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.
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.
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.
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General dentistry offers exactly what the name implies: dental care related to the general maintenance of good oral health. The ideal way to look at dentistry is preventative, which means focusing on good oral hygiene and functionality before problems can take hold. Finding a qualified and skilled general dentist who you visit every six months for checkups is the best way to prevent serious dental issues and help you maintain excellent oral health.
A trip to the general dentist for you or any of your family members, no matter their age, is a smart way to keep your smile looking and feeling great. Your general dentist will help create the perfect dental plan that depends on your personal oral health and needs. A typical dental visit includes thorough examination, X-rays or other diagnostic tests, professional teeth cleaning, and any treatments that might be needed for your condition. If a certain treatment isn’t available through your general dentist, it’s likely that you’ll receive a referral to a reputable specialist to complete the work.
Every dentist is unique, so you’ll need to inquire about the specific treatments available at your dentist’s practice. Some common services that many general dentists provide include:
- Dental sealants
- Fluoride treatments
- Professional cleanings
- Gum scaling or recontouring
- Root canal therapy
- Crowns and bridges
- Dental implants
In addition to dental treatments, your general dentist will evaluate your at-home hygiene routine and make suggestions for improvement. You will learn proper brushing and flossing techniques, as well as learn about any additional products or practices that might improve your oral health. Your general dentist wants you and your family to have the best smiles and oral health possible, and will help you achieve that goal.
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It’s no joke that some people are afraid of going to the dentist. There’s even a word for this fear: dentophobia. It can prevent you from getting preventive care, diagnostic tests, or restorative treatments, all of which are vital in maintaining good oral health. If you suffer from dentophobia, what can you do so that you’re able to visit your general dentist?
The first step is educating yourself about the process. Fear of the unknown may be what’s stopping you from visiting the dentist. Schedule an appointment, get a tour of the office, ask about the equipment being used, and learn about common procedures. Take the time to meet the dentist and staff so that you can obtain a comfort level with the caregivers.
If knowledge isn’t enough to ease your dental fears, ask our general dentist about medications available that will allow you to successfully get treatment without having too much anxiety. Sedation dentistry is offered by many general dentists today, which offers various levels of sedation. Nitrous oxide (or laughing gas), oral medications, or even general anesthesia are often available depending on your needs and concerns.
Many dental offices provide relaxation aids to make patients more comfortable. These may include listening to music through headphones, watching videos, lap blankets to increase comfort, and more. You might also want to invite a friend or family member along as a source of support throughout your appointment. Consider rewarding yourself after a successful appointment by going to lunch afterwards or treating yourself to a favorite item like ice cream or a pedicure.
If your dentophobia still isn’t controlled with these techniques, a professional psychologist may be able to suggest breathing techniques or other relaxation methods to help. Sometimes identifying the root of your fears can help you overcome them as well. The main thing is to figure out a way to be able to visit your general dentist and get the care you need for a healthier smile.
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Most people are not born with a perfect appearance. Some people turn to cosmetic surgery to correct or enhance the things they find unappealing about their looks. However, if cosmetic surgery is not on your agenda, cosmetic dentistry offers many procedures and treatments to quickly and successfully improve your appearance. Because your smile is usually the first impression you make on the world, fixing stains, cracks, gaps, and other imperfections can make a dramatic impact.
While many cosmetic dental procedures can be performed by your general dentist, a cosmetic dentist has a distinct advantage when you are seeking to improve your smile.
A cosmetic dentist makes it their business to have extensive knowledge and training in the treatments specific to improving the appearance of your teeth. Just a few of the procedures and treatments provided by a qualified cosmetic dentist include:
- Dental implants
- Dental crowns
- Dental bridges
- Porcelain veneers
- Teeth straightening
- Composite bonding
- Teeth whitening
In cooperation with a qualified cosmetic dentist, you can elect to have one or a combination of cosmetic dental treatments to perfect your smile. You may just need whitening to brighten and beautify your discolored teeth, or you may need whitening as well as bonding for gapped or chipped teeth. You may even need clear braces or veneers to straighten a crooked smile. A cosmetic dentist will have the knowledge to coordinate treatments to achieve the desired result with the least amount of time, discomfort, and complications. With the help of an experienced and qualified cosmetic dentist, you can improve not only your smile but the overall appearance you present to the world.
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A variety of factors can cause your teeth to become dark and dingy. Smoking or chewing tobacco, drinking wine, coffee or tea, eating pigment intense foods, too much fluoride, or trauma to the tooth can all cause your teeth to discolor and lose their shine. The good news is cosmetic dentistry offers several options to return your teeth to their natural whiteness:
- Professional teeth whitening can be completed in as little as one office visit and can lighten your teeth as much as ten shades. This type of whitening mainly treats surface stains and can last several years with careful maintenance.
- Dental veneers are a better option for teeth with internal stains that are resistant to professional whitening. The placement of veneers involves roughing up the surface of the tooth and then applying an extremely thin porcelain or composite veneer that bonds to the surface of the tooth. With care, dental veneers can last as long as ten years.
- For individual teeth that have changed color due to damage or trauma, composite bonding is an excellent option. This procedure involves the use of a tooth-colored bonding material to cover the surface of the tooth and match it to the color of the surrounding teeth.
If you suffer from a dark or discolored smile and want to restore it to bright and white, cosmetic dentistry may be the answer to your concerns. Schedule a consultation with a qualified cosmetic dentist to find out which treatments would best suit your needs and allow you to once again face the world with a beautiful, white smile.
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Any stage of gum disease (or gingivitis) can cause inflammation, pain, and sensitivity. It can make eating and talking difficult. It’s important to know what causes gum disease and what can happen if it develops, so that you can avoid it altogether or at least catch it before it wreaks havoc on your mouth.
What causes gingivitis?
Plaque buildup is the main cause of gum disease, although other factors can lead to it as well. These include:
- Illnesses, especially those that interfere with your immune system. Patients with HIV, diabetes, and cancer are often at higher risk for gingivitis.
- Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, menstruation, puberty, and menopause.
- Some medications affect oral health by decreasing saliva or causing abnormal growth of gum tissue.
- Smoking can hamper the healing of your gums.
- Poor dental hygiene, including neglecting brushing or flossing, or using improper techniques.
- Family history of gum disease.
What are the symptoms?
Gingivitis can sneak up without symptoms, even in the later stages of the disease. However, there are signs that may point to some level of gingivitis. These include bleeding, red, or swollen gums. Ongoing bad breath and receding gums are other symptoms. Deep pockets may form between the teeth and gums, and teeth may shift or loosen. You might also notice changes in how your teeth fit together when you bite down. Your dentist can recognize symptoms even if you don’t, so make sure you have checkups regularly.
How is gingivitis treated?
Treatment depends on the stage of your gum disease, how you responded to previous treatment, and your general health. Treatments range from therapies to control bacterial growth to surgery to restore gum tissue. Often gingivitis can be controlled with dental visits and good dental hygiene.
What can happen without treatment?
Gingivitis may advance to periodontitis, causing permanent damage to your mouth. Advanced gum disease has been linked to stroke, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes complications.
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