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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

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.


Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”

By Anchorage Dental Arts, LLC
August 02, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: x-rays  

X-rays are such a routine part of dental care that it's easy to overlook how much this technology has revolutionized detecting and treating tooth decay. It's safe to say x-rays have helped save hundreds of millions of teeth over the last hundred years.

Thanks to its unique properties these invisible electro-magnetic waves give us precise images of the interior structure of teeth and gums. It's so precise that we can clearly detect even a small spot of softened, decayed tooth structure on an exposed x-ray film, often before it becomes visible to the naked eye. As a result, we can begin treating the decay earlier, minimizing the damage and increasing the chances for preserving the tooth.

There are a variety of ways we can utilize x-ray technology in diagnosing dental problems. The one, though, that's used the most is called the bitewing. The name comes from wing-like tabs extending out from a thin frame holding a segment of unexposed film. A technician places the frame inside the patient's mouth with the film on the tongue side of the teeth, and has them bite down on the tabs to hold the frame still. They then aim a camera at the patient's outer cheek, which then emits a very short burst of x-ray energy to expose the film.

Bitewings are popular because they give a full view of the back and side teeth, where decay is often hard to detect, with very little radiation exposure to the patient. And as x-ray technology has progressed over the years with digital processing and more efficient equipment, we can acquire sharper images with even less exposure. We've also developed standard protocols for when and how often we perform x-rays, so that we're getting the most diagnostic benefit for the least amount of exposure time.

Those few minutes getting an x-ray may seem routine, but the benefits to your dental health are truly amazing. The bitewing and other forms of x-rays play a huge role in helping us keep your teeth as healthy as they possibly can.

If you would like more information on x-ray diagnostics, 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 “Bitewing X-Rays.”