If you don’t take care of your teeth and properly manage your oral health, you may find yourself forking over thousands of dollars in restorative dental care. Did you know that a full mouth reconstruction can cost between $45,000 and $80,000? By practicing preventive dentistry, you can safeguard yourself from these exorbitant dental costs.
Preventive dentistry emphasizes the importance of ongoing hygiene procedures and daily practices to prevent tooth decay and other dental diseases and conditions. Effective preventive dentistry combines at-home oral care by patients with chairside treatments and counseling by dental professionals.
For example, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a minimum of two dental checkups each year for professional cleaning and management of any developing conditions. Adhering to this recommendation can help your dentist stop dental disease in its earliest stages, protecting your smile and limiting your expense.
While traditional dentistry focuses on oral hygiene and preventing, diagnosing and treating oral disease, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of the teeth, mouth and smile. In other words restorative, general and/or family dental practices address dental problems that require necessary treatment, whereas cosmetic dentistry provides elective – or desired – treatments or services.
Cosmetic treatments may also provide restorative benefits. For example, dental fillings are a common procedure used to treat decayed teeth. Previously, most dental fillings were composed primarily of gold, amalgam and other materials that left visible dark spots on the teeth.
Todays dental fillings may be considered cosmetic to a certain extent because you can select fillings made of porcelain or composite materials that closely match the color of your teeth, thus maintaining the natural appearance of your teeth and smile. Many people may choose to have their older fillings replaced with newer, tooth-colored fillings to enhance their oral appearance
Dentistry involves the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions, disorders and diseases affecting the teeth, gums and maxillofacial (associated with the jaw and face) region of the body.
Family dentists provide services related to the general maintenance of oral hygiene and tooth health.
Ideally, dentistry is preventative. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you visit your dentist regularly – at least once every six months – to ensure proper oral hygiene and functionality. Regular checkups and oral health maintenance prevent the development of serious dental problems that can require costly treatment. If you remain vigilant and visit your dentist regularly, you can enjoy exceptional dental health.
Laser teeth whitening is administered in a dental office exclusively. Not only is it the most effective method for whitening, but it eliminates the sensitivity that can occur while bleaching and the time after treatment. Bleach is applied to each tooth, and heat generated by a laser enhances its effectiveness while ultimately speeding up the process. This procedure uses a strong bleaching gel that the laser activates and enhances for quick, dramatic results. According to the ADA, the bleach used is a hydrogen peroxide gel that ranges from 25 to 40 percent in concentration levels. With these high concentrations, special precautions are taken to reduce tooth sensitivity, as well as protect the lips, gums and other oral tissues from being damaged. These include: cheek retractors; formulated soft or rubber dams to cover gums; desensitizing toothpaste which help strengthen and harden enamel and professional application of fluoride or similar desensitizing product.
A Night Guard or Bite Guard is a dental appliance custom-fit to a patient’s teeth. They are mostly used to protect teeth from clenching and bruxing. They are also used to assist with headaches and muscle tension. Night Guards / Bite Guards also serve varying purposes and are often recommended for use in patients of all ages. It is essential that Night Guards / Bite Guards be professionally fit, rather than purchased over the counter, as this ensures maximum comfort and protection during wear. Professional Night Guards / Bite Guards are usually prepared in a dental lab using an oral impression taken in a dentist’s office and are made of hard acrylic. These guards are created uniquely to each patient to prevent discomfort, slippage, or inadequate protection.
Exact causes of TMJ are difficult to diagnose, but typically people experience jaw muscle stiffness, limited movement and headaches radiating from tightness in muscles and ligaments in the face, neck or jaw. Just as light bulbs come in different wattages, lasers produce different watts of energy depending on the required usage. Low-level lasers use light energy to penetrate deep into inflamed muscles and even target the joint itself.
A handheld wand that emits the light is moved over the skin and produces a warming sensation as it starts working on the affected tissues. The treatment is completely safe and painless.
Think of dental implants as artificial tooth roots, similar in shape to screws. When dental implants are placed in your jawbone, they bond with your natural bone. They become a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth, called crowns.
A connector – known as an abutment – is placed on top of the dental implant to hold and support your crowns. The crowns are custom-made to match your natural teeth and fit your mouth.
Modern dental implants have been used successfully for over 30 years. They are the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth – and even better, they allow these new teeth to feel, look and function naturally.
Dental implants are generally considered the Gold Standard of tooth replacement. No other dental technology approaches the efficiency and accuracy of an implanted tooth, or the benefits derived from it. The artificial root structure is second only to your natural teeth.
It is not unheard of implants enduring for 35 years. Hard and soft tissue stimulation created by the implant device preserves critical bone mass and sustains life in surrounding tissues.
Nonetheless ... implant failures do occur.
Repairs and replacements of restorations can usually be completed quickly, returning the implant tooth to the normal occlusal relationship that was designed into the original treatment. Extended delays in completing the restorative repair does pose some functional risk for adjacent tooth structures, depending on treatment history.