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Implant Restorations: Expectations vs. Reality

Implant Restorations: Expectations vs. Reality

Myths About Dental Implants

Tooth loss is surprisingly widespread. In fact, by age 50, Americans have lost an average of 12 teeth. So why don’t we see a bunch of people walking around with gaps in their smiles?

It’s all thanks to the wonderful world of modern dentistry. There are several effective tooth replacement options for people to choose from, but the one that looks and functions the most like natural teeth is dental implants.

However, people aren’t as aware of dental implants as they are of other options, such as crowns, bridges, and dentures. Let’s clear up a few of the erroneous expectations floating around so you have a better understanding of what dental implants can do for you.

Expectation #1: Dental implants are rare.

Reality: About 3 million people in the U.S. have dental implants. This number is projected to grow by about 500,000 per year. More people are turning toward implants over the traditional dentures, crowns, and bridges to replace their missing teeth.

Why? People are seeing them as a better long-term tooth replacement option. Once implants are inserted, the titanium root fuses to the jawbone, creating a bond very similar to the patient’s natural tooth roots. Once this process has had a chance to heal, a crown is mounted on top of the implant.

At this point, with proper dental hygiene and care, the implant will stay firmly rooted in the patient’s mouth for the rest of their life. Dentures and other options have to be redone as they wear down or as the fit changes over time.

Expectation #2: Dental implants are too expensive.

Reality: At first glance, dental implants can seem more expensive than other tooth replacement options. However, when compared over the long term, dental implants often end up being cheaper.

As we just mentioned, dental implants can last the rest of the patient’s life without needing to be redone. Other methods have to be redone or refitted perhaps a few times depending on the length of the patient’s life. This costs both time and money to have the procedures done all over again. Once an implant has been successfully placed, the patient generally never has to worry about it again.

On top of that, there are various methods that can help patients cover the cost of their implants. First, they may be able to take out a loan. Some dental offices directly offer financing to cover this important procedure.

In some cases, the patient’s insurance may cover a portion of the expense. People think that insurance won’t cover cosmetic procedures, and while implants do improve the look of your smile, they are not strictly cosmetic. They also support the structure of your face and help maintain overall oral health.

Finally, many dentist offices offer payment plans to spread the cost of the procedure out over a few months.

Expectation #3: The dental implant process is super complicated.

Reality: When people first hear about the implant restoration process, it can sound complicated. Some patients may need bone grafting to prepare the site, everyone will require the implant surgery, and several months later, everyone will have to come back to mount the crown.

On paper, it sounds like a lot, but in reality, it is only a two- to three-step process. Sometimes bone grafts can be done at the same time as the implant surgery, and many people don’t require bone grafts at all. The implant surgery is generally quick, and mounting the crown is often even quicker.

Expectations #4: A dental implant is only about chewing.

Reality: While it’s true that dental implants provide a stronger bite and more chewing power, that isn’t all they do. Missing teeth cause problems in many ways, such as inhibiting one’s ability to speak properly and potentially affecting one’s self-confidence. Many people don’t like walking around with gaps in their smile.

Additionally, without teeth to support the jawbone, the patient may experience bone loss over time. This can be severe enough to affect their facial structure and features.

Dental implants make all those problems go away. The process can even stimulate bone growth in patients who have already experienced bone loss. Plus, because they look and feel like natural teeth, speaking, eating, kissing, and everything else is exactly the same as it was before.

Interested in getting an implant?

We hope this article has helped answer some of your questions about dental implant restorations. If you have any more questions or are looking for comfortable and caring dental health professionals in Greensboro, NC, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We understand that living life with missing teeth isn’t ideal for your sense of style or your oral health. We’re happy to help in any way we can.

How You Can Improve Your Smile Quickly

How You Can Improve Your Smile Quickly

Why Improve Your Smile?

We all know the power of a smile. Many parents, career professionals, and even children understand that smiling is something we often can’t control, especially when we are happy. And though smiling is often involuntary and “just happens” based on a euphoric experience, when we don’t like our smile, we can indeed make the conscious choice to turn that smile into a frown. Thankfully, if you want to turn your frown upside down, there are things you can do to improve your smile quickly.

We’re going to get into the details of how to improve your smile. But before we do that, let’s consider the benefits of a smile and why a healthy and happy smile is essential to our well-being.

Six Benefits of the Human Smile

  1. Smiles make us attractive: Think about it. When someone smiles at you, it makes you feel good. This is because their smile breaks down barriers and makes the person more attractive and approachable.
  2. Smiles relieve stress: When we smile, our bodies release neuropeptides that help us fight off stress. Other neurotransmitters, like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, kick in too. Endorphins work like natural, mild pain relievers, and serotonin is a natural antidepressant.
  3. Smiles can improve our mood: If you’re feeling down, try smiling. You may find that even if you have to force a smile, you will start to feel better. When you smile, it helps trick your body into elevating your mood. And when you smile at someone else who is feeling down, they may start to feel better too. After all, smiles are contagious!
  4. Smiling boosts your immune system: Smiling is one contagion we don’t mind catching, especially in today’s pandemic. And remember those neurotransmitters we mentioned earlier? You guessed it. When we release those neurotransmitters, it can make us feel more relaxed and helps our immune system and overall health.
  5. Smiling reduces your blood pressure: Don’t believe us? If you have a blood pressure monitor at home, give this experiment a little try. Take your blood pressure and make a note of it. Then sit for a few minutes and smile while you wait (thinking pleasant thoughts will make it easier for you to smile). Then, take another blood pressure reading. You may be surprised to see a difference!
  6. Smiling gives you a natural facelift: We already talked about how a smile can make you more attractive, but a smile can also make you feel younger. So the next time you are considering a Botox or collagen injection, try putting on a smile instead.

Proper oral hygiene is the best way to maintain your smile.

We are only fortunate enough to receive one set of natural teeth during our adult years. Therefore, it is up to us to take the steps to care for those teeth. And naturally, our smiles will be brighter and bigger when we are in good oral health. By taking some basic steps, we are making a significant effort to protect our overall health, both physical and mental. Some of the best things we can do to take care of our teeth and our smile are the following:

  1. Brush up, literally and figuratively, on your at-home oral hygiene routine. In the least, be sure to brush your teeth twice daily and after meals if possible, and floss once a day too. Brushing and flossing regularly freshens our breath and removes food particles that might be stuck to or in between our teeth.
  2. Get your teeth cleaned by your dentist every six months. When we see our dentist regularly for a cleaning, we ensure the stains and plaque that our toothbrush and floss can’t get to are adequately removed. The plaque we miss on our teeth can eventually harden into tarter, thus leading to potential tooth decay.
  3. Be on the lookout for periodontitis, otherwise known as gum disease. Periodontitis is a serious infection of the gums that can destroy the bones that support your teeth. When we don’t have our gums checked regularly and when we don’t properly care for our mouths, it can lead to tooth loss.

Things You Can Do to Improve Your Smile Quickly

If you have tried smiling but aren’t satisfied with your smile for any reason, chances are the cause of your dissatisfaction has something to do with your teeth. If you want to improve your smile quickly and are already doing everything you can to practice proper oral hygiene, Dr. Farless and Dr. Locklear can help.

However, it is important to remember that cosmetic dentistry is intended to serve as a complement to proper oral hygiene. In addition, it’s important to realize that cosmetic dentistry is not really for cosmetic purposes only; most cosmetic procedures, including the ones below, are primarily done to restore or assist proper bite, function, and stability.

That said, some of the most common treatments to help improve your smile include teeth whitening, veneers, and dental crowns.

Teeth Whitening to Improve Your Smile

Over the years, our teeth can lose their natural white luster due to staining from coffee, soda, red wine, nicotine, and even certain foods. Professionally applied teeth-whitening systems, such as KöR Max, Ultra, and Ultra-T, can provide thorough whitening versus the patchy effect sometimes obtained through at-home whitening kits. Additionally, teeth whitening from the Farless Dental Group provides fast results to give you the confidence boost you desire.

Same Day Dental Crowns to Improve Your Smile

If your family dentist has told you that you need a crown, your natural reaction might have been that you don’t have the time to dedicate to multiple office visits to treat your tooth decay. Traditional dental crowns indeed require two or more procedures to create and place the crown. However, modern cosmetic dentistry now uses the novel approach of same day dental crowns.

CEREC crowns, otherwise known as same day crowns, can help restore your damaged tooth to its natural appearance, alignment, strength, and shape. Same day crowns can also protect a tooth that has become weak, cracked, broken, or decayed. The high-quality ceramic used in a same day dental crown can help preserve your natural tooth structure, and no one but you will know you have a crown. You may get so used to your new same day dental crown that you will forget it is even there.

Dental Veneers to Improve Your Smile

Veneers are all the rage these days, especially with the number of celebrities electing to brighten their smile using this modern dental technology. You might be asking yourself, however, “What are dental veneers?” Have you ever noticed Tom Cruise, Nicholas Cage, George Clooney, or Demi Moore’s bright smile? These celebrities are all wearing veneers on their teeth.

But you don’t need to be a celebrity to deserve the healthiest, brightest smile for you. Veneers improve more than appearance. They straighten teeth and correct chips and cracks, too, improving function and confidence. Straight, intact teeth are also easier to care for, which reduces your chances of future dental health issues.

Porcelain veneers are layers or shells of tooth-colored composite or porcelain placed on the top surface of your teeth. Dental veneers can be created in about a week, making it easy for you to quickly improve your smile. With just two visits to your family dentist required, you’ll be able to have your veneers attached in no time, brightening your smile and adding a boost to your self-confidence.

Want to improve your smile in Greensboro, NC?

If you have a smile you want to improve, there is no need to keep searching online for “same day crowns near me” or “cosmetic dental procedures in Greensboro, NC.” Dr. Farless and Dr. Locklear at Farless Dental Group have years of cosmetic dentistry experience, improving the smiles of many patients. Be sure to request an appointment to schedule a time to meet with us to improve your smile. We look forward to meeting with you.

What Are Same Day Dental Crowns?

What Are Same Day Dental Crowns?

You can restore your dental health and save time.

As adults, we often find ourselves fighting the battle of too much to do and not enough time to do it. When we get into these situations where there isn’t enough time, one of the things we forego is our trip to the family dentist. After all, if it seems that we can barely find the time to take a shower, other self-care items, including our oral care, will take a backseat.

Unfortunately, if we are experiencing tooth decay, a trip to the family dentist is needed. And sadly, cavities don’t just go away all by themselves. Ignoring a cavity and not getting a crown when your family dentist recommends it will allow it to grow in size and worsen in its severity. One cavity can lead to another before long. As decay progresses, your teeth become more brittle, making them more susceptible to cracks and breaks.

Dental crowns prevent the need for tooth extractions due to tooth decay. Once you have a tooth extracted, it can harm your ability to chew food, and it can also be detrimental to your future dental health. Thus, your family dentist will place a crown in the following situations:

  • Your tooth has a severe crack.
  • There isn’t sufficient tooth remaining to support a large filling.
  • Your tooth has endured a root canal procedure.
  • Your tooth has severe discoloration.
  • Your tooth is chipped or misshapen.

Traditional crowns take two or more visits to the family dentist.

Getting a traditional dental crown generally involves two visits to your family dentist. During your first visit, your dentist will examine your damaged tooth, remove the decay, and take an impression of the prepared tooth. In some cases, this may involve a root canal. The impression is taken with a casting material placed into a dental tray. The tray is then inserted into your mouth for a short period to harden the casting material. The tray is then removed, and the cast of your tooth is sent to a lab.

During this waiting period, while the case is at the lab to create your custom crown, your family dentist will place a temporary crown over your damaged tooth to protect it and prevent more damage. You will then return to the dentist a week or so later to remove the temporary crown and get your permanent crown placed.

They are a time-saver for busy adults.

If you are a busy adult in Greensboro, NC, and are experiencing tooth decay, you may be interested in the time-saving convenience of same day dental crowns. Same day crowns are a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure. With a CEREC crown, Dr. Farless and Dr. Locklear can conveniently design, create, and position your crown in your mouth all in the same day.

The CEREC system uses modern cosmetic dentistry technology. It provides your dentists at Farless Dental Group with everything they need to design and mill your crown while you wait in the chair. With same day crowns, you’ll be able to get back to your busy life in no time, and your oral health will be all the better for it.

The Advantages of Same Day Dental Crowns

You may be wondering about the additional advantages of same day crowns. A CEREC-derived dental crown is just as good as a dental crown that is constructed in a lab. While there are different materials for different purposes, the choice most often used is Ivoclar’s Emax, also commonly known as IPS e.max. This material is metal-free and highly durable.

Additional advantages of same day dental crowns include:

  • Restoration of function: If your tooth is damaged or broken, it will harm your smile’s appearance. Damaged teeth can also harm your speech patterns and eating habits.
  • Injury prevention: Avoiding a crown after your dentist has recommended it makes your tooth more susceptible to injury. Further, if you take the traditional route and take too long between your temporary crown and permanent crown’s placement, the chances of your temporary crown becoming loose will increase. This can cause injury to other teeth in your mouth and can also harm your gums. With same day crowns, less drilling is required, which means more of your natural tooth structure can be preserved.
  • More comfort: The precision gained by the CAD/CAM technology used to make your CEREC crown provides a more accurate and comfortable fit. Dr. Farless and Dr. Locklear will take digital impressions of your mouth so your dental crown will fit precisely.
  • Cost savings: Though traditional crowns and same day crowns have similar costs, there are financial savings with fewer visits. One less appointment means more money in your pocket.

Farless Dental Group provides same day dental crowns for your convenience.

If you are ready to treat your cavity and don’t have the time for multiple trips to the dentist, a same day dental crown might be right for you. If you need a dental crown or would like more information about the same day crown process, you can request an appointment on the Farless Dental Group website or give us a call. We look forward to seeing you.

How Do I Know I Have a Cavity Without Going to the Dentist?

How Do I Know I Have a Cavity Without Going to the Dentist?

Do I have a cavity?

No one ever wants to get a cavity. Yet, cavities are one of the most frequent tooth problems people face, regardless of their age. At least one in four adults over the age of 20 have an untreated cavity. With such a high likelihood, it is not surprising that parents wonder if they or their children are developing a cavity, despite regular visits to the family dentist.

When cavities remain undetected, the tiny holes and narrow crevices can become infected. Left untreated, they can result in tooth loss. Not only that, but failure to address a cavity can result in significant financial expenses that could have otherwise been avoided.

Even if you have had a cavity, you might not know how to recognize one. Many of us only find out we have one during our routine visits to our family dentist. After all, the benefit of these regular visits is that your dentist can identify a cavity forming in the early stages and recommend treatments to prevent it from worsening. This often happens before we experience any discomfort.

What happens if you leave a cavity untreated?

Before we share how to know if you have a dental cavity, let’s reiterate what happens when a cavity is left untreated. When a cavity doesn’t receive the proper attention and treatment, it can lead to a tooth infection called an abscess. Tooth decay can destroy the tooth’s pulp (the inside), which then requires more extensive treatment. In extreme cases, it can lead to the removal of the tooth altogether.

Though cavities don’t always cause a toothache, tooth abscesses usually do. If the abscess ruptures, the pain might dissipate, but treatment will still be necessary. The abscess must drain so the infection does not spread to the jaw or other head and neck areas. As diseases spread, there is an increased risk of sepsis, which can be a life-threatening condition.

5 Signs You Might Have a Cavity

Cavities eat away at the tooth’s enamel until they reach what is called the dentin. The dentin is the part of the tooth that sits beneath the enamel and cementum. When the enamel wears away, the dentin’s tubules allow hot, cold, acidic, and sticky foods to stimulate the nerves. This results in tooth sensitivity.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to pay attention to signs indicating you might have a cavity.

1. Tooth Pain

If you or your child is experiencing tooth pain, it is time to see a dentist. During the early stages of cavity development, you may experience pain when you bite down onto something hard, such as a piece of candy. As the cavity worsens, you might also experience pain when chewing softer foods.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

Though not as apparent as pain, if you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, it is another indication that you might have a cavity. Tooth sensitivity often feels like a tingle in your teeth. Your teeth may become sensitive due to the bacteria eating away at your tooth’s enamel, as the enamel protects the nerves in your teeth.

If you experience tooth sensitivity, you may wish to try sensitive toothpaste as sometimes people experience sensitivity even when they do not have a cavity. If the sensitive toothpaste doesn’t solve the problem or relieve the uncomfortable tingling sensation, it would be wise to pay a visit to your family dentist.

3. Bad Breath

If you or your child seem to be experiencing persistent bad breath despite regular brushing, flossing, and use of mouthwash, this could also be a sign it is time to see the dentist. The same bacteria that cause cavities can cause bad breath.

4. Pus in the Mouth

If pus has developed in the mouth, this means your cavity has already reached the abscess stage. Abscesses are extremely painful and can also be accompanied by fever and swollen glands. If you still haven’t been to the dentist and find pus in your mouth, you must see your family dentist as soon as possible. Without antibiotics and treatment, the infection can worsen and spread to other parts of the body.

5. Chips or Dark Spots

If a cavity has developed over time without treatment, it is possible to see it with the naked eye. Cavities look like dark spots that have formed on the infected tooth. If you see discoloration on your teeth or your kid’s teeth, this means you may have a hole in the tooth, which is an indicator of a cavity. These spots usually appear gray, black, or brown.

If your tooth breaks in any way, it can also be an indicator of a cavity that needs treatment. If bacteria is the cause of the break, it can sometimes mean the tooth can’t be saved, which can cause the need for a dental extraction.

How can I prevent a cavity?

The best way to prevent a cavity is to ensure you are maintaining an excellent at-home dental routine and consuming a healthy diet so you can have a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums.

  1. Brush with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking.
  2. Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.
  3. Visit your family dentist at least once every six months for routine teeth cleaning.
  4. Consider dental sealants for school-aged children and adults.
  5. Drink tap water with added fluoride.
  6. Avoid frequent snacking and sipping.
  7. Eat tooth-healthy foods and reduce consumption of acidic and sugary foods.
  8. Consider fluoride treatments.

Think you have a cavity in Greensboro, NC?

If you or a family member is experiencing any of the signs of a cavity, it is important to get dental treatment as soon as possible. Farless Dental Group can identify if you have a cavity, abscess, or other dental concern that needs to be addressed. Contact us online to schedule an appointment with our friendly staff at our Greensboro, NC family dentistry clinic. We are conveniently located in the Oakcrest Dental building and are ready to help treat your cavity and get you on your way to better oral health.

Snoring? Don’t Fret—Your Family Dentist Can Help

Snoring? Don’t Fret—Your Family Dentist Can Help

Get your nighttime snoring under control.

We all need our sleep, and when we’re the snorer or lying next to a snorer, chances are no one is getting a lot of it. For the snorer, fits of obstructed breathing can leave you feeling fatigued in the morning, as your body struggles to fall into a good sleep pattern. It doesn’t get much better for those sleeping next to you, as snoring can be an annoyance that makes it difficult to doze off.

Snoring, however, is not just an annoying problem. When left untreated, it can represent a dangerous, if not life-threatening, condition. First and foremost, snoring is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The vibrations created by snoring can cause inflammation in the arteries, which can lead to atherosclerosis. Snoring also leaves you exhausted, which can result in low concentration and increase your risks of car accidents, which can be deadly.

How can your family dentist help with snoring?

Many people think snoring is harmless, and in some cases, this is true. But if you are snoring chronically and it isn’t just a result of a cold or congestion, you should see a sleep specialist to ensure your snoring isn’t a symptom of a more significant issue, such as sleep apnea. Snoring is commonly associated with obstructive sleep apnea, where the muscles in the back of your throat relax as you fall asleep. When this happens, your tongue and the tissues in your throat begin to narrow. In extreme cases, your throat may close up completely, which can cause you to stop breathing.

In most cases, people with sleep apnea awaken when they stop breathing due to their brain’s fight or flight mechanism. The brain recognizes the danger and allows you to wake up just enough to widen your airway by repositioning yourself. Though you might not remember awakening, if you feel pretty tired the next day, this is likely due to the inconsistent sleep patterns stemming from the sleep apnea.

Often, a sleep specialist will prescribe the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine for chronic snorers and those suffering from sleep apnea. These machines increase the air pressure within your throat so your airway doesn’t collapse as you breathe. Many people find they can sleep better with a CPAP machine, and their partners do too.

In other cases, your doctor may refer you to your family dentist, who can help fit you with a custom dental appliance. This appliance is worn in the mouth while you sleep, and it works similar to an orthodontic retainer or sports mouth guard by supporting your jaw to keep your airway open as you sleep. When the airway doesn’t collapse and block the normal flow of breathing, you sleep better. And likewise, so does your partner.

Signs You Have a Snoring Problem

Those who live alone and partners of deep sleepers don’t always recognize they have a snoring problem. If you find you are often fatigued during the day or are having difficulty concentrating, it is possible you are snoring at night and don’t even realize it.

Risk Factors

The following risk factors indicate a higher likelihood that you’ll suffer from snoring or sleep apnea.

  • Sad but true, if you are male, you are far more likely to snore or have sleep apnea than women.
  • Obesity causes a variety of medical problems, and snoring is one of them.
  • Some people have long tonsils or adenoids or a long soft palate that can narrow the airway and cause snoring.
  • Consumption of alcohol relaxes your throat muscles, thus increasing the risk of snoring.
  • Those with structural defects in their airway (deviated septum) or those who suffer from chronic congestion are also at greater risk for snoring.
  • If grandpa and dad snored, you might very well be a snorer too, as heredity is a risk factor for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Symptoms

The following are common snoring symptoms.

  • Restless sleep
  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Your partner notices your breathing stops as you sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Sore throat when you wake up
  • Choking or gasping at night
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain at night

If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above and also have one or more of the risk factors indicated, chances are you could benefit from a CPAP machine or dental appliance to help you sleep better.

Are you snoring in Greensboro, NC?

If you are snoring and need some help getting a better night’s sleep, Farless Dental Group can help you assess the situation. Contact us online to schedule an appointment with our amazing staff at our family dentistry clinic in Greensboro, NC. We are conveniently located in the Oakcrest Dental building and are ready to help you get to sleep and stay asleep better.

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