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.


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.


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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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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Dental Bonding


Dental Bonding

With all the options available to help you restore the function and beauty of your teeth to perfect condition, it can be a daunting task to find the best fit for your specific needs. Luckily, many dentists are happy to offer advice during consultations after a quick inspection of your mouth to help you determine the solution that works for you. Of the many solutions, one of the most common is that of dental bonding. The following are some of the most common scenarios where bonding can be used to restore a tooth:

• If you have a chipped or decayed tooth, the plastic resin that bonds to your tooth can be used to fill in those areas and then harden under ultraviolet light to be shaped properly.

• In cases where gums have receded or been damaged, exposing the roots of a tooth and leading to pain, bonding can cover the lower portion as an extension of your tooth.

• Bonding is a useful alternative to amalgam fillings after your dentist has drilled out the space where a cavity was located.

• For patients who have teeth that are too far apart, bonding is a useful way to fill the gap naturally to remain unnoticed by most people.

• One of the most common ways bonding can be used is to reshape teeth that have been misshapen or stained. Because the material hardens seamlessly to blend with the tooth, cosmetic improvements are a simple procedure with this method.

If any of these situations seem similar to your own or you’re experiencing a different problem that might be addressed with bonding, please call today for a consultation with Dr. James Rhea, DDS, at Brentwood Family Dentistry. Our office staff members are always happy to welcome new patients regardless of their dental needs.

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What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Simply put, cosmetic dentistry is what gives people beautiful smiles. It involves treatments and procedures that improve the appearance of teeth. Along with enhancing your appearance, some forms of cosmetic dentistry may also improve the overall health of your teeth and mouth. Cosmetic dentistry is recommended as an addition to regular teeth cleanings and preventative oral care.

What Are the Most Common Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Options?

Our office offers a wide range of cosmetic dentistry options for patients looking to improve the appearance of their smiles. Some of the most common treatments include replacing missing teeth, lightening or brightening the color of teeth, closing spaces between teeth and changing the alignment of teeth.

At Brentwood Family Dentistry, we offer bonding, tooth-colored fillings, porcelain veneers and crowns, in-office teeth whitening, at-home teeth whitening, take-home tray whitening and accelerated orthodontics.

How Do You Know Which Treatment Is Right for You?

Before deciding on any cosmetic dentistry option, you should speak with a dentist you fully trust to explain your options. Feel free to ask your dentist about his or her experience in performing each treatment and whether there are any risks that you should be aware of before you commit to it. With most cosmetic treatments, many patients are able to combine them with other dental visits depending on how extensive the procedures are. Some of the most convenient treatments at our office include our many options for teeth whitening and bleaching; these can even be completed from the comfort of your own home.

Quality Cosmetic Dentistry in Brentwood, Missouri

To receive superior cosmetic dentistry services and to make your smile as vibrant as possible, call Brentwood Family Dentistry at 314-961-3221 today to book an appointment.

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Hate Flossing? Try This.

large_2170174813I think there is one thing that every one of my clients has in common: a true hatred for flossing. I can’t count how many times I’ve asked a patient how frequently they floss and they shyly respond “Not often enough.”

We all know that flossing is a critical element of your dental health. A little piece of floss takes care of all the tiny morsels of food that brushing can leave behind, reducing future visits to the dentist, keeping your breath fresher, and increasing your overall gum tissue and bone health.

For a lot of my patients, however, it seems like the proven long-term health and dental benefits of flossing are outweighed by the inconvenience and discomfort of those few minutes each day.

There’s Hope!

Luckily for all of us, our friends at Sonicare offer an alternative to the dreaded waxed string.

The new Sonicare AirFloss uses microburst technology to gently and effectively clean in-between your teeth. It takes less than a minute, and has all the benefits of flossing! Studies have shown that using the Sonicare AirFloss removes up to 99% more plaque between teeth than brushing alone.

Not only that, but Sonicare guarantees results from the AirFloss. If you don’t have noticeable results and better checkups in 28 days, Sonicare offers a full refund…no questions asked!

So, What Are You Waiting For?

Contact us today and get on the road to better breath, better gums, and better health!

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3D CT Scanner – Trust your Teeth with Top Technology!

medium_3197305861We’ve looked at the time-saving benefits of CEREC, and the powerful procedural advantage of the Intraoral Dental Camera, and today we’ll look at the diagnostic awesomeness of our newest addition: The 3D CT Scanner.

Using specialized hardware with similar technology to a medical CT Scanner (Cat Scan), the 3D CT Scanner gives a hi-res, detailed structural image of your teeth, your jaws, and the important structural bits that surround them. These 3D images are drastically better than traditional X-Rays, offering multiple types of imaging and views that are immensely more accurate. All of this in a speedy, safe, comfortable scan that takes about 20 seconds.

This new member of the Family Dentistry office—the leading edge of dental technology—comes in particularly handy with implant procedures. With this incredible level of detail, in addition to information about related things like bone density and locations of nerves and sinuses, we are able to ensure better accuracy with our procedures, making our already high success rates even higher.

Come schedule a visit to learn more about the 3D CT Scanner! Call us at 314-961-3221, or click here and schedule an appointment!

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