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When you are searching for a tooth replacement option, you want to make sure that you ultimately choose a treatment that meets all of your needs. You want to consider…

· Your desired aesthetic results

· The day-to-day maintenance required

· Long-term oral health benefits or effects

· Treatment timeline

Today our Saint Louis restorative dentists are giving you a quick overview of various treatment types:

Traditional dentures—these dental prosthetics are designed to replace multiple teeth in a row. The base of the prosthetic is molded to fit over the patient’s gum tissue, and the denture can be further stabilized with an adhesive designed for dentures.

Implant-stabilized dentures—modern dental technology allows our team to actually permanently anchor your denture in your jawbone tissue using mini dental implant roots. Implant-stabilized dentures (this treatment is also called all-on-four treatment) stay in place 24/7, and offer the patient increased prosthetic stability.

Dental implant—this stand-alone replacement tooth mimics, as much as possible, the structure of a natural tooth. The dental implant has a titanium root that replaces the missing natural tooth root—this titanium root extends into the patient’s jawbone, and anchors the entire replacement tooth. A natural looking dental restoration is anchored to the titanium root with a connector piece called an abutment. When the dental implant is complete, it looks just like a real tooth, and you can treat it like a regular tooth as well!

Mini dental implants—some dental implants use thinner implant roots than conventional implant roots. These roots may be useful for dental patients with diminished jawbone density, and they are also frequently used for implant-stabilized dentures.

No matter what tooth replacement treatment you ultimately choose, timely treatment can help you avoid many of the long-term complications associated with tooth loss. Please don’t hesitate to contact our Saint Louis dental office for more information or to schedule your consultation!

The American Dental Association stresses the importance of semi-annual professional dental cleanings. Following your dentist-recommended cleaning schedule will make it less likely that you will suffer from serious oral health issues down the road.

If you have questions about professional cleanings, keep reading for some more information from our Saint Louis dentists!

Q: What happens during a six-month cleaning?

A: Surprisingly, we pack a lot into these appointments! The main thing that happens, of course, is that our dentist cleans accumulated plaque and tartar from your smile—giving you a clean slate. We’ll check your mouth for any signs of dental health issues, and recommend relevant further treatment if we find a problem. We’ll also complete an oral cancer screening.

Q: What if I haven’t been to the dentist in a long time?

A: Our dentists hear from so many adults who have lapsed in their dental care—you are not alone! We strongly encourage you to come in for a thorough cleaning as soon as possible, so that we can help you get your oral hygiene routine back on track. Remember: our dental team is here to help, not to judge!

Q: How long does a professional cleaning take to complete?

A: In general, the entire appointment will be complete in under an hour. Your appointment may take a little longer if you are receiving any additional preventive treatments, or if it has been a long time since you have had your smile cleaned.

Q: Does a cleaning hurt?
A: Modern professional tools and techniques make professional cleanings quicker and more comfortable than ever before. If you are prone to dental pain and sensitivity, please let our dental team know, there are numbing agents that we can use to help keep you comfortable.

Our Saint Louis dentists are here to answer all of your questions—just give our team a call to get started and schedule your professional cleaning.

Your dental enamel is the strongest layer of your tooth—it is hard and pretty non-porous, so that you can chew comfortably. Dental enamel protects more vulnerable tooth layers like the dentin and the dental core (which houses nerves, tissues, and roots). Consequently, it is very important that you take steps to protect and preserve your dental enamel day to day.

Here are some of the habits and substances that can weaken and damage dental enamel:

1. Bruxism

This condition is characterized by chronic dental grinding and clenching. As you would imagine, this puts an enormous amount of pressure on your dental enamel. Over time, bruxism can lead to cracked and chipped enamel, as well as premature enamel deterioration.

2. Acidic Consumables

Food and drinks with high levels of acid, can lead to enamel demineralization. Citric foods and juices, for example, can be tough on your dental enamel. In order to minimize acid-related damage you should consume these things in moderation, and rinse your mouth with water after eating and drinking, so that you can minimize the amount of time that acidic substances sit on your teeth.

3. Improper Dental Tools

Your dental enamel can also start to thin because you are cleaning your smile with tools and implements that are too abrasive. Most people can effectively clean their teeth with soft-bristled toothbrushes, while medium and firm bristles may be too rough. Using the wrong toothbrush can lead to enamel erosion as well as gum tissue recession.

4. Chewing Hard Substances

If your regularly chew on ice, hard candies, or mints, you may prematurely wear down your dental enamel.

The good news is that there are simple steps that you can take in order to protect your dental enamel, and maintain a healthy smile. Our Saint Louis dentists can give you additional advice and information—just give our office a call to schedule a personal consultation.

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