Dental Crowns and How They Benefit Your Smile

While we all dream of the day we’re in love with our smile, we know this is no easy task, especially if we fall in the group of those that don’t even like to smile in photographs! You’re not alone, and you don’t have to feel stuck in a rut of thinking there is no way out. Dental crowns are a great cosmetic dentistry option for those that want to transform their smile. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits associated with dental crowns and how they have the potential to change your life for the better!

What Dental Crowns Are

Dental crowns are small dental devices, or caps, that completely cover your teeth to improve aesthetics and function. If you’ve ever been the victim of an injury or just genetically weak teeth, dental crowns are a great option as their main purpose is to protect your teeth from damage. Dental crowns go beyond functionality though, giving you a beautifully bright and aligned smile.

What Benefits Dental Crowns Provide

Dental crowns typically will last five to 10 years, but if cared for correctly, can last up to 15 years. Crowns replace missing teeth, that way if your teeth are misaligned, the crown will make up for the missing tooth, and you’ll feel better with a full smile. Crowns can even repair broken or cracked teeth to give you more useful functionality, they can give you a white smile, and with the right material, no one will even know you’re wearing the caps.

How to Care for Your Dental Crowns

Brushing and flossing normally will ensure the longevity of your caps, and don’t forget to see your dentist at least twice a year or whenever you feel an abnormality in your caps.

We at Smile Artist Dentistry in Houston, TX, are ready to see you smile your best and most confident smile ever. We know this confidence may not come naturally, but we’re here to let you know that a change it possible! Give us a call today to schedule an appointment to begin on a path that is healthy and beautiful!

Professional Teeth Cleaning: Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Put It Off

We would all like to think that we can take care of our oral health on our own, but is that really the case? Tell yourself honestly how many times you have flossed this week. Even if you floss and brush regularly, do you think you are reaching all of the cracks and crevices where bacteria can grow? The truth is, a good professional teeth cleaning from your dentist is necessary if you want to really protect yourself from tooth decay.

Here are three reasons you shouldn’t put it off:

Cavities

Cavities form in those dark crevices of your teeth. Once a cavity forms, it will only continue to grow. Your dentist can prevent cavities with a professional cleaning, but what is more, they can also catch cavities before they grow into a bigger problem.

Gum Disease

Many people don’t even realize that they have gum disease until it reaches advanced stages. It can be difficult to tell. So your gums are bleeding a little when you brush or floss, you might think that’s normal. There’s also a chance that it can be from gum disease in its earlier stages.

Total Oral Health

In addition to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, your dentist can help you prevent all kinds of dangerous mouth problems. Identifying any decay and clearing out plaque and bacteria is something that your dentist will do during a professional cleaning. You can trust that your mouth is completely clean and that you are in good hands when it comes to oral care with your dentist.

If you are interested in a professional dental cleaning, then please give us a call or stop by the office today!

What to Expect after Porcelain Veneer Placement

Porcelain veneers are a great option for making cosmetic changes to a smile without having to undergo extensive treatments. Issues such as discoloration, worn or chipped teeth, uneven or misaligned teeth, and teeth with gaps can be addressed effectively with veneers. The procedure for placing veneers is relatively simple, but what can be expected once it’s complete? Read on to find out.

How long do veneers last?

Veneers can be expected to last 10 to 15 years, though they can last longer. The longevity of veneers depends on both the materials used when placing them and how well they are cared for. There are several materials that can be used to place veneers, and each has a different lifespan, so it is important during the initial consultation to discuss with the dentist which material will last the longest and also look the most natural.

Proper Care for Veneers

To get the most out of veneers, it is important to take proper care of them.

  • Brush and floss daily
  • Visit the dentist regularly (twice a year, at least) for exams and teeth cleanings
  • Avoid using teeth as tools to open packages or to crack nuts
  • Avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice, fingernails, or pen caps
  • Wear a night guard if teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism) is an issue
  • Wear a sports guard during any contact sports or other athletic practices/competition

Veneers should be stain resistant, depending on the quality of porcelain used to create them. Regular foods and drinks, such as coffee, wine, and dark-colored foods can still be enjoyed without any need to worry about staining. No major changes will need to be made in a daily routine except possibly to switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush or to a less abrasive toothpaste.

Veneer Replacement

It is possible that a veneer replacement will be needed after a number of years. The dentist will examine the veneers during regular checkups to look for signs of chips, cracks, or leaks between the veneer and the tooth. If the veneer is determined to be damaged, it can be repaired, but on occasion, a full replacement may be necessary.

Common Misconceptions About Porcelain Veneers

Humans have a natural fear of the unknown. That’s why when it comes to even the simplest dental procedures, there arise numerous misconceptions that scare people away. That’s the way it is with porcelain veneers. People get this idea that it will be bad when in reality they are a lot less scary than you might think. Dare to try new things, or at least research the subject a little

The application of veneers is painful.

The actual application of veneers is a painless procedure. The preparation beforehand involves the filing down of a negligible amount of tooth enamel, which would cause some pain if it wasn’t for the fact that your dentist will make sure your mouth is properly numbed before preparing the teeth. Overall, the application of veneers and the preparation are generally pain-free.

You only need veneers for the front of your mouth.

While the application of veneers is most common on the front six teeth, they are also commonly applied to the molars and less-visible bottom teeth.

The entire tooth will be filed down to nothing more than a nub.

This is very far from the truth. It is generally the biggest misconception that leaves the most people turned off from ever even thinking of getting veneers. But it’s just not true. A very thin layer of enamel is filed away from the teeth, but it is generally negligible. This is only done so that the veneers will lay flat on the surface of the teeth without protruding out. Veneers are extremely thin, so not much must be filed down.

Veneers look unnatural.

While some people with veneers can look unnatural, this is because it is what the patient wanted. If you purchase do-it-yourself veneers online, you can end up with an unnatural looking finished product. Also, if you ask your dentist to make your veneers unnaturally large or white, then that is your personal choice! For the most part, people with veneers end up with beautiful, natural-looking smiles. Your dentist is able to match color and shape to natural teeth perfectly.

Taking the Mystery Out of Teeth Whitening

Everyone dreams of having the perfect pearly white smile. You may, like most people, have already tried countless of at-home products to no avail. Smile Artist Dentistry is here to make your smile dreams come true! If you have been searching for the best way to whiten your teeth, then we have the perfect solutions for you. Read on to learn about the different types of whitening treatments and see what works best for you.

Are you a candidate for whitening? If you already have crowns, veneers, bridges, and tooth-colored fillings, then they will not whiten with any treatments. It is best to whiten two weeks up to any treatments you are planning on having. If you are under the age of 16, pregnant, lactating, have allergies to certain materials, then whitening is not for you. Schedule a consult with Smile Artist Dentistry to see if a teeth whitening treatment is for you.

Different Types of Teeth Whitening

  • Professional in-office whitening. Your dentist will apply a light activated professional whitening gel to your teeth. This is a fast and effective way to reach your desired shade. If taken care of, then the effects should last up to a year. We recommend this treatment after you biannual dental cleaning.

  • At-home whitening. A dental office will typically give you customized whitening trays for you to use at home on your own time. They are typically used during a two-week period. It is also recommended to begin treatment after a dental cleaning.

No more hiding your teeth from the world. Boost your confidence with effective and affordable teeth whitening treatment. Call Smile Artist Dentistry to see if a teeth whitening treatment is for you!

FAQs About Sinus Lifts

You may have just been told you are a candidate for a sinus lift. You may also, now, have many questions. The aim of this informative article if to enlighten you in some of the most frequently asked questions concerning sinus lifts. Staying informed is imperative to a successful and stress-free procedure.

To begin, let us establish exactly what a sinus lift is. A Sinus lift is a grafting, or tissue connecting, procedure which is usually done in order to prepare a site for upper jaw dental implants. Whether a dental bridge is needed, or maybe even a restorative surgery is to be done, a sinus lift can be imperative to a healthier mouth. Read on to get some answers to the most common questions concerning a sinus lift.

Why Might I Need a Sinus Lift?

In the case that the back teeth of a jaw are lost, the bone in that area of the mouth may resorb, or go away, meaning the sinuses may expand in size in order to occupy the newly acquired space. With a switch between bone and sinus tissue, a sinus lift will need to be conducted in order to reintroduce bone into that area of the mouth for implants.

What Happens During the Procedure?

Using a local anesthetic, your oral surgeon will then make an incision in the gums to expose jawbone. This creates a flab that is then pushed gently into the sinus cavity to reveal new room for an implant by filling it in with grafting material.

Where Does the Bone Come From?

In most cases, the implanted bone will be taken from another place of the jaw or even somewhere else in the body.

What Are the Benefits a Sinus Lift?

This procedure is best for helping patients that need extra room in their mouth for dental implants, those that have bone mass reduction due to cancer treatments or older age. This procedure is also beneficial to assist your body in the rehabilitation process and the likelihood of a successful implant surgery.

Are There Any Drawbacks to a Sinus Lift?

The most obvious drawback of this lift procedure is how time-consuming it is. One can expect their sinuses to fully heal six months after the initial procedure. One can also expect a minimum of 3 trips to the dentist which can all be very time-consuming.

Will I Have Any Problems with My Sinuses After the Procedure?

Conducted correctly, you can expect no change to your allergies, sinuses or breathing.

How to Improve Your Selfie Game

You can’t go on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter without seeing selfies everywhere. Some of the most popular pics that get the most likes feature a bright, beautiful smile that doesn’t need a filter to whiten it. Want to increase the number of likes you get? Your dentist can help with that!

Veneers

For a smile makeover with the most change, veneers are a popular choice. Shells of thin porcelain are attached to the teeth to change the look of the tooth completely. This is very popular for people with stained, chipped and fractured teeth.

Dental Bonding

For smaller issues like chips, cracks, and fractures, dental bonding can help. Using a tooth-colored resin applied to the teeth, your dentist will shape it to match the look of a natural tooth, harden it, and buff it to match the natural shine of a tooth. Bonding is an option for repairing stained teeth and closing small gaps as well.

Clear Braces

Need to straighten your teeth but don’t want to deal with bulky metal braces? Clear aligners to the rescue! They work just like braces but use clear aligners to move the teeth into position step by step. The best feature for clear braces is the ability to remove them whenever you need to, so your selfie game doesn’t have to stop while you are straightening your teeth.

Teeth Whitening

For those with already straight teeth, a professional teeth whitening can help the teeth shine. While there are many over the counter options available, none can match the ease and quickness of professional whitening.

Complete Smile Makeover

No matter the issue, the team at Smile Arts Dentistry, can help. Our complete smile makeover is designed to correct many issues and help you get your dream smile. Before you know it, you will be posting #nofilter pics with tons of likes.

Importance of Dental Sealants

The deep grooves in the chewing surfaces of our back teeth are perfect hiding spaces for destructive bacteria. The application of sealants is a same day procedure that provides long-lasting protection against enamel erosion.

What Does a Sealant Do?

Bacteria occur naturally in our mouths. After we eat, food debris lingers in the deep crevices where decay-causing bacteria feast and thrive. The acid produced when these critters consume leftover particles erodes tooth enamel. As a result, when the protective outer cover is broken down, cavities form.

Dental sealants are a durable coating that is applied to the deep crevices of premolars and molars. It is difficult to reach back teeth with a toothbrush and clean the area thoroughly. This thin layer of protection helps reduce decay and cavities.

Adhering Sealants

The application of sealants involves adhering sealants to the teeth surfaces for long-lasting cavity control. The same day procedure is fast and painless. First, your teeth are cleaned to eliminate any plaque, bacteria and food debris in the deep crevices. Then, a gel is applied to the back teeth to prepare the bonding surfaces for the dental sealant. Next, the area is rinsed clean and the protective layer is painted onto each tooth being treated. The material is hardened with a curing light. When properly placed, dental sealants are long lasting cavity protection that will help safeguard your oral health.

Long Lasting Cavity Protection

When dental sealants are applied early in life, patients avoid getting the cavities they may have developed in childhood without the added protection. With good oral hygiene habits, a sealant can last for many years. Over time, you will avoid painful symptoms of decay, and save money you would have spent on reparative dental treatments.

10 Great Dental Hygiene Tips

A brilliant and contagious smile comes from great oral hygiene habits. If you don’t practice proper dental care, you leave yourself at risk for a host of medical problems including infection, gum disease, diabetes, stroke, heart conditions and more. Routine teeth cleanings and exams can prevent or treat budding issues and help maintain your good overall health.

How to Achieve Optimal Oral Health

There are quite a few steps you can take to promote better oral health:

  • Teeth Brushing: The easiest way to clean your teeth is to brush properly. Start by positioning the brush head at a 45-degree angle at the gum line. With a gentle circular motion brush all tooth surfaces, both inner and outer. Be sure to also clean your upper palate and tongue to remove bacteria build up. Brush at least two times per day. After every meal, rinse with water to loosen and remove food particles and wash away some bacteria.

  • Flossing: Although, flossing is often viewed as a miserable chore, one so many avoid, it plays a vital role in the tooth cleaning process. Proper flossing removes leftover debris, harmful bacteria, and plaque in hard to reach mouth areas. Even water or mouth rinse cannot reach under the gum and between tight teeth.

  • Avoid Tobacco: There are countless reasons to quit smoking or never start using tobacco products. First, you will protect your mouth against foul odor and teeth staining, and second, you reduce the risk of oral cancer and periodontal disease.

  • Limit Sodas, Coffee, and Alcohol: Beverages that are high in phosphorus can rob the body of essential calcium stores. In addition, these types of drinks contain dyes, corn syrup and other additives that can cause discoloration, tooth decay, and more oral health issues.

  • Eat Calcium and Other Vitamins That Are Good for The Body: Be sure to get all the essential nutrients you need by drinking lots of calcium-rich milk, yogurt, cheese, fortified orange juice, broccoli and other quality foods. It also helps to add a daily multi-vitamin supplement to your diet.

  • Visit Your Dentist: Keep up with twice yearly dental exams and professional teeth cleanings, or as recommended by your dentist. Preventative care is important for lifelong oral health.

  • Use Mouthwash: A good mouth rinse is not absolutely necessary but can be a helpful accompaniment to brushing and flossing. Antibacterial rinses like Listerine are worthwhile because they help rid you of harmful mouth bacteria and freshen your breath.

  • Have a Painful Tooth Examined: Never ignore persistent tooth or jaw pain. Early intervention is very important, so we can diagnose and treat the problem before it worsens.

  • Think About the Long-Term: If you take good care of your smile now, you will avoid high dental bills later and poor health. You can potentially avoid medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, systemic infections, tooth problems and gum disease.

  • Clean Your Tongue: Scrape your tongue every day to remove bacteria build up. You can use a professional tool or use the bristles on your toothbrush to clean the surface. The rough top surface is a breeding ground for mouth bacteria. If you don’t keep the area clean, it can lead to bad breath and other dental problems.

How Important is it for Kids to Wear a Mouthguard?

Outdoor activities like extra-curricular sports are a fun way for kids to stay fit and healthy. Millions of children participate in some kind of sport. Many of these sports are very physical sports like football, soccer, basketball, and baseball. Unfortunately, each and every one of these sports can potentially end up in an injury to your child’s mouth. Many injuries leave children with chipped teeth, missing teeth, damaged gums, or injured tongues!

What is a Mouthguard?

There is one simple solution to all these unfortunate injuries. A mouthguard is a simple piece of plastic or rubber that your child just holds in their mouth between their teeth. It guards the teeth against knocking together or even biting down on their tongue. The guard provides a high level of stability and protection to a child’s mouth when properly used. To put the importance of mouthguards into perspective, studies show that children are up to 60 times more likely to suffer damage to their teeth or mouth than children who properly use protective mouth gear.

Think of a Mouthguard as a Safety Tool

Parents always encourage their children to wear helmets while riding a bike, and they absolutely require that their kids wear seatbelts in a car. Think of a mouthguard as the same level of protection. You can show your kids professional athletes on television who wear mouthguards to show them that it isn’t something silly or unnecessary. It is a very important piece of protective equipment. If a child happens to sustain a hit to the face with a baseball, all the force behind that ball is focused on a very small area. Without a mouthguard, this can very easily lead to damage to the teeth, or even complete tooth loss.

It’s important to understand how much a mouthguard can really help your child, and it may be even more important for your child to understand that as well.