Dental Sealants

A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth.  More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves.  Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay.  A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.

Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.

Reasons for Dental Sealants:

  • Children and teenagers – As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.
  • Adults – Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions.
  • Baby teeth – Occasionally done if teeth have deep grooves or depressions and child is cavity prone.

What Do Dental Sealants Involve?

Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist and the process takes only a couple of minutes per tooth.

The teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and then surrounded with cotton to keep the area dry.  A special solution is applied to the enamel surface to help the sealant bond to the teeth.  The teeth are then rinsed and dried.  Sealant material is carefully painted onto the enamel surface to cover the deep grooves or depressions.  Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden automatically or with a special curing light.

Proper home care, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new sealants.

Questions About Sealants

Do you have questions about dental sealants, or think they may be right for you or your child? Call Smiles Dental Studio today in Holladay, UT for an appointment.

 

 

Dental Floss 101

A lot of patients we speak to about the importance of flossing complain that dental floss does not work for them. Stories of teeth that overlap and of swollen bleeding gums are common. However, there are many choices when it comes to dental floss, and there is an option that will work for everyone.

Each type of dental floss has different advantages. Here are a few things to know about your flossing options:

Unwaxed floss. Unwaxed dental floss is what most people think of as “regular” floss and is great for tight teeth. This type of floss is made of a thin nylon material that fits into tight spaces if your teeth are close together. Some people have problems though with unwaxed floss getting into some places, and this floss can often can shred or break.

Waxed floss. Waxed floss is the same material (standard nylon) as regular floss, but it has a wax coating which will make it less likely to break. Some people, however may find it is harder to use in tight spots.

Dental tape. New types of floss include dental tape. This broader and flatter floss comes in waxed or unwaxed versions. People with more space between their teeth often find dental tape easier to use than standard floss.

Polytetrafluorethylene floss. Also known as PTFE, Polytetrafluorethylene floss is the same material used in Gore-Tex fabric. The benefits include an easy slide between the teeth and is not likely to shred or break. People with very tight spaces often favor this type of floss.

Super flosses. For larger spaces, those with braces or dental bridges, super flosses are a good choice. On either end are thicker, and stiffer sections for these special areas and situations.  

Floss picks. Some patients prefer the ease and maneuverability of floss picks—a small amount of floss strung between two plastic ends. Available in a variety of options floss picks make a good choice for people with dexterity problems.

No matter which floss you prefer, the most important thing to remember is to just floss! Proper, regular flossing can help prevent periodontal disease, and other health issues If you have any questions or concerns about flossing or technique, we are happy to assist you during your next cleaning appointment. Call our Salt Lake City dental office today. We’re conveniently located on Murrary-Holladay Road!

Busy families juggle school, work, sports practice, social time, and other obligations. All of us get bogged down and have found a way to fill every waking hour. Regular dental appointments do not always easily slide into these schedules—and sometimes are delayed and even missed. However, Smiles Dental Studio in Salt Lake City is here to show why regular check-ups, (preventative care) will actually help you keep your commitments in the long run, and improve your oral health.

Regular, diligent, brushing and flossing is extremely important. It does not, however, always get all plaque that builds up on teeth. Hardened tartar is impossible to remove without special dental instruments—and if left on teeth, it will result in a higher risk of developing tooth decay. Tooth decay leads to cavities, which can result in extra time at the dentist office later—dealing with fillings, extractions, crowns, root canals, bridges, and more.

Regular dental checkups also serve another purpose. Gum disease can develop without symptoms, and left unchecked by a professional, gum disease can worsen to the point that teeth begin to loosen before you notice – at which point it is often too late to treat effectively.

Tooth loss and the treatment of severe and preventable tooth decay and gum disease could cost you precious family and work time in the future. Take care of your smile today—and you will be smiling tomorrow. Has it been a while since you have been in to see the dentist? Do not worry, Smiles Dental Studio can help. Give us a call to make an appointment today. We’re conveniently located on Murray-Holladay Road in Salt Lake City!

What Is Fluoride Treatment?

Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay.  It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies.  The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and are supported by many health and professional organizations.

Fluoride Works in Two Ways

  • Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay.  We gain topical fluoride by using fluoride containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels.  Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.
  • Systemic fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted as well as those that are developing under the gums.  We gain systemic fluoride from most foods and our community water supplies.  It is also available as a supplement in drop or gel form and can be prescribed by your dentist or physician.  Generally, fluoride drops are recommended for infants, and tablets are best suited for children up through the teen years.  It is very important to monitor the amounts of fluoride a child ingests.  If too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are developing, a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may result.

Who Needs Fluoride Treatment?

The short answer is, we all do. Patients may require regular fluoride treatments include anyone who:

  • tends to eat a lot of snacks and sugary foods
  • has a lot of pits or grooves in their teeth where bacteria can easily get in
  • has braces
  • has had a lot of dental work
  • has dry mouth caused by medications or by some other health condition
  • has gum disease or recessed gums

Using toothpastes and mouthwash with fluoride is great, but the amounts are so low that it is not enough to get the full preventative effects. At our Holladay dental office, we can offer fluoride treatment in stronger amounts that works to harden your enamel and protect your teeth from everyday bacteria that results in dental decay.

Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay.  Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:

  • Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth
  • Exposed and sensitive root surfaces
  • Fair to poor oral hygiene habits
  • Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake
  • Inadequate exposure to fluorides
  • Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or medications
  • Recent history of dental decay

Fluoride Alone will not Prevent Tooth Decay

It is important to employ healthy oral hygiene habits such as brushing at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your dentist on a regular basis.

Get To Know the Trends: Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal toothpaste is currently one of the biggest trends, found in the toothpaste aisle alongside your old favorites. This trendy beauty ingredient is now available in in commercial face masks and scrubs as well. The whole industry is singing the praises of charcoal. But does it really work?

What is Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a fine grain powder made from natural substances such as wood, coconut shells, and other sources that are oxidized under extreme heat. Charcoal is highly absorbent and used medically to absorb and remove toxins. However, its use as a whitening toothpaste is still relatively new.

Does Charcoal Toothpaste Work?

It is true that activated charcoal in toothpaste may help remove surface stains on your teeth. Also, since charcoal is mildly abrasive it can help remove tartar and mild stains when brushing. However, there is no evidence that charcoal toothpaste has any effect on stains below a tooth’s enamel, or that it has a natural whitening effect.

To be truly effective in whitening, a toothcare product needs to work on stains on the surface, as well as intrinsic stains, which are those below the enamel—and in that sense charcoal toothpaste does not meet the criteria for “whitening” in our opinion.

However, all evidence currently is that charcoal is safe to use on teeth in small doses and does provide some level of “cleaning” when used as directed. Since more research is needed on the long-term effects of charcoal toothpaste, many dentists are still hesitant to recommend it.

If you’re considering using charcoal toothpaste, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1) Charcoal toothpaste is too abrasive for everyday use. Charcoal is a mild abrasive—but still really too abrasive for daily use and could cause damage to the enamel of the teeth. This could cause your teeth to look more yellow and become sensitive.

2) You really should use fluoride. Fluoride helps keep your tooth enamel strong, in turn, protecting your teeth against cavities and decay. Many charcoal options do not have fluoride.

3) Staining could occur. Charcoal particles can get caught in the small cracks of teeth and leave teeth grey or black around the edges. This could produce the opposite effect to what you are looking for!

4) The many unknowns. Since charcoal toothpaste is still a new product, the long-term effect on teeth and dental restorations such as veneers, or bridges for example isn’t known. 

In Short, Some Pros for Using Charcoal Toothpaste Include:


The Cons of Using Charcoal Toothpaste Include:

Despite the popularity of charcoal toothpastes, it’s best to be cautious if you want to try this trend. While it may help to remove some surface stains, the long-term effects are still unknown. If you want to discuss this with our dentist, we are happy to consult with you on this and any of your other dental questions at Smiles Dental Studio in Salt Lake City. Contact us or call us at 801-277-1010.

Composite Fillings aka Tooth Colored Fillings

A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today.  Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons For Composite Fillings:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Closing space between two teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Decayed teeth
  • Worn teeth

How Are Composite Fillings Placed?

 
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

What Is A Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing)

Deep cleaning is also called periodontal scaling and root planning. It’s similar to how a hygienist typically cleans your teeth but focuses on the outer surface of the roots and below your gum line. This type of cleaning is needed when tartar buildup has caused periodontal disease, or infection of the gums. Gum disease casues pockets form, which are a widening of the gumline that has pulled away from the tooth. Loss of this connective tissue can lead to bone loss and, eventually tooth loss.

Deep cleanings will control the infection and help promote healing of the gums. Preventing infection and inflammation anywhere in your body, including your gums, is important to your heart health and may help you live longer.

How Do I Know I Need Deep Cleaning?

There are some signs and symptoms to watch out for, which could indicate you have an infection. Some symptoms of periodontal disease include:

To determine if the infection exists, x-rays and pocket depth readings are taken. When there is evidence of this infection, the need for scaling and root planing is required with the goal to prevent disease progression.

If you are told you need a deep teeth cleaning, you’re not alone. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, nearly half of adult Americans suffer from gum disease.

Home Care

After your deep cleaning procedure, you’ll receive homecare instructions based on your indvidual needs. Typically, patients are scheduled for follow up apoints about 4-6 weeks after your deep cleaning to monitor any change. Your dental office will also ask you to come in for more frequent cleanings (not deep cleanings), perhaps every three or four months instead of every six months. This is to prevent new infection and promote healing. During your appointments, they’ll continue to measure your pockets to determine whether your gums are improving.

Most people respond very well to deep cleanings, as long as they maintain good hole care. You should seem improvements in the look and feel of your gums as they return to a more firm and pink state, rather than red, tender, or bleeding. Over time with regularly scheduled cleanings and good home care, your pockets will shrink and your gums will be restored to health.

Smiles Dental Studio in Salt Lake City is here to help. If you show symptoms listed above and are concerned you need a deep cleaning, gives us a call today at 801-277-1010.

Porcelain Veneers In Salt Lake City

Even if you have healthy teeth and gums, you may not be comfortable, or happy with the way your teeth and smile look. If you’re not confident in your smile, porcelain veneers may be a great option for you.

What are Porcelain Veneers? 

Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the natural tooth to give a more uniform shape, a consistent healthy color, and/or fill gaps or chips. This cosmetic dental treatment is an art form as much as a dental procedure and require a particular eye and a skill in crafting them to look and fit perfectly on the patient. Color (white but not too white – matching them to your natural teeth), shape (uniform, but natural) and symmetry all come into play when we design a patient’s custom veneers, and it is important that to stress patience and attention to detail during this process to achieve the best look and a durable fit.

Veneers are very resilient and are adhered to the front of each tooth. The procedure is painless, (though some report some initial sensitivity) and are often stronger and more stain-resistant than the natural tooth. In many cases, the new veneered tooth not only looks better, but is stronger and whiter.

Are Veneers Permanent? 

While veneers are a perfect solution for many, veneers require the a very small layer enamel from the front of the tooth to be removed, so they are considered permanent. Veneers usually last between 10 and 15 years. When you have your regular maintenance cleaning twice a year, we will check on the health of the veneers and recommend replacements as necessary.

How Much Do Veneers Cost? 

We hate to give an “it depends” answer, however, the cost does vary depending on the veneer, and if it is a single tooth or multiple. A traditional porcelain veneer can range between $925 and $2,500 per tooth. Our dental team will perform a consult so that we can provide an accurate cost for you, allowing you to make an informed decision if veneers are your best choice.

Veneers are a fantastic choice for many of our patients and we are happy to share actual “before and after” photos with you.

Schedule A Veneers Consult

If you’re considering a cosmetic update, consult with our Salt Lake City dental office and be sure you understand the process, cost, and the result. Your new smile will look and feel great.

Teeth Whitening Treatment in Salt Lake City

Brushing and flossing are two good habits to help keep your teeth bright, white, and healthy. You may still feel like your smile is not as white, or a little more yellow than it used to be. Don’t worry,  you’re not alone. When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry surveyed people what they’d most like to improve about their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth. 

Have you been considering teeth whitening? Not sure what options are best for you? Here are some FAQs to help you understand teeth whitening.

What Causes My Teeth to Stain, or Change Color?

This is a common and natural occurrence. Over time, your teeth can go from bright white to not-so-bright for a number of different reasons, including?

  • Food and Drink – Coffee, tea, and red wine are some of the most commong, and major causes of teeth staining. 
  • Tobacco Use – Tar and nicotine are two chemicals that stain your teeth. These chemicals cause yellowish/dark stains to the enamel of your teeth.
  • Age – Naturally, over time, our teeth become less bright and white than they when we were younger. Through wear and tear, the outer enamel layer of your tooth gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.
  • Trauma – If you’ve had damage to your mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel. This can include damage to the root/nerves of your teeth.
  • Medications – Darkening and staining of your teeth can be a side effect of certain medications, including antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications. 

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening is a simple, and easy process. Whitening products will contain one of two bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break down stains into smaller sections, making the color less dense, or concentrated, and resulting in brighter teeth.

Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?

There are certain circumstances that teeth whitening will not always work. This is why it’s important to schedule a consultation with our Salt Lake City dental office, and review what options are best for you. Whitening will not work on previous dental pieces such as caps, veneers, crowns, or fillings. Other circumstances that may alter the effectiveness of whitening is if the tooth discoloration is caused by medications or a tooth injury.

What Are My Whitening Options?

If you are a candidate after speaking with Dr. Kiser, we offer two different types of teeth whitening options for our patients.

  • In-Office Bleaching – This procedure is called usually requires only one office visit. Dr. Kiser will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect your gums. Bleach is then applied to the teeth. In office bleaching is typically more effective than take home options.
  • At-Home Bleaching – We also provide you the option of a custom-made tray for at-home whitening. In this case, we’ll give you instructions on how to apply the bleaching solution in the tray, how long to apply it, and any other questions you may have. This may be your preferred option if you feel more comfortable whitening in your own home at a slower pace. At home teeth whitening can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. 

Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening, or bleaching, is common and safe treatment. However, some patients who use teeth whiteners may experience tooth sensitivity. In most cases the sensitivity is temporary. If sensitivity remains, please contact our office. 

Ready to Schedule your teeth whitening treatment? Call our office today for an appointment.

Prevention of dental disease is the most important element of your oral health. There is nothing better or healthier than your natural tooth structure. It’s the top priority for Dr. Scott Kiser, and the professional dental team at Smiles Dental Studio to help you prevent tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by Dr. Kiser at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:

  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): An important part of your comprehensive dental exam, dental x-rays allow your dental team to evaluation your oral health inside and out.
  • Oral cancer screening: Using the latest technology we evaluate the soft tissues inside and outside of your mouth, as well as, your head and neck. Early detection of any abnormality provides more treatment options if something is found to be abnormal.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Our hygienists are trained to evaluate the health of the supporting structures around your teeth. This periodontal screening is an essential part to the oral exam. Uncontrolled gum disease has been linked to systemic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Also, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in people over the age of 35.
  • Examination of tooth decay: Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. However, it can decay when it is exposed to harmful bacteria by-products. Once a cavity starts, it will not go away on its own and it can spread to adjacent teeth. Your dentist will carefully examine your teeth and your dental x-rays for tooth decay.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Even the best dental restorations can wear out over time. On average, a dental crown or filling can last up to 10+ years in the presence of good oral habits and regular professional care. We carefully check the integrity of each and every restoration and will let you know if/when it is necessary to replace or repair the restoration to maximize the functionality of the restored tooth.

Professional Dental Cleanings

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis, periodontal maintenance) are performed by a Registered Dental Hygienist. Your hygiene appointment with Alameda Dental Care will include the following:

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus (tartar) is the hard substance that forms on your teeth. It is plaque mixed with the minerals in your saliva and hardens onto the tooth structures. It forms above and below the gum-line. Your hygienist uses a combination of instruments to comfortably remove the build up from your teeth. Your toothbrush does NOT remove tartar from your teeth.
  • Removal of plaque: Dental plaque is your worst enemy when it comes to dental health. It is a dangerous matrix of bacteria and debris. It is a living, invisible film that covers the teeth and can extend below the gum-line. It emits a by-product that is acidic in nature and causes tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque CAN be removed with a toothbrush and floss.
  • Teeth polishing: Polishing the teeth is usually the final step of the routine dental cleaning your hygienist will perform for you. Polishing the teeth removes external stains and plaque and makes your teeth feel smooth.

Dental Radiographs (X-rays)

At Smiles Dental Studio in Salt Lake City, we use digital radiography and all safety precautions to obtain necessary dental x-rays. This modern digital technology helps to minimize the exposure to unnecessary radiation for both our patients and our staff. We take safety seriously in our Salt Lake City dentist office, and only take x-rays on our patients when we find it necessary to properly evaluate your dental condition.

Why Do I Need Dental X-Rays?

Dental x-rays can help your dentist see what the visual examination cannot reveal. Such as:

  • Decay
  • Bone loss
  • Cysts
  • Infection
  • Missing or extra teeth
  • TMJ problems

How Often Do I Need To Take Dental X-Rays?

Because every patient is different, we assess the need for dental x-rays on an individual basis. Your dentist and hygienist will work with you to determine the best care for your specific condition.

Generally speaking, we only according to the acceptable standard of care in the dental industry. We do not take x-rays based on insurance standards or frequency limits for payment. A full set of radiographs or a panoramic x-ray is considered current if it has been taken within the last 3-5 years. A check-up set, or “bitewing” radiographs are taken every 12 months, or, in some cases every 6 months.

Preventative Dental Care At Home

What you do at home to care for your teeth is the most important part of your dental health routine. Yes, it is true, regular care with your dentist and hygienist are crucial. Your home care and developing good habits are a vital part of your overall oral health.

We always encourage open conversation with your dental health providers when you have questions about your treatment recommendations. We believe YOU should be an active participant in your care. Overdue for your next cleaning? Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.