Modern dentistry is amazing because it offers patients multiple solutions that can repair damaged teeth or replace missing chompers. And dental prosthesis devices, in particular, can help you get your smile back, as well as help you speak and chew properly again. read more
Dental Procedure Articles
A cavity is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the most common dental problems, right? Most people will end up with at least one cavity in their life. And, sometimes, patients don’t even know they have cavities until their dentist tells them! If you’ve been diagnosed with a cavity and it’s the first time you’ll be getting a filling, you might be nervous. That’s totally normal! But the good news is that this procedure isn’t complicated and doesn’t take much time. Keep reading to learn about cavity fillings and the procedure that your dentist will use to restore your pearly whites. What are the different types of cavity fillings? There’s more than one type of filling your dentist can use to fix a cavity. The two most well-known are amalgam and composite, but other filling materials include ceramic, gold, and glass ionomer. You can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each option to pick the one that’s best for you. For instance, because of the way they look, amalgam fillings are also known as silver fillings, but they’re actually made of several materials, including mercury, silver, copper, and tin. These fillings might last a long time, and they’re usually more affordable than other options. On the other hand, composite fillings, which are made of resin and glass, won’t be noticeable because your dentist will match the color of the filling to the rest of the tooth. However, they typically don’t last as long as amalgam, and they’ll likely be pricier. What can you expect during a cavity filling procedure? Cavity fillings can be done in just a few steps, and it might take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on factors like the tooth that’s being worked on, the type of filling that’s used, and the size of the cavity. Your dentist can ensure you won’t feel any pain by using a local anesthetic that will completely numb the area of your mouth that’s being worked on. Plus, if you’re really anxious, you can also ask your dentist about sedation options. Here are the basic steps involved in filling a cavity: After numbing the gums with a special gel and injecting a local anesthetic into the gums, your dentist will ensure you don’t feel any sensation before using tools, such as a drill, to remove all of the decay from the tooth. Once all of the decay has been cleared away, the dentist will apply the filling. If you’re getting a composite filling, it may take a bit longer than amalgam because of the extra step of hardening the filling using a special light. Once the filling is in place, your dentist will make adjustments and polish it to be sure it fits comfortably and doesn’t affect your bite. What happens after a cavity filling procedure? The anesthetic that was used to numb your mouth will gradually wear off after the procedure is complete. Then, you might feel totally fine or you might experience sensitivity or soreness, which might last a few days. Let your dentist know about your symptoms to be sure they’re normal. If necessary, they might recommend taking a pain relieving medication. Your dentist will also give you any instructions you need to properly care for your teeth after a filling. For example, you might be told to avoid chewing on the side of the mouth that was worked on for a certain period of time, or you might need to avoid certain types of foods and drinks. If you experience pain after a filling or you develop other symptoms, such as fever, swelling, red gums, or extreme sensitivity, let your dentist know. Also, if discomfort persists after a filling, it might need to be adjusted further to make it fit better or there might be another problem that needs to be addressed. So, don’t be reluctant to contact your dentist! Note: Fillings don’t last forever. Unfortunately, they usually need to be replaced after several years. In addition to general wear that occurs over time, if decay develops in the same tooth again or if the filling is damaged in some way, it will need to be replaced. Dental insurance can help make fillings more affordable! Taking awesome care of your teeth is the best way to avoid needing a filling in the first place. Brush and floss daily, and go for checkups at the dentist’s office to find out if you have any cavities, even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms. The right dental insurance can help you afford trips to the dentist to have your chompers checked for decay and catch problems in their earliest stages. Plus, this insurance can also help cover the cost of fillings. Check out the many options available from Spirit to find the plan that’s right for you! Sources: https://crest.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/cavities-tooth-decay/cavity-fillings-what-to-expect-types-problems https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/dental-devices/dental-amalgam-fillings https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/cavity-filling https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cavities/cavity-fillings-do-they-hurt
If you’ve been told that you need to undergo gum surgery, you might be a little nervous—or very nervous—about what’s ahead. But, by having an understanding of what happens during this procedure, and what to expect after it, you can feel a bit more at ease. So, to give you a general overview of what’s involved in gum surgery, we’ve compiled some helpful information below. When Is Gum Surgery Necessary? Typically, gum surgery might be required to treat gum disease when other, less invasive treatments haven’t worked or the disease has already progressed too far for other treatments to be effective. Your dentist might recommend seeing a periodontist for gum surgery if gum disease has become so severe that tissues and bones around the gums have been impacted, or if the gums have separated from your teeth, leaving behind pockets where infections can develop. It’s important to receive the appropriate treatments, such as scaling and root planing, as well as surgery, to restore the health of your gums. Without healthy gums, you risk losing your teeth! There Are Different Types of Gum Surgery The type of gum surgery that you’ll need will depend on factors like how far the gum disease has progressed. Here is a list of some of the common procedures that your periodontist might prescribe: Flap Surgery – If you’ve developed deep pockets with plaque, tartar, and bacteria, the periodontist may recommend flap surgery, which is also known as pocket reduction. Basically, the surgeon will create an incision to lift your gums and deeply clean underneath them, as well as smooth the bone if needed. Then, to ensure your gums will no longer have pockets, they’ll be stitched so they can properly cover your teeth. Bone or Tissue Graft – If the gum disease has advanced to the point that the bone around a tooth’s root has become damaged, a bone graft might be needed to add new bone to the area so you can reduce the risk of losing the tooth. On the other hand, if your gums are receding, your periodontist might use a tissue graft to replace tissue that’s been lost, and to cover a tooth’s roots if they’ve been exposed because of gum loss. Guided Tissue Regeneration – If gum disease has caused the bone that supports a tooth to become severely damaged or destroyed, you might need a procedure known as regeneration. Your periodontist will start by folding back the gums and cleaning out any bacteria. Then, tissue-stimulating proteins, membranes, or a bone graft will be set in place to help ensure the gums won’t grow where there should be bone. The area is allowed to heal so that tissue and bone can regrow properly. How to Prepare for, and Recover from, Gum Surgery Your periodontist will give you instructions on any steps you need to take before the procedure. Then, he or she might use a local anesthetic so you don’t feel anything during the gum surgery, or you might be partially or completely sedated. This helps ensure you’ll be comfortable from start to finish. Once the procedure is complete, you’ll receive instructions on how to have a smooth recovery. You may also be given a prescription for pain medication to take at home while you heal. And, if you received stitches, your periodontist will also advise you on when to have them removed. Keep in mind, too, that you might be required to eat only soft foods after you’ve undergone gum surgery. An antiseptic mouthwash may also be prescribed. Just be sure to follow your periodontist’s instructions closely to reduce the odds of complications while your mouth heals. At follow-up appointments, your periodontist will examine your mouth to ensure everything is healing well. During these exams, discuss any symptoms you’re experiencing, such as increased sensitivity, to be sure everything is normal and you don’t need additional care. After your mouth has totally healed, your teeth and gums should look and feel better than they did before the procedure. At that point, it’s up to you to follow a strict oral hygiene routine at home, and to continue receiving professional level care. Doing so may help you avoid developing the same gum issues in the future. Make Gum Surgery More Affordable with the Right Dental Insurance! Gum surgery can certainly be stressful, not only on your mind, but also on your wallet. To help ease your fears about out-of-pocket costs, consider enrolling in a high-quality, reliable dental insurance plan like one of the many options offered by Spirit Dental. With the right coverage, you’ll be able to afford gum treatments so you can maintain a healthy mouth and strong teeth. And you also won’t ever need to miss out on professional cleanings (you can get three cleanings per year with Spirit!), which can also help keep gingivitis and gum disease at bay. Sources: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321168#types-of-surgery https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gums/gum-surgery-types-what-to-expect https://www.periojackson.com/periodontal-care/flap-procedure https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hw146255 https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/gum-disease-treatments https://sdperio.com/gum-surgery-explained/ https://www.perio.org
The “dreaded” root canal is now a simple procedure, thanks to advanced technology and materials. When it comes to a root canal, people tend to frown at the idea of it; however, a root canal is a wonderful and necessary remedy to help salvage a tooth. In fact, a root canal is usually no more painful or challenging than a traditional tooth filling. Why Root Canals Are Indicated Some of the most common issues requiring a root canal include: 1. Dental Caries When caught early, a cavity can often be treated with a small dental filling. However, if you let the decay becomes more severe, it can often cause caries to enter the pulp, causing the pulp to become infected with bacteria. 2. Dental Trauma Blunt trauma can cause a tooth to become dead (necrotic) and discolored. 3. Repeated Dental Treatment When a filling frequently needs replacement, it causes the pulp to get inflamed or infected. 4. Fractures If a tooth fractures from biting into hard food, and the fracture extends into the pulp, the tooth could need a root canal. Signs You May Need a Root Canal Common signs you may need a root canal include: • Severe, persistent pain while eating or sleeping. • A dental abscess on the gum below the infected tooth. • Swelling. • Temperature sensitivity to heat and cold foods and drinks. • Cracked or fractured tooth. • Gum sensitivity. • Tooth discoloration (black or gray). The Root Canal Process A root canal involves removing the pulp of the tooth, which is made up of nerves, blood vessels, and tissue. You will require an X-ray to confirm decay is in the pulp. The pulp chamber and canals are then cleaned, disinfected, and filled to prevent bacteria from entering. The dentist may also put a temporary filling to avoid contamination by saliva, food, and plaque. You may be prescribed an oral antibiotic. Often, you will need a crown in a separate procedure to complete the treatment and preserve the tooth. It is common to experience some swelling and soreness once the local anesthesia wears off. You can take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed. You should avoid chewing while numb to avoid biting your cheek, lip, or tongue, and skip biting into hard foods and ice to reduce further injury to the tooth. You will have to follow up with your regular dentist for a permanent crown or filling to help support the tooth. Alternative Treatment to a Root Canal If you decide you don’t want a root canal, other treatment options include a tooth extraction. You can then replace the extracted tooth with an implant, bridge, or removable partial appliance to restore function and prevent teeth-shifting. Preventing a Root Canal To keep your teeth and gums healthy, you should maintain good oral hygiene habits such as daily brushing and flossing. You should limit the frequency of sugar in your diet to reduce your chances of developing tooth decay. If you play sports, wear a mouthguard to prevent dental trauma. If your dental treatment plans include smaller fillings, having the procedure done quickly can limit the potential of having the cavities get deeper and possibly requiring a root canal. Costs of a Root Canal Costs vary depending on which tooth needs treatment, your dental insurance, and if you are seeing a general dentist or an endodontist (a specialist in root canal treatment). Molars are often more expensive and more difficult to treat than anterior teeth. Most dental plans will cover a portion of a root canal. Generally, you can expect to pay up to $2,000 for root canal therapy. Dr. Erica Anand is a pediatric dentist in private practice focused on preventative dentistry including SDF, SMART fillings, and myofunctional therapy. She also writes professionally in the dental industry, working with marketing and consulting firms. Her extensive education includes treating children with special needs, dental phobias, and oral rehabilitation under general anesthesia. She maintains memberships of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and New York State Dental Association, and is an American Board of Pediatric Dentistry Candidate. Learn more about Dr. Erica Anand on her website.
Getting your teeth cleaned professionally on a regular basis, such as once or twice a year, is highly recommended. But you already knew that, right? And you’ve no doubt heard about the many benefits that can come from a cleaning at your dentist’s office. This simple procedure can thoroughly remove plaque and tartar -- in fact, you can only remove tartar with a professional cleaning, as you can’t brush it off at home! Plus, it can help you keep your gums healthy, clean, and strong. Yet, there are some rumors out there, claiming that dental cleanings might damage your pearly whites. Is that true? We get to the bottom of this question below so you can rest assured you’re making the right decisions to keep your teeth and gums healthy. A Concern About Enamel Keeping your enamel intact is a key component to maintaining healthy teeth, as it’s the protective layer on the outside of every tooth. But some people are concerned that the scraping that happens during a dental cleaning might be able to wear away the enamel, making teeth more prone to damage and decay. Valid argument? Thankfully, no. Even the scraping that occurs during a dental cleaning, when done by a professional, will not adversely affect the enamel on your chompers. The scraping that you hear and feel during your cleaning is nothing more than the hygienist using a special tool to remove plaque and tartar that have accumulated on your teeth. Once all of that nasty stuff is removed from the surface, your teeth will feel smoother. What’s That Sensitivity About? Some people are also concerned about the effects of dental cleanings because they tend to experience tooth sensitivity afterwards. But, again, this is nothing to worry about, and it’s totally normal and temporary. What causes your pearly whites to be a little more sensitive than usual after a cleaning? Well, it basically has to do with the removal of tartar using special tools. Areas that used to be covered by a lot of tartar and plaque might be more exposed and, therefore, more sensitive after everything has been scraped off. And your gums might even be sensitive and bleed a bit as a result of the tools that are used during the cleaning. Also, if you require a longer cleaning, a deeper cleaning, or multiple cleanings because of a lot of tartar along the gum line, your mouth might be even more sensitive and sore as a result. This, too, is usually considered normal and temporary. Tip: Talk to your dentist if you experience sensitivity after a dental cleaning, and be gentle at home while brushing so you can help your gums heal. If your teeth and/or gums are still sensitive days or weeks after a cleaning, your dentist can figure out why, so let him or her know about your symptoms and how long they last. Deep Cleaning the Gums: It Also Won’t Damage Teeth What if your dentist tells you that you need to undergo a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing? Will this do any harm to your teeth? Again, the answer is simple: no. Scaling and root planing is recommended to patients who have been diagnosed with gum disease. Basically, plaque and tartar are scraped off the surface of teeth, like during a standard cleaning, but the hygienist will also go ahead and clean beneath the gum line too. That’s followed by root planing, which involves smoothing out the roots of the teeth so your gums can heal and reattach themselves to your chompers. As you can imagine, you might have some pain and sensitivity after this type of cleaning, but it doesn’t mean any damage was done. Your mouth just needs to heal, and your dentist can give you tips on how to take care of your teeth and gums until they’re all better. Trust Your Dental Hygienist! A professional hygienist knows how to properly perform scaling and polishing during a dental cleaning. This common procedure shouldn’t cause any damage to your teeth or gums. So don’t worry, and be sure to schedule those appointments for cleanings and checkups to help keep your smile healthy and bright. Sources: https://oasisdiscussions.ca/2019/04/26/myth-buster-series-can-a-cleaning-at-the-dentists-damage-tooth-enamel/ https://www.oatlandsdentalweybridge.com/will-the-hygienist-remove-the-enamel-from-my-teeth/ https://www.vice.com/en/article/wjgnxb/is-a-dental-deep-cleaning-ever-really-necessary https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/tooth-sensitivity/sensitive-teeth-after-cleaning https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/scaling-and-root-planing https://www.colgate.com.au/colgate-sensitive-pro-relief https://www.reboldental.com/why-are-your-teeth-sensitive-after-a-teeth-cleaning/
A dental fluoride treatment is one of the safest ways to protect our teeth from cavities. It is also one of the simplest ways. The many benefits of fluoride treatment include strengthening tooth enamel and remineralizing the structure of the tooth to prevent cavities. People are can have more cavities if they have poor oral hygiene, a high-sugar diet, or medications that make the teeth susceptible to breaking down. Here are four reasons why a fluoride treatment can be beneficial for you. 1. Fluoride Treatment Helps Fight Tooth Decay Our teeth are exposed to sugars every day through what we eat and drink. It is a common misconception that cavities are only caused only by sweets such as candy and beverages including soda and juice. While these high-sugar-content foods can cause cavities, a majority of cavities are caused by refined sugars and processed white flour carbohydrates. Most diets consist of a high frequency of pastas, breads, crackers, cereal, and desserts, exposing the teeth to sugars around the clock. Cavities are caused by bacteria in our mouth breaking down the sugars from our meals to create an acid. This acid weakens or demineralizes the enamel surface and eventually causes a small hole, otherwise known as a cavity. The minerals in our saliva help buffer these acids to prevent the breakdown of the enamel. This process is called remineralization. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps increase the remineralization process and prevent tooth decay. For those of us with poor or high-carbohydrate diets, a fluoride treatment is not only beneficial, but also necessary. 2. Professional Fluoride Treatments Are for the Entire Family Fluoride treatments are beneficial for both young people and adults. Since fluoride helps remineralize teeth, it is a great adjunct to brushing and flossing to help prevent cavities in any high-risk patient. This can include a child with a sweet tooth, a special needs patient, or an elderly patient with dry mouth. A fluoride treatment is not just for children—ask your dentist about getting a professional fluoride treatment to also help alleviate dental sensitivity. Often, as we age, we see recession near our gums where small parts of the root surface are exposed. This type of sensitivity can be uncomfortable while eating and drinking, and a fluoride treatment can improve this condition. 3. Protect Your Teeth While You Whiten! Teeth whitening is a common dental treatment to help brighten smiles and improve self-esteem. Unfortunately, many people experience discomfort while whitening because of post-sensitivity. Many dentists will recommend pre- and post-professional fluoride treatments to help reduce post-whitening sensitivity. They will also help coat your teeth in vitamins to help nourish them and protect your mouth from dehydration, which can raise your risk for tooth decay. 4. You Can Eat and Drink Right Away! A professional fluoride treatment is so simple that you can eat and drink immediately after your application. This is because newer fluoride treatments are done using a fluoride varnish, which is a paint that adheres to your teeth for several hours. Fluoride Treatments Are Quick and Cost-Effective The process of a fluoride treatment involves the application of fluoride in the form of a varnish, gel, or foam. The fluoride is applied directly into the tooth to form and serve as a protective layer. You can help restore your teeth to optimal health by avoiding hot foods or rinsing for a short period of time. A fluoride treatment can benefit people of all ages. If you are in orthodontic treatment, have poor oral hygiene and are prone to cavities, or are undergoing any type of radiation treatment, consider reaching out to your dentist as soon as possible to schedule a fluoride treatment to prevent your teeth from developing any cavities. Dr. Erica Anand is a pediatric dentist in private practice focused on preventative dentistry including SDF, SMART fillings, and myofunctional therapy. She also writes professionally in the dental industry, working with marketing and consulting firms. Her extensive education includes treating children with special needs, dental phobias, and oral rehabilitation under general anesthesia. She maintains memberships of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and New York State Dental Association, and is an American Board of Pediatric Dentistry Candidate. Learn more about Dr. Erica Anand on her website.
Updated March 2022 Have you always wanted a perfect smile? Well, with veneers, you can get exactly that! This popular dental treatment can transform the look of your teeth, perfecting their shape, color, and size. What are veneers? Let’s say one or more of your teeth are chipped, discolored, or uneven. Those are just a few of the many scenarios in which veneers may provide the ideal solution. Veneers are typically made of composite resin or porcelain, and they cover the front of your teeth, so they’re super thin and customized to fit your mouth. Once you have a general idea of what veneers are and why so many people choose to get them, you might be asking questions like: how much do veneers cost, how long do veneers last, and are veneers covered by insurance? To help you get the answers you seek, here’s some information on the average cost of veneers. How much are veneers? One of the first things to consider is the price of veneers because, unfortunately, they can get expensive. How much does it cost to get veneers? And how much do veneers cost per tooth? Keep in mind that prices vary based on several factors, such as where you’re located, the dental professional you use, the type of veneers you want, and the number of veneers you need. How much do porcelain veneers cost? Porcelain veneers are highly sought-after because they look natural, can resist stains, and are more durable compared to composite veneers. Plus, they might last around 10-15 years. Sounds great, right? The bad news is they’re pricier too. The average price of a porcelain veneer for one tooth might be $925 to $2,500. How much do composite veneers cost? Compared to porcelain veneers, your dentist might be able to remove less enamel with composite veneers, and might be able to complete the procedure in just one appointment. However, these might only last around 5-7 years, and they aren’t as strong as porcelain. Composite veneers are usually more affordable, averaging anywhere from $250 to $1,500 per tooth. What about Lumineers? Lumineers is a particular brand of veneers that your dentist might recommend, depending on your needs. These are extremely thin and your dentist might be able to apply them without needing to remove enamel from your teeth first. If Lumineers are an option for you, the average price might range from $800 to $2,000 for each tooth. How much does a full set of veneers cost? Now that you have a better idea of the average cost of a veneer for a single tooth, you can probably imagine how hefty the price tag would be if you wanted to get full mouth veneers. Again, prices vary, but you may need to spend thousands of dollars, even if you go with composite veneers. And a full set of porcelain veneers might even cost $10,000 or more. Does insurance cover veneers? Having dental insurance might be helpful when paying for veneers. However, whether or not you’ll receive this type of coverage will depend on the plan you’re enrolled in and the reason for the veneers. Some dental plans might help cover the cost of cosmetic procedures, while others might not cover them at all unless there is a medical reason for them. So, if you just want your smile to be bright and beautiful, your insurer may not step in when you get veneers. On the other hand, if your dentist can prove that the veneers are medically necessary, your policy might cover at least a portion of the cost. How much do veneers cost with insurance? This will depend on the plan you signed up for. Some policies might provide support by covering half of the cost, as an example. Ultimately, the best way to get the answers you need is by contacting your insurer directly to ask about coverage and restrictions. Are veneers worth it? Considering how much dental veneers cost, it’s normal to wonder if they’re worth it. For anyone who wants to dramatically improve their smile, veneers can be a fantastic choice. And even though you may be surprised by the composite or porcelain veneers price, this procedure might be the long-lasting solution you’ve been searching for. Consult with a dentist to find out if veneers are truly right for you. Then, consider shopping for dental insurance if you don’t already have it so you could potentially get some valuable financial support as you move through the process of enhancing your pearly whites. Sources: https://newburydentalgroup.com/how-much-do-veneers-cost-what-you-need-to-know/ https://www.brookwestfamilydentistry.com/porcelain-veneers-how-much-cost https://www.newmouth.com/dentistry/cosmetic/veneers/cost/ https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/veneers https://www.lumineers.com/faq/faq-3 https://www.lumineers.com/faq/faq-2 https://arthurglosmandds.com/blog/cost-of-full-mouth-porcelain-veneers https://www.smiledesignersandiego.com/how-much-is-a-full-set-of-veneers/