Posts for category: Dental Procedures
April is National Stress Awareness Month. But what does stress have to do with dentistry? According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, if you have a Type A personality or are under a lot of stress, you are more likely to suffer from a condition called bruxism, which means you habitually grind or gnash your teeth. One in ten adults grind their teeth, and the rate is much higher in stressful professions. In fact, the bruxism rate is seven times higher among police officers!
Many people grind their teeth in their sleep without realizing it, so how would you know if you are a "sleep bruxer"? If your spouse frequently elbows you in the ribs because of the grinding sounds you make, that could be your first clue. Unfortunately, dental damage is another common sign. Some people find out they are nighttime teeth grinders only when they are examined by a dentist since bruxing often leads to wear patterns on the teeth that only happen because of this behavior. Other complications can also develop: The condition can interfere with sleep, result in headaches and cause soreness in the face, neck or jaw. Chronic or severe nighttime teeth grinding can damage dental work, such as veneers, bridgework, crowns and fillings, and can result in teeth that are worn down, chipped, fractured or loose.
The most common treatment is a custom-made night guard made of high-impact plastic that allows you to sleep while preventing your upper and lower teeth from coming into contact. Although a night guard will protect your teeth and dental work, it won't stop the grinding behavior. Therefore, finding and treating the cause should be a priority.
The Bruxism Association estimates that 70 percent of teeth grinding behavior is related to stress. If you are a bruxer, you can try muscle relaxation exercises, stretching and breathing exercises, stress reduction techniques and, where feasible, any lifestyle changes that can allow you to reduce the number of stressors in your life. Prescription muscle relaxants may also help. In addition, teeth grinding may be related to sleep apnea. This possibility should be investigated since sleep apnea can have some serious health consequences—we offer effective treatments for this condition as well.
We can spot signs of bruxism, so it's important to come in for regular dental checkups. We look for early indications of dental damage and can help you protect your smile. If you have questions about teeth grinding or would like to discuss possible symptoms, please contact our office or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Grinding” and “Stress & Tooth Habits.”
Feeling confident about the way you look can benefit you in many ways. However, for many people, repairing the damaged, naturally-misshapen, or otherwise aesthetically displeasing elements of their smile can seem unattainable. Luckily, porcelain dental veneers can turn your smile around, giving you the look you’ve dreamed of and allowing you to feel great about the way you look. Find out more about porcelain veneers and how they can help your smile with Dr. Barry Duncan, Dr. Alexander Pence, and Dr. Milton Poulos at Biltmore Dental Group in Asheville, NC.
What is a dental veneer?
Though a dental veneer can serve various purposes when it comes to your smile, its main job is to restore the appearance of a tooth. From damage to discolorations, veneers can help teeth with several problems:
- Slight gaps
- Slight overcrowding
What can I expect from the veneer process?
Veneers fit over the front of a tooth and attach permanently to its outer enamel. Your dentist will prepare the tooth prior to placing the restorations; this helps with the bonding process and allows room for the veneer to lie in a natural position in relation to the gums. Your dentist will then take a clay mold of the mouth to send to a dental laboratory, which will create the veneer based on the mold. After this process — which takes about two weeks — your dentist will invite you back to their office to remove any temporary restorations and replace them with the final veneers.
Porcelain Dental Veneers in Asheville, NC
Prior to placing veneers, your dentist will treat any instances of teeth decay or gum disease. These issues can cause veneers to fail, making preventing them more important than ever after your treatment. Use the American Dental Association’s recommendation: brush twice daily and floss at least once, and see your dentist at least twice a year for examinations and cleanings. Your veneers do not require any other special treatment.
For more information on porcelain dental veneers, please contact Dr. Barry Duncan, Dr. Alexander Pence, and Dr. Milton Poulos at Biltmore Dental Group in Asheville, NC. Call (828) 665-1111 to schedule your appointment with your Biltmore dentist today!
The 2019 Grammy Awards was a star-studded night packed with memorable performances. One standout came from the young Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, who sang a powerful duet of his hit song "In My Blood" with pop diva Miley Cyrus. But that duo's stellar smiles weren't always quite as camera-ready as they looked that night.
"I had braces for four and a half years," Mendes told an interviewer not long ago. "There's lots and lots and lots of photo evidence, I'm sure you can pull up a few." (In fact, finding one is as easy as searching "Sean Mendes braces.")
Wearing braces puts Mendes in good company: It's estimated that over 4 million people in the U.S. alone wear braces in a typical year—and about a quarter of them are adults! (And by the way: When she was a teenager, Miley Cyrus had braces, too!)
Today, there are a number of alternatives to traditional metal braces, such as tooth-colored braces, clear plastic aligners, and invisible lingual braces (the kind Cyrus wore). However, regular metal braces remain the most common choice for orthodontic treatment. They are often the most economical option, and can be used to treat a wide variety of bite problems (which dentists call malocclusions).
Having straighter teeth can boost your self-confidence—along with helping you bite, breathe, chew, and even speak more effectively. Plus, teeth that are in good alignment and have adequate space in between are easier to clean; this can help you keep your mouth free of gum disease and tooth decay for years to come.
Many people think getting braces is something that happens in adolescence—but as long as your mouth is otherwise healthy, there's no upper age limit for orthodontic treatment. In fact, many celebrities—like Lauren Hutton, Tom Cruise and Faith Hill—got braces as adults. But if traditional braces aren't a good fit with your self-image, it's possible that one of the less noticeable options, such as lingual braces or clear aligners, could work for you.
What's the first step to getting straighter teeth? Come in to the office for an evaluation! We will give you a complete oral examination to find out if there are any problems (like gum disease or tooth decay) that could interfere with orthodontic treatment. Then we will determine exactly how your teeth should be re-positioned to achieve a better smile, and recommend one or more options to get you there.
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Lingual Braces: A Truly Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth.”
Dental implant technology has advanced at such an astounding rate in recent years that you can now walk into a dentist's office with a problem tooth and out the same day with a new one. Unfortunately, not all dental situations allow for this possibility.
For example, you might be considering an implant many years after losing a tooth. But there's a potential problem: there might not be enough supporting bone. While an implant might still be possible, inadequate bone complicates the matter.
Because implants are essentially tooth root replacements, they require a certain amount of bone for stability and the best attractive outcome. As a general rule, implants need to be surrounded by at least 1.5-2.0 millimeters of healthy bone to support an implant. But you might not have enough if your tooth has been missing for awhile, regardless if you have or haven't worn dentures or other restorations.
That's because bone has a life cycle in which older cells die and newer ones form to take their place. As we chew or bite, the force generated travels up through the teeth to the bone to stimulate this new growth. Without a tooth the bone doesn't receive this stimulus, which can slow the growth rate. Over time the affected bone can lose its volume and density.
If we find you've experienced loss to the point your bone won't support an implant, that doesn't automatically mean this popular restoration is out of the picture. But it will require us first performing a procedure known as augmentation or bone grafting to help rejuvenate some of the lost bone.
With grafting, we place processed bone grafting material in the jaw through a minor surgical procedure to form a scaffold for new bone to grow upon. After several months this can result in several millimeters of new growth maintaining the width of the underlying bone, which in turn may be able to support an implant.
Bone grafting is quite common, often performed at the same time as tooth extraction if there's going to be a time lag before installing an implant. Even if performed later, though, it can successfully rejuvenate lost bone and make it possible for you to take advantage of durable, life-like implants.
If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants after Previous Tooth Loss.”
Find out what to do if an urgent dental problem happens to you or a loved one.
We know that dental emergencies can happen at the worst of times. That’s why our Asheville, NC, dentists Dr. Barry Duncan, Dr. Alexander Pence, and Dr. Milton Poulos, want you to know that they are here for you whenever an emergency surprises you. After all, the sooner you treat the problem, the better it is for the health of your smile!
More about Dental Emergencies
Common dental emergencies include,
- A toothache
- Bitten tongue or cheek
- Cracked tooth
- Dislodged tooth
- Knocked-out tooth
- Broken braces
- Dental restorations that are damaged or have fallen out
If you’ve bitten your tongue, lip, or cheek, gently clean the area and apply pressure to the wound for 10-15 minutes. If you’re still bleeding heavily, go to your nearest emergency room.
A toothache could mean you have a cavity, an infected dental pulp or a fracture. This is why it’s important to visit your Asheville, NC, emergency dentist as soon as possible to get the treatment you need, whether that’s a dental filling, root canal treatment, or a crown.
If you have knocked out a tooth, gently rinse the tooth to remove any debris. Handle the tooth by the crown only and try to place it back in the socket. If it won’t go, do not force it, just place it in a container of milk and come into our office immediately. We may be able to save the tooth if you receive treatment within 1 hour of the incident.
If a crown, bridge, or dental filling has fallen out, it can leave the tooth susceptible to damage. This is why you should come in right away. If there is no damage, we will just place the same dental work back in place; however, if the crown or filling is cracked or broken, we will need to replace it.
Our emergency dentists set aside time to be able to handle these extreme situations, so give us a call before heading to our office and let us know what’s going on. The more you can tell us the better, for we can then inform you of whether your situation warrants an immediate appointment.
Concerned? Give Us a Call!
Here at Biltmore Dental Group in Asheville, NC, we believe that everyone should get the quality dental care they deserve. No matter whether you are dealing with a toothache or you just need to schedule a cleaning, turn to our team of emergency dentists today by calling (828) 665-1111.