Veneers: A Versatile Restoration

Falling into the category of cosmetic dentistry, veneers are a layer of porcelain or composite that covers the front surfaces of teeth. Whether veneers are referred to as porcelain, dental or cosmetic veneers, they serve the same purpose—to address various concerns with teeth such as chips, cracks, spacing, misalignment or discoloration. Given the versatility of veneers, it’s easy to understand why they’ve become a reliable and appealing solution for many patients.

The Best Candidates For Veneers

While many patients are attracted to the idea (and the appearance) of veneers, they are not the perfect restoration for everyone. Because a small portion of natural tooth enamel must be permanently removed, dental professionals exercise caution when jumping to the idea of veneers first. Consider the case of a patient with natural teeth that function well and have an adequate appearance. Your Dentistry Guide suggests that a dentist might explore a more minimally invasive option for this patient before considering veneers. On the other hand, suppose a patient has severely discolored or misshaped teeth. In this case, a dentist might suggest veneers as a reliable way to enhance the appearance of the patient’s smile, with the added benefit of a longer-lasting restoration.

If you are wondering about your candidacy for veneers, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I committed to regular dental visits?
  • Do I practice consistent oral care at home?
  • Are my teeth free from decay?
  • Do I have gum disease?
  • Do I suffer from bruxism (grinding or clenching the teeth)?
  • Do I have concerns with my bite?
  • Do I have enough healthy tooth enamel to support veneers?

Long-Term Success

Providing individuals and families with a unique dental experience in Cypress, Dr. Patrick Vuong leads Smile Avenue Family Dentistry with a commitment to preventative oral health education, superior dental care and long-term success. Thus, if you or a loved one is interested in the tremendous benefits of veneers, Dr. Vuong and the team welcome your call today!

Posted on Behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry

10 Ways To Amp Up Your Oral Health Routine

While you may spend a few minutes at the sink every morning and night brushing your teeth, a visit to the dentist might reveal that it’s not enough. Thus, if your mouth is not getting the attention it needs, Colgate lists ten ways to help amp up your oral health routine.

Use The Right Technique

Perhaps the greatest misconception regarding brushing is that it should resemble a “sawing motion” or “scrubbing” action. On the contrary, gentle strokes using a soft-bristled toothbrush are best at removing food particles without harming sensitive gum tissues. Begin by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, and use short brushing strokes, beginning at the top of the gum line as your brush down.

Be Sure You’re Brushing Long Enough

For some, brushing teeth is simply another activity to check off of a to-do list, and this causes them to rush through brushing. Thus, dental professionals recommend listening to a short song or video (at least two minutes) to ensure that you’re brushing long enough to thoroughly clean your teeth.

Use The Right Toothbrush

A toothbrush is not a one-size-fits-all. Be sure that you are picking a brush that is small enough to reach into the back sections of your mouth comfortably. For most adults, the average size is a small to medium head toothbrush.

The ADA Seal Is Important

Like toothbrushes, toothpastes are not created equally. Therefore, it’s important to look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal when choosing your toothpaste.

Floss The Right Way

Many experience frustration when they floss. Yet, if you haven’t perfected your flossing technique, here are other tools available to make sure that you’re cleaning between your teeth the right way. Look for flossers, floss picks and orthopicks for easy cleaning between teeth.

Use Mouthwash

Even with the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and good brushing and flossing habits, mouthwash rinses away tiny debris and particles left behind, while freshening breath.

Clean Your Toothbrush

Every time you brush your teeth, bacteria and other particles adhere to the bristles of your brush. Thus, it’s important to clean your toothbrush after every use. This is simple, and only requires a good rinse.

Change Out Your Toothbrush

It’s a good idea to change out your toothbrush for a new one every 3-4 months to ensure that your teeth are getting a thorough cleaning.

Use A Tongue Cleaner

Perhaps there’s a rigid or bumpy surface on the back of your toothbrush. This is called a tongue scraper, and it’s a valuable tool to scrape bacteria off of the tongue.

Be Careful When/How Your Snack

Are you a late-night snacker? It’s important to brush your teeth before bed, even if you are not eating a sugary snack. Food particles left on teeth and gums cause bacteria to multiply!

At Smile Avenue Family Dentistry in Cypress, Dr. Patrick Vuong helps patients achieve long-term success with a focus on preventative dentistry and optimal oral health. Call today to schedule your appointment!

Posted on Behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry

What’s TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction)?

Though it remains widely misunderstood, Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, or TMD affects millions of individuals each year. Sometimes referred to as TMJ, with a greater emphasis on the jaw joint, TMD has a number of suspected causes, including injury to the jaw or neck muscles, grinding teeth, arthritis, stress, or a combination of all of these. Symptoms of TMD vary just the same, with jaw pain being the primary complaint. Even so, to better understand TMD as well as potential remedies and treatment options, continue reading below.

To begin, the onset of TMD may be sudden or it may be a chronic condition that lingers for years. Similarly, it may affect one side of the face or both. Furthermore, it affects more women than men. Yet, to better understand the symptoms of TMD on a global scale, consider the following common complaints associated with TMD, as reported by WebMD:

  • Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw, neck, or shoulders, as well as the ear area, with increasing pain when one speaks, chews, or opens the mouth.
  • Jaws that seemingly become stuck or locked when in the open or closed-mouth position.
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when chewing, opening, or closing the mouth.
  • Feeling that the teeth are not fitting together properly when one bites down.
  • Feeling of tiredness in the face or jaw area.
  • Swelling of one or both sides of the face.
  • Aching in teeth, head, or ears
  • Upper shoulder pain
  • Dizziness

Because a number of the above-mentioned symptoms point to other conditions, diagnosing TMD is tricky. Thus, it is necessary to consider a patient’s overall health history, as well as a thorough analysis of the structure of the patient’s face, including muscles, tendons, and joints. It’s also wise to take into account any recent changes in the patient’s lifestyle or circumstances that may be causing stress or strain.

Treatment for TMD is guided, in part, by the suspected cause of an individual’s symptoms. For instance, if an x-ray reveals that the TMJ disc is misplaced in the joint, an oral surgeon may be consulted to determine if therapy or surgery is needed. Yet, if TMD is from bruxism, which is grinding or clenching the jaw, a mouth guard might be the solution. In other cases, if stress is causing muscles to tighten, warm compresses and/or massage therapy may relieve symptoms.

We’re Here To Help

At Smile Avenue Family Dentistry, Dr. Patrick Vuong is passionate about providing patients with a unique dental experience—one that puts them at ease concerning their oral health. When patients suffer from the effects of TMD, he understands that this can put a damper on everyday activities, affecting one’s ability to eat, speak, and even sleep. Thus, if you are suffering with any of the symptoms listed above, and would like to meet with Dr. Vuong, please call @ (832) 648-1756 or Visit – Smile Avenue Family Dentistry – Dentist Cypress TX today. We’re here to help!

Posted on Behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry

The Promises of Sedation Dentistry

If you are one of the many individuals across the United States that experience anxiety about visiting the dentist, you are not alone. Whether you have a low pain threshold, sensitive teeth, or if previous examinations have left a bad taste in your mouth, it’s important to consider the many advancements in dentistry that are paving the way for you to receive simple and straightforward dental care. Perhaps the greatest of these is Sedation Dentistry. Sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” sedation dentistry is safe and effective for all ages, and uses medication to help patients relax. For patients that need dental care, but are afraid to visit the dentist, sedation dentistry promises an easy, smooth, and positive dental visit.

To better understand how sedation dentistry can streamline dental treatment, it’s wise to learn about the types of sedation dentistry available.

Levels of Sedation Dentistry

While “sedation dentistry” and “sleep dentistry” are used interchangeably, patients are not asleep during most levels of sedation. For instance, for those with mild anxiety, dentists often administer nitrous oxide through a mask placed over the patient’s nose. This minimal level of sedation is sometimes called “laughing gas,” because it is known to cause individuals to giggle as they relax. This type of sedation wears off quickly after treatment, and patients may drive themselves home.

The next level of sedation is similar to the effects of Valium, and is given to patients orally, in pill form. Thus, patients are responsible for taking the medication one hour prior to their visit. Dentists may prescribe a larger dose depending on the patient’s level of apprehension and the dental treatment provided. It’s important to understand that oral sedation can cause drowsiness, and patients are wise to arrange for a family member or friend to drive them home.

For patients with extreme dental phobia or those receiving longer, more invasive dental treatments, IV sedation dentistry is a form of “conscious sedation” that is administered through an IV and monitored throughout the procedure. Though patients remain awake and can respond to instructions during treatment, they often find that they have no memory of the procedure.

Helping Patients Achieve Better Oral Health

Without question, sedation dentistry has helped patients achieve better oral health with the promise of a stress-free visit. This is why Dr. Patrick Vuong of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry makes it his priority to provide patients in Cypress with the advancements of sedation dentistry, so that they can receive the dental care that they deserve.

Is it time for your dental checkup? You can feel at ease at Smile Avenue Family Dentistry. Call today.

Posted on behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry