Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth Through Oral Surgery

Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth, generally emerging between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one. They are the third set of molars and are in pairs: two each on the top and bottom arch of teeth. While some patients don’t have wisdom teeth, most do. Many of those who do have them don’t have enough room for those teeth to erupt fully, causing them to be wedged under the back of another tooth, impacted in the gum.

Impacted wisdom teeth are very difficult to clean, and can negatively affect the surrounding teeth. They are highly vulnerable to disease and decay and may lead to tooth pain and damage to adjacent teeth. For these and other reasons, a dentist may recommend that the teeth be extracted through oral surgery as soon as necessary to prevent any problems.

Extraction of wisdom teeth is typically an outpatient procedure done in an oral surgeon’s office. A healthy patient can proceed with a typical surgery, but if any infection is detected, the surgery can’t move forward until the infection is cleared up through the use of a full course of antibiotics. Once the surgery is moving forward, the surgeon’s team will administer some form of anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tooth or to possibly sedate the patient through IV sedation dentistry.

After the anesthesia has fully taken effect, the surgeon makes an incision to open the gum and to remove any bone that is blocking the tooth from extraction. The tissue connecting the bone to the tooth will be separated and the tooth will be removed. In some cases, the surgeon will have to break the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. After thoroughly cleaning the area and removing any remaining debris, the incision will be closed, stitched and packed with sterile cotton gauze to staunch any bleeding.

The surgeon will provide aftercare instructions. Patients should follow these instructions to the letter in order to ensure the best and fastest healing of the surgical site.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

asthma and oral health

Does Asthma Affect Oral Health?

About 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, a long-term lung disease that causes swelling and narrowing of the airways. The condition has been linked to oral health, with patients having increased risk for cavities, gum problems, and bad breath.

One of the main culprits negatively impacting an asthma patient’s oral health is the medication required to treat the condition. Some medicines, such as corticosteroids, decrease the flow of saliva. This leads to dry mouth, which in turn can increase cavities and bad breath. Dry mouth is worsened by the fact that many asthma patients breathe through their mouth. Inhaled steroids can also increase the risk of thrush, which is caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth.

Here are some tips for keeping your mouth safe while still controlling your asthma:

  • Make sure your dentist is aware of your condition, as well as all medications that you are taking.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash after using your inhaler.
  • Consider using a spacer device with your inhaler, which will spray the medication directly into your throat and avoid some of the direct risks to your mouth.
  • Bring your inhaler with you to dentist appointments, both to show it to your dentist and to have your medication available in case you experience an asthma attack at the office.
  • Ask your dentist if more frequent dental visits are recommended in your case.
  • Inquire about adding fluoride supplements to your routine, especially in areas where the water is not fluoridated.
  • Maintain good brushing and flossing habits.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

Benefits of Hybrid Dentures

Have you lost all or most of your teeth due to damage, disease or decay and don’t find traditional removable dentures an attractive option? Implant-supported hybrid dentures are an alternative to traditional dentures that provide a secure and stable prosthetic replacement for missing teeth by combining the benefits of a fixed replacement with the advantages of a removable denture. Hybrid dentures are an especially viable option for patients who have lost a large amount of jawbone due to missing teeth. Some of the benefits of hybrid dentures include:

  • Hybrid dentures save your natural roots and preserves bone while reducing bone resorption and deterioration.
  • Hybrid dentures help to control facial contour changes caused by missing teeth.
  • Hybrid dentures function more naturally, allowing you to chew food better and speak more clearly.
  • With hybrid dentures, there is no need for messy denture creams and adhesives, eliminating much of the embarrassment associated with loose dentures.
  • Hybrid dentures eliminate the slippage, clacking and loss of taste associated with traditional dentures.

If you would like fixed teeth to replace teeth that you have lost but are not ready or a candidate for multiple individual implants for each missing tooth, hybrid dentures could be your solution. Hybrid dentures require only a few dental implants to secure the new teeth in place, allowing for quicker recovery time and increased comfort.

If you are seeking an alternative to traditional dentures to replace your missing teeth, talk with your dental professional to determine if you are a good candidate for hybrid dentures. With hybrid dentures, you can successfully restore the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth.

We treat patients from Bastrop and the surrounding area

Setting Your Expectations for IV Dental Sedation

Intravenous, or IV, dental sedation offers patients a way to remain completely relaxed while undergoing dental procedures. Those with dental phobias, severe anxiety, special needs, or other issues are able to obtain necessary treatment instead of avoiding trips to the dentist. IV sedation is an effective and safe process that makes you very relaxed and unaware of the dental work being done. You won’t even remember anything about treatment, allowing you to come away with a positive experience.

Becoming a candidate:
IV medications are delivered directly into your vein through a needle in your arm. You’ll need to schedule an appointment to discuss sedation with your dentist, and disclose any medical conditions and medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) you are taking. A thorough examination will be conducted, X-rays or other tests may be performed, and a discussion of all aspects of IV sedation is necessary to determine if this treatment is right for you.

Going to your appointment:
Arrange for a friend to drive you to and from your appointment, because you may feel drowsy at first. It is advised not to drive, return to work or school, or make important decisions for a day following sedation so that the medication has time to completely wear off. In some cases, your dentist may give instructions for fasting prior to your procedure.

During your procedure:
Qualified, well-trained professionals will be doing your anesthesia and procedure. You will be monitored the entire time to ensure your safety and comfort. The IV will be placed in your arm, and some patients request an additional method of mild sedation be used if needles are upsetting. When the dental work is complete, the sedation will be reversed and you will become more alert to go home.

Recovering from your appointment:
Follow all of the instructions from your dentist about after-care, which will vary depending upon your procedure. Any grogginess you might feel from the sedation usually wears off after a few hours, so plan on resting before returning to your normal routine.


We look forward to seeing you in our Bastrop dental office

Types of Professional Teeth Whitening

By far, the best way to brighten and whiten your smile is through an in-office treatment performed by your dentist. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel used by your dentist is much higher than that which can be obtained over-the-counter by you in a drugstore. Lasers or special lights are employed by many dentists to achieve the best results.

With the rise in popularity of in-office teeth whitening, some specialty brands have emerged that offer different methods and ingredient strengths to address even the most stubborn stains.

  • BriteSmile also uses whitening gel and a blue light, but their gel has a concentration of 15 percent hydrogen peroxide and a nearly neutral pH level, a mix that is easier on sensitive gum tissue.
  • Lumbrite employs a custom light, known as the Sapphire Plasma Arc Curing and Whitening Light. This light has no destructive UV rays, although the gel is so strong it can work without the light. Lumbrite also has a desensitizing agent in its gel to reduce problems with sensitivity.
  • GLO Science Professional has a specialized mouthpiece that employs Guided Light Optics (GLO) that works in tangent with a whitening gel, delivering light and heat to the tooth surfaces. The mouthpiece prevents oxygen from leaving the treatment area, giving optimal whitening results.
  • Philips Zoom! is one of the most popular and well-known of the teeth whitening brands available at the dentist’s office. Their whitening gel uses a 25 percent concentration of peroxide which is stimulated by a proprietary blue light to achieve maximum whitening and is said to provide a more sparkling look to your enamel.
  • Opalescence uses one of the most powerful gels available, utilizing a 40 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide as well as potassium nitrate to reduce gum and tooth sensitivity after treatment. It also contains fluoride which strengthens the tooth enamel and reduces decay.

Talk to your dentist today to determine which of these or any other professional whitening methods is best for you and your teeth whitening needs.


If you need a dentist in Bastrop contact us today

dental implants

Dental Implants Repair Smiles

Sometimes people lose teeth. It may result from tooth decay, trauma, disease, or other problems but no matter the cause, the end result can be poor mouth function and an embarrassing appearance. Luckily, dental implants provide an effective way to repair your smile and change your whole outlook on life.

Dental implants are basically replacement roots for your missing teeth. When you lose a tooth, you also lose the roots that hold it in place. Implants provide a substitute for the roots in order to anchor an artificial tooth securely in place. It requires oral surgery to get dental implants, because a small titanium post is placed directly into the bone where the missing tooth’s roots should be. As healing occurs over the next few months, the implanted post becomes part of your jaw and creates a very secure artificial root.

Once the implant has successfully attached to your jawbone, a small post is placed to hold your new tooth. A crown that matches your existing teeth is attached to the post, and your dental implant is complete. Some of the benefits you can expect from dental implants include:

  • Permanent restoration
  • Improved appearance
  • Normal speech
  • Comfort
  • Easier eating
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Convenience

Before deciding to have a dental implant, make sure you see a qualified dentist or oral surgeon to make sure you are a good candidate. It is important to have enough bone to support the implant. If not, you may need some type of intervention to correct bone deficiency or you might be advised about a different type of restoration. But if you learn that implants are an option in your situation, you will be able to begin your journey to a beautiful smile.

We offer dental Implants for missing teeth at our Bastrop dental office

cosmetic dentist in Bastrop

The Popularity of Cosmetic Dentistry

Although your oral health is of utmost importance, it’s not the only thing to consider about your smile. There is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on giving you the most appealing smile possible for you. Cosmetic dentistry can turn a crooked, discolored, or otherwise unattractive smile into one that you will want to show off.

A relatively new area of dentistry, cosmetic dentists are becoming more and more popular. The goal is to transform your smile into a beautiful one that will last for a lifetime. It is usually not difficult to find a cosmetic dentist by asking friends and family, researching on the internet, or asking your general dentist for suggestions for this type of specialist.

Most cosmetic dentists use the most modern technologies in their offices to provide the most advanced treatment options. Some of the most popular procedures that you can expect a cosmetic dentist to perform include:

  • Teeth whitening – brightening the color of your teeth and minimizing stains
  • Veneers – attaching porcelain shells to the fronts of your teeth to hide imperfections
  • Implants and crowns – restoring missing teeth to improve mouth appearance and function
  • Bonding – using composite resin material to repair chips and fill gaps
  • Contouring – reshaping the tooth to create a more appealing look
  • Braces – straightening your teeth and correcting jaw misalignment

In additional to improving smiles, you can usually expect a comfortable experience at your cosmetic dentist. A number of the common procedures are not painful, but those that do cause discomfort may be aided with sedation techniques. Sedation dentistry is also an option to relax patients who experience anxiety or fear about visiting the dentist. If you are unhappy with your smile, schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to learn about ways to change your look.

 

Schedule a consultation today to learn more our Cosmetic Dentistry options at our Bastrop dental office.

smoking and teeth

Quit Smoking to Save your Smile

A number of serious health problems like cancer are linked to smoking, but your oral health is also at risk from using tobacco. Your teeth can be severely stained, turning them yellow or brown, and your lips can become darker too. Smokers have a higher risk of tooth decay, and bad breath is nearly inevitable. The negative outcomes of smoking continue to worsen the longer you keep doing it, so it’s highly advisable to kick the habit. However, as most smokers can attest, giving it up is not easy. Here are some tips that may help you quit smoking.

Make a list
Create a list of the reasons you’d like to quit smoking, and look at it often to remind you of your goals and the benefits you’ll achieve. These may include things like improving your overall health, restoring your smile, making loved ones proud of you, and even saving money.

Choose a date
Select a date on the calendar to stop, and stick to it. Having a concrete target can help you focus on the challenge ahead.

Ask for help
The support and encouragement from others can be a huge part of quitting smoking. Tell your family and friends about your goal, and allow them to play a part in accomplishing it.

Occupy your mouth
Sucking on sugarless candy or mints can keep your mouth busy, so you’ll be less inclined to put a cigarette in it. Chewing sugar-free gum is another great remedy for the urge to light up.

Keep busy
Try to find things to occupy your time and mind so that you aren’t constantly thinking about smoking. Take up a new hobby that involves both your mind and your hands so that you are busy with other, more beneficial, activities than puffing on a cigarette.

We look forward to seeing you in our Bastrop dental office

How to Prevent the Need For Root Canal Treatment

The desire for a beautiful, healthy, natural smile is universal. Dental procedures such as root canal treatments aren’t something people aspire to have, and there are things you can do personally that can reduce your risk of having a root canal procedure.

Prevention is the best step you can take to avoid root canal therapy, and it all begins with you at home. If you didn’t grow up with good oral hygiene habits, now is the time to develop them. This simple step can lead directly to good oral health. Be sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day, following each meal if possible, and absolutely before sleeping. If you don’t brush your teeth before bedtime, you’re providing a robust breeding ground for bacteria to grow and degrade your teeth while you’re sleeping. Floss daily to reach the places between teeth and beneath the gum line that brushing can’t reach.

Fluoride in your toothpaste and in mouthwash can keep your tooth enamel strong and durable. Never give fluoridated toothpastes to children under the age of two years and avoid fluoridated mouthwash until the child is more than six years old.

Maintaining a proper diet ensures that your body is receiving all of the nutrients it needs for health, both orally and elsewhere in the body. Chewing crunchy foods like raw vegetables and hard fruits can help keep your teeth bright and clean, scraping away debris while you chew.

If you are a smoker, you should stop immediately. Not only is it a huge factor in your oral health, but also for your overall health. Smoking contributes directly to lung disease, cancer and heart disease, as well as other health issues. Your dentist or doctor can give you excellent advice about quitting.

Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and avoiding sugared drinks. Rinse your mouth after consuming soda, coffee, tea or a sports drink.

Be sure to see your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings, and keep your risk of a root canal treatment low.


If you need a dentist in Bastrop contact us today

Cerec Bastrop

CAD/CAM Technology to the Rescue

Certain types of dental restorations have a history of taking multiple steps over a period of time to complete. This has commonly been the case for crowns, inlays, onlays, some veneers and more. Advancements in dentistry have achieved the ability of providing these in a single office visit using CAD/CAM technology.

CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) are used in many fields, but were introduced into dentistry in the 1980s. However, experts needed time to improve the technology so that it could be used in actual dental practices. It has now become a reality in helping to create durable, perfectly fitting, and aesthetically pleasing restorations in just a few hours.

This technology begins by taking an image of the tooth and affected area within the mouth. The image is used by the software to develop a virtual restoration, and the data is sent to a milling machine. The milling process allows the CAD/CAM technology to fabricate dental restorations from blocks of porcelain or composite resin. Dentists can even select the exact shade for the restoration so that it looks ideal in the patient’s smile. Once the restoration has been created, the dentist places it in the patient’s mouth and bonds it as necessary to complete the process.

One of the greatest benefits of CAD/CAM technology is that it eliminates the need for a temporary restoration. For example, in past procedures for getting a crown, a temporary crown had to be placed while the final one was fabricated in a dental lab, shipped, and finally placed. Receiving the final restoration in one office visit skips that waiting time. Also, patients don’t have to deal with the hassles of multiple appointments. Another advantage is that CAD/CAM technology provides an exact fit that blends well with the real tooth structure. Patients come away with a comfortable, secure, and attractive smile in one day.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

Sedation dentist in Bastrop

Understanding Sedation Dentistry

Fear and anxiety shouldn’t keep you from attaining a gorgeous, healthy smile. Modern advances allow dentists to keep patients relaxed and comfortable. With sedation dentistry, patients who experience nervousness can receive the care they need.

Who should consider sedation dentistry?
While anyone can request sedation options during dental treatment, certain people can experience great benefit from this process, including individuals who:

  • Can’t handle the sounds and smells of a dental office
  • Have difficulty getting numb
  • Need extensive repair work
  • Suffer from a strong gag reflex
  • Went through a dental trauma in the past

What sedation options are available?
Patients who want to relax during dental treatment have several choices:

  • Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, creates a feeling of peacefulness during your procedure. Patients breathe the gas through a mask over the nose, so the effects disappear once the nitrous oxide is turned off.
  • Oral sedation often combines nitrous oxide with a dose of anti-anxiety medication. With oral sedation, patients feel very relaxed and calm while in the dental chair. A responsible adult must accompany you to and from the dentist’s office because the sedative can stay in your system for up to 24 hours.
  • IV sedation is the deepest level of relaxation offered by most dentists. Medication is administered intravenously for maximum benefit.

Is sedation dentistry safe?
Absolutely. Throughout the procedure, the dental team will monitor your vitals and make sure you are comfortable. Patients will still be able to respond to any questions, but remember little about the actual procedure.

Will I be unconscious during my appointment?
With sedation dentistry, patients are actually awake but completely relaxed. And unlike general anesthesia, patients breathe without the use of tubes under dental sedation.

Sedation dentist in Bastrop

Methods for Administering Conscious Sedation

Once you and your dental professional have agreed on conscious dental sedation for use during your dental treatment, there are a variety of ways in which it can be administered.

Inhalation sedation or the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is a light form of conscious sedation. Your sedation dentist will administer a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask that is placed over your nose. During the procedure, you inhale the gas through your nose and back out through your mouth. Nitrous oxide wears off almost immediately upon completion of the procedure with minimal to no recovery time or side effects.

Oral medication used for sedation purposes produces medium or moderate sedation effects, depending on the strength of the prescription administered by your sedation dentist. Oral sedation usually comes in pill form and is taken approximately one hour prior to the procedure. You may feel sleepy, but should still be able to respond to your dentist’s commands. Recovery time is longer with oral sedation, and requires someone to drive you home. Side effects are rare, but may include nausea or vomiting.

Another moderate form of conscious sedation is intravenous (IV) sedation. In the case of IV sedation, the drugs are administered directly into your veins through a needle. The effects of IV sedation are much quicker than oral sedation. IV sedation allows your dental professional to adjust the levels of sedation during treatment. With IV sedation, you may begin to feel alert soon after the medication has stopped; however, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after the procedure.

Conscious sedation should only be performed by a dental professional with appropriate training. Your sedation dentist will consider your health history when choosing the appropriate form of sedation to best suit your needs. While conscious sedation is considered safe, it is best to work with a qualified sedation dentist to determine the best form of administration for your dental treatment.


Our dental office is located in Bastrop

sedation dentist

Signs You Could Benefit From Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry at our Bastrop dental office helps patients get the care they need for their teeth and can turn an otherwise stressful experience into a comfortable dental visit. Initially developed to focus on patients with special needs and those with acute dental phobias, it has progressed to be utilized by a wide range of patient groups.

Putting off dental care can affect all levels of your health. Even regular cleanings are shown to improve overall health. Untreated issues can lead to bad breath, gingivitis or periodontitis, bone loss, acute gum disease, or other serious issues.

Have you put off your dental care? Have you have been wondering if a faster, more comfortable and relaxed dental experience could benefit you? If so, see if some of the symptoms below are relatable to you.

  • You miss regular check-ups and postpone care.
  • You experience anxiety at the mere thought of a dental visit.
  • It has been years since your last dental examination.
  • The sights, sounds, and smells of a dental office cause you to feel uncomfortable and tense.
  • You feel exhausted after a dental visit. Your muscles are tired and sore.
  • You have an acute gag reflex and worry about vomiting during a dental procedure.
  • You have difficulty getting numb during procedures.
  • You have a physical condition such as Parkinson’s disease or cerebral palsy that causes you to make involuntary movements.
  • You have TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint disorder) or are unable to keep your mouth open for long periods of time.
  • Your jaw might be sore for days after a dental visit.
  • You need extensive, painful or treatments over several visits, such as gum surgery, bone grafting or extractions.
  • You have a fearful and anxious child who won’t follow instructions or sit still during a dental visit.
  • You desire the most comfortable dental experience possible.

Does even one of these descriptions ring true for you? If so, talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry today! Don’t wait to enjoy the optimal level of oral care available to you.

If you need a dentist in Bastrop contact us today

Should You Choose Crowns or Veneers?

If you have damaged or decayed teeth you may be considering options to restore both the look and function of your smile. Crowns and veneers are both utilized by cosmetic dentists to accomplish these goals. Which should you choose? Both crowns and veneers have pros and cons, and some distinct differences.

A crown is a cap that is placed over the tooth to reinforce the tooth and restore its original size and shape. Crowns are bonded into place and cover the entire tooth that is visible above the gum line. Crowns are most often used when the tooth has serious problems with structural integrity, often caused by decay. Cracked, broken, or worn down teeth also get crowns. Crowns modify how the tooth looks, and can help restore a more perfect smile. Crowns can be made of stainless steel, resin, porcelain, ceramic and other metals.

Veneers are similar to crowns in that they are used to restore the appearance of a tooth. Veneers utilize a thin shell of either porcelain or composite material that is placed over the tooth to protect it from damage and correct its appearance. Veneers require the structure of the tooth surface to be altered to bond it to the tooth.

Veneers are most commonly used to restore the outward appearance of a tooth, while crowns are typically used for structural repair. If your goal is simply to change the appearance of your teeth, veneers may be the best option. If you have extensive tooth decay or trauma, a crown might be the best choice. Consult with your dental professional to find out if a crown or veneers would be most appropriate for your specific dental issues.

Our dental office is located in Bastrop

dental implants dentist in Bastrop

Reaping the Benefits of Dental Implants

A dental implant replaces missing teeth by providing an artificial root and tooth. This type of restoration is a permanent solution that gives you back the appearance and function of your mouth. Implants match your real teeth and fuse right into your jaw bone. Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or an entire section of teeth.

Appearance
Dental implants vastly improve the way your smile looks. There are no more visible holes, and the restoration blends right into your smile. Your face and jaw will also have less risk of appearing sunken, as can occur when teeth are missing.

Speech
Missing teeth can cause you to slur or mumble when you speak. Dentures that don’t fit properly can also result in speech issues, so permanent and secure dental implants alleviate speech concerns.

Comfort
Once your implants become part of your jaw, you will likely not even remember you have them. They are very comfortable, and you can also maintain your normal diet. Implants allow you to avoid the problems that dentures have of slipping and discomfort.

Function
Implants act just like your regular teeth. Chewing and biting are the same as with your natural teeth, and in fact your implants will likely be even stronger than your other teeth.

Durability
With proper dental care, implants can last your whole life. Your natural teeth remain unaffected by the implants, and you can continue with your regular oral hygiene routine.

Confidence
Your self-esteem will be restored when you have your complete smile back. You will feel confident in smiling, talking, eating, laughing, and everything else you do.

Dental Implants Bastrop

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Problems with your mouth or teeth can occur suddenly. You might be injured playing a sport, eating, or even just while doing a seemingly harmless activity. You should know what types of dental problems are considered emergencies, and what to do while waiting to see your dentist. Quick action can make a big difference in saving a tooth, or limiting damage to your mouth or face.

What is considered an emergency?

Not every dental problem must be treated as an emergency, but some do require professional treatment as soon as possible. This includes a broken or knocked out tooth, lost crowns and fillings, severe toothache, infection, and injuries to the soft tissues of your mouth.

What should I do?

See your dentist as soon as possible to treat the problem and prevent further damage. Here are some steps to take if you experience any of the following common dental emergencies:

  • Severe toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove trapped food.
  • Swelling – apply a cold compress on the outside of the swollen area. Do not place any painkiller or aspirin against your gums, because it can burn your gum tissue.
  • Chipped or broken tooth – if possible, save the piece that has broken off. Rinse both the piece and your mouth with warm water. If it is bleeding, hold gauze on the area. Apply a cold compress to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Lost filling – apply dental cement from your drugstore to fill the hollow area until you can see your dentist. Or, try placing a bit of sugarless gum into the area.
  • Lost crown –try to replace the crown on your tooth and hold it in place temporarily with dental cement, denture adhesive, or toothpaste.
  • Abscess – infections in your mouth can become abscessed, which is a serious condition. Rinse with warm salt water and see your dentist immediately.
  • Soft tissue injuries – treat damage to your gums, cheeks, tongue and lips by rinsing with warm salty water. Hold gauze to the specific area to control bleeding, and hold a cold pack to the external area.

If you need a dentist in Bastrop contact us today

Teeth Whitening: Get the Facts

More and more people today are heading to their dentist’s office to brighten their smiles through teeth whitening treatments. Although you can try to maintain white teeth by limiting foods and drinks that stain or stopping habits like smoking, the truth is that teeth are prone to discoloring over time. If you’re considering undergoing teeth whitening, get the facts before you go.

Is teeth whitening safe?:
Most people are able to have their teeth whitened successfully without any issues. However, not everyone has good enough oral health to safely undergo treatment. Healthy teeth and gums are necessary so that the procedure is comfortable and effective. Patients with extensive fillings or crowns may not be the best candidates. Teeth that have extremely dark stains or discolorations from certain things like medications may not attain desired results.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate?:
A complete oral examination by your licensed dentist is the best way to determine if teeth whitening is right for you. During the assessment, your dentist will look for decay, receding gum lines, fillings, enamel condition, tooth sensitivity and more to decide if treatment is advised. Sometimes dental work can be done to restore oral health and then whitening becomes an option.

What is the process?:
Most professional teeth whitening treatments performed in a dental office are done with a high concentration peroxide bleaching agent and enhanced with special lighting to activate the gel. The dentist usually coats your gums with a product to limit sensitivity, and then the bleaching gel is carefully placed onto your teeth. Light is directed to the area, typically in three 15-minutes sessions. The dentist monitors the entire process for your safety and comfort.

What results can I expect?:
It is important to discuss your specific case with your dentist prior to treatment so that you have realistic whitening goals in mind. The degree of whitening often depends on the level and cause of your tooth discoloration. Some patients achieve a couple of shades brighter, while others whiten up to ten shades.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

dentures

Options for Complete Dentures

Denture technology has come a long way since the days of George Washington and his wooden teeth. Unfortunately, people still lose teeth for a variety of reasons including periodontal disease, trauma, and decay. Missing teeth make talking and eating difficult, and can ultimately cause sagging facial muscles. However, with today’s advances in technology it is more possible than ever to replace those lost teeth with natural and comfortable dentures.

Complete dentures cover both upper and lower jaws. The options for complete dentures range from immediate dentures to highly customized implant dentures. Immediate dentures are pre-made and available at your dentist’s office. They are not custom fitted and are set into gum sockets immediately upon removal of your teeth. While these offer the convenience of walking immediately out of the dental office with your new teeth in place, once gum tissue heals and swelling reduces they may shift and become loose. This issue requires follow-up visits for your dentist to make adjustments. People with immediate dentures may also have difficulty speaking, or experience a “clicking sound” when talking.

Conventional full dentures can be made 8 to 12 weeks after tooth loss or removal. Once the gums have healed, your dentist takes a series of impressions of your mouth to be sent away to a dental lab to create your dentures. This process may require multiple visits to your dentist to ensure a proper fit and correct bite. While this process takes longer and is more involved than immediate dentures, you will achieve a more secure and personalized fit. Both conventional and immediate dentures require the use of denture adhesives to keep them securely in place.

For an even more custom, natural looking and secure denture option, implant dentures are an excellent alternative. With implant dentures, small implants are placed in the jaw where they heal in place surrounded by the bone. The denture then snaps into the implant with attachments under the denture. These attachments keep the denture stable, providing more comfort and confidence. You do not have to worry your dentures will slip or fall out while you are eating, talking, or laughing. Implant dentures do not require the use of any denture adhesives.

Talk to your dental professional to determine the best use of denture technology to ensure many years of a confident and comfortable smile.

We look forward to seeing you in our Bastrop dental office

Understanding the Limitations of Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.

Methods:
You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.

Habits:
Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.

Restorations:
Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.

Side effects:
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.

Expectations:
Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.


We look forward to seeing you in our Bastrop dental office

Veneers Can Make Your Smile Stand Out

Tooth stains, chips, cracks, and discolorations can keep you from letting others see your teeth. If you are self-conscious about your smile, then dental veneers may be the answer for you. Veneers can correct a variety of imperfections and give you a natural, beautiful smile.

What are dental veneers?:
Made from tooth-colored porcelain, veneers are attached to the front of your natural teeth. They feel just like the rest of your teeth, and are durable and do not irritate your gums. Since porcelain is resistant to stains, you’re able to eat and drink as you wish. Good oral hygiene helps keep veneers and your natural teeth strong and healthy.

What are the benefits of getting veneers?:
There’s a reason that veneers are one of the most popular options in cosmetic dentistry. They provide a solution to many problems and can dramatically improve the appearance of your smile. Veneers are the answer for tough stains or discolorations that can’t be repaired by teeth whitening. They can also make your teeth look straight and even. Veneers provide an answer for chipped or broken teeth too.

Are there any disadvantages?:
The main thing to remember is that your original tooth might need to be reshaped to a smaller size and shape to allow the new, thin coating of the veneer to be placed over it. The coating will make your tooth look like a normal, perfectly shaped tooth. However, if the veneer is ever removed, it would need to be replaced to keep your smile looking nice. Dental veneers are a life-long solution to creating your best smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

How Your Diet Affects Your Oral Health

The foods and drinks you consume affect more than your waistline. Your diet provides you with the nutrients you need and impacts your overall health, and also affects the health of your teeth and gums. Let’s see what the choices you make in your diet mean to your oral health.

Nutrients

If you don’t include certain nutrients in your diet, it’s harder for the tissues in your mouth to fight infection. This can promote gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if not treated properly and early. Experts suggest that gum disease advances faster and can become more severe in people who don’t have a nutritious diet. Ask your doctor for suggestions for a healthy diet full of helpful nutrients.

Balanced diet

Your goal should be to eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. These include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy items. It’s also important to drink plenty of water.

Sugar

Sugary foods and drinks are enemies for your oral health, because sugar is proven to contribute to tooth decay. When plaque comes into contact with sugar in your mouth, it causes acid to attack your teeth and lead to decay. Limit the amount of sugar you consume by reading the nutritional labels on foods and drinks, and opt for items that are lowest in sugar. Soft drinks, candy, pastries, and cookies are common sources of sugar.

Snacking

Avoid snacking in between meals, and choose healthy foods like fruit or cheese when you do snack. When you eat foods as part of a meal, it is less harmful to your teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day. This is a result of more saliva being released during a meal, which helps wash food from your mouth and lessen the impact of harmful acids.

Dental care

Practice good oral hygiene like regular flossing and brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

Our dental office is located in Bastrop

Cerec Bastrop

Enhancing Your Smile using CEREC Technology

CEREC is a system for fabricating ceramic dental restorations in a single office visit. A permanent, comfortable, attractive restoration is yours after only one trip to the dentist. The most common restorations that CEREC is used for include crowns, veneers, onlays and inlays. This thrilling technology means patients experience less messy impressions, fewer injections, less drilling, and reduced time out of their schedules for dental treatment.

Most dental restorations require multiple visits to the dentist. The first visit typically involves an injection of anesthesia, tooth preparation, impressions, and temporary restoration placement. The next appointment a week or two later means another injection, removal of the temporary restoration, and placement of the permanent one. CEREC avoids all of these hassles!

With CEREC, special computer technology allows the creation of a 3D impression of your mouth that is highly accurate. The exact impression is used to create your restoration right there in the dentist’s office with a milling machine. Your restoration can be placed immediately and you’ll be on your way with a comfortable and appealing result.

Not only is CEREC convenient, it restores your teeth to their natural beauty, function and strength. The ceramic materials used match your tooth structure, so that eating hot or cold items does not damage your restoration. The material is bonded securely to your tooth, saving as much of your healthy tooth as possible. The tooth-colored ceramic makes your restoration go unnoticed in your smile.

There is no reason to waste time and energy at multiple dental appointments when you can achieve beautiful and fully functional results through CEREC technology. Ask your dentist if this innovative restoration method is available to enhance your smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

Sedation dentistry

Why Consider Sedation Dentistry?

Some of the main reasons many people don’t like to visit the dentist is due to the pain involved with some procedures, or simply the fear of the experience. That’s why dentistry has come up with a way to provide people with dental care, but relieving those common reasons for avoiding it. Sedation dentistry allows patients to have dental work without feeling pain or experiencing anxiety.

Process
Sedation dentistry uses sedative drugs in a safe way for patients to be calmed during dental procedures. You are not fully put to sleep, but the effects of the sedative can make you feel sleepy and it’s likely you won’t remember much about your dental work. It is formally regulated, and side effects are uncommon. Your dentist adjusts the amount of medication used to meet the needs of each patient. There are even choices about the sedation technique used. In the past, intravenous sedation delivered by injection was the most common. Today, alternatives like inhaling nitrous oxide and other approaches that don’t require needles are possible. Your dentist can discuss your options and help you decide which is best for you.

Pain management
Many patients are interested in sedation dentistry so that the pain felt during dental procedures is reduced. This is more than just numbing the area to be worked on; you can actually be put to sleep so you do not feel anything at all. Sedation dentistry is often recommended for sensitive procedures that have greater pain associated with them.

Relaxation
Another popular reason for sedation techniques is to relax the patient. This calms you during the procedure so that the dental work can be performed without increased risk of injury or avoidance. A common level of sedation for this purpose is called the twilight stage, which allows you to respond to the dentist but your awareness of the procedure itself is limited. This allows many patients to get through dental procedures much more comfortably as opposed to when fully awake and alert.

We treat patients from Bastrop and the surrounding area

 

Teeth Whitening: The Bottom Line

A pretty smile has an immediate impact on those you meet. Without saying a word, it conveys that you take care of yourself and exudes a higher confidence level. A yellowed, dull, stained smile can send the opposite message. It can get in the way of presenting yourself in the best possible way.

Even when you practice good dental hygiene, your teeth are at risk of discoloration. Age, drinking and eating certain foods, and smoking each can negatively affect the shade of your teeth. You may be able to slow down the damage by avoiding such habits, but it’s nearly impossible to maintain the bright white smile of your youth. That’s when teeth whitening comes to the rescue.

There are a number of teeth whitening methods available today. Some of them involve buying over-the-counter products at your local drugstore for use at home, and others require a trip to see a professional. Choosing the most effective method for your teeth depends on the degree of discoloration or staining that you have, as well as your smile goals. The various methods have different levels of impact on the shade of your teeth.

Products for home use are inexpensive, readily available, and simple to use. Some popular options include whitening toothpastes, gels, and strips. Make sure you follow the directions carefully, and be patient because visible results can take some time of consistent use.

For quicker and more dramatic impacts to your smile, professional whitening is the way to go. Commercial methods employ more powerful ingredients than those available for home use. Also, special tools are often used such as ultraviolet lights to enhance the procedure. Professional whitening methods are able to improve much more severe stains and discolorations than home products. Whitening performed by a dental professional also usually lasts longer than what you might achieve at home.

The bottom line about teeth whitening is that it can be a fast and effective way to improve your look. Don’t go through life hiding your smile, but brighten your appearance with teeth whitening.

We look forward to seeing you in our Bastrop dental office

Kids Dentistry

Some people have the wrong idea that taking their children to the dentist isn’t that important, and that it’s really a healthcare choice for adulthood. Young teeth are vulnerable to bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease, so teaching your kids how to practice good dental hygiene is a must. However, it’s just as important to get into the habit of taking your kids for regular checkups at the dentist.

Does it matter which dentist we choose?:
Sometimes the hardest part about the whole process is talking your child into seeing a dentist. Many kids are afraid of the dentist, even if it’s just the idea of an unknown experience. Then once they go to the dentist and see all the unfamiliar and sometimes noisy equipment, you can be in for an uphill battle. That’s why it’s important to choose a dentist who is experienced in treating kids and equipped for their unique needs. Select a dental office that strives to make kids comfortable and helps them through the process. You may even want to consider a pediatric dentist, who specializes only in treating kids.

What can we expect at a checkup?:
The goal of a dental visit is to clean and protect your child’s teeth, and to prevent and treat diseases or other problems. The dentist will start with an examination and X-rays if needed, in order to get a better view of your child’s oral health. The appointment will also include a teeth cleaning, which provides a much more thorough and deep cleaning than your child is able to perform at home. If there are any problems diagnosed, treatment procedures will be discussed and you can decide with the dentist how to proceed.

We treat patients from Bastrop and the surrounding area