Dental Implant Facts: What You Need To Know

Family Dentist in Alabama

Dental implants are a great option for those who need tooth replacement. They can be used to replace one or more teeth and they offer many benefits over other methods of treatment. Learn about the basics of dental implants, what they’re made from, and how long it takes to get them installed in this blog post!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that can be surgically placed into the jawbone. When an implant is in place, it forms its own connection to tooth roots inside of your mouth and bone tissue around them within months.

Once this process has begun, a crown or bridge made from porcelain fused with metal may then be attached to the implant creating a new replacement tooth. This dental restoration will look like natural teeth and feel like real ones too!

Candidates for Dental Implants

Dental implants can benefit a variety of people! Generally, dental implants are used to replace one or more teeth. This is usually done when the tooth root has been destroyed due to decay and other factors such as periodontal disease. The loss of natural tooth roots will mean that your mouth cannot support a single replacement tooth without help from an implant post.

However, if you have any remaining healthy jawbone tissue you can be a candidate for this type of treatment option! It may also be necessary in some cases if there isn’t enough bone left around the empty socket because after time even gum tissues start wearing out too. In these situations, your dentist might recommend multiple implants to support a bridge or full arch replacement.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer many benefits over other types of tooth replacement. Implant-supported crowns are guaranteed to be permanent, unlike removable dentures that can become loose and slip around your mouth as time goes by.

If you suffer from TMJ or have sensitive teeth, implants will eliminate this problem because there is no need for a metal bar between the jaw and gums like with traditional bridges.

Some of the benefits of dental implants include:

 

  • Improved chewing function
  • A more attractive smile
  • Ability to enjoy favorite foods again
  • Improved self-confidence
  • No need for adhesive denture adhesives

 

For many of our patients, dental implants not only benefit the health of their smile but also their overall happiness and wellbeing.

Alternatives to Dental Implants

There are several alternatives to dental implants available. They don’t, however, offer the same level of benefits. Teeth can be replaced using bridges that need metal teeth on either side for support or veneers which cover natural teeth with a thin layer of porcelain.

These options may not last as long and will often cause problems in the jaw joint over time due to their inability to fuse directly into your bone tissue like implants.

As you can see, there are many reasons why dental implant treatment is superior when compared to other tooth-replacement methods. Call us today to schedule an appointment to discuss how dental implants can improve your smile!

Overcoming Dental Anxiety: 5 Simple Ways

Family Dentist in Alabama

Do you suffer from dental anxiety? It turns out, many people do. In fact, it’s estimated that about 50% of the population has some form of dental phobia or fear. If this sounds like you, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to overcome your fears and receive the care that you need. We have put together a list containing five simple but effective strategies for overcoming your anxiety around dentistry.

Strategy #1: Find the Cause of Your Dental Anxiety

Is your dental anxiety centered around a certain procedure, like an x-ray for example? Do you have concerns about what will happen to your teeth after treatment or how expensive your care is going to be?

Oftentimes, we find that people with dental anxieties are concerned more about their own thoughts and feelings than any actual physical pain. This is important to know because you can control your thoughts and not the other way around! Finding the cause of your anxiety will allow you to implement solutions to overcome it!

Strategy #2: Educate Yourself

Educate yourself about the dental procedure, problem, or situation that makes you anxious before it happens! This means doing some research beforehand so you are more prepared for what will happen next.

For example, you might want to know what the dentist will need to do before they start any work on your teeth, how long it’s going to take and how much it will cost. Our team is always willing to answer any questions you may have so that you can approach your dental care with confidence.

Strategy #3: Find a Dental Professional That Suits Your Needs

Unfortunately, not every dental professional is created equal. The demeanor of one dentist may put you at ease while another’s demeanor causes additional anxiety!

Once you find a dental professional that suits your needs, be sure to talk to them about any fears or worries you might have. We are here to help and give advice on how to feel better during and after a visit, so don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Strategy #4: Consider Sedation Dentistry

For some individuals, dental anxiety is so severe that it prevents them from receiving the care they require. In this situation, sedation dentistry is a gamechanger!

Consider a dental sedative to help you feel more relaxed before your appointment. Sedatives work by slowing down the brain and body response that makes us anxious. If you think sedation dentistry may benefit you, talk to your dentist about if it is the right fit!

Strategy #5: Practice Deep Breathing Techniques

There are many things you can do to control (and overcome) your dental anxiety. One of the most effective is to practice deep breathing techniques before, during, or after a dental appointment.

Deep breathing is a great way to manage stress and anxiety in the moment as well as throughout the day. However, as with many things, deep breathing is something that you must practice! Incorporate deep breathing techniques into your daily life in the weeks leading up to your dental procedure for the best results.

We understand that dental anxiety is a very real thing that affects many of our patients. Regardless of your age, this is not something of which to be ashamed. If you are anxious about an upcoming dental visit or procedure, be sure to talk to our team! We are passionate about doing everything in our power to make your experience comfortable and stress-free.

Healthy Gums, Healthy Teeth! 5 Ways To Keep Your Gums Healthy

Family Dentist in Alabama

More often than not, when you think of the dentist, you think of your teeth. Somehow our gums just seem to fall through the cracks. But, did you know that your gum health is just as important as the health of your teeth? 

Your gums are responsible for protecting your teeth from disease and decay. Without proper oral hygiene, your gums can quickly develop periodontitis, another name for gum disease. Some of the most common signs of early gum disease include bad breath, swollen gums, gums that bleed easily, or gums that appear to be receding from your teeth.

When caught in its early stages, gum disease is easily reversible. However, if left untreated, it can have more serious implications on your oral health. So, how do you prevent gum disease? Here are five easy ways to keep your gums healthy:

1. Floss Every Day

Flossing your teeth once every day is one of the most effective ways to improve the health of your gums. When you floss, you are removing the food and bacteria that become trapped between your teeth. When you fail to floss, this food and bacteria become plaque that will eventually lead to gum disease. 

2. Brush Your Teeth Using Proper Technique

We know we talk about brushing your teeth quite often, this is because it is an important step to achieving optimal oral health! When you brush your teeth, you must use the proper technique to protect and care for your gums.

Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to alleviate any unnecessary abrasion to your gums! If the bristles of your toothbrush begin to fray, or your toothbrush shows other signs of wear, replace it with a new toothbrush to avoid gum injury. 

3. Use the Right Oral Hygiene Products

There are countless oral hygiene products to choose from. From various flavors to the wide range of claims made by various products, it can be hard to make your final selection! The best oral hygiene products for gum health include toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride. If you are unsure of the best products for you, ask your dentist during your next visit!

4. Protect Your Gums

In addition to instilling proper oral hygiene habits, there are other ways to protect your gums from injury, decay, or disease. Some lifestyle choices such as diets that are high in sugar or regular smoking can cause damage to your gum health. Additionally, participating in sports may pose an added threat to your gums. Take the proper precautions to prevent unnecessary damage or injury, ensuring healthy gums for years to come.

5. Visit the Dentist

There are countless reasons to visit your dentist twice a year. During your bi-annual cleaning and exam, we are not only caring for your teeth but also your gums! Unfortunately, the earliest signs of gum disease are easy to miss. However, when caught in the early stages, gum disease can be reversed through simple oral hygiene! For this reason, professional dental cleanings and exams are one of the best ways to protect and improve the health of your gums.

By implementing these five easy tips, you can make great strides in maintaining not only healthy teeth but also healthy gums! 

Say Ahhhh – How Your Tongue Affects Your Oral Hygiene

Family Dentist in Alabama

When you think of oral hygiene, the first thought is likely your teeth. Unfortunately, the tongue is often forgotten in the quest for a healthy smile! Did you know that the health of your tongue can not only impact your oral health but your overall health as well? In this post, we will discuss a few of the ways your tongue can affect your oral hygiene. We will also share some tips for including your tongue in your daily oral hygiene routine! 

Is Your Tongue Healthy?

The tongue is a part of the body that often goes unnoticed – until something is wrong. A healthy tongue should be pink in color with tiny, uniform bumps covering the surface. These bumps are called papillae and provide a rough texture that helps us eat. Papillae also contain both taste buds and temperature receptors, helping us enjoy our food! 

If your tongue is sore, swollen, or you notice any changes in color, pattern, sensation, or appearance, it is important to schedule an appointment to eliminate any concerning health issues. So, how can your tongue affect your oral hygiene? 

Your Tongue Can Harbor Bacteria

We understand the importance of brushing our teeth to eliminate bacteria that can cause decay or disease. But brushing your teeth is only half of the job! As you are eating, bacteria settles between the papillae on your tongue’s surface. Although your teeth may be rid of harmful bacteria, the bacteria on your tongue can wreak havoc on the health of your smile! By brushing or scraping your tongue as you are brushing your teeth, you can eliminate this pesky bacteria, achieving a truly clean smile! 

Your Tongue Can Contribute to Bad Breath

Halitosis, or bad breath, is one thing that none of us wish to experience! Not only can bad breath be off-putting to friends and family members, but it can affect the taste of your favorite snack. The bacteria that is harbored in the crevices of your tongue can not only lead to tooth decay, but it can also cause bad breath! 

Taking a few extra moments to clean your tongue will help you achieve truly fresh breath every time you brush! 

Including Your Tongue in Your Oral Hygiene Routine

How exactly do you ensure that your tongue is clean and free from nasty bacteria? There are several methods you can use to clean your tongue. Most of our patients choose to brush their tongue with their toothbrushes as they finish brushing their teeth.

However, there are also special scraping tools made specifically for cleaning your tongue. It may take some practice to develop this as part of your oral hygiene routine. But, the benefits for both your oral health and your overall wellbeing are undeniable. We recommend brushing your tongue at least once a day although incorporating it into your twice-daily brushing is a great way to establish the habit!  

If you have questions about how to improve your oral hygiene by cleaning your tongue, be sure to ask our team during your next visit! 

5 Popular Drinks And How They Affect Your Teeth

Family Dentist in Alabama

Just like certain types of foods can impact our oral health for better or worse, so can the types of drinks we choose to consume. Unfortunately, many of the most popular drinks can harm your oral health if you do not limit your intake. In this post, we will discuss how five of the most popular drinks can affect your oral health, as well as some practical tips for avoiding unnecessary damage to your teeth.

Soda

Soda, pop, coke – call it what you want, it all affects your teeth in the same way! While it remains one of the most popular beverages, especially in the United States, soda contains ridiculously high amounts of sugar! The bacteria that reside in your mouth feed off this sugar, eventually leading to the formation of cavities.

However, sugar isn’t the only harmful component of soda. Soda is also highly acidic, something that can exacerbate damage to your teeth. Next time you choose to enjoy a bubbly beverage, use a straw to bypass your teeth, and be sure to rinse your mouth with water once you finish!

Energy Drinks

Although they may seem like a better alternative to soda, energy and sports drinks contain just as much, if not more, sugar! Many energy drinks are also highly acidic, causing even more damage to the enamel of your tooth. Once the enamel becomes compromised, you are likely to experience an increase in tooth sensitivity and discomfort. 

While there is certainly a time and place to enjoy an occasional energy drink, they should be seen as a treat and not as a part of your daily routine. Remember to drink plenty of water following your energy or sports drink to rid your mouth of lingering sugars. Alternatively, opt for green tea for a boost of energy to get you through the day.

Lemonade

Lemonade is good for you, right? This tasty drink falls somewhere in the middle of the list when it comes to drinks that affect your teeth one way or the other. While lemonade does not have the carbonation that can increase damage to the tooth’s enamel, it is highly acidic and often contains high amounts of sugar! 

As we have seen with the drinks we have already discussed, acids and sugars and not your mouth’s best friends. While it is important to not drink lemonade in excess, it is a tasty treat that you should continue to enjoy! Choose a lemonade with lower sugar content and be sure to drink plenty of water following your tasty treat.  

Coffee

Most adults run on a morning (and oftentimes, afternoon) cup of coffee! While coffee is also acidic, the dark color of coffee is more likely to harm your smile. Don’t panic: you don’t have to give up coffee forever! Opt for coffee drinks with lower sugar content, be sure to drink plenty of water, and consider using a whitening toothpaste to counteract the staining you may experience.

Sparkling Water

We know that water is one of the best things we can drink to promote both oral and overall health. But is sparkling water any different? While it is still important to drink plenty of regular water, the carbonation added to sparkling water will not harm your oral health. Additionally, this can be a great alternative to soda or carbonated energy drinks! 

How to Stop Being Afraid of the Dentist | Hampton Cove, AL Dentist

Family Dentist in Alabama

For a lot of people, even the thought of visiting the dentist causes fear and anxiety.

This can be due to past trauma, a fear of the unknown, lack of communication, or simply from embarrassment. You don’t have to suffer in pain. We have 4 helpful tips to help you overcome your fear of the dentist.

 

Be Prepared

Research the dental office you’ll be visiting and learn more about the office and people. For extra peace of mind, find out if they are specialized in your procedure.

Read online reviews. See what others have to say about their experiences. Many people leave reviews on their entire appointment, from start to finish. Seek those reviews out to get a good understanding of how you can expect your visit to go.

For children, explain their dental procedure in terms that they can understand and will help ease their anxiety. Let them know that the dentist isn’t a scary place!

 

Ask Questions

Research the dental procedure you’re going to have. Make a list of any questions you want to have answered before you schedule your appointment.

Once you’re there, ask the dental assistant and dentist to keep you informed of what they are doing, as they do it.

Don’t be afraid to make pre or post-procedure calls regarding aftercare, concerns, or any questions you have.

 

Distract and Relax

Have someone you trust to go along with you. This can be a parent, spouse, sibling, or friend. They can encourage and talk to you while you wait to help keep your anxiety down.

For children, bring along their favorite stuffed animal or blanket. These familiar objects can help calm their nerves.

Focus on your breathing. If you truly concentrate only on steady breathing, you might be surprised how hard it is to think about anything else!

Listen to music or a podcast with your earphones. For children, listening to their favorite songs or storybooks is a great way to help keep their minds busy.

Ask about sedation. Sedation dentistry uses medication to help you relax for a better dental care experience. You will still be able to ask questions, but you will be calmer throughout treatment.

 

Talk It Out

Sometimes the fear can be overwhelming. You can seek counseling to get the root cause of your dental fear. Professional assistance may help you succeed in overcoming it. Your dental health is worth it!

If you have any questions or want to learn how we can help you put your best smile forward, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | 4 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

Family Dentist in Alabama

As a parent, the best way to help ensure your child has a lifetime of healthy teeth is to help them establish great dental hygiene habits as they grow.

Here are some useful tips for keeping your child engaged by making dental hygiene fun:
Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | 4 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids
Pick out a special toothbrush.
One great way to keep your child excited about brushing is to allow him or her to choose their own toothbrush in a favorite color or branded with a favorite cartoon character. Child-size soft-bristled brushes come in a wide variety of options designed to make your child like their toothbrush.

Choose children’s toothpaste.
Another great option is to use a toothpaste that is designed for kids. While adults generally prefer the fresh mouth taste of a minty toothpaste, many children find mint to be too powerful a flavor. This can make brushing unpleasant or even painful to sensitive taste buds. Instead, let your child choose a children’s toothpaste. There are many options available in a variety of soft mint, fruity, and bubble gum flavors. It is much easier to keep your child brushing for a full two minutes when their toothpaste tastes good.

Use a timer.
Two minutes can seem like a long time to a child. It can be very difficult for your child to try to estimate or count how long to brush without some kind of visual aid. You can help your child stay more engaged and ensure a full two minutes of brushing by using a timer. Choices range from a small sand timer your child can flip over, to a manual stopwatch with buttons to press, or even an app on a phone or tablet to time digitally (if your child is old enough). By letting your child take control of the timer, they can be more confident and more engaged in their brushing.

Brush together.
A parent is the first and strongest role model for their child. Brushing together can help your child model your great brushing technique, which will improve their own. Additionally, brushing together emphasizes to your child that brushing is important. When your child sees that you take dental hygiene seriously, they are likely to follow suit.

For more tips on making dental hygiene fun for your child, contact our office.

Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | To Floss or Not to Floss?

Family Dentist in Alabama

By now, you have likely seen news reports questioning whether flossing is necessary for your oral health.
Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | To Floss or Not to Floss?
We want to answer your question right away with an absolute YES. Cleaning between your teeth is an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums.

Whether you use traditional string dental floss, a water flosser, an interdental (between teeth) brush, or other form of interdental cleaning, it is important that you clean between your teeth correctly and on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, in the quest for catchy headlines, many news agencies have been providing a great deal of incomplete and inaccurate information.

Here’s the truth: Plaque and bacteria can be prevented from building up between teeth when flossing is done correctly on a daily basis.

Why does that matter? Build-up of plaque and bacteria between teeth is one of the leading causes of periodontal disease, a condition which not only affects your mouth, teeth, and gums, but has been linked to complications with diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other systemic health issues.

The next time you visit our office, ask your hygienist to show you the most effective way to clean between your teeth. For more information on flossing and interdental cleaning or to schedule an appointment, please contact us.

Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | ​Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life

Family Dentist in Alabama

Our expert dentist wants to remind patients that our office offers thorough oral cancer screening as part of our comprehensive dental health services. Like with every form of cancer, early diagnosis can have a profound impact on the success of your treatment. Regular screenings are your first line of defense against oral cancer and our doctor is here to help.

Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | ​Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life

In your screening, our doctor will check your lips, tongue, gums, mouth, and throat for any abnormalities that could be or become cancerous. We will give careful consideration to any symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have experienced any oral cancer symptoms for more than a week without improvement, schedule an appointment and tell your dentist immediately. Symptoms that could indicate oral cancer include:

Ear pain

Unexplained mouth bleeding

Mouth sores that don’t heal

White or red patches in your mouth

Dramatic weight loss

Lumps or swellings in or around your mouth

Sore throat without other sinus symptoms

Sensation of something caught in the back of your throat

Pain or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

One adult American dies of oral cancer every hour. Though anyone can develop oral cancer, some factors can increase your risks. Some of the most common risk factors include: genetic predisposition, prolonged sun exposure, unhealthy diet, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Oral cancer is more common in men than women. Patients with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) are at increased risk. Users of tobacco in any form are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-users.

Whatever the cause, the success of treatment depends on the size, type, and stage of the cancer. Early detection can play a critical role in your successful recovery. When found in early stages, oral cancers have an 80 – 90% survival rate. The primary reason for this is that early detection leads to earlier treatment. Oral cancers that are found in early or precancerous stages can often be removed and require less invasive procedures to treat. Later stages of cancer are likely to be larger and more complex and often have spread far beyond your mouth.

We are accepting new patients. If you would like more information about oral cancer and oral cancer screening, contact our office for a consultation.

​Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | Providing Relief from Periodontal Disease

Family Dentist in Alabama

Over 45% of U.S. adults have moderate to severe periodontal disease. Periodontal disease ranges from a mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue and bone damage and even tooth loss. Our experienced dentist is providing periodontal treatments to both new and existing patients who are suffering from any form of periodontal (gum) disease.

​Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | Providing Relief from Periodontal Disease

One of the major causes of gum disease is practicing poor oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional exams and cleanings are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed, plaque can form on the teeth and along the gumline. If this plaque is not properly removed, it may harden over time and become tartar. Once that occurs, only a dental professional can remove tartar from teeth.

If gum disease is not treated in a timely manner, tartar may continue to build. When this occurs, the gum disease may advance. Gums redden, swell, and become prone to bleeding from normal activities, such as brushing or eating. At this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent the disease from advancing further.

When periodontal disease is not treated in a timely manner, it may become periodontitis. Periodontitis is the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gumline. These spaces are highly difficult to clean without professional intervention and can lead to rapid worsening in overall oral health. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by periodontitis. One of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults is periodontal disease.

Some of the most common factors that contribute to periodontal disease developing include poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and female hormonal changes. Some medications can cause gum tissue to develop abnormal tissues, which can increase difficulty in proper cleaning of the teeth. People who are receiving treatment for AIDS are also at increased risk of developing periodontal disease.

Our doctor has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our office to schedule a consultation. Some symptoms include: chronic halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, red or swollen gums, sensitive or bleeding gums, and difficulty or pain with chewing. Our dentist provides excellent periodontal care for our patients, and welcomes new patient consultations. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our office.

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Dental Office

Hampton Cove Family Dentist

Hampton Cove Dentist

Hampton Cove Location

6838 US Highway 431 South Unit B
Owens Cross Roads, AL

(256) 536-8120

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Dentist in Hampton Cove

Hampton Cove Dentist

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