Oral health affects your ability to smile, speak, eat, and make first impressions. It can also affect your self-esteem, self-worth, and performance at school and work. Poor dental health can also profoundly affect your overall health, including your heart, chronic inflammation, pregnancy, and diabetes. Whether your dental needs are cleaning, a full-mouth restoration, or anything in between, every skilled Wilmington dentist at Washington Dental can offer exceptional care. In this article, you will learn how our Lomita comprehensive practice can help you maintain oral health now and in the future.

Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry involves taking care of your teeth to keep them healthy. It significantly reduces the chances of developing dental issues like gingivitis, periodontitis, and cavities. Consequently, this can lower your risk of secondary conditions linked to poor oral health, including:

  • Cardiovascular issues.
  • Diabetes.
  • Respiratory diseases.
  • Oral cancer.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Low birth weight and premature birth.

Everyone, despite their age, benefits from preventive dentistry. It allows children’s newly developing teeth to become healthy, decay-free, and strong. If you are an aging adult, you can keep your natural teeth.

Several types of preventive dentistry are tailored to ensure your teeth are white, strong, and clean. Some of the ways your dentist can recommend keeping your gums and teeth healthy include the following:

  • Brushing — The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice daily. Take two minutes to brush, moving your soft-bristled toothbrush gently, circularly to remove plaque. Unremoved plaque can harden, resulting in gingivitis and calculus buildup. Remember to brush the tongue to remove bacteria from the mouth and refresh your breath. Finally, you should replace your toothpaste once its bristles begin fraying or thrice a year.
  • Flossing — Flossing once a day cleans out the spaces between your teeth. Use a floss threader to get between your metal brackets if you have braces. Request your Wilmington dentist for a proper flossing demonstration during your dental appointments.
  • Visit the dentist regularly — You should see the dentist every six months. However, you will benefit from more frequent visits if you are at high risk of dental diseases. During the visit, the dentist will clean your teeth, remove calculus and plaque, look for cavities, identify potential dental issues, and recommend treatment options.
  • Eat well-balanced meals — A healthy diet protects your teeth and gums by offering them the necessary nutrients. Limit your sugary and acidic food intake. Sugar converts into acid in the mouth, which can erode your teeth’s enamel and result in cavities. Avoid sticky and hard foods. Finally, drink a lot of water. Water washes out the adverse effects of acidic and sticky beverages and foods between brushes.
  • Use mouthwash — A mouthwash brings things into balance; it reduces the acid level in your mouth, remineralizes your teeth, and cleans hard-to-reach areas around and in your mouth. It can be handy for older people and children, where flossing and brushing are not ideal. Your skilled Wilmington dentist should recommend the best mouthwash brush, mainly if your teeth are sensitive.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are thin, liquid coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. They are made of different materials, including medical-grade glass ionomers and resins.

Your dentist will apply sealant to protect your teeth from bacteria. The back teeth have deep grooves that assist you in grinding up food when chewing. Bacteria and food particles can become trapped in the tracks, resulting in cavities (tooth decay) over time. A sealant coats these areas, preventing bacteria from reaching them.

Teenagers and children are popular candidates for dental sealants. Your child should get dental sealants on their permanent back teeth as soon as they develop (ages six to fourteen). Adults without dental fillings or decay in their back teeth can also benefit from the treatment.

Your Wilmington Dentist Can Provide Exceptional Cosmetic Dentistry Care

Cosmetic dentistry improves the patient’s smile aesthetics and appearance by ensuring it is more balanced and symmetrical.

You can consider cosmetic dentistry if you have the following:

  • Cracked or chipped teeth.
  • Spaces or gaps between the teeth.
  • Staining and tooth discoloration.
  • Misaligned teeth.
  • Misshapen teeth.

Notable benefits of cosmetic dentistry include the following:

  • Boosting confidence.
  • Bringing symmetry and balance to a smile.
  • Concealing cracks and chips.
  • Improving your teeth’ shape.
  • Brightening dull and stained teeth.
  • Enhancing your smile.

Consult a dental healthcare provider if you feel self-conscious or embarrassed about your smile. Your Wilmington dentist should discuss your dental goals and recommend the most appropriate plan.

Some cosmetic dental procedures include the following:

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening refers to processes designed to ensure your natural teeth are whiter and brighter.

Due to genetic predisposition, specific medications, aging, smoking, or drinking coffee, people with yellowing teeth can benefit from teeth whitening. The treatment only works on natural teeth, and patients with veneers and dental implants are illegible.

There are two teeth whitening options, namely:

  • In-Office Tooth Whitening

Your teeth will become brighter faster if done by a professional. The bleaching agent contains 15% to 43% peroxide. The greater the peroxide percentage in the whitening agent, the shorter the teeth-whitening process. The dentist can also use light, heat, or both to accelerate the process.

  • At-Home Teeth Whitening Options

There are several at-home teeth bleaching options, including:

  1. Tooth whitening gels and strips — You should apply these peroxide-based teeth whitening products to your teeth using a strip or brush twice daily for fourteen days.
  2. Tooth whitening toothpaste — A whitening toothpaste is mildly abrasive and contains polishing agents or chemicals that scrub stains from your teeth without using a bleaching agent. These toothpastes are pocket-friendly and brighten teeth with a single shade.
  3. A tray-based tooth bleaching system —With this option, a mouthguard-like tray is filled with bleaching paste or gel and placed over your teeth for several hours. You can have a dentist make a customized fit or purchase a system over the counter.

Teeth whitening can make your teeth sensitive or uncomfortable if they are already sensitive. A home kit can also result in temporarily bleached or burned gums when misused. You should consult your knowledgeable dentist before using an over-the-counter home kit.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells attached to your teeth’s front surface to improve your appearance.

They are commonly made of composite resin or porcelain and require intensive preparation. Typically, applying veneers involves grinding down the tooth structure to allow proper placement. It is an irreversible and painful procedure that requires local anesthesia.

Your tooth reduction will depend on the number of teeth to be treated and your dental concerns. Your Wilmington dentist can order a wax model to demonstrate how your veneers would look if numerous teeth are involved.

Before getting your veneers, you will have an appointment with your doctor to discuss your options and the number of veneers you want placed. Sometimes, if your teeth are uneven or crooked, your dentist will recommend braces before placing your veneers. The dentist will take X-rays to evaluate your oral health and look for gum disease, root canals, and tooth decay signs. You are not an ideal candidate for this treatment if you have one of these diseases.

To get the right size for the veneers, the physician will trim down your enamel with a grinding tool before taking your teeth’s impression. Then they send the mold to the laboratory to create the veneers.

After a week or two, you can book a dental appointment to place them. The doctor will evaluate your veneers’ color, shape, or fit during your visit.

The dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth to prevent decay-causing bacteria from being trapped under your veneer.

Next, they will use a grinding tool to create a rough texture on all the teeth on which veneers are placed.

Finally, they will apply dental cement to bond your veneers to the teeth and use ultraviolet light to harden the cement.

Dental Crown

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps. Dentists recommend them if:

  • Your tooth has had previous root canal therapy.
  • The tool has a filling bigger than your natural tooth structure.

There are several types of dental crowns, including metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, pressed ceramic, porcelain, all-resin, and same-day.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Typically, a placement requires two dental appointments.

  • Initial Appointment

The initial visit will involve the following steps:

  1. Preparing the tooth — To prepare teeth for dental crowns, your dental healthcare provider will remove some enamel, creating space for the crowns and ensuring they stay in place after bonding. Additionally, the dentist will use a filling material to build up specific parts of the tooth.
  2. Taking dental impressions — The dentist can take the impressions digitally using a scanner or physically with putty-like material before sending them to a dental laboratory.
  3. Temporary crown placement — Typically, it takes three weeks for a lab technician to create your customized dental crown. As you await the final crown, the dental healthcare expert will place a temporary one.
  • Second Dental Visit

Once the technician finishes the new dental crown, they will send it to the dental office. During your second visit, the physician will:

  1. Remove the temporary crown.
  2. Check the color, fit, and shape of the new crown.
  3. Bond your new crown to the teeth with dental cement.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are metal devices tailored to replace your missing teeth. Made of titanium, dentists surgically place the device into your jawbone when you have a missing tooth. After fusing with the jawbone, an implant will act as your tooth root, securing your replacement tooth so it feels stable and blends with your neighboring teeth.

Getting a dental implant requires numerous appointments, including:

  • An initial consultation.
  • A dental visit to place your dental implant.
  • A meeting to attach your new teeth.

Tooth Bonding

Cosmetic bonding involves adhering or bonding a tooth-colored material to your tooth. Your Wilmington dentist uses this option to boost the appearance of a tooth that is chipped, broken, or badly stained.

A Skilled Wilmington Dentist Also Offers Restorative Dentistry

As the name suggests, restorative dentistry restores a smile to full functionality by treating decayed or damaged teeth. It can improve your oral health and ability to chew, speak, and eat.

There are different categories of restorative dentistry depending on your oral needs, including:

Dental Fillings

When bacteria eat away at your enamel, it causes a cavity. Typically, small cavities are repaired with dental fillings.

First, the dentist will numb your treatment area with a local anesthetic. Second, they will use a laser, air abrasion tool, or drill to remove your decayed section. After removing the decay, the doctor will prepare the filing space by cleaning your cavity of debris or bacteria. If your decay is near your root, the dentist will use a liner to protect your nerve. Finally, your physician will finish and polish your tooth.

Dental Bridges

Bridges replace missing teeth. A bridge contains artificial teeth with crowns on both sides. The dentist will change the natural teeth on either side of the gap. Then, they will bond the dental bridge to the natural teeth. Finally, they will fit over the artificial and natural teeth to span the gap between them.

A dental bridge consists of the following parts:

  • Abutments — Structures that support the bridge.
  • Pontics — False (artificial) teeth that fill the gap left behind by missing teeth.

Depending on your unique situation, your bridge can consist of at least one abutment or pontic.

Root Canal

Root canal therapy is essential when bacteria invade your tooth’s pulp.

Experienced Wilmington dentists recommend the treatment when you leave a cavity untreated for an extended period. Moreover, it can happen if your teeth are damaged or cracked due to trauma.

Some signs that indicate that you require a root canal include the following:

  • Persistent toothache.
  • Sensitivity to cold and heat.
  • Pimples on your gums.
  • Swollen gums.
  • Loose tooth.
  • Pain after applying pressure.
  • Cracked or chipped tooth.

Inlays and Onlays

A dentist recommends an inlay or onlay if your cavity is too huge for a filing and too tiny for a crown. The restoration fits into your natural tooth structure like puzzle pieces.

Inlays fill the area between your tooth cusps, while onlays covers more than one cusp.

Find a Competent Dentist Near Me

Good oral health is essential to maintaining a healthy mouth, gums, and teeth. It can also boost your confidence and improve your appearance. Your dental health team consists of you and your dentist, and together, you can prevent dental issues from causing medical complications and a diminished quality of life. With a wide range of cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry all under one roof, Washington Dental, a Lomita-based dental office, offers easy access to comprehensive dental care. Our office has state-of-the-art equipment and luxurious amenities, including massage chairs, for more convenient and comfortable care.

We invite you to call us at 310-326-5183 to schedule your appointment and start your journey to improving your oral health. A qualified Wilmington dentist will gladly answer your questions about your dental health and our services.