If you have to think twice about smiling because you’re embarrassed about your yellowed teeth, then it’s time to do something about it. You might consider having your teeth professionally whitened for quick and effective results, but first you may want to try whitening your smile at home with these natural methods.

Hydrogen peroxide:
Most teeth whitening products you find on store shelves contain hydrogen peroxide. The liquid creates bubbles on your tooth enamel that helps remove stains. The higher the concentration of peroxide and the longer you leave it on, the whiter your teeth will become. However, be careful because too much contact can lead to tooth sensitivity. Some people enhance the whitening properties of hydrogen peroxide by mixing it with baking soda to form a paste to put on the teeth.

Strawberries:
Regularly using strawberries on your teeth can whiten them. Just cut them in half and rub them on your teeth, allowing the juice to penetrate. After a while of using this technique, you should notice your teeth becoming brighter.

Lemon or orange peels:
Rubbing the peels of lemons or oranges against your teeth and leaving the residue on for a few minutes can whiten your smile. Be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards. Don’t leave the peel extracts on your teeth for too long because the acidic content may eventually harm your tooth enamel.

Apple cider vinegar:
Stubborn stains like those from coffee or smoking can be especially hard to eliminate. Rubbing apple cider vinegar on your teeth is one way to combat persistent stains. Apply it for no more than ten minutes and then rinse your mouth, because you don’t want to damage your tooth enamel. It take one to two months of consistent daily use to achieve a whiter smile.

Brush immediately:
The most well-known way to maintain a white smile is to brush your teeth after every meal, as well as after drinking a dark colored beverage. This helps get rid of stains and prevent new ones from forming.


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Dental implants have become the standard of care recommended by dentists for replacing missing or damaged teeth. Compared to other solutions, many patients are finding that dental implants give them a reason to smile.

Realism:
Dental implants provide a new tooth and root that looks, fits, functions, and feel like a natural tooth. Implants avoid the potential problems associated with some alternatives, such as trouble eating, speaking or laughing.

Durability:
Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care, making them outlast most of their counterparts which have a lifespan of up to 10 years.

Natural:
Patients are able to retain their natural face shape. Missing teeth can make a person’s face look sunken and saggy, but implants allow you to maintain your proper face shape and smile.

Protective:
Missing teeth may cause jaw bone deterioration or loss, but implants preserve and stimulate the natural bone. The jaw is able to maintain its strength and firmness, protecting your bone structure. Also, neighboring teeth are not affected by dental implants. Healthy adjacent teeth are not damaged and stay exactly where they should be.

Health:
Cavities can’t take hold in a dental implant and crown. Proper hygiene and regular checkups should continue to ensure your mouth is healthy, but that particular tooth will not decay.

Confidence:
Dental implants erase the patient’s embarrassment about their smile and give them the confidence to enjoy life again. No more worries about a big space in the smile, and no concerns that the restoration will loosen or fall out like may happen with dentures.

Convenience:
There are no hassles for the patient to alter their diet because implants allow natural biting and chewing. Favorite foods can still be enjoyed with this restoration.

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

After suffering tooth loss for any reason, it’s important to restore your mouth’s function and appearance with restoration options through your dentist. In the past, many patients have gotten dentures for this purpose. Dental implants provide a newer and very popular option. If you already have dentures but aren’t completely satisfied with them, is it possible to change to dental implants instead?

The answer is yes! Of course, you need to consult your dentist to make sure that you are a good candidate for implants. There are a number of reasons that denture wearers might decide that implants are a better solution to their tooth replacement needs. Some patients find dentures to be uncomfortable because they don’t stay in place securely or they irritate the gums. Some find a more permanent remedy to be more appealing than dentures, and implants do provide a long-lasting solution to tooth loss. If patients with dentures don’t like them and aren’t wearing them consistently, they aren’t achieving the goal of restoration.

There are some additional complications that can occur with dentures, making implants more appealing. Trouble speaking and eating is a hazard if the dentures slip, as well as jawbone loss and increased wrinkles. Some patients even alter their diets due to problems eating certain foods. The increased dental hygiene regimen also bothers some patients who are unwilling to do the extra tasks required.

If you dislike your dentures, consider making the switch to dental implants. It might restore your self-confidence as well as your mouth’s function and appearance.

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If you have decided to enhance your smile, you will need to select a good cosmetic dentist. Having an excellent practitioner to transform your appearance can make all the difference. It’s important to choose a cosmetic dentist that you trust and who you feel will produce exceptional results.

Keep these questions in mind as you search for a cosmetic dentist:

Does the dentist have extensive cosmetic training?
Just as you wouldn’t see your family doctor to perform knee replacement surgery, you shouldn’t choose a general dentist with little cosmetic experience to update your smile. Look at the dentist’s bio and find out what organizations he or she is affiliated with, like the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry or Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies.

How many smile makeovers has the dentist completed?
Cosmetic dentistry combines art with science, so you want to select a dentist with both technical skill and a good eye for detail. Developing this talent takes years of practice; you don’t need to be part of the trial and error phase.

Can the dentist provide examples and photos of finished cases?
An experienced cosmetic dentist should have plenty of Before and After photos for you to look through and see if you like the results. Make sure to verify that any pictures you see in the office are of actual patients and not just stock photos.

What do patients say about the dentist’s work?
Not only should you ask for patient referrals, but use the Internet as a good resource. With review Web sites and social media sites like Facebook, you should be able to find unbiased patient opinions about any dentist you are considering.

Cosmetic dentist in St. Louis

Most of the time, the idea of dentures brings to mind elderly people who are missing a mouthful of teeth. The truth is that dentures are not just for old folks, but for people of all ages who have lost teeth for some reason. Gum disease, tooth decay, and trauma from an accident are all common reasons for tooth loss. There is no need to suffer through life with gaps in your smile, when you can opt for dentures to restore both appearance and function.

The main reasons that many people consider getting dentures include:

  • Eating – your teeth help you to chew and eat food. Dentures serve the same purpose, allowing you to eat a normal diet without having to stick only to soft foods or liquids.
  • Speaking – when the gaps in your smile have been filled, your ability to speak more clearly and easily is improved.
  • Smiling – replacing missing teeth gives you back your self-confidence to smile and laugh again. You will be proud of your new smile and be willing to display it more often. Also, your cheeks will have a fuller look and your appearance may look younger.

When you get dentures, expect that it may take some time to get used to them. They may feel strange at first, and you should be patient while you learn to talk and eat with them. Time will help you adjust to the dentures, but if discomfort lingers you should visit your dentist to make sure the fit is correct and no adjustments are necessary.

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

A popular way to improve your smile by hiding embarrassing flaws is to get porcelain veneers. These thin shells are attached to the front surfaces of your teeth, and can stay looking natural and appealing for a lifetime with proper care. Here are some guidelines for maintaining your dental veneers.

Staining
Porcelain veneers are resistant to staining, so you have a good chance of keeping a bright smile. However, the bonding cement used to attach them to your teeth can become discolored. Ask your dentist about using stain resistant bonding materials when attaching your veneers.

Brushing
Brush your tooth at least twice a day to get rid of plaque, food particles, and potential stains. Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. Brush your gum lines where food can accumulate and damage your porcelain veneers. For efficient cleaning without being too harsh on your veneers, consider using an electric toothbrush.

Flossing
Ask your dentist to demonstrate proper flossing techniques so that you don’t use too much pressure and chip your veneers. However, do not neglect flossing at least once a day.

Eating
Avoid foods and drinks prone to staining your teeth, and do not bite on extremely hard items because that can chip your veneers.

Having checkups
Maintain regular checkups with your dentist at least twice a year to make sure your veneers and overall oral health remain in good condition.

 

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Having a hole in your smile is not only embarrassing or unsightly, it also impacts the function of your mouth. It’s much easier to eat and speak with a full set of teeth. In the past, dentures or bridges were the go-to solutions for missing teeth. Not anymore! Dental implants provide a secure and permanent way to restore your smile.

A dental implant is a titanium rod that creates an artificial tooth root in the location that yours is missing. It is surgically implanted into your jaw so that as it heals, it fuses with your jawbone and becomes a permanent part of your body. Once the area has healed, an artificial tooth is placed on top of the titanium rod to give you back a fully functional and attractive tooth.

Dental implants offer many advantages to patients:

  • Permanent
  • No impact to neighboring teeth
  • Attractive and natural
  • Feels like a real tooth
  • Secure
  • Prevents migration of teeth

Implants are installed using local anesthesia, so you will not experience pain during the procedure. Minor swelling may occur afterwards, and any pain can usually be treated with over-the-counter products. Risks are low with dental implants, and long-term results are successful in most cases. Good oral care is important in maintaining your implants, but is no different than your regular brushing and flossing routine. Regular checkups with your dentist will help ensure that your implant remains in your smile forever.

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If oral surgery is in your future, you might be worried about what’s to come. The way to relieve that worry is to talk to your oral surgeon. Your oral surgeon has the experience and knowledge necessary to guide you through whatever concerns or questions you may have. Here is a guide to some of those questions and answers:

How will I handle pain following surgery?

  • In many cases, you will have been prescribed narcotic pain relievers. If you are taking narcotics, take them only as recommended and do not mix them with over-the-counter pain relievers or alcohol. Driving while on narcotics is dangerous and can have serious consequences for you personally and for others. If you weren’t prescribed any medication, use anti-inflammatory analgesics such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.

What will happen to my stitches in the days following surgery?

  • Some stitches will be designed to dissolve over time and will not need to be removed. Others will not come out on their own and will need to be removed at a subsequent appointment. In many cases, losing a single stitch or two in the days following surgery isn’t serious; however, for bone-graft treatments, it is problematic and you should contact your surgeon immediately.

Can I eat normally after surgery?

  • Immediately after surgery when you’re still experiencing any mouth or tongue numbness, don’t eat anything. You could mistake the soft tissues of your mouth for food and do serious damage to your mouth without realizing it. After your numbness subsides, consume soft foods of tepid temperatures for several days to allow for healing. Talk to your surgeon to learn when you can resume normal eating patterns as dictated by your particular surgery.

What other tips do you have?

  • Stay hydrated and rest as much as possible to facilitate complete and quick healing. Call your surgeon if you have excessive bleeding or pain that doesn’t lessen with time. Be aware of signs of infection (swelling, redness, odorous or sour discharge) at the surgical site and seek professional care when needed.

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By far, the best way to brighten and whiten your smile is through an in-office treatment performed by your dentist. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel used by your dentist is much higher than that which can be obtained over-the-counter by you in a drugstore. Lasers or special lights are employed by many dentists to achieve the best results.

With the rise in popularity of in-office teeth whitening, some specialty brands have emerged that offer different methods and ingredient strengths to address even the most stubborn stains.

  • BriteSmile also uses whitening gel and a blue light, but their gel has a concentration of 15 percent hydrogen peroxide and a nearly neutral pH level, a mix that is easier on sensitive gum tissue.
  • Lumbrite employs a custom light, known as the Sapphire Plasma Arc Curing and Whitening Light. This light has no destructive UV rays, although the gel is so strong it can work without the light. Lumbrite also has a desensitizing agent in its gel to reduce problems with sensitivity.
  • GLO Science Professional has a specialized mouthpiece that employs Guided Light Optics (GLO) that works in tangent with a whitening gel, delivering light and heat to the tooth surfaces. The mouthpiece prevents oxygen from leaving the treatment area, giving optimal whitening results.
  • Philips Zoom! is one of the most popular and well-known of the teeth whitening brands available at the dentist’s office. Their whitening gel uses a 25 percent concentration of peroxide which is stimulated by a proprietary blue light to achieve maximum whitening and is said to provide a more sparkling look to your enamel.
  • Opalescence uses one of the most powerful gels available, utilizing a 40 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide as well as potassium nitrate to reduce gum and tooth sensitivity after treatment. It also contains fluoride which strengthens the tooth enamel and reduces decay.

Talk to your dentist today to determine which of these or any other professional whitening methods is best for you and your teeth whitening needs.


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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.

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

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.

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

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.


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

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.

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

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