Many children aren’t excited about seeing the dentist, either as a result of comments others have made or the idea of an unknown experience. Dental visits are necessary for everyone though, beginning around the child’s first birthday. Here are some basics to know about your child’s dental care.

What happens at the first appointment?:
When your child sees the dentist for the first time, the dentist will look for tooth decay and determine your child’s risk for it. You will be shown how to properly clean your child’s teeth. Also, your dentist will explain the risks of habits that may affect your child’s teeth, such as thumb sucking or sugary drinks.

How often should my child see the dentist?:
You should continue to take your child to visit the dentist every six months, or in some cases more often if your child’s risks are high for tooth decay. Regular checkups can reduce your child’s risk for cavities because plaque will be removed and fluoride will be applied to strengthen the teeth. Also, potential dental issues may be caught early to avoid problems in the future.

What if further treatment is recommended?:
Even though your child might not have permanent teeth yet, dental work may be required on baby teeth too. Cavities can be painful and should be filled. Also, healthy baby teeth help your child properly chew, speak, and develop permanent teeth.

How can I help my child feel more comfortable?:
It is important to help your child’s dentist visits go smoothly so that lifelong habits of regular checkups without fear can be developed. You might consider choosing a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral health and is trained to help kids through the dental visit. Discuss an upcoming dentist appointment with your child, and explain what to expect during the visit. If possible, take your child by the dentist’s office before your first appointment to see what it’s like. During the checkup, remain near your child to increase feelings of security and comfort.

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

Simple pleasures like enjoying a cup of coffee or sipping red wine can stain your teeth and leave you with a yellowed smile. Instead of giving up some of your favorite pastimes, you can restore your smile with professional teeth whitening. Home whitening options are available, but to achieve the fastest and most dramatic improvements, professional whitening methods are the way to go.

Teeth whitening is a quick and safe procedure, making it the most popular cosmetic dental procedure today. Some patients even have it done during their lunch break and go right back to work. It’s that easy! The process typically involves protecting your gums from becoming sensitive during treatment, and then applying a whitening solution to your teeth. The solution stays in place for a specific length of time and often a special ultraviolet light is shined on them to enhance the whitening process. Then your teeth are rinsed. The process might be repeated in some areas with severe stains, but the dental professional is careful not to over-whiten your teeth or cause discomfort.

You can choose the shade of white that you would like your teeth to be, and your cosmetic dentist will help you make the best choice. The goal should be to look natural and complement your skin tone. Since teeth whitening is a safe process, just about everyone is a candidate unless you have severely poor oral health. It is usually painless, although those with extremely sensitive teeth may have some discomfort that should dissipate shortly after treatment.

Rejuvenating your smile with teeth whitening is a simple way to make you look younger and enhance your smile. It also improves your self-esteem by giving you confidence in your appearance. A bright, white smile can be yours today through professional teeth whitening.

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

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, two on the bottom and two on top. Many people do not have enough room for these molars to emerge completely, causing them to become impacted in the gum. Impacted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, making them more susceptible to decay and disease. Other dental problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth include pain, damage to surrounding teeth, and bite alignment issues. For these reasons, your dentist may recommend having the impacted teeth removed to prevent future problems.

Surgery to extract an impacted wisdom tooth or set of wisdom teeth is usually an outpatient procedure done in your dentist or oral surgeon’s office. If the tooth or surrounding area are deemed to have an infection prior to the procedure, surgery will be delayed, and your dental professional will likely prescribe antibiotics to help heal the area.

On the day of surgery, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area where the extracted tooth will be removed. Depending on the severity of your case, your dentist or oral surgeon may also utilize a general anesthetic.

Once the anesthesia has taken effect, an incision will be made to open up the gum and any bone blocking the tooth will be removed. Your dentist or surgeon will then separate the tissue connecting the bone to the tooth and extract the tooth. Some teeth are too large to remove in one piece, in which case your surgeon will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. Finally, the incision is closed with stitches and packed with gauze to help alleviate bleeding.

Long-term complications from impacted wisdom tooth surgery are rare. To ensure a successful recovery from this or any oral surgery, be sure to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon.


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Teeth that cause you to be embarrassed about your smile may be hidden using a popular cosmetic dentistry technique called veneers. Broken, chipped, discolored, or misaligned teeth can easily be hidden with this long-lasting dental solution.

Veneers are very thin shells, usually made of durable porcelain, placed over your teeth to hide the flaws. It is a simple process for your dentist to attach them to your teeth, and you and your dentist can even choose the color of your veneers for the most natural and appealing look. The process is pain-free and does not require lots of time at your dentist’s office. Veneers feel like regular teeth and do not cause irritation of your gums.

One of the greatest things about veneers is that the porcelain resists stains, so you can eat and drink whatever you would like without avoiding items that are known to discolor teeth. Caring for veneers does not require anything additional to your normal oral hygiene routine. Proper maintenance will help keep your veneers looking great and your teeth healthy.

Finding a dentist to do your veneers is usually easy. Many dentists practice this technique, it is just a matter of inquiring to find out which ones provide the service and determining who you are most comfortable with to do your dental work. You should make sure that the dentist you choose is experienced and qualified in providing dental veneers. Asking for before and after photos of other patients with veneers is a good idea too.

Once you have chosen a dentist and decided together that veneers will be helpful in your case, you will be on your way to a beautiful smile.

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

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your smile? Will the improvements you desire need multiple dentistry treatments to achieve the results you are seeking? You may be an ideal candidate for a smile makeover. A smile makeover is a process in which a number of cosmetic dentistry treatments are combined to perfect your smile. Usually, a smile makeover will include options like teeth whitening, dental bonding, porcelain veneers, invisible braces, composite fillings or gum contouring.

Broadly, anyone who has problems with their teeth is a candidate for a smile makeover. However, the best candidate for a smile makeover will be in good general and oral health. You should be free from gum disease and any other ailments or health problems that would preclude undergoing cosmetic dentistry procedures. An ideal candidate will also have grown in all permanent teeth and completed their jaw growth, making a smile makeover inappropriate for young children.

You may be an ideal candidate for a smile makeover if your smile is marred by a number of imperfections including:

  • Discolored or stained teeth
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Crooked, twisted, or incorrectly placed teeth
  • Decayed teeth
  • Gapped or widely-spaced teeth
  • Gummy smile
  • Unhealthy gums
  • Bite conditions such as overbite or underbite

The appearance and health of your smile are vital to your self-confidence and overall happiness. Smile makeovers are safe and effective for most candidates, with little to no side effects. To determine if a smile makeover is right for you, contact an experienced, qualified cosmetic dentist for a one-on-one consultation.

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

 

There are a number of reasons that dentists or oral surgeons recommend surgery, but facial injuries are probably the most unexpected and alarming cause. Maxillofacial injury, or facial trauma, refers to any injury to the mouth, jaw, and face. Most of these injuries result from sports, car accidents, job accidents, violence, or an accident at home. Let’s learn about oral surgery resulting from facial trauma.

Broken bones are a common type of serious facial injury. Fractures can occur in the upper or lower jaw, cheekbones, palate, and eye sockets. Injuries in these locations may affect vision and the ability to eat, talk, and breathe. Hospitalization is often required for treatment, which is similar to that for fractures in other parts of the body. The bones must be lined up and held in place to allow time to heal them in the correct position. Because casts are not possible in facial injuries, the surgeon may use wires, screws, or plates to treat fractures. Sometimes healing takes as long as six weeks or more.

Even though some facial injuries are worse than others, all of them should be taken seriously. They affect an important area of the body, so it is recommended to seek treatment from an oral surgeon to make sure you receive optimum care. Even if stitches are all that’s required, it’s best to have them performed by an oral surgeon who can place them exactly as needed to produce the best results.

It’s no surprise that the best solution for facial injuries is to prevent them in the first place. Oral surgeons suggest consistent use of mouth guards, seat belts, and masks and helmets as required. Improvements have been made to safety gear to make these items more comfortable and efficient, so there should be no excuses for not using them to protect yourself and avoid injuries that can lead to oral surgery.

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

Even though regular checkups and proper dental hygiene greatly decrease the need for root canal treatment, the fact remains that it is one of the most common procedures performed by dentists today. What are some of the most common reasons you might need this dental solution?

Decay:
The primary cause for root canal procedures is decay that has entered the tooth pulp chamber and progressed to the point of causing infection or abscesses. Pain and tooth sensitivity often accompanies severe decay. Root canal treatment is the best way to avoid tooth extraction and restore oral health.

Trauma:
If a tooth endures strong force such as from a sports injury, car accident or fall, the trauma can damage the tooth so badly that root canal treatment is needed. Even if trauma isn’t completely evident at first, a severed nerve to the tooth can cause it to die over time.

Genetics:
Traits of teeth like their strength are passed along through genes. Some people inherit soft teeth that are more prone to decay, making it difficult to avoid decay even with diligent oral hygiene.

Tooth fracture:
A tooth can be fractured through chewing hard foods or ice, teeth grinding or clenching, or habits like nail biting. Even hairline fractures may allow bacteria to enter the tooth’s pulp and cause infections. Once the bacteria takes hold, root canal treatment may become necessary.

Deep cavity:
Deep cavities within teeth can allow infections to thrive, eventually causing the tooth to become inflamed or die. A deep cavity isn’t necessarily painful, so patients may not even realize they have an infection. Regular dental checkups help catch cavities early, before they are able to become so deep and serious.

Previous dental work:
Extensive or repeated dental work can cause trauma to teeth nerves and associated inflammation, making root canal therapy an important solution.


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

One of the most misunderstood procedures in dentistry is root canal treatment. If your dentist recommends this procedure, you might be quick to turn to the internet or other sources to learn about it. Unfortunately there is a lot of unreliable information out there, which can scare you away from needed treatment.

There are some common myths that circulate about root canal therapy. Instead of avoiding treatment, learn the truth about this procedure that may be the most effective way to save a damaged tooth.

Myth: Root canal treatment is very painful.

Truth: This procedure often serves to relieve pain instead of creating it. With the anesthetics and sedation dentistry available today, in most cases the procedure feels like simply getting a filling.

Myth: You don’t need root canal treatment unless you are experiencing severe tooth pain.

Fact: Pain is not always present when root canal therapy is advised by your dentist. A tooth that has died may no longer trigger pain, but treatment is necessary to eliminate infection and save the tooth. Diagnostic tests are available to help your dentist diagnose tooth problems even when pain is not present.

Myth: The benefits of root canal treatment are short-lived.

Fact: This treatment provides durable and long-lasting results, potentially for a lifetime. Since the tooth is usually topped with a crown, it can be protected indefinitely.

Myth: Root canal treatment causes illnesses.

Fact: This is one of the most common misconceptions you might run across on the internet. Based on very old research that has been proven to be wrong, the myth still exists that root canal therapy might cause various diseases. Instead, root canal treatment is safe and only improves your oral and overall health.

Myth: Tooth extraction is an adequate alternative to root canal therapy.

Fact: Dentists agree that saving your natural tooth is almost always preferred over a traumatic procedure like tooth extraction. The benefits of keeping your restored real tooth are better than having a hole in your smile or requiring tooth replacement solutions.


We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Wisdom teeth got their name because they are the final teeth to develop, usually in the late teens to early twenties, at a time when a person becomes fully mature or “wise.” Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars in the very back of the mouth. Most people have four total (two upper and two lower), but others never develop them at all. Wisdom teeth can be a valuable chewing aid, but often they are poorly aligned or don’t develop properly.

How do I know if I have them?:
Unless you start to feel them breaking through, you may not know whether you have wisdom teeth or not. Ask your dentist to examine you to see if these teeth are healthy and properly positioned. An x-ray may be required, and your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon to be evaluated further.

Do wisdom teeth hurt?:
You don’t always feel anything with your wisdom teeth, but sometimes they are very bothersome. You may experience pain when they erupt in awkward positions, especially if the teeth rub against your mouth. Other problems include stiffness in the area, infected swelling of the gums, tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth crowding.

Why remove them?:
Your dentist or oral surgeon might suggest that your wisdom teeth be extracted. They can often predict if your wisdom teeth may crowd or damage other teeth, your jawbone, or nerves. Sometimes removal is appropriate before problems arise, in an effort to avoid more complicated or painful extractions later. Removal is usually simpler and less risky in young people. If your wisdom teeth are not extracted, it’s important for your dentist to continue monitoring them because problems may develop later.

What does impacted mean?:
Wisdom teeth may be impacted, which means they are enclosed in the soft tissue or jawbone or they only partially erupt through the gum. Impacted wisdom teeth are almost always removed to avoid risks of infection, tooth decay, and gum disease.


Our dental office is located in St. Louis

When you are having a baby, you have a lot of your mind. Most expectant moms have to worry about doctor’s appointments, prenatal vitamins, morning sickness, and picking out names. It’s important to take good care of yourself during this special time. One area that may fall by the wayside is oral health.

Though you may not think it’s a priority, your dental health can impact your pregnancy. Because hormone levels are so high during pregnancy, you may be more susceptible to problems with gum disease. Studies have shown that untreated gum disease can contribute to pre-term births and low-birth weight babies.

Protect your wellbeing and your unborn child by:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Include foods that are rich in calcium, which will keep your dentition strong and help with your baby’s developing teeth.
  • Take time to brush and floss teeth daily. This kind of home routine may help prevent bleeding gums, which often flare up during pregnancy.
  • Watch the snacks. You may need to eat more frequently, but try to choose healthy options like fruits, veggies, and whole grains so that you are less likely to develop cavities.
  • See your dentist for a checkup. After the first trimester, make an appointment for a cleaning and exam. Though you won’t want to schedule X-rays or repairs during pregnancy, routine dental care is important and shouldn’t be avoided.
  • If an emergency situation does occur, contact your dentist right away. Remind the office that you are pregnant so that they can take precautions to ensure the safety of you and your baby.

General dentist in St. Louis

Are you tired of your dark, dingy smile? Have you decided it’s time to brighten up your pearly whites? Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments to quickly and effectively improve the quality of your smile. However, there are many whitening options offered, and you may be confused about which type of whitening treatment will best help you achieve the look you desire. Whether you are deciding between at-home whitening treatments or professional teeth whitening, there are some things to consider when exploring your options:

  • How quickly would you like to see results? If you are planning for a special event such as a wedding or trip, professional teeth whitening will offer quicker results than at-home treatment. With professional whitening, your dentist may be able to whiten your teeth up to ten shades in as little as one visit.
  • Are your teeth highly sensitive? With professional whitening treatment, your dentist can take extra precautions to avoid over-exposing your teeth and gums to bleaching gels, which may be harder to do with at-home treatments.
  • Are you committed to your whitening treatment? If you are diligent and follow instructions, at-home treatment can be highly effective. However, if you neglect to wear the trays as directed or to follow whitening treatment instructions, you results will be diminished. If you are stretched for time, or forgetful, professional whitening treatment may be the best option to achieve optimal results.
  • How severely are your teeth stained? Teeth with heavy discoloration may benefit the most and show the greatest improvement with more intense professional in-office treatments.

Talk to your dentist about whitening treatment options to find out more about what procedures would best suit your needs. Regardless of which type of whitening treatment you select, with diligent treatment and proper care, you are sure to enjoy the benefits of a whiter and healthier looking smile.


We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Having tooth pain or problems can be one of the most uncomfortable experiences possible. It is hard to ignore because it makes your whole quality of life worse. When infection or decay reaches the inner parts of your tooth, it can cause many miserable symptoms. Often the key is getting root canal treatment to save your tooth and alleviate your symptoms. Here are some warning signs that indicate you might need this type of treatment.

Severe pain:
Although not always present, severe pain sometimes occurs with a tooth that needs root canal therapy. It may be sharp, intense pain or a dull ache that won’t subside. If you experience tooth pain that is severe or lasts for several days, see your dentist for an evaluation. If root canal treatment is necessary, any pain you may have will likely disappear after a successful procedure.

Sensitivity to hot or cold:
Discomfort when consuming hot or cold items is another sign of a problem. Mild sensitivity is usually not a big deal, but actual pain when your tooth hits these temperatures may mean the tooth is in an advanced stage of trouble.

Gum tenderness or inflammation:
Swelling or tenderness is often associated with infection, although it doesn’t always mean infection is present. Your dentist can determine the seriousness of the issues and whether root canal treatment is advised. Watch for tenderness, swelling, or even a lump in the affected area.

Darkened tooth:
Discoloration is a sign that the nerves of a tooth are damaged. The tooth may become gray, black or dark yellow. Tooth discoloration is also related to trauma, damaged fillings or severe decay, so visiting your dentist for a checkup is recommended.

Gum boils:
If lesions similar to a pimple form in the gum tissues, it is called a gum boil. It is usually an accumulation of pus, which can be linked to infection. The boil may be larger or smaller at certain times, depending on the activity of the infection in your mouth. It will feel tender and can cause swelling in the area, and you may notice a bad taste in your mouth.

If you have symptoms such as these, see your dentist to learn if root canal treatment is the solution.

Schedule your appointment at our St. Louis dental office

If your quality of life has been compromised by tooth loss, dental implants may be the answer to your problem. Missing teeth can affect even the most basic daily activities like speaking and eating. If you are looking for a lifetime replacement for a missing tooth, dental implants should be your first choice for restoration.

A dental implant is an appliance that is affixed to the jaw bone and replaces natural teeth by supporting a crown or fixed denture. Once the implant has been placed, bone forms around the implant to make it a stable anchor for a restoration.

Any patient who is missing natural teeth is considered a candidate for implant placement. Just a few of the many reasons you should consider dental implants include:

  • Your desire for a durable and long-term restoration
  • Your desire to restore your facial appearance that has been altered by missing teeth
  • Your desire to eat and speak normally

There are many benefits to dental implants. The placement of dental implants does not require any alteration of adjacent teeth, which is ideal as it preserves your natural tooth structure. Dental implants are cleaned the same way as your natural teeth, allowing you to maintain excellent oral health. Once the implant has been placed, you can eat all your favorite foods and speak without worrying about slipping or breaking.

When you replace a missing tooth with a dental implant, you will enjoy the same function, convenience, and natural look as you have with your other teeth. If you are missing teeth, talk to your dentist about the possibility of dental implants to restore your beautiful, healthy smile.

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

The school year has started and kids are busy with school, sports, and social activities. It’s a challenge sometimes to get your kids to eat healthy when they are on-the-go, not only for their overall health but also for their oral health. Here are some tasty and healthy snacks that you can offer your kids, and chances are they’ll like them!

Yogurt
Dairy foods help build strong bones, and they’re also great for a strong mouth. Eating low-fat yogurt provides calcium. Try mixing it with berries and granola for a healthy parfait, or making homemade fruity yogurt popsicles to attract your children’s attention.

Cheese
Besides providing calcium, cheese helps fight cavities. It triggers saliva production, which washes away food particles in your mouth and the acids that can weaken your teeth. In these ways, cheese halts the process of cavity formation. Cheese not only contains calcium but also phosphorous, which both help rebuild the enamel on your teeth.

Blueberries
These berries may be small, but they’re packed with Vitamin C, minerals, and folic acid. They also contain ingredients which studies show help prevent diabetes and cancer. Try adding blueberries to pancakes and muffins, or sprinkling them with a small amount of sugar and topping them with whipped cream.

Almonds
Nuts like almonds contain ingredients to fight diseases, as well as Vitamin E, fiber, calcium, and iron. Most kids enjoy eating almonds raw, but remember they are a choking hazard for young children.

Whole wheat bread
Bread made with whole wheat provides kids with iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins. Whole grain cereal offers calcium, fiber, and vitamins. Enjoying these whole wheat snacks with milk provides an even healthier snack for your kids.

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

A pretty smile has an immediate impact on those you meet. Without saying a word, it conveys that you take care of yourself and exudes a higher confidence level. A yellowed, dull, stained smile can send the opposite message. It can get in the way of presenting yourself in the best possible way.

Even when you practice good dental hygiene, your teeth are at risk of discoloration. Age, drinking and eating certain foods, and smoking each can negatively affect the shade of your teeth. You may be able to slow down the damage by avoiding such habits, but it’s nearly impossible to maintain the bright white smile of your youth. That’s when teeth whitening comes to the rescue.

There are a number of teeth whitening methods available today. Some of them involve buying over-the-counter products at your local drugstore for use at home, and others require a trip to see a professional. Choosing the most effective method for your teeth depends on the degree of discoloration or staining that you have, as well as your smile goals. The various methods have different levels of impact on the shade of your teeth.

Products for home use are inexpensive, readily available, and simple to use. Some popular options include whitening toothpastes, gels, and strips. Make sure you follow the directions carefully, and be patient because visible results can take some time of consistent use.

For quicker and more dramatic impacts to your smile, professional whitening is the way to go. Commercial methods employ more powerful ingredients than those available for home use. Also, special tools are often used such as ultraviolet lights to enhance the procedure. Professional whitening methods are able to improve much more severe stains and discolorations than home products. Whitening performed by a dental professional also usually lasts longer than what you might achieve at home.

The bottom line about teeth whitening is that it can be a fast and effective way to improve your look. Don’t go through life hiding your smile, but brighten your appearance with teeth whitening.

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

If you’ve been wearing dentures for a while, you may have some complaints. They might fit poorly and shift or click when you talk or eat. Poor fit can lead to discomfort and sores in the mouth that worsen over time, or they can collect food underneath them, leading to bad breath.

If this sounds familiar to you, there might be alternatives for you. One of the newest developments in dentures is the pairing of standard dentures with dental implants. The dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone, providing the kind of stability only previously offered by natural teeth. Dentures fixed in the mouth with dental implants become something new: hybrid dentures.

Dentures that utilize dental implants as their anchors are very stable. They enable denture wearers to enjoy foods previously denied them, such as crisp, healthy foods or chewy cuts of meat. Eliminating the food restrictions present for many denture wearers allows them to eat a wider variety of foods, helping to reduce the risk of poor nutrition and the poor health associated with it, including digestion difficulties.

Because of this increased stability, the denture itself can be made smaller. A standard denture covers the roof of the mouth completely, inhibiting the taste and texture of foods. A denture designed around dental implants, however, has an open roof and facilitates a greater enjoyment of foods of all kinds, as well as a more natural feel for your tongue.

Dental implants also stimulate bone by mimicking natural tooth roots. This stimulation allows the bone to continue to be strong and alive, whereas the bones of the face can begin to shrink once a tooth has been extracted. This bone shrinkage leads directly to poor denture fit. Dental implants used with dentures avoid this issue.

If you are a denture wearer and you’d like to see some changes in how your dentures fit, talk to your dentist to see how using dental implants can improve your denture experience.

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

In the past, replacing lost teeth meant getting dentures or bridges. Even though these offered the best way at the time to restore your mouth’s appearance and function, technology has improved through the development of dental implants. The main drawbacks of bridges and dentures is that they do not feel or look just like real teeth, and it is difficult to chew tough foods. The advantage of implants is that they look and perform so well that you can’t even tell they are not your natural teeth.

Made from titanium, dental implants are screws that are surgically placed directly into your jawbone. They are light and malleable, but durable and strong. The titanium screws are implanted into your jawbone and given time to heal. Once healing is complete, one or multiple crowns are placed on top of the implant to recreate your missing teeth. One implant can hold more than one screw, so it is possible to attach as many crowns as needed to replace your missing teeth.

Dental implants look so much like real teeth that others won’t even be able to tell that you have any artificial teeth. You might even forget about it yourself, as they feel real as well. Since the implants are securely placed in your jaw, they are as strong as real teeth and you are able to chew and bite anything that you would normally eat. Another great thing about implants is that they don’t impact any of your adjacent healthy teeth. While bridges and dentures can sometimes damage neighboring teeth because those teeth are necessary for support, implants avoid this problem. You are left with a fully restored and comfortable smile.

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

Do you find yourself hiding your mouth behind your hand as you smile or laugh? Do you avoid smiling or laughing broadly so you are able to hide your teeth? Do you dread speaking in public, going out, or eating in public because you have concerns about the appearance of your teeth?

If this sounds familiar, you should talk to a cosmetic dentist right away. Cosmetic dentistry is the name for any type of dental work that improves the patient’s aesthetic appearance. It includes bonding, dental crowns, dental bridges, tooth implants, porcelain or resin veneers, gum grafts, and/or the removal of the gum tissue or tooth structure. Braces are also considered a cosmetic dental procedure, as is tooth whitening or bleaching.

Chipped, misaligned, or unattractive teeth can lead you to be self-conscious about your appearance. Missing teeth can affect you professionally and personally, and over time, can cause the shape of your face to change as the surrounding teeth begin to shift, making you look older than you actually are.

Do you feel as though you are being held back, unable to reach your goals socially or in business, because of concerns about your teeth? Do you feel isolated because you are embarrassed or ashamed to connect with others because of the condition of your teeth or gums? Don’t let your dental concerns hold you back. Talking with your cosmetic dentist can be the first step toward living the full life you desire.

Life events such as weddings, reunions, or homecomings can be cause for beginning a cosmetic dentistry journey. Events such as job interviews, first dates, or preparing for an important photograph are all good reasons for sprucing up your smile. Your smile goals can be large or small, and may take one visit or more.

Your cosmetic dentist in St. Louis has the training, knowledge, and expertise to make the best possible plan for you. A cosmetic dentist can address anything impeding you from achieving your healthiest, best smile and from being your most attractive, most confident self.

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

If you have tooth pain or another issue, you might wonder what a visit to the dentist may reveal. You may need a root canal procedure. In order to properly evaluate your issue and to confirm the need for a procedure, a dentist will examine several factors. These typically include the symptoms you are experiencing, the signs observed, and any additional testing required to confirm an initial theory.

You may have noticed:

  • You experience average to severe pain that lingers, during or immediately after drinking hot liquids or food, or very cold liquids or foods.
  • You have pain, swelling, or sensitivity when biting or chewing on a certain tooth.
  • Your tooth pain disrupts your life, preventing you from sleeping through the night or conducting your daily business without taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • You have a “bubble” on your gum, similar to a pimple. When irritated, it may release blood or pus that can smell or taste bad.
  • You have pain that radiates out from one tooth to other areas of your head or jaw. For example, a tooth pain can lead to a pain behind the eye like a headache or to the ear, resulting in earache symptoms.
  • You have a discolored tooth that is darker than the surrounding teeth. A grey tooth can indicate a “dead” tooth.
  • You have a broken or cracked tooth with obvious signs of damage or decay.


Your dentist may have noticed:

  • A tooth problem revealed by x-rays
  • A recurring or persistent gum pimple (also called “fistulous tracts”)
  • A tooth that has changed color


Additional testing:

  • X-ray examination – if x-rays did not reveal the problem, they can provide an extremely clear picture of tooth health
  • Percussion testing – a gentle tapping on the teeth to evaluate pain response
  • Thermal testing – a careful application of a hot or cold stimulus to evaluate sensitivity

Sometimes, teeth needing to undergo a root canal procedure have no symptoms discernible to the patient. It is important to visit your dentist regularly to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment needed to maintain life-long oral health.

If you need root canal treatment in the St. Louis area, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Trips to your family dentist for checkups and cleanings may not top your list of fun family activities, but there are important reasons you should make visits to the dentist a priority for your family. Excellent oral health depends heavily on prevention and by taking proactive steps, you can ensure your family will have years of beautiful, healthy smiles. The following reasons outline why regular care by your family dentist is vital to the overall health of your family:

Your family dentist will screen for oral cancer. In the United States, there is approximately one death every hour from oral cancer. Oral cancer is highly curable with early diagnosis and treatment.

Routine cleaning and checkups help to prevent the advancement of gum disease. When diagnosed early, gum disease is both treatable and reversible. However, left unchecked, advanced gum disease can enter your bloodstream leading to a higher incidence of heart disease and possibly stroke.

Maintaining good oral care is the best way to ensure you will keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. Gum disease left untreated can lead to tooth loss, causing a host of other potential problems.

Early detection of cavities, gum disease, and other issues by your family dentist will help you to avoid more serious problems which could lead to root canal treatment, tooth loss, or gum surgery. Early detection and treatment are the keys to avoiding larger dental emergencies.

Clearly, making appointments with your family dentist a priority in your family’s regular routine is a critical part of maintaining not only their excellent oral health, but also in ensuring their overall good health. Every member of your family should be scheduled for cleanings and checkups with your family dentist at least twice per year to ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

 

Everyone knows that tobacco is harmful to your health, but many people believe that smokeless tobacco doesn’t fall into the same category. Just because it’s smokeless doesn’t mean it’s harmless. It’s dangerous for your overall health, but also for your oral health. Here are some possible oral health outcomes of using smokeless tobacco.

Tooth decay
Smokeless tobacco contains sugar, which combines with the plaque on your teeth to damage your tooth enamel and cause decay.

Receding gums
Placing chewing tobacco in your mouth at the same spot over and over can permanently damage your gums. It can also harm your bone structure. Your irritated gums may pull away from your teeth, expose your tooth roots, and leave your teeth painful and susceptible to decay. Receding gums sometimes also loosen your teeth and cause them to eventually fall out.

Tooth discoloration
Smokeless tobacco stains your teeth, causing embarrassing yellow and brown discoloration. It is extremely difficult to remove with normal brushing, and even professional teeth whitening may not completely remove these stubborn stains.

Bad breath
Your breath will suffer from tobacco products of any kind. Don’t be fooled into thinking that mint-flavored smokeless tobacco hides the problem.

Tooth abrasion
Smokeless tobacco can be gritty and scratch your teeth, wearing down the enamel. Loss of tooth enamel increases sensitivity and may require treatment.

Cancer
The consistent placement of tobacco inside your gums and the irritating juices accompanying it can cause a pre-cancerous condition called leukoplakia. All smokeless tobacco contains cancer-causing agents, which subject users to higher cancer risk in the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, and pharynx.

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Wisdom teeth, your third set of molars, are named that because they are the final teeth to erupt. They usually come in between ages 17 to 25, and are located in the very back of your mouth on the top and bottom. Your dentist will examine you to find out if your wisdom teeth are properly positioned and healthy. If they aren’t, your dentist will recommend removal.

How do you know wisdom teeth should be removed?
Some of the signs there is a problem with your wisdom teeth include pain, infection, cysts, gum disease, damage to nearby teeth, and tooth decay. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your dentist for an examination.

What are impacted wisdom teeth?
Sometimes your teeth just don’t have room to grow in properly. They can erupt at angles within your jaw, sometimes even horizontally. If wisdom teeth aren’t able to erupt normally they can become trapped, or impacted, inside your jaw. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are pain, infection, and swelling. When teeth are impacted, they can lead to serious problems. Many dentists want to avoid impacted teeth and therefore remove your wisdom teeth before they erupt or grow too big.

Are there less obvious reasons to remove wisdom teeth?
It’s not always clear when these teeth way in the back of your mouth are causing problems, or might in the future. Many dentists remove them in teens or young adults so they don’t cause problems later, or become too firmly planted in the jaw. Also, sometimes wisdom teeth are removed as part of orthodontic, periodontal, or restorative treatment plans.

What happens if I don’t have them removed?
Some dentists prefer to wait and see what happens with time to your wisdom teeth. Make sure you continue to have these teeth monitored, because the risk of problems doesn’t go away with age. Removing wisdom teeth isn’t always necessary, because if there’s room in your mouth and they come in properly, they work just like any other teeth. The key is to watch them to make sure problems don’t arise in the future.

Dental office for wisdom teeth removal

At least twice a year, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist. These visits allow your dentist to assess you oral health, address any concerns you have, and look for signs of problems. Protecting your teeth and gums is a partnership between you and your dentist. For the best results, follow these helpful hints:

Find the right dentist in St. Louis

Selecting a provider and dental office that fits your personality will make you more likely to keep your appointments.

Provide an accurate health history
Although your dentist’s primary concern is your mouth, overall wellness can impact your dental health. For example, chronic health issues like diabetes and HIV can increase your risk for gum disease.

Bring a list of current medications
Your dentist needs to know the names and dosages of any medicine you take regularly. Certain medications, such as pain relievers, allergy medicines, and anti-depressants, can cause dry mouth, which may make you susceptible to dental problems.

Report any issues right away
Sometimes, you may develop a toothache or notice bleeding gums between your visits. Don’t ignore these symptoms because they may indicate bigger problems. The longer you wait to address any issues, the more time and money you will lose.

Share your fears
For some people, dental visits cause anxiety or fear. Let your dentist know exactly what worries you. Most doctors want you to feel relaxed and comfortable, so they will take time to answer your questions and help you feel at ease.

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

 

You may know all about basic dental care. Most people can tell you about the importance of brushing twice a day and flossing regularly. If you asked friends and family, they could probably list the virtues of eating whole grains, lean meats, and green vegetables to keep teeth and gums healthy. The majority of individuals, though, probably don’t know these fun facts:

  • Approximately 33 percent of people squeeze their toothpaste from the middle.
  • As early as 700 BC, people carved false teeth out of animal bones.
  • During ancient times, the barber cut your hair, gave you a shave, and extracted injured teeth.
  • Each year, Americans fork out more money on hair care and lottery tickets than they do on their dental health.
  • In 1994, a West Virginia inmate scaled a wall and escaped prison using a rope made from dental floss.
  • Modern toothpaste was first manufacture by the Colgate Company.
  • People brushed their teeth with twigs or their fingers before toothbrushes were invented.
  • Poor individuals sold their teeth to the wealthy during the 18th century and these people used them as replacement teeth.
  • Surprisingly, cows don’t have upper teeth.
  • The Mexican version of the Tooth Fairy, called the Tooth Mouse, takes the lost tooth and leaves behind a small gift.
  • To win the 1986 National Spelling Bee, the top contestant correctly spelled odontalgia, another word for toothache.
  • When asked, 73 percent of Americans said they would rather grocery shop than floss their teeth.

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

 

Although your oral health is of utmost importance, it’s not the only thing to consider about your smile. There is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on giving you the most appealing smile possible for you. Cosmetic dentistry can turn a crooked, discolored, or otherwise unattractive smile into one that you will want to show off.

A relatively new area of dentistry, cosmetic dentists are becoming more and more popular. The goal is to transform your smile into a beautiful one that will last for a lifetime. It is usually not difficult to find a cosmetic dentist by asking friends and family, researching on the internet, or asking your general dentist for suggestions for this type of specialist.

Most cosmetic dentists use the most modern technologies in their offices to provide the most advanced treatment options. Some of the most popular procedures that you can expect a cosmetic dentist to perform include:

  • Teeth whitening – brightening the color of your teeth and minimizing stains
  • Veneers – attaching porcelain shells to the fronts of your teeth to hide imperfections
  • Implants and crowns – restoring missing teeth to improve mouth appearance and function
  • Bonding – using composite resin material to repair chips and fill gaps
  • Contouring – reshaping the tooth to create a more appealing look
  • Braces – straightening your teeth and correcting jaw misalignment

In additional to improving smiles, you can usually expect a comfortable experience at your cosmetic dentist. A number of the common procedures are not painful, but those that do cause discomfort may be aided with sedation techniques. Sedation dentistry is also an option to relax patients who experience anxiety or fear about visiting the dentist. If you are unhappy with your smile, schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to learn about ways to change your look.

 

Schedule a consultation today to learn more our Cosmetic Dentistry options at our St. Louis dental office.