Tips for Care after Oral Surgery

Undergoing any type of oral surgery requires altering your habits somewhat while you give your mouth time to heal. If you’ve had surgery such as a tooth extraction or dental implants, your oral surgeon will give you a list of instructions to follow for proper care. Here are some typical guidelines that apply following most oral surgeries.

Wound care
You will likely be sent home biting on gauze. When it gets too wet, gently remove it and replace it with new gauze. Continue biting on it for two hours or until bleeding stops, replacing the gauze as needed.

Bleeding
Some bleeding is normal after oral surgery. Do not spit or use a straw, because these actions may promote bleeding. If the wound begins bleeding again, try placing a damp tea bag in the area and biting firmly for an hour.

Oral hygiene
Avoid vigorous rinsing because it hampers blood clot formation, which is an important part of healing. Gently brush your teeth as directed, avoiding the wound area.

Discomfort
Some discomfort is to be expected after surgery, so your doctor will prescribe medications to make you feel better. Follow the directions and call your doctor if you are experiencing more pain than expected.

Swelling
It is normal for some swelling to occur after most oral surgeries. Apply ice packs to the area for the first day, holding it on for 30 minutes and off for 30 minutes.

Eating
Drink fluids and eat soft foods for the first few days.

Smoking
Do not smoke for the week following surgery. Smoking can promote bleeding and infection, and interfere with proper healing.

Stitches
Your oral surgeon will advise you whether any stitches you have will dissolve on their own, or if you need to return to the office for removal.

Rest
Avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours following surgery.

 

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Removing Tartar

Brush and brush and brush, but you probably will not be able to get rid of all the plaque on your teeth. Even with regular brushing, some amount of plaque will build up on your teeth and turn into a hard substance called tartar. It simply can’t be removed without professional help.

What is tartar?
Tartar is a hard, yellow or brown deposit that forms on your teeth both above and below your gum line. Any food particles remaining in your mouth after eating will breed bacteria, which creates a thin film on your teeth called plaque. Any plaque that isn’t removed with brushing and flossing will harden to create tartar.

Is it harmful?
Tartar makes the surface of your teeth rough, which attracts food particles and therefore accelerates tartar formation. If you allow tartar to continue building up, your teeth will become discolored and your gums will be at risk. You will likely develop gingivitis, in which your gums become swollen and red. They will bleed easily and become painful, and eventually can lead to tooth loss. Advanced gum disease is even linked to higher risks of stroke, heart attack, and lung disease.

How is it removed?
Tartar is too hard and stubborn to be removed with regular brushing. The only effective way to eliminate tartar is by visiting your dentist and having it removed using professional equipment. This procedure is commonly called scaling.

Can I prevent tartar buildup?
Regular brushing at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste can help reduce tartar formation. Unfortunately, even with proper dental hygiene, plaque buildup is inevitable over time and will become tartar. Schedule regular checkups with your dentist to have professional cleanings performed.

 

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The Ins and Outs of Dental Sedation

An estimated 50 percent of Americans don’t visit the dentist because of fear. Without proper treatment, your appearance and oral health can suffer. Sedation dentistry allows nervous patients to receive the dental care they need and the gorgeous smiles they deserve.

Several types of sedation options exist. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is inhaled through a mask placed over the nose, which creates a feeling of peacefulness. Once the dentist discontinues the gas, any side effects will immediately disappear.

With oral conscious sedation, patients take one dose of anti-anxiety medication about an hour before the appointment. Because the sedating effects can linger for up to 12 hours, a responsible adult will need to take you to and from the visit. The dentist and support team will monitor your vital signs throughout the procedure. Some dentists also offer IV sedation, where the medicine is administered intravenously.

Think about these facts when you consider dental sedation:

• Sedation dentistry can effectively relieve the fear many people feel about dental treatment.
• Oral conscious sedation can help individuals who are scared of needles or dislike the sights and smells in a dental office.
• With oral conscious sedation, your dentist can perform several extensive procedures in one visit, which minimizes the disruption to your schedule.
• Generally, most people respond well to oral conscious sedation, even patients who have trouble getting numb.
• In many cases, sedation dentistry makes the experience more pleasant for those with a strong gag reflex, individuals with physical limitations, and those with high levels of apprehension about having dental procedures performed.

 

 

Learn more about Sedation Dentistry options at our Fresno, CA dentists office by visiting our website at www.SedationDentistInFresno.com

Treating Tooth Stains Caused by Antibiotics

If your teeth have gray or dark brown stains but you’re careful to avoid foods and drinks that cause discoloration, then they might result from something other than diet. Unfortunately, your stains may be from taking an antibiotic called tetracycline as a child. The good news is that there are options available to treat these stubborn stains.

Tetracycline was developed as an alternative to penicillin, and it was a welcome addition as a medication to successfully fight bacteria. When it was first approved, experts did not know the long-term dental effects of the drug. After years in existence, it became obvious that tetracycline can cause tooth stains on teeth that were still developing. That’s why the antibiotic is no longer prescribed to pregnant women or children under 10 years of age. If you took the drug before this was discovered, then you might have the resulting stains.

Antibiotic stains can cover your entire tooth or just affect portions of it. It does not affect the strength or health of your teeth. Mainly it is an aesthetic issue that people find embarrassing or unattractive. That’s where treatment to improve the appearance of these stains comes into play.

There are several choices for handling tetracycline stains. Your dentist should be able to recommend the option that might work best for you depending on the severity of your stains.

  • Teeth whitening – If your stains aren’t severe, bleaching your teeth may be enough to remedy the problem. Professional whitening methods are best because they are stronger and more effective on noticeable stains.
  • Bonding – Tooth colored resin can be applied to the surface of your teeth to hide stains. If your stains are very dark, whitening methods may be performed before bonding to help ensure the stains aren’t visible through the bonding material.
  • Veneers – Badly stained teeth can only be helped with dental veneers, which are thin porcelain shells adhered to your teeth. Veneers provide the most coverage in hiding problems with the teeth underneath.

 

Have all your dental work done while you sleep at our Fresno, CA dental office.

Veneers: The Good and the Bad

People’s teeth age just like the rest of their bodies, and sometimes dental restorations are needed to maintain an attractive smile. Teeth can become yellowed or stained, and chips or cracks can affect the appearance of your teeth. Cosmetic dentists can help improve the look of your teeth by using dental veneers.

What are veneers?
Often made from porcelain or composite, veneers are extremely thin shells that are permanently adhered to the front surfaces of your teeth. The purpose is to cover imperfections that occur with time and wear on your teeth.

What are the good things about veneers?
There are some great advantages to dental veneers, making them a popular choice as a dental restoration. These include:

  • Hiding stained teeth – Your teeth can suffer discoloration from years of eating and drinking foods that stain them, and aging itself tends to yellow your teeth. Sometimes whitening products and methods aren’t enough to hide discoloration, and veneers provide an easy way to immediately cover your teeth.
  • Color versatility – Your dentist can find the best shade for your veneers so that they look very natural and attractive.
  • Simple process – Often you only need one or two appointments at your dentist’s office to get veneers.
  • Easy on your mouth – There aren’t extensive invasive procedures like tooth reshaping or scraping required. Veneers are a non-surgical approach to restoring your smile.
  • Durability – Veneers can last up to 10 to 15 years.
  • Confidence – Your self-esteem will improve as a result of your beautiful new smile.

What about the bad things?
The list of disadvantages to dental veneers is much shorter than the benefits. It can require a week or two to become accustomed to your veneers, and the procedure can’t be reversed once it is completed. Some patients experience increased tooth sensitivity because some enamel may be removed as part of the veneer process. In very rare cases, tooth extraction may be necessary.

 

 

Get porcelain veneers at our Fresno dental office while you sleep. 

The Road to a Smile Makeover

Your smile is often the first thing that others notice about you. Some people are hesitant to smile because they are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth and gums. Luckily, advances in cosmetic dentistry can help create a whole new look through a smile makeover. There are many procedures and treatments available that can take away the embarrassment and give you confidence instead.

Cosmetic dentistry can come to the rescue of people of all ages and genders. If you’re unhappy with your smile, then you are a candidate for a smile makeover. It can include anything from teeth whitening, reshaping, closing gaps, to replacing teeth. Cosmetic dentistry concentrates on revitalizing your appearance, but it can also benefit the overall condition of your mouth by giving you a healthier smile.

Some of the most popular treatments that people choose when getting a smile makeover include:

  • Veneers – thin pieces of porcelain are securely bonded to the fronts of your teeth. These cover teeth that are chipped, stained, overlapping, crooked, as well as other unsightly tooth problems. Veneers typically last ten years or more, and are strong and easy to maintain.
  • Crowns – usually a final option when other methods are not effective, crowns can restore teeth that have severe decay. The cavity is removed and then a crown, which is sometimes called a cap, is attached over the existing tooth.
  • Whitening – things like tea, wine, coffee, smoking, foods, medications, and age can cause tooth stains and discoloration. Professional teeth whitening can brighten your smile with dramatic and quick results. It often employs a concentrated bleaching agent and ultraviolet light to make your teeth numerous shades whiter.
  • Implants – sometimes called artificial roots, implants are surgically inserted into your jaw to restore one or more teeth that are gone. A crown, bridges, or dentures may be attached to the implant. A healthy jaw with sufficient bone structure is required for implants to be successful. Once implants heal, you have a comfortable and permanent replacement for missing teeth.

 

Dr. Smith is a smile makeover dentist in Fresno, CA

Managing Dental Anxiety

Though most people don’t love visiting the dentist, some individuals experience fear and stress about their appointments. In fact, approximately 40 million Americans avoid dental visits because of anxiety. Without proper care, your appearance and oral health can decline. Modern advances allow dentist to keep their patients relaxed and comfortable during dental treatment.

These hints may help you feel at ease during your appointment:

Choose the right dentist
You will automatically feel better about your appointments when you find a dentist that listens to your fears and validates your feelings. As you consider practices, talk with the support staff as well so that you get a sense of the whole team.

Be prepared
Before treatment, meet with the dentist so that he or she can explain the procedure in detail. Make sure to ask any questions you have until you feel comfortable about the treatment. The night before your appointment, get a good night’s sleep so that you will feel well-rested.

Communicate your concerns
If certain things bother you, like the noise of the drill or needles, tell the dentist in advance. Establish a signal you can use during the procedure to let the team know that you are uncomfortable.

Ask about sedation dentistry
Because dentists understand that many people feel nervous about dental visits, many practices offer sedation options such as laughing gas, oral sedation, or a combination of the two. Talk with your dentist to find out what is available and which option would be best for you.

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Painless Dental Work Using Sedation Dentistry

If you do your best to come up with any excuse you can think of to avoid going to the dentist, you might be one of the many people who have fear or anxiety about dental work. Whether your hesitations are related to experiences you’ve had in the past or fear of the unknown, there is no reason to allow anxiety to overcome getting oral health care. Sedation dentistry provides a way for people like you to get the treatment you need.

The goal of sedation dentistry is to relax patients so that they can comfortably and confidently get dental checkups and undergo needed treatment. Various types of sedative medications may be implemented depending on the situation and the patient’s needs. Oral medicine, gas, or intravenous (IV) sedation are all options that some dentists offer.

Sedation techniques help patients avoid the pain that can occur during dental procedures. You become so relaxed during the office visit that major results can be achieved with ease and comfort. It allows patients to have more dental work done in a single sitting than might otherwise be possible. Complex and invasive procedures may be performed efficiently, as patients do not have a concept of the length of time they were under sedation. Also, sedated patients typically don’t remember the process or experience any pain.

If you are interested in sedation at your dental appointments, ask your dentist what kinds of techniques are offered at their practice. Not all oral health professionals offer this service, so keep looking until you find the right dentist for your needs. Qualified dentists with experience in sedation dentistry will be able to present the options, along with their pros and cons, to help you make the right choice so that you will be relaxed and successful in getting good dental care.

 

 

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What is a Specialist Dentist?

Most people have a general dentist who they see for their regular oral health care. This includes examinations, teeth cleanings, general dental X-rays, fillings, and some other procedures. However, there are certain situations that your dentist will refer you to a specialist dentist for more extensive treatment. Here are some guidelines about the specialty areas of dentistry.

Dentistry is covered by a professional association called the American Dental Association (ADA), which was established to promote oral health care and to represent the field of dentistry. Many dentists in the United States desire to become members of the ADA because of its reputation for advancements in dentistry and commitment to the public’s oral health. The ADA recognizes nine dental specialties:

  • Endodontics
  • Orthodontics
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Oral Pathology
  • Prosthodontics
  • Oral Radiology and Imaging
  • Public Health Dentistry

To become an accredited specialist dentist, the specialty must be recognized by the ADA and the dentist has to complete advanced training beyond dental school. This additional education and experience in their specialty area allows the specialist dentist to perform more complex and extensive work that falls into their area of expertise. That is why general dentists refer patients to specialists, so that they receive the highest level of quality care for their particular problem.

It is important to be aware of dentists who claim to be specialists, but haven’t completed the required training. When choosing a specialist dentist, research their accreditations to ensure that they are in good standing and qualified to provide you with specialized care. The whole point in going to a specialist is to obtain the best care using the most advanced technologies available, so don’t hesitate to look until you find a specialty dentist you have confidence in and are comfortable with for your treatment.

 

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Sedation Dentistry and Young People

You shouldn’t allow your child’s oral health to suffer just because they are afraid to visit the dentist. Sedation dentistry provides a way to make your child’s experience easier on them, as well as on you and the dental staff. No one wants to see a child crying and kicking at an appointment, so sedation is a good option to avoid a traumatic dental visit.

What is sedation dentistry?
This method involves placing the patient under anesthesia while dental procedures are performed. Often, laughing gas is used to calm children so that treatment may be administered efficiently. It is a safe, effective, and approved way to soothe children in the dentist’s chair.

Why should I consider it for my child?
If your child is one who fears visiting the dentist and experiences anxiety at the thought of any type of dental procedures, then sedation is a great way to allow them to undergo treatment without going into a panic. Simply seeing the tools that dentists use or hearing the sounds of a dental office such as drills can upset some children. Sedation dentistry may be used for teeth cleanings, fillings, braces, or just about any other dental procedures. Instead of avoiding necessary treatment to keep your child’s mouth healthy, you’ll be able to ensure that they’re getting the proper oral health care.

Are all kids good candidates?
Discuss your child’s medical history with the dentist to see if sedation dentistry is a good option for them. Healthy kids without serious allergies are usually good candidates for sedation methods.

 

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Educating Yourself about Dental Implants

Gaps in your smile can leave you feeling uncomfortable, not only because your mouth does not function as well as it should but also because it looks unappealing. Dental implants are a way to permanently fill the holes left by missing teeth with new teeth that look and feel real.

There are several parts that compromise an implant. There is a titanium metal post that is implanted into your jaw and fuses with it, so that it becomes a permanent part of your body. A bridge fits over it, giving a crown somewhere to attach. The crown is an artificial tooth that covers the hole and looks very natural.

The process for getting implants must be completed over a few months because you should allow time for healing. The first step is getting a complete examination and x-rays to ensure you have sufficient jaw bone to securely hold the metal post. Patients with bone loss may not be candidates, or may require bone grafts to prepare the jaw for the implant.

Once you and your dentist decide implants are right for you, the post will be surgically placed and dental impressions will be made to create a perfect fit for the crown. After you have healed from surgery and the implant fuses with your jaw, which usually takes at least a couple of months, the crown will be fitted to the post. Follow-up appointments may be advised to ensure the implant is working properly and fits well. Then, it’s just a matter of regular teeth cleanings and proper dental hygiene at home to keep your implant at its best.

 

Learn more about dental implants options at our Fresno, CA dental office.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Most trips to the dentist have the goal of maintaining or improving your oral health, but visits to the cosmetic dentist are about improving your appearance. Some general dentists offer cosmetic treatments, but sometimes a cosmetic dentist is a better choice. This type of specialist has training and experience targeting the types of procedures focused on enhancing the appearance of your mouth. Here are some of the most popular procedures that cosmetic dentists perform.

Bonding
A simple and quick repair for tooth chips, cracks, stains, and uneven areas is bonding. The dentist applies a tooth-colored resin to the tooth, and molds it to the ideal shape. A special light is used to harden it, and then any further shaping and polishing is done to complete the procedure.

Veneers
Very thin porcelain shells called veneers can be adhered to the fronts of your teeth to improve your smile. They hide flaws like stains, worn areas, chips, and gaps. They can also hide crooked or misshapen teeth, often helping you avoid braces if the misalignment isn’t severe. Veneers can last a lifetime if properly maintained.

Teeth whitening
A very common cosmetic treatment, teeth whitening helps you erase the effects of time on your teeth. With use, teeth can become stained and yellowed from foods, beverages, smoking, and age in general. A professional treatment by a cosmetic dentist can provide dramatic and immediate improvements to your smile.

Implants
Dental implants are a great way to restore missing teeth. A very natural-looking and permanent solution, a titanium implant is surgically placed into your jaw. It will heal over a couple of months and fuse with your jaw, and then a crown is placed over the top. This gives you a functional and attractive smile that others won’t even be able to tell was altered.

 

Contact Dr. Smith at our Fresno, CA dental office to schedule a consultation.

Relax with Sedation Dentistry

For patients who are nervous about visiting the dentist or undergoing dental procedures, sedation dentistry provides a way to comfortably do so. It’s important to regularly have checkups to maintain a healthy mouth and treat problems as soon as they occur, so skipping dental visits is not a smart choice. Consider sedation dentistry if you are one of the people avoiding the dentist.

Purpose
Sedation dentistry allows those who have not been going to the dentist because of fear or anxiety to go for checkups in a relaxed and confident manner.

Description
Sedation dentistry doesn’t always mean the same thing as being completely unconscious as in a major surgery. Many times with sedation dentistry, the drugs involved only cause relaxation or drowsiness. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, for example simply creates a feeling of relaxation that allows the dentist to do his work while the patient feels at ease.

Effects
Most types of sedation dentistry cause the patient to forget what went on during treatment even though awake throughout the process. This is appealing to many because it increases the patient’s willingness to go to subsequent visits since no negative memories exist. The body’s relaxation also creates less pain during and after treatment, because the jaw isn’t tense and there aren’t overall feelings of stress. The positive effects of sedation dentistry are both physical and mental.

Availability
If you are interested in trying sedation dentistry, ask your dentist about options. Not every dentist provides this service, so make sure you ask when selecting a dentist if this is part of their practice.

 

To learn more about sedation dentistry options at our Fresno, CA dental office contact our office today.

Cosmetic Dentistry Not Just for Women

Professionally and personally, men have just as many reasons as women do to look their best. Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Having a vibrant, white smile can create a perception of self-assurance, intelligence, and warmth. Men who have cosmetic dental enhancements can enjoy the benefits of looking younger and feeling more confident.

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Planning for Sedation Dentistry

If you and your dentist have decided that you should have sedation during your upcoming dental procedure, there’s more to it than just showing up at your appointment. Make sure you ask your dentist for instructions to follow prior to your procedure. Here are some common guidelines useful in planning for dental sedation to give you the best chances for a smooth procedure and recovery.

Choose a certified dentist.
If you’re interested in receiving dental sedation, make sure your dentist is properly trained and certified in administering sedation. It is the safest way to ensure quality treatment during all parts of the sedation process.

Don’t eat before the procedure.
Avoid eating for at least six hours before undergoing sedation. Even though it may be a nuisance, it’s worth it for a successful procedure. Avoiding food ensures your mouth is clean, and that your body doesn’t contain any chemicals that might alter the effectiveness of the sedation drugs. Also, you’ll be glad you don’t have a full stomach afterwards in case of nausea.

Have someone with you at the appointment.
You must have someone accompany you to the sedation appointment, as the effects of the drugs can last for several hours afterwards. This means that it will be unsafe for you to drive yourself home following treatment.

Follow instructions during recovery.
Your dentist will give you specific instructions about things to do and not to do during recovery. If your sedation was related to a simple examination or procedure, there may not be many guidelines afterwards other than practicing safety while the drugs wear off. Other procedures, however, are more extensive and your dentist will instruct you about the recovery process.

 

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