Posts for category: Dental Procedures
How teeth whitening and dental implants from your dentists in Midtown and South Anchorage can help your smile
If you want to look better and feel better about your smile, there are two dental procedures you should know about, professional teeth whitening and dental implants. If you are missing teeth, or you have an aging, yellowing smile, these two procedures combined can do more than perhaps any other dental treatment to give you a fantastic smile. Your dentists at Anchorage Dental Arts have two locations in Midtown and South Anchorage, AK, to serve you.
Professional teeth whitening should be done first. That’s because whitening only works on natural tooth structure, not restorations. Your dentists at Anchorage Dental Arts will whiten your teeth up to 8 shades, and once you have your teeth as white as you want, the implants can be created to match the color of your existing teeth.
You can choose from a speedy, in-office whitening treatment that takes about an hour, or a convenient take-home whitening kit that allows you to whiten when you want. You can renew and whiten your smile, and the results can last up to an amazing 5 years.
The next step is the placement of dental implants. You can replace a single missing tooth with a single implant. If you are missing multiple teeth, you can have several implants or an implant-supported denture. There are many reasons why dental implants are the state-of-the-art method to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are:
- Completely life-like because they are made of translucent porcelain that reflects light just like your natural teeth
- Healthy because you can clean the implants just like your natural teeth with brushing and flossing
- Permanent because they can last a lifetime with proper care
- Immovable because they are embedded in bone, holding them in place
Dental implants will also never decay and they resist staining. They also help maintain the youthful contours of your face by preserving bone. For more information about dental implants please visit the services page on the website at http://www.alaskastrusteddental.com/dental-implants.html.
If you want to look better, feel better and be healthier, now is the time to think about professional teeth whitening and dental implants. Call your dentists at Anchorage Dental Arts with offices in Midtown and South Anchorage, AK. Don’t wait, call today!
Every day the forces you generate when you bite or chew can exert enormous pressure on your teeth. And day after day your teeth remain stable and secure, thanks to an intricate system of periodontal ligaments, attaching gum tissue and bone. The latter element is especially important — healthy bone makes healthy teeth.
And vice-versa — the same biting forces are transmitted through the tooth root to the bone via the periodontal ligament to stimulate new bone growth to replace older bone that has dissolved (resorbed). If a tooth’s missing, however, the bone doesn’t receive that stimulation, and the resorbed bone isn’t replaced at a healthy rate. In fact, you can lose up to a quarter of bone width in the first year alone after tooth loss.
And this can cause a problem when you’re looking to replace that missing tooth with what’s considered the best restorative option available: dental implants. Known for their life-likeness and durability, implants nonetheless need sufficient bone to anchor properly for the best outcome. Without it, implants simply aren’t practical.
But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story: it’s quite possible to regenerate enough bone to support implants through bone grafting. Bone material from the patient (or another donor, human, animal or synthetic) is placed under the gum at the missing tooth site to serve as a scaffold for new growth. The new bone growth will eventually replace the graft material.
The size of the graft and extent of the procedure depends of course on the amount of bone loss at the site. Loss can be kept to a minimum, though, if the graft is placed immediately after a tooth extraction, a common practice now. After a few months, the bone created through the graft is sufficient for supporting an implant and gives you the best chance for a beautiful outcome.
If you’re considering an implant for a missing tooth, you should schedule a consultation appointment with us as soon as possible. After a thorough dental exam, we’ll be able to tell you if bone grafting to support implants is a good idea for you. It adds a little more time to the overall implant process, but the results — a new, more attractive smile — will be well worth it.
If you would like more information on bone regeneration, 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 “Can Dentists Rebuild Bone?”
If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”
What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.
You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.
Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.
Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.
“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…
Learn more about cosmetic dentistry from your Anchorage dentists.
Thanks to a variety of innovative cosmetic dentistry procedures, it's never been easier to have the smile of your dreams. Dr. Robert Morehead, Dr. Max Swenson and Dr. Frank Cavaness--your Anchorage, AK dentists at Alaska's Trusted Dental--share information on several common procedures.
Teeth whitening offers an effective way to brighten smiles dulled by the natural effects of aging or food and beverage stains. Professional-strength whitening agents penetrate your tooth enamel to remove stubborn stains. Unlike over-the-counter kits that can take weeks to lighten teeth, an in-office whitening session can whiten your teeth up to eight shades in just one hour.
Fillings restore teeth damaged by cavities. Both silver amalgam and tooth-colored composite resin filling materials seal and strengthen your teeth.
Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the fronts of teeth. They're used to eliminate slight gaps between teeth and conceal imperfections and discolorations. They're also a good choice if you have a gummy smile and want to lengthen your teeth.
Crowns and bridges
Large fillings, root canal therapy and cracks can weaken teeth, making them more likely to break. Crowns slip over teeth, preventing breaks and adding stability. They're also used to lengthen short teeth, restore broken teeth and conceal imperfections and oddly shaped teeth. If you have a missing tooth, your dentist may recommend a bridge, a restoration made up of one or more artificial teeth anchored by two crowns.
Dental implants and dentures
Bridges aren't the only way to replace missing teeth. Both dental implants and dentures are excellent tooth replacement options. Dentures rest on your gums and are removable, while dental implants permanently replace tooth roots by bonding to the jawbone. A crown added to the top of an implant replaces the tooth above the gum line. Dental implants can replace a single missing tooth or all of your teeth.
Improve your smile with cosmetic dentistry treatments! Call Drs. Morehead, Swenson and Cavaness--your Anchorage, AK dentists at Alaska's Trusted Dental--to schedule an appointment.
The old stereotype with the words “pain” and “dental work” in the same sentence is no more. Using local or general anesthesia (or a combination of both) we can completely eliminate the vast majority of discomfort during dental procedures.
But how do you manage pain in the days after a procedure while your mouth is healing? The news is good here as well — most discomfort after dental work can be easily managed with a family of medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In most cases, you won't even need prescription strength.
You're probably already familiar with aspirin, ibuprofen and similar pain relievers for the occasional headache or muscle pain. These types of drugs work by blocking prostaglandins, which are released by injured tissues and cause inflammation. By reducing the inflammation, you also relieve pain.
Most healthcare providers prefer NSAIDs over steroids or opiates (like morphine), and only prescribe the latter when absolutely necessary. Unlike opiates in particular, NSAIDs won't impair consciousness and they're not habit-forming. And as a milder pain reliever, they have less impact on the body overall.
That doesn't mean, however, you don't have to be careful with them. These drugs have a tendency to thin blood and reduce its clotting ability (low-dose aspirin, in fact, is often used as a mild blood thinner for cardiovascular patients). Their use can contribute to bleeding that's difficult to stop. Excessive use of ibuprofen can also damage the kidneys.
That's why it's necessary to control the dosage and avoid long-term use of NSAIDs, unless advised by a physician. Most adults shouldn't take more than 2,400 milligrams a day of a NSAID and only during the few days of recuperation. There's no need to overdo it: a single 400-milligram dose of ibuprofen is safe and sufficient to control moderate to severe post-procedural pain for about five hours.
Our aim is to help you manage any pain after a procedure with the least amount of pain reliever strength necessary. That will ensure you'll navigate the short discomfort period after dental work safely and effectively.
If you would like more information on pain management after dental care, 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 “Treating Pain with Ibuprofen.”