Dentures FAQ: St. Pete Dentist

dentures FAQ - 4th Street Family Dentistry

Dentures FAQ

Whether you need full dentures or partial dentures, 4th Street Family Dentistry can help. Restorative dentistry can help drastically improve your day to day life. We also understand that you may have plenty of questions about this next step on your oral healthcare journey. Dr. Brian Leeson hears all manner of questions from his patients who can benefit from dentures. In this article, Dr. Leeson answers dentures FAQ asked questions that might set your mind at ease about the dentures that can help restore your smile.

Do Dentures Look Fake?

Perhaps in years past, dentures looked incredibly fake. Today, your dentures can be designed to closely resemble natural teeth. Those around you will be hard-pressed to figure out that you’re wearing dentures unless you tell them. Just as you’d experience with crowns fitted by a cosmetic dentist, partial dentures can be matched to your surrounding natural teeth so that you get a perfectly seamless smile that you’ll be proud of.

What is the Dentures Process Like?

With standard dentures, it can take several weeks and a few appointments. Impressions will be taken, molds will be built, and several fittings will be needed to ensure a comfortable fit and a normal bite.

The process can vary between individuals, so it’s important to speak to your St. Pete dentist about the steps that may apply to you and your oral healthcare needs.

What Type of Dentures Can I Benefit From?

This is a highly individualized process. You may benefit from just a partial denture, or you may be better suited for a full set of dentures. You may be a good candidate for affixed dentures, or you may be better suited for removal dentures. Dr. Kristina Neda, a dentist who offers dentures in Georgetown, KY, says that what works for you will be based entirely on your personal preferences, budget, and the health of your teeth and gums.

How Do I Take Care of My Dentures?

Your dentures should be treated just like your natural teeth. Whether they are affixed or removable, you should brush them and use a quality mouthwash. This will help keep your dentures in tip-top shape and go a long way toward keeping them fresh and clean. Fresh breath is a must, and brushing your dentures after every meal will help you ensure that your breath is always minty fresh.

Do Dentures Hurt?

When you meet with the best dentist in St. Petersburg, FL, Dr. Brian Leeson, you’ll find that we take steps to ensure your comfort levels are maintained at every step of the process. If you need to have some natural teeth extracted before getting your dentures, you may experience some discomfort. It should not be overly painful, however.

Getting fitted for your dentures should offer mild discomfort at the most. Restorative dentist in Shreveport, LA, Dr. Ben Kacos, says there may be some minor irritation when you first wear your new dentures. This should fade quite soon, as your mouth adjusts to wearing the dentures.

If you experience anything more than irritation or discomfort, remember to reach out to your dentist so that we can find a solution to boost your comfort levels and minimize pain.

Will Dentures Change the way I Speak?

Missing teeth will alter the way that you sound when you speak. Wearing partial or complete dentures can help to improve your speech. If you do find that it’s difficult to pronounce some words when you’re wearing your new denture appliance, simply practice saying the words out loud. Repeating the words will help you to better accustom to saying them. If you find that you sound different from your new dentures in the first few days, don’t get discouraged. It just takes a bit of time to adjust to speaking with your new smile.

Am I a Candidate for Dentures?

Any person who is missing one or more teeth can benefit from some type of dental prosthetic. Partial dentures are important for those who have just a few teeth missing, as they can help keep your remaining healthy teeth from shifting around in your mouth. Dentures will improve your speech, your ability to chew and enjoy food. Also, they will provide facial support, which can go a long way toward improving your smile and your overall appearance. 

Are you ready to learn more about how you may benefit from dentures? Visit your dentist near me, Dr. Leeson, to understand the health of your teeth and your gums. If you have questions about the dentures FAQ above, contact 4th Street Dentistry. You may even be a good candidate for implant-supported dentures. 4th Street Family Dentistry can also serve as the go-to emergency dentist St. Pete patients turn to when there are dental emergencies.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

4th Street Family Dentistry - Do I Need a Root Canal?

Do I Need a Root Canal?

For many patients, just hearing the simple words “root canal” are enough to strike fear and set off anxiety. According to Dr. Leeson, the root canal procedure has a bad reputation, which is very much undeserved. If your tooth pain is severe enough to warrant the procedure, you’ll find that undergoing the procedure can prove to be a relief. It can also reduce your risk of losing the tooth.

You may be wondering if you will need a root canal when you next visit with your St. Petersburg FL dentist Dr. Leeson. While you truly won’t know whether or not you could benefit from the procedure, there are some signs that you may need to have root canal treatment. 

Severe Tooth Pain

The clearest sign of an issue with a tooth is experiencing tooth pain. It’s not unusual to experience tooth pain, but what sets this pain apart will be the fact that you experience more pain when you eat, chew or otherwise apply pressure to the tooth.

The pain may be serious enough that it keeps you up at night, and does not respond well to over-the-counter pain relievers.

Discoloration in the Tooth

A tooth that is infected and suffering from serious decay may also change color. You may start to notice that a tooth that has been giving you a bit of trouble is starting to darken. Dr. Moghadam, a dentist in Easton, PA, says that this is due to the dentin inside of the tooth being infected or dead as a result of the infection. While this may give cause for embarrassment and concern, your cosmetic dentist Dr. Brian Leeson can offer solutions to restore the look of your tooth. A crown is often used after the root canal treatment to reinforce the tooth. A crown can restore the look of a healthy tooth instantly.

Tooth Sensitivity 

Tooth sensitivity isn’t entirely rare. Many people do have some type of sensitivity in their teeth. The fact that you experience sensitivity when enjoying cold or hot food and drinks do not necessarily mean that you will need root canal therapy. The key difference is that once you remove the source of the sensitivity and discomfort, the pain should stop if it’s not severe decay in the tooth. If it is, and you are in need of a root canal procedure, the sensitivity and discomfort will linger for some time. You may need to consider taking pain relievers before you can get the relief that you need.

Inflammation of the Gums

Did you know that it’s not just the tooth that can be symptomatic when it comes to an infection inside of the tooth’s root canals? Your gums can show some signs that the nearby painful tooth is in need of root canal therapy. Your gums may be swollen, tender to the touch and you may see a small, raised white bump on them. 

According to your emergency dentist in St. Pete, there may be no immediate and outward indication that you are in need of root canal therapy. This is why it is so important to keep up with your routine checkups every six months. Pay a visit to the best dentist in St. Petersburg and learn more about the overall health of your teeth and gums. At 4th Street Family Dentistry, we love to keep you smiling.

Advantages of Oral Sedation

benefits of oral sedation - St. Pete Dentist

Advantages of Oral Sedation

Oral sedation can offer many benefits to patients who feel uncomfortable going to their St. Pete dentists. There are a number of types of dental sedation, including nitrous oxide, IV sedation and oral. Fortunately for you, Dr. Leeson offers a wide range of oral sedation. While nitrous oxide and IV sedation are administered in Dr. Leeson’s St. Pete dental office, oral sedatives are pills taken prior to the appointment so that patients feel a reduction in anxiety and stress. In this article, we discuss some of the key advantages of oral sedation over other types of dental sedation.

Key Advantages of Oral Sedation with Dr. Leeson

When you visit the best dentist in St. Petersburg, FL, you’ll learn that there are several key advantages about oral sedation to consider.

Oral Sedation is Simple

Oral sedation is easily administered and is done so without the use of needles. Dr. Ben Kacos, an emergency dentist in Shreveport, LA, adds that some patients may fear needles, which is why oral sedation may be the perfect option. Oral sedation is administrated in a pill or liquid form and is taken about an hour prior to the appointment. By the time that you arrive to your appointment, you’ll be feeling nice and relaxed.

Oral Sedation Keeps You Calm and Cool

Oral sedation can have an amnesia effect on patients. The strong dosage used can lead some patients to have very little to no memory at all of their time in the chair being treated. This is a great option for patients who struggle with fear of the dentist, as they will have zero recollection of what took place during the procedure. 

Oral sedation will relax and calm you, but you will still be able to be responsive when your St. Pete dentists ask you questions or provides instruction. You may feel drowsy but you are not likely to fall asleep during the procedure. 

Oral Sedation is Safe

Oral sedation is very safe. The medications used as oral sedatives are monitored and regulated by the FDA. Any and all side effects are well-defined, and it is very unlikely that you will experience any serious side-effects from the oral sedation. You will be closely monitored during the entire procedure. Your safety and comfort are always the priority when you’re in our St. Pete dental office.

It’s completely normal to have a fear of the dentist but don’t let it stop you from keeping up with your oral health. Pushing off dental treatment can make the issue worse. Not only will this be uncomfortable for you, but it’ll be more costly. Oral sedation will help nervous and fearful patients to relax during checkups, professional dental cleanings, and restorative treatments. If you find yourself avoiding your St. Pete dentist, give our dental office a call. Dr. Leeson and his team will work closely with you to provide the best experience possible. Whether you’re looking for a dentist to treat a toothache or a cosmetic dentist, St. Pete dentist Dr. Leeson will help to ensure you are comfortable every step of the way.

5 Simple Ways to Prevent Cavities

ways to prevent cavities

5 Simple Ways to Prevent Cavities

All you hear is, brushing and flossing will help keep cavities away. Yet, you find one in four adults in America with tooth decay while half the teenage population either have or had cavities. Having a good oral regimen can prevent cavities and help maintain both teeth and gums. Brian Leeson DMD from 4th Street Family Dentistry discusses the measures individuals can take to keep cavities away:

Know your risk of developing cavities

Your dentist can help you determine your cavity risk level by conducting a thorough dental exam. The exam will analyze the current state of your oral health and its risk to cavities. As you continuously go to your dentist for regular visits, they will be able to detect bacteria forming immediately and suggest preventative dentistry measures to take to fight the cavity. This can be changing your oral regimen and or diet. 

Brush regularly 

Brushing cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to fighting cavities and tooth decay. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria that are looking to pounce at the opportunity to multiply and lead to decay. You need to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes to ensure you keep the bacteria at bay while also getting rid of harmful bacteria.

Dr. Green, a dentist in Parker CO, adds that When brushing, you want to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. This is so it doesn’t harm your gums. Brush with gentle circular motions and go from one end to the other. Once you are done with your teeth, be sure to also brush your tongue because bacteria can build upon it.

Focus on your diet

It may be hard to go without your daily cup of tea or coffee but you may have to. Coffee and tea are both acidic which are not good for the teeth. Acidic food is as bad as sugary foods. Both increase the risk of cavities so you need to control your diet and limit consumption of both. As you reduce your intake, you should consider drinking more water. Water consumption helps flush bacteria out of the mouth while also distribute the nutrients properly. 

Develop a habit of flossing

Flossing isn’t fun but it does keep your teeth and gums healthy. Most people think that brushing is enough but there are parts of the teeth you can’t reach with the brush, specifically between the teeth. Floss lets you clean out any food particle stuck between teeth and in the outer part of the gums. You don’t have to floss after every meal but try to do it at least once a day. 

Quit smoking

Smoking and tobacco are known to cause numerous diseases which include mouth cancer. Smoking leads to bad oral hygiene and makes your mouth more susceptible to bacteria leading to cavities. If you want to take care of your mouth and you smoke, quitting would be the first step. 

For anyone looking to improve their oral health in St. Petersburg, FL, contact 4th Street Family Dentistry. The team consists of experienced dentists and dental assistants that can help treat and prevent cavities and help you achieve the picture-perfect smile you’ve always wanted.

Everything You Should Know About Dental Sealants

dental sealants

Everything You Should Know About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are generally used to prevent tooth decay. It is a thin plastic coat that is painted on to the surface of the teeth, specifically the chewing part, and forms a protective shield for the enamel. The purpose of the sealant is to ensure that food particles don’t easily get lodged in the nooks and crannies of yout teeth. While both brushing and flossing do this also, there are times when you don’t do either properly so particles remain and lead to bacteria build-up and decay.

Who Should Consider Getting Sealants?

Sealants help to prevent decay in the premolars and molars due to bacteria cultivation in the groves. Therefore, it is recommended for teenagers and children. Children are prone to cavities from 6 to 14, the sealant protects them from it. At times if children younger than 6 have deep grooves in their teeth, a dentist may recommend getting a sealant. 

How is Sealant Applied?

The application of sealants is painless and simple. Your dental hygienist can do it in a matter of minutes. The process starts with the cleansing of the mouth and teeth. The hygienist will perform a dental cleaning to have them prepped for the sealant. 

The teeth are then dried off and an absorbent material such as cotton is placed around them so the teeth remain dry. To help the sealant bond to the teeth, an acid solution is applied to the teeth after they are rinsed and dried off.

The sealant is then brushed on to the tooth enamel and it bonds and hardens to it. Your hygienist may also use a curing light to ensure it hardens properly. 

What is the Lifespan of Sealants?

Dr. Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport LA, says that with proper care, sealants can effectively protect your teeth for up to 10 years. Your dentist can check up on their condition to ensure there are no chips or wear each time you visit them. 

Are Sealants Covered by Insurance?

Depending on your dental coverage, sealants can be covered in the insurance plan specifically for children under the age of 18. You can contact your dental insurance company to check if they cover sealants. 

Where to Get Sealants?

While the process of getting sealants isn’t complex, you still want to make sure you go to a dental clinic you can trust. The dentists in St. Petersburg, FL at 4th Street Family Dentistry can help you get the dental care you need. They have been serving the city of St. Petersburg for decades, helping individuals achieve their best smiles. 

Must-Knows About Dental Crowns

must-knows about dental crowns

Must-Knows About Dental Crowns

You may have undergone root canal therapy recently, or you may have teeth that are severely worn down. These and other conditions may have led your dentist in St. Petersburg FL to recommend you get a dental crown. However, you are hesitant because you have limited information about these restorations. Here is a brief guide on everything you need to know about dental crowns so that you can make an informed decision about the suitability of these restorations for your needs.

Dental Crowns Defined

A tooth can be divided into two main parts. The first part that is visible below the gum line in upper teeth and above the gum line in lower teeth is called the crown. The second part, hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root of the tooth.

A dental crown is a restoration that covers most or all of the visible parts of your tooth. Dr. Brian Leeson, who performs cosmetic dentistry in St. Petersburg FL, points out that dental crowns may also be called dental caps.

Terms Associated with Crowns

The Margin. A margin refers to the edge of a dental crown that comes in contact with a tooth that has been prepared for this restoration. Dentists in St. Petersburg FL say that margins have to be smooth and devoid of ledges so they can sit firmly on the tooth.

Cusps. These are the pointed segments on the teeth that tear and chew food. A dental crown is necessary to repair a tooth whose cusps have been damaged due to root canal therapy or a fracture.

Crown Preparation. This refers to the design made of a tooth once that tooth has been shaved to create room for a dental crown. Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport LA, asserts that the extent to which a tooth is prepared depends on several factors. Some of these factors include the extent to which the tooth is damaged and the material the dental crown will be fabricated with.

Temporary or Provisional Crown. As the name suggests, this is a crown that is designed to be used for a short time. This is during the time when the permanent crown is being made by a dental lab. However, practitioners of cosmetic dentistry in St. Petersburg FL may deliberately leave a temporary crown in place for an extended duration. This would be the case if you have tooth pain and the dentist wants to leave that provisional crown until the pain subsides.

When Would You Need a Dental Crown?

The experts at 4th Street Family Dentistry point out that many situations warrant the use of a crown to restore a tooth. The examples below show some of those situations.

When You Get a Large Filling. St. Pete dentists normally recommend a crown if you require a filling that covers at least half of the width of your tooth. A crown is necessary in this case because what is left of your natural tooth is normally so weak that it is likely to fracture. A crown restores strength to such a tooth.

Root Canal Therapy. After a root canal treatment, what is left of your tooth is likely to become brittle and fracture after the infected or dead tissue inside the tooth is cleaned out. To maintain the structural integrity of your tooth, Dr. Leeson will recommend a dental crown to be placed immediately after the root canal procedure.

Excessive Tooth Wear. Many factors, such as bruxism and GERD (gastrointestinal acid reflux), can cause teeth to be worn down excessively. As the teeth wear down, they become shorter and the best way to get them back to their normal size is by visiting 4th Street Family Dentistry to have crowns placed on those teeth.

Undesirable Appearance. If you are unhappy about the appearance of your teeth (due to discoloration, shape or gaps, for example), you may need dental crowns to fix those imperfections. Alternatively, the St. Pete dentist may opt for veneers as a better way to fix the cosmetic dental problems you face.

Steps to Getting Dental Crowns

First, the team at 4th Street Family Dentistry will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. When the anesthesia kicks in, Dr. Brian Leeson will shave down the tooth in order to make space for the crown.

Thereafter, the 4th Street Family Dentistry team will take an impression of the tooth using a digital scanner or a putty-like mold. This mold, together with the shade picked from a color guide, will be sent to a lab so that your customized crown can be fabricated.

Before you leave the dental office, the dental care team will place temporary crowns on the prepared teeth. This is so the prepared surfaces can be preserved and your teeth can be safeguarded from damage while you wait for the permanent crowns.

About two weeks later, you will be contacted by 4th Street Family Dentistry to return for your second visit. This is when the permanent crowns will be placed. During this visit, Dr. Leeson will remove the temporary crowns and replace them with permanent ones. Next, Dr. Leeson will inspect these crowns to confirm they fit well, have smooth margins, and don’t cause any bite problems. A special light is then used to cure the permanent cement used to attach the crown to your tooth.

Is the Procedure Painful?

The local anesthetic used as a crown is placed on your tooth ensures that the process is pain-free. When the anesthesia wears off, you may feel some discomfort. However, that can be alleviated with the pain medication prescribed by your dentist in St. Petersburg FL. You can then start enjoying the benefits of your brand new crown.

Still Have Questions?

Contact 4th Street Family Dentistry today and get answers to all your questions. Our experienced staff will go through all your options and recommend the best way to treat any dental issues you may have to achieve the smile of your dreams.

What to Expect During a Dental Visit

What to expect during a dental visit - 4th Street Family Dentistry

What to Expect During a Dental Visit

It’s recommended that you visit your dentist in St. Petersburg, Fl, every six months for a comprehensive exam and cleaning. These visits are necessary for optimal oral health. In this article, we discuss what happens during these routine dental visits.

Your Routine Dental Checkup Visit

As already mentioned, this visit normally occurs every six months or at intervals recommended by your general dentist in St. Petersburg, FL. You can expect the following to take place at your next visit with 4th Street Family Dentistry.

The Professionals Who Will See You

You are likely to be treated by two professionals, a dental hygienist, and your St. Pete dentist. Our hygienist is the first professional who will see you. He or she will examine your gums and note down any parts of your mouth that need to be looked at more. The hygienist will also document any changes to medication that you are taking for any health conditions that you have. Then, they will talk to you about your brushing and flossing techniques. Your hygienist will then clean and polish your teeth thoroughly.  

Once those questions have been answered, your St. Pete dentist will come to see you. Dr. Brian Leeson will examine your oral structures and look into any concerns you or your hygienist had during the initial exam. He will also review how well the hygienist cleaned your teeth, and the dentist will conduct further checks, such as for oral cancer and any other disease. If any oral health problems are observed, Dr. Brian Leeson will make treatment recommendations and discuss them with you. You will also have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your oral health.

Teeth Cleaning

While you can keep the accumulation of plaque minimal by flossing and brushing at home, only a professional can clean your teeth and remove the tartar (hardened plaque) that inevitably builds up. Your hygienist uses a variety of metallic hand tools to clean your teeth thoroughly. Dental professionals recommend getting a dental cleaning every six months.

Teeth Polishing

Your hygienist at 4th Street Family Dentistry will then polish your teeth using a mild abrasive and fluoride. This leaves the surface of your teeth sparkling clean and free from calculus. 

Educational Information

The hygienist is also likely to give you further instructions on how you can take better care of your oral health at home. These instructions will arise from the observations made during the initial exam and the queries you raise as the hygienist is attending to you. The general care instructions are also likely to be brought up by Dr. Brian Leeson as he talks to you.

X-Rays

You may or may not need to have x-rays done during your routine dental visit to 4th Street Family Dentistry in St. Petersburg FL. The decision to have x-rays done will depend on your dental history, the results of the oral exam and your level of cavity risk.

Treatment Recommendations

If the oral health exam reveals a dental health problem, Dr. Brian Leeson, a general dentist in St. Petersburg, will recommend the most appropriate measures to take to deal with that problem. For example, he may ask you to come back to the dental office to have cavities filled or he may refer you to a specialist (such as an orthodontist) for the care you need.

Undergoing a Comprehensive Dental Exam

Dr. Brian Leeson explains that patients normally undergo comprehensive dental exams when they visit a new dentist or it’s time for their annual checkup. This exam may include some of the following:

Soft Tissue Examination

The tongue, the roof, and the floor of your mouth, and the inside surface of the cheeks and lips constitute the soft tissues inside your mouth. The dentist in St. Petersburg will take a close look at these soft tissues. Additionally, Dr. Leeson will look at the back of your mouth to check for any lesions, growths, swelling, or cuts that could point to a potential oral health issue.

Gum Tissue

Dr. Brian Leeson, an emergency dentist in St. Petersburg, will pay special attention when examining your gums and other support tissues around your teeth. Any sign of gum disease, such as swollen or red gums, may prompt the St. Pete dentist to recommend immediate treatment or refer you to a specialist.

Occlusion

This refers to how well your lower and upper teeth come together when you close your mouth. Georgetown KY dentists at ThoroughDent Smiles explain that occlusion can be examined by asking you to bite down on a piece of wax so that the impression left is analyzed. Alternatively, the dentist in St. Petersburg may simply look at the way the teeth meet to ascertain whether you have any occlusion problems. 

Clinical Teeth Examination

The experts at 4th Street Family Dentistry in St. Petersburg FL will also look at each of your teeth during this comprehensive exam. The purpose of this close examination is to check for cavities or to confirm that any dental work (crowns, fillings, and dentures, for example) are defect-free. St. Pete dentists often use dental explorers to identify which sections of enamel are healthy and which bits are decayed.

X-Rays

You are also likely to have dental x-rays done during a comprehensive dental exam. These help the dental care professionals take a close look at your teeth and other structures, like the roots of the teeth. In this way, tooth decay, cavities, periodontal disease, and other dental health problems will be caught early. As you can see, the specific activities that will be focused upon during your oral exam will depend on whether it is a routine dental visit or a comprehensive exam visit. When was the last time you visited your dentist? If you have taken more than 6 months, call today to schedule an appointment at 4th Street Family Dentistry so that Dr. Brian Leeson and the team can examine you. You will be given treatment recommendations so that your oral health can be maintained at peak levels.