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Don’t Delay Your Dental Care Too Long

These are, without a doubt, unprecedented times.

It seems like every day we’re learning something new about how to cope with the current circumstances.

There’s a lot of information out there on staying safe – unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation out there about the virus, how it acts, and how it moves from one person to the next.

These kinds of misunderstandings can often stop people from getting the care that they actually need (whether medical or dental).

As your trusted Denver dentist, we highly suggest that you don’t delay your dental care any longer than absolutely necessary. Remember, your teeth are connected to your overall health and well-being, so let’s take a closer look at some of the current regulations and requirements on dental offices so you can get a better picture of the current situation.

don't delay Denver Dental care

Essential Services

An essential service is usually defined as those that are critical to the health and welfare of the population and so they are allowed (or expected) to maintain operations throughout the pandemic.

The most obvious cases of essential services include health care, law enforcement, food and agriculture, public works, supply chains, and other related industries. This brings us to one important question:

Is Dentistry an Essential Service?

The simplest answer to this question is that some aspects of dentistry are absolutely essential.

Let’s face it, there is almost no pain quite as excruciating as dental pain.

But what about all those other dental services? While it would be hard to call a teeth whitening essential, what about your regular checkups? How critical are they? Should you come in to get a cavity checked, or should you wait until a root canal is your final option?

Obviously, our answer is that there are many dental services that are essential for your ongoing health and pain-free lifestyle.

To that end, we have, of course, taken precautions to ensure your safety and ours so that you can feel comfortable and confident when you come in for your appointment.

Following the CDC’s Recommendations for Dental Offices

The CDC has released several guidelines for dental settings to help prevent problems during the pandemic. These guidelines are extensive, to say the least, so we won’t go over them all here. But we did want to take a look at some of the specifics because we want you to know that we are doing everything possible to provide the care you need in the safest environment possible.

First, it is important to point out that the CDC does recommend postponing elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent outpatient visits in certain circumstances. This means prioritizing dental care for the highest need or the most vulnerable patients (i.e. those who may be at serious risk if they don’t receive treatment).

Having said that, though, we are here and ready to provide important dental services. We’ve just added a few of the procedures recommended by the CDC. These recommendations include:

  • Contacting all patients prior to the appointment. This will help us screen patients for symptoms of COVID-19 before you come all the way into the office. This is also a chance for us to determine together whether or not it’s time for treatment or if postponement would be prudent.
  • Watching for signs and symptoms. Everyone (staff and patients) in the office is expected to follow the general guidelines for minimizing risks of infection. This means wearing face coverings (ask us if you need us to provide one for you) and getting screened when you enter the office for any relevant symptoms.
  • Patients with suspected or confirmed cases can be treated but only under very strict precautions. Any staff member with symptoms will be sent home immediately.
  • Our staff regularly monitor themselves for fever and other symptoms and are encouraged to put their own health first.
  • Implementing control measures. Beyond just using face coverings, there are several things we can do to control the environment. Of course, our staff will wear face coverings at all times, and we will ask patients to wear theirs everywhere except in the dental chair.
  • Obviously, a dentist or hygienist is going to get pretty close to you at your appointment. However, we are working to make distancing possible throughout the rest of the office. This means scheduling appointments to minimize the number of people in the waiting room and limiting the number of visitors that accompany the patient.
  • Making use of personal protective equipment. There are a lot of new procedures in place at our office. Extreme attention to disinfecting our hands and tools will help maintain a safe environment, and we are careful to follow all the recommendations for proper use and disposal of protective gear.

This is just a sample of all the rules and regulations that dental offices are expected to follow, and at LeDowns Dentistry, we are firmly committed to providing the dental care you need even in these difficult times.

To Postpone or Not to Postpone

As we mentioned earlier, if you’re experiencing any kind of dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call us and set up an immediate appointment.

And, of course, if you are experiencing any symptoms at all related to COVID-19, we recommend calling us before coming in for any kind of appointment, including emergencies.

On the other hand, if you’re healthy, then don’t postpone your dental care any longer than absolutely necessary.

Our office is following procedures, our staff is trained, and we know what has to be done to provide the services you need while keeping everyone safe.

Contact us today for your next dental cleaning in Denver CO or for other needs like Denver veneers, dental emergencies, or tooth colored fillings.

Veneers vs. Bonding: Which is Right for You?

Dental bonding vs porcelain veneers:  both offer great solutions for anyone who wants to restore their beautiful smile and/or correct some slight damage or discoloration that may be present.

While both options tackle some of the same problems, the procedures are very different.  

So, let’s take a closer look at each solution to determine which one will be the most effective for your individual situation.

What are Veneers?

A veneer is a type of crown made up of a certain type of ceramic that is placed over your remaining tooth structure to restore the overall function, appearance and strength of your teeth.  Every veneer is custom-made by an elite technician at our dental lab to fit perfectly onto your tooth.  

Veneers do require extra preparation of your natural teeth to allow for caries removal, alignment of where the final veneers needs to be and to allow for a certain thickness of the veneers to be made so that they do not break.   This means that it will take more than one appointment to complete the procedure.  

Veneers are most commonly used to:

  • Cover up any severe stains or discoloration
  • Close up any large gaps in between the teeth
  • Restore cracked and/or chipped teeth
  • Restore overly worn teeth back to its original function (Full mouth rehabilitation)

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is used to enhance or restore the appearance of your teeth and to fix slight chips/cracks on your teeth.  It uses a composite resin that can be sculpted or formed into any shape to address a number of potential issues.

So, you could say that “bonding” is a more general term that is used any time this special filling is applied to the teeth, but it is mostly used when the resin is placed on the front surface of the tooth.

The goal is to slightly improve the shape, size, and color of the tooth (or teeth).  

This is a great option for patients who have a single irregularity that they want to repair or some slight chips/cracks on one or several teeth.   

The most common uses for dental bonding include:

  • Repairing chips, cracks, and other damage such as cavities
  • Covering minor stains and discoloration
  • Reshaping teeth
  • Treating roots that have been exposed

Which is Right for You

Each of these procedures are valid choices in a range of different circumstances. Which one you choose can depend on a number of variables. (Be sure to contact us for a consultation on all your dental options.)

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each procedure to create a more complete picture and help determine which will be right for you.

Veneers:

There are a lot of pros to veneers.  First, they create a beautiful, uniform appearance almost immediately.  They can cover up most cracks or stains easily, and most consider them more effective at doing so than bonding.

The materials used to create the veneers are also more resistant to staining.  So the shade that the veneer is made, will not discolor in the future even with wine, coffee or tea drinking.  Due to it being made in the dental lab, the added strength of the veneers mean they can also be more resistant to chips or breaks.

It is important to note, that veneers require your dentist to reshape your tooth/teeth to make room for the veneer to be put on or to remove any cavities, discrepancies before the veneers are permanently cemented on.   This is important because veneers need to be made at the correct form, fit and function in order for it to last you a long time. On average, veneers can last you anywhere from 5-25 years.

Bonding:

Bonding is usually considered a faster procedure than getting veneers, because it can generally be completed in a single appointment (rather than two or more).  The esthetic outcome all depends on the materials that your dentist uses and whether he/she is a true dental artist. Once bonding is placed, the maintenance is similar to what you woul normally do for your natural teeth.  Bonding is less expensive than veneers. 

However, since the bonding material is a composite resin, it won’t be as strong as the porcelain veneers.  It is much more porous than porcelain, so it is more likely to stain sometime down the road. Most patients who choose to go with bonding, usually need to have it redone every 2-5 years on average due to the staining and/or chipping aspects of this material.

A Direct Comparison

So, after all that, let’s look at the main points and see how they stack up:

  • Costs – Bonding tends to be the more affordable option
  • Durability – Veneers are the stronger
  • Coverage – Veneers are a more efficient choice if you’re working on several teeth at once
  • Appearance – While both options are capable of delivering great results, most tend to prefer the smooth and natural appearance of veneers 

Dental bonding can offer a temporary solution while dental veneers offer a powerful solution to help restore your smile.  If you’re ready to learn more about your options for restorative or cosmetic dentistry, be sure to set up an appointment today.

Invest In a Beautiful Smile This Fall

The days are getting shorter, school is back in session and a new football season has begun. Fall is in the air, ushering in cooler weather, sweaters and changing leaves. While you may enjoy the fall shading of the setting sun or the vibrant yellows, oranges and reds of the changing leaves, the yellow hue and tint of your teeth or the glaring gaps in your beautiful smile from lost teeth are things you’d rather not look at and enjoy the sight of.

Fall is a time some people choose to start afresh as their kids go back to school for another school year. Kids often go back to school with a new haircut, clothing and school supplies and a clean bill of health. This is a great time for you to put some time into yourself and give yourself a fresh, new look.

Your smile is one of your most defining characteristics. Nobody else has your smile. If you find your smile is yellow, marred with gaps from missing teeth or has an overbite due to crooked teeth or jaw alignment issues, you likely won’t be showing off your gorgeous smile.

At LeDowns Dentistry, we believe your whole family should have a great-looking, healthy smile. While you may bring your kids in for their six month dental cleaning and check-up, you may put your own oral health on hold. Now that kids are back in school, why not schedule an appointment for yourself to enhance your smile?

We offer a variety of preventative and restorative dental services to give you the healthy and beautiful smile you deserve. Some of our most popular services include teeth whitening, crowns, and porcelain fillings. Many patients only need one of these services to bring back that healthy-looking, youthful, vibrant smile from decades past. A dental check-up is the first step in determining what dental work your smile needs to make it look amazing.

Full Mouth Restoration

For some patients, any of the aforementioned procedures by themselves won’t be able to fully treat and restore their smile to its former beauty and youthfulness. For these patients more than one dental procedure will be necessary. When multiple procedures are done, this is called a full mouth restoration. With this dental procedure, the appearance of a patient’s teeth and gums are changed dramatically. With full mouth restorations, it is not uncommon for crowns, bridges, onlays, inlays, fillings and implants to be utilized. In many cases, a full mouth restoration will require multiple visits to our office. In some instances, such as when fillings and professional teeth whitening are needed, a full mouth restoration can be completed within one day.

Whether you need an in-office teeth whitening to eliminate that worn, unappealing look to your smile or you need a more extensive full mouth restoration that requires fillings and crowns to prevent further worsening of cavities and inlays to smooth out or fill gaps between your front teeth, fall is a great time to get your beautiful, healthy smile back.

If you’re tired of your discolored, crooked, painful or gapped smile, contact us today to schedule an appointment. A full mouth restoration may be what you need to take years of wear and tear off your smile and restore it to its beautiful, healthy, vibrant youthfulness.

Fall is the time for your smile to look great. Let us at LeDowns Dentistry help give you the smile you want and deserve by taking that first step in contacting us today to schedule an appointment.

How to Pack a Lunch That Helps Your Teeth

The long hours in the office can sap your energy fairly quickly, so much so that all you want to do when you get home is to collapse on the couch. If you have kids, the start of the school year brings a new level of chaos and busyness to your schedule. In the midst of the exhaustion and busyness, healthy and nutritious lunches go by the wayside in place of sugary, starchy, ready to eat lunch packs that have little to no nutritional value and can take a toll on your pocketbook.

You may have tried to make yourself healthy lunches in the past, such as salads only to go off-course by driving to the fast-food burger place a mile down the street. When it comes to your children, you try to encourage healthy eating, but shopping for nutritious lunch items they will actually eat only adds to your exhaustion. The busier your schedule gets, the more convenient, unhealthy lunch foods sound appealing.

Oral health is important for your whole family, yourself included. Whether you’re going to the office or taking the kids to school, there are easy ways to pack a lunch that helps your teeth (and won’t break the bank).

Carbohydrates

For a while, carbohydrates were shunned by dieters who believed these starches were heavy contributors to obesity.

Your body, however, needs carbohydrates for energy. These “good” carbohydrates help you and your children to physically and mentally get through the day. These kinds of carbohydrates are found in whole wheat products such as breads, tortillas, bagels, pita bread, brown rice and quinoa.

It is the “bad” carbohydrates you need to avoid. These are heavy starches that contribute to weight gain and heart problems. “Bad” carbohydrates are found in white bread, pastries, and rice.

Some lunch ideas include using whole wheat bread, tortillas or pita bread and make your favorite sandwich. An alternative lunch could be soup mixed with brown rice or quinoa or even grilled vegetables mixed with brown rice or quinoa.

Protein

Protein is necessary to keep one’s muscles healthy and strong. Protein comes from a variety of sources including meats and dairy products. Sandwiches with lean meat such as chicken or turkey make for great tasting sandwiches that are also packed with protein. In addition to the protein found in the lunch meat, a stick of string cheese and a handful of nuts on the side can add to one’s protein intake.

Healthy Fats

Despite what various diets say about fats and people’s avoidance of fats, certain fats are important and necessary for proper body functioning. The brain and eyes are two parts of the body that greatly benefit from the consumption of healthy fats. Leftover fish from dinner, a handful of nuts and using avocado on one’s sandwich instead of mayonnaise can help your body get those healthy fats.

Calcium

Your teeth are like bones in that they need calcium to remain strong and hard. In addition, your teeth are anchored to your body via the jawbones, which are made of bone tissue. Calcium helps keeps the jawbone strong to keep supporting the teeth. Calcium is found in dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. Low-fat varieties of these dairy products help avoid the consumption of “bad” fats. Yogurt also has phosphates in it that is essential for the remineralization of teeth. Vitamins A and C also have calcium. Apples, bananas and oranges are some fruits that have these vitamins. While citrus does have important and essential vitamins and minerals, they should be consumed in moderation as their acidic juice destroys tooth enamel. Salad and streamed vegetables are other sources of calcium-rich vitamins A and C.

Fiber

Many fresh vegetables that include fiber are hard and crunchy, which act as great toothbrushes. The act of chewing celery, carrots, pepper and broccoli produce saliva, which is the body’s built-in natural mouthwash and the chewing also prevents food particles from getting stuck and lodged on and between teeth. Raw veggies with hummus is a great way for you and your kids to get much needed fiber.

Besides raw vegetables, hard, crunchy nuts also provide the body with fiber and result in the same saliva production and chewing that keeps food particles from sticking to teeth. Nuts also contain vitamin D that helps keep teeth healthy and strong.

If you or your children are craving something sweet, there are many crunchy, juicy fruits that also contain fiber and other nutritious vitamins and minerals. Apples and raw pears stimulate saliva production and helps neutralize enamel destroying acid.

The best way you and your family dental health can start off on the right foot is through regular, twice yearly dental exams and check-ups. If it has been longer than six months since your family’s last visit to our office, or you haven’t yet made a back to school dental check-up for your kids, contact us at LeDowns Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.

Snacking for Your Smile

It’s a Tuesday and you’re trying to get through another long day at work. To satisfy your boredom and/or tiredness, you whip out your pack of almonds and maybe a small bag of pretzels or an individual package of cookies. You decide to save your big bag of M&M’s for later in the afternoon.

You know that your snack choices aren’t the healthiest. However, it is all you have. Plus, eating fruits and vegetables don’t seem appetizing.

Your body needs food for fuel. When you’re hungry, you can’t focus on your work. Snacking, therefore, must not be that bad. Right?

There has been quite a bit of discussion about whether snacking throughout the day is good or detrimental to your health. In addition, the constant daily snacking is a subject of debate among dentists concerning oral health.

Despite the contention around snacking, the habit of snacking isn’t detrimental to your oral or overall health. Rather, it’s what you choose to eat for snacks that can either benefit or hurt your health.

In the above example, all the snack foods, except for the almonds, contain sugar.

Sugar and starches (simple carbohydrates) are two ingredients one must be sure to avoid or limit.

Bacteria inside the mouth love sugar and starches because they can be quickly broken down. When food particles that contain sugar and starches are broken down, there is a filmy byproduct that is left behind that covers the teeth and gums. It is this film that will eventually turn into plaque if not cleaned off or rinsed off.

If you need to snack during the day, practice “smart snacking.” This type of snacking incorporates choosing healthier snacks and keeping one’s mouth clean between snacks.

When it comes to snacks that are great for oral, and overall health, try the following:

  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Melons
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Tangerines
  • Fruit and vegetable juices (unsweetened, of course)
  • Low or non-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and cheese
  • Sliced meats
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • Nuts

Besides snacks that are high in sugar and starches, snacks that are sticky, chewy and gooey should also be avoided as they can easily coat one’s teeth with germs and bacteria.

Other Smart Snacking Tips

  • Eat sweets right after a main meal
  • Avoid snacking too many times per day
  • Brush your teeth or rinse out your mouth after each snack
  • Use floss or a flosser after snacking
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat a variety of low or non-fat foods

While you may crave a piece of pizza or a packet of Skittles over some carrot or celery sticks, intentionally choosing healthy, low or non-sugar snacks will not only satisfy your hunger cravings, but you’ll also be boosting your oral and overall health.

Regular, adequate oral hygiene is also a great way you can improve your oral hygiene. Properly brushing your teeth, flossing and seeing one of the dentists at LeDowns Dentistry for regular oral examinations and cleaning in addition to a healthy, balanced diet will help ensure good oral health.

If it has been more than six months since your last dental checkup, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Psychological & Emotional Benefits of a Beautiful Smile

Ask anyone and you’d likely hear that they would prefer a bright, white beautiful smile over a yellow, discolored one. A beautiful smile is pleasant to look at and enhances one’s appearance. In fact, if you think about, have you noticed that those who are happy and confident of their smiles aren’t afraid to show them off while those who are embarrassed and self-conscious of their smiles tend to hide them?

There are deep-down, psychological and emotional forces behind this tendency to show off a beautiful smile and hide an unpleasant-looking one.

Psychological Benefits of a Beautiful Smile

Professional success. A smile may not seem to correspond to one’s professional ambitions. After all, if one puts in the hours and work, it would make sense that he or she becomes a more valuable employee who gets the attention of the boss. However, studies have shown that those who regularly smile at work are seen as more confident and charismatic. Because of these qualities, they are more likely to get promotions into more leadership roles. Similarly, those who smile and communicate during an interview are more likely to get a second interview or get hired than those who hide their smile.

If one is ambitious and dedicated to pursuing a career, the journey will be less stressful, frustrating, and discouraging if he or she has a beautiful smile they are proud to show off.

A happier and healthier life. With a beautiful smile, one is more likely to smile, laugh and communicate with others. This not only makes one more approachable, friendlier and more fun to be around, but it also improves one’s attitude, mood and outlook. When one has a positive attitude, mood and outlook, one is less likely to experience as much stress and more likely to have more peace and be relaxed. Being more relaxed enables one to be able to think more clearly, gain a different perspective and make better decisions.

Improved peace of mind. An ugly smile often has an unpleasant cause such as tooth decay or gum disease of inadequate or improper oral hygiene. Having a constant fear that your teeth and gums are in poor health and that one perpetrated their condition through a lack of care can cause one to feel ashamed and embarrassed. If there is pain or discomfort associated with a poor smile, one may be constantly worrying about the deteriorating condition of their teeth and gums. A beautiful smile on the other hand can spare one of the shame and worry as they know that their great-looking mouth reflects a healthy mouth.

Emotional Benefits of a Beautiful Smile

A beautiful smile also has emotional benefits as well including:

Higher self-esteem. When one has a beautiful smile, they are proud of it and will show it off. Conversely, if your smile isn’t as great as you’d like, it can be easy for you to dwell on the flaws and hide your smile. Those who are not only content with how their smile looks, but are proud of their unique smile, will appear more confident, engaged, content and friendly. They are proud to smile and show the world their inner beauty and will be more likely to embrace and compliment the unique beauty of others.

Better relationships. It can be emotionally draining and discouraging to try and make friends or date people who don’t like you. If you’ve ever wondered what makes people avoid you or not engage with you, maybe you should check the condition of your smile and the frequency at which you smile. People are drawn to those who smile and laugh and appear easy-going, friendly, engaged and funny. If one is embarrassed of their smile and don’t reveal it, he or she can come off as being cold, unfriendly, aloof and boring.

The appearance of a beautiful smile has many underlying benefits including psychological and emotional ones. At LeDowns Dentistry, we want every patient to have a beautiful smile that they are proud to show off. Proper oral hygiene is the best way to get that amazing smile and begin to feel great about yourself. Regular visits to our office for a cleaning and examination every six months is an important part of proper oral care. If it has been longer than six months since your last dental appointment, contact us today to schedule an appointment and get that beautiful smile.

Why Enamel Breaks Down and How You Can Prevent It

Did you know that your teeth are one of the strongest parts of your body? They chew even the toughest foods, keep your mouth and jawbone structured, and even help you talk. But do you know what keeps your teeth so strong?

Teeth are made up of several different parts, which includes strong roots and tough dentin. However, the part of your tooth that is the strongest is the enamel.

Enamel covers the crowns of your teeth, and it’s actually the hardest substance in your entire body. Pretty amazing, right? Unfortunately, much like any other part of your body, if you don’t take care of your enamel, it can begin to decay and break down. Enamel doesn’t regenerate, so it’s especially important that you take good care of it.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why enamel breaks down and the ways you can prevent it:

Drinking Soda & Sports Drinks

By now, most people know how dangerous soft drinks can be to their bodies. However, many people don’t realize that they can also destroy your teeth. Soft drinks—and other drinks like fruit juices—contain high amounts of acid, both citric and phosphoric. High levels of such acid in your mouth leads directly to enamel erosion. It’s a relatively new piece of news that sports drinks are also detrimental to your teeth. With high sugar content and chemicals that can break down your enamel, these should be avoided if possible.

Acid Reflux

If you have acid reflux or other gastrointestinal problems like frequent vomiting, you may experience enamel break down. Like with soda, these gastrointestinal problems can raise the overall acid content in your mouth, which will cause enamel to weaken and break down, making you more susceptible to more serious dental issues..

Unhealthy Oral Hygiene Habits

Not taking care of your teeth properly is another thing that can lead to the breakdown of your enamel. Plaque and tartar build up leads first to cavities and, if left alone long enough, can lead to greater enamel decay. Other poor oral habits like grinding your teeth or chewing on ice can lead to enamel decay as well.

Dry Mouth

If you suffer from dry mouth, you may start to eventually experience enamel decay. Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva, which leads to a higher acidic content eventually leading to the breakdown of enamel.

Genetics

Unfortunately, enamel decay can be caused simply by your own genetic makeup. There’s no way to really prevent your enamel from breaking down if it’s caused by genetics.

How You Can Prevent Enamel Breakdown

So, now that you know what causes enamel decay, how can you prevent it? As with many things in the oral health world, extra attention and care can go a long way with preventing your enamel from breaking down.

If you’re worried about your enamel, try following these methods of prevention:

  • Lessen your sugary drink intake – Soda and sports drinks are one of the main causes behind enamel decay, so it’s best to limit the amount you drink. Also try to avoid over-consuming juice drinks that have high concentrations of citric acid.
  • Take care of your teeth – Creating and maintaining a solid oral hygiene routine can prevent many problems with enamel erosion. Brush at least two times a day and floss at least once a day to prevent plaque and tartar from building up and eroding your teeth’s enamel.
  • See your dentist – If you’re especially worried about enamel decay, don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with your dentist. During the appointment, you can learn more ways to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

If you’ve already experienced severe decay, it’s important to get the decayed teeth corrected. At LeDowns Dentistry, we have root canal specialists in Denver CO on staff, and also offer tooth colored fillings for more minor decay. Once corrected, we can help get your oral hygiene back on track to avoid future issues. 

It’s Never Too Late to Restore Your Smile

Patients who have got a few more years under their belts often feel reluctant to visit the dentist. At this point in your life, your teeth and gums have been through a lot, and you may feel embarrassed by the current state of your smile, or you may just believe that your teeth are too far gone to come back.

It’s not uncommon for some patients to believe that that nothing can be done to regain that bright, vibrant, healthy smile you had when you were younger.

A lot of these conditions are a natural part of aging, but we’re here to tell you that it’s never too late to fully restore your smile.

The Aging Process and How It Impacts Your Dental Health

There are undesirable changes that happen in the mouth as we age. Seniors are at high risk of cavities and gum disease due to naturally receding gums, brittle teeth and dry mouth (which is a common side-effect of many medications seniors take for other health issues).

In addition, because the muscles of the heart weaken with age, older dental patients are more sensitive to analgesics and local anesthetics. This can make it more difficult for certain dental procedures to be done.

How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Restore Your Smile

When you think of cosmetic dentistry, you may believe it is only for patients younger than yourself. While cosmetic solutions are certainly popular for patients in their thirties through sixties, there is nothing saying that older patients can’t take advantage of our services to get a younger, healthier-looking smile.

In fact, cosmetic dentistry is becoming more popular amongst senior patients. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more popular conditions and solutions for seniors.

Tooth discoloration is common as we age because tooth enamel continues to break down over time. Professional teeth whitening can restore and bring back to life the faded smile of age.

Teeth whitening can brighten teeth by many shades, so senior patients have the option for a subtle or more vibrantly white smile.

For senior patients with deep, stubborn stains, bonding may be a more appropriate whitening treatment. With bonding, a tooth-colored substance is applied over the stained area of a tooth. This is also an effective treatment to relieve tooth sensitivity and to cover small cracks or chips in the teeth.

Weakened enamel is another common problem. As is the shifting of teeth due to lost teeth and deteriorating jaw bones. Many patients also have teeth with cracks, chips, form striations and other misshapen teeth. To recreate a younger-looking smile that is straight and full of smooth, strong teeth, thin sheets of porcelain that cover affected teeth called veneers can help.

In other cases, the many years of use, or the onset of excessive decay, or even the unfortunate results of some trauma, has left many patients without some of their teeth. Many patients believe that their only option left is a set of dentures.

Dentures have traditionally been a hallmark of advanced age. Modern dentures, however, have greatly improved from those in the past. Today, denture patients can have permanent dentures thanks to dental implants.

Dental implants are titanium posts that are inserted into the jaw bone and are topped with a natural-looking ceramic crown. Because these posts are directly inserted into the jaw bone, they are secure and stable, providing excellent support for dentures.

With implant-supported dentures, patients can bite, chew, smile and talk with confidence. Unlike traditional dentures that must be taken out for eating and overnight cleaning, implant-supported dentures can withstand great force, enabling them to stay in the mouth.

How LeDowns Dentistry Can Help

At LeDowns Dentistry, we want healthy and great-looking smiles for all our patients, no matter their age. We believe that it’s never too late to restore one’s smile or fix old dental work and we offer the services that can help bring back the life and youthfulness of your smile.

To learn more about the cosmetic dental services we offer seniors, feel free to contact us and schedule an appointment.

The Makings of Dental Crowns & Implants

Tooth loss can occur for any number of reasons including tooth decay, trauma, age, and gum disease and dental implants have been an incredible and convenient option for smiles damaged by tooth loss. These dental crowns paired with specially designed appliances have become a popular avenue by which patients can resurrect their beautiful smiles.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are commonly used to replace a missing adult or permanent tooth. While baby or primary teeth fall out and are naturally replaced with permanent teeth, adult teeth cannot be replaced by your body once they fall out or are extracted.

The resulting gap in one’s smile not only looks unsightly, but it can weaken the underlying gum and bone tissue and cause neighboring teeth to shift out of proper alignment and placement.

At LeDowns, our Denver CO Dental implants, are the preferred choice to restore your full smile, the stability of your jaw, and ensure that you maintain proper bite and teeth alignment. Dental implants are commonly used to “replace” single missing teeth, though they are now also often used to anchor dental bridgework and dentures.

Makings of a Dental Implant

Implants are comprised of three parts: the post, the abutment, and the dental crown.

Post: The post is a titanium screw that is inserted directly into the gums/jaw. The implant post provides the stability of the implant and securely affixes it to the mouth. The post is manufactured off-site and uses titanium because of its biocompatibility properties.

What this means is that the body’s immune system won’t attack the implant post nor fight the tissue damage caused by the insertion of the post into the gums/jaw. Instead, the cells of the body will grow around the post and absorb it like it was part of the body. Titanium’s biocompatibility results in fewer allergic reactions and infections and quicker healing.

Abutment. The abutment is a small metallic part that is attached to the top of the post. It is on top of the abutment that the crown, or “fake tooth” is attached, affixing it to the post. The Abutment is also made of titanium.

Dental Crown. The crown is a realistic, tooth-like component made of either porcelain or composite resin. The dental crowns are made specifically for each patient, matching the color, size, and shape of the patient’s other teeth and mouth.

The crown is often made by hand in an off-site dental laboratory and can take a week or two to be sent back to the dental office. The patient will return to the dental office after the crown is finished and the dentist will place it on the abutment after removing the temporary crown.

It is the same thing as a crown that fits over a tooth with a large cavity. The shading of the patient’s teeth will be noted as the crown is to look like the rest of the patient’s natural teeth. X-rays and 3-D scanning of the patient’s mouth, bite and teeth will be done to ensure the proper size and shape of the crown.

Porcelain dental crowns tend to be more expensive and more vulnerable to chipping, but they offer a more natural light reflection and shine than composite does. Composite resin crowns are more affordable and more resistant to chipping. Both options give the wearer a realistic-looking tooth.

It typically takes multiple dental office trips for implants to be fully inserted. The post, abutment and a temporary crown are typically applied in the first appointment.

What LeDowns Dentistry Can Do For You

At LeDowns Dentistry, we offer patients high-quality dental implants in Denver that will rejuvenate and restore their smiles. While dental implants are great solutions for most patients, they may not work for others. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dental specialists to discuss how dental implants can improve your smile.

Signs You Have a Healthy Smile

When you think of a healthy smile, you envision a mouth full of bright, white teeth free of cavities and gum disease. All the teeth are straight and smooth. You want teeth like that. If you did, you would know that your mouth has optimum health. Are all the signs of your dental health visible?

There are both visible and invisible signs that your teeth and gums are healthy.

The Visible Signs of a Healthy Smile

  • White teeth, free of excessive staining.Teeth naturally turn a yellow color with age. Teeth that are excessively yellow or have yellow or dark portions can indicate tooth decay.
  • Teeth that are straight and do not appear excessively long.Crooked teeth are harder to take care of and are more likely to have tooth decay. Against the common myth, teeth don’t “get longer” as one ages. Teeth will appear “longer” when the gums are receding. Gum recess is a sign of gum disease.
  • Gums that are firm and a pale pink color.Gums that are white, dark pink or red indicate the presence of inflammation and possible gum disease.
  • Gums that aren’t recessed too low.The gums should recede no more than 3 millimeters from the bottom of the teeth.
  • A smooth, pink tongue.The tongue has thousands of papillae on the surface which allows the tongue to detect taste and temperature of food. In and around these sensors are places where germs and bacteria accumulate. Proper tongue cleaning will remove the white film that decayed food particles leave behind. Canker sores or red patches on the tongue can indicate a potentially serious health condition such as diabetes or cancer.
  • An aligned bite.The teeth on the top jaw and bottom jaw are to align so that the wear and pressure of biting and chewing will be evenly distributed. A misaligned bite is not only a sign of an unhealthy mouth, but it can also cause other problems like ear aches and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Invisible Signs of a Healthy Mouth

  • The absence of tooth sensitivity. One of the hallmark symptoms of tooth disease is tooth sensitivity. If your teeth are pain-free and free of sensitivity, chances are they are healthy and don’t have cavities.
  • Fresh breath.It can be hard to have fresh breath all the time. In the mornings everyone’s breath is less than pleasant. Persistent bad breath even after brushing, flossing and using mouth wash can indicate disease and decay. If your breath is fresh, it means there is nothing decaying in your mouth.
  • A mouth free of pain and discomfort.Pain is the body’s way of letting you know something isn’t right. A mouth that is pain-free is one that is in proper working condition.
  • A mouth that is moist.A healthy mouth will be naturally moist with saliva. This is the body’s built-in mouth wash. A dry mouth provides a more hospitable environment for germs, bacteria and eventually plaque to grow and accumulate.

A healthy mouth goes beyond just “skin deep.” There are both visible and invisible signs of a healthy mouth. However, even if you have all the signs of a healthy mouth, there could possibly be some underlying oral health concerns that only a trained eye of a dental professional will be able to recognize.

This is why it is important to see us at LeDowns Dentistry every six months for a professional teeth cleaning and oral examination. At-home oral hygiene isn’t enough to achieve or maintain a healthy mouth. You also need the regular check-up by a dental professional.

A healthy mouth is a beautiful mouth. If it has been more than six months since your last dental office visit, contact us today to schedule an appointment.