Everything You Need To Know About Dentures

false teethDentures are dental appliances used as replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and placed right back in the mouth when necessary.

While a fairly effective replacement, both in terms of esthetics and function, for real teeth, dentures often are criticized for how long it takes to get used to them and how they’ll never feel the same as one’s natural teeth. However, today’s dentures have been improved to look much better and be much more comfortable to wear.

How Dentures Work

There are three types of dentures – the conventional full denture, the partial denture and the immediate full denture.

The dentist will be the one to recommend which of the three fits your particular case best, or if you’ll benefit better from a different type of dental treatment.

For the dentures, they are custom-made dental appliances that are made in a dental laboratory using impressions that were taken based on the exact specifications of your mouth.

  • Conventional Full Dentures – The conventional full denture is placed in the mouth only after the remaining teeth have been removed and tissues have been given enough time to heal. The healing process typically takes several months, during which time you will be without teeth. Special care instructions are given to prevent complications resulting from the lack of teeth. Also, it is often recommended to change one’s diet until the gums and its tissues have fully healed.
  • Immediate Full Dentures – his type of denture is inserted immediately after all the remaining teeth have been removed. Thus, it is a viable alternative for those who don’t want to go through the hassle of living without their teeth for months. The drawback, though, is that multiple dental visits are necessary as the dentures will have to be relined because the bone supporting the teeth changes its shape as it heals, which if not corrected will cause the denture to become loose.
  • Partial Dentures – Partial dentures are placed on top of a metal framework that’s attached to the remaining natural teeth. In many cases, crowns are placed on top of some of the natural teeth to serve as anchors for the dentures and to ensure a better, more stable fit. Partial dentures are often advised to those who dislike the permanent nature of dental bridges.

 

Do Dentures Really Feel Awkward?

Yes, especially for the first few months. Eating and speaking with dentures will take a lot of time getting used to. Even your cheeks and tongue will have to learn how to hold your dentures properly in place, resulting in you feeling that the dentures are a bit loose.

It is also not uncommon for you to experience excessive saliva flow and feel that the tongue is a bit cramped inside your mouth, or that you’re suddenly developing minor irritations and soreness.

If, however, the irritations are no longer what you’d consider as minor, be sure to see your dentist.

How Can I Make My Dentures Last?

Like many other dental appliances, dentures will have to be taken special care of to last for as long as intended, or even longer.

Here are a few tips to help you take better care of your dentures.

  • As much as possible, stand over a folded towel, or a basin of water, or carpeted floors, or basically, anything clean and soft, when handling your dentures. This is so as the denture doesn’t break when accidentally dropped.
  • Dentures should be placed in a glass of plain water or denture cleanser soaking solution when not being worn. Warm water is not advised as it can cause warping.
  • Dentures will have to be brushed like natural teeth to rid them of food deposits and prevent plaque build-up, as well as stains.
  • The gums, tongue and palate should also be brushed at least once every day. Preferably, use a soft-bristled brush and do this every morning, before the dentures are inserted.
  • Any breaks, chips, cracks on the dentures should be reported to the dentist immediately. So too should be any feeling of looseness. Any attempt of adjusting the dentures yourself may only result in irreversible damage.

Missing teeth don’t only look bad, they’re also bad for the health.

Visit your dentist today to have your missing teeth replaced with dentures so you can have your smile back again and for you to not have to suffer from further health complications resulting from missing teeth.

If you are interested in denture and would like more information, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultaion today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com to learn more.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

The Benefits in 3D ConeBeam Imaging in Dentistry | Palm Harbor Dentist

186932212Modern dentistry is slowly seeing an influx of the application of new techniques, procedures and technology, with the use of 3D digital imaging being just one of the many.

The use of 3D digital imaging marks an important achievement, as the technology offers dentists a wide variety of perspectives of the face, neck and teeth of their patients, making a more complete treatment plan.

3D ConeBeam Imaging, in particular, is considered as such a technology that can help dentists do a lot more than ever before. The technology is fast, simple and completely non-invasive. All the patient has to do is sit in the chair for a scan and that’s it. The dentist has a computer-generated view of the patient’s face, teeth and other important details from various perspectives.

For dental practitioners, access to accurate and complete information is important in planning treatment. The use of 3D ConeBeam Imaging helps in providing that information, making it beneficial for both dental practitioners and patients alike.

How Does 3D ConeBeam Imaging Work?

To put simply, the imaging system is basically an X-ray scanner, only it’s mounted on a rotating arm. The name “ConeBeam” stems from the system’s use of the scanner to project x-rays in a cone-shaped beam.

Patients simply have to sit in the chair will the scanner moves around their head to gather all the data necessary. There’s no preparation of any kind involved.

After the imaging system goes through the patient’s head, the dentist can then call up any necessary view on a computer monitor.

The imaging system allows dentists to view images of their patient’s entire mouth from just about any angle imaginable, with different magnifications. This accessibility makes it easier to see bones, teeth, airways, nerves, as well as tissues and see the relationship between them in order to create a more effective treatment plan.

3D ConeBeam Imaging produces high-quality images similar to that of a CT (CAT) scan, but only with much less radiation, making it a much safer approach.

What Makes It Different?

Traditionally, dentists relied on x-rays focused on their patient’s teeth to create treatment plans. While effective, the process is not exactly foolproof and there have been many cases of unintentional lapses because of the limited information given out by x-rays.

With the 3D ConeBeam Imaging system, dentists have a more complete visual guide to study their patient’s case from just about any angle they can think of. Even better is that the scan data is easy to duplicate for storage purposes and to make it easier to send out to different specialists later on.

The 3D ConeBeam Imaging System can benefit just about any patient, from those who’re just beginning treatment to those with recurring problems or those who are having their results evaluated.

Thanks to the more accurate, high-quality, detailed visual information produced by the imaging system, dentists have all the information they could possibly need to diagnose and plan out the proper course of action.

As the patient, you should be happy that your dentist has access to such technology, as the improved information allows you to be more confident and more satisfied with the treatment you’re receiving.

To find out more about the 3D ConeBeam Imaging system, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

What is Botox?

facial rejuvenation botox and facial fillersBotox injections or Botox, for short, is the best known among a group of drugs using various forms of botulinum toxin, a toxin that’s produced by the same microbe that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning.

Botox is used in treating all sorts of condition in the medical field, mainly because of how it can cause the temporary paralysis of muscle activity. This makes it very useful for cases such as cervical dystonia or repetitive neck spasms, excessive sweating and overactive bladder. Though, there are also cases where Botox was used in treating crossed eyes, as well as chronic migraines.

Most prominently, however, Botox is to help make people look younger by reducing the appearance of certain facial wrinkles.

Botox in Dentistry

Dial back to a decade or two ago, it was hard to convince dentists that tooth whitening and orthodontic procedures were necessary for cosmetic reasons alone. The main focus of dentists back then was simply to make sure that their patient’s teeth were healthy and that nothing was wrong with them. Other concerns, such as how teeth looked were often overlooked or dismissed as long as the teeth were “healthy”.

These days, however, more and more dental professionals have realized that function and esthetic go hand-in-hand in achieving optimal health.

Still, you’ll wonder, what does that have to do with Botox earning a place in dentistry? It’s not like teeth have wrinkles, right?

Well, not exactly, but our faces and mainly, our jaws do have muscles and they’re prone to suffering from constant muscle spasms. Conditions such as bruxism, TMJ and others involving facial pain have been proven to benefit from Botox injections, though not all dentists are aware of this.

How Dental Patients and Dentists Can Mutually Can Benefit From Botox

Safe for treating conditions involving facial pain, Botox injections may also prove useful in many other dental cases, such as:

  • Botox, along with dermal fillers, are used and have been effective to some extent in treating high line cases without having to resort to far more invasive and aggressive forms of treatment.
  • In orthodontics, the teeth of patients with strong mentalis muscles are prone reverting back to pre-therapy positions. Botox can help with this by making the muscles weaker to allow more normal movement and prevent the undoing of the effects of the current treatment.
  • Patients who are still getting used to dentures can benefit from Botox, especially if they suffer from strong and consistent muscle contractions

While there are certainly concerns about how Botox should only be administered by doctors, it’s worth noting that most states in the United States allow dentists to use Botox for both therapeutic and cosmetic purposes.

Not only that, but local anesthesia, which is far more frequently used by dentists, is also a lot more dangerous and have greater potential for complications, as well as negative reactions compared to Botox or dermal fillers.

If the dentist has had necessary training, injecting Botox will be as easy as injecting a local anesthetic, albeit with far fewer possible complications.

Minimally invasive and very easy to administer, the use of Botox injections can present a lot of benefits for both patients and dentists alike.

For more information regarding Botox contact the office of Larry Lieberman DDS at 727-785-8017 or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com to learn more.

Understanding Dental Crowns and Tooth Bridges

dental-crowns-bridges

Dental crowns and tooth bridges are what’s known as fixed prosthetic devices. They are, unlike dentures, cemented onto existing teeth or other implants and can only be placed, as well as removed by a licensed dental practitioner.

How Dental Crowns Work

Crowns are used to cover damaged teeth to help strengthen it, as well as to improve its shape, appearance and alignment. Crowns can also be used and place on top of implants to make them look like normal teeth and to help them function as so.

Typically, crowns are made out of gold and metal alloys. But, porcelain and ceramic crowns also exist and can be used to match the color of the rest of your natural teeth.

Of the said materials, alloys are much stronger, as well as much more durable and are recommended to be used for back teeth. Porcelain may also be bonded to a metal shell for durable, yet attractive finish.

Generally, crowns are recommended for cases such as:

  • Replacing fillings so large that there just isn’t enough tooth remaining.
  • Protecting a weak tooth from further damage or fractures.
  • Restoration of a fractured tooth.
  • Attaching a dental bridge.
  • Covering a dental implant.
  • Covering a misshapen or discolored tooth.
  • Covering a tooth that had just recently undergone root canal treatment.

How Tooth Bridges Work

Missing teeth can cause an imbalance which may lead to a variety of dental problems, such as a bad bite, gum disease and even TMJ disorders. As such, those missing one or a couple of teeth may opt to get a dental bridge.

Dental bridges work by spanning the space left over by the missing teeth. They are cemented either to the natural teeth or to the implants, which are referred to as abutments now that they serve as anchors for the ridge.

Like with crowns, there are plenty of materials to choose from when it comes to dental bridges. Though, it is best that you let your dentist decide and discuss with you which material is best for your particular case.

Manufacturing and Fitting

Before a crown or bridge is manufactured or made, your tooth or teeth have to be prepared first. This is usually done by reducing it in size to make sure that the crown or bridge is a perfect fit. Once prepared, an impression will be taken that will be used as molding for the crown or bridge.

The said impression is then sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge is made. Meanwhile, a temporary crown or bridge is placed to cover the prepared area. Once the permanent crown or bridge is ready, the temporary ones are then removed and the new, permanent ones are cemented in place.

Proper Care and Maintenance

Crowns and bridges are built to last for decades, but that does not mean that they’re not prone to breaking, becoming loose or even falling out.

The best way to make sure that your crown or bridge lasts long is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, learning how to use a dental floss and even rinsing with mouthwash. Of course, you shouldn’t forget to visit your dentist regularly as well, for regular checkups and cleaning.

The Main Benefits of Laser Dentistry

laser dentistry

The use of the traditional drill is often cited as one of the reasons why plenty of patients tend to skip out on going to the dentist. The sound that the drill makes and the fact that you have to be strapped onto the dentist’s chair throughout much of the procedure simply makes some people feel uncomfortable.

Fortunately, we no longer live in a time and age where dentists have to rely on their drills and other conventional tools to perform most, if not all, of their procedures.

All thanks to laser dentistry, patients can now choose to go for virtually pain-free dental procedures.

That aside, there are plenty of other benefits of laser dentistry, including:

  • Better accuracy and precision. Using lasers, dentists can easily remove tooth enamel decay, which can prove to be quite difficult to do through conventional means. Procedures done on the bone and gum tissues are also more precise using lasers, which leaves the surrounding areas unaffected and helping you maintain your natural set of teeth for a longer time.
  • Greatly reduced trauma. Physically, the use of high speed drills can, in many cases, cause fractures in the teeth. Such fractures, although reversible, will eventually lead to further dental problems that will incur even more costs down the line. With lasers, trauma is significantly minimized.
  • Faster and more efficient procedures. Since dentists don’t have to rely on shots or anesthesia, the use of lasers can make it easier for them to perform certain procedures that would usually require multiple trips in one visit. Also, certain procedures that often required the referral to specialists can now be performed by a single dentist, saving you and your family much needed time, money and hassle as you no longer have to make multiple trips.
  • Less bleeding and swelling. For many years, bleeding and post-op swelling were common in dental procedures. Patients simply had no choice but to deal with them, especially since no other options existed. Well, not yet, anyway. With lasers, dentists can perform procedures such as soft tissue with little to no bleeding and post-op swelling involved!
  • Versatility. Lasers can be used on a wide range of both hard and soft tissue procedures. Those that required the extensive use of drills and scalpels, such as decay removal, cavity preparation, root canals, and many others will be far easier to do all thanks to lasers.

Look for a Certified Dentist Near You!

Not all dentists are trained and certified to perform laser procedures as a substitute to conventional measures.

It is important that you do your research and if possible, set up a meeting with the dentist to ask him or her questions about the extent of education and training they’ve received in regards to laser dentistry.

Also, you should know that even though lasers are a very useful and powerful dental instrument, they’re not always the most appropriate option.

Hopefully, now that there’s the option of there being less pain involved in dental procedures, you’ll no longer dread each visit like before and maybe even make it a habit to visit the dentist much more often.

For more information on laser dentistry call the office of Larry Lieberman DDS at 727-785-8017. His helpful staff will answer your questions and help you get an appointment scheduled. Also, visit the website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

The Link Between Soda & Tooth Decay | Palm Harbor Dentist

girl with hair pulled back up closeIt’s no secret there exists a strong link between soda consumption and tooth decay. Americans love soda. They’re fizzy, refreshing, bubbly, they’re delicious…they’re ruining your teeth! Drinking soda is one of the main decayer of teeth in your diet. Of course, in moderation it poses very little threat, but a steady consumption of soft drinks is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Heavy soda consumption has also been linked to other health complications including diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.

Sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which attacks the teeth. Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. When sipping on soda all day the sugar and the acidity is sitting on your teeth, eating away at your enamel, staining your teeth, and setting off bacteria bombs.

Sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which attacks the teeth. Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. Each attack lasts about 20 minutes and starts over with every sip of soda you take. These ongoing acid attacks weaken tooth enamel. Kids and teens are most susceptible to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not fully developed(Source: WDA.org).

Some guidelines to avoiding tooth decay:

  • Consuming two or more servings of dairy foods
  • Drink water – Water is beneficial in more ways than one in this instance
  • Restricting other sugared beverages to occasional use

Watch this entertaining and informative video on soda being a detriment to your oral health: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-nPxBF24wM

We’ve all probably heard the term, ‘Sip All Day, Get Decay!’ It’s so true! You can avoid tooth decay and other health problems that arise from drinking too many soft drinks, other carbonated beverages, sports drinks, iced and sweet teas and other sweetened liquids (like fruit juices).

Brushing, rinsing and flossing twice daily and visiting your dentist regularly will reduce your risk of tooth decay improve and/or maintain your oral health.

To find out more about healthy foods & tooth decay contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

Avoiding Gingivitis | Palm Harbor Dentist

girl with hair pulled back up closeGingivitis is one of those ailments one dreads hearing they have. Though it usually develops when oral care falls by the wayside and of course can easily be be prevented. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, usually caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, it can become a more serious infection known as periodontitis and can cause tooth loss.

Your gums actually attach to the teeth at a lower point than the gum edges. Food can get trapped in this space and cause a gum infection or gingivitis. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria. It constantly forms on the surface of your teeth. As plaque advances, it hardens and becomes tartar. You can develop an infection when plaque extends below the gum line. Left unchecked, gingivitis can cause the gums to separate from the teeth. This can cause injury to the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. The tooth may become loose and unstable. If infection progresses, you may ultimately lose your tooth or need a dentist to remove it.

Many people aren’t aware that they have gingivitis. It’s possible to have gum disease without any symptoms.

However, the following can be symptoms of gingivitis:

  • gums that are red, tender, or swollen
  • gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • loose teeth
  • a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite (malocclusion)
  • pus between teeth and gums
  • pain when chewing
  • sensitive teeth
  • partial dentures that no longer fit
  • foul-smelling breath that does not go away after you brush your teeth(Source: healthline.com) 

If the patient is diagnosed early on, and treatment is prompt and proper, gingivitis can be successfully reversed. Treatment involves care by a dental professional, and follow-up procedures carried out by the patient at home.mIn the vast majority of cases, if gingivitis is treated and the patient follows the dental health professional’s instructions, there are no complications. However, if the condition is left untreated, gum disease can spread and affect tissue, teeth and bones, leading to periodontitis. Other treatments include deep cleaning your teeth, antibiotic medications, and surgery.

Remember, practicing good oral hygiene is essential to your oral health. Preventative care starts at home, not in your dentists chair every six months.

To find out more about gingivitis contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

Veneers | Palm Harbor Dentist

186932212Obtaining the ‘perfect smile’ seems to be on the mind of a lot of patients now a days. Which so many cosmetic procedures, how do you know which one is for you? Lets talk about what veneers can do for you. Porcelain veneers are fabricated from a solid piece of porcelain. They fit over the front and underside of your tooth covering the entire surface of visible tooth. Veneers can be fitted to lengthen or widen teeth to close gaps or fill in chips.

How can veneers help you? Veneers can enhance the color and or shape of your tooth or teeth. Veneers are capable of providing a natural tooth appearance, but outside of the cosmetic benefits, veneers do the following:

-Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.

-Porcelain veneers are resistant to stains.

-The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.

-Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape-veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative to bonding.

Modern porcelain veneers tend to last many years, are easy to care for, provide a very natural appearance, and offer a stronger alternative to other cosmetic options.

Veneers won’t erase preexisting issues, therefore an exam is needed to determine if you are a good candidate for veneers. Only a Dr. Lieberman can determine whether or not porcelain veneers are the best option for you. If you are unhappy with your smile and would like more information on porcelain veneers contact Dr. Lieberman today for more information.

To find out more about veneers contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

 

Foods that Aid in Oral Health | Palm Harbor Dentist

dental implantsMany people recognize that a healthy diet is important for a healthy body, but it’s important to realize that diet is important for oral health as well. What a person eats or drinks may contribute to tooth decay or gum disease, and in some cases, certain foods can actually help prevent tooth decay. Understanding oral health can help you make healthy decisions to keep your teeth safe.

Foods and drinks high in sugar and acid are typically bad for your teeth. The sugar provides food for bacteria that contributes to both tooth decay and periodontal disease, and foods high in acid wear down tooth enamel, making them weaker, more likely to crack, and more vulnerable to tooth decay. Some drinks – such as sugary sodas – are both acidic and sugary, and stay on your teeth long after you finish drinking them. These should be avoided if possible.

Foods that are low in sugar and acid, and high in fiber and water content tend to be good for teeth. Drinking plain water can help cleanse food, acid, and sugar from your teeth, minimizing tooth decay. Foods like celery can help brush food particles off of teeth, and they also encourage the production of saliva to cleanse the teeth. Foods high in calcium and protein (such as cheese, milk, meats, and nuts) tend to be low in sugar, but help contribute to stronger teeth by protecting tooth enamel.

In addition to the sugar and acid contents of food, patients should pay attention to how long the food is in contact with their teeth. Very soft foods (such as peanut butter) are more likely to be stuck between teeth, and drinks that are sipped throughout the day tend to stay in contact with teeth all day. If you do eat foods high in sugar or acid, try to eat them in a single sitting, and then brush your teeth immediately afterward, removing the food from your mouth. If you’re unable to brush your teeth, chew sugar free gum – sugar free gum encourages saliva to help cleanse your teeth, and also tends to contain Xylitol, which can help discourage bacteria growth in your mouth.

To find out more about oral health contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

Tooth Crowding | Palm Harbor Dentist

162713815While many children and adults have orthodontics (braces) to treat alignment and spacing issues, many more people have – or believe they have – problems with tooth crowding that goes untreated. Crowding can be caused by a number of different factors, and knowing the actual cause may impact the treatment options.

One of the common causes of tooth crowding is natural occurrence – so called mesial drift phenomenon, where your front teeth drift slowly to the center of the mouth. In the past, some dentists believed this was caused by the presence of wisdom teeth, crowding the front teeth from the rear of the mouth, though in reality many of the problems are due to simple insufficient space for the number of teeth as adults grow. Beyond mesial drift, other potential causes – such as weakened support due to periodontal disease, thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting – can also influence teeth to move in directions that are undesirable, leading to misalignment and crowding issues.

While many patients see crowding as a cosmetic problem, the reality is that poorly aligned teeth are at an increased risk for periodontal disease, decay, and the patient is more likely to suffer from TMJ (jaw-joint) problems, as their irregular bite may cause strain on their jaw over time. For these reasons, fixing alignment should be considered more than simply a cosmetic procedure – correcting the alignment allows the patient to have better access to brush and floss, and their bite will be more level.

If you notice crowding in your front teeth, make a point of asking your dentist about options in your next regular checkup. There are a number of treatments available, and treating the crowding early can help prevent more serious problems from developing in the future.

To find out more about tooth crowding contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.