If you want your outward appearance to match your inner spirit, consider a smile makeover. Research shows that people with gorgeous smiles are viewed as more intelligent, successful, and attractive. If cracks, stains, or missing teeth have kept you from portraying the right impression, a smile makeover can erase these flaws to reveal an incredible, new look.
With a smile makeover, your dentist can:
- Change the color, size, or shape of certain teeth
- Close spaces between teeth
- Eliminate discolorations
- Replace worn-out restorations
- Strengthen broken, cracked, or decayed teeth
To update a tired smile, your dentist can customize a smile makeover plan just for you. Change as much or as little of your appearance as you like. The process begins with a consultation that will enable you and the dentist to discuss your visions of beauty.
Many patients bring examples or pictures of attractive smiles to this appointment. Additionally, your dentist may show you photos of successful smile makeovers. Once the doctor gets a clear understanding of your ideas, your dentist will examine your mouth, assess your features, and generate a complete blueprint for a sensational smile makeover.
Common smile makeover procedures include:
- All-white fillings and crowns to repair damage
- Cosmetic bonding to fill in chips or cracks
- Dental implants to replace missing teeth
- Teeth whitening to brighten dull teeth
- Porcelain veneers to cover permanent stains
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Just like you’ve probably heard with any type of cancer, it’s important to catch oral cancer early. Recent studies show that when it is found in the late stages, survival rate drops to 59 percent. To have better chances for survival, diagnosis and treatment in the early stages makes a huge difference. Therefore, you should not hesitate to have your dentist perform an oral cancer screening on you.
At many dental offices, oral cancer screenings are considered routine procedure. Your dentist will check inside your mouth for mouth sores or red or white patches. No need to panic if you have a mouth sore, because the majority of them are not cancerous. You can’t tell which are and which aren’t just by looking however, so your dentist may advise further testing to determine the cause of your sore. A biopsy may be performed to test the cells. Also during your oral examination, your dentist will feel the tissues inside your mouth for lumps or other abnormalities.
Some dentists perform additional tests to help identify oral cancer. Sometimes, something like ViziLite Plus will be used. It is a quick and pain-free examination that provides your dentist a good way to locate any oral abnormalities at the earliest stage possible. The examination employs low intensity light to expose abnormal cells, which glow under the special light. This technology allows dentists to quickly and effectively discover oral cancer before there is any other way to detect it.
Oral cancer screenings are something that all patients should take advantage of, but it is especially important for those with high risk factors. The most common risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco use, family history, excessive sun exposure, heavy alcohol use, and previous cancer diagnosis. Decreasing your areas of risk as much as possible will be helpful in avoiding oral cancer.
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Getting back your ability to smile and eat with a complete set of teeth is one of the great benefits of dentures. To prevent infections, sores, or further tooth damage, it is important to maintain dentures properly. Here are some ways that dentists advise to keep your dentures in great condition.
Rinse your dentures well after meals to remove food particles and avoid stains. Brush them daily with a soft toothbrush to remove plaque and deposits. Use a mild soap or product that your dentist recommends, but avoid harsh toothpaste or strong cleaners.
Soak your dentures in water or cleaning solution when you are not wearing them, especially overnight. This helps keeps them from drying out or becoming misshapen. Do not use hot water.
If you use a cleaning solution, rinse your dentures well before putting them back in your mouth. Avoid swallowing denture cleaning solution because it can cause stomach upset.
Handle your dentures very carefully so that you don’t drop them or bend them. Clean them over a basin filled with water, so that if they fall they shouldn’t be damaged.
Visiting your dentist
Maintain regular checkups with your dentist to get both your mouth and your dentures examined. Most dentists recommend visits every six month for ideal results. See your dentist sooner if your dentures are not fitting well, are causing irritation, or have become loose.
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Since the elderly are a common segment of the population dealing with tooth loss, it makes sense that dental implants are something they would want to consider. Implants provide a reliable, permanent restoration for missing teeth. However, many seniors have been led to believe that dental implants are not an option for their age group. It’s time to clear up this misconception.
There are no age restrictions for dental implants. Some health issues limit successful implants, but those can occur at any age. The only definite way to know if you are a good candidate for implants is to consult your dentist or oral surgeon.
Your jawbone must have enough height, width, and mass to properly anchor the implants. It is common for people to lose some bone mass with age, which can impact an elderly patient’s ability to successfully get implants. However, good overall health may make bone grafts possible, which can give seniors back sufficient bone mass for implants.
Medical history is an important element of qualifying for dental implants. Poor health can damage the likelihood of success and increase the chances for infection. Some medical conditions like strokes or heart attacks can also place you at higher risk with dental implants. Your ability to heal is another key factor. The implant must be able to successfully integrate with your jawbone, which requires good healing at the surgical site. Some conditions like diabetes impact a patient’s ability to heal, so general health must be considered.
Proper oral care after implants is extremely important. Both immediately after surgery and daily from then on, hygiene must be carefully practiced for fully successful implants. Regular dental checkups are also necessary after the procedure. Dental implants are best for seniors who are able to keep their appointments and maintain good oral hygiene.
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