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All Posts in Category: Dental FAQ

When Would I Need a Fluoride Treatment?

We hear the word “fluoride” a lot. It’s in the municipal water supply. It’s in our toothpaste. Teenagers get fluoride treatments and if you have dental insurance, it’s one of those preventative treatments that are usually covered up to a certain age.

But did you know that fluoride could actually help aging teeth? It’s a supplement that can actually strengthen teeth. This article will look at fluoride treatments and whether they might be right for you or your family members.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral in food and water. It has also been added in very small increments to municipal water supplies in the United States.

Fluoride is also a supplement that can be applied to the teeth in toothpaste or mouth rinses. Dentists can also professionally apply fluoride treatments.

The teeth can lose minerals every day from plaque, sugar, and bacteria in the mouth. Demineralization can be reversed, though, when teeth receive fluoride.

Fluoride helps reverse tooth decay and when given early enough as a supplement, can help provide life-long protection against tooth decay.

Fluoride Treatments for Kids

Fluoride intake is most important for children between six months and 16 years. That’s when the permanent teeth are coming in and fluoride can strengthen developing teeth.

WebMD has this to say about fluoride and kids:

In children under six years old, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

But what about fluoride treatment for adults? The research says that fluoride is just as important to the adult teeth as to the newer teeth of children.

Fluoride Treatment for Adults

As adults age, their teeth age right along with them. Adults can experience tooth erosion, including areas where the enamel is wearing away. Crowns can have leaky margins and the teeth generally can start to weaken. Fluoride is one way to strengthen the elderly tooth, making them stronger, less sensitive to cold and hot, and less resistant to decay. Too, fluoride can even lessen root decay, which is something that can begin to happen to people that are over the age of 50.

As adults age they can also suffer from dry mouth, a condition that can contribute to tooth decay. Gum disease can cause the gums to recede, exposing the roots to bacteria. Fluoride can help in all of these cases. We often recommend fluoride as a way to shore up aging teeth and help prolong the life of adult teeth.

But is Fluoride Safe?

When given in the recommended dosage, fluoride is both safe and effective. However, it can be hazardous in high doses. That’s why it’s important to talk with your dentist about using fluoride products for you and your children. However, it is very hard to “overdose” on fluoride. This mineral is both beneficial to people and natural.

To talk with your Las Vegas dentist about the benefits of fluoride, contact us.

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Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Americans place a lot of importance on our straight while clean smiles. That’s why every toothpaste manufacturer says their product will whiten your teeth. But now there are also lots of over-the-counter tooth whitening products that can make your teeth a gleaming shade of white.

While every toothpaste and mouthwash says they’ll brighten your smile, but there’s nothing like professional teeth whitening to make you look your best. This article looks more closely at professional teeth whitening to determine how safe the process is and how it can help make those pearly whites their whitest.

What Does the ADA Say About Teeth Whitening?

The American Dental Association points out that tooth whitening is a process of chemically removing surface stains on the teeth. They define it as any process that makes the tooth appear whiter, which could be a bleaching action that changes the natural tooth color or a product that just uses a safe chemical action to remove the stain.

Typically, these bleaching products have peroxide to help whiten teeth. Over-the-counter products can vary in intensity, and the ADA suggests that tooth sensitivity and an occasional irritation of the gums can occur with these products. They suggest:

Patients should be cautioned that not enough information is available to support unsupervised long-term and/or repeated use of bleaching products.

In fact, the ADA suggests that there are many options for over-the-counter teeth whitening products. However, “The level and type of active ingredients, the form of the product and how they are applied may vary widely.”

The ADA goes on to suggest that you should consult your dentist about the process of whitening your teeth. Preferred Family Dentistry is standing by to help.

Teeth Whitening Dentist in Las Vegas

It’s very common for our patients to visit with the request that they would like their teeth to be whiter. It’s one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve how you look. Our clients typically are dealing with aging, which can make the teeth look greyer. Or, they’ve stained their teeth with coffee or tobacco. Sometimes they’ve come to us for help because they’ve had some sort of trauma to their tooth, and the underlying nerve has died.

For many of these people, tooth whitening is a way for them to regain their clean, healthy smile. We offer professional at-home or in-office whitening professionally overseen by Dr. J. and her expert team.

  • At Home Whitening The first visit consists of an exam and discussion of how white you want your smile to be. Then we take impressions of your teeth. Those impressions are sent away and on your second visit, you will be sent home with custom-built trays and a safe, effective tooth whitening gel. You simply coat the trays in the gel and wear them. Over time the teeth whitening.
  • In-Office Whitening For a faster whitening process, we recommend having an in-house whitening session where we apply the gel and use a UV light to whiten the teeth. The visit consists of a professional cleaning and exam. Then we apply the teeth whitening gel, three times, each for 15 minutes.

For more information on either of these procedures, contact us.

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Common Questions About Teeth Whitening

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is also called dental bleaching. In basic terms, whitening of tooth restores the natural color of the tooth and bleaching improves the white color of the natural tooth.

When is tooth whitening done?

Many times you might have felt that your teeth are not up to mark in terms of aesthetics. When you smile or laugh, your teeth don’t look the best. In this case you can visit our Las Vegas Dentist especially a cosmetic dentist who will examine the hue, color and shade of your teeth. According to the results you may be advised to undergo teeth whitening procedure.

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How to Get Teeth Like a Hollywood Movie Star

Think of your favorite actor. Now ask yourself if their smile is the one they were born with. Chances are, the answer is, “No.”

You probably already know this. But what you may not realize is the same techniques that shaped the grins of some of the most famous people you see walking the red carpet, are available to anyone.

Preferred Family Dentistry has been performing some of those same smile makeovers on the residents of our region for years. This article takes a look at some of the most common techniques for giving you a Hollywood smile.


How Can I Have a Beautiful Smile Like…?

If you have a crooked smile or other tooth imperfections, it’s inevitable at some point that you might find yourself thinking, “I wish I had a smile like – (you fill in the blank).” This is normal. But modern dentistry has enabled us to achieve that smile makeover with a minimum of fuss, discomfort, and at a price that will – make you smile.

In any case, some things are worth investing in, right?

So, while your favorite Hollywood actor has a smile that appears effortless, the truth is that in many cases, straightening and whitening their teeth has taken a lot of effort. Some of the Hollywood-type cosmetic procedures that we perform include:

  • Dental Veneers that are perfect for hiding gaps or small imperfections in the underlying tooth. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are handcrafted to fit your tooth structure and the shape of the smile makeover we’re aiming for. The veneer fits right over the existing tooth and is bonded so you can’t tell the difference between the real tooth and the veneer. We guarantee that a high percentage of Hollywood stars have full veneers that dramatically changed their smile from drab to devastatingly gorgeous. You can have the same smile!
  • Dental Crowns are excellent when a veneer simply won’t work because the underlying tooth is too worn. Crowns actually create a new tooth structure, making both a prettier and stronger smile. Crowns are particularly helpful later in life if your teeth haven’t worn as well as you imagined they would.
  • Teeth Whitening is useful if you’re fairly pleased with the overall shape of your teeth, but feel they simply aren’t as white as they used to be. Professional teeth whitening is a cost-effective, fast, and safe way to spiff up an otherwise solid smile. The process takes a few weeks, gradually whitening your teeth, so instead of showing up at work with brand new sparkling teeth, this process happens over a short time.
  • Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings are perfect if you still have a mouth full of those outdated (and unsafe) mercury fillings. Over time those fillings can begin to break down, which can create health problems. Today we have an alternative that is both safer and that is actually colored to match your teeth. Ask us about replacing any old fillings you have with composite resin tooth colored fillings.

There you have it. You can have a Hollywood smile. There’s just one thing stopping you now; pick up your cell phone and call us to discuss your options. We can help you get a TV-grade grin. What are you waiting for?


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What is Gum Reshaping?

Gum reshaping, or gum contouring, is perfect for our patients that are unhappy with how their smile looks. If your smile seems like it’s all gums – or all teeth – it’s possible that gum reshaping could give you the smile makeover you’ve been wishing you always had.

This article looks at gum reshaping, a standard part of Preferred Family Dentistry’s treatment options, and one that dozens of Las Vegas residents have taken advantage of.


Las Vegas Cosmetic Dentistry – Gum Contouring

While there are a variety of cosmetic procedures for your teeth, there is one that can actually change the look of your “gummy” smile. Gum reshaping is a contouring process for the tissue around your teeth. It has a lot of names:

  • Gum reshaping
  • Gum contouring
  • Tissue sculpting

No matter the name, this procedure is a good way to smooth out an uneven gum line. People come to Preferred Family Dentistry’s team for this procedure frequently; many times these patients have despaired of ever having a smile to be proud of.

When the gum line covers too much of your teeth, it can make them look like tiny “baby teeth.” Or, gums that are too high can give your teeth a “horsey” appearance. These issues can be caused by genetics, health problems, certain prescription medications, or periodontal disease.


Why Have Gum Contouring

If you’ve been embarrassed by your smile, this is a cosmetic procedure that can produce startling changes in your smile fairly quickly. However, gum contouring can also be part of a periodontal treatment regimen that is necessary to improve your health.

Gum reshaping is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure that could include adding tissue to the gums when they have receded from the tooth too far. Or, it could include the trimming of overgrown tissue that is covering too much of the tooth. 


What Happens During Gum Reshaping?

Some gum reshaping can be done with just a local anesthetic. The procedure is always done as outpatient work in our office, even if the patient requires anesthetic. We use a number of different tools to conduct the procedure, but you won’t feel a thing, and the procedure requires very little recovery time.

We start the process by marking on your gums how the new gum line will be reshaped. The day of the surgery, you should limit your activities, and it may take a couple weeks for your gums to heal completely. Typically, the patient recovers well from the surgery and within a month will have a brand new smile to show off. Over-the-counter pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol can help alleviate the minimal discomfort patients typically experience. It’s also wise to eat non-spicy foods, such as:

  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Pasta
  • Soft veggies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Ice cream
  • Cottage cheese

Every procedure is individualized to the patient, so your recovery time will vary along with any other cosmetic procedures that we do in addition to the gum contouring.

Contact Preferred Family Dentistry for a confidential consultation of the cost, process, and outcomes possible when receiving any of our cosmetic procedures.

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Teeth Cleaning – FAQs

A professional tooth cleaning is one of the most common dental procedures that our practice provides. The medical name for teeth cleaning is called “prophylaxis,” which is our standard process of using an oral hygienist to thoroughly clean all the tartar, staining, and bacteria from your teeth and gums. It’s a gentle, yet thorough preventative process that should happen throughout your lifetime in order to maintain your oral health.

We often receive phone calls from new patients who ask questions about this procedure, so we’ve assembled some of the more common questions and answers that we hear related to teeth cleaning. Please don’t hesitate to call our office if you have further questions about any of the procedures we provide.

Teeth Cleaning – Most Common Questions

Why is cleaning your teeth important?

Tartar is a hard mineralized build-up of plaque on the teeth. If allowed to stay on the teeth, it attracts bacteria that can build up and cause cavities and gum disease.

Can teeth cleaning affect my overall health?

Poor oral hygiene can lead to a whole host of health problems that extend beyond the potential for losing a tooth to decay. Gum disease can even break down the bone holding the tooth in place. These are all good reasons to follow your dentist’s advice and seek a dental cleaning and oral exam from your dentist twice a year.

What is the process?

You will sit back in one of our comfy dental chairs as the hygienist works on your smile. She or he will gently remove the soft plaque and harder tarter with professional instruments designed to gently remove these stains from your teeth. Then the hygienist will polish and floss your teeth to a glossy perfection. It only takes about 30 to 45 minutes and you’ll also have a dental exam and possibly, x-rays.

Will it hurt?

While teeth cleaning rarely hurts, it may be a little uncomfortable. But we do our best to make it a gentle, yet thorough process that prepares you for a lifetime of good oral health.

How often should I have my teeth cleaned?

We typically recommend a thorough professional prophylaxis every six months (twice a year). For patients who are having problems with their teeth or gums, we may recommend this more frequently.

Will I see the dentist during my cleaning?

Absolutely! The dentist will check the x-rays and look closely at your teeth and gums for any problem areas.

How expensive is it?

If you have dental insurance, the insurer often covers preventative care. Teeth cleaning can range from $75 to $200 typically, and that does not include dental x-rays if they are necessary.

Are teeth cleaning the same as periodontal scaling and root planing?

Actually, not. Periodontal scaling and root planing are a much deeper cleaning than regular prophylaxis. If you come to us as an adult and have never had prophylaxis, or if you are showing signs of gum disease, we may recommend this procedure. If your teeth are loose, or there are deep gum pockets, bleeding gums or plaque and tartar below the gum line, you may be a candidate for this procedure.

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