invisalign

The Most Common Questions About Invisalign

Orthodontic care can help you correct dental issues such as misalignment, bite problems, and more. According to BioMed Central, over 9 million individuals in the United States receive orthodontic treatment each year, making it the third-largest treatment category in dentistry. Invisalign is a popular type of treatment that can help patients achieve the smile they’ve always wanted. Let’s learn more about this option and see if it’s a good choice for you.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an innovative method of orthodontic care that uses a removable device. The device is molded to fit the mouth and apply gentle pressure to the teeth. This gentle pressure, over time, will start to shift the teeth into the desired position. The appliance can be taken out for eating but, otherwise, it’s recommended that the device stay in place at all times.

What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?

Invisalign is a good option for people who don’t want to commit to metal braces. Metal braces are more invasive and permanent than this type of appliance. Metal braces are also sometimes uncomfortable. Invisalign isn’t uncomfortable for most patients. Patients also like the option of removing the appliance if they need to.

How Do You Care for the Appliance?

Caring for the Invisalign appliance is somewhat simpler than caring for braces. You will need to remove the appliance once or twice a day and clean it thoroughly as you would a retainer. Keeping the appliance clean is important to your oral hygiene.

Is Invisalign Expensive?

Invisalign can be covered under dental insurance just like traditional orthodontic braces. You’ll want to talk with the orthodontist and the insurance company, however, to find out details on payment and coverage. Most people find this type of treatment comparable in price to traditional braces.

Will Invisalign Work for Anyone?

Invisalign orthodontic treatment is recommended for people with mild to moderate crowding or crooked teeth. This type of treatment can shift teeth into a more desirable position. However, this device cannot be used to treat some forms of very severe malocclusion, or crooked teeth. It’s not used to correct moderate to severe bite problems. If you are dealing with these types of issues, you will likely need traditional braces and orthodontic care.

If you’re looking for orthodontic care near you, please contact Lowell Dental Arts today. We are here for your orthodontic needs.

dental cleaning

What to Expect from Your First Dental Cleaning as an Adult

It’s not uncommon for adults to avoid the dentist because of anxiety, but it’s never a good idea. Your dental health can really go downhill if you don’t visit the dentist regularly. According to AAO, the three oral conditions that most affect overall health and quality of life are cavities, severe gum disease, and severe tooth loss. If you have some dentist anxiety, it’s good to know ahead of time what to expect. This can bring you some relief and help you get the dental care you need. Let’s look at a few things you can expect at your first dental cleaning as an adult.

The Physical Exam

Before you have a cleaning, you will have an oral exam. During this exam, a dental hygienist will use a tiny mirror to check inside your entire mouth, including the backs of your teeth. This is done to check for any signs of gingivitis. If there is a problem, the hygienist will call in the dentist to examine you as well. You can also expect your hygienist to examine your mouth and throat with gloved hands to examine for any abnormalities or lumps. This is to check for oral cancer.

The Removal of Plaque and Tartar

The next part of the visit will be to remove plaque and tartar. The hygienist uses a tool called a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from the gum line. It can also be used between your teeth as well. During this part of the procedure, you might hear scraping. This is normal and completely safe. If there is a large amount of tartar, this step may take longer. You can avoid the build-up of plaque and tartar by brushing and flossing regularly.

Cleaning

You are now ready for the cleaning part of your appointment. A toothpaste will be applied to your teeth, and your hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth with a high-powered electric brush. This machine does make noise, but it’s essentially a high-tech toothbrush.

Thorough Flossing

Following the dental cleaning, your hygienist will floss your teeth. They are trained in how to floss your teeth the right way and may be able to reach parts of your teeth that you can’t reach at home due to the angles of your mouth. This part may feel uncomfortable if you aren’t accustomed to flossing. Be patient and remember that this is very important for proper dental hygiene.

Rinsing and Fluoride

Your mouth will be thoroughly rinsed out and fluoride will be applied should you request it. This helps to strengthen your teeth and can help fight against cavities. The fluoride treatment will be left on your teeth, and it’s recommended to avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes to give the fluoride time to seal.

While undergoing your first dental cleaning as an adult may seem intimidating at first, you may find that you enjoy your cleanings (especially the clean feeling of your teeth afterward). If you’re in need of professional dental cleaning, please contact us at Lowell Dental Arts today to schedule an appointment. We’re here for all your dental needs!

dentist

What Qualifies a Dentist to Treat Your Teeth?

Have you ever wondered exactly how your dentist is qualified to clean your teeth and perform other services? A dentist is a highly trained professional who must meet state regulations and licensing in order to provide dental services legally. Let’s look at four qualifications your dentist has and uses to provide you with excellent dental services.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Health

A dentist must have a bachelor’s degree with pre-requisites in health or science. Most students who wish to become dentists will study a health-related major as part of their bachelor’s degree. This could be biology, chemistry, or human anatomy. A major in a health-related field helps a dentist complete the necessary prerequisites to attend dental school.

Attended Dental School

Once a student has completed their bachelor’s degree, they will then need to take a dental school entrance exam and be admitted to dental school. During dental school, a student will earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry degree. Either of these degrees will have the same course requirements and knowledge. Both programs require intense study.

Pass the National Board Dental Exam

Earning a Doctorate degree isn’t the end of the qualifications for your family dentist. Upon completion of their degree, a would-be dentist must still pass the National Board Dental Exam. This exam ensures that your dentist understands the different dental conditions, topics, and treatments needed to care for patients. Passing this exam will help your dentist become legally licensed in your state.

Obtain a License

Once they have passed the exam, they can obtain licensure for their state. This licensure must be kept up to date. It’s important that you do some research on your dentist to ensure that they are indeed licensed legally to practice dentistry.

Complete Specializations

Some dentists may go on to complete specializations in certain treatment areas such as orthodontics. All orthodontists are trained dentists, but only 5% of dentists specialize in orthodontics, according to AAO. If a dentist is choosing a specialization, they will also complete a residency in that specialization as well.

When it comes to dentistry, you can rest assured that your dentist has the knowledge and skill to properly take care of your teeth. If you’re looking for a reliable, qualified dentist in your area, please contact us today at Lowell Dental Arts. We’re available to answer any questions you may have!

best dental care

The Evolution of Dental Care: How Far Have We Come?

Humans have always tried to care for their teeth throughout history. However, as civilization has evolved, the concept of what’s considered the best dental care has too. Interested to learn more about how far we’ve come from our ancient dental services? Here, we’ll dive into a fascinating overview of the ways dentistry has changed over the centuries.

Early Dental Care

It’s believed that civilizations throughout history have performed some type of dental care or treatments for over 9,000 years. This is based on the analysis of ancient skulls. In addition to treating problematic teeth, it is believed many civilizations also cared for their teeth. According to Healthline, people have been using some form of toothpaste since 500 BCE. It’s believed that twigs and branches were used to fashion homemade toothbrushes, and different liquids were used as primitive mouthwashes and swishing agents.

Dental Care in the 1700s and 1800s

Dentistry became a true profession in the 1700s. Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon, first introduced the idea of fillings and identified one of the key sources of tooth decay: the acids bacteria leave behind when eating sugar.

The first dental college, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, opened in 1840 followed by the formation of the American Dental Association (ADA) 20 years later. Colgate also began mass-producing toothpaste in 1873!

Dental Care in the 1900s

In the early 1900s, the beginning foundations for American dentistry started to take shape. At this time, the wealthiest Americans were able to seek regular care from a dentist. Toothpaste and toothbrushes also started to become more mainstream. Lastly, the American military started to require soldiers to brush their teeth twice a day and regularly floss them. From there, this routine continued to spread to everyday people, creating dental standards that are still in place today.

Dental Care Today

The technology around dental care has changed a lot. There is a greater focus on dental health, simply because there’s more information out there related to its importance. Dental insurance has also helped make dental care more affordable to the masses.

Today, it’s expected to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time, and it’s recommended to visit your dentist at least once every six months to keep your teeth happy and healthy. Today’s dentists can also provide a wider range of services to keep your smile in great shape from cleanings and fillings to X-rays and caps.

Dentistry has certainly come a long way over the centuries, and now you can find the best dental care possible at Lowell Dental Arts. Contact us today for more information about our dental services or to schedule an appointment with us!

dental care and cosmetic services

Can You Save a Decaying Tooth?

People often don’t think about how many teeth they have to care for. According to Healthline, there are usually 32 teeth in a person’s mouth. But what happens when one of your teeth starts decaying? Can it be saved with dental care services? The answer is that it depends. Here, we’ll dive deeper into what can be done to save a decaying tooth, and what your options are in the event that it needs to be pulled.

At Which Stage Is It?

When you come in for dental care services and we find a decaying tooth, we will see if it’s in a certain stage of decay. The earliest stage is when there are white spots on the first layer of the tooth, which is called the enamel. You can use fluoride to strengthen your tooth.

If this decay makes its way deeper into the enamel, those white spots will turn brown. This is when our dentists will suggest fillings to keep the decay from getting worse. These are the best-case scenarios.

What If It Gets Worse?

If the decay has made its way through the enamel, the next part of the tooth is the dentin. If our dentist catches this early, we can still use fillings to treat it. However, if the tooth decay is deeper, we may elect to clean it out and place a dental crown over it to protect the tooth from decaying further.

If the tooth gets worse, the decay can reach the pulp of your tooth or even form an abscess. Our dentist may need to do a root canal treatment and remove the infected area to protect your health. This process is finished with the placement of a crown over the affected tooth. If a root canal may not be in your best interest, our dentist will recommend that the tooth be removed and replaced either with a partial denture, bridge, or a dental implant.

While you can see that it’s possible to save a decaying tooth, it’s important to prevent decay by taking care of your teeth. According to Colgate as well as our own dental experts, it’s recommended to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time and also floss at night. It’s also a good idea to use mouthwash at night to get rid of any lingering bacteria. See your dentist once every six months for regular exams and cleanings. This way, our dental care services can catch things early on. That will give you a good reason to smile.

Are you looking for dental care services in your area? Lowell Dental Arts can help! Our patients come to us for regular dental cleanings, veneers, dental crowns, and more. Contact us today for more information!

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