Dental problems

Dealing with Common Dental Problems

If you have a dental emergency, for example a knocked out tooth or jaw injury, contact your dentist in Bastrop right away for care. Quite often dental problems will develop out of office hours, so it’s a good idea to know how to treat them until you can visit your dentist. The following tips will help you take care of yourself or someone close:

  • Bitten Cheeks, Lips or Gums. Gently rinse the affected area using cool water. Use light but firm pressure to apply a clean piece of gauze or washcloth to stop bleeding. An ice pack can help reduce swelling.
  • Bleeding Gums. Bleeding gums are frequently caused by gum disease or through brushing your teeth too hard. Rinse your mouth with warm water and be sure to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth as this will help reduce infection and inflammation. Book an appointment with your family dentist in Bastrop for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • Canker Sores. It can help to wash the area with warm salt water. Avoid spicy or very hot foods until the canker sore begins to heal. If it fails to heal after two weeks, contact your dentist for advice.
  • Cracked or Broken Tooth. Carefully rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Book an appointment with your dentist to have the tooth mended, and bring any broken pieces of tooth with you to the dental office.
  • Loose Baby Tooth. Don’t attempt to pull out the tooth yourself, but instead encourage the child to gently wiggle it from side to side until it eventually comes out on its own.
  • Teething Problems. Use a chilled teething ring or a cold washcloth to help soothe your baby’s gums. Gently rubbing the gums can also relieve some of the pressure.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

Sedation dentist in Bastrop

All About Nitrous Oxide

One of the most commonly used sedatives in dentistry is nitrous oxide, often referred to as laughing gas. It provides an effective technique in sedation dentistry, allowing patients to feel carefree and happy and pain-free. If used correctly by qualified dentists, nitrous oxide is a safe and valuable sedative.

Nitrous oxide is typically used when patients experience mild to moderate anxiety or fear when seeing the dentist for treatment. The gentle sedative properties of this gas helps patients who are not in extreme panic, but simply need calming.

One appealing thing about nitrous oxide is that it is administered by inhaling it through a mask placed over the nose. There are no needles required, which is a great benefit to many nervous patients. Another plus is that patients remain awake and aware of the environment during treatment, but are no longer anxious or upset about what is happening.

Some additional benefits of nitrous oxide include:

  • The sedation level may be adjusted at any time during treatment.
  • Since the healthcare professionals have control over the nitrous oxide at all times, it is a very safe choices and nearly impossible to overdose.
  • It works quickly, with the calming effects taking place in under three minutes of being administered.
  • Lengthy or complicated dental procedures can be performed while the patient is content and often unaware of the time spend in the dental chair. This also increases the dentist’s ability to perform multiple procedures in one visit.
  • Nitrous oxide is safe for patients with medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and epilepsy.

Sedation dentist in Bastrop

cosmetic dentist in Bastrop

Enhance Your Smile: Five Popular Cosmetic Dental Procedures

When you look your best, you exude confidence and grace. A vibrant, white smile can add to the image you convey. Cosmetic dentistry has risen in popularity because it allows people to transform their appearances. Make an appointment with your cosmetic dentist in Bastrop for a consultation to discuss your smile enhancement options. While some patients choose a complete smile makeover, any of the following procedures can take your smile from dull to dynamite.

Teeth Whitening
The aging process as well as lifestyle choices can dull your smile. With teeth whitening, you can remove stains and look years younger. Most dentists recommend professional teeth whitening, which you can accomplish through in-office sessions or take-home kits.

Bonding
If you have small chips, gaps, or cracks in your smile, your dentist may suggest dental bonding. To repair the damaged area, your dentist will use a tooth-colored resin, which is hardened with a special light. Dental bonding blends in with your natural teeth and restores the look of your smile.

Porcelain Veneers
Created from fine dental porcelain, veneers can totally change your appearance. With porcelain veneers, your dentist can alter the size, shape, and color of your teeth. Depending on your situation, the doctor may suggest custom veneers designed just for your smile, or no-prep veneers, which can be bonded to your teeth but removed at a later time.

Composite Fillings
Over time, metal fillings can crack and seep, causing oral health problems, as well as impacting your smile’s appearance. Tooth-colored fillings are constructed to match your original teeth so they blend in seamlessly. Because they bond to the tooth, composite fillings won’t change shape or leak.

Accelerated Orthodontics
For straighter teeth in three to nine months, consider accelerated orthodontics. Usually, accelerated orthodontics works best for people with mild issues to correct or for those who want to straighten front teeth for an important event like a wedding.

Wisdom teeth dentist in Bastrop

Wisdom Teeth Q / A

Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to erupt. Usually, people get their wisdom teeth in during their late teens and early 20s. Although some individuals have no trouble with their wisdom teeth, many people end up having these teeth removed because they may become impacted and create dental health issues. Learn more about wisdom teeth with this Q and A:

Do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?
If your wisdom teeth aren’t causing problems, you can leave them alone. Typically, wisdom teeth are crooked or impacted, which can generate problems with the surrounding teeth. Also, wisdom teeth can be harder to keep clean, so the risk of decay on these teeth is higher.

When should I have these teeth taken out?
For optimal results, most dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal for patients when they are between 16 and 22 years old. The formation of the roots isn’t complete, so you have fewer complications.

Are there any risks?
As with any surgery, you can have issues arise, but the biggest concerns are nerve damage and dry sockets. Older patients have a greater chance of nerve damage because the root has more fully developed. Dry sockets occur when the post-surgery blood clots dislodge.

Does my age matter?
Some adults don’t experience any symptoms until they are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s. You can have these teeth extracted at any point, but when you get older, surgery is more difficult and the recovery takes longer. If you have trouble with your wisdom teeth, contact your dentist right away for a complete exam.

Bastrop dental office for wisdom teeth – Spring St. Dental

Dental Implants

Why Some Implants Fail Repeatedly

Dental implants are the best restorative choice for replacing a tooth that is missing. Whether the tooth has come out due to some kind of facial trauma or an infection or other issue, dental implants are the solution. The real difference in quality between a dental implant and other restorations such as bridges lies in the fact that the dental implant is placed directly into the patient’s jawbone, eventually fusing there through a process known as ossification.

Over time, ossification provides the kind of tooth base that is only seen elsewhere in natural teeth. When a dental implant is successful, it is as secure and as natural looking as a patient’s own original teeth; however, in some cases, dental implants fail. Sometimes they fail repeatedly. What’s causing these dental implant failures? Here are some potential causes.

Sometimes the implant doesn’t fuse with the bone and the bone shrinks away from the implant, leading to implant mobility or even the implant falling out. Patients who have weak bones due to age, osteoporosis, years of being edentulous (toothless) or another medical condition will find dental implants more challenging. If you’ve been having issues with failure to ossify, your dentist might recommend a bone graft to rebuild the jawbone to a healthy level so that dental implants can properly fuse.

In other cases, persistent infection may result in repeated implant failure. Signs of infection are continuous bleeding, swelling at the implant site or acute inflammation of the gum tissue at the implant site. Pus may be evident, or a bubble might appear on the gumline. Some health issues such as diabetes, auto-immune disorders or treatments like cancer therapies can weaken the immune system and leave the implant site vulnerable to infection. Your dentist might prescribe antibiotics or recommend you see an endodontist for a root canal treatment.

If you’re concerned about your dental implant, talk to Bastrop dentist Brian Romney DMD right away. Find out what steps you need to take to ensure that your dental implants are successful.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

oral cancer screening

Watch Out for Oral Cancer

Each year, more than 30,000 Americans receive an oral cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, less than 57 percent will live beyond five years. In fact, the death rate for oral cancer is higher than cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, brain cancer, and liver cancer. Usually seen in older patients, oral cancer in individuals under 40 is on the rise.

Fast Facts about Oral Cancer

• Early detection increases the survival rate to almost 90 percent.
• Initially, oral cancer patients may have few obvious symptoms of the illness.
• Certain factors, such as gender, lifestyle choices, and age can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. An estimated 25 percent of oral cancer patients, however, have no risk factors for the disease.
• Famous people who have battled oral cancer include Michael Douglas, Roger Ebert, Aaron Spelling, Humphrey Bogart, Eddie Van Halen, and Babe Ruth.
• Signs of oral cancer include a sore that does not heal after two weeks, color change in oral tissue, hoarse or scratchy throat, and difficulty with chewing or swallowing.
• Side effects of oral cancer may include chronic discomfort, loss of oral function, and difficulty in chewing, swallowing, or speaking.
• Research suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables decreases your chances of developing cancerous lesions.
• Routine dental visits allow your dentist to look for signs of oral cancer, which can lead to early detection if there is a problem.
• Tobacco and alcohol use can result in a 75 percent chance of receiving an oral cancer diagnosis.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

dental tidbits

Interesting Dental Tidbits

You may know all about basic dental care. Most people can tell you about the importance of brushing twice a day and flossing regularly. If you asked friends and family, they could probably list the virtues of eating whole grains, lean meats, and green vegetables to keep teeth and gums healthy. The majority of individuals, though, probably don’t know these fun facts:

  • Approximately 33 percent of people squeeze their toothpaste from the middle.
  • As early as 700 BC, people carved false teeth out of animal bones.
  • During ancient times, the barber cut your hair, gave you a shave, and extracted injured teeth.
  • Each year, Americans fork out more money on hair care and lottery tickets than they do on their dental health.
  • In 1994, a West Virginia inmate scaled a wall and escaped prison using a rope made from dental floss.
  • Modern toothpaste was first manufacture by the Colgate Company.
  • People brushed their teeth with twigs or their fingers before toothbrushes were invented.
  • Poor individuals sold their teeth to the wealthy during the 18th century and these people used them as replacement teeth.
  • Surprisingly, cows don’t have upper teeth.
  • The Mexican version of the Tooth Fairy, called the Tooth Mouse, takes the lost tooth and leaves behind a small gift.
  • To win the 1986 National Spelling Bee, the top contestant correctly spelled odontalgia, another word for toothache.
  • When asked, 73 percent of Americans said they would rather grocery shop than floss their teeth.

If you need a dentist in Bastrop contact us today

 

cosmetic dentist in Bastrop

What You Should Know About Porcelain Veneers

If you are unhappy with your smile, porcelain veneers are a cosmetic dentistry option that can provide you with flawless teeth. Veneers are a very popular way to improve your appearance without a major, invasive procedure. Here are some things you should know about porcelain veneers if you are considering them as a solution for an imperfect smile.

Difference between veneers and crowns
The purpose of veneers is to restore your smile, and your original teeth are not removed or altered. However, a large part of the original tooth structure is removed with crowns in the process of building a new tooth. If you’re seeking a minimally invasive option, veneers may be your answer.

Natural appearance
Veneers are customized just for you, so your smile can be personalized to meet your desires. Your teeth will look natural and healthy. Porcelain is translucent and provides a realistic look to your smile. Also, stains do not stick to porcelain and even if there is any small staining, it can be easily polished off during a dental cleaning.

Permanent solution
Veneers are a permanent tooth restoration, so make sure you are happy with the color and shape before they are placed using dental cement. Alterations cannot be made once the veneers are in place.

Requires healthy teeth
A thorough examination by your dentist is required to determine if veneers are right for you. Some oral conditions do not work well with veneers, so your dentist will make sure your teeth and mouth are healthy enough to work successfully with veneers.

Cosmetic Dentist in Bastrop

Dental implants dentist

The Benefits and Risks Associated with Dental Implants

As with any surgery, there are benefits and risks that come with getting dental implants. This procedure to replace missing teeth is becoming increasingly popular, so here are some things to know if you are considering this type of treatment.

What are the benefits?

  • Appearance – implants blend in with your smile and look very natural.
  • Comfort – they function and feel like natural teeth.
  • Support – implants support your jaw and avoid a “caved in” look to your face, preserving your youthful appearance.
  • Sensitivity – many patients have less tooth and gum sensitivity after getting implants.
  • Adjacent teeth – neighboring teeth are not affected.
  • Durability – implants are usually there for life, not needing surgical replacement. Even if the artificial tooth needs replacing, it can be done without surgery.
  • Speech – dental implants allow you to speak clearly, as you would with your real teeth.
  • TMJ – replacing missing teeth helps prevent jaw disorders
  • Bone loss – titanium posts implanted into your jaw can help prevent bone loss and gum recession.

What are the risks?

  • Infection – gums and tissue may become infected without proper oral hygiene. It’s important to follow all recovery and maintenance instructions carefully.
  • Failed integration – sometimes implants do not integrate properly with the bone. If the implants do not fuse, they can be uncomfortable or loose. When this happens, implants must be removed and can be redone after the area has healed.
  • Sinus problems – your sinuses can be affected when implants are placed in the very back of your jaw, sometimes requiring sinus augmentation surgery.
  • Nerve or tissue damage – rarely, implants damage nerves or blood vessels. This can cause pain, tingling, swelling, or numbness. This typically is not a risk when a qualified dentist or oral surgeon performs your implant procedure.

 

Dental implants dentist in Bastrop
root canal treatment

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics is a dental term often linked to a more common dental procedure you’ve probably already heard of called root canal treatment. Endodontics focuses on the pulp of your tooth, which holds nerves and blood vessels supplying nutrients and oxygen to your tooth. When the pulp is infected or injured, endodontic treatment may be performed to save the tooth.

During endodontic treatment, the hollow part inside your tooth is cleaned, disinfected, and filled. It is often the best way to save a tooth that has been damaged by decay, trauma, or other causes. Common symptoms that endodontic treatment is necessary include pain, tooth sensitivity, or exposure of the pulp due to tooth fracture.

After examining your tooth and X-ray results, your dentist will recommend the kind of endodontic treatment you need based on how seriously the pulp is impacted. One type is called vital pulp therapy, which has a goal of preserving and protecting your tooth’s pulp. This procedure involves removing only the pulp from the crown of your tooth and not from the root. It is only advised when there is no swelling or abscess present, and the tooth is secure.

Another type of endodontic treatment is non-vital pulp therapy, which is known as root canal treatment. It is performed when there is no chance of saving the pulp of your tooth. The whole pulp will be removed from inside your tooth, and the canals will be cleaned and filled with a special material. Then a stainless steel crown will be placed on the tooth.

Sometimes endodontic treatment is not recommended, and the tooth needs to be extracted instead. This choice depends on factors such as tooth location, age of the tooth, extent of damage, and the patient’s overall health. Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best treatment for your condition.

We look forward to seeing you in our Bastrop dental office

 

General dentist in Bastrop

Make Your Dental Visits a Success

At least twice a year, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist. These visits allow your dentist to assess you oral health, address any concerns you have, and look for signs of problems. Protecting your teeth and gums is a partnership between you and your dentist. For the best results, follow these helpful hints:

Find the right dentist in Bastrop

Selecting a provider and dental office that fits your personality will make you more likely to keep your appointments.

Provide an accurate health history
Although your dentist’s primary concern is your mouth, overall wellness can impact your dental health. For example, chronic health issues like diabetes and HIV can increase your risk for gum disease.

Bring a list of current medications
Your dentist needs to know the names and dosages of any medicine you take regularly. Certain medications, such as pain relievers, allergy medicines, and anti-depressants, can cause dry mouth, which may make you susceptible to dental problems.

Report any issues right away
Sometimes, you may develop a toothache or notice bleeding gums between your visits. Don’t ignore these symptoms because they may indicate bigger problems. The longer you wait to address any issues, the more time and money you will lose.

Share your fears
For some people, dental visits cause anxiety or fear. Let your dentist know exactly what worries you. Most doctors want you to feel relaxed and comfortable, so they will take time to answer your questions and help you feel at ease.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

 

Teeth whitening dentist

Teeth Whitening and Teeth Bleaching: What’s the Difference?

Having a bright, beautiful, white smile is something we all desire. It signals health and prosperity and leaves the best possible first impression a person can make. There are a host of products at the drug store that label themselves “whitening.” Whitening toothpastes, whitening mouth rinses, whitening strips, gels and creams all line the shelves, promising a “new you!” Your dentist, however, offers something labeled as “bleaching.” So what’s the difference? Which should you choose?

Your natural tooth is made up of two specific layers: enamel and dentin. The enamel layer is on the outside of the tooth. It’s the white part we see when someone smiles. It’s hard and heavily mineralized and can appear like porcelain. The dentin is the inner layer. It’s yellow in color and supports the enamel on the outside. Over time, your enamel naturally wears away and the yellow dentin color can begin to show through.

The term “whitening” is applied to any product that helps restore teeth to a natural color by removing debris and stains from a natural tooth’s surface. Any substance that restores the surface of a tooth’s enamel is a whitening product. Many whitening products contain a mild abrasive that removes leftover discoloration and food particles, leaving the enamel of the tooth smooth and white. Teeth whitening products combat stains caused by ageing and the discoloration left by many foods, or by smoking.

The FDA permits the term “bleaching” only for products that can whiten a tooth beyond their initial, natural color. Bleaching products contain active ingredients such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide is activated so that it releases oxygen molecules that enter the tooth enamel and break down stains in a way that whitening products cannot. This activation can occur immediately, in the case of some in-office bleaching products, like laser whitening, or it can take several hours, as it can with custom take-home bleaching trays.

If you are considering brightening your smile, talk to Bastrop teeth whitening dentist Brian Romney DMD to see what product is best suited to your smile needs!

Our dental office is located in Bastrop

Dentures dentist in Bastrop

Questions and Answers about Dentures

An estimated 50 million Americans have lost all their teeth, and 69 percent of adults are missing at least one tooth. Without a full set of teeth, you may deal with alignment problems, dietary restrictions, and self-esteem issues. With modern dentures, your dentist can renew your appearance and improve oral health.

Dentures are prosthetic appliances created to replace missing teeth. Full dentures are rows of false teeth that cover the upper, lower, or both arches. If you still have some of your natural teeth, your dentist may suggest a partial denture, which fits into the empty space in your smile like a puzzle piece.

How do dentures feel?
At first, your prosthesis may take some getting used to, so give your mouth time to adjust. You may have some difficulty with pronunciation, but that will pass.

Will my dentures need to be replaced?
As we age, our mouth tissues change. Over time, your dentures may need to be repositioned, realigned, or entirely remade. Never make changes to your appliance; contact your dentist if something doesn’t seem right.

How do I care for my dentures?
To protect your dental appliance, handle the denture with care. When you take the device out, always store it safely in its case. Gently clean your dentures with mild soap and water to remove bacteria. Make sure to put the denture out of reach from small children or pets.

Do I still need to brush if I have dentures?
Absolutely. Your gums still need proper oral care, so brush them twice daily to keep the tissue healthy.

We offer dentures at our Bastrop dental office

Family dentist in Bastrop

Reasons Regular Family Dentist Visits are Important

Trips to your family dentist for checkups and cleanings may not top your list of fun family activities, but there are important reasons you should make visits to the dentist a priority for your family. Excellent oral health depends heavily on prevention and by taking proactive steps, you can ensure your family will have years of beautiful, healthy smiles. The following reasons outline why regular care by your family dentist is vital to the overall health of your family:

Your family dentist will screen for oral cancer. In the United States, there is approximately one death every hour from oral cancer. Oral cancer is highly curable with early diagnosis and treatment.

Routine cleaning and checkups help to prevent the advancement of gum disease. When diagnosed early, gum disease is both treatable and reversible. However, left unchecked, advanced gum disease can enter your bloodstream leading to a higher incidence of heart disease and possibly stroke.

Maintaining good oral care is the best way to ensure you will keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. Gum disease left untreated can lead to tooth loss, causing a host of other potential problems.

Early detection of cavities, gum disease, and other issues by your family dentist will help you to avoid more serious problems which could lead to root canal treatment, tooth loss, or gum surgery. Early detection and treatment are the keys to avoiding larger dental emergencies.

Clearly, making appointments with your family dentist a priority in your family’s regular routine is a critical part of maintaining not only their excellent oral health, but also in ensuring their overall good health. Every member of your family should be scheduled for cleanings and checkups with your family dentist at least twice per year to ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

 

Sedation dentist in Bastrop

What to Ask Your Bastrop Dentist Prior to Sedation Dentistry

If you are about to undergo a dental therapy that necessitates the use of sedation dentistry, especially IV sedation, there are definitely some important questions you should ask your dentist prior to the procedure. Remembering to ask these questions can be difficult, especially if you are feeling anxious or ill at ease with regard to the treatment.

Use this guide to give you some of the most important questions you might not have thought of or remembered to ask:

  • What type of sedation will I be receiving?
  • What risk factors – even rare ones – are associated with this type of sedation?
  • How long will the treatment take, and during how much of that time will I be sedated?
  • How will the sedation be administered?
  • Who will give me the sedation and monitor it during my treatment?
  • What safety measures do you have in place in case of any medical emergency?
  • What would happen in the case of a cardiac emergency or a seizure?
  • Who is trained in CPR and other life-saving skills?
  • What kind of preparations do I need to make prior to my treatment?
  • Should someone accompany me to be present during the treatment?
  • How soon following treatment will I feel awake and alert?
  • May I drive myself home afterward?
  • What kind of pain can I expect after my treatment?
  • How will I manage my discomfort?
  • What kind of aftercare does my particular treatment require?
  • What signs should I look for that would lead me to contact you for a follow-up?

Talk to Bastrop sedation dentist Brian Romney DMD to get the answers to questions like these and any others you may have prior to receiving sedation dentistry.

kids dentist

Baby Teeth Basics

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

Dental implant

How Dental Implants Can Preserve Bone

Preserving the bone in your jaw and face is of utmost importance to your cosmetic dentist, and as such, treatments that preserve bone are preferred over those that lead to bone shrinkage, known as resorption.

Dental implants preserve bone by mimicking the tooth’s natural roots, stimulating and preserving the bone. As part of the healing process following surgical placement, the jawbone fuses directly to the implant. Most often made of titanium, dental implants provide a very stable foundation for a replacement tooth. This foundation is so stable that it can serve as an anchor point for dental bridgework and will feel, look, and function as your natural tooth would.

The process of implant to bone fusion is known as “osseointegration.” Fusion is primarily dependent upon the quality of bone surrounding the implant, and can be achieved in three to nine months following dental implant treatment. Excessive smoking or drinking can stunt the healing process and lead to complications.

Because bone resorption is prevented with dental implants, your facial structure will not collapse and your facial shape will not change. Missing teeth that are replaced by implants avoid other problems commonly associated with tooth loss, including other teeth shifting into the open spaces created by the missing teeth, and functional problems with the jaw joints and bite alignment.

Once a tooth is extracted or falls out, a great deal of the bone in the area will shrink, or resorb over the coming year. Shrinkage occurs in a horizontal as well as vertical dimension. Most resorption occurs within the first two to three months following tooth loss. When a cosmetic dentist replaces that tooth immediately with a titanium dental implant, the bone fuses around the implant, significantly reducing bone shrinkage.

Dental implants are the only restorative treatment that preserves and maintains bone. Dentures and partial dentures can accelerate the process of bone shrinkage as a result of pressure on the underlying mouth structures as you talk or eat.

If you live in the Bastrop area contact us today

root canal treatment

The Truth About Root Canal Therapy

Most people would rather do anything than have a root canal. Unfortunately, this procedure receives a bad rap. A root canal is generally performed to clean out an infected tooth and prevent future problems. Usually, patients feel better after root canal therapy.

Knowing the truth about root canals may help you feel less apprehensive if your dentist recommends this procedure.

  • A root canal hurts.
    Actually, the pain you feel is caused by the swelling and pressure in your tooth. When a tooth sustains severe trauma, the pulp, or soft nerve center, may die. During a root canal, your dentist will remove the damaged tissue, disinfect the tooth, and seal off the inside. Most people only experience mild soreness afterwards, if they feel any discomfort at all.
  • Root canal therapy takes many appointments.
    Although this timing depends on the severity of the case, most root canals are completed in one to two appointments. Once your dentist finishes the root canal, you will probably need at least one more visit for restoration of the tooth, usually with an inlay, onlay, or crown.
  • I only need a root canal if my tooth hurts.
    Pain often lets you know you have a problem with a tooth, but if your tooth root dies you may have no symptoms. The dentist can perform tests to determine the health of a tooth, including temperature and percussion testing.
  • The root canal won’t last.
    Once the tooth is cleaned and sealed, you should have no further problems with the tooth. Sometimes the restoration of the tooth fails, which can causes the tooth to crack or break. This usually occurs if you wait too long to have a crown or adequate filling placed.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

White fillings

The Debate About Amalgam Fillings

At one time, metal fillings were the only choice to repair tooth decay. Now, many dentists have switched to composite resin fillings, which match natural-tooth color so they don’t compromise the appearance of your smile. Tooth-colored fillings have gained popularity, and many dentists only offer this option. In recent years, there has been a strong push to eliminate amalgam fillings all together.

Amalgam fillings are made of several metals, with up to a 50 percent composition of mercury. It is widely known that mercury is toxic to the body. Some of the concern about amalgam fillings is the affect mercury has on the body, including:

•    Causing damage to the kidneys
•    Contributing to infertility
•    Impacting the nervous system
•    Interfering with the function of the thyroid and pituitary glands
•    Posing unknown risk to a fetus
•    Weakening the immune system

Because each person is different, you may have no reaction to the amalgam fillings. Over time, though, these restorations may change shape or crack, which can cause them to leak. If the fillings don’t hold up, the area may become susceptible to additional damage or decay.

At your checkup, have the dentist evaluate any old fillings to make sure they are still in good condition. You can also discuss the benefits of replacing amalgams with composite fillings. The newer restorations blend with your natural tooth coloring and require less removal of health tooth structure, which allows for a more conservative repair.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

Cosmetic dentist in Bastrop

Top Reasons to see a Cosmetic Dentist

A special area of dentistry has been formed that focuses on making your smile as flawless and appealing as possible. Cosmetic dentistry corrects imperfections that cause people to feel insecure and unhappy with their smiles. If you are one of those people, maybe it’s time to see a cosmetic dentist to give you back your smile and confidence. Here are some of the most common reasons for visiting a cosmetic dentist.

One of the biggest complaints that people have about their smile is the color of their teeth. Stains can cause your teeth to become yellow or brown with time, making your smile unattractive and embarrassing. Cosmetic dentists offer teeth whitening techniques that brighten your teeth, and can restore your pearly whites in just one appointment.

Gaps in your smile from missing teeth not only look awkward, they also make chewing and speaking more difficult. A cosmetic dentist can replace your missing teeth with dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Implants have become increasingly popular because they provide a permanent, comfortable, and natural-looking solution for missing teeth.

Cosmetic dentists can solve a variety of other imperfections that make you unhappy with your smile. Veneers improve the shape and color of your teeth by covering the fronts of your teeth with thin shells. Dental fillings and root canals resolve problems often linked to tooth decay. Crowns are used to cover an unhealthy tooth and restore its strength, shape, size, and appearance. They also may be used in conjunction with dental bridges to correct gaps in your smile.

There is no reason to go through life ashamed of your teeth. Make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to see how your smile can be improved to get the bright, beautiful smile you desire.

Contact us today to schedule your cosmetic dentistry consultation in our Bastrop dental office.

Root Canal

Preparing for a Root Canal Procedure

Root canal therapy is often recommended to restore a damaged or diseased tooth. While many patients are frightened when they hear “root canal”, there are several tips you can follow to ensure a smooth, complication-free procedure:

  • Consult with your dentist or oral surgeon to find out the available options for sedation. Sedation dentistry is especially helpful if you experience anxiety or fears about your scheduled root canal therapy.
  • Talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about prescribing antibiotics before your root canal procedure. Treating an infected tooth with antibiotics before the therapy can help reduce swelling and encourage healing after the root canal procedure is complete.
  • Discuss with your dentist the option of taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication beginning several days before your scheduled root canal treatment. Taking a medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen before and immediately following root canal therapy will help control pain and reduce swelling.
  • Treat yourself to a healthy, filling meal at least one hour before your root canal procedure. Root canal treatment can take up to three hours, and you may have difficulty eating afterwards until the numbness subsides.
  • Make your scheduled follow-up visits a priority. Keeping your appointments will allow your dentist or oral surgeon to identify any potential problems before they become severe. A root canal treated tooth also requires a crown or filling to keep it healthy and free from fractures.

Your dentist in Bastrop will provide additional before and aftercare instructions for your root canal procedure. By following these tips, along with any recommendations from your dentist, you will have the best chance for a successful procedure. With root canal therapy, you can save your damaged and diseased teeth and return to a healthy smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office

Invislaign

Invisalign: A Teen’s Braces Solution

There’s no denying it, teenagers put a lot of importance on looks. Teens want to look attractive, and often they don’t feel braces fit into that category. However, the straight teeth and beautiful smile achieved with braces does appeal to teens. That’s why many in this age group are excited about Invisalign, which improves their smile while looking good in the process.

Why does Invisalign meet the needs of teens?

Invisible

Customized clear trays are snugly placed over the teeth, applying a small amount of pressure that concentrates on moving the teeth as desired. The trays are invisible, so they are not noticeable to others. Speech is not affected, so basically the teeth are being corrected in a stealth way.

Removable

Invisalign trays may be removed at any time, so they may be slipped out for special events such as prom or pictures. The devices should be worn as much as possible to achieve the full effect, but teens love the fact that they can be removed for important events.

Flexible

This product offers great flexibility, both in the ability to remove them as well as eating and maintenance. Patients can eat whenever and whatever they choose, without worrying about breaking brackets or parts that are attached to the teeth. Brushing and flossing is also easy because teens can simply take the trays out, perform hygiene tasks, and then put them back in.

Painless

Unlike traditional braces, there is no pain involved with Invisalign treatment. Nothing is tightened or adjusted; patients just wear their trays and then switch to another custom set of trays as directed by their dentist or orthodontist. Improvements occur while wearing the Invisalign trays, and teens don’t even realize it is happening.

If you need a dentist in Bastrop, contact us today

Dental Implants

Understanding Dental Implants

Dental implants have been in use for more than sixty years, and over that time period, they have risen in popularity among cosmetic dentists as the top-of-the-line tooth restoration for patients with missing teeth.

Dental implants have two main components: a screw-like base and a fabricated tooth-like replacement that sits on top of the screw. Typically the screw is made from titanium and is extremely durable. The screw is surgically implanted directly into the patient’s jawbone, and over time, it fuses directly into the bone. This process is known as osseointegration and it’s the reason dental implants are so successful.

This bond with the bone allows the implant to serve as a complete replacement for the roots of a missing tooth. Dental implants can be used to anchor a single tooth, a dental bridge or even serve as one of several secure implant anchors for dentures.

The bones of the jaw thrive through the stimulation of a tooth’s natural roots. Remove the roots and the bone begins to shrink. This is the reason dentures seem to shift over time. The denture is the same shape; it’s the bones that are changing. Because dental implants mimic tooth roots in the bone, the bone remains stimulated, and continues to be healthy, providing support for surrounding tooth roots and the patient’s facial bones.

Dental implants have a very high success rate. They look very much like natural teeth. They are stable and secure and are considered by many cosmetic dentists to be the best choice for replacing one or more missing teeth.

If you are missing a tooth and you want the best restoration available, talk to the cosmetic dentist in Bastrop about dental implants. You might be surprised to learn about all the benefits dental implants can offer you to replace your missing tooth.

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One Day Crowns

How Do You Know CEREC is Right For You?

Have you heard of CEREC? It is a dental restoration treatment that combines computer assisted design and manufacture (CAD/CAM). CEREC was developed in the early 1980s by Drs. Mormann and Brandestini at the University of Zurich. CEREC stands for Ceramic REConstruction. We offer CEREC in our Bastrop dental office.

CEREC enables a cosmetic dentist to make virtual molds of the teeth, and to design, create and place their replacement in a single appointment. CEREC allows the dentist to bypass the dental laboratory and removes the need for multiple appointments for the patient. Since its development, it has rapidly become one of the top choices for trained cosmetic dentists to perform tooth restoration.

Because CEREC utilizes a digital scan of the mouth, there is no need for messy goop-filled trays. Molds made with goo take long periods of time that can feel like torture for a patient who has a delicate gag reflex. Some patients vomit during this step with traditional trays. With the use of digital scans, there is no risk of this.

After the virtual mold of the mouth is taken, the model is modified within the computer to optimize fit, form and function. When the model is complete, it’s sent to a machine that carves the tooth out of a small block of porcelain. The computer achieves more accuracy than can ever be accomplished by hand, allowing for a better fit for the patient. Created on-site during your visit, your CEREC restoration can be placed immediately. There’s no need to wait.

Patients who are able to have crowns or bridges placed in their mouths can benefit from CEREC. Talk to your dentist to learn more about how CEREC can help you restore your smile.

Our dental office is located in Bastrop

Dental Cleaning

Prevent Gum Atrophy and Avoid Oral Surgery

Gum atrophy is a condition in which the gum tissue recedes and pulls upward, away from a tooth, exposing the tooth’s roots. This can be extremely painful and dangerous to the tooth, as the gums are a protective type of tissue that is meant to surround and to provide support for the tooth.

Gum recession is relatively common for patients over forty. Gum tissue begins to retract, exposing greater and greater amounts of the tooth surface. This exposure means that sensitive tooth roots are routinely in contact with all of the bacteria, food debris and toxins in the mouth. This was never how teeth and gums were supposed to function, and it can result in tooth decay, a loss of fusion of the tooth’s roots to the jawbone, or in the need for a tooth extraction.

In some cases, if gum atrophy is diagnosed early and treated aggressively, the recession can be stopped and even reversed before it requires oral surgery. In order to accomplish this, patients must be willing to work hard and to change the way they clean their mouths.

The dentist will likely begin with a very thorough professional cleaning. The periodontal pockets will be thoroughly cleaned, and tartar, plaque and debris will be removed, both above and beneath the gum line. This helps reduce the levels of bacteria in the mouth that lead to infection.

Once the patient has received a thorough cleaning, it is now a personal responsibility to create and continue proper oral hygiene habits at home. Teeth should be brushed gently twice a day with a soft toothbrush. Hard toothbrushes can damage sensitive gum tissue, especially tissue that is in recovery. Floss once a day, preferably a night. Never go to bed with a dirty mouth, or bacteria will begin to develop as you sleep.

Speak to your dentist in Bastrop to determine the condition of your gum tissue. Find out if you’re on the path to gum recession and then make a plan to stop that atrophy in its tracks.

Schedule your appointment at our Bastrop dental office