Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

Invisalign is Convenient and Easy to Use

Braces can be cumbersome and unattractive. Younger family members especially will want to avoid embarrassing braces. Invisalign is an attractive alternative. It offers convenience, ease of use, aesthetic benefits, comfort, and easy maintenance – all advantages that braces cannot claim. Let’s look at the benefits of choosing Invisalign over traditional braces.

Braces consist of many parts, including wires, brackets, spacers, and rubber bands. They are not usually removed until their usefulness has ended since removal requires going back to the orthodontist. Users must be careful about the foods they consume, which can become trapped in the braces. Brushing and flossing can also be difficult. And, of course, they’re not very attractive.

Invisalign consists of trays called aligners. These aligners can be easily removed by the user at any time, including to eat, brush, and floss.


Interested in Invisalign?

Aesthetically Pleasing

Braces are clunky and obvious, attracting immediate attention to the user’s teeth. Invisalign aligners are customized to fit a specific user, so they line up perfectly with the teeth. This makes them mostly invisible, so only the user will know they are there.


Braces can irritate and cut into gums and cheeks, making them incredibly uncomfortable. Invisalign aligners have smooth edges, making them much more comfortable. Even the user may forget the aligners are there!

Easy Maintenance

Braces must be tightened at regular appointments and wires periodically replaced. If food and other substances get trapped in the braces, it may cause difficulties, which will also require setting up an appointment. Invisalign aligners are simply changed every two weeks. Because they can be removed to eat and brush, there is no risk of anything getting trapped.


Make the Best Choice to Improve Your Smile

Invisalign clearly has a lot of advantages over traditional braces. If you’re looking for a way to straighten your teeth without resorting to braces, Invisalign is the answer. Dr. Rhea is an experienced orthodontist in Brentwood, MO, who can help you learn more about Invisalign. The friendly staff will answer all your questions and get you started on the path to a nicer smile and healthier teeth. Contact Dr. Rhea today to schedule an appointment!


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Dental Bridges in Brentwood: A Complete Guide

What Are Dental Bridges?

Having a missing tooth, or multiple missing teeth, can not only affect your smile and confidence, but there’s also always a chance of infection and/or neighboring teeth becoming misaligned. In the past few decades, teeth replacements have advanced by leaps and bounds and dental bridges are responsible for restoring the smiles of scores of people across the country.

Brentwood Family Dentistry is the premier dental practice in Brentwood, MO and we provide professional, friendly and comfortable care in all aspects of advanced and general dental care. With the advancements in teeth replacement options, we want to ensure that you are fully informed about dental bridges.

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A dental bridge is a popular dental device that is permanently fixed to existing teeth or implants to cover up gaps caused by one or more missing teeth. In general, a “bridge” is created using a pontic, or artificial tooth, and abutments, which are anchored to the teeth or implants on either side of the space created by the missing tooth or teeth.

If the teeth bordering the missing tooth have large fillings and need crowns or caps in the future, a dental bridge is likely your best choice. The same goes for cases where the tooth or teeth has been missing for an extended time as the bone and gum will have receded and dental implants can require additional procedures before placement.


Dental Bridges vs Dental Implants

Dental bridges generally cost considerably less than implants and these days you can expect the average lifespan of your dental bridges to be around 10 years. You will also have less of a wait time for your dental bridge than you would experience with an implant, meaning you can regain that part of your life much quicker.

With implants, a bone graft is sometimes needed, which typically has to heal for several months before placement of your implant, and that means it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months before your implant procedure is complete. When it comes to an affordable and timely solution, dental bridges can be the answer you need.


Contact us for Dental Bridges in Brentwood

No matter if you’ve fully made up your mind or you’re still on the fence regarding dental implants, Brentwood Family Dentistry can ensure that you are fully informed about your options and the pros and cons before undergoing any procedure.

Contact us today for more information or to set a dental appointment. Brentwood Family Dentistry has been serving area families for more than 20 years and we’re here to help maintain and enhance your smiles and overall dental health.

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6 Invisalign Benefits You Should Know

Invisalign is a form of orthodontics that uses a transparent, plastic aligner to adjust teeth. Clear aligners have evolved quite a bit over the past few years, improving with technology and the feedback of patients and doctors, but few have as many satisfied patients as Invisalign. And there are good reasons for this. Continue reading to find out 6 huge advantages that Invisalign has over traditional braces.

Benefits of Invisalign

Transparency of Invisaligners – One of the biggest reasons patients dread braces is the thought of their smile being unsightly with all of that metal showing. However, with Invisalign’s clear design that is customized specifically for your teeth, that phobia is no longer a concern. Many patients are surprised to find that it can take friends and family awhile to recognize the change if they even notice at all!

No Food Restrictions – Unlike traditional braces, with Invisalign you don’t have to restrict the types of food that you may consume. You can still enjoy your apple a day, caramel, nuts and even gum while treating with Invisalign. All you have to do is remove the aligners before eating.

Easy Oral Health Care – With traditional braces you are required to brush carefully, maneuvering around brackets. Thankfully, that is not an issue with Invisalign, and since they are removable, your brushing routine doesn’t have to change at all.

More Comfortable – Metal braces have to be tightened and have wires and edges that can poke you unexpectedly. Since Invisalign is customized for your mouth, the edges of the tray are smooth so they won’t irritate your gums or cheeks. They are definitely much more comfortable than braces.

Shorter Treatment Time – Instead of multiple years constantly wearing those old metal braces, treatment with Invisalign consists of a series of clear plastic trays, or aligners, that you switch out about every two weeks.

Improved Self-Esteem – Having aligners that no one can see, being able to eat what you want, and not having to change your oral health routine, are all huge factors when it comes to Invisalign over traditional braces. They are also huge factors in improving your self-esteem.

Accelerated Orthodontics in Brentwood, MO

If you’re ready for a smile that transforms your appearance, Invisalign is your answer, especially when compared to metal or ceramic braces. Dr. Rhea has a level of experience and training you can trust. The team at Brentwood Family Dentistry is ready to correct your crooked or crowded teeth, close any gaps you may have between teeth or fix an overbite, permanently. Invisalign is the best way to transform your smile without interfering with your day-to-day life. Dr. Rhea is the best provider in Brentwood, and your dental health and comfort are his primary concerns.

On your first visit to the office, our primary objectives are to talk with you about your concerns, answer all of your questions, and set your dental goals. We have been taking care of dental patients in the Brentwood area since 1993, and you can contact us today to learn more about us, Invisalign, or to set an appointment.

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How Serious is Gum Disease?

Some people are more genetically prone to gum disease than others. Periodontal or gum disease is a progressive condition which usually begins with a bacterial infection causing the body to destroy both gum and bone tissue in an inflammatory response. If left untreated, erosion of the bone results in a less stable base for the teeth, leading to loose teeth or complete tooth loss.

About Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease and causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage and is reversible with professional treatment and good oral care.

Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include stress, smoking, inadequate nutrition, diabetes, HIV, aging, substance abuse, pregnancy or hormonal fluctuations, systemic diseases and conditions, genetic predisposition, puberty and the use of certain medications.

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, and with time, plaque can grow and spread below the gum line. This causes gums to separate from the teeth and form pockets that become infected, and, as the disease develops, those pockets deepen, and even more bone and gum tissue are destroyed. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.

Types of Gum Disease

There are many forms of periodontitis, and you should consult us for periodontal therapy if you feel you are suffering from any of the following:

  • Systemic Diseases – Systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are associated with a specific form of gum disease.
  • Aggressive Periodontitis – Includes rapid attachment loss and bone destruction.
  • Chronic Periodontitis – Results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth and includes progressive bone loss.
  • Necrotizing Periodontal Disease – An infection characterized by necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone.

Through recent research studies, periodontitis and gum disease have been linked to respiratory illness.  Research has concluded that periodontal disease can worsen conditions such as COPD and may play a role in the contraction of emphysema, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

There is also evidence that indicates dental disorders such as gum disease are linked to do with heart disease as well. To maintain good overall health, the best insurance you have is to keep good oral health habits.

Contact a Dentist in Brentwood

You should contact us if you notice any of these symptoms of gum disease:

  1. Red, swollen gums
  2. Loose teeth
  3. Pain when you bite or chew
  4. Bleeding after brushing/flossing
  5. Receding gums
  6. Pus on or around your gums

Don’t take chances with your oral health. The results could cost you a lot more than you think.

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Can I Return to Work After a Root Canal?  

Interested in a root canal in Brentwood? Click here.

So you have just been told that you have to undergo root canal treatment. You have read all the articles, knowing what will be done, and know that while you may have more pain from the treatment it will solve the pain that you might already be experiencing. Your question, though, is one that has not been answered on other websites: will you be able to go back to work after undergoing a root canal treatment?

As it turns out, this sort of depends on a lot of factors that go into the treatment.

Factors Influencing Going Back to Work After a Root Canal

The biggest thing is the type of anesthesia used. Many dentists around the internet assert that going back to work following a root canal procedure depends on what type of anesthesia is used and the dose used. The heavier the dose and the heavier the drug, the less likely that you will be able to go back to work. However, in a majority of cases, only a local anesthetic is used, which numbs the area around the site where the procedure needs to be done. This will not affect your overall mental capacity and you will be able to head back to work.

Another factor is your pain tolerance level. Oftentimes, people who have root canal procedures will have a lot of pain, which will prevent them from returning to work. However, more often than not, the pain is not that intense that it will prevent you from returning to work. Again, unless you have a significantly low pain tolerance level, you should be able to return to work.

As can be seen, determination of returning to work following a root canal depends on numerous factors relating to your body. If this is your first root canal treatment, tell your work that you may or may not return to work, depending on what occurs during the treatment. If you have gone through one before and know that you can still operate mentally, then by all means tell your employers that you will be able to return to work. Ultimately remember that if the pain is too much or you are in too much of a fog following the treatment, go home and rest.

Contact Us for a Root Canal in Brentwood

If you’re ready for a root canal in Brentwood, give Brentwood Family Dentistry a call at (314) 916-3221.

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Why People Need Dental Implants

For most people, their smile directly affects their self-esteem. Having that perfectly white, even smile makes you more approachable. However, most people have not been blessed with a naturally perfect smile. Gaps happen. Teeth fall out or break. Years ago, the only option for replacing missing teeth were dentures or bridges. Today, however, dental implants are becoming more and more popular. If you would like to know more about dental implants in Brentwood, MO, keep reading!

What Is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are permanent, tooth replacements. They are usually made up of three pieces: a post, the abutment and the false tooth. If you opt for a dental implant, your first surgery will include the insertion of the dental post. This piece is typically a titanium screw that is inserted into to the gum. As it heals, the jawbone fuses to the post and creates a strong bond that will anchor your implant in place. Once you have healed, an abutment is attached to the post. Finally, the tooth, or crown, is attached to the abutment and your implant process is complete! At our family dentistry practice, dental implants in Brentwood, MO are a routine procedure. Our staff is highly trained to ensure your surgery, recovery and final placement are all as easy and painless as possible. Our custom, recreated crowns will blend flawlessly into your smile, giving you a perfectly natural smile once more.

Benefits of a Dental Implant

If you are missing teeth, a dental implant may be a perfect choice. When you are missing one or more teeth, your remaining natural teeth will begin to gradually shift to fill in the space. This natural reaction can actually cause you serious dental issues down the road. Not only are your teeth harder to maintain when gapped, but they could become costly as they begin to need more and more orthodontic care to maintain. You may think a bridge is a better option. However, a bridge, fixed or otherwise, will allow your jawbone to eventually deteriorate. (Chewing and other pressures applied to your jawbone through your teeth stimulates the area and keeps it strong!) The more your jawbone deteriorates, the weaker the remaining parts of your mouth will become. Dentures are another typical suggestion. As with the bridge, these can lead to jawbone deterioration. However, dentures are notoriously uncomfortable, easy to lose, and restricting. A dental implant, however, is permanent and feels just like your real teeth!

Dental Implants in Brentwood

At Brentwood Family Dentistry, our staff understands how important your smile is to all aspects of your life.  From teeth cleaning to cosmetic dentistry and much more, we work with you to provide the services you need and want. If you are in the Brentwood, MO area and are in need of dental implants, or would just like to know more, contact us today!


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Periodontist in Brentwood Treats Gum Disease

Gum disease is anticipated to affect over 130 million Americans every single year, though it’s often not diagnosed. Gum disease can lead to severe issues with your oral health, and have long-lasting (or lifetime) connections to other areas of the body you may not be aware of.

Gum Disease Leads to the Following Problems:


  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s
  • And more


Issues from periodontal, or gum disease, are directly related to these issues, with new findings stacked daily. Whereas these have a few minor links between them, there is one undeniable issue directly associated with this disease: gum recession.

Gum recession isn’t something that can be fixed; the damage can only be halted. Gum disease ravages the gums, exposing more baseline surface areas of your teeth that normally wouldn’t be accessible. This makes it far easier to experience tooth decay, and be left with “pink in the sink” when brushing. The less gum tissue you have, the worse off you are.

How Does my Periodontist in Brentwood Treat This?

Your Brentwood periodontist has multiple methods to treat gum disease, including:


  • Medicinal: Antibiotics and topical prescription medication can be prescribed and utilized to slow or stop the effects of gum disease. Further deliberation will need to be taken by your dentist.



  • Procedural: Removing infected tissue can give you the best fighting chance to eliminate gum disease. With proper post-procedure oral care and consistent appointments/monitoring, getting a jump on gum disease could stop it in its tracks.



  • Aid in Self-Care: After everything is taken care of, preventing gum disease from striking again is up to you. Your periodontist in Brentwood can help with proper care, and recommendations on on-home dental products.


Your Periodontist in Brentwood

Treating gum disease isn’t something that can wait. Your periodontist in Brentwood is equipped to identify issues and propose the necessary course of action to eliminate periodontal disease in as little time in possible. Contact us today for more information, or to book your appointment and begin treatment. All it takes is a quick phone call to get started.

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How to Know When You Need Dental Crowns

Good dental care begins with proper hygiene techniques, regular dental examinations and professional cleanings. But what if you are in need of more extensive dental work to help keep your teeth strong and improve your smile? Dental crowns are a popular option for helping you retain your natural teeth and avoid the need of implants, bridges or dentures. When looking for a practice that specializes in dental crowns in Brentwood, the team at Brentwood Family Dentistry is here for you! Here are some signs that dental crowns may be your best course of action for improving your smile and keeping your teeth strong and healthy.

Cracked or Broken Teeth

If you have a crack or chip that hurts your tooth when you bite into something, you are an ideal candidate for a dental crown. Since crowns work by building up your natural tooth and protecting cracked or broken areas from receiving more damage, having a dental crown placed on your cracked tooth can make a huge difference; once the crown has been placed, the pain should cease, and you will be able to bite and chew normally without problems. However, it is essential that you choose an experienced practice that specializes in dental crowns in Brentwood, as “craze lines,” or harmless discoloration lines in your tooth, may be mistaken for cracks, which could lead to an unnecessary dental crown placement.

Root Canal

If you have a sudden toothache that makes a root canal necessary, you will need a dental crown to cover the shell of your existing tooth once the procedure is complete. This is to help strengthen the enamel once the pulp has been removed from the tooth, and can help lessen the chance of the tooth breaking from normal use.

Old Fillings

If you have a large, old filling taking up more than two-thirds of the width of your tooth, you may want to look into getting a dental crown before it breaks on its own. The preventive measure of crowning a tooth with an extra-large filling can help reduce the risk of a break, which can lead to intense pain.

Brentwood Family Dentist is your source for quality dental crowns in Brentwood, MO. Dr. James Rhea and the rest of the team specialize in the creation and placement of dental crowns that can help keep your teeth strong and healthy, as well as give you a brilliant, beautiful smile! Call us today at 314-961-3221 to set up a consultation.


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Porcelain Veneers: Why You Should Consider Them

Porcelain veneers have been a viable option for cosmetic dentistry for years, but they provide far more than a glossy look to your teeth. The benefits of porcelain veneers, as explained by your Brentwood family dentist office, are as follows:

  • Appeal: Cavities, tooth decay, chips due to accidents – they all come with self-consciousness and an undesirable appearance. Porcelain veneers contour to the look of your natural teeth, as well as the same color shading, to make it look like nothing ever happened.
  • Durability: Porcelain veneers typically last for 10 – 15 years, though with attention to care, they can last you a lifetime. With routine checkups and quick action to any other dental problems you face in the future, such as misaligned bites or reducing acidic foods in your diet, you can preserve the durability of your teeth.
  • They Can Save Your Teeth: If you experience microfractures, splitting, or chipped teeth (in some cases, crowns may be required before veneers), you could actually save your teeth with porcelain veneers. They keep a protective seal over splits and cracks, meaning you won’t experience sensitivity, tooth decay, cavities, or total tooth loss.
  • Gap Filling: If you’re self-conscious about small gaps between your teeth, porcelain veneers can help. Cosmetically, they’re able to lengthen short or stubby teeth, while still being fully accessible for flossing and oral care.

Can Porcelain Veneers Help Me?

Depending on your necessity and cosmetic requests, porcelain veneers can absolutely help with all of the benefits listed above, and more. Dental appearance is also attributed to aiding in psychological health, improves first impressions, and gives you the confidence you need to succeed. If you experience self-consciousness or have functional restrictions with your natural teeth, porcelain veneers are an option to explore with virtually no downsides or setbacks associated with them.

Porcelain Veneers in Brentwood

Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for anyone looking to cosmetically improve the appearance of their teeth, revitalize their smile, or reap the rewards of improved function. Schedule a no-risk consultation or call your dentist today to discuss getting porcelain veneers in Brentwood.

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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.


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.


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.


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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