Broken Tooth Repair In Billings Montana

Broken Tooth Repair In Billings Montana

Teeth are incredibly strong. In fact, the outermost layer of your teeth, enamel, is the hardest substance in the human body and contains an extremely high percentage of minerals.

However, there are certain situations that may cause your teeth to crack, chip or break. Here at Bridge Creek Dental we are experts are repairing broken teeth and love to find creative solutions that get your tooth back in perfect condition.

COMMON CAUSES OF BROKEN TEETH

One of the most common causes of a broken tooth is extreme bite force caused by chewing on something particularly hard. Things like popcorn kernels, ice, nuts, olive pits and hard candy can wreak havoc on your teeth. The combination of hard candy that is also sticky (such as a caramel apple suckers) is especially prone to cause damage.

Chewing on pens or other things that are not meant for teeth can also cause damage.

Injuries, both sport and non-sports related are also a common culprit behind broken teeth. Wearing a mouth guard can reduce your risk of damage dramatically.

Cavities can also cause your teeth to break. When decay forms due to poor dental habits, your tooth is compromised and more likely to break. It becomes weak and starts to deteriorate from the inside out. Brushing daily and practicing good flossing habits can keep your teeth healthy and strong.

TYPES OF BROKEN TEETH & SUBSEQUENT REPAIRS

Tooth fractures range in severity. Sometimes it is only a chip in the enamel. For these situations, the solution is simple. We can contour or shave the area to smooth away the crack. We can also perform a bonding procedure wherein we fill in the crack or chip with resin material.

If the chip or crack reaches the dentin or pulp layers of your tooth, it is much more serious. If we suspect the fracture has reached this level, we will do a dental x-ray to confirm the depth. The stakes are higher when pulp is exposed because there is then a risk of infection and a root canal may be necessary to preserve the health of the tooth. Deeper fractures can also expose nerve endings, which is very painful and can make your tooth highly sensitive to hot and cold substances and air.

To repair a more extensive crack or fracture, we will clean the area thoroughly, performing a root canal if necessary, and then apply a filling or crown to restore your tooth to it’s original shape and function.

If your tooth breaks down the root level, it’s possible that we may need to extract the tooth and replace it with a dental implant. This is not as common in our practice and usually a last resort.

BROKEN TEETH NEED IMMEDIATE ATTENTION

Unlike broken bones that eventually heal on their own, teeth do not naturally heal on their own. This is because teeth are primarily composed of minerals not cells, and cells are where healing and regeneration come from. If you have any type of break in your tooth it is important to get into our office immediately for repair. We can prevent further damage from occurring, take away your pain and get your smile back in tip top shape.

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Baby Teeth: When To Repair And When To Pull

Baby Teeth: When To Repair And When To Pull

Baby Teeth: When To Repair And When To Pull

Going to the dentist isn’t something children usually enjoy, even the family-friendly dentist office we have here at Bridge Creek Dental. Even worse is when there is something wrong with their teeth when they come in.

It is best when parents understand what issues may come up with their children’s teeth and why the dentist may recommend repairing or the extraction of a child’s baby tooth. That way parents can explain to their children and help them be less afraid as they come into our office and understand why they are undergoing the procedure.

When To Repair Baby Teeth

It is best to leave baby teeth in their position until their permanent replacements have begun to move in, as it helps the adult teeth emerge in the correct position. With this end in mind, the dentist will choose to repair a baby tooth when:

  • Knocked out – If kept moist, the tooth can be reinserted and re-root until it is time for it to be displaced by the permanent tooth.
  • Decay – If your child has developed a cavity, the top priority is to fill the cavity and keep the decay from spreading, as it can damage other teeth and the nerves in the jaw.
  • Speech development – Children who are missing several teeth find it difficult to learn to pronounce words properly as they can’t get their mouths to form the sounds correctly.

Time To Pull The Baby Tooth

However, there are times when it is necessary for the removal of a troublesome baby tooth. A dentist will recommend the removal of a baby tooth when:

  • Abscess formation – Should tooth decay spread through an untreated baby tooth, an abscess (painful pocket of pus) can occur near the area of decay. Along with needing to extract the dying tooth, the child could be in serious danger and need to be hospitalized to help combat the infection.
  • Delayed eruption – Baby teeth have a basic and natural schedule they follow for when they are to be pushed out by permanent teeth. However, a dentist may notice that one or more of the baby teeth are being stubborn and will not move out of the way of the new adult tooth. As long as you have regular dental visits, your dentist will be able to assess if your child is losing their teeth according to schedule.

Preventative Future Practices

The enamel on baby teeth is much thinner than adult teeth, so they are more prone to decay. Parents need to take proactive measures when it comes to their children’s dental health and help their children develop lifelong oral hygiene practices. Some of the basics are:

  • Start before they have teeth
  • Set up a routine
  • Have a reward system
  • Schedule regular dental visits
  • Be an example

By helping your children develop these good practices, you can help them alleviate some of the terror of going to the dentist and save money on their healthy teeth!

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5 Foods To Most Likely Get Stuck In Between Your Teeth

5 Foods To Most Likely Get Stuck In Between Your Teeth

There was a study released not too long ago that questioned whether flossing daily had any medical benefit. The media went into a frenzy, claiming that all this time it had been a waste. Those who hated to floss sighed in relief, threw out their dental floss and unburdened themselves of the guilt of having lied to the dentist about the frequency of their habit.

Only one problem: the study didn’t prove anything. It was actually a meta analysis of many other studies, and it did not take into account many factors including: the honesty of patients about flossing, the difference between professional and self-flossing, or the products used for the flossing.

Keeping It Clean

Anyone who has looked at their floss after using it knows that a lot gets stuck in there. Flossing is definitely a good idea, especially if you have a problem with plaque or your gums. But avoiding food that tends to get stuck could also help. Here are the five worst offenders.

1 – Popcorn – Popcorn kernels are among the worst items to get stuck between your teeth because they can feel impossible to get out. Sometimes they will end up pressed into the front of the tooth, under the gum. In extreme cases it may take a dentist to get it out.

2 – White Bread – While you may not think about this as a big problem white bread is actually very prone to mushing and getting in between those spaces. You are probably imagining a time when you had to press the bread from your teeth with your tongue. Denser breads, like wheat, are less likely to do this.

3 – Seeds – Sesame seeds are usually considered the worst, but any seed can easily get stuck in your teeth. It doesn’t help that they are so commonly placed on everything from buns to bagels. At least they are a good source of healthy fats for your diet, right?

4 – Spinach – There is something almost magical about the way spinach wriggles its way into every single crevice of your mouth. It is unlike any leafy green, and because it is so soft you will usually fail to feel it there. Instead you will be embarrassed when your crush lets you know that a glob of green gunk is messing up your usually pristine smile.

5 – Meat – Not all meats are known for this, but some are inevitably going to stick around in those gums. Tough meats like steak are a frequent perpetrator, as are any that you eat on the bone, like chicken wings or ribs.

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Great Candidates For Gum Lift Procedures

Great Candidates For Gum Lift Procedures

For those who have excess gum tissue, or what is more commonly referred to as a “gummy” smile, gum lift procedures have become an excellent cosmetic option. Our dental team is well-trained on this procedure and we love being able to offer this life-changing solution to our patients.

In a gum lift, we use a dental laser to remove excess gum tissue. In more extreme cases, we also remove and/or shave down bone tissue as part of the gum lift.

Traditionally scalpels have been used to perform the procedure, but today lasers have since become the highest standard of care. Not only are lasers less painful, they are also more precise. When we are dealing with small measurements like a millimeter of gum tissue, the more precise we can be the better! They also cauterize the gum tissue as we go.

As excess gum tissue is removed and more tooth is exposed, your smile will become more proportional. The results are incredible, but there are some things to consider before receiving a gum lift. Are you a good candidate? Read about some of the requirements necessary to be a candidate for a gum lift.

1. You need to have healthy teeth.

Before we do any type of procedure, cosmetic or otherwise, we like to make sure your teeth are as healthy as possible. We want to take care of any oral health problems you might have. There is no sense in fixing a cosmetic issue when a functional issue exists.

2. You need to have sufficient tooth root material.

As excess gum tissue is removed, more of your tooth root is revealed — which is why it is important that we establish that you have enough tooth root to expose without compromising the root. This is determined by an extensive examination by one of our dentists during your initial consultation and with x-rays.

If we take away too much gum tissue and too much of your tooth root is exposed, it can lead to complications including like sensitivity to hot/cold, developing an infection or loosening the tooth due to lack of a stabilizing foundation.

3. You must be able to receive a local anesthetic.

Before the procedure, we administer a local anesthetic (most commonly lidocaine) so that you are comfortable throughout the process. If you are unable to receive the anesthetic due to an allergy, medical condition or an anatomical variation, this may preclude you from receiving a gum lift. Typically you will know if you are allergic to an anesthetic by the classic signs like hives, rash, itching and/or difficulty breathing.

Certain medications can also cause an interaction. Please be sure to let us know of any and all medications and conditions you may have in the initial consultation. If you meet this criteria, then you will be an excellent candidate for a gum lift. Contact us to set up your appointment and start enjoying your new and improved smile!

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The History of Dental Floss

The History of Dental Floss

When you reach for your dental floss each day (hopefully you are reaching for it every day!), you probably don’t think twice about its origins. You likely have no idea how it came to be, but you are about to find out. Dental floss has an interesting history and has had many revisions and improvements since its inception.

CHEW ON THIS: ANCIENT “CHEW STICKS”

Babylonians dating back 3500 BC are believed to have used “chew sticks” to clean in and around their teeth. These small handheld sticks had frayed ends that were inserted in between teeth to remove debri. These sticks have also been found in Egyptian tombs from 3000 BC.

Sassafras, dogwood, olive, walnut, apple, pear, bamboo, fig, hazelnut, orange, lime, and birch trees are some of the more commonly known trees that are believed to have been used for chew sticks. In Africa and India, the Salvadora Persica tree was and is still currently being used to clean teeth with. In fact, in 1986, the World Health Organization actually recommended using these chewing sticks, also known as miswaks, for those in developing areas who may be without a modern toothbrush.

According to the Huffington Post, later in 1600 BC, the Chinese began selecting twigs from aromatic trees for their chewing sticks in order to freshen their breath as they cleaned their teeth.

FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: HORSE HAIR FLOSS

The next material we see being used for flossing is horse hair. Historically, horse hair has had many household uses throughout the decades, from violin bows to textiles to fishing line. So it is makes sense that our predecessors used horsehair to clean their teeth as well.

Horsehair also makes an appearance in the history of the toothbrush. Documentation from 1223 describes how monks used a horsetail hair brush to clean their teeth. Boar hairs were also used during this time.

SILK ENTERS THE SCENE

Using silk as dental floss is the first place where we start to see more substantial documentation of the practice. One of the most prolific pioneers of dental care history, Levi Spear Parmly, is believed to be the first person to suggest using waxed silk thread to clean in between teeth.

In 1819, the revered dentist published a book titled “A Practical Guide To The Management of Teeth” that explained the origins of dental caries along with how to cure and prevent them.

In the book, Parmly is the first person to state that if teeth and gums are regularly cleaned, no decay can take place. While he may have been oversimplifying things, as many factors contribute to decay, he was definitely onto something. He also explained that every person needs three things to take care of their teeth: a toothbrush, a paste/powder for cleaning their teeth and some sort of flossing tool. These tools are still crucial today.

Parmly’s book was before it’s time. In the time period it was released, people just accepted the fact that their teeth were going to get cavities and fall out — it was a fact of life. It wasn’t until later with more research and advancements in dentistry did the public started to realize they had the power to preserve their teeth.

According to American Heritage’s Innovation & Technology magazine, one of the things that is so neat about Dr. Parmly was that while he was born into a family of wealthy dentists in New York, he moved to New Orleans and spent his time helping educating and helping lower-income individuals take care of their teeth.

FLOSS HITS THE MASSES

While the informed and wealthier members of society were beginning to floss regularly in the 1800s, it wasn’t until the end of the century that it became a widespread practice.

One of the things that helped this come about was the mass-production of unwaxed silk floss. In 1874 a patent was issued to Asahel M. Shurtleff. In 1882, Shurtleff’s Massachusetts-based company, Codman & Shurtleff, took the product to the market.

Later, Johnson & Johnson bought Codman and Shurtleff and continued selling floss.

When silk became harder to come by due to World War II, the use of nylon in floss begins. Nylon was a great material for floss because it was inexpensive and much stronger than silk. It is still widely used today!

In the early 1900s, another important figure in the history of flossing emerges, Dr. Charles Bass. He studied the microbiological flora in the mouth and how it plays into overall oral health. He found evidence that supported some of his predecessor Levi Parmly’s original ideas about the connection between flossing and tooth decay. He also helped pioneer the use of nylon floss and taught practitioners and patients how to properly floss.

MODERN FLOSSING: ENDLESS OPTIONS

Now that dental floss is a household staple, the dental supply industry has given us an endless amount of floss options to choose from.

For example, you can opt for waxed or unwaxed. Waxed varieties tend to slide over teeth more smoothly, while unwaxed can be better for those with dexterity issues.

You can also have a special flavor in your floss, from peppermint to cinnamon. Extra wide floss called dental tape is also available for those with larger gaps or spaces between their teeth.

There are also updated versions of ancient chew sticks. Today’s chew stick is a flossing pick and they make flossing super convenient. Different iterations of floss picks appear as early as 1888 and continued to improve through 1970s when single-handled and disposable floss picks appear.

No matter what type of floss you prefer, it is important to keep up on the habit to keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

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Cosmetic Dentistry Can Fix Crooked Teeth

Cosmetic Dentistry Can Fix Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth no longer have to be a permanent condition thanks to modern dentistry. As the field continues to advance, fixing crooked teeth has become more painless and sophisticated

WHAT CAUSES CROOKED TEETH?

What causes crooked teeth in the first place? Crowded, misaligned, twisted or overlapping teeth can develop due to many factors.

  • For some, a small mouth with larger teeth is the culprit. Some people’s teeth literally don’t have enough room to fit in their mouth. Sometimes a child’s crooked teeth are caused by inheriting the father’s larger teeth and the mother’s small jaw or vice versa.
  • Having an upper and lower jaw of slightly different shapes and sizes can also be a catalyst for crooked teeth or an overbite or underbite.
  • For some, crooked teeth are simply just a genetic trait. While the health of your teeth (whether or not you have cavities and/or gum disease) is a direct result of your hygiene, crooked teeth aren’t necessarily something you can control.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF FIXING CROOKED TEETH

Many people straighten their teeth for cosmetic reasons, but there are actually several health benefits as well. For example, crooked teeth are harder to clean which can lead to tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. And tooth decay and gum disease can increase your risk of developing more serious issues like heart disease. Crooked teeth can also inhibit your ability to chew food and speak. Misaligned teeth or a jaw discrepancy can cause tension headaches.

SOLUTIONS FOR FIXING CROOKED TEETH

While our office provides general dental services, we are specialized in cosmetic dentistry. When it comes to straightening crooked teeth, there are a wide range of options to customize to your specific needs. From traditional braces to Invisalign — each of which have their unique benefits — we have options that will suit your lifestyle.

Invisalign is great option for adults who want to discreetly fix gaps and crowding. The clear aligners are worn daily for several months. Traditional braces are the way to go if you have a more corrective issues to fix. The results are dramatic and long lasting. They are typically worn for 1+ years.

Veneers, bonding, crowns, tooth reshaping, etc. are all more options to consider when enhancing your smile and correcting unwanted characteristics of your smile. If you have questions about which method is right for you, schedule a consultation today.

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The Guide To Sensitive Brushing: Helping With Heightened Sensitivity

The Guide To Sensitive Brushing Helping With Heightened Sensitivity

While many people brush, floss and eat with no discomfort whatsoever, many Americans struggle with pain caused by sensitive teeth. According to Colgate, as many as 45 million US adults have sensitive teeth. Research conducted the Journal of the American Dental Association estimates that 1 in 8 people have a sensitivity issue and women are 1.8 times more likely to have heightened sensitivity.

Not only can sensitivity inhibit daily activities like eating lunch, it can diminish your dental hygiene habits and compromise your smile. If it hurts to brush your teeth, you are less likely to do it consistently.

Some cases of heightened are so severe that even breathing in cold air can cause a pang of pain. Let’s explore causes, solutions and tips for taking care of highly sensitive teeth.

PAIN TRIGGERS

Those with sensitive teeth find that pain is activated by certain activities and foods. Thermal variation (hot or cold air, water or food) can stimulate a response as well as chemical variation (significantly acidic or sweet foods and drinks). This means that avoiding certain trigger foods and drinks can help you avoid pain.

Trigger Foods To Avoid:

  • Hot cocoa
  • Iced coffee
  • Hot soup
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Vinegar based dressings
  • Hard candy
  • Sugary sodas

You can also counteract the effects of these trigger foods by eating them in conjunction with dairy as it can provides a protective protein or casein layer.

One of the most vexing pain triggers for those with sensitive teeth is the act of brushing your teeth. The pressure stimulates a painful response, but you can’t go without brushing your teeth!

POSSIBLE CAUSES OF SENSITIVITY

Exposed dentin is the major source of discomfort for those with sensitive teeth. Dentin is the tissue below your enamel that has tiny tubules and nerve endings. There are many different ways that dentin can become exposed or compromised. Here are a few possible causes.

  • Gum recession due to aging, over-aggressive brushing or gum disease.
  • Sometimes those who suffer from bruxism can develop heightened sensitivity because of the way their teeth have been worn down to expose dentin.
  • Cavities, chips and fractures in your teeth can also cause sensitivity in the form of intense zings of pain.
  • Enamel erosion caused by acid reflux, bulimia or excessive consumption of acidic foods like citrus fruits, apples, pickles, vinegar, wine, etc.
  • Excessive bleaching can cause your teeth to become extra sensitive.
  • Fluorosis (condition caused by excessive fluoride use). Those with fluorosis have hypermineralized enamel on their teeth that can results in white flecks or dark pits.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT TOOTHBRUSH FOR SENSITIVE TEETH

Sensitive teeth are best brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Aggressive brushing can wear away your enamel and exacerbate your sensitive teeth. It can also contribute to gum recession which is another common culprit behind sensitive teeth.

Amazon has an amazing selection to choose from. Some of our favorites here at Bridge Creek Dental include:

  • The Colgate 360 Enamel Health Extra Soft Toothbrush. This brush has extra soft bristles and a built-in tongue and cheek cleaner.
  • Electric toothbrushes are good for sensitive teeth because they do the work for you. The swiftly rotating heads clean your teeth at an appropriate pressure. Sometimes when we brush our teeth with a manual toothbrush we can apply too much pressure without realizing it. In fact, Registered Dental Hygienist magazine reports that one of the advantages of power toothbrushes is that less force is needed to remove plaque. Less force equals less pain for sensitive teeth sufferers. Choosing a special extra-soft head will make your brushing even better. The Philips Sonicare Sensitive is a great option.

No matter what you use, be sure you are brushing at least twice a day. Brushing will remove any traces of substances that incite sensitivity while also preventing your from developing an even greater sensitivity.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT TOOTHPASTE FOR SENSITIVE TEETH

These days, there is a toothpaste for everything. From bubble-gum flavored kid’s toothpaste to whitening formulas and more. And lucky for you, there is a great sector of the market devoted specifically for those with heightened sensitivity.

While brands vary, the one ingredient you want to check the label for is potassium nitrate. Potassium nitrate, approved by the American Dental Association and Food & Drug Administration for up to 5 percent in toothpaste, is effective because it calms the nerve endings in your teeth while blocking the tubules to relieve the pain. Think of it as a shield protecting your teeth from potential aggravators like an icy cold soda or an acidic piece of fruit.

AT-HOME REMEDIES

  • Test the effectiveness of your particular brand of special toothpaste by applying it directly on the sensitive areas and then spitting but not rinsing. After a few weeks of this remedy, you should be feeling less pain.
  • Provided that your sensitivity isn’t caused by fluorosis, try a fluoride rinse. For some people, using a rinse can actually decrease sensitivity, especially if decay is the issue fueling your pain. Talk one of our dental specialists about getting a high-strength rinse or gel prescribed.
  • Try to neutralize the acid level in your mouth after eating offending foods. Chewing gum and drinking water until you have an opportunity to brush your teeth can be helpful.

IN-OFFICE PROCEDURES

  • Fluoride varnishes are one great way to defend your teeth against sensitivity. This treatment is done at our office and we apply a thin coating of protective varnish that strengthens your enamel and can ease discomfort.
  • Bonding. We can applying bonding material to your teeth to provide a more substantial barrier between your dentin and the substances that aggravate your teeth.
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How To Pick Out Great Dental Floss

How To Pick Out Great Dental Floss

Flossing is crucial for a healthy beautiful smile! But are you using the right floss? There are no clear advantages of one type over another. Which means that the most important factor in selecting a dental floss product is finding one that you will consistently use! This means that whatever product you find more comfortable is the “best.”

Here are 5 tips to help you pick out the perfect floss for YOU.

1. Pay attention to waxed vs unwaxed.

Floss can be made from several different materials. Floss is most commonly made from nylon, but it can also be created from rubber, plastic or polytetrafluoroethylene. Floss can also be waxed or unwaxed. Floss that is wax coated tends to slide between teeth more easily and fray less. Waxed flosses also come in different flavors like cinnamon and mint. The downside to waxed floss is that it is slightly more expensive and might be harder to grip for those with dexterity issues.

2. Pick the perfect pick.

Floss picks are a great option is you have a difficult time maneuvering regular floss — which is why picks are so popular among elderly and children. You can even buy special picks with fun colors and designs to encourage an enthusiasm for hygiene in your little one.

If you are someone who struggles to floss as it is, a floss pick might be your best friend because of the added convenience is provides. They are easily stashed in your car or desk, and can be used with one hand at a time. The disadvantage of flossing picks is that some people find they can’t clean certain teeth as well as they can with regular floss.

3. Consider dental tape.

You probably have seen dental tape before without realizing it is different from normal floss. But it is much wider and flatter than regular floss, it resembles a ribbon. It is great for teeth with larger gaps and some people just prefer the touch and feel of it. If you find regular floss painful and uncomfortable, it’s worth giving dental tape a try!

4. Spend some time scanning the reviews.

Even if you buy your floss at the grocery store, it’s worth spending a little time on Amazon looking at the bestsellers in each floss category. Not only can you see how many stars a particular item gets, you can read about specific user experiences. Look for those who describe dental issues similar to yours. For example, if you have very crooked, tight teeth, pay special attention to a review that praises easy use and comfort.

5. Ask the expert.

The next time you are at our office, ask us which floss we recommend for your teeth. As dental professionals we can accurately assess the spacing of your teeth and help you choose a product best suited for your mouth. We have tried so many different products are we are passionate about our favorites. And if you are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment such as braces or invisalign, we can give you special instructions about flossing under these unique circumstances.

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Considerations Before Looking Into A Gum Lift Procedure

A gum lift is an incredible new advancement in cosmetic dentistry. The procedure, also known as crown lengthening, raises, sculpts and reshapes the gum line. Most people do it to achieve the appearance of longer or more symmetrical teeth. If you’ve ever thought you have a “gummy” smile or an uneven gum line, this procedure is definitely something to look into and speak to one of our dentists about.

Historically, gum lifts were first used to treat gum disease. Dentists started using them in the 1980s and around year 2000 is when they started to use them for cosmetic purposes.

ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR A GUM LIFT?

To receive a gum lift, the condition of your tooth root must be substantial enough that exposing more of the tooth will not compromise the structure.

Many people in search of a gum lift were simply born with a large gums to teeth ratio. Others might seek it due to gum recession. Not only is gum recession unsightly, but it can also lead to serious dental problems like sensitivity, decay, and tooth loss.

Those who suffer from bruxism can also develop the appearance of a gummy smile because their teeth have been worn down, making their gums appear larger.

Having a small or thin upper lip can also contribute to the aesthetics of your gums. Women are more likely to have excess gum tissue — cosmetic dentists estimate 14 percent of women and 7 percent of men have excessive gingival exposure. Often, those with approximately 3 to 4 millimeters of visible gum tissue consider themselves to have a gummy smile.

A gum lift procedure is often done in conjunction with porcelain veneers and on the front teeth which are most visible.

THE GUM LIFT PROCEDURE

Before the procedure, we will have a consultation with you to determine your smile goals and any limitations we might have. In this appointment we can use a pen to mark up your gums and show you where your new gum line will be.

The gum lift procedure, typically done in one appointment, begins with some local numbing of the soft tissue. Then when you are unable to feel the pain, we will begin to trim and reshape your gum tissue. This can be done with a laser or a surgical knife. We encourage the use of the laser as this procedure has a much faster recovery time.

In some cases, we will go even further and actually separate the gums from the bone, trim or shave down the bone and then stitch back your gums at a higher lever.

Unlike some other dental procedures, you don’t need to take several days off work or take heavy pain medications. Your gums may be tender, swollen, and sore immediately after but you should be able to eat and drink in no time. For most people, a mild pain reliever like ibuprofen is usually all that is needed.

It’s also wise to stick to soft, non-sticky and non-spicy foods for a few days just to be safe and allow your gums to heal without further irritation. We recommend gentle brushing and flossing for a couple weeks after the procedure. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can also be very helpful during this time period to fight infection.

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE UNDERGOING A GUM LIFT

  • Before you schedule a gum lift, take some time to speak to us about any concerns or fears you might have. While the risk of complications is low, problems can happen. If you tend to bleed heavily in other dental procedures or if your gums are prone to swelling, be sure to let us know so we can discuss the causes and minimization of those issues should you receive the lift. Allergies to medications and/or anesthesia can also causes complications in a gum lift.
  • Just as important as it is to consider the risks, it’s also important to explore the benefits and advantages of choosing to utilize this cosmetic procedure. Many people feel embarrassed about their smile and as the standards for a beautiful smile continue to rise, that discontent grows. Investing time and money in a great smile can improve your confidence. A well-done gum lift will make your teeth appear proportional and symmetrical. You don’t have to smile with closed lips or feel self conscious about your teeth!
  • Consider the financial investment. The price of a gum lift can vary drastically. If you only need to address a small area of the gums around one or two teeth, it will cost much The typical cost is estimated to be anywhere from $50 to $350 per tooth with a whole-mouth price of $1,000 to $3,000. Because it is a primarily cosmetic procedure, your insurance company is unlikely to cover the cost but it is still wise to submit prior authorization for the procedure to your insurance provider.
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How You Can Help Your Loved One With Special Needs Manage Their Dental Care

How You Can Help Your Loved One With Special Needs Manage Their Dental Care

No one particularly enjoys going to the dentist. It’s even a point of anxiety for a lot of dental patients. The smell, the vulnerability, the sharp and shiny tools in your mouth… even the bravest of manly men cower in the reclining chair. It can be hard to convince your loved ones to go to the dentist, especially when they really need it. Imagine the challenge when you need dental work for your loved ones with special needs.

Those with special needs often have issues with sensory processing – they are easily frightened, overwhelmed, pained, and anxious. Doing strange things is often difficult, so the dentist can be terrifying. Sitting still while a stranger sticks sharp objects in your mouth, while you can’t see or talk, seems impossible. Yet dental care is critical, especially for children. So what can you do?

Parents of children with special needs can consider the following options to help their child have a calm and successful trip to the dentist:

  • Talk with your child beforehand. Start early and begin sharing with your child exactly what will happen when they go to the dentist, and why it’s important that they go. Give your child a chance to express fears and ask questions.
  • Play Dentist! Show your child what might happen at the dentist by playing pretend – then let them pretend to be the dentist on YOU as a patient.
  • Shop around. Not all dental offices are prepared to help a child with special needs. Ask friends or parents of other special needs kids where they prefer to receive dental care. You may even be interested in taking a tour of a dental office beforehand.
  • Prep the Dentist. Once you’ve found an office and dentist that will meet the needs of your special needs child – prepare them. If your child has certain triggers or needs certain routines you should run them by the dentist beforehand. You can also make requests for the dental office like dim lighting, music, or a code word for when your child might need a break.
  • Bring Calming Tools. If your child needs a blanket, toy, pillow, or anything else for comfort – bring it! Consider headphones or even an iPad with their favorite TV show or movie.
  • Stay Close, Keep Talking. Often all a child needs is to know their parent is nearby and involved to help them feel safe. Remain close by, even holding their hand or rubbing their leg if necessary. Talk to them and the dentist frequently so your child knows everything is ok.

If going to the dentist has you stressing out, take a deep breath for you and your child. There are dentist offices out there that are willing to meet the needs of those with sensory disorders or special needs. All it takes is some preparation and compassion to make a dental trip successful.

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