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Ace Dental Blog

Options for transforming your smile

July 19, 2018

Filed under: cosmetic dentistry — tntadmin @ 3:44 pm

Girl With Transformed SmileWhether youre missing a tooth or have some aspect of your smile that you would like to improve, the dentists at the six locations of Ace Dental can help. Some services, such as receiving implants, dentures, crowns, or bridges, are restorative in nature rather than purely cosmetic. We encourage you to schedule a consultation at the office closest to you in Belton, Harker Heights, Killeen, Taylor, Temple, or Waco to learn more about your options for replacing missing teeth.

Restorative Dentistry Procedures That Can Transform Your Smile

Depending on the number of teeth missing or the degree of damage to existing teeth, your dentist may recommend one of the following procedures:

  • Dental crown: A crown goes over the chewing surface of a tooth to protect it from further breakage or infection. Our dentists take care to match the shade of your new crown as closely as possible to your existing teeth. It may be necessary to remove a portion of a tooth to ensure that the crown fits properly.
  • Dentures: Dentures can replace a single missing tooth or all of your natural teeth. Theyre built into an arch that you can remove from your mouth at any time.
  • Fixed dental bridges: Creating a dental bridge requires your dentist to affix supporting hardware to the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. He or she then attaches an artificial tooth to it that covers the opening in your mouth.
  • Implants: Dental implants replace the roots of your missing teeth as well as the teeth themselves. This helps to stabilize your jaw because your existing roots eventually merge with them the new titanium roots. Implants are non-removable and look and function more like real teeth than any of the other options.

Cosmetic Dentistry Can Give You a Smile You Cant Wait to Share

Do you smile with tight lips because you dont want anyone to see your teeth? If so, we can correct the issue you feel self-conscious about and you wont be able to stop yourself from smiling. For example, teeth whitening is one of our most popular services. Our teeth naturally lose color as we age, even for people who dont smoke or drink a lot of coffee or wine. When you have professional teeth whitening performed at Ace Dental, your teeth can look several shades brighter after just one hour-long visit.

Choosing tooth-colored fillings when you need a cavity filled is another way to improve the appearance of your smile. Instead of the traditional silver amalgam material that really sticks out, using composite resin ensures that your treated teeth blend in nearly perfectly with your other teeth. You can even choose to have old mercury fillings replaced. Your dental treatment is your own business and tooth-colored fillings help you keep it that way.

Please dont hesitate to contact any of the six Ace Dental locations if you have additional questions about these or any of our other available treatments that can transform your smile.

What To Do After Breaking A Tooth

June 14, 2018

Filed under: Family Dentistry — tntadmin @ 4:44 pm

Broken ToothIf you or your child break or chips a permanent tooth, seeking emergency help from Ace Dental right away can make a big difference in the outcome and recovery. When a broken tooth also involves a blow to the head, its a good idea to seek immediate treatment at an urgent care center or emergency room to rule out a concussion. If youre certain that only the teeth sustained damage, please contact us at the closest location to report the situation and get advice about what to do next.

A Minor Chip Usually Isnt Urgent

Perhaps you were eating a hard food and noticed that a small piece of your tooth broke off. Assuming you dont feel a lot of pain, you shouldnt have to come to one of our offices for immediate tooth repair. However, you will likely want to come in as soon as possible for cosmetic reasons. Our dentists can disguise the small chip in your tooth with dental bonding. This involves placing several layers of tooth-colored resin materials over the tooth. Covering the minor chip with a porcelain veneer is another option.

How to Handle a Larger Chip in Your Tooth

The actions necessary to repair a tooth with a larger chip depend on whether you injured the nerve tissue. If not, you should schedule an appointment promptly to receive a dental crown or possibly a veneer. This will require you to come to Ace Dental for two separate appointments. Our dentists will provide you with a temporary restoration after your first visit and then permanently install your crown or veneer on the second visit.

You will likely need immediate dental care for a large chip that has damaged or exposed the pulp of your tooth. This situation can cause significant pain. The first thing our dental team will do is complete a root canal to repair the nerve damage. You will receive general anesthesia to alleviate discomfort during this procedure. Lastly, your dentist will place a crown on the injured tooth that received a root canal to protect it from further damage.

Tooth Fracture

A fracture can occur either above or below the gum line. Its easiest for us to treat when it affects only the visible part of the tooth and not the pulp or roots. The most typical treatments include a crown, veneer, or filling the fracture with tooth-colored material. Fractures below the gum line usually need a root canal and then a crown. Unfortunately, we usually cant save a tooth that has fractured in two or more pieces or when the crack extends into the gum line. However, we may be able to prepare a restoration such as an implant or bridge on the same day.

When You Knock Out a Tooth

Knocking out a tooth entirely is a dental emergency. If possible, try to locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown and not the roots. Rinse blood, dirt, and other debris off the tooth and place it in a small jar filled with milk. This will temporarily preserve it until you get to our office. We may be able to insert the tooth back into the socket, but that depends on the extent of the breakage. If were unable to save your tooth, we will discuss replacement options such as a dental bridge or implant.

We hope you never experience a chipped, fractured, or knocked out tooth, but our dentists are available in six locations in Texas if this does happen to you.

Understanding Gum Disease

May 21, 2018

Filed under: Family Dentistry — tntadmin @ 5:13 pm

Dentist Checking GumsDid you know that more adults lose their teeth because of gum disease than they do from tooth decay? If not, youre not alone. Many of our patients at Ace Dental are very surprised to learn this. Also called periodontal disease, the problem of gum disease is common among adults. However, most men and women dont even know they have gum disease until they face the risk of losing one or several of their teeth.

Although gum disease is common and can become serious, its also preventable. Because it rarely presents any symptoms during the earliest stages, we encourage you to maintain a consistent and effective oral healthcare routine at home. This includes brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. You should also plan to visit us bi-annually for professional cleaning and an exam.

How Gum Disease Develops

When you dont brush or floss your teeth consistently, bacteria in the form of a sticky film starts to form on your teeth. Unfortunately, this can even happen to those who do consistently clean their teeth because they may not notice the formation of bacteria. As the amount of bacteria increases, it creates a sticky substance called plaque that adheres to your gum surfaces. This typically includes the grooves where your teeth and gums come together.

The first indication of periodontal disease is often red and swollen gums. Although it looks bad, this is a defense mechanism by your body as it creates additional blood vessels to fight off the gum disease. The problem is that bacteria already present in your mouth can attack the new blood vessels and cause disease. Some other symptoms to watch for include:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Small pockets on the gums
  • Inflammation
  • Newly misaligned teeth

Brush Your Teeth Thoroughly to Keep Gum Disease Away

If you find it difficult to reach all tooth surfaces, invest in a small-headed toothbrush. When it comes time to brush your teeth, put a small amount of paste on the brush and hold it at an angle of 45 degrees. Next, bring your toothbrush to the point where your gums meet each individual tooth. Be sure to spend time cleaning this area since its the most common location for the formation of gum disease. Use back and forth motions instead of scrubbing for the best results. Dont forget to end the session by flossing since even a toothbrush with smaller bristles cant always get between the teeth.

You may want to consider buying an electric toothbrush if you find it difficult to brush your teeth in this manner. One benefit is that it will automatically create the back and forth motions in case you forget to brush like that. When brushing your teeth, the plaque should slide right off. If this doesnt happen, you could have a build-up of tartar instead of plaque. Its a good idea to schedule an appointment for deep cleaning at Ace Dental in this case. Please let us know if you have additional questions about preventing or treating gum disease.

Understanding Wisdom Teeth

April 5, 2018

Filed under: Family Dentistry — tntadmin @ 3:47 pm

wisdom tooth xrayMost adults have room for 28 teeth to grow in properly in their mouth. This includes 14 on each of the upper and lower jaws. However, some people grow up to four additional teeth at the back of each jaw on the left and right side. This happens between the approximate ages of 17 and 25. Dentists often refer to these extra teeth as wisdom teeth because of time in life that they appear. People emerge as young adults with more wisdom and maturity than they had as children during this phase of life.

The wisdom teeth cant erupt properly as the other teeth do because there is not enough space in the back of the jaw. Since they are not functional teeth and can cause significant pain, we at Ace Dental recommend having them removed as soon as possible. If not removed, the wisdom teeth can cause damage to surrounding teeth as well as cysts, infections, and tumors. They can also become stuck or impacted when there is no free space in which they can grow.

Types of Wisdom Teeth Impaction

The following are the most common types of wisdom tooth extraction experienced by young adults:

  • Complete Bony Impaction: This is a complex issue because it indicates that jawbone surrounds the wisdom tooth on all sides. It normally requires surgical extraction.
  • Partial Bony Impaction: With a partial body impaction, the wisdom tooth has partially erupted through the gums while parts of its crown remain lodged below the gums and jawbone. This situation will cause an infection unless an oral surgeon removes the wisdom tooth.
  • Soft Tissue Impaction: The upper portion of a tooth, called its crown, has come through the jawbone with this type of wisdom tooth impaction. Unfortunately, its not in the proper position and the gums cover it at least partially. This makes it difficult to clean the tooth and increases the likelihood of infection and decay.

How to Know When Its Time to Remove a Wisdom Tooth

It’s common for patients not to know that one or more wisdom teeth have erupted until they have obvious pain, swelling, decay, or infection. Sometimes our dentists can detect when a wisdom tooth is about to erupt and remove it before it causes any damage. Its important to understand that a wisdom tooth is a threat to oral health even when it doesnt cause pain due to the increased chance of tooth crowding, bone loss, gum disease, and tooth decay.

What to Expect from Wisdom Tooth Extraction

An oral surgeon at Ace Dental begins the extraction procedure by providing the patient with local or general anesthesia. IV sedation may also be available depending on patient preferences and anxiety level. After dislodging and extracting the wisdom teeth with special dental instruments, the patient should expect significant bleeding for a while. Our staff will explain how to change the gauze pad when it becomes blood-soaked and discuss pain control options for immediately after the surgery and in the coming days. Patients should plan to follow a liquid and soft food diet for a few days and to rest as much as possible.

Please contact the Ace Dental location nearest you to schedule X-rays and a consultation if you think that you or your teenage child could have wisdom teeth attempting to erupt. We will explain the extraction procedure in greater detail and answer any questions you may have.

How Dental Sealants Prevent Tooth Decay

March 19, 2018

Filed under: Children's Dentistry — tntadmin @ 9:05 pm

dental sealantsTooth decay is common, even among children and adults who brush and floss daily and receive regular preventive care. One reason is that the space between two teeth is often too narrow for toothbrush bristles to fit to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria. For some people, the space is even too tight to clean with dental floss. It can also be challenging to keep the pits and grooves of the back teeth clean.

While its frustrating to develop tooth decay, the good news is that dental sealants can prevent you or your child from getting it in the first place. With this preventive dentistry procedure, your dentist at Ace Dental paints a coating on the molar teeth to keep bacteria and plaque from invading them. The procedure is quick, painless, and offers long-lasting results.

The Process of Receiving Dental Sealants

Your dentist may recommend a sealant as a protective measure or to guard against further tooth decay that has already started. He or she cleans the tooth with a dental drill before placing the sealant to make sure that the liquid material will harden and stay in place without anything preventing that. For the first step, your dentist applies etching gel to form a coating and allows it to sit for approximately one minute. He or she then uses an air gun to dry the tooth.

After checking your tooth to ensure that its dry, your dentist holds a curing light over it to force the hardening process. Thats all there is to receiving a dental implant. It takes just five minutes for the entire procedure.

Cavity Protection for More Than a Decade

The typical dental sealant lasts for 10 years before wearing off and requiring replacement. Its also possible that you or your child will no longer need a dental sealant at that point. For patients at high risk of dental cavities, simply having a dental sealant in place for one year lowers the likelihood by as much as 80 percent.

At Ace Dental, we find dental sealants an especially beneficial tool for children. According to the American Dental Association, approximately 75 percent of all children have one or more cavities by age 18. This doesnt have to be inevitable with dental sealants in place.

If youre concerned about the potential for tooth decay due to difficulty in cleaning the back teeth or between teeth, please schedule an appointment at your nearest Ace Dental location today. We maintain dental practices in Belton, Harker Heights, Killeen, Taylor, Temple, and Waco for your convenience. Its a good idea for children to receive their first dental sealant around age six when the first set of molars grow in and again at age 12 when they receive the second set.

How To Help Your Baby Through Teething

February 12, 2018

Filed under: Children's Dentistry — tntadmin @ 2:26 pm

teething babyYour normally happy and sweet baby who loved to flash you toothless grins has suddenly turned cranky and miserable. Once you notice some or all of the following symptoms, you soon realize that your infant is teething:

  • Biting, chewing, or sucking on anything that he or she can
  • Bulging or swollen gums
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Grabbing at ears
  • Irritability
  • Rejecting food
  • Rubbing the face
  • Visible tooth below the gum line

While the result is adorable and worthwhile in the end, its hard to see your little one so uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can do several things to help your baby relieve the pain of teething. Its also important to realize that these symptoms could mean something else. If youre concerned that your baby could be ill, dont hesitate to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician. This is especially important if your baby has a runny nose, fever, or diarrhea, which many parents mistake for signs of teething.

Numb Teething Pain with Cold

Cold helps to sooth the inflammation and pain in your babys gums associated with teething. You should be able to buy a chilled pacifier or teething ring, but dont put it in the freezer before you give it to your baby. The surface can get hard quickly and cause damage to your infants gums. Some teething rings come with liquid inside. While this can be extra soothing for your baby, make sure that it doesnt leak. Firm rubber teething rings also work well.

Apply Light Pressure to Your Babys Gums

The sensation of pressure on a babys gums helps to temporarily distract the brain from the pain of teething. After washing your hands, try rubbing your pinky finger across your babys upper and lower jaws. If your child tolerates that well, keep doing it for several minutes. Another idea is to give your baby a hard and unsweetened teething cracker. Babies who dont care for cold teething rings may accept one thats at room temperature as it provides the necessary pressure for relief.

Numbing Gels or Creams

A gel or cream that you rub directly onto your babys gums is appropriate for teething pain. According to the Food and Drug Administration, parents should receive guidance from their pediatrician when using a product containing benzocaine on children younger than age two. If a baby swallows benzocaine with saliva, it can temporarily numb the throat.

Over-the-Counter Painkillers

If nothing else you offer your baby seems to work, ask your doctor if its okay to give him or her non-prescription liquid medication for infants. The number of drops that you give your baby would depend on his or her body weight. Acetaminophen is the most common non-prescription pain reliever for infants, followed by ibuprofen for babies at least six months old. However, keep in mind that ibuprofen can cause stomach irritation in some infants. This can cause greater discomfort in babies who already refuse to eat because of teething pain. Never give your baby aspirin as its not recommended for anyone under age 19.

Schedule Your Babys First Dental Appointment within Six Months

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises parents to schedule their infants first dental appointment six months after eruption of the first tooth or by the first birthday. This early appointment gets your child accustomed to the dentist and we also provide you with oral health guidance. Please contact the Ace Dental location nearest you to learn more.

Common Toothache Symptoms

January 23, 2018

Filed under: Family Dentistry — tntadmin @ 5:04 pm

dental painWhen you experience a toothache, the severity depends on several factors. These include its location in your mouth, how long it lasts, what makes it better or worse, and what causes the pain in the first place. The type of pain that you have gives important clues as to what could be causing your toothache as well as how you can potentially relieve it. Below we discuss the most common types of toothache pain.

Back of Mouth Pain

Throbbing pain at the back of your mouth usually indicates impacted wisdom teeth. A problem with your jaw joints can also cause this type of pain.

Intense Aching with Inability to Sleep

A dental abscess or inflammation inside of the tooth is the typical cause when you experience an intense toothache that doesnt respond to any attempts to relieve it. The pain can travel from your mouth to your ears, eyes, and temples. We recommend contacting the Ace Dental office nearest you for an immediate evaluation.

Jaw Movement Problems

Pain in your jaw joint usually indicates that you have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Some of the symptoms associated with it include pain when eating, yawning, or moving your jaw. It might seem like its an issue with your teeth when its really a jaw problem. Left untreated, TMJ can eventually cause a headache and neck pain. Clenching your jaw while you sleep makes the problem worse.

Mouth Swelling

If you experience pain and swelling in your jaw or elsewhere in your mouth at the same time, it could mean that you have impacted wisdom teeth or an abscessed tooth. Its important to seek immediately help from your dentist, especially if you feel unwell or have a fever.

Pain Worsens When You Move Your Head

This type of pain starts on the top of your back teeth and feels worse when you nod your head, walk up and down stairs, and complete other types of head motions. If you have a stuffy or runny nose as well, its likely that you have a sinus infection.

Problems with Biting, Chewing, and Eating

When you have this problem, its the physical properties of your food or drinks that cause pain and not the temperature. A cracked tooth, abscessed tooth, or dental decay are the most likely causes.

Sensitivity and Sharp Pain

With this type of toothache, you typically notice a sharp pain in one area as soon as the affected tooth has contact with a hot or cold beverage or a sweet food or drink. The most common causes for this type of tooth pain include:

  • Abrasion from overbrushing your teeth
  • Broken filling
  • Dental decay
  • Loss of tooth enamel
  • Recession of gums

This type of toothache can last for a short time with each episode or for several minutes after exposure to something hot, cold, or sweet. When the pain becomes persistent, it usually indicates that you have damaged the nerve of a tooth.

Contact Ace Dental for Help in Getting the Pain Under Control

Sometimes you can manage toothache pain yourself by taking ibuprofen, gargling with salt water, or applying an ice pack to your cheek. However, its still a good idea to schedule an appointment at the nearest location of Ace Dental to figure out what caused the pain as it may require additional treatment. Please contact us right away if you have significant or persistent toothache pain and we will provide you with prompt treatment.

5 Benefits of Seeing a Family Dentist in Killeen

December 20, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgupta @ 3:57 pm

mom and daughter at dentistSome dentists prefer to see only children, while others focus their practice on adults. We can’t say anything bad about these professionals whose expertise is so strong in one area, but we can say great things about family dentistry. Taking everyone in your clan to see the same dental care expert can bring you some notable benefits. Here are some of the perks you can expect to receive when you start seeing a family dentist in Killeen.

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Your Family Dentist Asks You to Teach Your Clan About Oral Hygiene

December 17, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgupta @ 4:31 pm

family at dentistOne of your many responsibilities is to make sure that everyone in your family is on the same page about certain things. That might mean that you have to find simple ways to teach the kids, or you might need to gather some facts and figures to convince your spouse of a particular point. Well, oral hygiene is one of those things that the entire family should understand the importance of. When you, the kids, and your significant other are all dedicated to keeping your mouths clean and healthy, you’ll save yourself from physical and financial pain down the road. Your family dentist in Waco is here to provide some friendly reminders on why oral hygiene is so vital.

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Children’s Dentist Reminds You: Teach Your Kids to Care for Their Teeth!

December 15, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgupta @ 3:47 pm

toddler with toothbrushYou love it when your kids smile; it’s a sign that they’re happy — or maybe it’s a sign that they’re up to no good. Either way, your heart melts when you see those precious little lips curve upward and show off those adorable tiny teeth. You want that smile to stay healthy and beautiful for a lifetime, which is why your children’s dentist in Temple is here to remind you of the importance of teaching your kids how to take proper care of their teeth.

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