Enjoy Modern Replacement Teeth with Dental Implants

You may not realize it, but estimates suggest that 69 percent of adults have lost at least one tooth. While many people think that it’s not a big deal, just one missing tooth can compromise your oral health and appearance. Alignment problems, bone degeneration, and additional tooth loss are common issues that occur from missing teeth. Dental implants offer solid replacements for lost teeth.

Constructed from biocompatible titanium, dental implants are small posts inserted in to the gums, functioning as the bases for prosthetic teeth. A skilled surgeon will securely place the implants so that these restorations will withstand the rigors of speaking, eating, and daily living. Implants can replace one or missing teeth as well as serve as the anchor for dentures or bridgework.

For optimal results, you need a full evaluation of your oral health. Your dentist will evaluate your whole mouth to make sure you have sufficient bone structure for the implants. If the doctor has concerns, he or she may suggest a bone graft to solidify the supporting structures.

With dental implants, a trained specialist will surgically place the small posts into your jawbone. After surgery, your mouth will heal and the bone will fuse with the posts to create artificial tooth roots, a process called osseointegration. In three to six months, you dentist will permanently attach prosthetic crowns to the implants, giving you a complete, beautiful smile. Care for the implants as you would your natural teeth, which includes brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups.

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Protecting Your Teeth and Dental Work

Even with good home care, you will probably need a filling at some point. Restorative work of any kind, including inlays, onlays, or crowns, can renew the strength and beauty of your smile. Once you have dental work completed in your mouth, you need to make choices that will preserve these restorations. The following helpful hints will allow you to enjoy a bright, lasting smile:

Avoid hard substances
Chewing certain candies, foods, and ice can damage natural tooth enamel, which means these items can have an even greater impact on dental work.

Choose toothpaste wisely
Stay away from toothpastes that contain harsh abrasives. These substances can cause your restorations to look dull and faded.

Make cleaning a priority
Areas with dental work can provide an easy target for cavity-causing bacteria, so make sure you brush and floss regularly.

Watch for signs of teeth grinding
Also called bruxism, teeth grinding is often a subconscious action that can wear down your teeth. Your dentist can evaluate your mouth and determine if you need a night guard, a custom oral appliance to keep you from grinding your teeth.

Schedule dental checkups
For optimal oral health, you should visit the dentist every six months. At these appointments, your dentist can evaluate your restorations and make sure they are holding up well. The hygienist will also clean and polish teeth, restoring your smile’s vibrancy.

Contact the dentist if you have trouble
You may have a filling chip or a crown break despite your best efforts. Call the dentist’s office right away so that they can repair the area and prevent more damage.

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Understanding Dental Bridges

Created to fill in the gap between missing teeth, a dental bridge can improve your oral health and renew your appearance. Missing teeth create problems; they often cause the surrounding teeth to shift, which may affect your bite or strain your jaw muscles. With a missing tooth, the odds increase that you will lose more teeth, especially if you don’t close the space at all. With a dental bridge, you dentist can restore the healthy and beauty of your smile.

A traditional bridge contains a false tooth called a pontic that sits between two prosthetic teeth. Your dentist will secure the bridge onto the abutment teeth, which can be your natural teeth or dental implants. Unlike removable oral appliances like dentures, a dental bridge is permanently affixed in your mouth.

Am I a good candidate for a bridge?
Anyone who has lost teeth is the right candidate for a dental bridge. Your dentist can anchor the bridge with your own teeth or with an implant, depending on your specific situation.

How do I maintain my bridge?
For optimal success, you need to take good care of your bridge. Brush and floss just like you would your natural teeth. If flossing is difficult, talk with your dentist about the best techniques.

Will the bridge look natural?
Your dentist will make sure the artificial teeth match neighboring teeth, as well as design the bridge to fit the unique shape of your teeth. People will only notice your attractive smile, not your dental work.

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Enhance Your Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry

Looking your best helps you convey grace and confidence. Cosmetic dentistry can remove unsightly flaws and give your smile power a boost. The following options will allow you to turn back the clock and enjoy a gorgeous, new image.

Teeth Whitening
Certain foods, lifestyle choices, and aging can lessen your smile’s radiance. Teeth whitening will remove stains and create a more youthful image. For the best results, consider professional teeth whitening, which many dentists offer through in-office sessions or take-home kits.

Bonding
For small gaps, chips, or cracks in your teeth, dental bonding is often a good solution. With dental bonding, your dentist will use a tooth-colored resin and harden the material with a special light. Dental bonding matches your natural teeth and restores the vibrancy of your smile.

Porcelain Veneers
Crafted from thin shells of dental porcelain, veneers can cover flaws and restore your appearance. Durable and stain resistant, veneers can change your image from drab to dynamite.

Composite Fillings
If you have a cavity, your dentist will remove the decay and fill the tooth. In the past, most dentists used amalgam metal fillings. Now, dentists often place composite fillings to re-establish strength and protect your white smile.

Smile Makeover
Sometimes, you want to change several aspects of your smile. Custom smile makeovers will allow patients to completely transform their appearances. Usually, the smile makeover process involves a consultation appointment and a detailed plan for changing the features you want to update.

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