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Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

Idaho Falls Dental Group, provides a variety of cosmetic services to enhance your smile. We provide all of our patients with the most up-to-date and hi-tech cosmetic dental services. Please click on the menu buttons for detailed descriptions and animations of the cosmetic dental services and treatments available in our office.




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Cosmetic Whitening

Tooth whitening is the #1 requested and performed cosmetic dental procedure. Tooth whitening is a procedure that lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration.

A thin coating forms on your teeth throughout the day, which attracts stains. The tooth's enamel contains pores that hold stains. Cavities need to be treated before teeth are whitened because the whitening solution can penetrate decay and reach inner areas of the tooth, which can cause sensitivity. Receding gums can cause roots to become exposed. Whitening will not work on exposed tooth roots, because roots do not have an enamel layer. Whitening also does not work on tooth restorations such as crowns or veneers.

Whitening can be done in the dental office or at home.




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Dental Veneers

Veneers are a thin, semi-transparent tooth shaped "shell" that are custom made of porcelain. They are permanently bonded to your natural teeth which are located in your "smile zone" to enhance their shape, color, length or size.

Veneers can fix gaps between teeth and/or improve the appearance of teeth that are discolored, misshaped or misaligned.

Procedure:




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Replacing Old Fillings

There is now new technology that allows you to replace old silver and gold fillings with a more natural looking, composite filling. Composite fillings are bonded to the tooth and research has proven them to be about 90% as strong as healthy, natural tooth material.

Other Benefits:
- Beautiful in appearance
- Completed in a single visit
- No filling leaks
- Less chance of tooth cracking




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Bonding

Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures.

The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth.

Most often, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes:

  • To improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth
  • To close slight spaces between teeth
  • To make teeth look longer
  • Or to change the shape or color of teeth



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    Crown Aesthetics

    If your smile is in need of a makeover, crowns can provide predictable results. Crowns can give an unattractive tooth back its beautiful shape and color. For smaller or worn down teeth, a crown can restore the natural size of the old tooth. A crown can replace either part of or the tooth's entire structure. For procedures requiring only the areas visible from the outside, a veneer may be an alternative option.




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    Types of Crowns

    Types of Crowns

    There are three basic types of crowns:

    1. 1) Porcelain outer surface with a metal base crown.
    2. 2) Pure porcelain or composite crown.
    3. 3) All metal crown, which is usually gold.
    They all differ in durability, strength, appearance and cost.




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    Gold Crown

    Gold Crown

    The 'gold' standard. Dental gold is about 60% gold alloy which is meant to match the hardness of the enamel of opposing teeth so both wear about evenly, an important trait.Gold does not tarnish or corrode and has some bacterial inhibiting quality. Gold crowns are strong and will not break. However, gold crowns obviously are not considered esthetic; they are gold colored. So usually gold crowns are used for lower back molars because they don't show there.




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    Full Porcelain Crowns

    Full Porcelain Crowns

    These are very esthetic, bonded crowns. They are mostly used for front teeth because they are the most natural looking type of crown and are often used in 'cosmetic' dentistry. There are many types, but they all have a common feature - no metal. They can occasionally break, but dental technology has advanced far enough to make them quite strong.




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    What Is A Dental Implant?

    An implant is a titanium "root" which can be placed into the jawbone. Once integrated with your bone, the implant can be used to support a crown, a bridge, or secure a complete denture. Dental implants may be used to eliminate partial plates and dentures. The success rates for dental implants are extremely high which is due in part to the fact that root-form implants are made of a biocompatible material, titanium. Dental implant treatment represents a slightly greater investment than conventional treatment; however, the benefits of implant therapy for most patients outweigh the minor additional cost involved

    Dental Implant FAQ

    What is a Dental Implant?

    Implants are a tooth replacement option that involves placing a new "root" into the bone of your jaw. Once this titanium "root" has infused with your bone it can be used to support a crown, bridge, or denture. These implants can also be used to replace partials and other forms of dentures. The success rates for dental implants are extremely high which is due in part to the fact that root-form implants are made of a biocompatible material, titanium. Because titanium is accepted so well by the human body, it is also used for orthopedic implants, such as hip and knee replacements. Dental Implants have now become the standard for replacing older dentistry and missing teeth because they look and feel like your natural teeth and have a higher success rate than all other forms of tooth replacement. The initial cost is generally higher for an implant over other forms of tooth replacement, but the long term benefits easily outweigh the difference in additional cost. An investment in implant dentistry is an investment in overall health, appearance and well being, as it involves preserving the integrity of facial structures, as well as replacing missing teeth. back to index

    Why are Dental Implants the best option?

    Dental implants can last a lifetime, unlike bridges, partials and dentures that may need to be replaced several times. Unlike bridges, partials and dentures, a dental implant replaces the lost tooth root, which will prevent jaw bone resorption that occurs with bridges, partials and dentures. The loss of tooth roots will cause a change of the smile and contours of the face over time. A bridge, once the common single tooth replacement method, requires the alteration of each neighboring healthy tooth, which is cut down and shaped to accept a crown. With a dental implant treatment, there is no compromise to adjacent teeth. The lost root and crown is replaced leaving neighboring healthy teeth in place. Removable partials connect to healthy teeth by hooks. Partials may be removed for cleaning and may need to be replaced often. A partial hook connected to healthy teeth will create tooth stress and will loosen the healthy teeth over time. Full arch dentures and partials have the added disadvantage of accelerating the bone resorption process, which, among other things, causes the appearance of premature aging. back to index

    How will my teeth look and feel?

    A single tooth supported by an implant is like turning back the clock of time. The implant replaces the natural tooth root so the jaw bone and supportive gum tissue is as vibrant as ever. Multiple single implants may support single teeth or an implant supported bridge. Dental implants may also support the base for full arch dentures to attach to which provides the look, feel and function of natural teeth. Dental implant treatments is the only tooth replacement solution that prevents jaw bone resorption, which can cause your smile to look unnatural and in some cases, change your facial appearance. The long term esthetics of dental implants are superior to any other treatment option. back to index

    Am I a candidate for Dental Implant treatment?

    If you are missing one or more teeth and in general good health, you are a candidate for dental implant treatment. There are a few qualifying factors that need to be addressed:

    1. Quality and quantity of available bone for implant placement.
    2. Uncontrollable diabetes or other medical conditions.

    Overall, there are very few conditions that would keep someone from having implant treatment. Even people who have lost a significant amount of bone can qualify for dental implant treatment; although, an additional procedure(s) to add bone or to create new bone may be necessary. Advances in this type of treatment have made it possible for most people who would not previously have been considered candidates to have successful implant treatment. back to index

    Is my age a factor for Dental Implant treatment?

    Providing your overall health is good, there is really no age restriction. The desire to improve your quality of life is frankly a more important consideration than age. It is not unusual for people with dentures to upgrade to implant supported dentures. It provides a renewed self-confidence in their smile and speech and also provides renewed chewing stability, plus brings back foods into their life that were once off limit.back to index

    How long will it take to complete treatment?

    Traditional treatment may take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending upon the quality of the bone in which the implants are placed. If an additional procedure is required in order to augment the bone, the total treatment time may be between six to nine months. Some implant candidates may qualify for Immediate Load / Immediate Function procedures, also known as "same day implants". back to index

    Is a dental implant procedure painful?

    Most implant patients report that the discomfort is far less than they expected and is no more remarkable than having a root canal or like having a tooth extracted. Of course you are anesthetized during the procedure, and although everyone's pain tolerance is different, most patients are very comfortable simply taking over-the-counter analgesics afterward. back to index

    How long do Dental Implants last?

    Dental implants are designed to be permanent; however, there are a few factors that may contribute to the long term success of dental implant treatment, such as the original quality of the surgical and restorative treatment, proper home care and regular check-up visits to your dentist or dental specialist. Dental implant treatment is one of the most successful procedures in the medical-dental field, with documented success rates over 95%. Dental implants have been around for over 30 years and have closely documented clinical research that demonstrates that dental implants will be successful throughout the lifetime of a patient. By comparison, research also demonstrates that the average tooth supported bridge (conventional dentistry) lasts from 7-10 years and that partials and dentures are functional for approximately 5 years before having to replace the appliance.back to index

    Can a dental implant work with existing dentures?

    Every patient's situation is unique; however, from time-to-time we can use an existing denture by altering the denture to accommodate the necessary denture attachments to fit the implants.

    What is the difference between a traditional crown and bridge and an implant supported crown and bridge?

    There are several differences.

    1. A dental implant preserves jaw bone.
    2. We do not have to destroy neighboring health teeth by grinding down the teeth to pegs in order to accept a crown.
    3. Implants last longer than traditional crowns and bridge. Implants are designed to last a lifetime, while a traditional crown and bridge is projected to last approximately 10 years and may need to be replaced.

    Although dental implants have become the standard of care, they are more expensive than old tooth replacement methods. They are a better choice for the money; however, some dentists still recommend traditional tooth supported bridges for patients due to their own comfort level, or when patients insist on having the immediate lowest possible fee for tooth replacement. Most dentists today detest the idea of grinding down perfectly healthy teeth to place a traditional bridge, and therefore, will almost always recommend dental implant treatment in these cases.

    When should a tooth be extracted and replaced with a Dental Implant?

    There are times when it makes sense to extract a tooth and replace it with a dental implant.

    1. If a natural tooth is failing or about to fail.
    2. If a tooth has severe periodontal disease (gum disease) that has eroded the bone that supports the teeth. Sometimes in these cases, it is preferable to extract the teeth; eliminate the disease and infection and replace the teeth with a dental implant.
    3. When a tooth has had a root canal (nerves have been removed from the tooth) leaving the tooth brittle and susceptible to fracture. Teeth with severe fractures are usually extracted and are ideal candidates for replacement with dental implant treatment.

    Do dental implants require special care?

    Home care for a dental implant single tooth or for a dental implant crown and bridge is cleaned like a natural tooth, with regular brushing, flossing and regularly schedule hygiene appointments as directed by your dentist. Home care is a little more complicated for people who are missing all of their teeth, in that special brushes and floss are often recommended. Permanently fixed implant supported replacement teeth are cleaned like all other bridges. If a surgical specialists who placed the implant(s) is involved, they may want to see you at least once each year in addition to your regular dentist. These visits, combined with proper home care, are essential to the long term success of implant treatment.back to index

    What is the cost of Dental Implant Treatment?

    The actual cost of dental implant treatment is based on a number of factors, such as the number of missing teeth being replaced, the type of implant supported teeth (treatment option) recommended and whether additional procedures are necessary to achieve the proper esthetic and functional result. The only way to accurately estimate the cost for an individual patient is to have an examination and consultation with your dental specialist. The total fee is usually comparable to other methods of tooth replacement; however, long-term, implant treatment is generally more cost effective than other options, such as bridges, partials and dentures that need to be replaced every 5-10 years. back to index

    Is Dental Implant treatment covered by my insurance?

    Dental insurance coverage of implant treatment depends on your individual policy. Dental benefits are determined by the amount an employer is willing to spend on the policy. Generally, dental policies cover basic routine preventive maintenance, basic care and emergencies. Most insurance plans only cover the basics with an annual maximum allowable benefit of $1,000-$1,500. Most insurance plans do not include dental implant coverage; however, often they will pay the same benefit they would cover for the lowest cost alternative treatment option (partials and dentures) and some of the diagnostic records, if a specific request is made for alternative benefits. You should review your dental insurance plan and your medical insurance plan to see the coverages. Medical coverage is very rare and Medicare does not cover implant treatment. All in all, it is best to assume that there is no medical insurance coverage available.back to index




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    Implant Benefits

    Implant Benefits




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    Single Tooth Dental Implant

    A single tooth implant procedure may be done if a tooth has been extracted or is missing. A titanium implant base is placed into the jawbone to resemble the tooth root. We allow a period of time to allow for the jawbone to heal over the implant base before fitting for a crown. Next, an abutment is screwed into the base of the implant to allow for a crown to be fitted on top. Finally, a custom fabricated crown is placed over the abutment to function like a real tooth.




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    Multiple Tooth Implants

    Multiple tooth implants may be placed if you need or desire to permanently replace an extracted or lost tooth. Titanium implant bases are placed into the jawbone to replace the job of the tooth roots. We allow a period of time to allow for the jawbone to heal over the bases before fitting for a crown. Next, abutments are screwed into the bases of the implants to allow crowns to be attached. Finally, custom fabricated crowns are placed over the abutments and will function like a real tooth.




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    Full Arch Implants

    Dental implants that can be placed to accept a full arch of teeth.

    The arch is removable yet functions like a full set of normal teeth.




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    Bicon Implants

    Bicon Implants

    The Bicon implant system is comprised of only two components, with a bacterial-sealed, 1.5' locking taper connection. The two components are the implant, which is the portion that goes into the jawbone, and the abutment, which fits into the implant and provides a solid base for a permanent crown or removable denture. Bicon's design provides for a greater surface area than most other implant designs, thus enabling the use of shorter implants which often negates the need for a bone grafting procedure.




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    Preventive Dentistry

    Preventive Dentistry

    Preventive Dentistry is a combination of good dental hygiene with regular dental appointments that allow us to do our part in keeping your teeth and gums healthy.




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    Periodontal Health Affects

    Studies have shown links between periodontal (gum) disease, heart disease and other health conditions.


    Research further suggests that gum disease may be a more serious risk factor for heart disease than hypertension, smoking, cholesterol, gender and ages.


    Researchers conclusions suggest that bacteria present in infected gums can become loose and move throughout the body through the bloodstream. Once bacteria reaches the arteries, they can irritate them in the same way that they irritate gum tissue causing arterial plaque which builds up and can affect blood flow.




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    What causes tooth decay?

    What causes tooth decay?

    Tooth decay happens when plaque or bacteria come in contact with the tooth and is allowed to sit. The bacteria, once fed with sugars, will begin eroding the enamel.

    Causes for tooth decay include:
    - Poor oral hygiene (brushing / flossing)
    - Poor diet
    - Stress
    - Smoking
    - Genetics

    Adults tend to get cavities around old fillings, which may be cracked, rough around the edges or loose in the tooth. Another common form of tooth decay in adults is root cavities. These are likely to occur in adults who have receding gums due to age or periodontal disease. As the gum line recedes the tooth root becomes exposed. Since root tissue is softer than enamel, it decays more easily.




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    Plaque

    Plaque

    Plaque is essentially the start of gum disease problems. Plaque is a build-up of particles from the foods you eat every day. Once sugars are introduced to plaque, it turns into a tooth eating acid that sits just above the gum line. If regular oral care isn't standard, the acid will start eating at the teeth and gums. Plaque that is allowed to sit for a prolonged period of time can cause cavities, gingivitis and other problems in your mouth. If it's left longer than that, serious dental procedures may be required to restore your decaying smile.




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    Cavities

    Cavities generally develop in the "hard-to-see" places in your mouth. These are normally the places where you need to floss. When bacteria combine with food particles, they form plaque that adheres to your teeth.

    As long as plaque remains on the tooth, acid produced by bacteria will eat away the tooth structure. Once through the enamel, the acid attacks the dentin, which is that part of the tooth containing sensitive nerve fibers.

    If the tooth decay reaches the dentin, a filling is needed to halt the degenerative process. Otherwise, it continues at an accelerated rate becoming larger and larger.

    If not detected and repaired with a filling, the decay can reach the tooth nerve and cause the need for a root canal. With the decay removed and a filling in place the tooth is restored to its original contour.




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    Oral Exam

    Your First Visit

    New patients receive a comprehensive examination which includes a screening for oral cancer, gum and bone disease, blood pressure and systemic disorders. A routine oral exam is performed on established patients to determine any changes in dental and health status since the previous visit.Your gum tissue is measured with a fine instrument ruler to calibrate in millimeters pocket depth between the tooth and the connective gum tissue around the tooth. Pocket depths more than 4 millimeters, could indicate disease and infection. The deeper the pocket, the greater the extent plaque bacteria collects and infection in gum disease develop.X-rays are taken as needed.Tooth scaling and root planing occur as needed. Routine cleanings also include a professional polishing (Prophy) that removes only the soft sticky plaque that is above the gum line.




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    Digital X-Rays

    Digital X-Rays

    Our office uses the latest in digital x-ray technology. Digital x-rays offer a detailed image of your entire mouth. Digital x-rays offer up to 80% less radiation than traditional film x-rays.

    X-rays play an invaluable role in the diagnosis of dental problems. An x-ray provides a clear picture for a dentist to accurately diagnose and provide the necessary treatment.




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    Tooth Scaling

    Tooth scaling removes plaque, tartar and hard crusty calculus deposits, which are loaded with bacteria.


    Sub-gingival tooth scaling is necessary when plaque and tartar are detected below the gum line.




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    Sealants

    Sealants

    Sealants are a proven way to help prevent cavities. Although sealants do not take the place of proper oral hygiene, they do prevent bacteria from getting into the deeper crevices in a tooth's biting surface.

    However, sealants can only protect the biting surfaces of the teeth and not the sides. Sealants may gradually wear out or break and need to be replaced.




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    Topical Fluoride

    Topical Fluoride

    Fluoride has been proven effective in helping to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride, in very small concentrations, naturally occurs in well water in some areas, and is artificially injected into urban drinking water in other areas. There is little or no fluoride in the drinking water in the greater Idaho Falls area. As an alternative, 'Topical Fluoride' is often used to help fight cavities. Topical Fluoride is not ingested as with drinking water, but is placed on the outer enamel surfaces of teeth in order to harden the enamel against acid attacks the initiation of tooth decay. There are several vehicles by which topical fluoride is applied. It is present in most toothpastes. Some over-the-counter mouth rinses have fluoride. There are prescription strength fluoride rinses, toothpastes and gels. Topical fluoride treatments are routinely done during check-up and cleaning visits for children at the dentist office. A relatively new product, called fluoride varnish, can be placed on decay prone areas on teeth at the dentist office. When used properly, fluoride is still one of the best decay fighting techniques we have in dentistry today.




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    Tongue Scraper

    Tongue Scraper

    In general, the tongue, with its rough surface, is the most common source of bad breath. 'Tongue scrapers' are very effective in keeping the tongue clean.




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    Dental Hygiene Department

    Dental Hygiene Department

    Idaho Falls Dental Group has 8 full and part time hygienists. A hygienist typically completes four years of intensive college training culminating in certification exams in order to practice as a dental hygienist. There is much more involved than just "polishing" teeth. A hygienist is concerned about the health of not just teeth, but also the gums, bone and supporting structures of the teeth. This is called the periodontium, and people lose teeth due to periodontal disease more than any other reason. Hygienists are also trained to be concerned about the over-all health of the patient, and will ask questions accordingly. Our hygienists are highly trained at Idaho State University - one of the premier hygiene schools in the entire country. And all have been with us for a long time, having the skill and experience to provide our patients with optimum treatment.




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    Periodontal Health Affects

    Studies have shown links between periodontal (gum) disease, heart disease and other health conditions.


    Research further suggests that gum disease may be a more serious risk factor for heart disease than hypertension, smoking, cholesterol, gender and ages.


    Researchers conclusions suggest that bacteria present in infected gums can become loose and move throughout the body through the bloodstream. Once bacteria reaches the arteries, they can irritate them in the same way that they irritate gum tissue causing arterial plaque which builds up and can affect blood flow.




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    Brushing

    Brushing your teeth is a very important task for your oral health and should be done three times a day.

    1) Brush teeth gently using a circular motion along the outside and inside of the tooth surface while holding the brush at a 45 degree angle.

    2) Make sure to brush each tooth individually and to use the front half of the brush in a circular motion vertically behind the front teeth.

    3) Place the brush against the top of your teeth use a gentle back-and-forth motion to brush. After brushing all your teeth be sure to brush your tongue in order to remove odor-producing bacteria.




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    Flossing

    Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind some of it around your middle finger (3 turns). This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. Shorten the length between the two fingers to 6 inches and wind some floss (1 turn) around the opposite middle finger. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth as you gently rub the side of the tooth with an up and down motion. Before retrieving it, clean the adjacent tooth surface.

    As you finish cleaning each contact wind the dirty floss once around the first middle finger and slide more new length of floss to proceed to the next contact.




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    Sonicare

    Sonicare

    Sonicare's unique, patented combination of high speed bristle motion with extra wide sweeping motion creates effective, yet gentle, dynamic fluid cleaning motion. You get excellent plaque removal, especially in hard-to-reach areas such as between and below the gum line. You can count on naturally whiter teeth and healthier gums.

    Sonicare is excellent in battling gum disease, dry mouth, bad breath and tooth sensitivity. Its sweeping motion is very good in cleaning around dental restorations such as implants, crowns and veneers as well as cleaning braces.




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    Xylitol

    Xylitol

    Xylitol is an all natural sweetener with anti-bacterial properties. This unique sweetener is primarily derived from forest and agricultural products. In the early 1970s, the dental benefits of using xylitol to prevent caries were recognized and published. Xylitol is available in many products such as toothpaste, oral rinse, chewing gum and mints. The efficacy of these products depend on the amount of xylitol in the product and frequency of use.

    We recommend using products from the Spry Dental Defense System for proven effective oral hygiene. The use of xylitol found in these products has been clinically proven to help reduce the risk of cavities and other oral diseases.

    We also recommend Xlear Nasal Wash with xylitol to help cleanse and hydrate sinus tissues. When used consistently, Xlear Nasal Wash can help build strong respiratory health.




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    Restorative Dentistry

    Restorative Dentistry

    Idaho Falls Dental Group is a dental restorative dental office in Idaho Falls, who uses a combination of cosmetic and restorative procedures to provide a functional mouth and an attractive smile. Our office provides dental services to restore your smile. From dentures to tooth-colored fillings we will work with you to achieve the best possible results. Please click on the menu buttons for descriptions and animations that detail what we can do for you.




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    Types of Fillings

    Types of Fillings

    When a cavity needs filled there are four choices in the filling material:

    The most common is a composite filling, this is a natural tooth colored filling and bonds to the tooth for extra strength. There are also gold and silver fillings. Silver fillings are inexpensive and strong while gold fillings may look nicer and provide a better fit. The final option is a porcelain filling, also called an inlay, which is the most durable of fillings and is also the color of your natural teeth.




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    Replacing Old Fillings

    There is now new technology that allows you to replace old silver and gold fillings with a more natural looking, composite filling. Composite fillings are bonded to the tooth and research has proven them to be about 90% as strong as healthy, natural tooth material.

    Other Benefits:
    - Beautiful in appearance
    - Completed in a single visit
    - No filling leaks
    - Less chance of tooth cracking




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    Types of Crowns

    Types of Crowns

    There are three basic types of crowns:

    1. 1) Porcelain outer surface with a metal base crown.
    2. 2) Pure porcelain or composite crown.
    3. 3) All metal crown, which is usually gold.
    They all differ in durability, strength, appearance and cost.




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    Gold Crown

    Gold Crown

    The 'gold' standard. Dental gold is about 60% gold alloy which is meant to match the hardness of the enamel of opposing teeth so both wear about evenly, an important trait.Gold does not tarnish or corrode and has some bacterial inhibiting quality. Gold crowns are strong and will not break. However, gold crowns obviously are not considered esthetic; they are gold colored. So usually gold crowns are used for lower back molars because they don't show there.




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    Porcelain Fused To Metal Crown (PFM)

    Porcelain Fused To Metal Crown (PFM)

    This is most common type of crown and has a proven track record. PFM crowns are fairly aesthetic and they look like real teeth. However, the margins or borders may appear dark because PFM crowns have a metal substructure with layers of porcelain fired over the substructure. Porcelain is very hard, much harder than natural enamel and may cause excessive wear of the enamel of opposing teeth. Porcelain may break with extreme biting forces.




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    Full Porcelain Crowns

    Full Porcelain Crowns

    These are very esthetic, bonded crowns. They are mostly used for front teeth because they are the most natural looking type of crown and are often used in 'cosmetic' dentistry. There are many types, but they all have a common feature - no metal. They can occasionally break, but dental technology has advanced far enough to make them quite strong.




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    Crown Procedure

    A crown is sometimes termed a "cap" or "jacket." A crown will restore a large filling or a cracked tooth to its original size, shape and tooth color. A crown may be recommended after root canal therapy has been completed, as the tooth tends to become brittle and is more likely to fracture. A crown can strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and improves the appearance of your teeth. With the advances in technology we now have the ability to make ceramic crowns with no metal.

    To place a crown, your dentist must reduce 1-2 mm of the tooth to make room for it. Your dentist will then use a piece of thread or cord or use a laser to push the gum down around the tooth, to take an impression of the tooth. The impressions are sent to the lab where the crown is made. During that time, you will have a temporary crown. These crowns are usually made of plastic and are made in your dentist's office on the day of your visit. They are not meant to last. If a temporary crown is left in the mouth, the cement eventually washes out, and the tooth can decay.

    At a second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and test the permanent one. Sometimes crowns need additional polishing, or glaze or some other adjustment before they are placed. Once the crown is ready, it's cemented to your tooth.




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    Fixed Bridge

    When teeth are missing, a bridge may be used to replace a single tooth as well as multiple teeth. A bridge consists of both a false tooth, called a pontic, and the anchors (abutment crowns) that support the pontic. The entire structure spans the space vacated by the missing tooth and the adjacent teeth.

    Neighboring tooth structure is removed shaping them to receive an anchor crown. An impression is then taken and sent to a dental lab where they fabricate the bridge.

    The structure part of the bridge is created with a strong metal alloy that can handle the anticipated stresses.

    Tooth-like porcelain is then fused to the structure. Once the bridge is tested for a correct fit, the anchor crowns are cemented to the neighboring teeth.




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    Fixed Bridge

    When teeth are missing, a bridge may be used to replace a single tooth as well as multiple teeth. A bridge consists of both a false tooth, called a pontic, and the anchors (abutment crowns) that support the pontic. The entire structure spans the space vacated by the missing tooth and the adjacent teeth.

    Neighboring tooth structure is removed shaping them to receive an anchor crown. An impression is then taken and sent to a dental lab where they fabricate the bridge.

    The structure part of the bridge is created with a strong metal alloy that can handle the anticipated stresses.

    Tooth-like porcelain is then fused to the structure. Once the bridge is tested for a correct fit, the anchor crowns are cemented to the neighboring teeth.




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    Types of Crowns

    Types of Crowns

    There are three basic types of crowns:

    1. 1) Porcelain outer surface with a metal base crown.
    2. 2) Pure porcelain or composite crown.
    3. 3) All metal crown, which is usually gold.
    They all differ in durability, strength, appearance and cost.




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    Gold Crown

    Gold Crown

    The 'gold' standard. Dental gold is about 60% gold alloy which is meant to match the hardness of the enamel of opposing teeth so both wear about evenly, an important trait.Gold does not tarnish or corrode and has some bacterial inhibiting quality. Gold crowns are strong and will not break. However, gold crowns obviously are not considered esthetic; they are gold colored. So usually gold crowns are used for lower back molars because they don't show there.




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    Porcelain Fused To Metal Crown (PFM)

    Porcelain Fused To Metal Crown (PFM)

    This is most common type of crown and has a proven track record. PFM crowns are fairly aesthetic and they look like real teeth. However, the margins or borders may appear dark because PFM crowns have a metal substructure with layers of porcelain fired over the substructure. Porcelain is very hard, much harder than natural enamel and may cause excessive wear of the enamel of opposing teeth. Porcelain may break with extreme biting forces.




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    Full Porcelain Crowns

    Full Porcelain Crowns

    These are very esthetic, bonded crowns. They are mostly used for front teeth because they are the most natural looking type of crown and are often used in 'cosmetic' dentistry. There are many types, but they all have a common feature - no metal. They can occasionally break, but dental technology has advanced far enough to make them quite strong.




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    Crown Aesthetics

    If your smile is in need of a makeover, crowns can provide predictable results. Crowns can give an unattractive tooth back its beautiful shape and color. For smaller or worn down teeth, a crown can restore the natural size of the old tooth. A crown can replace either part of or the tooth's entire structure. For procedures requiring only the areas visible from the outside, a veneer may be an alternative option.




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    Bonded Bridge

    When you come into our Idaho Falls, ID office and talk to one of our doctors, they may feel that your best option to replace a single lost tooth is a bonded bridge. A bonded bridge consists of two parts. The first is a false tooth, called a pontic and the second are 'wings' that support the pontic. The entire structure spans the space vacated by the missing tooth giving you a natural looking replacement without damaging surrounding teeth. Neighboring tooth structures are allowed to remain the same and the wings of the bonded tooth are attached behind the neighboring teeth.

    So don't put off that dentist appointment one more day. Pick up the phone and call Idaho Falls Dental Group at (208) 525-8383 and setup an appointment to replace that missing tooth today. You will be so glad you did.




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    Tooth Fractures

    Tooth Fractures

    There are many types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depends on the type, location and severity of the crack.

    Unlike a broken bone, a fracture in a cracked tooth will never heal. Early diagnosis is important, even with high magnification and special lighting, it is sometimes difficult to determine the extent of a crack.

    A crown will bind and protect the cracked tooth. When a crack reaches the tooth root, root canal treatment is frequently needed to treat the injured pulp. A cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in the loss of the tooth.




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    Root Canal

    A root canal may be needed if the decay has reached the tooth's nerve.
    Essentially, a root canal involves cleaning out a tooth's infected root, then filling and sealing the canal.


    Procedure:
    1) An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
    2) The pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped.
    3) The infected area is medicated.
    4) The root canals are filled.
    5) The crown opening is filled with a temporary filling.


    Causes of a Root Canal
    A cavity that has been left untreated can become larger. Once the cavity reaches the pulp of the tooth, an infection forms at the base of the root canal, causing an abscess. This abscess is generally painful and will need to be removed.




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    Tooth Fractures

    Tooth Fractures

    There are many types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depends on the type, location and severity of the crack.

    Unlike a broken bone, a fracture in a cracked tooth will never heal. Early diagnosis is important, even with high magnification and special lighting, it is sometimes difficult to determine the extent of a crack.

    A crown will bind and protect the cracked tooth. When a crack reaches the tooth root, root canal treatment is frequently needed to treat the injured pulp. A cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in the loss of the tooth.




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    Post and Crown

    When there is not enough tooth structure remaining after trauma, decay or a root canal procedure, then a post and crown will be utilized to restore the tooth to full form and function. A crown buildup is either composed of a bonded composite material or possibly an amalgam material. If a crown is placed on an unstable tooth foundation you will have a higher risk of having that crown fail. When the tooth has lost significant structure then a buildup is necessary in order to provide proper support of the new crown and to bring the tooth back to full function.




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    Types of Crowns

    Types of Crowns

    There are three basic types of crowns:

    1. 1) Porcelain outer surface with a metal base crown.
    2. 2) Pure porcelain or composite crown.
    3. 3) All metal crown, which is usually gold.
    They all differ in durability, strength, appearance and cost.




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    Gold Crown

    Gold Crown

    The 'gold' standard. Dental gold is about 60% gold alloy which is meant to match the hardness of the enamel of opposing teeth so both wear about evenly, an important trait.Gold does not tarnish or corrode and has some bacterial inhibiting quality. Gold crowns are strong and will not break. However, gold crowns obviously are not considered esthetic; they are gold colored. So usually gold crowns are used for lower back molars because they don't show there.




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    Porcelain Fused To Metal Crown (PFM)

    Porcelain Fused To Metal Crown (PFM)

    This is most common type of crown and has a proven track record. PFM crowns are fairly aesthetic and they look like real teeth. However, the margins or borders may appear dark because PFM crowns have a metal substructure with layers of porcelain fired over the substructure. Porcelain is very hard, much harder than natural enamel and may cause excessive wear of the enamel of opposing teeth. Porcelain may break with extreme biting forces.




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    Full Porcelain Crowns

    Full Porcelain Crowns

    These are very esthetic, bonded crowns. They are mostly used for front teeth because they are the most natural looking type of crown and are often used in 'cosmetic' dentistry. There are many types, but they all have a common feature - no metal. They can occasionally break, but dental technology has advanced far enough to make them quite strong.




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    Partial Dentures

    Removable partial dentures are composed of a metal framework with plastic teeth and gum areas. The framework includes metal clasps or other attachments, which hold the denture in place. Partial dentures are removed easily for cleaning.

    Clasps are C-shaped, I-shaped, and Y-shaped parts of the denture framework that fit around neighboring natural teeth. These teeth may require shaping to help hold the clasps and keep the denture securely in place.




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    Flexible Partial Dentures

    Flexible Partial Dentures

    Flexible partials are very comfortable. They are made from the latest technology in thermoplastic resins.

    Depending upon your condition, flexible partials may be all thermoplastic or they may be combined with Vitallium biocompatible metal for increased strength.




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    Precision Partials

    A precision partial is held in place by a specifically shaped extension that locks into an area on a natural tooth that has been crowned. This ensures that the denture will not slip or come out when speaking or chewing.




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    Full Arch Dentures

    At times, it is necessary for all teeth to be removed due to extensive periodontal disease and/or due to decay. An alternative for the replacement of all the teeth is a complete upper and/or lower denture. These dentures require support from your gum pad and many times require the use of dental adhesive. Throughout life, the dentures require constant adjustment and refitting and can cause the jaw bone to melt away making the dentures loose and once again requiring continuous adjustment.




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    Immediate Dentures

    An immediate denture is designed to be placed in the mouth immediately after the extraction of your natural teeth. An immediate denture eliminates the embarrassment of having to go without teeth, while the gums are healing.

    An immediate denture is designed to fit your mouth at the time impressions are taken; however, after a few months your gums will change drastically due to "gum resorption." It's possible that the denture will rub against the gums when it is first placed, which may be very sore until it can be adjusted. Gums shrink the most within the first year of having teeth extracted. Most patients will require relines within a few months, to restore the fit of their dentures. Expect that the first year of wearing dentures will also be the most difficult and costly.

    Since an immediate denture covers over the surgical site and the tooth sockets, it helps keep that tender surgical area from becoming irritated, much as a bandage would. Do not remove your denture by yourself, even for just a few minutes, until your dentist tells you it's all right. The gum tissue underneath the denture has a tendency to swell. If you take the denture out for very long, you may never get it back in again.




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    Full Arch Implants

    Dental implants that can be placed to accept a full arch of teeth.

    The arch is removable yet functions like a full set of normal teeth.




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    Wisdom Tooth Development

    Wisdom Tooth Development

    Wisdom teeth generally begin to form in your pre-teen years. By late teen years, the crown of the wisdom teeth will begin to erupt through the gums if there is adequate room. By mid twenties, your wisdom teeth will either be able to fully erupt or will have become impacted. Early removal of wisdom teeth makes the procedure easier for the patient to tolerate and promotes faster healing afterwards. By your early forties, the wisdom teeth roots have become fully anchored to the jawbone and if required to be extracted, will be much harder and will need more time to heal.




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    Wisdom Tooth Positions

    Wisdom Tooth Positions

    Wisdom teeth under ideal circumstances should grow in straight like any other tooth. However, it is common for wisdom teeth to become impacted inside the jaw or just under the gums. If this occurs, your wisdom teeth should be removed.

    Common Impactions:
    1) Horizontal Impaction
    2) Angular Impaction
    3) Vertical Impaction
    4) Soft Tissue Impaction




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    Wisdom Tooth Problems

    Wisdom Tooth Problems

    The problems involving your wisdom teeth may be caused by the size of your jaw and/or by how crowded your teeth are. Common warning symptoms that there is an un-natural problem in the development of your wisdom teeth could be pain and swelling.

    Symptoms can be caused by:
    1) Infection to the gums
    2) A crowded tooth displacing neighboring teeth
    3) A decayed wisdom tooth
    4) Poorly positioned wisdom tooth
    5) A cyst that destroys bone




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    Tooth Extraction

    When the extraction of a tooth is required, the area is well anesthetized and the tooth is carefully removed. Sometimes a stitch is needed to close the area.

    During this time, it is important to think about a tooth replacement option. An extracted tooth leaves an open area in the jaw, which in time allows the neighboring teeth to drift into the area where the tooth was extracted. This in turn, causes a chain reaction to all the surrounding teeth. Also, if you are considering an implant in the future, you should consider asking your dentist to place a bone graft at the time of surgery to preserve the bone width and height.




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    Pre-Surgery Instructions

    Pre-Surgery Instructions

    Before any oral surgical procedure you should:

    - Eat a light and easily digestible meal the night before your appointment
    - If you are going to be sedated, DO NOT eat or drink anything on the day of your appointment
    - Wear short sleeves and loose-fitting clothing
    - Arrange for a relative or friend to stay in the office with you and be ready to drive you home
    - You may NOT drive a car on the day of the surgery if you are to be sedated!




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    Post-Surgery Instructions

    Post-Surgery Instructions

    Fold a piece of clean gauze into a pad thick enough to bite on and place directly on the extraction site. Apply moderate pressure by closing the teeth firmly over the pad. Maintain this pressure for about 30 minutes. If the pad becomes soaked, replace it with a clean one as necessary. Do not suck on the extraction site (as with a straw). A slight amount of blood may leak at the extraction site until a clot forms. However, if heavy bleeding continues, call your dentist. (Remember, though, that a lot of saliva and a little blood can look like a lot of bleeding).

    The Blood Clot
    After an extraction, a blood clot forms in the tooth socket. This clot is an important part of the normal healing process and therefore activities that might disturb the clot should be avoided. Here's how to protect it:
    1. Do not smoke, rinse your mouth vigorously or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities create suction in the mouth, which could dislodge the clot and delay healing.
    2. Do not clean the teeth next to the healing tooth socket for the rest of the day. You should, however, brush and floss your other teeth thoroughly and gently rinse your mouth afterwards.
    3. Limit strenuous activity for 24 hours after the extraction. This will reduce bleeding and help the blood clot to form. Get plenty of rest.
    4.If you have sutures, your dentist will instruct you when to return to have them removed.

    Your dentist may prescribe medication to control pain and prevent infection. Use it only as directed. If the medication prescribed does not seem to work for you, do not increase the dosage. Please call your dentist immediately if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever.

    Swelling Pain

    After a tooth is removed, you may have some discomfort and notice some swelling. You can help reduce swelling and pain by applying cold compresses to the face. An ice bag or cold, moist cloth can be used periodically. Ice should be used only for the first day. Apply heat the following day if needed. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
    Diet

    After the extraction, drink lots of liquids and eat soft, nutritious foods. Avoid alcoholic beverages and hot liquids. Begin eating solid foods the next day or as soon as you can chew comfortably. For about two days, try to chew food on the side opposite the extraction site. If you are troubled by nausea and vomiting call your dentist for advice.

    Rinsing

    The day after the extraction, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water). Rinsing after meals is important to keep food particles away from the extraction site. Do not rinse vigorously!




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    Sedation Dentistry

    Sedation Dentistry

    Occasionally, a patient may become anxious and can't relax. There are forms of conscious sedation that allow a patient to relax and/or become sleepy. Forms of conscious sedation may involve inhaling a gas, taking an oral medication, getting an injection or receiving medication intravenously.




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    Oral Sedation

    Oral Sedation

    Patients who are more anxious may need an oral medication that is stronger than nitrous oxide. With oral sedation, the patient may be sleepy but can be aroused if necessary and can respond to simple commands.

    Minor side effects such as nausea or vomiting can occur with some medications. Before a visit in which a patient is to receive oral sedation, he/she should receive instructions about eating and drinking, what to expect and what to watch for after treatment. You may need assistance to get home after sedation. Patients may need to stay for a short observation after dental treatment has been completed.




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    Nitrous Oxide Sedation

    Nitrous Oxide Sedation

    Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is most often used for patients who are mildly or moderately anxious or nervous. It eases their fears so that they can relax and receive treatment comfortably and safely. Nitrous oxide is administered by placing a small mask over the patient's nose. As the gas begins to work, the patient becomes calm, but is still awake and can communicate. When the gas is turned off, the effects of sedation wear off almost immediately.




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    IV Sedation

    IV Sedation

    Intravenous (into a vein) methods of sedation require more experience to be administered and monitored properly. Intravenous medications should only be administered by dentists with extensive training in these techniques.

    IV sedation may be recommended if the patient:

    -Can't relax or calm down enough for treatment to be performed safely, even with nitrous oxide and other behavior management techniques

    -Needs oral surgery or other dental treatment that would be difficult for the patient to tolerate while completely awake

    -Needs a lot of dental work that can best be done in one long appointment rather than many shorter visits

    -Has a medical, physical or emotional disability that limits his or her ability to understand directions and be treated safely as an outpatient.

    Some general dentists have received training and certification in IV sedation.




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    Causes of TMJ/TMD

    TMJ and TMD Symptoms and Treatment Overview

    Do you ever experience a clicking or popping sound when opening or closing your mouth? Have you been suffering from headaches or migraines and no one seems to be able to help you? Have you been taking pain medicine for years and would like to get off of it? Do you feel any clogging or congestion in one or both of your ears? These are just a few of many symptoms that might be associated with TMD, or Temporomandibular Dysfunction, a common condition affecting the jaw joint or Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).

    TMJ dysfunction, often referred to as TMD, is a disharmony between the way the jaw joint works in an unstrained position and the way the teeth and bite work during those movements. Possible causes of this disharmony include tooth loss, accidents (like whiplash), mal-positioned and/or underdeveloped cranial or jawbones, and perhaps habits like clenching or teeth grinding. Many people go through life suffering from headaches and a variety of facial and neck pains without knowing the ultimate cause, which in many cases is TMJ disorder.

    Define TMJ and TMD

    TMJ or The Temporomandibular Joint

    They are the two joints which connect the lower jaw to the temporal bone at the side of the head. If you place your fingers just in front of your ears and open your mouth, you can feel the joint on each side of the head. Because these joints are flexible, the jaw can move smoothly up and down and side to side, enabling us to talk, chew and yawn. When the TMJ is not functioning normally and it is not within its physiological limits, it creates a condition called TMD, or Temporomandibular Dysfunction.

    TMD is a group of conditions resulting from not having a normal function or "comfortable" positioning of the TMJ, and will present as a cycle of pain, muscle spasms and jaw problems. When teeth are missing, out of alignment, crowded or misshaped, chewing and biting cannot be achieved in a balanced way, so the TMJ and the muscles of chewing try to compensate for this unbalanced movement which results in symptoms that will confirm the presence of TMD.

    Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is not just a disorder, but a group of conditions, often painful, that affect the jaw joint or Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) and the muscles that control chewing.

    TMD falls into three main categories:
    1. Myofascial pain, the most common form of TMD, which is discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw functions and the neck and shoulder muscles.
    2. Internal derangement of the joint meaning a dislocated or displaced disc or injury to the condyle (the rounded part at the end of the jaw bone).
    3. Degenerative joint disease such as Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis in the jaw joint. Causes of TMJ/TMD
    There are many causes for TMD such as:
    1. Unbalanced occlusion or "Bad Bite"
    2. Stress (emotional or work/school related)
    3. Injury or trauma (this could have been an injury as obvious as a blow to the jaw with a fist or something as subtle as a whiplash injury with direct trauma to the head or jaw.
    4. Teeth grinding or Bruxism
    A "Bad Bite" could be caused by any of the following:
    1. Missing teeth
    2. Crowded or "crooked" teeth
    3. Worn down teeth
    4. Old crowns and bridges
    5. Unbalanced dentures

    When teeth are missing, or out of alignment, it causes the jaw to shift positions and the muscles to work harder to chew, swallow, bite...etc and eventually will cause: muscle spasms, tension and pain.

    Muscle tension and misplaced TMJ could cause the TMJ disc to be pulled out of place which will result in pain, clicking and popping in the TMJ.

    If the disc is displaced for a long time, the bones will start rubbing against each other and some damage will happen to the bone, this is called Osteoorthrosis.

    If there is inflammation in other joints or bones of the body, it is called Osteoarthritis (Arthritis) which may involve the jaw bone and the TMJ. Some damage to the bone may be evident on the x-rays. Please call our office and allow us to discuss your best treatment options.

    TMD Symptoms
    1. Headaches, Migraines or tension headaches
    2. Worn or loose teeth
    3. Painful muscles in the neck and shoulders (muscle spasms)
    4. Pain behind the eyes.
    5. Clicking and popping of the jaw joint (TMJ)
    6. Locked jaw or restriction in opening or closing the mouth
    7. Earaches or a clogging feeling in the ears
    8. Tingling or numbness in the hands and the fingertips




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    Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Idaho Falls Dental Group works with sleep apnea dental patients in the Idaho Falls area. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is very common and if left untreated can cause individuals to stop breathing during their sleep for a minute or more. Each time this happens, the brain will wake a person up for a moment in order to get them breathing again, which results in sleep being interrupted frequently and leaving the individual tired throughout the day.




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    Causes of Sleep Apnea

    Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the tongue is stuck against the back of the throat blocking the upper airway causing air flow to stop. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a very common chronic disorder that may create respiratory or cardiovascular complications if left untreated.

    Signs that you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea are:
    - Snore loudly.
    - Gasp for air or pause breathing during sleep.
    - Feel sleepy during the day and sometimes fall asleep at inappropriate times.
    - Wake up more than 2 times a night to use the bathroom.
    - If you are more than 30 pounds over weight with a large neck size.




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    Snoring

    Snoring is caused when the muscles and soft tissue in the throat and mouth relax making the breathing airway smaller. A relaxed and/or collapsed airway produces soft tissue vibrations during breathing and snoring is the result. Idaho Falls Dental Group has provided oral appliances that can greatly reduce or stop snoring for most people.




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    Snoring Appliance

    A snoring appliance is a custom fit mouthpiece that is made from plastic and is easy to clean with a toothbrush. It is designed to keep the upper and lower jaw in place when the throat relaxes during sleep. This allows the air passage to remain open while providing a quiet and relaxing sleep.




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    Conventional Braces

    Conventional Braces

    Braces are bonded brackets, archwires and elastic bands that move crowded or spaced teeth into the proper position for appearance and function.

    Over a period of time, teeth will shift if constant, gentle pressure is applied. Brackets are bonded to the front surface of each tooth and wires are attached to the brackets with elastic bands. The slight tension on the wire is gently transferred to the bracket through the elastic band.

    Today's orthodontic treatment is faster, comfortable and more fashionable than ever for children, teens and adults.




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    Clear Braces

    Clear Braces

    Translucent 'clear' braces and tooth colored ceramic brackets provide a very aesthetic alternative to traditional metal braces. Today's clear braces provide the same quality of treatment as metal braces, but are simply less noticeable.




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    Invisalign

    Invisalign is the breakthrough technology that lets you have the smile you've always wanted without the hassle of braces.

    By using a series of clear, removable aligners, Invisalign straightens your teeth with results you'll notice sooner than you think. The course of treatment involves changing aligners approximately every two weeks, moving your teeth into a straighter position step-by-step, until you have a more beautiful smile. Unlike conventional braces, these clear aligners can be removed while you eat and brush your teeth as usual.

    An average Invisalign course of treatment takes about a year.

    Invisalign Website

    Invisalign Self Assessment




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    Adult Orthodontics

    Adult Orthodontics

    Many developments in today's orthodontic treatment have been focused on helping adult patients. If your teeth are crooked, orthodontic treatment at any age may be just what you need to give you a smile you can wear with confidence.

    Recent improvements in traditional braces have resulted in smaller, stronger, more efficient and less conspicuous brackets.

    Metal brackets are the most familiar, however, clear and tooth-color ceramic and plastic brackets are now available.




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    Misaligned Bite

    Class I - A malocclusion where the bite is okay and the top teeth line up with the bottom teeth, but the teeth are crooked, crowded or turned.




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    Over Bite

    Class II - A malocclusion where the upper teeth stick out past the lower teeth commonly referred to as an "over bite", "over jet", "deep bite" or "buck teeth".




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    Under Bite

    Class III - A malocclusion where the lower teeth stick out past the upper teeth called an 'under bite'.




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    Palate Expander

    Palate Expander

    A palatal expander is an appliance placed in the roof of the mouth to widen the upper dental arch, which allows the arch to be painlessly separated and spread. A treatment used for younger patients. Many times a palatal expander can be used to create a proper alignment of the arches so permanent teeth have room to erupt in a natural position. Often, the use of an arch expander early may eliminate the need for braces later.




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    Lingual Arch

    Lingual Arch

    A lower lingual arch is a space maintainer for the lower teeth. It maintains the molars where they are, it does not move them. It keeps the molars from migrating forward and prevents them from blocking off space of teeth that develop later. Used when early loss of baby teeth or when lower teeth are slightly crowded.




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    Space Maintainer

    Space Maintainer

    A space maintainer is a removable or fixed appliance designed to maintain an existing space. They are usually fitted to children when they have lost baby teeth early. The gap left from losing this tooth needs to be held open for the permanent tooth to erupt in its correct position.




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    Spring Distalizer

    Ortho Spring Distalizer

    This appliance is indicated when one molar (an erupting six-year molar) is caught under the edge of a primary second molar. The appliance features a wire spring which is attached to the erupting molar and to the second molar. The spring provides the force to move the erupting molar into proper position.




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    Spring Hawley Retainer

    Spring Hawley Retainer

    After completing orthodontic therapy it is not uncommon to still need a little fine tuning of tooth alignment. This is particularly true in patients who have undergone extensive orthodontic therapy and are simply 'burned out.'

    This retainer is useful in correcting minor rotations and crowding. When worn, the spring action of the wires, provide a light force to align the teeth. The appliance is constructed to the 'ideal' setting and the patient's teeth adapt to their new position.




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    Headgear

    Orthodontic Headgear

    A headgear is an orthodontic appliance attached to dental braces that aid in correcting severe bite problems. The headgear is attached to the braces and is anchored from the back of the head, neck or forehead. Its purpose is to stop the upper jaw from growing and to distalize the upper molars, hence preventing or correcting overbite. The type that is anchored on the forehead is used to medialize the upper molars, hence correcting or preventing under bite. There are two different headgears, one to correct overbite (cervical headgear) and one to treat under bites (reverse headgear). Headgear should be worn 10 - 14 hours daily, typically at night, or as directed by your dentist.




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    Orthodontic FAQs

    Orthodontic FAQs

    What is the right age for Orthodontics?
    The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child receive an initial orthodontic examination as early as age 7. The timing of orthodontic treatment is extremely important and greatly affects the treatment result. Early diagnosis and treatment by a specialist can help prevent more serious problems.


    Orthodontics is not just for children. While most people tend to associate orthodontics with children, adults are also prime candidates for treatment. Approximately 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Advances in technology and the introduction of more indiscriminate, clear braces make the benefits of orthodontics a must for any adult.


    How much do braces cost?
    Every mouth is different. There is no standard fee. The doctor needs to do an exam to evaluate orthodontic needs on an individual basis.


    Does Orthodontic Treatment hurt?
    There may be a little discomfort after adjustments, but Tylenol or Advil can usually remedy any discomfort.


    Why do you need braces if teeth are straight but the bite is off?
    Orthodontics isn't only for pretty teeth. A good, healthy bite helps eliminate other health problems in later years. It also helps save teeth from wearing.


    How long do I have to wear my braces?
    We let our patients know their estimated completion date and let them know that if they miss or reschedule appointments, don't wear their elastics, and do not cooperate, it will take longer.


    How long do I have to wear my retainers?
    For the first year you need to wear them all day and all night. After that, retainer wear depends on your individual treatment and the difficulty in holding the teeth in your corrected position.


    What is a bite plate?
    A bite plate helps to correct a deep bite and it keeps you from biting into your lower braces.


    Can the fee for Orthodontic Treatment be financed?
    Yes, there are several different payment options. See our "Payment and Insurance" link for more details.


    Do I continue to see my Dentist for regular visits during Orthodontic Treatment?
    Yes, you will need to continue to see your dentist for regular checkups.


    How long is full Orthodontic Treatment?
    Treatment is 18-30 months, depending on the difficulty of the case and amount of treatment needed.




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    Orthodontic Hygiene

    Orthodontic Hygiene

    Braces create small ledges, nooks and crannies for food deposits. If these areas are not kept clean, cavities and/or gum problems may develop. This makes brushing and flossing even more important while you are wearing braces. When you brush and floss, handle your appliances carefully so you won't break or loosen them. Following these brushing and eating tips will keep your appliances and your smile healthy.




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    Eating Tips with Orthodontics

    Eating Tips with Orthodontics

    While you are wearing braces, you can eat almost all of your favorite foods. Please stay away from these troublemakers:

    - Sticky foods like gum, taffy and caramels
    - Hard foods like apples and carrots (cut them into pieces)
    - Crunchy foods like corn chips, popcorn and nuts
    -Sweet foods like cake, cookies and candy




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    Brushing with Orthodontics

    Brushing with Orthodontics

    Be sure to brush your teeth right after every meal and before you go to bed. It's best to use a fluoride toothpaste to help fight cavities. Your orthodontist may prescribe a fluoride mouth rinse to help prevent cavities. Try to brush like this:

    - Start by brushing the outside of each tooth at least 10 times.
    - Then brush where your gums and teeth meet, using a circular motion.
    - Brush the inside surface of each tooth at least 10 times too.
    - Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth last.




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    Flossing with Orthodontics

    Flossing with Orthodontics

    Because your toothbrush won't reach between your teeth, brushing alone won't keep your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing can help. A floss threader, available from us or a pharmacy, helps you floss with braces on. Floss one a day, like this:
    1. Thread floss through the threader and slip it up behind your archwire.
    2. Pull the floss between two teeth and up under your gum margins.
    3. Rinse with lots of clean water, and watch your teeth and braces sparkle!




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    Remember to Brush with Orthodontics

    Remember to Brush with Orthodontics

    You should be brushing at least three times a day - once at breakfast, at lunch and before you go to bed. If you are not able to brush after you eat, be sure to rinse thoroughly with water, and NEVER skip brushing at night before you go to bed.




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    Fluoride Use for Orthodontics

    Fluoride Use for Orthodontics

    Use a fluoridated toothpaste. Your orthodontist may prescribe a fluoride rinse if necessary.




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    Banding

    Banding

    The process of cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.




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    Orthodontic Consultation

    Orthodontic Consultation

    A meeting with your treatment coordinator and your orthodontist to discuss your treatment plan.




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    Impressions

    Impressions

    The first step in making a model of your teeth. You bite into a container filled with a rubber type material, and that material hardens to produce a mold of your teeth.




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    Wax Bite

    Wax Bite

    A procedure to measure how well your teeth come together. You bite a sheet of wax and leave bite marks in the wax. This helps the orthodontist relate the upper and lower models of your teeth together.




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    Child's First Dental Visit

    Child

    We explain to the child what is going to happen and generally provide a fun interesting experience for the child. We carefully examine the development of their mouth including crowding, appearance of calcium deposits, abnormality in the number of teeth, baby bottle tooth decay, gum disease, TMJ, and signs of prolonged problems such as thumb-sucking and teething. We take x-rays when needed. We clean and polish teeth and apply fluoride when needed. We explain how a healthy diet relates to healthy teeth and we demonstrate the correct way to brush the teeth.




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    Pediatric Dental X-Rays

    Dental X-Rays for Children

    In general, children need x-rays more often than adults. Their mouths grow and change rapidly. They are more susceptible to tooth decay than adults. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends x-ray examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. Children with a low risk of tooth decay require x-rays less frequently.

    X-rays allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable and affordable.
    X-ray films detect:
    - Cavities
    - Erupting teeth
    - Diagnose bone diseases
    - Evaluate the results of an injury
    - Plan orthodontic treatment

    Particular care is applied to minimize the exposure of young patients to radiation. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental x-ray examination is extremely small. The risk is negligible. In fact, dental x-rays represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem.




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    Children Tooth Development

    Children continually get new teeth from age 3 months to the age 6 years. Most children have a full set of twenty (20) primary teeth by the time they are 3 years old. As a child nears the age 6, the jaw grows making room for the permanent teeth. At the same time, the roots of the baby teeth begin to be resorbed by the tissues around them and the permanent teeth under them begin to erupt.
    Primary teeth are just as important as permanent teeth for chewing, speaking and appearance. They also serve as placement holders for the permanent teeth. Primary teeth also provide structure to help shape the child's face.




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    Space Maintainer

    Space Maintainer

    A space maintainer is a removable or fixed appliance designed to maintain an existing space. They are usually fitted to children when they have lost baby teeth early. The gap left from losing this tooth needs to be held open for the permanent tooth to erupt in its correct position.




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    Early Childhood Caries

    Now known as 'Early Childhood Caries' is an aggressive form of caries that occurs in infants and very young children. It is typically associated with prolonged consumption of liquids containing sugar, and affects initially the top front teeth, later spreading to other 'baby teeth'. Because of the aggressive nature of this disease, early intervention is necessary.The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that ALL children should see a dentist before age one.




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    Baby Tooth Care

    Baby Tooth Care

    Healthy teeth are important to your baby's overall health. Teeth help your baby chew food and form words and sounds when speaking. They also affect the way your baby's jaw grows.

    Every baby is different. Generally, the 2 front teeth start to appear between 4 and 7 months of age. Teething is usually painless, but it can make some babies uncomfortable and fussy. Giving your baby a cold teething ring or a cold washcloth to chew or suck on may help. Teething does not cause a fever. If your baby has a fever, you should talk to your doctor.

    Start cleaning your baby's teeth twice a day as soon as the first tooth appears. Until your child is 1 year old, you can use a wet wash cloth or gauze to clean your baby's teeth and gums. At about a 1 year to 18 months of age, you should start using a soft baby toothbrush and a small dab of toothpaste that does not have fluoride in it. This type of toothpaste is safe for your baby to swallow.

    Be sure to take your baby to a dentist by his or her first birthday, especially if there is a high risk for cavities or any other problems with his or her teeth. It is better for your child to meet the dentist and see the office before he or she has a tooth problem.




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    Thumb Sucking

    Thumb Sucking

    It is completely normal and healthy for your baby or young child to suck on a thumb, finger, or pacifier. If children stop the habit by 4 to 5, the shape of the jaw is usually not affected and the teeth grow in normally. Children who continue sucking on a pacifier, finger, or thumb when their permanent adult teeth start to come in are more likely to have bite problems.

    Sucking can cause:
    - The top front teeth to slant out
    - The bottom front teeth to tilt in
    - The upper and lower jaws to be misaligned
    - The roof of the mouth to be narrowed
    - The need for braces

    Treatment:
    Your doctor may decide to construct an appliance to discourage thumb sucking.




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    Topical Fluoride

    Topical Fluoride

    Fluoride has been proven effective in helping to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride, in very small concentrations, naturally occurs in well water in some areas, and is artificially injected into urban drinking water in other areas. There is little or no fluoride in the drinking water in the greater Idaho Falls area. As an alternative, 'Topical Fluoride' is often used to help fight cavities. Topical Fluoride is not ingested as with drinking water, but is placed on the outer enamel surfaces of teeth in order to harden the enamel against acid attacks the initiation of tooth decay. There are several vehicles by which topical fluoride is applied. It is present in most toothpastes. Some over-the-counter mouth rinses have fluoride. There are prescription strength fluoride rinses, toothpastes and gels. Topical fluoride treatments are routinely done during check-up and cleaning visits for children at the dentist office. A relatively new product, called fluoride varnish, can be placed on decay prone areas on teeth at the dentist office. When used properly, fluoride is still one of the best decay fighting techniques we have in dentistry today.




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    Sealants

    Sealants

    Sealants are a proven way to help prevent cavities. Although sealants do not take the place of proper oral hygiene, they do prevent bacteria from getting into the deeper crevices in a tooth's biting surface.

    However, sealants can only protect the biting surfaces of the teeth and not the sides. Sealants may gradually wear out or break and need to be replaced.




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    Pulpotomy

    Pulpotomy

    Baby teeth that have large caries (cavities) and some degree of pain occasionally require that the "coronal" (top) portion of that tooth's nerve be removed before a filling or a crown (preferably) is placed. The main goal of this procedure is to preserve the baby tooth, since baby teeth help to maintain adequate room for the permanent teeth. Pulpotomies have published success rates that range from 60% to 90% and represent a good and reliable way to save a badly decayed baby tooth.




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    Stainless Steel Crowns

    Stainless Steel Crowns

    Stainless steel crowns, also known as 'silver crowns or caps', are a very common procedure used to restore 'baby teeth' (and occasionally permanent teeth) that have large caries or those that had a pulpotomy (baby root canal). Although most teeth can be filled with a white or silver filling material, stainless steel crowns are by far the most predictable and durable option to fix 'baby teeth' with large caries, large defects, or damaged enamel. This is particularly true in very young children that have caries at a young age, since it is preferred that the 'fixed' teeth last as long as possible.




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    Child's First Pediatric Dental Visit

    First Visit

    According to guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should be seen by his/her pediatric dentist no later than six months after the eruption of the first tooth. This visit mainly will involve counseling on oral hygiene, habits, and on the effects that diet can have on his/her teeth. It is NOT recommended to wait until age 3 to visit your dentist and as a general rule, the earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly, and smile with confidence. Start your child now on a lifetime of good dental habits. The AAPD also recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year; however some children that may be at a higher-than-average caries risk may need to be seen more often.




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    Gaps between childs teeth

    Gaps between childs teeth

    It is normal and even 'ideal' for baby teeth to have spacing between each other. Keep in mind that when permanent teeth erupt, their size will be considerably larger than that of baby teeth. As the baby teeth are lost, the erupting permanent tooth will quickly take advantage of this excess space. Children who do not have spacing in their primary dentition can have a higher incidence of crowding (crooked teeth) in the permanent dentition.




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    Toothpaste for my child

    Toothpaste for my child

    There is no such thing as the best toothpaste. We recommend ONLY products that have been ADA (American Dental Association) accepted or approved.

    The selection is usually made on a case-by-case basis, however the main consideration when selecting toothpaste is your child's age.

    This is due to the risk of fluorosis in younger children that swallow toothpaste during regular brushing. A child may face the condition called enamel fluorosis if he or she gets too much fluoride during the years of tooth development. Too much fluoride can result in defects in tooth enamel.




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    Enamel Fluorosis

    Enamel Fluorosis

    In severe cases of enamel fluorosis, the appearance of the teeth is marred by discoloration or brown markings. The enamel may be pitted, rough, and hard to clean. In mild cases of fluorosis, the tiny white specks or streaks are often unnoticeable.




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    How Enamel Fluorosis occurs

    How Enamel Fluorosis occurs

    By swallowing too much fluoride for the child's size and weight during the years of tooth development, a child can develop enamel fluorosis. This can happen in several different ways. First, a child may take more of a fluoride supplement than the amount prescribed.Second, the child may take a fluoride supplement when there is already an optimal amount of fluoride in the drinking water.Third, some children simply like the taste of fluoridated toothpaste. They may use too much toothpaste, and then swallow it instead of spitting it out.




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    Silver Caps for children

    Silver Caps for children

    Recent controversy regarding the use of Stainless Steel Crowns (SSCs) in some states have led some parents to question dental care providers more thoroughly on their use and on other alternatives. SSCs have been used in dentistry for over 50 years for primary and permanent dentition.

    For primary teeth, SSCs are usually placed on teeth that have extensive caries (where two or more surfaces are extensively involved), or teeth that have pulp treatment (such as pulpotomy or pulpectomy). We also use them in teeth that will remain in the mouth for a considerably long period of time; where other materials will not last long enough.

    SSCs become loose and come out of the mouth just like normal primary teeth. They work just like normal teeth do, and require the same care. Alternatives to Stainless Steel Crowns do exist, particularly for front teeth. Usually these can be one of the following:

    - A prefabricated SSC that has a white facing bonded to it on the front (Commonly we use the Nu-Smile brand: www.nusmilecrowns.com)
    - A white cap fabricated with a white filling material (Usually we call these strip crowns).
    - A normal SSC that we modify by building a window in the front of it, which we later fill with a white filling material.




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    Having baby-teeth pulled

    Having baby-teeth pulled

    How is that going to affect him or her? Children require extraction of one or more primary teeth in certain situations. These situations may include extensive decay on their front teeth, and/or localized infection (for example an abscess or a gum boil). Extractions are also necessary in cases of trauma, where the baby teeth have been pushed back, pushed forward, broken, or simply knocked out. Parents are obviously concerned of the aesthetic and functional effects (on speech, feeding, and breathing) of removing one or more front baby teeth. There is good evidence that has shown NO long-term speech impediments on these cases. We also know from our professional experience that once the gums heal, children will be able to eat almost anything, since they can still bite-and-cut with the remaining teeth. As far as aesthetics is concerned, your pediatric dentist can offer you information on fixed appliances that can replace the missing tooth/teeth, assuming your child meets the right criteria.




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    Will you need to give my child a shot to do the dental work?

    Will you need to give my child a shot to do the dental work?

    This is the one of the most commonly asked questions that we get from our patient's parents. We try to minimize the discomfort of the injection by placing a gel that works as a local anesthetic and numbs the tissue were the injection will be administered. Profound local anesthesia is usually obtained five to ten minutes after the injection, depending on the area of the mouth where the anesthetic was placed. We always check to confirm that the area is numb before we begin to work. In cases of localized infection or trauma (like broken teeth) it is very difficult to obtain profound anesthesia, however we do have other means of supplementing the anesthetic (like conjoined use of nitrous-oxide gas, medications, or conscious sedation). Younger children, particularly pre-schoolers may interpret the feeling of numbness as pain, and therefore cry. Please follow the postoperative instructions that we give you, in order to minimize complications such as lip biting.




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    My child's teeth have stains on them, are these cavities?

    My child

    When a baby-tooth changes color, it can mean many things. Baby teeth can and do normally change in color, particularly close to the time that they become loose, however, this change is minimal and should not be confused with a carious lesion (cavity). The best way to determine if your child has a stain or a true cavity is to take him or her to a pediatric dentist. Caries is an infectious disease; it progresses if left untreated, and usually is associated with pain (especially when the 'cavities' are large). Teeth with cavities typically assume a darker (brown) discoloration, and depending on the extent, may exhibit loss of tooth structure. Teeth that have been previously 'bumped' may also change in color. Traumatized baby teeth can assume a yellow or a dark discoloration, which may or may-not be associated with pain. Other less common causes of changes in color may be: Fluorosis, food staining (particularly tea or colas), systemic disease (hepatitis), etc.




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    My child is getting shark teeth what can i do?

    My child is getting shark teeth what can i do?

    One of our most common consults occurs when children around the age of 7 begin to lose their lower front teeth. Many of our parents become overly worried about this phenomenon. It is VERY NORMAL for permanent lower incisors (front teeth) to erupt behind their predecessors (baby teeth), however if a baby tooth is not loose by the time half of the permanent incisor has erupted, it may be necessary to pull it.




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    My child has crooked teeth, will he or she need braces?

    My child has crooked teeth, will he or she need braces?

    Crooked or crowded teeth are very common in the growing patient. Even patients that get braces may develop a minor degree of crooked (crowded) teeth, particularly in the front teeth of the jaws, as they grow old.

    The first step in determining the need for treatment is what we call an orthodontic consult. During this appointment we may obtain special records and special x-rays of your child's jaw. This information will allow us to make a decision based on predicted growth patterns that your child may show later. In orthodontic terms we refer to this as Early Treatment.

    Early treatment refers to ANY orthodontic (braces) or orthopedic appliances (like Headgear) treatment that begins when the child is in primary dentition, or in early mixed dentition (when the first permanent teeth begin to erupt).

    Early treatment has been proven to be effective despite objections by some people in the orthodontic community.

    The AAPD recognizes that early diagnosis and successful treatment of developing malocclusions can have both short-term and long-term benefits, while achieving the goal of occlusal harmony, function, and facial esthetics.




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    Oral Piercing

    Oral Piercing

    Oral piercings can be bad for your health. Because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, infection is a common complication of oral piercing. Pain and swelling are other side effects of piercing. Your tongue (a popular piercing site in the mouth) could swell large enough to close off your airway. Piercings can also cause uncontrollable bleeding or nerve damage. The jewelry itself also presents some hazards. You can choke on any studs, barbells or hoops that come loose in your mouth, and contact with the jewelry can chip or crack your teeth.




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    Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

    Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

    Baby bottle tooth decay or syndrome is a form of tooth decay that can destroy the teeth of an infant. This decay may even enter the underlying bone structure, which can hamper development of the permanent teeth. The teeth most likely to be damaged are the upper teeth. Baby bottle decay is caused by frequent and long exposure of a child's teeth to liquids containing sugar such as milk, formula, fruit juices, pop and other sweetened liquids. These liquids fuel the bacteria in a child's mouth, which produces acids that attack enamel.




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    Tobacco

    You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

    Current studies have also established that tobacco smoking not only causes direct damage to your mouth but also makes periodontal diseases more damaging and harder to treat.

    There is a greater incidence of calculus formation on teeth, deeper pockets between gums and teeth, more gum recession and more loss of the bone that hold teeth in your mouth. In addition, smokeless tobacco greatly increases your chance of developing oral cancer. Any tobacco usage can complicate the placement of dental implants.

    Besides smokeless tobacco, cigarette smoking negatively impacts the health of the gums. The healing capacity of the mouth is significantly altered. The healing time from any procedure is always increased. Needless to say smoking creates more tartar, more stain, bad breath and an increased potential for mouth cancer.

    Other chemicals impair the function of your white blood cells which are your first line of defense against infection. The tars contain carcinogens which over time induce cell mutations and cancers.

    Quitting tobacco use will lower the risk of your developing cancer and improve the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your heart and lungs.

    Smokeless tobacco poses very serious problems including:
    - Causes tooth decay
    - Eats away your gums
    - Leads to tooth loss
    - Bad breath
    - Stains your teeth
    - Causes oral sensitivity to hot and cold
    - Decreases sense of taste and smell

    If oral cancer is left untreated long enough, it may even cause death.




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    Pregnancy

    Pregnancy

    We ask that our female patients who are pregnant or think they possibly could be to inform us prior to your x-ray examination and dental treatment.




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    Bruxism

    Bruxism, commonly known as "tooth grinding," is the process of clenching together and the grinding of the upper and lower teeth. During sleep, the biting force of clenched jaws can be up to six times greater than during waking hours.


    Bruxism can cause complications over the years:
    - Wear down tooth enamel
    - Break fillings or other dental work
    - Worsening of TMJ dysfunction
    - Jaw pain, toothaches, headaches, or earaches
    - Tooth sensitivity
    - Tooth mobility
    - Chipped teeth
    - Erodes gums and supporting bones contributing to gum disease


    There is no cure for bruxism; however, the condition can be managed. The most common procedure to help to alleviate pain and discomfort is a Nightguard.




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    Xylitol

    Xylitol

    Xylitol is an all natural sweetener with anti-bacterial properties. This unique sweetener is primarily derived from forest and agricultural products. In the early 1970s, the dental benefits of using xylitol to prevent caries were recognized and published. Xylitol is available in many products such as toothpaste, oral rinse, chewing gum and mints. The efficacy of these products depend on the amount of xylitol in the product and frequency of use.

    We recommend using products from the Spry Dental Defense System for proven effective oral hygiene. The use of xylitol found in these products has been clinically proven to help reduce the risk of cavities and other oral diseases.

    We also recommend Xlear Nasal Wash with xylitol to help cleanse and hydrate sinus tissues. When used consistently, Xlear Nasal Wash can help build strong respiratory health.




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    Mouth Guard

    Mouth Guard

    Accidents can happen during any physical activity. A mouth protector can help protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Over-the-counter stock mouth protectors are inexpensive, pre-formed and ready-to-wear. Boil and bite mouth protectors offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. Softened in water, they are more adaptable to the shape of your mouth. Custom-fitted mouth protectors are made by your dentist for you personally. They are more expensive, but a properly fitted mouth protector will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breathe.




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    Dry Mouth

    Dry Mouth

    Saliva flow is important other than appearance and comfort. It keeps the mouth moist and aids in chewing, swallowing, digestion and speech. Dry mouth is a condition from the lack normal saliva flow.


    Causes of dry mouth:
    - Dehydration
    - Emotional Stress
    - Anemia
    - Related to surgery
    - Medical Conditions
    - Medication
    - Allergy
    - Anti-depressant
    - Blood pressure
    - Some mouth washes high in alcohol content


    Dry mouth symptoms:
    - Mouth feels sticky
    - Lips cracked and dry
    - Tongue may have burning sensation


    People who experience dry mouth are at high risk for developing:
    - Cavities
    - Gum disease
    - Bad breath


    Helping dry mouth:
    - Chewing gum / lozenges
    - Humidifier at night
    - Maintaining good oral hygiene




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    Bad Breath

    Bad Breath

    What you eat affects the air you exhale. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to objectionable breath odor. Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is expelled. The odors will continue until the body eliminates the food. People who diet may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating. If you don't brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant odor. Dry mouth occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Saliva is necessary to cleanse the mouth and remove particles that may cause odor. Dry mouth may be caused by various medications, salivary gland problems or continuously breathing through the mouth. Tobacco products cause bad breath, so if you use tobacco, ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit. Bad breath may also be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment.




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    Canker Sores

    Canker Sores

    Canker sores are common in adults and children, and generally tend to cause discomfort, particularly during eating. Although several factors have been named as possible 'causes' of aphthous ulcers, trauma is the most common trigger for them. It has also been observed that they appear in patients who are under stress, or those experiencing health problems. They have also been attributed to hormonal changes, and to some types of dietary deficiencies (ie, Vitamin B12, Iron, Folic Acid, etc.). Although there is no specific treatment for the ulcer itself, except for severe cases (where usually steroids are prescribed); treatment is usually focused on the pain caused by the ulceration.




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    Sensitivity Suppression

    Suppress the urge to avoid cleaning teeth that are sensitive to cold! Teeth that have suffered damage from gum disease (recession) will always be more sensitive to cold - avoiding them only makes it worse.

    After any dental treatment, teeth may become sensitive to cold. This is their way of letting you know that they've been injured. In fact, any injury (cavity, tooth clenching/grinding, gum infection) can injure the nerves in a tooth. This should not last long, but only if the teeth are kept clean. If the teeth are not kept clean the sensitivity will remain or get worse.

    If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with your Dentist. This could be a sign of the need for root canal treatment or a gum tissue graft. A desensitizing toothpaste (with potassium nitrate) or concentrated fluoride gel (0.4% stannous - or 1.1% sodium-fluoride) may do the trick.





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