Beacon Place Dental Group

Invisible Braces: Not Just for Looks

When most of us think of invisible braces such as Realine®, we naturally assume that their sole purpose is to enhance the aesthetic value of one’s smile.

Here, we outline just a few reasons, outside of the obvious aesthetic benefits, that invisible braces can help you:

 

  • Invisible BracesPeriodontal Health: Overcrowded teeth can result in swollen, red, irritated gums. More often than not, these symptoms are the result of periodontal disease. Braces help to straighten and evenly space teeth to allow for enhanced gum health.
  • Better Cleaning Access: Because the clear teeth aligners are removable, you can do a better job of brushing and flossing your teeth, just as you would without braces. By contrast, traditional metal braces limit access to the surfaces and in-between areas of teeth, making it difficult to maintain a good brushing and flossing routine.
  • Healthy Diet: Invisible braces are removable, which means that there are no restrictions to what you eat. This allows you to continue your healthy eating habits just as if you didn’t have braces at all. With traditional metal wires and braces, however, some people fall into the trap of eating only soft foods and thus miss out on much-needed nutrients.
  • Overall Health: Because oral infections are thought to be related to other health issues in the body such as an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, keeping your teeth properly spaced and straightened is an important first step toward better health throughout your body.

 

Allow us to enhance your smile both aesthetically and from an oral health standpoint as well with invisible braces!

Dental Implants: FAQ

Dental Implant FAQDental implants are becoming more and more popular these days, and we can see why. The ability to replace a missing tooth with a brand new one is an attractive concept.

We know that people often have questions about implants, so we have put together this page to answer those common questions:

What is a dental implant?
Implants are artificial teeth that function exactly like your natural teeth. We take a titanium screw, attach it to your jaw, allow the jaw to grow around the screw, and then fit the new tooth in right where the old one used to be. It will feel exactly like your old tooth used to when you had it.

How quick is the procedure?
It depends on just how strong and healthy your jaw is. Your jaw may very well be ready to receive the new tooth quickly, but it may also take time to grow around the screw. If your jaw is weak, we can also transplant bone from other parts of your body first, via another procedure called “bone grafting”, to grow a fresh, strong base where the screw can be inserted. If that is the case, the whole process takes more time, but again, it depends on your case.

Does it hurt?
No. Medications and anesthesia are available to reduce or eliminate pain. You shouldn’t feel a thing.

Since it’s an artificial tooth, do I need to care for it as if it were alive?
You should clean and maintain your implant exactly like you do with your living teeth. Though the implant isn’t going to die, it can still allow bacteria to build up, like your other teeth do. Clean all of your teeth with care, and they should all stay healthy.

How long do they last?
If your implant is taken good care of, it should last a long, long time. Perhaps 40 years and sometimes even a lifetime!

What should I eat after the procedure?
Eat soft food. We will help you decide on a diet that works for you depending on the specifics of your case and treatment.

Have more questions? Call us! We would be glad to set up an evaluation.

Veneers: Doorway to a Successful Smile

For minor tooth imperfections, veneers provide the opportunity of an improved smile with little hassle and minimal time invested.   In fact, with veneers, we can help you achieve a new smile! Here are some commonly asked questions about veneers and how they can help to resolve a variety of cosmetic dental issues!

Veneers - Doorway to a Successful SmileWhat are veneers?

Veneers are thin layers of porcelain placed over damaged teeth to improve the durability and aesthetic appeal of your smile. As a bonus, veneers also offer strength and resilience similar to that of natural tooth enamel! First we will analyze your smile to identify where veneers might make improvements. Next we will create the veneers and finally we will bond them to your teeth.

Why should I get veneers?

Veneers are ideal for fixing imperfections that are caused by one or more of the following situations:

  • Discolored teeth: Often, drug use, smoking, excessive amounts of fluoride and even root canal treatments can lead to a discolored smile.
  • Worn down teeth.
  • Broken or chipped teeth.
  • Gaps between teeth.
  • Misaligned or uneven teeth.

How can I get veneers?

Give us a call to set up a veneers consultation. We will examine your mouth and decide whether you are a good candidate for veneers.

Before the veneers are designed, we will scrape about half a millimeter of enamel off of your tooth, roughly equal to the thickness of the added veneer. This ensures good bonding and adequate space for the veneer. After the veneer has been created (roughly two weeks after your first visit), we will carefully examine whether it fits in your mouth and how it looks next to your other teeth. Then we will apply a special adhesive to your tooth and finally place the veneer on top!

Call us today to set up an appointment to reclaim your perfect smile!

 

Porcelain Veneers for a Flawless Smile

You may already love your smile – that’s great! But what if you’re not happy with some of the minor details? To perfect an already great smile, we may recommend veneers. Porcelain veneers are a great tool for correcting minor imperfections on the surface of teeth and spacing issues as well!

Here are some common questions we are asked regarding veneers:Porcelain Veneers for a Flawless Smile

Will they feel weird on my teeth?
You won’t feel a thing. Veneers are thinner than your fingernails, so you won’t even notice them in your mouth. They are far less intrusive (and embarrassing) than braces.

How long do they last?
Longer than your car. A good, properly placed veneer can last from 10-20 years. And, just like a car, the better you take care of your veneers, the longer they’ll last. A great investment for an enhanced smile!

Will they ever fall off?
They’re not going anywhere. Veneers are attached to your tooth with a very strong bonding compound. It’s like superglue designed for teeth. They do not fall off and provide years of durable use.

Do veneers look like natural teeth?
You can count on it. Porcelain is the perfect material to copy tooth enamel, as it incorporates luster, shine and translucence to look just like your natural teeth. People will be remarking on your great smile for years to come.

What if the surrounding teeth are a different color?
We’ve got you covered. Generally we recommend a whiter shade of porcelain for the veneer and perform tooth whitening in conjunction with the veneer to give you a perfect match throughout your mouth.

Do veneers stain?
They’ll always be white. Porcelain veneers do not stain, even over time. That’s one of the reasons that we use this material!

If you want to take your smile to the next level, ask us if veneers are a good option for you!

6 Reasons for Considering Dental Implants

Loss of permanent teeth is more common than you’d think. The average adult age 20-34 is missing 1 permanent tooth, the average adult age 35-49 is missing 3 permanent teeth, and the average adult over the age of 50 is missing 6 permanent teeth! There are a variety of different tooth replacement options, but we believe that dental implants offer the most success, with the best aesthetics and functionality. Take a look at just a few of the many benefits of dental implants!

  1. 6 Reasons-for-Considering-Dental-ImplantsLong-lasting. Dental implants are designed to be the permanent solution for missing teeth. Dental bridges last 5-10 years and crowns last 10-15 years, but dental implants can last 20 years, even a lifetime with proper dental care, making them a cost-efficient alternative to other modes of tooth replacement.
  2. No cavities. Because they are made of titanium, dental implants are not subject to decay. They also don’t put stress on other teeth, which helps avoid tooth erosion.
  3. Like natural teeth. Dental implants are natural-looking and fully functional. Unlike dentures, which are bulky and removable, cause sores and require the application of adhesive, dental implants are comfortable, permanent fixtures that don’t interfere with eating or speaking. And, because pressure is applied to the jaw bone when you bite down on dental implants, chewing with dental implants doesn’t feel any different from chewing with your natural teeth.
  4. Preserve jaw bone. Without a tooth to support, the jaw bone begins to atrophy, and this bone degradation makes the replacement of missing teeth nearly impossible without the help of jaw regenerative procedures such as bone grafting.
  5. Appearance. Your teeth play an important role in supporting your facial structure. Missing teeth can cause your features to sag and your face to lose shape, which tends to have an aging effect. Replacing missing teeth works wonders for improving your appearance and helping you look younger.
  6. Tooth stability. When you’re missing a tooth, your surrounding teeth are no longer stabilized and they start to shift out of position. Dental implants secure teeth in place and, as a result, prevent severe problems such as periodontal disease and further tooth loss.

Schedule a consultation with us if you’re ready to transform your smile!

 

Seeking Whiter Teeth? Not So fast!

“Can’t I just whiten my teeth at home?” Read on to learn why it’s important for teeth whitening to be prescribed and performed by a professional.

WhiteningBlogWe’ve all seen them, those bulky little boxes of whitening strips and gel potions, calling our name out from the aisles as we casually pick up a fresh tube of toothpaste. I would even bet that more than a few of you have left the store clutching that box, hoping that the $50 will be worth it. After all, you don’t know much about how to use them properly or what chemicals are involved. The most common side effects of at home whitening are: tooth sensitivity and gum sensitivity. There are a few things that should be considered prior to using at-home bleaching treatments.

Heading into the office for a check-up should always be your first step when reaching for a whiter smile. A dental professional can help you establish whether your mouth is healthy enough to withstand a bleaching treatment. If deep cavities are present, the bleach can have a straight shot to the blood vessels present in your teeth. The bleach can also gain access to the nerve and bone at the root of the tooth through a deep cavity. Just as you should not start any diet or exercise regimen without getting checked out by a physician, you should also take the same precaution with teeth enhancing treatments. When a dental professional performs a whitening treatment, the gum area is protected at application. Another great reason to opt for in-office whitening is that the professional products used by dentists contain only high quality ingredients that are gentler on your teeth!

A whiter, brighter smile gives the impression of youth. We perceive a white, bright smile as a healthy smile. Save yourself the sensitivity and see us today!

Weighing the Costs of Dental Implants

 

When compared to the costs of other tooth replacement options, boy do dental implants seem expensive! Yet you may be surprised to learn that, in the long run, dental implants can be more affordable than their traditional counterparts. Understanding this procedure and the factors that determine the costs can help you decide if dental implants are a good investment for you!

Weighing Costs Implants 2What is a Dental Implant? A dental implant is a permanent replacement for lost teeth. It is made of an artificial tooth firmly held in place by a tooth root made of titanium (which is biocompatible) that is surgically placed into your jaw. Dental implants help stabilize the jaw and the bone around it to avoid future bone loss and maintain the shape of your jaw. They never have to be removed and feel more natural and comfortable than dentures. And unlike bridges or crowns, which are cemented in, the chances of slippage or shifting are eliminated. With implants, talking and eating become worry free.

Steps In a Dental Implant Procedure. We will first use extensive imaging to determine bone health, height, and thickness to assess your bone and teeth structure carefully. The surgery itself is done in our office in separate stages. First, the implant is surgically placed into your jawbone, completely hidden within your gum tissue. Once the implant has integrated into your bone, a healing process of about 4 to 6 months, the next stage is the placement of the abutment, or the post that penetrates the gum and will connect the replacement tooth to the implant. The final stage involves attaching your artificial tooth (made from impressions of your natural tooth) to the abutment. If more than one tooth is being replaced, a removable bridge is used, as it is more affordable than implanting each tooth separately. For a bridge, it takes only one implant on either side to span an area holding several teeth. The bridge snaps into place for a more permanent and natural fit than dentures.

Factors That Affect the Cost. While dental implant surgery is a safe and routine option, it is a complex procedure that takes time and expertise to be done effectively. There are many factors that will influence the final costs including what X-ray and CT scans are necessary to evaluate and assess the implant area and the brand and material of the post, abutment and artificial teeth. However, the biggest cost factor is the complexity of the surgery itself. For example, how many teeth are we replacing and what is the location? Will additional procedures, such as bone grafting or sinus elevation be required? We do our best to make sure that your estimate includes all of the possible costs of each of the steps of your procedure.

While dental implants may seem expensive, they are often more affordable in the long run than traditional restoration methods such as crowns and bridges, which are more vulnerable to damage and usually require repairs or replacement every few years.

Dental implants are known to have a 95% success rate when completed by professionals with the right experience and training, such as us! Because dental implants offer a permanent solution, are natural and comfortable, and require little maintenance, they are a cost effective choice for most of our patients.

Veneers: Be the Architect of Your Own Smile!

Have you ever wanted to be the architect of your own smile? Do you look in the mirror and pinpoint exactly what you’d change about your teeth, if you could? Veneers are your opportunity to do, just that!

??????? ? ??????There are certain qualities a veneer candidate’s mouth must possess. These qualities are as follows:

  • Good overall health
  • Absent signs of tooth decay and/or gum disease
  • Not a habitual teeth grinder
  • Properly aligned bite, teeth are more or less in normal positions
  • Sufficient tooth enamel in order to support the veneer

After you have become an approved veneer candidate, we will become partners in designing your ideal smile! Veneer qualities can be described as: durable, hard, strong, translucent and glassy. Most people may not know this but veneers actually are fairly translucent and act like a contact lens would on your eye. This translucence allows for the natural tooth color to come through, yet that the lab technician can bake your approved hue into your set of veneers can enhance the shade. There are three aspects to the shade selection process.

  • Color Tone – the natural tones of teeth are: red, blue and yellow
  • Chroma – the intensity of the hue
  • Value – the darkness or lightness of the hue

You will still be able to eat hard food (such as an apple) and maintenance of your new veneers will not differ from your current tooth care routine. Brush and floss as normal, simply avoiding abrasive toothpastes. A good home care regimen will insure your veneers lifespan.

If you’re thinking about veneers you should call us so we can help you decide if this cosmetic service is right for you! It’s never too late to get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Dental Implants: What’s All The Hype?

These days, we all know someone who has a dental implant, and you have probably heard us champion these teeth substitutes, as they become more and more the common cure for missing teeth!

But why? Dental Implants What's all the Hype

We think that’s a valid question and it deserves a good answer!

Bone Loss
Any oral health professional will tell you that living with a missing tooth can have negative consequences that go well below the gum line. The problem doesn’t stop at the single tooth that goes missing. The jawbone also suffers. When there is not a tooth set in the jawbone offering regular stimulation, you lose bone mass in that area. That loss of jawbone contributes to a decline in facial aesthetics as the jaw shrinks away. The loss of jawbone also means that when you do have an implant later in life, you will likely require extensive bone grafting prior to the implant procedure. Traditional tooth “replacement” methods such as dentures and bridges do not solve the problem of bone loss.

In contrast, dental implants eliminate these problems and encourage a healthy, strong and adequate jaw by integrating with it (also known as: osseointegration). The implant then provides regular stimulation (as you chew food), and keeps the jawbone in proper health.

Lifestyle and Diet
Most people with dentures report that in addition to living in fear of their dentures falling out in social settings, they also must live with a restricted diet, unable to enjoy the foods that they previously ate. This same restricted diet goes for those with wobbly bridges and crowns as well. More often than not, those restricted foods are some of the healthiest ones, such as crunchy, fibrous fruits and vegetables.

Dental implants look and feel nearly identical to your regular teeth, and are second only to your natural teeth when it comes to form and function. Dental implants allow you to eat and live freely with a healthy diet and without fear. In addition to that, dental implants have a 98% success rate and can often last you for a lifetime!

Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

It’s estimated that 125 million Americans are missing at least one tooth.  If you are one of them, you may be considering dental implants for tooth replacement.  We think it’s important for you to know what factors make a person a good candidate for such a procedure.  Here are a few things to consider.Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants2

Most People Are Good Candidates.

Dental implants can replace one, several, or all of your teeth.  They can be used in place of bridges or dentures.  Good candidates have healthy gums and are old enough so that their jawbone has stopped growing.  You should also have enough bone to support and anchor the implants. Even if you have lost bone in your jaw, however, you may still be a good candidate for implants.  In fact, dental implants may be recommended to prevent further bone loss.  In these situations, bone can actually be rebuilt with grafting procedures as part of the implant process. 

Evaluation.

Successful implantation starts with a thorough evaluation of your jaw, teeth, mouth and overall health.  You will receive a mouth X-ray and possibly a Computed Tomography (CT) scan.  This will help us identify areas of bone loss and carefully see the shape of your sinuses and nerve location to make accurate assessments for your treatment.  We will also do a thorough medical evaluation, as your overall health and history plays a big role in how well your implant will heal and fuse to the bone. 

People at Risk of Poor Outcomes.

Uncontrolled diabetes, cancer, radiation to the jaws, smoking, alcoholism, or uncontrolled gum disease are all risk factors that can adversely affect your outcome.  You may still be a good candidate with one of these diseases, but we’ll want to thoroughly assess your situation and work with you and your doctor to increase your overall health and functioning.  People who take certain medications, such as steroids or drugs that suppress the immune system may not be suitable candidates, either.  And people with certain habits, such as people who severely grind or clench their teeth may put too much pressure on the implants, causing long term damage.

Overall, dental implants have a very high rate of success and patients tell us how happy they are with the outcome.  If you are considering implants, we can complete a careful examination  to determine what options are best suited for you.  Call us today to make that appointment!