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Zoom Whitening: Is it really possible to have a brighter smile?

cosmetic dentist Clearwater FLHave you tried to whiten your smile with over the counter products and were disappointed with the results? Many people become frustrated with the concept of teeth whitening because they have had negative experiences with popular teeth whitening products like toothpastes and strips purchased in supermarkets or large pharmacies. These products normally cannot lighten more than surface stains because their formulas cannot penetrate the enamel surface of teeth.

Fortunately, our cosmetic dentist offers an effective solution for brightening the color of your smile. Our practice offers Zoom! professional teeth whitening. This in-office system safely brightens teeth up to ten shades lighter in just one office visit.

How does Zoom! whitening work?

Zoom! teeth whitening works by applying a prescription-strength whitening solution over the outer surfaces of teeth and accelerating the lightening process with a safe laser. All soft oral structures like the linings of cheeks and the gingiva are protected by placing liquid dam and gauze over them. During treatment, patients will relax in our comfortable examination chairs where they can listen to music or read.

How many whitening treatments are needed?

Since a Zoom! whitening treatment is very effective, most patients only receive one or two in a calendar year. Once Zoom! lifts permanent old stains, patients can focus on maintaining their newly-brightened smiles.

Preventing the development of stains means that people should practice proper oral hygiene, receive routine checkups and cleanings, and avoid food/beverages that contribute to the formation of new stains. We recommend abstaining from or reducing exposure to items like coffee, red wine, soda, berries, and beets to keep one’s smile white. Some folks find straws helpful for reducing exposure to beverages that can stain teeth because straws push liquid to the back of the mouth.

Another way that patients can maintain the results of a professional teeth whitening treatment is to touch up their smiles with a prescription take-home whitening kit from our practice.

For more information about improving your smile, call the office of Dr. Andrew Holloman to reserve a consultation with our cosmetic dentist.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

gum disease Clearwater FLGum disease is a serious disease that affects millions of people annually. Since it progresses in stages, people often do not realize they have it until visiting their dentist. It initially affects the gums, but left untreated can spread to the jaw bone, lead to tooth loss and eventually even systemic diseases in the body.

Learning the symptoms of gum disease and monitoring gum health at home is a great way to take a proactive approach to your oral health. Here is some helpful information about the three stages of gum disease along with their symptoms.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and it is typically the stage that people miss most often. It occurs when bacteria from plaque build-up begins to infect the gums. Patients may experience slight gum irritation or bleeding when they brush or floss. This is often written off as sensitivity or brushing too hard. This stage of the disease is reversible with proper, diligent oral hygiene and regular dental visits.

Periodontitis

This is the second stage of gum disease and it is more serious. Patients may experience persistent bad breath along with bright, swollen gums that are tender to the touch. As the disease progresses teeth may become loose or develop spaces between them. Pus may also begin to accumulate between teeth and gums. If left untreated, damage to the soft oral tissues occur and patients may experience some bone loss in the oral cavity.

Advanced Periodontitis

This is the final and most serious stage of gum disease which often results in tooth loss. Patients experience chronic bad breath in addition to loose teeth and swollen gums that bleed. Gums also begin to recede and form deep pockets. This stage of the disease may require multiple dental visits and procedures to correct.

Gum disease must always be diagnosed and treated by a dentist. However, knowing the symptoms can help you to take a proactive approach and recognize when gingivitis may be developing. If you think you may have gum disease, or you have already been diagnosed, make an appointment at the office of Dr. Andrew Holloman today. Don’t let gum disease wreak havoc on your oral health.

Sedation Dentistry: What are the benefits?

sedation dentistry Clearwater FLAre you apprehensive about visiting the dentist because you heard about someone else’s negative experience? Perhaps you dread dental appointments because the sounds of dental instruments bother you. Whether you have phobias or anxieties attached to oral healthcare treatment or if you simply wish to enjoy treatment that is as comfortable as possible, our practice offers sedation dentistry to increase the comfort of our guests during procedures. Sedation dentistry is available in a few forms that produce feelings of relaxation and calm.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is available in a few forms. Our practice offers nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and conscious sedation. Each type of sedation presents different benefits. For example, nitrous oxide is considered a mild form of sedation that provides euphoric effects, which come on and wear off quickly so that patients can transport themselves to and from appointments.

Oral sedation, stronger than nitrous oxide, involves the administration of prescription medication. Benzodiazepines, a class of medication formulated to combat anxiety, are commonly prescribed because while they are considered relatively mild sedatives, they are effective. This medication can increase comfort for those with nervousness or those receiving more complex or invasive treatment. Since this type of medication affects motor function, those receiving oral sedation should not drive.

The last type of sedation dentistry offered at our practice is conscious sedation. Conscious sedation is administered intravenously but it is not the same as general anesthesia. Patients are not induced into an unconscious state. Instead, conscious sedation allows patients to respond to questions or instructions but for the most part, our guests rest peacefully while our team provides high quality treatment.

Who Benefits from Sedation

While it is best to consult with a dental professional to determine whether sedation dentistry is right for you, most people can benefit from the use of nitrous oxide as this compound does not have lingering effects after treatment. Medications used for oral and conscious sedation, however, can have contraindications with other medications and health conditions. This is why it is important to discuss your health history with a professional.

For more information about sedation dentistry, call our office to schedule time with our dentist.

What happens when you don’t floss?

Family Dentist Clearwater FLWhen you brush your toothbrush only reaches two thirds of the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing removes what your toothbrush missed by reaching between teeth and stimulating gum tissue as well. Your family dentist or hygienist will teach you the correct technique for proper flossing.

You should brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste. And your daily oral hygiene regimen should include flossing at least once a day. Flossing before bed removes anything left behind by your toothbrush to prevent food debris from hardening into plaque. 

The Problem with Plaque and Tartar

You don’t notice plaque until it has hardened on your teeth, usually most apparent at the gum line. Plaque starts out as a sticky substance which hardens over time and turns into tartar. A visit to the dentist is the only way hardened plaque can be removed from teeth. 

If plaque is allowed to continue to build, the patient faces the threat of dental decay and possibly the onset of gum disease. The ways to prevention include: 

Brush at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste. An electric toothbrush is very beneficial especially for patients who tend to brush aggressively. The toothbrush provides the action needed to clean your teeth; you just provide the guidance making sure to reach all surfaces of your teeth. 

Floss daily. There are multiple kinds of floss available … original, flavored, waxed, floss tape, floss picks … the selection is vast. Find one that you like, and use will be rewarded by healthier teeth and gums. 

Limit sugary and processed foods. Your daily diet should be made up primarily of fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and healthy grains. Drink water to stay hydrated. Soda and many sports drinks include lots of sugar; even diet sodas are no bargain as they contribute to the acids that provide the potential for dental damage. 

Importance of Regular Dental Visits

Make sure you visit your family dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and exam. At each dental visit, hardened plaque is removed from teeth that has formed since your previous visit. Your teeth are polished to look their best; and your dentist performs an exam looking for areas of concern. 

These exams are looking for decay (it’s much easier to treat a cavity before it has a chance to grow); broken or fractured teeth (correcting early might save the need for a root canal); and any suspicious sores or lesions are examined for oral cancer prevention.

If it’s time to schedule your next dental visit, contact the office of Dr. Andrew Holloman today.

What Factors Contribute to Long-term Success of Dental Implants?

dental implants Clearwater FLDental Implants provide an ideal solution when tooth loss is imminent or has already occurred. The patient’s overall health is reviewed and a thorough dental examination is completed to determine candidacy for a successful implant procedure. Some of those factors include:

Dental Health

If there are any indications of gum disease such as bleeding, swollen gums; gum tissue pulling away from teeth; or teeth feeling loose, your dentist will initiate a plan to treat gum disease before moving forward. Poor dental health due to negligence may be an indicator that the patient might not provide the care needed for a successful outcome.

Bone Strength

Dental x-rays will provide a picture of bone strength in the gums where the implant is to be placed.  Lack of sufficient bone does not automatically eliminate candidacy for a dental implant; bone augmentation procedures are available to enhance bone if needed.

Tobacco Use

If a patient smokes or uses tobacco in any form, the success rate for the dental implant procedure is put in jeopardy. Many dental providers will not consider moving forward with the implant procedure without the promise of quitting. Periodic dental visits will reveal if the patient has stuck with their commitment. With the financial investment and time required for a successful dental implant, patients moving forward must take this very seriously.

Daily Maintenance

Your dentist will explain the importance of keeping the implant area clean to prevent infection. You will be taught how to brush and floss the implant area. It is also extremely important to protect the implant while bone is fusing to the implant. This occurs during the healing period which usually takes several months after the implant has been placed.

Osseointegration

Bone will fuse to the implant incorporating the implant so completely it will become a permanent part of the dental anatomy. Just as the root of a tooth provides strength and support for the tooth, the implant will provide the same for the restoration that will eventually be bonded to it.

After Care

The final restoration will match surrounding teeth making it undetectable. Caring for your implant and restoration requires nothing special. Daily brushing and flossing coupled with regular six month visits to the dentist for cleaning and examination should allow your dental implant to provide a tooth replacement that will last a lifetime.

To discuss more questions you may have, contact our team today.

Treatment Options For an Uneven Gum Line

gum treatment Clearwater FLIrregular gums can ruin your smile – teeth can appear too large or too small; or you may suffer from a gummy smile. You may have inherited your problem; or some times certain prescription drugs can create this malady. Gum recession from aggressive brushing can contribute to this problem as well. Regardless of the reason, there is a solution that will provide a beautiful smile.

A consultation with your dentist is your first step. A frank conversation will reveal your concerns; your dentist will have multiple recommendations depending on the level of treatment needed.

Gummy smile – From a dental perspective, there are a couple of ways to treat a gummy smile. The first involves trimming away excessive gum tissue (gingivectomy). This is done with a scalpel or laser. This is a simple, minimally invasive procedure; however, there is a possibility that gum tissue can grow back so retreatment may be required.

A second option is crown lengthening. With crown lengthening, both gum tissue and underlying bone are trimmed; gum tissue is contoured; and the result is permanent.

Gum contouring surgery involves reshaping the gum tissue and can be completed on one tooth or all your teeth. Also performed with either a scalpel or a laser, this process of tissue sculpting is usually performed easily with minimal postoperative concern. Your dentist will inform you about the possible need for follow up cosmetic enhancement to complete treatment such as porcelain veneers.

The patient should enter into any dental procedure with the knowledge of what is involved. Any time dental surgery or contouring is completed, the patient will be advised to return home to rest for the remainder of the day. Healing may take several days; a diet of soft foods is recommended. A follow up visit with your dentist will have been scheduled, but if any problems should occur before then, make sure to contact the office right away.

To learn more about the options available to treat an uneven gum line, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team. Call 727-581-1441 today to reserve your appointment.

Healthy Dental Habits to Follow

family dentist Clearwater FLAre you doing everything possible to keep your smile in optimal shape? It makes sense to revisit your oral health habits from time to time to see if your routine needs to be tweaked at all. Here are our suggestions for healthy dental habits for all of our patients to follow.

Brush your teeth twice each day and floss daily. A good home oral hygiene regimen is the cornerstone of a healthy smile. You should be brushing twice each day for two minutes each session. Hold your toothbrush at an angle along the gumline, and use an ADA-approved toothpaste. Add flossing to your routine daily to remove additional plaque between the teeth and along the gumline. Discuss technique with your family dentist to make sure you are getting the maximum benefit from these healthy habits.

Schedule checkups and cleanings with your family dentist at least twice a year. Professional cleanings help to remove additional plaque and tartar that may have accumulated despite your oral hygiene practices, especially in areas of the smile that are tough for you to reach on your own. Hygienists have a better angle on those spots and can properly use professional grade instruments to remove calculus from the area. Additionally, having a dentist examine your teeth, gums and other oral tissues every six months increases the probability that any oral diseases can be treated and diagnosed early in the disease process.

Monitor your gums for signs of gum disease. Gum disease is most easily treated in its earliest stage-gingivitis. So, keep an eye out for symptoms like bleeding, swelling or redness in the gums and consult with your family dentist about treatment options.

Eat a nutritious diet that features a variety of fruits and vegetables. The nutrients that you get from fruits and vegetables, as well as other healthy foods, benefit your teeth and gums as much as the rest of your body.

Consider supplemental fluoride treatments. Fluoride treatments provided by your dentist help to make your teeth stronger by supporting remineralization, which becomes increasingly important as you get older.

Don’t hesitate to check in with a professional about your oral health habits if you have any questions or want to give your routine a boost. We want to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile, so call us at any time to discuss your concerns.

Treatment Options to Improve Smile Symmetry

cosmetic dentistry veneers ClearwaterOne common reason for cosmetic dentistry treatment is to correct the look of an asymmetrical smile. You might have teeth that appear proportionally smaller than other teeth, or you might have irregular gaps or overlaps in your smile. In many cases, your cosmetic dentist can treat these issues with cosmetic veneers.

Evaluating Your Smile

If you’re concerned about the way your smile looks, talk to a cosmetic dentist about possible treatment options. Asymmetry in your smile can be treated in a variety of ways depending upon what about your smile detracts from its overall appearance. If your teeth are overly crooked or if there are large gaps between them, you might need orthodontic treatment. Cosmetic treatment might not be sufficient in this case to prevent long-term problems related to the positioning of your teeth. Be sure to discuss this possibility with your dentist to be sure you will see the best outcome.

However, if you have one or two teeth that look noticeably smaller than your other teeth, or if you have minor gaps or crowding, cosmetic treatment might be just what you need to improve the symmetry of your smile. One common approach is to use dental veneers.

Improving the Symmetry of Your Smile

Cosmetic veneers are a minimally invasive treatment that is versatile enough to address many causes of an asymmetrical smile. Veneers are made of very thin porcelain that is custom-made to match the shape and color of your teeth. If a tooth is much smaller than adjacent teeth, a veneer can disguise this fact. Veneers can also disguise small gaps and minor overlap. In other cases, dental bonding can help improve the look of a tooth that is proportionally smaller or irregularly shaped.

If you’re concerned about the way your smile looks, contact our cosmetic dentist about the best options for treatment. He will evaluate your smile, talk to you about your goals, and then determine the best course of action to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Don’t Be Blindsided With A Dental Emergency

dental emergency ClearwaterA dental emergency can be stressful and even frightening. However, if you are prepared, you’ll be able to act more quickly and ensure a better outcome. By preparing for this type of emergency in the same way you would any other emergency or accident, you can improve your reaction and be sure any injuries are taken care of promptly.

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency occurs whenever there is an injury to the mouth, teeth, or facial bones. In the case of this type of injury, you should respond with first aid just as you would with any other type of injury. If the injury appears to be serious, you should see a doctor or emergency dentist right away. In cases of less serious injury, you can make an appointment to see a dentist as soon as possible.

  • Common dental emergencies include:
  • Trauma due to a fall
  • Injuries incurred during a motor vehicle accident
  • Injuries incurred during contact sports
  • A broken filling or crown
  • A filling or crown that has fallen out

If you are injured because of a fall or an accident, you will probably need to see a doctor or dentist, depending upon the severity of the injuries. If there is excessive bleeding, excessive discomfort, or if there appear to be any broken bones, you should see a doctor right away.

Being Prepared for a Dental Emergency

You can be prepared for a dental emergency by having a first aid kit specially equipped to deal with this type of injury. This first aid kit should include:

  • Soft gauze to control bleeding
  • Toothpaste or a denture adhesive to hold crowns or broken fillings in place
  • A small cup you can fill with water or milk to preserve a knocked-out tooth
  • Antiseptic mouthwash
  • The phone number of your emergency dentist

If you keep these items and this information on hand at all times, you will be better equipped to handle an emergency if it occurs. With this type of preparation, you can ensure the best possible outcome.

Contact our office in Clearwater today to get more tips.

Is sedation dentistry a good choice for children?

sedation dentistry Clearwater FLIf your child is particularly nervous about having work done at the dentist, or if she requires extensive treatment such as restorations or extractions, sedation dentistry can be a good option to keep her comfortable and anxiety-free. Your family dentist must be specially trained in pediatric sedation, so be sure to ask if sedation is a possibility for your child.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is an approach used to increase your comfort or the comfort of your child during dental procedures. Although local anesthetic can eliminate discomfort, your child might still be overly anxious about having a tooth drilled, crowned, or extracted. Sedation can help her be completely relaxed during the procedure.

For children, your family dentist will probably use oral sedation with a liquid medication rather than a pill. The medication is taken before the appointment, and your child’s vital signs are closely monitored throughout the procedure to ensure she is safe and comfortable. You might receive instructions from your dentist to limit your child’s food intake both before and after the procedure. Your child will probably be groggy after the appointment, so it’s important to be there to help her get reoriented.

Why Use Sedation with My Child?

Children are particularly susceptible to anxiety during dental work because they don’t necessarily understand what’s being done or why. It’s hard to explain to a child that they need to undergo some discomfort now to prevent larger problems later. Severe anxiety at the family dentist can cause severe dental anxiety in the future, so if your child seems overly anxious or is very young, sedation can be a better option than just using local anesthetic.

Pediatric sedation is different from adult sedation because the patient is smaller and less able to relate her condition to the dentist. Sedation for children requires special training and monitoring. Ask our team about how we can help at your next appointment!

Schedule your next dental appointment with us today!

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Our practice is committed to providing you and your family with safe, gentle, high-quality dental care. We are sensitive to your needs, and it is our goal to make you feel comfortable visiting our practice while providing the best care possible.

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(727) 581-1441

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2127 NE Coachman Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765

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