What you eat and drink can affect your oral health. A balanced diet will boost your body’s natural immune system, helping to lower your risks for oral problems. There are also certain foods and drinks that you should avoid in order to pave the way for healthy gums and strong teeth. Read on to learn how to ensure that your smile is safe and strong.

Cut down on snacks
Try to limit snacking between meals. The more often you eat, the more bacteria is stimulated and more acid is created. It is especially harmful to snack on sweet or starchy foods, which can harm your teeth and gums more quickly.

Limit sugar
Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar. It can stick to your teeth and if not removed promptly and thoroughly, can lead to tooth decay.

Watch what you drink
Drink plenty of water, and avoid sodas and fruit juices. Both of these can be sugary and acidic, which can harm your tooth enamel and cause decay.

Maintain a healthy diet
Try to eat a balanced diet consisting of the five major food groups. A well-balanced diet provides the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your teeth and gums need. Fresh vegetables and fruits, and foods rich in calcium, are good choices for your oral health.

Practice good oral hygiene
Contact our St. Louis dental office to learn about good dental hygiene techniques that will help you prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and see your dentist for regular checkups.

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If you’ve tried teeth whitening products or other methods to improve the look of your smile but still aren’t satisfied, maybe it’s time to consider the more permanent solution of dental veneers. These provide a painless and simple way to transform your smile without the hassles that some other solutions involve.

What are veneers?:
These very thin shells are usually made from porcelain or composite materials, and they fit right onto the surface of the fronts of your teeth to improve their appearance. They hide imperfections so that no one can even tell what your natural teeth underneath might look like.

What are the benefits?:
In addition to making your smile look nicer, veneers also may be used to fill in gaps between your teeth. They can repair chips in your teeth or decayed areas. Veneers can even correct crooked teeth because they may be used to align your smile in a more appealing way.

Which type should I choose?:
Porcelain veneers are the most popular choice because of its durability and natural appearance. Veneers made of composite are often less expensive, but tend to stain easier and require replacement sooner. Composite veneers may be a good choice for small tooth chip repairs, but for overall improvement porcelain is often the preferred material.

What’s the process for getting veneers?:
After your initial consultation with your dentist, your next appointment will involve gently altering the shape and surface of your teeth if necessary to prepare them for veneers. Then a mold will be made of your mouth so that custom veneers can be created. You’ll be fitted for temporary veneers while your permanent ones are made, which usually takes a few weeks. When they are ready, your veneers will be placed using special glue and then trimmed to fit exactly. Your new smile is now complete!

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To improve the success of your dental implant surgery, there are a few guidelines you can follow during your recovery process. Diet is one of the most important factors to consider to ensure your implants heal properly.

Initially, you should not eat or drink hot foods for 24 hours after surgery as the heat could open the wound and cause an increase in bleeding. Avoid foods that may cause trauma to the gums or disrupt the implant, including the following:

  • Hard foods such as candies, pretzels, nuts, and crunchy vegetables
  • Chewy foods that require more than a couple of rounds of chewing such as rolls, gummies, hard fruit, and gum
  • Foods that could stick in teeth or leave particles behind such as popcorn, seeds, and chips
  • Foods or drinks that contain citric acid, such as oranges or grapefruit

Carbonated beverages

A soft diet is recommended for approximately two weeks after implant surgery to allow the gum tissue to heal. It is especially important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, although you should strictly avoid the use of a straw for at least 48 hours post-surgery. Suggestions of ideal food and drinks after implant surgery would be:

  • Cooked cereals such as cream of wheat or oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Broth, bouillon, or soups
  • Ground beef, baked or broiled fish, or baked or stewed chicken
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Baked or mashed potatoes
  • Soft bread
  • Puddings, milkshakes or ice cream
  • Water, milk, coffee or tea

Patients who maintain a healthy diet of soft foods feel better and heal faster after dental implant surgery. Following these guidelines will help to ensure the quickest and most successful recovery from your implant surgery.

Contact our St. Louis dental office today to learn more about dental implants options.

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.

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Gum disease is a serious problem. You should treat it as soon as possible following the recommendations of your dentist. Also known as periodontal disease, it has several treatments, depending on the severity of the issue.

Your first course of action is to completely revamp your oral hygiene habits. Daily flossing and brushing following meals are essential habits to develop. You must have a clean mouth before you go to bed. If you smoke, you should stop. Your mouth’s health depends on it.

If you haven’t been keeping up with your professional checkups and cleanings, you need to start again. Long-term gum health is greatly impacted by the plaque, tartar, food debris and bacteria left on teeth. Hardened calculus, or calcified plaque, can be removed using a process called scaling. This process may require local anesthesia.

Your progress will be evaluated by your dentist to see if your gum tissue is recovering. With enough progress and response to treatment, your gum disease treatment may not progress beyond these initial steps; however, for more severe cases of gum disease, you may require oral surgery.

Surgical procedures are available that can regenerate and repair the soft gum tissue in the mouth, as well as hard tissues such as bone or teeth. Your oral surgeon will want to reduce or completely eliminate gum pockets, or open areas beneath the gum line, improving and renewing gum to tooth attachment. Normal oral functions and aesthetic appearances are aimed to be restored.

There are many sedation dentistry options available to patients treating their gum disease with oral surgery. These include local anesthesia and IV or conscious oral sedation. Talk to your oral surgeon to see what’s appropriate for your specific needs.

Don’t wait to treat your gum disease. Do what you need to do to ensure a lifetime of better oral hygiene and gum health.


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Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, and usually emerge in the late teens or early twenties. Standard dental practice is to remove wisdom teeth prior to them being fully formed when the roots have not yet had a chance to develop and fully root into the jaw. Younger patients usually have an easier recovery from surgery and many dentists believe early removal prevents future dental problems associated with wisdom teeth.

If your wisdom teeth were not removed as they emerged, there are some signs and symptoms that would indicate the need for extraction including:

  • Wisdom teeth that are impacted, which means they have become trapped in the jawbone or gums.
  • Wisdom teeth that are emerging at an awkward angle, causing pressure on adjacent teeth.
  • Wisdom teeth that do not fit in your mouth, causing crowding of the surrounding teeth as well.
  • Wisdom teeth that are suffering from decay or disease caused by the inability to keep them cleaned properly.
  • Wisdom teeth that have developed fluid-filled cysts near the gumline.
  • Wisdom teeth that are causing pain due to any of the above reasons.

The decision about whether or not to remove your wisdom teeth should be made in consultation with your dental professional. Your dentist or oral surgeon can assess the position and health of your wisdom teeth and make a recommendation for treatment.

If extraction is recommended, they may choose to extract one tooth or all four molars at once. Recovery from the outpatient procedure takes just a few days, and you will quickly be back to normal. Consult with your dental professional if you are experiencing any of these symptoms listed to determine if you should consider wisdom tooth removal to ensure your future good oral health.


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There are a number of reasons people choose to get dental veneers, which are able to hide all kinds of tooth problems. These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth and can transform an embarrassing smile into one to fill you with pride. One of the most common reasons that many patients opt for veneers is to hide discolored teeth.

No matter what the cause for it, teeth can lose their bright white shine over time. It can be from consuming foods and drinks that tend to stain teeth, such as red wine, coffee, berries, sodas, and other culprits. Or it can be side effects from medications, including the antibiotic tetracycline which can cause severe tooth discoloration if taken during a child’s formative years. Poor oral hygiene can also contribute to yellowed teeth, as well as tobacco use. Aging in general tends to discolor teeth too.

If your teeth show the effects of staining or yellowing, and you’d like to get that healthy youthful glow back, porcelain veneers are a good option. They provide a unique advantage of never staining, so they look like new the entire time you have them. With proper care, your veneers should last for decades or even a lifetime. That means a bright, white smile that won’t deteriorate!

Another great benefit about veneers is that they provide an instant improvement to your smile. As soon as they are placed, your smile will be transformed. If you have concerns about what they will look like, many dentists are able to use computerized photo imaging technology to give you an accurate idea of what to expect. This may alleviate any hesitations about veneers being the right solution to hide your discolored teeth. Ask your dentist today about the possibility of getting veneers to improve your smile.

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You may think there is nothing to be done if your smile has become unattractive due to tooth damage like chipping, discoloration, or misalignment. However, dentists offer a solution called porcelain veneers that can restore your smile and give you the confidence to show it off.

Made out of durable and natural-looking porcelain, veneers are thin shells that cover the fronts of your teeth so that imperfections are no longer visible. Problems that caused you to hide your teeth in the past will be covered up by these porcelain tops. The process for getting veneers is simple. There is no surgery or anesthesia required. Your dentist will make impressions of your teeth to enable your custom-made veneers to fit perfectly. These will be sent to a laboratory for veneer development, which can take several weeks. Your dentist may need to prepare your teeth by removing a small amount of enamel, and then the veneers will be adhered to the fronts of your teeth with a secure resin.

There are other options for handling various kinds of tooth damage, but veneers may be the simplest and most durable choice. For example, chipped teeth can be improved with dental crowns, but this can be a more invasive procedure. Yellowed teeth can be whitened with various methods, but this is not as permanent as porcelain veneers. Durability is one of the greatest benefits of veneers, because they don’t discolor and are permanently secured to your teeth. If you properly care for them with good oral hygiene, veneers can last a lifetime.

Another major selling point for veneers is that they can exactly replicate natural teeth. Your dentist will have your customized veneers created by matching the color and shape of your face and personal features. Others may not even realize you have them, other than the fact that those who knew you before will notice your beautiful new smile. So if you are unhappy with your current appearance of your teeth and want to quit being embarrassed to smile, porcelain veneers may be just what you need.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is one of the most common procedures that oral surgeons and dentists perform. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions afterwards for the best chances of quick and complete recovery. Here are some tips for taking care of yourself after wisdom tooth extraction.

Watch your diet:
Your dentist will give you a list of suggested foods you can it after surgery, and ones to avoid. Stick with soft or liquid foods for the first couple of days, and do not eat hard or sharp foods like chips. Avoid carbonated drinks, hot beverages, and spicy foods because they can irritate your surgery site. After the first few days, begin introducing your regular diet as is comfortable.

Take your medications:
You will likely receive a prescription for painkillers to help relieve discomfort, as well as reduce swelling. This in turn can lower your risk for infection too. Take your medication as prescribed by your dentist for the optimum results. If your extraction is simple, prescription medication may not be required. You can take over-the-counter medications if your dentist agrees and you follow the directions on the label. Do not take aspirin, however, because it can thin your blood and increase bleeding at your extraction site.

Brush carefully:
Instead of brushing with your toothbrush, gently wipe the site with clean, wet gauze. Rigorous brushing can hurt the healing process, and you should even avoid rinsing your mouth for at least 24 hours after surgery. On the second day, you can rinse your mouth gently with salty water. Do not spit forcefully, which can dislodge the blood clot on your extraction site. Also, do not rinse with mouthwash that contains any alcohol.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco:
Drinking alcohol may thin your blood, prevent clotting, and delay healing. Smoking can have similar effects, as well as dislodge the clot when you inhale on a cigarette. For the best chances of healing, avoid these products for at least 24 hours after wisdom tooth extraction.


We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Have you been told that you may need a root canal treatment? Are you worried because of things you’ve heard in the media about how “awful” a root canal is? Don’t worry about what you’ve heard; endodontic therapy isn’t at all what you’d think. Let’s debunk some myths!

  • Myth #1: Root canal treatment is very painful. This isn’t true! In fact, a root canal treatment is performed specifically to relieve a patient’s pain, not to cause more. After a root canal treatment, you might feel some tenderness, but the pain you felt when the damaged tissue and infection was still inside the tooth will be completely gone. Once the swelling from the procedure has gone down, you will be able to use your new tooth exactly the way you could use your natural tooth when it was completely healthy.
  • Myth #2: Root canal therapy or other endodontic work can lead to disease elsewhere in the body. Another falsehood! Root canal treatments don’t spread disease to the rest of the body, rather, they remove infected tissue and bacteria from the body, preventing the affected tooth from becoming re-infected.
  • Myth #3: Extraction is better than root canal treatment. Extraction is not preferred to root canal treatment! Whenever possible, it’s preferred to keep your natural tooth. Your natural tooth’s roots stimulate and preserve the bone of your jaw, as well as providing adequate support to the surrounding teeth. Dental implants or dental bridges can be problematic, both in function and in dietary restrictions. In fact, an extraction can lead to several prolonged appointments to perform replacement procedures, treatments that are far more involved than a root canal treatment.

Endodontic treatment is an extremely common dental procedure that can provide durable, long-lasting restorations that will function as your natural tooth did. If you believe you may need a root canal treatment, talk to your endodontist or dentist today to see how this successfully proven treatment can help you and your smile needs.


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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.

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Missing teeth can put a damper on your active lifestyle. You may feel self-conscious about your appearance, experience limitations in diet, or have difficulty speaking. Without a full set of teeth, you risk gum degeneration, bone loss, and other oral health problems. Designed to mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, dental implants can rejuvenate your smile.

What is a dental implant?
A small titanium post that serves as an artificial tooth root, a dental implant is surgically positioned into your gums. Your dentist will place a permanent crown on each implant, which completes the replacement tooth. Implants can be used for one or more missing teeth.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?
In general, anyone with a missing tooth should consider dental implants. The key to successful implant placement is good oral health and sufficient bone structure to support the posts. If you don’t have adequate bone levels, your dentist may recommend a bone graft to correct that situation.

How long does the procedure take?
Receiving dental implants is a two-step process. During the first visit, a trained specialist will surgically implant the posts into your jawbone. Then, you will need to wait three to six months for healing and integration with the jawbone. Once this occurs, your dentist will place the permanent crowns on the implants, giving you a full smile.

How do I care for my implants?
Just like your natural teeth, your implants require daily care. Brush often and floss frequently. Regular dental checkups are also important, so schedule visits at least twice a year.

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

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.


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If you are currently a denture wearer, you know that dentures can be problematic when it comes to eating a wide variety of foods, especially those foods with a very crunchy or chewy texture. Dentures can click or move when you are eating, or food debris can collect underneath, leading to poor fit and irritation of the soft palate and gums. Over time, if your dentures aren’t properly cleaned, this can lead to an odor in the dentures that causes bad breath for the wearer.

Issues with stability and retention of standard dentures mean that many wearers have food restrictions, including healthful and fresh foods they previously enjoyed with their healthy natural teeth. Some of the most nutritious foods available are problematic for denture wearers, making chewing difficult. Because so much of the digestion process begins in the mouth with the mastication of food, poorly chewed food can cause digestion difficulties and eventually be a factor in overall poor health.

Standard dentures can also affect the enjoyment of eating the foods that are allowed. They can be bulky, especially on the roof of the mouth, taking away a large part of savoring the texture and flavor of foods.

Hybrid dentures address all of these issues. They are crafted so that the roof of the mouth remains completely open and uncovered. Texture and flavor are enhanced over typical dentures. Hybrid dentures are affixed firmly with four or more dental implants functioning as anchors. These denture anchors are extremely secure and stable, giving the wearer the confidence to eat, drink, and speak.

Talk to your dentist today to see if hybrid dentures can improve your life. Experience the positive effects of hybrid dentures as your put your best smile forward with confidence that it looks and functions virtually identically to your natural teeth and gums.

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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.

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth, generally emerging between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one. They are the third set of molars and are in pairs: two each on the top and bottom arch of teeth. While some patients don’t have wisdom teeth, most do. Many of those who do have them don’t have enough room for those teeth to erupt fully, causing them to be wedged under the back of another tooth, impacted in the gum.

Impacted wisdom teeth are very difficult to clean, and can negatively affect the surrounding teeth. They are highly vulnerable to disease and decay and may lead to tooth pain and damage to adjacent teeth. For these and other reasons, a dentist may recommend that the teeth be extracted through oral surgery as soon as necessary to prevent any problems.

Extraction of wisdom teeth is typically an outpatient procedure done in an oral surgeon’s office. A healthy patient can proceed with a typical surgery, but if any infection is detected, the surgery can’t move forward until the infection is cleared up through the use of a full course of antibiotics. Once the surgery is moving forward, the surgeon’s team will administer some form of anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tooth or to possibly sedate the patient through IV sedation dentistry.

After the anesthesia has fully taken effect, the surgeon makes an incision to open the gum and to remove any bone that is blocking the tooth from extraction. The tissue connecting the bone to the tooth will be separated and the tooth will be removed. In some cases, the surgeon will have to break the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. After thoroughly cleaning the area and removing any remaining debris, the incision will be closed, stitched and packed with sterile cotton gauze to staunch any bleeding.

The surgeon will provide aftercare instructions. Patients should follow these instructions to the letter in order to ensure the best and fastest healing of the surgical site.


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Root canal therapy is a painless procedure performed when decay has caused enough damage to a tooth that the tooth is dying or has already died. During treatment, your dentist or endodontist removes the diseased or damaged pulp from the tooth and then refills the tooth cavity. To ensure a successful and pleasant treatment, here are some basic do’s and don’ts to follow:

  • Do take any medication your dentist has prescribed for you to take prior to root canal therapy.
  • Don’t anticipate pain; be calm and relaxed during your treatment.
  • Do expect mild discomfort for 2-3 days following the procedure. Apply an ice pack and sleep with your head elevated to minimize swelling.
  • Don’t skip on taking prescribed pain medications, even if you are not experiencing extreme pain.
  • Do avoid biting on hard foods or meddling with the affected tooth during the course of treatment.
  • Don’t drink excessively hot or cold beverages until the completion of treatment.
  • Do continue normal brushing on the root canal treated tooth.
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol within 24 hours of root canal therapy.
  • Do eat a soft diet for several days and avoid chewing on the treated tooth until a permanent restoration is placed.
  • Don’t delay having the treated tooth capped with a crown or other restoration to avoid fracture or additional damage, causing failure of your root canal therapy.
  • Do contact your dental professional immediately should you have any complications or questions during your recovery, and make sure to keep any follow-up appointments scheduled by your dentist or endodontist.

Root canal therapy has a 95% success rate. By following these simple guidelines, you can help to ensure a positive result from your root canal therapy and enjoy many more years of a healthy smile.


We look forward to seeing you in our St. Louis dental office

There is no quicker or easier way to dramatically improve the look of your smile than professional teeth whitening. Your dentist probably offers several whitening options and can advise you about the most appropriate type of whitening treatment to ensure your brightest, whitest smile. No matter which whitening treatment you and your dentist decide will be best, there are several tips you can follow to help you achieve the ideal result:

  • Have any existing dental problems treated prior to whitening to avoid side effects or complications.
  • Schedule a professional teeth cleaning prior to your whitening appointment to remove buildup of plaque or tartar you cannot remove with home cleaning, and provide the best surface for the whitening treatment.
  • Begin brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste several weeks before whitening to limit the sensitivity that can sometimes result from whitening agents.
  • If you are extremely prone to dental sensitivity, check with your dentist about taking a painkilling medication before your whitening appointment.
  • Consult with your dental office to determine how much time you should allow for your whitening appointment.
  • Refrain from eating or drinking anything except water for at least one hour after the completion of your whitening treatment, and avoid ingesting foods and beverages that contain stain-causing agents for no less than 24 hours.
  • Make sure to attend any follow-up appointments with your dentist.
  • Maintain excellent home oral care habits to extend the life of your whitening procedure.

By following these tips, you can boost the results of your professional teeth whitening treatment and face the world with beautiful, bright smile!

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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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If you have lost all of your teeth or just a few, you are probably a good candidate for dentures. Dentures, also known as removable prosthodontics, are used for the dental restoration or replacement of missing or broken teeth. You may want to consider dentures if any of the following apply to your situation:

  • You have very few remaining teeth and they are in poor condition.
  • You have suffered bone loss in your mouth so severe it precludes you from considering dental implants.
  • You have advanced gum disease that has resulted in the loss of multiple teeth.
  • You have lost many teeth, and your remaining teeth are suffering from decay and receding gums.
  • You are committed to practicing excellent oral hygiene in order to take good care of your dentures.

You may not be a good candidate for dentures if any of the following apply:

  • You are a young patient whose jawbone has not fully developed.
  • You grind or clench your teeth.
  • You have a sensitive gag reflex.
  • You are a smoker.

If you feel you are a good candidate for dentures, your dentist will evaluate the health of your teeth and gums and determine if full or partial dentures are the best choice for you. There are many factors to consider when having dentures placed, and your dental professional can help you make a decision that fits your needs and lifestyle. If you wish to regain oral functionality and improve your smile, dentures may be your answer to once again enjoying a full set of beautiful, natural looking teeth.

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Are you missing one or more teeth? Dental implants are among the best possible solutions for patients missing teeth. Dental bridges and dentures can fill the gaps left by acute decay or gingivitis, but dental implants have many advantages over these other techniques.

Dental implants are typically made of titanium and serve as an artificial root for a missing tooth. They are fused directly to the jawbone and become an excellent foundation for replacement teeth. They are the best possible substitute for a natural tooth that a dentist can provide.

Dental implant therapy has several benefits, among them:

  • Dental implants are very convenient. Bridges necessitate cleaning carefully under and surrounding the bridged tooth, and dentures need to be removed and specially cleaned and can utilize messy adhesives to affix them to your mouth. Dental implants are cleaned exactly as you would clean your natural tooth. Brush and floss normally. There is no slippage or cleaning beneath or between the replacement tooth, which is permanently attached to the gum via the dental implant, which fuses to the bone in a process known as ossification.
  • Dental implants look better than other replacement teeth. They are intended to appear and function as your natural tooth would.
  • Because they’re fused to your bone, they are more secure than dentures or bridges that can slip in the oral cavity, causing pain, muddled speech and problems eating or drinking. Dental implants are incapable of slippage, leaving you to lead your life with confidence and security.
  • Dental implants preserve bone by stimulating the bone in your jaw, something necessary for the health of the bone. Without this stimulation, the bone can begin to shrink.
  • Dental implants are very durable and can last for decades, if not for a lifetime, when cared for properly.
  • Because dental implants don’t require any alterations to the surrounding teeth, those natural teeth are able to remain intact, lending to your overall good oral health.

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

If you have been living with a mouth full of badly decayed teeth, infected gums or painful tooth infections, your dentist may have talked to you about how dentures can transform your smile. While no one wants to extract all of his or her teeth and have no remaining natural teeth, if your teeth have been a source of pain and embarrassment to you for years, having a beautiful new set of dentures could sincerely change your life.

Dentures are very natural-appearing replacements for an entire mouth of missing natural teeth and gum tissue. Dentures are removable and can be cleaned thoroughly each day, unlike examples like dental crowns or dental bridges that are permanently affixed to your mouth.

Badly decayed teeth and other oral issues can lead to chronic pain that spreads from the mouth to other areas of the face, head and neck. This pain can disrupt your life, leaving you irritable and moody, causing you to isolate yourself. Pain medications can lead you to feel groggy or off-balance, affecting your interactions with others in a negative manner. Once those teeth are removed and any underlying infection is addressed, you will be shocked at how much better you feel. The absence of this once-ongoing pain will feel as though you are free of a great burden you hadn’t realized you were carrying.

Years of poor oral health might have left you unwilling to smile broadly, or to be uncomfortable in public speaking, laughing or eating and drinking. You may avoid friends and family and you might choose not to form new relationships easily. Once your damaged teeth have been removed and you have been fitted for dentures, you will be amazed at the “new you.” The bright, perfect white smile that greets you in the mirror may look like a movie star’s smile, but in fact, it’s your smile. With your new dentures, you can feel confident as you move through life.

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It is estimated that ten million impacted wisdom teeth are removed every year. This means that you or someone you know has probably experienced this type of oral surgery. Even so, the thought of wisdom tooth extraction strikes fear and apprehension in many people. Knowing more about why it’s necessary and the procedure itself may alleviate your concerns.

Wisdom teeth are the furthest teeth in the back of your mouth, and come in later than all of your other teeth. Sometimes they don’t erupt at all, becoming stuck or impacted in your gums. Even if they do come in naturally, they may not fit in your mouth properly with the rest of your teeth.

There are some common issues that necessitate the removal of wisdom teeth. These include:

  • Impaction – impacted teeth may grow sideways and even damage your jawbone.
  • Infection – teeth that partially erupt can cause openings in your gums that allow bacteria inside, causing sometimes serious infections.
  • Tumors and cysts – complications like tumors and cysts can develop around impacted wisdom teeth, sometimes damaging to the gums and jaw.
  • Pressure – impacted teeth can pressure the surrounding teeth, causing abnormal growth, tooth decay, and orthodontic problems.

The best way to avoid these types of issues is to have your wisdom teeth surgically removed. Many dentists recommend removing them even before you’re experiencing problems, so that you avoid problems later. Your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon. After a consultation and examination including X-rays, a treatment plan will be determined.

Wisdom tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure in the surgeon’s office, using some level of anesthesia. Sometimes only local anesthesia is required, while some cases benefit from deeper levels of anesthesia for your comfort and health. Afterwards, you will experience some discomfort and should follow the doctor’s advice for care. Ice, pain medications, a soft diet, and rest are advised. A follow-up visit will be scheduled to monitor your healing. Typically, you will be back to normal in a few days and won’t have to worry about your wisdom teeth again.


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