How to Select the Best General Dentist St. Louis Has to Offer
October 23, 2018
Bone grafting might sound like a new procedure, but the technique has actually existed for over a hundred years. Today, bone grafting has many useful medical applications, including the dental bone graft. Who needs a dental bone graft? If you have jawbone issues, you might be a candidate for dental bone grafting. The procedure may sound scary, but it's actually a great way to get your dental health on track. The more you learn about what to expect, the less nervous you'll feel. In this guide, we'll teach you everything you need to know about a dental bone graft. If you're curious about this procedure, read on for more! What Is a Dental Bone Graft? A dental bone graft is actually a relatively minor procedure. Your dentist will make an incision to expose the bone of your jaw, then graft new bone material to it. Your bone creates new bone cells around the grafted material, building up bone right where you need it. Bone is actually a more malleable material than you might think. You make new bone cells and get rid of old ones on a regular basis. These changes are usually a good thing. But sometimes, you can end up without enough bone in your jaw, which might mean you need a bone graft. Do You Need a Dental Bone Graft? If you've lost an adult tooth, or had gum disease, there's a chance you'll need a dental bone graft. When you don't have one of your adult teeth anymore, the bone around your teeth starts to disappear. Gum disease can also cause the jaw bone to recede. The bone loss from just one tooth might not be noticeable. But if you lose multiple teeth, or have advanced gum disease, your bone loss can actually affect the way your face looks. You may start to have sagging facial features because there's not enough bone left to support them. Bone grafting helps restore your appearance. It also ensures that any tooth replacements you get will stay in place. Types of Dental Bone Grafting There are a few different varieties of dental bone graft -- let's take a look at which ones you might need to get. 1. Block Bone Graft In this type of bone graft, your dentist will use bone from the back of your jawbone, near your wisdom teeth. This is a good option if you have serious bone loss that needs to be addressed. 2. Socket Graft A socket graft is the type of graft you can get at the same time as you get a tooth extracted. This prevents bone loss usually associated with adult tooth loss. Your body won't be able to reabsorb the bone near where the tooth was, because of the socket graft. This keeps your jaw ready for the dental implants you'll get to replace the missing tooth. 3. Sinus Lift This bone graft is useful if you've lost some of the molars on your upper row of teeth. Part of the sinus may actually start to reach downward, filling in the gap left by the teeth. A sinus lift restores the sinus to normal, while repairing the gap with a bone graft instead. Bone Grafting Procedure Now, let's look at what you can expect if it's determined that you need a bone graft. The procedure depends on what you need the procedure for. If it's associated with a dental implant, you'll start by having the old tooth taken out. Then, the bone graft will be done so you're ready for implant surgery. After the graft, there will be a stable base for the new tooth. Most of the time, bone grafts are done with bone from your own body. It might come from the back of the jawbone, or from another body part. However, human and even animal donors can also be a good source of bone graft material. This bone gets sanitized so it's totally safe to use. Some people prefer this option, because it means they won't need a second surgical incision to get the bone. Once the bone graft is done, you'll probably need to wait for a matter of months before you can have your implant added. It takes time for your bone to develop new bone around the graft, so the implant will stay in place. Bone graft surgery usually takes less than two hours. You'll get it done in your dentist's office, and then you'll need to go through a brief healing process. Bone Graft Healing Process You'll probably feel some pain after the bone graft is complete. However, the pain won't be too extreme. You can manage it with ice, and your dentist might also recommend medications to keep the swelling down. The swelling will be one of the most noticeable effects during your recovery. It's important to work on reducing the swelling, since it can get in the way of your healing process. You'll also need to take care with what you eat while you recover. Some procedures will restrict you to a liquid diet during recovery, while others may allow a variety of soft foods. However, it will be a while before you can eat anything hard or crunchy. When you sleep, you may need to keep your head elevated, so blood doesn't gather at the surgical site and cause more swelling. And it's important to avoid strenuous activity for a while so nothing harms the site of the graft. Is a Dental Bone Graft Right for You? There's a short list of specific reasons why you might need a dental bone graft. Most people will never need this kind of procedure. But if you have bone loss due to tooth loss or gum disease, you may very well need a dental bone graft. As you can see, there's nothing to be afraid of. This is a fairly small procedure that you'll mostly recover from in a matter of weeks, even though it can take months for the bone to completely grow back. Do you need dental services in the St. Louis area? Don't delay -- contact us to get the dental care you need!
Why Would You Need a Dental Bone Graft and What’s Involved?
December 25, 2018
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7 Must-Do Teeth Whitening Tips for Perfect White Teeth

perfect white teeth

More than 80 percent of Americans consider healthy teeth key to success in life.

In fact, people with straight white teeth are perceived as being smarter, as well as more successful – both in terms of romance and in their careers. 

With such importance placed on having a perfect smile, it could be time to consider getting your teeth whitened. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on a potential partner or a new job because of your less-than-perfect teeth.  

Here are seven teeth whitening tips to help you get perfect white teeth. 

1. Dental Cleaning 

The first step in the process of getting whiter teeth is to visit your dentist for a thorough cleaning.  

Dental cleaning will remove surface stains, making your teeth appear whiter. The dental hygienist will also polish your teeth to brighten and smooth the enamel. Smoother teeth are less likely to pick up stains. 

Plus, cleaning makes teeth whitening treatments more effective. This is because smooth, stain-free teeth are more receptive to the gels used to whiten teeth. 

2. Custom Teeth Whitening Trays

Once your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, talk to your dentist about whitening treatments. Remember, teeth whitening should never be DIY. At best you’re wasting your money, at worst you could damage your teeth. 

If you have an important event coming up and you want whiter teeth now, your dentist may recommend an in-office treatment for teeth whitening that works fast.

Custom teeth whitening trays from your dentist are the best option. This whitening process uses lower-strength whitening gel over several weeks. This results in a more permanent color change due to deeper penetration of the teeth. 

Plus, more gradual whitening using custom trays is safer as dehydration is less likely to happen. In-office treatments can sometimes dehydrate the teeth, causing them to return to their original color. 

Not to mention, having trays made to the exact form of your teeth ensures all your teeth receive even and consistent coverage from the gel. And, once you have these made-to-measure trays, you can re-use them every few years to maintain your bright white smile.  

3. Night-Time Whitening Routine

After whitening, regardless of the treatment method, your teeth are more susceptible to re-staining. This is because the pores in your teeth are a little more open, meaning they can allow stains in. 

As such, you should use your teeth whitening gel and custom trays at night before you go to bed. This reduces the chance of staining, and it also gives your teeth the whole night to re-hydrate, meaning more effective whitening and healthier teeth.   

If you opted for an in-office treatment, talk to your dentist about ways to nourish and replenish your teeth after the treatment. They may be able to recommend gels or other products to reduce the chance of dehydration. 

4. Avoid Stain-Causing Foods and Drinks

In general, but especially during and after the whitening process, you should avoid foods and drinks that stain your teeth. 

Staining foods and drinks include dark berries, dark chocolate, red wine, tea, coffee and cranberry juice. You should also avoid acidic foods like lemons and tomatoes as these can destroy the enamel, exposing the yellowish dentin below. Sugary foods and drinks are another no-no. These encourage bacteria which can lead to tooth decay and discoloration. 

If you find it hard to cut out staining drinks, one option is to use a straw so that the liquid doesn’t pass over the teeth. And, if you do consume any of these foods and drinks, rinse your mouth immediately afterwards. But, avoid brushing your teeth straight after eating as this can also wear down your tooth enamel. 

5. Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for a healthier you, as well as for whiter teeth. 

Tobacco stains are very difficult to remove from teeth as they get stuck in the grooves and openings of your tooth enamel. This can cause teeth to look yellow or brown in color. 

Let your teeth whitening treatment be the incentive you need to give up for good. Your body and your bright while smile will certainly thank you for it. 

6. Eat Natural Teeth Whitening Foods

Eating a healthy diet ensures that your body gets the necessary vitamins and minerals for strong, white teeth.

Crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples, celery and carrots, help to clean your teeth and remove stains. And dairy products help to protect and strengthen tooth enamel. This is because the calcium foods like milk and cheese contain counters acids in your mouth. This helps you avoid tooth decay and the resulting discoloration it causes. 

And, you should also drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water washes away food particles. Keeping hydrated also encourages saliva production, which helps get rid of bacteria in the mouth. 

7. Practice Excellent Dental Hygiene

Above all, excellent dental hygiene is crucial for white teeth. 

That means brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day and visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups. With these simple steps, you’re already well on your way to a brighter smile. 

Don’t forget to brush your tongue, too. Bacteria can settle there, causing bad breath and potential staining. You should switch to an electric toothbrush if you haven’t already. Electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing stains on your teeth, keeping your pearly whites gleaming. 

Teeth Whitening Tips for Perfect White Teeth

As these tips show, the key to how to get whiter teeth is more about good maintenance than anything else.

Once you have your custom tooth whitening tray, it’s just a case of using it every few years to keep your perfect white teeth. But, to ensure your teeth remain healthy and white, you also need to make a commitment to excellent dental hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. 

For more information about tooth whitening, or any of the other many dental services we offer, contact us today. 

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