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Featured – Local Emergency Dental Chat at DentalChat – Online Emergency Dentist Questions Chatting at DentalChat.com – Chat with you Dentist.


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4 Benefits of Straight Teeth

Some people are fortunate to have straight teeth and a perfect smile from the start. Other people look in the mirror and dream of an ideal line-up of pearly whites. If they stop and weigh the benefits of straight teeth, they realize it’s worth looking into a little more.

Braces are nearly a rite of passage in Western societies, and straight teeth play a central role in senior pictures prior to graduation. Fortunately, more options than ever exist for effective orthodontics including clear aligner systems like Invisalign.

But it’s not just about how they look in the pictures. That’s one clear benefit but there’s more to the bundle. Here are 4 benefits to weigh when you’re trying to figure out what you should do with crooked teeth:

They Chew Better

Teeth work together in very specific ways. The front teeth rip and tear food, while the back teeth grind and crush it to prepare for digestion. This carefully balanced system fits together for ideal function. When teeth are rotated, tilted, or crowded, they don’t properly relate to each other, and that affects their function. But when they’re lined up, they tend to meet the opposing teeth the way nature intended.

They Look Better

While there are differences between cultures regarding appearance and desirable characteristics, a nice smile is always in style. Natural harmony pleases the eye, and an orderly, balanced smile provides just that. In contract, when even one tooth sticks out or is longer than the others, it stands out.

They Clean Better

Bacterial plaque quickly builds on tooth surfaces. This sticky material embeds in nooks and crannies as well as smooth surfaces. So, when teeth overlap or crowd into each other, plaque finds more ways to build up. Once it mineralizes and forms tartar, removing it takes professional help. Straight teeth are simply easier to clean. The toothbrush passes evenly over the exposed surfaces, but there are fewer hiding places for plaque and food debris to linger.

They Breath Better

Many research projects have been done on the benefits of straight teeth. Even if orthodontic treatment only provided cosmetic benefits, it would be worthwhile. The influence of a nice smile in business relationships and social interactions has been well established over the years. A smile builds bonds by conjuring up feelings of trust, friendliness, and competence. This makes your smile one of the most powerful personal characteristics you can invest in.

Ok, that may sound a little weird. But crowded teeth often involve a high, vaulted roof of the mouth. This causes constriction in the nasal passages and constricted upper airways. One of the benefits of straight teeth may involve widening the roof of the mouth and opening up airflow. Indirectly, breathing becomes easier through the process of orthodontic treatment.

If you

Just Get It Straight

If you’re considering the benefits of straight teeth, don’t wait to get a consultation with your dentist to consider the options for a better smile. At Dentalchat, we can help you connect with a dentist in your area!

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Dental Bone Grafting: Do I Need It?

Maybe you went to the dentist with a toothache or broken tooth and received bad news. Your tooth is cracked right through the center of it and you need to get it removed. In addition, your dentist recommends dental bone grafting at the same time. Maybe you’re not really clear if you really need it, which is why you’re here.

Losing a tooth creates a little stress for most people. They don’t grow back, and it can affect your chewing and your smile. It’s also “stressful” to your jaw bone, which is why dental bone grafting might make sense.

What Happens When A Tooth Is Removed?

It’s important to remember that removing a tooth is a minor surgical procedure. About two-thirds of a tooth sits in the bone, so we only see the top third. When it comes out, a hole is left behind.

This small wound fills in with blood, which forms a clot. Over a period of several weeks, cells from the blood and surrounding bone begin to form new bone. But the area starts out soft and hollow. That space allows the walls around the tooth to collapse inward, and the jaw shrinks in that area.

Stopping Shrinkage

Right after the tooth is removed, your dentist may be able to preserve bone and limit the amount of jaw shrinkage that occurs. By placing bone grafting material, your body gets a headstart on healing and building bone. As a result, the bone doesn’t collapse into the hole and your jaw is preserved.

Several different types of dental bone grafting material exist. And different methods work in different situations. For example, grafting receding gums is a different procedure and uses different materials than grafting after tooth extraction.

In most cases, the best form of grafting after a tooth extraction involves using ground cadaver bone. Yes, this bone is from donors and undergoes careful sterilization and preparation for use in specific cases. The bone is sealed and labeled with specific codes for each dose and tends to work well with your own system. It provides a matrix or framework for new bone to build around

Why Preserve Bone?

Placing dental bone grafting material helps maintain the regular shape of your jaw in the area where they tooth is removed. This can be useful for several reasons:

  • Solid bone increases the successful placement of a dental implant. Implants provide an exceptional way of restoring missing teeth.
  • A dental bridge looks more natural when it’s placed over a grafted area.
  • Proper bone heights help preserve the stability of the teeth near the missing tooth. This helps prevent root exposure, gum recession, and sensitivity.
  • Smooth, thick bone may help support a removable full or partial denture better.

Dental Bone Grafting: Summing It Up

If your dentist recommends bone grafting along with a tooth extraction, you might want to give it serious consideration. Preserving more of your bone and preventing unnecessary jaw shrinkage has a number of benefits over the long run. Plus, you’ll be better prepared to choose a dental implant if you decide that’s what you really want in the future. Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of this procedure with your dentist. And if you need help finding a good dentist, chat with us at Dentalchat and we’ll help you get connected!

Information on Discounted Dental Help

At DentalChat, we maintain vast networks of dentists who are interested in seeing new patients. You can chat with dentists, ask questions, and inquire about appointments in your area on a secure platform. This is a good way to find a dentist. If you are looking for information on Discounted Dental help, please continue to read the below information.

Where to get Discounted Dental Help?

Dental schools are loaded with students who are eager to help and under most circumstances are required to treat real people with real problems. Most schools offer services at a fraction of the standard professional rate. The quality of care is typically very good and the latest techniques are carefully tested. A student will do the work under the watchful eye of the nearby instructor. You will be carefully analyzed and receive much-needed feedback from an academic environment.

Although the costs are a fraction of the professional rates, there is little the school can do if you’re unable to pay anything. There is one ray of light if you have absolutely no money: Some students are given the option to pay for services rendered. Why would a student pay? Perhaps out of goodwill or perhaps they are required to conduct a specific procedure and need a test subject.

This is another path to follow if you need discounted dental help. Please contact the school for service before you arrive. Each school differs slight so it is important to ask about the programs. There are currently 62 dental schools spread across the country. Find a school close to you and call away!

State | School
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AL

University of Alabama School of Dentistry at UAB
1530 3rd Avenue S.
Birmingham 35294-0007
Phone: (205) 934-4720

AZ

Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine- Arizona
19555 North 59th Avenue
Glendale 85308
Phone: (623) 572-3804

A.T. Still University Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health
5850 East Still Circle
Mesa 85206
Phone: (480) 219-6081

CA

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry
11092 Anderson St.
Loma Linda 92350
Phone: (909) 558-4222

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC
925 W. 34th Street
Los Angeles 90089-6041
Phone: (213) 740-3124

University of California at Los Angeles School of Dentistry
Center for Health Science
10833 Le Conte Ave
Los Angeles 90095-1668
Phone: (310) 206-6063

Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine
College of Dental Medicine
Western University of Health Sciences
309 E. Second Street
Phone: 909-706-3911

University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry
513 Parnassus Ave
San Francisco 94143
Phone: 415/476-1323

University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
2155 Webster Street
San Francisco 94115
Phone: (415) 929-6425

CO

University of Colorado Denver
School of Dental Medicine; Lazzara Center for Oral-Facial Health
13065 E. 17th Avenue
Mail Stop F831
Aurora 80045
Phone: (303) 724-7100

CT

University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington 06030-3915
Phone: (860) 679-2808

DC

Howard University College of Dentistry
600 “W” Street, N.W.
Washington 20059
Phone: (202) 806-0019

FL

LECOM College of Dental Medicine
5000 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard
Bradenton 34211
Phone: (814) 866-6641 x5132

Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine
3200 S. University Drive
Fort Lauderdale 33328
Phone: (954) 262-7311

University of Florida College of Dentistry
1600 SW Archer Rd.
P.O. Box 100405
Gainesville 32610-0405
Phone: (352) 273-5800

GA

Georgia Health Sciences University College of Dental Medicine
1120 15th Street
Augusta 30912-0200
Phone: (706) 721-2117

IA

University of Iowa College of Dentistry
100 Dental Science Bldg.
Iowa City 52242
Phone: (319) 335-7144 or 45

IL

Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine
2800 College Avenue
Alton 62002
Phone: (618) 474-7125

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry
801 South Paulina Street
Suite # 102
Chicago 60612
Phone: (312) 996-1040

Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine- Illinois
555 31st Street
Downers Grove 60515
Phone: (630) 515-7275

IN

Indiana University School of Dentistry
1121 West Michigan Street
Indianapolis 46202
Phone: (317) 274-5403

KY

University of Kentucky College of Dentistry
800 Rose Street
Lexington 40536-0297
Phone: (859) 323-1884

University of Louisville School of Dentistry
501 S. Preston Street
Louisville 40292
Phone: 502-852-1304

LA

Louisiana State University School of Dentistry
1100 Florida Avenue
New Orleans 70119-2799
Phone: 504-619-8500

MA

Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine
100 East Newton Street
Boston 02118
Phone: 617-638-4780

Harvard University School of Dental Medicine
188 Longwood Avenue
Boston 02115
Phone: (617) 432-1401

Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
One Kneeland Street
Boston 02111
Phone: (617) 636-6656

MD

University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery
650 W. Baltimore Street
Suite 6402
Baltimore 21201
Phone: (410) 706-7461

MI

University of Michigan School of Dentistry
1011 N. University Ave.
Ann Arbor 48109-1078
Phone: (734) 763-3311/3111

University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry
2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Detroit 48208-2576
Phone: (313) 494-6621

MN

University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
Room 15-209 Moos Tower
515 S.E. Delaware Street
Minneapolis 55455

MO

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry
650 East 25th Street
Kansas City 64108
Phone: 816-235-2010

MS

University of Mississippi School of Dentistry
Medical Center;
2500 North State Street
Jackson 39216-4505
Phone: 601-984-6000

NC

University of North Carolina School of Dentistry
1090 Old Dental Bldg
Chapel Hill 27599-7450
Phone: (919) 966-2731

East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine
Lakeside Annex 7, Mail Stop 701
Greenville 27832-4354
Phone: 252-737-7401

NE

University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry
40th & Holdrege Streets
Lincoln 68583-0740
Phone: (402) 472-1344

Creighton University School of Dentistry
2500 California Plaza
Omaha 68178-0240
Phone: (402) 280-5060

NJ

University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey New Jersey Dental School
110 Bergen St.
Newark 07103-2425
Phone: (973) 972-4633

NV

University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine
Shadow Lane Campus
1001 Shadow Lane
Las Vegas 89106-4124
Phone: (702) 774-2500

NY

State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
325 Squire Hall
3435 Main Street
Buffalo 14214-3008
Phone: (716) 829-2836

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
630 West 168th Street
PH7 East Room 122
New York 10032
Phone: (212) 305-4511

New York University College of Dentistry
345 East 24th Street
New York 10010
Phone: 212/998-9898

State University of New York at Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine
Health Sciences Center
154 Rockland Hall
Stony Brook 11794-8700
Phone: 631-632-8950

OH

Case Western Reserve Univ. School of Dental Medicine
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland 44106-4905
Phone: (216) 368-3266

Ohio State University College of Dentistry
305 West 12th Avenue
Columbus 43210-1267
Phone: 614-292-9750

University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry
1201 N. Stonewall Avenue
Oklahoma City 73117
Phone: (405) 271-5444

OR

Oregon Health and Science University School of Dentistry
611 SW Campus Drive
Portland 97239
Phone: (503) 494-8801

PA

Temple University The Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry
3223 North Broad Street
Philadelphia 19140
Phone: 215-707-2799

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Robert Shattner Center
Philadelphia 19104-6030
Phone: (215) 898-1038

University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine
3501 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh 15261
Phone: (412) 648-1938

PR

University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine
Medical Sciences Campus
Main Building-Office #A103B, 1st Floor
San Juan 00936-5067
Phone: (787) 758-2525 x1118

SC

Medical University of South Carolina James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine
173 Ashley Ave. MSC 507
PO Box 250507
Charleston 29425-5070
Phone: (843) 792-3811

TN

University of Tennessee College of Dentistry
University of Tennessee Health Science Ctr;
875 Union Avenue
Memphis 38163
Phone: (901) 448-6202

TN

Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry
1005 D.B. Todd Blvd.
Nashville 37208
Phone: (615) 327-6207

TX

Baylor College of Dentistry Component of Texas A & M Health Sci Ctr
3302 Gaston Avenue
Dallas 75246
Phone: (214) 828-8201

The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston
6516 M. D. Anderson Blvd.
Room 147
P. O. Box 20068
Houston 77225-0068
Phone: (713) 500-4021

University of Texas Hlth Science Cnt-San Antonio Dental School
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
Mail Code 7914
San Antonio 78284-7914
Phone: (210) 567-3160

UT

Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine
10920 S. Riverfront Park
South Jordan 84095
Phone: 801-878-1400

VA

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry
P.O. Box 980566
520 North 12th Street
450 Lyons Building
Richmond 23298-0566
Phone: (804) 827-2077

WA

University of Washington-Health Sciences School of Dentistry
D322 Health Sciences Bldg.
1959 NE Pacific St.
Seattle 98195
Phone: (206) 543-5982

WI

Marquette University School of Dentistry
1801 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee 53233
Phone: (414) 288-7485

WV

West Virginia University School of Dentistry
Robert C. Byrd Health Sci Ctr.
1150 HSC North/Medical Center Drive
PO Box 9400
Morgantown 26506-9400
Phone: 304/293-2521

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How To Choose A Dentist

Choosing a new dentist may be a bigger decision than it seems at first glance. A relationship with any healthcare provider is a high-trust venture. But dentistry’s unique. Most of the time spent with a dentist involves their hands in a very personal space: Your mouth. And you ‘re allowing them to complete treatment that’s often difficult for you to evaluate from a technical perspective. You also trust they’ll tell you exactly what you see and what they recommend. So, how to choose a dentist takes a little thought.

Dentists are highly-trained, licensed professionals with a background in many of the same fields as a physician. In fact, dentists generally complete a bachelor’s degree at a four-year university before being selected for dental school. Then they spend four more years in a rigorous classroom, laboratory, and clinical curriculum. A board exam, including treating live patients, allows them to obtain their dental license. Often they complete crowns, fillings, cleanings, and other procedures with strict evaluation by examiners on every step. New graduates often continue on to a General Practice Residency, specialty training, or other advanced education programs.

What Makes the Difference?

After all this background training, you expect that all dentists are capable practitioners. By and large, that’s true. But differences in personalities, interests, and specific skills can differentiate dentists over time. Most importantly, some dentists continue to add hundreds of hours of education to their annual training. Others choose to complete the bare minimum.

At the end of the day, the goal is to find a dentist you feel comfortable visiting. If you’re new to an area or you haven’t seen a dentist in awhile, that can be challenging.

Tips For Choosing the Right Dentist For You

Here are a few thoughts to consider when you’re looking for a dentist. Often you’ll use a combination of methods to end up in the right chair.

  1. Ask Around. Word-of-mouth is tried-and-true. It’s hard to beat the experiences of others, and your family or friends will usually be straightforward with you about their dental experiences.
  2. Check Reviews. These days, online reviews work whether you’re buying a toaster or choosing a dentist. You can check Yelp, Google, Healthgrades.com, and more.
  3. Check Facebook Pages and Websites. If you’ve heard about a dentist, go to their social media and scroll through it. Spend a little time on their website and meet the team, watch their videos, etc. You’ll get a feel for the practice.
  4. Use Online Services. Services like DentalChat maintain vast networks of dentists who are interested in seeing new patients. You can chat with dentists, ask questions, and inquire about appointments in your area on a secure platform. This is a good way to find a dentist to learn more about using the other methods above.

Regardless of the way you go about choosing a dentist, it’s important you find one that fits your style, comfort, budget, and trust. Remember, if you’re not satisfied with your first dentist, you can always try another one until you find the right fit!

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Dental Implants: Your Procedure

Not so long ago, you had very few options if you lost a tooth. Today, dental implants often give you the best opportunity to return to normal chewing and an intact smile after tooth loss. As you consider the possibilities, a few questions usually come to mind. Of course, you realize the long-term benefits of the procedure, especially knowing that you’re going with an option that will make your life better every day for years. But you might be wondering about the near future of the process. Many patients ask the question, “What is the dental implant procedure like?”

Planning Always Pays Off

Your comfort should be the most important part of every visit. We take every measure to make that central to your dental implant experience. If we need to include specialists in our plan, work with a provider who shares the same philosophy as the specialists they work with. If you prefer sedation, seek out an office that offers it. To ensure success, it’s vital that a personalized road map is created for your return to full dental function. The best practices now use digital imaging technology and other records to guide the entire process. Good planning pays dividends in life…and dentistry.

You’ll likely be surprised at the experience during placement of an implant. Modern dental anesthetic numbs the area profoundly so that you don’t feel anything, and then experienced hands start placing the implant. A mini guide hole creates a path for a small implant cylinder to be carefully and slowly threaded into the site. A smooth cover is placed over the implant that remains in place during the healing period. There are many temporization options that are possible so you can smile confidently from day one. In some cases, a temporary crown may be created and delivered that day. Since every patient’s procedure is different, your dentist will help you decide what will work best during the healing period. Within a short time, the sterile implant surface begins integrating into the bone. The healing period usually lasts from 3-6 months as the implant bonds within your jaw bone. Most patients experience very little discomfort after implant surgery, especially when compared to a tooth removal procedure.

A Perfect Finish

After 3-4 months of healing, a crown will be custom-made and attached to the implant with a small screw or dental cement. Your dentist chooses from a variety of components that allow an optimal result when completing the final stage. Customizing the process of your tooth replacement from planning to final placement of your new tooth makes all the difference in the outcome. Choose a dentist with experience and advanced education in the exciting area of dental implant technology. That choice will ensure you experience the best of modern dentistry!

If you don’t have a dentist or you’re dealing with more questions about what to expect after tooth extraction, you’re in the right place. DentalChat provides the best platform to connect with licensed U.S.-based dentists. You can ask questions online and even connect with a nearby office that can help you with your needs. Feel free to jump on and see how we can help now or in the future!

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Dental Veneers: A Brilliant New Smile

Movie star smiles float across the silver screen and help today’s biggest stars earn tens of millions. The stars know that their smile is a vital part of their appeal, and they make sure it looks top-notch. With today’s modern dental materials, veneers upgrade a smile in just a couple of visits. In some cases, veneers work like “instant orthodontics,” correcting chips, stains, and even deeply discolored teeth. The length and size of teeth can be changed, or rotated teeth can suddenly appear straight. While it sounds dramatic, the journey from one smile to another is often shorter than most people think.

Veneers create the perfect union between dental art and science, handcrafted and customized to deliver the smile of your dreams. Like a contact lens, paper-thin pieces of porcelain bond to the front surface of your natural teeth. But don’t be fooled by the thinness of this material. Many unique and durable qualities characterize modern ceramics, producing any look you want for years to come.

Veneers offer a conservative way to repair unsightly teeth, the steps required to deliver them properly require an advanced level of training and experience. When you choose a dentist you trust, you’re in the right place to end up with new confidence in your appearance. 

A Smile As Unique As You Are

Careful planning and attention to the design of your smile is vital to a successful outcome with veneers. Models, photographs, and digital x-rays are incorporated by your dentist to create a perfect blueprint for your case. Like all successful projects, this planning leaves little room for error. Your dentist will listen to your input and incorporate your desires into your veneer case. Color, shape and other subtle factors play vital roles in the overall plan.

Once your case is designed, it usually only takes two appointments until you’re enjoying a terrific new smile. At the first visit, the teeth are precisely prepared in some areas to allow space for a master lab technician to sculpt artful porcelain into place. Your dentist provides all the information to the specialized lab that’s needed to create your personal masterpiece.

Your dentist also creates temporary acrylic restorations that mimic the veneers. Worn for 2-3 weeks, these temporaries provide a preview of the expected appearance of your planned smile and allow you to give more input regarding the outcome of your new smile.

The New You

After fully customized craftwork in the lab, you’ll return for an exciting appointment. Your dentist will try-in each veneer and evaluate the appearance and fit, giving you an opportunity to preview the new you. A series of precise steps adhere the veneers into place, creating an extremely powerful link between the tooth and porcelain material. Minor adjustments to your bite and a final polish will be a perfect finish to a smile that may leave you wondering why you waited so long to make a big difference in your life!

If you don’t have a dentist or you’re dealing with more questions about what to expect after tooth extraction, you’re in the right place. DentalChat provides the best platform to connect with licensed U.S.-based dentists. You can ask questions online and even connect with a nearby office that can help you with your needs. Feel free to jump on and see how we can help now or in the future!

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Dental Insurance: A Benefit Primer

If you have dental benefits, you’re fortunate to be amongst 60% of the population with outside financial support for dental care. Most plans are offered by employers as part of a benefits package, and can be helpful in making dentistry more affordable. But dental plans rarely cover everything and are designed to help share the cost of treatment with you. While it’s impossible to say exactly what your plan covers, or doesn’t, a few simple guidelines will help you ask the right questions.  With hundreds of plans on the market, it’s also difficult to know the nuances of everyone. But the experts at your dental office will help you fill in as many details as possible.

Dental plans typically pay a high percentage of preventive services. These relatively low-cost services performed most commonly twice each year are simply the wisest dental commitment you can make. A small problem detected and managed early can cost 1/10 of the price tag of major repairs, even to salvage a single tooth.  Insurance companies understand this, and often will gladly pay a little to save a lot.

If you need a filling for a broken or decayed tooth, insurance benefits may cover 40-80% of the cost.  A larger restoration with porcelain may be covered at 40-50%, which is often a similar rate of coverage for other major services including root canals, dentures, and oral surgery.  These general guidelines are just that…general. And sometimes insurance companies won’t indicate just how much they’re going to pay. So it’s wise to consider a discussion of payment prior to treatment as an estimate, based on the best information supplied by the insurance company.  And remember, every plan has an annual maximum that hasn’t changed in 50 years.  These dollars can significantly help you support your health, but they’re not designed to cover all the bases.

Dental benefits usually don’t cover purely cosmetic procedures such as whitening or veneers.  But there may be other services related to a beautiful smile makeover that will be partially covered. If certain teeth in your smile have large restorations or old crowns, their replacement often meets the criteria for coverage. Furthermore, your dentist will incorporate artistry into every service they provide whether dental benefits are involved or not. 

While your dentist works 100% for you, not the insurance company, your dentist’s team will always try to help you maximize your dental benefits. At DentalChat, we help patients find the right dental home where they feel comfortable. Let us know how we can help! We look forward to partnering with you to enhance your dental health!

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Do You Need a New Denture?

Like everything we use, dentures wear out over time.  But when you consider the wear and tear a denture gets working to chew your food, it’s remarkable they last as long as they do.  Not many artificial materials exist in a wet, warm place with grinding forces grinding away day after day without wearing out! A properly made set of dentures can work for years before reaching their demise. Plus, they require little additional cost to maintain them over that period.  But as it goes, the tough medical-grade plastic teeth wear down and can’t tear food as they used to. Or the base of the denture starts to crack, thin, and chip away. In some situations, the entire denture may break in half.

If you’re dealing with bad teeth, you may just be considering your first denture. If you’re not sure, a visit to the dentist can help you figure out your options. Whether you need a new denture or you can save your existing teeth, an exam is a good place to start.

The cost of dentures worries patients when they decide it’s time for a new pair.  Your dentures significantly influence your quality of life since they’re usually part of your daily experience.  You’ve probably had a pair of cheap, poorly-fitted shoes. And in contrast, you’ve probably had a pair of comfortable shoes made from the best materials.  While the prices were different, you ended up with what you paid for. We can all relate to that situation with many products we’ve purchased.

More Than A Product

But dentures are more than a product.  In the bigger picture, they’re one part of a professional service that’s designed specifically for you.  It’s important your dentist thoroughly examines your mouth before starting the steps to craft your new smile.

Sometimes unhealthy fungal infections thrive under old dentures, or gums are red and swollen.  Unless these problems are examined and treated, new dentures just end up sitting on top of old problems. Your doctor checks for any signs of gum and jaw changes that need attention, a skill that requires the training of a dentist.  Their background in anatomy helps them determine whether features of your mouth will affect the fit of new dentures.

Since your dentist brings advanced training in cosmetic dentistry to the table, they apply that artistic eye to designing your new smile. For example, the color of denture teeth can be customized to your preference.  And you may be surprised to learn that tooth size, shape, and alignment are part of the option package you choose.  The cost of new dentures includes high-quality teeth duplicating nature, all ideally set into place for lip support and solid function.  In most cases, the precisely placed teeth can be evaluated by you before the denture is processed. This gives you valuable input to the process that leads to a final denture.

New dentures may need slight adjustments since they’re made to fit closely onto your gums. Small pressure points aren’t unusual and Dr. Y is happy to fine-tune your new teeth once you’ve had a chance to use them.  Short visits to make small adjustments right after you start wearing them are generally included in the cost of your overall treatment. 

Nicely crafted dentures give you confidence, good function, and a smile you are pleased to display to the world.  If you need help finding the best dentist to explore options for a new denture, we’re here to help you out. Try our chat function to connect with a dentist on our team!

If you don’t have a dentist or you’re dealing with more questions about what to expect after tooth extraction, you’re in the right place. DentalChat provides the best platform to connect with licensed U.S.-based dentists. You can ask questions online and even connect with a nearby office that can help you with your needs. Feel free to jump on and see how we can help now or in the future!

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My Jaw Hurts: This Needs To End!

Your jaw and the muscles that make it work comprise one complex system. Jaw muscles produce powerful forces that crush and grind food to start the digestive process. When compared to other muscles in the body, these workhorses may generate the most force, ounce for ounce.

You can probably bite down and apply 175 pounds of brute force on your teeth!  So, when you’re wondering “Why my jaw hurts,” this may be part of the explanation.

By each ear, the jaw joint (TMJ) joins the lower jaw to your skull with a cartilage pad and small ligaments. When you chew, yawn, or talk, these joints move in multiple directions. When everything functions as it should, pain isn’t part of the equation.

Sometimes the jaw joint experiences uncommon stress, and that’s when problems begin to develop. If you ever wake up in the morning with a sore jaw or headache, odds are your jaw hasn’t been resting as you have.  Over 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from bruxism, or night-time teeth grinding. During the night, your brain can override normal bite force and generate 5 times more force than occurs during the day! This abnormal activity strains muscles from the neck to the top of the temples. It also compresses the jaw joints and can cause inflammation in the joints.

A Powerhouse System

To understand the strain on these muscles, clench your muscles.

Put your fingers on the muscle in front of the jaw and run them down to the lower jaw? Feel that bulge? Now clench and unclench as you rub the temples.

These long, skinny muscle fibers reach to the top of your head. When these major muscles, along with a bunch of small ones, undergo strain, then pain begins. This discomfort radiates into many areas of the head, and there’s a big difference between the source of pain and the site of pain.

To top it off, the jaw joints can become pain centers of their own. A delicate cartilage disk cushions the lower jaw bone against the skull. Unusual forces, arthritic changes, trauma, or an uneven bite can cause the joints to become imbalanced and irritated.

Maybe you’ve had a foul knee, sore hip, or tender knuckles. The same problem can develop in the TMJ on the left, right, or both sides. Research even suggests that migraine sufferers can experience more severe TMD problems, and TMD may even intensify migraines. This double curse makes life especially miserable for chronic migraine patients.

So How Do I Stop Jaw Pain?

If you’re tormented by headaches or jaw pain, make sure you’ve had an evaluation with your dentist. A few easy tests and clinical clues provide insight to what’s making “my jaw hurt.”

While it’s a subject for another day, the possibility of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) shouldn’t be overlooked. A well-designed  study in 2009 showed one in four OSA patients conjointly grind their teeth. OSA is a serious sleep disorder that’s responsible for a long list of health problems.

In fact, 90% of people who die in their sleep have untreated OSA!

Bruxism could be the first clue that you’re stressing your body and a sleep study is in order.

Sometimes it takes time to schedule a sleep study. A simple, inexpensive nightguard appliance can serve as a temporary measure to protect your jaw, teeth, and relieve some of the jaw pain or headaches. You may decide to ultimately invest in a custom nightguard, made just for you. There’s also a chance that treating a sleep disorder may take care of your pain while protecting your general health.

Bottom Line to “Why My Jaw Hurts!”

Jaw pain or headaches seriously have an effect on your ability to enjoy life. In some cases, they may indicate a serious health disorder like sleep apnea. A game plan could include:

  • Make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your concerns, and consider a sleep study with a certified sleep center.
  • Order a temporary nightguard immediately to generate short-term relief. Here’s a simple one that will work for most people.
  • If you’re having pain, try applying ice to the joint and muscles on the side of your face in front of the ears. Move the ice to your temples. If you find the pain temporarily drops by half or more, you’re probably dealing with TMD. If you still have pain, there are many other types of TMD that could be causing discomfort and you should follow-up with your dentist.

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What To Expect After Tooth Extraction: A Patient Guide

If you’re wondering what to expect after tooth extraction, you’ve landed in the right place. It might not be at the top of your list, but sometimes the best solution to a dental problem involves removing your tooth. And many young people find themselves facing the removal of wisdom teeth. Regardless of the situation, knowing what to expect helps reduce your anxiety about what’s normal and when to be concerned.

Consider It Minor Surgery

Removing a tooth involves creating a small wound in your mouth. A tooth sits in the gum and bone, and we only see about 1/3 of the tooth structure above the gum line. The rest of it is anchored in the upper or lower jaw with thousands of tiny fibers that attach it to the bone.

After the tooth, bone, and gum are numbed with local anesthetic, your dentist applies steady pressure around the tooth to carefully detach it from the small attachment fibers. Pressure also slightly expands the bone and allows the tooth to loosen. In most cases, the tooth ends up out within a few minutes of precise, intentional movements.

In some cases, a tooth doesn’t easily move due to unusual roots that curve or extend deep into the jaw. Sometimes bone is less flexible than expected, or the tooth is difficult to engage because of deep cavities or broken pieces. If your dentist encounters this challenge, the gum is opened around the tooth, bone is carefully removed, and the pieces elevate out with the right technique. A few stitches are placed and healing begins.

What Comes Next?

At this point, you really start to wonder what to expect after your tooth extraction. Let’s look at a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Be patient with healing: The majority of your healing will take place over a period of two weeks, but the area will continue to change for several more weeks. Sometimes, small fragments of loose bone migrate their way to the surface and come out. But during the first 24 hours, it’s important to avoid vigorous exercise or heavy lifting
  2. Don’t skip eating: During the first 24 hours after a tooth extraction, you should go for soft foods and avoid hot beverages. Hard foods may aggravate the new wound, and hot beverages tend to soften the fragile clot. But after the first day or two, you can start to enjoy your normal eating habits.
  3. Rest wisely: A lot of restoration and repair goes on during sleep. If you’re not getting enough rest, healing tends to take longer.
  4. Stay in touch: If you have swelling that appears two or three days after your extraction, be sure to contact your dentist. If it’s accompanied by fever, difficulting breathing or swallowing, or bad-tasting discharge, make the call.

The Long Haul

Once you’ve started to heal, consider the longer term picture. Over time, the jawbone may begin to shrink and thin in areas where you’re missing teeth. You may also find that neighboring teeth tip into open spaces. Opposing teeth move down or up into edentulous areas. While this process may take years, you may end up with an unstable bite, difficulty chewing, and jaw pain issues.

Talk with your dentist about the best options for replacing your missing teeth or stabilizing your shifting teeth. Dental implants support natural, strong restorations that feel like natural teeth. A small bridge from one tooth to another may serve you, too. On the other hand, a removable appliance may be a quick and easy solution for replacing several missing teeth.

Moving On After Tooth Extraction

If you don’t have a dentist or you’re dealing with more questions about what to expect after tooth extraction, you’re in the right place. DentalChat provides the best platform to connect with licensed U.S.-based dentists. You can ask questions online and even connect with a nearby office that can help you with your needs. Feel free to jump on and see how we can help now or in the future!