What to Expect in a Gum Graft Procedure

Now that we’ve gone over why you might need gum graft surgery, let’s discuss what you can expect during said procedure.

Depending on the periodontist and his or her policies, what anesthesia you receive will vary. Some will only numb the areas directly, some will offer IV anesthesia, and some will offer relaxing meds on top of the anesthesia. The relaxers could be nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or prescription tranquilizers for the patient to take before the procedure, such as Valium.

There are three different types of gum grafts. Since not every patient has the same condition for needing a gum graft, not every patient needs the exact same procedure.[..Read More]

Take a New Smile on a Test Drive

PreNew PreView

Courtesy of Jason J. Kim

If you’re needing or looking into a cosmetic dental procedure to help restore your smile, wouldn’t you like to know and see exactly how you will look? You can usually test drive a car before you buy, which is something you will invest thousands of dollars in and have to use every day for at least 2-3 years. With a dental procedure, that’s also an investment of thousands of dollars and it’s something you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life. So yes, most of us would like to know from the get-go exactly how a costly dental procedure will improve our smile or give us what we’re looking for in a procedure.

A new dental technology is on the horizon that will allow patients to take their future smiles for test drive.

Called PreNew PreView (PNPV), the technology creates a digital smile preview that will fit over the patient’s existing teeth to show them exactly how they will look post-procedure. Dentists have been able to create images that would show what the patient could look like before and after the treatment, but those images won’t give the patient the full experience they would have in actually seeing how they would look with the new teeth. With the PNPV, patients can see how the teeth will look when they’re naturally smiling, talking, etc.[..Read More]

Dental Treatments to Close Gaps

You can tell almost instantly when someone doesn’t like how their teeth look when they smile. Or, more accurately, when they try to hide their smile with either their hands or by smiling with their lips closed. If you’re suffering from this malady and the cause is gaps between your teeth, don’t think that braces are your only option for a dental solution.

In most cases, you can get the same gap-closing result with porcelain veneers.

If the gaps between your teeth are small to moderate, than porcelain veneers can easily correct the problem in a fraction of the time and nearly half the cost. Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain. Your dentist bonds them to the front of your teeth, which makes them as strong and as durable as your actual teeth. By simply creating shells that will overlap the gap between your teeth, your undesired space will be closed.[..Read More]

5 Dental Tips for Thanksgiving

Our favorite food-based holiday is here! Relax and lower your hackles; we aren’t going to tell you to cut down on how much you eat. We just want to offer a few tips for dental-safe holiday.

Open nuts with a nutcracker, not your teeth. Many men, women, AND children crack a tooth over the holiday doing just that. Rodents have the teeth cracking nuts; this is why we invented nutcrackers. Also, remember this: cracking your teeth not only creates an unattractive result, it also creates quite a painful one. In addition, cracking a tooth requires pricey dental fixes, including a root canal and a dental crown.

Don’t open beer bottles with your teeth. Go on ahead and laugh; just remember that more people try this than you think, especially once the alcohol starts to flow. And yes, the results are always the same–cracked teeth that need dental implants, root canals, and/or dental crowns.

Caramel popcorn balls can also crack your teeth. No really, it’s true. All it takes is biting down on a single, unpopped kernal of popcorn a little too hard or the wrong way and you will crack a tooth. This can lead to–you guessed it–needing root canals, dental implants, and dental crowns. We know they’re tasty, but it’s worth the risk to your wallet to skip them.

Brush and floss your teeth after dessert. Before you lie down on the couch for that guaranteed post-Thanksgiving dinner coma, brush and floss your teeth. The number one cause of tooth decay is food left on or around the teeth, and the number one food to cause decay the fastest is sugar. After your last slice of pumpkin or pecan pie, hit the bathroom for a quick brushing and flossing.

Don’t bite candy canes. While it’s highly unlikely candy canes will be around on Thanksgiving Day, it is highly likely that they will make an appearance the day after Thanksgiving, as this is the most popular day to start decorating for Christmas. If you have a pension for candy canes, don’t bite down on them. Hard candy like peppermint can be literal murder to your teeth.

 See, that wasn’t so scary! We hope everyone has a safe and very happy Thanksgiving!

What is a Dental Bridge?

Many have heard of dental bridges, but not all of us know exactly what they are. They sound kind of like they’re false teeth, while this is a little true, it’s not the whole picture.

Instead, a dental bridge is a false tooth or a set of false teeth that are fused between dental crowns to fill in the areas left by missing teeth. In many ways, it’s similar to partial dentures in that it only replaces some of your teeth, but unlike partials, these bridges cannot be removed.

Bridges also do more than just help your overall appearance. They can reduce the risk of gum disease, correct some bite problems, and improve speech. As an added bonus, bridges often last at least ten years.

Dental Bridge Procedure

Your dentist will place your bridge and crowns all at the same time. So before this happens, the dentist will need to make a model of your mouth in order to make custom false teeth. First step, however, is to remove a bit of your enamel around the teeth that surround the empty space to account for the thickness of the upcoming crowns. Don’t worry; a light anesthesia will be used before this part of the process.

Once the impressions are made, the dentist will give you a temporary bridge to wear while your permanent bridge is getting made at a laboratory. This temporary bridge will help protect your “shaved” teeth and your gums from the missing teeth.

At the second appointment, the dentist will remove your temporary bridge and fit you with your new permanent bridge. The bridge will be adjusted to help you have the most comfortable bite–or help you develop a corrected bite! When you and your dentist are happy with the fit, the dentist will bond the bridge to your teeth.

If you think you need a bridge over partial dentures, contact your cosmetic dentist to see how a dental bridge can improve your smile!