kids dentist

Baby Teeth Basics

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

Our dental office is located in Louisville

Dental health and pregnancy

Caring for Your Dental Health during Pregnancy

When you are having a baby, you have a lot of your mind. Most expectant moms have to worry about doctor’s appointments, prenatal vitamins, morning sickness, and picking out names. It’s important to take good care of yourself during this special time. One area that may fall by the wayside is oral health.

Though you may not think it’s a priority, your dental health can impact your pregnancy. Because hormone levels are so high during pregnancy, you may be more susceptible to problems with gum disease. Studies have shown that untreated gum disease can contribute to pre-term births and low-birth weight babies.

Protect your wellbeing and your unborn child by:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Include foods that are rich in calcium, which will keep your dentition strong and help with your baby’s developing teeth.
  • Take time to brush and floss teeth daily. This kind of home routine may help prevent bleeding gums, which often flare up during pregnancy.
  • Watch the snacks. You may need to eat more frequently, but try to choose healthy options like fruits, veggies, and whole grains so that you are less likely to develop cavities.
  • See your dentist for a checkup. After the first trimester, make an appointment for a cleaning and exam. Though you won’t want to schedule X-rays or repairs during pregnancy, routine dental care is important and shouldn’t be avoided.
  • If an emergency situation does occur, contact your dentist right away. Remind the office that you are pregnant so that they can take precautions to ensure the safety of you and your baby.

General dentist in Louisville

sleep apnea dentist

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

More than 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a serious condition that compromises your rest and can impact your health. Some symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, extreme daytime tiredness, mouth breathing, and irritability. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea, much less common, happens when the brain fails to signal your breathing muscles.

Characterized by short episodes of not breathing, which can occur from five to 50 times a night, obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the muscles in your throat relax and your airways become blocked as you sleep. Your brain senses the lack of breathing and wakes you briefly to restore airflow. These episodes disrupt sleep and keep you from feeling rested.

Not only does sleep apnea keep you from getting a good night’s rest, but it can also put your health at risk. Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, risk of stroke, memory impairment, and weight gain. As well, your sleep partner may not get enough sleep because of your snoring and/or waking episodes.

If you suspect sleep apnea, talk with your dentist, who may recommend a sleep evaluation. Through overnight monitoring, a sleep specialist can determine if you suffer from sleep apnea. Treatment for sleep apnea may include lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask, or an oral appliance. Your dentist can fit you for night guard that will hold your jaw in the correct position to keep your airways open.

We treat patients from Louisville and the surrounding area

Dental implant

How Dental Implants Can Preserve Bone

Preserving the bone in your jaw and face is of utmost importance to your cosmetic dentist, and as such, treatments that preserve bone are preferred over those that lead to bone shrinkage, known as resorption.

Dental implants preserve bone by mimicking the tooth’s natural roots, stimulating and preserving the bone. As part of the healing process following surgical placement, the jawbone fuses directly to the implant. Most often made of titanium, dental implants provide a very stable foundation for a replacement tooth. This foundation is so stable that it can serve as an anchor point for dental bridgework and will feel, look, and function as your natural tooth would.

The process of implant to bone fusion is known as “osseointegration.” Fusion is primarily dependent upon the quality of bone surrounding the implant, and can be achieved in three to nine months following dental implant treatment. Excessive smoking or drinking can stunt the healing process and lead to complications.

Because bone resorption is prevented with dental implants, your facial structure will not collapse and your facial shape will not change. Missing teeth that are replaced by implants avoid other problems commonly associated with tooth loss, including other teeth shifting into the open spaces created by the missing teeth, and functional problems with the jaw joints and bite alignment.

Once a tooth is extracted or falls out, a great deal of the bone in the area will shrink, or resorb over the coming year. Shrinkage occurs in a horizontal as well as vertical dimension. Most resorption occurs within the first two to three months following tooth loss. When a cosmetic dentist replaces that tooth immediately with a titanium dental implant, the bone fuses around the implant, significantly reducing bone shrinkage.

Dental implants are the only restorative treatment that preserves and maintains bone. Dentures and partial dentures can accelerate the process of bone shrinkage as a result of pressure on the underlying mouth structures as you talk or eat.

We look forward to seeing you in our Louisville dental office

Dentures dentist in Louisville

Questions and Answers about Dentures

An estimated 50 million Americans have lost all their teeth, and 69 percent of adults are missing at least one tooth. Without a full set of teeth, you may deal with alignment problems, dietary restrictions, and self-esteem issues. With modern dentures, your dentist can renew your appearance and improve oral health.

Dentures are prosthetic appliances created to replace missing teeth. Full dentures are rows of false teeth that cover the upper, lower, or both arches. If you still have some of your natural teeth, your dentist may suggest a partial denture, which fits into the empty space in your smile like a puzzle piece.

How do dentures feel?
At first, your prosthesis may take some getting used to, so give your mouth time to adjust. You may have some difficulty with pronunciation, but that will pass.

Will my dentures need to be replaced?
As we age, our mouth tissues change. Over time, your dentures may need to be repositioned, realigned, or entirely remade. Never make changes to your appliance; contact your dentist if something doesn’t seem right.

How do I care for my dentures?
To protect your dental appliance, handle the denture with care. When you take the device out, always store it safely in its case. Gently clean your dentures with mild soap and water to remove bacteria. Make sure to put the denture out of reach from small children or pets.

Do I still need to brush if I have dentures?
Absolutely. Your gums still need proper oral care, so brush them twice daily to keep the tissue healthy.

We offer dentures at our Louisville dental office

dental tidbits

Interesting Dental Tidbits

You may know all about basic dental care. Most people can tell you about the importance of brushing twice a day and flossing regularly. If you asked friends and family, they could probably list the virtues of eating whole grains, lean meats, and green vegetables to keep teeth and gums healthy. The majority of individuals, though, probably don’t know these fun facts:

  • Approximately 33 percent of people squeeze their toothpaste from the middle.
  • As early as 700 BC, people carved false teeth out of animal bones.
  • During ancient times, the barber cut your hair, gave you a shave, and extracted injured teeth.
  • Each year, Americans fork out more money on hair care and lottery tickets than they do on their dental health.
  • In 1994, a West Virginia inmate scaled a wall and escaped prison using a rope made from dental floss.
  • Modern toothpaste was first manufacture by the Colgate Company.
  • People brushed their teeth with twigs or their fingers before toothbrushes were invented.
  • Poor individuals sold their teeth to the wealthy during the 18th century and these people used them as replacement teeth.
  • Surprisingly, cows don’t have upper teeth.
  • The Mexican version of the Tooth Fairy, called the Tooth Mouse, takes the lost tooth and leaves behind a small gift.
  • To win the 1986 National Spelling Bee, the top contestant correctly spelled odontalgia, another word for toothache.
  • When asked, 73 percent of Americans said they would rather grocery shop than floss their teeth.

We treat patients from Louisville and the surrounding area

 

Dental implants Louisville

Complete Your Smile with Dental Implants

Did you know that 69 percent of adults have lost at least one tooth? Missing teeth don’t just damage your smile. They can limit your diet, inhibit your speech, and compromise your oral health. Studies show that when one tooth is loss, 20 percent of adjacent teeth may be lost in the next several years if you don’t replace the missing tooth. Dental implants offer patients a solid, attractive way to restore their smiles.

Constructed from biocompatible titanium, dental implants are permanent replacements for lost teeth. With implants, you can replace one or more missing teeth. One implant is surgically positioned in the gum line for each empty socket. Usually, your mouth will need three to six month to recover. During this time, the bone will fuse to the posts, creating a solid foundation for the dental crowns your dentist will place on the implants.


Dental implants offer several benefits, including

Attractiveness
Designed to look and feel like natural teeth, dental implants are the closest prosthetic to nature. Your implants will blend in with remaining teeth, giving you a full, attractive smile.

Convenience
Because implants aren’t removable, you don’t have to hassle with the messy adhesives or worry about the embarrassing slippage associated with dentures. After implant therapy, patients can smile confidently and enjoy active lifestyles.

Reliability
With proper care, implants will last for years. Treat your dental implants like your original teeth. Brush twice daily, floss frequently, and schedule routine checkups so that your smile will stay healthy and strong.

Creating beautiful smiles with dental implants at Stephen P Smythe Dental Care in Louisville

Do You Need a Root Canal Procedure?

When a tooth is seriously decayed or has become infected, a root canal procedure can be done to repair the tooth and save it. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, while the remainder of the center of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then carefully sealed to prevent infection.

“Root canal” is the term for the natural space within the tooth’s center. The tooth’s nerve is in the root canal, as is the pulp (or pulp chamber), which is the soft area within the root canal. Because the tooth’s nerve isn’t vital to a tooth’s health, removing it doesn’t prevent the normal functioning of the tooth.

Removing the nerve and the pulp is necessary in some cases to address irritation, inflammation and infection stemming from severe decay, damaged or deep fillings, cracked or chipped teeth or facial trauma. When the nerve tissue and pulp become damaged, bacteria begin to form within the pulp chamber. This can lead to a serious infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess can form when the infection spreads past the ends of the tooth roots.

Additionally, severe infections can lead to bone loss around the tip of the root or holes in the tooth that drain the infection into the gums or through the cheek into the skin. It can cause swelling that spreads to the face, head, or neck.

Sometimes, the only signs you need a root canal procedure are more minor. They can include tooth pain when applying pressure or chewing, discoloration (darkening) of the tooth, tenderness and/or swelling of the gum tissue, or a pimple or blemish on the gums that is recurring. Acute sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures that does not abate with time can also be a sign.

Talk to your dentist or endodontist (a dentist whose specialty is the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and trauma to the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth) about your concerns. Your dentist will know what to do so you may make the best decisions for your long-term tooth health.

 

If you live in the Louisville area and you need a root canal, contact our dental office today.

 

Chewing gum and teeth

How Does Chewing Gum Affect my Teeth?

Gone are the days when chewing gum is considered poor etiquette. In today’s society, you can find people chewing gum in business meetings, church, and just about every other situation. With gum chewing so prevalent, you may have wondered what it’s doing to people’s teeth. You may be surprised to learn that research shows that chewing sugarless gum has a number of dental benefits. Let’s see how it can actually be a helpful addition to your oral care routine.

Saliva flow
Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which rinses away food particles. Saliva also neutralizes acids that result from bacteria in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay. Known to carry with it calcium and phosphate, increased saliva flow also helps strengthen your tooth enamel.

ADA acceptance
Choose gum with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal, indicating it as met the required safety and effectiveness criteria. This approval means that you can trust the gum’s packaging and labeling to be true.

Sugarless
The only gums carrying the ADA Seal are sugarless. They contain sweeteners that don’t cause cavities, like aspartame, mannitol, sorbitol, or xylitol. Chewing gum with xylitol is especially recommended, because it has been shown to combat tooth decay and cavities.

Dental hygiene
Even though chewing gum can be beneficial, remember that brushing and flossing are still the best ways to care for your teeth. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss every day to remove plaque and debris between your teeth. Between these dental hygiene tasks, however, it is acceptable to chew sugarless gum to continue caring for your mouth during the day.

We treat patients from Louisville and the surrounding area

Teeth whitening dentist

Teeth Whitening and Teeth Bleaching: What’s the Difference?

Having a bright, beautiful, white smile is something we all desire. It signals health and prosperity and leaves the best possible first impression a person can make. There are a host of products at the drug store that label themselves “whitening.” Whitening toothpastes, whitening mouth rinses, whitening strips, gels and creams all line the shelves, promising a “new you!” Your dentist, however, offers something labeled as “bleaching.” So what’s the difference? Which should you choose?

Your natural tooth is made up of two specific layers: enamel and dentin. The enamel layer is on the outside of the tooth. It’s the white part we see when someone smiles. It’s hard and heavily mineralized and can appear like porcelain. The dentin is the inner layer. It’s yellow in color and supports the enamel on the outside. Over time, your enamel naturally wears away and the yellow dentin color can begin to show through.

The term “whitening” is applied to any product that helps restore teeth to a natural color by removing debris and stains from a natural tooth’s surface. Any substance that restores the surface of a tooth’s enamel is a whitening product. Many whitening products contain a mild abrasive that removes leftover discoloration and food particles, leaving the enamel of the tooth smooth and white. Teeth whitening products combat stains caused by ageing and the discoloration left by many foods, or by smoking.

The FDA permits the term “bleaching” only for products that can whiten a tooth beyond their initial, natural color. Bleaching products contain active ingredients such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide is activated so that it releases oxygen molecules that enter the tooth enamel and break down stains in a way that whitening products cannot. This activation can occur immediately, in the case of some in-office bleaching products, like laser whitening, or it can take several hours, as it can with custom take-home bleaching trays.

If you are considering brightening your smile, talk to Louisville teeth whitening dentist Stephen P. Smythe DMD to see what product is best suited to your smile needs!

Schedule your appointment at our Louisville dental office

root canal treatment

Saving Your Tooth with Root Canal Treatment

Millions of root canal treatments are performed every year, and it is an effective and safe way to save a damaged tooth. Unlike its reputation over the years, modern dentistry allows this procedure to be practically painless and to provide relief from symptoms right away.

Anatomy
The first thing to understand is the anatomy of the tooth. Under the hard enamel on the outside of the tooth and the dentin below that, the interior of a tooth contains pulp. It houses the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues that all nourish the tooth. This allows it to grow properly and contributes to good oral health. After the tooth is fully developed, the tooth can get its nourishment from surrounding tissues and the pulp is not as necessary.

Necessity
The pulp can become infected, inflamed, or damaged by problems like decay, injury, repeated dental procedures, or a bad crown. If the damaged pulp is not treated, an abscess can develop or severe pain can result. Often, root canal treatment is the only way to save the tooth instead of having to extract it. Dentists advise that saving a tooth is almost always a better option, providing the most natural appearance, efficient function, and protection of oral health.

Procedure
Many patients report that root canal treatment is not much different for them than having a regular filling done. X-rays are taken and a local anesthetic is administered. Once numb, a dental dam is placed to protect the area during the procedure. Then the pulp is removed, the area is thoroughly cleaned, and then it is filled with special material for this purpose. The tooth is sealed for protection, and finally a crown is placed on top to protect the tooth. Most patients are able to return to normal activities immediately following treatment, and the procedure is permanent in most cases.

If you need a root canal dentist in Louisville, contact our office today.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures

What are Cosmetic Dental Procedures?

Age, bad habits, and food and drink choices can all add up to be hard on our teeth. If you are unhappy with your smile and wish you could improve it, consider cosmetic dental procedures. Cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of options for restoring your smile.

Teeth whitening
One of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures, teeth whitening can either be performed at your dentist’s office or at home. Methods used by your dentist work quickly and can provide dramatic results, but many patients are very pleased with home methods as well. Home treatments may be as simple as using products you purchase at your drugstore, or your dentist can provide customized bleaching trays for home use.

Bonding
Tooth-colored resin can be applied to your teeth to correct chipped, broken, stained, or decayed teeth in a single dental visit. The resin is molded onto the surface of your damaged tooth, shaped, and then polished to match your other teeth.

Veneers
If you’re looking for a long-lasting and stain resistant solution to damaged teeth, porcelain veneers are a good choice. These thin custom shells are adhered to your teeth to cover them so that they provide a beautiful smile.

Composite fillings
A material called composite resin is used to restore decayed teeth or to reshape your teeth to improve their appearance. Composite fillings can correct minor imperfections like a chipped tooth, or it can restore a whole tooth like a molar to a fully functional tooth.

Inlays and onlays
For large cavities or cracks in your back teeth, inlays and onlays may be used instead of fillings. These tooth-colored restorations are created in a laboratory, and then adhered to your teeth so they fit perfectly.

Cosmetic dentist in Louisville

Cosmetic dentist in Louisville

Reasons that Dental Veneers Are a Popular Choice

Broken, chipped, stained, or crooked teeth can ruin an otherwise nice smile. Minor flaws like these can be easily corrected with dental veneers. They are a popular way to whiten, straighten, and improve smiles to get long-lasting and natural-looking results. Here are some reasons that veneers are chosen by many people wanting to change their look.

Better smile
Veneers are thin porcelain shells customized to fit securely onto the front surfaces of your teeth. They hide problems and fit in beautifully with the rest of your features. Your smile will be made brand new.

No more stains
Yellow or stained teeth can really make a smile look unattractive. Some discolorations are very hard to get rid of, even with professional cleanings or whitening. Veneers instantly brighten your smile to the shade of your choice, and resist stains so that you no longer have to worry about the foods and drinks you consume.

Straighter teeth
If your teeth alignment problems aren’t major and you don’t want to go to the hassles or expense of braces, veneers may be a solution. They go right over crooked teeth to create a straight smile.

Quick results
Veneers can be provided in just a couple of office visits. You will have a short time between getting temporary and permanent veneers attached, but once they are in you’ll immediately have an improved smile.

Long lasting
Veneers can last a lifetime if you take proper care of them. Regular brushing, flossing, and checkups will help ensure a sparkling smile for many years to come.

Few risks
Side effects with veneers are nearly non-existent. There may be some initial discomfort, but it subsides quickly and can be treated with over-the-counter medications. The only thing to remember is that veneers are permanent. Since a small amount of tooth enamel is removed to accommodate the veneers, you’ll have them forever or will need to get replacements at some point.

Cosmetic dentist in Louisville

 

Soda and your teeth

Stop the Pop!!

Whether you call it pop, soda, soft drink, or something else, these terms all refer to a sugary, carbonated drink popular all over the country. It is estimated that Americans consume over 13 billion gallons of soft drinks each year. These beverages can cause serious health problems, including negative effects on your oral health.

Soft drinks are one of the most significant reasons for tooth decay, and it impacts all age groups. From babies drinking it out of bottles to teenagers drinking it all day long to older adults sipping it in retirement homes, it is deteriorating tooth enamel and eroding gums of everyone who consumes it.

Why are soft drinks harmful?
The high sugar content in the drinks is the root cause of trouble, and the high acid content adds to the threat. The sugar combines with bacteria in your mouth to create an acid, which adds to the acid from the drink itself. Then this mixture attacks your teeth. Each time you take a drink of the carbonated beverage, an acid attack begins in your mouth. During this time, your tooth enamel is weakened and cavities are just waiting to form. You may think that the risk goes away by drinking sugar-free soft drinks. Although these are less harmful, they are still acidic and can lead to decay.

How can I avoid harming my teeth?
The ideal way to rule out risks from soft drinks is to cut them out of your diet completely. If you think you just can’t live without them, here are some suggestions:

  • Drink more water.
  • Set a good example. Drink alternatives yourself and encourage your kids to do the same.
  • Sip with straws. This helps keep the sugar from direct contact with your teeth.
  • Rinse with water. After drinking a soda, rinse your mouth with water to reduce the amount of sugar and acid hanging onto your teeth and gums.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse. Using fluoride in your daily dental routine helps to reduce decay and strengthen enamel. Also ask your dentist about the possible need for professional fluoride treatments.

General dentist in Louisville – Schedule your appointment today.

dental implant dentistry

Why Choose a Dental Implant

Tooth loss is a common occurrence – millions of people suffer tooth loss – primarily as a result of gum disease, tooth decay or facial trauma. For years, the only treatment options available to those missing a tooth were partial dentures or bridges. Today, dental implants are available as an alternative. If you have lost a tooth, you may wonder why you should choose a dental implant over a bridge or partial denture.

Following are some of the advantages of dental implants:

  • Dental implants prevent bone loss. Without the tooth root, the bone of the jaw begins to shrink, or resorb, causing problems with remaining teeth and changing the shape of the face. Dental implants serve as replacement roots for the tooth, and continue to stimulate and preserve the bone. When an implant is used, the jawbone fuses to the metal implant in a process known as osseointegration, reducing bone shrinkage significantly.
  • Dental implants look better. They feel, look and function like your own natural teeth. Because they fuse directly with your bone, they become permanent, and with proper care, never need to be replaced.
  • Dental implants fit better. They are more comfortable and are easier to clean. Because they are so secure, you will speak more clearly and eat with greater confidence and comfort.
  • Dental implants will improve your oral health. Implants don’t affect the surrounding teeth the way a bridge does. Your natural teeth remain intact, allowing for easier greater health and cleaning around each tooth.
  • Dental implants are convenient. They never have to be removed to clean under them, nor do they need adhesives or wire to stay in place.
  • Dental implant surgery has a very high success rate. They are durable and can last a lifetime if you care for them properly.

If you are healthy enough to undergo an extraction of your tooth, you can generally be considered for dental implant surgery. You must have enough healthy bone and soft tissue to hold the implant. Talk to your dentist today if you have questions regarding dental implants and whether they are a right choice for you.

If you live in the Louisville area contact us today

oral cancer screening

Watch Out for Oral Cancer

Each year, more than 30,000 Americans receive an oral cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, less than 57 percent will live beyond five years. In fact, the death rate for oral cancer is higher than cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, brain cancer, and liver cancer. Usually seen in older patients, oral cancer in individuals under 40 is on the rise.

Fast Facts about Oral Cancer

• Early detection increases the survival rate to almost 90 percent.
• Initially, oral cancer patients may have few obvious symptoms of the illness.
• Certain factors, such as gender, lifestyle choices, and age can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. An estimated 25 percent of oral cancer patients, however, have no risk factors for the disease.
• Famous people who have battled oral cancer include Michael Douglas, Roger Ebert, Aaron Spelling, Humphrey Bogart, Eddie Van Halen, and Babe Ruth.
• Signs of oral cancer include a sore that does not heal after two weeks, color change in oral tissue, hoarse or scratchy throat, and difficulty with chewing or swallowing.
• Side effects of oral cancer may include chronic discomfort, loss of oral function, and difficulty in chewing, swallowing, or speaking.
• Research suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables decreases your chances of developing cancerous lesions.
• Routine dental visits allow your dentist to look for signs of oral cancer, which can lead to early detection if there is a problem.
• Tobacco and alcohol use can result in a 75 percent chance of receiving an oral cancer diagnosis.

If you need a dentist in Louisville contact us today

dental implants dentist

The Success Rate of Dental Implants

Dental implants have become a great solution for many people who have suffered tooth loss. Implants involve surgically placing an artificial root in your jaw to anchor a replacement tooth or crown. These are used to replace one or more teeth, and do not impact neighboring teeth. Now that dental implants have been used for some time in dental care, what is their success rate?

Studies show that dental implants are one of the most successful restoration procedures. There is a 95 percent success rate after five years for lower jaw implants, and 90 percent for upper jaw. This difference in success is likely due to the lower jaw being denser than the upper jaw, which makes it more difficult for the implant to integrate with the upper jaw bone.

A successful implant requires the patient, dentist, and oral surgeon to work together to create and follow a treatment plan. It’s important for this teamwork to continue after the implant and crown have been placed, so that the chances for success are best. You should consult with your dentist before getting implants to make sure you are a good candidate, because many failures can be avoided by making sure you have the best opportunities for success from the beginning.

After receiving dental implants, some of the reasons they may fail include:

  • Implants sometimes break or fracture.
  • Infection or inflammation in the gums or bone may occur.
  • Implants may not integrate with the bone properly if the implant is not placed appropriately.
  • Poor oral hygiene can lead to a condition similar to gum disease around the implant.
  • Smoking can reduce the body’s ability to heal.

If you are carefully evaluated and determined to be a good candidate for implants, and if you follow the instructions for after care, you should be able to achieve the high success rates like most patients do.

Dr. Smythe offers computer guided dental implant treatment in Louisville Kentucky

 

 

Cosmetic Dentist

Smiling with the Help of Cosmetic Dentistry

It is possible for anyone to have white, bright, healthy looking teeth. Even if you weren’t blessed with the perfect smile on your own, you can attain it with the help of a cosmetic dentist. No more hiding your smile because you’re embarrassed or living with a low self-esteem, it’s time to be proud of your appearance and hold your head high displaying your beautiful smile.

Cosmetic dentists have many tricks up their sleeves for transforming dull, dingy, crooked smiles into perfect ones. If your biggest problem is discolored or stained teeth, professional teeth whitening may be the way to go. Dental professionals can use laser technology or bleaching trays to brighten your smile numerous shades. Some processes take less than an hour to dramatically improve your look. Although over-the-counter products are available at your drugstore, if you’re looking for fast and highly effective results, professional whitening through your cosmetic dentist is best.

If your teeth are crooked or misaligned, cosmetic dentists offer orthodontia to help. You can choose traditional metal braces that you may need to wear for a couple of years to achieve your ideal smile, or clear brackets or lingual braces behind your teeth are other less obvious choices. Invisalign clear aligners provide a way to obtain straight teeth without others noticing you are undergoing treatment. They are invisible and removable, and treatment typically takes a shorter amount of time.

Another treatment offered by cosmetic dentists is veneers, which are one of the most popular ways to transform smiles. These thin layers of porcelain or composite material are bonded to the fronts of your teeth to hide problems like discoloration, chips, gaps or other issues. Simply adding veneers to your teeth helps you achieve the exact smile you’ve always wanted as soon as they are bonded in place.

Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way as advancements in technology are made all the time. You may be surprised at the great results possible that can improve your smile for a lifetime.

If you live in the Louisville, contact us today

Invislaign

Adults: Living with Invisalign

But am I too old to deal with the hassle of teeth straightening? You may be surprised to learn how little your routine will change with Invisalign. From your morning schedule, to meals, work-outs, and bedtime you can go about your day in much the same way as before you chose to beautify your smile with this state of the art treatment.

Always rushed in the morning? Simply pop out the Invisalign aligners, brush and floss normally, and pop them right back in place. To clean the aligners, you can either use the cleaning kit provided or brush and rinse with warm water. The process is easy and quick, allowing you to get out the door to your meeting or carpool in a flash.

Big lunch with clients or a special luncheon? No problem. With Invisalign, you remove the aligners during meals. No worries about spinach stuck in metal brackets and wires, or restrictions on the types of food you can eat. Enjoy your lunch with confidence.

But I love to play basketball at lunch, and soccer with my kids? If contact sports are a big part of your life, Invisalign won’t get in your way. You can leave the aligners in without concern that you might cut your mouth, or remove them if you normally wear a mouth guard when playing. Score another point for Invisalign!

I’m so tired by bedtime that I just want to fall into bed, won’t they take forever to clean? With Invisalign, no need to worry about the tedious cleaning and flossing between brackets and wires as with traditional braces. Since the aligners are removed for oral hygiene tasks, you can simply brush and floss your teeth normally, and then brush and rinse your aligners. It’s so quick that your pillow won’t have time to miss you.

As you can see, with Invisalign, your daily routine will experience minimal changes, but your smile will achieve maximum results!

If you need a dentist in Louisville, contact us today

Dental Implant

Why You Should Replace Missing Teeth with Dental Implants

Most people will eventually lose one or more teeth. Even with vigilant oral care, accident or injury can cause the loss of a tooth. As we age, simple daily wear can cause damage to your teeth resulting in tooth loss. More commonly, periodontal disease or tooth decay will cause you to lose one or more teeth.

While you may think one missing tooth, especially one that does not actually show, is not a problem, most dentists recommend immediately replacing a missing tooth. Missing teeth are not only unappealing aesthetically, but also cause problems with your bite and speech. More critically, missing teeth can cause a chain reaction that results in more missing teeth. Because teeth shift to fill the space created by the missing tooth, those teeth become loose and may eventually fall out.

Another problem caused by missing teeth is jaw bone loss. The pressure of tooth roots into the bone cells keeps them from dissolving. If the root is missing, the bone cells die and the bone disintegrates. The loss of jaw bone results in facial collapse, giving you a caved in and much older appearance. Bone loss also causes remaining teeth to become loose and fall out.

One of the best options for replacing lost teeth are dental implants. The placement of dental implants and tooth restorations can prevent the bone loss that results from missing teeth. Not only do dental implants restore the look of your natural teeth, they also provide the function and feel of your original teeth. Dental implants allow you to return to eating and speaking normally, and return your smile to its natural glory. To find out if dental implants are a viable solution to your missing teeth, contact your dentist for an examination and evaluation. With dental implants you can restore the look, feel and function of your natural smile.

Our dental office is located in Louisville

Root Canal Treatment

Saving Teeth Through Root Canals

No one is thrilled about getting a root canal, but having this dental procedure is better than losing the tooth completely. If tooth decay is not treated, it advances inside the tooth and infects the pulp. A root canal is performed to replace the infected pulp with a filling, before the condition gets so bad that the tooth is lost. Let’s find out how root canals can save your teeth.

If you have advanced tooth decay, infected material and pus develops in the area where your tooth pulp should be located. This leads to pain and swelling, and can damage your bone structure and cause an abscessed tooth. The best solution is to have a root canal to get rid of the infected pulp and put a filling in its place.

A root canal is performed by your dentist in two or more visits, and antibiotics may be prescribed to help with pain and infection. Local anesthesia is used during the procedure to make you as comfortable as possible. The visits require cleaning the pulp chamber, placing a temporary filling, and finally sealing the tooth with a crown. After the root canal is complete, you are instructed to initially avoid hard foods. Then suggested care is the same for all of your teeth, including good dental hygiene and regular dental checkups. With proper care, your tooth has been saved and can last forever.

Schedule your appointment at our Louisville dental office

Dental Hygiene

Understanding the Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene

You simply cannot underestimate the benefits of good oral hygiene. On the surface of proper oral care, you will have beautiful, healthy teeth and a lovely smile. You will never worry about eating, drinking, laughing or speaking in public because of the condition of your teeth.

Good oral hygiene has so much more to offer than aesthetic benefit. Good oral care leads to a clean, healthy mouth. This allows you to have fresh breath and be welcomed into close proximity with others, whether professionally or personally. Have you ever been trapped in an elevator or in a small space with someone who has terrible breath? You do not want to be that person. Fresh breath starts with good oral hygiene.

If you’re practicing correct oral hygiene skills, you will help protect yourself from a host of serious health problems that have been linked to poor oral conditions. Diabetes, heart disease and cancer have all been linked to infection in the mouth. Pregnant women who have infection in the mouth have been shown to have more premature births and babies with lower birth weight. Bad teeth and gums affect so much more than our smiles.

If you are brushing twice a day, rinsing after meals, and ensuring that you floss daily and go to bed with a clean mouth, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. Going to bed with a clean mouth ensures that you don’t let bacteria and decay run wild while you sleep, and will help prevent cavities and gum disease.

Talk to your dentist to get more information about the crucial role good oral hygiene, regular checkups and professional cleanings can do for your overall health.

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Invislaign Clear Braces

Why Choose Invisalign Over Braces?

When considering options for straighter teeth, you may want to look at the benefits of Invisalign versus traditional braces. Answering the question of which treatment is right for you requires consideration of several factors, including your specific dental issues, requirements, and treatment goals. Both braces and Invisalign are designed to straighten teeth while improving your smile and oral health. Here are some contrasts and comparisons you may want to consider when making a decision about the best option for straightening your teeth.

  • Invisalign is removable while braces are bonded to your teeth.
  • Braces are typically metal, although there are enamel color options. Invisalign is clear, or virtually invisible as the name suggests.
  • Braces can be difficult to clean, requiring you to work around brackets and wires. Invisalign trays are easily removed to be rinsed and cleaned.
  • Upon completion of treatment, both braces and Invisalign are likely to need an ongoing positioner or retainer.
  • Braces can treat more complex orthodontia cases while Invisalign has more limited treatment abilities.
  • Treatment with braces includes many food restrictions to keep from damaging the brackets and wires. Because you remove the Invisalign trays when eating, there are no restrictions to what you can eat or drink.
  • For maximum treatment success, with Invisalign you must be vigilant about wearing the trays a minimum of 22 hours per day. Braces are bonded to your teeth so there is no need to worry you may forget to wear your appliance.

In comparing braces to Invisalign, it is important to determine your particular needs and consult with your orthodontist to decide which will meet those needs in the best way to achieve your treatment goals.

Our dental office is located in Louisville

Sedation Dentistry

Options in Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is designed to ensure your ease and comfort during or immediately before your dental procedure. Several levels of sedation dentistry are available, including IV sedation, inhaled sedation and conscious oral sedation.

IV sedation, or intravenous sedation, is also known as “sleep dentistry”. It provides the most relaxed sedation available during a dental treatment. IV sedation doesn’t cause you to lose complete consciousness, but instead puts you into a deeply relaxed state. IV sedation acts quickly and is controlled by your trained dentist, who will monitor the levels during the course of your procedure.

Never drive after you receive IV sedation, as you will feel groggy and may not be fully alert for many hours. A side effect of the drugs used for IV sedation is full or partial memory loss while the drug is active in your body. It is because of this side effect that patients don’t remember things that happen during their procedures.

Inhaled sedation is also known as “laughing gas.” Nitrous oxide is inhaled through a mask. Levels are controlled by the dentist. It allows you to be fully comfortable and relaxed, but to still be responsive to requests and instruction by your dentist. Inhaled sedation wears off quickly, and enables you to drive yourself home following your treatment.

Conscious oral sedation accomplishes minimal to moderate sedation using oral sedatives in the form of a pill. They are typically taken within an hour of beginning your dental procedure. Some dentists allow a mild oral sedative to be taken the night before your procedure to ease your anxiety and allow you to get a good night’s sleep.

An oral sedative can sometimes cause you to “drift off” but you will never be fully unconscious and will awaken easily. Despite not being fully unconscious during conscious oral sedation, you should not drive yourself home from treatment, as you will not be fully alert.

Your dentist will have all of the answers you need to your sedation dentistry questions. Don’t let anxiety and fear hold you back; talk to your dentist today and have a comfortable, fear-free visit using sedation dentistry.

Schedule your appointment at our Louisville dental office

Dental Implants

Why More People are Turning to Dental Implants

Dental implants are the state-of-the-art restorative solution for missing teeth. They provide a stable base that is the next best thing to a natural tooth root. Because of this and other qualities, dental implants are rising in popularity each year as more and more people discover their convenience and stability.

Dental implants are replacement teeth, typically made of porcelain or a similar material, mounted on top of a titanium screw that is embedded into a patient’s jawbone. Over time, this screw will fuse directly with the bone in a process known as ossification. This fusion creates a tooth base that is so stable, it’s as good as a tooth’s natural roots.

Dental bridges can become dislodged and food may collect under the bridge, leading to discomfort and bacteria build-up. A dental implant goes all the way down, so there’s no “under” underneath to collect food and cause problems.

Most tooth restorations necessitate special ways of cleaning or flossing, and you have to be careful you’re doing all the right things to maintain your teeth properly. You care for a dental implant the same way you do for a natural tooth, by brushing and flossing, so you don’t even have to think about it when you’re cleaning your mouth.

The bones in your jaw are only healthy as long as you have healthy tooth roots in them. The tooth roots stimulate the bone, signaling it to stay full and healthy. Without the stimulation of the roots, the bone begins to shrink away. Dental implants preserve bone by acting as artificial tooth roots. The jawbone can’t tell the difference, and the bone stays strong and robust.

These factors and more are leading patients to turn to dental implants to address their missing teeth. Talk to your cosmetic dentist to see why dental  implants are the perfect choice for you.

We look forward to seeing you in our Louisville dental office