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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Anchorage Dental Arts, LLC
November 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

There are several reasons why dental implants are so popular. Perhaps the most important, though, is their longevity: if maintained properly implants can last for decades. However, they’re not indestructible—certain mouth conditions could put them at risk for early failure. But if you address emerging problems early, you may be able to prevent that unfortunate outcome.

Your implants may be in danger, for example, if you have a teeth grinding or clenching habit. This occurs when a person involuntarily and repeatedly bites down on their teeth when not chewing or speaking. Usually triggered in adults by high stress, teeth grinding can subject both natural teeth and implants to damaging levels of force. Over time this can cause bone loss around an implant and weaken their support. It could also cause a direct break in an implant.

But there are ways to stop or at least reduce the effects of teeth grinding. One effective way is a custom-made bite guard you wear while you sleep. Made of hard plastic, the guard prevents the teeth from making solid contact with each other, reducing the amount of force generated.

A more prominent problem is periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection caused by built-up dental plaque on tooth surfaces. This can trigger inflammation, a normal defensive response that when it persists for an extended period of time can damage tissues and supporting bone. It can also cause a specific form of gum disease related to implants called peri-implantitis, in which the tissues that support an implant become infected and weaken, leading eventually to possible implant failure.

If you have implants, then, you should brush and floss daily to prevent gum disease, as well as see your dentist at least every six months for cleanings and checkups. And if you notice anything like reddened, swollen or bleeding gums, see your dentist immediately. The sooner you undergo treatment, the better the outcome for your implants as well as your overall health.

Dental implants can give you years of great service and can prove to be well worth the cost. But you’ll have to stay on your guard against gum disease and other mouth conditions that could endanger them down the road.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants: A Tooth-Replacement Method that Rarely Fails.”

By Anchorage Dental Arts, LLC
November 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Somewhere around age 6, your child’s primary (baby) teeth will begin to give way to their permanent set. If all goes well, you’ll notice all the front teeth erupting in the right position: the top teeth slightly overlapping the bottom and all coming in without crowding.

Sometimes, though, the process doesn’t occur as it should and a bad bite (malocclusion) may develop. You can get a head start on treatment if you know what to look for. Here are a few problems for which you should see a dentist — or more likely an orthodontist — for a thorough evaluation.

Spacing problems. Teeth should normally come in right next to each other without a noticeable gap. But if you notice excessive space between the permanent front teeth especially, this may be an indication there’s a discrepancy in size between the teeth and the jaws. At the other end of the spectrum, if teeth on the same arch appear to overlap each other, this indicates crowding in which there’s not enough space for the teeth to erupt properly.

Bad bites. Malocclusions can take different forms. In an underbite, the front bottom teeth bite in front of the upper teeth. If there’s a noticeable gap between the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are closed, this is known as an open bite. Front teeth biting too far down over the lower teeth is a deep bite and could even include biting into the soft tissue of the hard palate. Cross bites can occur in either the front or back teeth: if in the front, some of the lower teeth will bite in front of the upper; if in the back, some of the lower teeth bite outside the upper rather than normally on the inside.

Abnormal eruptions. You should also be alert for protusions, in which the upper teeth or the jaw appears to be too far forward, or retrusions, in which the lower teeth or jaw appears to be too far back. You should also be concerned if permanent teeth erupt far from their normal position — this is especially likely if the primary tooth was also out of position, or was lost prematurely or not in the right order.

If you would like more information on monitoring your child’s dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Anchorage Dental Arts, LLC
November 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”

By Anchorage Dental Arts, LLC
October 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Why dental implants from your dentists in Anchorage, Alaska are a great choice to rebuild your smile

Dental information and advertising are everywhere, which means that you may already know that dental implants have revolutionized tooth replacement. If you are missing teeth, it’s only natural to wonder if these implants are available to help remake your smile. Although most people are solid candidates for treatment, there are a few considerations which may affect the healing and success of dental implants. Read below to learn more, and call your dentists at Anchorage Dental Arts in Anchorage, Alaska to help remake your beautiful smile with dental implants!

More on Implants

Once the dental implant screws are placed in your jaw, the bone will naturally fill in around the implants. This is the healing period, during which your implants will become firmly embedded in your jaw. There are certain medical conditions and lifestyle issues which may affect how quickly and completely your dental implants heal. Be sure and inform your dentist if you:

  • Smoke or use tobacco products
  • Drink excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Have diabetes, especially if it’s not controlled by medication
  • Have a history of cancer or radiation to your jaws or face

Dental implants also require a healthy amount of bone to be present. If you have worn a denture for a long time, the pressure of the denture can cause the bone to diminish over time. If this has happened to you, don’t worry—adequate bone can be restored with bone grafts.

Implants are right for you whether you want to replace one missing tooth or many missing teeth. Dental implants are also right for you if you currently wear a dental appliance and want a more natural-looking, naturally-functioning tooth replacement.

If oral health is a priority for you, implants are a great choice as they are brushed and flossed right along with your natural teeth. You will never have to worry about staining either because the implant crown material is stain-resistant.

To further discover the benefits of dental implants and why they are right for you, call the dentists at Anchorage Dental Arts in Anchorage, Alaska today! (907) 276-1712

By Anchorage Dental Arts, LLC
September 25, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   Crowns  

Dental CrownWhat's the worse thing you can do to a tooth? Why, it's losing it to decay, accident or infection, of course. Fortunately, your dentists at Anchorage Dental Arts--Dr. Robert Morehead, Dr. Max Swenson, or Dr. Frank Cavaness--offer reliable, durable and lifelike dental crowns to fully restore the function and appearance of damaged teeth anywhere in the mouth. At Anchorage Dental Arts, the team works to keep your smile complete and completely healthy, too.

What is a dental crown?

It's a restoration proven to extend the life of a tooth jeopardized by loss of structure (fracture or chip), decay, or abscess. Crowns also complete dental implants, secure fixed bridgework and protect teeth saved by root canal therapy.

Nowadays, most crowns are porcelain, a material which mimics tooth enamel in color, hardness and sheen. A porcelain crown covers a tooth above the gum line, and a crown absolutely resembles the real thing.

Is it right for you?

Your dentist at Anchorage Dental Arts will answer that question and others you may have during a one on one consultation. Remaining tooth structure must be healthy enough to support the rigors of chewing and biting. The dentist confirms this with a number of health checks, including digital X-ray imaging.

If the procedure is a go, he'll take oral impressions and send them to a trusted area dental lab. The technician will use these negative imprints and your doctor's instructions to handcraft the restoration. Once placed and secured by a permanent adhesive, the dentist makes sure the fit and bite are perfect.

Proper fit and bite, along with careful oral hygiene at home, help ward off periodontal disease at the gum line and premature wear of the ceramic material. If you grind your teeth, you may want to wear a customized bite guard.

When you come to Anchorage Dental Arts for your semi-annual cleanings and exams, Dr. Morehead, Dr. Swenson or Dr. Cavaness will inspect that crown to make sure it's functioning just right. Crowns typically last over ten years.

Keep all your teeth

They're all important to your facial appearance, oral health and function and your self-confidence. So, avoid unhealthy and unattractive smile gaps by preserving your troubled tooth with a beautiful porcelain crown. Call Anchorage Dental Arts today to learn more: (907) 276-1712.