Posts for: February, 2016

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
February 20, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.

"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."

As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.

For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.

If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.

If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
February 08, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental pain   root canal  

If you are experiencing dental pain then you may just need a root canal.

Perhaps you’ve never had a root canal before but chances are good you’ve heard of one. But before you panic don’t believe everything tooth painyou hear! Root canals get a bad rap but they are really just as simple as getting a tooth filled by your Marion family dentist Dr. Wayne Cook. Find out when it’s time to come into our office and why a root canal may be recommended.

Why is a root canal treatment needed?

Your Marion, AR dentist will recommend this endodontic treatment when the inside of the tooth, also known as the pulp, has become inflamed or infected. The tooth’s pulp is responsible for responding to temperature and pain. When inflammation or infection hits this inner structure of the tooth this will typically cause some pain and discomfort.

Dental trauma or severe decay is usually the cause of an inflamed or infected dental pulp.

What are the common symptoms of a root canal infection?

The symptoms will vary from person to person and will depend on the cause. Some standard signs of infection include:

  • Sharp, sudden and severe pain
  • Pain that appears when chewing or biting down
  • Dental pain that stays after eating hot or cold foods
  • Tenderness and/or swelling of the gums near the infected tooth

How will a root canal alleviate my dental pain?

The purpose of this treatment is to save your tooth and to prevent further damage. We will first administer a local anesthesia to reduce any procedural discomfort. Many people believe that root canals are painful but this is a common fallacy and actually quite the opposite. A root canal is designed to remove the infected dental pulp from the tooth to eliminate your pain.

Once inside the tooth we will remove the diseased tissue and then begin disinfecting the root canals. A special material is used to fill the canals to prevent further infection and then special adhesive cement is used to seal up the top of the tooth. Most of the time a dental crown is placed over the tooth to restore full strength and resilience back into the tooth to prevent further damage.

Have questions about your upcoming procedure? Currently dealing with tooth pain? Then it’s definitely time you called our Marion dental office right away. We are here to ensure that you have a healthy smile for the long-term.

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
February 05, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

Periodontal (gum) disease is the most likely cause of a loose, permanent tooth. This progressive infection causes damage to the gums and bone tissues that hold teeth in place, leading to looseness and ultimately tooth loss.

Gum disease, however, isn’t the only cause: although not as common, excessive biting forces over time may also lead to loose teeth. The excessive force stretches the periodontal ligaments that hold teeth in place, causing the teeth to become loose.

This condition is called occlusal trauma. In its primary form, the patient habitually grinds or clenches their teeth, or bites or chews on hard objects like pencils or nails. Generating 20-30 times the normal biting force, these habits can cause considerable damage. It can also be a factor when gum disease is present — supporting bone becomes so weakened by the disease, even normal biting forces can cause mobility.

If you recognize the early signs of grinding or clenching, particularly jaw soreness in the morning (since many instances of teeth grinding occur while we sleep), it’s important to seek treatment before teeth become loose. The symptoms are usually treated directly with muscle relaxants, an occlusal guard worn to soften the force when teeth bite down, or stress management, a major trigger for teeth grinding. The sooner you address the habit, the more likely you’ll avoid its consequences.

If, however, you’re already noticing a loose tooth, treatment must then focus on preserving the tooth. Initially, the tooth may need to be splinted, physically joined to adjacent teeth to hold it in place while damaged tissues heal. In some cases, minute amounts of enamel may need to be removed from the tooth’s biting surfaces to help the tooth better absorb biting forces. Other treatments, including orthodontics and gum disease treatment, may also be included in your treatment plan.

If you notice a loose tooth, it’s critical you contact us as soon as possible for an evaluation — if you delay you increase the chances of eventually losing it. The earlier you address it, the better your chances of preserving your tooth.

If you would like more information on loose teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Loose Teeth.”

Marion, AR Family Dentist
Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
303 Bancario Rd.Suite 7
Marion, AR 72364
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