Steps Towards Getting Dental Implants

If you have been considering receiving a dental implant to replace a missing or damaged tooth but aren’t sure what goes into the process, our dentists are here to explain just what steps you may take as you prepare to receive a dental implant.

Potential Pre-Implant Steps

Before we dive into what goes on during the dental implant procedures, it is important to cover the potential pre-implant steps you may be required to undergo. Along with an in-depth consultation with one of our dentists, other preparation steps may be:

  • Bone grafting – Since a dental implant will be securely rooted in your jawbone, it is important that there is enough bone for the implant to be placed. If the bone has become thin in the implant area, then our dentists will perform a bone graft to build up your jawbone and prepare it for the implanted post.
  • Tooth extraction – If you are looking to have a damaged tooth removed and replaced with a dental implant, you will need to have the tooth extracted, and our dentists will allow the site to heal before proceeding.
  • Resolve oral issues – Should you have any other lingering oral problems such as gingivitis, our dentists will work with you to resolve them before going forward with your implant.

Procedures To Receive Dental Implants

Once any pre-implant steps are resolved, you can move forward with the actual procedures to receive your new dental implant. Our dental implant steps are:

  1. The titanium post will be placed in the implant area. If everything goes according to plan, an abutment for healing will be set instead of a cover screw as your jawbone merges with the post.
  2. After three months of the implant post healing in your mouth, the healing abutment will be removed in favor of taking an impression of your teeth and gum alignment so a new tooth can be fabricated. Our dentists will also work with you to color-match your teeth to your new implant.
  3. Once the crown of the implant has been created and delivered, our dentists will bring you in and place your new implant.

There will be a follow-up appointment to ensure that everything is working out well with your new implant. Aside from that, you should be able to enjoy your new implant without even noticing a difference between your natural teeth and the implant.

If you would want to work with some of the best dentists in Billings, MT, to receive your dental implant, contact us for a consultation with one of our dentists today!

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Survey Finds That Americans Wish They Saw Their Dentist More, Come See Us In 2019

In a 2018 survey, it was revealed that out of all the health care professionals Americans could see, from primary care doctors to endocrinologists, most Americans said they would like to visit their dentists more often.

This information wasn’t a huge surprise to our dental staff at Bridge Creek Dental, as we see firsthand every day how superior dental care can improve someone’s quality of life. To help you make it into our dental office in 2019, we want to help you overcome your dental visit excuses and help you see why our dental office is the best choice in Billings, Montana.

How To Overcome Your Dental Excuses

There are common excuses people have for not visiting the dentist. Some of them, such as a concern over the cost, is more understandable. To help you work through any excuses you may have to put off seeing our dentists, we have listed the most common reasons people skip their dentist appointments and how to overcome these excuses for the sake of your oral health.

  • “I just don’t have the time to go” – While our lives can become very busy, making time for a biannual, maybe hour-long dental cleaning is more of an issue of mind over matter. Go over your week, and see if there really isn’t any free hour where you can squeeze in a dental visit.
  • “As long as I brush and floss, I don’t need to go” – While we highly encourage good oral care, brushing and flossing isn’t always enough. Coming in for regular dental hygiene care can help ensure your at-home dental care is sufficient, or our dentists can make recommendations to improve on your current routine.
  • “Dental visits make me anxious” – Dental anxiety can be tough to overcome, and you don’t have to do it alone. Our dentists and staff members are more than happy to work with you to help you overcome your dental anxiety. We also offer sedation dentistry to help ease your anxiety.
  • “The dentist is too expensive” – We understand that not all health insurances cover dental care, and that many people don’t have any kind of insurance. With financing options available, we help more people to access dental care. Also, by making it to your biannual dental appointments, problems which could become expensive issues can be caught before they reach that point.

Why Choose Bridge Creek Dental For Your 2019 Dental Care

Here at Bridge Creek Dental, we provide some of the best dental care in the Billings area thanks to our caring and experienced dentists as well as our skilled staff of dental hygienists. We do our best to meet your concerns and help you have an ideal dental visit every time you come to our clinic.

So, if you are ready to receive the best dental care in the Billings, MT area, contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our excellent dentists.

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How To Ease Denture Pain

How To Ease Denture Pain

The Journal of Aging Research and Clinical Practice reports that 57 percent of people ages 65 to 74 wearing some form of denture. And there is one thing all of these people know — denture pain is no joke. But there are things you can do to minimize and prevent it. Here are a few tips.

POST-PLACEMENT PAIN

Pain and swelling are to be expected immediately after extraction and denture placement. This is a time of transition and healing that can be aided by over the counter pain reliever. And one of the best things you can do is give your jaw and gums time to rest by taking out your dentures each night.

During this healing period, The American College of Prosthodontists advises against using a denture adhesive if you can. These creams are very helpful for later on when your mouth is completely healed.

Another way to manage the pain of new dentures is with a prescription for benzocaine. Benzocaine is a local anesthetic that is applied topically and can dull or numb the sore spots created by new dentures.

PAIN PREVENTION

One of the best things you can do to prevent denture pain is to stop it before it starts. Watching what you eat can play a role in prevention. There are certain foods like popcorn, sticky gum or candy, corn on the cob and certain types of meat that are known for causing problems with dentures. These foods can be lodged in or under your dentures causing your bite to get off. When eating these foods, cut them in small pieces, chew slowly and clean your dentures as soon as you can afterwards.

NATURAL REMEDIES

Howstuffworks.com explains that there are several natural remedies known to ease denture pain including rinsing your mouth anise seed rinses or clove seed oil. Gargling with salt water keeps bacteria at bay and toughens your gum tissue.

WHEN TO VISIT YOUR DENTIST

While some pain is normal, intense pain or pain that continues months after you receive dentures is not. The most common cause of this prolonged discomfort is ill fitting dentures that need to be adjusted. This is when you need to get an appointment with your dental specialist who will evaluate your mouth and make any necessary modifications to your dentures.

Even if your dentures are fitting properly, they may need to be relined or replaced depending on how long you’ve had them and any wear and tear they have endured.

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When Dental Crowns Are Needed

When Dental Crowns Are Needed

Crowns are one of the most common dental restorations people need. Since they are recommended so much, many people wonder if they really need them. Knowing when dental crowns are needed can help many people understand the reason they are so frequently recommended.

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped covers that are placed on top of existing teeth. It helps people restore their smile since they cover any unsightly problems that may occur to the teeth such as decay, discoloration, etc. Patients report dental crown procedures are practically painless because of the local anesthesia used.

Why Dental Crowns Are Recommended

The reasons dental crowns are recommended is that they extend the life of a tooth for many years. This doesn’t mean crowns are the go-to option when a tooth’s health is at risk. Dentists should attempt to improve the health of the tooth first with dental hygiene and procedures. However, if those methods will not keep the tooth from decaying, a crown may be the only choice in preserving the tooth.

When You Need Dental Crowns

You need a dental crown when you are experiencing one of the following:

  • It hurts when you bit down. Usually, the reason it hurts is that the tooth is cracked. Cracked teeth do not heal. The only option is a crown.
  • A tooth is weak because of decay. A crown will strengthen the tooth to keep it from falling out.
  • If you grind your teeth, a crown may be needed for any tooth that is too worn down. This will make chewing much easier.
  • After a root canal, a crown can reinforce a weak tooth.
  • Dental crowns are used to anchor a dental bridge.
  • Dental crowns can hide severely discolored teeth.
  • Dental implants can be encased with dental crowns.
  • The look of misshaped teeth can be improved with dental crowns.

These are just some of the reasons you may need a dental crown. A dentist may find a dental crown can help with other oral issues.

Assessing Your Need for Dental Crowns

If you believe you need dental crowns, contact Bridge Creek Dental. We help people preserve their teeth and smile for many years using dental crowns. During your appointment, we will identify your oral issues to see if we can correct them without dental crowns first with other dental procedures. If that is not an option, we can then discuss how dental crowns can help you.

Contact us today for more information.

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What Dentists Can Do for Anxious Patients

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Many patients have anxiety when they have to visit the dentist. Most of that anxiety comes from bad experiences they’ve had in the past with other dentists. While we can’t turn the hands back in time, we can ensure every experience moving forward is a good one.

Anxiety in the Dental Office

At Bridge Creek Dental, we are committed to providing patients with a comfortable, relaxed appointment. One of the first questions we ask is if you have any fears or anxiety about dental offices. Once we know what causes anxiety, we can work to help alleviate it as much as possible.

For example, one of our patients reported the sounds of drills make her nervous and sick to her stomach. We schedule her for the first or last appointment in the day, which is when we don’t usually have procedures scheduled.

These small adjustments are not a big deal for us, and they make our patients much happier when they are receiving dental care from us. We have no problem doing it for them.

Helping Patients with Anxiety During Procedures

We offer sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry reduces anxiety when dental work is being performed. Depending on the level of anxiety patients have, we adjust the dosage, level, and types of sedation we use. We review the medical background and current health status of all patients before administrating sedatives to ensure it is safe.

We offer three types of sedation:

Minimal Sedation – Patients who receive minimal sedation remain awake and alert. They receive an oral pill or nitrous oxide (laughing gas).

Moderate Sedation – Patients receive an oral sedative. It is taken before the dental appointment, so by the time the procedure begins, it’s already working. Patients remain conscious and can respond to oral commands. What’s appealing to patients is that once the sedation wears off, they usually have little to no memory about the procedure.

IV sedation is also available under moderate sedation. Patients receive the sedative in their hand or arm by way of needle.

Deep Sedation – Patients are semi-unconscious during the procedure. This level of sedation is uncommon and only used in select situations. Patients may need help with breathing with this sedation.

Bridge Creek Dental will discuss these types of sedation before your procedure, so you can make a well-informed decision. We want you to be comfortable, relaxed, and safe during your appointment with us.

Make an Appointment for a Good Dentist Appointment

We want to make your next dental appointment a good one. Contact Bridge Creek Dental today for an appointment. If you have any anxiety about visiting the dentist, please let us know. We will work hard to make this as calm as possible for you.

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How Good Dental Hygiene Develops a Better You

How Good Dental Hygiene Develops a Better You

Maintaining good oral hygiene has some obvious and not-so-obvious benefits. Read on and learn about these 5 ways that good dental hygiene can enhance your life.

1. IT ELEVATES APPEARANCE

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found in a 2015 survey that the majority of participants said an investment in their smile is more important than weight loss or hair enhancements. What is great about that is the fact that it is 10 times easier to schedule a dentist appointment to take care of your teeth than it is to lose weight or engage in expensive and painful hair restoration.

2. IT CAN IMPROVE YOUR LOVE LIFE

A recent study in USA TODAY found that single people pay close attention to two things when judging a potential date: teeth and grammar. In fact, a public relations executive made this comment in the story, “Taking care of your teeth is a good indicator of hygiene. Rutgers University professor and Match.com adviser Helen Fisher added this,”From a Darwinian perspective, good teeth are a real indication of your health — how much you drink, smoke, what you’re eating.” Plus, if that dates leads to a goodnight kiss, you won’t be stressing about bad breath.

3. IT CAN MAKE YOU MORE MARKETABLE IN YOUR CAREER

Ok, we are not saying that if you have nice teeth you will always get the job. But, the first impression you make in a job interview plays a big part in whether or not you get the job. And appearing pulled together and professional can go a long way. According to Forbes.com, research shows that on average, interviewers reach final decisions about applicants in the first four minutes of meeting them.

4. IT WILL PAY OFF IN THE GOLDEN YEARS

Taking care of your teeth while you are young will pay large dividends in the future. Elderly people often suffer from tooth loss which results in expensive dental implants and dentures. The better your hygiene is now, the fewer problems you’ll experience in the future. When you are 70, don’t you want to be golfing or at the beach instead of in the dentist’s office?

5. IT BENEFITS YOUR OVERALL HEALTH

Oral health is a clue to the health of your entire body. And when problems with your teeth go unchecked, they can eventually affect the rest of your body. For example, WebMD reports that several published studies have found gum disease to be a risk factor for coronary artery disease.

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How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Fix Unwanted Gaps

How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Fix Unwanted Gaps

One of the most common reasons people seek out a cosmetic dentist is to fix unwanted gaps in teeth. These gaps are most noticeable (and most common) between the front two teeth. This condition actually has a formal name, diastema.

Diastema can be fixed in several ways: traditional braces, Invisalign, dental bonding or a frenectomy. The method suggested by your dental professional depends on the location, size and cause of the gap.

BRACES

Braces are the most time intensive of solutions available — but the results they yield are predictable and long lasting. An orthodontist will fit your top and bottom teeth with braces that will slowly move your teeth in to close the gap. You might think that if the gap is on the top you would only have to have braces on the top. But because moving any of your teeth affects your full set of teeth, top and bottom braces are required. According to OralB, the average cost for braces is $3,000 to $7,000.

INVISALIGN

Invisalign involves a series of custom-made clear, plastic aligners worn to straighten teeth. Every two weeks a new set of trays are introduced and slowly they shift the teeth into place. Invisalign is one of the most popular ways to straighten teeth because the plastic tray can be removed to eat as well as brushing. It is more comfortable than regular braces and you will spend less time at the dentist’s office. The only catch is that not everyone is a candidate for the treatment. They are most effective for people with mild to moderate crowding or spacing issues. More complex dental issues often require traditional braces. They are also a great option for adults who had braces in adolescence but have experienced a minor relapse. According to OralB, the average cost is $4,000 – $7,400.

DENTAL BONDING

This technique involves applying and forming tooth-colored resin to your teeth. The resin is their cured with a high-intensity light. It is easy and painfree but it can become discolored or damaged. Everyday Health reports that the average cost is somewhere around $300 to $600 per tooth and often dental insurance plans pay a portion of that cost.

VENEERS

Dental veneers are ceramic shells that are fitted over existing teeth. The original tooth enamel is roughed up before applying the veneer to help it adhere. Veneers are popular because they look flawless and can never be discolored. The downside is the price, they are typically not covered by insurance and can cost a pretty penny. Angie’s List reports that veneers cost up to $1,100 per tooth.

FRENECTOMY

Sometimes the gap appears between your teeth because the frenum is larger than normal or is positioned in a way that doesn’t allow teeth to sit side by side. A frenectomy surgery is when that small fold of tissue is removed by a dentist or orthodontist. The procedure is most effective when performed on children because it allows the space to close on it’s own. When frenectomies are done in the adult years, they are often performed after traditional braces have been worn.

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5 Reasons to See Dentures as a Good Thing

Dentures aren’t known for being particularly sexy or cool. But you know what is cool? Having a beautiful, white smile. And for some people, dentures are the only way to achieve that.

According to a survey conducted by Survata found that 63 percent of denture wearers said they had kept their dentures a secret from someone and 20 percent said they were afraid to smile. AFRAID TO SMILE? Going through life afraid to smile is no way to live. Here are 5 reasons to ditch the embarrassment and be proud of your smile.

1. THEY ARE MORE COMMON THAN YOU’D THINK

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 35 million Americans do not have any teeth. So next time you feel alone, think of the other 34,999,999 people in the same boat as you. What’s more is that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Ranker.com reportst that celebrities like supermodel Janice Dickinson and rocker Lou Reed are known for wearing dentures. Even legendary actor and classically handsome Clark Gable wore dentures at age 34.

2. YOUNG PEOPLE GET DENTURES TOO

Another big reason why people, especially young people, want to keep dentures a secret is because they think they are only for the elderly. But guess what, according to Survata, more than half of the respondents who took their survey reported that they first got dentures when they were 44 or younger. Forty-four is not considered elderly!

3. NO ONE IS THINKING ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK AS MUCH AS YOU ARE

Sometimes we all get a little self absorbed and we assume that everyone is paying close attention to what you look like. But the funny thing is, they are too busy worrying about what they look like! Many denture wearers report that they have come to realize this fact over time.

4. WEARING DENTURES WILL BECOME NATURAL

At first, you might experience some slippage or you may even talk differently as you get used to wearing dentures. But after a few weeks you will probably forget you are wearing them!

5. THE ALTERNATIVE ISN’T FUN

Adjusting to life with dentures might be difficult, but living with missing teeth isn’t fun either. Aside from aesthetic benefits, dentures will allow you to chew food and speak normally. Not being able to chew your food properly inhibits digestion. And those who lack teeth often find that their jaw bone moves forward, their cheeks begin to hollow and their lips become thinner — all of which can be slowed or prevented by wearing a denture.

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How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Fix Crooked Teeth

How_Cosmetic_Dentistry_Can_Fix_Crooked_Teeth

Few people are born with perfectly straight, white teeth. But thanks to the exploding field of cosmetic dentistry, virtually everyone can achieve a gorgeous smile, no matter what the gene pool brings to the table. While teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic treatments you’ve probably heard about, there are also many things that can be done to straighten crooked teeth. According to an independent study conducted on behalf of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, respondents reported that the first thing they notice in a person’s smile is straightness, followed by the color of their teeth.

Here are a few options.

DENTAL BONDING

Dental bonding is another relatively low-impact dental treatment. The process involves roughening up the tooth surface and then applying resin that is then shaped, smoothed, trimmed and polished. Bonding can fix chipped teeth, discolored teeth, gapped teeth, small teeth or awkwardly shaped teeth. Fixing these problems might not actually straighten your teeth at the root level, but your smile will appear much more even and uniform. It can easily be done in one appointment and can last for up to 10 years with the proper care.

VENEERS

If you are looking for a more dramatic smile makeover than bonding, veneers are the way to go. Veneers are thin overlays of tooth colored material that cover your original teeth. They are custom made for you in a lab and they are most often made from porcelain because of the natural look it provides.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reports that porcelain veneers have become twice as popular is recent years. One of the reasons for this is because veneers can give you a perfect smile in a few appointments as opposed to wearing braces for years. And they are stain resistant! Because veneers are more expensive (they can cost as much as $1,000 to $4,000 per tooth depending on your location and how many you need) and permanent, make sure to work with a cosmetic dentist to determine if they are right for you.

TOOTH CONTOURING

Sometimes the jagged or uneven edges of teeth can make your smile appear crooked. One of the easiest ways to correct this is by tooth contouring or enamel shaping. Your dentist will use a drill or laser to shape teeth into a uniform look. This shaping technique can make teeth appear less crowded and is often used in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures. The best part? It’s painless and requires no numbing or anesthesia.

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When Dental Implants Are Needed

Dental implants are a big deal. One of the reasons for this is because of the high demand — 69 percent of all adults between age 35-44 have lost one tooth according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Take note of the age group, age 35-44 here — not exactly the elderly segment we expect.

While the dental implant success rate is high (the American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports 98 percent), it’s still important to take your time when deciding to get an implant.

Who Needs Them?

In short, dental implants are perfect for people with a missing tooth or a few missing teeth. If your teeth are damaged but still in tact, your dentist will likely try to salvage the tooth before going for an implant. If they majority of your teeth are missing, dentures might be a better option.

Things To Consider

  • For younger patients, it’s important that the jaw bone is finished growing. A sampling of dentist on OsseoNews believe that the late teens and early twenties are the earliest ages for dental implants.
  • Is your jaw bone strong enough to support an implant? Poor bone quality has often been found to be the cause according to reports released by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Sometimes bone grafting is necessary. This process involves using the patient’s own bone tissue or tissue from an animal build up the site for the implant.
  • Do you want to avoid full dentures if possible? Dental implants are often used before resorting to full dentures when possible.
  • Are you looking for a permanent, long-term solution? Dentists estimate that bridges need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years.

High-Risk Patients

If you suffer from uncontrolled diabetes, cancer, radiation, smoking, alcoholism or severe gum disease , it might be difficult for your dental implant to fuse to your jaw bone according to the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Those who struggle with bruxism (teeth grinding) are need to consider implants with caution.

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