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The Benefits Of Lasers In Cosmetic Dentistry

The Benefits Of Lasers In Cosmetic Dentistry

When you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in Billings, MT, you want an expert who has the latest tools and techniques to take care of you. Whether you need a smile-makeover or simply want whiter teeth, working with an experienced cosmetic dentist can make a huge difference.

That’s why here at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Taylor has spent years honing his craft and provides cutting-edge service such as laser dentistry. With his experienced care, you can enjoy superior laser cosmetic dentistry in Billings, MT.

What Is Laser Dentistry

Laser dentistry is a type of dentistry that lasers are used to treat a variety of dental issues, ranging from tooth decay to yellowed teeth. The laser part of the name is actually an acronym, standing for ‘Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation’ (LASER). While laser dentistry is still not well-known, it has been in use in dental practices for over 30 years.

When in use, laser dentistry instruments will create a focused and narrow beam of light energy that will react when it makes contact with your dental tissue. By using laser dentistry, our dentist can reshape or remove tissue to care for your smile.

Benefits Of Laser Cosmetic Dentistry

Many dental services will focus on how laser dentistry improves regular dental treatment. While there is a significant benefit to using lasers during regular treatment, there are a number of great cosmetic dentistry benefits to using lasers.

  • More comfortable treatment method – Instead of drilling and other hard dental tools, lasers can make cosmetic dentistry treatment more comfortable. While local anesthetic will often still be used, laser dentistry is often considered far less uncomfortable.
  • Treat stubborn cold sores – Cold sores can be both painful and unsightly. You can address a stubborn cold sore with laser dentistry. Also, you don’t have to wait to get your cold sores treated. Once you know you have cold sores, you can come in and have Dr. Taylor take care of your cold sores.
  • Reduce gummy smile – Laser dentistry can be used to reshape a gummy smile. With the lasers, our dentist can reduce the amount of gum tissue covering your teeth for a more toothy smile.
  • Remove tissue folds – When wearing dentures, there can be soft folds of gum tissue that cause your dentures to fit poorly. To correct the fit and increase your comfort, Dr. Taylor can use lasers to remove these tissue folds.
  • Whiten teeth – Likely the best-known application for lasers in cosmetic dentistry is to help whiten your teeth. Thanks to dental lasers, you can enjoy a whiter, brighter smile much faster than with older methods.
  • Lengthen crowns – Sometimes, when you need a dental crown placed, there may not be enough room on the tooth for a crown to be placed. Our dentist can reshape your gums to lengthen the amount of exposed tooth you have so that your crown can be successfully placed.

Laser Dentistry In Billings, MT, Is Used By Our Cosmetic Dentist

You don’t have to travel out-of-state to receive premier cosmetic dental care. Instead, you can entrust Dr. Taylor with your smile, and he will do his best to help you reach your dream smile. As you can see from our Smile Gallery, many people have come to Dr. Taylor with a host of dental issues, and have enjoyed their smile renaissance.

If you are interested in laser dentistry as part of your cosmetic dentistry treatment, please contact us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Taylor, and let us help you reach your perfect smile!

What You Can Do About Receding Gums

Receding Gums

When the gums begin to pull back from the teeth and start to expose the root of the teeth, that is called receding gums. In some cases, receding gums can be caused by a lack of preventative care, but there can be many other causes. However, the main question our patients ask is if there is a way to reverse receding gums.

While gum tissue does not grow back, cosmetic dentists like Dr. Taylor can provide treatments to manage and address receding gums.

What Causes Receding Gums

As we said before, there are many triggers that can cause your gums to recede. Some of the most common reasons why people struggle with receding gums are:

Nicotine use – The use of nicotine products restricts the flow of blood. This restriction of blood flow can cause issues with blood and oxygen reaching the tissue in your gums, leading them to die and recede.
Poor dental hygiene – Without proper oral care, plaque can build up on a person’s gums and teeth. This plaque can harden and turn into tartar, and as it separates your gums from your teeth, bacteria can move in and cause the gums to recede.
Bruxism – Forceful teeth grinding caused by grinding can put too much pressure on your gums, causing the gums to recede. Also, misaligned teeth can have a similar effect.
Harsh toothbrush or technique – While it can be tempting to brush your teeth more firmly when you notice a dental issue, that hard brushing can be causing some of the problems. Harsh teeth brushing techniques can irritate your gums and cause them to recede, as well as wear down the enamel of your teeth. Also, hard-bristled toothbrushes can cause issues with your gums and teeth as they can be very abrasive.
Genetic predisposition – Some people simply have a genetic predisposition to gum disease, which means no matter how well you care for your teeth, you may still struggle with gum disease.
Hormone changes – Women undergoing hormonal changes such as menopause, puberty, and pregnancy can have more sensitive gums that can be vulnerable to receding gums.

Ways A Cosmetic Dentist Can Help With Receding Gums

Once someone has had gum recession, you will need the dental services of a cosmetic dentist like Dr. Taylor to correct the issue. There are three main ways that receding gums can be addressed.

Gum Graft

One of the more invasive options, a gum graft requires a cosmetic dentist to take gum tissue from another section of your mouth. Generally, the inside roof of the mouth can be used. This tissue is then surgically placed in the areas of your mouth where your gums are receding.

Not only can a gum graft significantly improve the appearance of receding gums, but it can also prevent future problems with having the roots of your teeth exposed.

Flap Surgery

More in-depth than root planing and scaling, during flap surgery, our dentist will make a small incision in your gums to allow him to lift the tissue up. With the gum tissue moved out of the way, it is easier for our dentist to reach further and remove the rest of the bacteria causing your receding gums.

After the bacteria is removed, then Dr. Taylor will resecure your gum tissue. With the bacteria removed, the danger of further recession, bone loss, and gum disease are significantly diminished.

Bonding

Bonding focuses mostly on improving the appearance of receded gums. This procedure used gum-colored resin and places them over the exposed roots of your teeth.

Not only does the bonded resin reduces the appearance of your receded gums, but the bonding can help protect the sensitive and delicate roots of your teeth.

How To Stop Your Gums From Receding

While there are some gum recession factors out of your control, there are some that you can control and ways to prevent your gums from receding further.

  • Root planing and scaling – Less invasive than flap surgery, root planing and scaling by our dentist can remove built-up plaque and help clean out pockets of bacteria. That way, your gums can heal and stop receding.
  • Quit smoking or vaping – Products with nicotine will continue to impact your health if you continue to use them. Try to quit their use as soon as possible to ensure the health of your gums.
  • Use soft-bristle toothbrush – A soft-bristled toothbrush is best for your teeth’s enamel and your gums. Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and be sure to floss at least once in the evening.
  • Attend regular dental check-ups – Attending your biannual dental cleaning is a great way to help stop your gums from receding, particularly if you are prone to plaque build-up. Our staff can help deep clean your teeth, and Dr. Taylor can catch warning signs before they become a serious issue.

If you would like to consult with our dentist about your gum concerns, feel free to contact us to set up your appointment.

Direct From The Dentist: What Too Much Soda Does To Your Teeth

Most people are aware that soda isn’t the best for your overall health. Not only is soda linked to type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and obesity, but did you know that it can have a severe impact on your teeth? Well, your friendly local dentist at Taylor Cosmetic Dental is here to tell you all about how too much soda affects your teeth.

How Soda Interacts With Your Teeth And Mouth

Before we jump right in, let’s lay some groundwork information. First, there are hundreds of types of bacteria which live in your mouth. A lot of this bacteria is helpful and assists in breaking down your food and helps clean your mouth to a certain extent. However, there are harmful bacteria that come to eat leftover food particles, especially sugar, and that bacteria excrete acid that wears down the enamel of your teeth.

So, you already have acid being created in your mouth by these bacteria, then you add soda. All types of soda, both full sugar as well as sugar-free soda, have their own acid. The acid from the soda adds to the wear and tear that the bacteria starts, leading to significant dental damage. Also, as the sugar in soda interacts with the bacteria in your mouth, it creates another type of acid which can hurt your teeth.

Also, you may think, “Well, I’ll just use a straw! Then the soda won’t hit my teeth.” While it’s not a bad thought, it doesn’t really work that way. Since the straw doesn’t go from your cup to your throat, some of the soda will interact with your teeth, especially your back molars.

What Soda Does To Your Teeth

Okay, now that you have a clear idea about how soda and bacteria produce acid that harms your teeth, let’s talk about exactly what kind of damage we are talking about.

Soda erodes your teeth – The outer layer of your teeth is covered in enamel, a hard protective layer for the sensitive dentin and nerves below. When you drink soda, you are giving your enamel an acid bath, which slowly erodes the protective enamel.

Soda strongly contributes to cavities – The wear and tear on your teeth don’t stop at the enamel. As soda erodes the protective enamel of your teeth, the acid can make its way down to the next layer, which is the dentin. Once these openings in your teeth are made, cavities are a natural result, and you will need our dentist’s services to resolve the cavities and other issues that can arise.

Ways To Prevent Dental Damage From Soda

There are several ways you can prevent soda from damaging your teeth. Below are some of the top things that our dentist Dr. Taylor recommends:

  • Lower soda consumption – Moderation in all things, especially your soda consumption, can significantly help your teeth. Do your best to stick to one soda a day to help give your teeth a break from the sugar and acid bath that comes with soda.
  • Rinse with water – Immediately after you finish a soda, rinse your mouth out by drinking water. The neutral quality of water can help lessen the impact of your soda and help wash away the acid and sugar. In fact, if you can keep water handy to sip on after drinking a soda, you can also prevent getting up for another soda.
  • Stick to scheduled dental cleanings – If you are a regular soda drinker, then it is even more important that you come into our dental office for your biannual dental cleaning. That way, any issues which crop up can be caught early before they become a big issue.
  • Don’t sip soda – As you drink your soda, don’t slowly sip on it. By sipping soda over the course of an hour or more, you are constantly bathing your teeth in acid and sugar, inviting more bacteria and acid to build up and damage your teeth. So, if you are going to drink soda, do it quickly.
  • Use a straw – While we did say using a straw won’t protect you completely, it does offer some protection at least for your front teeth. By using a straw, you can minimize how much of your teeth come in contact with the corrosive soda acid.
  • Avoid soda before bed – Drinking soda before bed is probably one of the more harmful ways to consume soda since the acid will sit on your teeth as you sleep. So, if you want something to drink by your bedside, stick to water.
  • Wait to brush teeth – It may seem counterintuitive, but you shouldn’t brush your teeth right after drinking soda. With the soda acid on your teeth, your teeth are more vulnerable, and the bristles of your toothbrush can create harmful friction against your teeth, leading to more damage. It’s best to wait at least 30 minutes to an hour after drinking soda before brushing your teeth.

If you are prepared to come in for your dental cleaning and have your teeth checked by Dr. Taylor, contact us. We are ready to help you reach your healthiest and ideal smile!

Are Veneers Or Invisalign Better?

As a skilled cosmetic dentist, Dr. Taylor is often asked whether veneers or Invisalign are better for reaching the perfect smile. The problem with this question is that it’s not asking the right question, as these two cosmetic dental procedures do different things to improve your smile.

To help clear things up if you have been wondering whether Invisalign or veneers are the right routes for you, we wanted to provide a thorough breakdown of what these two dental procedures are meant for, the main differences between them, their pros and cons, and finally, how you can decide whether Invisalign or veneers are right for your needs.

What Do Veneers Do vs. Invisalign

As we have said, these two cosmetic dental procedures have different purposes. Invisalign is meant to work just like invisible braces, straightening your teeth for a more even appearance. As Invisalign shifts your teeth, things like bite issues, crowding, and gaps can be corrected.

The invisible aligners that shift your teeth need to be replaced regularly to ensure that the progress continues. Aside from movement, Invisalign does not provide other visible cosmetic benefits.

In contrast, veneers focus on changing the visual impact of your teeth. This change is done usually with porcelain veneers, which require that your tooth be shaped and have a thin sheet of porcelain overlaying your natural tooth. There are also no-prep veneers, which require little-to-no tooth shaping needed and can be quickly applied. For most of this article, we will be focusing on porcelain veneers, but we felt it was important that you are aware that there are multiple options available when it comes to veneers.

No matter what type of veneer you choose, their basic purpose is the same. Veneers are meant to do things like cover up dental damage, change the color of teeth, as well as altering the shape and surface of your teeth.

Major Difference Between Veneers And Invisalign

As you can see, the main goal of these two procedures is different. But, just knowing that may not be enough for you to decide between the two if you don’t understand their major differences.

Price of Invisalign vs. Veneers

Right out the gate, porcelain veneers can sound far more appealing, as they can cost between $925-$2,500 per tooth, where Invisalign costs on average $5,000.

The price gap begins to even out if you need multiple veneers, though if you only need one or two veneers to improve the appearance of your teeth, then it makes sense to choose veneers over Invisalign. However, if you have many teeth or bite issues, it can make more sense to choose Invisalign to correct the problems, rather than veneers.

Current Dental Health

You need to have healthy teeth and gums no matter which of these treatment paths you end up pursuing. However, if you often have cavities, it may not be the best idea to pursue veneers, as veneers are placed over the teeth and may hide future cavities.

Also, veneers require the removal of a good deal of enamel to have the veneers sit correctly. This removal can cause future problems as the enamel acts as a protective layer between the inner dentin of your teeth and the bacteria which lives in your mouth. If that layer is reduced and you are already prone to cavities and infections, it can up the number of cavities you experience.

Length of Treatment

When it comes to the amount of time it takes to have the cosmetic treatment done, veneers are far and away quicker than Invisalign.

With veneers, you really only need two visits, as long as your oral health is good. The first visit will be a consultation with Dr. Taylor, and the second will be when your veneers are placed. This process is a speedy way to improve your smile.

On the other hand, Invisalign typically takes about a year to complete. Sometimes it takes longer, depending on the severity of the misalignment of your teeth.

Pros And Cons of Invisalign And Veneers

By now, you likely have a pretty good grasp on which of these cosmetic dentistry treatments may be right for you. But before you completely make up your mind, you may want to consider the clear pros and cons of both Invisalign and veneers.

Pros and Cons of Invisalign

The majority of these pros and cons are in contrast to traditional metal braces. So, keep that in mind when you consider the pros and cons of Invisalign.

Pros
The aligners are basically invisible
There are no food restrictions
Nothing poking your mouth
Aligns teeth faster
Invisalign trays can be taken out

Cons
Aligners can become lost when taken out
Can take time to adjust to wearing aligners
Proper treatment relies on correct aligner usage
Need to clean your teeth more often
Can be as expensive as braces, or more so
Does not change color, shape or appearance of teeth

Pros and Cons of Veneers

Veneers have more straightforward pros and cons. However, as we mentioned before, there are several types of veneers, so if you are interested in them, you will want to talk with Dr. Taylor about which type of veneer is best for you.

Pros
Last on average 15 years
Boost confidence quickly
Able to protect damaged teeth
Fills in gaps and spaces
Choose the shape and color
Corrects misshapen teeth

Cons

Won’t prevent future dental issues
Can become chipped or cracked
Once placed, the procedure can’t be reversed
Natural teeth and veneers have a color difference
Are Veneers Or Invisalign Right For You

After reviewing what veneers and Invisalign are for, as well as their pros and cons, you likely have a good idea about which cosmetic dentistry procedure is right for you. However, to be sure, you can always have a consultation with Dr. Taylor.

If you would like to consult with Dr. Taylor to determine what cosmetic dental procedures will help reach your ideal smile, contact us today to set up your appointment.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT:406.652.9204