and is critical to the support of other teeth and your facial structure.

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, there is a growing need for implants. Even in young adults, aged 35 to 44, the tooth loss percentages are at 69% which is significantly more than half. Considering that there are 15 million Americans who are currently using technology that is significantly older and less effective than dental implants, dentures and bridges, for example, the need for implants becomes apparent. For these folks, it is not just about appearance but about having a long-lasting tooth that looks, feels, and acts like a natural tooth. If you find yourself in this situation, call and schedule an appointment to learn more about your options.

Learn About Oral Health From a Plano Dentist

Plano DentistAt our Plano dentist office, we believe in a holistic focus on dentistry. This means that we will spent the vast majority of your time with us working on preventative medicine versus having to deal with emergencies and situations that may come up. Naturally when you come to our Plano dentist office with a specific problem, we will address it first deal so that your challenges are taken care of. Additionally, we have found is that it is easier to deal with pending problems when we are already working proactively to improve your overall health. Our blog is much the same way. We know that there are a thousand places where you can get information about your teeth. In fact, most people automatically turn to the internet when they are looking for information, be it about holes in the ground or cavities in their teeth. Because of this reliance on the internet a lot of our patient come in with really good information, and sometimes information that has confused them. The reason we have this blog is so that you can get some of your information directly from our Plano dentist office, and then use it as a conversation starter during your next visit. The best place to get any and all information about your teeth is right here in our office, directly from your dentist who knows your individual health history. As a Plano dentist office, most of our patients come in with pretty routine challenges, or for routine maintenance work. The vast majority of the patients we see have cavities, bad breath, need braces, or are coming in for a cleaning. Contrary to some of the alarmist things on the internet, not every case of bad breath is some terrible disease. In fact, it is likely caused by a common cavity or treatable gum disease, if not last night's dinner.  Simultaneously the routine toothache is the #2 reason why people miss work or school, also caused by a simple cavity.

The question we often get is “what is a cavity”? A cavity is a small hole which forms in the enamel of the tooth due to decay. This decay is caused by the bacteria that exists in the mouth naturally secreting acid that gradually eats away at your enamel until the cavity forms. Bacteria exist in all human mouths, completely natural and mostly harmless. The challenge arises when a lot of bacteria is allowed to accumulate on a tooth, or teeth. You will know this kind of accumulation because of the yellowish film that forms on the teeth known as plaque. When there is a build-up of plaque, the bacteria go into overdrive. Using the sugars and starches from the food that you eat the bacteria start to literally bathe the teeth in acid. This acid has little effect at first, as the tooth is able to use naturally occurring minerals, fluoride, and water to rebuild the damage. After a while, however, the tooth is no longer able to withstand the onslaught, the enamel gets soft, and eventually a small hole called a cavity is formed on your tooth. This is a common problem that we can treat in our dental office.

Orthodontics and Retention: What You Need to Know

orthodonticsOrthodontics treatments like braces and aligners work to straighten your incorrectly positioned teeth. The results you receive from alignment methods will be strong and attractive; however, teeth have a tendency to move consistently based on their environment and their natural position. To avoid the retraction of quality corrections, we employ retention methods.  What is retention? Orthodontic retention serves as a support system to newly aligned teeth. Once your braces or your aligner is removed, the use of retention for a short period is necessary to preserve your straightened results. If you previously had severely misshapen teeth or bite issues, retention will help your teeth hold their corrected position. Even if your dental misalignment was minor, your teeth might still need extra support to maintain your straight smile. Directly following the removal of braces or aligners, your teeth are most prone to shifting back into their original place. The retention phase of orthodontics will stop this from happening.

How long will retention be necessary?

The duration of your retention phase will greatly depend on the state of your teeth before the orthodontics treatment and how quickly your straightening changes were accomplished. While some patients' teeth are more prone to moving than others, in most cases, you should wear a retainer certain times of the day or night for at least a year or two for the best stabilization results.

What will my retention plan look like?

Your plan will be created personally for you, so there is no way to determine before an examination what your exact retention plan will look like. There are many factors we will consider when creating your plan and if you choose to wear your retainer as often as possible, you will gain the best results. Over a few months to a year, we will gradually permit you to wear your retainer less often until eventually we decide you don't need to wear it any longer or that you only need it a few times a week.

What types of retention will be used?

The type of orthodontics retention, you will use will depend on the nature of your teeth. We use either a fixed retainer or a removable retainer depending on the patient. Two of the most common retainers we offer are lower fixed retainers, which uses a wire fixed to the inside of your bottom row of teeth, or an upper removable retainer, which can be in the form of a plastic shell or a removable wire. Retainers that include the use of a bonded wire or removable wire generally produce the most long-lasting results, but they often require longer wear periods.

How do I care for my retainer?

If you have a removable retainer, you should rinse it with warm water and mild soap whenever you brush your teeth to keep the buildup at bay. You should always keep your removable retainer in a safe place when you are not using it to prevent breaking or warping. If you have a fixed retainer, you just care for your teeth as usual. If you notice any bending or breaking, let our orthodontics office know immediately so we can fix it.

 

 

Dental Veneers  >  Teeth Whitening

We Celebrate National Self-Esteem Month in Our Children's Dentistry Office

Children's DentistryIn our childrens dentistry office, we understand the critical role that a smile plays in how a child feels about themselves.  It can make a significant difference in their self-esteem, and since this is National Teen Self-Esteem Month, it is important to discuss the importance of a beautiful smile.  In children, teens, and adults having a beautiful smile makes a person feel better and have improved self-confidence.  It makes no difference if you are an adult or child, your smile can either help you to feel better about yourself, or it can take away from your self-esteem.  Our goal is to help your child to have a healthy smile, one that is healthy and that they can feel good about. We create lovely smiles in our childrens dentistry office.

When you visit our dental office, you can count on your child receiving expert level dental care.  We pay attention to every detail so that we can ensure their teeth are functioning like they should and also beautiful.  A perfect example of this is when we complete a dental filling.  If your child has a standard cavity, it is because their tooth has experienced decay.  To treat it, the decayed portion must be removed and then restored using a dental filling.  When you see someone with metal in their teeth, it is probably because they had cavities that were restored using amalgam fillings.  We can use tooth-colored fillings instead so that your child can love their appearance, rather than be embarrassed.  Simultaneously, we also have found that many children have teeth that look stained and dirty because they are indeed – stained and dirty.  It is difficult for people to brush their teeth correctly and for some kids this is near impossible.  The result is that plaque builds up on the teeth and begins to create the staining effect.  In many cases, there is no actual staining, only plaque that has built up and created the effect.  We recommend having their teeth cleaned twice a month so that we can prevent this from happening.  You are likely to find that their freshly cleaned teeth look radiant on their own.

Braces and our childrens dentistry office.

One of the most common questions we hear has to do with braces. They have become such a common treatment that children want to know if they need them and if so when.  This is a normal curiosity.  In our dental office, we actually start by trying to prevent the need for braces.  This is done by keeping their teeth healthy and intact.  If baby teeth fall out too early, the remaining teeth will move out of their position and begin to crowd out the space that was supposed to be left for the permanent adult tooth to come in.  As this happens, the mouth begins to change, and people struggle with overcrowding as a result.  By keeping teeth in place, we can help to prevent overcrowding.  If, however, your child needs braces anyway, they can have their first orthodontic appointment as early as seven.

What Dental Crowns Can Do For Your Smile

Dental CrownsWe provide dental crowns for patients that are looking to improve the appearance of their smile.  Many people still think of silver amalgam crowns when they visualize this versatile dental solution.  While they are still in use and incredibly effective, amalgam crowns have the downside of being made of metal and standing out like a sore thumb.  For this reason, most of our patients do not ask for a crown.  However, you should be pleased to know that crowns are now also made in a tooth-colored material that can blend in naturally with your surrounding teeth.  That means that you can benefit from the same durability and protective qualities of a crown, without looking like you ever had a restoration. Dental Crowns in Cosmetic Dentistry

As a cosmetic dentist, we use dental crowns on a regular basis.  They can accomplish a wide variety of goals that begins the moment we begin to take measurements of your teeth and create an impression.  We provide precise instructions to the lab technicians so that the crowns will fit perfectly around your teeth.  In addition, the size can be adjusted slightly so that they can close gaps in between teeth and change the overall size and shape of teeth if necessary. A tooth-colored crown can also be used to cover dark stains that remain on the teeth after a whitening procedure has proven ineffective.  In some cases, a tooth needs to be straightened, and a crown is an excellent tool for doing so.  Regardless of what you do not like about your smile, this versatile solution can help to give you the beautiful teeth you have always wanted.

Another cosmetic dentistry solution is the dental bridge.  A bridge can provide a semi-permanent tooth replacement and give you back both the appearance and function of your teeth.  This procedure is made possible by placing crowns on the two teeth that are surrounding the missing one.  They serve as anchors to hold the bridge in place so that it is durable.   We can discuss this and other cosmetic solutions when you come in for a consultation.

Dental Crowns Can Protect Your Tooth

We also use crowns in restorations and to protect the teeth.  This is often necessary as people age, and the teeth begin to experience erosion.  It is natural for the enamel to begin to wear off of the teeth over time.  This happens due to what you eat, how aggressively you brush your teeth, a lack of dental care and even basic aging.  The problem is that once the enamel has eroded, the dentin underneath is exposed, and the teeth can become sensitive to heat and cold when you eat.  To protect them and reduce or eliminate the sensitivity, a crown is placed around the teeth so that nothing touches them directly.  This is an incredibly effective procedure, and the crowns look natural once placed.  Simultaneously, if the damage was more extensive and the tooth chipped or cracked, a crown can restore the tooth to full functionality so that you can eat the food that you like and bite down without risk of irritation.

What You Should Know About Straightening Teeth From an Invisalign® Dentist

Invisalign® DentistIf you have crooked or misaligned teeth  that need to be straightened with braces, but hate the thought of a mouthful of metal, an Invisalign® dentist may be the person to talk to. While esthetics is probably the main reason behind most people’s decision to have their teeth straightened, crooked teeth can actually affect your dental health. This simply because misaligned teeth often have areas that the bristles of a toothbrush will not reach, this providing a safe haven for bacteria to hide and flourish in. An Invisalign® dentist can give you a radiant smile, and reduce your risk for gum disease and tooth decay at the same time.

For those not familiar with Invisalign®, they are clear, plastic 'aligners', custom-molded to fit snugly over your teeth. These aligners, which are usually quite comfortable compared to traditional metal braces, work by applying gentle but steady pressure on your teeth, very gradually and painlessly shifting them into alignment. As the teeth move, the bony socket below them also changes shape. As an Invisalign® dentist, we will tell you there are no wires to tighten and no metal brackets to attach. You will simply be fitted with a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks until your treatment is complete.

The Benefits of Invisalign® There are several clear advantages to Invisalign® aligners. For example,  food tends to get stuck in the wires and brackets of traditional braces which increase the risk of tooth decay... a problem that is significantly lower with clear aligners. Additionally, they are...

Virtually Invisible The most obvious benefit is that they are virtually invisible. Because most people won't even realize that you are wearing braces, Invisalign® are a particular favorite with adults and older teens.

Removable Because they can be removed when you eat, your diet is not restricted to foods that will get caught in traditional braces. You can literally eat whatever you want.  Additionally, brushing and flossing becomes much simpler when you are able to remove your aligners.

Comfortable As anyone who has worn clear braces will tell you, clear plastic braces are usually much more comfortable than traditional metal ones.

Faster Invisalign® aligners are made using 3-D computer-imaging technology, which envisions the entire process, from the position your teeth are in to begin with, through every stage of the treatment, up to the final placement of your teeth. Because it is so precise, Invisalign® moves your teeth much more efficiently than do conventional metal braces which means the treatment takes much less time than other methods.

Having said that, there are a few situations in which conventional braces may be more effective. For example, if your teeth are severely crowded, or if some teeth have not yet fully erupted. After an initial consultation and examination we, as an Invisalign® dentist, we will be able to tell you if you are a good candidate for clear plastic aligners.

If you happen to be one of those who think that braces are only for the very young, let us assure you that this is not the case. Although a young person's teeth can be moved more easily than those of an adult, it is never too late to fix crooked, misaligned or poorly spaced teeth. Call us today and take the first steps towards a confident and beautiful smile.

Here's What to Expect After Your First Orthodontics Treatment

OrthodonticsCongratulations on starting your orthodontics treatment.  Now that your new braces are fitted, you are on the way to a new, better, and more beautiful smile.  Prior to this point, you will have spent several appointments with us. Over these meetings, we have discussed a number of things, like the type of treatment, what needs to be adjusted, and the expected duration of your treatment. We hope that we have given you a better understanding of the momentous shift that is happening in your mouth even now. We also hope that you have asked a lot of questions, but also understand that getting dental work done can be slightly intimidating to a lot of our patients. As such, and to make sure you have everything you need, we will be sending you home with a packet of information that will cover many of the basics.  This way you can review it at home and at your leisure. Naturally we always welcome a call from one of our patients and will be happy to go into more specifics during one of your follow-up appointments.

It takes time for braces to become part of your everyday routine, and this is perfectly normal. There is a lot of adjustments that your mouth has to go through in order to accept the new feeling of having braces attached to your teeth 24/7. The first few days are going to be the most uncomfortable, and some patients will even experience a varying amount of pain which is easily controlled with over the counter pain medications. It is important to understand that this will pass in a few days, and while you will never get fully used to the idea of having braces in your mouth, pretty soon they will be a normal part of your routine.

While you are getting used to the braces, for the first several days, you will experience a degree of discomfort for which we recommend over the counter pain medication. Ibuprofen has qualities that can slow down the movement of your teeth, and so we advise against using a pain medication that has Ibuprofen in it for the duration of your treatment. This typically includes medicines like Advil and Motrin. Instead, we recommend that you take an acetaminophen based medication like Tylenol to relieve your pain symptoms since acetaminophen does not influence the movement of your teeth and your orthodontics treatment. Always take the recommended amount of medication for your age and weight.

Like with many orthodontics treatments, braces come with a level of food restriction that you will need to get used to. There are foods you will completely want to avoid during the course of your treatment as these could damage, loosen, or become stuck in the braces. Though fixing a broken or loosened brace is not hard, it could end up making your treatment longer.  This is why we will give you a complete list of foods that you should avoid so that you do not risk damaging or needing to come in and have your braces refitted or realigned.

The Many Benefits of Dental Crowns

Dental CrownsIn our dentist office, we love dental crowns.  They are an excellent way for us to restore our patients' teeth and complete smile makeovers.  This one dental solution can accomplish a variety of goals, making them an ideal treatment for many of our adult patients. They can accomplish the following:

  • Restore chipped teeth.  When a large portion of the tooth structure is missing or has been chipped off, this procedure can be used to restore it.  Dental crowns are caps that surround the tooth entirely, so even if a portion is missing, it will look normal and be as strong as it used to be once a crown has been placed around it.
  • Close gaps.  This procedure can be used to close gaps in between teeth for a more natural and symmetrical appearance.
  • Fix cracks.  If a tooth becomes cracked, a crown can be placed around it to repair the crack and hold the tooth together.  This is commonly done after an accident like a car wreck or sports injury.
  • Cover dark stains. If your teeth have dark stains or are severely yellowed due to years of smoking, poor oral health, or simply age, this procedure can be used to cover those stains and create brilliantly white teeth.
  • Replace a tooth.  If a tooth has fallen out you can have it replaced with a dental bridge.  A bridge is made possible by placing a crown on the two teeth surrounding the missing one.  Dental crowns then hold the bridge and the new tooth in place.

These procedures serve both cosmetic and practical purposes with stunning results.  This is how the procedure works:

  1. Creating your crown.  An impression must be taken of the tooth that is being restored along with the teeth around it.  This way the crown can be created in a lab to be the correct size and shape.  A lot goes into this because the ridges on top of it must be crafted perfectly so that when you bite down, it feels like a natural fit with your other teeth.  We can create it in all ceramic for a natural appearance, ceramic-on-metal, or all metal.
  2. Preparing your tooth.  Before it can be placed, your tooth must be prepared.  This is done by removing a portion of the enamel from your tooth. This way, the crown will fit securely around it without interfering with the surrounding teeth.
  3. Wearing a temporary. While the crown is being created in the lab, a temporary one will be placed around the freshly prepared tooth.  This will protect the tooth and allow you to eat soft foods while waiting for the permanent one to be bonded into place.  It will be secured using a water-based removable glue.
  4. Bonding.  Once the permanent crown is ready, the temporary one will be removed, the area cleaned, and the new one bonded in place using resin cement.

After the procedure is complete, your tooth will look natural while being strong and durable.  You will be able to eat all of your favorite foods without worry and simply need to care for it like you would all of your other teeth.

Learn About the Different Ways a Sedation Dentist Can Help You Relax

Sedation DentistAs a sedation dentist, we have the unique ability to affect the life of people who are, otherwise, terrified of seeking the treatment they need. According to some studies, as many as 8% of all Americans are so afraid of the dentist that they will never seek the medical attention or preventative care that they need. There are numerous factors that influence why a person becomes so afraid of dental procedures. Sometimes the fears come from a bad, or perceived bad, experience while at other times people have a great deal of anxiety because of the perceived lack of control in the dentist chair. Sitting back in a chair, with one's mouth open to the point of barely being able to talk, can cause anxiety. Aware of this anxiety, a sedation dentist has made an effort to provide a medical solution to these fears. Sedation dentistry is not the same as “sleep dentistry” since putting the patient to sleep is not the objective. Rather, our objective is to make the procedure as comfortable as possible, and give the patient just enough sedation to achieve that goal. Sometimes we do have to put a person to sleep in order to achieve this, but in most cases, milder sedation is enough to take off the edge.

There are four different levels of sedation that can be administered.

  • Mild Sedation: This is the most commonly used forms of sedation, where you are fully conscious, but are given a mild sedative that helps you take the edge off. You will be fully relaxed and not stressed out by the procedures while being aware of what is taking place.
  • Moderate Sedation: Moderate sedation is also known as conscious sedation because you will still be fully conscious, but may have some heaviness in your tongue during the recovery phase which could cause slurred speech.
  • Deep Sedation: Best described as a form of light sleep, this kind of sedation keeps you conscious, but in a state that is on the border of being asleep. You can be easily awakened, but tend to be less aware of the procedures and activities going on around you.
  • General Anesthesia: This is truly the only form of “sleep dentistry”, in the arsenal of sedation dentists. You will be fully unconscious during the procedure and will require the normal recovery time, often several hours.

There are a number of options that we will need to discuss with you, including how you would like the anesthesia delivered. There are a number of ways that the anesthesia can be given to you. You can elect to receive mild sedation by inhalation, where we will place a mask over your nose and mouth and deliver the medication. Typically this is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, which will cause you to relax. You can choose mild or moderate sedation, which can be given to you in the form of a pill. For heavier sedation, typically we would use an IV, which puts the anesthesia solution directly into the blood stream and allows us to monitor and adjust the levels as needed. To learn more about these options and to speak with a sedation dentist, call and schedule your consultation.

Your Dental Veneers Can Last Longer By Following These Care Steps

Dental VeneersIf you are restoring a damaged tooth, dental veneers are an excellent option. A veneer is a thin shell that is placed onto the surface of your tooth and is made out of porcelain in order to look completely natural.  It can save a cracked or chipped tooth and help your smile to look beautiful at the same time.  They are supposed to last for five to ten years but by taking care of them you can help your veneers to last longer. Here are some simple steps you can try to keep them in good condition:

  • Wear a mouth guard.  Sports injuries are the leading cause of adult tooth damage according to the American Dental Association.  If you wear a mouth guard while practicing or playing, you can prevent a lot of tooth injuries.  This is important because veneers are not immune from becoming damaged.
  • Daily care.  It is important to brush and floss your teeth throughout the day.  We recommend using a soft toothbrush so that you don’t irritate your teeth, veneers or gums.  Make sure to floss as well so that you can remove food from in between your teeth.  Follow this up by rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash in order to eliminate bacteria that can lead to an infection.  Dental veneers are placed on top of your existing teeth, making it important to take care of them.
  • Dental exams. You should have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year so that we can remove plaque, bacteria and anything else that can lead to an infection.  This also allows us to treat any cavities or signs of gum disease.
  • Watch what goes in your mouth.  Needless to say, you should only eat food.  Don’t chew ice, bite on pencils or bite your nails.  If you do, you could cause your veneers to move or break. They can even fall off so stick to eating your favorite foods instead.
  • Don’t grind your teeth.  People that grind their teeth at night will often wake up with severe headaches in addition to having damaged teeth.  Grinding can cause your teeth to break or chip.  If you have dental veneers, grinding can cause them to break as well.  We have an easy solution.  You can wear a customized night guard that prevents your upper and lower teeth from touching each other.  This eliminates the risk of your teeth grinding or clenching.  Your veneers will be protected, and you will have less pain and fewer headaches.

As a cosmetic dentist, we know that by taking care of your veneers and your teeth you will feel better and stay in better health overall.  Some of these steps are easy to take on your own while others require the assistance of a licensed dentist.  Regardless of how large or small your questions are, we would be happy to assist you so give us a call to schedule your appointment right away.

The Truth About Teeth Whitening and What You Should Know Before Heading to the Store

Teeth WhiteningThere are many misconceptions about teeth whitening, making it important to know the facts before you schedule a procedure or head to the store.  The procedure you select and where you go to have it done will make a huge difference in how your teeth turn out.  If you are looking for stunning and beautiful teeth, your best bet is to head to the dentist. Here is what you need to know.

Do whitening products at the store actually work? Yes, they do but they typically only whiten teeth by around two shades.  This is far less than how white they get at the dentist office, so many people feel disappointed with the results.  This has created the idea that teeth whitening doesn’t work when it actually does.  The key is to visit the dentist for dramatic results instead of trying to find them at the store.

How white do they get at the dentist office? Teeth will typically get up to eight shades whiter if you have the procedure done at the dentist office.  This is significant, and you will be able to see a major difference in how your teeth and your smile look.  We recommend that anyone with major stains or yellow teeth, have them cleaned and their teeth whitening completed by a professional dentist in order to get the best level of results.

Does it hurt? No, if your teeth are whitened by a dentist, there shouldn’t be any discomfort.  If, however, you purchase trays from the drug store, they can become loose, and the whitening solution can leak which will make your gums hurt.

How is a teeth whitening procedure done? That depends on what type of procedure you get.  At the dentist, you can have them whitened in the office, or you can have custom teeth whitening trays created that can be used at home.  The customized trays have a perfect fit and won’t leak.  They feel great and produce stunning results plus most people like the idea of being able to whiten whenever they want.  If you go the drug store route, you can buy toothpaste, strips, and trays.  They are available for purchase at most stores, but the results aren’t as good overall.

How does it work? There is typically peroxide inside of the whitening solution, and peroxide can penetrate through the enamel and begin the oxidation process.  This turns the molecules inside of your teeth into ones that don’t reflect color and therefore become colorless.  This creates the appearance of bright white teeth.

Should I whiten teeth first or get dental veneers first? That depends. If you are getting veneers placed onto all of your teeth there really isn’t a need to whiten your teeth as the veneers will cover them.  If, however, a dental veneer is being placed onto one or two teeth in order to restore them, you should have your teeth whitened first.  Veneers are resistant to bleaching, so you want your teeth to be the correct shade before having the procedure done.

To learn more about teeth whitening, give us a call!