Posts for: October, 2016
Losing a tooth doesn't have to have a permanent impact on your smile. Thanks to dental implants, you can replace your tooth and improve your smile. Dr. W. Timothy Brooks, your Huntsville, AL dentist, explains why dental implants are an excellent replacement solution.
Dental implants replace your entire tooth
If you've considered bridges or dentures, you know that those tooth replacement options only sit on top of your gums. Dental implants actually replace your entire tooth, from the root to the crown. The implant itself takes the place of your roots and fuses to your jawbone. A crown, or artificial tooth, added to the top of the implant, not only restores your appearance, but gives you the ability to bite and chew. Replacing the entire tooth offers several important benefits, including:
- Biting Ability: It takes a tremendous amount of force to bite into a hard apple or a nut. In fact, you can only bite hard foods if your teeth are firmly imbedded in your jaw. Since your implants bond to your jawbone, they provide the strength and stability you need to eat any type of food without a problem.
- Ease of Cleaning: There are no special solutions or procedures needed to clean dental implants. You'll just brush and floss as you normally do, although your dentist may recommend that you use an interdental brush to remove plaque from the area around the implant.
- Value: Bridges and dentures, like most things, eventually wear out and must be replaced. If you receive a bridge when you are fairly young, you may have to replace it four or five times during your life. Since dental implants bond to your jawbone, they can last your entire life. Before you make a decision, compare the lifetime costs of each tooth replacement option.
How does the implant process work?
The implant process starts with a minor oral surgical procedure that creates an opening in your jaw. After your dentist places the implant inside, it will take up to six months for bonding to occur. In some cases, you may receive a crown immediately, but in others, it's best to wait until bonding is complete. Although the dental implant process does take a little while, the results are well worth the wait.
Restore your smile with dental implants! Call Dr. Brooks, your Huntsville, AL dentist, at (256) 883-8008 to schedule a consultation to discuss implants.
As a member of the best-selling pop group Spice Girls, Mel C (AKA Sporty Spice) enjoyed her share of musical superstardom. At the band’s peak in the Nineties, the young singer’s signature look featured baggy sweatpants, an assortment of tattoos, a nose stud and a gold-capped incisor, front and center in her mouth. Today, Melanie Chisholm is still singing — but now she’s a mom, an amateur triathlete… and that gold tooth is just a memory. Not only that, her smile looks more evenly spaced and whiter than it did when she was referred to as the “tomboy” of the group.
What happened? In our view, it all boils down to changing tastes — plus a little bit of help from dental professionals. As the “wannabe” singer proves, there’s no single standard when it comes to making your teeth look their best. Your own look is unique to you — and your smile can reflect that individuality.
For example, crowns (caps) are substantial coverings that may be placed on teeth when they are being restored. They are available in three types: gold, all-porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The latter two are tooth-colored, while the gold is — well, shiny like gold bling. Which one is right for you? In many cases, it’s your choice.
Likewise, dental veneers — wafer-thin shells that can correct cosmetic issues by covering the surface of your teeth — can be made in a variety of shades. Their hues may range from natural ivory to Hollywood white, and everything in between. What’s the best color for you? Only you can say.
Some people opt for a “smile makeover” that uses small irregularities in the spacing and color of teeth to create a more “natural” look. Other folks want a perfectly even, brilliant white smile that dazzles the eye. Still others are looking to match or restore the smile they once had — perhaps even re-creating a signature gap between the teeth. As long as there are no other dental issues involved, the choice is yours.
So if you’re unhappy with your smile — or if you feel it doesn’t reflect the person you “wannabe” — why not talk to us about a smile makeover? Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”
Your child's dental health is just as important as any other aspect of their physical development. That's why we recommend beginning regular dental visits around their first birthday.
Besides getting them used to and comfortable with visiting the dentist, there are other solid reasons for starting this habit by age one. Here are 4 benefits for regular early childhood dental visits.
Disease prevention. Children's teeth are just as susceptible to tooth decay as adults. Even primary (baby) teeth need protection so they can fulfill their role as guides for incoming permanent teeth. Besides monitoring and treatment for decay, we can also perform measures to protect teeth (especially in children at high risk) through topical fluoride applications or sealants.
Bite development. We can get early clues that a child's teeth are not erupting properly and are on the way to developing a poor bite (malocclusion). If so, we can initiate measures to lessen the impact of a developing malocclusion, like installing spacers to help guide an erupting permanent tooth. Early intervention can lessen the extent and cost of later orthodontic treatment.
Accident prevention. Disease isn't the only danger your child's teeth and mouth face. Even young toddlers can suffer mouth injuries falling onto furniture while playing or learning to walk. And the risk doesn't diminish as they get older, especially if they're active in sports. We can advise you on accident prevention tips and help fashion a custom mouth guard for that budding athlete in your family.
Caregiver assistance. The most important aspect of children's dental care is what happens every day at home. We can serve as your dental “coaches” to help you get on the right track with daily brushing and flossing, as well as give you helpful tips on good dietary habits that promote nutrition and deter dental disease. We'll also help you work through other childhood issues like teething, thumb sucking or teeth grinding.
Think of us as your partners when it comes to your child's dental care. We'll do our part, and help you do your part too.