Are E-Cigarettes Harmful To Your Oral Health?

People tend to assume that as dentists, we only care if our patients brush and floss their teeth regularly. While it’s true that we appreciate good at-home dental care, we know that oral health goes beyond brushing and flossing and can be impacted by activities like smoking and vaping.

For that reason, we’d like to discuss with you the harmful effects that electronic cigarettes have on oral health, despite their reputation as a safe alternative.

What is an E-Cigarette?

An e-cigarette refers to a handheld electronic device that creates an aerosol by heating a liquid, typically made of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine, and flavourings. E-cigarette users inhale this aerosol, which is called “vaping.”

Why do People Vape?

Many cigarette smokers use vaping as a method to quit smoking. Because e-cigarettes don’t have tobacco in them, vaping has long been thought of as a healthier alternative to smoking. However, studies are beginning to show that it’s not quite a harmless habit.

How Does Vaping Affect My Health?

Just as with smoking, vaping has negative health effects. Despite their lack of tobacco, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, the highly addictive drug that is found in real cigarettes which causes a number of negative effects when ingested. In one study from the Journal of the Indian Society of Periodontology reported that nicotine may have a significant contribution to the development of both gingivitis and periodontitis. In addition, nicotine use can actually mask the bleeding gums side effect of gingivitis, making it more difficult to be diagnosed.

In one study of habitual e-cigarette users and non-users, e-cigarette users showed increased adrenaline in the heart, and greater oxidative stress; two factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, gum disease  and strokes. Unfortunately, your heart is not all vaping can harm.

Because the mouth is the first place the vapor goes, it’s also when it’s the most concentrated, and hot. A popular complaint about side effects from using e-cigarettes is “mouth and throat dryness and irritation.” In a separate study, researchers placed mouth cells in a chamber before pumping in e-cigarette vapor to monitor the effects. After just three days, 53% of the mouth cells were dead or dying. By comparison, mouth cells that weren’t exposed to the e-cigarette vapor only had a 2% death rate.

Users have also experienced the extreme danger involved with e-cigarettes overcharging and exploding. Multiple incidents have been reported where e-cigarettes explode while being used , knocking out teeth and damaging tongue, cheeks and lips. Hence requiring extensive dental, cosmetic and surgical repair to restore their once beautiful smile.

How Does Vaping Compare to Smoking?

Because e-cigarettes haven’t been around as long as regular cigarettes, we don’t have long-term research comparing the two. However, in a recent study done by Cancer Research UK-funded scientists, people who swapped cigarettes for e-cigarettes or nicotine replacement therapy had significantly lower levels of toxic chemicals and carcinogens in their bodies.

Many choose to believe that means e-cigarettes are a safe alternative, but that’s not the case. It merely means that potentially, they are less damaging than real cigarettes. However, more research is required before that can be said conclusively.

What About Using E-Cigarettes to Quit Smoking?

It’s all too common for people to replace an addiction with another one. This is true for cigarette addictions as well, many people end up with an e-cigarette addiction as a result. Our professional recommendation is to avoid vaping altogether, as it causes damage to not only your oral health but your overall well-being.

Speaking of cigarettes, it’s very important for smokers to visit their dentist regularly so their oral health can be monitored. Our goal is your complete health, and the end goal with smoking is to quit.

Oral cancer

Oral cancer is divided into two categories – those occurring in the oral cavity (your lips, the inside of your lips and cheeks, teeth, gums, the front two-thirds of your tongue and the floor and roof of your mouth) and those occurring in the oropharynx (middle region of the throat, including the tonsils and base of the tongue).

Early detection may result in better treatment outcomes and help keep you or someone you love from becoming one of the 11,230 people whose lives may be claimed this year by the disease. The 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed is approximately 60 percent.

Where Can Oral Cancer Appear?

The oral Fincludes your lips, cheek lining, gums, the front part of your tongue, the floor of the mouth beneath the tongue and the hard palate that makes up the roof of your mouth. The throat (pharynx) starts at the soft part of the roof of your mouth and continues back into your throat. It includes the back section of your tongue, as well as the base where the tongue attaches to the floor of your mouth.

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

It’s important to be aware of the following signs and symptoms and to see your dentist if they do not disappear after two weeks. 

  • A sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

Some people complain of a sore throat, feeling like something is caught in their throat, numbness, hoarseness or a change in voice. If you have any of these symptoms, let your dentist know, especially if you’ve had them for two weeks or more.


What Are the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?

Research has identified a number of factors that increase the risk of developing oral cancers. Men are twice more likely to get oral cancer than women. Smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers older than 50 are the most at-risk. 

The human papilloma virus (HPV), which is sexually transmitted, has also been associated with throat cancers at the back of the mouth. HPV-positive head and neck cancers are related to the rise in throat cancers in non-smoking adults. HPV-positive head and neck cancers typically develop in the throat at the base of the tongue and in the folds of the tonsils making them difficult to detect. Although people with HPV-positive cancers have a lower risk of dying or having recurrence than those with HPV-negative cancers, early diagnosis is associated with the best outcomes. Regular dental check-ups that include an examination of the entire head and neck can be vital in detecting cancer early.  

How Can My Dentist Help Detect Oral Cancer Early?

During your regular exam, your dentist will ask you about changes in your medical history and whether you’ve been having any new or unusual symptoms.

Then, your dentist will check your oral cavity. This includes your lips, cheek lining, gums, the front part of your tongue, the floor of your mouth and the roof of your mouth. Your dentist will also examine your throat (pharynx) at the soft part at the roof of your mouth, including your tonsils, the back section of your tongue and where your tongue attaches to the bottom of your mouth. The dentist will then feel your jaw and neck for any lumps or abnormalities.

What Happens If My Dentist Finds Something Suspicious?

Stay calm. Your dentist won’t be able to tell right away if what he or she is looking at is cancerous, so he or she may refer you for testing. Your dentist might also reexamine you a week or two later to see if questionable spots are healing on their own before recommending additional follow-up. Together, you and your dentist can create the best strategy for diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

What Can I Do to Prevent Oral Cancer?

The most important thing is to be aware of your risk factors. Men are twice more likely to get oral cancer as they get older. If you smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol or have a poor diet, changing these habits can decrease the chances of developing oral cancer.

Certain strains of HPV can also put you at risk. The CDC recommends that 11- to 12-year-old boys and girls get two doses of HPV vaccine to prevent cervical and other less common genital cancers. It is possible that the HPV vaccine might also prevent head and neck cancers – since the vaccine prevents an initial infection with HPV types that can cause head and neck cancers – but the studies currently underway do not yet have sufficient data to say whether the HPV vaccine will prevent these cancers. Routine vaccination can be started as early as 9 years of age, according to the CDC. 

If you have had oral cancer before, you may be more likely to develop it again so keep up those regular visits.

Dental x-ray

Why would I need an x-ray?

Early tooth decay does not tend to show many physical signs. Sometimes the tooth looks healthy, but your dental team will be able to see from an x-ray whether you have any decay under the enamel, any possible infections in the root, or any bone loss around the tooth.

X-rays can help the dental team to see in between your teeth or under the edge of your fillings. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save both time and money.

In children, x-rays can be used to show where the adult teeth are and when they will appear. They are also used in the same way for adults when the wisdom teeth start to come through.

How often should I have x-rays?

If you are a new patient, unless you have had dental x-rays very recently, the dental team will probably suggest having x-rays. This helps them assess the condition of your mouth and to check for any hidden problems. After that, x-rays may be recommended every 6 to 24 months depending on the person, their history of decay, their age and the condition of their mouth.

Who do the x-rays belong to?

X-rays are an essential part of your health records. If you are entitled to copies of your records, you may have to pay for these copies. If you change dentists, your x-rays and records will not usually be needed by your new dentist. However, if they are important, your new dental team will let you know. They will either ask for your permission to send them or ask you to fetch them yourself.

What will an x-ray show?

X-rays can show decay that may not be seen directly in the mouth: for example, under a filling, or between the teeth. They can show whether you have an infection in the root of your tooth and how severe the infection is.

In children, an x-ray can show any teeth that haven’t come through yet, and show the dental team whether there is enough space for the teeth to come through. In adults, it can show any impacted wisdom teeth that may need to be removed, before they cause any problems.

Are x-rays dangerous?

The amount of radiation received from a dental x-ray is extremely small. We get more radiation from natural sources, including minerals in the soil, and from our general environment.

With modern techniques and equipment, risks are kept as small as possible. However, your dental team will always take care to use x-rays only when they need to.


The DEXsheild is a black ring that focuses the radiation produced by an X-Ray beam to the exact dimensions of our digital sensors.

When receiving medical, dental, or pharmaceutical care, safety is everyone’s main concern. Adverse reactions, side effects, and allergies can all make a treatment undesirable or unrealistic for your personal needs. As such, our office is always looking for new ways to minimize any potential risks while maximizing our patients’ wellness. Most recently, we have updated our X-Ray safety protocol to include the new DEXsheild radiation shield.

For starters, it is important to note that dental X-rays are an extremely safe and useful diagnostic tool. A standard dental X-ray produces roughly a quarter of the radiation you would receive on any given day. Yearly, it represents a negligible fraction of radiation exposure that our bodies absorb from the sun, consumer electronics, and other sources. At our office, we further minimize any risks by utilizing high-sensitivity digital X-ray sensors, radiation aprons with thyroid collars, and modern X-ray beams. In short, we make sure every patient is safe and protected to standards exceeding those laid out by the ADA and other governing bodies.

The DEXsheild fits into our current safety standards by narrowing the beam of radiation that the patient is exposed to. We have always used devices called collimated X-ray beams. Here, a thick metal tube essentially focuses the radiation produced by the beam on the oral region. While the sensor can detect and develop an image, the rest of your body is largely unexposed to any X-rays. The DEXsheild works by taking the place of a standard targeting ring (the red, blue and yellow rings we have on the outside of the sensor holders) and blocking the released radiation to the exact dimensions of the sensor. It essentially functions as a secondary safety apron, but for your mouth!

X-rays represent an indispensable tool at any dental office. The information provided from a few quick photographs can give us a fantastic perspective into if a tooth is healthy, why it might be hurting, or what we can do to repair it. We also understand that many patients are concerned about radiation exposure and want to know how we are keeping them safe. If you have any questions or concerns about ANY of our safety protocols, please give us a call. Our patient’s safety is our primary concern and we are happy to alleviate any of your worries!


Cracked tooth

What is a cracked tooth?

A cracked tooth is a tooth that has become broken.

Do all teeth crack in the same way?

No. Teeth can crack in several different ways:

Cracked tooth

This is when a crack runs from the biting surface of the tooth down toward the root. Sometimes it goes below the gum line and into the root. A cracked tooth is not split into two parts but the soft, inner tissue of the tooth is usually damaged.

Craze lines

These are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel of the tooth. They are common in all adult teeth and cause no pain. Craze lines need no treatment.

Cracked cusp

The cusp is the pointed part of the biting surface of the tooth. If a cusp becomes damaged, the tooth may break. You will usually get a sharp pain in that tooth when biting.

Split tooth

This is often the result of an untreated cracked tooth. The tooth splits into two parts. Vertical root fractures are cracks that start in the root and go up towards the biting surface.

Why do teeth crack?

Many things can cause teeth to crack, such as:

  • Excessive tooth grinding can put the teeth under enormous pressure.
  • Large fillings weaken the tooth.
  • Chewing or biting on something hard: for example ice, boiled sweets, fruit stones or meat bones.
  • A blow to the chin or lower jaw.
  • Gum disease, if there has been a bone loss. This could make the teeth more likely to suffer from root fractures.
  • Sudden changes in mouth temperature.

What Are Some of the Causes of a Cracked Tooth?

There are a number of reasons that a tooth might crack. These reasons include:

  • Biting down on hard foods like ice, hard candies, and nuts
  • Stress that leads to jaw clenching or grinding
  • Chewing unevenly
  • Loss of tooth structure due to wear or large fillings
  • Exposure to temperature extremes (such as eating hot food and then immediately washing it down with an ice-cold glass of water)
  • Brittleness of teeth following a root canal

What Are Some Signs that I May Have Cracked My Tooth?

Unfortunately, identifying a cracked tooth on your own may be difficult. Oftentimes, there is a vertical hairline fracture that may be nearly invisible to the human eye. Sometimes, these tiny cracks cannot even be seen on X-Rays. However, there are 5 warning signs of a cracked tooth of which you should be aware:

  1. Tooth pain when biting or chewing. This can be a good indicator of a cracked tooth; although you might not experience the pain every time you eat. It may only occur when you eat certain foods or bite down in a certain way.
  2. Lack of constant pain. Unlike a cavity or an abscess, the pain of a cracked tooth is sporadic. If you are not experiencing chronic pain, you are likely to have a tooth fracture.
  3. Increased sensitivity. You may notice that you experience pain when biting into hot foods or drinking cold liquids. Possibly, you may even experience sensitivity when eating sticky, sweet, or sour foods as well. Increased sensitivity may be a sign of a cracked tooth.
  4. Infection. At times, a cracked tooth can lead to an infection in the gum line around the area of the fracture. This infection would look like a small bump on the gum near the tooth.
  5. No visible signs. Often with a cavity, you can spot signs of decay. For instance, you might see a dark spot on the tooth’s surface or a hole where the enamel has eroded. If you are experiencing tooth pain but you cannot see any obvious sign, this may be another indicator that you have a cracked tooth.

How is a Cracked Tooth Treated?

Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the location and severity. Tiny cracks are common and typically do not even require any treatment. However, cracks that affect the cusp of a tooth may require a treatment procedure – possibly a crown.

Roughly 20% of cracked teeth require a root canal, and in some severe cases, the cracked tooth may need to be removed altogether. In that case, we can replace the tooth with an implant or a bridge.

What Should I Do If I Discover a Cracked Tooth?

Early treatment is important with a cracked tooth. If treatment is delayed, the crack will worsen and may result in tooth loss.


What is a mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a specially made, rubber-like cover that fits exactly over your teeth and gums, cushioning them and protecting them from damage.

When would I need a mouthguard?

It is important to wear a professionally made mouthguard whenever you play a sport that involves physical contact or moving objects. This includes cricket, hockey and football – which can cause broken and damaged teeth; and American football, boxing and rugby – which can all cause broken or dislocated jaws. A mouthguard will help protect against these happening.

Where can I get one made?

Your dental team will be happy to make you a custom-made mouthguard, which will fit your mouth exactly and protect your teeth and gums properly. Custom-made mouthguards can prevent damage to the jaw, neck and even the brain – helping to prevent concussion and damage caused by a heavy blow.

How much will it cost?

Costs can vary from dentist to dentist. Ask your dental team about mouthguards and always get an estimate before starting treatment. When you consider the cost of expensive dental work and the risk of losing teeth, it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

How long do custom-made mouthguards last?

Depending on your age, your mouthguard may need replacing fairly regularly. If you are still growing, new teeth will come through and move into position. So the mouthguard may become too tight or loose, and will need to be remade to fit the new shape of your mouth.

Types of Mouth Guards

As Healthline so helpfully explains, there are three distinct types of mouthguards. They are stock mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards. Now, you’ll really only see the first two types in your local sporting goods store. These keep you or your kids from losing a tooth or biting through their tongue during any serious impact.


Stock mouthguards are essentially one-size-fits-all, and you’ll usually see them in organized sports. You may need to clip the back ends of the guard for smaller mouths. Still, remember it isn’t intended to fit perfectly.

Boil and Bite

Boil and bite guards are more common in martial arts due to the sheer number of times you’re likely to be hit in the face while sparring. In this case, you take a standard boil and bite guard. First, you need to place it in boiling water for a specified amount of time. Then, you fish it out, let it cool for a few seconds, and put it around your teeth. To help the guard form the shape of your mouth, use clean fingers and your tongue to gently push the guard against your teeth. Creating a little suction helps as well.

Custom and Dental

However, if you’re recommended a mouthguard due to a health concern, you will probably need to make an appointment with your dentist. For chronic grinding and sleep apnea, you will need to have a customized mouthguard made specifically for you.

Cleaning your Mouth Guard

Every human mouth contains about six billion bacteria, so all mouthguards should be cleaned after every use. You should also consider keeping two cases, one where you store your mouthguard after use and one where you store it once it has been cleaned to avoid cross-contamination.

To clean your mouth guard, avoid using hot water. Most mouthguards are made of rubberized material, so using hot water risks warping its shape. Instead, rinse it with mouthwash and brush it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Additionally, make sure your case(s) provide ventilation, as a wet mouthguard is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other potential pathogens.

The American Dental Association suggests using this cleaning ritual to check for any damage, which could undermine the efficacy of your mouthguard. The ADA also suggests bringing your mouthguard with you to dental office visits. This will allow your dentist to inspect it with a trained eye. He then can help you determine whether it needs to be replaced.

Continued Mouthguard Care

Keeping your mouthguard clean and dry will help it last much longer and continue to do its job. Remember that if you have kids that wear mouthguards, it is imperative that you help them to understand how important hygiene is in this case. Inappropriate care and mouthguard sharing can lead to the transmission of dangerous diseases, so it may be worth your time to have your dentist or physician explain the importance of keeping their mouthguard clean. You can only control how it’s cared for once they get home. So, they need to correctly care for it on the field or in the ring.

Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening or bleaching is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment to change the color of natural tooth enamel to enhance the beauty of your smile. Teeth whitening may be accomplished in a dental office or at home. The procedure uses a chemical called peroxide to bleach or whiten the teeth.

Why Did My Teeth Change Color?

Over time, your teeth can go from white to not-so-bright for a number of reasons:

Food and Drink

Coffee, tea and red wine are some major staining culprits. What do they have in common? Intense color pigments called chromogens that attach to the white, outer part of your tooth (enamel).

Tobacco Use

Two chemicals found in tobacco create stubborn stains: Tar and nicotine. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colorless until it’s mixed with oxygen. Then, it turns into a yellowish, surface-staining substance.


Below the hard, white outer shell of your teeth (enamel) is a softer area called dentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.


If you’ve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel.


Tooth darkening can be a side effect of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications. Young children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth are forming (either in the womb or as a baby) may have discoloration of their adult teeth later in life. Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can also darken teeth.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?

No, which is why it’s important to talk to your dentist before deciding to whiten your teeth, as whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and teeth with gray tones may not bleach at all. Whitening will not work on caps, veneers, crowns or fillings. It also won’t be effective if your tooth discoloration is caused by medications or a tooth injury.

What Are My Whitening Options?

Talk to your dentist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are four ways to put the shine back in your smile:

Stain Removal Toothpastes

All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives that scrub the teeth. Look for whitening toothpastes that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for stain removal (it will tell you on the package). These toothpastes have additional polishing agents that are safe for your teeth and provide stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these types of ADA-Accepted products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.

In-Office Bleaching

This procedure is called chairside bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect your gums. Bleach is then applied to the teeth.

At-Home Bleaching from Your Dentist

Your dentist can provide you with a custom-made tray for at-home whitening. In this case, the dentist will give you instructions on how to place the bleaching solution in the tray and for what length of time. This may be a preferred option if you feel more comfortable whitening in your own home at a slower pace, but still with the guidance of a dentist. Out-of-office bleaching can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products

You may see different options online or in your local grocery store, such as toothpastes or strips that whiten by bleaching your teeth. The concentration of the bleaching agent in these products is lower than what your dentist would use in the office. If you are thinking about using an over-the-counter bleaching kit, discuss options with your dentist and look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. That means it has been tested to be safe and effective for teeth whitening. Get a list of all ADA-Accepted at-home bleaching products.

Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?

Some people who use teeth whiteners may experience tooth sensitivity. That happens when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerve of your tooth. In most cases the sensitivity is temporary. You can delay treatment, then try again.

Overuse of whiteners can also damage the tooth enamel or gums, so be sure to follow directions and talk to your dentist.

Is whitening good for teeth?

Over 10 years of clinical use of teeth whitening products containing 10% carbamide peroxide have not shown any damage to existing fillings. Do teeth whiteners damage a tooth’s nerve? There’s no evidence that the teeth whitening process has a harmful effect on the health of a tooth’s nerves.

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry helps you feel calm, relaxed and at ease during dental procedures. It’s a moderate level of sedation, so you’re still technically awake but feeling very carefree. It’s sometimes called conscious sedation dentistry or “twilight sleep” because it creates a state of short-term amnesia (forgetfulness) where you experience insensitivity to pain without the loss of consciousness.

What types of sedation are used in dentistry?

There are varying levels of sedation dentistry based on your unique needs. Factors include your level of anxiety, the length of your procedure, your health history and personal preferences. The most common types of sedation dentistry include nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation and intravenous (IV) sedation.

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide is commonly known as “laughing gas.” You inhale nitrous oxide through a mask or nosepiece, and calming effects begin within three to five minutes. Your dentist controls the amount of sedation you receive and adjusts dosages accordingly throughout your procedure. Once your treatment is over, your dentist gives you pure oxygen to flush the nitrous oxide out of your system. Because the laughing gas leaves your system so quickly, you’ll be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.

Oral conscious sedation

With oral conscious sedation, your dentist gives you sedative medication (usually in pill form) about an hour before your procedure begins. Most dentists use triazolam (Halcion®), which is in the diazepam (Valium®) family. But your dentist might use other medications, too, including zaleplon and lorazepam. Dentists often used liquid sedation in pediatric dentistry, such as midazolam oral syrup.

Oral sedation makes you quite groggy, and you may even fall asleep. But you’ll still be able to communicate with your dentist if necessary, and you’ll awaken with a gentle nudge. Because oral sedation temporarily affects your memory and motor skills, you’ll need a friend or family member to drive you home after your procedure.

Intravenous (IV) sedation

IV sedation dentistry is the deepest form of conscious sedation available in a dental office setting. Your healthcare provider delivers sedative medications directly to your bloodstream through an IV line. During your procedure, your dentist monitors your heart rate blood pressure and oxygen levels. They can adjust your dosage at any point and can use reversal medications if necessary. Most people who receive IV sedation dentistry fall asleep and have little to no memory of their treatment when they wake up. This option is best for people with severe dental anxiety or those who are undergoing lengthy procedures.

What happens before sedation dentistry?

You’ll talk with your dentist about sedation options during your initial consultation. They’ll discuss your health history and ask about any medications or supplements you’re taking. Once they’ve gathered all the necessary information, they’ll make sedation recommendations based on your specific needs.

In most cases, you shouldn’t eat or drink anything for at least six hours before your dental appointment. Unless otherwise noted by your dentist, you should take all routine medications without interruption.

Be sure to tell your dentist if you’re taking any blood thinners, though, such as warfarin. They may ask you to skip these medications for a few days leading up to your procedure.

What happens during sedation dentistry?

Your dentist gives you sedative medications before beginning your procedure. You’ll still receive local anesthetic to numb your teeth and gums, but your dentist usually does this once you’re already feeling comfortable from the sedatives.

What happens after sedation dentistry?

Unless you choose nitrous oxide as your sedation option, you’ll need a trusted friend or family member to drive you home after your appointment. You should go straight home and rest while the sedative medication wears off.

What are the advantages of sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry eases anxieties and phobias, helping you remain calm and comfortable during dental procedures. Because your dentist can often work faster when you’re under sedation, it can result in fewer appointments. Finally, many people have so much dental anxiety that they avoid going to the dentist altogether. Sedation dentistry helps you feel more comfortable so you can receive the care you need and deserve.

Recovery time

Recovery times vary. It depends on what type of sedation you choose and how your body responds to the medications. In general, people who have nitrous oxide recover within 15 to 30 minutes and can drive themselves home following their appointment. Those who choose oral conscious sedation or IV sedation typically need about 24 hours for full recovery.

Cosmetic dentistry

If you’re not satisfied with your smile, modern cosmetic dentistry can help. This method of professional oral care focuses on improving the appearance of your mouth, teeth, gums, and overall smile. Common procedures include teeth whitening, veneers, fillings, and implants.

Cosmetic dentistry is becoming more and more popular, with the industry as a whole projected to reach $32 billion by 2026. Although it’s not an essential procedure, cosmetic treatment can restore confidence in your smile.

What Does a Cosmetic Dentist Do?

A cosmetic dentist is responsible for a variety of procedures — from minor fixes to major surgeries. Here are a few of the cosmetic procedures they offer.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays, also known as indirect fillings, are used when a tooth is too decayed to support a typical filling. These fillings are created in a dental laboratory and bonded in place by a cosmetic dentist.

An “inlay” is when the material is bonded in the center of the tooth. An “onlay” is when the filling covers one or more parts of the tooth or covers the tooth’s entire surface.

This procedure is an alternative to the crown, preserving more of the tooth’s natural surface while still strengthening and restoring the tooth after decay or deterioration.

Dental Implants

After severe tooth decay or tooth loss, dental implants are used to replace teeth. The cosmetic dentist first attaches a screw to the jaw to provide support. Then, the implant is inserted into the bone socket of the missing tooth.

Over time, the bone and tissue fuse to the implant, securing the replacement tooth inside the mouth. Once properly attached, the dental implant should blend into the surrounding teeth.

Dental Bonding

For dental bonding, the cosmetic dentist applies a moldable resin to the tooth and hardens it with ultraviolet light. Then, they trim, shape, and polish the material to blend into the surface of the tooth.

Bonding can repair chips, cracks, misshapen teeth, and tooth decay. For minor cosmetic issues, bonding is a more affordable alternative to fillings or crowns.

Reasons to See a Cosmetic Dentist

There are many reasons you might see a cosmetic dentist, including:

  • Tooth decay
  • Damage (cracks, chips, etc.)
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Discoloration
  • Missing teeth

People with damaged, decaying, crooked, or discolored teeth may also have difficulty when eating and speaking. For others, dental issues may affect their self-esteem.

According to a 2015 survey by the American Dental Association, 33% of young people are reluctant to smile due to conditions of the teeth and mouth. Another 23% of adults have cut back on their participation in social activities due to embarrassment about their smiles.

If you feel dissatisfied with your smile, a cosmetic dentist can improve the condition of your teeth.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.

Children begin to get their baby teeth during the first 6 months of life. By age 6 or 7 years, they start to lose their first set of teeth, which eventually are replaced by secondary, permanent teeth.

Without proper dental care, children face possible oral decay and disease that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications. Early childhood dental caries—an infectious disease—is 5 times more common in children than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. About 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.

What kind of training do pediatric dentists have?

Pediatric dentists have completed at least:

  • Four years of dental school
  • Two additional years of residency training in dentistry for infants, children, teens and children with special needs

What types of treatments do pediatric dentists provide?

Pediatric dentists provide comprehensive oral health care that includes the following:

  • Infant oral health exams, which include risk assessment for caries in mother and child
  • Preventive dental care including cleaning and fluoride treatments, as well as nutrition and diet recommendations
  • Habit counseling (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking)
  • Early assessment and treatment for straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite (orthodontics)
  • Repair of tooth cavities or defects
  • Diagnosis of oral conditions associated with diseases such as diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Management of gum diseases and conditions including ulcers, short frenula, mucoceles and pediatric periodontal disease
  • Care for dental injuries (for example, fractured, displaced or knocked-out teeth)

Where can I find a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists practice in a variety of locations including private practices, dental schools, and medical centers. Your pediatrician can help you find a pediatric dentist near your home.

Pediatric dentists — the best care for children

Children are not just small adults. They are not always able to be patient and cooperative during a dental exam. Pediatric dentists know how to examine and treat children in ways that make them comfortable. In addition, pediatric dentists use specially designed equipment in offices that are arranged and decorated with children in mind.

A pediatric dentist offers a wide range of treatment options, as well as expertise and training to care for your child’s teeth, gums and mouth. When your pediatrician suggests that your child receive a dental exam, you can be assured that a pediatric dentist will provide the best possible care.

Zygomatic implants


If you are self-conscious because you have missing teeth, wear dentures that are uncomfortable, or don’t want to have good tooth structure removed to make a bridge, talk to your dentist to see if dental implants are an option for you.

Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to blend in with your other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. The development and use of implants are one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years. Dental implants are made up of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. They are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth.

Zygomatic Implants

Zygomatic implants are dental implants that are anchored in the zygoma or cheekbone. They are prescribed for patients who have moderate, advanced, and even extreme resorption in the maxilla, or the upper jaw. Normally, when needed, zygomatic implants will be used to replace a full set of teeth in the upper jaw for patients who have severe bone loss in the maxilla.

Are Zygomatic Implants Safe?

Yes, when placed by a board-certified maxillofacial and oral surgeon, zygomatic implants are safe, effective, and painless. As these implants come near sensitive parts of the face, including the eyes and sinuses, they must be placed by a qualified and experienced surgeon to avoid serious complications.

The most effective way to understand zygomatic implants is to see them. The animation below illustrates the placement of two zygomatic implants and four traditional implants, an all-on-six implant procedure. The implants support the whole upper bridge.

Zygomatic implants make it possible to sidestep bone loss issues. The extended length of the implant allows it to anchor into a patient’s cheekbone or the zygoma. No bone grafting or sinus lifts are needed. The zygoma is a very dense bone and provides excellent implant support for the lifetime of the patient.

Why Does Losing Teeth Cause Bone Loss?

Like a muscle, bone is a tissue that requires exercise to maintain strength and mass.

A natural tooth is nested within the jawbone. Chewing and biting down regularly works the bone and tells the body to build a healthy jawbone. When the teeth are lost or removed, the surrounding jawbone is no longer stimulated by chewing activity, and this disuse quickly leads to bone loss.

When teeth must be removed, a dental implant is the last resort option to replace the missing or unsalvageable teeth. Quality dental implants, including zygomatic implants, offer a lifetime solution that is comfortable and strong, matching the look and feel of natural teeth.

How Do Implants Work?

The roots of a natural tooth are secured within the root canal of a person’s jawbone. Similarly, conventional dental implants are anchored in place by the jawbone.

Titanium is the preferred material for implants due to effective osseointegration with the patient’s jaw.

A typical implant cannot be securely secured in someone who has severe bone loss in the upper jaw, resulting in further difficulties and chronic pain or discomfort.

How Do Dental Implants Help Prevent Bone Loss?

Dental implants that imitate the natural stimulation of teeth are the most effective method for preventing further bone loss. The titanium root of a new teeth implant duplicates the pressure and stimulation of chewing, matching the natural stimulation of teeth. This gentle action signals the body to continue fortifying the jawbone, significantly reducing the risk of bone loss, and quite often leading to stronger and healthier bones.

Titanium implants imitate the role of a natural tooth root, providing stimulation to your jawbone and allowing osseointegration, and fusion with the bone.

To prevent additional bone loss, implants should be placed immediately following tooth extractions. The sooner the better.

Can You Have Dental Implants If You Suffer from Severe Bone Loss?

Since zygomatic implants can be placed in one day and have a higher success rate than bone grafting, they are the ideal solution for bone loss when receiving a full-arch prosthesis in the upper jaw.

While traditional implants are placed in the jawbone, surgeons utilize the zygomatic implant’s length to securely place them in the patient’s cheekbone, or zygoma. The zygoma is a very dense bone and provides excellent support for the lifetime of the patient.

Where Can You Get Zygomatic Implants?

Although the placement of zygomatic implants is a very safe and effective procedure, it requires the specialization and experience of a qualified oral surgeon. Not many oral surgeons have routine experience placing zygomatic implants. Depending on your location, you may need to travel to have your zygomatic implants placed.