Start The Summer Off Right With Family Check-Ups

Summer is time for frolicking in the sun, a little less work (hopefully), and more time spent with family whenever possible. There are trips to the beach, lazily lounging poolside, and soaking up the sun…carefully, of course. But what about going to the dentist? Everyone does that, right? While dental check-ups are not usually on the summer “bucket list,” it ought to be, and here’s why.

My Oral Health Can Wait ‘Til Fall… Can’t I Take The Summer Off From Dental Check-Ups?

You may not feel like throwing in the beach towel and booking an appointment with the dentist, but summer gives you no excuse to get lazy about oral care. The entire family needs to fit in the time to be seen for a general check-up, as much as you would rather pack up for a family picnic or a trip to the park. Oral health maintenance is a year-round matter, and taking the summer season off could only make things worse come fall, and for the future. Even if no one in the family is feeling tooth pain or having other oral issues, being proactive means that regular dental visits should not be skipped come summer. After all, your teeth do not know what season it is, so treat them well 365 days per year.

The Kids Are Going Away For The Season To Summer Camp. Should They Get Dental Check-Ups Before They’re Off?

By all means, bring the kids in for a check-up before they go away to camp. Once they are off for the summer, they may not have access to decent dental care until they are back home. This means a cavity, crack, or other issues will remain unchecked, potentially worsen, and cause the child pain or discomfort. Even if there is a dentist available at their camp or close by, kids may not mention they are having issues because they do not want to miss out on the camp fun with the other kids. As you plan for their summer camp departure, be sure to put “Make an appointment with Lifetime Dental Health” on your to-do list. If they have already left for camp, remind your kids to brush and floss regularly (as always), and if they notice a problem, to alert their camp counselor right away. Once the kids return home, be sure to book a visit with us as soon as possible so we can prevent additional issues from arising and repair anything necessary. And remember, along with your care packages, include a brand new toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, and some dental floss. A little nudge will remind the kids to take care of their teeth while at camp.

My Whole Family Loves Summer Snacking. The Treats Are Too Good To Pass Up. Are There Foods To Avoid Altogether?

“Everything in moderation” is always a good goal to keep in mind when it comes to snacking, but there are some foods specific to summer that are not the best for your teeth. Those ooey gooey campfire roasted marshmallows can stick to the surface of the teeth, so brush them as soon as you can after enjoying those sweet s’mores. The same goes for the tasty treats you will get off the ice cream truck. Sugary frosty cold drinks sure hit the spot when the sun is blazing and you’re drenched in sweat, but they will also wreak havoc on your teeth if you do not practice good oral hygiene after slurping them up. Enjoy your favorite summertime foods, but be sure to care for your teeth with the same level of enthusiasm. It doesn’t take long to make a difference.

Summer is not a time to slack off in terms of dental health; it is just too important to neglect, no matter the season. The whole family can focus on summer fun, but bring the topic of oral care to the table too. The kids will follow in their parents’ footsteps, so be a good role model and book your dental appointment this summer at Lifetime Dental Health. We are a family-friendly practice with patients of all ages. Your family will be in the best of hands at Lifetime Dental Health and Drs. Barry and Love can’t wait to see you, so kick off your summer with a smile that is as healthy as can be.

Book an appointment for a check-up for yourself and the rest of your family as soon as possible by calling 614-333-9106. Our front desk staff will find you a slot ASAP, we’ll fit you in, then you can get back to your summer adventures. ‘Til then, take care of your teeth at home – summertime and anytime — by brushing, flossing, rinsing, and eating right. It is up to you to stay healthy, and we’re your proactive and preventative partner in making a positive impact on your family.

What Dental Treatments Can Botox Help?

Everyone loves having a gorgeous smile they can be proud of. And why wouldn’t we? Your smile is often the first thing people notice about you when you first meet. As dental and other medical professionals enhance their knowledge and learn more from research, they discover more ways to support our oral health. We now have more treatment options when visiting the dentist than ever before.

Traditionally, Botox was used by medical professionals for cosmetic procedures. However, as medicine advances and specialists have learned more, Botox has expanded into the dental industry to be used for its therapeutic benefits as well. Many dentists across the nation are now using this injection as an alternative treatment option for many dental issues their patients experience. Discover some new things about Botox and the potential conditions it helps treat.

Understanding the Benefits of Botox for Dental Treatments

Botulinum toxin, better known as Botox, is an injection that helps relax the nerve endings that cause muscle spasms. It’s often used for cosmetic facial procedures, but it can also be used to support dental treatments.

If you’ve tried other treatment options and are looking for a minimally invasive alternative to certain dental issues, your dental specialist may recommend this treatment. He or she will work with you to create a comprehensive dental plan in which Botox can be used to support the treatment for various conditions that cause symptoms such as teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and headaches.

How can Botox help with TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. If this joint becomes dysfunctional, patients often have trouble chewing food and may experience clicking and locking of their jaw. Dentists have named this condition temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Many patients visit their dentist when they experience pain and other uncomfortable TMD symptoms. Often caused by teeth clenching and grinding, this condition causes pain in the jaw and facial muscles, which can result in headaches or earaches.

Botox can help relieve the pain that stems from TMD, as well as reduce the muscle spasms that result from clenching the jaws. Because TMD symptoms usually occur in certain trigger points in the face, many dentists use trigger point injections to relieve pain and reduce tension for their patients in those specific areas. Depending on the severity of symptoms and the dosage prescribed, patients can get relief with Botox for three to four months.

How can Botox help with bruxism?

Bruxism is a term that describes general grinding and clenching of the teeth. Dentists aren’t completely sure why this occurs in their patients, but it is often associated with high levels of stress. Bruxism can have many effects on a patient’s oral health, like damaging the teeth, worsening symptoms of periodontal disease, and potentially causing TMD. Like TMD, bruxism is also associated with symptoms like headaches or earaches.

Dentists often use Botox to treat Bruxism. It can help relieve muscle spasms or muscle tension that results from clenching the jaws, and in turn, it can help relieve the facial pain many patients experience.

How can Botox support orthodontic therapy?

Orthodontists undergo extensive training to learn about the anatomy and structure of the face. This includes knowing and understanding the location of a patient’s nerves and muscles. They utilize this knowledge of facial anatomy when planning orthodontic treatment and the realignment of teeth.

However, relapse can happen if orthodontists don’t properly consider the facial muscles after orthodontic treatment is complete. This can cause hyperactive muscles in the face and disrupt the recent alignment of the teeth. If this occurs, Botox can help relieve that muscle tension or potential spasms, as well as any teeth grinding or clenching that occurs after teeth realignment.

How can Botox support cosmetic dental procedures?

Most patients’ reason for visiting a dentist in the first place is to achieve a bright, white smile. In addition to undergoing preventative dental care, many patients are also scheduling appointments for regular cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening and veneers to improve their smiles. After you visit your dentist for these cosmetic procedures, you’ll be sure to want to show off your smile to everyone you encounter.

Dentists are recommending Botox treatments to patients to help support and enhance their cosmetic procedures. It can help compliment the appearance of your teeth when smiling. Botox can be used to eliminate the wrinkles around your mouth, as well as heighten your lips when you smile. Show off more of those pearly whites when you get Botox after your teeth whitening procedure.

Contact Us for Botox Treatments Today

Botox is a new and little-known treatment that can assist in more than just cosmetic facial procedures. It can help you with many dental issues you may be experiencing. Just ask your dentist at your next checkup!

If you’re interested in learning more about Botox for dental treatments and you’d like to know how these treatments can benefit you, call our practice today! Our experienced and certified Botox dentists are here to help create a personalized treatment plan just for you.

 

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Your Top 3 Questions about Dental Botox Answered

Many people are familiar with Botox when it comes to cosmetic facial treatments to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It’s one of the most popular procedures in the aesthetic field. However, many dentists are now starting to offer this treatment in their dental offices as well. Its muscle-relaxing properties are known to help support many dental conditions and treatments already offered at your local dentist’s office.

Read on to learn more about Botox, and to get answers to some of the most common questions asked about this popular dental procedure.

All You Need to Know about Botox for Dental Treatments

Botulinum toxin, or Botox, is an injection that comes from a neurotoxic protein. Although many people know it for its cosmetic use, it’s also being used more and more for therapeutic purposes. It can support dentists in both oral and maxillofacial procedures.

Botox injections inhibit the release of acetylcholine. When injected into the muscle, Botox attaches to nerve endings and blocks the transmission of nerve signals that cause muscle contractions. It affects only the motor neurons; when the muscle cannot contract, the motion that wrinkles the skin will also stop. Thus, the skin smooths out, and any muscle tension can be relieved.

This injection can help patients by reducing the intensity of muscle contractions or eliminating them altogether by causing temporary muscle paralysis. Dentists are using this procedure more and more to support patients who experience symptoms that cause them pain and tension in the face and jaw.

1. How long does Botox last?

When you visit your dentist for a Botox treatment, he or she will create a regular treatment plan to maintain your results. Depending on the severity of your condition, your dentist will recommend a certain dosage and how often to come back for touch-up treatments. Botox injections can last around three to six months, depending on your dosage.

Over time, muscle action will return to the face, so it is recommended for patients to return to their specialists to continue regular treatment.

How fast will I notice the results of Botox?

Depending on the location and the size of the muscle that received an injection, you may begin to see results within a few days to two weeks.

2. Why do dentists administer Botox?

The reason why dentists should administer Botox vary from patient to patient. Dentists may recommend Botox treatments to a patient who is experiencing certain pain or tension in the maxillofacial muscles. It is often a great option when other treatments do not work to relieve pain and muscle tension in the face and jaw, or when a patient is looking for a minimally invasive treatment option for their discomfort.

Botox injections can help treat conditions that cause face and jaw pain like bruxism and TMD, or other general symptoms of teeth grinding and clenching. It can also help dental patients who are experiencing trouble with new dentures by relaxing the muscles and helping them keep the prosthetic in their mouth. Orthodontic patients can also benefit from Botox, as it can help retrain the facial muscles during or after teeth alignment procedures.

Why should I go to the dentist for Botox?

Dentists are specialists in the oral and maxillofacial area, meaning they are knowledgeable about the location and structure of the nerve endings and muscles in a patient’s face. Because they are already familiar with this anatomy, they can better plan treatment with Botox. Our dentists Dr. Barry and Dr. Love are not only talented and experienced dentists, but they are also certified Botox doctors. This means they completed special training to learn how to administer Botox treatment properly and safely to support your oral health.

3. What are some benefits of Botox?

Botox injections can be a great option when other treatments have failed to resolve your issue. They work to relieve the muscle tension associated with clenching the teeth and the symptoms that come with it (headache, earache, and general pain in the face).

Botox is a minimally invasive procedure, so it’s great for patients who do not want to undergo more serious treatments like surgery.

This procedure can also help support other dental treatments. Many dentists utilize Botox in conjunction with other treatments when patients are experiencing muscle tension and muscle spasms. It can be paired with orthodontic or prosthodontic treatments, as well as used for patients experiencing TMD or bruxism.

Botox is not only great for its cosmetic uses, but it is growing more and more common as a useful therapeutic treatment.

Learn More about How Botox Can Support Your Dental Treatments

Are you curious about Botox and how you can benefit from it in your next dental treatment? Contact our certified Botox doctors today to learn more. We can answer more of your questions and help you develop a treatment plan to get the smile of your dreams.

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Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Dental implants can change the look of a smile that has been compromised due to missing teeth or from damage or decay. For those who suffer from insecurity or an inability to eat or speak normally, replacing teeth with dental implants is a life-changer. Whether a patient is missing one tooth or multiple teeth, the Lifetime Dental Health team can make a difference by discussing the option of dental implants and getting the ball rolling towards a better looking and functioning smile.

For those who are curious about what dental implants are all about or are ready to make a change for the better and get started with this solution, here is more information to get you better informed about the process. We have been replacing teeth with dental implants for a long time, and patients have been extremely satisfied with the stunning results. Natural looking and comfortable, dental implants are a real game changer for those seeking repair and renewal.

Will anyone notice my dental implants?

Dental implants are remarkable. They look just like natural teeth and feel that way to the wearer too. Unless you tell them, no one will ever know they are not your real teeth. The color, shape, structure, and size are all designed to look best for the individual; every dental implant is specifically crafted to suit the patient. All anyone will notice is how lovely your smile looks.

How are dental implants put in? Are they removable?

Dental implants are placed in one of two ways. Either they are directly attached to the jawbone like your real roots would be or we will have custom-made metal frameworks made which will be anchored by mini dental implants. The second route is recommended for those with thin bone. In most cases, the former process is put in place. That said, dental implants are not removable. They stay put just like regular teeth. They are strong, secure, and stable. Unlike dentures, they stay in 24/7.

How long does the process take?

The entire process can take several months from your first consultation through the healing process to the final placement of the dental implants. First we must place the artificial tooth root (made of biocompatible materials – bone-like ceramic and metals) into the jawbone. Screws and posts are fitted, and then we must wait for the gums to heal as the roots fuse with the jawbone. This can take up to six months to heal satisfactorily. Once healed, the implants are fitted. The wait may seem long but it’s the only safe and secure way to go about this procedure. Believe us, it’s worth the wait!

Will the process be painful?

You will be under local anesthetic while we do the dental implant procedure, so pain won’t be a concern.

Will you have to remove any of my healthy teeth in order to fit me for dental implants?

Dental implant placement does not require any removal of healthy teeth. Each implant is separate from the rest, so there is no need to make space to secure one in place. We may need to remove decayed or damaged teeth for replacement, but those will be the teeth that will be replaced by the implant.

How do I properly care for my dental implants? Is there anything special I will need to do once they are placed?

Consider them as you would your natural teeth. Brush and floss regularly and maintain good oral hygiene. And don’t forget to keep up with your regular cleaning appointments.

How long will my dental implants last?

Dental implants are remarkably strong and durable. For some patients, they can last a lifetime.

Will the implants be uncomfortable?

Dental implants are designed for comfort. You may need a little time to get used to them when they are first placed, but before long, they will feel just like your natural teeth…only better.

Am I a good candidate for dental implants?

During your consultation, we will examine your teeth and mouth to determine if you are a good candidate 

for receiving dental implants. If you have missing teeth, damage, or decay, you are already a prime candidate. But every patient is different, so we’ll discuss your particular concerns during your appointment.

If you are concerned about the cost, we’ll work with you regarding financing options in-house. Our goal is to provide solutions for your smile. Affordability is achievable, so don’t dismiss this process if you think you’ll be unable to pay.

Are you interested in getting dental implants? The first step is to call Lifetime Dental Health and book a consultation. Our number is 614-333-8679. Dental implants can transform your smile and self-confidence. Why struggle with missing teeth, irreparable damage or decay, or live in fear of flashing your smile? There’s a solid solution in dental implants.

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What is Microneedling?

Microneedling at the dentist? It may sound strange to some, but this cosmetic procedure is something we proudly offer at Lifetime Dental Health, along with our array of cosmetic dentistry services which vastly improve your smile. Your skin is the first thing people see, so your self-confidence may stem from its tone and texture. Let’s lift your spirits with smoother and silkier skin, right from the comfort of the dentist’s chair with the magic of microneedling.

Fine lines and wrinkles are going to affect us all (if they haven’t already). And for those with minimal scarring (like the red spots you may see from old acne scars), this process is a healing hope. If you are seeing aging or otherwise compromised skin that could use a beneficial boost, microneedling is the answer. By getting just below the skin’s surface, this in-office process heals as it helps. The difference is noticeable and you will be pleased by the nearly pain-free process. Here is what you should know about microneedling and what you can expect should you choose to make the most of your Lifetime Dental Health experience by booking a microneedling appointment with us.

 

Does microneedling hurt?

You will certainly feel the procedure, but it doesn’t exactly hurt. Think of it as tiny pinpricks just touching the skin and delving just beneath the surface. So, it’s not like a major needle injected into the body; it’s much less pressure and therefore less pain. Some people don’t mind the feeling at all, while others are more sensitive. But you’ll get through it, as it’s minimally invasive and relatively quick to complete.

 

How long will the microneedling process take?

Expect the session to last about 30 minutes, give or take, depending upon the area being treated.

 

How does microneedling work?

All those tiny pricks/punctures actually injure the skin, but the “injury” won’t last long or look that way. What happens is that the skin self-repairs from the inside out, stimulating cell growth as well as collagen and elastin renewal. This natural process makes the skin look far healthier, with a fresh-faced glow that you will see right away. As the skin heals, the effects are long lasting, as the cells are now healthier, ready to ward off fine lines and wrinkles and replace the scarred skin with new cells.

 

Will my skin bleed during the procedure?

There will be slight bleeding, but it won’t last long. The pricks do go beneath the surface of the skin, so naturally, it will cause mild bleeding. We will take care of the bleeding before you go home and you’ll feel OK to do so.

 

How do I care for my skin post-microneedling?

Your skin will be sensitive at first, so you may not want to go about your normal routine. We will provide tips for you to follow post-procedure and let you know which sorts of products are safe to use. It’s also advisable to stay out of the sun. Follow instructions until your skin is fully repaired.

 

Aside from wrinkles and scarring, is microneedling helpful in clearing up any other skin conditions/concerns?

Microneedling has been effective in reducing the appearance of stretch marks, cellulite, and reduces the appearance of large pores. It can tighten skin that sags too. Some studies have found that it can stimulate hair growth as well. This all-around skin saver is something many people are satisfied with.

 

Am I a good candidate for microneedling?

Just like any other procedure, not every patient is a prime candidate for microneedling. If you have an infection, severe acne, keloids, or a bleeding disorder, we’d likely advise that you do not consider microneedling. We won’t perform the procedure on anyone we think is a poor candidate. Your safety comes first. We assess every individual during a consultation to be sure if microneedling is a smart choice.

 

Are you interested in microneedling? It’s not the first thing you may have thought of when you made your appointment at Lifetime Dental Health, but it’s something we offer that can make an improvement in your appearance. We care for your smile, so why not your skin? Many patients have left the office with a glorious glow after receiving a microneedling treatment. It is effective and easy to do; all you need to do is sit back, relax, and let us rejuvenate you.

 

For more information regarding microneedling and our other cosmetic offerings, give Lifetime Dental Health a call at 614-333-8605. Our caring and well-informed staff will answer all they can over the phone, and Drs. Barry and Love can get into more detail when you see one of them in person during a consultation or exam.

 

You will be impressed with the ravishing results of microneedling. Just like the dazzling smiles we deliver, we can make your skin shine too!

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CEREC Same-Day Crowns

Crowns, also known as caps, have been around for decades serving as a solution for cracked, chipped, broken or fragile teeth. Crowns are a type of tooth covering that fits over the entire tooth, including the chewing surface. They’re an effective way to protect and strengthen a tooth that has become weakened or has undergone dental trauma. Crowns also fit over and protect teeth that have had a root canal. Crowns can even make an excellent cosmetic treatment for discolored teeth that are too severely stained or malformed to be whitened or bonded. We prefer to use CEREC Same-Day Crowns.

Getting a traditional dental crown takes several visits to the dentist. First, your dentist would prepare the tooth and take impressions. Those impressions would be sent to a lab where they’d form the basis of a permanent crown. In the meantime, you’d wear a temporary crown before finally having the permanent crown placed. There are a lot of steps involved in getting a traditional crown, so it’s not a one-visit procedure. It can take weeks, even months, before you’re finally finished with the traditional method of getting a crown.

 

What is CEREC technology?

CEREC technology adds convenience, precision, and comfort to the process of getting a crown. CEREC (Ceramic Restoration, or Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic) is an integrated 3D scanning and milling system that lets you get a dental crown in one visit. Same-day crowns are created by CEREC and uses computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to make your crown in one day. The convenience of CEREC is simply unparalleled.

The CEREC system digitally scans your tooth, using a special intraoral camera to create a refined digital impression that’s sent to a milling machine. The digital image is transferred to the milling machine, which gets to work making your crown. The CEREC milling machine that forms your crown from a single block of tooth-colored ceramic is phenomenally precise, capturing every last detail that needs to be replicated for a perfect fit.

All the equipment, from the scanner to the milling machine, is right there in the same office, where any adjustments required can be made by your dentist immediately. Your crown is custom-fitted for your needs and fabricated in one place. Your dentist will make all the fine adjustments in that same visit, including cementing the crown in place and getting you on your way.

 

What are the benefits of CEREC? Are there drawbacks?

The main benefits of CEREC Same-Day Crowns are convenience and time saved for patients. Getting a crown fitted and placed in a single day, in a single visit, is light-years ahead of the traditional method. In the more traditional method of crown placement, you would need at least two visits to have a crown created and placed. It could take weeks or longer for a crown to be perfectly fitted to your needs, where CEREC needs only one day.

Traditional crowns require you to wear a temporary crown between the initial and final visits, but you won’t have to deal with temporary crowns with CEREC. The crown you get is the first and final crown.

While there are no major drawbacks to the CEREC system, traditional metal crowns can be a better choice in cases where the tooth’s roots are very fragile and need extensive reinforcement.

 

How long do CEREC crowns last?

CEREC crowns are made from a single block of high-density porcelain and last from 10 to 15 years. They can last far longer than that, but habits like tooth grinding can shorten their effective lifespans.

 

Who can have CEREC crowns?

In most situations where a traditional crown is called for, a CEREC crown can be used. In other words, most patients are good candidates for CEREC crowns. They can strengthen brittle or fragile teeth, as well as teeth that have been weakened by large amalgam fillings.

If you’re looking for a same-day restoration solution, CEREC crowns are the way to go. The accuracy of the restoration combined with the convenience of getting the crown placed in one visit is an unbeatable combination.

 

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What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is the branch of the dental arts and sciences that is focused on delivering the most attractive smile to patients. Like all the branches of dentistry, there can be some overlap between function and aesthetics; that is, cosmetic treatment may also restore some function to a tooth or teeth, although the main objective of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the appearance of the teeth and smile. Teeth can be improved in terms of color, shape, and alignment to create a more appealing smile.

What can cosmetic dentistry do for me?

Cosmetic dentistry improves the look of your teeth and smile, and there are many procedures under the umbrella of cosmetic dentistry. Below we describe some of the most popular and how they can help you reach your smile goals.

Teeth Whitening

A professional teeth whitening session is the easiest and often quickest of all cosmetic dental procedures. Performed in the office, teeth whitening uses a professional, prescription-strength hydrogen and carbamide peroxide gel that penetrates and saturates into the tooth’s enamel, getting deep into the microtubules that permeate teeth. The peroxide lifts away stains and discolorations, lightening your teeth three to five shades, sometimes more.

Laser whitening is also available. Laser whitening uses a very powerful whitening agent that is around 40% peroxide. After the whitening gel is placed on the teeth, the laser’s heat boosts the process along. Although laser whitening must be done in the dental office, there are many products available over-the-counter for more conventional whitening. These products don’t work as rapidly as a professional whitening procedure; neither are they as effective, but they do make an excellent supplement to professional teeth whitening.

Veneers

Veneers are thin shells of tooth-colored materials such as ceramic porcelain laminate or composite resin. Veneers fit over the surface of teeth and hide stains and discolorations that teeth whitening cannot remove. Veneers can help fix misshapen or misaligned teeth to restore functionality and create a better-looking smile as well. A dentist must shave the outer layer of the teeth so that they will fit properly, and then will attach the veneers. Veneers normally last for years and will perfectly match your other teeth so that no one will even know they are there.

Dental Bonding

A dentist uses dental bonding to fix cracked, chipped, misshapen or discolored teeth. A special tooth-colored enamel like composite resin is applied to the teeth, then shaped to fit, polished and hardened through the use of a special blue light that causes chemicals in the resin to harden and fuse to the tooth. The result is a smooth, natural-looking tooth surface.

Reshaping

Reshaping contours the enamel of the tooth until it’s in a more aesthetically pleasing form. Sometimes this is an ideal choice for misshapen teeth, requiring less time than veneers or bonding. A sanding drill is used to reshape the tooth until imperfections are removed. The process rarely requires sedation and is painless.

Bridges

Bridges are a cosmetic solution that can also help a person chew, eat and talk better. Bridges replace missing teeth by being anchored to natural teeth on either side of the gap formed by the missing teeth. In this way, bridges ‘bridge’ the space left by missing teeth. Unlike partial dentures, bridges are fixed in place and cannot be removed, except by a dentist.

Dental Implants

Dental implants replace missing teeth and provide a natural-looking, permanent solution. They help patients to chew, eat and speak naturally, and help to prevent bone loss. Implants are composed of three pieces: a titanium post, an abutment, and the artificial tooth. The titanium post is set directly into the jawbone, where it helps stimulate blood flow to the bone tissue. The abutment is an attachment point affixed directly to the post, and the artificial tooth, colored to match your natural teeth, then sits on top of the abutment.

Gum lifts or Gum shaping

Gums can be too high on the tooth line or too low. A gum lift reshapes the gums to help teeth look longer and straighter.

Braces and Orthodontic Appliances

Braces realign crooked or misaligned teeth, making smiles straighter and more appealing. They also improve the bite by correcting overbites, underbites, open bites, cross bites, and/or gaps. Modern dental appliances no longer have to be made of metal as well. Clear braces can also be a great option, as they are not very noticeable and  allow you to straighten your teeth with aligners you can take off. Although most severe instances of malocclusion must still be treated with traditional metal braces, many cases of mild to moderate misalignment can be addressed with clear braces.

Any general dentist can perform most cosmetic services, and many only take only a couple visits to complete. If you’re curious about how we can improve your smile, give us a call today! You may be surprised at how easy it is to get a bright, white smile!

 

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Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring is often poked fun at, but it’s no laughing matter. Around 90 million Americans experience snoring nightly. For half of those people, snoring may be a sign of a dangerous sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Obstructive sleep apnea always causes loud snoring, but loud snoring isn’t always a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring in the absence of OSA is referred to as primary snoring. Snoring due to OSA is bad news by any measure.

What causes snoring?

Snoring is caused when the tissues in the back of the throat relax to an extreme degree. These tissues slide partially into the airway, where they vibrate when air passes across them. The severity of a person’s snoring is affected by their build, weight and many other factors.

How is snoring due to sleep apnea different?

In Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a person’s breathing slows or even stops. “Apnea” itself refers to a temporary halt in breathing. The brain senses a sharp, rapid rise in carbon dioxide and rouses the sleeper briefly, so briefly that there’s no memory of the sleep interruption. Sleep returns immediately upon the resumption of normal breathing. This pattern occurs over and over during the night, from a few times to hundreds of instances. Unlike primary snoring, sleep apnea is caused by a fundamental failure of a primary life sustaining function—in this case, breathing.

Snoring in OSA sounds different from primary snoring. Snoring in OSA is very loud, followed by silence due to the airway being choked off by the back of the tongue and tissues in the lower oral cavity. Next, loud gasping and choking noises following, sometimes accompanied by snorting or half-formed vocalizations.

 

Sleep quality with OSA is abysmal. OSA causes the release of stress hormones that put immense pressure on the heart and major blood vessels. OSA contributes to high blood pressure, daytime tiredness, chronic fatigue, and even depression. People with OSA tend to gain weight, which makes their situation even worse. OSA leads to metabolic syndrome, in which nutrients aren’t efficiently processed or absorbed by the body. Work performance suffers because of OSA and interpersonal relationships suffer. OSA also may lead to congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, heart attack, and stroke. The above disorders are all primary risks of OSA.

 

Sometimes OSA causes breathing to stop for more than a minute. Lack of fresh oxygen injures organs and tissues on a microscopic but cumulative level. The brain uses almost one-quarter of the freshly oxygenated blood in the body at any given time. A drop in oxygen impairs brain function, causing impairments in memory, mental clarity, and retention of information.

There are more concerns. Lack of consistent, restful, regenerative sleep leads to a marked drop in concentration and coordination, which can cause accidents. People may nod off in episodes of micro-sleep

How is primary snoring treated? What about OSA?

Primary snoring can be treated by over-the-counter nasal strips and sleeping in different positions. Reducing alcohol intake sometimes relieves primary snoring. In cases of OSA, several options are available. In the case of an obese patient, weight loss can relieve pressure on throat tissue. Large tonsils and adenoidal tissues can be removed to open up air passages. The CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device is the most common and best treatment. CPAP uses a small air blower, which forces a steady stream of air onto the face of the wearer via tubing and a mask. Although CPAP treatment is effective, sleeping with a CPAP machine is challenging. Many people find it awkward and uncomfortable.

 

There are newer devices on the market that use different technology to alleviate sleep apnea, such as the Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure device (EPAP). Provent, an EPAP system, uses nasal plugs with tiny valves that partially close during exhalation, generating pressure in the airway that keeps it from closing. Provent requires no masks, no electricity and is portable. Provent requires a prescription.

 

Mouthpieces are also available that treat OSA. They help your throat to stay open by gently moving your jaw forward, which in some cases is enough to relieve obstructive sleep apnea. If you want to try this 

approach, you’ll be referred to a dentist who specializes in sleep medicine to be custom-fitted for a mouthguard.

EPAP and primary snoring

The FDA has approved the Theravent snore therapy system for use as an over-the-counter primary snoring treatment. Theravent devices fit over the nostril, creating positive pressure that keeps the airway open when exhaling.

Get help for OSA

No one should dismiss snoring as an unavoidable annoyance. There’s at least a fifty percent chance a snorer has obstructive sleep apnea. A physician can make an accurate diagnosis, most often through a sleep study. There’s no reason to give up on getting the best sleep of your life. With diagnosis and treatment, all the harm from OSA can be prevented.

Consult our professionals at Lifetime Dental Health if you are a snorer, and we can discuss possible next steps to get you the sleep you deserve!

 

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National Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. During National Children’s Dental Health Month, dental professionals, dental educators, and parents promote the many benefits of good oral hygiene to kids. It’s vital that children learn early in life to make dental hygiene part of their daily routine. Keeping teeth healthy is much easier and more convenient than replacing them, so the earlier kids learn to stick to great oral health habits, the better.

How do I promote and encourage good oral health for my children?

The first way to encourage your kids to learn good oral hygiene is to model it. Show your kids the behaviors you want them to emulate and set a good example of the habits you want your kids to learn. Make brushing fun and involve your kids. Even toddlers need to be taught about the importance of dental health. Help them pick out their very own toothbrush and choose a toothpaste that’s ADA approved and great-tasting for kids. Different fun flavors are plentiful. Just make sure it’s a fluoride toothpaste.

Teach your kids the following habits:

Brush twice a day. Make sure to use an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. When kids are just a little older than toddlers, teach them about how plaque is a sticky film that sticks to teeth, full of bacteria that damage everyone’s teeth, kids and adults alike.

Floss at least once a day. Flossing removes plaque from above and below the gumline. It’s crucial to good oral health to get rid of as much plaque as possible before it gets the chance to harden into tartar. Plaque and tartar accumulate on children’s teeth just like on adults’ teeth. Once tartar has formed, only a dentist can remove it during a professional teeth cleaning. Floss your child’s teeth for them around age 4. By age 7 or 8, they can start flossing on their own.  You may need to visit a pediatric dentist to learn how to effectively floss your child’s teeth.

Make sure your kids have fluoridated water. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens and reinforces tooth enamel. It’s is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to fight tooth decay. Fluoride is included in the water system in many municipalities.  If your local water supply doesn’t contain fluoride, your dentist may be able to prescribe oral fluoride supplements, including gels and mouthwashes.

Help your child get comfortable visiting the dentist

Choose a pediatric dentist for your little one’s dental needs. A pediatric dentist has specialized training in the unique needs of children. They provide a comprehensive range of services, including:

  • Infant oral health exams
  • Teeth cleaning and fluoride treatments, if necessary. Going to the dentist for painless preventive dental care is a great way to reinforce that there’s no need to be scared of going to the dentist
  • Assessment of conditions like malocclusion and crooked teeth, as well as treatment for those conditions.
  • Tooth fillings
  • Dental sealants. Dental sealants are tough but thin plastic coatings that are placed on the chewing surfaces of a child’s teeth, particularly their back teeth, where cavities are common. Getting sealants applied doesn’t hurt.
  • Pediatric dentists can also perform frenectomies, which are minor surgical procedures that correct problems like a young child being “tongue-tied”

 

Make sure to limit or eliminate sugary, starchy snacks. Even healthy foods like fresh fruit, dried fruit, and granola contain sugars that attract enamel-damaging bacteria. Teach your children to practice brushing after eating sugary foods.

Your pediatric dentist can also come to the rescue if your child damages or knocks out a tooth.  The sooneryou get to your child’s dentist, the better. Give your child over-the-counter pain relievers and get to the dentist immediately. Even if it’s a baby tooth that’s been knocked out, place it in water or milk and go to the dentist. Baby teeth serve an essential function and can be re-implanted.

National Children’s Dental Health Month helps bring attention to the oral health needs of kids across the nation. It’s all too easy to presume that simply because a child isn’t complaining of tooth pain, they’re fine. Childhood is the best time to engrain good health habits that will last a lifetime. In February, celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month and teach your kids about the value of good oral hygiene. For any further questions about how to help your child kickstart their oral hygiene, give us a call at Lifetime Dental Health!

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I Hate My Smile – What Can I Do?

Are you unhappy with your smile? Do you have a chipped tooth or excessive discoloration that stops you from wanting to show your smile to the world? Life is too short to live with a smile that you are not proud of and ready to show off. At Lifetime Dental Health, we are committed to helping you create the smile that you have always wanted, which is why we offer these cosmetic dentistry options:

Teeth Whitening

One of the biggest things our patients want in terms of cosmetic dentistry is a whiter smile. Your smile is the very first thing that people notice about you and a white, shiny smile can help you make a lasting first impression. As we age, our teeth with naturally lose their white luster. Additionally, what we eat and drink, as well as habits like tobacco use, can lead to yellow teeth.

To help reverse this discoloration and get your smile to shine again, we offer a couple different teeth whitening treatments. At our practice, we offer in-office whitening treatments that can make your smile look shades whiter with just one visit. We also offer at-home whitening kits with custom bite trays that are filled with a bleaching agent and are used for 3-6 weeks.

However, teeth whitening is not for everyone. If you suffer from gum disease or severely eroded enamel, you may not be a good candidate for this treatment. If you want to learn more about teeth whitening or want our expert opinion on which whitening option is best for you, schedule an appointment to come see us today.

Clear Aligners

Crooked teeth can be annoying, unsightly, and bad for your bite and jaw. Unfortunately, traditional braces can be distracting, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. If you want a straight, perfect smile without the hassle of metal braces, you may be a good candidate for clear aligners. Clear aligners are custom-made for your mouth and gradually shift your teeth over time, correcting your smile. They are almost undetectable, and will not detract from your smile while you are undergoing treatment.

Clear aligners are worn for most of the day, but they can be removed when you eat or drink. This means that you can still enjoy all of your favorite snacks without having to worry about foods that are too chewy, hard, or sticky like you would with traditional braces. If you want to learn more about teeth straightening with clear aligners, contact our office today! We can schedule a consultation and formulate a treatment plan to help make your smile straight and beautiful in no time.

Veneers

If you are unhappy with the size, shape, spacing, or color of a specific tooth, you may be a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Veneers are thin ceramic shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. They are crafted and color-matched to look like your other teeth. When properly cared for, veneers can last for years and correct a wide array of cosmetic defects.

To prepare your teeth for veneers, we will remove a very small amount of dental enamel from the tooth. We will then use a permanent bonding agent to bond the appliance to your teeth. Veneers are resistant to staining and will help keep your teeth beautiful for years to come. If you are unhappy with the look of one or more of your teeth, ask us about porcelain veneers!

We want you to love your smile, and at Lifetime Dental Health we are here to give you the care you need to make that possible. Come see us today so that we can give you our recommendations for cosmetic dental care! If you want to learn more about any of the options listed above or simply want to set up a consultation, give us a call at (614)-333-9498.

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