White spots that formed on teeth before they grew in usually indicate regions of the tooth that grew without sufficient calcium. Certain medications have been known to create spotting on teeth as well, but this is usually in a combination of white, brown, and yellow spotting as opposed to straight white spots. Other white spotting can develop from poor oral hygiene habits, especially during orthodontic treatment, or from worn enamel, which is of concern to dentists because it leaves teeth vulnerable to decay.
Most dentists feel that white spots on teeth come from a loss of minerals in that particular spot, usually the loss of enamel. Enamel can erode from excessive acid exposure, such as from diet, eating disorders, an acid-reflux or GERD. Over time, the acid wears down the enamel protecting teeth, revealing discoloration including white spotting, and possibly an increase in tooth decay. Regular dental office visits will result in the early discovery of this type of mineral loss.
Most dentists feel that white spots on teeth come from a loss of minerals in that particular spot, usually the loss of enamel.
During orthodontic treatment, patients with poor brushing and flossing habits are often left with white spots on their teeth, located in hard-to-reach spots from when braces were on. This type of decalcification or demineralization is generally permanent. The best way to prevent it is with diligent brushing and oral hygiene habits all throughout the entire orthodontic treatment process. Although discoloration after wearing braces is most common with younger patients, it is found on orthodontic patients of all ages.
Once the demineralization appears, whitening the teeth at home is usually insufficient and may make the spots more noticeable. Professional bleaching, however, can reduce the difference in color between natural teeth and the white spots that developed, leaving patients happier with their smiles. Special concentrated fluoride treatments are also used with some patients with moderate success at reducing the stark difference in color between the regular tooth and the white spots.
Once the demineralization has caused noticeable spots on teeth, the process is almost always irreversible. The visible effects can be reduced with some treatments, depending on the cause of the white spots, the patient, and any coexisting symptoms. For more information and learn which treatment options are possible for a specific case, contact our skilled dental team at Bliss Dental today!
Treatment with veneers is a suitable approach for numerous cosmetic dentistry issues. The procedure is relatively non-invasive, and each veneer is carefully custom made and color-matched so your smile looks as good as new after treatment.
Steps in Making a Veneer
Each veneer is custom-made for each individual patient and, in fact, for each individual tooth. They are usually produced in a dedicated laboratory based on molds your dentist takes of your teeth. The color is also determined by the color of your natural teeth, so your veneers won’t look out of place when they’re permanently affixed to your tooth surfaces.
On your first visit to the cosmetic dentist, you’ll have molds made of your teeth. In order to make room for the veneer, a small amount of enamel must be removed from the surface of each tooth. Another mold is made after this process is finished. The two molds form the front and back of each individual veneer, so they’ll fit perfectly against your teeth and will have the same shape and contours as the original surface of your tooth. These molds go to an off-site lab, where your veneers are manufactured. When they arrive back from the lab after a few days, they’re permanently cemented to your teeth, giving you a bright, perfect smile.
Advantages of Treatment with Veneers
The non-invasive nature of this kind of treatment gives it many advantages over other types of cosmetic treatment. A veneer requires very little room, so only minor alterations are necessary to the original tooth. The porcelain in a veneer is durable yet thin, and its semitranslucent nature helps it reflect light just like natural enamel. This quality of porcelain combined with the careful color-matching means your treated teeth will look just like your natural teeth.
Veneers can also be used to treat a wide variety of cosmetic issues including:
- Severe discoloration
- Surface damage such as pits or chips
- Minor gaps or misalignment
To learn more about how a veneer can dramatically improve the look of a tooth, please schedule a consultation with our skilled cosmetic dentist by calling 972-307-7777 today.
Many people associate the term “root canal” with a dental procedure. However, it is actually the name of a part of your tooth. This interior portion of the tooth houses nerve tissue that can become infected. If infection sets in, the dental procedure is used to clear out the area and remove all the affected tissue.
The Root Canal and How It Becomes Infected
The root canal is a hollow space on the inside of your tooth. Inside this space is nerve-rich tissue called the pulp. The individual nerve that serves the tooth, allowing it to feel pressure and changes in temperature, is also housed in this space. Blood vessels can also be found here, as well as connective tissues that are important to the tooth’s health.
If infection sets in, the dental procedure is used to clear out the area and remove all the affected tissue.
Nerve tissue inside the root canal can become infected under several circumstances. These include:
- Extensive tooth decay
- Damage to the tooth
- Multiple restoration procedures
- Facial trauma
- Cracks or chips in the tooth
When the tooth is damaged or otherwise disrupted, bacteria finds its way into the root canal and can cause an infection. In some cases, infection can become severe, causing extreme discomfort. A root canal procedure is necessary to remove the infection completely.
The Root Canal Procedure
The root canal procedure has an undeserved reputation as a difficult process. It is in actually no more unpleasant than having a tooth filled. To remove the infected tissue, the dentist makes a small hole in the tooth. The pulp, nerve, and other tissues in the root canal are removed through this hole. When the infected tissue is completely evacuated, the interior of the tooth is refilled with a sealant. In some cases, your dentist might choose to fill the tooth temporarily with medication to ensure the infection is completely eliminated before sealing the tooth. The hole used to evacuate the tooth’s interior is closed with a filling. The tooth is then treated with a crown to keep it strong and ensure it will be functional for many years to come.
To schedule an appointment, contact the office of Bliss Dental today.
Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic treatments for your teeth. The procedure is simple and non-invasive, and can make a dramatic difference in the way your smile looks. One treatment can last for several months, and even longer if you are careful of what you eat and have occasional touch-up treatments.
How Teeth Whitening Works
An in-office teeth whitening treatment uses a strong whitening agent that is applied directly to the tooth surfaces. Because the whitener can be irritating to the oral tissues, your gums and lips will be coated with a protective gel. The dentist paints the whitener on your teeth and lets it sit for about twenty minutes, then repeats the process two more times. Some whitening agents must be activated with a special light. The entire treatment takes about an hour.
You will notice your teeth look whiter immediately after treatment. Over the next few days, they will lighten further, until they are five to ten shades lighter than the original color. This change in color will last several months. If you notice your teeth look dull again, you can return for a touch-up treatment. This treatment will not last as long as the initial whitening, and will restore the bright, white look to your smile.
Keeping Your Teeth White After Treatment
Your whitening treatment will last longer if you take good care of your teeth and keep them from becoming stained again. The best way to do this is to brush and floss regularly and avoid foods and other substances that stain your teeth.
Staining agents that can make your teeth look discolored and dull again include:
- Dark-colored beverages
- Dark-colored fruits and vegetables
The most common causes of discoloration are coffee and nicotine. If you reduce or eliminate your intake of these substances, your teeth will stay whiter longer, reducing the need for touch-up treatments. You should also follow any instructions your dentist at Bliss Dental gives you regarding proper care to keep your smile bright and beautiful.
Call 972-307-7777 to reserve your appointment today.
Though most of us hope to keep all our permanent teeth for life, occasionally a tooth extraction is necessary. Extractions can be necessary for a variety of reasons. If you require a tooth extraction, you can help the experience go more smoothly with a bit of preparation.
If you require a tooth extraction, you can help the experience go more smoothly with a bit of preparation.
Getting Ready for Your Extraction
Before you have a tooth extracted, you will discuss the procedure with your dentist. You’ll talk about the reasons why the tooth needs to be removed, as well as any precautions you need to take beforehand and what aftercare will be required. Before the extraction, you should be sure your dentist knows about:
- Any medications you are currently taking
- Any systemic disorders you may have
- If you have any artificial joints or artificial heart valves
- If you have had bacterial endocarditis
It is important for your dentist to know about these issues in order to ensure that your extraction will be successful and not have unexpected side effects.
You should also ask what kind of anesthetic will be used during your procedure. If you will be under a general anesthetic, you should arrange to have someone pick you up after the extraction is completed.
Taking Care of Yourself after Your Extraction
Aftercare is also very important to ensure you have a successful recovery after your tooth has been removed. You will receive detailed aftercare instructions, which you should follow closely. These instructions could include:
- Take any medications you have been prescribed
- Use ice to minimize swelling
- Bite on gauze to apply pressure to control bleeding
- Avoid spitting or using a straw
- Don’t smoke
If you experience any unusual symptoms such as swelling, excessive bleeding, fever, or a general overall feeling that you are unwell, you should see your dentist immediately, as you may be suffering from infection. In addition, if the blood clot that forms in the tooth socket becomes dislodged, come back to our dental office for additional treatment to prevent possible complications due to dry socket.
The causes of dark spots on the teeth are varied. They can be benign, or can require treatment from your family dentist. If you have any questions about a persistent or suddenly occurring dark spot on your tooth, you should visit the dental office for a diagnosis.
Causes of Dark Spots on the Teeth
Dark spots can occur on your teeth due to staining of the tooth surfaces, staining of the interior of the tooth, or due to trauma or damage to the tooth’s interior. How your dentist chooses to treat your tooth depends upon the cause of the staining. After your family dentist diagnoses the discoloration, you can decide together what treatment is most appropriate.
Some of the most common causes for dark spots or staining on the teeth include:
- Surface staining
- Intrinsic staining
- Interior damage to the tooth
Surface staining occurs when the tooth is exposed to staining agents like coffee, tea, or nicotine. Intrinsic staining is staining that affects the interior layers of the tooth, and often occurs due to exposure to excessive fluoride or certain medications.
If a cavity occurs on the surface of the tooth, this can sometimes be seen as a dark spot. Damage to the interior of the tooth causes dark spots if blood fills small tubules within the tooth’s dentin, causing a spot that can appear black.
Treatment for Dark Spots on the Teeth
If you have a dark spot on your tooth and are unsure what has caused it, you should visit the dental office for diagnosis. Treatment depends upon the cause of the staining. If your tooth has a cavity, your dentist can fill the cavity. Surface staining can be corrected with teeth whitening.
Intrinsic staining and internal staining due to injury are more difficult to treat. Intrinsic staining responds to some types of teeth whitening, but often a veneer is a more effective treatment. If your tooth has been damaged, it might require a root canal. Your family dentist at Bliss Dental will be able to determine if this treatment is necessary. Call 972-307-7777 to schedule an appointment today.
Teeth whitening is an extremely popular and very simple cosmetic procedure performed to remove or reduce discoloration on the surfaces of the front teeth. It is one of the safest cosmetic dentistry procedures available, and causes very few side effects. When side effects do occur, they are rarely serious.
Side Effects of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is performed using a strong bleaching agent that removes stains from the surfaces of your teeth. This bleaching agent can cause irritation to the soft tissues in your mouth. During in-office whitening, your dentist will use a protective gel to prevent the whitener from contacting your lips and gums. However, if the whitener does make contact with the soft tissues, you might experience minor discomfort after the whitening procedure.
Teeth whitening is one of the safest cosmetic dentistry procedures available, and causes very few side effects.
Whitening can also lead to sensitivity in your teeth. Sensitivity can be a short- or long-term side effect. The discomfort due to increased sensitivity is usually minor, and in many cases disappears after a period of time. This side effect is more likely to occur in patients who have naturally thin enamel or naturally sensitive teeth.
Another minor side effect that can occur with whitening is that your whitened teeth might no longer match your other teeth. Whitening is typically performed only on the front teeth, so if you have back teeth that show and that are also discolored, your smile might continue to look discolored even though your front teeth have been successfully treated.
Advantages of Professional Whitening
Whitening performed in the office with professional tools and safeguards is much less likely to lead to side effects than at-home whitening. When you whiten your teeth at home with over-the-counter products, you are more likely to accidentally expose the soft tissues of your mouth to the bleaching agents. In the office, your dentist will be able to protect your mouth during the procedure.
To find out more about teeth whitening and how it can help you improve your smile, please contact the office of Dr. Sweta Sheth to schedule an appointment.
Now is the perfect time to review your remaining dental insurance benefits. Oftentimes, insured don’t realize that they haven’t used up all of their dental benefits and still have a remaining balance at their disposal. This amount will be lost and not carried over to the following year if not taken advantage of during the current year.
Most insurance provide 2 standard exams and cleaning every year. This is a very important step to keep a close eye on the dental health and try to diagnose any issues early on that can help in preventing costly treatment later if left undiagnosed or untreated.
2. Did you already reach your annual deductible?
Co-pays and any out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered under your dental insurance plan can be paid for with your remaining Flex Spending balance. If you are enrolled in Flex Spending, use up any balance that you have left over in your account before the year is up in order to avoid losing that money. This can be used towards taking care of your dental treatment.
3. Check on your yearly maximum allowance for dental treatment
The yearly maximum is the most money that the dental insurance plan will pay for your dental work within one full year. This amount varies by insurance company, but the average is around $1,000 per year, per person in your family. The yearly maximum usually renews every year (on January 1, if your plan is a calendar year). If you have unused benefits, you will lose them because they will not rollover to the next year, you will start over again.
4. Dental problems can worsen
Avoiding dental appointments or putting off procedures will cost you in the long run, since you won’t use up the dental insurance benefits that are taken out of your paycheck every month. Putting off procedures also ends up costing you more health-wise, since dental issues such as decay and cavities often become substantially worse if not treated immediately.
5. Fees increase
Another reason to use your dental benefits before the end of the year is possible fee increases. Some dentists raise their fees at the beginning of the New Year due to the increased cost of living, materials and equipment. A fee increase also can make your co-payment higher.
At Bliss Dental we will help you make the best use of your remaining dental benefits and provide you with a great smile for upcoming holidays.
What you should know about gum disease
• Three out of four adults in the United States have gum (periodontal) disease.
• Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
• Ten percent of American children suffer from juvenile periodontitis.
• The average 2-year-old already has a decayed tooth.
These are shocking statistics when you consider that gum disease is preventable and, if caught early enough, can be treated successfully.
Warning signs for gum disease
• Red, tender or swollen gums
• Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
• Gums that seem to be pulling away from your teeth
• Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
• Teeth that are loose or are separating from each other
Prevention starts at home
While regular dental exams are necessary to remove tartar and detect early signs of gum disease, you play the major role in preventing tartar from forming. Here are some measures you can take to keep your teeth for a lifetime:
• Brush for two to three minutes, twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gumline.
• Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. Don’t like to floss? Try a floss holder,which can make it easier to insert floss between teeth.
• Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, a mouth rinse can reduce plaque up to 20 percent. Toothpicks are also helpful in fighting gum disease —ask your dentist about special types designed to keep gums healthy.
• Eat right. Starchy and sugary foods increase plaque, and only a healthy diet provides the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.
• Avoid cigarettes and chewing tobacco, which may contribute to gum disease and oral cancer. Certain medications can also aggravate gum disease, including oral contraceptives, antidepressants and heart medicines.
• Have your dentist correct problems, such as faulty fillings, crowded teeth or teeth-grinding.
• Schedule regular checkups — the surest way to detect early signs of gum disease.
The phases of gum disease
Because it’s usually painless and slow to progress, gum disease can easily reach an advanced stage, resulting in deterioration of gums and bone structure ands then tooth loss. So how do you know if you have gum disease?
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