Get to Know Jaw Joints

Good dental function is significantly associated with better brain function, better vision, better hearing, better lung volume, better heart volume, better muscle strength, better bone mineral content, less heart attacks and longer life.
(SOURCE: British Medical Journal — 1989 & Community Dental Oral Epidemiology — 1990)

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Why a Missing Back Tooth Matters ….

Missing Tooth, Creve Coeur Family Dentist, Cosmetic Dentist Creve Coeur, MO

“Ssshhh … my back tooth is missing!”

… OR, DO I NEED TO GET AN IMPLANT TO REPLACE A MISSING MOLAR?

The American College of Prosthodontists reports that 178 million people in the US are missing at least one tooth. Delta Dental Northeast reports that nearly half of Americans ages 65 and older have lost six or more teeth, and 20 percent have lost all of their teeth. In our Creve Coeur practice, we fortunately don’t see averages this high.

When the missing tooth is toward the front of the smile, most people will replace it with a dental implant or other tooth replacement option.

However, when the missing tooth is a molar or toward the back, it can seem less important to do anything. The logic goes: “if no one can see it, it’s not as important as a missing tooth closer to the front.” 

Missing back teeth are common because the molars are the first adult teeth to erupt and unfortunately, often the first to be lost due to decay or fracture. And, as this post hopes to convey, the impact of a missing back tooth on your smile is equally as important in the long run as a front tooth.

Any missing tooth initiates this cascading series of events:

• Wrinkles appear around the mouth. Upper and lower lips lose fullness and appear thinner.

• Lips droop at corners of the mouth. Collapse of upper lip due to underlying bone loss and loss of fullness will make the nose appear larger than if the upper lip had more support.

• Decrease in facial height as the distance between the tip of the nose and chin reduces.

• The chin moves forward.

These changes occur over time due to bone loss triggered by a missing tooth.

When a tooth is missing and isn’t replaced, the jawbone supporting that tooth has no purpose and will begin to shrink. What follows is:

  • the teeth begin to shift;
  • chewing is shifted to other teeth, causing them to wear faster;
  • 20% of adjacent teeth will be lost within 4-8 years; and
  • the bone shrinks, leading to the collapsing facial appearance described above.

If you’re looking for a cosmetic dentist in Creve Coeur, Artistic Dentistry has been providing all cosmetic services for over thirty years. With advanced technology, including 3D imaging, state-of-the-art sterilization, laser therapy and the most natural dental materials available that are effective, we’ve become the Go-To Center for Tooth Replacement. In that we offer all tooth replacement services, we’re not partial to one or the other. Our approach is simply to find out which option works best for our patient, based on his/her dental condition, needs and budget.

Contact us today to learn more!

Orthopedic Dentistry: Do You Have These Symptoms of Imbalance?

Natural Chewing Function Relies On Precision Balance

  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Neck aches.
  • Facial pain with increased pressure in your head and sinuses.
  • You wake up with headaches or develop them by midday.
  • You have pain behind your eyes for no apparent reason.
  • You have sounds in your ears, but your doctor can’t find anything wrong.
  • You notice your smile is getting crooked as teeth wear down unevenly.
  • You’ve had an increase in root canals, especially on one side of your mouth.
  • You have neck and low back pain that creates inactivity.
  • Your bite isn’t the same since getting cosmetic dental work.
Correct the Problem and The Symptoms Go Away. That’s Done By Balancing  Your Head, Neck and Jaw Before Doing Dental Work.
That’s What Orthopedic Dentistry Is All About. It Also Ensures Your Cosmetic Enhancements Don’t Create Imbalance.

In a perfectly constructed mouth, the teeth and jaw fit together to perform the function of chewing.  The slightest adjustment to a tooth can throw this precise functioning off-balance. Even the replacement of a filling can make your bite feel different if it’s not balanced correctly. If not adjusted right away, it can lead to problems ranging from indigestion to causing your jaw joints to move out of place.

If just a simple filling requires such precision, imagine the skill required in placing veneers or implants while ensuring they not only look great but are completely natural in their feel and fit.

Like a perfectly calibrated bridge constructed to withstand all of the elements of weather and carry immense weight, your teeth and jaw are designed to a precision measured in millimeters. The ability to work with the precision of an engineer and the talent of a master artisan ensures your dental outcome is both healthy and beautiful.

Anti-Aging Dentistry Defined

Dr Pete & Martha and Friends Yvonne & Ken Are Grateful for Good Health

Dr Pete & Martha, Along with Friends Yvonne & Ken, Are Grateful for Good Health.

Alignment and Balance Can Help Prevent “Dental Aging.”
Have You Noticed Any of These Telltale Signs of Imbalance?

  • Thinning of your lips.
  • Wrinkles or sagging around your mouth and jaw.
  • A wearing down of your teeth causing your chin to get closer to your nose.
  • You avoid chewing on one side of your mouth.
  • You have missing or cracked teeth.
  • You don’t smile for pictures anymore.
  • You noticed facial pain with increased pressure in your head and sinuses.
  • You put your hand over your mouth when you smile.
  • You notice your smile is getting crooked as teeth wear down unevenly.
  • You’ve had an increase in root canals, especially on one side of your mouth.
  • You have neck and low back pain that creates inactivity.

SPECIAL OFFER: If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, schedule your
Super-Thorough Cleaning, 5-Point Dental Exam and X-Rays for just $116 – a savings of over $200.
Call 314-576-3000.

If you’re over the age of forty and have considered cosmetic dental work, you’ll want to know some of the principles behind Anti-Aging Dentistry, also known as Midlife DentistryYour head, neck and jaw need to be in balance in order for cosmetic dental work to rest on a sound structure. This will save you from redoing procedures.

As you age your teeth wear down, often causing an uneven bite. This can lead to unexplained pain in the head and neck area. If not addressed, you may seek medical treatment for pain caused by this dental condition.

Your teeth and gums are part of an interrelated structure that includes your head, neck and jaw. Anti-aging dentistry or Midlife Dentistry, is a comprehensive program that ensures your chewing function feels natural when your work is complete. Along with appearance, your concern with any cosmetic dental work, should also be balance. That way, your treatment is done correctly the first time and can last longer.

Dr. Pete’s 30+ years of experience and training  ensures your cosmetic dental work will last, integrates with your own natural chewing function, and doesn’t create a structural imbalance leading to pain.

3D Imaging Allows for More Precise Placement of Dental Implants

3D Imaging Allows
for More Precise Placement of Dental Implants

The Latest In Imaging Technology

At Artistic Dentistry, we update your smile using the latest technology as well as Dr Pete’s more than 30+ years experience and training in nearly every dental procedure.

SPECIAL OFFER:
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, schedule your
Super-Thorough Cleaning, 5-Point Dental Exam and X-Rays for just $116 – a savings of over $200. 

Call 314-576-3000.

 

 

What’s Lurking Under Those Old Fillings?

Teeth Can Be Cracked Under Old Mercury Fillings

Did you know the average lifespan of your silver amalgam fillings is only five to fifteen years? A high percentage of people keep theirs longer than that, which can lead to unseen decay, cracking and eventually pain.

If you’re over the age of thirty and have had your fillings for quite some time, schedule an appointment and let me examine them. They could need replacement if there are signs of cracking.

Cracking or decay festering underneath won’t be apparent until you find yourself in pain one day. Or, you bite down on something and feel the final crack give way beneath the old filling.

Also, as fillings get old they sometimes leak. In your exam, I’ll see if they’re worn around the edges and pulled away from the tooth enamel. When this happens, bacteria can enter and once inside the tooth it can’t be removed, so decay begins. There may be no symptoms until the decay reaches the nerve of your tooth, creating the need for a root canal.

If the decay gets far enough for you to be in pain, the remedy will require more treatment and more expense.

Every time you bite down you’re applying one hundred pounds of pressure to your teeth. If your fillings are weakening and there’s unseen cracking and decay underneath, every bite, is causing stress.

Last year I removed the silver fillings from a forty-five year old patient who has had regular dental care elsewhere and whose teeth and gums were in relatively good shape. She wanted the silver amalgam replaced with white fillings for cosmetic reasons. When we removed her silver fillings we discovered her molars were cracked and had to be restored. They are not only functioning great, but she no longer has dark fillings detracting from her beautiful smile.

When fillings are worn or broken down they need to be replaced as soon as possible to prevent the spread of decay throughout the tooth and any unseen cracking lurking underneath. In the process, you’ll get a smile update.

Should You Restore or Replace Teeth In the Back of Your Mouth?

The answer depends on whether you want to preserve your jawline, chew your food well and avoid digestive problems.

The distance between your nose and chin is detemined by your back teeth. So your entire face, lips and smile is dependent on your back teeth.

The teeth in the back of your mouth serve a vital chewing function. If that function is compromised due to missing or broken down teeth that need to be capped or replaced, the entire chewing mechanism is compromised.

This sets the scene for more tooth loss in the future. Besides, it reduces the ability to chew up your food and puts the brunt of digestion on your stomach. This often results in gastointestinal problems.

So, replacing missing teeth or getting crowns in the back of your mouth is not a cosmetic decision — but a decision in favor of maintaining overall health.

George Clooney or Simon Cowell?

George Clooney Is Said to Have a Natural Smile

Magazine covers, billboards and television barrages us with images of gorgeous women and chiseled men. Seems we just can’t get away from the subject of looks. Notice that one element in common with all of these “beautiful people” is a great set of teeth.

Over 2000 people were surveyed in Great Britain on the subject of attractiveness and teeth. Overall, the study revealed that nearly 1/3 of those between the ages of 45-54 have had some cosmetic dentistry vs. 20% of 18-24 year olds.

The same study also revealed that those seeking a new smile would prefer the more natural look of a celebrity like George Clooney to the dazzling white “Hollywood” grins of the likes of Simon Cowell. The academy’s Dr James Goolnick said “People want a nice healthy smile that looks natural. They don’t want people to say, ‘Where did you get that done? ‘”

Seems women in their late 40s and early 50s are the most inclined to have cosmetic dentistry. The British survey also found that almost twenty percent of those responding are so concerned about the state of their teeth that they refuse to smile when photographed.

Another independent study conducted on behalf of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry discovered that the most common answer to the question “what would you most like to improve about your smile?” was whiter teeth.

Simon Cowell's Smile is Described in Survey as More "Dazzling"

According to the same survey:
-99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset.
-96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more engaging to members of the opposite sex.
-74% of adults believe an unattractive smile can lessen a person’s chances for career success.
-88% say they remember someone with an attractive smile.

Only half of Americans are satisfied with their smiles.

In Uncertain Economic Times What Is Your Safest Investment?

Your Smile. It Increases Earning Power.

Research and polls done in the last few decades repeatedly show that your smile influences how you are perceived and treated by others in every situation in life.

A survey done by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that 74% of American adults believe an unattractive smile can harm a person’s chances of career success. Julia Roberts was at one time the highest paid actress in Hollywood. She also was voted as having the best smile in the business. Think there’s a connection?

People see your smile or teeth as the first or second thing they notice when they look at you. Some studies say it’s the eyes – others say the smile. Either way, when you come into contact with other people they will notice your teeth and smile no matter what, since the mouth and eyes are the chief vehicles for communication.

Are Same Day Implants For Everyone?

Single Tooth Implant Is the Most Common

I get asked a lot about same day implants. Implants are the best dental treatment for missing teeth. A titanium post is inserted into the bone where the tooth was and capped off with a crown. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent bone loss and gum recession that are common with bridgework and dentures.

The stability is returned to the jaw and dental implants look, feel and are maintained like your own teeth. For those who don’t want an unsightly gaping hole or for someone who doesn’t want to have to contend with dentures, implants are the most innovative dental alternative available.

That said, for about 80% of the patients who come into my St Louis office, dental implants can’t be done in a day. One reason is that bone erosion often accompanies a missing tooth. For proper placement of the implant there has to be enough bone, often requiring a bone graft. This means that the implant procedure is going to take more than one visit.

Here’s more on dental implants.

Is Cosmetic Dentistry a Luxury?

Before Whitening

After One Hour In-Office Whitening

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry describes procedures that restore or enhance your smile.  These include dental crowns, bridges, dental implants, porcelain veneers and whitening.

Even simple whitening can have a dramatic effect on your appearance. The before and after pictures to the left of one of or patients shows what can be achieved in just an hour.

The top reasons my own St Louis patients are having cosmetic dental procedures to restore and update their smiles include:

Single and looking for a mate. Often the confidence that comes from having a great smile transforms an introvert into an extrovert. For many of our patients, a new smile is a life transformation.

Professional Image. For professionals, executives and any career that dealing with people, having a nice smile is no longer just a competitive edge. It’s a necessity.

Health-conscious. Maintaining the functionality of your teeth is vital to overall health and its impact is felt more as you get older.  So many of our patients are health conscious. They exercise, eat right and try to stay away from medications. These same pateints understand the importance of maintaining the functionality of their teeth. These are people who do not want to have dentures in their older years.

So, is cosmetic dentistry a luxury? For many, that’s like asking if you can afford to exercise or eat right.