• Cosmetic Dentistry and Dental Bonding

    In cosmetic dentistry, dental bonding is also known as composite or tooth bonding. This is the process that fixes cosmetic and structural imperfections in the teeth. While dentists call them direct composite veneers, many simply refer to them generically as “dental bonding.”
    Dental bonding is used to repair cracked, chipped, and discolored teeth including the replacement of silver fillings. It can also repair misaligned teeth, thereby giving the patient a straighter and more uniform smile.
    This material can also be directly applied and sculpted to the surfaces of teeth that are prominently displayed during a smile. (This is termed as a minimally invasive smile makeover.)

    Procedure

    The first part is the material selection process. This is where the cosmetic dentist chooses the right tone of the composite resin (white or natural-looking dental bonding materials) to match the patient’s own natural shade of teeth.
    The start of the bonding process is when the dentist uses a rubber dam to isolate the tooth (or teeth). This is to prevent moisture interference on the tooth. Depending on the extent of the treatment, there might be a need for anesthetic injections.
    Next, the dentist roughens the existing tooth for the resin to adhere properly. He will then apply a gentle phosphoric acid solution on the tooth’s surface (which does not hurt) and removes it after 15 seconds.
    The resin is then carefully applied to the tooth, is shaped and smoothed to achieve the desired look.
    The formed resin material is then hardened with the aid of a high intensity light. Once it is of correct hardness, the bonded tooth is then buffed and polished to match the appearance and shaped of the surrounding teeth.
    Because a dental plan had already been prepared by the dentist after the initial visit, the direct composite bonding procedure usually is completed in one dental visit. Of course, this will still depend on the extent of the needed tooth repair.
    Even if the treatment goes over for two or more visits, the results can be quite pleasing.

    Benefits

    There are several benefits for patients in the tooth bonding process. For starters, it is quick, affordable, virtually painless, and the result can be long lasting.
    Dental bonding is a good alternative to the more extensive (and expensive) treatment with porcelain veneers, bridges and crowns.
    The composite resin used in the cosmetic bonding process is very flexible. It expands and contracts with the natural tooth, thereby preventing cracks and tooth loss.

    Costs

    Cosmetic dentistry financing has always been a primary concern with many patients. For tooth bonding, the cost varies according to the number of teeth repaired. Sometimes, the cost varies depending on the areas where the dental procedure is performed.
    Insurance carriers usually cover tooth bonding, especially if it is done for structural reasons. Likewise, many cosmetic dentists have financing plans available for their patients.
    Nowadays, dental procedures like tooth bonding are already affordable to patients of all financial backgrounds. The way that dental bonding work wonders on your teeth (alignment, whitening, and overall improvement of appearance) is a good enough reason to pay for the cosmetic dentistry cost.

    For more information on dental issues and dental health, head on to Maple Avenue Family Dentistry and call (401) 247-2200 for your no obligation consultation today!

  • Harmful Effects of Dry Mouth

    An estimated 44 million Americans suffer from chronic dry mouth, which can be an extremely uncomfortable condition. Dry mouth can be a hazardous condition to your mouth.

    When saliva is absent or greatly diminished, a host of events can occur. The intake of food is greatly diminished, comfort and function become difficult, sense of taste can be lost, as well as rapid increase in decay, failed restorations, or painful and sore gums and oral fungus due to denture wearing. All of these can have a dramatic impact on the quality of life and health of the patient. The treatment of dry mouth is typically palliative in nature, just treating the symptoms. Drinking water frequently and products such as Biotene can sometimes provide relief, but is generally limited at best.

    Dry mouth can be associated with certain medical conditions, medications and other factors, infections such as diabetes, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Certain medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer patients can also cause damage to salivary glands. If you have dry mouth, you may benefit from increased control over your health or switching medications. However, taking steps immediately to stimulate saliva flow can help reduce your risk of dry mouth complications.

    Avoid acidic foods and beverages, increase your fluid intake and chew sugarless gums or candies. Fibrous foods such as apples or celery can also be helpful as they stimulate saliva and mechanically clean teeth. An alcohol-free mouth rinse may be able to cut bacteria without increasing dryness. In serious cases, a saliva-replacement product may be necessary.

    If you have dry mouth, contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4324.

    We will work with you to determine the cause of your discomfort and provide you with a treatment plan to preserve your dental health and increase your comfort.

  • Ways You Can Prevent Tooth Discoloration

    Here are five simple daily habits you can use to greatly reduce the chances of discoloring your pearly whites:

    1. Rinse
    Get into the practice of rinsing your mouth with water after drinking or eating.
    This practice will help dislodge any stuck particles that would stain your teeth.
    It is especially important to rinse out after consuming dark sodas, red wines, coffee, tea and processed foods.

    2. Use a Straw
    Using a straw to drink liquids is one of the ways to prevent your teeth from getting darker.
    When we drink without straws, the liquid comes into contact with more surface areas of our teeth, and when we drink through a straw that contact is minimized.

    3. Eat Raw Vegetables and Fruits
    You have heard the saying: “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”
    You can bet that it also keeps the dentist away.
    Fresh and crisp fruits and vegetables are like natural toothbrushes and help clean your teeth.
    So have a few bites of an apple, celery, carrot or pear after your meals or snacks and reduce the chances of your teeth yellowing.

    4. Dental Visits
    Paying regular visits to your dentist at least once every six months is a great way to catch any dental problems such as tooth discoloration early before they become a bigger issue.

    5. Basic Dental Hygiene
    One of the reasons so many people suffer from teeth stains is because they fail to observe basic dental hygiene that could save them heartache and dollars down the road.
    You must brush your teeth in the correct manner at least twice a day.
    Flossing your teeth correctly and using a mouthwash daily provide extra oral health benefits and guarantee a whiter smile.

    Looking to step up your oral hygiene? Call Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4324!

  • Overcoming Dental Fear

    About Dental Fear

    Dental fear is a common fear shared by many individuals. Despite the importance of dental care, there are quite many who despise the idea of going to the dentist for a visit. For some people, the pain associated with any type of dental problem is tied up with the fear of that dreaded visit to the dentist. Statistics reveal that dentists are the most feared out of any type of doctors. It is no surprise as to why dental fear is so prevalent given the different situational causes to it.

    Causes of Dental Fear

    The fear of dentists vary in their intensity such that some people are afraid of undergoing intricate dental procedures while others dislike the idea of seeing the dentist at all. Due to the importance of dental care as part of taking care of your body, it is also important to assess your level of fear so you can undertake the necessary steps to overcome it.

    If you examine the causes for dental fear, these are quite familiar. Therefore, you need to be able to identify them before you can think of ways to eliminate them.

    • Previous bad dental experience.

    • Fear of being embarrassed or ridiculed for your dental condition. This is quite problematic since your own fear is also the reason for your dental neglect.

    • Fear of certain dental procedures, especially intricate ones that you might perceive as painful.

    • Others own scary or terrible experiences with the dentist that impact your own perception about dentists and having a dental check-up.

    • Fear of the anesthesia injections and needles given by the dentist before a dental procedure.

    Behavioral Techniques to Overcome Dental Fear

    As with any other types of fear, dental fear mostly takes place in the mind. Therefore, you can try to combat it with a few psychological methods that will enable you to confront this fear. By following them, you are not entirely guaranteed of being able to let go of that fear altogether. However, it can help you understand that this type of fear can be illogical and enable you to appreciate the importance of having frequent dental care.

    The Comfort Zone

    Undergoing dental procedures can be scary, but you can get over that by re-learning the emotional responses solicited by the experience. This is most common among children. For example, you can try doing a basic checkup where the doctor examines the teeth using a mouth mirror. If a child shows no signs of fear from that, then you can proceed to a more elaborate test. Taking this step by step process and moving in slowly will enable the child or individual to remain in their comfort zone. This is a more useful approach among adults given that they can voice out their experience so that they remain relaxed about the entire dental visit.

    Knowing You Are in Control

    This one is related to the idea of the “comfort zone”, which is basically about letting your dentist know whether or not you are comfortable about the dental procedure. It is important that you learn how to effectively communicate with your dentist so they remain aware about your state throughout the entire procedure. If at some point you become quite anxious about the situation, then it is best to send out warning signals so your dentist knows when to stop or proceed. Once you have motivated yourself enough to dismiss all these thoughts of fear and anxiety, then you will be able to come out of the procedure with a healthier dental condition.

    To learn more about ways to overcome the fear of the dentist, please call Maple Avenue Family Dentistry at (401) 237-4324 and we will be happy to answer all your questions!