Dental Specialties

While regular dental visits are extremely important, sometimes your dentist may notice something that needs special attention. In this case, your dentist would refer you to one of the following dental specialists. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris of Mansfield Dental Associates explain the different types of dental specialties below.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMS)

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform surgeries of the mouth, face, and jaw. Post-dental school, these specialists undergo four to seven years of medical and surgical training.

Periodontist

Periodontal is defined as surrounding or encasing a tooth and can refer to all of the structures that support the teeth, including the gums, cementum, periodontal ligaments, and jawbone. Thus, periodontists diagnose and treat gum disease. For example, if your gums had dramatically receded in a certain area, you may be referred to a periodontist for a graft. This is a procedure in which the missing gum tissue is replaced in order to prevent future tooth loss and uncomfortable sensitivity.

Endodontist

Have you ever had a root canal? If so, you may have gone to an endodontist, a dental specialist who treats abnormalities of dental pulp, which is the soft, nerve-filled tissue in the center of the tooth, and periapical tissues, which are found in the apex, or tip, of the tooth’s root where it meets the jawbone.

Orthodontist

The job of an orthodontist is to prevent mouth, teeth, and jaw problems from becoming worse by ensuring that the teeth stay straight and the jaws line up correctly. Orthodontists correct misaligned teeth and jaws by fitting their patients with helpful devices such as braces and retainers. (more…)

Dentures Restore the Smiles of Patients in Dallas-Fort Worth

Dentures are one of the most tried and true prosthetic dental appliances. Today, Mansfield dentist Dr. S. Blair Jones wants to discuss what dentures are, how they function, and how they can restore your smile.

What is a Denture?

A denture is a dental appliance that fits inside the mouth and replaces missing teeth while providing support for the cheeks, lips, and jaw. A complete denture replaces all of the teeth on the upper or lower dental arch, while a partial denture replaces missing teeth spread sporadically across a dental arch. A full set of dentures replaces all of the teeth on both the upper and lower dental arches. (more…)

High Blood Pressure and Your Oral Health

Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris are concerned with your overall wellbeing as well as your oral health, and that is why Mansfield Dental Associates is taking part in National High Blood Pressure Education Month. You may already know that gum disease can contribute to or worsen cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia, but did you know that high blood pressure can lead to oral health problems? Your Mansfield dentists explain the link between high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and the health of your teeth and gums.

What is hypertension?

Blood pressure refers to the force applied to the artery walls as your heart pumps blood to the rest of your body. When blood pressure is high, your heart must work harder to pump. Hypertension can cause injury to blood vessel walls, increase your risk of developing blood clots, damage your heart muscle, and cause damage to other organs by restricting the normal flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

Many patients exhibit no symptoms and do not know they have hypertension until it is discovered by a health care provider. Sometimes, high blood pressure is not discovered until it causes problems with the heart, eyes, or kidneys. Symptoms of extremely elevated blood pressure include headaches, blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, and vomiting. If not treated, hypertension can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and vision loss. (more…)

Porcelain Veneers: Frequently Asked Questions

How can porcelain veneers enhance my smile?

Porcelain veneers cover a variety of smile imperfections in one cosmetic procedure. Some benefits of porcelain veneers include:

  • Closing smile gaps and spaces
  • Correcting misshapen teeth
  • Smoothing jagged tooth edges
  • Adding size to small teeth
  • Correcting crooked teeth
  • Hiding stains and discolorations
  • Creating a more even smile
  • Covering chips

What makes up porcelain veneers?

Thin porcelain shells are fabricated by lab technicians out of a hard porcelain. Unlike dental bonding, porcelain veneers are not shaped from a liquid form, but rather sculpted from a hard substance. This method increases the restorations’ strength and stain resistance. The material is died to meet your smile needs and custom-shaped to fit securely over the front of your teeth. Additionally, veneers more closely mimic the coloration of a tooth since porcelain has a slight iridescence like natural teeth.

How long do porcelain veneers last?

Porcelain veneers can last for decades with proper dental care. The longevity of your cosmetic dental work depends on thorough oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings to keep your veneers from becoming damaged or stained. Porcelain veneers are mostly stain resistant, but some staining may occur on the edges of the tooth where the veneer is attached. To keep your veneers sparkling, floss daily and schedule a cleaning every six months. (more…)

Mansfield Dentist Answers Common Questions about Dental Implants

Is missing a tooth harmful to my oral health?

If you suffer from a missing tooth, you have probably experienced the discomfort of eating tougher foods, or the adjustment period for your speech. However, the problem with missing teeth does not stop at difficulty with eating and speaking. In fact, missing teeth create a domino effect of oral health problems.

What happens if I do not replace a missing tooth?

When a tooth does not hold its place in an arch, the surrounding teeth drift out of correct placement. Each of these teeth are attempting to replace the function of the tooth that was there before. When these remaining teeth move, it creates malocclusion, or a bad bite. Your jawbone also suffers from missing teeth. The alveolar bone needs chewing stimulation from each tooth to promote healthy bone regeneration and growth. Without the tooth attached to the jaw, the bone does not receive chewing stimulation, and the tissue deteriorates.

Why are dental implants better than dentures?

Dental implants offer a level of stability and discretion that dentures cannot. Because dental implants are fused to the jawbone, the restoration remains stable and moves with the natural movement of the jaw. This allows patients to chew and speak as if the dental implant is a natural tooth. Dentures rest on top of the gum line, creating problems with slipping and falling out. Dental implants allow patients to perform oral hygiene more easily, since the implant can be cleaned just like a natural tooth. Dentures must be regularly removed and placed in cleaning solutions. (more…)

Mouthguards Prevent Dental Emergencies in Mansfield

While most contact sports require facial protection in order to play, some sports like skateboarding, basketball, gymnastics, and baseball are still lagging behind when it comes to rules for protecting teeth. While this may seem like an excessive amount of protection for seemingly harmless sports, consider these statistics: the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that five million teeth will be lost due to tooth injury during sports activities this year alone. In fact, this organization reports that between 10 percent to 39 percent of childhood injuries are related to teeth. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris of Mansfield Dental Associates offer advice for protecting your family from tooth trauma.

Avoid Tooth Trauma with Oral and Facial Protection

Wearing a mouthguard is your smile’s first line of defense against dental emergencies. Mouthguards work by absorbing and dispersing energy at the site of impact to the mouth. Choosing the right mouthguard can save you from the pain of losing a tooth as well as the financial burden that comes with emergency treatment and replacing teeth. Most sports related dental injuries occur in the front, upper teeth, also called maxillary teeth; therefore, a knocked out tooth is not only painful, but also conspicuous.

How to Buy the Right Mouthguard

Be sure to choose a mouthguard that fits comfortably and adequately covers all of your teeth in an arch. For dental protection for smaller children, pick a mouthguard made specifically for youth athletes that is made to fit smaller mouths. Letting your child choose a mouthguard in his or her favorite color may encourage more consistent usage. Shopping for a mouthguard can be overwhelming if you are unsure about the types of mouthguards available. Here are the three main categories of mouthguards and how each can benefit you.

Stock Mouthguards Can Protect Braces

These pre-made and molded mouthguards are one-size-fits-all. Over-the-counter mouth protection generally requires clenching your teeth to hold the mouthguard in place. Overtime this can become tiresome on your jaw, and even have negative effects on TMD/TMJ sufferers. While these mouthguards do not offer as much comfort, they are a good option for covering both arches in your smile if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. (more…)

Benefits of Nitrous Oxide in Mansfield

While most of our patients do not require sedation dentistry to feel comfortable in the dental chair, we have found that nitrous oxide helps some patients get the dental treatment they need. If you have a dental phobia, or a small child who needs dental care, nitrous oxide can help. Here are some of the ways your next dental appointment in Mansfield can benefit from nitrous oxide.

Nitrous Oxide Is Safe

Used in over one third of dental offices in the United States, nitrous oxide is a common medicine used to help patients relax. Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, has been used in dental practice since 1844 as a way to help ease discomfort. At Mansfield Dental, our experienced dental team will take every precaution to ensure the safety of your sedation service and to help you feel more comfortable. Additionally, nitrous oxide is safe for patients who need to drive themselves home. The sedation effects begin to wear off slowly once the gas is no longer administered. The patient is given pure oxygen to breath for a total of five minutes to reverse the effects of sedation and return to a normal state. In almost all cases, the patient is able to drive safely after his or her appointment without an escort.

Patients Can Still Communicate Under Sedation

Nitrous oxide does not put a patient under complete anesthesia or general anesthesia meaning the patient is unable to communicate with the doctor. Under nitrous oxide sedation, the patient is still able to communicate and react to instruction. While IV sedation and general anesthesia render the patient almost fully asleep, nitrous oxide merely produces a calming sensation. Additionally, your Mansfield dentist can control the levels of nitrous oxide to increase or decrease levels of sedation. (more…)

Keep Your Dental Work Safe After Your Appointment at Mansfield Dental Associates, Part 2

Two weeks ago, Mansfield dentists Dr. S. Blair Jones and Dr. D. Seth Harris discussed the home care instructions needed to keep your dental work safe following filling, crown, and bridge appointments at Mansfield Dental Associates. Today, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris want to discuss what you should do after a tooth extraction or cosmetic reconstruction appointment to ensure the safety and longevity of your dental work.

After Tooth Extraction

Following your tooth extraction procedure, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. This is why Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris will instruct you to bite on a gauze pad for thirty to forty-five minutes once your extraction is complete. Replace the gauze pad and repeat this process until bleeding ceases.

Once the blood clot forms, it’s important to not disturb it until the extraction site is fully healed. To do this, avoid rinsing your mouth vigorously, sucking on straws, smoking, drinking alcohol and carbonated beverages, and brushing or chewing near or on the extraction site for at least seventy-two hours. (more…)

Spring Cleaning for Your Smile at Mansfield Dental Associates

Today is the first day of spring and, although the weather in north Texas is trying to do differently, Mansfield dentists Dr. S. Blair Jones and Dr. D. Seth Harris want to make you smile. To do this, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris want to discuss an aspect of spring cleaning that probably has never crossed your mind: spring cleaning for your smile.

Your Dental Care in Mansfield

Depending on your specific needs and smile goals, spring cleaning for your smile can be interpreted in a few different ways.

If your dental hygiene and oral health need a boost, call Mansfield Dental Associates to reserve a dental cleaning and exam with Dr. Jones or Dr. Seth Harris. At this routine dental appointment, your Mansfield dentist will clean your teeth, examine your teeth, gums, and oral cavity, take any necessary X-rays, screen your mouth for signs of gum disease and oral cancer, and more. Literally clean your smile for spring by dedicating yourself to proper dental hygiene and professional dental care. (more…)

Keep Your Dental Work Safe After Your Appointment at Mansfield Dental Associates

At Mansfield Dental Associates, it’s Mansfield dentists Dr. S. Blair Jones and Dr. D. Seth Harris’ goal to help his patients maintain healthy, functional, and attractive smiles for life. While Dr. Jones, Dr. Harris, and our dental team do everything in our power to provide you with premier dental care during your appointments, a large part of maintaining your dental work rests on your shoulders once you leave our Dallas/Fort Worth-area dentist office. To keep your dental work intact and your teeth healthy and sparkling for years to come, follow these home care instructions.

After Dental Filling Appointments

If anesthetic is used when Dr. Jones places your dental filling, your lips and tongue may remain numb for several hours following your appointment. Until the numbness wears off, refrain from chewing and drinking hot beverages, as it is very easy to burn or bite your tongue or lip while numb.

If you experience any sensitivity to heat, cold, or pressure, as well as any pain at the site of the injection following your appointment, take a mild painkiller like Motrin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or aspirin (one tablet every three to four hours) until the pain subsides. If the pressure or sensitivity increases or persists for more than two days, call our office at 817-473-6227. (more…)