Preventive dentistry is the best way to ensure your teeth remain strong and healthy. Caring properly for your teeth and visiting your dentist regularly helps prevent problems from developing and makes it more likely that any signs of cavities or gum disease will be diagnosed early. With diligent preventive care, your chances of a serious dental health issue are greatly reduced.
Types of Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry includes anything that helps prevent problems from developing and that safeguards your oral health. This includes brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups. During your check-ups, preventive care includes X-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatment, digital photography, oral cancer screenings, and everything else your dentist does to keep track of the health of your mouth. These techniques help the dentist find and diagnose any problems before they become serious, making treatment easier and more effective.
Your at-home hygiene efforts are also an important part of preventive care. Regular brushing removes plaque and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing cleans between your teeth and just under the gum line while also massaging your gums to keep them healthy. If you brush your tongue, this eliminates even more bacteria from your mouth, helping prevent bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.
Additional Preventive Care
Your dentist will also screen for oral cancer during your regular check-ups. He’ll look for any unusual growths, bumps, spots, or lesions in your mouth. Early diagnosis is vital for successful treatment of oral cancer, so this screening could save your life.
Other issues your dentist will keep an eye out for regarding your oral health are gingivitis, gum disease, dry mouth, problems with the interior of the tooth, or inflammation that is visible on X-rays but might not be producing any symptoms. He’ll also keep an eye out for impacted teeth, root resorption, damage caused by bruxism, and signs that your teeth are out of proper alignment. By practicing good preventive care, you and your dentist can work together to be sure any problems with your oral health are spotted long before they become serious issues.
Call our dentist today to set up your biannual appointment with us!
Stress can cause numerous problems with your health, including your oral health. Though we often acknowledge stress-related issues like high blood pressure and anxiety, we don’t recognize stress-related dental problems as often. If you are suffering from high levels of stress, you should talk to your dentist to alleviate problems this could be causing in your mouth.
Effects of Stress on Dental Health
The effects of stress on your dental health are many and can cause serious problems. If you have issues with stress in your life, your teeth, mouth, and gums can suffer issues that you might not immediately connect to your stress levels. These can include:
- Canker sores
- Teeth grinding
- Stress-eating that leads to cavities
- Less diligent oral care, resulting in decay or gum disease
- Less effective immune system
If you notice problems such as canker sores or teeth grinding, see your dentist for help. He can recommend treatment. For teeth grinding, our dentist can provide a custom-made mouthguard to keep you from damaging your teeth. Visit our dentist regularly and be sure to keep up with your normal dental care routine and eat healthy foods to avoid additional problems.
Managing Your Stress
The best way to combat the health issues related to stress is to learn how to manage it. This could include cutting back on your obligations, if possible, or looking for a less stressful job or a friendlier workplace. Other approaches can also help, such as regular meditation, exercise, or yoga. Your doctor can recommend a good approach to stress management if you can’t find something that works well for you.
In the long run, managing your stress will pay off in dividends of much improved health across the board. People under stress are more likely to develop high blood pressure, heart disease, and other major health problems. They’re also more likely to develop cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and bad habits like teeth grinding or chewing on pens and pencils. If stress is eating away at your health, find out what you can do to counter it by contacting our office today to set up an appointment with our Dr. Sheth.
What would be the one thing you would change about your smile if you could? Remove stain or discoloration; close unwanted gaps between teeth; make your teeth appear less misshapen; or fix chipped or broken teeth? There is a minimally invasive procedure that can correct many cosmetic dental maladies: porcelain veneers.
Our dentist will consult with you to demonstrate the many ways veneers can improve your appearance. Veneers are wafer thin shells that are made to match neighboring teeth that do not require correction. This means that you can correct one or multiple teeth, and no one will be able to tell you’ve undergone the dental correction.
Why are veneers so popular when it comes to cosmetic dental repair? The veneers are made from porcelain making them stain resistant. Teeth covered with veneers are strengthened when porcelain is cemented to the front of the patient’s teeth.
This affordable process allows your dentist to enhance your smile by covering:
Dental stain – When stubborn intrinsic stains mar your smile, veneers can take dull, stained, and drab teeth to white and bright. To enjoy the whitest smile possible, your dentist may recommend whitening your teeth first so your veneers can be matched to your new dental shade. This is important as porcelain is not impacted by teeth whitening.
Unwanted gaps – Those spaces between your teeth may have been “cute” when you were a child, but are a distraction now. Veneers appear to close those gaps completely.
Crooked, uneven teeth – You may have a few teeth that lack symmetry making you self-conscious about your smile. Veneers can even out your smile by making your teeth appear straight and uniform in size.
Chipped teeth – Dental enamel is strong, but not invincible. Teeth can chip and break. It is not necessary to undergo extensive repair when veneers can cover up the problem.
Our dentist will prepare your teeth by removing a very small amount of the enamel (about the thickness of the veneer itself) from the front of teeth to receive the veneers. Part of the preparation involves roughing up the tooth’s surface to provide better gripping. The veneers are temporarily placed to guarantee a proper fit and excellent appearance.
If needed, minor adjustments can be made at this time. Once everyone is satisfied with the result, the veneers are cemented in place making this a permanent, affordable smile makeover.
Call our office to discuss your cosmetic treatments with our experts!
Traditional fillings have been around for many years, and it’s only in the last few decades that a workable replacement has moved into mainstream dentistry. If you have metal fillings that have become discolored, you can have them replaced with tooth-colored fillings that are much more attractive.
Tooth Colored Fillings for a More Attractive Smile
Fillings have been a staple in dental reconstruction for a very long time. Traditionally, they are made of a metal amalgam. In recent years, however, more and more dentists are using tooth-colored fillings. These are made of plastic resins or porcelain. While not always as durable as metal fillings, they are more attractive, and some people feel they are better for your overall health.
One problem often associated with metal fillings is discoloration. They can become dark and unattractive and give your teeth a stained appearance. If you’re unhappy with the way your fillings look, talk to our dentist about tooth-colored replacements. If you’ve had tooth-colored fillings before and they’ve become stained, they also can be replaced with newer, color-matched versions to revitalize your smile.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Aside from the obvious advantage of matching your natural teeth, tooth-colored fillings provide additional advantages, including:
- They don’t conduct heat and cold, which can result in discomfort
- The resin bonds with your tooth to help prevent cracking
- Resin does not expand and contract like amalgam
- They do not contain mercury like amalgam fillings do
- They don’t require as much drilling
Porcelain or resin fillings are often more expensive than metal fillings, but these advantages offset the additional cost. If taken care of, they will last nearly as long as amalgam fillings. They also reduce the possibility that your tooth will crack over time and require a crown. For teeth that experience considerable bite pressures, such as molars, wear might be more extreme, so be sure to discuss your options with our dentist.
Contact our office today to set up an appointment to meet with Dr. Sheth and discuss your treatment options.
Plaque is a sticky white substance that clings to your teeth. Its acidic nature means it can eat through the enamel of your teeth, causing cavities. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly keeps plaque from building up on your teeth, and regular visits to your dentist ensures any cavities can be treated before they become serious. But another, very effective tool against plaque buildup is an electronic toothbrush.
Benefits of an Electronic Toothbrush
An electronic toothbrush has several important advantages over a regular toothbrush. It can brush evenly and at a consistent speed and pressure. Many electronic toothbrushes have timers you can use to be sure you brush for a full two minutes—the length of time recommended for effective brushing. The motion of the brushes helps massage the gums, increasing blood flow to these vital tissues. Some electronic toothbrushes also have specially designed bristles that help clean between the teeth, removing plaque and food particles that a traditional brush might not reach.
If you are interested in using an electronic toothbrush, ask our dentist for a recommendation. There is a wide variety of brands available, and we might feel one or two are better than others. Our specialists can also base his recommendation on your individual needs and your oral health history.
Helping Maintain Your Oral Health
In addition to regular brushing with an electronic toothbrush, there are other measures you can take to keep your mouth and teeth healthy and clean. Brushing with a regular toothbrush is effective if you brush regularly and diligently and are sure to brush for about two minutes with each session. Regular flossing is also very important, as it removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth. If you have difficulty with gingivitis in spite of using an electronic toothbrush, a water-based tool to clear out the spaces between the teeth can be a helpful addition. Also be sure to visit our dentist regularly, and if you have any questions about proper brushing and flossing technique or what kinds of tools are best for you and your teeth, be sure to ask.
Are you ready for your biannual dental cleaning? Call us today at Bliss Dental to set up your appointment!
Teeth whitening is a simple, straightforward procedure that produces dramatic and immediate results. It is extremely safe and has very few side effects, although some patients do experience increased sensitivity after whitening treatment.
Side Effects of Teeth Whitening
As a general rule, teeth whitening has few to no side effects. This is particularly true for in-office whitening performed by a cosmetic dentist. When the dentist prepares you for treatment, she uses a special gel to protect your lips and a plastic appliance to protect your tongue. This greatly reduces the risk of irritation to the soft oral tissues due to contact with the bleaching agent. This side effect is more common in over-the-counter whitening treatments or take-home treatments, in which it is more likely that your lips and tongue will come in contact with the whitener.
One fairly common side effect of whitening is increased tooth sensitivity. This is usually not extreme, and in most cases fades after a few days or weeks. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help alleviate this sensitivity until it goes away.
Choosing Teeth Whitening
If you’re unhappy with the way your teeth look due to discoloration or staining, talk to your cosmetic dentist about whitening. This type of treatment is appropriate for almost everyone, with some exceptions, including:
- Pregnant women
- Nursing women
- Patients under 18
If the discoloration on your teeth is due to staining agents and affects only the outer surfaces, whitening is likely to be very effective. However, if your teeth are discolored due to exposure to fluoride or antibiotics, or because the teeth have been injured, whitening won’t help. In these cases, you should consult with your dentist regarding the best option. For intrinsic staining, porcelain veneers are a good choice. For injured teeth, you might need restorations, a crown, or even a root canal treatment to restore your tooth so it will continue to be usable.
If you’re ready to receive a brighter smile, call us at Bliss Dental and schedule an appointment with our specialist, Dr. Sheth.
Dental crowns are commonly used for restorations when teeth have been broken, severely cracked, severely decayed, or have been treated with a root canal procedure. Crowns were once exclusively made of metal, but now there are more available options.
Types of Dental Crowns
For many years, dental crowns were mostly made of gold, although some crowns, usually used on younger patients’ baby teeth, were made of stainless steel. Now, if you need a crown you can choose from a few different options, depending upon the location of the crown and how much stress it is likely to have to endure.
The basic types of crowns are:
- Metal—gold crowns are still a popular option, especially for molars
- Porcelain—these tooth-colored crowns are popular for front teeth
- Bonded metal—metal bonded with porcelain, these crowns are both natural looking and strong
The type of crown you choose to have is based on where it will be located and upon your personal preference. A gold crown is very functional for molars, but if you prefer to have a tooth-colored crown, you can choose porcelain or bonded metal. However, porcelain tends to wear more quickly than metal, especially on molars where it is subjected to much stronger biting and chewing pressure. Your dentist can help you decide on the best choice that incorporates functionality, durability, and attractiveness.
Uses for Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are most often used for restorations that cannot be repaired with a filling. Most commonly, they are used on teeth that:
- Are severely decayed
- Are broken off
- Need restoration and have already been treated with a filling
- Are cracked
- Have been treated with a root canal procedure
The crown helps keep the tooth intact and also provides strength so the tooth can endure everyday wear and tear from eating. Crowns are custom-made to exactly fit your tooth and complement the rest of your teeth to maintain a proper bite.
Are you needing a crown? Call us at Bliss Dental to make your appointment or consultation today!
Wisdom teeth removal is a very common procedure. In fact, most people’s wisdom teeth cause sufficient problems to the extent that they must be removed. So if wisdom teeth are usually removed, why do we get them in the first place? No one is really sure, but there are some theories.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth is a term used to refer to the very last set of molars, which usually arrive when we are in our late teens or early twenties. Because they arrive later in life, the teeth earned their unique nickname.
Unfortunately, by the time these teeth arrive, we usually don’t have sufficient room for them. The teeth commonly become impacted, which leads to infection, crowding, and other problems.
Unfortunately, by the time these teeth arrive, we usually don’t have sufficient room for them. The teeth commonly become impacted, which leads to infection, crowding, and other problems.
If the teeth cause any of these problems, wisdom teeth removal becomes necessary. Sometimes they can be extracted in your dentist’s office, but other times they must be removed by an oral surgeon. If your wisdom teeth become uncomfortable, or if there are any signs of infection, talk to your dentist as soon as possible.
What Purpose Do Wisdom Teeth Serve?
For modern humans, wisdom teeth actually serve little to no purpose. There is rarely enough room in the jaw for them to erupt properly. However, some scientists have theorized that they had a purpose at an earlier time in our evolution. They are considered a vestigial organ, which is a bodily structure that has, essentially, outlived its usefulness from an evolutionary standpoint.
It’s thought that, at one time, humans needed their wisdom teeth. By the time they came in during early adulthood, primitive humans had probably lost at least some of their teeth to wear and tear, trauma, or decay. This tooth loss made extra room in the mouth, so the last set of molars could emerge without difficulty. They would take the place of missing teeth, making it easier to eat and thereby possibly extending the lifespan of early man. Today, however, we keep our teeth much longer, so there is no real need for this last set of molars.
To evaluate your set of molars, call 972-307-7777 to schedule an appointment with the friendly team at Bliss Dental.
Dental caries (tooth decay) are incredibly common. In fact, about 99% of people will develop at least one cavity in their lifetime. When teeth are damaged, a professional must repair them because, unlike other parts of the body, they do not self-heal. Small regions of decay are normally treated by a small restoration called a filling. A filling will restore the tooth’s shape and prevent the cavity from deepening. Our dentist provides a variety of restorative and cosmetic treatments, including tooth colored fillings, to help our patients enjoy the benefits of healthy teeth and gums.
Why Restorations are Necessary
To understand why restorative dentistry is sometimes a necessity, people should understand the basics of tooth anatomy. The outer layer of teeth (tooth enamel) is a mineralized barrier that prevents bacteria from eating through its softer, interior structures. When tooth enamel is broken down by wear and tear or weakened by exposure to acid, the underlying structures of teeth are virtually indefensible to cavity causing bacteria. For many people, enamel erosion and weakening is unavoidable and since damaged teeth cannot self-repair, restorations are needed to stop the spread of the cavity and restore a tooth to its rightful size.
How Fillings Restore Teeth
A filling replaces a small area of tooth decay by “filling in” the damage done by a cavity. Placing a filling is minimally invasive. Patients will only require a local anesthetic. The tooth will then be cleaned and its decayed portion will be removed. A filling is then bonded to the tooth. In the past, fillings were very noticeable. This is because they were made from amalgam, a dark metal compound. Today, however, a more natural looking option is available. Tooth colored fillings are made from composite resin. This compound is very durable and can be matched to the exact color of biological tooth structure. The result is a very discreet restoration that is unnoticeable to others.
To schedule a checkup or consultation with our experienced dental team, call our office today.
Has a medical professional recommended that you have your wisdom teeth extracted? Perhaps you are wondering whether this procedure is necessary. Wisdom teeth (third molars) are the most frequently extracted teeth because they pose many threats to one’s oral health. Removing third molars is often a precautionary measure that helps reduce a patient’s risk for gum disease, dental caries, and abscesses. Our team offers comprehensive oral health care including gentle wisdom tooth extractions.
Why are wisdom teeth a threat to my oral health?
Third molars are a threat to oral health for a few different reasons. First, their placement at the back of the mouth makes them difficult to keep clean. Secondly, wisdom teeth rarely have enough room to come through the gums properly. This means that wisdom teeth become stuck in the gums and if any of the tooth’s crown erupts at all, it is normally only a portion. Partially erupted teeth increase the risk for gum disease and tooth decay. With only a part of the crown exposed, food and bacteria collect under the gums. Lastly, since adult teeth are already well established, wisdom teeth can cause existing teeth to shift out of alignment. In many cases, wisdom tooth eruption will cause teeth to crowd and even overlap.
Are there other complications associated with retaining third molars?
Yes, in addition to an increased risk of tooth decay, periodontal disease, and unhealthy tooth movement, there are other complications associated with keeping wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth commonly produce uncomfortable symptoms like headaches and facial pain. Discomfort caused by third molars affects quality of life, often on a daily basis.
How will I know when it is time to have my wisdom teeth removed?
The best way to determine when to have a wisdom tooth extraction is by consulting with a dentist. During oral examinations, our team can monitor the progress of wisdom tooth eruption through a physical examination and diagnostic technology. When wisdom teeth require removal, we will develop a treatment plan that suits your unique needs and situation.
To schedule a free wisdom tooth consultation, call our friendly team today.
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