Elyse Braces On

Does my child need braces?

“Does my child need braces?” is a question we get a lot in our office.

Most orthodontists recommend that you bring your child in at age 7 for their first consultation. At this visit, the orthodontist will typically perform an exam in addition to reviewing photos and x-rays with you. The goal is to look at your child’s occlusion (how the teeth come together), see how much space is available for permanent teeth that still need to come in and determine if your child may benefit from braces at some point.

If nothing is needed at the time, the orthodontist may recommend that you come back at 6 or 12 month intervals to check on your child’s development. In some cases, your child may benefit from a palatal expander and/or Phase 1 braces to reduce the complexity and length of time needed in braces at a later date.

To get started, ask your dentist for a referral to an orthodontist and they will be happy to make a recommendation.

4th of July

Fun things to do over the 4th of July

Our office will be closed on Monday, July 4th so our team can celebrate Independence Day with their family and friends. In honor of the holiday, here are some fun ways to enjoy the long weekend:

Most importantly, have fun and be safe!

 

Car Mechanic

Investing in your Oral Health

As we get older, a lot of time and energy is spent thinking about investing. Whether it is in the stock market, in a home or in a business, people want to put their money to work for them and get a return.

In some situations, investing refers to the practice of regular maintenance to prevent larger problems in the long run. For example, it is important to make sure your car gets regular oil changes and tire rotations to help keep it running smoothly. Your mechanic may also run some diagnostic reports to let you know if something is starting to fail or not working properly. It’s often annoying to spend the time and money on these maintenance appointments however if you don’t do it, you know there will be more costly problems that could happen down the road.

Healthcare, including dentistry, is similar to taking care of your car. Regular, preventative appointments are encouraged to keep your body healthy and identify anything that is not working as it should. For example, a Dermatologist will tell you it is important to have your skin checked regularly to make sure it is healthy and to also identify any areas that could be cancerous. If something does appear cancerous, then you are hopefully catching it early and taking care of it before it spreads.

In dentistry, this means having cleanings and exams twice a year, in addition to periodic x-rays to help identify any concerns that aren’t visible to the naked eye. This way if a tooth has a cavity and needs a filling, the goal is to identify it early and take care of it before it becomes so large that it needs a crown, root canal, or worse—needs to be extracted.

So the next time you put off your regular dental appointment, we urge you to reconsider. You need to think of it as making an investment in your oral health. And if the dentist recommends treatment, before you reject it because of the cost, take the time to ask questions about what could happen if you do nothing. Often when you realize the dental work that may be needed down the road (and the expense), you may be more willing to make that investment now.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Implants

If you are missing a tooth and considering getting a dental implant, you may have a lot of questions. Below are some answers to the questions we get asked the most.

 

How does a dental implant work?

A dental implant is a small titanium screw that is inserted into your jaw bone. The implant will fully fuse with your jaw bone after a few months of healing and function like a tooth root. An abutment and implant crown (false tooth) will then be attached to the dental implant. It will look and function just like a real tooth, allowing you to eat regular foods. Additionally, because it functions like a tooth root, the dental implant will continue to stimulate your bone and prevent future bone loss. Other tooth replacement options, including bridges and dentures, do not offer this option.

 

What are other tooth replacement options?

If you are missing a tooth, you do have a few options and it is important to weigh the pros and cons before you determine the best way to move forward.

  1. You can choose to do nothing. This is obviously the least expensive option however it will have the biggest cost on your oral health. If you do not replace a missing tooth, eventually the teeth adjacent to it will start to move to the open space. This shifting can change how your other teeth come together when you bite down. Additionally, the bone where the tooth is missing is no longer stimulated and eventually starts to deteriorate.
  2. You can get a dental bridge. A bridge is when crowns are placed on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth and a false tooth is attached in the middle. Aesthetically, a fixed bridge can give the appearance of a normal tooth however it can have limitations on the types of foods that can be eaten. While the initial investment may be cheaper than a dental implant, a bridge typically last about 5-10 years before it will need to be replaced.
  3. If you are missing all of your teeth, you can get dentures. Dentures are removable arches of false teeth that fit over your gums and need to be adhered daily. They need to be relined at the dentist’s office regularly to make sure they are fitting properly as your bone level continues to diminish. Dentures can impact the way you speak and severely restrict the types of foods you eat. Similar to bridges, dentures have a life span of 5 – 10 years before needing to be replaced.

 

How much do dental implants cost?

This is the question we receive most often and the answer is “it depends”. There are many factors that go into the total cost of a dental implant, including dental insurance contracted fees and how many additional services are needed.

While some offices may offer a “sale” discount price on dental implants, they may not be including the additional services that are also needed. Before moving forward, make sure to ask about what is all included in that price so you can fully understand what your total cost will be.

Below are potential services that may be needed when considering the cost of a dental implant.

  1. Extraction (removal) of the tooth
  2. Cone beam x-ray
  3. Placement of the actual dental implant
  4. Sinus lift and/or bone grafting (adding bone or bonelike material to your jaw if needed)
  5. Anesthesia
  6. Flipper (a retainer with a tooth attached to fill in the missing gap while the implant is healing)
  7. Implant crown and abutment (the false tooth that is attached to your implant once it is healed)

Dental implants alone are often in the $1,500 – $2,500 range, however when you add in the additional services (including the final implant crown) the cost will typically be in the $3,500 – $6,000 range. The good news is that many dental insurance policies offer some type of coverage for dental implants. Additionally, the costs can often be spread out over a few appointments. For example, the final implant crown and abutment won’t be needed until the implant is fully healed (approximately 3-6 months after placement). Various financing options are also available to those who qualify.

While the initial cost of a dental implant may be higher than the cost of a bridge, dentures or doing nothing at all, when you look at it over time dental implants can actually save you money in the long run. When taken care of properly, dental implants can last a lifetime. Bridges or dentures, on the other hand, only have a life expectancy up to about 5 – 10 years before they need to be replaced. Additionally, dental implants act like real teeth so they help stimulate your bone to help prevent future bone loss and the loss of other teeth.

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Refer a Friend and Enter to Win $250 to The Streets at SouthGlenn!

Continuing with our “Living Local” campaign, we want to highlight a cool neighborhood to our west. The Southglenn neighborhood has long been a staple in South Metro Denver. From the early days of Southglenn Mall to now The Streets at SouthGlenn, the area has a vibrant retail, entertainment and restaurant mix while still keeping its neighborhood appeal.

Streets at Southglenn

We want you to love it as much as we do so we are giving away a $250 gift card to The Streets at SouthGlenn on July 1st! Simply refer a friend or family member to our office in June and you will be automatically entered to win. Click here for the official rules.

Good luck and keep supporting local business!

 

 

Family Dentistry services for a lifelong healthy smile for you and your family. Serving families in Lone Tree, Denver, and Highlands Ranch.

How well do you know your teeth?

How well do you know your teeth?

  1. How many primary (baby) teeth are there?
    1. There are 20 primary teeth. Children tend to get them starting at age 6 months and they may continue erupting until about 6 years old. Primary teeth help children learn to speak, chew and also act as placeholders for the permanent teeth.
  2. How many permanent teeth are there?
    1. There are 32 permanent teeth, including wisdom teeth. They are numbered 1 – 16 on the top (starting on your upper right) and 17 – 32 on the bottom (starting on your lower left). Your wisdom teeth are numbered 1, 16, 17, and 32.
  3. Do we lose all 20 primary (baby) teeth?
    1. Yes, we lose all 20 of our primary teeth by about the age of 12 or 13. By this age, most people will have all of their permanent teeth (with the exception of wisdom teeth).
  4. Do we lose our “baby” molars?
    1. Yes. We get our first primary molars around 12 – 19 months and then our second primary molars around 23 – 33 months (upper and lower teeth vary). Most people lose the first primary molars around age 9 – 11 and then the second primary molars around age 10 – 12.
  5. What about permanent molars?
    1. Molars are the first permanent teeth that don’t replace a primary tooth. There are 3 sets of permanent molars—the first are 6-year molars, the second are 12-year molars and the third are the wisdom teeth (often referred to as 3rds). Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the age of 15 – 25 (or may not erupt at all) and actually got their name because a person is generally “wiser” and more mature at that age.
  6. Why are wisdom teeth removed?
    1. Wisdom teeth are often removed because there may not be enough space in the mouth. In addition to making the mouth crowded, they can make it difficult to maintain good oral hygiene due to the difficulty of properly brushing and flossing so far back.
  7. What are premolars?
    1. Premolars, also known as bicuspids, are adjacent to your molars. They are not as large and have only 2 cusps (points) instead of 4. There are 2 sets of premolars—the first and second—and they replace the baby molars when they fall out.
  8. Why are the canine teeth called that?
    1. Just as you would imagine, our canine teeth are called that because they are similar to those of a dog’s and have the same purpose for biting and tearing food. They also look similar with their long, pointed shape.