Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Components of a Great Smile

Woman smiling next to flower with teeth whitened by Hanson Dentistry in Independence, MO
Without a spoken word, an attractive smile communicates an upbeat, friendly, and welcoming personality. Conversely, a person concerned about his or her smile may reflect timidity, hesitancy, and reluctance. Recent advances in cosmetic dentistry, however, have made getting an ideal smile easier than ever.

Elements of an Attractive Smile

Attractive smiles are highlighted by white, straight teeth that are evenly spaced with no gaps. The gums should be vibrant with no swelling, inflammation, or bleeding, and the gum tissues should be formed naturally around the necks of the teeth. A healthy, attractive smile reveals the top teeth fully and in compatible proportion to the gums.

Achieving the Perfect Shade

Cosmetic dentistry is often employed to improve the color and shading of a patient's teeth. Dull or stained teeth can be whitened, and amalgam or silver fillings can be replaced with tooth-colored composites.

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

In addition to in-office whitening, a dentist can improve the shape and size of teeth with crowns, bridges, or porcelain veneers. Missing teeth can also be replaced with bridges and dental implants. The most rewarding examples of cosmetic dentistry are those in which the results closely resemble the qualities of natural teeth.

If you are interested in cosmetic dental services to improve your smile, contact us at 816-373-5606 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Are Dental X-rays Really Necessary?

Like a teeth cleaning or annual checkup, x-rays are a vital element of preventative dental services. X-rays enable a dentist to see inside teeth and beneath the gums to diagnose cavities, gum disease, and some types of infection. X-rays can also prevent big problems through early detection. As for radiation, patients can rest assured that dental x-rays are safe.

X-rays at Work
A doctor showing dental x-ray to a patient

Dental x-rays can expose dental decay, dental abscess, and tumors or cysts. They can reveal impacted or extra teeth, while also determining the condition of fillings, bridges, crowns, and root canals. Also, they can show any bone loss from periodontal disease, identify plaque and tartar build-up, and determine if sufficient bone exists for dental implants. Essentially, they are the first step for a dentist to get a comprehensive look at the overall mouth health of a patient.

X-rays and Children's Teeth

X-rays play a major role in pediatric dental services, guiding the development of a child's teeth and mouth. In addition to locating decay, they can determine whether the incoming permanent teeth will fit and align properly. X-rays can also track the development of a child's wisdom teeth and identify those impacted or prevented from emerging by gum tissue.

Frequency of X-rays

How often teeth should be x-rayed depends on their current condition and the patient's oral and medical history. Typically, patients require x-rays only once per year. New patients should always expect the dentist to order x-rays to diagnose any current problems and establish a baseline for future developments.

Radiation From X-rays

Dental x-rays only expose a patient to low levels of radiation. In fact, new digital x-rays reduce radiation by as much as 80 percent. While x-rays should only be used when necessary, the exposure and radiation level is safe, and x-rays are an essential element of clinical diagnosis.

Dental x-rays are the foundation of which dental and gum problems are diagnosed or verified, procedures are planned and performed, and oral baselines are established for future dental services. X-rays should not be avoided for fear of radiation exposure.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

How Your Dentist Can Improve Your Sleep With Sleep Apnea Oral Treatment

If you suffer from sleep apnea—chronic irregular breathing during sleep caused by obstruction of the airway—you probably know that the potential problems are far more serious than just snoring. While nearly all sleep apnea sufferers also snore, the shallow and interrupted breathing associated with the condition is the real issue. The best way to address your condition may be sleep apnea oral treatment by your dentist.

Symptoms and Indicators

Several factors can predispose one to the breathing obstruction, including excessive weight associated with the soft tissue around the mouth and throat. Your dentist is specifically trained to recognize other indicators, such as oversized tonsils or a severe overbite. Depending on the cause, your dentist may be able to recommend a sleep apnea oral treatment that will restore free breathing during sleep and alleviate snoring. For more detail on sleep apnea, view the short clip under “Sleep Apnea” on our links page.

Patient Options

Your dentist can discuss multiple treatment options with you, each of which has its own comfort and inconvenience profile. Among the latest options is the Moses Oral Appliance, a quiet and comfortable solution designed to keep airflow unobstructed without forcing air into the throat, as other treatments do. If you suffer from disrupting rest patterns, consult with your dentist to find out if there is an oral treatment which may work for you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How to Be Prepared for a Dental Emergency

Like other mishaps, a dental emergency occurs without warning. Before you know it, an accident happens, and someone is missing a tooth. Knowing how to respond in this situation is crucial for the best outcome. Many times, the best thing to do is to call a dentist right away.

Recognize an Emergency

Knowing what requires an immediate call for help is important. Anytime a tooth is knocked out, chipped, or broken, call your practitioner right away. Another potential emergency situation might involve severe pain. A toothache or any other type of mouth pain that cannot be alleviated with over-the-counter pain relievers also elicits a call to the dentist.

Responding Quickly

If a tooth or part of a tooth has come out, collect every piece as quickly as possible. Rinse away any dirt from the root area with cool water, but do not scrub. Replace the tooth into a vacant socket or place it into a cup of milk.
A quick call for help in an emergency situation should provide the assistance needed to resolve the matter successfully.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Understanding Fluoride and the Role It Plays in Keeping Teeth Healthy

Every dental patient knows that fluoride helps build strong teeth. That’s why your dentist always recommends using fluoride toothpaste. But what exactly is fluoride? In its natural state, it’s a mineral commonly found in nature, but many towns add it as a supplement to their water supply to help prevent cavities in residents.

How Does Fluoride Work?

It’s important to know what causes tooth decay to understand how fluoride improves oral health. When plaque builds up on the surface of the tooth, it produces acids that seep into the tooth’s enamel. If untreated, this may turn into a cavity that destroys the tooth’s structure. Fluoride prevents tooth decay because it aids the tooth enamel's remineralization process and slows the breakdown of enamel. The new enamel crystals that form with the help of fluoride are larger and harder, proving to be more resistant to acid.

How Much Fluoride is Enough?

Most dental professionals agree that patients who use fluoride toothpaste and brush their teeth with fluoride water receive adequate doses of the mineral. Patients who live in areas where fluoride is not added to water need to use mouth rinses, drops, tablets, or other products with high concentrations of fluoride.

Every patient has different needs, so it’s important to speak with your dentist to be sure your teeth are getting the minerals they need to stay strong and healthy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

What is Preventive Dentistry and Why do Patients Need it?

Taking care of teeth and gums is an important part of overall oral health. Part of this care involves seeing a dentist regularly and eating a healthy diet. People who seek ongoing preventative dentistry care may have fewer long-term issues.

Dental disease can sneak up on patients, often with no symptoms to indicate a problem. This is one of the main reasons that preventive dentistry is so important. Regular examinations can find and diagnose potential issues before they become serious. Patients tend to appreciate this benefit because resolving minor issues is often less expensive than the addressing major ones. Beginning preventative dentist visits as a child can be especially helpful in tracking potential issues in growth and development. A dentist can even help identify a child who might be a candidate for future orthodontic treatment.

With regular dental check-ups, patients can rest assured that a professional is monitoring oral health to resolve problems as they arise.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dental Implants Vs. Dental Bridges: Which Is Right For You?

More than 50 percent of U.S. adults are missing at least one tooth. For those who want a more permanent solution than dentures, bridges and implants are attractive replacement options. Here are just a few of the reasons patients prefer them.

Dental Implants

Screwed directly into the jawbone by a cosmetic dentist, implants are titanium posts that act as artificial tooth roots. A prosthetic tooth or crown can then be attached to the implant for a comfortable, secure fit. Implants, made to last for the life of the patient, are a durable, nearly worry-free replacement option. With a completely natural look and feel, most folks never know the wearer even has them. Implants also help prevent bone loss and will not affect neighboring teeth, which cannot be said about bridges.

Dental Bridges

When a patient is missing a tooth in between two healthy teeth, his/her cosmetic dentist might recommend a dental bridge. The device is essentially a frame that is cemented to the natural teeth and has an artificial tooth in the middle to replace the missing one. Often more affordable than dental implants, bridges help patients chew and speak normally. But because neighboring teeth must anchor the device in place, they must be filed or ground down a bit for a secure fit.

Which Is Better?

Although both have their pros and cons, implants are probably the safer option. This is due to the fact that they do not require any work to be done on adjacent teeth. It is also important to note that adding a bridge makes it more difficult to clean the affected area, which increases the risk of tooth decay. The lifespan of a dental bridge may also be a bit shorter than that of a dental implant.

Patients should consult their cosmetic dentist for more information about dental implants and bridges.