Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Preparing for Teeth Whitening

Tooth discoloration can be caused by beverages, such as coffee, soda, and wine, damaged enamel, or even genetics. Fortunately, modern advances in teeth whitening have made discoloration a thing of the past. For those considering professional whitening, preparation is simple.

Determine Which Type of Whitening Is Necessary 
A close up of a woman smiling


Tooth discoloration comes in two forms: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic discoloration is caused by staining liquids, such as coffee and tea, and affects only the surface of the teeth. This discoloration should be treated by a professional cleaning because bleaching has no effect. Intrinsic discoloration occurs beneath the surface and is caused by physical trauma to an adult tooth, the use of certain antibiotics, or genetic conditions. This type of discoloration can be addressed by applying bleaching gel to one’s teeth. It's not always easy to tell whether discoloration is extrinsic or intrinsic, which is why it's best to consult a professional to determine which type of whitening to use.

Have a Routine Cleaning


Teeth whitening shouldn't be performed when gum disease, cavities, exposed roots, or other underlying issues are present. Before undergoing whitening treatment, a dentist should perform a full cleaning and any other necessary dental services to ensure uniform whitening.

Consult a Shade Guide


Consulting a shade guide allows patients to determine the current shade of their teeth and identify their goals for whitening sessions. This has the added benefit of comparing shades before and after whitening to determine if a patient would like to schedule additional sessions to achieve their desired look.

Desensitize Teeth


For many patients, there is no discomfort or pain associated with teeth whitening. However, some people with sensitive teeth or gums may experience unpleasantness during their procedures. These patients can invest in desensitizing toothpaste prior to any procedures to avoid potential discomfort.

Hold Off If Expecting


Pregnant or nursing mothers are advised to wait until nursing is finished to have teeth whitening procedures. Because medical professionals are unsure about the effects whitening chemicals have on fetuses, they recommend avoiding whitening procedures until after pregnancy.

Teeth whitening can reduce unsightly discoloration with a simple procedure. If you're interested in teeth whitening or other cosmetic dentistry services in Independence, MO, call Hanson Dentistry at 816-373-5606 to schedule an appointment today!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Five Ways to Prevent Plaque

Plaque buildup is a major cause of cavities, gingivitis, and other oral health issues. This sticky film coats the teeth and can eventually eat away at the enamel, allowing bacteria to grow. Fortunately, preventive oral health measures can keep plaque from accumulating on the teeth, stopping dental problems before they start. Here are five tips to try.

1. Brush Correctly at Least Twice a Day 
A person flossing their teeth


Ideally, brush after every meal to remove plaque immediately. Before bed is the most important time to brush. Otherwise, plaque will remain on the teeth all night. Hold a soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. An electric toothbrush is the most effective type. Use gentle, circular strokes to cover all surfaces of the teeth as well as the tongue. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

2. Floss Regularly


Cleaning between the teeth is just as important as removing plaque from their surfaces. This should be done at least once a day, whether with traditional floss, water flosser, or a dental pick.

3. Use Antibacterial Mouthwash


Rinsing the mouth with a bacteria-killing mouthwash formula can reduce plaque accumulation. It can also loosen plaque deposits, making them easier to remove with a toothbrush or floss. Avoid mouthwash with alcohol, which can dry out the mouth and actually contribute to plaque development.

4. Avoid Starchy and Sugary Foods


These items promote bacterial growth, which accelerates tooth decay. Acidic foods can also cause issues. Items to restrict include potato chips, bread, alcohol, sticky candy, and soda and other carbonated beverages. After eating these items, drink lots of water to rinse the teeth clean.

5. Keep up With Checkups


Seeing the dentist regularly for a deep clean can help keep plaque buildup at bay. For best results, have a checkup every six months. This cleaning will remove plaque from areas that are difficult to access with a toothbrush and floss alone, such as the second molars. The dentist can also diagnose and treat oral health issues before they develop into major problems.

Those who need a new dentist can schedule an appointment with Hanson Dentistry in the Independence area. Dr. Hanson truly cares about his patients and provides a modern office setting with comprehensive care, including cosmetic treatments and new dental technologies. He has been serving families in the community since 1974.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Four Reasons to Consider the Dental Profession

Considering a career in the dental field? Those who opt to become a dentist can enjoy a fulfilling career through helping others and learning the latest techniques with exciting technologies. In fact, U.S. News and World Report even placed this profession at the top of its list of best jobs for 2017. Here are four reasons why dentistry is a great field to pursue.

1. Rapidly Increasing Job Prospects 
A young girl getting her teeth examined at the dentist in Independence, MO


Those who enter the dental field will be in high demand. Many dentists who were educated in the 1960s and 1970s are now poised to retire, and the need for additional dental care for the aging baby boomer population will only increase. Projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that there will be more than 26,000 job openings for new dentists by 2024.

2. The Ability to Transform Lives


Dentists can provide a tangible, positive change in the oral health of their patients. Whether through promoting oral hygiene, transforming a damaged smile, or eliminating pain, dentists can truly make a difference in the lives of their patients.

3. Independence and Flexibility


Dentistry is an ideal career for anyone who has dreamed of owning a business, as up to 80 percent of dentists open a private practice shortly after completing residency. Private practices provide flexible hours that allow professionals to set a schedule that fits their lifestyle. For this reason, dentistry is often named as a great career for those who want to start a family. Career opportunities also abound for dentists in research and academics.

4. High Salary


While the cost of dental school is significant, graduates who become a dentist earn a substantial salary when they enter practice. According to a 2014 survey from the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute, those who own a stake in an independent practice earned an average annual salary of $183,340; for specialists, the average was $344,740.

For family-oriented dental care in Independence, MO, trust Dr. Robert Hanson at Hanson Dentistry. He strives to treat each patient like family. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry along with treatment for sleep apnea. Contact us online or call 816-373-5606 to schedule an appointment today.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

How Metal-Free Dentistry Has Affected Once-Traditional Treatments

25 years ago, dentists used metal, silver, and gold to fill a cavity or crown a patient's tooth. Today, the more effective resin fillings have prevailed over the once-traditional metal mainstays of general dental services. Here's why metal-free dentistry is so popular and recommended.

Disadvantages of Metal Dentistry 
A woman smiling while she gets her teeth cleaned at the dentist in Independence, MO


Silver amalgam contains mercury and tends to contract and expand when exposed to heat and cold. Over time, these changes can weaken or crack the tooth structure, causing bacterial decay, infection, fractures, and chips while contributing to gum disease. When a filling breaks, a tooth is no longer sealed, and a cavity can form beneath it. Amalgams can also corrode and leak, staining the teeth and gums.

Benefits of Metal-Free Dentistry


Composite fillings are a cosmetically pleasing and safer choice for treating tooth decay. They are stronger than metal, last longer, and will remain in place for many years without discomfort. They contain no mercury, do not discolor, stabilize the tooth, reduce tooth sensitivity, and are an attractive option for minor tooth decay.

Brighter, More Natural Teeth and Smile


Metal-free fillings are designed to match the color of the patient's teeth, creating more natural-looking results. If a tooth is broken or discolored, bonding a porcelain veneer or crown to it will produce a brighter, more natural appearance. The shade of the veneer can be matched to teeth that have undergone a whitening procedure.

The Structure of Composite Fillings


Composite fillings are made up of glass, quartz, and resin. They restore teeth as close to the tooth's original tensile strength as is technically possible.

An Emphasis on Safer Teeth


With their adhesive that helps maintain the structure of teeth, metal-free fillings can reduce the amount of drilling needed when repairing cavities. Also, the American Dental Association has cited journals and examples that underscore the safety of metal-free dentistry.

The Potential of Lower Costs


The price of metal-free fillings, veneers, and crowns in traditional dental services is typically less than metal due to cheaper materials needed and the shortened time required to treat the teeth appropriately.

Dr. Robert Hanson and his associates at Hanson Dentistry are specialists in metal-free dentistry. If you live in the Independence area and are seeking an alternative to metal fillings or crowns, please call us at 816-373-5605 to learn about the dental services our team can provide you.

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.