Grand Prairie Dentist Explains When Dental Crowns Become Necessary

Dental crowns are dental devices, made out of varying materials, that repair and reinforce teeth so that they become functional once again. Dental crowns can also improve the cosmetic appearance of damaged teeth. But when does a dental crown become necessary? Your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, discusses several situations that necessitate dental crowns below.

When It’s Time for a Dental Crown

1.      Significant tooth decay. Tooth decay can weaken a tooth, making structural damage in the form of a chip, crack, or break more likely. When a cavity makes a tooth susceptible to damage, the placement of a dental crown can help strengthen the tooth to prevent serious problems.

2.      A broken tooth. A broken tooth is in peril of developing an infection because bacteria have a far easier time accessing the innermost portion of the tooth called the pulp. A patient with a broken tooth will also experience serious discomfort, robbing the tooth of its function. By fitting the tooth with a dental crown, however, the tooth can be restored both cosmetically and functionally. With the crown in place, bacteria will be barred entrance to the tooth’s pulp, and the tooth will be able to bite and chew once again.

3.      Wear by bruxism. Bruxism (teeth grinding) often occurs during sleep so that people are unaware of the damage they are inflicting on their teeth. Over time, teeth may weaken and can eventually crack, chip, or break. In order to repair this damage, dental crowns must be fitted over top of the teeth so that they can be functional once again. However, once bruxism is discovered, a night guard may be worn to protect teeth from damage during the night.

Dental Crowns from Your Grand Prairie Dentist

If you have a damaged tooth that needs to be repaired, contact your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith, today at 972-262-5111 to schedule an appointment or a consultation. Located in the 75052 area, we welcome patients from Grand Prairie, Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and surrounding communities.

Arlington Dentist Challenges Parents to a Quiz

As a parent, you are faced with many responsibilities to ensure your child’s continuing health, safety, and happiness. Among those responsibilities are helping your child navigate oral health problems. To help you in your endeavor to keep your child’s mouth healthy, your Arlington dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, has created this quiz so that you can prepare yourself for many of the dental situations your child may face.

Take the Quiz

1.      True or False: Cavities do not require fillings if they are in baby teeth.

2.      True or False: A knocked-out tooth should be handled by the crown rather than the root.

3.      True or False: Teeth grinding does not often require treatment in children.

Check Your Answers

1.      False. All cavities require dental care. Although it may seem that a cavity in a baby tooth can go untreated because a secondary tooth is waiting to take its place, it’s not true. An untreated cavity can result in an infection capable of spreading into the rest of the mouth and the jawbone, resulting in serious oral health problems. Additionally, the infection can spread into the rest of the body and cause illness.

2.      True. The root of a knocked-out tooth needs to remain moist if the tooth is to be saved. Once a tooth has been knocked out, there is a window of about 30 minutes to an hour to save the tooth. The best chance of keeping the root moist is to rinse it clean with water and replace it in its socket before seeking emergencydental care.

3.      True. The forces generated by bruxism (teeth grinding) in children are not a sufficient threat to teeth to warrant treatment. The habit is very common in children, usually beginning at age three and ending around age six. However, if the habit lingers well past the age of six, or if your child complains of persistently sensitive teeth and a sore jaw, notify your Arlington family dentist, Dr. Smith.

Schedule a Visit with Your Arlington Family Dentist

Regular dental visits can help keep your child’s mouth healthy. If more than six months have passed since your child’s last dental visit, contactyour Arlington family dentist, Dr. Smith, today by calling 972-262-5111. We welcome patients from Grand Prairie, Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and surrounding communities.

Arlington Dentist: Does Vitamin D Fight Cavities?

Nutrition is a major part of our health. If we put the right vitamins and nutrients into our bodies, we typically see an improvement in our health. But does the same hold true for the mouth? Researchers continue to debate whether or not vitamin D plays a role in preventing cavities, and below, your Arlington dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, sifts through the debate.

The Debate Over Vitamin D

The major sticking point in the debate over the cavity-fighting powers of vitamin D is the research itself. In a series of trials that span more than sixty years, researchers found that people with greater levels of vitamin D showed 50 percent less tooth decay than people with lower levels of vitamin D. However, while this result is quite promising and compelling, it is often disputed owing to the dated nature of the information, much of which was gathered about 50 years ago. Thus, the debate lives on and will likely continue until more current research becomes available.

However, it is important to keep in mind that vitamin D is a useful vitamin for your overall health. Thus, ensuring that you receive an adequate amount of the vitamin, if it does not help your mouth fight cavities, may yield other health benefits. Therefore, why not try adding some vitamin D to your diet? The research is just compelling enough to make it feel worthwhile.

Sources of Vitamin D

If you choose to add vitamin D to your diet, salmon and tuna are an excellent source of the vitamin. Additionally, sunlight encourages the synthesis of vitamin D, so spending some time outside may be beneficial. Just make sure if you are out in the sun that you wear sunscreen for protection.

Schedule a Visit with Your Arlington Dentist

Whether or not vitamin D can help fight cavities, it is no substitute for thorough homecare and regular dental visits. If more than six months have passed since your last dental cleaning, contact your Arlington dentist, Dr. Smith, today by calling 972-262-5111. We welcome patients from Grand Prairie, Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and surrounding communities.

Grand Prairie Dentist: Three Situations that May Result in a Dental Emergency

While it is true that a dental emergency may occur at any time, there are a few situations when it would pay to be extra careful. Read below as your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, discusses three situations that may yield a dental emergency and what you can do to prevent them.

Three Potential Emergency Situations

1.      Playing a contact sport. When playing a contact sport like football, hockey, or rugby, it is important to wear protective padding. The same goes for your mouth, making a mouthguard a vital piece of the protective puzzle. Mouthguards can provide padding for teeth in the event of a collision, preventing them from snapping together and causing damage such as a cracked, broken, chipped tooth. In addition, mouthguards also protect the cheeks, lips, and tongue from being bitten as a result of heavy impact.

2.      On the playground. If you have a child, you know that children can get into all sorts of trouble right under your nose, and while such is a part of growing up, you’ll no doubt want to protect your little one as best as you can. Thus, it is a good idea to pay extra attention to a child on a playground as something as innocent as tripping could result in a dental emergency. Program your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith, into your phone as a precaution.

3.      During sleep. Believe it or not, people can suffer a broken tooth in their sleep. The culprit for the damage is bruxism (teeth grinding), which is a rather common nighttime habit. However, damage from bruxism is preventable. By wearing an oral appliance called a sleep guard during the night, people with teeth grinding habits can protect their teeth from the extreme forces of bruxism and prevent a dental emergency.

Dental Emergency Treatment in Grand Prairie

In the event of a dental emergency, prompt care is vital. If you or a loved one suffers damage to the mouth or teeth, contact your Grand Prairie emergency dentist, Dr. Smith, by calling 972-262-5111. We welcome patients from Grand Prairie, Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and surrounding communities.

Grand Prairie Dentist Reminds You to Take Care of Your Gums

Many people worry first and foremost about their teeth when it comes to their oral health. They seek to prevent cavities and focus mostly on brushing in their homecare. However, homecare should also address the gums, which are vital to your oral health. If uncared for, gums can potentially develop gum disease, which can devastate the mouth and increase health risks. Below, your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, discusses the development and dangers of gum disease and what you can do to prevent it.

Early Gum Disease

Gum disease often begins with the presence of bacteria on teeth near the gum line. If left unimpeded, these bacteria can inflame the gums, causing gingivitis, and while inflammation may not sound too devastating, gingivitis can be a difficult disease to shake. You see, the bacteria responsible for gingivitis trigger the body’s production of an anti-inflammatory molecule called IL-10. Unfortunately, this molecule interferes with the body’s T-cells, which are responsible for fighting bacteria. Thus, it is quite common for gum disease bacteria to linger, and when they linger, gingivitis may progress into a periodontitis, a form of gum disease capable of doing more damage.

Advanced Gum Disease

Periodontitis attacks the ligaments and tissues that support teeth. As these ligaments and tissues become damaged, teeth may loosen, shift, and eventually fall out. At the same time, pockets often develop between the teeth and the gums. These pockets are often filled with bacteria and require cleaning to improve the health of the gums and to protect the teeth.

Health Risks Associated with Gum Disease

Several health risks have been associated with gum disease. They include an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Homecare and Gum Disease

Diligent homecare can help keep gum disease at bay. Be sure that you brush twice a day, angling the bristles of your toothbrush toward the gum line to remove any lingering bacteria. Also be sure to floss once a day. When flossing, use clean sections of the floss as your work your way through your mouth. Otherwise, you may simply move bacteria around your mouth instead of removing it. Lastly, be sure to attend regular dental visits with your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith. Professional cleanings can remove stubborn plaque and tartar, which contain bacteria that can potentially cause gum disease.

Schedule a Visit with Your Grand Prairie Dentist

When was the last time you attended a dental visit? If it was more than six months ago, you are due for a checkup. Contact our 75052 dental office to schedule an appointment or a consultation with your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith, today by calling 972-262-5111. We welcome patients from Grand Prairie, Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and surrounding communities.       

Grand Prairie Dentist Answers Your Questions about Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth extractions typically become necessary in the late teenage years or during early adulthood. However, many people are unclear as to why it is necessary to extract wisdom teeth at all. Below, your GrandPrairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, explains the reasoning behind wisdom teeth extraction as he answers your most frequently asked questions about the procedure.

Why are wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth emerge far later in life than the rest of your teeth. When they do emerge, they may cause problems with the alignment of your other teeth. For example, the wisdom teeth may be turned at an angle that would cause crowding in nearby teeth. Therefore, in order to prevent orthodontic problems, it is best to remove the wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth may also become impacted, meaning that they only partially break through the gums. If wisdom teeth become impacted, extraction is crucial. With the teeth only partially exposed, they cannot be thoroughly cleaned. Bacteria are also able to enter the opening in the gums, where they can cause infection, decay, and gum disease.

Are wisdom teeth extractions performed under anesthesia?

Your Grand Prairiedentist, Dr. Smith, employs one of two sedation methods for wisdom teeth extraction procedures. The two methods are nitrous oxide and oral sedation. For sedation with nitrous oxide, patients must inhale the gas during the extraction. Once sedation has been established, Dr. Smith can remove the teeth. Oral sedation, on the other hand, requires patients to take medication. One pill must be swallowed the night before the procedure, and a second pill must be taken one hour before the procedure. The medication places patients into a relaxed state, allowing Dr. Smith to extract the wisdom teeth.

Schedule a Visit with Your Grand Prairie Dentist

Do your wisdom teethneed to be removed? Contact our 75052 dental office to schedule an appointment or a consultation with your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith, today by calling 972-262-5111. We welcome patients from Grand Prairie, Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and surrounding communities.

Grand Prairie Dentist Takes a Closer Look at Toothaches

A toothache can start off as a minor annoyance. However, if it lingers, pain and frustration can feel like constant companions. Some toothaches can indicate serious problems in the mouth, while others may be fleeting sensitivities. How, then, can you tell the difference between them. Below, your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, examines four causes of toothaches and explains when a toothache may indicate a serious problem.

Four Causes of Toothaches

1.      Bruxism. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, places significant strain on teeth. Prolonged exposure to this type of strain can wear teeth down, and eventually they may crack, chip, or break. However, before structural damage occurs, teeth may become sensitive and ache. If you notice pain in your teeth following sleep as well as a sore jaw, you may be grinding your teeth and require dental care.

2.      A cracked tooth. A cracked tooth typically causes a sharp pain during biting or chewing. It also usually exhibits greater sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. A cracked tooth is a weakened tooth, meaning that bacteria are able to attack it more easily. Thus, if you think your toothacheis the result of a cracked tooth, contact your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith, for assistance.

3.      Tooth decay. Tooth decay is not always painful, but sometimes it can be. If your toothache lingers for several days, tooth decay may be the culprit. Any kind of tooth decay requires treatment or else it is capable of worsening.

4.      An irritant. Quite often a toothache is the result of an irritant caught between teeth. Thus, a good first step to follow upon developing a toothache is to rinse your mouth with warm water and floss in the area of the toothache. If you experience relief, the cause was likely an irritant. If the pain lingers, the cause may be something more serious.

Visit Your Grand Prairie Dentist

If you have a toothachethat lingers for days on end, don’t ignore your body’s warning. Contact our 75052 dental office to schedule an appointment or a consultation with your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith, today by calling 972-262-5111. We welcome patients from Grand Prairie, Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and surrounding communities.

Looking for a Brighter Smile? Your Grand Prairie Dentist Has the Answer.

The color of your teeth may be affecting you more than you think. If you make a conscious effort to hide your teeth because they are yellow or stained, you are not receiving the benefits that come from cracking a genuine smile. Research indicates that people who smile more often are able to improve their own attitudes as well as the moods of the people they interact with. Thus if you are hiding your smile, your own outlook may be suffering as well. Thankfully, professional teeth whitening can lift stains and brighten teeth several shades, leaving you with a smile you’ll be excited to show off. Below, your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, discusses the benefits of Zoom! Whitening.

Benefits of Zoom! Whitening

Zoom! Whitening really lives up to its name. The procedure takes about 45 minutes to complete and shows immediate results. These results average a lightening of about 8 shades for most patients. In addition, the results are also long-lasting, meaning that you can enjoy your new smile for a long time.

What to Expect from Zoom! Whitening

If you choose to receive Zoom! Whitening from your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith, your procedure will be conducted in three to four 15-minute cycles. To begin the procedure, Dr. Smith will first cover your lips and gums to protect them during the treatment. Next, he will apply a whitening solution to your teeth, which remain uncovered during the procedure. He will then activate the solution with a special light for about 15 minutes before starting a new whitening cycle. Following the completion of the procedure, your smile will be visibly whiter, and you will be able to show it off on your way out the door.

Schedule a Visit with Your Grand Prairie Cosmetic Dentist

Are your yellow teeth making you frown? Zoom! Whitening can brighten your smile and your outlook. Contact our 75052 dental office to schedule an appointment or a consultation with your Grand Prairie cosmetic dentist, Dr. Smith, today by calling 972-262-5111. We welcome patients from Grand Prairie, Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and surrounding communities.

Grand Prairie Dentist Discusses Four Types of Dental Crowns

A weakened tooth is susceptible to damage in the forms of cracking, chipping, and breaking. If damage is more severe, as in the case of a broken tooth, a dental crown can reinforce the tooth, restore its function, and improve its aesthetic appeal. But did you know that there are several types of dental crowns? Below, your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, discusses each type.

Metal Crowns

Metal crowns are known for their strength, but not for their looks. They are typically placed in the back of the mouth, where teeth must endure the strongest forces.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns

PFM crowns offer a cosmetic improvement to metal crowns. They retain most of the strength of an all-metal crown, but significantly improve aesthetic appeal with their outer coating of porcelain. These crowns are customized for each patient, allowing for a nice cosmetic result. They are, however, typically used in the back of the mouth because of the superior cosmetic results offered by all-porcelain crowns.

All-Porcelain Crowns

All-porcelain crowns are not as strong as metal or PFM crowns. Accordingly, they are most often used in the front of the mouth, where teeth experience less strain. However, to make up for their inferior strength, all-porcelain crowns offer improved cosmetic results. These crowns are customized for each patient to mimic the surrounding teeth, and they reflect light in the same way that natural teeth do, giving them a lifelike appearance, even in direct light.

Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia crowns resemble natural teeth and offer impressive strength. Your Grand Prairiedentist, Dr. Smith, often uses these dental crowns for patients who grind their teeth during the night.

Schedule a Visit with Your Grand Prairie Dentist

Do you grind your teeth during the night? Have you broken a tooth? Dental crowns can repair your tooth and restore your smile. Contact our 75052 dental office to schedule an appointment or a consultation with your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith, today by calling 972-262-5111. We welcome patients from Grand Prairie, Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and surrounding communities.

Repair Your Chipped Tooth with Your Grand Prairie Dentist

Did you know that many people grind their teeth without realizing it? The truth is that a large portion of bruxism (teeth grinding) occurs during sleep. Oftentimes this nighttime habit is discovered by a dental professional, who notices signs of wear on a patient’s teeth. The patient is then prescribed an oral appliance, called a sleep guard, for nighttime wear. The sleep guard protects the patient’s teeth from further damage caused by bruxism. However, if the patient does not receive a sleep guard, or if he or she neglects to wear it, teeth may chip and become damaged. Thankfully, your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, can repair chipped teeth. Below, he discusses a couple of options for restoring a damaged smile.

Repairing Chipped Teeth with Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure that applies a composite resin to the damaged tooth. This resin is the same material used in white dental fillings. It is durable when hardened and can be customized in color so that it matches the shade of the tooth it repairs. When performing dental bonding, your Grand Prairie cosmetic dentist, Dr. Smith, first applies the resin to the damaged tooth. He then sculpts the resin into the desired shape and hardens it with a curing light. Once hardened, the resin becomes very sturdy, allowing the restoration to last for several years. Following the hardening of the resin, Dr. Smith puts the finishing touches on the tooth and finishes by polishing it.

Dental Veneers and Chipped Teeth

Dental veneers adhere to the front surface of teeth, where they can mask a variety of cosmetic problems. Thus if teeth are chipped, veneers can improve their appearance dramatically. The application of dental veneers takes about three dental visits. Veneers typically last longer than dental bonding. However, they tend to be more expensive.

Schedule a Visit with Your Grand Prairie Cosmetic Dentist

Do you have a chipped tooth that needs to be repaired? Contactour 75052 dental office to schedule an appointment or a consultation with your Grand Prairie cosmetic dentist, Dr. Smith, today by calling 972-262-5111. We welcome patients from Grand Prairie, Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and surrounding communities.