Dental implants

If you have a single tooth or several teeth that need to be replaced as a result of a dental condition or injury then dental implants can be a great choice. Here is the answers to some questions you might have to decide if a dental implant is right for you….

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a a small metal rod (usually titanium) that is positioned into the patients jawbone underneath the gums. The metal rod acts as a root and allows the dentist to use it to put the replacement teeth on. A single implant can be used to replace one tooth or several.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Once the implant is in place the metal will fuse with the jawbone over several months and this will create a very strong and stable support for the new teeth that are placed above it.

Types Of Dental Implants

When having dental implant surgery there are three types of dental implants available depending on the patients jawbone so lets take a closer look at each one….

Root Form Implant

This is the most commonly used implant and will be the one used by the dentist if there are no issues with the patients jawbone. The root form implant is shaped in the same way as a tooth root and can be applied when the jawbome is wide enough and has enough depth to it.

Plate Form Dental Implants

If the jawbone is not wide enough for a root form implant then the next option is a plate form implant. This type of implant has a long and flat shape and this makes it a good fit when the patients jaw is too narrow.

Subperiosteal Dental Implants

These are custom made dental implants that are used when the jawbome is either too narrow or too short for the root form or plate form dental implants.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

If looked after correctly, then dental implants can last a lifetime.

Pros And Cons Of Dental Implants

Pros – Because it is implanted into the jaw the implant will feel just like a real tooth and is a permanent fix to missing teeth compared to dentures which are not secure and can leave the wearer feeling self conscious.

Cons – Dental Implants can be a major investment costing several thousands of dollars. To find out more about the potential cost visit our article on the cost of dental implants . There is also likely to be some swelling and bruising for a few days after the surgery.

Cosmetic Dentistry Veneers

Cosmetic dentistry veneers can transform a persons smile like no other dental procedure. Such is the sucess of veneers that they have become popular with celebrities whose appearance is always under scrutiny and whose “hollywood smile” is part of their image. So what exactly are veneers and how do they work….

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are a thin layer of material that is placed onto the tooth to improve the overall look of both the individual tooth and the whole smile. The veneer can be used on cracked and chipped teeth to cover up a damaged tooth or used to close any gaps between teeth. The main two materials used in veneers are porcelain and composite so lets look at the differences between the two……

Difference Between Porcelain And Composite Veneers

The main differences between the two materials are in their ability to withstand daily wear and tear, how long they last before needing to be replaced and also the cost. Porcelain is a much more durable material than composite and will last a lot longer. Typically porcelain veneers will last anywhere between 10-20 years before needing to be replaced compared to composite which will last approximately 4-10 years. Porcelain is a much tougher material and is less likely to become chipped compared with composite. Porcelain is also able to mimic the appearance of real teeth better than composite due to its translucent quality. The other main difference is in the price. You can expect to pay at least twice for porcelain veneers due to the better quality of material and the work involved in fitting them to the patient. For a closer look on the cost of veneers see our page on how much do veneers cost?

Pros And Cons Of Veneers

Advantages – The main advantage is of course in the final result. You can achieve atrully stunning smile with veneers. Crooked teeth that can take a couple of years to straighten with braces can be put right with only a couple of visits to your dentist to have your veneers fitted. Stained teeth that not even laser teeth whitening can
whiten can be turned pearly white with veneers. Veneers can cover up a whole host of dental problems so what are the disadvantages….

Disadvantages – You have to have a layer of your healthy tooth removed to have the veneer placed on it therefore forever damaging a healthy tooth. Veneers can be seen to be a quick shortcut to all dental problems but it is always better to leave a healthy tooth healthy and seek alternative dental procedures that might take longer
to fix your problems such as crooked teeth, but will leave you with your natural teeth. Some dentist can be too hasty in recommending veneers and it is important you know all the pros and cons before makeing a final decision. A good dentist will let you know all your options in dealing with a dental problem and leave you well informed before you make a choice.

The cost of dental braces

If you have crowded or protruding teeth, then you may have considered getting dental braces at some point in the past. For many people, either the discomfort of wearing braces or the cost of the procedure itself scares them away. However, the procedure is often necessary, and avoiding it when you’re young could lead to serious health problems in the future. And, of course, having a dazzling smile after getting your braces removed is a nice bonus.

While many people consider braces as purely a cosmetic enhancement, this is not always true. Braces can be used to fix an overbite or an underbite, which can affect your ability to eat and speak properly. In addition, it could cause undue wear and tear on your tooth enamel, which could lead to cavities and root canals in the future. Jaw problems may also arise as a result of a bite issue.

Of course, if all of this is left untreated, your teeth could become crowded and begin to fall out, or become susceptible to other forms of gum disease. For that reason, problems like this are best treated at a young age, like during the pre-teen and teenage years. If left untreated for any longer than that, then serious tooth problems may start to occur.

In fact, many orthodontists recommend having an evaluation around age 7, which is a good time to see how the permanent teeth are filling out your mouth. At this age, it is also easy to spot any potential jaw, teeth, or dental growth problems that may occur in the future, and then provide a pre-emptive solution to those problems.

How much do braces cost?

Braces cost thousands of dollars. However, by educating yourself on the various factors that affect the price of braces, you can effectively protect yourself from being taken advantage of during your next visit to the dentist’s office. In addition, your insurance plan may be able to cover at least a portion of the cost, meaning that the final price you pay could be significantly less than the sticker price.

At most clinics, braces cost between $3,000 and $7,000. This is an all-inclusive price which covers the implementation and material cost of the braces. Keep in mind that the cost of your braces in this range will depend on a number of major factors, like the type and duration of the treatment, the quality of the orthodontist, and any follow-up restoration work that may be required.

While you may be inclined to find a clinic that offers braces that are close to the lower end of that spectrum, this is not always be a good idea. Put simply, these professionals are in charge of how your mouth will look for the rest of your life. For that reason, it’s important that they get it right the first time.

And, if a lower-end orthodontist does happen to mess up your dental braces, then you could end up paying for thousands of dollars of restorative services in order to clean up these problems. So, in the long-run, cheaper dental braces are not always as
cost-effective as they might appear at first glance.

How Much Do Veneers Cost?

One of the most popular cosmetic surgeries to receive is a dental veneer procedure. Made from composite or porcelain material, dental veneers are an easy and effective way to fix the poor health of your teeth. Keep reading to find out who is eligible for dental veneer procedures, and what the cost of dental veneers will be for you.

First of all, let’s explain what veneers do. By repairing the damage left by chipped and cracked teeth, veneers make your smile that much brighter. Furthermore, veneers can also fix uneven tooth alignment or awkward spacing in your mouth, both of which could cause lead to more than just cosmetic problems. Veneers also fix teeth that have worn tooth enamel, which could prevent cavities and root canals in the future.
So, in that sense, almost anybody is a candidate for dental veneers. Whether your problem is serious or mild, a cosmetic dentist will be able to help you achieve the winning smile that you deserve and, in so doing, improve your confidence and outlook on life.

How much do dental veneers cost?

When looking for a dental veneer procedure, there are two important costs to consider. First, the cost of the material used. And second, the quality of the professional who performs the procedure.

The material you use can have a large impact on the price. For example, traditional veneers are made with porcelain, which costs anywhere from $1000 to $2,500 per tooth and can last for approximately 15 years. Meanwhile, composite veneers are less expensive, and range from $300 to $1500. However, they only last for around 7 years. Keep in mind that these prices are all-inclusive, and take into account both the material used and the entire installation and preparation procedures.
Obviously, you use your teeth every day, and saving a little bit of money on composite veneers now could cost you a lot more money in the future. However, the decision you choose should ultimately be based on your personal preferences and current financial situation.

With dental veneers, the skill of the professional performing the procedure will also impact the price. Since he or she is going to be dealing with some of the most noticeable parts of your mouth, you want this person to be very good at their job. While higher-end cosmetic dentists cost far more than the average person can afford, there is a nice middle range that should offer the quality and care that you need for your dental veneer procedure.

Furthermore, a good cosmetic dental office will feature sedation dentistry, televisions, or even massages to help distract you from the momentary discomfort. Since dental veneer procedures can take several hours to perform, design, and implement, the time you spend waiting in the dentist office should be as enjoyable as possible. However, these things could all increase the price of the procedure.
And, since veneers are made individually by a ceramist, the technical expertise of that professional will impact the cost. Put simply, there is a certain amount of artistry involved in the process, and a good ceramist will make your smile far more vivid than ever before.

When researching the cost of dental veneers, you also need to take into account whether or not your insurance plan covers the procedure. While every insurance plan is different, many of the most basic options will not cover cosmetic surgery. Or, if they do, they will only cover a small amount. As for the remaining amount of money, many cosmetic dentistry clinics give patients the option to pay for it on a monthly basis, or work through a third-party in order to find the repayment schedule that works best for you.

Cost Of Dental Implants

In a society that is becoming increasingly concerned with the way we look, dental implants are becoming more and more popular. However, in addition to cosmetic benefits, dental implant procedures can strengthen, repair, and heal damage that you have done to your mouth over time. For that reason, dental implants are done to all sorts of patients around the world.

For example, patients who have missing or broken teeth are ideal candidate for implant dentistry. A simple restoration can eliminate years of pain down the road, and will undoubtedly brighten your smile.

Dental implant procedures are routinely performed by periodontists and oral surgeons. As with many private medical procedures, the quality of this professional will affect the price of the final operation. If the surgeon is famous for his dental implant surgery, then he will likely charge more for his services. On the other hand, you may not want to choose the budget alternative either. After all, your teeth are something you use, feel, and see every single day.

The teeth that are implanted into your mouth are stronger than their natural counterparts, and are completely immune to cavities. If you plan on receiving a restoration at some point in the future, like a crown or dental bridge, then these new teeth can provide the stable foundation that one would not have with missing or broken teeth.

It is important to keep in mind that dental implant surgery cannot be performed on everybody. For example, people with diabetes, cancer, or periodontal disease could require further treatment before a successful implant procedure can be performed. In addition, smokers are advised to quit smoking before and after the procedure in order for the implant to successfully take hold in your mouth, since they are one of the groups that is at a high risk of dental implant failure.

How much does a dental implant procedure cost?

As with anything, the price varies according to the quality of the procedure, as well as the dentist’s office in which the procedure takes place. However, there is a general pricing range for dental implants and, by knowing this range, you can effectively prevent yourself from being taken advantage of during your next visit to the dentist.

For patients who are getting a single tooth replaced, the cost can range from $1,000 to $5,000. Meanwhile, patients who are getting their entire mouth reconstructed can expect to pay anywhere from $23,000 to $100,000.

Getting dental insurance can be one of the best ways to protect yourself against the cost of dental implants. However, not all dental insurance plans cover this. Before getting the procedure, consult with your insurance agency to find out if they can cover at least some of the cost. If not, then you need to decide if the implants are actually worth the price.

Summary

As you can imagine, dental implants are not a procedure that a patient should take lightly. It involves a lot of money, and could radically change the way you feel about yourself. By learning more about the risks, cost, and value of dental implants, you can ensure that you get the procedure you receive will bring as much benefit to you as possible, without bringing you to financial ruin.

Root canal treatment cost

Root canals are some of the most uncomfortable operations that are done at a dentist’s office. Watching a dentist poke around the inside of your mouth with dangerous looking instruments is never fun. Fortunately, patients are generally under topical anaesthetic for the entire procedure, which means that you will not be able to feel much pain in the actual area where the root canal is taking place.

However, by better understanding what a root canal operation actually is, you will be able to judge the price more accurately, which could ultimately save you a lot of money.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what dentists do to your tooth during a root canal. In order to get rid of an infection in the root of your tooth, the dentist must first drill down through the tooth in order to access the root tip. Since the roots of your teeth are filled with delicate nerve endings and other sensitive tissue, it is best if the patient cannot feel any of this.

Once the dentist has access to this area of your tooth, he or she will completely clean the area of all traces of infection or debris in order to stop the problem at the source. To do this, the dentist can use several different tools. Some dentists use a simple disinfectant solution, while others use a special kind of heat gun that floods the tip of the root with a special anti-bacterial material that expands and fills the entire area.

If done incorrectly, root canals can damage the ligaments and bone which surround your tooth, which could complicate your dental situation even further. In addition, if the root is not fully cleaned, or if the tip of the root cannot be found, then the infection could bring more damage to your tooth. And, since the only thing worse than having a root canal is having two root canals, this is obviously not an ideal situation.

How much does a root canal cost?

Of course, one of the most painful parts of the procedure may come when you receive the bill. Root canals are not only painful for your mouth, but they can also harm your wallet.  The cost of the initial procedure ranges from $500 to $1000, but there are a number of other important fees to consider. For example, the procedure afterwards to strengthen the tooth will cost approximately$250 to $400.

Furthermore, in order to restore your tooth to its normal look and feel again, you will need something called pulp vitality tests and pulp capping procedures, each of which cost around $50. You may also need to pay more for the final crown restoration process. As you can imagine, these costs will quickly add up for root canal patients.

Of course, if your root canal needs to be retreated for any reason, then it could cost the patient another $700 to $1000. Or, if the root canal is obstructed, then this will cost an additional $400. Depending on the type of procedure that your dentist uses, all of these costs will vary. However, they generally fall within the ranges listed above.

Summary

Put simply, root canals are not fun for anybody. And, to somebody without a background in dentistry, the various fees can seem mysterious and costly. To avoid being taken advantage of at your dentist’s office, it’s important to educate yourself on the true cost of a root canal.

Laser Teeth Whitening

One of the first impressions you make on people you meet is your smile.  If you have a white, shining smile, people tend to think you have good hygiene and are therefore a trustworthy individual.  If your smile reveals stained tooth enamel and damage however, people are less likely to trust you. 

There are a lot of ways that teeth can become discolored over the years including stains from eating, discoloration from age, or damage from chemicals, medications, excessive coffee, tea, soft drinks, or smoking.  Many people don’t realize the toll that these simple lifestyle choices can take on the appearance of their teeth until it is too late.  For other people, tooth discoloration is something even more out of their control, since genetic factors can cause teeth to have a yellowish or brownish cast.  Diseases can also cause teeth to lose their luster. 

You don’t have to live with stained teeth though.  You can get laser teeth whitening to instantly restore shine and brightness to your discolored teeth.  Why not just get the typical dental whitening procedure?  As many people discover fairly quickly, the typical dental whitening procedure involves the use of abrasive chemicals which can actually damage and weaken your teeth.  It’s not uncommon to chip a tooth after getting dental whitening.  Not only that, but the effects from traditional whitening procedures often fade within a matter of months. 

Laser teeth whitening is also known as laser bleaching or light-activated teeth whitening, and is performed in the dental office for convenience and simplicity.  This brand new procedure uses a laser in combination with a translucent bleaching gel.  First the bleaching gel is applied to your teeth.  The gel usually contains hydrogen peroxide (a standard tooth whitening agent) or carbamide peroxide gel.  The gel contains special crystals which can penetrate the enamel of your teeth and whiten the surfaces.  To activate this gel and improve the level of penetration, the dentist will turn on a laser, which will then trigger the crystals to their intended effect.  How long this process takes will depend on how discolored your teeth are to begin with.  A standard laser teeth whitening procedure takes about one hour.  If your teeth are particular stained the process might take up to two hours.  At the end of that time your teeth may be up to ten times whiter, and you don’t even need to follow up with any at-home treatment.

There are many more reasons that laser teeth whitening is preferable over traditional teeth whitening.  Not only is it less damaging, but it is also less uncomfortable.  Older teeth whitening procedures usually involved the use of mouth trays which are very uncomfortable for many patients.  Using these methods is often more time consuming as well.  The time required and the discomfort alone can convince many patients to skip whitening altogether.  Laser teeth whitening isn’t like that though—the process is streamlined and straightforward.  Some patients report minor sensitivity issues during the procedure or afterward, but not any real pain.  The sensitivity, if it occurs, will usually pass in just a couple of hours.  An analgesic can alleviate it in the meantime.  Laser teeth whitening can help lighten genetically gray teeth, but is most effective on teeth stained by age and habit.  It also won’t lighten crowns or veneers, but may remove stains from them.

Laser Teeth Whitening Cost

How much does laser teeth whitening cost?  Laser teeth whitening is usually about $1000, but can range between $500 and $1500.  You may be able to reduce this cost by traveling across borders for your procedure; usually insurance doesn’t cover teeth whitening.  Cosmetic dental procedures like this one can cost only a fraction as much abroad as they do in your home country.  If your problem is the result of a disease though, you might be able to get coverage, so check into the possibility before dismissing it. 

Is laser teeth whitening worth the cost?  Old fashioned whitening procedures might be less expensive, but for many individuals the results don’t last long at all, often no longer than several months.  Laser teeth whitening is a much more permanent solution.  The results can last several years, so when you account for that, it’s actually a cost saving option.  Results are typically guaranteed for at least 1-2 years (much longer than the couple of months that other whitening procedures are guaranteed for), but may last even longer.  You won’t need to make any follow-up appointments either.

Is laser teeth whitening safe?  The gel which is applied contains hydrogen peroxide, a standard household supply which is often included in mouthwashes because of its whitening properties.  If you’ve used a mouthwash to whiten your teeth, odds are you’ve already exposed your teeth to hydrogen peroxide.  People have been using hydrogen peroxide to whiten their teeth for a very long time, so it has a proven track record which is much older than the procedure of laser teeth whitening.  The concentration of hydrogen peroxide used in laser teeth whitening is 15%.  This concentration has been tested for safety and has been discovered not to produce sensitivity like other chemical treatments.

How can you help the effects of laser teeth whitening last as long as possible?  Regular dental check-ups can assist in prolonging the effects, and so can good dental hygiene.  You should brush and floss your teeth daily and consider the use of whitening mouthwash to maintain the effect.  You also will want to avoid staining influences like coffee, tea, and smoking.  Smoking or drinking coffee and tea only in moderation or not at all will prevent new stains from forming on your enamel.  Regularly rinsing your mouth after partaking of these habits can also help you to keep your teeth white.

Laser teeth whitening is more expensive than other whitening procedures, but it comes with the promise of minimal discomfort and long lasting whiteness.  So if you are fed up with whitening procedures which leave your teeth brittle and only lighten them for a couple of months, ask your dentist about laser teeth whitening.

TMJ treatment options

Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is a common acute or chronic affliction involving inflammation in the temporomandibular joint which affixes the jaw to the rest of the skull.  TMJ can vary from a minor annoyance to a debilitating and painful condition.  Some of the common symptoms of TMJ include difficulty or discomfort with chewing, clicking or popping noises associated with opening or closing the mouth, and tenderness or pain in the jaw.  Some patients experience further symptoms like headache, aching in the face, earache, migraine, neck or shoulder pain, tinnitus, or hearing loss.  Dizziness is sometimes another result of TMJ.

What causes TMJ?  TMJ can occur in patients who exhibit bruxism (grinding the teeth, usually at night), trauma, misalignment of the teeth, and degenerative joint disease.  Other causes can include improper eating, nail biting, and jaw thrusting.  Patients with insufficient overbite can also develop TMJ.

How do you treat TMJ?  TMJ treatments vary depending on the cause of TMJ, but many elements are the same.  For example, if bruxism is one of the reasons you have TMJ, part of your TMJ treatment will need to include treatment for bruxism.  Breaking the habit of grinding your teeth will be necessary for lasting recovery.  If poorly applied dental treatments have altered the occlusal surfaces of the teeth, they may need to be restored so that you can chew correctly again.

Regardless of the cause of your TMJ, you should avoid overly crunchy or chewy foods until your TMJ gets better.  You also won’t want to open your mouth too widely to eat something, for example a large hamburger.  Cut the food up and eat it instead, or take out some of the ingredients so the sandwich is flatter if you have to.  Also avoid chewing gum or grinding your teeth from stress as best you can.  If your life is particularly stressful, you will want to proactively manage your stress as best you can using biofeedback, therapy, or other methods. 

Ice is a great treatment for TMJ since it reduces inflammation and swelling in your joint.  You will usually want to follow up on the ice with heat to restore blood circulation.  Ice should be applied first though in case of an injury to your joint.

A lot of people use over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation and pain such as ibuprofen.  Others go for prescription medications like steroids or muscle relaxants.  For some patients injections of cortisone into the joint can assist with the pain.

Even though you don’t want to over-use your jaw or chew improperly with TMJ, it is equally bad to immobilize your jaw.  Your goal is to increase your range of motion, not decrease it, and lack of use can lead to further complications.  It is important to do some physical therapy, for example slowly and carefully opening and closing the jaw, massaging the joints, or even using electrodes.  All these measures may improve your condition or eliminate it with time.

Many TMJ cases can be cured through these simple methods.  It is usually advised to try these techniques first before pursuing more drastic courses of action.  If none of these methods resolve your TMJ, your dentist will probably fit you with a splint or mouth guard.  The splint will assist you in repositioning your jaw to improve your bite.  In many cases this will result in a gradual adjustment which will reduce TMJ pain.

Sometimes a splint won’t help, or won’t cure your entire problem, since it’s not always a problem in the joint itself which causes TMJ.  Sometimes it’s the occlusal surfaces of your teeth which aren’t fitting together properly, which keeps you from biting down correctly.  If this is the case, you may undergo occlusal equilibration to reshape your teeth.  Once this is completed, oftentimes your TMJ will be completely and immediately cured.

Surgery is typically the last resort for TMJ treatment, and will only be attempted once all other options have been exhausted.  Surgery for TMJ is often irreversible, and may or may not cure TMJ.  It’s also the most expensive treatment option.  There are a couple of different TMJ surgeries available including arthrocentesis, arthoscopy, and open joint surgery.  You will be sedated with general anesthesia during TMJ surgery. 

Arthrocentesis is used when the mandibular joint needs to be cleansed.  Sterile fluid is injected into the joint using needles, and then the surgeon uses a scalpel to remove obstructions and correct the positioning of the disc.  Arthroscopy is also a fairly non-invasive procedure.  First an incision is made to allow the insertion of an endoscope.  Then the endoscope transmits images of the joint area so that the surgeon can use the visual information to help repair the area.  If more invasive surgery is required, you may have to undergo open joint surgery.  This can be necessary if there is a tumor in your joint or severely damaged bones. 

What do you do if none of these mainstream methods of TMJ treatment solve your problem?  You might try alternative treatment for TMJ.  Some options include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), ultrasound, or radio wave therapy.  These methods can be used to promote proper blood flow in the affected region, but rarely will resolve TMJ on their own.  Another treatment method which helps some TMJ sufferers is Botox.  You probably know Botox only as the popular cosmetic surgery injection which reduces wrinkles and age lines by relaxing the underlying muscles.  Through the same faculty though, Botox can help the muscles in your jaw and mandibular joint area to relax as well.  This can reduce grinding and other TMJ aggravators.  It may be necessary to get routine Botox injections, or perhaps a couple of treatments will manage to cure your condition if it is not that severe.

TMJ is best treated early, since muscle and joint problems tend to compound with time if you ignore them.  If you catch some early signs and symptoms of TMJ, then try the simple at-home treatments suggested like NSAIDs, heat and cold, and relaxation of the jaw.  If your symptoms don’t abate, see your dentist for suggested treatments.