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

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

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

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Dental implants are artificial teeth that mimic your natural tooth roots and are placed directly into your jawbone to provide optimal support for dental crowns, bridges and removable prosthodontics such as dentures. If you are considering dental implant therapy, please use the following guide to answer some of your questions.

  • Am I a candidate for dental implant treatment? Dental implants can be used in healthy patients whose jawbones have completed growing and who have sufficient quality and quantity of jawbone to have a healthy implantation.
  • Is dental implant treatment safe? Dentists agree that in healthy patients who are good candidates for the procedure, dental implants are low-risk.
  • Will I be in a lot of pain during dental implant surgery? Dental implant surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure in your dentist’s office under local anesthesia.
  • Does it take a long time to undergo the procedure? Treatment can generally be performed in under an hour, depending on the number of implants required.
  • Is recovery painful? Healing from dental implant surgery is typically quick and easy for most healthy people. Any lingering pain can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • When will I get my new teeth? Implants must fuse to the bone in a process called ossification, a process that can take up to six months. In most cases, temporary teeth will be in place during this time period.
  • How do I care for my dental implants? You will take care of your implants in the same way you would care for your natural teeth. Brush twice a day or after meals, especially before bedtime. Floss daily and continue to maintain regular dental appointments for checkups and preventative care.
  • How long do dental implants last? Dental implants can last for twenty or thirty years if you care for them properly.

If you need a dentist in St. Louis contact us today

Have you lost all or most of your teeth due to damage, disease or decay and don’t find traditional removable dentures an attractive option? Implant-supported hybrid dentures are an alternative to traditional dentures that provide a secure and stable prosthetic replacement for missing teeth by combining the benefits of a fixed replacement with the advantages of a removable denture. Hybrid dentures are an especially viable option for patients who have lost a large amount of jawbone due to missing teeth. Some of the benefits of hybrid dentures include:

  • Hybrid dentures save your natural roots and preserves bone while reducing bone resorption and deterioration.
  • Hybrid dentures help to control facial contour changes caused by missing teeth.
  • Hybrid dentures function more naturally, allowing you to chew food better and speak more clearly.
  • With hybrid dentures, there is no need for messy denture creams and adhesives, eliminating much of the embarrassment associated with loose dentures.
  • Hybrid dentures eliminate the slippage, clacking and loss of taste associated with traditional dentures.

If you would like fixed teeth to replace teeth that you have lost but are not ready or a candidate for multiple individual implants for each missing tooth, hybrid dentures could be your solution. Hybrid dentures require only a few dental implants to secure the new teeth in place, allowing for quicker recovery time and increased comfort.

If you are seeking an alternative to traditional dentures to replace your missing teeth, talk with your dental professional to determine if you are a good candidate for hybrid dentures. With hybrid dentures, you can successfully restore the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth.

Schedule your appointment at our St. Louis dental office

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

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

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

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

Pain, sensitivity, and trouble eating or sleeping are only a few of the uncomfortable symptoms of a damaged tooth. Sometimes the inside portion of a tooth, or its pulp, becomes so damaged that action must be taken. It could come in the form of extracting the tooth or it might be able to be saved through root canal treatment.

Virtually every dentist recommends root canal therapy over tooth extraction. It’s almost always better to save your natural tooth. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a hole in your smile and the problems that accompany it.

A tooth can be damaged for a variety of reasons such as severe decay, trauma, or deep cavities. The damaged pulp contains nerves, which is one reason that many patients experience severe pain. Although dental fillings can remedy some cavities or decay, when the situation advances to the extent of harming the tooth pulp, fillings are not enough. Root canal treatment is usually the best way to repair the tooth without having to pull it.

A root canal procedure involves drilling into the tooth so that the pulp can be completely removed and the canal thoroughly cleaned. Then the area is filled with special material and sealed to prevent future damage. Often, a dental crown is placed on top of the restored tooth to provide added protection. This process alleviates any symptoms and give you back your fully functional, natural tooth.

If you were to opt for tooth extraction instead of root canal treatment, you’d be choosing a more invasive approach. The procedure can be intrusive, time consuming and costly. Recovery from tooth extraction can be uncomfortable and take longer than root canal therapy. Careful oral hygiene is necessary after extraction to avoid infection or complications. You’ll also be left with an unappealing hole in your smile that can make eating and speaking more difficult, and your other teeth will likely start moving into that empty space.

To determine the best treatment for you, consult a reputable dentist. You’ll learn about the options and how root canal therapy may be the best choice in restoring your oral health and your smile.


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

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

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

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

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

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

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

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

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

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

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

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

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

We offer dental crowns at our St. Louis dental office

 

More and more people today are heading to their dentist’s office to brighten their smiles through teeth whitening treatments. Although you can try to maintain white teeth by limiting foods and drinks that stain or stopping habits like smoking, the truth is that teeth are prone to discoloring over time. If you’re considering undergoing teeth whitening, get the facts before you go.

Is teeth whitening safe?:
Most people are able to have their teeth whitened successfully without any issues. However, not everyone has good enough oral health to safely undergo treatment. Healthy teeth and gums are necessary so that the procedure is comfortable and effective. Patients with extensive fillings or crowns may not be the best candidates. Teeth that have extremely dark stains or discolorations from certain things like medications may not attain desired results.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate?:
A complete oral examination by your licensed dentist is the best way to determine if teeth whitening is right for you. During the assessment, your dentist will look for decay, receding gum lines, fillings, enamel condition, tooth sensitivity and more to decide if treatment is advised. Sometimes dental work can be done to restore oral health and then whitening becomes an option.

What is the process?:
Most professional teeth whitening treatments performed in a dental office are done with a high concentration peroxide bleaching agent and enhanced with special lighting to activate the gel. The dentist usually coats your gums with a product to limit sensitivity, and then the bleaching gel is carefully placed onto your teeth. Light is directed to the area, typically in three 15-minutes sessions. The dentist monitors the entire process for your safety and comfort.

What results can I expect?:
It is important to discuss your specific case with your dentist prior to treatment so that you have realistic whitening goals in mind. The degree of whitening often depends on the level and cause of your tooth discoloration. Some patients achieve a couple of shades brighter, while others whiten up to ten shades.

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

Cleaning between your teeth and along your gums with dental floss is just as important as using your toothbrush. Although many people complain about flossing or completely avoid doing it, there should be no excuse for neglecting this part of your dental hygiene routine.

Flossing your teeth allows you to get rid of food particles and plaque that is caught between your teeth. It is able to reach areas that your toothbrush can’t. Therefore, flossing plays a key role in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

You should floss your teeth at least once every day, using a gentle touch so you don’t damage your gums. You can use waxed or unwaxed dental floss, depending upon your preference and which one works best for you. Interdental cleaning aids like picks and sticks may also be carefully used, as well as floss holders. These tools are especially helpful for those with arthritis and vision problems.

Another item that may help remove trapped food debris is a water spray tool called an oral irrigator, although it shouldn’t replace flossing. The same is true for mouthwash, which may be used to help rinse away germs and temporarily freshen breath. You can add these items to your hygiene routine, but giving up flossing should not be an option. Using dental floss is the very best way to attack food particles and plaque so that you have the greatest chance for a healthy mouth.

Dr. Nikodem is a family and cosmetic dentist in St. Louis

A special area of dentistry has been formed that focuses on making your smile as flawless and appealing as possible. Cosmetic dentistry corrects imperfections that cause people to feel insecure and unhappy with their smiles. If you are one of those people, maybe it’s time to see a cosmetic dentist to give you back your smile and confidence. Here are some of the most common reasons for visiting a cosmetic dentist.

One of the biggest complaints that people have about their smile is the color of their teeth. Stains can cause your teeth to become yellow or brown with time, making your smile unattractive and embarrassing. Cosmetic dentists offer teeth whitening techniques that brighten your teeth, and can restore your pearly whites in just one appointment.

Gaps in your smile from missing teeth not only look awkward, they also make chewing and speaking more difficult. A cosmetic dentist can replace your missing teeth with dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Implants have become increasingly popular because they provide a permanent, comfortable, and natural-looking solution for missing teeth.

Cosmetic dentists can solve a variety of other imperfections that make you unhappy with your smile. Veneers improve the shape and color of your teeth by covering the fronts of your teeth with thin shells. Dental fillings and root canals resolve problems often linked to tooth decay. Crowns are used to cover an unhealthy tooth and restore its strength, shape, size, and appearance. They also may be used in conjunction with dental bridges to correct gaps in your smile.

There is no reason to go through life ashamed of your teeth. Make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to see how your smile can be improved to get the bright, beautiful smile you desire.

Contact us today to schedule your cosmetic dentistry consultation in our St. Louis dental office.

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

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

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

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

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

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

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

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

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

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

Some people would rather endure tooth pain than have their wisdom teeth extracted during surgery. Most of the time, fears are based on irrational tales that people read on the internet or hear from others. The truth is that wisdom tooth surgery is extremely common and most oral surgeons perform them every day without complications. The best way to overcome fear is to learn more about the procedure and recovery.

Procedure:
Extracting wisdom teeth involves opening the gums above the tooth and removing any bone that is blocking the tooth’s ability to erupt. The tissue will be separated to be able to remove the tooth, sometimes even in pieces if necessary. In some cases when bone is removed, a bone graft is needed to replace it. After the procedure is complete, stitches will be placed that will dissolve with time. If this sounds awful, remember that patients don’t feel any pain during the procedure due to sedation and usually don’t even recall anything that happened during treatment.

Recovery:
There are some common outcomes to be expected after wisdom tooth extraction, all of which usually subside within a few days as long as you follow your surgeon’s instructions. Have someone accompany you to and from the appointment so they hear the recovery directions and so you don’t drive. Afterwards, you will be given gauze to bite on at the extraction site. Bite gently on the gauze and change it frequently. Avoid lying flat on your back because bleeding may increase. If you experience swelling, hold ice packs on the outside of your cheeks for the first day. Eat soft foods and avoid using a straw for the first few days, and try not to touch the area with your fingers or tongue. Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after oral surgery. If you follow all these guidelines and any others that your doctor provides, there are few risks and no reason to be afraid of wisdom tooth extraction.


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

What is a dental crown?

  • A dental crown encases a damaged tooth completely within a custom-fit cap, or crown, fitting perfectly over the affected tooth. A dental crown is designed specifically for you and your tooth’s particular design, fit and function. It is a restorative therapy that can restore function to a tooth that may have had excessive decay, has been cracked or has recently undergone root canal treatment.

How do dental crowns work?

  • A dental crown covers a damaged tooth entirely and can be used to improve not only the tooth’s appearance, but also its shape or alignment.

What is a dental bridge?

  • A dental bridge makes a literal bridge between two anchor teeth, filling a gap left by a missing tooth that has either fallen out naturally or is the result of acute decay or facial trauma. Dental crowns cover the bordering anchor teeth, allowing the bridge to fit securely and to function as your natural tooth.

What materials are used for dental crowns?

  • Dental crowns can be porcelain (ceramic), porcelain-fused-to-metal, or gold or other metal alloy. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be designed to closely match the color and translucency of your natural teeth. Metal alloys are usually stronger, and are a better choice for back teeth.

Is a dental cap a crown?   

  • Yes! A dental cap is another name for a dental crown.

Am I a candidate for a dental bridge?

  • If you are missing a tooth and you have adjacent teeth that are stable, dental bridges are for you. Even if you are missing a front tooth or a tooth that has only one border, there are types of dental bridges that could meet your needs.

Are there alternatives to a dental bridge?

  • Dental implants are rising in popularity as technology has improved. A dental implant can restore a single tooth or can restore several, and are the standard of care for the replacement of a missing tooth today. Because a dental implant continues to stimulate the jawbone, it doesn’t lead to bone loss over time.

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Root canal treatments are specifically designed to relieve the tooth pain associated with an infected tooth root. Patients come in with pain, and often leave the procedure with less discomfort than before. However, if you’ve recently had a root canal treatment on one or more of your teeth, you might be experiencing discomfort following the procedure. Fortunately, there are things you can do at home to take care of it.

Are your gums sore, tender or swollen surrounding the affected tooth? This is likely the result of the tiny metal clips that affix a rubber dam around the tooth, protecting it and protecting your mouth. The clips are attached along the gum line, and can leave tiny bruises or sometimes small cuts in the soft gum tissue. This pain should alleviate within two days of the treatment.

Is the tooth itself sore? This is a common occurrence and is typically the result of an inflammation of the mouth tissues that encase the tooth root. The tools used by the endodontist to perform the procedure can irritate the tissues.

Both of these types of pain can be dealt with by several over-the-counter analgesics. The ones that are most recommended to treat dental pain are those that possess anti-inflammatory agents: naproxen sodium, ibuprofen or aspirin, etc. If you are also taking narcotics prescribed by your dentist, do not take any further medication, over-the-counter or prescription, until you have checked with your dentist. Dangerous reactions can occur.

If you have been prescribed antibiotics, do not stop until you have completed each recommended dose. This ensures that your tooth remains free of infection and can heal thoroughly.

Ask your endodontist if you have other concerns about treating your post-root canal treatment pain.


Our dental office is located in St. Louis

Your family, general, or pediatric dentist or orthodontist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for some dental treatments that require oral surgery. An oral surgeon is a specialist who has graduated from an accredited dental school and also completed additional education and residency related to surgical procedures needed to treat various oral diseases and conditions. An oral surgeon is trained in treating the following conditions:

  • Removal of diseased or impacted teeth
  • Placement of dental implants
  • Treatment of facial trauma involving gums, jaws, nasal cavities, cheekbones, eye sockets, and forehead
  • Evaluation of pathologic conditions such as cysts and tumors of the mouth and face or acute infections of the oral cavity, salivary glands, neck, and jaws
  • Treatment of facial pain including those caused by temporomandibular (TMJ) problems
  • Cosmetic or reconstructive surgery to correct jaw, facial bone, and facial soft tissue problems
  • Corrective jaw surgery
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate repair
  • Surgical treatment for sleep apnea

There are many different techniques that oral surgeons use to accomplish your treatment goals. The choice of techniques may vary between surgeons and should be discussed between you and your surgeon prior to the procedure.

Many oral surgery procedures can be completed in an outpatient setting. Often you are only in the office for a few hours and can return to your regular routine in a matter of days. A good oral surgeon will be able to perform these procedures with little chance of complications, and will be able to provide you with the information you need to understand the recovery process. Your oral surgeon will often collaborate with other specialists, such as an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist, to achieve your ultimate treatment goals.


If you need a dentist in St. Louis contact us today

If you are dealing with ongoing tooth pain, you may be too fearful to go to the dentist to find out what’s going on. It’s important that you do, however, as you may need root canal therapy. Your dentist will need to evaluate you to see if that procedure is necessary, and will closely examine several factors: the signs the dentist can see personally, the results of any tests performed during your visit, and the symptoms you have been experiencing with the problematic tooth.

Your dentist may observe:

  • A tooth that is discolored
  • X-rays that reveal a tooth problem
  • A fistulous tract, or persistent or recurring gum pimple

Additional testing done by your dentist:

  • X-rays provide an extremely clear picture of the health of the tooth
  • Thermal testing can evaluate sensitivity through a careful application of hot or cold temperatures
  • Percussion testing evaluates pain response through gentle tapping

You may have been noticing:

  • A broken or cracked tooth obviously decayed or damaged
  • A discolored tooth, especially a grey tooth
  • A “bubble” in your gums, like a pimple. It may or may not have ruptured, leaking pus that smells or tastes awful
  • Pain that shoots out from one tooth to your jaw or ear, leading to earache symptoms
  • Pain that prevents you from living your life without painkillers
  • Pain, sensitivity or swelling on one certain tooth
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold liquids that lingers and is very painful

In some cases, an infected tooth that requires a root canal treatment has no symptoms at all that could be discerned by you. Only a dental professional can confirm the need to undergo root canal therapies. If you are experiencing pain that disrupts your life, talk to your dentist or endodontist immediately. Root canal treatments are designed to relieve the pain you’re experiencing now and to restore your tooth to full form and function. Don’t wait to get your life and smile back!


If you live in the St. Louis area contact us today

Has your child been bothered by some issue with his or her teeth? Has there been bullying or teasing about a smile issue? Cosmetic dentistry may be the solution for these problems. Teens can benefit from a healthy, attractive, white smile. Benefits can include increased self-esteem and greater ease with public speaking and social interactions. Some cosmetic dental procedures can correct problems that began when teens were pediatric patients. Others can address issues of alignment or shape.

The most common cosmetic dental procedure pursued by young people is braces. Braces are so common now that in middle school, it seems as though more students have braces than do not. Even in elementary school, braces can be an option toward achieving a straight smile.

Some teens naturally have discolored teeth that can benefit from teeth bleaching or whitening. Medications and foods and drinks can affect tooth color. Most dental professionals prefer to whiten only permanent teeth that are fully erupted. The primary concern about whitening teeth for young people is that the teeth are also “young” and that the pulp is closer to the surface than in adult teeth, leading to heightened sensitivity to the products used to achieve whitening.

If your teen has suffered trauma to the teeth from playing sports or in an accident, bonding with resin composite or porcelain veneers could be the solution. Dentists can also provide mouth guards for protection while engaging in some activities, such as football or hockey. Be sure to contact your dentist immediately following any new trauma so your teen’s teeth can be properly evaluated.

If your child has a missing tooth, either from trauma, decay or congenital issue, your cosmetic dentist might recommend a dental bridge or dental implant. Bridges can be used at an early age, but dental implants are only for mature mouths with complete bone growth.

If your child has issues regarding the appearance of his or her smile, make an appointment with your dentist today to discuss what cosmetic dental treatments are best to treat those problems.

If you need a dentist in St. Louis contact us today

It’s part of life that your teeth will likely become dull and yellowed as you age and consume foods that contribute to teeth staining. However, you don’t have to go through life with a tainted smile. There are many options available these days for either at-home or professional teeth whitening. If you choose to brighten your smile, you’ll want to make sure you maintain the look as long as possible. Eating certain foods can help you naturally achieve the goal of a dazzling smile.

Citrus fruits:
Lemons, oranges, pineapples and other citrus fruits contain natural acids that help whiten teeth. Their tart flavor also promotes saliva in your mouth, which creates a natural rinse and polish over your teeth.

Strawberries:
Rich in vitamin C, strawberries can help prevent gum inflammation and other periodontal issues. They also contain malic acid as well as ellagitannins, which are antioxidants that help banish bacteria in your mouth.

Apples:
Chewing crunchy fruit like apples helps scrub your teeth to get rid of plaque and germs. Apples also have lots of malic acid, an ingredient in some toothpastes, which increases saliva to clean teeth and remove stains.

Pineapples:
An extra benefit of pineapples is bromelain, a compound that has cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps eliminate unsightly stains naturally.

Cheese:
Mineral ingredients like calcium and phosphorus give cheese an edge in strengthening your teeth. Cheese also contains protein that protects tooth enamel, and lactic acid that protects against tooth decay. Hard cheeses promote saliva production to clean your teeth.

Broccoli:
High in fiber, broccoli can help lower inflammation in your mouth and body. Crunching on raw broccoli cleans and polishes your teeth, and the iron content helps protect your teeth from damaging bacteria and acid.


We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

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

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

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

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

If you need a dentist in St. Louis contact us today

Your third molars, or wisdom teeth, are usually the last to make their appearance in your mouth. Some people don’t even have them break through at all. Whether or not they erupt, they can wreak havoc in your mouth if there isn’t enough room for them. If they become impacted, removal becomes even more important.

Your dentist will monitor your wisdom teeth through examinations and X-rays, and will recommend extraction if it appears they may cause any complications. Some dentists suggest removing them even if they aren’t impacted, as they can be difficult to clean and therefore prone to decay. Wisdom teeth may even get infected, requiring immediate medical attention. Symptoms of infected wisdom teeth can include:

  • Pain in the tooth and gums
  • Gum bleeding
  • Gum inflammation
  • Swelling in the face and jaw
  • Headaches
  • Bad breath

If your dentist says you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t put it off because it is better to have them removed before further complications occur. Usually, you will be referred to an oral surgeon for extraction. If only one tooth is involved, local anesthesia may be sufficient. The removal of multiple wisdom teeth typically requires general anesthesia, and is a day surgery so that you can return home afterwards.

It is important for you to follow your doctor’s instructions after tooth extraction to avoid problems. Your activities might be restricted for the first day or two, ice or heat can be helpful, and care should be taken if stitches are present. You will also be given a list of foods that are suggested during your recovery. If you follow all of your doctor’s advice, you can be expect to return to your normal activities soon and no longer have to worry about any problems those teeth might cause.


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Thanks to advances in dental technology, dentures are more natural looking and comfortable than ever before. If you are one of the many adults wearing dentures to replace missing teeth, there are several do’s and don’ts you will want to follow to ensure they maintain their fit and your oral health:

  • Do take your dentures out before going to bed, allowing your mouth tissues to rest from wearing them all day.
  • Don’t let your dentures dry out. Soak them in mild denture solution or water while you sleep.
  • Do clean them daily with either a mild detergent or special denture cleaning solution and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Don’t soak them in very hot water, as this could cause them to warp, and they will no longer fit properly.
  • Do handle them with care. Dropping your dentures or treating them with strong cleansers or harsh brushes can do permanent damage.
  • Don’t neglect your oral care for the rest of your mouth. Even patients with a full set of dentures need to take care of their gums, and if you have partial dentures you should continue to brush and floss your remaining teeth regularly.
  • Do pay attention to changes in the fit or feel of your dentures. Problems with fit can lead to irritation and discomfort, and could also be an indication of gum disease.
  • Don’t try to adjust or repair your dentures on your own. If your dentures are ill-fitting or damaged in any way, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have them evaluated.
  • Do continue to see your dentist for regular checkups to help maintain your best oral health and check your dentures for fit and function.

If you are missing all or some of your teeth, dentures can greatly improve both your appearance and the quality of your life. By following these simple guidelines, you can maintain the beauty and functionality of your dentures for many years.

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

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

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

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

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If you have just completed professional teeth whitening treatment, you probably want to protect your investment and extend the life of your shiny, bright smile. To enhance your healthy new smile and keep it white and bright, it’s important to follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Do follow good oral hygiene practices by brushing and flossing regularly after every meal.
  • Don’t drink colored beverages such as red wine, coffee, cola or tea immediately after treatment, and continue to avoid them whenever possible to prevent staining.
  • Do drink beverages with a straw when you must drink dark-colored beverages to prevent the liquid from touching your teeth and causing stains.
  • Don’t eat pigment-intense foods for several weeks after whitening. Berries, dark chocolate, soy sauce and other foods with a dark color can leave residue that leads to staining.
  • Do use a gentle tooth whitening mouthwash after eating to rinse away food and debris that could cause staining and to keep your breath fresh.
  • Don’t wear lipstick or colored gloss for at least one week after whitening treatment, as your teeth are still sensitive immediately after treatment and lipstick can leave pigments that will stain your teeth.
  • Do use a whitening toothpaste to increase the results and aid in the longevity of your treatment.
  • Don’t forget to eat a healthy diet and drink water to keep your teeth strong and vibrant.

A whiter smile can brighten your face and take years off your looks. By following these easy recommendations, you can extend the life of your whitening treatment and enjoy the benefits of your bright, new smile.


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Excellent dental care protects not only your oral health but also your general health. You may think brushing and flossing are enough to keep you safe from decay and disease, but routine care and examinations by a good general dentist are also an important and necessary part of taking care of your oral and general health.

A general dentist plays a vital role in identifying and treating minor problems before they become major ones. The primary focus of a general dentist is preventative care. Several essential services provided by a general dentist include:

  • Treatment of cavities
  • Dental sealants
  • Mouthguards
  • Root canal therapy
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Professional cleaning
  • Examinations and x-rays
  • Tooth extractions
  • Oral cancer screenings

Detecting and treating potential problems early may mean the difference between losing and saving an infected tooth. Caught early, gingivitis or periodontitis can be stopped and treated before becoming more serious problems.

A general dentist can treat your entire family, from the youngest child to the more senior members. It is your general dentist’s responsibility to oversee the diagnosis, treatment and overall coordination of all your dental health needs. Should you require specialized oral care, your general dentist can work with specialty dentists to ensure you receive the best possible care.

To guarantee the longevity of your oral health, look to a qualified general dentist for excellent dental care. A regular schedule of exams and cleanings by your general dentist

If you need a dentist in St. Louis contact us today