Helping Kids Overcome the Fear of Dentists

It’s not uncommon for children to be afraid of going to the dentist. Let’s face it, many adults don’t like visiting the dentist either. However adults mainly don’t want to take the time or don’t want to hear the news that they aren’t taking good care of their teeth. It’s different with kids though, who often have a real fear of the dentist, equipment, and the unknown situation. If your child is one of those who experiences anxiety at the mention of the dentist, here are some things you can do to help ease those fears.

Use visual aids:
It is helpful for some children to watch a video or read a book that will help them become more familiar and comfortable with going to the dentist. Your local library or the internet both likely offer resources for this purpose, and bookstores have books and DVDs for purchase. These visual aids help kids know what to expect in visiting the dentist, and what their role is in the process.

Visit the office:
Take your child to the dentist’s office prior to your appointment so they can observe the office, meet the staff, and see the area and tools used for examinations. The staff may even give your child an explanation of the tools that dentists use for checkups. Your dentist wants children to feel comfortable and confident in getting dental treatment, so most offices do their best to help your child adjust.

Explain the importance:
Even though fear sometimes overtakes logic, it’s still important to explain to your child the reasons for seeing the dentist. Help them understand the benefits of checkups, and the oral health consequences that may occur by not caring for their teeth and getting regular checkups.

Our dental office is located in Sarasota

Calming Your Wisdom Tooth Surgery Fears

Some people would rather endure tooth pain than have their wisdom teeth extracted during surgery. Most of the time, fears are based on irrational tales that people read on the internet or hear from others. The truth is that wisdom tooth surgery is extremely common and most oral surgeons perform them every day without complications. The best way to overcome fear is to learn more about the procedure and recovery.

Procedure:
Extracting wisdom teeth involves opening the gums above the tooth and removing any bone that is blocking the tooth’s ability to erupt. The tissue will be separated to be able to remove the tooth, sometimes even in pieces if necessary. In some cases when bone is removed, a bone graft is needed to replace it. After the procedure is complete, stitches will be placed that will dissolve with time. If this sounds awful, remember that patients don’t feel any pain during the procedure due to sedation and usually don’t even recall anything that happened during treatment.

Recovery:
There are some common outcomes to be expected after wisdom tooth extraction, all of which usually subside within a few days as long as you follow your surgeon’s instructions. Have someone accompany you to and from the appointment so they hear the recovery directions and so you don’t drive. Afterwards, you will be given gauze to bite on at the extraction site. Bite gently on the gauze and change it frequently. Avoid lying flat on your back because bleeding may increase. If you experience swelling, hold ice packs on the outside of your cheeks for the first day. Eat soft foods and avoid using a straw for the first few days, and try not to touch the area with your fingers or tongue. Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after oral surgery. If you follow all these guidelines and any others that your doctor provides, there are few risks and no reason to be afraid of wisdom tooth extraction.

Schedule your appointment at our Sarasota dental office

Should You Choose Crowns or Veneers?

If you have damaged or decayed teeth you may be considering options to restore both the look and function of your smile. Crowns and veneers are both utilized by cosmetic dentists to accomplish these goals. Which should you choose? Both crowns and veneers have pros and cons, and some distinct differences.

A crown is a cap that is placed over the tooth to reinforce the tooth and restore its original size and shape. Crowns are bonded into place and cover the entire tooth that is visible above the gum line. Crowns are most often used when the tooth has serious problems with structural integrity, often caused by decay. Cracked, broken, or worn down teeth also get crowns. Crowns modify how the tooth looks, and can help restore a more perfect smile. Crowns can be made of stainless steel, resin, porcelain, ceramic and other metals.

Veneers are similar to crowns in that they are used to restore the appearance of a tooth. Veneers utilize a thin shell of either porcelain or composite material that is placed over the tooth to protect it from damage and correct its appearance. Veneers require the structure of the tooth surface to be altered to bond it to the tooth.

Veneers are most commonly used to restore the outward appearance of a tooth, while crowns are typically used for structural repair. If your goal is simply to change the appearance of your teeth, veneers may be the best option. If you have extensive tooth decay or trauma, a crown might be the best choice. Consult with your dental professional to find out if a crown or veneers would be most appropriate for your specific dental issues.

We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

Dental Veneers and Discolored Teeth

There are a number of reasons people choose to get dental veneers, which are able to hide all kinds of tooth problems. These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth and can transform an embarrassing smile into one to fill you with pride. One of the most common reasons that many patients opt for veneers is to hide discolored teeth.

No matter what the cause for it, teeth can lose their bright white shine over time. It can be from consuming foods and drinks that tend to stain teeth, such as red wine, coffee, berries, sodas, and other culprits. Or it can be side effects from medications, including the antibiotic tetracycline which can cause severe tooth discoloration if taken during a child’s formative years. Poor oral hygiene can also contribute to yellowed teeth, as well as tobacco use. Aging in general tends to discolor teeth too.

If your teeth show the effects of staining or yellowing, and you’d like to get that healthy youthful glow back, porcelain veneers are a good option. They provide a unique advantage of never staining, so they look like new the entire time you have them. With proper care, your veneers should last for decades or even a lifetime. That means a bright, white smile that won’t deteriorate!

Another great benefit about veneers is that they provide an instant improvement to your smile. As soon as they are placed, your smile will be transformed. If you have concerns about what they will look like, many dentists are able to use computerized photo imaging technology to give you an accurate idea of what to expect. This may alleviate any hesitations about veneers being the right solution to hide your discolored teeth. Ask your dentist today about the possibility of getting veneers to improve your smile.

We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

root canal treatment

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics is a dental term often linked to a more common dental procedure you’ve probably already heard of called root canal treatment. Endodontics focuses on the pulp of your tooth, which holds nerves and blood vessels supplying nutrients and oxygen to your tooth. When the pulp is infected or injured, endodontic treatment may be performed to save the tooth.

During endodontic treatment, the hollow part inside your tooth is cleaned, disinfected, and filled. It is often the best way to save a tooth that has been damaged by decay, trauma, or other causes. Common symptoms that endodontic treatment is necessary include pain, tooth sensitivity, or exposure of the pulp due to tooth fracture.

After examining your tooth and X-ray results, your dentist will recommend the kind of endodontic treatment you need based on how seriously the pulp is impacted. One type is called vital pulp therapy, which has a goal of preserving and protecting your tooth’s pulp. This procedure involves removing only the pulp from the crown of your tooth and not from the root. It is only advised when there is no swelling or abscess present, and the tooth is secure.

Another type of endodontic treatment is non-vital pulp therapy, which is known as root canal treatment. It is performed when there is no chance of saving the pulp of your tooth. The whole pulp will be removed from inside your tooth, and the canals will be cleaned and filled with a special material. Then a stainless steel crown will be placed on the tooth.

Sometimes endodontic treatment is not recommended, and the tooth needs to be extracted instead. This choice depends on factors such as tooth location, age of the tooth, extent of damage, and the patient’s overall health. Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best treatment for your condition.

We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

 

Dental Implants: Why They Are Better

Statistics show that losing natural teeth is still a common occurrence in oral health today. You might be surprised to know that it is estimated that 70% of Americans have lost at least one tooth by middle age. That’s why dentistry has worked hard to come up with an ideal solution as a permanent, comfortable, and attractive way to restore smiles. Dental implants are the answer.

Getting a dental implant consists of having a metal rod, usually made of titanium, surgically inserted into the jaw bone. Once the area has healed from surgery, a crown is typically placed on top to complete the restoration. This procedure results in a very secure and comfortable new tooth that shouldn’t cause problems again.

There’s a long history of other types of tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges. Why are dental implants considered to be the preferred choice today?

Appearance – the crown that is placed on top of an implant is aesthetically pleasing, giving you a natural smile.
Tooth preparation – no preparation or reduction to neighboring teeth is necessary with dental implants. The natural tooth structure of existing teeth is preserved.
Comfort – similar to your natural teeth, implants go into your jaw bone. This offers the same comfort and security as real teeth.
Durability – implants are made to last forever. With good care, you can expect them to last the rest of your life.
Diet – there are no dietary restrictions with implants. With dentures and bridges, you might miss out on some foods that could loosen or break your appliance. Implants allow you to eat whatever you’d like.
Maintenance – cleaning implants is the same as cleaning natural teeth. Brushing and flossing is performed normally, and no soaking or external care of appliances is required because the restoration is permanently installed in your mouth.

If you’re looking for a long-term and durable solution for missing teeth, ask your dentist about implants. The success rate is high, and the convenience and comfort can rarely be beaten by other alternatives.

Our dental office is located in Sarasota

Dealing With Pain Following Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatments are specifically designed to relieve the tooth pain associated with an infected tooth root. Patients come in with pain, and often leave the procedure with less discomfort than before. However, if you’ve recently had a root canal treatment on one or more of your teeth, you might be experiencing discomfort following the procedure. Fortunately, there are things you can do at home to take care of it.

Are your gums sore, tender or swollen surrounding the affected tooth? This is likely the result of the tiny metal clips that affix a rubber dam around the tooth, protecting it and protecting your mouth. The clips are attached along the gum line, and can leave tiny bruises or sometimes small cuts in the soft gum tissue. This pain should alleviate within two days of the treatment.

Is the tooth itself sore? This is a common occurrence and is typically the result of an inflammation of the mouth tissues that encase the tooth root. The tools used by the endodontist to perform the procedure can irritate the tissues.

Both of these types of pain can be dealt with by several over-the-counter analgesics. The ones that are most recommended to treat dental pain are those that possess anti-inflammatory agents: naproxen sodium, ibuprofen or aspirin, etc. If you are also taking narcotics prescribed by your dentist, do not take any further medication, over-the-counter or prescription, until you have checked with your dentist. Dangerous reactions can occur.

If you have been prescribed antibiotics, do not stop until you have completed each recommended dose. This ensures that your tooth remains free of infection and can heal thoroughly.

Ask your endodontist if you have other concerns about treating your post-root canal treatment pain.


We look forward to seeing you in our Sarasota dental office

When to Choose Mini Dental Implants

Dental implants are used to replace individual or missing teeth or to anchor loose dentures. For many patients with these issues, traditional dental implants may not a viable option. For example, a patient who does not possess adequate bone levels to anchor the implants would not be a good candidate for traditional dental implants. With mini dental implants, the bone required to anchor the implant successfully is much less.

Thanks to advances in implant dentistry, these patients have other options. Mini dental implants have emerged as an attractive choice for cases that are not conducive to the placement of traditional implants. For the patient who has inadequate bone, the bone required to successfully anchor mini dental implants is much less. Unlike traditional implants, the placement procedure for mini dental implants is a minimally invasive procedure that can be completed in one appointment by a specially trained general or family dentist. Because the procedure is less involved, the pain and length of recovery is greatly diminished.

Patients who have existing health conditions that would preclude them from more invasive surgery may find mini dental implants an extremely appealing option. Mini implants are also a perfect choice for restoring one missing or damaged tooth. Should implant failure occur, grafting procedures would not be necessary because of the small size with mini dental implants.

Most importantly, mini dental implants maintain the look, feel and function of your natural teeth. While you have to wait months for traditional implants to fuse with the bone, mini dental implants are ready for immediate use. Talk to your dentist to determine if mini dental implants would be a good option for your dental restorations and get ready to face the world with a confident new smile.

If you live in the Sarasota area contact us today

Restore Your Smile with Dental Crowns and Bridges

Restore Your Smile with Dental Crowns and Bridges

Dental crowns and bridges were originally made to fix terribly damaged or missing teeth. No matter how your teeth have been damaged, crown and bridge restorations can help to restore your beautiful smile.

Even one missing tooth can cause surrounding teeth to shift and create a crooked smile. Missing and broken teeth can also cause problems speaking and chewing. One of the best options for restoring function and improving the aesthetics of your smile are dental crowns and bridges.

Crowns are placed over a tooth to help restore form and function when a traditional filling is not sufficient to do the job. A bridge works to replace missing teeth. There are several options for the type of bridge that is placed, depending on your specific situation. Crowns and bridges can be made of natural looking tooth-colored material, metal, or some of both.

Crowns improve the look of your smile, improve the function of your teeth, and help restore your overall oral health. A crown can be used to repair and protect a tooth with old, broken-down fillings as well as to replace older, metal crowns. Crowns are also used to protect the existing tooth structure following root canal treatment.

Bridges are used to fill the space of missing teeth, to keep the remaining teeth from shifting and causing changes in the jaw and facial structure. Bridges are also used as an alternative to removable dentures. Bridges can be supported by either natural teeth or dental implants, and improve both the look and function of your smile.

If you are suffering from missing or damaged teeth, consult with your dental professional to find out more about how crowns and bridges can improve both the beauty and function of your smile.

We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

Understanding Sedation Dentistry

Any type of phobia can be a difficult and often frightening condition, but fear of the dentist can be one of the worst because it can ultimately even be deadly. Proper dental care is vital to a healthy mouth and body. People who neglect going to the dentist for treatment are putting their health at risk, but sedation dentistry offers them a way to get the care they need to maintain better health.

Dental sedation involves administering certain types of drugs, from mild to stronger medications, to help a patient relax. The effects of the drugs decrease anxiety and awareness of the specifics related to treatment, so that procedures can be performed without upsetting the patient. Pain is also diminished so that the patient is comfortable during the dental visit.

Sedation methods vary according to the patient and the treatment. The medication may be given as pills that are swallowed orally, nitrous oxide gas that is inhaled through a mask, or medication given intravenously directly into the vein. Often, local anesthetics might still be required but the patient is already under the effects of sedation and does not feel the injection.

There are a number of benefits provided be sedation dentistry. Patients who otherwise might avoid checkups are able to get preventative care and procedures done without anxiety. They usually don’t remember what happened during treatment, so they come away without negative memories. Patients are also able to sit still during treatment, and for longer periods of time so that multiple procedures may be performed if needed. Lengthy or complex procedures are made possible by using sedation that allows patients to cooperate and not realize how long they are in the dental chair.

Sedation dentistry is a way for patients to obtain necessary dental care without the anxiety or fear that sometimes accompanies it. This can make all the difference in improving some people’s oral and general health.


If you live in the Sarasota area contact us today

widsom teeth dentist in Sarasota

Wisdom Teeth Symptoms

Your “third molars”, which are the molars in the very back that are the last to erupt, usually start to appear during the late teen years. They may not emerge for everyone, but when they do show up they are often problematic. Most people’s jaws don’t have room for them, and sometimes they are impacted and unable to erupt at all. Here are some common symptoms that you can watch for so you’ll know when your wisdom teeth might be the culprit.

The main thing many people notice is pain as their wisdom teeth develop. These teeth in the far back of your mouth, often two upper and two lower teeth, are very unpredictable. Sometimes they erupt sideways or crooked, causing your other teeth to become misaligned or overcrowded. If your wisdom teeth erupt, you might see them poking through your gums and creating an area of tenderness, inflammation, and redness. It can be painful to eat and brush your teeth. When wisdom teeth pain is very bothersome, dentists usually recommend removing them.

You may be one of the lucky people who don’t experience wisdom tooth pain. However, there are a host of other symptoms associated with these teeth. Some of these include:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Facial swelling
  • Nausea
  • Pus
  • Lymph gland swelling
  • Inflamed gums
  • Bad breath
  • Problems chewing and brushing
  • Cysts around impacted wisdom teeth

Any of the above symptoms warrant a visit to your dentist. Even if wisdom teeth aren’t the cause, you should find out what’s behind these problems. If your dentist determines that your wisdom teeth are impacted, you will be advised to have them surgically removed usually by an experienced oral surgeon. Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure, so you shouldn’t hesitate to follow your dentist’s recommendation to take care of any problems with these teeth. Once you have recovered from this surgery, you will be glad the symptoms are gone and you no longer have to worry about your wisdom teeth.

Schedule your appointment at our Sarasota dental office

When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

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. Consult with your dental professional 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.

Schedule your appointment at our Sarasota dental office

Oral surgeon in Sarasota

Common Reasons for Oral Surgery

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.

 

 

Teeth Whitening: Quit Living with a Discolored Smile

You’re not the only one if you feel like your smile has become dull and yellowed. This happens to nearly everyone, and it is the most common complaint that people have about the look of their smiles. There is no reason to live with a discolored smile. Teeth whitening is available to restore your pearly whites.

There are a number of reasons that your smile has changed over the years. Aging causes tooth enamel to thin and allow the yellow-tinged dentin layer to show through. Dark-colored foods and drinks stain teeth, some medications produce the side effect of darkening teeth, and tobacco use creates difficult stains. Teeth may also change color due to mouth trauma.

Whatever the culprit is for your diminished smile, teeth whitening is a simple way to restore it. Whitening products contain bleaching agents that break up stains so that the color is less concentrated and your teeth look brighter. However, teeth whitening does not work in all situations. It does not affect restorations like veneers, fillings or crowns. Whitening is also not usually effective on stains resulting from injury or medications. Yellow teeth are the most likely to respond to teeth whitening, while brown or gray tones might be less improved.

There are numerous options for teeth whitening. Home products are available at your local drugstore like whitening toothpastes, gels, pens, strips and more. These methods focus on removing surface stains from your teeth. At-home bleaching kits are another option, typically obtained from your dentist, that involve filling a mouth tray with a special bleaching solution and wearing the trays for a time period like overnight. These kits are stronger than over-the-counter methods, but not as strong as professional whitening performed in a dental office. It is accomplished in about an hour in the dental chair using a concentrated bleaching agent and special lighting or laser to enhance the process, and provides the most dramatic results.

Consult your dentist for advice on the best whitening methods to use on your teeth. Every patient is different and certain methods may be more effective or comfortable for various people.

We look forward to seeing you in our Sarasota dental office

widsom teeth dentist in Sarasota

Focusing on Wisdom Teeth Removal

It is estimated that ten million impacted wisdom teeth are removed every year. This means that you or someone you know has probably experienced this type of oral surgery. Even so, the thought of wisdom tooth extraction strikes fear and apprehension in many people. Knowing more about why it’s necessary and the procedure itself may alleviate your concerns.

Wisdom teeth are the furthest teeth in the back of your mouth, and come in later than all of your other teeth. Sometimes they don’t erupt at all, becoming stuck or impacted in your gums. Even if they do come in naturally, they may not fit in your mouth properly with the rest of your teeth.

There are some common issues that necessitate the removal of wisdom teeth. These include:

  • Impaction – impacted teeth may grow sideways and even damage your jawbone.
  • Infection – teeth that partially erupt can cause openings in your gums that allow bacteria inside, causing sometimes serious infections.
  • Tumors and cysts – complications like tumors and cysts can develop around impacted wisdom teeth, sometimes damaging to the gums and jaw.
  • Pressure – impacted teeth can pressure the surrounding teeth, causing abnormal growth, tooth decay, and orthodontic problems.

The best way to avoid these types of issues is to have your wisdom teeth surgically removed. Many dentists recommend removing them even before you’re experiencing problems, so that you avoid problems later. Your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon. After a consultation and examination including X-rays, a treatment plan will be determined.

Wisdom tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure in the surgeon’s office, using some level of anesthesia. Sometimes only local anesthesia is required, while some cases benefit from deeper levels of anesthesia for your comfort and health. Afterwards, you will experience some discomfort and should follow the doctor’s advice for care. Ice, pain medications, a soft diet, and rest are advised. A follow-up visit will be scheduled to monitor your healing. Typically, you will be back to normal in a few days and won’t have to worry about your wisdom teeth again.


We look forward to seeing you in our Sarasota dental office

Veneers for teeth

Can Dental Veneers Straighten My Smile?

Do you have gapped or crooked teeth? Have you wondered if braces are the right choice to correct your alignment issues? Slight imperfections that haven’t bothered you as you grew up might now seem like glaring issues to you. If the thought of wearing braces or some other kind of orthodontia for years is something you’re dreading, you should talk to your dentist; dental veneers may be exactly what you need to correct your smile concerns.

Dental veneers are very thin wafers of porcelain, composite resin or some other tooth-colored material that are permanently bonded to the surface of your natural tooth. Dental veneers are incapable of correcting alignment (or “bite”) issues, but they can create an illusion of perfectly straight, white teeth. Veneers don’t require any of the metal hardware you might imagine with braces, and they take only one or two office visits to complete. Veneers are very durable and long-lasting, and with proper care can last up to twenty years before they need replacing.

If you have good general health, you are a candidate for dental veneers. Because veneers rely on the strength of the natural tooth to bond, a tooth that is decayed or infected cannot have a veneer. Dental problems such as fillings or other issues must be corrected before a veneer can be placed. Patients who possess healthy mouths with teeth that are simply crooked, gapped, discolored or chipped should look to dental veneers to correct their problems.

If you are unhappy with your smile, talk to cosmetic dentist Dr. Jenifer C. Back in Vancouver today. Dental veneers could be the perfect solution for you. There’s no reason to wait for the results of braces when dental veneers can give you the smile you want now.

We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

The Cons of Over-the-Counter Home Teeth Whitening Kits

Everyone wants to have a whiter, healthy smile. Home teeth whitening has become an extremely popular means to achieve those pearlier whites in the past couple of decades.  In many cases, over-the-counter whitening kits are effective and safe. However, there are some disadvantages and risks to using over-the-counter home whitening kits:

  • Off-brand whitening kits often contain dangerous concentrations of bleach or peroxide. This can cause erosion of the tooth enamel, and irritation to the sensitive gums and soft tissues of the mouth.
  • Because many kits contain trays that do not adhere properly to your teeth, gums can become irritated and chemicals can leak out and be ingested causing stomach problems.
  • Poorly fitted trays and varying concentrations of chemicals from lower quality kits may also result in unwanted discoloration of teeth or uneven results.
  • Exposure to excessively harsh chemicals in off-brand kits can also cause gum shrinkage and oral infections.

When considering at-home whitening, it is best to stick to name brand kits to ensure the quality and safety of the treatment. Many popular brands of kits are both safe and efficient when used as directed. In any case, you should not consider at-home whitening if any of the following apply:

  • You have deep, untreated cavities.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You suffer from gum disease.

The safest and most effective method for whitening your teeth is to have treatment by a dental professional, either in-office or with professional take-home trays. A qualified dentist can whiten your teeth up to ten shades in as little as one office visit. Consult with your dentist before pursuing any type of whitening treatment to ensure you will achieve the whiter smile you desire in the safest and quickest manner possible.


We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

Teaching Kids Good Dental Habits

Your teeth and gums are physical assets that you want to keep healthy your whole life, and the best way to do that is to take care of them. Proper dental care needs to begin at a young age so that good habits are established for life. It is a parent’s role to teach children proper hygiene, and to ensure they get professional treatment. Here are some ways that you can help your child learn good dental habits.

Supervise brushing:
Parents should watch children brush their teeth, especially for ages seven and under, to ensure the appropriate amount of toothpaste is used and that none is swallowed. Have your child brush for about two minutes, and make sure all areas of the teeth and gums are cleaned. Provide tips and help as needed.

Establish good eating habits:
Teach your child that diet impacts oral health. Some foods worsen plaque buildup and introduce damaging acid into the mouth, leading to increased tooth decay and higher risk for cavities and gum disease. Certain foods and drinks are also known to stain teeth, or cause bad breath.

Promote water consumption:
Drinking water not only is good for your overall health, it’s also helpful to your mouth. Encourage your child to drink water after eating, especially if it’s not possible to brush teeth right away. Also, fluoridated water is proven to help fight cavities.

Visit the dentist:
Begin taking your child to the dentist around age one, so that the child gets good dental care and learns that dental visits aren’t scary. Have a positive attitude about checkups, and consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral health.

Be a role model:
As the saying goes, practice what you preach. Set a good example of brushing at least twice daily, flossing every day, limiting your intake of staining foods and drinks, and visiting your dentist regularly.

We look forward to seeing you in our Sarasota dental office

Advantages of Dental Veneers

Veneers are a great solution for many people who are unhappy with their smiles and want a permanent improvement. These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the surface of teeth to make the smile more appealing. You and your dentist can choose the shade you prefer, and a minimal amount of preparation is required before attaching the veneers.

Many kinds of problems disappear with dental veneers. Some of the common reasons that people choose veneers include:

  • tooth discoloration or staining
  • crooked teeth
  • worn teeth
  • too much gums visible
  • uneven teeth
  • misshapen teeth
  • bite problems
  • overly sensitive teeth

No matter what flaws you might be getting dental veneers to hide, these restorations offer a number of advantages:

  • Your real teeth may look unhealthy and damaged, but covering them with veneers gives them a healthy glow of a well-cared-for smile.
  • Veneers look very natural, because the porcelain material is translucent and offers a glassy appearance.
  • Porcelain resists stains so your smile will stay as white and bright as the day you got the veneers.
  • Veneers last anywhere from ten years to a lifetime, depending on the quality of the application and your proper maintenance of them afterwards.
  • There is no special care required other than your usual brushing and flossing routine.
  • Veneers can increase your self-esteem, since you can feel confident that your smile is the best it’s ever been.

Schedule your appointment at our Sarasota dental office

Types of Sedation Dentistry

In order to ensure your comfort and ease during a dental procedure, sedation dentistry is often the best option. Many levels are available, including conscious oral sedation, inhaled sedation, and intravenous (IV) sedation.
Conscious oral sedation minimizes patient anxiety while allowing the patient to remain partially alert. Oral sedatives are used to accomplish minimal to moderate sedation. They come in the form of a pill, and are often taken within an hour of your dental procedure. Some dentists recommend a mild oral sedative the night before an appointment to ease anxiety and ensure a good night’s rest.

Depending on the dosage and on the individual recipient, an oral sedative can sometimes cause the patient to “doze off,” but the patient will never be fully unconscious and will awaken with a gentle shake. Even though you are never fully asleep during conscious oral sedation dentistry, you may not drive yourself home because you will not be fully alert.

Inhaled sedation utilizes nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas.” This gas is inhaled through a mask while your dentist controls the amount you receive. This type of sedation allows a patient to relax and to be fully comfortable, but to still be responsive. Nitrous oxide sedation has a tendency to wear off quickly. Because of this, you may be able to drive yourself home after your procedure.

IV sedation (sometimes known as “sleep dentistry”) provides the deepest, most relaxed sedation during dental procedures. Despite the name, IV/sleep sedation does not cause you to completely lose consciousness. Because the drugs used naturally produce a full or partial memory loss while active in your system, you may not remember anything that happened during your procedure. IV sedation is the fastest of the sedation dentistry methods. The amount of sedation is controlled by your dentist. You should not drive after IV sedation, as you may not be fully alert for a period of time.

Talk to your dentist about which sedation is right for you to ensure your dental procedure goes well and that you are comfortable throughout treatment.

If you need a dentist in Sarasota contact us today

Improving Your Quality of Life with Dental Implants

By all accounts, missing teeth negatively impacts a person’s quality of life. Smiling, laughing, eating and speaking just aren’t the same when there are holes left by teeth that used to be there. Instead of going through life with missing teeth or uncomfortable dentures, consider the cutting-edge option of dental implants.

An increasingly popular restoration, dental implants are one of the most requested procedures in dentistry. They involve surgically inserting a titanium post directly into the jaw so that it fuses with the bone in a process called osseointegration. Once the area has healed, an artificial tooth is placed on top of the titanium post to provide a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing new tooth.

One of the reasons for the success of dental implants is that they have the edge over the other options because of the benefits. They provide a very long-lasting, durable solution because they literally will last your entire life with proper hygiene and checkups. Implants are a one-time investment in your smile.

Implants do not negatively affect other teeth since placement doesn’t tamper with adjacent teeth. Implants are good for your jawbone because bones require stimulation to maintain strength and density. Your facial structure also benefits when you have a complete set of teeth, instead of ending up with a saggy, unsupported looking face.

Dental implants are both convenient and comfortable. No special care is required, such as with dentures, because normal brushing and flossing is all that’s needed. Implants are securely in place in your mouth and become part of your body; you won’t even realize you have them. You’ll also be able to continue eating the foods you love since no diet restrictions are necessary with implants.

Another great thing about dental implants is they help boost your self-esteem. You’ll enjoy a whole new level of confidence when you can smile, laugh, talk and eat without worrying about missing teeth. If you choose to get dental implants, you can expect your quality of life to improve.

Our dental office is located in Sarasota

Dental Problems Treated by Oral Surgery

Your family, general, or pediatric dentist or orthodontist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for some dental treatments that require oral surgery. An oral surgeon is a specialist who has graduated from an accredited dental school and also completed additional education and residency related to surgical procedures needed to treat various oral diseases and conditions. An oral surgeon is trained in treating the following conditions:

  • Removal of diseased or impacted teeth
  • Placement of dental implants
  • Treatment of facial trauma involving gums, jaws, nasal cavities, cheekbones, eye sockets, and forehead
  • Evaluation of pathologic conditions such as cysts and tumors of the mouth and face or acute infections of the oral cavity, salivary glands, neck, and jaws
  • Treatment of facial pain including those caused by temporomandibular (TMJ) problems
  • Cosmetic or reconstructive surgery to correct jaw, facial bone, and facial soft tissue problems
  • Corrective jaw surgery
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate repair
  • Surgical treatment for sleep apnea

There are many different techniques that oral surgeons use to accomplish your treatment goals. The choice of techniques may vary between surgeons and should be discussed between you and your surgeon prior to the procedure.

Many oral surgery procedures can be completed in an outpatient setting. Often you are only in the office for a few hours and can return to your regular routine in a matter of days. A good oral surgeon will be able to perform these procedures with little chance of complications, and will be able to provide you with the information you need to understand the recovery process. Your oral surgeon will often collaborate with other specialists, such as an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist, to achieve your ultimate treatment goals.


Our dental office is located in Sarasota

cosmetic dentistry

Many Ways to Improve your Smile

Regardless of what aspect you dislike about your smile, there are cosmetic dentistry procedures to treat them. Smile makeovers are possible to give you the look you’ve been wanting. Not only do they enhance your smile, but they also boost your confidence. You may not know all the options and the problems they address. So here’s a list that can help you decide which of them is relevant to you.

Tooth discoloration
Teeth can easily become discolored from poor hygiene due to consuming foods and drinks such as coffee, red wine, berries, and tea. Smoking is a big culprit for tooth discoloration. Teeth whitening is the most common way to brighten your smile, and various methods are available either at home or professionally.

Misalignment
Teeth that are crowded or malaligned are not only unappealing; they can also make oral hygiene management more difficult and cause added stress on your jaw. Traditional braces, clear methods like Invisalign, crowns, and porcelain veneers are various ways misalignment might be treated. Discuss with your dentist that of those options is best for you.

Gaps
Spaces between your teeth can be embarrassing socially, as well as detrimental to the function of your teeth. Braces or Invisalign are excellent ways to correct gaps. Veneers are another option depending on how large your gaps are. Those are alternatives to cater for your budget.

Gummy smile
Excessive amounts of your gums show when you smile can create what is known as a gummy smile. Treatments may include gum sculpting, veneers, crowns, braces, or surgery.

Missing teeth
Smile restoration can be done with dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Each of these solutions has their good and bad aspects. Therefore, consult your dentist for advice before deciding on it.

Worn-down teeth
If untreated, worn teeth can cause tooth loss or dental health problems. Teeth that are damaged can often be restored with either veneers or crowns.

We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

Extracting Wisdom Teeth

Your third molars, or wisdom teeth, are usually the last to make their appearance in your mouth. Some people don’t even have them break through at all. Whether or not they erupt, they can wreak havoc in your mouth if there isn’t enough room for them. If they become impacted, removal becomes even more important.

Your dentist will monitor your wisdom teeth through examinations and X-rays, and will recommend extraction if it appears they may cause any complications. Some dentists suggest removing them even if they aren’t impacted, as they can be difficult to clean and therefore prone to decay. Wisdom teeth may even get infected, requiring immediate medical attention. Symptoms of infected wisdom teeth can include:

  • Pain in the tooth and gums
  • Gum bleeding
  • Gum inflammation
  • Swelling in the face and jaw
  • Headaches
  • Bad breath

If your dentist says you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t put it off because it is better to have them removed before further complications occur. Usually, you will be referred to an oral surgeon for extraction. If only one tooth is involved, local anesthesia may be sufficient. The removal of multiple wisdom teeth typically requires general anesthesia, and is a day surgery so that you can return home afterwards.

It is important for you to follow your doctor’s instructions after tooth extraction to avoid problems. Your activities might be restricted for the first day or two, ice or heat can be helpful, and care should be taken if stitches are present. You will also be given a list of foods that are suggested during your recovery. If you follow all of your doctor’s advice, you can be expect to return to your normal activities soon and no longer have to worry about any problems those teeth might cause.


We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

White fillings

The Debate About Amalgam Fillings

At one time, metal fillings were the only choice to repair tooth decay. Now, many dentists have switched to composite resin fillings, which match natural-tooth color so they don’t compromise the appearance of your smile. Tooth-colored fillings have gained popularity, and many dentists only offer this option. In recent years, there has been a strong push to eliminate amalgam fillings all together.

Amalgam fillings are made of several metals, with up to a 50 percent composition of mercury. It is widely known that mercury is toxic to the body. Some of the concern about amalgam fillings is the affect mercury has on the body, including:

•    Causing damage to the kidneys
•    Contributing to infertility
•    Impacting the nervous system
•    Interfering with the function of the thyroid and pituitary glands
•    Posing unknown risk to a fetus
•    Weakening the immune system

Because each person is different, you may have no reaction to the amalgam fillings. Over time, though, these restorations may change shape or crack, which can cause them to leak. If the fillings don’t hold up, the area may become susceptible to additional damage or decay.

At your checkup, have the dentist evaluate any old fillings to make sure they are still in good condition. You can also discuss the benefits of replacing amalgams with composite fillings. The newer restorations blend with your natural tooth coloring and require less removal of health tooth structure, which allows for a more conservative repair.

If you need a dentist in Sarasota contact us today