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Archive for December 2016

How Dentures Can Give You a Smile Makeover

Smile MakeoverHow Dentures Can Give You a New Smile

Seeking a smile makeover to finally fix your missing teeth? One of most efficient, straightforward and reasonably priced solutions you must look into is a set of dentures.

When you wear dentures to replace missing tooth, you will once again be able to eat, speak and smile with confidence. Moreover, your face regains a plumper, more youthful appearance compared to the shrunken look caused by facial sagging often experienced by people with missing teeth. 

Here’s what you need to know about how dentures can give you a new smile makeover:

Generally, people who lose a tooth or multiple teeth look older than they are – some studies say tooth loss can add more than 10 years to the look of an affected person’s face. If you are worried about aesthetics, it helps to know that dentures can give you a total facial makeover, and not just improve your smile.

Premature aging happens because the loss of hard and soft tissue (the teeth, the bone supporting the teeth and the gums) leads to loss in facial structure over time. As a result, the muscles of your face can sag, and the skin becomes less supple. Wrinkles become more pronounced and the lower face “collapses” or loses structure. As the remaining teeth shift to close in the gaps left behind by the missing teeth, the jaw protrudes and the cheeks begin to look hollowed.  

Structure

By wearing dentures, the face immediately regains structure and attains a fuller and therefore younger appearance. The sagging skin is stretched, minimizing the wrinkles and loose folds. Dentists recommend wearing dentures as soon as you need them to prevent the further loss of facial contours. The earlier you wear dentures, the fewer negative changes to the facial structure can take place.

Benefits

A side benefit of wearing dentures that adds to your total smile makeover is the improved diet you can enjoy once you have your missing tooth restored. Many people that have missing teeth cannot chew and digest food properly. As a result, they end up not eating well at all (and therefore appear malnourished) or they simply consume food without properly enjoying and masticating it (and therefore become prone to overeating and gaining excess weight).

Diet 

When you have a complete set of teeth, you can follow a more varied and complete diet that meets your nutritional requirements. You are able to chew food well, helping your body absorb much-needed nutrients properly. The result is a stronger, fitter body that completes your face and body makeover.  

To know more about achieving a more beautiful smile, contact your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist today.


Bone Graft | What To Expect During This Procedure

Bone GraftWhat Is a Bone Graft Procedure?

Most people may not think much about it because it hasn’t happened to them yet, but losing a tooth (or more than one tooth) in your adulthood can be a big deal. After it is lost or extracted, a permanent tooth will no longer be replaced by another, and this loss can significantly affect your appearance or how your mouth and other teeth function when you eat or speak.

For this particular situation, dentists recommend getting dental implants as a viable solution. A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically installed into the jawbone, under the gumline. On this implant, the dentist can then mount a replacement tooth or a bridge. It will appear like you never lost the tooth at all, and the implant is set in place — it isn’t removable like dentures are.

However, not everyone can be considered a good candidate for dental implants. Certain requirements must first be met before a dentist can clear you for the procedure. Primarily, you will need to have healthy gums as well as adequate bone on your jaw to support the dental implant.

If your jawbone is found to be too thin or weak, but dental implants are the best solution for your tooth loss, then your dentist may advise you to undergo a bone graft procedure first.

Dental Surgery

With this type of dental surgery, the dentist will either remove a section of bone from another part of your body or use a special bone grafting material, and then graft that onto the jawbone.

There will be a significant waiting period — often several months — for the graft to heal and create a strong new bone that can properly support your future implant.

When the bone graft is complete, your dentist can then proceed with the surgical procedure to install the dental implants.

Keep in mind that no two patients will have the exact same dental health needs and existing dental conditions, so your Prescott, AZ dentist must thoroughly review your medical history, study all the risks and benefits of pushing through with the bone graft and implant procedures in your case, and present you with all the facts and details you need to make a fully informed decision.

Being Diligent About Your Implants

Should you decide to go ahead with these treatments, it’s best to observe positive practices that can help ensure that your implants will function well and enhance your appearance for a long while: be diligent about brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once daily; be mindful about avoiding hard foods that could damage both your natural teeth and your implants; if you smoke, do your best to quit, and pay regular visits to your Prescott Valley dentist.


Dry Mouth | Causes & Prevention

Dry MouthWhat Causes Dry Mouth?

Do you feel parched all the time? Does your mouth frequently feel as dry as a desert? Dry mouth can be annoying, inconvenient, embarrassing, and often painful. In many cases, dry mouth is nothing to worry about and is simply caused by temporary conditions such as hunger or thirst from missing a meal or drink, nervousness, or stress.

But if dry mouth persists or is already a long-term condition, then it is important to take a serious look into it. If left untreated, dry mouth can lead to other dental and health problems. At the same time, it can also be a symptom of another serious health condition. When you have dry mouth, you may experience the following symptoms:

– You have difficulty eating, discerning taste, and speaking.

– You suffer from a burning, rough and/or sticky feeling in the mouth.

– You often experience cracked lips, gum sores, irritated gums and tooth decay.

– You have bad breath that doesn’t go away.

A Couple Causes of Dry Mouth

Decreased saliva flow or insufficient saliva production is the reason why your mouth is dry. Saliva plays an important role in your dental health and digestive processes. It keeps the mouth wet and moisturized so you can speak and move your mouth efficiently. It allows you to chew, taste, swallow and digest food properly. It also protects your teeth from decay and infection, thanks to its ability to cleanse the mouth and reduce bacterial and fungi growth.

Thus, you need to know why there is a lack of sufficient saliva, so you can work toward the proper treatment of your dry mouth. Visit the doctor so you can be examined for the following possible causes:

Medical condition – Medical conditions associated with dry mouth include nerve damage, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, systemic lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.

Medical treatments – Some medical procedures can affect the way your body produces saliva including chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Side effect of medication – Hundreds of medicines can make your saliva glands less active. The most common ones are hypertension medicine and medication used for managing depression.

Dry Mouth Treatment and Prevention

Aside from following your dentist and doctor’s treatment plan, you can also reduce dry mouth with some lifestyle changes.

– Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.

– Reduce your intake of food and beverages with too much salt and sugar.

– Drink lots of water throughout the day.

– Chew sugarless gum to activate the production of saliva.

– Practice good dental hygiene.

Be sure to treat this issue and enjoy better quality of life. Visit your Prescott, AZ dentist regularly for professional care and assessment.   

  


Denture Problems | Potential Issues You Should Be Aware Of

Denture ProblemsWhat Are Some Potential Denture Problems?

Tooth loss can dramatically reduce your quality of life. That’s why many patients see dentures as a life-saving solution. Despite the emergence of newer tooth restoration options, dentures continue to be a popular choice for patients all over the world because of its convenience, ease of use and affordability.

Dentures today offer a more comfortable and snug fit compared to past models. High-quality, well-fitting dentures are now made of sophisticated materials that do a good job of mimicking the appearance of natural teeth.  

While most major complaints about dentures have been solved with modern denture technology, some common denture problems still remain.

If you’re thinking of getting dentures, it’s important to ask yourself, What are some possible denture problems? This way, you can make the necessary preparations to reduce or manage these complaints.

Excessive saliva production

First-time denture wearers often experience saliva overflow. This is brought about by the presence of a foreign object inside your mouth, causing your salivary glands to work harder than usual. As your body gets more used to the dentures, saliva production will gradually go back to normal. Mints or hard candies can help you temporarily manage the uncomfortable sensation.

Wearer discomfort

Another sensation that might cause you to feel uncomfortable is the feeling as if your dentures are too large or taking up too much space in your mouth, to the point that your lips feel stretched. If the dentures have an exact fit, this sensation is most likely a normal part of the adjustment period. The only way to make it go away is to wear your dentures more often – eventually, your mouth will learn how to accommodate them.  

Wobbly wear

Some first-time wearers also complain about dentures feeling unstable, making them fear that their fake teeth might accidentally slip out of their mouth altogether. To give dentures a more secure hold, apply a denture adhesive. However, it’s a different matter if the slipping is caused by ill-fitting dentures due to improper measurements or because the gum tissue and jawbone have already shifted or shrunk after some time. If this is the case, consult your dentist immediately.

Mouth sores, inflammation and pain

Another possible problem is pain and inflammation. This is common during the early stages and can be relieved with a warm water and salt gargle and medicines prescribed by your dentist. But if pain and sores continue to persist, check with your dentist to make sure it is not caused by poor fit. Also, prevent inflammation due to bacterial infection by following the proper dental and denture cleaning and care routine.  

Questions or problems with your dentures? Don’t attempt to solve them alone. Contact your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist for professional help.


How Much Will Braces Cost?

Braces CostA Brief Answer to the Question “How Much Do Braces Cost?”

Dental treatments aren’t always cheap, so it goes without saying that getting braces to straighten your teeth will come at a substantial cost. If you have insurance, the cost won’t be much of a problem for you; however, if you’re paying with cash (which some are inclined to do, and some dental offices create payment packages for), you can expect to dole out a few thousand dollars for your braces.

How Much Will Braces Cost if I’ll Get Them Here in the US?

In the US, the cost of braces usually ranges $3,000 to $10,000; the big difference is due to the different types of braces available now. But according to a Prescott, AZ dentist, other factors also affect the cost of braces, and location is one. Orthodontists in rural locations tend to offer braces at much lower prices to make them more affordable to the lower-income patients. Meanwhile, in more affluent cities, expect the highest prices.

For metal braces, also known as traditional braces, you can expect to pay anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000. Slightly more expensive are ceramic braces and Invisalign, which are usually priced from $4,000 to $8,000. And the most expensive of them all are lingual braces, with price ranges from $8,000 to $10,000.

Huge Difference in the Cost of Braces Abroad

Now, if you’re looking for a complete bargain on braces cost, going abroad may be the solution. There are dental clinics in Asia that offer a complete orthodontic braces package for just $1,000, which, of course, you have to pay for in cash.

This package may seem like the best deal available, but you have to consider the cost of travel and your accommodation, and of course, the check-ups that you need to go back to the country for. Even if you’re a well-traveled person and you don’t intend to stay overseas for the whole duration of your treatment, such a deal is clearly not cost-effective and efficient.

Payment Options for Braces

Typically, health insurance partially covers orthodontic treatments for people below 18 years of age. But if you wish for your insurance to pay for your orthodontic treatment, you can choose to buy supplemental orthodontic insurance.

Also, more and more dental clinics are designing payment plans for clients that do not have insurance. If you’re keener on paying cash, inform the dental office and they usually can come up with a personalized payment system that will not only allow you to pay in cash, but will also make the payments more affordable for you.

If you have additional questions about the cost of braces, the best thing to do is contact your local Chino Valley dentist. The dental professionals at Horizon Dental Group will be able to answer any questions you have.


Dental Hygiene Tips You May Want To Know

Dental Hygiene TipsA Prescott, AZ Dentist Shares Dental Hygiene Tips

Dental hygiene is crucial to keeping your teeth and gums and healthy and preventing a diverse array of dental problems.

But what does it mean, exactly, to observe good oral hygiene? Here are a few helpful dental hygiene tips from a Prescott, AZ dentist.

Mastering the Basics

Regular and proper brushing and flossing form the foundation of good oral hygiene. In fact, if you fail to brush and floss correctly and regularly, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to a host of dental problems.

The correct way to brush your teeth is to position the bristles of the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle near the gum line. Remember to brush both the surface of your teeth as well as the gum line using back and forth and up and down motions. Brush lightly to avoid bleeding.

Ideally, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. This helps prevent the buildup of acid which comes from the breakdown of food particles by the bacteria in your mouth.

Flossing, on the other hand, removes food particles that brushing alone can’t. You should floss your teeth at least once a day, before or after brushing your teeth.

Beyond the Basics

Apart from brushing and flossing, there are a few other things that you can do to keep your mouth clean and your breath fresh.

One such thing is cleaning your tongue, which plenty of people overlook. Cleaning the tongue with a professional cleaner can eliminate a lot of the bacteria in your mouth which contribute to bad breath.

If you brush and floss your teeth regularly, a mouthwash may not be an essential item. On top of that, some formulations are not exactly useful and simply mask your breath’s odor. However, your dentist can recommend an effective mouthwash which can help in keeping your mouth clean, especially in instances wherein you cannot immediately brush your teeth.

Eating Your Way to Good Oral Health

You may not be aware of it, but what you eat and drink affects the health of your teeth and gums.

As such, if you want to keep these healthy and keep dental problems at bay, you should eat foods and drink beverages rich in calcium, copper, zinc, iron, potassium and vitamins B and D. Good sources include milk, fortified orange juice, cheese, and green leafy veggies.

If possible, limit or totally avoid sodas, coffee and alcohol. These contain high levels of phosphorous which can deplete the calcium in your body. This in turn can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Plus, they contain additives which can stain your teeth.

Kick Your Smoking Habit

Smoking has long been associated with a long list of problems.

In terms of dental health, cigarettes and tobacco products can cause oral cancer, gum problems and even bad breath.

Enlist the Aid of An Expert

But no matter how well you take care of your teeth, you will still need the help of your dentist. It is recommended that you visit a dentist at least twice a year. During this visit, your teeth will be professionally cleaned and inspected. These help prevent small problems from spiraling out of control. Your dentist can also give you additional dental hygiene tips. 

If you are experiencing dental issues, no matter how minor these may seem, it is better to have these checked by a local Prescott Valley dentist rather than scour the internet for home remedies.


Dental Bonding | Is It Right For You?

Dental BondingWhat Is Dental Bonding?

Dental imperfections such as gaps between teeth, chipping, fracture and discoloration are a huge concern. Most people believe they make a smile look less than presentable. These problems that seem “merely” cosmetic can also negatively affect the health of your teeth and gums. For instance, gaps and cracks can make the affected tooth more vulnerable to decay and infection. It is thus important for such cosmetic dental issues to be addressed with the right treatment.

Fortunately, most cases of chipped tooth and discoloration can be fixed with an easy and affordable dental procedure: bonding. Understanding what it is and whether it is right for you can help you achieve a better smile at the minimum cost and fuss.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding refers to the use of a composite resin over the teeth to close gaps, repair chipping and fractures, cover up stains, and fix other types of aesthetic damage. The resin is made of a material that will be molded according to the exact shape and size required. It is also polished to match the shade and appearance of your natural or surrounding teeth. The resin is bonded to the tooth (hence its name) and then hardened using ultraviolet light for a more secure hold.

Why Choose Dental Bonding?  

Many patients and dentists prefer dental bonding over other options such as dental fillings or veneers. This is because of the speed and affordable price of the procedure. A single tooth bonding session can be completed in less than an hour. Veneers, on the other hand, require a meticulous process that involves fitting, customized molding, and manufacturing in a laboratory that is often in a location different from the clinic where the procedure will be done. While other options require multiple clinic visits, dental bonding can be completed in just a single session.

The resulting natural-looking appearance is another major factor that makes dental bonding a popular choice. Since the resin resembles clay or putty, it can be molded, trimmed, smoothened and polished in a more precise manner. The result is a shape and sheen that closely resembles the look of the rest of your teeth.

Does Dental Bonding Last?

The appearance and hold of dental bonding can be retained for several years with proper care and maintenance. To prevent stains and discoloration, avoid smoking and drinking tea, soda, coffee and other dark beverages. Invest in regular professional cleaning and use a whitening toothpaste. Lastly, remember that dental bonding resin is weaker than natural teeth. Avoid bad habits such as biting on fingernails or using your teeth to open bottle caps.

Dental bonding is not recommended for everyone. Talk to your Prescott, AZ dentist to see if you’re a candidate and discuss the best options for you.