All About Your Permanent Teeth

permanent teeth

As a dental office, we see teeth all day long. Every person is unique, but a smile is something they all share. Infant teeth are different than adult teeth in size, shape, number and more. An adult will have around 32 teeth while a child will only have around 20 teeth. Those teeth fall into categories such as incisors, canines, premolars and molars. Each tooth has a specific function in the mouth, as do your tongue, gums, and even saliva. It’s important to know about your smile and why you need to have all your teeth for it to function properly. There are over 120 million people that have a missing tooth in the United States alone. Every tooth is vitally important for your oral health and overall wellness. Find out more about your baby and permanent teeth today and what you can do to keep them healthy for life.

 

Baby Teeth

People aren’t born with teeth immediately. That should be no shocker to most people. Much like everything else a baby must develop, their teeth also come in with time. Their smile is different than an adult smile with permanent teeth as well. Babies start to have teeth come into the mouth anywhere between 4-6 months of age. Those teeth continue to come in up until age 3, when all the teeth should be in the upper and lower jaws. First, the front teeth come in such as the incisors, then some of the molars will come into the mouth and the canines, and so on.

 

Babies should have a total of 20 teeth, or 10 teeth in the upper jaw and 10 teeth in the lower jaw. These teeth are not permanent teeth, so they will eventually fall out of the mouth. You might notice that a child’s teeth are not fit snugly together. The jaw is continually growing, so the teeth are spaced out to make room for the permanent teeth to come in.

 

Permanent Teeth

One a child loses their baby teeth, the permanent teeth will start to grow in. This whole process of losing baby teeth and receiving permanent teeth can begin around age 6 or 7 and go up until ages 12-14. It all depends on the child and their genetic makeup. The permanent teeth are called that for a reason: they are permanently in the mouth unless, trauma, tooth decay, gum disease, or age take them away from you.

 

The average adult has about 32 permanent teeth in the mouth. Some adults only have 28, which depends on how many wisdom teeth a person has. Some have all 4 (giving us the number of 32 teeth), while others have no wisdom teeth. Each mouth is made up of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Those are the teeth in order from the front teeth moving towards the back of your mouth on the upper and lower jaws. Adults have 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 12 molars on average.

 

Tooth Loss in the United States

As an adult, you may have many permanent teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have any to spare. You need every tooth in the mouth to have good oral health. Sadly, tooth loss is on the rise in the United States. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that adults have an average of only 25 remaining teeth out of the original 32. The American College of Prosthodontists also reports that over 120 million people are missing at least 1 tooth and that 36 million in the U.S. don’t have any teeth at all.

 

Missing even one tooth is incredibly damaging to your oral health! Once one tooth is lost, that part of the jawbone becomes weaker as do the gums. This causes even more teeth to lose support and fall out. Prevent tooth lost at all costs, and seek help right away if you do lose a permanent tooth.

 

Keep Your Smile Intact with Help

If you’ve lost a tooth recently, then one of your best options is to receive a dental implant. Dental implants are a restorative dentistry option that allows patients to replace their missing teeth with a custom-made one that looks like your natural teeth. This is a long-lasting option to keep the area of your mouth sturdy if tooth loss has occurred.

 

We prep for your dental implant by inserting a metal post into the jawbone where a tooth was lost. Once this post heals in the jaw, and when it is sturdy, we provide you a custom-made tooth secured to the top of the post. We match the tooth to the color and shape of your smile. Others won’t know you have a dental implant, but you will know because of the strength and support an implant gives you. For patients who take good care of their implants, they can expect to keep them anywhere between 10-20 years.

 

Good Oral Hygiene for Life

Remember, the best way to keep your smile healthy is to take care of it day and night through proper oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth several times a day and floss them each day as well. Come in to the office at least twice a year to check up on your smile so we can detect if there are any oral health issues. If you are due for your comprehensive exam and dental cleaning, call Dr. Ania’s office today at 303-443-0998!

 

Posted: October 13, 2017 By: Comment: 0

What a Beautiful Smile Can Do for You

beautiful smile

Most people want a beautiful smile, but many patients have oral health issues that are preventing them from having that smile. The American Dental Association recommends following the basics every day such as brushing the teeth at least twice a day. Are you doing all you can to keep a healthy and beautiful smile? Healthy teeth are an investment not only now, but also for your future. Those with straighter, more beautiful smiles have a greater chance at excelling at life and are perceived as more confident and successful by others. Let us help you know how to achieve a better smile today and what we can do to fix oral health issues that may be preventing you from achieving that goal!

 

Are You Doing Enough for Your Oral Health?

When it comes to taking care of your teeth, are you doing enough? The American Dental Association is a great resource for knowing how to properly care for your teeth and how often you need to brush and floss them. We stand by their recommendation to brush the teeth at least twice a day and to floss the teeth daily. Many patients can also benefit from using fluoride treatments for their teeth. Many water sources in the United States already contain fluoride, so drink plenty of water to get this mineral. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and protects against decay-causing plaque.

 

Plaque sticks to your teeth after you eat. It is a mixture of mouth bacteria and sugars from the foods you eat. It also is the substance that causes the teeth to decay and the gums to be irritated, leading to gum disease. Both diseases cause tooth loss. Tooth decay is also known as dental caries or cavities. It is the most prevalent chronic disease in children and adults according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Gum disease as well affects more than 64.7 million Americans. Severe cases lead to tooth loss or extreme tooth loss. You can avoid both cavities and gum disease in their entirety if you brush and floss your teeth enough and visit your dentist often!

 

Brushing Properly

The ADA recommends brushing the teeth with a soft-bristled brush. Some patients like harder bristles, but soft-bristle brushes are more gentle on your tooth enamel, especially if you have soft enamel. They also recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months or even sooner if the bristles become frayed and are no longer straight. If your toothbrush bristles start turning a dull brown or gray, you should also get a new brush. The size, shape, and design of your toothbrush is up to you. When brushing, the ADA recommends placing your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums. Move the brush back and forth on top of each tooth throughout your entire mouth, making sure to get the very back parts of your molars as well. Clean the tongue-side parts of your teeth as well as the cheek-side parts. Repeat this process daily, especially after consuming sugar.

 

Flossing Your Teeth

Floss is also an important part of your oral hygiene routine, as food can just as easily stick to parts between the teeth as it can the front of your teeth. When flossing, it’s important to also floss food out of the gumline, not just between the teeth. Make sure to take floss down between each tooth until it stops comfortably between the gums and the teeth. Also make sure to gently scrape the teeth with your floss to remove excess plaque that can still be on the teeth after you’ve brushed. This will help decrease your risk for tooth decay and gum disease even more.

 

Beautiful Smiles Benefit Each Patient

Not only does a better smile look appealing, but it can boost your confidence tremendously. Studies show that even school-aged children and teenagers benefit from added confidence when they improve their smiles. Invisalign conducted a study about straight teeth, how they were perceived, and how patients felt after giving themselves a more beautiful smile. 29% of people notice a person’s smile first and 24% remember a person’s smile the most. A straighter, more beautiful smile makes others see you as 58% more likely to be successful and wealthy. 47% viewed people as healthier and 73% more trustworthy when their smile was healthy and straight. The study also found that a more beautiful smile made people more attractive.

 

Overall, a better smile made patients more confident themselves and led to greater success in life. A straighter, more beautiful smile is also one that has a lower risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Patients who want a beautiful smile will practice proper oral hygiene more often because they will want to show off their smile. A straighter smile also helps you to avoid problems with the teeth, as straighter teeth are easier to clean and take care of.

 

Have a Smile Worth Showing Off

Your mouth is the window to the rest of your body, and an indication of how well you take care of your health. A healthier mouth is a better mouth and contributes to a more beautiful smile. Follow proper oral hygiene practices and you will be amazed at how long your teeth will last you and how strong they can be. If you would like our help to achieve a more beautiful smile today, we have many services such as dental cleanings, porcelain veneers, dental implants, and more to help get you to the smile you want. Simply call Dr. Ania’s office at 303-443-0998 to schedule your consultation! A healthier and more beautiful smile can be yours today!

 

Posted: October 5, 2017 By: Comment: 0

Dental Implants for Missing Teeth

dental implants

Do you have missing teeth? If so, you’re not alone! It’s estimated that about 178 million Americans have or have had a missing tooth. Millions of people are missing all of their teeth. However, you don’t have to live life without a full set of pearly whites! Dental implants are a restorative-dentistry option that allow patients to replace missing teeth with ones that look, feel and perform like natural teeth. If you are missing a tooth, restore your smile today with a long-lasting dental implant!

 

Missing Teeth Is Quite Common

If you’ve lost a tooth, you might think you are the only one. However, studies show that millions have lost teeth. Studies estimate that about 178 million Americans have or have had a missing tooth. There are also over 36 million people that are missing all of their teeth in the United States. The American Dental Association reports that the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has at least 3 or more decayed or missing teeth. Some people do not even realize that the decay is happening.

 

Most tooth decay happens because of poor dental hygiene habits. The ADA recommends brushing the teeth at least twice a day, if not more. Patients should floss the teeth every single day as well to keep the teeth free of decay-causing plaque. Plaque is a mixture of bacteria in the mouth and the sugars you eat. This substance sits on the teeth after every meal and works to erode the tooth enamel. When that plaque is not brushed away often, it decays the tooth. The best way to avoid tooth decay that can lead to tooth loss is to keep up on oral habits every single day. There are other ways that a patient can lose a tooth.

 

How Does a Missing Tooth Happen?

There are many unique cases for many patients. Sports accidents or injuries can cause a patient to lose a tooth. If this happens, always seek medical treatment as well as our office so that both your smile and your health is intact. For many patients, their tooth loss is often a consequence of tooth decay (as we mentioned) or periodontal disease. You may know periodontal disease as gum disease. You may also know tooth decay as cavities. Millions of patients have cavities and gum disease. In fact, tooth decay is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in both children and adults.

 

Tooth decay can severely damage a tooth if left unchecked. If there is too much damage, a root canal treatment to clean the decay will not be effective enough to save the tooth. Your dentist can help monitor the presence of cavities and help prevent them from becoming serious.

 

What About Gum Disease?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 64.7 million American adults have gum disease in either mild, moderate or severe forms. That figure only includes American adults and does not take into account children, who can also get the disease. 8.7% of patients with gum disease have mild periodontitis. 30% have moderate gum disease, and 8.5% have severe gum disease.

 

Gum disease is also a consequence of not practicing oral hygiene habits enough. Plaque erodes tooth enamel, but it also attacks and irritates the gums. When the gums are irritated, they become more red, swollen and start to recede. In severe stages of gum recession, the gums recede enough that the teeth begin to fall out due to weakened bone and gum support. Gum disease is one of the main reasons a patient will lose a tooth.

 

Restore Your Smile with Dental Implants

If you’re missing a tooth, your situation doesn’t have to stay that way. Modern technology allows us to restore your smile with dental implants. Dental implants are a restorative dentistry option that allows patients to replace missing teeth with ones that look, feel, and perform like natural teeth. If you’ve been faced with periodontal disease, dental implants are still an option to rehabilitate your smile when other options are not available. A dental implant is the closest option for a tooth that looks and feels like your natural teeth.

 

At your appointment, we prepare your mouth with a metal post. We install this metal post in your jaw and allow it proper time to heal. At your second appointment, we attach a custom-made tooth that we secure into place. Dental implants can last between 10-20 years depending on how well they are cared for. They are the perfect choice to replace a missing tooth and keep your smile for years.

 

A Better Smile

An implant is meant to restore one tooth that is missing. If there are more than one teeth missing, we would direct you towards a dental bridge, which is similar to dental implants, but restore several teeth in a row connected to one another. Whether you are missing one tooth or more, we recommend that you consider a dental implant for your smile. You don’t have to live with missing teeth. If you have one, call Dr. Ania’s office at 303-443-0998 to restore your smile today!

 

Posted: September 30, 2017 By: Comment: 0

Quick Same-Day Crowns for You

dental crowns

In the past, same-day crowns were not available to patients. However, today they are a reality. The integration of two major advances in technology makes same-day crowns possible: digital scanners and in-office milling machines. If you’ve got a tooth that has been seriously weakened or damaged, a strong dental crown can save your tooth and help retain your smile for years to come. Now you can receive that strong crown, customized in-office, during your visit. See what a dental crown can do to restore your smile and how you can receive one quicker than ever before!

 

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

We recommend brushing and flossing the teeth every single day. You should follow the American Dental Association’s recommendation of brushing the teeth at least twice a day. Why? The more you brush your teeth, the lower the amount of plaque you will have in your mouth. Plaque is the sticky, acidic substance made from sugars in the foods you eat mixed with bacteria in the mouth. It loves to eat away at your hard tooth enamel, weakening it over time. If you allow this to happen (by not brushing and flossing the teeth enough), then that weakening will occur. Not only will your enamel become weak, but it will also form small openings that will allow the inside of your tooth to decay.

 

Nobody wants to have teeth that have tooth decay, or cavities. Cavities slowly decay all that they can and a lot of that decay happens under the surface of your tooth. With enough tooth decay, you could lose a tooth or need such extensive work that you need a new tooth. However, there are other times where we can remove the tooth decay and save your natural tooth. That natural tooth will need to somehow be strong, and we provide that strength through a dental crown.

 

Dental Crowns

You may have heard of a dental crown before, but might not be familiar with what it is. Just as a crown sits on top of your head, a dental crown sits on top of a tooth. A dental crown is used in several different ways: to cover a damaged tooth that has been weakened, or to cover a dental implant post. If you’ve got a tooth that has been seriously weakened or damaged, a strong dental crown is a highly effective and attractive cosmetic dentistry solution. A crown is also referred to as a “cap,” and serves as protective armor for a tooth. After a dental procedure to remove decay, we can’t leave you missing part of your tooth or with a tooth in a weakened state. So, we create a dental crown that can cover all the work we do.

 

You may need a ceramic crown if you have a tooth that has been affected by breakage or fractures, cracks, large cavities, or outdated fillings that require replacement. Whether a crown is needed on a front tooth or a molar, we can handcraft a crown to fit over the tooth that needs it. Plus, ceramic crowns won’t show that unappealing dark band at the gumline that happens with tooth recession and decay. Our dental crowns are handcrafted in our lab and we make sure to use metal-free ceramic materials. Ceramic is very strong and will allow you to use full biting force as if it was your natural tooth.

 

Same-Day Dental Crown

Receiving a dental crown requires that we reduce part of your tooth enamel in some cases. This is to ensure that the crown fits over your natural tooth and blends in with the rest of your teeth. If we don’t reduce the enamel, then the tooth will stick out, which is something no patient wants. That’s why we take such care to carefully mold and craft a custom-made crown for you. In the past, there were several steps to receiving a crown. Usually, decay was removed from the tooth and a temporary crown provided until the following appointment. Then, our labs created a crown that you would receive during a second appointment.

 

Technology has allowed us the option to provide same-day crowns to our patients. How? Digital scanners and in-office milling machines that work together to create a crown during your time in-office. First, we scan the patient’s teeth to create an exact impression of the existing bite. (This digital scanner replaces the old impression molds that we used to create in a first appointment.) Then, the digital images sends information to the milling machine that makes a crown. This crown then goes into an oven to crystallize and set as the patient waits. Instead of taking days or weeks, the entire process from seeing your tooth to receiving your crown takes about 2 hours only.

 

Save Time at Your Dental Appointment

Sometimes, patients may wait to have work done on their teeth because they don’t have time for several appointments. You can skip coming into the office multiple times for one procedure by receiving a same-day crown. We can correct your tooth decay and give you a dental crown to protect your tooth for years to come. If you want to know more about our same-day crown option available to our patients, call Dr. Ania’s office today at 303-443-0998!

 

Posted: September 20, 2017 By: Comment: 0

Do I Need a Mouthguard?

mouthguard

Protecting the teeth during sports and physical activities doesn’t have to be a challenge when you invest in a mouthguard. Choosing the right mouthguard is key to the best protection for your teeth. These guards protect the teeth from breaking and being put out of alignment. Some mouthguards even have the potential to improve athletic performance if they are properly designed. Dr. Ania believes Agility Guard is the best sports protection mouthguard for her patients. See what a mouthguard can do for you today and if you should be using one or not.

 

Mouthguards Protect Your Smile

A mouthguard is a protective device for your mouth that guards and protects your teeth from injury. A mouthguard is not known as a “teethguard” or a “gumguard”. That’s because a mouthguard is meant to protect the teeth, lips, gums and even the arches of your mouth. It tries to protect everything it can, especially when it comes to contact sports such as basketball or soccer.

 

The American Association of Endodontists tells us that traumatic dental injuries are common occurrences of contact sports. The majority of injuries are chipped teeth. With many dental injuries, a dentist is needed to correct the injury. A mouthguard can protect your teeth from cracking, chipping, fracturing and being knocked out. A lost tooth is the last thing you want when playing sports.

 

Different Types of Mouthguards

You may think that there are many types of mouthguards because of the variety of shades and shapes they come in, but there are really only 3 types. Those are: stock mouth protectors, boil and bite mouth protectors and custom-fitted mouth protectors. Some guards are used for sports, while others are worn during sleep to protect the teeth from grinding and clenching.

  • Stock Mouth Protectors – These are your cheapest option for a mouthguard, but they are cheap for a reason. These protectors can be worn by anyone and can be found in grocery stores, departments stores, and sporting goods stores. They are cheap because they are one-size-fits-all and cannot be customized for you. Dentists do not recommend these protectors because they are generally bulky, make talking (and sometimes breathing) difficult, and actually provide little protection. If a mouthguard does not fit snug with the teeth and gums, you can still receive injuries. Avoid these types of guards.

 

  • Boil and Bite Protectors – These are guards that you can buy in many sporting goods stores. These protectors are similar to stock protectors, but can be fitted to your mouth. They are called “boil and bite” guards because you place the guard in hot water to soften the thermoplastic material. Then you place it in your mouth, bite down, and try to mold it to your teeth. They generally provide a much better grip on your teeth than stock protectors, but don’t fit perfectly.

 

  • Custom-Fitted Protectors – The best way to ensure your mouthguard is snug with your teeth and gums is to have one custom made for your mouth. A custom-fit guard is individually designed to fit your mouth and no one else’s. For example, Dr. Ania would take a mold of your teeth and form a custom mouthguard from the mold. This guard should fit your teeth perfectly and will provide all the protection you need without any wiggle room for injury.

 

Agility Guard

The agility guard is one such mouthguard that Dr. Ania makes for her active patients who want to protect their mouth. She believes that the agility guard is the best sports protection mouthguard there is. In some studies, the right guard can actually help you improve your athletic performance. Your mouth is protected, helping you be more focused. The coolest part about the agility guard is that world cup champions (such as Katie Uhlaender) use these exact same guards in competitions. Trust what the pros use, and invest in a custom-made guard for your mouth.

 

Choosing a Guard

If you are in sports or involve yourself in physical activities, you may need a mouthguard. Custom-fit guards such as the agility guard tend to last much longer than generic guards. They also are fit so snug to your teeth that injuries are fairly uncommon while wearing the guard. When choosing any type of mouthguard, you should always make sure it is tear-resistant, durable and comfortable. When it comes to contact sports, we always recommend wearing your guard to protect your smile.

 

Do You Need a Mouthguard?

If you’ve decided that your oral health would greatly benefit from a mouthguard, then don’t hesitate! Get fitted for a custom mouthguard today and protect your smile from injury. Make an appointment with Dr. Ania now by calling 303-443-0998!

 

Posted: September 13, 2017 By: Comment: 0

Periodontal Therapy to Treat Gum Disease

Periodontal Treatment

One of the most common oral health problems is gum disease. This disease affects over 64 million Americans even though it is 100% avoidable with proper oral hygiene habits. Those who have gum disease are at higher risk for many conditions and ailments such as stroke or heart attack. Although gum disease cannot be reversed in severe cases, there are many methods we can employ to reduce your oral health problems. We have effective periodontal therapy treatments to help combat your gum disease. We also have tips and information for avoiding problems with the gums and keeping them healthy. Maintain a healthier mouth today with our help!

 

Gum Disease: What Is It?

Gum disease is a serious infection of the gums. It is an inflammation of the gum line that can eventually affect the bones that surround the teeth and gums. Gum disease also goes by the names of periodontitis and periodontal disease. Periodontitis can contribute to or worsen conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease. The first stage of the disease is gingivitis. This is when the gums become swollen, red or tender. They may also bleed easily when brushing or flossing the teeth. You may begin to notice a change in your gums because the color becomes darker. You might also notice that you have persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.

 

Gingivitis is a stage where periodontal disease is easily correctable. If you exercise proper oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing the teeth each day, your gums can become healthy once more. However, if you continue to not take care of your teeth, your gums will also take a hit. When periodontitis progresses, the gums will begin to recede from the teeth. You may start to see the underlayer of the tooth when this begins to happen. Eventually, the recession of your gums will cause your teeth to loosen and fall out. That is the severe stage of the disease where the jawbone has been weakened and correction of the disease is very difficult.

 

The Prevalence of Gum Disease

Many patients don’t realize that the gums are just as important as the teeth when it comes to taking care of your oral health. If you don’t take care of your gums, your teeth can fall out, your jawbone can weaken and your overall health can be affected. Gum disease is a serious gum infection that, if left untreated, can get to the point where it’s not reversible.

About 64.7 million American adults under 65 suffer from periodontitis. That figure only includes Americans and only includes adults. That’s a lot of gum disease! 64.7 million American adults equates to about 47.2% of adults in the U.S. with some stage of periodontitis. After age 65, the percentage increases to around 70.1% of people. Around 8.7% have mild periodontitis, and 8.5% have severe cases of periodontitis. Most Americans lie in the moderate range (30%) of the disease. At this stage, problems can be reversed with proper treatment. However, with severe cases, the damage may be too severe to correct and extensive periodontal procedures must be done. Because gum disease is so prevalent in the United States, the American Academy of Periodontology encourages each patient to receive a yearly comprehensive periodontal evaluation.

 

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

To be fairly honest, it’s not hard to keep your mouth healthy. There are a few very simple and very basic guidelines to achieving a healthy mouth. One is to brush the teeth AT LEAST twice a day. When we say “at least”, we mean that that is the minimum. Brushing after every meal will help remove plaque that sits on your teeth. Also brushing after eating sugary sweets or drinking sugary beverages will help keep your teeth free of plaque. Floss your teeth every single day as well. This will remove food that has become trapped in between the teeth. The correct way to floss is to go up far enough that you are getting under the start of your gums in between each tooth. Scrape your teeth as you floss them to get off as much residue as possible.

 

If you already have problems with periodontal disease, we can prescribe you a special mouthwash to help keep your gums healthier and to do a more thorough, but gentle, cleaning of the gums. To keep yourself free of gum disease (especially the later stages), come to our office biannually to receive your comprehensive examinations and cleanings. Patients who do this have a lower risk for developing gum disease than those who don’t. Periodontitis is 100% preventable with these few simple guidelines.

 

Periodontal Therapy for You

If you see signs of gum disease forming or want to know if you’re at risk, it’s always a smart choice to come see Dr. Ania. At our office, we can provide you the services needed to assess your oral health and treat the problems that are present. With conditions such as periodontitis, you always want to be vigilant with treatment. Every step you take with improving your oral health can help save the natural teeth you have and keep your smile brighter for longer. To schedule your exam, call Dr. Ania’s office today at 303-443-0998!

 

Posted: September 9, 2017 By: Comment: 0

Preventive Dentistry for Good Oral Health

preventative dentistry

Taking preventive dentistry steps now by practicing good brushing, cleaning, and oral hygiene habits will save you time and money on restorative care and emergency procedures down the line. It is worth your effort now to keep your teeth and gums healthy by seeing your dentist regularly. This can help you avoid more serious oral health problems as well as more extensive, expensive treatment later in life. We can help you to know what preventative dentistry is and how you can better protect your mouth today.

 

Preventative Dentistry: What Is It?

Preventative dentistry comprises dental hygiene procedures and oral hygiene habits that are meant to prevent problems such as tooth decay and gum disease from ever occurring. Forms of preventative dentistry include dental cleanings, comprehensive exams, dental x-rays to look for cavities, personal hygiene habits and more. At the dental office you will receive the following preventative dentistry services:

  • Comprehensive Exam – This is a biannual exam that closely checks the health of the teeth, gums and the mouth. The American Dental Association states that a comprehensive exam is an “extensive evaluation and the recording of all extraoral, intraoral and soft tissues.” We recommend receiving a comprehensive exam at least every 6 months to monitor your oral health.
  • Dental Cleaning – A dental hygienist or Dr. Ania herself will thoroughly clean your teeth. We often use special tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup from each individual tooth on the front and back surfaces. We also floss the teeth thoroughly, clean and polish them with dental power tools and provide you a fluoride treatment to help strengthen your teeth. Our recommendation is to receive biannual dental cleanings unless oral health issues necessitate more frequent cleanings.
  • Dental X-Rays – Digital x-rays are the best way to detect the presence of dental caries, also known as cavities. Digital x-rays in modern times now emit up to 90% less radiation than past x-rays and provide us digital formats to view your teeth in just minutes of time. With these images, we can quickly detect and treat cavities before they become severe.

 

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

What preventative dentistry measures can you take at home to keep your mouth healthy? Plaque forms from the sugars in the foods you eat. Consuming a balanced diet and one that has fewer sugars is a great place to start when it comes to keeping your oral health great as well as you overall health. The best habits you can form to prevent tooth decay and gum disease is to brush and floss your teeth every single day. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss every day. Flossing works best if you scrape it along the teeth as you do it, removing extra plaque that is stuck on the teeth.

 

For many patients, fluoride treatments can also help strengthen the teeth and prevent against tooth decay. Fluoride is present in many cities’ water supplies, but fluoride treatments in-office, in toothpastes, and in other forms such as mouthwash can be highly beneficial to keeping strong teeth.

 

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel, or the hard outer layer of the teeth. This generally happens over time as a result of plaque attacking the tooth enamel. Plaque is a sticky, acidic substance that forms from the bacteria in the mouth as it mixes with sugars from the food you eat. The more sugar you eat, the more plaque that can form. That’s why it’s so important to brush and floss the teeth often! When plaque is not brushed away frequently, it will erode tooth enamel. With enough erosion, plaque can seep into the soft center of the tooth and decay it. This tooth decay is also known as dental caries, or cavities.

 

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that tooth decay is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in both children and adults. Millions of adults and children have tooth decay even though it is completely and 100% avoidable with proper oral hygiene care. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found alarming percentages of people with tooth decay in every age group:

  • Children: 42% in primary teeth. 23% have untreated dental caries.
  • Adolescents: 59% have tooth decay in permanent teeth. 20% have untreated tooth decay.
  • Adults: 92% in the permanent teeth. 26% have untreated tooth decay.
  • Seniors: 93% in the permanent teeth. 18% with untreated decay.

 

Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the oral health problems you definitely want to avoid. You may know it by the names of gingivitis, periodontitis or periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is marked by red, inflamed and/or swollen gums that bleed easily, especially with flossing. This is your first sign that there may be a problem with your gums. When gingivitis is left untreated, it leads to advanced gum disease, or periodontitis. The way to prevent this from happening is to brush and floss the teeth often, especially along the gumline where the gums tend to become irritated.

 

When gum disease progresses, the gums recede from the teeth, causing the teeth to eventually fall out. Once one tooth falls out, the structure of the teeth weakens in that area, sometimes causing a domino effect of other teeth falling out. Studies show that around 64.7 million Americans have gum disease even though it is preventable.

 

Preventative Dentistry for Good Oral Health

Practicing good oral health habits and investing in preventative dentistry (such as dental cleanings and examinations) can help keep your teeth healthy for life. There are always ways to improve oral health. To learn more about what you can do to keep a healthy mouth, contact Dr. Ania’s office at 303-443-0998 today!

 

Posted: August 30, 2017 By: Comment: 0

Teeth Whitening Do’s and Don’ts

teeth whitening

Teeth whitening remains one of the most economical ways to enhance your smile. There are various ways to whiten your teeth, but the two most common are in-office treatments and the do-it-yourself approach, with over-the-counter products. It’s important to talk to your dentist before deciding to whiten your teeth, as whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration and involve bleaching agents that, if not used correctly, can damage the enamel of your teeth. Learn the do’s and don’ts of teeth whitening to ensure you have success with whitening your smile.

 

All About Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure meant to enhance the look of your teeth. Over time, the teeth can become discolored, especially if you drink liquids such as coffee and tea. Smoking and chewing tobacco can also lead to discolored teeth. Whitening the teeth is one of the easiest and most economical ways to enhance your smile and bring your teeth back to that white shade you want. The outer layer of the teeth is called the enamel. This is the part of the tooth that whitening products enhance.

 

Some teeth whitening treatments use bleaching chemicals to get the teeth white. Other treatments use light therapy with whitening gel. Combining the two triggers a chemical reaction that whitens the teeth. There are also many over-the-counter treatments that can make your teeth whiter. Many toothpastes have whitening agents in them, but don’t necessarily whiten the teeth so much as they remove stains, which makes the teeth appear whiter.

 

Toothpastes

There are many ways to get your teeth whiter, and not all the ways work the same. Over-the-counter treatments are not always guaranteed to work, especially if you are using a whitening toothpaste. Many studies show that whitening toothpastes have a minimal amount of whitening agents in them. All teeth-whitening agents contain hydrogen peroxide to whiten. Toothpastes only have 1-1.5% of this agent, which isn’t enough to whiten the teeth. They can remove surface stains, but so can regular brushing. Your best option for whitening is to look for a product that works stronger than a toothpaste.

 

At-Home Treatments

Many people use over-the-counter gels or strips to get their smile brighter. These contain about 6-10% of hydrogen peroxide to whiten. They can be effective at removing surface stains and can make the teeth white for a time. They don’t work as well as an in-office treatment, but can be effective at creating a whiter smile for you. You will have to do the treatments yourself, so always make sure to read directions and follow them exactly.

 

In-Office Treatments

This is the best option when it comes to teeth whitening. It’s also the fastest. When you receive a professional whitening, you can be sure that you have an experienced dentist working on your teeth. The dentist has performed the whitening countless times for many patients and knows what they’re doing. Many in-office treatments take an hour or less from start to finish and can be done in just one appointment.

 

Your teeth are more likely to come out evenly white with in-office treatments than with other methods or at-home treatments from the store. The dentist also can use much more powerful whitening gels than can be purchased over-the-counter. They also have equipment such as special lighting tools that can speed up the process immensely. When it comes to whitening the teeth, this is your best option for a even, white smile that is sure to dazzle.

 

After Your Whitening

There are some tips you should consider after you’ve had your teeth whitened. The point of whitening your teeth is to keep them bright. However, foods, drinks and substances can stain teeth once more. Consider avoiding foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, wine, berries, tomato sauce and even some sports drinks and hard candies. Not all of these will stain every person’s teeth, but they are all known to cause stains. If you do drink some of these, make sure to use a straw to limit contact with the teeth.

 

Tobacco is also a major culprit when it comes to teeth discoloration. Smoking is one of the quickest ways to diminish teeth whiteness, so eliminate it from your lifestyle if you truly wish to have a better smile. Eliminating tobacco will also significantly diminish your risk for oral cancer.

 

Other Factors

You may have discolored teeth that have nothing to do with food. Not taking care of your teeth can lead to tooth discoloration as well as unhealthy teeth. The tooth enamel naturally becomes thinner as you age. The dentin (part of what makes up your teeth) becomes thinner with age as well. This can make your teeth appear more yellow.

 

One of the best ways to keep your teeth brighter and healthier is to brush and floss them often. This can help you avoid problems such as gum disease and tooth decay that cause discolored teeth. Brushing and flossing everyday can also remove surface stains on a daily basis, which instantly leads to a better smile. Some tips you should consider:

  • Avoid acidic and sugary foods that can erode tooth enamel.
  • Don’t consume foods and drinks that stain the teeth.
  • Practice good oral hygiene before and after teeth whitening to keep your smile white.
  • Don’t buy generic products and always check labels to know what’s in a whitening product.
  • The more professional your teeth whitening treatment is, the longer it will last.

 

Your Consultation

In-office whitening only takes one appointment! Many people wish their smiles were brighter and whiter and they can be. For a teeth whitening treatment that’s quicker and lasts longer than all the other methods out there, all you have to do is contact our office. For your free consultation, call Dr. Ania’s office at 303-443-0998. A brighter, whiter smile can be yours today!

Posted: August 25, 2017 By: Comment: 0

What Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment Can You Benefit From?

cosmetic dentistry

Are you aware of what medical science and technology are able to offer you today to improve your smile and oral health? Is there something about your smile that you have always wanted to correct, but didn’t feel you could? Today, like never before, you have many options to help you achieve your dream smile. Our dental team is equipped to get you there with several cosmetic dentistry treatments our patients love. Come see how our cosmetic dentistry treatments can benefit you today!

 

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

There are several forms of dentistry. Preventative care involves treatments such as comprehensive exams, professional dental cleanings and diagnostic x-rays. Restorative dentistry focuses on repairing and healing your oral health. Some of these include services such as orthodontic care, root canal therapy, teeth whitening, tooth-colored fillings and crowns. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, we seek to improve the appearance of your teeth so that you look better and feel better.

 

Some of our cosmetic dentistry services include porcelain veneers and crowns, dental implants, dental bridges and cosmetic bonding. Our most popular treatments patients love are the porcelain veneers and dental implants.

 

Porcelain Veneers

When you see celebrity smiles, do you ever wonder how they got such beautiful, straight and white teeth? It may come as no shock to you, but many celebrities have received professional cosmetic services such as porcelain veneers. Veneers are one of the best ways to achieve a more beautiful smile in just 2 office visits! Porcelain veneers are sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics”. Why? Because they can remove and cover up certain dental problems such as:

  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Stains and discoloration
  • Crooked teeth
  • Undesirable blemishes

 

How Veneers Work

Porcelain veneers are an amazing technological advance for thousands of people seeking a better smile. At your first appointment, we will discuss your goals and how you want your smile to look, including the whiteness. We want the veneers to fit in with the rest of your natural teeth so they too look natural. A veneer is basically a thin porcelain shell that goes over the front of each tooth. In your first consultation, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth so we get an accurate model of each individual tooth. These impressions will then be sent to a lab, where each veneer will be custom-made to fit your smile.

 

At your second appointment, your teeth are prepared for the veneers. The dentist will remove a tiny sliver from the front part of each tooth. This is to ensure the veneer sits flush with your tooth and does not stick out unnaturally This sounds painful, but it’s really not. You can opt for a local anesthetic during your treatment if you so desire. Once that sliver is removed, each porcelain veneer is attached to each individual tooth with a special bonding cement. We will use a curing laser to speed up the bonding process and ensure the veneer stays put. Excess cement is removed and your teeth are cleaned and polished. You’ll leave our office with a beautiful new smile that you can use right away!

 

Missing Teeth Have Damaging Effects

Implants are another wonderful invention in dentistry, especially for patients who are missing one or more teeth. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, more than 36 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. More than 120 million are missing one or more teeth. That’s a lot of missing teeth! No patient needs to live without even a single tooth. Missing just one tooth can have damaging effects on the health of your smile and your oral health overall.

 

When a tooth is lost, the surrounding teeth and jawbone become weaker. This is due to the missing structural support the teeth had, as all the teeth help sustain and strengthen one another. A missing tooth can damage your self-esteem and self-confidence, which can start to affect your social and emotional life. The best way to avoid problems such as these is to repair and heal your smile through a dental implant.

 

Dental Implants Can Save Your Smile

A dental implant is another form of restorative dentistry that can improve your smile immensely. An implant allows you to replace your missing teeth with ones that look, feel and perform just like your natural tooth. The best part is that we can provide you an implant for any tooth that is lost, whether it be a front tooth or a molar. A dental implant is one of the most effective, predictable and longest-lasting options for replacing missing teeth. It can also stand alone and needs no other supporting teeth to function properly. In many cases, a dental implant might also be stronger than your natural tooth.

 

We make a dental implant with a titanium post. In one appointment, you will receive this post where you are missing your tooth. After a sufficient amount of time has past and the post has healed in your jawbone, we will then install a crown on top of the titanium post. This will be screwed into place to ensure it can never simply come out. This prosthetic tooth looks natural and blends right in with your teeth. It will allow you to eat and chew (even hard foods) like you used to. With proper care, a dental implant can last anywhere from 10-20 years. Pretty great, right?

 

A Better Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry

So what are you waiting for? Cosmetic dentistry treatments can do wonders for your smile. Come learn more about our other cosmetic treatments (bonding, teeth-whitening, crowns, etc.) and see how you can benefit today! For your free consultation, simply call Dr. Ania’s office at 303-443-0998.

Posted: August 15, 2017 By: Comment: 0

Is Invisalign for You?

invisalign

When choosing an orthodontic treatment option, it’s important to have all the facts. One popular alternative to traditional braces is Invisalign, a tooth-straightening system that doesn’t rely on brackets or wires. Invisalign uses a series of removable custom-made, form-fitted trays made of clear plastic. These devices, known as aligners, exude a constant pressure to the teeth and are switched out regularly to gradually move your teeth to the desired position. This innovative system isn’t for everyone, though. A member of our dental team can help educate you on your options.

 

Orthodontic Care

Although Dr. Ania specializes in dentistry, she also knows the importance of orthodontic care for a healthier mouth. Studies show that those who receive orthodontic care and teeth straightening through braces have a reduced risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Why? Straighter teeth are much easier to clean than teeth that are crooked. They are easier to brush and floss and the teeth also have a lower risk for breaking.

When the teeth are crooked, it may be hard to get floss in between the teeth. When brushing, there could be areas where the brush can’t reach well, which could cause plaque to sit on the teeth and erode them over time. The uneven pressure placed on crooked teeth when chewing and biting can also lead to a tooth fracture or break. When it comes to the health of your teeth, straightening them is one of the ways to keep them healthy.

 

Benefits

When you invest your time in orthodontic care, you’ll not only come out of it with straighter teeth, but you’ll gain the benefits of:

  • Heathier teeth and gums
  • Easier cleaning (as mentioned)
  • Overall health

Believe it or not, but your oral health can affect your whole-body wellness. If you take care of your oral health, odds are that you’re taking care of other parts of your health as well. Oral infections play a big role in your risk for serious conditions or ailments such as stroke, heart disease, pneumonia and diabetes. This is due to bacteria buildup in the mouth that leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Decay and disease can also lead to infections that can get into your bloodstream and cause problems in other parts of the body. When it comes to your oral health, don’t take a chance on it! Keep it as healthy as possible.

 

Boost Your Confidence

Many studies have been done when it comes to straight teeth and if they help boost confidence. The answer is yes! We offer Invisalign transparent aligners at our office and coincidentally enough, Invisalign conducted a study comparing straight teeth to crooked teeth. In one study, over 1,000 people on the street were asked to comment on two photos placed side-by-side. One photo featured a person with crooked teeth and the other featured a person with straight teeth. Those surveyed were not aware that the study was about the teeth at all. However, the results of the study were quite amazing.

 

When the two photos were compared, they found that the person with straight teeth was perceived as more successful and more confident almost every time. They were also perceived as more attractive and up to 73% more trustworthy. Those with straighter teeth were also seen as:

  • 21% more likely to be happy
  • 47% more likely to be healthy
  • 38% more likely to be smart

All of these social benefits come from simply having straight teeth!

 

Traditional Braces

When most think of braces, they think of the traditional metal braces that are so popular with children and teens. We actually use traditional metal braces in our office for child orthodontics. We use a two-step treatment process where children receive orthodontic care to correct bite and alignment problems. The goal is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Children often show early signs of jaw problems as they grow. Early treatment with braces can correct those problems so that they can then receive another phase of orthodontic treatment as adolescents to straighten the teeth.

 

Invisalign Braces

When it comes to orthodontic care, traditional metal braces are not your only option. They are popular with all ages, but adults often go the route of braces that can be hidden easier. One of our amazing orthodontic options is Invisalign transparent aligners. Invisalign is a tooth-straightening system that doesn’t rely on brackets or wires. Invisalign uses a series of removable custom-made, form-fitted trays made of clear plastic. These devices, known as aligners, exude a constant pressure to the teeth and are switched out every 1-2 weeks to gradually move your teeth to the desired position. Using the Invisalign alignment system, Dr. Ania can straighten your smile in the same amount of time (or less) than those who wear metal braces.

 

We simply take digital impressions of your teeth using a special digital scanning system to create precise 3D images of your teeth. We will map out a treatment plan and what you can expect at the end of your treatment with your new smile. Your custom-made aligners will be made from Invisalign’s SmartTrack material that will stay strong while moving your teeth. Wear the aligners for 20-22 hours a day and in no time your smile will be straighter!

 

Your Consultation

Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care and now you can too. Let us design a smile for you that is natural and beautiful and one that will bring you confidence. If you are interested in exploring your options for orthodontic treatment as an adult, please contact Dr. Ania’s office to schedule an appointment at 303-443-0998!

 

Posted: August 7, 2017 By: Comment: 0