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4 Dental Procedures For Correcting Overlapping Teeth

Smiling increases your endorphins, a hormone that is responsible for your happiness. So if you hold yourself back from smiling because you don’t have perfect teeth, then it is likely to prevent you from feeling cheerful.

As such, correcting overlapping teeth is quite crucial for people who feel insecure about their smiles. By undergoing the right dental procedure, they will finally be able to smile freely and with confidence.

Heredity, bad oral habits, and tooth loss are among the main causes of overlapping teeth. Fixing your overlapped teeth will improve your self-esteem, eliminate possible speech problems, and boost your dental health. Overlapped teeth correction will also promote good dental hygiene. If your teeth are straight, it will be a lot easier for you to brush away all of the harmful bacteria present in your teeth and mouth.

Here are the different ways that a Prescott, AZ dentist can correct your overlapping teeth.

1. Braces

Braces are the traditional approach, and the most effective. Getting braces involves having a set of wires attached to your teeth and this can last for months or years. Today, you have the option to get lingual braces instead; these cannot be seen since they are attached to the back of your teeth. These braces have tinier wires but tend to be more uncomfortable as compared to regular braces.

2. Veneers

Veneers are shaped casings for teeth. Your dentist will sculpt your teeth, build a mold, and put the veneer over your old teeth. The number of veneers you’ll need will depend on how many overlapped teeth you have.

Apart from straightening teeth, veneers can also whiten your smile since they can be made in any shade you choose. The main downside of this dental solution is its high cost.

3. Invisalign

Invisalign can fix overlapped teeth without being seen. Also, they are removable. So if you want to eat some chewy candies, you can easily take the brace-like mouthpiece out and put it back once you are done. Also, you can remove them before brushing and flossing. However, they are way more expensive and are not the best option if you have severe overlapping teeth.

4. Dental Sculpting

If all your teeth need some reshaping, dental sculpting is a good option. Your dentist will use a drill or laser to reduce the overlap and give your teeth more room. However, this process can weaken your teeth.

Another means of reshaping your teeth is bonding. In this procedure, a hardening paste will be applied to the affected tooth.

The correction procedure you’ll take will depend on the severity of the overlap and the number of overlapped teeth you have. Your dentist will consider your budget and preferences as well. You will also be informed about the advantages and disadvantages of each option to help you make the right decision.


In-Demand Dental Options To Improve Facial Aesthetics

People today live in a society wherein good looks are usually an advantage in life. By having a nice physical appearance, you automatically become a shoo-in for certain jobs, for example, and advancing in your career is bound to be easier.

Several studies prove that the women who advance most at work are those who are more attractive, thinner, taller and have a more youthful appearance than their female colleagues.

Another advantage established by research is good personality perception. A person with a pretty smile is automatically perceived as kinder and more successful. It’s no wonder so many people work on having a great smile these days, and there are several dental options available that are designed for this goal.

So, if you want to achieve a better smile to improve your facial aesthetics, there’s definitely no shortage of options.

Rounded up below are the most in-demand dental options to improve facial aesthetics.

  1. Braces

This is definitely one of the most popular dental treatments for the creation of a nice smile and the improvement of facial structure. Orthodontic braces correct teeth alignment and can even correct the jaw, especially when paired with headgear.

There are different kinds of orthodontic braces – the traditional metal ones, clear, ceramic, lingual and Invisalign. Clear, ceramic, lingual and Invisalign are becoming quite popular because they’re the more discreet options.

  1. Dental veneers

These are the best solutions for chipped, broken, and weirdly shaped teeth, says a Prescott, AZ dentist. Also, these are the secret to Hollywood’s best smiles because dental veneers are shaped to really improve the look of your teeth. This wafer-thin material is durable and it doesn’t stain. This means you get real pearly whites with dental veneers.

  1. Crowns

These restore the original appearance and strength of damaged teeth. Likewise, these also provide the advantage of preserving surrounding teeth.

  1. Dental bridges

If you have lost a tooth, shifting is likely to happen. Also, your gums may recede and the teeth surrounding the vacant spot may wear down more easily because they would bear the pressure that the lost tooth should’ve been helping with. Dental bridges can prevent these issues from occurring.

Spanning the missing the space, bridges are bonded to the teeth on both sides of the gap, and a false tooth (called a “pontic”) is attached to the bridge, which replaces the missing tooth.

  1. Dental implants

Finally, if you want a permanent solution to the teeth you have lost, dental implants are the way to go. These will not only restore the original look of your mouth but also its function. Dental implants will look and function like your real teeth because they are secured to your jaw. These are rather expensive, however, but getting dental implants is perhaps the best restorative dental procedure there is.


The 5 Stages Of Tooth Decay

Cavities always start small and are undetectable to the naked eye. However, if left unchecked and untreated, the decay will eventually progress and bypass the protective layers of the tooth. Once the cavity reaches the inner chamber, an infection is imminent and will cause serious damage to the tooth.

According to a leading Prescott, AZ dentist, there are five stages of tooth decay:

Stage One: Demineralization

The onset of tooth decay happens when acids in your mouth attack the hard outer layer or the enamel of your tooth through a process called demineralization. This happens on a small portion of the surface of the tooth first. This early stage of tooth decay comes in the form of a white spot (also called lesion) on the enamel. If the decay is detected at this point, steps can be taken to remineralize the enamel and stop the cavity from progressing.

Stage Two: Enamel Erosion or Decay

If the initial lesion isn’t treated immediately, the tooth will break down further and cause the decay of the tooth enamel. The damage has now officially become tooth decay. The cavity can now be seen using a dental x-ray and the underlying dentin layer of the tooth is exposed. The cavity can cause patients to suffer from tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking too hot and extremely cold foods and beverages.

The decay at this stage can be still be treated by removing the decayed material and the placement of dental filling, inlay, onlay, or crown.

Stage Three: Dentin Erosion or Decay

The cavity will further spread to the dentin of the tooth if the enamel decay was not treated immediately. Dentin is a porous substance which is not as durable as enamel. When the cavity reaches the dentin, treatment becomes a far more crucial matter because the pace of the decay will go faster.

Stage Four: Dental Pulp Infection

The dental pulp is made up of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues and it is found in the innermost part of a tooth. This pulp plays an important role in the maturation and overall health of a tooth. If the bacteria reach the dentin layer of the tooth, it means that the dental pulp has also been breached. This causes a root canal infection which can be highly painful and uncomfortable.

At this stage, root canal therapy and tooth extraction are the only treatment options.

Stage Five: Abscess Formation

If root canal therapy or tooth extraction has still not been performed, the infection will spread beyond the dental pulp. The surrounding tissues, including the gum tissues and jawbone, will be affected and inflammation and swelling are imminent. Abscesses or the accumulation of pus will also appear as a response to the infection. The presence of an abscess can be a serious health problem which can result in a major general infection and other health issues, especially if it bursts. At this point, the infection has to be treated with antibiotics before the severely decayed tooth will be removed.

The longer you wait to have your cavities treated, the worse it will be for your tooth. If you suspect you have some dental caries or if your dentist has already ascertained this, get the recommended treatment quickly so that you can still preserve your natural tooth.


Dental Hygiene Trends And Tips For Strengthening Your Teeth

According to a study published in the Journal of Structural Biology, human teeth are as strong as shark teeth. If you’ve ever seen the jaws of these underwater creatures in action, you will certainly have a hard time believing that human teeth can be as tough as a shark’s scary choppers.

But even if you won’t be munching on fish bones and other hard objects (as sharks do), you still need to keep your teeth strong all the time. This is because having strong teeth is one of the most important considerations in maintaining good oral health.

To strengthen your teeth, a Prescott, AZ dentist share some dental hygiene trends and tips that can help you out:

Increase your fluoride use and intake

Fluoride fortifies your teeth by making the crystals that form tooth enamel tougher. This element, therefore, remineralizes one’s teeth and enables them to resist acid and decay better.

You can help your teeth get more of this mineral by using toothpaste, mouth rinses, and dental treatments that contain fluoride. You can also do this by drinking fluoridated water and eating foods high in fluoride concentrations such as fish and green tea.

Avoid food and drinks that demineralize the enamel

The enamel is the outermost and protective layer of your teeth. This layer protects your teeth from decay and physical damage. The enamel’s natural enemies are fermentable carbohydrates that come from acidic and sugary foods and beverages such as candies, cookies, and carbonated drinks. The carbohydrates from these items combine with bacteria in your mouth to create harmful acids that destroy the building blocks of your tooth enamel through a process called demineralization.

To keep your teeth strong, avoid or at the very least, minimize your consumption of acidic and sugary foods and drinks. Also, make sure you brush your teeth properly at least twice daily and floss once a day.

Consume foods rich in calcium

Lastly, you can prevent teeth demineralization by increasing your calcium intake. This means consuming more foods and drinks rich in this nutrient such as milk, yogurt, celery, dark leafy green vegetables, sunflower seeds, almonds, and Brazil nuts.

Cheese is also a good source of calcium and will help keep your teeth strong. In addition, cheese also promotes healthy saliva flow which helps maintain the right pH level in your mouth and inhibit acid production.

Proper brushing helps greatly in strengthening one’s teeth as well. As such, with the right diet and good oral care, you can have strong teeth and one less thing to worry about in terms of dental health.


Electric Vs. Traditional Toothbrush – Which Is Better?

Electric Vs. Traditional Toothbrush – Which Is Better?

There’s a growing selection of dental supplies available in the market today and these are in line with the call for making a strong commitment to oral health. Among the many options today are different kinds of toothbrushes.

In terms of designs, the choices can prove to be overwhelming. However, if you’re more focused on function, the only issue really is whether to choose an electric toothbrush or a traditional toothbrush.

Electric vs Traditional Toothbrush

It’s imperative to establish that both items do the job well. The main difference is that the battery or electrically powered option can make the task easier because it does the brushing for you. Children, in particular, can benefit from this mechanism, especially since they’re still honing their motor skills.

Another advantage provided by electric toothbrushes is that they can be a time-saver. The head can stroke teeth 6,000 to 30,000 times per minute. Therefore, it works so much faster in getting teeth’s surface clean; this means that instead of the usual two to three minutes of brushing advised by dentists, you can cut that time in half.

As for the disadvantage with electric toothbrushes, even the cheapest brands you find in the market are still more expensive than most manual toothbrushes. It’s important to mention that the bristles tend to get worn faster too, and at times, the vibration of the heads can prove to be too much for people with sensitive teeth and gums.

Manual toothbrushes, on the other hand, are what everybody’s more familiar with. They’re much easier to control, so if you have sensitive spots around your mouth, you don’t have to worry about excessive vibrations.

When it comes to efficacy, a manual’s toothbrush will work well if you know how to brush your teeth well for that perfect smile. Therefore, if you tend to just speed through brushing your teeth, you’re not going to get your chompers thoroughly clean, says a Prescott, AZ dentist.

As for cost, even the most expensive manual toothbrush won’t cost as much as a branded electric toothbrush. It’s definitely a winner as a cost-effective option.

The con with this option, however, is the difficulty some people have in using it. Those who have arthritic hands and fingers will find it hard to brush thoroughly; ditto with young children who still do not have refined motor skills.

There you go – one is not necessarily better than the other. It’s best to choose one kind of toothbrush over the other based on your preference or the limitations you have. Schedule your appointment with one of our dentists today!


Dental Health Care And Aging

What You Should Know About Dental Health And Aging

Aging brings about various indications of physical, physiological, and mental degeneration. Dental health is among the most common concerns for older adults. As you get older, the risk of experiencing dental problems also increases.

Because of impairments in the normal bodily processes associated with aging, older people may find it more challenging to perform oral hygiene and self-care.

The most common dental conditions experienced during old age are:

Dry mouth (Xerostomia)

The golden years are considered cavity prone years. Cavities during old age are commonly caused by dry mouth. Xerostomia or dry mouth is not a normal process in aging; rather, it is a result or a side effect of various medications, which are usually taken by older adults to treat or control high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, and other illnesses that come with aging.

Dry mouth can lead to cracked lips, fissured tongue, caries, and mucositis. A Prescott, AZ dentist recommends increased fluid intake and avoidance of alcoholic and carbonated beverages to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth and prevent cavities.

Periodontitis or gum disease

Dental health and aging are linked together in many ways. As a person grows older, he may start to experience receding gums, which exposes the roots of the teeth. This increases the risk of developing decay.

In addition, poor dental hygiene also causes the buildup of plaque, causing the gums to become irritated and swollen.

In general, gum disease, in its early stages, is painless and does not present any symptoms. As such, it is often left undiagnosed and untreated until it is in the advanced stages. Advanced gum disease affects not only the gums, but also the bones and ligaments supporting the teeth.

Good oral hygiene through regular and proper brushing are very helpful in preventing periodontitis. Regular visits to a dentist for professional cleaning are also advised to remove hardened plaque.

Root and coronal caries

The four elements needed for dental caries to form are the tooth surface (enamel or dentin), fermentable carbohydrates, bacteria, and time. Dental caries could lead to advanced gum disease and tooth loss when left untreated.

Regular brushing using fluoride-containing toothpaste remains to be the main preventive measure for dental caries.

Because older adults may not be fully capable of caring for themselves, it is important to have a caregiver who can help them maintain their personal hygiene, including dental care. It is essential to discuss dental care and self-care with professionals such as dentists and doctors.


8 Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums

8 Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Most people think that their teeth will always be healthy, strong and functional, and so they usually take these for granted. A reputable Prescott, AZ dentist emphasizes that proper and efficient dental care is very crucial throughout the human life cycle.

Here are some tips for healthy teeth and gums that will help you achieve a bright, big smile.

How to Achieve and Maintain Healthy Teeth and Gums

1. Deal with dental visit anxiety – If sitting on a dentist’s chair often makes you anxious, help yourself feel calm by bringing your headphones and a music player to your next appointment. This is indeed a great way of relieving your anxiety. Most of all, you must communicate with your dentist so he can help you.

2. Floss first before you brush – Flossing first will make brushing more effective since it will remove the food that gets trapped in between your teeth. There are floss holders you can buy from a drugstore if handling floss agitates you. After flossing, brush your teeth gently and rinse with a recommended antibacterial mouthwash to totally eliminate any leftover plaque.

3. Regularly replace your toothbrush – Over time, toothbrush bristles flatten, wear down and fray. Replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months is highly recommended. To avoid harboring germs, consider replacing your brush if you are sick.

4. Be gentle when using toothpicks – A toothpick is a good alternative to floss; however, be very gentle when using it because it can easily damage your gums and it may even break off below your gum line.

5. Consume cheese – The whey protein and casein in cheese will help keep your tooth enamel in its excellent form because it reduces demineralization. Moreover, cheese has tooth-building calcium. But do not forget to include vitamin D-rich foods in your diet because this vitamin can help your body absorb calcium.

6. Remove teeth stains with baking soda – If you love drinking red wine, coffee or other tooth-staining beverages, your pearly white teeth can become dim. Brushing your teeth using baking soda at least twice a month will help brighten your smile. You can use toothpaste containing baking soda if plain baking soda irritates your teeth and gums.

7. Control your acid reflux – Preserve your tooth enamel and oral health by controlling your acid reflux. Avoid consuming foods and drinks that can trigger reflux, such as tomatoes, coffee and tea, chocolate, mint, and caffeinated drinks.

8. Brush your tongue – Brushing or scraping your tongue each time you brush your teeth can help prevent bad breath. Your tongue can host different bacteria that cause bad breath, so giving it a scrub will help minimize or eliminate odor-causing compounds.

Your teeth and gums can stay healthy and happy throughout your life with proper care. Most importantly, there will be fewer risks for gum disease and tooth decay if you always have healthy teeth and gums. Schedule your appointment with one of our dentists today!


Brushing Your Tongue – Is It Important?

Most people just brush their teeth day in and day out, not knowing that this won’t remove all the harmful bacteria in their mouth.

For you to gain the best oral health, you need to brush both your teeth and your tongue.

Bacterial Live and Proliferate on Your Tongue

Biofilm, a specific type of bacteria, makes up a huge amount of the bacteria in your mouth. Similar to other bacteria, biofilm will contribute a lot to creating different oral health problems for your teeth, gums and mouth. These bacteria live on your tongue in the ridges and spaces you can’t see. A few hours after brushing your teeth, these bacteria can transfer from your tongue to your teeth. Mouthwash alone won’t eliminate them, which is why brushing your tongue is very important.

Tongue Brushing Tools and Techniques

  • Toothbrush – Focus on brushing your tongue after you’ve brushed your teeth. You can use the bristles of your toothbrush or a specialized brush with a built-in tongue cleaner. Start brushing by reaching to the back of your tongue, and working forward toward your mouth’s opening. You must brush the entire tongue’s surface with gentle pressure. After that, rinse with water.
  • Tongue Scraper – This is a flat, soft and flexible plastic tool that is used mainly for brushing your tongue. When using a scraper, start from the back of your tongue going forward. Since it lacks bristles, it may be more difficult for you to reach certain areas. After each swipe of the tongue, you must rinse the scraper. Avoid using the scraper with too much force to prevent tongue sores and bleeding. And since the center of the tongue has the bulk of bacteria, concentrate on this area when scraping.
  • Cleaner – This is an excellent tool for brushing your tongue because this is a scraper with bristles. It combines the best of a scraper and a toothbrush. The bristles, though, are rubber.

How Often Should You Brush Your Tongue?

Cleaning your tongue, a Prescott, AZ dentist says, must be done at least once in the morning and once in the evening before going to sleep. Whenever you feel your mouth is dry or has a foul taste in midday, cleaning your tongue immediately will be the best solution.

Aside from that, consider using a mouthwash rinse after brushing your tongue to moisturize your mouth and to kill other bacteria.

Indeed, maintaining fresh breath and a healthy mouth is not just about brushing your teeth. Make it a habit to give your tongue sufficient attention to ensure fresh breath and good oral health. Call us today!


The Different Types of Dental Bridges and Their Benefits

Cases of missing teeth among young children are often deemed cute occurrences (which is probably why there’s a popular song about missing teeth). But when you’re old, missing teeth can be a health risk.

Apart from a sagging facial appearance that can make you look sad and older, missing teeth can also have other negative consequences. One is the high likelihood of “shifting” – teeth can move a bit toward the gap. This movement creates spaces between the teeth that will not only alter alignment and bite but can also make teeth prone to harmful bacteria buildup that can lead to gum disease. A more serious consequence is bone loss, which will put you at greater risk of losing more teeth as you get older.

One of the best solutions to missing teeth is a dental bridge. What it does is it literally bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth. It is made of two or more crowns (depending on the missing tooth’s location). One crow will serve as the replacement for the missing tooth, and the other/s for the anchoring tooth or teeth (called abutment teeth).

When dental bridges are placed in, you will be able to:

  • Restore your smile.
  • Restore your ability to speak for clearly.
  • Chew food properly.
  • Maintain the healthy shape of your face (no more hollow areas).
  • Maintain your proper teeth alignment and bite.
  • Preserve your original teeth better.

There are different types of dental bridges that your dentist can put in for you depending on where your missing tooth or teeth are, and they are:

  • Cantilever bridges – These are the type of bridges used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing teeth. Cantilever bridges are not used that often anymore because they are not ideal as restorative solutions for missing tooth at the back of the mouth where there’s usually a lot of pressure on surrounding teeth.
  • Maryland bonded bridges – These are also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge. They are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums held together by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings, usually placed on just one side of the bridge, are anchored or bonded to your existing teeth.
  • Traditional bridges – These consist of a crown for the tooth or implant on both sides of the missing tooth, with a pontic or a dummy tooth in between. Traditional bridges are the most frequently used type of bridge and they are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.

The application of dental bridges takes multiple visits to the dentist, which can take several weeks. But once the bridges are permanently placed in, you’re sure to feel a big difference in the way your mouth feels and functions. Ask your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist about the best treatment for you.


How Long Do Root Canals Take?

Root CanalsHow Long Do Root Canals Take?

A root canal is necessary if there’s damage to the pulp or nerve of the tooth. This kind of damage can lead to severe infection that can manifest through swelling, pain, and even high fever.

While it seems like a root canal would be painful, typically, it’s not. It’s also not a particularly lengthy procedure. The entire treatment can be accomplished in a single appointment if the dental clinic has all the necessary equipment. It’s now less common for root canal therapy to take two or more scheduled appointments.

When Are Multiple Visits Required?

However, multiple visits to the dental clinic for root canals are required if the patient is dealing with some pains or complications. Special restoration, such as the application of a dental crown, is included in the procedure.

For example, with the two-visit approach, the different tasks are divided into two sessions. The first appointment is concentrated on cleaning and shaping the tooth’s root canal system. The second appointment is for the application of medication and actual restoration. This is usually scheduled a week or so after the first appointment.

Restoration Approach

For restoration, filling and sealing are put into place, and if the crown is ready, that’s included in the appointment as well. Dentists recommend this approach in order to better monitor how the root canal (and the issue it addressed) is healing. Every appointment of a multiple-visit approach can take 30 minutes to an hour.

Today, the single-appointment approach has become more popular with the help of advanced dental technology. A lot of folks prefer this because of their busy schedules. Everything that needs to be done (including X-rays) can all be accomplished in the same place. In a single sitting, a root canal treatment can be completed without the quality getting compromised. Single appointments can take just 30 minutes to over an hour if there are no complications present.

Steps to Ensure a Flawless Procedure

If you need a root canal, most dentists’ advice is to set aside adequate time for it in your schedule. Setting aside adequate time is particularly important if you wish to have the entire treatment done in a single appointment. You don’t want to rush your dentist.  Allow him enough time to carry out every aspect of the procedure flawlessly, says the Prescott, AZ dentist. If possible, make sure you don’t have anything planned after the treatment. It’s good to rest immediately afterwards to ensure speedy recovery, especially if you have experienced pains, swelling and other discomforts prior to the treatment.