If you want to change your smile, then you need to learn about veneers. In cosmetic dentistry, veneers can be used to fix a number of individual issues, or they can fix multiple problems at the same time. If you live or near Monroe, LA, you can learn more about veneers by contacting our dentist office. To schedule a consultation, call Bayou Dental Group at [phone] or fill out our online form.
Archives for August 2016
Have you ever had a cavity? Do you think you might one day?
Before you say no, you should know that national health experts estimated that 92 percent of American adults will have at least one cavity in their lives.
That means if you made a list of 100 people who you know that only a handful of them will never have a cavity.
Maybe you will be part of that handful on someone else’s list, which would be nice, More than likely, you will be part of the vast majority who will need tooth decay removed at some point or another.
If that time ever comes for you or someone in your family, you can always call Bayou Dental Group to help. Just remember, your solution will be simpler the sooner you make an appointment at our dentist office in Monroe, LA.
Dealing With Decay
The bacteria in your mouth is opportunistic. It multiplies every day, and it will take advantage of a situation to build plaque, the sticky film that forms on your teeth.
That film can serve as a kind of base of operations for the bacteria to start eating away at your tooth.
What you do about it, what should be done about it, will depend on how quickly you notice the cavity and how quickly you act to fix it.
Here are five ways you can deal with a cavity, starting with the simplest option.
◼︎ Prevent It
When Ben Franklin wrote that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, he hit the nail on the head.
The best way to deal with tooth decay is to prevent it from happening. The good news is you already know what to do. It’s just a matter of doing it.
You need to brush your teeth (twice a day, two minutes each time). You need to floss your teeth (every day, once per day). You need to visit the dentist for professional cleanings (twice year, sometimes more if you have a chronic condition).
Being consistent about doing each of those things will greatly reduce the odds that you will develop a cavity.
◼︎ Fill It
OK, maybe you aren’t as consistent about brushing and floss as you should be. Maybe you have been putting off your next dental cleaning because you think you can’t make the time in your schedule right now.
Those are prime opportunities for bacteria to attack one or more of your teeth.
If you notice the cavity developing, hopefully, that will motivate you to call us and make an appointment as soon as you are able.
By removing the decay early, we can prevent any further damage. A tooth-colored filling can restore the shape, function, and appearance of your tooth in a single visit.
◼︎ Crown It
In this situation, you either let the cavity continue for too long or you did not notice the cavity until it was too late to fix it with a filling.
The next step is to fix your tooth with a dental crown. Our crowns are made for porcelain, and since we use CEREC crowns, we are able to make them for you while you wait. At some other dentist offices, you may have to wear a temporary crown for weeks before your permanent crown is ready.
At Bayou Dental Group, we can restore your tooth in a single trip to our office.
◼︎ Root It Out
If this happens, you really should have come to see us sooner.
Tooth decay can turn into something worse if it eats through your enamel and the dentin underneath. You don’t want bacteria to reach the soft connective tissue at the center of your tooth. This tissue, called pulp, can become infected and inflamed.
This can cause pain since the pulp shares space with nerves as well as blood vessels.
More than likely you will begin to feel pain as a result of this infection. It may be a lingering pain. The pain may get worse when you bite or chew with your infected tooth or when you eat or drink something hot or cold.
A root canal treatment is the best way to remove the infection, and we often use a dental crown to seal the tooth as part of this procedure.
◼︎ Pull It
We sincerely hope that you will do something about your tooth decay long before this is necessary. The longer that bacteria is allowed to eat away at your tooth, the weaker your tooth will become.
In some cases, the tooth will be so weak that a root canal will not be enough to save the tooth. This is when it may be necessary to extract your tooth to remove the bacteria and reduce the risk that the decay will spread to other teeth.
As soon as you notice a cavity, please call our dentist in Monroe, LA. The team at Bayou Dental Group would much rather help you with a filling today than a tooth extraction tomorrow.
You can call [phone] or fill out our online form to make an appointment.
If humans were like sharks, we would never care about losing our teeth. When one tooth fell out, the next one would take its place.
The tooth fairy might not like that arrangement, but it sure would make our lives a lot easier.
As it is, we humans get two sets of teeth. Our primary teeth are meant to fall out. The serve as placeholders until our permanent teeth are ready to erupt.
Our permanent teeth are meant to be just that — permanent. Nevertheless, many people will lose one or two teeth during their lives.
Another group of people will lose one or both rows of their teeth. At one time, their only option would have been traditional dentures.
Today they have another choice, a choice that is almost like growing a third set of teeth. If this sounds like something that could interest you or someone who you know, call our dentist at Bayou Dental Group. Our office is located in Monroe, LA.
Slippery And Unstable
If someone described another person this way, you would probably assume that person was not to be trusted.
And yet, this is exactly the kind of experience that many people have with traditional dentures.
If you have well-made dentures, they should be designed to match your mouth and to rest comfortably over your gums.
This is usually OK at first. Your dentures will stay in place, more or less. You will feel comfortable smiling in photos and sharing stories with people.
But sometimes, your dentures will come loose.
This could happen when you try to take a bite of some food that is too hard, too crunchy, or too chewy. This might happen when you try to share a funny story from your childhood with your grandchildren.
Or it might happen for no apparent reason.
It might even happen more and more frequently the longer you have your dentures.
What you can’t see is the effect your dentures are having — or rather, not having — on your jawbone.
Most people appreciate contact of some kind. Handshakes and hugs are two ways that we show that we are comfortable with other people.
Our jawbones may not want hugs or handshakes, but they need contact to remain healthy and strong.
When you had teeth, this was not a problem. The roots of your teeth were embedded in your upper and lower jaws. Your root pushed on your jawbones whenever you took a bite of something, chewed your food, or chewed on a piece of gum.
When your jawbones felt that pressure, they responded by making new tissue. This new tissue replaced older tissue as it was reabsorbed, and this process kept your jaw strong and healthy.
Without roots or a replacement, your jaw is not getting the contact that it needs. New tissue does not replace the old tissue. As a result, your jaw will start to lose mass and density.
Over time, the shape of your jaw will change. That will affect the shape of your gum tissue, and that will affect how well and how comfortably your dentures fit.
There is a way that your dentures and your jaw can work together to make one another stronger. That is through implant-supported dentures.
For many patients, we even recommend non-removable teeth replacement through the All-on-Six® or All-on-4® procedures.
These procedures were developed to give patients the most benefit possible from a few strategically-placed dental implants.
Before we go further, we should explain that dental implants are meant to replace the roots of your missing teeth. They are placed in your jawbone. This provides pressure to keep your jaw strong, and your healthy jaw will hold the implants securely in place.
With non-removable teeth replacements, you may feel like you have a grown a new set of teeth. Unlike traditional dentures, these are not going to slip and slide around in your mouth when you try to eat or speak.
And, you will be able to eat those crunchy and chewy foods again. With implant-supported dentures, you can generate more force with every bite.
Find The Right Fit
The best way to learn if All-on-6 or All-on-4 could help you is to visit Bayou Dental Group. Schedule a consultation with our dentist. He can examine your teeth and your jaw to determine if you are a good candidate for either of these procedures.
If not, we still may be able to help with other kinds of implant-supported dentures.
We welcome you to contact us with your question or to make an appointment. You can call us at [phone] or use our simple online form to reach us.
As you are probably aware, it is campaign season again.
Unless you crawl in a hole (and we might not blame you), you will be seeing and hearing political campaign ads for the next several months.
Don’t worry, we aren’t going to get political today, but we did see an interesting story the other day. A man running for Congress in Arizona, David Giles, recently reported spending campaign funds on teeth whitening and other personal items. (In case you were wondering, the Federal Election Commission frowns on candidates using contributions on personal stuff.)
Regardless of whose money Mr. Giles was spending, our team at Bayou Dental Group can understand why he would want his teeth to look nicer on the campaign trail … and why you may want to visit our dentist office in Monroe, LA, for professional teeth whitening.
Your Teeth Affect How You Are Perceived
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry conducted a survey about teeth whitening recently.
They found the following:
- 99.7 percent of respondents said that a new smile is important in society
- 96 percent said that a smile helps someone appear more attractive
- 74 percent said an unattractive smile can hurt someone’s chances of getting a job
When asked to name the first three things people notice about a person’s smile, the top three answers were straightness of the other person’s teeth, how white the person’s teeth are, and how clean the person’s teeth are.
Teeth whitening can help with two of those three things.
And what was the top answer to “What makes a smile unattractive?”
Discolored, stained, or yellow teeth was the answer.
Coincidentally, whiter teeth was the answer that most people gave when asked what they would like to change about their teeth.
A Trustworthy Smile
Other surveys have shown that nice smiles make people appear more attractive, more confident, and friendlier.
But the kicker (at least for our politician friends) may be that nice smiles make us appear more trustworthy.
This probably isn’t something that we consciously think about in the moment that a salesperson approaches us, but it really can influence how likely we are to believe what that person has to say.
At the same time, the color of your teeth can affect how confident you feel when approaching someone else.
Think for a moment about meeting someone such as a potential employer or romantic partner for the first time. What would they think if you still had a piece of lettuce from lunch stuck in your teeth?
If you ducked into a bathroom to check yourself in the mirror before this meeting, surely you would remove the lettuce first.
Now imagine that same scenario only you have dark, stained teeth. This isn’t something you can wipe off with your tongue or a paper towel. This requires the stain-removing power of professional teeth whitening.
Reasons Your Teeth Become Discolored
In a real sense, tooth discoloration is inevitable. As long as you plan on eating and drinking to survive, many of those things will add to the stains that gradually develop on your teeth.
Think about what you have consumed in the past 24 hours — coffee, tea, soft drinks, fruit, berries, tomato sauces, desserts. Nearly everything you put in your mouth to eat or drink can leave a trace amount behind.
After years and decades of sips, snacks, and meals, your teeth will look darker or yellow. Toothpaste can help remove the surface stains, but it’s not going to remove the deeper stains that have become set with time.
To remove those stains, you will need a whitening treatment with a product like Zoom!, which is available at Bayou Dental Group.
Zoom! contains a higher concentration of whitening ingredients than anything you can find at a grocery or retail store. By coming to our office for a whitening treatment, we can remove decades of stains from your teeth in less than an hour.
Usually we will start with a professional teeth cleaning to ensure we get your teeth as white as we can. You may be surprised how much of a difference a single professional whitening treatment can make, especially if you have tried using commercial products.
Vote For Yourself
You don’t need to run for office to be a good candidate for professional teeth whitening. If you are interested in this service, contact our dentist office in Monroe, LA. You can make an appointment online or by calling [phone].
Dental crowns and dental bridges are big parts of restorative dentistry.
Both services are valuable for their own reasons, although there is some overlap between them.
We have used and will continue to use both crowns and bridges to help patients who come to Bayou Dental Group looking for teeth restorations.
But we also know many of our patients do not spend every day thinking about dentistry and dental services. That’s why we are taking some time to explain the difference between crowns and bridges as well as reasons you may need one or the other.
Defining Our Terms
If you come to our dentist office in Monroe, LA, we will be happy to answer any questions you have about dental crowns, dental bridges, or any of our other services.
For now, we will try to define what each one is, along with one related service.
Dental crowns are created from porcelain or other materials to repair or replace a tooth. We use porcelain in our practice because it looks like natural teeth, which means it will blend nicely with the rest of your smile.
Porcelain crowns are strong and sturdy, too. You can use them just like you use a natural tooth to bite and chew your food.
Dental bridges are made by fusing two or more dental crowns together. Bridges are used to replace lost, missing, and extracted teeth.
Dental implants are sometimes used in conjunction with crowns and bridges (and dentures, too, but that’s a separate post).
Implant are titanium cylinders or screws that replace the roots of lost and missing teeth.
When To Get What
Many different things can and do happen to teeth. They get damaged. They fall out. They get infected.
Sometimes there is a clear solution, and other times, you have a choice of treatments available.
Here are some examples:
➤ One of your teeth has been damaged.
This happens a lot, and it can happen in a number of ways.
You could have tooth decay. Your tooth could become chipped or broken.
You may have a crack in one of your teeth, or you may have an infected tooth.
A dental crown can be part of the fix for each of these problems.
We would prefer to repair a cavity with a dental filling because that means the cavity is relatively small. With larger cavities or when it comes time to replace fillings, it may be necessary to use a dental crown instead.
Removing the weaker parts your tooth also creates a support for your crown. While you wait, we can use our CEREC milling machine to create a dental crown, which we can bond to your tooth in a single visit to our office.
We use a similar process to repair chipped, broken, and cracked teeth.
With infected teeth, dental crowns often are the final step in the process. This starts with a root canal treatment to remove the infection from inside your tooth. After the inside has been cleaned and filled, a dental crown seals the tooth to restore its shape and to protect the tooth from new problems.
➤ You have lost a tooth.
Tooth loss is more common than you may realize, and many people will lose one or more teeth in their lives. We will get to multiple teeth replacements in a moment. For now, we will discuss two ways to replace a tooth that has fallen out, has been knocked out, or has been removed.
A traditional bridge is one way to do this. This would be a three-crown bridge. We would reshape the teeth closest to your lost tooth in a similar way to how we reshape teeth to support dental crowns.
The crowns on the ends (called abutment crowns) would be placed on those teeth, while the crown in between would fill in the empty space.
An alternative would be to place a dental implant in your jaw in the space previously occupied by the root of your tooth. Then, we can attach a dental crown to the end of the implant for a complete tooth replacement.
➤ You are missing multiple teeth.
If you are missing two or more teeth, we can fuse together more dental crowns to make a larger bridge. The process for a traditional bridge would be the same as what we described above.
The alternative would be to create an implant-supported bridge. This would involve placing one or more dental implants in your jaw and bonding a bridge in place to fill the gap created by your missing teeth.
Would You Like To Learn More?
If you are wondering if these services could help you or someone you know, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our dentist if you live in or near Monroe, LA. You can reach Bayou Dental Group by calling [phone] or by filling out our online contact form.
A family dentist should be caring. A general dentist should be knowledgeable of many aspects of dental care, including the latest techniques and technologies.
And, we think, it’s important for a dentist to care about his or her community.
Fortunately, we have such a dentist in our Louisiana community.
Dr. David Finley of Bayou Dental Group has been recognized by national and international organizations, but he is equally honored to receive another award.
Finley and our staff were presented with the 2016 Thomas H. Scott Awards Spirit of Excellence. This award is given to a business in or near Ouachita Parish that has grown and remained involved in the community.
We started as a storefront in Pecanland Mall with a couple employees to our state-of-the-art dentist office located on Tower Drive in Monroe, LA. And today, we have dozen dedicated employees who are here to help our patients however we can.
Committed To Growth
It’s one thing to open a dental practice, but Dr. Finley and his staff have shown since Bayou Dental Group opened that they are committed to constantly improving their knowledge and their service.
Dr. Finley has used continuing education so he can provide better service to his patients every year.
To demonstrate that, he has become one of less than 30 dentists who are both Fellows of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and Fellows of the Academy of General Dentistry. Likewise, the Consumer Research Council has named Dr. Finley one of America’s Best Dentists every year since 2003.
If you come to Bayou Dental Group, we can meet your dental needs and the needs of every member of your family.
Our services run the gamut from preventive to restorative to cosmetic dentistry.
It all starts with a founding in general and family dentistry. We want to provide the best service we can in a comfortable setting for you and your family.
In addition to complimentary beverages for our visitors, we also can provide blankets and pillows for our patients upon request. Many patients feel cozier and more relaxed with this comfort items.
If you prefer to take your mind off the dental care that you are receiving, you also have the option of watching a movie or listening to music while we work on your teeth. Many patients find this comforting whether they are receiving a routing cleaning or another procedure.
For patients who struggle with dental anxiety or fear of the dentist, we also offer oral sedation. By taking medication prior to your treatment, you will remain calm and relaxed throughout your visit.
You may feel drowsy or you may fall asleep, but you will receive the dental care that you need.
Passion For Cosmetic Dentistry
Dr. Finley can tell you that a big change occurred with our practice around 2000 when he decided to put a greater focus on cosmetic care.
He knew that general dentistry is something he would always need to do to make sure he was providing the best care that he could for his patients.
But cosmetic dentistry appealed to him in his heart. He worked on developing his skills in this field of dental care and become the 61st Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
That has lead to the developing of what we call Smile Creation. This is the process we use to give our patients the smiles that they want to have.
It also fits perfectly with our motto, “A lifetime of smiles begins here.”
The first step in this process is listening to you. We want to understand what you would like to change about your smile.
During your consultation, we will discuss what you would like your smile to look like. We can explain different options that are available to make that happen.
And together, we can develop a plan that works for you and will give you the smile of your dreams.
The benefits of Dr. Finley’s cosmetic training are not limited strictly to cosmetic services, however. This also is beneficial with restorative treatments such as dental crowns, bridges, and dentures.
You can receive restorative treatment that both restores the function of your teeth while also providing you with teeth replacements that look natural and are visually appealing.
See For Yourself
When you come to our office, the most important person to us is the person sitting in our dental chair. We don’t want you to feel rushed. We want to give every patient with the individual attention that he or she deserves.
Find out for yourself by making an appointment at our dentist office in Monroe, LA. Call Bayou Dental Group today at [phone] or fill out our online form.
This is a test. It’s only a test. What are we testing? With the start of the school year just days away, we thought this would be a good time to test your knowledge of preventive dental care and some of the services available at Bayou Dental Group. It’s also a good time to remind you that you can make an appointment by filling out our online form or by calling [phone] to reach our dentist office in Monroe, LA.
Pens and pencils? Check.
School clothes? Check.
Other miscellaneous supplies? Check.
If you haven’t checked that last item off your back-to-school list, then it’s time to make an appointment for your children at Bayou Dental Group. Our dentist office serves Monroe, LA, and the surrounding area.
Now would be a great time to have your little darlings’ teeth examined and professionally cleaned before homework, practices, and other commitments eat into your family time.
One of the things we are happy to do at Bayou Dental Group is to provide quality dental care for your children.
Our friendly staff wants to help your kids feel relaxed and comfortable while they are in our office. Dr. Finley and our dental hygienists are committed to helping every member of your family have a positive experience at our office.
You can count on a thorough cleaning and examination when you bring your family to see us.
Our hope is to prevent problems from developing. Our cleanings will remove any plaque or tartar buildup in your children’s mouths, and we will polish their teeth to make them look at nice as they can.
While your children are with us, we will give them a complete examination as well. We will look for any signs or symptoms of cavities or gum disease. We will take X-rays to monitor changes in their teeth, too.
If we find anything that may be a concern, we will let you know. We want to treat the problem early so it doesn’t become a bigger issue down the road that requires a more invasive (not to mention more expensive) treatment.
It’s important to us that all our patients feel comfortable during their treatment.
One example of this is how we treat tooth decay when we find it. Instead of “the drill,” we may use air abrasion.
This is a gentler way of removing the decay from your children’s teeth. With air abrasion, a blast of air pushes smile particles that strike the tooth. In a way, it acts as a miniature sandblaster to remove the decay from your child’s teeth.
This method of treating cavities is easier for our patients as it generates no heat or pressure and it does not cause vibrations on their teeth.
It’s also good because it reduces the risk of chipping the tooth, too.
We also want our patients to be comfortable in our chairs. If your child wants, we can give him or her a pillow and a blanket, so they feel cozy, and we can turn on a movie to distract him or her during the cleaning.
If we have any concern that your child may feel pain during a particular procedure, we can give them a small amount of local anesthetic. By putting his or her tooth “to sleep,” we can help your son or daughter in a pain-free way.
Dealing With Dental Anxiety
We have learned that it’s easier to care for patients who are calm and relaxed.
With that in mind, our comfort options and the caring nature of our staff often are enough to help patients get through their cleanings even if they are a little anxious.
One of the best ways to prevent long-term dental anxiety is to develop a relationship with your dentist.
When you bring your child to see us for routine cleanings and examinations a couple times each year, they get to know us. They find out for themselves that our staff cares about them and wants to help.
That makes it easier for your children, easier for you as a parent, and easier for the person cleaning your children’s teeth.
Parents And Teachers Are Welcome, Too
Children are not the only people getting ready for school. They aren’t the only people with teeth either.
Before your life gets overwhelmed with grading papers and helping with homework, make a little time to get a dental check-up, too.
It would be better to find out your teeth are in good shape or to address any small problems now than to put it off for weeks or months.
Check That Last Item Off Your List
As you are gathering supplies for the upcoming academic year, make plans to visit Bayou Dental Group, too.
A professional dental cleaning and examination will give you one less thing to worry about as you send your children off to school, whether it’s their first day ever or just their first day this year.
Call [phone] or use our online form to make appointments for your kids at our dentist office in Monroe, LA. Do it soon. Schools will be back in session before you know it.