07 Apr / 2016
If you seem to have similar problems with the health of your teeth and gums that your parents did, it’s probably not your imagination. There is a genetic component to oral health.
Your DNA can influence a variety of aspects of your oral health, from the strength of your enamel to your susceptibility to gum disease to even the composition of your saliva. All of these factors work in concert to affect oral health concerns like tooth decay.
In fact, researchers have found that more than half of your risk of tooth decay is likely related to genetics. So, if your parents had a lot of cavities, it’s likely that you might have that problem, too.
As a result, your dentist may ask you about your family’s history of oral diseases to pinpoint any potential issues related to genetics.
Additionally, there is a genetic component to the shape of your facial structures and your teeth. For example, you may share your mother’s narrow jaw, which can lead to crowding of your smile. Your dentist may explore this aspect of your family history, as well.
Genetics are not the sole determinant of your oral health, though. Your oral hygiene habits play an important role, as well. Regular brushing and flossing, using proper technique, can help to overcome any genetic issues that could compromise your oral health.
Your diet matters, too. Limit sweet treats and acidic foods and beverages, like soda, that can accelerate tooth decay as well.
Semiannual appointments with your dentist also are essential to protecting your oral health, especially if you have a family history of oral diseases. These regular check-ups monitor your teeth and gums for signs of problems in their earliest stages when they can be most readily treated.
As is the case with your overall health, your genetic make-up has a significant amount of influence over your oral health. However, you still can take steps to reduce your risk of issues like cavities and gum disease. Check in with one of our knowledgeable staff members to learn more about your genetic risks and how you can protect yourself against them. Contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340 today to schedule your visit.
10 Mar / 2016
Having your teeth straightened is a process. If you are trying to correct a malocclusion that has resulted in severely crooked teeth or just need to make a smaller adjustment, the enhancement will be done over a period of time in a subtle fashion. Your dentist will recommend the method that will work best to correct your bite while accommodating your lifestyle as much as possible.
Naturally, patients who have entered into orthodontic care will be looking for any signs of improvement; and depending on the condition of your smile at the onset of treatment, you will likely start to see little changes within a couple of cycles if Invisalign is your method of teeth straightening. A cycle is a two week period where you continue to wear an aligner; every two weeks, you will replace the aligner you have been wearing with the next in the series.
The way Invisalign works is very similar to all orthodontic treatment in that teeth are shifted over time to their correct occlusion. A consultation with your dentist will identify the best way to complete teeth straightening. Photographs, dental x-rays, and oral impressions will be taken. These tools will be sent to the Invisalign lab where skilled technicians will utilize 3-D digital technology to produce a series of clear aligners that will work to gently reposition teeth over a period of time.
With metal braces, wires are employed that are regularly adjusted to keep teeth moving; with Invisalign each aligner works the same way, with each updated aligner designed to move teeth to a new position with each two week cycle.
If Invisalign teeth straightening is selected, the patient will enjoy this transparent form of treatment as aligners are not only clear, they are removable. This means the wearer can continue to eat all the foods they wish as braces are removed for snacks and meals.
Being removable makes the daily task of oral maintenance (brushing and flossing) easier; and allows a thorough cleaning to be completed every six months at your regularly scheduled dental appointment.
Whether you are having your bite corrected with Invisalign or a different method, changes will take time. But the result will be the same … a smile makeover coupled with healthier teeth and gums for your lifetime.
To find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340 today.
09 Feb / 2016
Tooth loss can occur for many reasons including trauma, disease, infection, or teeth that might never have erupted properly. The best solution to restore the functionality of smiling, speaking, and eating all your favorite foods is with dental implants.
Whether you need one, two, several, or an entire arch of teeth; your dentist can help you to achieve the desired results.
While completion time varies depending on the extent of treatment needed, the process is pretty much the same. A consultation outlining what is needed is completed that includes a medical review, a thorough dental exam including x-rays, and a discussion of what you can anticipate throughout treatment; also a request for your commitment to do everything you can to ensure a successful outcome.
Once you become a qualified candidate, your dentist will commence treatment by placing a small titanium post in the gum tissue where tooth loss has occurred. Titanium will promote bone growth that is on-going throughout the healing period.
You will be asked to keep the surgical area as clean as possible to prevent infection, a leading cause of implant failure. Discontinuing the use of tobacco products of all kinds will also be strongly recommended.
Once healed, a customized restoration will have been fabricated to be permanently affixed to the abutment that was attached to the implant. Your dentist will have designed a unit that matches surrounding teeth in shape, size, and coloring so no one will be able to tell the implant from your natural teeth. At this point, your dental implant process is complete.
The final result means you can smile and laugh without fear of embarrassment due to missing teeth. You will also be able to speak clearly when teeth are restored. But the most important facet of this procedure is the ability to eat all your favorite foods is restored.
Chewing foods is as natural as what you remembered with your biological teeth. Whether you want to enjoy crispy fruits and vegetables, a nice juicy cut of meat, munching on nuts or snacks, or just enjoying what everyone else is eating, you can do so without any restrictions.
Caring for your implant is identical to what you have been doing all along … brush twice daily with a fluoridated tooth paste, floss daily, and visit your dentist twice yearly for a professional cleaning and exam.
To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants or to learn more about your tooth replacement options, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340 today.
08 Jan / 2016
Many patients deal with extreme apprehension at the mere thought of going to the dentist. Even a regular check-up is overwhelming for some. But the availability of sedation dentistry has provided a practical solution for many individuals.
It is not just nervous patients that can benefit from sedation dentistry. Physical or mental limitations can make dental treatment impractical. The inability to recline for extended periods can make many procedures difficult to complete.
The requirements for utilizing sedation dentistry are minimal … reliable transportation is a must. Since the patient will be in a somewhat groggy state for several hours, a ride to and from the dental office is needed; it is also helpful to have someone be able to stay with the patient on their return home for a few hours to assist as needed and prevent accidental falls.
Sedation dentistry is administered by a dentist who has completed the necessary training; the office and assisting dental staff are prepared to offer the safest and most comfortable treatment available.
Your treatment starts at home with the administration of an oral sedative about an hour before your scheduled appointment. Upon arrival at the dental office, you are already feeling relaxed. Additional medication is given; and although you remain conscious throughout your procedure, many patients don’t remember anything as if they slept during treatment.
The patient is continually monitored. And since they are so relaxed, there is no stress for either the patient or the dentist rendering treatment. Very often, hygiene visits can be coupled with needed restorative work so the patient can have all dental work completed in one easy visit.
The patient will be advised to go home and rest upon treatment completion … returning to work or school the same day is typically not recommended. However, the following day the patient should not experience any side effects from the sedatives given and can expect to proceed with their normal schedule.
Sedation dentistry is beneficial for patients with anxiety and/or disabilities. It is safe, effective, and opens the door for patients that have endured a lifetime of dental problems due to their inability to make and keep dental appointments.
To learn more about your options for sedation or to schedule an exam, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340 today.
10 Dec / 2015
Some patients who want to improve the aesthetics of their smiles with orthodontic treatment may need to correct problems with the alignment of the jaws in addition to repositioning the teeth. Fortunately, Invisalign can address a variety of malocclusions (“bad bites”), including underbites, overbites, and crossbites. Invisalign can also correct issues like gaps in the teeth or crowded teeth.
Your dentist will thoroughly evaluate your case, including any problems with your bite, before recommending Invisalign treatment.
Many patients prefer Invisalign over traditional orthodontic treatment because the former is so much more convenient and comfortable. By using a series of removable plastic trays to move the teeth and correct the bite, if necessary, Invisalign gives patients more control over the process. Patients can take out the trays to eat and perform their oral hygiene regimen, so this method will have minimal, if any, interference with your day-to-day routine or your eating habits.
Additionally, the Invisalign trays tend to be more comfortable than conventional orthodontic appliances. Lacking sharp-edged brackets and wires that can poke at your cheeks, Invisalign eliminates the risk of soft tissue injuries during your treatment.
In order to get the desired results from your Invisalign treatment, though, you must follow the instructions provided by your dentist. Be sure to wear the trays for the recommended amount of time each day – usually between 20 and 22 hours. Swap out the trays according to the schedule assigned to you, as the trays are specially designed to work in a sequence.
For taking on this increased responsibility, you are rewarded with less time in the dental office. You’re essentially making the adjustments yourself, so you won’t need to come in as often for appointments to swap out wires, etc. Of course, your provider will continue to monitor your progress, so you’ll need to come in periodically for that.
Invisalign can improve the smiles of patients with a wide variety of malocclusions. If you are interested in this treatment option, schedule a consultation at our office, serving Corinth, TX and surrounding areas, to learn if it might meet your needs.
09 Nov / 2015
If you are suffering with multiple types of smile imperfections, you might be overwhelmed with your cosmetic dentistry options. Today, patients have more options and access to cosmetic dental treatments than ever before. Our dental team understands the importance of having a great smile. After all, your smile says a lot about you. Having an attractive smile can certainly improve your social life and even your professional life.
Fortunately, patients suffering with multiple smile flaws can achieve a stunning, red carpet-worthy smile with porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers provide a uniform look and beautiful enhancement to the appearance of teeth. Receiving veneers is a permanent procedure, and with proper care, your new smile can last for years to come.
What are porcelain veneers?
Veneers are cosmetic enhancements that are permanently bonded over the front sides of teeth. A veneer is a tooth-shaped restoration that can conceal stains, cracks, and chips as well as cover up misaligned and improperly spaced teeth. Ultra-thin, a veneer is crafted from high quality porcelain to cover a specific tooth. Each veneer is made to exact measurements so that it naturally enhances and complements a patient’s tooth. After veneers are bonded to teeth, patients will enjoy an instantly straight, white, and beautiful smile.
What is the procedure like?
The first step to receiving veneers is to consult with our dentist. At your consultation, we will determine if this procedure is right for you. If you are not a candidate for veneers, we will discuss alternatives that are better suited to your needs. Once the decision to receive veneers is made, patients will visit our office so that our team can take impressions of the teeth. After gently reducing a minuscule amount of each tooth that is being treated, molds will be taken. These molds will be used to determine the measurements of each veneer. Based on the molds, dental technicians in laboratories will then construct the veneers. When the veneers are ready, a patient will return to our office for the placement process. Receiving veneers is minimally invasive and produces little to no discomfort.
To schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340.
07 Oct / 2015
Have you noticed blood on your toothbrush? Perhaps your gums bleed during flossing. If you notice bleeding gums, we recommend scheduling an exam with our dentist as soon as possible, as this symptom is a common indicator of gum (periodontal) disease. Healthy gums should not bleed. If you find that your gums bleed during oral hygiene or feel swollen or tender to the touch, the gingival tissue in your mouth could be inflamed and possibly irritated. Following is some helpful information on bleeding gums and periodontal disease.
Causes of Bleeding Gums
Sometimes, bleeding gums can mean that you are flossing or brushing incorrectly. If you thread floss between your teeth with too much force or brush too vigorously, you could easily irritate your gums and cause minor bleeding. Patients who do not floss regularly may experience bleeding when they do resume flossing. In this instance, the only way to be certain if gum disease is present, is to schedule an appointment with our dentist.
Bleeding gums is problematic because it leaves the interior structure of the gingival tissue susceptible to oral bacteria in the mouth, which can increase the likelihood of infection. If you do have bleeding gums, do not stop practicing oral hygiene. Continue to brush in gentle, circular motions and floss daily with care until you can visit our practice for a checkup.
An Overview of Gum Disease
When gum disease is detected in an early stage, patients can be cured with improved oral hygiene and professional treatment. However, if periodontal disease progresses to a certain point, the disease is only manageable. Advanced periodontal disease is very aggressive. This is because the gums are severely inflamed and infected. Late stage gum disease can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and severe gum recession.
Our practice offers treatment for gum disease and can refer patients with complex or advanced cases to a specialist. To schedule an appointment for a dental checkup, call our practice today.
10 Sep / 2015
Do you wish your teeth were whiter? Perhaps you desire a straighter smile. Whatever dental imperfections you may have, there exist many options for improving your appearance.
Our practice offers a number of cosmetic dentistry procedures that can transform the way you look and the way you feel about yourself. Many of our patients who have received cosmetic treatments have reported great satisfaction with not only their rejuvenated appearances but in overall quality of life. Our dentist has experience placing tooth-colored restorations, dental implants, and porcelain veneers. Our practice also offers professional teeth whitening services and Invisalign clear braces.
Popular Cosmetic Procedures
We offer the latest cosmetic dentistry procedures that improve one’s appearance without affecting oral function. Tooth-colored restorations are a great way to perform necessary dental work like placing crowns or fillings without looking unnatural. Using composite resin or porcelain, our team can place restorations that blend flawlessly with biological tooth structure. White restorations protect teeth from damage and decay without affecting the aesthetics of a patient’s smile. Our team can also replace old, metal dental work with tooth-colored alternatives.
Porcelain veneers are another method for producing a beautiful smile. These cosmetic enhancements are custom made to fit over teeth so that a patient can permanently conceal discoloration, cracks, and chips along with crooked teeth. A combination of veneers can create a perfectly white and straight smile.
If you are suffering with a dull and discolored smile, receiving professional teeth whitening treatments may be the most effective way to boost your confidence in a short amount of time. Unlike store bought products, our whitening treatments offer powerful yet safe bleaching agents that lighten teeth about eight shades brighter. Receiving teeth whitening is non-invasive and comfortable.
Other options for improving the appearance and function of your smile are dental implants and clear braces. Dental implants replace lost teeth and are very durable. Invisalign is a teeth-straightening system that utilizes clear, plastic retainer-like appliances to move teeth discreetly.
To schedule a smile makeover consultation with our dentist, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340.
If you’re in the workforce and want to straighten your smile, you may be reluctant to do so if it means wearing clunky metal appliances that detract from your professional appearance. Fortunately, a system called Invisalign offers a good alternative to adults who want to avoid obscuring their smiles – or worse, looking like a teenager – during orthodontic treatment.
This system of clear correct braces uses plastic trays to apply forces to the teeth in the same way that conventional braces use brackets and wires. Because the trays are clear, they’re barely noticeable to the average observer. No one will be any the wiser that you’re receiving orthodontic treatment.
Additionally, the trays can be removed at mealtime, which is advantageous for professionals attending business lunches. There’s no need to adapt your eating habits to accommodate braces when you choose Invisalign.
Your dentist will give you instructions on the proper use of your Invisalign trays. While they can be removed to eat or perform your oral hygiene routine, you need to be sure to wear them long enough each day to get the desired effects. Usually, patients leave the trays in for 20-22 hours each day.
The trays are progressive, so patients will swap them out periodically as well. Your dentist will direct you on the frequency of these changes, which is generally every other week or so.
Because patients take on much responsibility for this treatment, they have fewer appointments for adjustments than patients with conventional braces do. You’ll go to the dental office periodically for checks on your progress, but you won’t spend too much time away from your work office in the process.
Invisalign can allow you to continue to flash a cool, confident smile throughout your orthodontic treatment, which is a tremendous asset for a working professional. If you’re interested in learning more about this treatment option, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Are you searching for a comfortable, durable tooth replacement option? Do you want a very natural looking prosthetic that functions closely to a biological tooth? Dental implants are a great way to address the loss of oral function and the aesthetic effects of tooth loss on one’s appearance.
Patients and dental professionals alike are raving about dental implants because these prosthetic teeth preserve oral health structures, restore oral function, and improve appearance. Moreover, implants have a very long lifespan and in some cases, can last a lifetime. Patients who have lost teeth or have a failing tooth are likely candidates for implants. Certain conditions like bone degeneration and gum disease can affect the success rate of a dental implant. Lifestyle choices such as smoking can affect implant candidacy as well.
What makes up a dental implant?
A dental implant and its prosthetic replace a tooth’s visible structure (the crown) and its roots. An implant is a small textured post that resembles a screw. Made from titanium, an implant is biocompatible with the body. This is because bone is able to fuse and integrate with titanium as if it were natural, mineralized structure.
Our dentist will surgically embed the implant into the jaw, where it will eventually be stabilized by bone. Once the implant is stable, a permanent crown is attached to an abutment on the implant. A crown is a tooth-shaped prosthetic that is custom made for each patient. Crowns are designed so that they fit perfectly between teeth. Once the crown is attached to the implant, a patient can enjoy life as they would with a natural tooth.
How does one care for dental implants?
Compared to other prosthetics like bridges and dentures, implants are relatively low maintenance. Patients with implants will floss and brush their teeth and prosthetics as normal. Flossing and brushing is important to keep the mouth clean and the gums healthy. Those with implants should also visit the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings to ensure that common conditions like gum disease are not affecting the stability of the implant.
To schedule a tooth replacement consultation, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340 today.