Experts recommend that each member of your family see a dentist every six months for ideal oral health. One of the most convenient ways to accomplish this is to establish a relationship with a qualified family dentist. This type of dentist sees patients of all ages and oral conditions, so that you can all get the dental care you need in one place.
Dental checkups are usually considered to be rather routine. During the visit, you generally will have your entire mouth examined, X-rays taken if recommended, and professional teeth cleaning performed. Evaluations will be made for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, or any other issues that might be of concern. You can expect all of these typical treatments from your family dentist.
Another important part of your dental visit is to discuss your oral condition as well as your overall health with the dentist. If you are the parent of a young child, you will need to voice any issues with the dentist that your child may have. Some of the topics to discuss with your dentist include changes you’ve noticed in your oral condition, pain or other problems you are experiencing, medications that you are taking, and any other health problems that are present. Your oral health and your general health can be linked in many ways, so it’s important to be open and thorough in your discussions with your family dentist.
Family dentists are experienced in handling all kinds of patients and their concerns. Dental anxiety or phobia is one example, since it’s not uncommon for patients to be nervous about the dentist. Young children are especially susceptible to this concern, but family dentists are well-versed in treating them. Senior patients bring their own unique set of issues, and family dentists are able to successfully treat this age group as well. Family dentists are also able to make recommendations for other types of specialists as needed, such as orthodontists, endodontists, or oral surgeons. The goal is good oral health care for every member of your family, and that is what family dentists are trained and experienced in providing.
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If you’ve tried teeth whitening products or other methods to improve the look of your smile but still aren’t satisfied, maybe it’s time to consider the more permanent solution of dental veneers. These provide a painless and simple way to transform your smile without the hassles that some other solutions involve.
What are veneers?:
These very thin shells are usually made from porcelain or composite materials, and they fit right onto the surface of the fronts of your teeth to improve their appearance. They hide imperfections so that no one can even tell what your natural teeth underneath might look like.
What are the benefits?:
In addition to making your smile look nicer, veneers also may be used to fill in gaps between your teeth. They can repair chips in your teeth or decayed areas. Veneers can even correct crooked teeth because they may be used to align your smile in a more appealing way.
Which type should I choose?:
Porcelain veneers are the most popular choice because of its durability and natural appearance. Veneers made of composite are often less expensive, but tend to stain easier and require replacement sooner. Composite veneers may be a good choice for small tooth chip repairs, but for overall improvement porcelain is often the preferred material.
What’s the process for getting veneers?:
After your initial consultation with your dentist, your next appointment will involve gently altering the shape and surface of your teeth if necessary to prepare them for veneers. Then a mold will be made of your mouth so that custom veneers can be created. You’ll be fitted for temporary veneers while your permanent ones are made, which usually takes a few weeks. When they are ready, your veneers will be placed using special glue and then trimmed to fit exactly. Your new smile is now complete!
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The importance of having a family dentist who can take care of every family member’s oral health needs can’t be emphasized enough. You can prevent cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss by visiting your family dentist regularly. Not only that, your overall health and your appearance will also benefit.
Better oral health:
Regular examinations by your family dentist will check for problems like tooth decay and cavities. Gum disease is another oral health issue that your dentist will look for, so that it can be detected and treated early. Dental problems are much easier to handle when they are caught early, before they can advance to more serious stages which may even mean tooth loss. Your teeth will also have a thorough professional cleaning at dental visits, getting rid of unhealthy plaque and tartar. Children can begin visiting the family dentist around the first birthday, and checkups should continue throughout life.
In additional to advantages for your oral health, your smile will look more appealing when you maintain regular family dental visits. Your teeth will be in the best condition possible when you have examinations and cleanings as recommended. If you are interested in further treatment that your family dentist doesn’t specialize in, you may be referred to a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist.
Enhanced overall health:
You may not realize it, but seeing a family dentist does more than protect your teeth. Your overall health will be improved when you care for your oral health. Gum disease has been linked to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and pregnancy complications. So your risk for these serious health problems may be decreased with regular visits to your family dentist. Another health problem that dental checkups can catch is oral cancer. Most dentists perform routine oral cancer screenings during examinations, so that your chances for recovery are much greater with early detection and treatment.
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By far, the best way to brighten and whiten your smile is through an in-office treatment performed by your dentist. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel used by your dentist is much higher than that which can be obtained over-the-counter by you in a drugstore. Lasers or special lights are employed by many dentists to achieve the best results.
With the rise in popularity of in-office teeth whitening, some specialty brands have emerged that offer different methods and ingredient strengths to address even the most stubborn stains.
- BriteSmile also uses whitening gel and a blue light, but their gel has a concentration of 15 percent hydrogen peroxide and a nearly neutral pH level, a mix that is easier on sensitive gum tissue.
- Lumbrite employs a custom light, known as the Sapphire Plasma Arc Curing and Whitening Light. This light has no destructive UV rays, although the gel is so strong it can work without the light. Lumbrite also has a desensitizing agent in its gel to reduce problems with sensitivity.
- GLO Science Professional has a specialized mouthpiece that employs Guided Light Optics (GLO) that works in tangent with a whitening gel, delivering light and heat to the tooth surfaces. The mouthpiece prevents oxygen from leaving the treatment area, giving optimal whitening results.
- Philips Zoom! is one of the most popular and well-known of the teeth whitening brands available at the dentist’s office. Their whitening gel uses a 25 percent concentration of peroxide which is stimulated by a proprietary blue light to achieve maximum whitening and is said to provide a more sparkling look to your enamel.
- Opalescence uses one of the most powerful gels available, utilizing a 40 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide as well as potassium nitrate to reduce gum and tooth sensitivity after treatment. It also contains fluoride which strengthens the tooth enamel and reduces decay.
Talk to your dentist today to determine which of these or any other professional whitening methods is best for you and your teeth whitening needs.
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If root canal treatment has been recommended for you, you’re probably a little nervous. Maybe you’re a LOT nervous, but if you’re thinking about putting off your treatment, don’t. If you need root canal therapy, the underlying conditions that necessitate it will not go away left untreated. In fact, they’ll just get worse and worse over time, causing you more pain and discomfort and potentially leading to more serious complications.
If you don’t treat the infection in your tooth, it will spread. Beginning at your tooth’s roots, it will travel to your jawbone and eventually to your healthy teeth. Your entire jawbone can be put at risk. By treating your infection promptly with root canal therapy, your mouth can be free of infection and you will begin the process of healing.
Serious diseases like heart disease and diabetes have been directly linked to gum disease. During pregnancy, many problems including low birth weight and premature birth can occur as a direct result of infection and bacteria in the mouth. Several types of cancers have all been shown to have a link to poor overall oral health. The mouth is truly the pathway for everything that goes into the body, and if it’s providing a steady stream of bacteria and infection to be spread throughout your body, it’s extremely problematic.
Don’t worry about pain following your procedure. Root canal therapies are meant to relieve pain, not cause it. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel after your mouth is infection-free.
If you ignore your infected tooth for long enough, it may either fall out on its own or need to be extracted. Missing teeth come with a long list of oral issues, including difficulties with bite alignment and speech only corrected with some kind of dental restoration.
Don’t wait to have your root canal treatment. Don’t open yourself up to the myriad of consequences that could result from postponing treatment.
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Due to the increased interest in cosmetic dentistry, many family dentists are becoming trained to offer more extensive procedures and treatments geared to improve the appearance of your smile. Many of these treatments are quick and painless, and can offer almost instant results. Some of the cosmetic dentistry options offered by your family dentist may include:
- Professional teeth whitening to improve the color and brightness of dark, dingy, or discolored teeth
- Placement of dental veneers to improve the look of gapped, stained, or crooked teeth
- Replacement of old or unattractive metal fillings with more natural, tooth-colored materials
- Placement of crowns and bridges to repair and replace missing or severely damaged teeth
- Correction of small spaces or gaps between teeth by bonding with tooth-colored composite resin
- Insertion of dental implants to replace missing teeth
- Straightening of teeth and correction of bite problems with braces or Invisalign
Because your family dentist is already aware of your family’s dental history, it will be simple to recommend treatment plans. With this knowledge, your dentist can also quickly and expertly assess if you or other members of your family are suitable candidates for the procedures you are seeking. Your family dentist can perform all the same services as both a pediatric dentist and a general dentist, and will be able to address the cosmetic dental concerns of every member of your family. Family dentists can provide advice as to which procedures are age appropriate and give guidelines for when treatment is recommended.
If anyone in your family is not pleased with the appearance of their teeth, consult first with your family dentist to find out what cosmetic dental procedures and treatments are offered to improve the quality of their smile.
We look forward to seeing you in our Meriden dental office