The first step is to know what treatments and procedures your dental health benefits cover. Find a dentist who accepts your insurance plan. For example, some dental HMOs have their own pool of member dental offices, which limits your choices. With a PPO, it may affect your copayment if you find a dentist outside of the network.
Additional tips for choosing a dentist include:
Ask Around for a Dentist Office Recommendation – Word of mouth is the best approach. Talk to friends, family, co-workers or neighbors and ask if they are pleased with their dentist, and why. Your family doctor may also provide a referral. Another option is to research local dentists listed as members with the ADA, AGD or a local dental association.
Factor in Dentist Location – Accessibility is important. Do you want your dentist office to be close to home or near your workplace? Consider your schedule and how flexible you can be when making appointments. Do you need a dentist location that serves patients on evenings and Saturdays?
Schedule a Consultation – Meet each new prospect for a consultation. Once you have your list of dentists that meet your criteria, call or visit a few dental offices before scheduling an appointment. Ask if the dentist is a member of a national dental organization, like the American Dental Association (ADA) and how far in advance should routine cleanings and check-ups be scheduled. Also, find out which treatments and procedures are performed in-office and which are referred to an outside dental professional.
After each appointment, evaluate your visit. Is the dental office neat, clean and well-organized? Is the dental staff courteous and friendly? If you have kids, does this dentist location child-friendly? Do they manage your private information discreetly?
Consider the following questions after you leave each dentist location: Does this dentist office offer convenient hours? Is it conveniently located? Are the dentist and staff easy to talk to, and ask questions? Would you trust the dental professionals’ treatment recommendations or referrals?
A good-looking grin is eye-catching and memorable. It is a sign of wellness, sincerity, warmth, youth, and success. An attractive smile is an asset in all aspects of life. So, if you are not happy with the appearance of your teeth, you may be wearing that smile upside down. Like with many other satisfied patients, cosmetic dentistry can help flip that frown the right way around.
Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
There are so many cosmetic dentistry procedures available to sculpt, shape and reinvent your smile in a more visually pleasing way. With minimally invasive techniques and a few simple steps, you can feel proud to show how good you feel.
Popular cosmetic treatment options:
- White Composite Fillings – Natural looking tooth-colored materials can be used to repair teeth cavities. Your dentist may use a composite resin, or a porcelain crown, inlay or onlay to restore a decayed tooth.
- Teeth Whitening – Tooth staining is hard to avoid, and it happens for many reasons. Highly pigmented and acidic foods and drinks, smoking, and aging are all factors that discolor teeth. Professional teeth whitening is a strong bleaching process that improves the look of stained or discolored teeth. The solution used in your dentist’s office is more powerful than the agents contained in over-the-counter whitening kits.
- Veneers – Custom-made, tooth-colored veneers are thin, composite or ceramic shells that are bonded to teeth. Crafted to resemble natural enamel, veneers cover stained, crooked or oddly shaped teeth, or fill-in spaces.
- Dental Braces – To correct bite problems, crooked or overcrowded teeth, dental braces may be the solution. Gone are the days when wearing braces had to mean displaying bulky metal brackets and wires. Modern braces are smaller and a less noticeable. Some orthodontics are tooth-colored or clear.
For some people, traditional braces are not necessary at all to straighten teeth. Removable clear aligners can get the job done discreetly, and usually in less time.
- Enamel Shaping – Your dental professional can reshape enamel to change the look of uneven or crowded teeth or teeth that appear to be too long. By contouring the enamel, your dentist can improve your smile.
- Dental Crowns – For broken teeth or other issues that require a drastic restoration, one that enamel shaping and veneers cannot provide, dental crowns are often the appropriate fix. To place a crown, your dentist must first prepare the tooth by removing part of the outer structure. The custom-made crown is crafted to fit over the tooth and blend in with the surrounding natural teeth.
- A Fresh, New Smile – The first step to an improved, new smile is a trip to visit your dentist. During your consultation, you will discuss the best cosmetic dentistry procedures to meet your needs and desires. If you have signs of poor oral health, your dentist may recommend a treatment plan before any cosmetic procedures.
Good dental care starts at a young age, but kids often don’t understand the importance of preventative care or child dentistry. As a parent, there are a few dental care tips that can help you instill good behavior in your children and help them develop strong, healthy teeth. Here are five ways you can make oral care easier for your kids.
1. Teach them good habits.
It’s important that children learn the right way to care for their teeth before they have a chance to learn it the wrong way. Be sure that your children know the correct techniques for brushing and flossing their teeth so that they get the most out of their oral care routine.
2. Make brushing fun.
Make brushing and flossing feel less like a chore for your kids by making it fun! Try giving them little incentives to brush and floss each day, or turn it into a fun game. If your children want to brush and floss, they’ll be much more likely to keep up with it.
3. Give them input.
Your children might enjoy taking care of their teeth more if you let them have some say in the process. Letting them choose their toothpaste flavor or a toothbrush they like helps make brushing their teeth more enjoyable.
4. Set an example.
Your kids look up to you, so it’s important that you demonstrate enthusiasm about your own oral health routine. Show your kids that you like to brush and floss, and they’ll start to see it as something to look forward to!
5. Talk up the dentist.
Many people dread going to the dentist, and it’s a fear that starts at a young age. But your child’s professional dental care experience doesn’t have to be scary. Be sure to use positive language before your child’s regular dental visits to help make the dentist trip much easier for everyone.
While children might not understand right away the importance of good dental care, you can still help them learn ways to care for their teeth that they’ll use the rest of their lives. By starting young, you’re setting your kids up for a lifetime of dental success.
It’s never fun to get a toothache, but sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly where the pain is coming from. Sometimes the cause is something that will clear up on its own, while other times you should see a dentist to receive proper dental care. Here are a few common reasons why your teeth hurt and what you should do about them.
Tooth Pain Causes
Sinus infection: This is a common cause for tooth pain, particularly in your rear molars which are close to your sinuses. During a sinus infection, the pressure in your sinuses can actually turn into pain in your back teeth. Your doctor will be able to prescribe you medication to clear up the infection.
Gum disease: Also known as periodontal disease, a gum infection can cause tooth pain or even tooth loss if left untreated. Gum recession, a symptom of gum disease, can also cause tooth pain as the sensitive root of your tooth becomes exposed. See your dentist about getting your periodontal disease treated and the tooth pain should subside as well.
Tooth trauma: Damage to the tooth, such as a broken or cracked tooth, can cause pain and sensitivity. If your tooth has been damaged in any way, it’s a good idea to see your dentist as soon as possible.
Clenching and grinding teeth: People usually clench or grind their teeth in their sleep, then wake up with a toothache or jaw ache from the constant pressure. Your dentist will be able to tell if your grind your teeth at night by looking at the chewing surfaces. He or she might recommend night guard therapy to prevent you from grinding them when you’re asleep, which should stop the pain.
Tooth decay: If you’re noticing sensitivity in your teeth, particularly when you chew, tooth decay might be to blame. A good cleaning and preventative measures can keep decay from becoming a full-blown cavity, but you might need to get a filling if it’s severe.
When in doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Give our office a call to book an appointment with one of our dentists today. Our staff will be happy to look into the causes of your tooth pain and have you back on your feet in no time!
- Drink more water.
We all know that water is good for you – it keeps you hydrated and can keep you from overeating at meals. But drinking fluoridated water is even better, whether it’s from the tap or bottled with fluoride added to it. This mineral is excellent at aiding the prevention of cavities, and it’s been found that fluoridating the community water supply reduces tooth decay by 25 percent in both kids and adults. Additionally, drinking water helps flush away the sugars and debris that remain on your teeth after snacking or meals.
- Eat teeth-friendly foods.
Foods that contain high-quality protein, such as lean meats, eggs, fish, cheese, or dry beans are the best choices for a healthy mouth, along with whole grains, low-sugar bread and cereals, and fruits and vegetables. The American Dental Association recommends that fruits and vegetables make up about half of your plate since chewing firm, coarse, watery, and fibrous foods stimulates the flow of saliva, which facilitates digestion and reduces the amount of food debris left in your mouth after eating.
- Improve your brushing and flossing routine.
First off, make sure you have the right equipment. If you’ve been using your toothbrush for more than three or four months, it’s time to replace it. Don’t remember when you started using it? If the bristles are frayed, it’s time to replace. Speaking of bristles, many people tend to use toothbrushes with bristles that are too hard for them. This can result in damage to the teeth or gums. When you get a new toothbrush, try using a soft-bristled one that fits comfortably in your mouth, and make sure you’re not brushing too hard.
If you’re not flossing, start now! Brushing alone can’t get to all the surfaces of your teeth, where sneaky bits of food debris might remain and feed the bacteria that can do damage to your teeth. And don’t forget your tongue. Brush it or use a tongue scraper to make sure you have minty-fresh breath.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Self-ligating braces are an innovative, technologically advanced type of braces. Although they look similar to conventional braces, they use self-ligating brackets that eliminate the need for elastic ties. Conventional braces need these elastics to control the tension of the archwires. Periodically, the wires are adjusted to move the teeth.
When you have self-ligating braces, the brackets are designed to hold the archwire in place with a specially designed clip. The low-profile contour of the bracket allows the archwire to move smoothly in the clip, and during treatment, each tooth slides into place gradually. Self-ligating brackets are designed to speed treatment and improve overall comfort during the process. Both metal and ceramic self-ligating brackets are available so that you can choose the system that best fits your needs.
There are many benefits. You will need fewer appointments to make adjustments, and the improved efficiency of your braces will result in a shorter treatment time. Lower-profile brackets often equal greater oral comfort for many patients, too.
If you are interested in learning more about your orthodontic treatment options, we can help. Call our offices today to schedule your consultation with our team.
Orthodontic treatment is used to fix malocclusions and misalignments. If your bite is not aligned properly or your teeth are crooked, you could benefit from treatment. We can help you decide if braces or another type of treatment is right for you.
At your consultation, our dentists can diagnose your orthodontic problems and determine the best treatments for you. Orthodontics will work by gradually shifting your teeth into position. Whether you wear braces or clear aligners, the appliances will apply pressure to your teeth.
The pressure moves your teeth gradually, and the bone will adjust. The bone in the pathway of the tooth is broken down to make room for the tooth, and new bone will form to fill in the space your tooth once occupied. The periodontal ligament adjusts to properly support the tooth.
As the position of your teeth adjusts, your bite will improve. This creates a more balanced jaw. It can improve your oral health by making it easier for you to brush and floss. You might even find that it is easier to bite, chew and speak. With proper treatment, your teeth will function better, and they will look better.
Whether you choose conventional braces, clear braces or an aligner system, orthodontic treatment can transform your smile and improve your dental health. Good dental hygiene is essential during orthodontic treatment to keep your teeth and gums healthy and maximize your results regardless of the system you choose. Call today to learn more or to schedule your consultation.
Lingual braces were first developed in the 1980s, and several brands are available. They are similar to conventional metal braces, but the brackets and wires are designed to attach to the backs, or tongue side of the teeth. They are not visible when you smile. They are customized according to your needs and are typically worn for the same amount of time that metal braces would be worn.
The design of lingual braces is more than just discreet. These braces are also less likely to lead to post-treatment discoloration or demineralization, and they are versatile enough to treat crossbite, crowding, gapped teeth, crossbites and underbites. Unlike Invisalign, another virtually invisible orthodontic option, they can even treat complex bite problems.
You might be a candidate for these braces if you are an adult or teen whose permanent teeth have fully erupted. Most patients will adapt to orthodontic treatment quickly, but the location of these braces can take a little adjustment since they are on the tongue side of the teeth. Your orthodontic appointments might also take longer since the adjustments can be slightly more complex.
Call our dental office today to find out if lingual brackets are right for you or to schedule an appointment.
Do you often find yourself hiding your smile when meeting new people or having your picture taken? Are you embarrassed about the way your teeth look? Orthodontics can fix your smile, but if you want to avoid the look and feel of braces, clear aligners might be a better fit. Our orthodontist can help you decide if clear aligners are the right choice for you.
Invisalign aligners are made of strong, durable plastic and are custom fit to your teeth. They can be removed, so there are no restrictions on your diet. You can also take your aligners out when brushing and flossing for an extra clean smile. Wear your aligners at least 20 to 22 hours a day to keep your teeth moving in the right direction, and change them every two weeks. Most people can complete their course of treatment in about 12 to 18 months.
You might be a candidate for clear aligners if you have an overbite, underbite, crossbite, gapped teeth or crowded teeth. For the best results, your teeth and gums should be healthy and free of any untreated dental disease, and the underlying structures should also be healthy. Your jawbone should be finished growing. Call the team at Antoine Dental Center today to learn more or to schedule your consultation.
Hippocrates was the first to describe orthodontic problems around 400 B.C., but the roots of modern orthodontics extend all the way back to ancient Egypt. Archaeologists have found mummies with metal bands attached to their smiles, and believe these were crude attempts to move teeth. Ancient Greeks and Romans also used metal bands to attempt to straighten teeth while Pliny the Elder, who lived in the first century A.D., recommended filing teeth to make them appear straighter and more uniform.
These early advances were largely forgotten until the 18th century, when French dentist Pierre Fauchard created a metal strip that he called a bandeau, which was designed to force teeth to move. In the U.S., J.S. Gunnell created a form of headgear that put pressure on teeth to move the jaw. As the world hurtled towards the 20th century, the field of orthodontics began changing rapidly. In 1880, Edward Hartley Angle identified and defined malocclusions and ways to address them using a variety of orthodontic appliances, largely by wrapping wires around individual teeth.
It took nearly one hundred years for dentists to develop effective dental adhesives that allowed brackets to be attached directly to the surface of the teeth, rather than wires to be wrapped around teeth. Stainless steel began to be used in place of silver and gold, and technology rapidly advanced as lingual and ceramic braces gave patients even more options when it came to straightening their smiles aesthetically.
Today, patients can choose from many orthodontic appliances, including clear aligners and conventional orthodontics, to create their dream smiles. Call our office today to learn more.