Minimally Invasive Veneers Can Change Your Smile Says Our Apex NC Dentist

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Minimally invasive porcelain veneers are very thin and designed to cover the surface of the teeth to which they are applied. With this type of veneer, tooth structure is left intact and only altered when necessary.

With all of the available treatment options for people who are unhappy with their smiles, it might be difficult to choose which one is best for an individual.

With all of the available treatment options for people who are unhappy with their smiles, it might be difficult to choose which one is best for an individual.

Common misconceptions about minimally invasive porcelain veneers:

•   Minimally invasive porcelain veneers will make teeth look too big or too long. In almost all cases, some tooth reshaping is necessary to allow the teeth and smile to look better than the smile the patient started with.

•   Minimally invasive porcelain veneers can lead to gum disease. The dentist will finish and polish edges to avoid ledges and to make the veneers smooth. As with all teeth, patients should brush and floss around the veneers.

•   There will be sensitivity after having veneers bonded. With minimally invasive veneers, since the tooth enamel is maintained, sensitivity is very rare.

Always remember to consult your dentist for the option that will best suit you. Ask them all the questions or concerns they might have, and whenever you feel comfortable about the process, then go ahead and start it.

 

How to Choose the Right Dentist for your Child

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If you live in the Apex area and are looking for a general dentist office for your child’s dental care, you need to do some research. Choosing the right dentist for a child can seem like a daunting task. When choosing a dentist for your child, the safety and comfort of your child are top priorities.

It is important to make your child’s comfort the first consideration when deciding on a general dentist office. You need to look for a dentist that can provide reliable dental care for your child, from the child’s first visit through his or her adult years. A good family dentist in Apex will do everything possible to ensure your child’s maximum comfort during a dental visit. Using interactive play, advanced dental technology, and applying sedation dentistry whenever appropriate, a good dentist will work to make sure the child is relaxed during treatment. So, look for a child-friendly who has experience treating children and taking care of their oral health.

Children deserve attention and proper care during their development years. The right dentist understands how to work with children, and the dentist will provide various educational methods that incorporate play, to keep children well informed about their dental and oral care. A good family dentist in Apex will also involve parents when appropriate and provide them with the tools they need to continue helping their child develop excellent oral hygiene skills for optimal health.

Always check the qualification and background of the family dentist in Apex you are considering. It may be a good idea to have your personal dentist take care of your child’s oral care if you’re confident about the dentist. Otherwise, you may need to find someone else. You can also get recommendations from your relatives or friends. Let them know that you need a general dentist office for your child so they can recommend a dentist who specializes on child’s oral health. There are also Internet resources you can use to find qualified dentists in your town or city. Be sure to verify their background and certifications to find out about their credibility as dentists.

Gingivitis Prevention – What You Need to Know to Maintain Good Oral and Physical Health

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Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. It causes your gums to become reddened, irritated and swollen. Many people are unaware they have this condition, but it’s important to take symptoms seriously and seek treatment promptly as it is the early stage of gum disease.

When diagnosed early, this conditions can be treated and even reversed. However, if left untreated, this condition can advance to gum disease, which is a far more serious oral health issue that is not reversible. Gum disease can result in tooth and bone loss, and is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults. Gum disease affects more than your mouth, proven by recent studies that have linked gum disease to diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

Associated Symptoms

Healthy gums appear pale pink and are firm. This condition is rarely painful, making it difficult for you to be aware of its presence. The following are symptoms you should look for:

  • Receding or swollen gums
  • Soft, puffy gums
  • Occasional tenderness of gums
  • Bleeding gums from flossing or brushing
  • Dusky red gums
  • Bad breath

Causes of This Early Gum Disease

Typically, poor hygiene is the primary cause of this mild gum disease. The following are also contributing factors:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Substance abuse
  • Pregnancy
  • Poor nutrition
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Certain diseases and conditions
  • Puberty

Steps for Gingivitis Prevention

The most important step in prevention is to visit your general dentist on a regular basis. You should have dental maintenance visits at least twice per year, unless told otherwise by your local dentist office. This condition can usually be reversed with a thorough, professional cleaning and dental checkup followed by good oral health practices at home.

To be sure you are cleaning your mouth properly, ask your general dentist to show you the proper technique. According to the American Dental Association, your teeth should be brushed, using the proper technique, twice per day. In addition, an interdental aid, such as dental floss should be used daily. Other recommendations for gingivitis prevention include using a toothpaste with antimicrobial properties, and including your tongue in your brushing routine.

While sleeping, there is no disruption to the growing bacteria in your mouth. Therefore, your mouth should be the cleanest before going to bed so bacteria aren’t doing damage to your teeth and gums while you sleep.

If you’re concerned about gingivitis or have noticed symptoms, don’t delay and schedule a visit to our local Apex dentist office today.

 

Apex Family Dentist Explains the Oral Health Issues Seniors Face

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Despite the fact that oral health is an important part of an older person’s well-being, it is often overlooked. Our family dentist in Apex knows that arthritis and neurological conditions can make it difficult for people to brush and floss their teeth. Below are some of the most common dental issues for seniors:

Cavities

Children are not the only ones who develop tooth decay. This condition is very common in people who are over the age of 65. It is estimated that 92 percent of people who are over the age of 65 have cavities. A person’s chance of developing cavities increases as he or she gets older because many people do not get annual dental exams.

This is why many cavities go untreated. It is important for older people to see a family dentist in Apex, so that cavities can be treated within a timely manner. Regular dental exams can also help prevent other dental issues for seniors.

Eating Problems

Cavities, poor-fitting dentures, missing teeth and gum disease can make it difficult for seniors to eat. Many seniors are forced to adjust their diet because of this problem.

Dry Mouth

The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia. It is estimated that one out of five seniors suffer from dry mouth. Many seniors are on a several types of medications to treat chronic conditions. Muscle relaxers, antidepressants, blood pressure medications and antihistamines can cause dry mouth. Dentists recommend drinking plenty of fluids in order to combat dry mouth. You should also inform your dentist if you suspect that your medications are causing dry mouth.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a condition where the gums are infected and inflamed. It can occur at any age, but it has a tendency to worsen as a person gets older. Many people do not have any pain during their early stages. However, people who have advanced gum disease may experience pain while they are chewing. They may also have sore gums.

Gum disease is typically brought on by poor oral hygiene. If plaque is not removed, then it will harden and form tartar. A professional cleaning is required to remove tartar. Periodontitis and gingivitis are the two forms of gum disease. Gingivitis causes the gums to bleed, swell and become red. Periodontitis causes the gums to separate from the teeth. Annual dental exams, flossing and brushing can prevent gum disease.

If you’re unsure how long it has been since visiting your local dentist office or you may have some dental or tooth pain, please get in touch with our Apex family dentist today for an appointment.

 

Our Apex Dentist Explains the Cons of Online Tooth Alignment Services

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In today’s day and age, you can order almost anything online, from makeup samples and razors to eyeglasses and dog treats. And while retailers haven’t yet discovered a way to ship a dental cleaning right to your door, it is possible to straighten your teeth remotely with brands like SmileDirectClub. But is the convenience and low cost of online aligners worth the risks? Our Apex dentist weighs in below.

What is SmileDirectClub?

SmileDirectClub was introduced in 2014 as an alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment options. Essentially, it is a mail-order system that ships clear aligners directly to patients each month, allowing them to straighten their teeth without in-person visits with a dentist or orthodontist. The brand’s dentists conduct progress checks remotely, by examining “selfie” photos. These “shortcuts” make the entire process cost much less, merely a fraction of traditional straightening methods like braces or Invisalign.

Disadvantages of Online Tooth Aligners

Despite the benefits, many dental and orthodontic professionals are warning against mail-order orthodontic systems as more and more patients come in with poor results from spending months in the aligners. Below are some things to know before you fill out the application for one of these services.

  • Communication is infrequent and impersonal.Remote tele-dentistry assigns you a dentist or orthodontist who checks on your progress every 90 days through your customer account. You are placing your trust entirely in the company to vet your dentist for their skill and experience.
  • Lack of hands-on approach means details can be overlooked. The reason these services can be priced so cheaply is because the dentist is doing less work. But that is really not a good thing when it comes to your teeth. Details like your teeth’s surface texture, your bite pressure, and even your breath can indicate to your dentist that something is wrong—it is much more complex than simply looking at a photo.
  • Errors can occur in the initial impression.If you can’t come to a “Smile Direct Shop” and get a 3D scan in person, you will have to take an impression of your teeth on your own. At a dentist’s office, only a licensed, experienced professional performs this task, resulting in more accurate impressions. If you make a mistake with your impressions, your aligners will not accurately straighten your teeth.
  • They don’t have your records.Smile Direct doesn’t know your dental history, while your dentist knows your medical history and takes that into account while planning your treatment.

Bottom Line: For the Best Results, Visit Our Apex Dentist Today!

Most dentists agree that online alignment services such as SmileDirectClub are simply not worth the risk. Although getting Invisalign or braces at a local dentist office may cost more and take longer, they are that way because you are receiving accurate, thorough, personalized care. Your dentist can take your entire dental history into account; take accurate impressions; track your progress, and alter the course of your treatment if deemed necessary. There are a lot of smart ways to save money in this day and age, but in our opinion, mail-order dental work is not one of them! To schedule an appointment with our Apex dentist office, please click here.

Tips for Relieving Dry Mouth, from Our Apex Family Dentist

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Occasionally, a patient will visit our office expecting to have no dental cavities, and is very surprised to learn that they have one. Often, this patient is middle-aged or older, brushes and flosses every day, and has no prior history of tooth decay. When this happens, dentists immediately begin to suspect dry mouth caused by new medications or an undiagnosed condition. Dry mouth causes a decrease in saliva production, which is crucial for regulating oral bacteria and keeping the teeth healthy. Below is more information about the causes of dry mouth, and some treatments that can help.

Common Causes of Dry Mouth

Many medications can cause dry mouth as a side effect. Common dry-mouth inducing medications include muscle relaxants; pain medications; antidepressants; blood pressure and heart rhythm medications; Parkinson’s and Alzheimers disease medications; antihistamines; and decongestants. Recreational drug use, chemotherapy, nerve damage due to injury or surgery, and poor nutrition can also cause dry mouth. Note that this list is far from comprehensive; to learn whether a medication, behavior or condition may be causing your dry mouth, consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

Treatments for Dry Mouth

Regardless of the cause of your dry mouth, it’s important to do something about it, as lack of saliva can lead to cavities, gingivitis (gum disease), and halitosis (bad breath). Below are some tips on managing dry mouth from our Apex dentist.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is important for many aspects of your health in general, but for those suffering from dry mouth, it is even more important. Strive to drink at least 8-12 eight ounce glasses of water a day, unless your doctor advises against it. Taking small sips throughout the day will benefit you more than consuming a large amount in one sitting, as it helps to “wash” your teeth all day long.

Chew Sugarless Gum

Chewing sugarless gum can help to stimulate saliva production, providing your salivary glands are still operational, and not permanently damaged by injury or chemotherapy. The best sugar substitute, from a dentist’s perspective, is xylitol, a plant-derived sweetener that actively kills harmful tooth bacteria. Sucking on sugar-free lollipops can also help boost saliva production.

Avoid Drugs, Alcohol & Citrus 

Alcohol, caffeine, and citric acid can all dry out the mouth and inhibit saliva production. If you use an alcoholic mouthwash, you might want to try switching to a saltwater rinse instead. On the subject of indulgences, tobacco and marijuana can also worsen dry mouth, so if you use these, try to decrease or eliminate your use. Note that the nicotine in electronic cigarettes also contributes to dry mouth.

Add Moisture to Your Environment

Moistening dry foods with broth, sauces, milk or melted butter can make it easier to chew and swallow; you could also simply try adding more non-citric fruit and vegetables to your diet. You can also use a humidifier to add moisture to the ambient air around you, especially while you sleep.

Suffering from Dry Mouth? Talk to an Apex Dentist Today  

As oral healthcare specialists, dentists are able to assess potential causes of dry mouth, and prescribe or recommend products that can treat it. Many moisturizing gels, lozenges, and mouthwashes designed specifically to treat dry mouth are available over the counter; if these prove to be ineffective, your dentist can prescribe medications that stimulate the saliva glands. To reach a dentist in Apex NC, please click here.

Our Apex Dentist Shares Tips on Preparing for Oral Surgery

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At some point, most people will need to undergo standard oral surgery, like wisdom teeth removal. The more you know and prepare for the oral surgery, the less anxiety you will experience, and the better you will be able to recover. Below are some tips to follow when preparing for oral surgery in Apex NC.

Talk to Your Dentist

Your dentist will usually be happy to answer any questions you might have about the upcoming procedure. Common questions you might want to ask include:

  • How many teeth will you remove?
  • Will you use general or local anesthesia?
  • How long will the oral surgery take?
  • How long will my recovery take?

It also never hurts to research the procedure in advance. Researching will help you identify more questions you’d like to ask.

Make Arrangements for the Day of Surgery

Most oral surgeries occur when the patient is under general anesthesia. This means that you will not be able to work or drive during the day of the surgery. Make sure you have scheduled the day off (if applicable), arranged for childcare (if applicable), and have arranged for someone to drive you to and from the appointment. Note that you will likely be too uncomfortable to perform normal activities on the day after surgery, too.

Stock Up on Supplies

After your procedure, you will do well to have the house stocked with soft foods, NSAID pain medications, and cold packs. Your dentist will most likely give you gauze and cold packs to take home with you, but it always helps to have backups (and may help calm your nerves before surgery, too.) If your dentist plans to prescribe a pain reliever, ask him or her to let you fill the prescription a day early so you can avoid a trip to the pharmacy when you are still groggy. We also recommend having favorite movies and a comfortable recovery area set up and ready to go!

Avoid Eating Before Surgery  

General anesthesia can make patients experience nausea and vomiting, so your dentist may recommend that you stop eating at midnight on the night before the procedure, and skip breakfast and/or lunch the next morning. Ask your dentist or oral surgeon if you need to avoid eating or drinking before the surgery.

Need Oral Surgery or Wisdom Teeth Removal in Apex?

If you need wisdom teeth removal, dental implants, or another restorative dentistry service in Apex, we can help. Our skilled dentists and dental hygienists will make sure your experience is as relaxing and comfortable as possible. If you would like to schedule an appointment with our Apex dentist office, please contact us here!

Our Apex Dentist Explains Why Hydration is Good for Your Teeth!

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You probably already know that water is good for your overall health, but did you know that it has significant health benefits for your teeth, too? It’s true! Staying hydrated helps strengthen your teeth and keep your smile bright and strong. Below are some reasons to encourage your entire family to drink plenty of water, as shared by our Apex family dentist.

Fight Tooth-Destroying Bacteria  

We generally think of saliva as something rather purposeless, but saliva is actually your mouth’s first line of defense against tooth decay. Its neutral PH levels are low enough to dilute acid from soda and other foods, and high enough to impede tooth-destroying bacteria. It also contains minerals like calcium and phosphate that keep your teeth strong. The drier your mouth, the easier it is for bacteria to thrive and grow. So if you want to fight tooth decay, stay hydrated!

Flush Away Sugars and Starches

Whenever you eat or drink anything sweet or starchy, sugar residue is left behind on your teeth. Both of these ingredients are favorite foods of tooth-destroying bacteria, which convert them into acid that eats away at enamel. Staying hydrated helps wash away leftover sugar and carbohydrates, helping to starve bad bacteria and prevent tooth decay.

Get Enough Fluoride

The U.S. is one of the many countries that add fluoride to municipal water. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral, like calcium or salt, that has been consistently shown to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. The more municipal water you consume from your tap, the more fluoride you apply to your teeth and the stronger they become. And, unlike fluoride treatments you have to pay for at the dentist’s office, this fluoride is totally free!

Water: Dentists’ Favorite Drink!

If dentists around the world filled out a survey on the #1 beverage they recommend to patients, water would top the list. It does not cause stains, like coffee, wine and tea; it does not erode the enamel, like citrus juice and soda; and it doesn’t contain high amounts of sugar, like “energy” drinks and sports drinks. With zero calories and plenty of health benefits for the rest of your body, water is the best beverage you can choose every time!

Get a Bright, Healthy Smile at Our Apex Dentist Office

If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Apex NC, head over to Hansen Dentistry. Our amazing dental team is dedicated to creating a comfortable, relaxing environment from the moment you walk through the door! To request an appointment, please click here.

Our Apex Dentist Explains How Hollywood Invented Veneers

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Dental veneers are thin porcelain “shields” placed over the teeth to correct discoloration, chips, and other surface imperfections that don’t require a full restoration. Although today’s veneers help people from all walks of life achieve a straighter, more attractive smile, they were originally designed for Hollywood starlets, in an era where beautiful smiles were hard to come by. Learn more about veneers’ unusual history in today’s Apex cosmetic dentist blog.

Industrialization and Tooth Decay  

In the silent movie era, all a star really needed to make it big was facial beauty–vocal quality and line delivery were unnecessary. Unfortunately, in the 1910s and 1920s, the Western world was at a bit of a low point in terms of oral health. This is primarily because during these decades, refined sugar leapt from being an expensive delicacy to being an affordable household staple. And instead of living off on an agricultural diet of vegetables, meats, and dairy products, the new industrial workforce gravitated to starchy items that could be quickly shoved in a pocket or eaten in-between shifts (i.e. cookies, biscuits, and sandwiches).

Our oral health habits, unfortunately, were slow to catch up to this new carb-laden, sugary diet. The concept of regular, twice-daily tooth brushing and flossing would not really take hold until the World War II era. It’s estimated that two to three times as many people lost their teeth during this era as do today–possibly why no costume of a 1920s hobo is complete without a few blacked-out teeth.

Without the need for on-screen talking, most actors could get away with having less-than-glamorous-smiles. But things changed with the advent of the “Talkies” in 1928. Many silent movie stars that had formally shone bright could no longer pass the muster, and a new solution was needed.

The Invention of Movie Cosmetics – and Veneers

Enter Maksymilian Faktorowicz, a Polish businessman, beautician, and entrepreneur. You may recognize the shortened version of his name, Max Factor, which is now a major international cosmetic brand. But in 1909, Mr. Factor had just moved to Los Angeles to provide wigs and makeup to film industry stars. Greasepaint, which had been used in the theatre for centuries, was too thick and harshly-colored for the new film medium, so Factor began experimenting with various compounds in an effort to develop a suitable substitute. By 1914, he had perfected the first cosmetic cream specifically created for motion-pictures. Unlike theatrical cosmetics, it would not crack or cake as actors moved about the set. Factor’s “flexible greasepaint” made him an overnight sensation, and a much-sought-after authority on movie cosmetics. He personally applied his products to the likes of Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Clara Bow, and Mae West.

Factor had become the industry’s go-to hair and makeup expert, so naturally, producers needing to fix the teeth problem came to him, too. Factor then asked dentist Charles L. Pincus to correct what his makeup couldn’t. Pincus created thin, prosthetic dental “fronts” that could be temporarily adhered to the teeth using denture powder. These first porcelain veneers were very fragile, and were lucky to last for a single movie shoot (by contrast, modern porcelain used in dental restorations can lasts for 10 or even 25 years, depending on care and maintenance).

A Long Journey to Success

After that, it took many cosmetic dentists many years to move those early, brittle veneers to the ones we use today. Pincus himself moved from using porcelain to acrylic, and a porcelain-acrylic composite, in 1938, but the veneers were still temporary. In the 1950s, Dr. Michael Bunocore pioneered a way to permanently bond veneers to the teeth, called “etching,” in which the dentist applied a type of acid to the teeth to open up the pores of the enamel, creating a greater surface area for dental cement to cling to.

Then, in 1982, R.J. Simonsen and J.R. Calamia developed a process that allowed veneers to become a practical cosmetic solution for patients. After nearly 40 years of continual refinement, veneers now offer a safe and reliable cosmetic solution for damaged, worn, or discolored teeth.

Need A Cosmetic Dentist in Apex?

At Hansen Dentistry, we use medical-grade porcelain to achieve incredible, natural-looking results. With proper care and maintenance, the modern dental veneers we make can last for several decades. If you would like to learn more about whether or not you qualify for this procedure, please click here to schedule an appointment!

What Forensic Investigators Can Learn From Teeth! | Apex Dentist

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If you watch a lot of crime shows like CSI: Miami, you may already know that teeth are often the only body parts that can survive severe types of destruction, like burning. Because of this, forensic scientists often have only teeth to work with when it comes to identifying a victim of a crime or natural/manmade disaster. In today’s post, our Apex dentist explains some of the things forensics investigators (and anthropologists!) can determine by examining dental fragments.

Age at the Time of Death

Teeth can help indicate how old an unknown victim was when he or she died. This is especially easy to do when the victim is a child or adolescent, since baby teeth erupt on a generally universal schedule. The first baby teeth start to emerge during the first two years of life; the first two permanent incisors and the first permanent molar emerge between 6 and 8 years of age; and the majority of the remaining permanent teeth erupt between the ages of 10 and 12 years of age. Wisdom teeth tend to erupt around 18 years of age.

Using dentition to age adult victims is a bit more challenging. Once the wisdom teeth have erupted, age can only be estimated by only morphological changes within the teeth. These changes include tooth root translucency, which increases with age; dental wear on the teeth; and the ratio of amino acids in the teeth (D-aspartic acids convert to L-aspartic acids with age).

Racial Determination

There are very slight differences in the skull structure of different races, which can help assist forensic investigators in identifying victims. People of Asian or Native American descent often have incisors which are shovel-shaped, with ridges on the rear surface of the tooth. People of Caucasian descent tend to have pointier incisors, and smaller teeth overall, often with significant crowding and impacted third molars. Those of African descent rarely have crowding, and the upper teeth often project outwards due to the angled shape of the maxilla. However, these differences are becoming less prevalent, and therefore less useful in identification, as our species becomes less geographically isolated.

Lifestyle & Diet

Teeth hold many clues about an individual’s health issues, even issues that did not originate in the mouth. Tooth loss and erosion of the tooth enamel can be a sign of an eating disorder, or a chronic condition like osteoporosis. Heart disease, skin conditions, blood conditions, and kidney disease can all be identified by examining the teeth. The wear on teeth can also show evidence of what the individual ate and chewed, a detail that is more useful to historic and prehistoric anthropologists.

Individual Dental Characteristics

Forensic dentists can often match victims with specific dental characteristics, like cavity fillings, crown or implant restorations, and orthodontic treatments. If the teeth are damaged by fire, the enamel is often burned off, but post-mortem root canals can still provide clues.

Providing Understanding and Closure

In mass casualty disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, or plane crashes, forensic dentists are enlisted to view the most badly damaged or decomposed remains. Dentists are often be the only ones able to identify the dead, giving them back their names and allowing their families much-needed closure. That’s why, even though it’s unfortunate that these types of situations occur, we should be very grateful for this incredible specialization of dentistry.

Hansen Dentistry is a dentist office in Apex, NC, serving residents of Apex, Cary, and Morrisville. To schedule an appointment with our office, please click here.