If you have diabetes, this condition can impact your overall wellbeing, including your oral health. An estimated 24 million Americans have diabetes, and many may not realize the affect it has on your teeth and gums. The link between diabetes and oral health has to do with blood sugar levels.

Regulating blood sugar is an important component of diabetes management. If your blood sugar is out of whack, you can have problems. Uncontrolled diabetes hinders white blood cells, which help fight off bacterial infections in the mouth. Research has shown that keeping blood sugar levels steady can lowers the chances of major complications of with the eyes, heart, and nerves. Apparently, watching these levels also helps avoid oral health problems as well.

People with diabetes have an increased risk for:

Dry Mouth – When your blood sugar is not regulated, it can decrease saliva production, which can lead to dry mouth.

Inflammation and Gum disease – With diabetes, patients face impairing of white blood cells and thickening of the blood vessels, reducing the flow of nutrients and the removal of waste in the mouth. These factors compromise the body’s ability to fight infection, so the risk for gum disease increases.

Poor healing in the mouth – If you don’t have the diabetes under control, healing throughout the body take longer, including with any dental procedures.

Thrush – A fungal infection of the mouth and tongue, thrush can occur in diabetics if their sugar levels are inconsistent because this fungus is very receptive to the high glucose levels in the saliva.

Patients with diabetes can keep their mouths healthy by following good home health care, scheduling dental visits every six months, and keeping your dentist informed about the status of your diabetes. Make sure to give your dentist contact information for your primary physician so that they can coordinate your complete health care.

Schedule your appointment at our St. Louis dental office

 

The changing seasons can prompt many people to want to change their appearance, perhaps through treating themselves to a brand-new smile. Your dentist in St. Louis can provide a number of different cosmetic dentistry and restorative treatments to help provide a beautifully healthy and natural looking smile.

Cosmetic and Restorative Options
Modern dentistry techniques are extremely sophisticated and your dentist can do a lot to improve your smile. Possible options include porcelain veneers that cover the front surfaces of your teeth, crowns to restore teeth damaged by tooth decay or trauma, dental bonding that helps improve the shape of the tooth in just one easy visit, and enamel reshaping to correct minor issues such as slightly overlapping teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth, transforming a gappy smile into something far more pleasing.

Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening can quickly brighten up your smile, creating a youthful and healthy appearance. Your dentist in St. Louis can offer you in-office whitening that will lift the shade of your teeth in just an hour. If you prefer, you can have custom made whitening trays to use at home. Your dentist will provide you with the correct strength of whitening gel to safely bleach your teeth.

Teeth Straightening
It’s never too late to straighten your teeth and adult orthodontics is increasingly popular. Ask your dentist about Invisalign clear braces that will discreetly straighten your smile without really affecting day-to-day activities.

Checkups and Professional Cleanings
Your first step should be to schedule an appointment for a checkup and professional cleaning. Your dentist will need to examine your mouth to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy before carrying out any cosmetic dentistry treatments. They’ll discuss the type of options that might help you, and can compile a treatment plan to improve your smile. A professional cleaning removes tartar buildup and gives your smile an added sparkle. It’s a great treatment for keeping teeth and gums healthy.

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

Many oral surgeries go beyond simply removing a tooth, and the cause is not always related to poor dental hygiene. Some reasons for oral surgery just can’t be predicted or avoided, such as injuries, birth defects, or cancer. Great strides have been made in oral surgery, especially for restoration and reconstruction techniques. These are some common reasons that oral surgery is advised.

Tooth loss

Replacing missing teeth with dental implants requires oral surgery so that the titanium implant can be inserted into the jaw. Providing an alternative to dentures and bridges, implants offer a secure and permanent solution that looks very natural. Candidates with adequate bone density, good overall health, and who practice proper oral hygiene are considered for implant surgery. After the implant heals, a crown will be placed on top to complete the restoration.

Impacted teeth

One of the most common oral surgeries is to remove impacted wisdom teeth. Often occurring during the late teen to early adult years, wisdom teeth are unable to erupt properly and must be extracted to prevent future problems.

TMJ

Temporomandibular joint disorders involve the joint where the skull and lower jaw come together in front of the ear. Facial pain, headaches, popping, and jaw problems can result, and dentists try to treat the disorder with solutions like splints, physical therapy, and medications. Severe cases can require surgery to fully correct the TMJ problems.

Injuries

Car accidents, sports injuries, and other trauma can cause broken facial bones or jaws. Surgery may be necessary to realign the jaws, wire bones together, and otherwise repair the injury so that normal function and comfort can be restored.

Cleft repairs

Birth defects like a cleft lip or palate are corrected through oral surgery. Usually a series of surgeries over a span of years is needed to improve the appearance and proper function of the areas affected by the birth defect.

Biopsy

Surgery is performed to remove cancerous tumors or lesions in the jaws or facial bones. This is especially true when the joints or connecting muscles and tendons are involved.

 

 

Dental implants are the best restorative choice for replacing a tooth that is missing. Whether the tooth has come out due to some kind of facial trauma or an infection or other issue, dental implants are the solution. The real difference in quality between a dental implant and other restorations such as bridges lies in the fact that the dental implant is placed directly into the patient’s jawbone, eventually fusing there through a process known as ossification.

Over time, ossification provides the kind of tooth base that is only seen elsewhere in natural teeth. When a dental implant is successful, it is as secure and as natural looking as a patient’s own original teeth; however, in some cases, dental implants fail. Sometimes they fail repeatedly. What’s causing these dental implant failures? Here are some potential causes.

Sometimes the implant doesn’t fuse with the bone and the bone shrinks away from the implant, leading to implant mobility or even the implant falling out. Patients who have weak bones due to age, osteoporosis, years of being edentulous (toothless) or another medical condition will find dental implants more challenging. If you’ve been having issues with failure to ossify, your dentist might recommend a bone graft to rebuild the jawbone to a healthy level so that dental implants can properly fuse.

In other cases, persistent infection may result in repeated implant failure. Signs of infection are continuous bleeding, swelling at the implant site or acute inflammation of the gum tissue at the implant site. Pus may be evident, or a bubble might appear on the gumline. Some health issues such as diabetes, auto-immune disorders or treatments like cancer therapies can weaken the immune system and leave the implant site vulnerable to infection. Your dentist might prescribe antibiotics or recommend you see an endodontist for a root canal treatment.

If you’re concerned about your dental implant, talk to St. Louis dentist Dr. Nikodem right away. Find out what steps you need to take to ensure that your dental implants are successful.

Our dental office is located in St. Louis

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

We treat patients from St. Louis and the surrounding area

Have you always disliked your smile? Did childhood school pictures find you smiling closed-lipped and tense? Did you spend your teens fearful of making personal connections? As you aged, did you find yourself facing more and more mounting oral difficulties? Dental problems are difficult enough to deal with when it’s just one or two cavities or a problem remembering to floss, but when you’re dealing with a lifetime of bad oral health, it can become so much more.

Often, those who need the most professional oral care are those who avoid it completely. Many have had negative experiences in the dental chair as children, or are fearful of the pain or process that is necessary to makeover a smile that’s been unattractive and unhealthy for most of the patient’s life. These patients sometimes avoid professional care because of shame and embarrassment, fearful that the dentist is going to judge them.

Smiles go bad for many, many reasons, some of which are completely out of the patient’s control. Poor nutrition growing up because of a lack of money or parental education can be a large factor. Some medicines, if taken during childhood, can cause adult teeth to degrade, and there are many genetic factors that can be passed on to a child that leads to extremely poor quality teeth. If this sounds like you, don’t let shame in your situation keep you from getting the smile you always wanted.

Find a skilled cosmetic dentist in St. Louis and schedule a consultation. Nothing has to be done at this first meeting, it’s just talking to the dentist. If that dentist isn’t helpful and supportive, get up and walk out and find yourself another dentist. The majority of cosmetic dentists understand the backgrounds that can lead to poor oral care. It can have nothing to do with how much you brush or floss, but everything to do with your history.

You deserve to have the smile you’ve dreamed of all your life. Don’t let fear or shame hold you back. Work with your cosmetic dentist to make a plan, and take the first steps you need to completely makeover your smile!

Dentistry today does not just include treatments for tooth and gum problems or diseases. The trend in dentistry has expanded to include a wide range of treatments and procedures with the purpose of improving your appearance. The purpose of cosmetic dentistry is to give you the most appealing smile possible so that you can be happy with your look and have an improved self-esteem. Here are some trends in cosmetic dentistry explained.

Bonding
Mild to severely damaged teeth can be treated with dental bonding. A tooth-colored material is applied to the fractured or chipped surface of your tooth and then bonded with a special light. The restoration provides a renewed look to your tooth so that others can’t even tell it was ever damaged.

Teeth whitening
A bright white smile gives of a great impression of oral health and beauty. Stains from age, foods, drinks, and habits like smoking all play a role in making your smile dull and unattractive. Cosmetic dentists offer teeth whitening procedures that can turn your smile around in just an hour.

Veneers
Another way to easily improve your smile is dental veneers. These thin shells usually made of porcelain are permanently adhered to the fronts of your teeth, giving you a bright and flawless smile for many years to come.

Contouring
Instead of having lengthy orthodontic treatment to correct crooked teeth or uneven spacing, contouring is an option to improve your look. Also called tooth reshaping, this procedure is additionally used to correct irregularly shaped teeth and alter issues like overly pointy teeth. During contouring, small amounts of tooth enamel are removed in order to change the tooth’s shape, length, or surface.

Implants and dentures
To replace missing teeth, dental implants are dentures are both options depending on the patient and the specific situation. Many people prefer implants because they are a permanent and secure solution.

Cosmetic dentist in St. Louis

How much do you really know about your mouth? Most people understand basic brushing and flossing, but they may not realize the myriad of factors that influence dental health. Knowing how your lifestyle impacts your teeth and gums can help you make the best choices to protect your smile.

True or False: You don’t need to floss every day.
Answer: False. Brushing alone won’t protect your mouth from decay or gum disease. Floss gets hard-to-reach areas, cleaning out the plaque and bacteria that wreak havoc on your oral health.

True or False: Taking care of your tongue is important, so you should brush it regularly.
Answer: True. The tiny bumps on your tongue called papillae trap food and bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Brushing twice a day will keep your breath smelling great.

True or False: Soft drinks and sports drinks don’t damage teeth.
Answer: False. These beverages, as well as red wine and fruit juices, can lead to enamel erosion. It’s best to stick with water, but if you consume these drinks, rinse your mouth when you finish.

True or False: It’s okay to put your baby to bed with a bottle of juice or milk.
Answer: False. When you let your baby or toddler fall asleep with anything but water, you increase the risk of baby bottle tooth decay. This condition occurs because of prolonged bottle feeding, usually during sleep. Young children don’t have good plaque removal, so these beverages provide a breeding ground for bacteria.

True or False: Fluoride reduces decay 20 to 40 percent.
Answer: True. Drinking water with fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and also reduces the amount of acid that the bacteria in your mouth produce. Since fluoride was added to the drinking water supplies across the country, childhood cavity rates have dramatically dropped.

 

Schedule a dental cleaning appointment today at our St. Louis dentists office.

Your smile can be one of your strongest assets, or it can be one of your biggest detriments if you don’t take care of it! Studies show that people are more likely to underestimate your age if you are smiling. On the flip side, a smile containing yellow or damaged teeth has the opposite effect of making you appear older. Luckily, there are many options available to help. Here are some tips for achieving an awesome smile.

Don’t forget to floss
Many people are in the habit of brushing their teeth every day, but flossing is often neglected. It’s the best way to get rid of plaque and bacteria in those hard-to-reach areas around your teeth. Otherwise, food particles and bacteria will build up and harm your teeth and gums.

Get your calcium and Vitamin C
Strong teeth and jaw bones are a sure way to a healthy mouth. Calcium, most often found in dairy products and vegetables, will help you develop strong teeth and bones. Vitamin C, often found in citrus fruits and vegetables, also strengthens teeth by repairing tissues and preventing bacteria from accessing your gums.

Avoid food and drink enemies
Some foods and drinks have a negative effect on your oral health. Avoid sugary foods, sodas, and sticky items. Foods high in acid content can weaken your tooth enamel. Also steer away from foods and beverages that commonly stain teeth, like coffee, red wine, and dark berries. If you consume staining foods, perform good dental hygiene afterwards.

Give professional bleaching a try
Teeth whitening at your dentist’s office is effective and provides quick results.

Whiten your teeth at home
A less expensive whitening option is done at home with products you can purchase at your drugstore. Whitening strips and toothpastes can help brighten your smile, although you have to be more patient than with the professional methods.

Learn makeup tricks
Believe it or not, your makeup techniques can help your smile appear brighter. Lipstick shades with a blue undertone and bronzer make ups that darken the skin both provide a greater contrast to your teeth and help them look brighter.

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

Most people would rather do anything than have a root canal. Unfortunately, this procedure receives a bad rap. A root canal is generally performed to clean out an infected tooth and prevent future problems. Usually, patients feel better after root canal therapy.

Knowing the truth about root canals may help you feel less apprehensive if your dentist recommends this procedure.

  • A root canal hurts.
    Actually, the pain you feel is caused by the swelling and pressure in your tooth. When a tooth sustains severe trauma, the pulp, or soft nerve center, may die. During a root canal, your dentist will remove the damaged tissue, disinfect the tooth, and seal off the inside. Most people only experience mild soreness afterwards, if they feel any discomfort at all.
  • Root canal therapy takes many appointments.
    Although this timing depends on the severity of the case, most root canals are completed in one to two appointments. Once your dentist finishes the root canal, you will probably need at least one more visit for restoration of the tooth, usually with an inlay, onlay, or crown.
  • I only need a root canal if my tooth hurts.
    Pain often lets you know you have a problem with a tooth, but if your tooth root dies you may have no symptoms. The dentist can perform tests to determine the health of a tooth, including temperature and percussion testing.
  • The root canal won’t last.
    Once the tooth is cleaned and sealed, you should have no further problems with the tooth. Sometimes the restoration of the tooth fails, which can causes the tooth to crack or break. This usually occurs if you wait too long to have a crown or adequate filling placed.

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

A dental implant replaces missing teeth by providing an artificial root and tooth. This type of restoration is a permanent solution that gives you back the appearance and function of your mouth. Implants match your real teeth and fuse right into your jaw bone. Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or an entire section of teeth.

Appearance
Dental implants vastly improve the way your smile looks. There are no more visible holes, and the restoration blends right into your smile. Your face and jaw will also have less risk of appearing sunken, as can occur when teeth are missing.

Speech
Missing teeth can cause you to slur or mumble when you speak. Dentures that don’t fit properly can also result in speech issues, so permanent and secure dental implants alleviate speech concerns.

Comfort
Once your implants become part of your jaw, you will likely not even remember you have them. They are very comfortable, and you can also maintain your normal diet. Implants allow you to avoid the problems that dentures have of slipping and discomfort.

Function
Implants act just like your regular teeth. Chewing and biting are the same as with your natural teeth, and in fact your implants will likely be even stronger than your other teeth.

Durability
With proper dental care, implants can last your whole life. Your natural teeth remain unaffected by the implants, and you can continue with your regular oral hygiene routine.

Confidence
Your self-esteem will be restored when you have your complete smile back. You will feel confident in smiling, talking, eating, laughing, and everything else you do.

Dental Implants St. Louis

Tooth pain that occurs when you eat or drink something cold or hot is an indicator that your teeth are overly sensitive. It can also result from eating sour or sweet foods, and sometimes just from breathing in cold air. Usually tooth sensitivity happens when your enamel has worn down, exposing the inner part of your tooth where sensitive nerves are located. It’s important to know what kinds of things may trigger tooth sensitivity, in hopes of avoiding it in the future.

Tooth decay
Decay leads to cavities, which are holes in your teeth or damage to their structure. Tooth decay and the resulting cavities are often preventable with good dental care. If you develop a cavity, however, it’s vital to get it repaired so that area of your teeth doesn’t become overly sensitive and painful.

Gum disease
Early gum disease, called gingivitis, is usually caused by poor dental hygiene that leads to gum inflammation and redness. Your gums may bleed easily and become sore. As gingivitis worsens, your gums can recede and expose the roots of your teeth. Your roots contain nerve endings, and sensitivity will likely increase.

Trauma
Accidents to your teeth or gums may lead to sensitivity. Fractured or knocked out teeth are certainly susceptible to painful sensations in your mouth.

Teeth whitening
Many people who use teeth whitening methods complain that their teeth become more sensitive with use of these products. Some whitening techniques cause this sensation more than others, so you may have to try several if you want to pursue teeth whitening without the sensitivity.

Remedies
One way to treat this problem is to use toothpaste intended for sensitive teeth. Also, avoid foods and drinks that tend to increase your symptoms. If you do consume items that cause discomfort, gently brush your teeth afterwards to help reduce the effects.

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

Porcelain veneers have become a popular option in the past few years for dental patients who wish to brighten and repair their smile. While traditional porcelain veneers offer a lifelike quality and excellent durability, their placement usually requires the removal of some of the tooth surface enamel, which is an irreversible procedure.

A promising solution for patients who wish to avoid altering the tooth structure are no-prep or minimally invasive veneers. No-prep veneers offer the same advantages of traditional veneers but eliminate or reduce the need to grind, cut, or file down the teeth.

Lumineers are one of the most popular of the “no-prep” variety of veneers. Lumineers use an extremely thin veneer that is placed on the front side of your teeth. The placement of Lumineers does not require the modification of the natural tooth structure or the use of temporary veneers. Lumineers produce beautiful smiles for patients who prefer to not physically alter their teeth.

DURAthin veneers are similar to Lumineers in that they require no modification of the tooth structure or filing of the enamel. DURAthin veneers utilize very thin customized porcelain shells that match the shape and color of your teeth. These shells are roughly the width of a contact lens and are bonded to the front of your teeth. Because of their size and shape, DURAthin veneers are an ideal choice for correcting minor cosmetic dental issues.

Vivaneers are among the thinnest veneers available, making them easy to apply in as little as one office visit. Because they require no preparation to your natural tooth, there is no need for shots, drilling or anesthesia. If you are unhappy with the results, Vivaneers are easily reversible.

To find out if these or other “no-prep” veneer options would be a solution for improving your smile, schedule a consultation with a St. Louis cosmetic dentist Dr. Nikodem .

As with any surgery, there are benefits and risks that come with getting dental implants. This procedure to replace missing teeth is becoming increasingly popular, so here are some things to know if you are considering this type of treatment.

What are the benefits?

  • Appearance – implants blend in with your smile and look very natural.
  • Comfort – they function and feel like natural teeth.
  • Support – implants support your jaw and avoid a “caved in” look to your face, preserving your youthful appearance.
  • Sensitivity – many patients have less tooth and gum sensitivity after getting implants.
  • Adjacent teeth – neighboring teeth are not affected.
  • Durability – implants are usually there for life, not needing surgical replacement. Even if the artificial tooth needs replacing, it can be done without surgery.
  • Speech – dental implants allow you to speak clearly, as you would with your real teeth.
  • TMJ – replacing missing teeth helps prevent jaw disorders
  • Bone loss – titanium posts implanted into your jaw can help prevent bone loss and gum recession.

What are the risks?

  • Infection – gums and tissue may become infected without proper oral hygiene. It’s important to follow all recovery and maintenance instructions carefully.
  • Failed integration – sometimes implants do not integrate properly with the bone. If the implants do not fuse, they can be uncomfortable or loose. When this happens, implants must be removed and can be redone after the area has healed.
  • Sinus problems – your sinuses can be affected when implants are placed in the very back of your jaw, sometimes requiring sinus augmentation surgery.
  • Nerve or tissue damage – rarely, implants damage nerves or blood vessels. This can cause pain, tingling, swelling, or numbness. This typically is not a risk when a qualified dentist or oral surgeon performs your implant procedure.

 

Dental implants dentist in St. Louis

If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may not recall the process for a regular checkup. These visits are an important part of your oral health care. If you are in good dental health, your dentist will probably suggest twice-yearly visits. Individuals with gum disease or other oral health concerns may need to schedule more frequent appointments. Feel free to ask your dentist questions or raise concerns at the visit.

Your dental checkup will usually include:

• Full Health History
Because oral health affects your overall wellness, your dentist will want to have a complete picture of your whole situation. A member of the dental team will ask you questions and gather relevant details about your present status. Make sure to provide helpful information like current medications and any pressing issues.

• X-Rays
Typically, your dentist will take X-rays about once a year. These images provide a clear view of your teeth and gums. Often, X-rays will identify problems, like impacted teeth, cysts, abscesses, or decay between teeth that might otherwise go undiagnosed.

• Complete Evaluation
During your checkup, the dentist will perform a periodontal assessment, bite analysis, and tooth-by-tooth inspection. If the dentist discovers a problem, your provider will make treatment recommendations to address the issue and restore your oral health.

• Thorough Cleaning
If everything checks out, the hygienist will typically remove plaque and tartar build-up from your teeth. At this time, the hygienist may also polish and floss teeth to refresh your smile.

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

 

Did you know that 69 percent of adults have lost at least one tooth? Missing teeth don’t just damage your smile. They can limit your diet, inhibit your speech, and compromise your oral health. Studies show that when one tooth is loss, 20 percent of adjacent teeth may be lost in the next several years if you don’t replace the missing tooth. Dental implants offer patients a solid, attractive way to restore their smiles.

Constructed from biocompatible titanium, dental implants are permanent replacements for lost teeth. With implants, you can replace one or more missing teeth. One implant is surgically positioned in the gum line for each empty socket. Usually, your mouth will need three to six month to recover. During this time, the bone will fuse to the posts, creating a solid foundation for the dental crowns your dentist will place on the implants.


Dental implants offer several benefits, including

Attractiveness
Designed to look and feel like natural teeth, dental implants are the closest prosthetic to nature. Your implants will blend in with remaining teeth, giving you a full, attractive smile.

Convenience
Because implants aren’t removable, you don’t have to hassle with the messy adhesives or worry about the embarrassing slippage associated with dentures. After implant therapy, patients can smile confidently and enjoy active lifestyles.

Reliability
With proper care, implants will last for years. Treat your dental implants like your original teeth. Brush twice daily, floss frequently, and schedule routine checkups so that your smile will stay healthy and strong.

Creating beautiful smiles with dental implants at Nikodem Dental in St. Louis

Restoring missing teeth with dental implants is the latest and greatest technique to give you your smile back. It offers many benefits such as comfort, aesthetics, security, and easy maintenance. If you are missing any teeth and would like to learn more about getting dental implants, you need to find a qualified and experienced dental professional for the job. Here are some tips on doing so.

Training
Dentists or oral surgeons who perform dental implants should have training specifically in the procedure. Look for a professional with credentials like a dentistry degree from a reputable university, participation in continuing education programs, and membership in dental organizations.

Reviews
Look online for reviews of the dentist and practice, and be sure to ask friends and family for recommendations. Word of mouth is often the best way to find a healthcare professional.

Examples of work
Ask to see before-and-after pictures of dental implants performed by the dentist. Request to see cases similar to yours.

Technology
A quality dental office should have the latest advancements in technology and equipment so that you will receive the most up-to-date care. Look for equipment like digital X-rays, chair side screens, and dental lasers. Also inquire about sedation or anesthesia methods available in the office.

Convenience
The location of the office should factor into your decision as you choose a professional to perform your dental implant procedure, as well as the office hours and staff. You should feel confident in the care you’ll receive, and feel comfortable asking questions and receiving treatment. Implant treatment requires multiple visits, so choose a dentist who you don’t mind establishing a relationship with over time.

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

Are you or someone in your family missing a single tooth due to an accident, infection, or fracture? If you are missing a single tooth for any reason, a single tooth dental implant can replace both the natural tooth and its root. The best, long-term option for restoring a single missing tooth is a dental implant fitted with a crown.

To place the implant, a small titanium post is inserted into the jawbone. This anchor provides a “root” for the placement of the implant that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth. These “anchors” are extremely compatible with bone and attach to the jawbone and gums to become a base for the crown. A temporary tooth can be placed while the dental implant integrates with your natural bone to form a foundation for a crown. Once the implant has fused to the bone, the final step in the treatment is the placement of the permanent crown onto the dental implant.

One of the advantages of a dental implant is that it allows you to replace a single tooth without sacrificing the health of neighboring teeth. Other treatments, such as bridges, require the adjacent teeth to be ground down to support the appliance. Grinding down the teeth damages tooth enamel and structure. Also, a single implant can be more aesthetically pleasing and easier to keep clean than a bridge.

It is of vital importance to replace even one missing tooth, as leaving it untreated can cause bone loss, compromised chewing ability, as well as an unattractive smile. If you have one missing tooth, or a tooth that needs to be removed due to damage or decay, the best and most natural option is a single tooth dental implant.

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

The goal of root canal therapy is to relieve pain, not cause it. The pain you experience before a root canal is the result of damage to the tissues in the tooth. Root canal therapy removes that damaged tissue, therefore relieving the discomfort you feel. If you are still experiencing tooth pain after undergoing a root canal procedure, it could be an indication of a problem with the treatment.

While mild discomfort is to be expected during the root canal healing process, if the pain continues or becomes more severe, it is likely an indication of a problem. There are several reasons for tooth pain after root canal treatment:

  • The tooth has an extra canal that was not cleaned and filled, meaning there is an extra physical root.
  • The tooth has a small, tight accessory canal that is difficult to locate on x-rays or hard to access with the necessary tools.
  • The tooth is fractured due to the damage and weakened state caused by the original decay and the access cavity that is created to begin the root canal treatment.
  • The root canal has become reinfected.
  • The small files used by your dentist to clean out the pulp of the tooth sometimes break, resulting in a failed root canal treatment.

In the days immediately following root canal therapy, it is normal to experience some tenderness of the tooth or surrounding gum. This discomfort should be easily managed with over-the-counter painkillers and should subside in a few days. If the pain does not ease in a few days or becomes more severe, contact your dental professional immediately to access your symptoms and determine if you are having root canal complications.

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

Nobody is happy with yellow or brown teeth. Ugly stains from smoking or consuming foods and drinks prone to discoloring your teeth can make you a good candidate for teeth whitening. There are many techniques available to restore your bright smile. The main two categories of teeth whitening are either at-home kits or professional treatment in a dental office. Let’s learn about these to see which you’d like to use to brighten your smile.

At-home teeth whitening
There are a variety of products you can try yourself to whiten your teeth. These treatments usually take a few weeks of use before your teeth are noticeably whiter. Also remember that most of these products cannot achieve as high of a level of whiteness as those performed professionally.

  • Kits – whitening kits contain a tooth mold and gel to place inside the mold. You wear the filled mold for about 30 minutes for 2-3 weeks.
  • Strips – thin whitening strips are coated with peroxide gel, and then you apply the strips directly to your teeth for 30 minutes for 14 days. Results become evident in a few days and last about four months.
  • Toothpaste – brushing with whitening toothpaste must be done consistently and you must be patient because reaching the desired outcome usually takes a couple of months.

Professional teeth whitening
Treatments done by a dentist are the fastest and most effective way to regain your pearly whites.

  • Laser whitening – the dentist coats your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution and then shines a laser light on them. This oxidizes the stains and gives them a whiter appearance.
  • Porcelain veneers – if your teeth are severely stained and other whitening techniques haven’t done the trick, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. These shells permanently cover your teeth and provide a beautiful smile.

Teeth Whitening dentist in St. Louis

Brush and brush and brush, but you probably will not be able to get rid of all the plaque on your teeth. Even with regular brushing, some amount of plaque will build up on your teeth and turn into a hard substance called tartar. It simply can’t be removed without professional help.

What is tartar?
Tartar is a hard, yellow or brown deposit that forms on your teeth both above and below your gum line. Any food particles remaining in your mouth after eating will breed bacteria, which creates a thin film on your teeth called plaque. Any plaque that isn’t removed with brushing and flossing will harden to create tartar.

Is it harmful?
Tartar makes the surface of your teeth rough, which attracts food particles and therefore accelerates tartar formation. If you allow tartar to continue building up, your teeth will become discolored and your gums will be at risk. You will likely develop gingivitis, in which your gums become swollen and red. They will bleed easily and become painful, and eventually can lead to tooth loss. Advanced gum disease is even linked to higher risks of stroke, heart attack, and lung disease.

How is it removed?
Tartar is too hard and stubborn to be removed with regular brushing. The only effective way to eliminate tartar is by visiting your dentist and having it removed using professional equipment. This procedure is commonly called scaling.

Can I prevent tartar buildup?
Regular brushing at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste can help reduce tartar formation. Unfortunately, even with proper dental hygiene, plaque buildup is inevitable over time and will become tartar. Schedule regular checkups with your dentist to have professional cleanings performed.

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There are few things more irritating than having a painful, swollen sore in your mouth. It bothers you while eating, talking, and even just sitting around. There are a number of types of mouth sores with different causes. Some are infections from bacteria, viruses, or fungus. Or they can be a result of an ill-fitting denture, broken tooth or filling, or loose orthodontic wire. Mouth sores can also be a symptom of a medical condition. Here are some details about common mouth sores.

Canker sore
These small sores occur inside your mouth, and are white or gray with a red outline. They aren’t contagious, but are recurring and can happen one-at-a-time or several at once. Experts believe that lowered immune systems, bacteria, or viruses are risk factors. Canker sores often heal by themselves in about a week, and topical anesthetics or antibacterial mouthwashes may provide relief.

Cold sore
Also called fever blisters, these sores occur outside of your mouth around your lips, nose, or chin. These blisters filled with fluid are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, and are extremely contagious. Once you have been infected with the herpes virus, it remains in your body and occasionally flares up. Cold sores usually heal in about a week on their own. Topical anesthetics may help, and your dentist might prescribe antiviral medications to reduce outbreaks.

Candidiasis
Also called oral thrush, candidiasis is a result of the yeast Candida albicans reproducing in large quantities. It usually happens to those with weakened immune systems, and is common with people wearing dentures or with dry mouth syndrome. Candidiasis is also linked to taking antibiotics. Controlling candidiasis is done by preventing or controlling the cause of the outbreak. Ask your dentist for advice.

Leukoplakia
Common with tobacco users, leukoplakia are thick white patches on the inside of your cheeks, gums, or tongue. In addition to tobacco use, they can also be caused by ill-fitting dentures or continual chewing on the inside of your cheek. Leukoplakia is linked with oral cancer, so your dentist may advise a biopsy if the patch looks suspicious.

 

Contact our dental office in St. Louis to schedule a dental checkup.

 

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, and usually emerge in the late teens or early twenties. Standard dental practice is to remove wisdom teeth prior to them being fully formed when the roots have not yet had a chance to develop and fully root into the jaw. Younger patients usually have an easier recovery from surgery and many dentists believe early removal prevents future dental problems associated with wisdom teeth.

If your wisdom teeth were not removed as they emerged, there are some signs and symptoms that would indicate the need for extraction including:

  • Wisdom teeth that are impacted, which means they have become trapped in the jawbone or gums.
  • Wisdom teeth that are emerging at an awkward angle, causing pressure on adjacent teeth.
  • Wisdom teeth that do not fit in your mouth, causing crowding of the surrounding teeth as well.
  • Wisdom teeth that are suffering from decay or disease caused by the inability to keep them cleaned properly.
  • Wisdom teeth that have developed fluid-filled cysts near the gumline.
  • Wisdom teeth that are causing pain due to any of the above reasons.

The decision about whether or not to remove your wisdom teeth should be made in consultation with your dental professional. Your dentist or oral surgeon can assess the position and health of your wisdom teeth and make a recommendation for treatment.

If extraction is recommended, they may choose to extract one tooth or all four molars at once. Recovery from the outpatient procedure takes just a few days, and you will quickly be back to normal. Contact our dental office if you are experiencing any of these symptoms listed to determine if you should consider wisdom tooth removal to ensure your future good oral health.

 

 

When a tooth is seriously decayed or has become infected, a root canal procedure can be done to repair the tooth and save it. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, while the remainder of the center of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then carefully sealed to prevent infection.

“Root canal” is the term for the natural space within the tooth’s center. The tooth’s nerve is in the root canal, as is the pulp (or pulp chamber), which is the soft area within the root canal. Because the tooth’s nerve isn’t vital to a tooth’s health, removing it doesn’t prevent the normal functioning of the tooth.

Removing the nerve and the pulp is necessary in some cases to address irritation, inflammation and infection stemming from severe decay, damaged or deep fillings, cracked or chipped teeth or facial trauma. When the nerve tissue and pulp become damaged, bacteria begin to form within the pulp chamber. This can lead to a serious infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess can form when the infection spreads past the ends of the tooth roots.

Additionally, severe infections can lead to bone loss around the tip of the root or holes in the tooth that drain the infection into the gums or through the cheek into the skin. It can cause swelling that spreads to the face, head, or neck.

Sometimes, the only signs you need a root canal procedure are more minor. They can include tooth pain when applying pressure or chewing, discoloration (darkening) of the tooth, tenderness and/or swelling of the gum tissue, or a pimple or blemish on the gums that is recurring. Acute sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures that does not abate with time can also be a sign.

Talk to your dentist or endodontist (a dentist whose specialty is the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and trauma to the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth) about your concerns. Your dentist will know what to do so you may make the best decisions for your long-term tooth health.

 

If you live in the St. Louis area and you need a root canal, contact our dental office today.

 

Many people think all that’s required to maintain good dental health is to floss and brush regularly. Unfortunately certain oral habits can negatively affect teeth, causing substantial damage. Trying to quit or at least curb these habits will help keep your teeth healthy and strong. Habits to avoid include:

Chewing Ice Cubes
Most of us have crunched on an ice cube on a hot summer’s day and thought nothing of it. Teeth are covered in a hard substance called enamel, but continually biting on items such as ice cubes or chewing on pencils and pens can eventually cause tiny fractures in teeth. Over time these fractures will become larger and you might require costly restorative work.

Nail Biting
Nail biting damages your nails and your teeth. You risk chipping or fracturing teeth, especially if they have been bonded or veneered. In addition, every time you put your fingers in your mouth you are transferring bacteria, increasing the risk of illness and infection.

Over Brushing Teeth
Some people think the harder they scrub their teeth the cleaner they will become. In fact you don’t need to brush your teeth particularly hard, and it’s best to choose a soft bristled toothbrush. Ask your family dentist in St. Louis if you’re not quite sure which brush is best.

Clenching and Grinding Teeth
Clenching and grinding is also known as bruxism and can cause teeth to become worn down, chipped and damaged, or may even lead to them becoming loose. The damage caused by bruxism can extend to your face, head and neck, and sufferers will often have headaches. Your general dentist in St. Louis can provide you with a custom-made night guard to prevent your teeth from biting together while you sleep.

Overusing Whitening Products
Most of us want to have a healthy white smile, and tooth whitening is one way to achieve this. Unfortunately some people take this too far and will overuse whitening products, causing tooth sensitivity and damaging tooth enamel. It’s best to book a professional tooth whitening treatment for the brightest and safest results.

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