Is Nitrous Oxide Safe at The Dentist?
Your dentist in Douglasville strives to make every dental appointment fun and stress-free for all of our patients. But we do understand that some of our patients may be nervous, anxious, or scared of their visit. While we will certainly use all our techniques to help you relax, there are some times when we need to consider using a form of sedation dentistry such as nitrous oxide. But what is nitrous oxide? Is it safe? Don’t worry, we are here to help answer your questions.
What is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide is a gas that has no smell and no color but can help relax patients while in the dental chair. It simply helps soothe the mind and makes getting dental care easier, more comfortable, and more enjoyable. This is important, especially for kids, because a kid’s experience with a dentist in their earlier years can affect their attitude about dentistry throughout their life. In fact, a study published in the National Library of Medicine found that many adults who are scared of the dentist can trace their fear back to a negative experience that occurred during childhood, and those adults are less likely to have regular dental and more likely to have dental problems.
Is Nitrous Oxide Safe?
Yes! The American Dental Association considers nitrous oxide safe for patients to use during their dental appointments with proper moderation. Now, it shouldn’t necessarily be used on every patient in every situation, but it can be beneficial for patients who:
- Will be having a longer procedure
- Have trouble sitting still
- Have a strong gag reflex
- Experience fear
- Are special needs patients
If your dentist in Douglasville recommends nitrous oxide for you, know that it is safe and the effects wear off quickly.
How Is Nitrous Oxide Administered?
One of the great things about nitrous oxide is that there are no needles involved, and it can be administered directly through a small nose mask. This mask only covers your nose and delivers nitrous oxide, along with oxygen, simply through breathing. It takes about five minutes for the nitrous oxide to take effect. After treatment is done, you will breathe just oxygen for a little bit to clean out any gas and will have no lingering drowsiness from the nitrous oxide. Sometimes, nitrous oxide can cause nausea so we may encourage only a small meal or snack before any nitrous appointment.
If you need dental treatment that may take a while or if you’re scared of the dentist, talk with your dentist in Douglasville about how we can help. We’re always accepting new patients and would be happy to help!
5 Damaging Dental Trends on Social Media
The internet is full of great information, but it can be difficult to tell the difference between wise advice and dangerous trends. This is particularly true when it comes to health tips and dental tricks. However, your dentist in Douglasville wants to warn you that there has been a rise in social media trends that can directly damage dental health.
DIY Dentistry Dangers
Taking a do-it-yourself approach to anything involving your oral health is concerning. But when thousands of social media stars showcase their at-home dental care to millions of people, some patients are bound to try these techniques. Here are five of the most damaging DIY dental trends on social media.
We understand that having a bright, white smile is desirable, and there are many ways your dentist in Douglasville can help whiten your teeth. However, some trends online claim that different concoctions of household products can whiten teeth quickly. The problem is that these mixtures usually contain very acidic ingredients that can easily weaken tooth enamel, make it easy for cavities to form, and can even cause teeth to appear darker. The other problem? They don’t work.
Even before the days of social media, teenagers would put items in their mouths to mimic the look of braces. This still happens, but it’s been taken one step further. Social media influencers are often seen using everyday items to try and close gaps in their teeth or straighten overlapping teeth. Not only can moving teeth on your own cause major alignment problems and issues with your bite, but some of the materials used can also restrict blood flow, causing teeth to die and potentially fall out.
One of the most widespread trends currently shows users filing down their teeth into tiny points, also known as the “veneers check” trend. The idea is that filing the teeth down will prepare them for veneers. Not only does this trend make us cringe, but it’s also incredibly dangerous. First, veneer prep from your dentist in Douglasville does not require filing down teeth this way. Second, filing healthy, natural teeth can cause permanent damage and require professional treatment such as dentures.
If you’re missing a tooth and decide to have it replaced with a dental implant, your dentist will also custom-create a crown (the white part of the tooth) to complete your smile. However, social media trends showcase very popular videos of patients creating their own prosthetic teeth or sometimes even partial dentures using arts and crafts supplies.
With Halloween right around the corner, it won’t be surprising to see a few ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and vampires around. But usually, these are found in decorations or costumes. Yet there is a concerning trend of using very strong, permanent (and toxic!) glue to attach vampire fangs to teeth.
We can’t stress enough how dangerous these trends are. If you’re unhappy with your smile and want to change something about the way your teeth look, always start by talking with your dentist in Douglasville about your options.
Top Reasons to See a Dentist Even if You Have Dentures
Dentures are one of the ways your dentist in Douglasville can replace an entire set of teeth. These removable replacements for missing teeth are a great way to restore your smile and allow you to smile and eat with confidence. However, just because denture-wearers no longer have natural teeth doesn’t mean they should stop going to the dentist. In fact, there are very good reasons to see a dentist even if you have dentures.
Make Your Dentures Last
Dentures aren’t a permanent solution to missing teeth, and normal wear and tear can occur over time. Visiting your dentist in Douglasville regularly can help your dentures last longer. During your appointments, your dentist will examine your denture and make sure there are no signs of damage. If there are, it allows your dentist to fix them, making them last longer.
Check The Fit
Our bodies change over time, and this includes our mouths and jaws. Changes in your mouth can cause changes to your bite and make a once good-fitting denture feel uncomfortable. But the problems don’t stop with discomfort. Ill-fitting dentures can increase the risk of certain oral health problems such as sores, TMJ, and gum disease. If you notice that your denture feels a bit off or is slipping or clicking, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Douglasville.
Protect Your Mouth
Even though you may not have natural teeth anymore, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other oral health problems that can occur. One of the most common and most concerning oral health issues that can occur no matter how many teeth you have is gum disease. Gum disease is a serious condition that can actually lead to other health problems throughout the body. Denture-wearers may be at increased risk since food, plaque, and bacteria can build up on the denture and affect your gum health.
High-Quality Dentures Make a Difference
Finding the best dentist in Douglasville to make your dentures may seem easy, but not all dentists use the same materials. Do your research and ask your dental team about their denture process and materials. Then, make sure to take proper care of your denture. Good dentures that are well-cared for at home and examined and adjusted by a dentist regularly can last between 7 and 10 years.
It’s a myth that everyone will lose their teeth as they grow older and need a tooth replacement solution such as a denture or dental implant. Some ways to avoid tooth loss are to see your dentist every six months and take excellent care of your oral health at home. However, if you find yourself missing teeth and need a solution, talk with your dentist about the best option for you.
What Are The Most Popular Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments?
Your smile is a valuable asset. But if you’re unhappy or self-conscious about the way your smile looks, you may hide it from people around you. Unfortunately, this can have unwanted effects. In fact, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, more than 99% of adults see a smile as an important social asset, and more than 70% believe that an unattractive smile can have negative effects on someone’s success. Thankfully, your dentist in Douglasville can help with various forms of cosmetic dentistry.
Smile whitening, also known as teeth whitening or teeth bleaching, is the most popular form of cosmetic dentistry available. Some of the reasons why are because it’s typically quick and affordable. While the results aren’t permanent, they can give a temporary boost in the brightness and whiteness of teeth. Depending on the treatment, bleaching your teeth can whiten smiles by up to two to nine shades. Whitening products can be purchased over the counter, but the best way to make sure you’re getting the results you want is to first see your dentist in Douglasville for a consultation. The truth is that not all tooth discoloration can be bleached by whitening products.
If your dentist tells you that smile whitening won’t give you the results you’re looking for, there may be another option in the form of porcelain veneers. Dental veneers are super-thin pieces of porcelain that are custom-designed to blend into your smile naturally. Treatment for this procedure does require removing a small layer of the natural tooth to make room for the veneer, but the result is permanent. Veneers can fix more than discoloration and can help transform the size, shape, or length of individual teeth.
Even if someone has had braces in the past, teeth can continue to shift over time and become crooked or overlapped. In many cases, clear aligners can be used to gently move teeth around for a super-straight smile without the need for brackets and wires. Although this treatment can be very successful, it’s important to consult your dentist first. Invisible braces aren’t appropriate for everyone, and the over-the-counter options may cause more harm than good. Always check with your dentist before beginning any type of dental procedure.
A simple form of cosmetic dentistry, dental bonding is non-invasive and pretty quick. The treatment involves bonding resin to natural teeth through the use of UV light. It may be one of the best ways to repair chipped or cracked teeth and may even be right for someone looking to fill small gaps in their smile.
We feel that everyone should have a smile that they’re proud to show off and that improves their self-confidence. Start your cosmetic dentistry journey by scheduling a cosmetic dentistry consultation with your dentist in Douglasville.
What Happens If You Have Extra Teeth?
Hyperdontia, a rare yet completely possible condition, causes people to have more teeth than usual. Typically, kids will have 20 baby teeth, and 32 more will erupt as they get older. But those with hyperdontia grow what are called supernumerary teeth, which are extra teeth that usually grow behind the already erupted teeth. The good news is that hyperdontia isn’t often a serious problem that requires treatment from your dentist in Douglasville.
What Causes Hyperdontia?
Hyperdontia has no known causes, but there are correlations between it and other inherited conditions such as:
- Cleft palate or lip
- Gardner’s syndrome
- Ehler-Danlos syndrome
- Fabry disease
- Cleidocranial dysplasia
The most obvious sign of hyperdontia is developing more teeth after your full set of either baby or permanent teeth has already arrived. However, if the additional teeth haven’t erupted yet, your dentist in Douglasville will be able to see them developing under the gum line through dental x-rays. Hyperdontia doesn’t typically cause pain, but there can be some discomfort in the jaw or gums.
Shape & Location
The shape and location of supernumerary teeth can vary from person to person, although they’re most likely to appear behind the four front teeth. Different locations include:
- Paramolar – back by the molars
- Distomolar – in line with the molars rather than behind them
- Mesiodens – behind the incisors
And different shapes can vary from:
- Supplemental – mimics the shape of the tooth it erupts by
- Tuberculate – is tubular in shape
- Compound odontoma – looks like a bunch of smaller teeth bunched together
- Complex odontoma – shows as a cluster of tooth-like tissues
- Conical – wide at the bottom and sharp and pointy on top
How to Treat Hyperdontia
In situations when treatment for hyperdontia is recommended by your dentist in Douglasville, the typical treatment is extracting the extra teeth. However, this only usually happens when necessary. The symptoms that usually require treatment can vary from discomfort in the jaw or gums to problems with proper brushing and flossing. Other times, if a patient is simply unhappy with the way the extra teeth look, treatment and some forms of cosmetic dentistry can help. Treatment for hyperdontia should be completed sooner rather than later, so it’s important to see your dentist in Douglasville regularly for exams, x-rays, and cleanings.
Risks of Hyperdontia
Even though hyperdontia is usually not a big deal, there are some risks associated with the condition.
- Bite issues
- Difficulty brushing and flossing
- Speech impediments
- Facial deformities
If you or a family member notice that you have more teeth than you’re supposed to or feel additional teeth behind or around existing teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist. A quick and gentle exam is the first step to determining if treatment is needed and what would be the best recommendation for you.
What’s An Impacted Tooth?
If your dentist in Douglasville tells you that you or your child has an impacted tooth, you may initially be a bit worried. But don’t fret. Impacted teeth are incredibly common. Even though impacted teeth are most often associated with wisdom teeth, the truth is any tooth can be impacted and can affect the development of the rest of your teeth and overall oral health.
An impacted tooth is essentially any tooth that doesn’t come in when and where it’s supposed to. Typically when someone loses a tooth, it’s because the adult tooth is pushing through the gums and is ready to make its appearance. However, this doesn’t always happen as planned. Sometimes a baby tooth falls out and other teeth crowd the area and block where the adult tooth is trying to erupt. Other times a baby tooth just doesn’t fall out when it should. This can cause an adult tooth to shift sideways and grow inside the gums instead of poking through the top.
What Causes Impacted Teeth?
As always, every case is different, but there are some top reasons why teeth may become impacted. One of the main causes of an impacted tooth is that a mouth is just too small for adult teeth to erupt as they’re supposed to. This is often the case with impacted wisdom teeth. When there’s not enough room in the mouth for new teeth to erupt, they can become impacted. Additionally, sometimes teeth simply do weird things and can grow sideways. There’s also a genetic factor at play. If a parent had an impacted tooth, the child is more likely to also have an impacted tooth.
Problems With Impacted Teeth
Impacted teeth can affect overall oral health and overall health in a variety of ways, including:
- Speech Problems
- Pain When Chewing
- Gum Problems
- Bone Loss
Luckily, your dentist in Douglasville can often see it coming thanks to dental x-rays. X-rays allow your dentist to take a closer look at the way teeth are erupting or have already erupted so we can make a plan for any situation.
How Do You Treat an Impacted Tooth?
First, it’s important to remember that an impacted tooth may not be an immediate cause for concern. After all, your dentist in Douglasville sees this every day, and is well-equipped to treat you in a comfortable and relaxing environment. Treatment of an impacted tooth will vary depending on your specific needs, how severe the impaction is, and how many teeth are affected. Some treatment options include:
- Extracting a stubborn baby tooth that’s in the way
- Orthodontic treatment to make room for adult teeth
- Palatal expander to create more space in the mouth for teeth
- Surgery to widen the jaw — this is the rarest treatment and only necessary for extreme situations
If the wisdom teeth are impacted, you may need to see a specialist to have them removed, but it’s incredibly important to extract impacted wisdom teeth. If they’re left untreated, they can cause pain as well as infection.
We understand that an impacted tooth may cause you to worry, but we’re here to help. Make sure to see your dentist at least twice a year for preventive checkups. The earlier an impacted tooth or potentially impacted tooth is caught, the treatment becomes easier. If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental appointment, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today.
What You Can Do If You Don’t Like Your Teeth
There is any number of reasons why you may not like the way your teeth look. Perhaps your teeth appear too long or short, or maybe they aren’t as white or straight as you’d like. No matter what you dislike about your smile, rest assured knowing that your dentist in Douglasville has numerous cosmetic and restorative dentistry options available to transform any ailment.
If You Want A Whiter Smile
Perhaps one of the most common complaints people have about their smile is how white their teeth are. That’s probably why smile whitening treatment is so popular. There are various types of teeth whitening products to choose from, but not all will necessarily give you the results you want or are even safe for your smile. If you want to get whiter teeth, talk with your dentist in Douglasville about a professional smile whitening treatment. These options are usually done in the dental office under the supervision of a dental professional, and they typically work faster than over-the-counter products.
If You Want A Straighter Smile
Another common desire for patients is to have super-straight teeth. Sometimes straightening teeth begins as a teen, but if retainers aren’t worn as recommended, teeth can shift and once again become crooked or overlapped. Other times an adult is simply ready to get the smile they’ve always wanted. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to straighten teeth, and not all of them involve traditional braces or orthodontics. Your dentist in Douglasville can straighten some teeth with dental veneers, clear aligners, or even dental crowns.
If You Want A More Even Smile
When someone feels that their teeth aren’t the correct size or shape to complement their smile, it can make them feel self-conscious. But again, there are several ways to change the size and shape of your teeth as well as ways to change how much gum tissue shows when you smile. Dental veneers that are custom-made can permanently change the size, shape, or color of an individual tooth or multiple teeth. Cosmetic bonding can also accomplish this. If your smile is too gummy, gum recontouring can change the shape of your gums and change your gum line.
If You Want A Full Smile
Missing a tooth or two isn’t an uncommon occurrence, and you’re not alone. But you may feel incomplete without a complete smile. That’s where your dentist in Douglasville can help. Missing teeth, no matter what the cause or how many are missing, can be replaced through various restorative dentistry treatments. The best way to replace missing teeth is with dental implants as they’re permanent and help stimulate the jaw bone. Other options include either partial or full dentures, dental bridges, or a flipper.
With so many different options available to transform the appearance of teeth, there’s no time like the present to finally get the smile you’ve always wanted. Start by scheduling a consultation with your dentist to review the areas that bother you and develop a treatment plan just for you.
How Do You Fix a Food Trap Between Your Teeth?
Noticing a piece of food stuck in your teeth can be embarrassing, but it can also be uncomfortable. Even though it’s normal for food to get wedged between teeth on occasion, it’s a whole other story when this happens time and time again in the same spot. These areas are known as food traps, and they can collect food each and every time you chew. It’s important to see your dentist in Douglasville if you recognize this happening as it could be a sign of a bigger problem.
How Are Food Traps Formed?
Food traps can develop due to any number of issues, but a lot of food traps are caused by some other type of dental problem. The most common causes of food traps are:
- Gaps Between Teeth
There should be small gaps, also called loose contact, between teeth. This allows them to sit and function properly. However, when gaps become too large, they create the ideal space for food to get lodged. Gaps can occur naturally and even people with once super-straight teeth can start to notice gaps over time. Additionally, dental fillings can change the natural contact between teeth and may cause a food trap.
- Chipped Tooth
Our teeth naturally have crevices where food and bacteria can get stuck, but if there’s a broken or chipped tooth, you may notice food getting stuck in the same spot over and over again. You may also experience this if you lose a dental filling or older dental restoration.
- Gum Disease
One of the more serious causes of food traps is gum disease. Gum disease will cause pockets to form in the gum tissue and provide a great hiding spot for food particles. But what’s worse is that untreated gum disease can lead to a bunch of other health concerns such as tooth loss and an increased risk of heart disease. Treatment can be successful when gum disease is caught in the early stages, but later forms of the disease are irreversible. This is one reason why you should get seen by your dentist in Douglasville if you have a food trap.
Problems Cause By Food Traps
Food traps that aren’t fixed can continue to cause long-term problems such as:
- Bad Breath
- Gum Disease
While food traps can certainly be annoying, they can also be dangerous. It’s important to tell your dentist in Douglasville if you’re experiencing repeated problems of food getting stuck in your teeth so they can take a closer look at what may be going on and recommend the best treatment for you. Additionally, it’s always important to brush and floss your teeth every day to remove any food particles that may have built up in the teeth throughout the day.
Why Doesn’t My Denture Fit Like it Used To?
Your denture may have once been one of the best things to happen to you. In fact, many people throughout history have benefited from dentures as they allow people to smile freely, chew confidently, and feel whole again. Dentures are a great solution for missing teeth and are often a comfortable option. However, over time, your denture may start to not fit like it used to. Don’t worry, this is normal and your dentist in Douglasville is here to help.
3 Reasons Why Your Denture Doesn’t Fit
Dentures can last for many years with proper care. But they aren’t meant to be a permanent solution to missing teeth. There are things that can happen that can make a denture no longer fit like it once did. These can cause a denture to slip, making it hard to eat and speak. They can even cause some minor discomfort. So what’s happening? Why would a denture no longer fit correctly?
- Bone Loss
Our natural teeth have both a root system and a crown. The crown is the white part of the teeth we see while the roots are secured into the jaw bone. Natural teeth constantly stimulate the jaw bone, reducing the risk of bone loss. However, a denture doesn’t have any roots to continue this stimulation. This can result in bone loss. When the jaw bone deteriorates, the shape of the jaw and the fit of the denture can change.
- Changes in Gum Tissue
Similar to the jaw bone, gum tissue can recede over time, making dentures feel uncomfortable. Additionally, if someone develops gum disease while using a denture, this can cause inflammation and swelling, making it difficult for a denture to fit the way it did initially.
Life happens, and this can include damage to your denture or unexpected damage to your mouth. Things like mouth calluses can make a denture feel uncomfortable. Additionally, damage to a denture is more common than you think. A denture that’s at the end of its lifespan can become flexible or become more fragile and easier to break. Also, if a denture isn’t cared for properly, it can change in shape thanks to deposits.
How to Fix an Ill-Fitting Denture
Luckily, you have a few options to fix a denture that no longer serves you. But first, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist in Douglasville. Your dental team will perform an examination to determine the best course of action to get you a denture that feels comfortable again. One of the solutions may be a reline. This is when your dentist will either work on your denture while you’re in the chair or use new impressions to have a lab create a new denture for you. Either way, you’ll be well on your way to smiling confidently.
If you no longer want to deal with dentures, you have other options such as dental implants. Dental implants permanently replace both the crown of the tooth and the tooth roots. This can make it easier to care for your teeth and reduce the risk of bone loss. If you’re interested, talk with your dentist in Douglasville about dental implants.
We believe that everyone has the right to smile and eat confidently, whether that’s with their natural teeth, a denture, or dental implants. So if you’re dealing with an uncomfortable denture, make sure you talk with your dentist about your options.
Will it Hurt to Have My Root Canal?
In honor of Root Canal Awareness Week, which occurs each May, your dentist in Douglasville thought it would be fun to talk about this treatment that patients often dread. Why? Because it has a bad reputation for being painful — when the total opposite is the actual truth. Root canals are probably one of the most recognized and misunderstood dental services used today, with over 41,000 completed treatments on patients every single day, according to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE). The AAE also says more than 15 million root canals are performed each year in the United States.
If root canals are that bad, why are they so popular?
The Tooth Truth About How Root Canals Work
As scary as you might think it’s going to be to have a root canal, there’s really nothing to worry about, thanks to your dentist in Douglasville, who has some of dentistry’s most innovative technology. Having a root canal today is not a lot different from having a deep filling. There’s little or no discomfort because a local anesthetic is used to numb your tooth and surrounding gums for complete comfort. During the actual procedure, the:
- Inside of your damaged tooth is thoroughly cleaned
- Infected pulp and nerve tissue are removed
- Tooth is cleaned to avoid further damage
You won’t feel pain, maybe just some pressure. Sometimes patients experience tenderness in their gums following a root canal, but acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) will certainly help.
Root Canals Actually Get Rid of Pain (Not Cause More)
Instead of causing you more dental discomfort, think of your root canal as the solution that can get rid of:
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
- Pimples on the gums
- Swollen or tender gums
- Discolored gums or teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
A 2011 review of 72 studies of root canal patients looked at pre-treatment, treatment, and post-treatment pain. These results showed that while the pain was high in patients before their root canal, it dropped moderately within one day of treatment, before dropping even more substantially to minimal levels within a week.
Prevention is Always Best
While we use root canals as tooth-savers, it’s best to avoid having to have the treatment altogether, right? To prevent the need for future root canals or other dental issues, always brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once. Using a fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse is also beneficial for protecting your teeth from harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay that leads to needing a root canal. We know you’ve probably heard this before, but try to limit the amount of sugary food and refined carbohydrates you eat. Sometimes these foods stick to your teeth and cause cavities.
The last step is the most important, and that’s to make sure you see your dentist in Douglasville every six months for a checkup and a hygiene cleaning. Get scheduled for an appointment — today!