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.


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

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.

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

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

Your body is a little bit like a puzzle. It gives you clues to help you figure out what’s going on within your body. Did you know your mouth can give you hints about things that may be happening elsewhere in your body? Here’s a list of some of the signs your mouth can give you to pay attention to certain other aspects of your health.

Worn teeth and headache
If your teeth are showing extensive wear, you may be grinding your teeth. This would be even a stronger possibility if you’re also experiencing regular headaches, which can be caused by the muscle tension related to teeth grinding. This condition also indicates that you are likely under too much stress, and that you are unconsciously coping with it by grinding your teeth.

Gums covering teeth
If your gums begin to grow over your teeth and you are on medication, it may mean that your medication is at fault. Some medicines can cause your gums to overgrow, and the dosage needs to be adjusted.

Mouth sores
An open sore in your mouth that doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks can be an indicator of oral cancer. Numbness and unexplained bleeding in your mouth are other signs. Smokers and people over age 60 are at the most risk, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect others too. See your dentist to make sure all is okay.

Cracked teeth
If your teeth begin to crack or wear extensively, you may have gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD). It’s a digestive disease that allows stomach acid to flow back into your food pipe and mouth. This acid can cause your teeth to deteriorate. Additional signs of GERD are acid reflux, heartburn, and dry mouth.

Unclean dentures
If you wear dentures, make sure you remove and clean them regularly. Inhaling food debris from your dentures that makes its way to your lungs can lead to pneum

Chewing and swallowing can be tricky after wisdom tooth extraction. Gauze pads and a sore mouth can make eating sound unappealing, but it is vital to your healing to maintain a healthy diet. When you have a tooth extracted, a clot forms to help with healing. It’s important not to disrupt the clot, which means it is crucial to maintain a soft-food diet. In addition, spicy, acidic or hard-to-chew foods can cause additional discomfort and prevent healing.

For the first one or two weeks after your wisdom tooth extraction, plan to stick to a diet of soft, easy-to-chew foods. This guideline does not mean you are stuck eating Jello for your entire recovery period. Some suggestions for healthy foods that would be appropriate after wisdom tooth extraction include:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Milkshakes
  • Ice cream
  • Yogurt
  • Pancakes
  • Eggs
  • Canned fruit
  • Beans
  • Pasta
  • Smoothies
  • Oatmeal
  • Soup
  • Fish
  • Applesauce
  • Cottage cheese
  • Macaroni and cheese

Be careful never to use a straw during recovery, as the suction can remove the clots in your gums and create problems with healing. Some of these foods may still be too chewy, so you will need to gauge if they need to be cooked longer or further softened to make them easier to ingest. Pasta or macaroni can be overcooked to make it easier to chew, and soups can be blended to eliminate chunks of vegetables or meat. Be sure to follow the aftercare and eating recommendations of your oral surgeon, and don’t push yourself to return to normal foods until your mouth feels ready.

Schedule your appointment at our St. Louis dental office

Broken, chipped, stained, or crooked teeth can ruin an otherwise nice smile. Minor flaws like these can be easily corrected with dental veneers. They are a popular way to whiten, straighten, and improve smiles to get long-lasting and natural-looking results. Here are some reasons that veneers are chosen by many people wanting to change their look.

Better smile
Veneers are thin porcelain shells customized to fit securely onto the front surfaces of your teeth. They hide problems and fit in beautifully with the rest of your features. Your smile will be made brand new.

No more stains
Yellow or stained teeth can really make a smile look unattractive. Some discolorations are very hard to get rid of, even with professional cleanings or whitening. Veneers instantly brighten your smile to the shade of your choice, and resist stains so that you no longer have to worry about the foods and drinks you consume.

Straighter teeth
If your teeth alignment problems aren’t major and you don’t want to go to the hassles or expense of braces, veneers may be a solution. They go right over crooked teeth to create a straight smile.

Quick results
Veneers can be provided in just a couple of office visits. You will have a short time between getting temporary and permanent veneers attached, but once they are in you’ll immediately have an improved smile.

Long lasting
Veneers can last a lifetime if you take proper care of them. Regular brushing, flossing, and checkups will help ensure a sparkling smile for many years to come.

Few risks
Side effects with veneers are nearly non-existent. There may be some initial discomfort, but it subsides quickly and can be treated with over-the-counter medications. The only thing to remember is that veneers are permanent. Since a small amount of tooth enamel is removed to accommodate the veneers, you’ll have them forever or will need to get replacements at some point.

Cosmetic dentist in St. Louis

 

You might think that the point of going to your general dentist is for cleanings and maybe an occasional filling. But you are wrong if you believe that’s all your dentist can offer you! A wide variety of treatments is available at a typical general dentist’s office.

Most visits to your general dentist include an initial consultation, thorough examination, and diagnostic tests if needed like dental x-rays. You’ll have the opportunity to express any problems or concerns you have, and your dentist will identify any issues that you might not be aware you have. You can also expect a meticulous professional cleaning to eliminate tartar buildup and stains that you may not have been able to get rid of at home.

You can expect these common procedures at many general dentistry practices:

  • Fillings – to repair damage caused by tooth decay, often using composite resin material to provide a strong yet cosmetically appealing solution.
  • Bonding – using composite resin to repair issues like cracks, chips, gaps or stains.
  • Crowns – also called caps, these restorations are fitted over damaged or broken teeth to restore tooth structure and function, and to protect them from future damage.
  • Bridges – to replace missing teeth, a bridge structure anchors an artificial tooth or teeth. Crowns fit over natural teeth on both sides of a gap, in which the artificial tooth replaces a missing tooth to provide a natural appearance and functional replacement.
  • Dentures – if a number of teeth are missing, dentures are removable false teeth with the goal of functioning and looking like real teeth.
  • Root canal treatment – when the interior pulp of a tooth is badly damaged or infected, this procedure removes the faulty portion and completely restores the tooth to avoid tooth loss.
  • Teeth whitening – when teeth have become discolored with age, tobacco use, diet, or more, it can be very difficult to restore their white shade without the aid of professional whitening. General dentists may offer at-home kits or in-office whitening treatments.
  • Maxillofacial treatments – mouth, jaw, or facial procedures are sometimes offered, including options like TMJ treatment or dental implants.

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

You’re not the only one if you feel like your smile has become dull and yellowed. This happens to nearly everyone, and it is the most common complaint that people have about the look of their smiles. There is no reason to live with a discolored smile. Teeth whitening is available to restore your pearly whites.

There are a number of reasons that your smile has changed over the years. Aging causes tooth enamel to thin and allow the yellow-tinged dentin layer to show through. Dark-colored foods and drinks stain teeth, some medications produce the side effect of darkening teeth, and tobacco use creates difficult stains. Teeth may also change color due to mouth trauma.

Whatever the culprit is for your diminished smile, teeth whitening is a simple way to restore it. Whitening products contain bleaching agents that break up stains so that the color is less concentrated and your teeth look brighter. However, teeth whitening does not work in all situations. It does not affect restorations like veneers, fillings or crowns. Whitening is also not usually effective on stains resulting from injury or medications. Yellow teeth are the most likely to respond to teeth whitening, while brown or gray tones might be less improved.

There are numerous options for teeth whitening. Home products are available at your local drugstore like whitening toothpastes, gels, pens, strips and more. These methods focus on removing surface stains from your teeth. At-home bleaching kits are another option, typically obtained from your dentist, that involve filling a mouth tray with a special bleaching solution and wearing the trays for a time period like overnight. These kits are stronger than over-the-counter methods, but not as strong as professional whitening performed in a dental office. It is accomplished in about an hour in the dental chair using a concentrated bleaching agent and special lighting or laser to enhance the process, and provides the most dramatic results.

Consult your dentist for advice on the best whitening methods to use on your teeth. Every patient is different and certain methods may be more effective or comfortable for various people.

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

People are talking about dental implants. They’re talking about what a secure, longterm solution they are for patients with missing teeth and how successful they are for dental patients of all types. Are you wondering if you’re a candidate for dental implant treatment? The answer is yes, you probably are!

The one factor that’s a must for being a dental implant candidate is that you must have a missing tooth. The AAOMS (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons) estimates that as many as 70% of all adults have lost a minimum of one adult tooth. If you are among this group and you have a missing tooth, you’re a candidate for dental implants. Some patients are better suited to this particular treatment, however, so making an informed decision regarding your particular tooth replacement is vital.

The healthier you are, the more successful your dental implant surgery will be. Some health conditions and diseases should be strongly factored into whether or not dental implants are the best tooth replacement option. Patients with the following conditions may experience difficulty in the fusing of implant and bone:

  • Smoking
  • Cancer
  • Radiation to the jaws or face
  • Diabetes
  • Drug or alcohol dependency
  • Acute gum disease/periodontitis

Typically, a tooth is lost due to an accident, tooth decay, advanced gum disease or a failed root canal treatment. Even though the cause of the tooth’s loss might be through poor oral health, the healthier your mouth and surrounding teeth are, the more successful a dental implant will be.

Because the health of the bone is directly related to the strength of the fusion of the bone to implant, patients with healthier bones will have more successful experiences with dental implants. Maintain a diet high in calcium and other bone-nourishing nutrients and drink plenty of fluids.

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

Regardless of what aspect you dislike about your smile, there are cosmetic dentistry procedures to treat them. Smile makeovers are possible to give you the look you’ve been wanting. Not only do they enhance your smile, but they also boost your confidence. You may not know all the options and the problems they address. So here’s a list that can help you decide which of them is relevant to you.

Tooth discoloration
Teeth can easily become discolored from poor hygiene due to consuming foods and drinks such as coffee, red wine, berries, and tea. Smoking is a big culprit for tooth discoloration. Teeth whitening is the most common way to brighten your smile, and various methods are available either at home or professionally.

Misalignment
Teeth that are crowded or malaligned are not only unappealing; they can also make oral hygiene management more difficult and cause added stress on your jaw. Traditional braces, clear methods like Invisalign, crowns, and porcelain veneers are various ways misalignment might be treated. Discuss with your dentist that of those options is best for you.

Gaps
Spaces between your teeth can be embarrassing socially, as well as detrimental to the function of your teeth. Braces or Invisalign are excellent ways to correct gaps. Veneers are another option depending on how large your gaps are. Those are alternatives to cater for your budget.

Gummy smile
Excessive amounts of your gums show when you smile can create what is known as a gummy smile. Treatments may include gum sculpting, veneers, crowns, braces, or surgery.

Missing teeth
Smile restoration can be done with dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Each of these solutions has their good and bad aspects. Therefore, consult your dentist for advice before deciding on it.

Worn-down teeth
If untreated, worn teeth can cause tooth loss or dental health problems. Teeth that are damaged can often be restored with either veneers or crowns.

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

Chances are that you want to have a smile full of sparkly, white, straight teeth. You must not forget about the goal of having a healthy smile too. If you don’t pay proper attention to your mouth, there are a number of diseases and problems that can arise. Poor hygiene causes many problems, from minor to severe, so it’s smarter to make sure your teeth stay in good condition. Follow these suggestions for a healthy smile.

Focus on daily care
Your mouth requires care every single day. You simply can’t perform hygiene tasks once every few days or just when it’s convenient, and expect to have a healthy, attractive smile. Follow your dentist’s instructions on properly brushing your teeth at least twice daily, and flossing every day too. In fact, flossing is just as important to your oral health as brushing! By performing both of these daily tasks, you’ll be able to remove debris and germs and improve your smile.

Choose your products wisely
Select toothpaste that meets your goals. It should always contain fluoride, but you can also choose brands with objectives like tartar protection, improving bad breath, and teeth whitening. You may also want to choose a mouthwash that you can use to quickly clean your mouth, or supplement your other oral care products.

Don’t ignore your dentist
Even if you’re properly caring for your mouth at home, it’s important to continue seeing your dentist regularly. Experts suggest having dental checkups every six months, so your dentist can look for problems like gum disease, cavities, and infections. It’s smart to get any issues treated right away, before things worsen and lead to more costly, painful procedures later.

Schedule your appointment today at our St. Louis dental office.

It’s not uncommon for children to be afraid of going to the dentist. Let’s face it, many adults don’t like visiting the dentist either. However adults mainly don’t want to take the time or don’t want to hear the news that they aren’t taking good care of their teeth. It’s different with kids though, who often have a real fear of the dentist, equipment, and the unknown situation. If your child is one of those who experiences anxiety at the mention of the dentist, here are some things you can do to help ease those fears.

Use visual aids:
It is helpful for some children to watch a video or read a book that will help them become more familiar and comfortable with going to the dentist. Your local library or the internet both likely offer resources for this purpose, and bookstores have books and DVDs for purchase. These visual aids help kids know what to expect in visiting the dentist, and what their role is in the process.

Visit the office:
Take your child to the dentist’s office prior to your appointment so they can observe the office, meet the staff, and see the area and tools used for examinations. The staff may even give your child an explanation of the tools that dentists use for checkups. Your dentist wants children to feel comfortable and confident in getting dental treatment, so most offices do their best to help your child adjust.

Explain the importance:
Even though fear sometimes overtakes logic, it’s still important to explain to your child the reasons for seeing the dentist. Help them understand the benefits of checkups, and the oral health consequences that may occur by not caring for their teeth and getting regular checkups.

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

Restorative dentistry has made incredible advancements in the technology of restorative dental materials, and there are more options than ever today for your dental crown or dental bridge. Zirconium and porcelain have proven to provide lasting strength and durability, exhibiting the most natural cosmetic dental restorations available today. Each tooth in each mouth is different, however, and in some cases, resin composite or metal alloy might be the choice recommended for you.

Metals are a common choice for dental crowns and dental bridges. Gold or palladium alloys, as well as chromium or nickel (base-metal) alloys can be excellent choices. Metal alloy crowns show the least “wear down” over years of use. They almost never chip, break or wear down opposing teeth. The primary complaint about metal alloy materials is that their color is metallic and thereby unnatural. They will not blend with the surrounding teeth, and as such, they are chosen more for back molars where they won’t draw attention.

Dental composite/resin materials are a popular choice that can be made to blend with the surrounding teeth, but they’ve been shown to wear down over time and are more prone to fractures and breaking than other materials.

Porcelain can be fused to metal to form a natural-appearing crown or bridge, and because of their appearance, are a good choice for front or back teeth. Over time, however, discoloration can appear along the gum line as the porcelain wears away, leaving a dark, unsightly line. The porcelain can be fused to zirconium, however, which eliminates the dark line and is a good cosmetic choice for front teeth.

Crowns and bridges can also be made from all-porcelain or all-ceramic materials. These materials are the best choice for natural-looking teeth of the types of dental crown and dental bridge materials available in restorative dentistry today. Because they contain no metal, they are excellent choices for patients with metal allergies. They tend to be weaker and less durable than materials containing metals, however.

Talk to your cosmetic dentist today with any questions you have regarding what type of dental crown or bridge material is best for your smile needs.

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

If your teeth are badly damaged from decay or facial trauma, or if you have several missing teeth, your dentist may recommend removable prosthodontics to solve your dental problems. Periodontitis (advanced gum disease), bone loss or serious tooth decay can leave you as a poor candidate for restorative options such as dental crowns, dental bridges or dental implants. Removable prosthodontics can restore your smile so that it looks and functions as it should and can restore your confidence as you eat, smile and laugh.

Just hearing the word “dentures” might give you pause, reminding you of your older relatives, but achievements in dental restorative therapies enable your dentist to craft a removable prosthodontic for you that will not only look, but will feel like your natural smile.

Removable prosthodontics include:

  • Partial dentures correct gaps when only a few of your natural teeth are missing. A partial denture may be the best choice if your remaining teeth aren’t strong enough to support a dental bridge.
  • Overdentures provide restorations when one or more of your natural teeth are in place in an arch – typically two teeth for a bottom overdenture and four teeth for an upper overdenture.
  • Immediate dentures are put in place following an extraction, allowing the bone and gums to recover following an extraction procedure. They prevent the adjacent teeth from collapsing upon the empty space and affecting your bite.
  • Complete dentures are for edentulous patients (patients with no teeth at all) and are designed to replace all of the teeth in one or both arches of your mouth, restoring your smile and your ability to eat and speak clearly.

Because of advancements in materials and techniques, many dentures can be mistaken for natural teeth. Only you – and your prosthodontist – will know your secret. Talk to your prosthodontist today to see what removable prosthodontics can do for you. Don’t wait to begin enjoying your life with your new, healthy smile.

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

When you look your best, you exude confidence and grace. A vibrant, white smile can add to the image you convey. Cosmetic dentistry has risen in popularity because it allows people to transform their appearances. Make an appointment with your cosmetic dentist in St. Louis for a consultation to discuss your smile enhancement options. While some patients choose a complete smile makeover, any of the following procedures can take your smile from dull to dynamite.

Teeth Whitening
The aging process as well as lifestyle choices can dull your smile. With teeth whitening, you can remove stains and look years younger. Most dentists recommend professional teeth whitening, which you can accomplish through in-office sessions or take-home kits.

Bonding
If you have small chips, gaps, or cracks in your smile, your dentist may suggest dental bonding. To repair the damaged area, your dentist will use a tooth-colored resin, which is hardened with a special light. Dental bonding blends in with your natural teeth and restores the look of your smile.

Porcelain Veneers
Created from fine dental porcelain, veneers can totally change your appearance. With porcelain veneers, your dentist can alter the size, shape, and color of your teeth. Depending on your situation, the doctor may suggest custom veneers designed just for your smile, or no-prep veneers, which can be bonded to your teeth but removed at a later time.

Composite Fillings
Over time, metal fillings can crack and seep, causing oral health problems, as well as impacting your smile’s appearance. Tooth-colored fillings are constructed to match your original teeth so they blend in seamlessly. Because they bond to the tooth, composite fillings won’t change shape or leak.

Accelerated Orthodontics
For straighter teeth in three to nine months, consider accelerated orthodontics. Usually, accelerated orthodontics works best for people with mild issues to correct or for those who want to straighten front teeth for an important event like a wedding.

One of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry is veneers. These thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin are bonded to the fronts of your teeth to hide the flaws of your real teeth. They look natural, resist stains, and are a durable way to restore smiles. Veneers offer a solution for patients with a variety of dental problems.

Fractured teeth:
Teeth that are broken or chipped can be hidden behind veneers, fully restoring your smile.

Discolored teeth:
Stained or yellowed teeth may result from a number of things. Some discoloration such as from foods or age can be improved with teeth whitening treatments. However, stains resulting from things like drugs, large resin fillings, or too much fluoride may not respond to whitening methods. Veneers provide the ability to choose the shade of white you like and get your bright smile back.

Small teeth:
Sometimes teeth are just too small for a person’s facial features. It is difficult for orthodontists to close gaps between teeth that are too small, and gum recession is also often an issue with small teeth. Veneers can take care of both of these problems.

Worn teeth:
When the edges of teeth become worn, it can make you look older than you actually are. Veneers can lengthen teeth that are shortened with wear so that your smile looks brand new.

Crooked teeth:
Misaligned and crooked teeth can be hidden under dental veneers. This gives your smile a uniform and appealing look.

Cosmetic issues:
Veneers can be provided simply for cosmetic purposes to change the shape and appearance of your teeth. You and your cosmetic dentist can design the veneers together so that your teeth might look more curved, flatter, bigger, or longer as you choose.

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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 treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure that dentists perform today. It can have a dramatic effect on your smile at a smaller cost than other cosmetic procedures. You can whiten your teeth yourself using at-home techniques, but often professional whitening with your dentist’s help achieves the fastest and most effective results. Let’s examine the whitening options provided by most dentists to help you evaluate what might work for you.

Whitening at your dentist’s office:
The dentist applies a whitening product to your teeth containing higher percentages of hydrogen peroxide than what is available in at-home kits. Heat or light may be used also. This technique produces quick, uniform results, but it does sometimes cause temporary gum irritation or tooth sensitivity. This method is expensive, ranging between $500 to $1,200.

Home whitening supervised by your dentist:
A customized mouthpiece will be created by your dentist for you to fill at home with whitening gel, which contains a lower strength of hydrogen peroxide then the in-office gel. You wear the mouthpiece at home for several hours each day, and your dentist supervises the whitening with regular checkups. This method is convenient and less expensive at $300 to $500, but it produces slower results than in-office methods.

Repeating the process:
Whichever type of teeth whitening technique you might choose, remember that it isn’t a permanent repair to your teeth. You will need to repeat the process every year or two. The length of time between treatments will increase if you don’t smoke and avoid foods that are known to stain your teeth, such as coffee and red wine.

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Whether you are a teenager or an adult, you may have pain associated with your wisdom teeth. In a perfect situation, these back molars erupt last and fit right into your mouth without problems. Many people are not so lucky, however. It is common for these teeth to attempt to come in, but have nowhere to grow in the space where your other teeth are already established. This can result in a very painful toothache.

The first step you should take is visiting your dentist, where x-rays will be taken to see exactly what is happening in your mouth. The x-rays will be examined to determine the angle the teeth are growing, how much room is available for them to develop, and if there is any infection present. Depending upon the examination results, surgery may be necessary to remove your wisdom teeth.

Your dentist will look for signs that indicate your wisdom teeth need to be removed. The main indications for tooth removal include:

  • A tooth embedded in your gums
  • A tooth that is only partially erupted
  • The presence of a cyst around the tooth
  • A tooth growing in an awkward angle

If your dentist recommends removal, it is usually suggested to have it done as soon as possible to avoid further problems and continued pain. Sometimes it is necessary to remove only a single tooth, and in other cases multiple teeth may need to go. The complexity of the removal depends on whether the teeth are embedded, the angle of growth, and other issues. Your dentist will advise you on the safest and most effective plan for taking care of your wisdom teeth and getting rid of the pain.


We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Like natural teeth, dental implants require vigilant oral care to maintain their usefulness and prevent problems. Once the implant has fused to the jaw bone, it is important to follow some general guidelines to ensure the continued success of your dental implant and restoration.

A condition known as peri-implantitis is a common cause of implant failure. This occurs when an accumulation of plaque leads to damage of the tissues and infection of the bone around the implant. While the implant itself is not susceptible to decay, if plaque is not removed with thorough brushing and flossing at least twice per day the resulting periodontal disease can lead to implant failure.

Your dental professional may also recommend the use of additional oral hygiene products such as special brushes or oral irrigation devices to aid in the removal of food debris and plaque around the areas of the implant supported restorations. Your dentist or hygienist can assist in teaching you to utilize these devices to improve your implant care.

Regular dental visits and examinations are vital to detect and prevent any issues that may present problems for your dental implants. Expect to visit your dentist every 3 months for the first year after implant placement, and then every six months for the life of your implants. Your dentist will also provide special care instructions if your implants are being used to support a removable denture. It is important to know how to place and remove the appliance without causing damage to either the denture or your implant.

Avoid applying excessive pressure or eating hard foods that could cause damage to the restoration and implant area. If you suffer from conditions like teeth grinding or clenching, discuss with your dentist the option of being fitted for a night guard to prevent the problems these habits can cause your implants. Taking excellent care of your oral health will help to ensure years of dental implant success.

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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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