If you are looking to straighten your teeth, but don’t want a mouth full of metal, you’re in luck! Today’s dental technologies have advanced, and while you can still fix crooked teeth with traditional metal braces, now you can get a straighter smile more discreetly, comfortably, and conveniently with clear aligners.
What are clear aligners and how do they work?
Clear aligners are clear plastic orthodontic devices that straighten crooked teeth. They are made from thermoplastic polymers and are customized to each patient. Many people report that clear aligners are less painful than traditional metal braces because there is no metal rubbing against the inside of your mouth, and you don’t have to have them tightened regularly in an office. Clear aligners are also beneficial for oral health, as you can remove them to do a thorough flossing and brushing twice a day.
With a specific end goal in mind, a series of clear aligner trays are created for you by using putty impressions or 3D digital scans of your teeth. The aligners work in stages by using gentle force to gradually move your teeth into the desired position. Patients typically switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks, and each new set moves your teeth a little bit more to achieve the smile you’re looking for.
How long do clear aligners take to work?
The treatment length depends on the individual patient and their goals. Most patients wear their clear aligners for 12-18 months. Some people with minimal crowding or spacing get the results they want in as few as six months, while patients with more severe crowding might need to wear aligners for up to two years. Essentially, the more your teeth need to move, the longer the treatment will take. Aligners need to be worn for 22 hours per day, so if you wear them less than that, treatment will take longer and won’t be as effective.
Who is a good candidate for clear aligners?
Patients with mild to moderate crowding or spacing usually have the best results with clear aligners. People with more severe crowding, however, have had success using clear aligners for a longer period of time. You are also a good candidate if you had braces before and your teeth have shifted since removal or if you have developed an underbite, overbite, or crossbite. If you are committed to wearing the aligners for 22 hours per day and changing to your new aligners about every two weeks as instructed by your healthcare provider, you will likely have success with clear aligners.
What is the process like?
It is easier than ever to use clear aligners to straighten your teeth. First, schedule an appointment with Lifetime Dental Health to get an evaluation and learn more about the process. At your first appointment, we will ask you some questions about your smile goals and examine your teeth to see if you are a good candidate for clear aligners. If we determine that clear aligners are a good choice for you, we will take impressions of your teeth with dental putty, or digitally scan your mouth to produce a 3D digital model of your teeth. Next, a series of custom aligners will be produced for you. Most patients will get 20 to 24 sets of aligners. When you receive your aligners, you’ll start by wearing the first set for about two weeks for 22 hours per day. You will switch to your next set of aligners about every two weeks. Most dental providers recommend an office visit every six to eight weeks to make sure the aligners are working properly and that your teeth are moving progressively. If you stick to your schedule and wear your aligners as instructed, you can achieve your smile goals! Once you have completed treatment with your clear aligners, it is recommended that you wear a retainer to keep your teeth straight.
What if I am not a good candidate for clear aligners?
If you have severe crowding or gapping, have dental implants or bridges, or active gum disease and poor oral hygiene, clear aligners may not be for you. But don’t worry! You don’t have to give up on the beautiful smile you are dreaming of. There are many other options to get the smile you are looking for, including:
Traditional metal braces – if you have severe spacing or crowding, or a severe bite problem, traditional metal braces might be for you.
Veneers – if your teeth are shaped irregularly, broken or chipped, or discolored or stained, veneers can give you the smile you’re looking for.
Contouring or reshaping – if your teeth are cracked, chipped, overlapping or crooked, an in-office contouring or reshaping procedure can help.
Speak with us to find out which treatment option is best for you. At Lifetime Dental Health, we are proud to offer multiple options to straighten your smile, including our own Clear Aligner Program. We also offer Invisalign and Six Month Smile in addition to a variety of cosmetic dentistry options. Contact us today at (614) 333-9442 to schedule a consultation.
Our smiles are the first things that other people see when they’re meeting us, so it’s important that we have ones that reflect who we are. When there’s something wrong with our smiles, especially if a tooth replacement is needed, it can be difficult to make a good first impression — particularly if the gaps in our smile make us self-conscious and less likely to show it off.
Luckily, there are many options for dental patients to choose from when it comes to replacing those missing teeth. You’ll soon find your smile restored — along with your confidence in it.
Why do I need a tooth replacement?
Tooth replacements can occur after a sudden accident that robs us of a tooth, or even after planned extractions.
Replacing a missing tooth can go much further than simply fixing a smile. You will likely also find your speech and chewing improved.
What options are available for a tooth replacement?
In general, there are three main options when it comes to replacing missing teeth:
Dental Implants – Implants are designed to be permanent, eventually fusing to your existing jaw bone and looking like the teeth you lost.
Bridges – Bridges can be permanent or removable, and use your remaining natural teeth to support the replacement tooth or teeth.
Dentures – Dentures are removable and are designed to mimic a full set of teeth. They are used when there are multiple natural teeth missing.
What should I be aware of when it comes to tooth replacements
Every tooth replacement has its pros and cons, so make sure you do your research before committing to one. The dental team at Lifetime Dental Health would be happy to answer your tooth replacement questions during your next appointment, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Dental implants are often an excellent option to permanently replace a missing tooth. If you are a good candidate for this procedure, it’s because you have good bone quality and volume, which is necessary for the implant to properly fuse. Implants can last many years with the proper maintenance, and their appearance is virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth. However, this procedure can take time to heal — up to several months — and can be pricey.
Bridges can be more affordable options than dental implants, and can come in a variety of forms. Some bridges are permanent, offering the convenience and security of a natural smile. Others are removable. However, it can be difficult to properly clean bridges, and they are not as sturdy or long-lasting as other tooth replacement options.
Dentures are the best option when it comes to replacing multiple teeth with a natural-looking smile. They remove for your comfort and ease of cleaning. However, dentures can slip and slide in your mouth, causing you potential discomfort and embarrassment or slurring of words while speaking.
How can Lifetime Dental Health help with replacing my tooth?
Lifetime Dental Health is proud to offer our patients a variety of different services when it comes to tooth replacements. Every member of our dental team wants to make sure you have a smile you’re comfortable with showing off.
Sometimes, a missing tooth can happen suddenly, necessitating a dental emergency. That’s why Lifetime Dental Health offers emergency dental services — including same-day appointments if possible. We know that losing a tooth in an accident can be painful and shocking, and we want to make sure that you’re feeling like yourself again as soon as possible. If you lose a tooth and are able to find it, call us right away. Avoid touching the root of the tooth. Store it safely in the original socket in your mouth or in a glass of milk and get yourself into the office as soon as possible so we can try to save it.
We are pleased to use the latest technology available for our dental patients when it comes to replacing a missing tooth — or several teeth. This includes traditional implants, bridges, dentures, and mini implants.
Our bridge options include the non-removable Zirconia Bridge, which entails up to 12 implants for a comfortable and permanent solution, and the Fix on Six Zirconia Bridge, a semi-removable option with as few as six implants.
Our acrylic dentures are great options for fixing a smile with multiple gaps and can be offered securely with as few as four implants. This helps achieve a sturdier and more secure fit for your removable dentures.
Mini implants are a cheaper alternative to traditional implants, which we also offer. However, mini implants can be fitted in just an hour, allowing you to get on with your busy schedule – while having the confidence to keep smiling. Mini implants are less invasive than their traditional counterparts and don’t take as long to heal. If you have a thin bone structure, this is the procedure for you, as mini implants utilize metal frameworks to anchor the tooth replacement.
If you are interested in learning more about your tooth replacement options, or getting an appointment scheduled, call us at Lifetime Dental Health today at (614) 333-9442.
The holidays are upon us, and they represent the time of the year to catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while. That’s why now is the ideal time to learn about how cosmetic dentistry can get you the perfect smile for the holidays. You’ll want to reconnect with your loved ones without having to worry about the imperfections that have affected your smile over time.
Cosmetic dentistry, like the options that Lifetime Dental Health offers our patients, is the ideal way to elevate your pearly whites just in time for the holidays.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the broad term for any number of procedures that improve the aesthetics of your smile. If your smile is discolored, has alignment issues or gaps, or if your teeth are chipped, broken, or otherwise damaged, cosmetic dentistry procedures can go a long way in rebuilding your smile back to what it used to be.
Over time, constant use of your teeth and other factors can wear down despite your best efforts to maintain good dental health. Chipped or broken teeth can also happen suddenly in accidents, necessitating cosmetic dental procedures to put your smile back the way it was.
One myth is that cosmetic dentistry is a vanity procedure. There is nothing vain about wanting to improve the look and feel of your smile. The perfect smile can boost your mental health — as well as the comfort of your bite and teeth.
What kinds of procedures does cosmetic dentistry include?
There are a number of different dental procedures that fall into the realm of cosmetic dentistry. They include:
Teeth whitening – You might be surprised just how big of a difference whitening your teeth can make when it comes to getting the perfect smile. Especially for people who are daily coffee drinkers or have other teeth-staining habits, like wine and tobacco use, teeth discoloration can occur over time until you have an unsightly smile. In-office whitening procedures are highly effective, or your dentist can provide you with at-home steps to take to turn up your smile’s wattage in as little as two weeks. There are also a number of over-the-counter gels, strips, and pastes available for use, though they are not as immediately effective as those provided by your dentist.
Veneers – Veneers are shells that are customized to fit your teeth and boost your smile. They are molded from porcelain or resin, depending on your preference and price point, and are highly effective at improving the aesthetics of your smile. Veneers can fix everything from color to shape of your teeth. One drawback to veneers is the expense. Lifetime Dental Health is pleased to offer LUMINEERS, a veneer solution that cuts down the long wait of traditional veneers. You can have a brand new smile in as few as two office visits with this procedure.
Bonding – Dental bonding is when resin is shaped to correct an issue with your existing tooth, then hardened using light to bond to the tooth. It is then shaped and polished to look indistinguishable from its surrounding teeth. Bonding is a wonderful option for chips, cracks, and damages due to decay. It is a quick procedure at an affordable price.
Crowns – Crowns protect cracked, broken, or weak teeth with a sturdy cap that can be made from metals, porcelain, resin, or ceramic materials. The price depends on the material, location of the crown in your mouth, and severity of the issue the crown is correcting. CEREC crowns are wonderful options for these procedures since they can be done in a single office visit instead of over several appointments like traditional crowns. CEREC crowns offer swift dental solutions that are durable and comfortable.
Contouring – Dental contouring works with your existing enamel, making minor changes to the shape and polish to correct the look and feel of your teeth. This is ideal for instant results and painless procedures.
Braces – Braces are dental tools used to fix the alignment of your teeth over time. With today’s technology, there are a number of comfortable and convenient options, including traditional metal braces, affordable and discreet clear aligners, and the premiere Invisalign system. With clear aligners, patients can expect a brand new smile within a year.
Bridges – Bridges offer permanent or removable options to replace missing teeth. They are a great way to restore your speaking and chewing — along with your confidence.
What cosmetic procedures does Lifetime Dental Health offer?
At Lifetime Dental Health, we’re proud to offer all of the above cosmetic dentistry procedures. If you have a question about what kind of procedure would be best for the needs of your smile, we’re happy to help. Just give us a call at (614) 333-9442 or ask one of the team members at your next appointment.
The holidays are upon us, and with these festivities come the feasts! You might find yourself eating more sweets than you usually do — or changing your healthy dental habits to adapt to multiple celebrations. However, even changes that only last through the holiday season are enough to do damage to your pearly whites. It’s important to take some steps to help protect your smile and ensure a healthy holiday season.
What can happen to my teeth during the holidays?
Your teeth’s number one enemy is sugar, and the holidays are a time when desserts play center stage. Buckets of Halloween candy are just the start to a season that prides itself on pies of all flavors, candy canes, and homemade cookies, cakes, fudges, and other desserts crafted specially for family gatherings. Those sweets are central in holiday traditions and memories, but you don’t want those memories tarnished by an emergency trip to the dentist during this time.
Bacteria that already live in our mouth naturally devour the sugar we eat, leaving acid behind. This acid is responsible for eroding our enamel and leading to tooth decay, cavities, and worse. Since we typically eat even more sugar than normal during the holiday season, we can really wreak havoc on the health of our teeth — not to mention rack up extra sensitivity.
Beyond the damage that sugar can do to our smile, there are a number of treats that can cause extra harm. In a worst-case scenario, highly sticky candies like taffy can yank out fillings. Hard desserts like peanut brittle can damage existing dental work or even crack or break natural teeth. Before you take a bite, ask yourself: is this item worth the risk of having to schedule an emergency appointment with the dentist? Plan accordingly!
How can I ensure healthy holiday habits for my teeth?
Don’t treat your teeth like tools. Avoid using them to open packaging, remove tags, and other similar situations. Even seemingly innocuous tasks could damage dental work — or even your natural teeth. Likewise, leave cracking nutshells to nutcrackers. You could land in an emergency dental appointment in the middle of holiday festivities, making this year certainly memorable — but not in a good way.
Whenever possible, try to brush your teeth after eating meals — particularly when those meals entail delicious desserts. Pack a travel toothbrush, floss, and travel-sized tube of toothpaste in your purse or travel bag to use between meals. There are also a number of single-use, disposable teeth-cleaning options available on the market for just these kinds of situations. That way, you can have the tools you need on hand to clean your teeth without the extra worry of transporting your toothbrush and toothpaste everywhere you go.
No matter how much you might try to be prepared for anything, a holiday meal — or treat — might just catch you unaware. If you’re caught without your teeth-cleaning tools, even rinsing with plain water is better than nothing. Doing so after meals and snacks can help neutralize the acids that the sugar-eating bacteria leave on your teeth.
In the end, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to completely restrict yourself from the treats that make the holiday fun. Everything in moderation — and rinse with water afterward.
What are some healthy holiday activities that won’t hurt my teeth?
When it comes to delicious holiday feasts, prioritize the treats that mean the most to you. For example, indulge when it comes to a meaningful dessert recipe handed down from generation to generation, but skip the soda. Trade sugary, carbonated beverages with water — especially since they’re not the stars of the show when it comes to sweets.
Also, try not to snack throughout the day. The buildup of debris in and around your teeth coupled with the accumulation of sugar and acid can harm your teeth. Strive to eat once — even with desserts — and then brush or rinse your mouth.
Think about what kinds of desserts could be good alternatives to the traditional, rich, sugary treats normally found at holiday celebrations. There are plenty of delicious low-sugar options in cookies, brownies, and bars. You can also cook these recipes in a way to ward off overly crunchy treats that might cause tooth breakages. There are even healthy options, like yogurt parfaits, fruit-based desserts, and more. Think about where you could replace syrups and whipped creams with fresh fruit toppings, like on cheesecakes and pancakes. With all the sweetener alternatives available nowadays, you don’t have to trade taste for health.
Above all, make sure you continue to brush and floss your teeth twice a day — even if you’re traveling out of town for the holidays or attending multiple gatherings. Don’t miss out on your healthy dental hygiene habits just because it’s the holidays!
If you have questions about your dental health or would like to schedule an appointment, call us today at Lifetime Dental Health at (614) 333-9442.
You might have heard the term CEREC crowns from someone who has just been to the dentist — or even from your own dentist — without knowing what the name might mean. CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, and this innovative approach to crowns is revolutionizing dentistry. The next time you need a crown from your dentist, CEREC is likely to be a convenient and effective solution.
Why are CEREC crowns beneficial?
CEREC crowns are extremely beneficial for a number of reasons. Chief among them is the ease in which the crown can be made. In a single visit to the dentist’s office, you can have a CEREC crown completed. Skip the wait and bother of a traditional crown with one simple trip to the dentist.
CEREC crowns are just as durable as traditional crowns — with the added benefit of looking much more natural than a metal crown. Your smile will still look like you with a CEREC crown, and you can go back to your regular routine as soon as you leave the dentist’s office with your new CEREC crown.
CEREC crowns are also cost-effective. They’re a convenient and affordable option, saving you time and money on appointment costs and scheduling, and time away from work.
What are the pros of CEREC crowns?
One of the biggest reasons why CEREC crowns are a great choice is the convenience. Traditional dental crowns are a much more involved process — a process that could take weeks to complete. This process includes taking a putty mold of your teeth, sending the impression away for a lab to make a crown, and leaving you with a resin temporary crown in the meantime. The resin crown might not be a perfect fit, leaving you with discomfort. Plus, you might have to forego certain food items that you normally enjoy eating because of the risk of the temporary crown falling off. When your new crown is ready, you might still run the risk of it not fitting perfectly — necessitating additional delays.
With CEREC crowns, the fit is always perfect because of the special, highly advanced process and technology that we use. The process also takes just a single visit. You’ll receive your permanent CEREC crown on the same day of your visit — perfect for people on the go who need dental solutions fast. In the course of a morning or afternoon, you’ll be on your way with your brand new CEREC crown — and no one will be able to tell the difference in your smile.
Once the machine is finished making the CEREC crown, the dentist will use glue to adhere it to your tooth.
What can I expect when receiving CEREC crowns?
CEREC crowns have “chairside” in the name because of how fast and efficient the crowns are to receive — everything happens right beside your chair, all in the same visit. In some cases, the entire procedure takes less than an hour. Unlike traditional crowns, the process is easy, minimally invasive, and clean.
You won’t receive any injections because the process isn’t painful. And CEREC crowns look like natural teeth — they’re often indistinguishable from your regular smile and from the damaged tooth that needed to be repaired. You won’t have to endure the putty mold to take the impression of your damaged tooth, and you won’t need the inconvenience and discomfort of a temporary crown while your crown is made offsite.
During the process of receiving a CEREC crown, the dentist will first prepare your tooth. However, less preparation is required than with a traditional crown, meaning that you will be more comfortable during the process. Then, the dentist uses a special camera to gather images of your tooth. These images will be used in the design of your new CEREC crown. The dentist makes sure that everything that made your tooth unique is included, including certain ridges, indentations, and more. While you are still in the office, a specialized milling machine that utilizes computer-aided designing and manufacturing creates your crown from ceramic. It’s designed to be a perfect match to the tooth that needed repairing — right down to the color. Even your closest friends and family won’t be able to tell that you’ve had a crown.
What is Lifetime Dental Health’s experience with CEREC crowns?
Here at Lifetime Dental Health, we are dedicated to making sure that we incorporate the latest in dental technology to our practice so that we can offer our patients the best range of options for their dental care. We have plenty of experience with CEREC crowns, and can confidently recommend this service to patients who might be candidates for it. We are experts when it comes to CEREC crowns, and can make your own customized crown in a single setting and send you on your way.
Questions about CEREC crowns and whether they might be right for you? Call us today at (614) 333-9442 — we’d be happy to answer them!
If your dentist has recently mentioned dental sealants, or if you’ve read about them online and you’re not sure what they are, don’t worry. You’re not alone. While dental sealants are becoming more and more popular, many people don’t know exactly what they are or how they work.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a form of preventative care. Your dentist may recommend these to help prevent any future cavities or tooth decay, especially if you are at high risk for developing these due to an illness or vitamin deficiency. Dental sealants are thin plastic caps or coatings, similar to a crown, that go over your teeth to protect the enamel. These sit on top of your teeth and do not require any additional work such as drilling.
Why Should You Consider Getting Dental Sealants?
No matter how well you brush, floss, and rinse your mouth, there will always be some food particles leftover – either stuck in between your teeth or in the grooves of your molars. Over time, these can build up and attract bacteria to your mouth while slowly decaying your teeth. Dental sealants will help prevent this from happening by covering the enamel of your tooth, preventing both food and bacteria from getting into the grooves and weakening your teeth.
Dental sealants are also a good idea if you have any health condition or vitamin deficiency that results in weakened enamel. While a sealant won’t protect your teeth from your body, it will protect your teeth from any bacteria that try to take advantage of your weakened enamel. This will save you time and money in the long run as you won’t have to pay for more expensive repairs such as fillings, crowns, and even extractions. It can also keep you from pain — so long as your teeth are protected and don’t have cavities, your chances for an infection or your tooth breaking are greatly reduced.
What is the Process for Getting Dental Sealants?
Placing dental sealants is actually a fairly simple, painless process, which is another reason that they are so popular.
First, your dentist will most likely want to perform a cleaning. It is important to make sure that your teeth are as clean as possible so that no bacteria are trapped. If bacteria are trapped, then you will be unable to reach them while brushing, and this can greatly harm the condition and health of your teeth.
Your dentist will then dry your teeth and line them with cotton swabs, so they remain dry throughout the procedure. If you have ever had a filling placed, then it is similar to that process. The teeth are then prepped for the sealant and recleaned and dried. Finally, the sealant is applied and left to dry.
This process is quick and simple, and so long as no complications occur such as your teeth needing to be dried again, it will only take a few minutes for all of your teeth to be sealed and completed.
Is There Any Aftercare for Dental Sealants?
One of the best things about dental sealants is that they do not require special treatment or care after they are placed on your teeth. In order to keep them in good condition, and therefore your teeth in good health, it is important to practice proper dental hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash twice a day. Chewing sugar-free gum is also advised. You also need to continue seeing your dentist at least once every six months. This is not just for your biannual cleaning, but also so that your dentist can check your dental sealants for any flaws or imperfections. A crack in the sealant can allow bacteria to reach the inside and damage your teeth, and your brush won’t be able to reach in that crack. A cracked or flawed dental sealant will need to be repaired or replaced immediately. Other than this, however, there are no major lifestyle changes that you will need to make.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
How long your dental sealants last depends on how well you take care of them. Of course, as you read above, the aftercare is fairly simple and doesn’t require anything other than proper dental hygiene and regular dentist visits. So long as you follow your dentist’s instructions, your dental sealants should last for around ten years. However, if they become chipped or cracked, it does not mean that you will have to go through the entire process again. Your dentist will be able to reapply the sealant to a single tooth whenever problems or flaws arise.
If you are interested in learning more about dental sealants or scheduling an appointment to have some placed over your teeth, contact our practice today or give us a call at (614) 333-9442.