Electronic Toothbrush: A Great Weapon Against Plaque Formation

teeth cleaning Cypress TXKeeping plaque at bay is a primary factor in maintaining a healthy smile. If you’re brushing twice a day with a standard toothbrush, you may find that you still accumulate plaque and tartar, which is a calcified substance that requires teeth cleaning to removed. Changing to an electronic toothbrush can give your oral hygiene routine a boost and improve your ability to minimize plaque buildup.

An electronic toothbrush has rotation in addition to the back-and-forth motion typically used with a manual toothbrush. Therefore, an electronic toothbrush is more effective in removing plaque. Some models vibrate even faster, which may help them erase even more plaque from your smile.

Additionally, electronic toothbrushes typically feature built-in timers that shut the brush off after two minutes, which is the recommended brushing time. Manual toothbrush users often fall short on that standard.

Even if you do upgrade to an electronic toothbrush, you will still need to get a professional teeth cleaning every six months when you see your dentist. A dental hygienist will have better access to certain parts of your smile that it’s hard for you to reach and brush thoroughly, and plaque and tartar may collect in those spaces even when you do brush twice a day. Between the electronic toothbrush and semi-annual cleanings, you’ll be making your best effort to minimize plaque and tartar.

Plus, you also benefit from the dentist examining your teeth twice a year to keep tabs on the development of cavities and/or gum disease. When your dentist diagnoses an issue in an early stage, it’s easier and less expensive to have them treated and corrected. If you let more months pass between routine check-ups, you may find yourself needing to have a large cavity restored or advanced gum disease treated.

Ready to make the switch to an electronic toothbrush? Our knowledgeable team of professionals is happy to answer any questions you might have about your options and make recommendations of particular models.

Call our office to speak to a member of our staff, or ask about this at your next dental checkup and cleaning.

The New Era of Cosmetic Dentistry

cosmetic dentist Cypress TXPatients who feel that their smiles are lackluster have a number of treatment options at their disposal for improving the smile’s aesthetics. The first step on your path to a more beautiful smile is to consult with a cosmetic dentist, who can recommend a number of innovative interventions that address flaws in your smile.

For many patients, a dingy or yellow appearance of the teeth is a concern. These patients can be helped tremendously by teeth whitening treatments that use bleaching gels to release stains and other discoloration from the enamel of the teeth. The treatments provided by a cosmetic dentist are far more consistent and effective than products that can be purchased over the counter. Teeth whitening can be the sole intervention used to improve the smile’s appearance, or it may be the capstone on a smile makeover that combines a number of treatments.

Other patients may need to repair teeth damaged by chips or cracks in order to restore their smiles. Your cosmetic dentist may rely on a few different methods in order to do this. For example, dental bonding can be a highly effective, budget-friendly approach to address minor defects in the teeth. The bonding material is applied to the tooth and cured using a special light. Porcelain veneers are a more involved intervention that can be used for more extensive needs. These are tooth-shaped shells that are bonded on top of the biological teeth to conceal chips, cracks or deep stains that don’t respond to whitening. Porcelain veneers can also make a slightly crooked stretch of teeth appear properly aligned or make an undersized tooth look like it has the correct proportions to fit in with the rest of the smile.

For patients with more severely misaligned teeth, Invisalign can straighten them without obscuring your smile in the process. This system uses clear plastic trays to apply the desired forces to the teeth in order to reposition them.

Patients who need to have a tooth restored following extensive decay can benefit from another cosmetic treatment, porcelain crowns. These are tooth-shaped caps that slide on top of your biological teeth.

Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a number of interventions to improve your smile’s appearance. Set up a consultation at our office to learn more about these treatments and how they can help you achieve your smile goals.

Call our caring team at the office or Dr. Lori Logan today!

Inlay, Onlay or Crown?

dentist in Cypress TXDid you know there are more ways to restore teeth than with just fillings? Other common types of restorations include inlays, onlays, and dental crowns. Our dentist will determine the best type of restoration for your needs. A restoration is meant to treat existing damage and disease as well as prevent future damage. Following is a brief breakdown on these common restorations.

Inlays

Inlays are a more extensive restoration than a filling. An inlay is bonded on the biting surfaces of teeth between its cusps. For example, an inlay is often ideal for patients who have developed decay on the biting surfaces of their molars. On a molar, an inlay will fill in the surface area between its cusps. Inlays can be made from composite resin (a tooth-colored compound), metal, and porcelain.

Onlays

Like an inlay, an onlay is more extensive than a filing. Unlike an inlay, however, an onlay fits on the biting surface of a tooth’s cusp and extends down its side toward the gums. This restoration protects both a tooth’s cusps and its sides from future damage. Like an inlay, an onlay is a custom restoration and can be made from different materials like porcelain and metal.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are the most extensive restoration of all. Sometimes called “caps”, dental crowns fit over an entire tooth’s structure above the gums. A crown fits over a tooth to protect its weakened surfaces from fracturing and decaying. Since a crown fits over a tooth, it must be made to very precise measurements unique to an individual. The precise nature of a crown’s shape and size means that these restorations are made in dental laboratories. There are options for a crown’s materials. Porcelain is a popular choice because it lends a very lifelike appearance. Metals like gold and silver are also popular for their durability and cost-effective price.

Call us today to reserve a consultation with our dentist or to ask questions about restorations!

Bruxism and TMJ Disorder: What is the difference?

Cypress TX dentistBruxism and TMJ disorder are two oral health conditions that can coincide with one another. In many cases, a person’s TMJ disorder can be exacerbated by bruxism and vice versa. Bruxism is the act of habitually grinding or clenching one’s teeth. TMJ disorder involves the dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint, a joint that facilitates mouth movement. Both bruxism and TMJ disorder can produce orofacial discomfort and worn dentition. Our dentist can treat the effects of TMJ disorder and bruxism with restorations and custom nightguards that protect teeth. Following is some helpful information to better understand these common conditions.

The Basics on Bruxism

Bruxism normally begins as a response to stress, tension, and pain. Many people who brux their teeth suffer with chronic pain, anxiety, and excess stress. Unfortunately, bruxing one’s teeth and jaw becomes habitual over time. As bruxing becomes habitual, it will lead to oral health issues—especially weakened teeth and strained facial muscles and TMJs. Our dentist commonly addresses the effects of bruxism with restorations like crowns to rebuild teeth after they have been significantly worn down. After restorations are placed, our practice will recommend the use of a custom nightguard to protect teeth and restorations from future damage.

TMJ Disorder and its Effects on Well-being

TMJ disorder occurs when the temporomandibular joints affect one’s ability to move his or her mouth comfortably and/or effectively. Sometimes, TMJ disorder can cause the TMJ to “lock up”, therefore impeding mouth movement for various amounts of time. Patients with TMJ disorder commonly experience severe discomfort in the form of toothaches, facial pain, and frequent headaches. Like bruxism, TMJ disorder can lead to worn dentition and occlusal issues. Treating TMJ dysfunction might involve the use of oral appliance therapy at night (nightguards) and restorations to rebuild one’s bite.

If you notice that you grind and clench your teeth or have symptoms of TMJ disorder, we strongly encourage you to schedule a checkup at our practice. At your consultation, we will develop a treatment plan to help get your oral health back on track. Contact us at the office of Dr. Lori Logan today!

Keeping Your Toothbrush (and Mouth) Free from Harmful Bacteria

teeth cleaning CypressYour mouth is naturally full of bacteria; by following a thorough regimen designed to protect your teeth and gums, you should be able to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Brushing and flossing as directed are the best methods of teeth cleaning coupled with visits to your dentist every six months.

The correct tools are a great place to start. An electronic toothbrush allows the patient to clean their teeth using the appropriate amount of pressure; a timer signals when the patient has brushed for the recommended two minutes. If a manual toothbrush is employed, a soft bristle variety is the best choice.

A fluoridated toothpaste or gel should be used. Depending on the oral health of the patient, additional help in the form of fluoridated or anti-bacterial rinses may be recommended by your dentist.

The patient should brush at least twice daily (morning and night). Flossing once daily to remove food debris your toothbrush missed should also be part of your daily oral maintenance program.

Failure to provide the care needed to limit harmful bacteria can lead to both short term problems like decay to long term issues like gum disease. Once a patient has been diagnosed with periodontal disease, even though the disease may not be active, you may still be prone to recurrence.

Since your toothbrush is an integral tool in your oral health, you and your family should be aware of the things that can promote bacterial growth. A wet toothbrush should never be stored in an enclosed case; contact between other family member toothbrushes should never be allowed.

Since most people brush in the bathroom, are you aware that every time the toilet is flushed water and waste particles are released in the area nearby? Keep that in mind when storing your toothbrush.

Replacing your toothbrush on a regular basis is important – while everyone’s needs are different, a new brush every three months is a good place to start. If illness has occurred, you need to either replace or disinfect your toothbrush.

Links between oral and overall health provide another reason to be diligent about taking care of your teeth, gums, and mouth. Be mindful of daily care by brushing and flossing using clean and up to date tools; and make sure you see your dentist every six months for cleaning and exam.

If it’s time to schedule your next visit, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan today.

Invisalign Orthodontic Treatment for Comfort and Convenience

orthodontics Cypress TXHaving straight teeth is more than just an aesthetic advantage. Everyone would love a beautiful smile, but did you know your dental health is at risk if you have crooked teeth? Orthodontic treatment will improve your smile, but will also eliminate areas where plaque buildup can lead to dental decay and/or gum disease.

Young children make great candidates for traditional metal braces; however, teens and adults who wish to have their teeth straightened should see their dentist to see if they qualify for Invisalign clear aligners.

The advantages with Invisalign over other methods of orthodontics are numerous:

They are clear – Patients who wish to straighten their teeth without the stigma of metal braces enjoy the transparency of Invisalign aligners.

They are comfortable – Aligners are made from a material that gently shifts teeth to their correct placement without bands, brackets, or wires to abrade soft oral tissues.

They are convenient – Invisalign aligners are replaced every two weeks with the next in the series of aligners. This means the straightening process continues without regular dental visits to have wires adjusted.

They are removable – Of all the advantages of Invisalign clear aligners, the fact that they are removable is possibly the most helpful aspect you can enjoy while having your teeth straightened.

You can remove your aligners to eat snacks and meals – unlike other methods of teeth alignment, your food choices are limitless. Simply remove, eat, and replace.

You can take care of your daily oral maintenance of brushing and flossing without any encumbrance. Take aligners out, brush and floss, and replace. Your dental provider will be able to thoroughly clean your teeth every six months without having to clean around braces.

Invisalign orthodontics can align an overbite, underbite, or crossbite using a series of aligners that are fabricated with the use of photographs, dental x-rays, and impressions … digital 3D technology is employed to provide the aligners the patient will use to gradually shift their teeth to the correct occlusion.

With each new aligner, the patient is correcting their bite and straightening their teeth with the convenience of clear and comfortable braces. Invisalign offers a unique approach to teeth straightening that is a welcome improvement from the traditional methods that have been used for years.

To find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan at 281-609-7377 today.

Since having my braces removed, my teeth have shifted. Can Invisalign help?

orthodontics Cypress TXThere are several reasons your teeth could have shifted. If orthodontics was completed before all permanent teeth erupted, those new teeth (like third molars) could have resulted in overcrowding pushing teeth to make room to come in.

Or perhaps the retainer was not worn long enough for teeth to develop a solid memory of their new location, which can allow teeth to start to drift back to their former placement.

If you are now faced with a malocclusion, your Invisalign dentist will consult with you to present options. Invisalign offers many advantages not available with other forms of teeth straightening. Invisalign aligners are:

  • Clear – the patient can undergo teeth straightening that is virtually invisible. This is a major factor for teens and young adults.
  • Comfortable – there are no wires and no metal to abrade or poke into soft oral tissue.
  • Convenient – trips to the orthodontist to have wires tightened to keep teeth moving are eliminated. The patient merely replaces their aligners every two weeks with the next in the series. Each aligner is designed to keep teeth moving to their correct placement.
  • Removable – With Invisalign aligners, the patient can continue to eat all the foods they love – nothing is off limits. That is because these “braces” are taken out for snacks and meals. Simply replace the aligners when done. In addition, your daily oral care of brushing and flossing can be completed without obstruction.

The Invisalign program is simple. Your dentist will take impressions, x-rays, and photos to be sent to the Invisalign lab. These tools will be used to fabricate a series of aligners using 3-D digital technology. Each aligner is designed to alter your bite until teeth have been moved to their correct occlusion.

Straight teeth are important for more than a great smile. When teeth are crooked or overlap, there are areas where plaque is more likely to build. Plaque formation can lead to dental decay and/or gum disease.

At treatment conclusion, another retainer will be provided. You will receive instructions for when and how long to wear it. This is a critical component to the teeth straightening process. If not worn as instructed, teeth may begin to shift back again.

Don’t waste your investment … follow instructions and you should be able to enjoy your new smile for your lifetime. Contact our team today to discuss your own options!

Protect and Strengthen Teeth with Dental Crowns

dental crowns Cypress TXDental crowns have proven to be an effective tool for treating many dental maladies. They can save a broken tooth from extraction, treat a tooth with extensive decay, seal the access point following root canal therapy, and serve as the final restoration for a fixed prosthesis and/or dental implants.

When a tooth is fractured or impacted with decay, it loses stability. A dental crown covers the base of the tooth protecting it and offering strength to prevent losing that tooth.

When your diagnosis involves endodontic therapy, your dentist must drill an access point in your tooth to remove the contents of the tooth’s roots. Upon completion, that access point must be sealed; and for many teeth, a dental crown will be used.

If tooth loss should occur, you have multiple options for replacement. Whenever that option involves a fixed prosthesis, crowns are placed on abutment teeth to affix the partial.

If the patient is looking for a permanent solution to tooth loss that is most like biological teeth, dental implants provide the ideal solution. The titanium post is surgically placed in gum tissue where tooth loss has occurred. Once healed, the implant is permanently covered with a crown as the final restoration.

Whenever a crown is proposed for treatment, the patient has a choice. With a standard porcelain crown, the tooth will be prepped and a temporary will be placed for a two week waiting period while the dental lab fabricates the crown.

However, if you visit a CEREC dentist, your crown is ready the same day you need it; no more temporaries to deal with and no two week wait.

CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. Your CEREC dentist can diagnose, prep, manufacture, and place your finished crown in one day. Implementing CAD/CAM technology (computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing) your dental crown can be milled on the spot.

An intraoral camera takes a digital impression and sends the information to the CEREC unit. A block of porcelain has already been selected that will most closely match surrounding teeth. The crown is constructed in a matter of minutes. Your dentist can try it in, and add the finishing touches before final cementation.

Your tooth is then protected with a strong, stain resistant porcelain crown providing added stability with a natural, polished appearance.

If you’re looking to strengthen your smile with a dental crown, contact us at the office of Dr. Lori Logan today!

The Effects of Tobacco and Nicotine On Your Dental Health

Cypress TX dentalWe all know that tobacco use is bad for our health. However, many people forget that smoking cigarettes and cigars or chewing tobacco is destructive to our dental health as well. Tobacco and nicotine affect the entire oral health system, by  increasing risks for infections like gum disease and potentially deadly conditions such as oral cancer. Abstaining from tobacco use is advantageous to your overall wellbeing and dental health. If you do use tobacco or nicotine of any kind, bring this up with our dentist at your next appointment. This way, we can consider your lifestyle habits when we perform oral checkups and dental cleanings.

Tobacco and Your Gums

Tobacco products contain very inflammatory and irritating ingredients. For instance, cigarettes have hundreds of chemicals and carcinogens mixed in their formulas. The irritating nature of smoke and byproducts from smokeless tobacco can negatively affect soft oral tissues—especially the gums. Tobacco products contribute to gum disease by inflaming the gingiva. Inflamed gingiva is more prone to becoming diseased. Moreover, gums recede from teeth when inflamed. Gum recession exposes the roots of teeth to debris and bacteria that contribute to dental caries.

Gum Disease and Your Dental Health

Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common and severe threats to oral health. Those who smoke or chew tobacco have an increased risk for developing periodontal disease. Gum disease is the most common culprit behind tooth loss. This is because this condition destroys the gums and bone, and both of these structures support teeth. Lastly, periodontal disease involves a serious oral infection that can enter the bloodstream. Recent studies have shown that gum disease might contribute to cardiovascular problems, stroke, and impaired immunity.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is serious health condition. Since tobacco products contain carcinogens, those who use tobacco increase their risks for developing malignancies in the oral cavity. Since early detection is important for protecting one’s health, we recommend that patients have annual oral cancer screenings.

Call us today to schedule an appointment with our dentist!

Sleep Apnea: Looking for a CPAP alternative?

sleep apnea Cypress TXHave you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? Are you wondering what your treatment options are? Some patients with sleep apnea are hesitant to seek treatment because they do not want to use bulky or loud machinery like CPAP devices. While CPAP is sometimes an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it is not always ideal. Fortunately, there are alternatives to CPAP. One method that our dentist prescribes for OSA treatment is oral appliance therapy.

What is oral appliance therapy?

Oral appliance therapy is a treatment option for sleep apnea that does not involve the use of medical-grade machinery. Instead, patients wear a custom-made appliance that fits inside the mouth like a mouthguard. The way an oral appliance works is by positioning the lower jaw forward. By positioning the jaw forward, the diameter of the airway is widened. This can help prevent tissues from blocking the airway while a patient with apnea is sleeping.

What is CPAP, exactly?

CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure”. What this means is that a device streams air into the oral cavity through a small face mask to keep the airway open. CPAP has been used to treat sleep apnea for quite some time and for many people, it can be effective at improving one’s breathing during sleep.

Which treatment is better for sleep apnea?

CPAP and oral appliance therapy present different benefits. Moreover, not all treatment protocols work the same for all people. Regarding oral appliance therapy, however, patients enjoy this treatment option because they do not have to worry about the noise emitted by machinery or its portability when they are not at home. CPAP machines and their pieces require more intensive cleaning than an oral appliance as well.

If you are trying to determine the right treatment for sleep apnea, we recommend consulting with our dentist. Our team can help you decide if oral appliance therapy meets your needs.

Call us today to reserve a sleep apnea consultation.