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The Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
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Missing Tooth? Know Your Replacement Options

Missing teeth can be fixed. If you’re suffering from the damaging effects of a missing tooth, you need to know that you have several options for replacement.

Your Replacement Options for a Missing Tooth
If you have a missing tooth, you’re likely suffering from a whole host of problems — from difficulty eating and speaking to embarrassment when you smile or laugh. It’s time to replace your missing tooth. The options can seem overwhelming, but there is one that’s perfect for you.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are small titanium posts that are placed into your gums to act as a replacement for a missing tooth root. Once your jawbone has healed around the posts, your replacement tooth — or teeth — are ready to go on top of the implant. The result is natural-looking teeth that match the rest of your smile. With dental implants, you’re able to chew, eat, speak and continue living your life just the way you want.

Dental implants are a good option for patients with one or more missing teeth. They are a very stable solution that feel just like your real teeth — but their placement does require surgery, which means you should be in good overall health to have the procedure.

Fixed Bridges

Fixed bridges are a less costly solution than dental implants that still look, feel and function like your regular teeth. They fill the space left by one or more missing teeth by attaching to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. A bridge is made up of the “pontic,” the part that replaces your actual tooth, and the “crown,” which covers the existing teeth.

Fixed bridges are usually placed in more than one visit to the dentist. In your first appointment, your dentist examines your teeth and makes an impression of the space and surrounding teeth to prepare the replacement teeth. The impression is sent to a laboratory, where your bridge is made out of metal, ceramics, glass-ceramics or a combination of materials. Once your bridge is ready, it’s fitted, adjusted and cemented into place in your mouth in one or more follow-up visits.

Fixed bridges are a good option to replace missing teeth. Although they’re cheaper than dental implants, they also affect the other, healthy teeth surrounding your gap — which you may not always want.

Removable Partial Dentures

Your most economical option in replacing one or more missing teeth is usually with removable partial dentures. They may be a bit more uncomfortable, however, and some people find removable devices embarrassing. But depending on your unique needs and preferences, removable partial dentures still may be the best option for you.
Removable partial dentures are easily removed for cleaning. They’re made of the replacement teeth, which look and feel like natural teeth and are attached to a base that either matches the color of your gums, or metal frame work. It may take a bit of time getting used to the feeling of removable dentures in your mouth, but you should be eating, speaking and smiling like normal within a few weeks. As you age, however, your mouth changes — and that means your removable dentures may need to be replaced to fit your mouth perfectly.

Tooth Pain

There are a number of different possible causes of tooth pain. If you are experiencing pain in your teeth or jaw, you should schedule a visit to your dentist.

Some patients experience sensitivity to hot or cold foods or liquids. If the pain lasts more than a few seconds, this could be the result of inflammation or decay. A root canal treatment may be necessary to prevent the development of an abscess. A sharp pain as you bite into a harder food could be caused by a chipped tooth, decay or a dislodged filling. A dull ache in the upper jaw close to the sinuses could be a symptom of a cold or flu, a side effect of clenching or grinding, or a sign of decay. Severe, persistent pain may indicate advanced decay or inflammation, affecting the tooth’s nerve. You may need root canal surgery. It’s also important to consult your dentist immediately if your gums are inflamed, sore, or tender to the touch.


Many people mistakenly believe that a tooth with a crown cannot suffer any further problems. This misconception could cause them confusion when their dentist tells them that they have a cavity on a tooth they thought was immune. The reality is that even with a crown, root canal, or filling, teeth with previous dental work can still decay.

How Does This Happen?

Dental decay is caused when bacteria in our mouths attack the teeth after ingesting certain foods. Highly acidic or sugary foods can cause tooth enamel to weaken, resulting in an actual hole, or cavity, in the tooth.

With crowns, it is not uncommon for bacteria to build up at the margin, or the area near the gum line where the crown and the tooth meet. Plaque that is not removed through proper brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings and inspections by your dentist can cause the formation of a cavity, and the crown may need to be replaced.

The longer you go without regular dental cleanings, the greater the risk that your teeth and overall oral health will suffer.

Routine cleanings should ideally be done every six months, or could be as frequently as every three months, depending on the condition of your oral health. Regular cleanings can help prevent dental issues like gingivitis, cavities, periodontitis, and enamel loss. During your visit, your dentist will also inspect your crowns or any other previous dental work to see if there are any new cavities forming.

5 Clues Your Child Is not Brushing

1. The toothbrush is dry.
It's tough to keep the toothbrush dry if you're actually brushing! Make sure to check your child’s toothbrush every day (and night ) – before it has time to dry.
2. You can still see food particles.
After your child has brushed, ask for a smile. If you can still see bits of food on or in between your child's teeth, send your child back to the bathroom for a do-over.
3. Teeth don’t pass the “squeak test.”
Have your child wet his or her finger and rub it quickly across the outside and inside of his or her teeth. If the teeth are clean, you will hear a squeaking sound.

4. Breath is everything but fresh.
If your child is brushing and flossing regularly, his or her breath should be fresh. The foul odor associated with bad breath is most often caused by food particles -- either food left in between teeth or food trapped in the grooves on the tongue.
5. Your child has a toothache.
Even if you can't tell if your child is brushing well, a toothache is a red flag. Make sure your child sees the dentist right away – a filling or other treatment may be in order.

Remember, brushing is just one part of your child’s total oral health regimen. In order to remove stubborn plaque and tartar buildup and prevent other dental problems, regular exams and cleanings are a must. Plus, your dentist can help reinforce the importance of good oral hygiene with your child.

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 Embarrassed It Has Been So Long?

If you’re nervous about having to sit through a lecture on the importance of dental health, you can stop worrying. We’re not here to cause you anxiety or point fingers. Trust us, we of all people know that dental health is affected by a number of factors that could be environmental, hereditary or habitual. Our goal is to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.


This might surprise you, but there’s almost nothing that can surprise us when it comes to teeth. If you think your teeth are bad, we’ve probably seen worse. A large part of our training and professional work involves being exposed to just about every dental problem you can imagine. Without that kind of experience, how could we properly evaluate your teeth and treat them? We couldn’t.


One of the most important things you can do is to be up front with us. If you have dental anxiety, don’t silently suffer in the chair – tell us! The same goes for anything specific that might scare you – whether it’s needles or anesthesia or just sitting in the chair. And please tell us what we can do to make your visit more comfortable. Many people find that a blanket and pillow makes their visits much more relaxing. Others like us to explain what we’re doing before we do it. And some people find that taking frequent breaks is helpful.


Let’s talk about what you need before you talk yourself out of scheduling another visit. We’ll do whatever we can to ensure that you have a positive experience getting the dental care you need.

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Fall Giveaway!!

Want to be a winner?

55” Sharp LED TV 1080P
Apple Watch
Heated Toilet Seat

Are you due for a cleaning or maybe you have unfinished dental work? Now is the time to come see us.  Most dental appointments in October qualify. You will have a chance to win one of our great prizes: 55” LED flat screen TV, Apple Watch, or heated toilet seat (never go cold again).  We are so thankful for our patients and glad we can give back.  These appointments will go fast.

Call the office for any rules or questions

The Secret to a Better Smile

You may not realize it but the secret to a better smile is simple. It’s all about good oral hygiene. Taking care of your teeth and gums is the best way to protect against gum disease as well as damaged or lost teeth.

However, as your dentist can tell you good oral hygiene takes time and effort as well as the right techniques and tools.

The Basics are Still Extremely Important

Although your dentist suggests sticking to the basics when it comes to good oral hygiene, many people don’t take the time to do it right.

Statistics show that only about 50 percent of Americans floss on a daily basis. It’s important to floss at least once every day. Additionally, brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, two to three times each day, with the right toothpaste, may strengthen your tooth enamel, according to the American Dental Association.

However, keep in mind you can get too much of a good thing. Not only can too much brushing wear down tooth enamel and damage gums, brushing too aggressively may damage teeth and erode the gum line. Instead, hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line and use gentle, circular motions. Also, don’t forget the top of your teeth.

The only way to control the damage done by the bacteria in your mouth is to eliminate it. Your dentist urges you to brush and floss wisely using the proper tools.

Choose and Use the Right Toothbrush and Floss

Your dentist encourages you to consider the toothbrush you purchase carefully. Make sure brush fits properly in your mouth – without straining – and that the bristles don’t hurt your gums. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a soft brush. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Experts suggest that manual toothbrushes are just as effective as powered toothbrushes. It’s really all about how you brush. However, a powered toothbrush – electric or battery operated – can make the job a bit easier and even more fun.

As for flossing, your dentist says it doesn’t matter if you do it before or after you brush, as long as you do it at least once a day. The purpose is to remove the plaque that builds up between teeth. Although it’s important to be gentle so as to not damage your gums, your teeth are more resilient. Be sure to floss firmly against each tooth.

If you’re unsure about the proper flossing technique or the best floss to use, talk to your dentist. The can show you how flossing and brushing properly are the secret to a better smile.

Dealing with dry Socket

When most people have a tooth pulled, they experience a little discomfort for a couple of days. If the pain persists and becomes more intense, then the individual might be suffering from a condition called dry socket or alveolar osteitis.

What is a dry socket? Dry socket is rare—only about two to five percent of people experience it. When a tooth is pulled, a blood clot forms at the extraction site (in the socket or hole in the bone). The blood clot protects the bone and the nerves underneath. If the clot becomes dislodged, or if it dissolves early, the bone can become exposed to air, food, and fluids. This can cause infection and severe pain.

How do you get dry sockets? You are more likely to get dry socket if you smoke, use birth control pills, or have poor oral hygiene. It’s also more common in people who undergo wisdom teeth removal or who experience greater than usual trauma having a tooth extracted.

Dry socket can be treated fairly easily. Treatment for symptoms include controlling the pain with an over-the-counter medication like aspirin or ibuprofen can be used or your dentist can prescribe something stronger if necessary. Your dentist will clean the socket area, and fill it with a medicated dressing or paste to promote healing. You may need to return to the dentist’s office to have the dressing replaced periodically. An antibiotic may also be prescribed. Once treated, a dry socket will usually heal within a couple of weeks.

A Wise Strategy for Wisdom Teeth

Many people have their wisdom teeth (third molars) removed as young adults. This is done when there is not enough room in the patient’s mouth and the tooth may become “impacted,” or unable to break through the gums. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons nine out of ten people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.

An impacted tooth may damage adjacent teeth, or itcan become infected, causing gum disease or even systemic infections that can affect the heart, kidneys or other organs. Cysts may form, growing and hollowing out the jaw while also potentially damaging nerves.

And research suggests that when periodontal disease becomes established in the third molar region, it can be persistent even with proper dental hygiene.

For some people, wisdom teeth emerge normally and they have no pain from them. Some people don’t have third molars, a phenomenon that may be becoming more common. But if a patient has third molars, and the patient is pain free, what is the best course of treatment?

The answer is careful monitoring and regular cleanings and checkups (including x-rays) to make sure no changes are occurring. Age is also a consideration, the younger the patient is, when wisdom teeth are removed, the faster and easier the recovery because the roots of the tooth have yet to form completely and the bone surrounding the teeth is softer.

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Getting Married?
Consider A Wedding Smile Makeover

Your big day is coming up, and you want your smile to be as white as your dress. Wedding “smile makeovers” are becoming more and more common, for brides AND often whole wedding parties.


Even if you’re down to the last minute, there are a number of things that can still be done to make your smile brighter. The Center for Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers both in-office and at-home whitening systems.


The Zoom! in-office whitening method is one of the most efficient ways to get a bright, white smile. Zoom! works in one visit and last longer than at home whitening treatments, depending on your eating or drinking habits. Zoom! has been proven to whiten teeth as much as 6-8 shades with just one treatment.


If you’d prefer a whitening treatment you can do at home, then we offer custom whitening trays. Custom trays allow you to whiten your teeth over a period of time. We take impressions in office and fabricate bleaching trays to perfectly form to your teeth. You then are able to use the professional strength whitening gel at home when it is convenient for you. Both systems are fast, painless, and a great way to get good results!


If you’d like to make bigger changes to your smile, here are some other options:

Veneers can be used to give you a white smile AND fix significant imperfections and gaps. For smaller issues, cosmetic contouring can reshape teeth and update your smile. And if you’ve got a longer time frame before the wedding, some brides have even opted for braces to make permanent improvements that they can enjoy anniversary after anniversary.


So it might be a good idea to include a smile makeover on your wedding checklist, to make your day even more special. For advice on what are the best options for you, call for an appointment or use the “Contact Us” feature on our website to schedule an appointment.

Huge thanks to Sarah our (Hygienist) for allow us to use her beautiful wedding photos.
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