If you’re anticipating getting braces in your future, you’re probably aware that dental impressions are as well. Every year nearly four million people in the United States have braces, and all of them had to have an impression of their teeth taken before they were put on. While this process used to involve having two trays inserted in your mouth containing an unpleasant tasting substance, those days are largely in the past. One of the newest innovations in dental imaging technologies has made these messy, inaccurate, and unpleasant devices unnecessary.

What Are Impressions For?

Braces can do wonderful things for your oral health. By straightening out your teeth, they help to make dental hygiene easier, eliminating nooks and crannies that plaque and tartar can hang out in while also helping to eliminate bite problems. In addition to these practical benefits, they also improve the appearance of your smile. The first step of accomplishing this, however, is the dentist gaining a clear understanding of the condition of your teeth. To achieve this, there’s no better option than impressions.

Digital Impressions – The Imaging of the Future

As we mentioned earlier, impressions used to be taken using an unpleasant substance set in trays that were uncomfortable to wear. Even worse, when these impression were complete, they had a tendency to dry out, warp, and crack. All of this meant that they became more unreliable over time, sometimes requiring them to be taken again. Digital impressions spell an end to all that nonsense. Instead of using a physical medium to get an impression of your teeth, a special scanner is used to create a picture-perfect replica of your mouth in a digital 3D format. They’ll never degrade, they’re painless, and they provide a superior tool for your dentist.

The Digital Impression Procedure

Getting dental impressions is quick and easy. When you see your dentist for a digital impression, they’re going to use a specialized wand that captures the imagery. There’s no anesthetic involved or needed, as the process is completely painless. The wand uses specialized imaging technology to scan the interior of your mouth, flawlessly capturing every curve, bump, and depression on the surface of your teeth. Since they’re stored in a digital format they can be easily shared with specialists in seconds, and you’ll never have to worry about them getting lost in the mail. Even better, when it’s all done your dentist can share them with you and clearly show you what work needs to be done and where.

Want to know more? Contact St. Claire Dental today to arrange a meeting with Dr. Maureen Karl for dental care. Our team of professional and friendly office staff will help answer your questions and prepare you for your visit to our offices in Granbury, TX. Digital impressions bring clarity to your dental care choices that will make you feel confident in your treatment options. Don’t wait to reach out to us; we look forward to adding you to our dental patient family!

The innovation of the internet of things, a state where everything is connected to the internet and integrated with advanced technology, has not passed over the dental industry. While some initially took this innovation as both intrusive and, to some extent, ridiculous, these types of products are becoming more common. It would be understandable for you to question these items’ validity and whether they’re genuinely effective or just a passing fad. Today we’re going to explore smart toothbrushes and determine whether they truly have something to offer or are just another cash grab by dental product retailers.

First Off: What’s A Smart Toothbrush?

Let’s start by defining exactly what these products are and what technology they include. Smart toothbrushes are the newest innovation in a line of products that seek to integrate technology with common everyday tools and appliances. In the case of the smart toothbrush, this integration involves an app that monitors your brushing habits and keeps you informed of whether you’re doing it often and thoroughly enough. Some of the smartest versions are able to detect the amount of pressure you’re using and adjust to compensate. Brushing too vigorously can have lasting repercussions for your teeth, so a toothbrush that can respond by lightening the pressure is fantastic.

A New Type Of Toothbrush

Along with the app integration, habit monitoring, and technique adjusting nature of smart toothbrushes, they’ve also seen the introduction of an innovation in the toothbrush. Toothbrushes, overall, are a pretty basic item, so the majority of innovations have been in comfort, bristle type, and innovations like electric toothbrushes. For the first time in unknown centuries, a whole new design of toothbrush has entered the market. This toothbrush style resembled a mouthguard in that it covers all your teeth at once. Attached to a handle that contains buttons for adjust speed, duration, and pressure, as well as the batteries for this device, a mouth guard toothbrush can clean all of your teeth thoroughly in just a few seconds.

But Do They Improve Your Oral Health?

Now here’s the big question we all want to know. Does smart technology actually help these toothbrushes do their job? While research is still being done, initial findings suggest there’s something to it. These toothbrushes do more than just keep your mouth clean; they also gather information for you and your dentist and have been shown to reveal certain issues before they get out of hand. The ability to easily track your brushing habits and ensure you stay on track also make keeping a good dental routine simple.

While smart toothbrushes are an incredible new innovation in dental technology, they aren’t able to replace twice-yearly visits to your dentist. Using these devices may result in an overall improvement of your oral health, but combining them with twice-yearly visits to your dental care provider is the only way to get the most out of these benefits. Dr. Maureen Karl is ready to see you at St. Claire Dental in Granbury, TX! Give us a call and get your next dental care appointment scheduled today!

As dentists, we love understanding the ins and outs of tooth care, and we’re quite selective about the products we choose. One of the biggest questions we most often get asked is what kind of toothbrush should be used. Because preventative dentistry is primarily done at home, many people often use manual brushes for the convenience of price, its ability to remove debris, and its wide variety of tooth bristle textures. Electric brushes have become widely popular as well, but it leads many to wonder if electric brushes have any better benefits over manuals.

Did you know…

That there’s pretty much a neutral opinion all around over which brush is better? The American Dental Association does not choose a preference, because it’s able to see the benefits of both sides; electric toothbrushes can help those disabled with their brushing abilities and lessen the complications that come with manual toothbrushes, while manual toothbrushes can have more variety in bristles, from soft to hard. The gadgets of electric toothbrushes these days make brushing teeth a more engaging, especially when they include timers and different mode settings. Manuals, however, still benefit from reaching out to a wider audience, giving people more control over their brushing movements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which toothbrush should I choose: manual or electric?

At St Clair Dental, we believe that both have the same capabilities of removing plaque and debris and aid in giving people better oral care options. It depends on your specific needs. Electric brushes tend to be superior in terms of plaque removal, but also have a higher chance of damaging the gum line. Manual toothbrushes can be gentle on the teeth, but may not remove as much plaque sufficiently. At Dr. Karl’s office, she’ll recommend you the best toothbrush for your oral health.

What should I look for in toothbrush results?

All that matters is your ability to move the toothbrush in the mouth and behind the back teeth. If the head begins to interfere with your ability to reach your back molars, it may not benefit you and your oral care. The toothbrush may lack the ability to remove plaque more effectively. You should be able to see shiny, smooth surfaces along with your teeth and not any residue of plaque left.

How often should I change my electric toothbrush head?

Like manual toothbrushes, the heads of your electric toothbrush should be replaced once every three to four months. If you have any more questions about brushing habits, contact Dr. Karl today to learn more about oral health care.

Flossing is an important part of an oral hygiene routine, but research suggests that fewer than half of Americans do so daily. Flossing is simple and only takes an extra couple of minutes per day. Developing a healthy habit of flossing can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and it may allow you to keep more of your natural teeth as you age. So what is the most effective means of flossing?

  1. Pull the floss taught and slide it between two teeth.
  2. Pull against the side of one tooth, creating a “C-shape” and sliding upwards to remove plaque build-up.
  3. Pull against the opposite tooth edge using the same technique.
  4. Repeat this process for each tooth until all inner surfaces have been flossed.
  5. Don’t forget to floss the backs of your molars!

Need some extra tips?

The American Dental Association recommends using a strand of floss approximately 18 inches in length. It is important to only use clean floss as you move between the teeth. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by looping each end of the floss around your fingers and beginning to floss with the area closest to one end. If you have never flossed, be sure to ask your dentist for a quick in-person tutorial at your next check-up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I be flossing?

Yes. The ADA recommends that everyone floss in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Even if you have restorations, such as crowns or veneers, good oral hygiene is essential for prolonging their use and maintaining your oral health.

What types of results should I get from flossing?

You may not experience immediate results from flossing, but over time, your habit will pay off. Flossing can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss – all of which can be highly inconvenient and expensive to treat. A piece of floss that costs just pennies could save you thousands of dollars later on.

Is there anything else I should be doing in addition to flossing?

Yes. In addition to flossing, you should be adopting proper brushing techniques and visiting your dentist at least twice per year for examinations and professional dental cleanings.

Fluoride can repair teeth at the microscopic stages of cavity development. As a naturally occurring element, fluoride can help strengthen teeth in children and prevent decay. Our dental practice endorses the use of fluoride alongside the American Dental Association and other associations. Fluoride works to rebuild enamel by rebuilding lost calcium and phosphate, both of which are mineral naturally present in saliva. At St. Clair Dental, Dr. Karl can provide fluoride treatments for both children and adults, and by proxy, provide good oral health checkups for new and reoccurring dentists.

Did you know…

Fluoride is an essential mineral present in public water supplies, water bottles, and toothpaste. Many towns and cities add fluoride to public water to promote better dental health. Fluoride can be seen as one of the main minerals found under the label’s ingredients section for water manufacturers and bottled water companies. You can find out if you’ve been receiving fluoride by contacting your local water utility station and your bottled water company.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to get fluoride treatments?

Because fluoride is an essential part of oral health, if you have not been receiving fluoride from your water supplies, then getting fluoride treatment can benefit you overall. A lack of fluoride can cause gum recession and increase the risk of tooth decay. Still, fluoride treatments can completely restore your fluoride needs and give you the oral support necessary for healthy teeth and gums. If you have more concerns about fluoride treatments, contact Dr. Karl to schedule a consultation.

What happens during a fluoride treatment?

During a fluoride treatment, Dr. Karl will distribute a fluoridated gel, foam, or varnish that’s placed into a tray and then placed upon your teeth. For children, they can receive fluoride treatments with tasty flavors to help ease the process. After sitting from 5 to 10 minutes, your treatment is done. These treatments are painless and can be done between one and four times per year during biannual checkups.

How can I supplement my fluoride treatments?

Supplement your fluoride treatments by drinking water with fluoride in it, or receiving fluoride from your toothpaste when you brush your teeth.

If you are undergoing a dental procedure or operation, you will be given a set of post-operative instructions to abide by in the hours, days, and weeks after your treatment. Following these instructions is essential to preventing infections in surgical sites, protecting restorations, and minimizing the possibility of experiencing complications. Post-operative instructions vary from procedure to procedure, but you are still sure to have some questions regarding care. Your [city] dentist will be available to answer those questions and respond to any concerns you may have.

Try to anticipate some of the questions you may have about your post-operative care and ask them prior to your treatment.

Some of the most common post-op questions include:

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I talk with my dentist about the questions I have regarding my post-operative care?

Yes. Your post-operative care is contingent on you understanding everything about the recovery process and your responsibilities in caring for your surgical site.

What should I expect when I speak with my dentist?

Your dentist should allocate enough time in your consultation and pre-operative exam to listen to your concerns and answer any questions you may have. You should also be provided a phone number that you can call following your procedure to discuss any questions that may come up at that time.

Is there anything I can do to make the process easier?

Yes. Begin thinking of any questions you may have about your post-operative care, and begin writing them down. You’ll be ready to ask all of your questions when the opportunity arises without missing any important details.

Digital x-rays are a more streamlined way of taking dental radiographs. Like traditional x-rays, digital versions provide an in-depth view of the structures of the mouth, helping dentists detect complications and develop effective modes of treatment. Digital x-rays are capable of revealing hidden caries, bone erosion, and even tooth decay hiding beneath restorations.

Requiring less radiation and no film to process, digital x-rays have become the standard for oral imaging. These systems produce instant digital images that can easily be enhanced and enlarged for a more accurate diagnosis. The images are captured, stored, and even transmitted via in-office computers. In fact, dentists can easily print or email copies of x-rays in just seconds.

Dental x-rays make for a better and more efficient patient experience. Office visits are faster, patients are exposed to less radiation, and radiographs can be sent to a specialist for review in a fraction of the time necessary for traditional film x-rays.

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