Invisalign Clear Braces: Havasu Dentist

Invisalign may be a better option for straightening your smile because it avoids the use of traditional metal braces. Clear and discreet, Invisalign aligners ditch the metal appearance and are made of a safe, thermoplastic called SmartTrack, which is FDA approved. Invisalign aligners do not contain BPA, latex, or gluten.

Instead of at home services, it is much safer to see a trained orthodontist or dentist for Invisalign clear braces because they can ensure your treatment is custom to you and safe. Some patients only need 6 months of daily Invisalign treatment! This may vary depending on your unique smile alignment, though Invisalign is the easiest treatment option as a removable upper and lower appliance.

Invisalign works by tracking your use and alignment through 3D technology and digital planning. You likely will receive new Invisalign aligners with each visit to your dentist or orthodontist to continue the process of straightening your smile.

There are so many reasons that Invisalign may fit your ideal treatment:

  • Clear, Invisible look
  • Easy to clean and take care of the aligners
  • Removable for eating/drinking
  • Comfortable material that won’t cut the gums and lips like metal braces
  • 3D impressions – no gooey material!
  • Dentists/Orthodontists that provide Invisalign are certified
  • Compliance Indicators – show if you’re wearing your aligner enough

Call us today to schedule a consultation to see if Invisalign is your treatment of choice for a beautifully straight smile!

Water Flossing Vs. Traditional Flossing: Havasu Dentist

Both traditional dental floss and water flossing are effective ways to thoroughly clean the spaces between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.

Dental floss is guided by your fingers to reach contact between teeth and under the gums. To effectively use dental floss, guide the floss to make a “C” shape around the side of the tooth – like the floss is hugging it. Dental floss and handheld flossers are both effective as long as you can reach all of your teeth.

A water flosser is a powered flossing tool that uses water pressure to clean the spaces between teeth and under the gums. It’s long head is very easy to handle, making it a breeze to reach all areas of the mouth.

There are pros and cons to each flossing method, but the most important habit to keep would be daily flossing, however you find it best.

Dental Floss Pros

  • Easy to travel with
  •  Very inexpensive
  • Comes in different thickness and types for your unique smile
  • Effective tool for removing plaque and food from between teeth

Dental Floss Cons

  • May be hard to gain the proper technique
  • May be hard to reach all areas of the mouth
  • May “pop” between your teeth or be hard to guide between teeth

Water Flosser Pros

  • Very easy to access all teeth
  • Comes with different speeds for sensitivity
  • Can mix water with mouthwash for a fresh feeling
  • Can work in a specific area for as long as needed – such as a deep pocket

Water Flosser Cons

  • May take counter space
  • May cause sensitivity in the gums due to water pressure
  • May cause gum recession if improperly used

Laser Dentistry Benefits: Havasu Dentist

What is Laser Dentistry?

Lasers in dentistry work by delivering energy in the form of light and can be used for a variety of procedures, offering several benefits to patients. Lasers can:

  • be used to remove the decay and prepare the tooth for a filling. 
  • reshape gums and remove bacteria when receiving a root canal. 
  • be used as a pain free cutting instrument for a biopsy and relieve canker sore pain. 
  • can speed up in-office teeth whitening procedures.

Receiving dental treatment with a laser rather than a dental drill may

  • reduce the need for numbing
  • reduce anxiety that a patient may have with drilling
  • reduce bleeding and swelling
  • and more!

With the different types of tissues in the mouth, there are several more applications of lasers that dentists are happy to provide.

  • In hard tissues, lasers are used as cavity detectors, providing early detection of small cavities. Lasers can also be used to seal the tubules at the root of teeth, which helps remove the feeling of having sensitive teeth.
  • In soft tissues, lasers can lengthen the look of teeth and eliminate the look of a gummy smile. Also, lasers are used for frenulas (“tongue-tied” children) and patients with speech impediments. 

Laser dentistry has shown helpful in various treatments for patients and will continue to become more popular as more dentists use laser in their work.

Please contact us today at Serenity Dental if you are interested in incorporating laser dentistry into your treatment!

 

What to Expect With Dental Veneers: Havasu Dentist

Have you ever seen a smile that you won’t forget? Have you ever looked to Hollywood celebrities and wondered how they were born with perfect teeth? Believe it or not, these smiles most likely were crafted by a dentist. Hollywood celebrity smiles are almost all credited to cosmetic dentistry and dental Veneers. All parts of a smile can be changed by cosmetic dentistry with Botox and Juvaderm injectables, dental bonding, Invisalign and clear braces, teeth whitening, implants, and dental Veneers, right in your dentist’s office.

Dental Veneers (sometimes called Porcelain Veneers) are an increasingly popular way to enhance and change the esthetics of your smile by crowning (capping) your existing teeth with vibrant, natural looking Veneer crowns. Depending on what you want through a smile makeover, every tooth, only the top teeth, or only the “smile teeth” (the teeth visible when you smile) can be crowned to achieve a new look. Don’t expect a perfect smile in one visit to your dentist, though. To achieve a “perfect” smile, it requires planning and a good relationship with your dentist. Any parts that you don’t like about your smile or envy about another’s smile can be made for you during planning with your dentist. Tooth color, size, straightness, angle, shape, and even personality, can be chosen when planning the look of your dental Veneers. Try-in or 3D models of your future teeth can be made so that you can actually see a new smile before committing to it.

To permanently seal your dental Veneers, your dental office will schedule you for a few visits. First, there will be a consult where you and the dentist will talk one-on-one to agree on your smile makeover’s product. Secondly, a “Build-Up” appointment will be scheduled, where the dentist gently shapes your existing teeth to properly house your dental Veneers. This feels like a filling or regular crown appointment, and shouldn’t cause anxiety. The dentist will make you temporary crowns until your dental Veneers are ready. Next, an “Impressions” appointment will be scheduled or even on the same day as the Build-Up, where impressions (a mold) of your teeth are taken to send to the lab designing and hand-crafting your dental Veneers. Improvements in dental technology have been to use 3-D scanners and avoid the gooey impression material all together in some offices. After a few weeks, your new smile is ready to be “seated,” as a dentist would say, meaning permanently bonded to your existing teeth to house a new, improved smile.

On the day of your Seat appointment, get ready to get emotional and feel vibrant. In several cases, such as the viral videos of makeovers – people get emotional when they see their new smile – and it’s contagious to the dentist and staff caring for your makeover. Get ready for lots of photos and a perfect smile every time!

When Teeth are Lost, Bone is Lost: Havasu Dentist

Most people think of bone as rock-solid, but it’s actually a living tissue that’s constantly changing. This has significant implications for your oral health, general health, and appearance — if you are one of the 70% of Americans missing at least one tooth.

Throughout the day, your top and bottom teeth make hundreds of fleeting contacts with each other. These small stresses are transmitted though the periodontal ligament (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth) that supports each tooth in its socket like a hammock. Think of it as a gentle push on the hammock, which causes the tooth to gently bump the underlying bone. The bone then builds up in the spot that’s receiving stress to counteract it. This constant remodeling of bone is what allows bone to stay healthy and strong.

When a tooth is lost, the bone does not receive that gentle stress. It reacts by literally melting away. Sometimes this happens fairly quickly — in a matter of months. After the tooth-supporting bone is lost, the jawbone itself begins the same process of deterioration. This could eventually change the shape of the face, as the distance from nose to chin can decrease — even if only a few back teeth are missing. The results aren’t pretty. But the good news is, there’s a way to prevent all this.

Dental implants, which function as substitute tooth roots, actually save underlying bone when teeth are lost. They do this because they are made of titanium, which fuses to the bone in which it’s set, stabilizing it. The implant is topped by a realistic-looking crown, which replaces the part of the missing tooth that was visible in the mouth. Together, they look and function just as your natural tooth did.

If you are missing a lot of teeth, implants can also be used to anchor bridges or even removable dentures while providing that same bone-saving benefit. And when you consider that they are so durable they should never need replacement, implants are a great investment.

If you have any questions about dental implants, please contact us, or schedule an appointment for an implant consultation.

You can read more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”

What’s the Best Repair for a Chipped Tooth – Composite Resin or Porcelain Veneer: Havasu Dentist

When choosing among different ways to solve a problem, knowledge is power. In the case of selecting the best repair for a dental problem, count on your team of dental professionals to advise you. But you as the patient make the final decision, and it helps to thoroughly understand the different options, their advantages and disadvantages. If you have a chipped or broken front tooth, your likely repair options are composite resin or porcelain veneer.

Composite resins are synthetic materials that can be colored to match your natural teeth. The material is bonded to the tooth surface using adhesives that become part of the tooth structure, strengthening the original tooth. The repair looks as good as, or even better than, your original tooth. Such repairs can be used to restore small to large chips and other damage caused by decay or trauma.

Since the composite resin repair is applied directly to the tooth in the dental office, the repair can be made in a single appointment. You do not need to use a temporary repair while waiting for the final replacement to be made at a dental laboratory. This also means that the repair will cost less.

Another advantage of composite resin is that less of the healthy tooth needs to be removed to prepare the tooth to receive the replacement, since it bonds directly to the original tooth structure.

Porcelain veneers are very thin layers of tooth-colored porcelain that are also bonded to the tooth. They are usually recommended in situations with more serious injury or risk to the tooth, such as teeth that have been fractured, treated for root canal, or injured in contact sports.

Application of porcelain veneers may require more tooth preparation (in which more of the original tooth material must be removed) before the restoration can be bonded in position. Bonded porcelain veneers are likely to be longer-lasting than composite resins. They must be fabricated in a laboratory, so they require more than one visit and cost more.

All of the above are factors to consider in choosing composite resin or porcelain veneer to restore your chipped or damaged tooth. As usual in making such decisions, the final choice will depend on your individual situation.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about bonding to repair chipped teeth. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”

What Scientific Studies Reveal About Smile Makeovers: Havasu Dentist

A generation ago, hearing the term, “smile makeover,” would most likely have resulted in questions and puzzled looks. However, through the power of both the media and celebrities, today it has become a common household term with over 70% of all inquiries coming from people in the 31 to 50 year old age group, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). While some people seek cosmetic dentistry purely to boost their self-esteem, others pursue it to improve first impressions during business and social interactions, as many studies have revealed that first impressions are the ones that typically last the longest.

The AACD study also revealed other interesting statistics that support why a smile makeover is a wise choice that can yield a life-changing return on your investment — you!

  • 99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset.
  • 74% feel an unattractive smile can hurt chances for career success.
  • 50% of all people polled were unsatisfied with their smile.

Another important study recently conducted by Beall Research & Training, Inc., an independent marketing research firm, used before and after photos of smile makeovers for polling purposes. The research found that people who have had a smile makeover are viewed by others as more attractive, intelligent, happy, successful in their career, friendly, interesting, kind, wealthy, and appealing to the opposite sex. This evidence clearly proves just how important a first impression can be as well as what it can silently communicate about you.

Want to learn more?

Contact us today to discuss your smile makeover questions or to schedule a consultation. We look forward to meeting with you to learn about your specific concerns and to show you what we can do for you. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctorarticle, “The Impact Of A Smile Makeover.”

What Is A Dental Implant: Havasu Dentist

While the first recorded attempts at dental implant were recorded around 600 AD during the Mayan civilization, today they have become a normal and integral tool that we use to replace teeth and restore full functionality to dental and oral health. In fact, many dentists now refer to dental implants as a person’s third set of teeth, and they are the optimal choice for permanently replacing missing adult (permanent) teeth.

To help you visualize, think of your teeth as having two main parts: the crown or the part that can be seen above the gum tissues and the root, the portion that is suspended in the bone by the periodontal (gum) ligament that keeps the tooth in place. A dental implant is actually a root replacement, but unlike a tooth’s root, it is anchored in the jawbone. However, an interesting fact is that the dental implants being used today actually fuse with or integrate in to the bone to become one. This process is called “osseo-integration.”

For the most part, dental implants are made from commercial-grade, pure titanium. This metal is “osteo-philic” or literally a bone loving metal that has been used for many years by both the medical and dental professions because it is not rejected by the body. For these reasons, these dental implants are very successful and can last for a lifetime.

Implant placement is a surgical process that requires prior planning involving collaborative efforts between the implant surgeon, dentist, and a laboratory technician. Periodontists, oral surgeons, or general dentists with advanced training in implantology and surgery normally “place” them. To learn more about dental implants and the entire process, read, “Dental Implants, Your Third Set Of Teeth.” Or if you prefer, you can contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule an appointment.

We may Need to Remove one or More Teeth Before Applying Braces: Havasu Dentist

“To gain something, sometimes you have to give up something else.”

No, that isn’t the latest viral meme on the Internet. It’s actually a practical consideration that could arise in orthodontics.

In this case, the “something” to gain is a straighter, more attractive smile; the “something” you may have to part with is a few teeth. This may be necessary if there are too many teeth on a dental arch for its capacity, a situation called crowding. A lack of space is the main reason teeth come in misaligned.

Before we can correct this, we’ll need to free up space to allow for tooth movement by removing one or more of the existing teeth. The ideal candidates are those that are near to the teeth we wish to move but not highly visible. The first bicuspids are the most frequent choices for removal: they’re located behind the cuspids or eyeteeth (the pointed teeth right under the eyes).

Ideally, we’ll remove the target teeth some time before we apply braces to give the gums a chance to heal. At the same time we want to preserve the bone that once supported the teeth we’ve extracted. This is because when we chew the forces generated by the teeth stimulates bone replacement growth. When a tooth is no longer there the supporting bone doesn’t receive this stimulation and may ultimately reduce in volume.

We may try to prevent this by placing a bone graft in the empty socket immediately after removing the tooth. The graft serves as a scaffold to encourage new bone to grow. Hopefully when we’re ready to apply braces, the bone will be strong and healthy to handle the movement of the teeth.

As the teeth move under the influence of braces, they’ll begin to fill up the space created by tooth removal. Once it’s completed, the extracted teeth won’t be missed — the other teeth now straightened will completely fill out the smile.

The different steps in this process must be carefully planned and executed precisely, and it will take months or even years to complete. In the end, though, this complicated bite problem can be corrected and replaced with an attractive, straight smile.

If you would like more information on correcting a poor bite, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Removal for Orthodontic Reasons.”

Veneers: Not Just for Woodworking: Havasu Dentist

You may have heard the term “veneer” with reference to woodworking, where it means a thin layer of attractive wood that covers and enhances the surface of a piece of furniture. Exactly the same principle applies to porcelain veneers used in dentistry: A thin layer of ceramic material is used to cover parts of a tooth in order to improve its structure and appearance.

Porcelain is a non-metallic ceramic material that is fired in an oven at a high temperature to make it hard and durable. Dental porcelain veneers are thin layers of ceramic that can be applied to the outside of the tooth so that the end result mimics the natural color and translucency of tooth enamel. The underlying tooth structure has to be prepared by removing a small amount of the enamel, about 1 mm, which the veneer replaces. The veneer is then bonded to the prepared surface using a light-sensitive resin.

In woodworking, a veneer may be used to match the grain between the left and right sides of a piece of furniture, creating a beautiful effect on a curve, or simply to bring the appearance of expensive wood to a backing that is less expensive.

Just as a wood veneer improves the appearance of a dresser or table, porcelain laminate veneers may be used to improve teeth that have a number of cosmetic and functional problems. These include staining that cannot be removed by tooth whitening, teeth that are too small, misshapen, chipped or spaced too far apart. After an assessment of your teeth and your smile, we can create a mock-up using temporary tooth-colored materials so you can decide whether the suggested changes will work for you, or you can make suggestions for further improvements.

Porcelain laminate veneers may not be the best solution for you if your teeth are severely stained or damaged. In cases where a large proportion of the original tooth must be replaced, porcelain crowns may be the best solution. The crown is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line, and it can be covered with a porcelain crown that looks exactly like a tooth in shape and color. After studying your needs, together we can decide on the most satisfactory method to restore your most attractive smile.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about porcelain veneers. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Crowns and Veneers.”