Risks of Infection with Dental Implants

Dental implants, like any dental procedure, have risks. Having an awareness of these risks and knowing the warning signs can allow you to get the care you need as early as possible when you need it. One of these risks is infection, or peri-implantitis. Infection remains one of the greatest risks of any dental surgery, including dental implants.

A patient’s implant is placed in the jawbone during a surgical procedure. Because the dental implant is designed to be as secure as your natural tooth root, it is anchored deeply through the gum tissue and within the jawbone.

Allowing the dental implant anchor and the jawbone to fuse together can take from two to six months. After this time, your dentist will attach an abutment for the crown (or will attach the crown itself) to the anchor. Because this requires that the gums surrounding the anchor be cut again, care must be taken to prevent infection.

As with any oral surgery, considerable discomfort and swelling can follow the procedure. Minor bleeding, pain and bruising and swelling of the gums, face and jaw may also be present, but these are not always a sign of infection. Keep your dental surgeon informed about all of your symptoms so that you may receive the best advice and treatment following your particular procedure. Do not wait if you feel there is a problem. Severe infection can lead to damage to the jawbone, resulting in bone loss.

Your surgeon might prescribe antibiotics following your surgery. You must take the entire course of antibiotics in order to receive their full benefits and to help prevent infection after your dental implant surgery.

Because the implant is in your mouth, it is exposed to everything you eat or drink. Having good dental hygiene is the best first step toward preventing an infection. Treat your implant the way you would your natural tooth, and continue to brush, floss, and have regular dental check-ups. Non-smokers, patients with good eating habits, and those with proper oral hygiene habits are in the best position for a fast and complete recovery.

 

Dr. Jenifer Back offers dental implants at his Sarasota dental office.  Schedule your consultation today.

Wisdom Teeth Can be a Pain

Tooth pain can be one of the most uncomfortable types of pain there is. It can make your whole jaw and head ache, interfere with eating, and cause your teeth to be more sensitive. One common reason for a toothache is your wisdom teeth, which are the molars in the very back of your mouth that develop last. Sometimes they don’t even erupt, but they can still be there under your gums causing trouble. If you experience pain related to wisdom teeth, here are some suggestions.

Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. This way you can find out for sure if your wisdom teeth are to blame for your pain, and decide the best treatment plan for your situation. A dentist examination, which may include x-rays, is the best way to determine exactly what’s going on with your teeth. You may not even be able to see your wisdom teeth, but they might be growing improperly under your gums. Often, wisdom teeth need to be extracted to avoid continued pain or worsening condition. Luckily, wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure that your dentist or oral surgeon is very familiar with, and can provide you with great treatment that will end up relieving your pain.

While waiting for your dental appointment, try applying an over-the-counter numbing gel such as Oragel. This may help relieve your pain at least for a short time. Also, taking non-prescription pain medicines should help. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are both good choices to try, especially to subdue the pain when you want to sleep.

Remember that prevention is often the best way to avoid dental pain. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss every day. See your dentist regularly for checkups, because problems with wisdom teeth can sometimes be spotted before you ever begin to feel any pain associated with them. This allows you to deal with the problem before you have to endure a toothache.

 

Steps to a Great Smile with a Makeover

Getting the smile you’ve always dreamed of is possible with a smile makeover. Whether it’s just one or two simple treatments, or a long list of procedures, your smile can benefit with the help of a cosmetic dentist.

A smile makeover is all about identifying what you dislike about your smile and having a candid talk with your dentist about changes you’d like to see. Your dentist will assess your oral health and suggest any treatments required before pursuing cosmetic solutions. It is always advised to ensure you are in the best oral condition possible before embarking on your smile makeover.

Then you and your dentist can discuss the recommended treatments that will help you achieve your smile goals. The dentist will take into consideration your skin tone, facial features, teeth, gums and lips in creating a personalized treatment plan. The outcome will likely be a more appealing, confident and younger look. Another bonus is that cosmetic dental techniques sometimes improve dental function as well.

Common issues addressed with smile makeovers are:

  • Discolored teeth – teeth that are stained or yellowed from food and drinks, smoking, poor hygiene, medications, trauma or age can be helped by your cosmetic dentist. Professional teeth whitening is especially valuable in quickly and effectively brightening your smile a number of shades in just an hour. If you prefer home teeth whitening, your dentist can recommend the most effective choices for your goals.
  • Gaps – gaps between your teeth are best hidden with dental veneers. These thin porcelain shells are adhered to the fronts of your teeth to cover flaws.
  • Missing teeth – holes in your smile can be resolved with dental implants, which provide a long-term, attractive, secure and comfortable restoration.
  • Misaligned or uneven teeth – porcelain veneers are an excellent way to take care of a faulty smile. The result will be the perfect alignment of a beautiful smile.
  • Cracked or chipped teeth – bonding using composite resin material can correct cracks or chips, or dental veneers can hide them.

 

Smile makeover dentist in Sarasota

Dispelling the Myths about Teeth Whitening

There are many methods available for brightening smiles these days. Along with the popularity of teeth whitening comes some myths about the process. Here is the truth.

Teeth whitening is unsafe.
Dentists worldwide recognize teeth whitening as a safe practice as long as safety guidelines are followed. Instructions for safe and effective use of products should always be included with any whitening products, whether for home use or professional. Most risks are centered on tooth sensitivity and exposure of the whitening agent to the gums and mouth, both of which can be handled with proper use. If any side effects do occur, they are almost always temporary.

Teeth whitening ruins tooth enamel.
The most common whitening agents are hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, both of which are approved for this purpose in proper amounts. When you hear about teeth bleaching, it is not the same as household bleach that contains ammonia and would likely harm your teeth. Look for teeth whitening products that contain these types of peroxide that are pH balanced, meaning that they contain low acidity levels that will not damage your enamel.

All teeth whitening provides the same results.
Every person’s teeth are unique, which means that each person’s teeth whitening results will not be identical. Factors like genetics, previous medications, and lifestyle all affect the color of your teeth. Therefore, whitening products work to varying degrees on each person.

Teeth with restorations can’t be whitened.
The ability of restorations to be affected by whitening methods depends on the type of restoration and material used. Ask your dentist about your specific case to see if whitening will be successful.

You must go to a dentist to get results.
It is true that to get the most dramatic and fast results, it’s better to seek professional whitening treatment. However if you’re willing to be patient and consistent using at-home whitening methods, you’ll see some level of whitening results.

 

If you are looking for dentist that offers professional teeth whitening in Sarasota, contact our office.

Cosmetic Dental Procedure Recovery and Aftercare

If you are undergoing a cosmetic dental procedure to improve the appearance of your teeth or gums, there are several critical aftercare guidelines you should follow to promote healthy healing.

Whether you are having veneers, implants, or bridges placed, having your teeth professionally whitened, undergoing gum flap surgery, or receiving traditional or clear braces, the most important aspect of your recovery is close follow-up. Because carefully monitoring your recovery can help to detect problems early, it is vital that you keep any scheduled follow-up appointments with your cosmetic dentist or surgeon. You should immediately contact your dental professional if you experience excessive pain, bleeding, fever, or any adverse reaction to prescribed medication following a cosmetic dental procedure.

If your procedure was considered surgical, there are additional aftercare instructions to ensure a successful recovery:

  • Keep teeth and treated areas clean using a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste, taking care not to disturb the surgical areas.
  • Take any prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications recommended on a regular basis to keep significant discomfort from taking hold.
  • Maintain a diet of soft foods such as pasta, eggs, or cooked cereals while the surgical area is healing. Stay hydrated with room temperature beverages, and avoid the use of straws, which can cause blood clots in the surgical area to dislodge.
  • To treat pain and inflammation, place an ice pack on the affected area in ten-minute intervals.
  • Avoid smoking, as it impairs healing.

Consult with your Sarasota cosmetic dentist or surgeon for any additional aftercare and recovery instructions that may be specific to your treatments.

Looking for a Good Dental Practice

Visiting the dentist should be an important part of your health routine. You not only want to select a dentist who you feel comfortable with and confident about, but you also should feel good about the dental practice as a whole. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are looking for a reputable dental practice.

Facility
Consider the location and appearance of the building. Pay attention to the area where the office is located, and that other professional businesses are nearby. You don’t want to go to a dental office that is isolated or where you don’t feel safe. Watch for suitable parking and ample lighting.

Atmosphere
Get a feel for the office by going inside. The atmosphere should be inviting, comfortable, and put you at ease. Meet the staff to learn if they are friendly and professional. Also, pay attention to the equipment and resources being utilized in the dental office. You don’t want a dentist performing your procedures using outdated or insufficient tools, and it’s desirable to have equipment like digital x-ray machines available in the office.

Patients
If there are other patients waiting, notice if they seem anxious or nervous. These might be indications that the care of the dental office isn’t sufficient. Also, if the waiting room is packed with patients, it might signal long waiting times for appointments.

Qualifications
Look for credentials displayed in the office indicating the training and experience of the staff. If you are seeking dental care for a certain specialty, such as cosmetic dentistry or pediatric dentistry, ask about qualifications of the staff in those specific areas.

 

Find a dentist in Sarasota – Skyline Dental

Erasing Gaps with Dental Implants

Once a permanent tooth is gone, there is no growing another one. Instead, you’ll need to turn to dentistry to help you restore your smile and regain your self-esteem. The reason for your tooth loss is not as important as choosing a way to replace your missing tooth or teeth. Dentures or bridges are no longer the only options for restoration, as dental implants have gained in popularity.

Dental implants are titanium rods that are surgically positioned into your jaw bone, creating a new tooth root that will anchor an artificial tooth placed on top. Your body is able to fuse together with the titanium implant and provide a comfortable and permanent way to restore your smile.

In addition to improving your appearance, dental implants offer you some additional benefits. The function of your mouth is improved, allowing you to bite and chew better. You can return to eating your normal diet, without having to avoid foods that might have been difficult to eat with missing teeth. Your ability to speak clearly also benefits, as it is easier to talk when all of your teeth are in place.

Missing teeth affects the health of your mouth as well. Teeth near the gap may be negatively impacted, and they may spread into the gap. Also, the bone that anchors your missing tooth will begin to recess when the tooth is no longer present. A dental implant helps prevent bone loss, which also means that it aids your facial structure. Bone loss can lead to loss of muscle mass and make your skin sag, creating the look of hollow cheeks. Implants improve your bone structure and strengthen your muscles, giving you back a healthier facial appearance.

All of these benefits, in addition to the restoration of your appearance, will allow you to smile more confidently. Dental implants that give you back a fully functional and attractive smile can also give you back your self-esteem.

 

Dental implants dentist in Sarasota

Fast Facts about Dental Fillings

Sometimes regular brushing and flossing isn’t enough to prevent cavities, and most people will need at least one or two fillings during their lifetime. Your general dentist in Sarasota will remove decayed areas in your tooth and will prepare the tooth to receive a filling. Dental fillings help repair damaged areas, and in the past most were made from a silver colored metal called amalgam. Nowadays most dentists suggest patients have tooth colored restorations made from tooth colored composite resin that can beautifully and discreetly restore smiles.

Facts about Fillings
Fact: Amalgam fillings are considered safe.
Amalgam is a metal that contains a small amount of mercury, but the FDA considers these fillings to be safe as there isn’t enough mercury to present a risk to health. However it does recommend that pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children under the age of six don’t have this type of filling.

Fact: Metal fillings change shape according to temperature.
Metal fillings expand and contract whenever they come into contact with hot and cold. Over time this can cause tiny fractures in the tooth, resulting in more decay, infection and eventually pain.

Fact: Tooth colored fillings produce attractive and durable restorations.
Composite resin fillings are strong and durable, and the material bonds well with natural teeth. Your dentist in Sarasota will need to remove less healthy tooth structure during preparation. The tooth colored material blends in well with your natural teeth so there’s no need to worry about darker areas in the mouth detracting from your smile.

Fact: Your dentist can replace older amalgam fillings.
Your dentist will check the condition of older fillings at every checkup to make sure they are not leaking or crumbling. If necessary, they can safely remove older style amalgam fillings and will replace them with more aesthetically pleasing tooth colored restorations. Some people will choose to have amalgam fillings removed before they begin to leak in order to improve their smile.

Alzheimer’s and oral health

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, oral hygiene may be at the bottom of your list of concerns. However, it should not be overlooked because it’s an important part of keeping Alzheimer’s patients healthy and comfortable. Many older people tend to have dental issues as they age, but those problems increase when the person forgets how to brush their teeth or clean their dentures. Because it is a progressive disease, you should get advice from your dentist so that you can better assist the patient when the time comes.

Stages
An Alzheimer’s patient is usually able to perform their own dental hygiene as usual in the early stages of the disease. As it progresses, they may need reminders or supervision. Eventually, they can lose the ability or the interest in caring for their teeth. Your dentist can provide guidance about how to help in cleaning another person’s teeth.

Signs of pain
Watch for signs that the patient is unable to tell you they are experiencing pain. Some indications that an Alzheimer’s patient has dental problems include refusing to eat, pulling at their mouth, not wearing their dentures, increased restlessness or moaning, and aggressive behavior. If you see any of these signs, arrange for the patient visit their dentist.

Regular dental visits
Since they aren’t always able to recognize or express issues, it is important for Alzheimer’s patients to have regular dental visits. Dentists usually recommend checkups at least twice a year, so they can look for any problems that need treatment. As a loved one or caregiver, you may need to sit with the patient to ease the stress of the visit and comfort them during procedures. In some cases, you’ll need to participate in treatment decisions or give informed consent for treatment

Learning More about a Smile Makeover

It’s hard to miss the stunning smiles sported by movie stars and other celebrities, but there’s no reason why your teeth shouldn’t look that good. It’s highly unlikely they were born with such perfect teeth, and more often it’s the result of sophisticated cosmetic dentistry. There are numerous cosmetic treatments that could transform your smile, including veneers, tooth whitening and Invisalign clear braces. Your cosmetic dentist in Sarasota can custom design your smile makeover, and the stunning results can be a huge boost to confidence.

What Is a Smile Makeover?
This is a procedure specifically designed to meet your needs and will include one or more cosmetic dentistry treatments to correct teeth that are chipped, crooked, stained or even missing completely.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Smile Makeover?
Just about anyone will be suitable for a smile makeover, provided their natural teeth and gums are healthy. If your dentist in Sarasota discovers any issues such as gum disease or cavities then these will need to be treated prior to having any cosmetic dentistry work.

Which Procedures Are Involved in a Smile Makeover?
Most smile makeovers will involve a combination of different treatments. These can include dental implants, porcelain crowns, veneers and tooth whitening. Using a combination of treatments will usually help provide the best possible results, although some people may only need minor modifications to their smile.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Smile Makeover?
This really depends on the issues requiring correction. Some treatments such as dental bonding, renewing old fillings and tooth whitening can be completed quite quickly in just a few visits, while others such as dental implants and adult orthodontics are far more complex and may take months to complete.

How Long Can I Expect Results to Last?
Most modern restorations are relatively durable but this does vary according to techniques and materials used. Tooth whitening, white fillings and dental bonding will generally last several years, but treatments such as dental crowns, veneers and bridges should last considerably longer.

Reasons to Choose Dental Veneers

A great smile used to just be wishful thinking for people with discolored, chipped, crooked, or otherwise damaged teeth. Cosmetic dentistry offers a way to make that wish come true with dental veneers. With thin porcelain shells permanently bonded to the fronts of your teeth, it is possible to change how your teeth look forever. What are some reasons to choose veneers?

  • Painless – the non-invasive procedure for applying veneers does not involve any pain or stress.
  • Resistant – porcelain veneers do not change color or become stained over time.
  • Durable – porcelain that has been bonded to your teeth is durable and resists fractures.
  • Simple – the procedure of getting veneers involves bonding the customized shells to your teeth with little preparation work and no anesthesia required.
  • Fast – once your veneers are created, the results are instant as soon as they are attached to your teeth.
  • Natural – veneers look very natural and even reflect light in a realistic way.
  • Smooth – veneers are smooth and comfortable in your mouth.
  • Substitute – you can avoid traditional braces or other orthodontic treatment by hiding crowded or crooked teeth with veneers.
    Confidence – increase your self-esteem by obtaining a beautiful smile, giving you a whole new level of confidence in yourself.

If you are unhappy with your smile, visit your dentist in Sarasota to ask about veneers. They provide a great way to transform your appearance in a simple, painless way that will last forever.

Caring for Your Dental Health during Pregnancy

When you are having a baby, you have a lot of your mind. Most expectant moms have to worry about doctor’s appointments, prenatal vitamins, morning sickness, and picking out names. It’s important to take good care of yourself during this special time. One area that may fall by the wayside is oral health.

Though you may not think it’s a priority, your dental health can impact your pregnancy. Because hormone levels are so high during pregnancy, you may be more susceptible to problems with gum disease. Studies have shown that untreated gum disease can contribute to pre-term births and low-birth weight babies.

Protect your well being and your unborn child by:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Include foods that are rich in calcium, which will keep your dentition strong and help with your baby’s developing teeth.
  • Take time to brush and floss teeth daily. This kind of home routine may help prevent bleeding gums, which often flare up during pregnancy.
  • Watch the snacks. You may need to eat more frequently, but try to choose healthy options like fruits, veggies, and whole grains so that you are less likely to develop cavities.
  • See your dentist for a checkup. After the first trimester, make an appointment for a cleaning and exam. Though you won’t want to schedule x-rays or repairs during pregnancy, routine dental care is important and shouldn’t be avoided.
  • If an emergency situation does occur, contact your dentist right away. Remind the office that you are pregnant so that they can take precautions to ensure the safety of you and your baby.

 

 

Family and general dentist in Sarasota

Understanding Dental Lingo

Your dentist attended school for years to become an expert in dental treatments and procedures. The average person won’t have the time or money to make that kind of investment. It can help you feel more comfortable, however, if you develop knowledge of basic dental terminology. Plus, you can impress all your friends by explaining the difference between a composite (all-white) and amalgam (metal) filling.

Common Dental Terms

Bruxism – This term refers to the condition of grinding your teeth, especially at night.

Anterior Teeth – Located in the front of your mouth, you have 12 anterior teeth, six on the top and six on the bottom.

Crowns vs. Fillings – Any dental restoration that covers the entire surface of the tooth above the gum line is called a crown. Usually, you need a crown when a tooth sustains extensive damage and a routine filling won’t work. Fillings restore smaller portions of a tooth surface.

Molars – The teeth used for grinding. Adults have 12 molars.

Occlusion – When a dentist use the word occlusion, he or she is referring to how the upper and lower teeth fit together upon closure.

Periodontal Disease – Another term for gum disease, periodontal disease affects roughly 80 percent of adults in this country. Generally mild and often unnoticed at first, gum disease can result in pain, bone degeneration, and tooth loss if left untreated.

Plaque vs. Tartar – A colorless, sticky substance, plaque accumulates on teeth and promotes the growth of bacteria in the mouth. When food debris gathers and hardens on your teeth, it’s called tartar.

TMD – An acronym for temperomandibular disorder, this condition occurs when the joints that open and close your jaw become fatigued, which strains the associated nerves and causes discomfort. Other symptoms include headaches, ringing in the ears, tingling in the extremities, and neck pain.

Healthy Teeth: The Truth about Cavities

Most people work hard to keep their teeth healthy. Brushing and flossing help you achieve this goal, and regular dental visits keep your smile looking great as well. We all know the basics about good oral health, but these common myths about cavities might surprise you.

Myth: Sugar is the top cause of cavities

Truth: Certainly a primary factor in cavity development, sugar alone isn’t the issue. The acid produced by bacteria in your mouth generates the cavities. These bacteria actually increase production when you eat carbohydrates, which include sugar. However, rice, potatoes, bread, and certain starchy fruits and vegetables can also contribute to decay, so try to limit exposure to these foods by not snacking all day long.

Myth: Children develop more cavities than adults

Truth: Actually, decay in school-aged children has dropped in half over the last 20 years, thanks in large part to fluoride in water.

Myth: You can tell if you have a cavity

Truth: By the time you feel pain from tooth decay, the cavity is probably large and may cause nerve damage. Routine checkups allow your dentist to check for cavities and repair them before additional problems occur.

Myth: Sensitive teeth are caused by tooth decay

Truth: When you develop a cavity, your tooth may become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Other factors, though, can contribute to teeth sensitivity, including gum recession, cracks in teeth, and acidic foods.

Myth: Cavities in baby teeth are no big deal

Truth: Although your child will eventually loss all of his or her primary teeth, they play an important role in oral health. Baby teeth serve as placeholders for permanent teeth, as well as aiding in proper speech development and in chewing function.

Schedule your dental cleaning in our Sarasota dental office today!

The Benefits of Dental Sealants

As a parent you teach your child about the importance of good oral health care. Though kids learn to brush and floss, they often have difficulty reaching back teeth. As well, the grooves and pits in those back teeth are harder to clean and may be prone to cavities. Dental sealants can help protect your children’s teeth and keep their beautiful smiles intact.

What are dental sealants?

Made from clear plastic materials, sealants are brushed onto the chewing surfaces of back teeth. Dental sealants keep germs and food debris out of the grooves in these teeth, lessening the risk for tooth decay.

How are sealants placed on teeth?

The process for getting sealants on your child’s teeth is simple. The dental team will first clean and dry the effected teeth. A special gel is applied to the area. Then, the dentist brushes the sealant mixture onto the teeth. A curing light may be used to harden the plastic material.

Are sealants noticeable to my child or others?

At first, your child may feel the sealants with his or her tongue, a common reaction to anything new in the mouth. When your child smiles or talks, though, the sealants aren’t usually visible.

How long do sealants last?

Typically, your child can will the sealants for five to 10 years. At checkups, your dentist will check to see if the sealants are in good condition.

Are sealants better than fillings?

Preventing damage is always better than repairing. Sealants help stop tooth decay before it compromises your child’s smile.

 

Long Term Dental Implant Care

Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Like natural teeth, dental implants require vigilant oral care to maintain their usefulness and prevent problems. Once the implant has fused to the jaw bone, it is important to follow some general guidelines to ensure the continued success of your dental implant and restoration.

A condition known as peri-implantitis is a common cause of implant failure. This occurs when an accumulation of plaque leads to damage of the tissues and infection of the bone around the implant. While the implant itself is not susceptible to decay, if plaque is not removed with thorough brushing and flossing at least twice per day the resulting periodontal disease can lead to implant failure.

Your dental professional may also recommend the use of additional oral hygiene products such as special brushes or oral irrigation devices to aid in the removal of food debris and plaque around the areas of the implant supported restorations. Your dentist or hygienist can assist in teaching you to utilize these devices to improve your implant care.

Regular dental visits and examinations are vital to detect and prevent any issues that may present problems for your dental implants. Expect to visit your dentist every 3 months for the first year after implant placement, and then every six months for the life of your implants. Your dentist will also provide special care instructions if your implants are being used to support a removable denture. It is important to know how to place and remove the appliance without causing damage to either the denture or your implant.

Avoid applying excessive pressure or eating hard foods that could cause damage to the restoration and implant area. If you suffer from conditions like teeth grinding or clenching, discuss with your dentist the option of being fitted for a night guard to prevent the problems these habits can cause your implants. Taking excellent care of your oral health will help to ensure years of dental implant success.

 

Dental implants dentist in Sarasota

You Deserve a Smile Makeover!

Your smile is often the first thing people notice about you. When your smile isn’t what you’d like it to be, it can impact your whole attitude and your confidence in many situations. Whether your teeth are yellowed, chipped, crooked, or missing, you should consider restoring your smile with a makeover by a cosmetic dentist.

To transform your smile into the most beautiful one possible, see a cosmetic dentist who can repair minor imperfections all the way to major problems. Do your own research into the procedures that the dentist recommends, and make sure you are confident and comfortable with the dentist and office staff. Once you’ve decided on a treatment plan, get ready to makeover your smile!

Cosmetic dentists offer a variety of procedures to improve both the look and function of your mouth. Some common problems that can be addressed include:
•    Discolored teeth – one of the most popular improvements offered for making over a smile is teeth whitening. Years of smoking, drinking coffee or red wine, and other habits known to stain teeth can have lingering effects. There are numerous choices for brightening your smile, some that can be performed yourself at home and others performed professional in your dentist’s office. Whichever route you select, the end result should be whiter teeth that create a healthier looking smile.
•    Chipped teeth – an option for repairing a chipped tooth is bonding, which involves using composite resin material to fix it so that it looks like nothing ever happened. Another choice is dental veneers, which consist of a thin shell that covers your existing teeth to hide any imperfections like chips, gaps, or discoloration.
•    Cavities – modern technologies allow use of tooth-colored material to fill cavities so that they aren’t noticeable in your mouth.
•    Missing teeth – a dental implant can create an artificial tooth root, with a crown placed on top to create a natural and comfortable tooth replacement. Or, a bridge or dentures can be custom-made to restore teeth and functionality.
•    Misaligned teeth – traditional braces or the newer technology called Invisalign, which uses clear plastic trays to realign your teeth, are orthodontic ways to correct your smile.

 

Cosmetic dentist in Sarasota

Straightening Your Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry

Are your teeth misaligned? Do you have overlapping or crooked teeth? Did you have braces as a child but didn’t keep up with your retainer, and your teeth shifted back? If your smile is less than its best because of crooked teeth, you have several options to correct your issues.

Orthodontia such as braces or Invisalign can be utilized to straighten your teeth completely. Braces can be worn on the outside or the inside of the arch of your teeth. Braces on the inside are hidden from view when you smile or eat. Invisalign clear trays are options for people who want to be able to remove their appliance to eat and to brush their teeth.

Veneers can be made from porcelain, zirconium or resin composite material to reshape your smile. Veneers are thin shells that are permanently placed on top of your existing teeth. They can smooth the appearance of crooked teeth, bridge gaps, and cover chips and cracks. Veneers can also brighten the color of your teeth or can lengthen worn down teeth, leaving you looking more youthful.

A skilled cosmetic dentist may use a combination of these methods to achieve your dream smile. You may begin your straightening journey with braces to align your teeth followed by tooth-colored resin composite to reshape a malformed tooth. Perhaps you thought you wanted a full set of dental veneers, but once you see your teeth after Invisalign, you might choose only whitening instead. Only you and your cosmetic dentist can make the plan to achieve your ideal results.

If you want to pursue your best smile, talk cosmetic dentist Dr. Jenifer Back in Sarasota today to learn what therapies are right for you and your smile goals. You won’t have to wait very long to begin enjoying the benefits of a healthy, straight smile.

Why is my Mouth So Dry?

If you consistently notice that your mouth is dry and you experience discomfort related to it, you may be surprised that a visit to your dentist is in order. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can make swallowing, chewing, and even talking difficult. It also increases your oral health risks. Seeing your dentist will help you determine the cause of your problem, and how to relieve your symptoms.

What is dry mouth?

When your mouth is overly dry, that means you don’t have enough saliva. Along with the discomfort of feeling like your mouth isn’t moist enough, saliva is needed in your mouth to rinse away food particles and reduce plaque. Adequate saliva production decreases your risks of tooth decay and bad breath. Typical signs of dry mouth include:
• difficulty chewing, swallowing and speaking
• persistent sore throat
• bad breath
• dry, cracked corners of your mouth
• chapped lips
• altered sense of taste

What does dry mouth mean?

Dry mouth can be a symptom of a medical condition, such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Sjögren’s Syndrome, and depression. Dry mouth may also be a side effect of medications, like antihistamines, blood pressure medicines, pain pills, decongestants, antidepressants, diuretics, and muscle relaxers. Some other common reasons for dry mouth include breathing with your mouth open, tobacco use, aging, nerve injuries, and medical treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.

What can I do about it?

The first step in treating dry mouth is visiting your dentist. Your medical history and a complete mouth exam will usually identify the cause of most dry mouth cases. Your dentist will discuss treatment options, such as saliva substitutes or medications. Sugarless gum and candy can also increase saliva production. Dentists also suggest drinking lots of water, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

Transforming your Smile Through Cosmetic Dentistry

If you’re looking to transform your smile in some way, cosmetic dentistry is an entire field that is dedicated to making your dreams come true. Cosmetic dentists are specially trained in a variety of procedures that can restore your smile and give you the confidence you need.

The first step is choosing a cosmetic dentist who is right for you. It’s important to make sure the dentist offers the services you desire, and is experienced in performing those procedures with good results. Ask to see before and after photos of patients who have undergone the procedures you’re considering. Also, ask about the methods used to ensure that your treatment is comfortable and that you’ll be receiving good patient care.

Once you’ve selected a cosmetic dentist, schedule a consultation to discuss the goals you have for your smile. The dentist will be able to help you understand the options you have for transforming your smile, and set your expectations about the treatment process and potential results.

Cosmetic dentistry provides a variety of ways to improve your smile. One popular procedure is dental veneers, which adhere to the fronts of your teeth to hide imperfections. Veneers are a painless and quick solution for unsightly teeth. Another treatment in cosmetic dentistry is restoring missing teeth with implants. Dentures and bridges used to be the only ways to replace lost teeth, but now dental implants are an effective method. These are artificial tooth roots surgically inserted into your jaw, and then covered with a replacement tooth to complete the process.

Other treatments available include teeth whitening to brighten your smile, bonding to correct tooth imperfections, and inlays or onlays as alternatives to traditional dental fillings. You may even want to ask your cosmetic dentist about a complete smile makeover, which is a comprehensive assessment of your smile with the goal of improving its overall look. Multiple procedures may be recommended to achieve those goals. Some patients also benefit from full mouth reconstruction, which involves providing treatments to correct functional issues with your mouth, jaw, and bite.

Cosmetic dentist in Sarasota Florida

Sports Dental Injuries

It doesn’t really matter what sport you’re involved in, it’s possible to experience a dental injury. Sports are one of the most common causes of injuries to the mouth and jaw. It’s important to be able to recognize an injury, when it requires treatment, and how to prevent it from happening again.

Recognizing injuries
There are a variety of ways that your oral health can be damaged when participating in a sport. Here are some of the most common injuries that may occur:

  • Chipped tooth, where a portion of the tooth is broken off.
  • Displaced tooth, which means the tooth isn’t knocked out but appears crooked, shorter, or longer.
  • Knocked out tooth, where the tooth is completely dislodged.
  • Fractured teeth, in which the tooth is cracked either vertically or horizontally.
  • Infection, sometimes caused by damage to the tooth and can end up affecting your overall health.

Treating injuries
Sports injuries require seeing your dentist as soon as possible. Even if you’re unsure and think it doesn’t seem severe, it’s best to have a dental injury examined by a professional. You may be able to avoid further damage or be able to save a tooth. If the tooth is harmed beyond repair, a tooth extraction might be necessary but it’s best to have it performed by a dentist to avoid infection. If you lose a tooth during the injury itself, you should locate the tooth and bring it with you to the dentist in hopes that it can be implanted back in your mouth.


Preventing injuries

Some sports dental injuries are avoidable, or at least you can lessen the severity, by following these tips:

  • Wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
  • Wear a helmet, which can protect your head as well as your jaw.
  • See your dentist regularly, which promotes healthy teeth and gums so that they are strong before you play a sport. A healthy mouth will be less prone to infections.

Sports dentist in Sarasota Florida

Answers to my Night Time Dental Care Questions

Why is oral care important at bedtime?
Taking care of your teeth at night is especially important because you don’t swallow while you’re asleep. That means the bacteria in your mouth increases during the night. Your goal at bedtime is to prevent giving the bacteria anything to thrive upon.

What are the steps for nighttime dental care?
You should brush, floss, and possibly rinse with mouthwash. It doesn’t matter what order you perform these steps, as long as you’re removing food particles and plaque.

Should I brush after dinner or right before bed?
If your dentist says you’re at high risk for cavities or gum disease, it’s possible that you should brush both after eating and before bed. Just make sure to complete the tasks at least once before retiring for the night.

Is flossing really necessary every night?
Flossing is important for removing plaque and food particles that may be stuck between your teeth. Plaque can be removed more easily before it hardens, because then it forms tartar and can only be removed by a professional. That’s why it’s best to floss daily to avoid tartar buildup.

What if I grind my teeth?
Dentists can’t stop you from grinding your teeth, but they can help protect your teeth from its effects. A mouthguard may be customized for you to wear at night so that damage to your teeth will be minimized.

How can I prevent morning breath?
It’s impossible to completely avoid bad breath associated with waking up in the morning, because it’s related to minimal saliva and sleeping with your mouth closed. However, if you maintain a consistent and proper nighttime dental hygiene routine, you will have the best chances of minimizing that bad mouth odor when you awaken.

Mouth Guards Protect From Injuries

Whether you play a team sport like ice hockey, participate in an individual activity like biking, or just enjoy a game of touch football at the park, you should be wearing a mouth guard if you want to protect your smile. Nearly 40 percent of mouth injuries occur during sports activities. Dentists report that the majority of those injuries could have been prevented by wearing a mouth guard.

Who needs a mouth guard?

Mouth guards can limit the risk of injuries to the lips, tongue, soft mouth tissues, and teeth for anyone involved in an activity that can result in contact (whether that be with another athlete or the ground). They are made for athletes of all levels and ages, and may also be worn by those with braces.

What can happen if I don’t wear one?

Injuries range from minor to severe, but even the minor ones can be painful and hard to treat. Minor injuries might be a chip or crack in the tooth, or cuts caused by biting the inside of your mouth. You can lose teeth or suffer nerve damage. More serious injuries include fractures of the jaw, cheekbones, or eye sockets. Fractures can cause trouble breathing, speaking, eating, or swallowing.

Are all mouth guards the same?

Dentists report that any type of mouth guard is better than none, but there are several choices available depending on the desired level of protection and cost.
• Custom — A high quality, custom mouth guard is available from your dentist and provides the best fit and protection.
• Boil-and-bite (or self-fit) – Available at sporting goods stores, these are boiled and then molded to your mouth. These are dependent on the ability of the person doing the fitting, and last a shorter time since they are made of soft material. However, they do offer decent dental protection.
• Stock – These are purchased in a store and worn as-is, so they do not fit your mouth exactly and can be easily lost during an incident. Stock mouth guards are inexpensive, but also not recommended by dentists.

Cool Dental Technology

As dentistry has changed over the years, modern advancements have resulted in innovations that have improved patient comfort, reduced time in the dental chair, and given dentists more information about their patients’ oral health. Take a look at some of the technologies that are in use today.

Digital X-Rays
Faster and clearer than their predecessors, digital X-rays enable dentists and patients to see exactly what’s happening with teeth and gums. Digital X-rays also produce less radiation than traditional X-rays, limiting exposure to this cancer-causing agent.

DIAGNOdent Cavity Detection
Finding decay as soon as possible means less expense and more conservative tooth repairs. DIAGNOdent, a portable laser device, enables dentists to identify demineralization at the earliest stage before cavities form and cause significant damage.

Oraverse
When you receive Novocain to numb your mouth, the anesthetic often lasts well beyond your appointment. Oraverse quickly reverses the effects so that normal sensation returns to your mouth in a shorter time period.

CEREC
Typically, dental crowns take two appointments. The first visit involves preparing the tooth and taking an impression for the restoration. Patients return for the final placement at the second appointment. CEREC allows your dentist to craft and generate the crown while you wait.

Digital Imaging
For people who want to see what their smiles will look like before treatment begins, digital imaging provides a glimpse into the future.

Root Canal Therapy Can Save Your Smile

Most people cringe at the thought of a root canal. The dread associated with this procedure often stems from a lack of understanding about the root canal itself. In most cases, patients usually feel better after root canal therapy.

Your tooth has a hard outer shell, a layer of dentin, and a soft core of nerve cells called the pulp, which supplies nutrients and blood flow to the tooth. If a tooth sustains intense trauma or develops deep decay, the pulp can die. Pressure and infection will then build inside the tooth, and you often experience severe discomfort.

To save the tooth, your dentist will probably suggest root canal therapy. During the procedure, the doctor will remove the diseased tissue, clean out the inside, and seal the tooth to prevent future issues. After a root canal, your dentist will typically place a dental crown to strengthen the tooth and improve function.

Modern anesthesia makes root canal therapy similar to any other dental procedure. Laughing gas and oral sedation allow patients to relax and feel completely peaceful while the dentist works on repairing the damaged tooth. For any mild soreness, patients can take an over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Losing even one tooth can create other oral health issue such as shifting, uneven tooth wear, and other loose teeth. Replacing teeth can take extra time and require a larger financial investment. Most dentists recommend making every effort to save your natural teeth and root canal therapy is generally a good option.