Articles

missing tooth cartoon

Whatever You Do, Replace That Tooth!

At St. Petersburg Dental Center, our doctors will do everything it takes to save a tooth. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, an extraction is necessary. This can be a worrisome time for patients: Will the missing tooth be obvious? How will others’ perceptions of them change when their smile changes? Are there reasonable replacement methods that will restore their smile? We’re happy to tell you that, not only are there replacement options for a missing tooth, but they are far more than cosmetic. If you lose even a single adult tooth, you should replace it as soon as possible. Here’s why:

  • Your teeth need each other. When one tooth is missing from an arch, the remaining teeth begin to shift.
  • Crooked teeth are sometimes harder to clean. If your teeth crowd when they shift, they can be more difficult to clean effectively. If you can’t clean between your teeth properly, then you increase your risk of decay, gum disease, and even further tooth loss.
  • Crooked teeth can lead to misaligned bites. When the top and bottom teeth don’t come together as they should, chewing and even speaking can become more difficult.
  • Misaligned bites can cause jaw problems. If your bite isn’t correctly aligned, your jaw will try to compensate. This can lead to ear aches, headaches, shoulder and neck pain, and even disorders of the temporomandibular (jaw) joints.
  • When teeth are missing, so are the tooth roots that used to reside in the jaw. Without those roots firmly planted where they’re intended to be, your jaw bone can become compromised.
  • The shape of your face could change (and not for the better). Weakened jaw bones and multiple missing teeth cause the sunken in look that is associated with old age.

Our favorite solution for tooth loss is dental implants. While there are others available, only implants are permanent and offer the appearance, stability, and function of natural teeth. If you’ve been missing a tooth or two but haven’t considered your replacement options, then act quickly. The faster you replace a tooth, the less likely you are to suffer from any of the aforementioned complications.

We hope you never need them, but both our Clearwater and St. Petersburg locations offer extractions, dental implants, and other restorative dentistry services. Contact one of our offices today to schedule an appointment and preserve the integrity of your smile.

family in the kitchen

Bring the Whole Family!

We know you get busy. Between your own job, household responsibilities, getting the kids to school, finding time to work out, and getting enough rest to function the next day, squeezing in your obligatory dental appointments can’t be easy. The struggle is real, but we’re here to help by making top-notch dental care convenient and accessible to your entire family. How do we do it? Click here to learn more.

  • Multiple Locations — With offices located in both St. Petersburg and Clearwater, we’re close to home, work, and school.
  • Extended Hours — Between our two locations, we have evening appointments and weekend appointments available for patients who work nontraditional schedules or simply don’t wish to take time off of work or school to visit the dentist.
  • Fully Staffed Offices — Between our eight highly qualified doctors and our friendly and capable team members, there are plenty of people available to make sure all of your dental needs are met.
  • Orthodontic Services — Whether it’s YOU who’d like to have straighter teeth with Invisalign or your child, we’ve got you covered. Orthodontic care can help your entire family enjoy beautifully aligned smiles.
  • Dental Technology — The use of technology in our practice allows us to save you time and money. How? Digital dentistry offers precision like no other, so your treatments and procedures are completed accurately and expediently. When your treatments produce the desired results the first time around, there’s no need for you to return to the office. Fewer appointments = Less Time + More Money.

Everything we do is done with the patient in mind, including making it convenient for you and your family members to receive the best dentistry has to offer in a single practice. There’s no need to put off making an appointment when you can bring the whole family in to see us.

Team Member Spotlight On … Shelby

At St. Petersburg Dental Center, we’re lucky to have a full team of people at both locations who take pride in their work and put patients first. One of these people is the receptionist at our St. Petersburg location, Shelby. As the first person our patients see when they walk in, Shelby’s role is vital. It’s her friendly smile and accommodating manner that puts our patients at ease before an appointment.

Shelby has been with us since 2016. Originally interested in the hospitality industry, Shelby was a full-time student in search of a change. She found that change in dentistry. At first, Shelby was simply curious to find out if she’d be interested in a career in the dental industry, but now she is passionate about interacting with patients and having the opportunity to learn something new every day. She wants patients to know that there is no need to be scared or nervous. “All of our doctors and hygienists are very nice and gentle,” Shelby said.

When she’s not at work, Shelby enjoys being outdoors. She loves the beach, golfing, kayaking, and camping. Another passion of hers is riding horses. In fact, she showed in the World Championship Horse Show two years in a row. In addition to spending time outdoors (with or without horses), Shelby loves to spend time with her family and friends.

Shelby is just one of the many people who make our practice what it is. If you live in the St. Petersburg or Clearwater areas, find out firsthand why we’re the dental practice for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our two locations.

How To Handle Dental Emergencies

Unless you exist in a bubble, accidents happen. A stumble in the grocery store parking lot could lead to a knocked-out tooth, opening a package with your teeth can crack or chip your teeth, and some emergencies (such as an abscess) have nothing to do with your lifestyle. The key is to know how to deal with these things when they happen so you can preserve the beauty of your smile. Continue reading to find out what to do when you have a dental emergency on your hands.

A Chipped or Broken Tooth

If you chip your tooth, collect any fragments that may have fallen out of your mouth. Rinse both your mouth and the tooth fragment in warm water. For best results, come see us immediately. Waiting can complicate the problem and cause great pain.

A Knocked-Out Tooth

If the tooth is dirty, rinse it, but do not remove any biological material that is left on the root. If possible, put the tooth back in the socket and call our office ASAP. If you can’t get your tooth back in the socket, don’t force it. Place the tooth in a glass of milk or slightly salted water to preserve it. The faster you are seen by a dentist, the greater your chances of saving the tooth.

Lost Filling or Crown

Ideally, you should replace the filling or crown with over-the-counter dental cement. If cement isn’t handy, then use toothpaste to form a temporary bond and then call our office. Whatever you do, don’t throw away the filling or crown.

An Abscess

An abscess occurs when the tissue surrounding your teeth becomes infected. Not only does an abscess cause pain, it can also lead to facial swelling. Resist the urge to touch the swollen area; rinse your mouth with salt water to help with the pain. As with any emergency, you’ll need to see your dentist sooner rather than later.

There are many other dental emergencies that occur, but these are the most common. Don’t ignore pain or try to fix a tooth on your own; doing so may cause further damage (which, in turn, could cause more pain and dental procedures in the future). Contact our St. Petersburg or Clearwater location and be sure to mention your emergency. Our dental teams are experts at helping you manage your pain and restoring your smile to its original beauty.

woman showing her perfect teeth with magnifying glass

Why Veneers Are the Perfect Solution For Imperfect Teeth

We’re our own worst critics, and while we always see ourselves through a harsher lens than others do, how we feel about ourselves matters. If imperfect teeth are preventing you from laughing, smiling, talking, and socializing all together, then The St. Petersburg Dental Center has just the solution for you: Porcelain Veneers.

What They Can Do

Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are customized to fit securely over the front surface of your visible teeth. They can correct a number of imperfections including:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Stained teeth that won’t respond to whitening
  • Elongated teeth
  • Short teeth
  • Rounded or squared teeth
  • Unevenly spaced teeth

The list goes on and on. What’s even better is that treatment is non-surgical, making it a relatively simple option to improve your smile.

The Procedure

If you’re a candidate for veneers, the first step is to determine what look you want to achieve with treatment. Once we have a clear picture, we will prepare your teeth by removing a thin layer of enamel from the front surface (usually as thin as the finished veneer will be). We will then take an impression that will be used to create your new smile. When the veneers are finished, you will return to our office where they will be permanently bonded to your teeth, then smoothed and polished.

You’ll care for your veneers the same way you care for your natural teeth: Brush after each meal, floss daily, and visit your dentist as recommended. With the proper care, veneers can last up to a decade.

When You’re Smiling, The Whole World Smiles With You

With a new smile, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear. Those who smile often appear younger, more approachable, more confident, and happier in general. Best of all, your new smile will be contagious, giving those around you there own reason to smile.

If you live in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg areas of Florida and would like to learn more about veneers, we’d love to talk to you. Contact one of our offices today to schedule an appointment.

family with a dog

An Offer For Your Friends and Family!

We’re awfully proud of our exceptional reviews. Not because we’re in the dentistry field for accolades, but because each positive review reflects a patient who left their appointment satisfied. One of the most gratifying experiences is when we know we’ve changed a patient’s perspective of dentistry, their smile, or even their self-confidence. With two offices and a team of professionals who are willing to go the extra mile for their patients, we’ve got a lot more love to offer. In the interest of reaching more patients (and changing more lives), we’d love to share our new-patient special with you so you can pass it along to friends and family who may be looking for a dental practice that will always go above and beyond. Here are the details:

For New Patients

We want dental care to be available and affordable to everyone. To that end, we are offering our new patients a special, one-time offer. For only $99, they will receive:

  • A comprehensive dental exam
  • X-rays

You already know that our patients are more like family. If you know someone like you who might appreciate the way we treat our patients, pass our information along. We can’t wait to keep changing lives, one smile at a time.

Woman smiling over her shoulder

We’ll Give You a Reason (or Two) to Smile

Part of our job is to keep your smile healthy and beautiful so that you’re proud to share it with the world. While we can help with our full-array of dental treatments, sometimes it takes a little more to get a smile out of someone. If you’re down in the mouth or need to turn someone else’s frown upside down, then we’ve got just what you need: plenty of reasons to smile. Read more.

Research has consistently shown that smiling is good for you. Even a fake smile can provide benefits, such as:

  1. Lower Stress Levels — People who smile tend to have lower heart rates and faster recoveries from stressors. Since stress is associated with heart disease, it could be argued that smiling is good for your health.
  2. An Instant Facelift — Look in the mirror with a neutral face. Now smile. See? Smiling lifts your cheeks and jowls, giving you a younger (and happier) appearance. There’s no need to visit the plastic surgeon when you can just smile.
  3. More Friends — People who smile are perceived to be more approachable, confident, and trustworthy, all traits that attract others. So maybe it’s not misery that loves company, but happy people, instead.
  4. A Returned Smile — Smiling is contagious; when you smile at someone, they will almost always smile back. If they don’t, then at least you know that you made an effort to bring a smile to their face.
  5. General Health — People who smile are more likely to live longer than those who don’t. They also enjoy improved immune systems as well as mild pain relief that results from the endorphins that are released when they smile.

If those aren’t good reasons to smile, then we don’t know what is. If there is something that WE can do to help you love your smile, call us today to schedule an appointment.

Girl putting invisalign in her mouth

Have the Straight Smile You’ve Always Wanted With Invisalign

When you reminisce about your middle school or high school days, you probably remember lots of kids who wore braces — especially if you were one of them. You remember food being stuck between brackets, packets of tiny rubber bands (that were great for flinging across the room or securing hair braids), plastic hinged boxes of orthodontic wax, and floss threaders strewn about the bathroom (yours or someone else’s). The science of orthodontics has changed a great deal since those days. Now, The St. Petersburg Dental Center can help you get the beautiful, straight smile of your dreams with the very subtle and beloved Invisalign treatment.

How Invisalign Works

Instead of wires, brackets, and bands, Invisalign uses a series of safe, clear, plastic aligner trays to move your teeth into the desired position. As the name implies, the aligner trays are nearly invisible, so no one will know you’re wearing them unless you tell them so.

Invisalign must be worn for at least 20 – 22 hours a day, so they are only ideal for people who have the discipline to keep them in place. Every two weeks or so, new aligner trays are used, each one guiding the teeth closer to alignment. Dental visits are required about every six weeks to ensure that the teeth are moving as anticipated.

Why You’ll Love It

Any orthodontic treatment that doesn’t cause flashbacks from adolescence probably sounds pretty good, but Invisalign is more than “pretty good,” it’s pretty GREAT! Here are the reasons you’ll love it:

  • You remove the trays when you eat, so you can enjoy all of your favorite foods!
  • You also remove the trays when you clean your teeth, so you can brush and floss as normal (without the assistance of floss threaders).
  • You’ll complete your treatment in six to 18 months; that’s far less time than traditional braces require.

If you’re ready to learn more about Invisalign treatment, contact St. Petersburg Dental Center today to make an appointment. With locations in St. Petersburg and Clearwater, getting the smile you’ve always wanted is more convenient than ever.

You’ll​ ​Be​ ​Impressed​ ​by​ ​Implants

Dentures got you down? Tired of buying Efferdent and Fixodent? Do you look upon natural-toothed friends with envy as they bite into a cob of fresh corn? Well, despair no more. St. Pete Dental has an impressive alternative to traditional dentures: dental implants.
Dental implants are tiny titanium screw-like structures that are surgically implanted beneath the gums and into the jaw. Once the implants have fused with the bone and the gums have healed, natural-looking prosthetic teeth are placed on the implants, providing a stable, attractive, and permanent smile. The benefits don’t stop there. Our patients love implants for many reasons, including:

  • Implants prevent further damage to your oral structures. When you have gaps in your teeth, the remaining teeth shift, creating misalignment and jaw disorders. Implants keep your remaining teeth in place, helping you maintain the integrity of your bite.
  • Implants are easy to care for. No overnight soaking, no semi-effective dental adhesives, and no discomfort caused by ill-fitting dentures. Implants are individually placed and look and function like real teeth. You brush them like natural teeth, floss between them like natural teeth, and have your dentist examine them twice a year — just as you would with natural teeth.
  • Implants restore your self-confidence. You can smile, eat, and speak with confidence and without worry. Your implants won’t slip, cause speech impediments, or force you to cut your food into miniscule pieces while your dining companions chew tough foods like nobody’s business. Dental implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth, so no one will know you have them (unless you want them to).

These are just a few of the reasons our patients love implants. Not everyone is a candidate, though; dental implants are ideal for patients with healthy gums, ample jaw bone, and good oral health, in general. Patients who are currently being treated for gum disease or require bone grafting may still be eligible for implants after treatment has been completed and oral health has been restored. Be sure to check in next month to find out about the implant placement process. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about dental implants, contact us today. With offices in both St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida, we are able to care for patients across the bay and beyond.

Orthodontics Aren’t Just for Straight Teeth!

If we asked you why people undergo orthodontic treatment, you would most likely answer “to straighten teeth.” While this is true, aesthetics aren’t the only reason people choose orthodontics. In fact, there are many benefits to orthodontic treatment that have nothing to do with appearance. Want to know if you could benefit? Read more to find out.
Braces, Invisalign, and other orthodontic treatments are kind of amazing, actually. In order for your body to function as it should, your bite must be aligned. If it’s not, you may experience digestive problems, jaw disorders, even sleep disorders. Here are just a few of the many benefits of orthodontics:

  • Improved digestive health — If your teeth aren’t properly aligned, then mastication (chewing) may not be as effective as it could be. When you swallow food that hasn’t been sufficiently chewed, it can lead to digestive problems. Orthodontics position your teeth in their optimal position, allowing you to chew your food sufficiently.
  • Improved sleep — If your jaw is out of alignment, then it can allow your oral structures to shift into a position that results in snoring and even sleep apnea. In its ideal position, your jaw will keep your tongue, cheeks, and lips from collapsing into a snore-inducing condition.
  • Improved speech — With your teeth in the correct position, all sounds are possible. “Th” (as in orTHo), “Ef” (as in Floss), and “Es” (as in Saint Pete) are no big deal. Among other things, orthodontics can help you speak more clearly.
  • Improved confidence — When you’re confident in your smile, you smile more. When you smile more, you draw more people to you. When you’re surrounded by people who care about you, you feel confident. There really are so many reasons to smile; orthodontics allow you to do so proudly.

If you’d like to learn more about orthodontics, give our office a call. We provide uncompromising care, no matter what treatment you’re interested in.