How to Choose the Best Dentist in Brentwood for Your Family

If you are new to the Brentwood area, or if you are considering switching to a new practice, you may be looking into dentists in Brentwood who can provide excellent care for you and your family. But how do you choose the right family dentist for you?

Here are some things to look for in a family dentist for adults and children to help you make the best choice.

Experience

When selecting a family dentist in Brentwood, you want to look for a dentist who has a great deal of experience with providing dental care to children and adults.

An experienced dentist not only has a lot of knowledge and skill when it comes to performing dental procedures, but is likely also an expert at providing compassionate care for children and adults alike.

Look for a dentist who has been in practice for a while so you can be sure you are in good hands.

Comfort

The dentist’s office isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite place on earth, but some dental practices make their surroundings more comfortable than others. You should choose a family dentist whose office is inviting, comfortable and non-intimidating for both adults and children in order for everyone in your family to have the best experience.

Quality

When you are sitting in the dentist’s chair, it’s important that you feel completely at ease with the quality of care you are receiving. If something about a family dental practice makes you feel uncomfortable, anxious or unsettled, you may want to keep looking for a dentist who meets your needs.

It’s essential to find a dental practice with a caring, friendly staff, up-to-date technology and procedures, and a tidy, professional-looking office. You and your family deserve the best-quality dental care- why settle for less?

Contact a Dentist in Brentwood

Brentwood Family Dentistry is Ladue’s premier choice for family dental care. Our caring staff of dental professionals specializes in quality care for both children and adults, and is committed to providing each patient with the level of professionalism and compassion they deserve.

Check us out today- call 314-961-3221 to schedule your initial visit. We look forward to seeing you!

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When Does My Child Need to See an Orthodontist?

When you think about your childhood or adolescence, you may have vivid memories of needing to get braces when you were in middle school or even high school. Because of this, you may think your elementary school-age child is not ready for orthodontic treatment. However, these days, advances in orthodontic technology and changes in recommended orthodontic treatment plans have caused general dentists to begin referring patients as young as seven years of age to an orthodontic practice for braces and other orthodontic appliances designed to create space, align teeth and improve bite. Here are some guidelines for helping you determine whether it’s time to set up an appointment at the orthodontist’s office for your child.

Lucky Seven

Because most orthodontists do not choose to begin a course of treatment for children who have not yet lost any of their baby teeth, most orthodontic care professionals recommend a first visit once a child turns seven. This may seem awfully young to begin discussing orthodontic treatment, but in reality, it is the optimal time. By the time a child is seven, an orthodontist can get a pretty accurate picture of how the permanent teeth are going to be aligned as they come in, as well as address any issues with spacing, overbite or other orthodontic concerns. Because a seven-year-old child has normally already lost some or all of her eight primary teeth (the four front teeth on the top and bottom), as well as had the aptly-named “6-year molars” erupt, this is a good time to begin assessing the placement of the incoming permanent teeth and correct any issues with alignment or bite as they arise.

Achieving the Right Bite

When a child is seven years of age, the permanent teeth have just emerged, meaning that any existing alignment or bite issues have not yet caused the wear and tear on the teeth that can happen by waiting until adolescence or adulthood to correct them. Taking early measures to properly align permanent teeth can help reduce the possibility of cracked or broken teeth as a result of a misaligned bite.

Confidence is Key

As many of us are sure to remember, wearing braces when you are already in the throes of the awkward adolescent years can deliver a pretty substantial blow to your confidence and self-esteem. By choosing orthodontic treatment for your child at a young age, you are helping him or her to avoid the feelings of embarrassment or anxiety that orthodontic appliances can cause in adolescence or adulthood. A seven-year-old child is likely to care far less about his or her appearance, and may even think of braces as a cool accessory instead of a hindrance. By acting fast on orthodontic treatment, you can ensure that your child’s orthodontic appliance will be a thing of the past by the time those teen years strike.

Having your child visit the orthodontist for the first time at or around the age of seven is a good way to ensure that proper measures are being taken to help achieve a beautiful smile and healthy bite. Brentwood Family Dentistry in Kirkwood is here to get your child on the path to excellent orthodontic treatment as soon as possible. Contact the team at Brentwood Family Dentistry today at 314-961-3221 to schedule an orthodontic consultation for your child.

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Do I Need Periodontal Surgery

If you have recently been diagnosed with periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease, you may have some questions about your course of treatment. While some periodontal infections can be treated effectively with antibiotics and scaling of the gums, those that are too far-gone may need more aggressive treatment, including periodontal surgery. Here are some signs that you may need surgical treatment for your periodontal disease.

Your Infection is Beyond Reach of Manual Scalers

If your periodontal infection has created deep pockets in your gums, they may be too difficult to reach by manual scaling techniques such as debridement or root planing by your periodontist. These procedures are normally only effective if bacterial plaque causing periodontal disease is on the surface of the gums. Periodontal surgery may be required to reach the diseased areas in order to successfully clean and repair them. Flap surgery, a common periodontal surgery practice, is a procedure where a periodontal surgeon will create a three-sided flap in your gum tissue and then open it to allow access to deep periodontal pockets for plaque removal and gum tissue or bone repair.

You Have Experienced Bone Loss

Because periodontal disease is so aggressive, an infection may result in loss of bone in your jaw. If this is the case, your periodontal surgeon will need to perform a bone graft using donor bone tissue. The surgeon will place the donor tissue in the area where the bone loss has occurred. Over time, as your body accepts the tissue, it will generate new, strong, healthy bone.

You Need Gum Tissue Repair

If your periodontal disease has caused your gums to recede, this can spell disaster for future oral health. After all, your gums hold your teeth in place; if they aren’t able to do their job, you can expect to lose teeth down the road. Grafting gum tissue to the areas where gums have receded is one periodontal surgery procedure that can help treat the effects of periodontal infection as well as prevent against future problems with periodontal disease.

Of course, periodontal surgery alone won’t protect you from future instances of gum disease. It is absolutely essential to take good care of your teeth and gums by practicing good dental hygiene- brushing twice a day, flossing daily and visiting your dentist for regular semi-annual checkups are all important factors in keeping your periodontal infection from recurring. By changing your habits and embracing good oral care practices, you can prevent yourself from ever needing periodontal surgery again!

If you are in need of periodontal surgery and live in or around the Ladue area, Brentwood Family Dentistry may be just the practice for you! We specialize in all areas of general dentistry, as well as periodontal surgery, so we can help you every step of the way on your path toward achieving the healthy smile you deserve! Call Brentwood Family Dentistry today at 314-961-3221 to schedule your periodontal surgery consultation.

 

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How Invisalign Improves Teen Confidence

Invisalign benefits are many. One of these benefits is improving teen confidence. The Invisalign system does this in the following ways.

Remember your teen years? They were probably difficult, and having supportive parents and good friends, didn’t seem to help with self-esteem either. So how does Invisalign help boost teen self-esteem?

Beautiful smile

In case your teen avoids to smile with his teeth because they look crooked or not in alignment, there is a very good chance that he/she might hide them. However, when they have been straightened, they won’t feel like that anymore, and instead of trying to hide their smile, they will be proud of it.

Few Dental Issues

When your teeth are crowded, spaced or too far apart, it can be a hard task cleaning them, meaning it will be difficult to keep them clean and shiny, making it hard for a ten to show their smile. In case you think your teen is self-conscious about their teeth, then straighter teeth that are easier to clean and result in healthier gums and whiter teeth can eliminate that pain in your teen’s self-esteem.

Perfect Smile Boosts Confidence

What most parents do not understand is that your teens smile displays confidence, and helps boost their confidence. According to research body language has been known to affect individual persons as well as those around them. Therefore, I case your teen has low self-confidence due to their teeth or appearance, then providing them with a smile that they love to show off will help in building their confidence. Smiling is a better way to show confident you are.

Invisalign Straightens Teeth Invisibly

There’s nothing more demoralizing than a teenager who has been struggling with self-esteem to be slapped with metal braces. Most teens believe that the metal braces will only attract more negative attention to them. Invisalign provides the same function as metal braces; the only difference is that your teen won’t have to worry about their appearance.

In case you are living in Kirkwood area and you would like to have your teen treated with Invisalign, then Brentwood Family Dentistry is the place to be. We have a lot of experience with Invisalign treatment, and we have all the right tools to give your teen that perfect smile that will boost their confidence. Call us or visit our offices for more information. Our staff will be more than happy to assist you.

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Bridges

Bridges are dental prosthetic devices that are designed to restore the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your mouth. They are an alternative to getting multiple dental implants. Dental bridges are made to match your remaining natural teeth, with the porcelain or ceramic crowns colored to match. These devices are made just for you in a dental lab with impressions made by your dentist.

Who Could Benefit From a Dental Bridge

You may benefit from a dental bridge if you are missing two or more of your natural teeth. The bridge spans the gap between your remaining teeth. If you have missing teeth with some natural teeth in the middle of the gap, the bridge can accommodate this situation. Getting a dental bridge helps to maintain your ability to speak and chew, and it restores your smile.

How Bridges Work

Dental bridges are cemented into place by using crowns affixed to your remaining natural teeth. The bridge consists of a wire frame with a plastic base. This base contains the pontics, which are artificial tooth crowns. The bridge can be brushed and flossed around just like your natural teeth. A bridge could last a lifetime, but sometimes the crowns come loose, or your natural teeth develop decay. Either may necessitate replacement of the bridge.

Advantages of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges prevent your remaining teeth from shifting out of place. This helps to protect your bite and prevent other dental problems. Bridges can be used by people who do not qualify for a dental implant. They also help to distribute the forces of biting and chewing. With a bridge in place, the shape of your face will be the same.

If you have missing teeth, call James Rhea, DDS today for a custom bridge that can restore your comfort and smile.

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Restorative Procedures

When your tooth has been damaged because of decay, grinding or an injury, restorative procedures are available to strengthen your tooth so that you can bite and chew your foods, speak and smile normally. Restorative procedures can also help to improve the way that your mouth looks, especially if you choose materials that are tooth-colored. These dental restorations are durable and designed to be permanent.

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are used to restore your teeth after a cavity has been removed. Your dentist may recommend a filling made of gold, amalgam or composite. If you choose a composite filling, it can be colored to match your tooth. Amalgam fillings are silvery. Gold and amalgam fillings offer strength and durability while composite fillings are more aesthetically pleasing.

Bridges

A dental bridge can fill a space where you are missing two or more teeth. The bridge is a metal and plastic framework that supports artificial tooth crowns. The crowns are made using impressions of the original teeth in your mouth. The bridge can be fixed or removable. If it is a fixed bridge, it will be supported by crowns that are attached to your neighboring natural teeth.

Crowns

Dental crowns are restorative procedures that are used if your tooth has undergone a large change in size and shape. This may be due to root canal therapy, cracking or a significant amount of decay. Crowns can be made of gold, gold alloy, porcelain fused to gold or ceramic. Porcelain fused to gold and ceramic crowns are ideal for teeth that are visible when you smile. These crowns look like your natural teeth. Gold and gold alloy crowns offer enhanced durability.

If you require restorative procedures, call James Rhea, DDS at Brentwood Family Dentistry today.

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Take Home Teeth Whitening

take-home-teeth-whitening_bigWhen you want a brighter, whiter smile but you do not have the extra time in your schedule to have an in-office whitening procedure, an at-home kit may be a good option for you. Take-home teeth whitening systems are prescribed for you by your dentist. This helps to ensure that you get the right concentration of bleaching solution and proper guidance on how to safely use the kit.

How At-home Teeth Whitening Kits Work

An at-home teeth whitening kit is custom-made for you by your dentist. The dentist makes an impression of your teeth. Those impressions are sent to the dental lab to produce the plastic trays. Your dentist will provide you with a bleaching gel to load into the trays and onto your teeth. The customized trays help to ensure that the gel only comes into contact with your teeth and not the soft tissues of your mouth. The at-home kits use either carbamide or hydrogen peroxide bleaching gels. The concentration of the bleaching agent is 10 percent to 22 percent, which is lower than the concentration for an in-office whitening.

Advantages of Using an At-home Whitening Kit

At-home teeth whitening kits are safe to use. With the instructions provided by your dentist, you will be able to achieve a whiter smile after just one use of the trays. If you desire more dramatic results, your dentist may be able to supply you with more of the gel for additional treatment sessions. You can use the at-home whitening kit whenever it is convenient to you, such as a weekend evening when you have enough time to complete the treatment session.

Call Brentwood Family Dentistry today to learn more about using take-home teeth whitening kit for a brighter smile.

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In Office Teeth Whitening

Teeth WhiteningSince the 1980s, Americans have made teeth whitening one of the hottest trends to hit the cosmetic dentistry world. This explosion in popularity can be attributed, in part, to the rise of at-home teeth whitening products that people spent over $1.4 billion on in 2007. However, these products can only do so much to remove stains from your teeth. When you experience tough stains, the only way to remove them is to visit your dentist for an in-office teeth whitening session. While in-office teeth whitening is the fastest and easiest way to remove stains from your teeth, there are some stains that just don’t come off easily. Here’s a look at some stains that in-office teeth whitening services can remove easier than at-home products.

Stains That In-office Cleanings Can Remove

In-office teeth whitening services work great on a number of stains. Listed below are the different types of stains that your dentist can easily remove.

• Aging stains: This type of discoloration develops on your teeth over time, turning them dark brown, yellow, gray, or even green. The color may be the result of eating habits or heredity. While your dentist can remove all these colors, yellow teeth tend to get whiter faster.

• Food stains: Certain foods stain your teeth the more you eat and drink them. Coffee, sodas, and red wines are all examples of foods that stain your teeth. Most people aren’t aware of the fact that fruits and dark-colored vegetables can also stain teeth.

• Tobacco stains: By now you probably know just how bad smoking is. What some people don’t realize is that tobacco isn’t just bad for their health; it’s also bad for their teeth. Tobacco stains your teeth and usually can only be removed during an in-office teeth whitening service.

Visit Brentwood Family Dentistry for all of your in-office teeth whitening needs. Our friendly staff is here to make your teeth white and beautiful again.

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Veneers

cosmeticdentistryDental Veneers are thin shells made from porcelain or a composite material. They are designed to slip over the tooth’s outer exterior surfaces. The process of placing a dental veneer is permanent because your tooth’s surface must be slightly eroded in order to get a good bond with the veneer.

How Do Dental Veneers Work?

Dental veneers cover up the visible part of your teeth. They are custom made for each patient in a dental lab. To make the veneers, your dentist takes an impression of your teeth. The impressions are sent to the lab, and the color of the veneer is designed to match the color of the rest of your teeth.

Dental veneers can stain just like your natural teeth. Once the veneers are bonded, you may be instructed to avoid foods and beverages such as tea, coffee and red wine. Veneers can also chip, so your dentist may recommend that you avoid eating hard foods such as whole nuts.

Who Can Get Dental Veneers?

There are many different dental situations that can be helped with dental veneers. Your dentist may recommend them if you have teeth that are stained from root canal treatment or if you have stains from tetracycline or other medications. If you have streaks from excessive fluoride or large resin fillings that discolored your tooth, veneers may restore the tooth’s appearance. You may also need dental veneers if your teeth are abnormally worn down, chipped, misaligned, uneven or irregularly shaped. If you have a gap between two teeth, two veneers can be applied to the affected teeth in order to close the gap.

Call the office of James Rhea, DDS today to learn more about the benefits of porcelain veneers.

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Tooth Colored Fillings

Dental Bonding

Dental fillings are used when a part of your tooth has developed decay. The dentist removes the decayed portion, and the filling material is used to restore the tooth’s structure so that you can eat, talk and smile normally. Although there are many different types of filling materials, tooth-colored fillings are a popular choice.

What Tooth-colored Fillings Are Made from
Tooth-colored fillings are made from composite resins. The custom color is achieved in the dentist’s office when the dentist mixes the resin. This type of a filling is designed to blend in with the natural coloring of your tooth so that it is less noticeable when you talk or smile.

When Tooth-colored Fillings Are Used
A tooth-colored filling could be an option for you if you need a small or medium-sized filling on an exterior surface of one of your front or side teeth. These fillings can withstand moderate pressure, such as when you bite into a piece of food. The tooth-colored filling is the material of choice if there is tooth decay on a part of your tooth that can be seen during routine activities such as smiling and talking.

Benefits of Getting a Tooth-colored Filling
In addition to the nearly seamless blending of a tooth-colored filling with the color of the rest of your tooth, there are other benefits of getting this type of a dental restoration. The composite resin chemically bonds with your tooth, which helps to keep it in place. Any less healthy tooth structure needs to be removed in order to place a tooth-colored filling. The composite resin can also be used to repair a small chip on a tooth.

Call the office of James Rhea, DDS for more information about tooth-colored dental fillings to correct tooth decay or damage.

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