Sometimes a tooth is so severely damaged that the only way to save it is with root canal treatment. There is no reason to turn and run if your dentist advises this procedure. The treatment has advanced to the point that it’s often compared to getting a filling. There are certain steps that will be performed as part of nearly every root canal procedure.

Preparation

X-rays may be taken as part of the diagnosis process or to determine the extent of damage. Once the dentist is ready to begin treatment, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area throughout the procedure.

Pulp removal

A rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to separate the area from the rest of the mouth, and to keep it dry from saliva. The tooth will be opened, often using a small dental drill, to gain access to the pulp inside the tooth. The damaged pulp will be removed, and if there is an abscess it will be drained.

Cleaning and filling

After the pulp is eliminated, the dentist will thoroughly clean the area. The root canal will be widened if needed to create an adequate space for the filling. Depending on the extent of the damage, this step of the process can take up to several hours to complete or it can be spread over more than one visit. A temporary filling is sometimes used to seal the area between visits. If infection is present, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics.

Sealing

The temporary filling will be removed and the permanent filling placed to fully seal the tooth and prevent future infection. If the tooth has been filled at the root, the risk of breaking is higher so a crown may be recommended for protection.

Crown placement

Crowns help prevent further damage or fracturing. If needed, the tooth will be reduced somewhat to allow space for the crown. It will be held in place securely with dental cement.

Recovery

After root canal treatment, the tooth should survive for many years. The procedure may be repeated if re-infection occurs.

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

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

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

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

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

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

While minor gum recession can be treated by your dentist with deep cleaning and antibiotics, serious gum recession can only be treated with oral surgery. A loss of bone and gum pockets that are very deep require gum surgery to address the pain and damage left by acute gum recession.

Three treatments are used primarily in the treatment of serious gum recession, in order of invasiveness: pocket depth reduction, regeneration, and soft tissue graft. Pocket depth reduction involves a deep cleaning of the affected area. The periodontist folds the gum tissue back and utilizes tooth scaling and root planing to remove any tartar and plaque built up around the tooth. Once the gum pockets are clean, the surgeon pulls the gum tissue gently around the tooth, eliminating the deep pockets altogether or significantly reducing their depth.

Regeneration utilizes a similar treatment to pocket depth reduction, but it also addresses any bone loss that occurred due to acute gum recession. In this process, a regenerative agent such as graft tissue, membranes or tissue stimulating proteins is added to the affected area. The gum tissue is then tucked into place and stitched down. Over time, the regenerative agent will work to rebuild lost bone and tissue, leaving healthy and thriving tissue behind.

The most common soft tissue graft is taken from the patient’s own mouth, either by removing tissue from the roof of the mouth or from the gum tissue near the affected tooth. The healthy gum tissue is placed in the affected area, over the exposed tooth root, protecting it from infection and damage.

To prevent the need for oral surgery to address your receding gums, have good oral hygiene habits. Brush, floss and see your dentist twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings. Talk to your dentist if you have any other questions about how to reverse or prevent gum recession.


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

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

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

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

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

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If you or a loved one is scheduled to have or has recently had oral surgery, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most common questions:

  • One of my stitches came out after my surgery, should I be worried? Losing a stitch isn’t a problem. In the majority of cases, stitches are put in place during surgery to assist in clot formation and bleeding control. If you have undergone a bone-graft procedure, however, contact your surgeon because you may need to be seen immediately.
  • What can I eat after surgery? Immediately following surgery, eat only soft foods of tepid temperature. Avoid very hot or very cold foods. Eat nothing that is crunchy or chewy so you won’t damage the surgical site.
  • I am having a lot of pain following my procedure, what should I do? If you have been prescribed pain medication, take it as recommended. If no prescription was given, use over-the-counter medicines containing natural anti-inflammatory properties such as ibuprofen. Stay hydrated by drinking room temperature water and get plenty of rest.
  • I had a tooth extracted, how can I tell if I have a dry socket? Dry socket is the result of the loss of the blood clot present in the extraction site. Smoking, using a straw, poor oral hygiene or failure to rest properly following the extraction procedure can lead to this condition. Typically dry socket will present within one week of extraction and is treated with sterile wash and pain-relieving, medicated gauze.
  • I had a procedure this morning and am still bleeding. Is that normal? Bleeding following extractions or other surgical procedures is common. If you are bleeding more than normal, bite down on some sterile gauze or a damp teabag for twenty or thirty minutes. Don’t keep removing the gauze to look for blood; that can make the bleeding worse. Call your surgeon if you feel your bleeding is excessive.

Your oral surgeon can answer these questions and more. Don’t hesitate to call the surgeon’s office to get the peace of mind you require to heal comfortably following your procedure.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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A variety of factors can cause your teeth to become dark and dingy. Smoking or chewing tobacco, drinking wine, coffee or tea, eating pigment intense foods, too much fluoride, or trauma to the tooth can all cause your teeth to discolor and lose their shine. The good news is cosmetic dentistry offers several options to return your teeth to their natural whiteness:

  • Professional teeth whitening can be completed in as little as one office visit and can lighten your teeth as much as ten shades. This type of whitening mainly treats surface stains and can last several years with careful maintenance.
  • Dental veneers are a better option for teeth with internal stains that are resistant to professional whitening. The placement of veneers involves roughing up the surface of the tooth and then applying an extremely thin porcelain or composite veneer that bonds to the surface of the tooth. With care, dental veneers can last as long as ten years.
  • For individual teeth that have changed color due to damage or trauma, composite bonding is an excellent option. This procedure involves the use of a tooth-colored bonding material to cover the surface of the tooth and match it to the color of the surrounding teeth.

If you suffer from a dark or discolored smile and want to restore it to bright and white, cosmetic dentistry may be the answer to your concerns. Schedule a consultation with a qualified cosmetic dentist to find out which treatments would best suit your needs and allow you to once again face the world with a beautiful, white smile.

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

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

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

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

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

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

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

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

Dental implant therapy has several benefits, among them:

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

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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If you didn’t have your wisdom teeth out as a young person, you may be wondering about having them out as an adult. Your dentist may have recommended that you prevent future infections, cysts or pain in the jaw due to wisdom teeth that are growing under other teeth – known as impacted teeth. Even a type of tumor has been linked to impacted wisdom teeth.

Impacted teeth result when the wisdom tooth grows up under an existing tooth. Sometimes, adults have wisdom teeth that come in completely straight behind back molars. In rare cases, one or more of these teeth don’t grow at all. An x-ray can reveal the presence of the teeth. Impacted teeth cause problems with existing teeth and must come out.

Because the roots of wisdom teeth typically fully develop near the age of 24, removing them after this time can be more complicated. Roots can entwine with facial nerves, making extraction problematic. It’s recommended that adults receive a CT scan of their jaw, showing the clear positioning of facial nerves and roots, something not shown by x-rays. If the roots of the lower wisdom teeth aren’t touching or wrapped around the alveolar nerve, extraction is still possible.

Adults with wisdom teeth are at higher risk for gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to an increase of pregnancy complication and other health issues. Previously believed only to affect patients in their late 30s, this gum disease is now being shown to affect much younger patients, especially young pregnant women. Growing evidence is also connecting gum disease to inflammation due to chronic infections in the body, leading to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Talk to your dentist today to see if you should have your wisdom teeth removed. Be honest about any symptoms you’re having, such as pain or pressure, and let the professional evaluate your specific situation.

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Once you’ve received dentures to restore missing teeth, it will take some time to get accustomed to them. There’s no reason to be alarmed or frightened about wearing dentures, because most patients go through the same adjustment period. If you’re aware of the potential issues and how to react to them, the process will be easier for you. Here are some rules to follow as you begin wearing dentures.

Don’t try to fix them yourself.

Even though dentures are customized just for you, that doesn’t mean they always fit perfectly right away. There might be some molding defects or other minor flaws that cause the dentures not to fit exactly right or rub sores on your gums. If this happens, don’t try to correct the problem yourself. Take your dentures back to your dentist to explain what’s bothering you, and give your dentist a chance to properly and safely adjust them without damaging the dentures.

Watch your diet.

Similar to getting braces at first, you’ll want to stick to eating soft foods for the first few days of denture wear. Avoid foods that are sticky or hard to chew. Focus on chewing with your back teeth instead of the front part of your dentures, and cut your food into small bites.

Soak your dentures.

Soaking your dentures in a solution recommended by your dentist can help keep them hydrated. This will avoid dryness, which causes friction between your dentures and gums and can lead to mouth sores.

You’re going to unintentionally bite yourself.

It’s part of wearing dentures at first; you’ll probably bite the insides of your cheeks. It’s a natural part of adjusting to the appliance in your mouth, and it will subside as you get used to wearing them. Gargling with a fluoride rinse or other mouthwash provided by your dentist may provide relief.

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Veneers are a great solution for many people who are unhappy with their smiles and want a permanent improvement. These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the surface of teeth to make the smile more appealing. You and your dentist can choose the shade you prefer, and a minimal amount of preparation is required before attaching the veneers.

Many kinds of problems disappear with dental veneers. Some of the common reasons that people choose veneers include:

  • tooth discoloration or staining
  • crooked teeth
  • worn teeth
  • too much gums visible
  • uneven teeth
  • misshapen teeth
  • bite problems
  • overly sensitive teeth

No matter what flaws you might be getting dental veneers to hide, these restorations offer a number of advantages:

  • Your real teeth may look unhealthy and damaged, but covering them with veneers gives them a healthy glow of a well-cared-for smile.
  • Veneers look very natural, because the porcelain material is translucent and offers a glassy appearance.
  • Porcelain resists stains so your smile will stay as white and bright as the day you got the veneers.
  • Veneers last anywhere from ten years to a lifetime, depending on the quality of the application and your proper maintenance of them afterwards.
  • There is no special care required other than your usual brushing and flossing routine.
  • Veneers can increase your self-esteem, since you can feel confident that your smile is the best it’s ever been.

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By all accounts, missing teeth negatively impacts a person’s quality of life. Smiling, laughing, eating and speaking just aren’t the same when there are holes left by teeth that used to be there. Instead of going through life with missing teeth or uncomfortable dentures, consider the cutting-edge option of dental implants.

An increasingly popular restoration, dental implants are one of the most requested procedures in dentistry. They involve surgically inserting a titanium post directly into the jaw so that it fuses with the bone in a process called osseointegration. Once the area has healed, an artificial tooth is placed on top of the titanium post to provide a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing new tooth.

One of the reasons for the success of dental implants is that they have the edge over the other options because of the benefits. They provide a very long-lasting, durable solution because they literally will last your entire life with proper hygiene and checkups. Implants are a one-time investment in your smile.

Implants do not negatively affect other teeth since placement doesn’t tamper with adjacent teeth. Implants are good for your jawbone because bones require stimulation to maintain strength and density. Your facial structure also benefits when you have a complete set of teeth, instead of ending up with a saggy, unsupported looking face.

Dental implants are both convenient and comfortable. No special care is required, such as with dentures, because normal brushing and flossing is all that’s needed. Implants are securely in place in your mouth and become part of your body; you won’t even realize you have them. You’ll also be able to continue eating the foods you love since no diet restrictions are necessary with implants.

Another great thing about dental implants is they help boost your self-esteem. You’ll enjoy a whole new level of confidence when you can smile, laugh, talk and eat without worrying about missing teeth. If you choose to get dental implants, you can expect your quality of life to improve.

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Most dental professionals recommend having third molars, or wisdom teeth, removed in early adulthood, preferably before they are fully formed and rooted into the jaw. Generally, this means having wisdom teeth extracted between the ages of 17 and 25. Waiting until you are older to have wisdom teeth removed can have considerable risks and complications.

Wisdom teeth that are not removed create the following risks:

  • Impaction caused by wisdom teeth that do not have sufficient room to grow, causing pain and potential disease and damage to adjacent teeth.
  • Tooth decay from wisdom teeth that are difficult to keep clean.
  • Infection caused by bacteria that is harbored in the wisdom tooth eruption site.
  • Growth of tumors and cysts caused by severely impacted wisdom teeth.

For patients who need to have wisdom teeth removed later in life, complications can include:

  • More complicated removal surgery to eliminate deeply rooted or impacted wisdom teeth that results in longer surgery recovery time.
  • Roots that have grown close to the nerve that affects the feeling in the lower lip might be injured in surgery, causing permanent nerve damage.

If you or your young adult have emerging wisdom teeth, schedule a consultation with your dentist to determine if and when they should be removed. While some patients will not need to have their third molars extracted, in most cases, having wisdom teeth removed as they are erupting can help to avoid a host of future problems. When wisdom tooth extraction is performed early, recovery time and risk of complications are drastically reduced for most patients.


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Traditional dentistry focuses on maintaining your oral health and treating any diseases you might have, while cosmetic dentistry is all about the way your smile looks. The goal of cosmetic dentists is to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. It is becoming an increasingly popular area of dentistry because so many people want to look their best, and one of the utmost ways to do that is to have a beautiful smile.

There are numerous treatments and procedures available in cosmetic dentistry today. Here are some of the most popular ways that patients seek to transform their smiles:

  • Teeth whitening, sometimes referred to as bleaching, relieves stains and discolorations that are affecting your teeth. It is a simple and quick process when performed by your cosmetic dentist, often taking only an hour out of your day. The results are usually amazing, making your teeth many shades whiter and eliminating embarrassing stains.
  • Dental veneers cover up all kinds of smile imperfections. Problems like chips, cracks, discoloration, misalignment and more can be hidden under veneers. These thin porcelain shells are customized only for you, and are cemented directly onto the fronts of your teeth. A small amount of your tooth enamel must be removed in preparing your teeth, so veneers are a permanent solution for transforming your smile.
  • Dental implants are a great solution for replacing missing teeth. Instead of going through the hassles associated with dentures or bridges, implants are a permanent restoration that becomes part of your body. A titanium rod is surgically placed into your jaw bone so that it fuses with the bone as it heals, and then an artificial tooth is placed on top. Implants are a secure and attractive way to restore your smile.
  • Crowns, also called caps, are customized for every patient to fit over an existing tooth that has been severely damaged. They are often used to correctly shape broken, chipped or uneven teeth. Made of porcelain or acrylic with metal, crowns are strong and able to withstand biting forces that other restorations might not tolerate well.

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Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.

Methods:
You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.

Habits:
Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.

Restorations:
Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.

Side effects:
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.

Expectations:
Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.


We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition created when a portion of the upper airway is blocked, causing breathing interruptions during sleep and low blood oxygen levels. As many as 20% of adults are affected by mild obstructive sleep apnea, while one in fifteen suffers from more severe apnea.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include snoring, extreme daytime drowsiness, restless sleep, high blood pressure, depression, problems with mental function, as well as a host of other mental and physical concerns. Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to a long list of serious medical conditions, including hypertension, heart attack and stroke.

If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may initially treat the condition with a CPAP device that you wear while sleeping. While a CPAP machine will reduce the obstruction to the airway, it is not a cure and will only be effective during use. Other non-surgical treatment recommendations may include the wearing of mouthguards to reposition the jaw, sleep position changes, or weight loss.

Tongue muscle advancement involves moving the bony attachment of the tongue muscles, and can be combined with palatal surgery to reduce excess tissues. This therapy may also include removing enlarged tonsils and nasal surgery. These treatments are most often used for milder cases of obstructive sleep apnea.

However, if these treatments do not work or for more severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea, oral surgery offers solutions to correct apnea. Maxillomandibular Advancement is a procedure that repositions the upper and lower jaw and chin to open the airway. This treatment is highly successful and offers the greatest chance of permanent correction in moderate to severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea.

For more information about how surgical therapies and treatments can be utilized to address your obstructive sleep apnea, consult with a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.


We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Tooth decay that is allowed to become severe can cause extensive damage to your tooth, even resulting in tooth loss if not treated. Sometimes symptoms are present that cause you to visit your dentist, but other times it’s just a regular checkup that catches a problem.

The source of trouble usually begins with a small area of tooth decay that goes unnoticed. Bacteria attacks, decay thrives, a cavity may form, and infection can spread. Cavities may be filled to repair the tooth and eradicate infection, but advanced cases of decay can reach the tooth’s interior. Once it gets to the pulp, serious damage can set in. This is when symptoms often appear, sometimes becoming severe.

Once damage reaches your tooth’s pulp, some common symptoms that will prompt you to call your dentist may include:

  • Slight to severe pain when biting, chewing, or even putting slight pressure on the tooth
  • Minor to extreme sensitivity when your tooth comes into contact with anything hot or cold
  • Inflammation or swelling near the gum line surrounding the affected tooth
  • Ongoing aches in the general area of the damaged tooth, including headaches, neck aches, or earaches
  • Ulcers or bumps near the damaged tooth
  • Difficulty performing normal mouth functions like eating

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s time to visit your dentist for an evaluation. Root canal therapy might be recommended to restore your tooth’s health and regain comfort and functionality. Root canal treatment involves cleaning the damaged areas of the tooth pulp to remove infection and bacteria, filling the open space, and sealing it to prevent future damage. Sometimes a crown is placed on top to complete the process.

When a tooth is severely damaged, root canal therapy provides your best chance for restoration and optimum oral health. Your dentist will effectively and safely perform the procedure, and at the same time relieve the related symptoms that you may be experiencing.


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

Dental implants are used to replace individual or missing teeth or to anchor loose dentures. For many patients with these issues, traditional dental implants may not a viable option. For example, a patient who does not possess adequate bone levels to anchor the implants would not be a good candidate for traditional dental implants. With mini dental implants, the bone required to anchor the implant successfully is much less.

Thanks to advances in implant dentistry, these patients have other options. Mini dental implants have emerged as an attractive choice for cases that are not conducive to the placement of traditional implants. For the patient who has inadequate bone, the bone required to successfully anchor mini dental implants is much less. Unlike traditional implants, the placement procedure for mini dental implants is a minimally invasive procedure that can be completed in one appointment by a specially trained general or family dentist. Because the procedure is less involved, the pain and length of recovery is greatly diminished.

Patients who have existing health conditions that would preclude them from more invasive surgery may find mini dental implants an extremely appealing option. Mini implants are also a perfect choice for restoring one missing or damaged tooth. Should implant failure occur, grafting procedures would not be necessary because of the small size with mini dental implants.

Most importantly, mini dental implants maintain the look, feel and function of your natural teeth. While you have to wait months for traditional implants to fuse with the bone, mini dental implants are ready for immediate use. Talk to your dentist to determine if mini dental implants would be a good option for your dental restorations and get ready to face the world with a confident new smile.

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Are you unhappy with your smile? Do crooked, gapped or missing teeth affect you socially and professionally? Do you wish you had received braces as a child? Do you desire a brighter, whiter smile? Have you been dreading some upcoming special occasion, worried about how you’ll look in the photos or in person? If you have any insecurities about your smile, talk to a cosmetic dentist. How you feel about your smile can change.
There are so many “little” reasons to take steps to improve your smile, but you may need a bigger occasion, something very special, to help you take that first step. Is there a class or family reunion coming up? Nothing erases the years like restoring your youthful, attractive smile. Leave them doing a double-take as they realize who you are and how good you look!

Are you about to get married? At no point in your life are you likely to have as many photos taken of you as you will on your wedding day. These photos are often cherished for generations, and should represent the best you possible.

Even occasions like job interviews or first dates can warrant having your smile spruced up. Your smile is a huge part of the first impression you make on the people you meet, and with a brighter, whiter, more even smile, you will meet those people with confidence, unafraid to eat, drink, talk or laugh in public.

Your cosmetic dentist can talk to you about bonding, which allows the dentist to restore the shape of the original tooth using tooth-colored resin composites. Cosmetic contouring reshapes your teeth to correct overlapping, chipped or cracked teeth, and teeth whitening can be used to brighten your smile. Dental veneers can be used to cover gaps, discolored or stained teeth, and missing or broken teeth.

Do you have a mouth full of metal fillings? Your cosmetic dentist can remove this unsightly metal and replace it with a cosmetic filling that matches the surrounding tooth. No one will know you have fillings!

Don’t wait to begin your journey with a cosmetic dentist. You can face that special occasion with confidence and an attractive smile.

Our dental office is located in St. Louis