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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Western Slope Dental Center
March 26, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: gummy smile  
YouDontHavetoLivewithaGummySmileHeresHowWeCanChangeit

A beautiful smile is a balanced smile, especially in regard to your gums. A normal smile usually shows 4 mm or less of gum tissue along with about 10 mm of tooth length. But if your gums show more than that, your smile may seem too gummy. In terms of perceived balance, this could detract from your smile's attractiveness.

Fortunately, you don't have to live with a gummy smile—there are various ways to correct or minimize its effect. First, though, we'll need to determine the underlying cause before deciding on the best treatment. And, there are several possible causes, the obvious being too much gum tissue present. Teeth that appear shorter due to wear or incomplete eruption could also make the gums appear larger.

We may be able to correct these size problems by surgically removing and reshaping excess gum tissues and possibly the underlying bone to reveal more of the teeth. We can also bond composite resins or porcelain veneers to shorter teeth to make them appear larger.

But not all gummy smile problems pertain directly to the teeth and gums; instead, it could be your upper lip moves too far up as you smile (hypermobility). Or, your upper jaw may be too long for your face, which can also cause too much of the gums to show during smiling.

With upper lip hypermobility, we may be able to inhibit the lip muscles' movement temporarily with Botox injections that partially paralyze the muscles (the effect eventually wears off, so this treatment will need to be repeated). A periodontist, an oral surgeon, or a plastic surgeon could also permanently alter the upper lip movement through a surgical procedure. Surgery may also be necessary for an abnormally long upper jaw: orthognathic surgery re-positions the jaw to the skull, which can lessen the amount of gums showing.

If your smile is too gummy, we can transform it. But first, let's find out what the real cause is with a comprehensive dental examination. Once we know, we can better advise you on the best way to bring beautiful balance to your smile.

If you would like more information on improving a gummy smile, 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 “Gummy Smiles.”

By Western Slope Dental Center
March 21, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Multiple Dental ImplantsThe healthiest tooth restoration method available, dental implants feel, look, and act just like real teeth. At Western Slope Dental Center in Grand Junction, CO, Dr. Brandon Berguin, Dr. Kira Funderburk and Dr. William Berguin complete gapped smiles with innovative implants to replace one, two, or all of a patient's teeth. Get the details here!

 

Your best smile

No decay, no gum disease, no gaps. However, problems can crop up from time to time—even tooth loss, no matter how hard we work to avoid it. Along with tooth loss comes gum and bone degradation which changes how your face looks and how healthy your remaining teeth are as time goes by.

Dental implants from your dentist in Grand Junction imitate what those lost teeth used to do for you, allowing you to bite, chew, and speak without worry or the need for messy denture adhesives.

How can a titanium screw, metal post, and porcelain crown do all that? The key is titanium metal. Human bone loves it and readily bonds to it through osseointegration. As an implant site heals, the surgically-placed device and the jaw bone meld securely and permanently, acting just as a natural tooth root does.

While osseointegration does take time, the results are fantastic and reliable. Dental implants can last for 40 to 50 years, and few things threaten their reliability. Just keep up with your good at-home hygiene, and come to Western Slope Dental Center for check-ups and cleanings twice a year. Additionally, avoid grinding your teeth and smoking, and your implants will stay safe, secure, and totally functional!

 

Is the treatment difficult?

Not at all! It simply takes a consultation, an operation, and a followup.

Your dentist will tell you if you are a good candidate for this inventive tooth replacement. Expect a complete oral examination, digital X-ray imaging, and a thorough assessment of your jaw bone, for you must have enough bone to accept the implant. If your bone is thin, you may need to undergo a simple augmentation procedure to strengthen the jaw bone before your implant treatment.

For a single-tooth implant, your dentist will numb the site and insert the titanium device directly into the jaw bone. You will then wait several weeks before returning to the office for placement of the post and crown. At that time, your implant will be fully integrated and usable.

 

Interested? Give us a call!

For additional information and to arrange your appointment with us, call our Grand Junction office at (970) 241-3483. You can have a great smile again with dental implants!

By Western Slope Dental Center
March 16, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
NBCStarDeliversaMessageaboutthePerfectSmile

Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.

Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.

Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”

Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.

There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.

So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.

Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”

If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Western Slope Dental Center
February 21, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental crowns  

Dental crowns can do so much for you and your smile, from strengthening weak or damaged teeth to concealing cosmetic flaws. Crowns dental Crowncan even replace missing teeth when placed on top of a dental implant. At Western Slope Dental Center in Grand Junction, CO, Dr. Brandon Berguin, Dr. Kira Funderburk, and Dr. William Berguin are your dentists for dental crowns.

 

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a protective cap placed over a problem tooth to conceal imperfections or to strengthen and restore the tooth. Once in place, a dental crown completely encapsulates the tooth it is concealing or protecting. Each dental crown is custom made for the specific tooth it will cover. The size, shape, and color of the dental crown can be customized for a natural look and a perfect fit. Once in place, a dental crown looks just like a natural tooth. Your dentist in Grand Junction can help you decide if they are right for you.

 

How Dental Crowns Help

There are many ways in which dental crowns help. They can address several restorative and cosmetic dental concerns. For example, damaged or infected teeth that have been repaired through root canal treatment can be protected against further damage with dental crowns. Dental crowns can also strengthen those same teeth following root canal treatment so the teeth can resume normal biting and chewing functions with no pain or sensitivity. Other ways dental crowns help include:

  • Concealing stains and discolorations
  • Correcting the shape of oddly shaped teeth
  • Repairing cracked or chipped teeth
  • Restoring normal biting and chewing functions
  • Strengthening weak and damaged teeth
  • Protecting teeth from further damage

Another way dental crowns can help is by replacing missing or extracted teeth. When placed over a dental implant, a dental crown serves as an artificial tooth that looks and functions just like a natural tooth.

 

Need Treatment? Give Us a Call!

Dental crowns can strengthen your smile, as well as improve its appearance. For dental crowns in Grand Junction, schedule an appointment with Dr. B. Berguin, Dr. Funderburk, or Dr. W. Berguin by calling Western Slope Dental Center at (970) 241-3483.

Implant-SupportedDenturesCouldBoostYourJawboneHealth

People have depended on dentures for generations—and they still do. That's because they work, both in restoring dental function and a smile marred by missing teeth.

But they have one major drawback related to bone health. That's because living bone has a life cycle: as older cells die, new ones form to take their place. The pressure generated when we chew stimulates this growth. But when this stimulus goes missing along with the teeth, the cell replacement rate slows and bone volume and density gradually diminishes.

Traditional dentures can't transmit this chewing pressure stimulus. And because they rest directly on the gum ridges, they can adversely affect the underlying bone and actually accelerate bone loss.

But implant technology potentially solves this bone loss problem with dentures by using implants rather than the gums to support them. It's a two-fold benefit: first, the implants relieve much of the irritation to the gums and bone caused by traditional dentures. Primarily, though, the implants themselves can slow or even stop continuing bone loss.

Most implants are made of titanium, not only because it's compatible with the body, but also because it has an affinity with bone. Over time bone cells grow on the titanium post imbedded in the jawbone. This process not only creates stability and durability, it can improve bone health.

In recent years dentists have incorporated implants with dentures to create two exciting treatment options. With one option, the dentist installs two or more implants in the jaw, to which a specially fitted removable denture can be attached. You would still have the ease of removing the denture for cleaning, while gaining greater stability and a reduced risk of bone loss.

The other option is a fixed denture (or bridge) attached permanently to implants. For this option, a patient's jawbone must be adequate and healthy enough to support at least four to six implants. A fixed denture is also often costlier and more complex than a removable denture, but it can feel more like real teeth. It also promotes better bone health too.

Although both options are more expensive than traditional dentures, they can pay dividends for long-term dental health. Implants could help you enjoy your new dentures and resulting smile for a long time to come.

If you would like more information on dental implant-supported restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”