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Get The Most Out of Your Dentures With These Tips

Dentures provide a wonderful solution for patients who have suffered from tooth loss. Whether you require a partial or complete denture, your dentist will work with you to help you achieve the best possible outcome as the solution for tooth loss.

Allow Yourself Ample Time to Adjust to New Dentures

dentures Battle Creek MITeeth replacement can feel overwhelming. Give yourself time to:

Speak clearly and comfortably – Until you get used to your dentures, you will likely experience increased saliva production as well as difficulty forming word sounds. The saliva situation should resolve itself within days. Practice conversing with non-judgmental friends and family; or practice speaking in front of a mirror.

Learn how to chew again – You won’t have to eat soft foods forever, but start with them eventually graduating to chewier foods cut into small, manageable bites.

The Importance of the Proper Care and Maintenance for your Dentures 

Dentures are a big investment so you should maximize the life of your dentures by taking the best care of them that you can.

When you’re not wearing your denture, you should store it in an appropriate container with water or an approved denture cleaning solution. This will allow your denture to stay moist and in so doing, will help it to maintain its shape. Rinse thoroughly before inserting.

Never boil your dentures. Even very hot water can result in your dentures warping.

If you are experiencing rubbing or sore spots, do not attempt to make adjustments. Even a small tweak can result in irreparable damage.

If slipping or movement is a problem, you may be tempted to try a denture paste. Before doing so, a visit to your dentist is advised. Changes to your oral condition might be the problem, and may be corrected providing a better solution than a denture adhesive.

Cleaning your dentures is important. Plaque can form on them so they should be cleaned every day. Use the tools designed for this … a regular toothbrush and toothpaste can be too harsh and can scratch your dentures.

Gently brush gum tissue with dentures out to maintain their health.

When cleaning your dentures, do so over a towel or soft surface to prevent breakage if you should drop them.

To learn more about how dentures can restore your smile, contact the office of Dr. John Morris today.

Can Root Canal Treatment Save My Tooth?

root canal Battle Creek MIHave you been told that you have an infected root canal? If so, you should act quickly or you could lose your tooth. Not only can an infected root canal lead to tooth loss, it can also produce significant discomfort and disrupt your daily life. Root canal therapy removes the infection deep within your tooth and prevents the need for extraction.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a part of your tooth’s anatomy. It’s a small, chambered area that holds the nerve endings of teeth and cellular material. The contents of a root canal can become inflamed when exposed to oral bacteria.

What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy is a procedure that treats an infected root canal. This treatment removes the infected tissue within a tooth and seals the root canal with a rubber compound to prevent future complications. Root canal therapy can literally save your tooth and restore its function.

How does a root canal become infected?

A root canal can become infected when teeth are chipped, cracked, or badly decayed. In healthy teeth, the root canal is sealed off from infection-causing bacteria. When a tooth is severely damaged, however, the root canal can be exposed to oral bacteria and debris. Unable to fight off an infection, this exposure could lead to painful abscesses and/or the need for a tooth extraction.

Will I be comfortable during my procedure?

Root canal therapy has an undeserved reputation for being painful. This is often because having an infected root canal can be very uncomfortable. The treatment itself, however, isn’t actually too invasive or painful. In fact, many people compare the sensations they experience during root canal therapy to receiving routine dental fillings.

Our dentist uses local anesthetics to ensure that our patients feel comfortable during their treatment. After patients heal from root canal therapy, they no longer feel intense discomfort associated with an infected tooth.

For more information or to reserve a consultation with our dentist, contact the office of Dr. John Morris today.

Upgrade Denture Stability with Dental Implants

implant dentures Battle Creek MIAre you unhappy with your dentures? Perhaps you’re tired of them moving when you eat and speak. There is a way to upgrade your dentures so that they stay in place even while you eat tough or fibrous foods. With dental implants, your dentures can function much more like biological teeth. Implant dentures offer both a natural looking aesthetic and ideal oral function.

How Implant Dentures Work

In the past, only the visible parts of teeth were replaceable. This was done with prosthetics like dentures or fixed bridges. While these prosthetics effectively fill in the gaps of an incomplete smile, they have limitations when it comes to restoring oral function. When dentures or bridges are anchored to dental implants, however, patients enjoy greater control and stability when eating.

Dental implants serve as artificial roots. These small, screw-shaped components are placed in the jawbone where the roots of teeth were. Over time, bone will fuse around dental implants to lock them in place, permanently. Dental implants feature abutments, which are used to connect to prosthetics like dentures.

Benefits of Implant Dentures

Implant dentures offer some unique advantages over conventional prosthetics. First, implants keep dentures locked in place. This means patients can enjoy life without dietary restrictions or have to struggle with messy denture adhesives.

Dental implants also help preserve bone mass in the jaw. When we lose teeth, we also lose bone because the roots of teeth are no longer present to keep bone active and stimulated. Since dental implants stimulate the jaw, patients can retain healthy bone mass and maintain a youthful appearance.

On top of contributing to premature aging, bone loss will affect the way dentures fit. It is common for patients to have to replace their dentures as they lose bone. Fortunately, implant dentures can last far longer because dental implants preserve bone.

No one should have to suffer with an incomplete smile. If you have questions about your tooth replacement options, call the office of John Morris, DDS, to schedule a consultation with our implant dentist.

Common Oral Health Concerns of Seniors

family dentistry Battle Creek MISeniors have unique oral health concerns. That’s why our family dentistry practice strives to anticipate potential problems with thorough dental exams. With early detection, many potential issues can be mitigated with preventive treatments and improved oral hygiene at home. Following are a few common concerns that mature patients should know about.

Dry Mouth

Dealing with dry mouth can be more than uncomfortable. Persistent dry mouth could put your oral health at risk. The oral cavity should be a moist environment. Without proper saliva production, our soft tissue will dry out. This could lead to an increased risk for gum disease and dental caries.

Unfortunately, dry mouth can disproportionately affect seniors. This is because many medications affect saliva production. Moreover, a number of common health conditions such as diabetes contribute to this condition, too.

If you struggle with dry mouth, consider increasing your water intake and practicing vigilant oral hygiene. Discussing dry mouth symptoms with our dentist is important. We can help determine the underlying causes of dry mouth and prescribe oral rinses that help keep oral tissue moist.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can be deadly. Fortunately, early detection can help you preserve your health and your life. Seniors have a higher risk for developing oral cancer – especially if they have smoked, drink frequently, or have been exposed to HPV. Our family dentistry practice provides thorough oral cancer screenings during routine checkups.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can affect patients of any age but seniors do possess higher risks for developing it. Advanced gum disease destroys precious oral tissue and is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. As with other conditions, detecting and treating gum disease as early as possible reduces damage to a patient’s oral health and controls the disease’s progression.

Bone Loss

Losing bone can wreak havoc on your oral health. Bone deterioration commonly affects seniors – particularly women. You can protect your bone health by receiving routine checkups and cleanings, practicing thorough oral hygiene, and by avoiding alcohol and cigarettes. Some patients can offset bone loss with supplements containing calcium and vitamin D.

Our mission is to help our patients enjoy a lifetime of vibrant oral health. Call the office of Dr. John Morris to schedule a cleaning or checkup.

Restore Your Smile With Custom Dentures

dentures Battle Creek MIIt can be difficult to cope with tooth loss, but knowing that you have the option to restore a beautiful smile with a lifelike appearance can be helpful. Custom dentures will allow you to achieve this goal.

Unlike the one-size-fits-all appliances that your grandparents wore, custom dentures both look natural and feel comfortable. Your dentist will take measurements of your unique smile to ensure the best fit possible for your dentures.

What are the advantages of custom dentures?

Custom dentures are tailored to match each patient’s unique specifications. Every mouth is different and has different measurements, and custom dentures take that into account.

Custom dentures offer patients the following benefits:

  • Better fit: Custom dentures are more snug that the cookie-cutter appliances of years past. Therefore, the appliances are more secure and stay in place better.
  • More comfort: Because the appliances fit better, they are also more comfortable. In fact, many patients report that their dentures feel quite similar to their biological teeth.
  • Natural aesthetic: Custom dentures are made of state-of-the-art materials that mimic the appearance of biological tooth enamel. Furthermore, the shade can be designed to match the color of your natural smile – or improve on it, if that’s your goal.

The Custom Denture Treatment Process

How do you take advantage of all of these benefits of custom dentures? Consult with a dentist who will design an appliance with your specific needs in mind.

The custom denture treatment process begins with a consultation, at which your provider may use the following assessment tools to plan for the appliance’s design:

  • Dental impressions: For a three-dimensional representation of your smile’s structure
  • X-rays: To get a clearer picture of the underlying bone structure
  • Photographs: For both planning purposes and comparison purposes after you are fitted with the denture

All of the relevant data is then forwarded to the dental lab that is responsible for creating your dentures. When they are ready, you will return to our office to be fitted with the appliance. Our provider can make additional adjustments to the appliance as needed.

You may experience some mild discomfort as your mouth initially adjusts to the appliance. However, any such discomfort should resolve within a few weeks. If the discomfort lasts longer or is severe, contact our office to see if further adjustments to your dentures are needed.

Are you interested in custom dentures to restore your smile after tooth loss? Schedule an evaluation at our office to learn more about the treatment process and how it can benefit you.

Root Canal Treatment FAQs

root canal Battle Creek MIRoot canal therapy is probably the most unfairly maligned of all of the dental treatments. Not only can root canals help to save your biological teeth from the fate of extraction, but they actually cause much less discomfort than most people think.

In order to meet our patients’ oral health needs, we strive to correct any root canal misinformation that is out there. Below, you can see our responses to some of the questions we get most often, and we encourage you to contact our office to ask any specific questions that you may have.

Root Canal Treatment: The Basics

Root canal treatment is intended to remove an infection from the innermost core of the tooth or prevent infection when the core has been exposed to the oral cavity due to an injury.

In performing a root canal, the dentist first administers a local anesthetic to the area before creating a small hole in the tooth in order to access the pulp. The dentist then removes the pulp material and thoroughly cleans the empty root canal chamber to eliminate any lingering bacteria.

The empty chamber is then filled with an inert rubber-like substance so that bacteria can’t repopulate the area. In the last step, the tooth is fitted with a crown to reduce the likelihood of future breakage.

Most Common Questions About Root Canals

Even after knowing the basics, many patients have more questions, such as:

  • Why do I need a root canal? Root canals are performed to save a tooth that is at risk of being lost due to infection in its inner core or to prevent such an infection in a tooth that has been severely damaged.
  • Will my root canal be painful? Although most people think that root canals are among the most painful experiences one can endure, the patients who actually have one typically report that it’s no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled.
  • What if the root canal doesn’t take? Rarely, root canals may fail. In such cases, we are able to re-do the root canal in an effort to save your tooth.

We want you to be fully informed going into your root canal because the whole experience will be better for you that way. Don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you may have about your treatment. Call the office of Dr. John Morris to schedule a visit.

Healthy Ways To Satisfy A Sweet Tooth

dentist Battle Creek MIWhen the need for something sweet strikes, your thoughts might go to candy, cookies, ice cream, or any of the thousands of yummy treats available. But did you know that you can find other great tasting, satisfying treats that will be much better for your oral health (not to mention your waistline)? Overindulging in sweet treats might result in an unexpected visit to the dentist.

Alternatives are out there!

You can get creative and mix up something that is healthy and sweet; or you can go with the basics such as:

Fresh fruit: Also referred to as nature’s candy, there are many ways to enjoy these tasty, grab-on-the-go treats. And the variety is endless. Apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, berries, etc. Or you can spend a few minutes to prepare a fresh fruit salad using kiwi, strawberries, fresh pineapple, and bananas.

Fruit smoothie: Try adding healthy proteins like chia seeds to your smoothie. Use a sugar substitute if you absolutely must make it sweeter, but the healthier version will rely on natural sweetness.

Cottage cheese: Not usually considered sweet on its own, add fresh fruit and enjoy.

Frozen grapes: These provide a fabulous, cold treat. And you’re not limited to grapes … many fruits freeze well. In fact, frozen bananas placed in a blender makes a tasty ice cream substitute.

Yogurt: Look for low sugar varieties. They are just as tasty. Or get industrious and make your own yogurt.

Sugar free candy and gum: Try sucking on sugar free mints or chew sugar free gum. Very often cravings will subside.

Prunes and dates: These can be high in sugar, so they must be consumed on a limited basis. But they are high in fiber and deliciously filling.

Other Ways to Beat a Sweet Tooth

In lieu of eating something sweet, try drinking water flavored with your favorite fruit (watermelon infused water is delicious). You can make your own, but if you decide to buy already prepared flavored waters, check the label for sugar content. Some are healthier than others.

Brush your teeth: May not be as satisfying, but might help to curb your cravings.

Make sure your meals contain foods you will enjoy that are also high in protein. This might help you to feel less hungry throughout the day.

Finally, visit our family dentistry practice twice a year to help maintain great oral health.

When is a dental bridge recommended?

dental bridges Battle Creek MIDental bridges are a valuable tool when a patient is faced with the loss of one or more teeth. The term describes exactly what this dental prosthesis does … it bridges the gap created when teeth are missing. Your dentist will recommend a bridge to promote the ability to chew correctly, speak clearly, and to allow you to smile and laugh without embarrassment.

How Does a Dental Bridge Work? 

There are different types of bridges … your dentist will prescribe the one to best fit your dental needs. But many patients will fall into the category that requires a traditional bridge.

The teeth adjacent to missing teeth are prepared for dental crowns … these teeth are referred to as abutment teeth. The unit(s) in between are called pontics. Your first treatment visit will involve removing as much of the abutment teeth needed for crown preparation; dental impressions will follow that will allow the dental lab to make the bridge; and a temporary will be placed over treated teeth until the bridge can be placed.

Dental bridgework can take a couple of weeks to fabricate. On your next dental visit, temporaries are removed and your new bridge is tried in. The patient should anticipate the need for adjustments. Framework may require tweaking for comfort and a proper fit. If you selected a fixed bridge, your dentist may hold off on permanently cementing in until you have had time for needed adjustments.

What Can I Expect After My Bridge is in Place?

Everyone is different. You may adjust easily and begin enjoying the benefits of your dental bridge immediately. Initially, soft foods are recommended while you learn to eat with your new “teeth”. If speaking feels awkward, try practicing at home in front of a mirror. This type of adjusting should only take a few days.

Never attempt to modify your bridge on your own. Your dentist expects you may require a few dental visits to make sure your bridge fits and functions appropriately.

Taking care of your investment is important. Follow the instructions issued to care for your bridge.

Finally, take good care of your remaining biological teeth. Brush and floss daily; eat a healthy diet; and visit the office of Dr. John Morris regularly for cleaning and dental exam.

Enjoy Natural Looking Results with These Cosmetic Procedures

cosmetic dentistry Battle Creek MICosmetic dentistry could change your life. In addition to benefitting from an improved appearance, cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening and porcelain veneers can give you a major boost in your self-confidence. Our cosmetic dentist possesses the training and experience necessary to produce beautiful yet natural looking smile makeovers for people in our community.

Following are some of our most popular cosmetic dentistry services.

White Restorations

Most people will need a restoration or two in their lifetime. Restorations protect weekend teeth by reinforcing their outer structure. Unfortunately, many people fear that restorations will affect their appearance since fillings and crowns were traditionally made from metal. Restorative dental care doesn’t have to be noticeable; in fact, it can be undetectable with tooth-colored restorations.

Our cosmetic dentist offers white fillings, crowns, onlays, and inlays made from likelike materials such as composite resin and porcelain. This means you can enjoy discreet but durable dental work.

Cosmetic Bonding

Small dental imperfections like chips and cracks can affect your smile and your self-esteem. A bonding treatment is a great way to rectify minor, cosmetic imperfections. Bonding treatments involve placing a thin layer of composite resin, a tooth-colored compound, to conceal flaws like chips, stains, and cracks.

Porcelain Veneers

A series of porcelain veneers can produce a total smile makeover. This treatment option consists of bonding custom-made, tooth-shaped pieces of porcelain over the front surfaces of teeth. A veneer can conceal an array of dental imperfections without looking unnatural or obvious. Veneers produce the appearance of a proportionate, white smile, too.

Zoom! Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening is the best way to eliminate deep, permanent stains. A non-invasive, professional whitening treatment can lighten a person’s teeth up to ten shades brighter. Our practice utilizes the Zoom! whitening system, which involves applying a prescription-grade lightening solution to teeth and deepening the whitening process with an FDA-approved laser.

If you are unhappy with your smile, we invite you to schedule a smile makeover consultation with our cosmetic dentist, Dr. John Morris. Call us today to reserve your appointment.

4 Fun Teeth Facts

family dentistry Battle Creek MIIt can be fun to explore some of the mysteries of your teeth that go beyond your ability to chew, speak and look good. Here are some interesting tooth facts that you may not have learned in your visits to a family dentistry practice, along with some tips for making the most of your smile.

Interesting Facts About Teeth

Did you know this about your teeth?

  • Your teeth are unique, like fingerprints: Each tooth has a unique design. No two canines, incisors, or molars are identical, even in a single person’s smile.
  • Your smile’s blueprint is in place from birth: When you are born, the crowns of your baby teeth are already in place, preparing to erupt into the smile within 3-6 months. At the same time, your permanent teeth are starting to form so that they can eventually make their debut.
  • Your teeth reveal many bits of information about your life: Your teeth have a collection of data from your lifetime, shedding light on where you’ve lived, your nutrition, illnesses and even times when you’ve been stressed out.
  • Ancient societies recognized the importance of good oral hygiene: They may not have been able to go to a local family dentistry practice, but early humans did understand the importance of oral hygiene. They used rudimentary toothbrushes made of twigs to clean the teeth, and concocted substances to polish their teeth from materials available to them.

Keeping Your Smile In Optimal Condition

Fortunately, the oral hygiene tools and techniques that we have at our disposal are far more effective than those used by our earliest ancestors. It’s important that you use them consistently to maintain your smile.

At a minimum, patients should be brushing twice each day and flossing daily. Make sure that you’re using proper technique and a brush that is in good condition. You should switch to a new brush every three months or so.

Adequate professional care is also essential to good oral health. Visit your family dentistry practice twice a year for checkups and thorough professional cleanings to keep your smile in tip top shape.

To learn more about the marvels of your teeth, ask us at your next cleaning and checkup. We are always happy to share our knowledge with you!