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5 Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure to Improve Your Smile

Cosmetic Teeth whitening before and after

A smile is often the first thing we notice about another person, isn’t it? If you find that you are self-conscious about your smile it may be time to consider cosmetic dental treatments. One of these treatments may be what you need to improve your smile and give your confidence back.

There are plenty of different options out there. In this post, we are going to look at five of the best cosmetic dentistry procedures that will improve your smile. 

Teeth Whitening

As the name suggests, teeth whitening is a process that involves making your teeth whiter. There are a number of different approaches to this, including bleaching your teeth and laser treatments.

A professional and experienced cosmetic dentist is the best person to carry out the service. Although there are DIY teeth whitening kits available today, they are not your best option. This is because they are not very strong and the results aren’t lasting. For permanent, white teeth, professional teeth whitening is the only option. 

The most obvious advantage of having teeth whitening is that you will have a brighter, white smile, which will enhance your appearance. However, the benefits are not only aesthetic. You will also experience a boost in your self-esteem and self-confidence. Moreover, teeth whitening helps to kill bacteria that can cause tooth decay and/or gum disease.

Gum Depigmentation (Gum Bleaching)

If you have darker pigments in your gums, gum bleaching could be the perfect cosmetic dentistry treatment to get the perfect smile you have always wanted. A lot of people do not realize that this treatment is available, yet it is simple and can make a big difference to the overall appearance of your teeth.

Genetics is the main reason why people have darker pigments in their gums. Excess melanin can build up, which can cause your gums to look black or brown instead of pink. This is something that tends to be more common in people with Middle Eastern or African ancestry. However, anyone can experience this.

The extra pigment does not necessarily indicate dysfunction or disease. Nevertheless, it can cause people to feel self-conscious about their smile.

Other reasons why your gums may be dark include side effects from some medications and smoking. 

Gum Grafting

Gum grafting is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that is for people who have gum recession. Gum recession can make your teeth look longer because you have less gum tissue covering your teeth. This can happen for a number of reasons including gum disease or brushing too hard.

Not only is gum grafting an important procedure from a cosmetic point-of-view, but it can be vital in terms of the stability of your teeth as well. It is not uncommon for people to experience loose teeth when their gums start to recede. The last thing anyone wants is to lose a tooth. 

Some of the signs that you may need gum grafting include if you are at risk of tooth loss, gum deterioration, or bone deterioration. Other indicators include if you have periodontal disease, inflamed gum tissue, or an exposed dental root. 

A cosmetic dentistry treatment alternative to gum grafting is pinhole surgical technique. It is a less invasive procedure that has great results.

Dental Implants

An effective cosmetic dentistry solution to missing teeth is dental implants. Dental implants provide a long-term solution to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth. When you have this treatment the dental implant replaces both the root and the crown. The implant isplaced directly into your jawbone, acting as an artificial replacement for the tooth that is missing.  You won’t be able to notice the difference between your implants and the rest of your teeth, as they look as natural as your other teeth.

Having dental implants can make a massive difference to your self-confidence. Having a missing tooth can make a person feel less confident and even embarrassed to talk or smile. Dental implants can be life-changing for people, giving them increased confidence. 

The best part is, dental implants are safe and effective and look and feel just like regular teeth.

Crown Lengthening

Dental crowns are caps made of various materials from gold to resin placed on top of the tooth. The periodontist placed the dental crown over the natural teeth for structural and cosmetic reasons. 

You may need a dental crown if you have a misshapen, broken, or cracked tooth. Dental crowns are also used to complete a dental procedure, such as a dental implant, root canal, or bridge.

For crowns to be effective, they need to be able to be firmly affixed to your existing tooth. If you have a cracked or chipped tooth that you are concerned about, a crown may be a great solution.

So, what exactly is crown lengthening? Well, this is a treatment that will help if you do not have enough healthy tooth in place for the crown to be held on its own.

For example, if your tooth is impacted by tooth decay or it is broken, the crown may not be able to attach firmly and securely. When this happens, crown lengthening is carried out to make sure that you can attach the crown to improve the overall appearance of your tooth.

Contact Us for More Information 

So there you have it. Some of the best cosmetic dentistry treatments for those looking to improve their smile. If you would like to find out more about these treatments and how they can benefit you, please give us a call. We can help you have the smile you’ve always wanted or to restore the one you already had.

What Is a Periodontist and What Do They Treat?

A periodontist operating on a patient.

When searching for professional oral care, knowing which type of dentist you require can feel a little confusing. General dentists, orthodontists, and endodontists are just three examples. Perhaps the most significant expert, though, is a periodontist.

So, what exactly is a periodontist, and how can they help you achieve a winning smile? The following guide will reveal all.

What Is a Periodontist?

The American Dental Association’s definition of a periodontist is “a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal, or disease, and in the placement of dental implants”.

A periodontist is a highly trained expert who has completed three years of additional academic education on top of standard dental school, and also understands cosmetic periodontal procedures. Through an extensive range of specialized treatments, they can treat various periodontal diseases, from mild gingivitis to more extensive problems.

Periodontists play an integral role in the dental healthcare sector, not least due to the statistics surrounding periodontal diseases. Some of the key stats include:

A periodontist is the best person to help you keep teeth and gums in great health.

When Should You Visit a Periodontist?

While periodontal disease is more common in men than women and becomes a bigger threat with age, it can affect anybody of any age. It is most commonly caused by sugar and the development of tartar, which is why nobody is immune.

Prevention is the best form of protection, which is why everyone should seek to see a periodontist 1-2 times per year. Almost half of the American population do not see a dentist of any kind as often as they like, which is why now is the perfect time to search for a periodontist near me.

Everyone can benefit from general oral care and preventative measures, but there are several symptoms that indicate you should book a visit ASAP. They include;

  • Bleeding and swelling gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • Changes in your bite
  • Bad breath
  • Persistent bad taste
  • Receding gums

While the above issues won’t necessarily be attributed to periodontal disease, finding a periodontist in Arizona should be at the top of your agenda. Taking control of the situation at the earliest possible stage will localize the damage and prevent spreading, which can also save you a lot of money in the long run by avoiding extensive work.

Crucially, fighting back against periodontal disease will improve your health, happiness, and quality of life by enhancing appearances and confidence levels. A professional periodontist will additionally deliver the peace of mind you deserve.

Periodontal Treatments

A periodontist can identify a range of oral-related conditions before choosing the right type of treatment to promote improved health and esthetics. The most common issues and procedures are listed below:

Gum Disease

Inflammation of the gums is caused primarily by untreated plaque and tartar, leading to progressive gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss alongside other problems. A periodontist can spot and combat gum disease at any of the following stages;

  • Gingivitis, which is a mild condition that has yet to impact the connecting tissues.
  • Periodontitis, which has caused damage but can be treated through professional help followed by daily care.
  • Advanced periodontitis, which is when irreversible damage has occurred, but teeth can be saved with the right treatment.

Gum disease is the most common reason for patients to see a periodontist by far.

Dental Implants

Periodontists are commonly accepted to be the best dental expert for completing dental implants. Their added experience and expertise ensure that they can improve the look and function of your mouth without the threat of damage caused by missed decay. This can cover various solutions, including;

  • Single tooth replacements with prosthetics.
  • Replacements of multiple teeth, adjacent or otherwise.
  • Bespoke dental crowns and bridges.

Whether the tooth’s root can be saved or not, dental implants can save the structure of the mouth while restoring comfort and esthetic appeal. A periodontist will produce better results than any other.

Receding Gums

Receding gums are another common problem, often characterized by longer teeth and tooth sensitivity. They can be caused by poor oral hygiene, tobacco consumption, genetics, and gum disease. Several possible treatments are possible. The most common solutions are;

  • Deep cleaning consisting of root planing, smoothing, tooth scaling, and potentially pocket depth reduction.
  • Gum regeneration in which gum tissue regeneration is achieved by folding the gums back.
  • Soft tissue grafts that use skin taken from the roof of the mouth.

The Arizona Periodontal Group can also provide innovative pinhole surgical techniques built to reduce recovery times and aid the healing process.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Periodontists are primarily associated with health restorations and reversing the damage of various diseases. However, their work can also focus on rebuilding and restoring looks. From correcting bites and alignment to achieving a whiter glow, cosmetic dentistry can achieve many things. The key processes are;

  • Cosmetic crown lengthening to enhance the overall shape of the mouth.
  • Cosmetic ridge augmentation to undo the damaged appearances caused by tooth decay and gum recession.
  • Connective tissue grafting to rebuild and restore a natural look and feel to the mouth.

Cosmetic dentistry by a periodontist combines enhanced looks and confidences in a convenient and effective manner that is designed to last.

Visit A Periodontist in Phoenix, AZ

Whether you are showing early signs of periodontal disease or feel that a checkup is overdue, Dr. Trujillo and the Arizona Periodontal Group will give you a reason to start smiling once more. Arrange your consultation by calling (602) 459-9617 today!

Non-Surgical Gum Disease Treatment

Man without periodontal disease smiling with white teeth.
Close-up cropped portrait of a man wearing a white shirt smiling with beaming white teeth isolated over gray violet-purple pastel background

Periodontitis, also known as periodontal disease or simply gum disease, is a serious long-term condition that affects roughly 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older. Periodontal disease increases with age, with around  70.1% of adults 65 years and older having some form of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that hold your teeth in place. It can start as minor symptoms such as bad breath or swollen gums, but can eventually cause pain when chewing, sensitive teeth, or even tooth loss. Long-term periodontal disease can cause gums to recede which makes your teeth appear longer. It’s often caused by poor brushing and flossing habits which allow bacteria to build upon the teeth and gums.

In the past, periodontal surgery was the most effective way of dealing with periodontal surgery in its later stages. This involved cutting the patient’s gums with a sharp tool, cleaning the teeth at its roots, and then sewing the gums back up. While effective, this resulted in a long recovery time and was daunting for all patients. Thankfully, there are non-surgical treatments such as LANAP that can offer patients a safe and effective option to combat periodontitis.

What Is LANAP Non-Surgical Gum Disease Treatment?

LANAP, also known as laser-assisted new attachment procedure, is an alternative treatment that uses a laser instead of cutting into the gums. This makes it extremely effective at targeting infected gum tissue in specific areas without causing damage to healthy tissue. It also means there is less recovery time and no visible damage to your gums outside of the infected areas.

Is LANAP an Invasive Treatment?

No. LANAP is technically a form of non-surgical gum disease treatment which leads people to believe that it is invasive. However, since it doesn’t require any cutting or sutures, patients have a much shorter recovery time and there is less damage to the surrounding healthy gum tissue. Technically speaking, LANAP is a surgical procedure that is minimally invasive. The advantage of a minimally-invasive treatment is that there is little discomfort and bleeding once the treatment is finished. Patients can even return to their daily activities once the procedure is over and they’ve left the office.

What Are the Benefits of LANAP Over Traditional Surgery?

LANAP has a number of benefits over traditional periodontal surgery such as:

  • No healthy tissue is damaged during LANAP. Only the infected gum tissue is targeted, meaning your gums don’t recede as a result of the procedure.
  • LANAP can regenerate bone and help reverse the negative effects of periodontitis. This is something that traditional periodontal surgery cannot offer.
  • Patients that are not suitable for periodontal surgery may choose LANAP as a safer alternative that is minimally-invasive and allows them to return to their daily schedule.
  • There is less pain and discomfort involved with non-surgical gum disease treatments than traditional periodontal surgery.

What’s Involved In LANAP?

Before any treatment begins, your specialist will begin with an x-ray of your mouth to see the extent of the infection. This will determine if LANAP is an effective non-surgical gum disease treatment option for you. If the specialist deems LANAP to be a suitable option, you’ll move on to the procedure itself at a later date.

LANAP starts with a local anesthetic to help with sensitivity and pain in the treatment. Patients don’t need to be put to sleep during this non-surgical gum disease treatment. Next, the periodontist will probe areas of the gums and make the first pass with the laser. This destroys surface bacteria and pathogens which disinfects the gums. The initial pass allows the inflamed, infected, and diseased areas of your gums to be carefully removed while your healthy gum tissue is left untouched.

The second pass ensures that the pockets are carefully sealed and closed. After this pass, the procedure is complete. Your periodontist will give you instructions on how to care for your teeth and gums to prevent the bacteria from returning and spreading.

You’ll be required to make routine check-ups to ensure that your gums are healing properly after the procedure.

Is There a Recovery Period for LANAP?

Patients that undergo LANAP can expect to return to their daily activities as soon as they leave the office. There is little pain or discomfort following the procedure. However, if you have severely infected gums, then you may be asked to rest for at least 24 hours to allow your gums time to heal. In comparison to traditional periodontal surgery, this cuts the recovery period down from two to four weeks to a mere day.

How Long Do Results from LANAP Last?

LANAP targets and destroys infected tissue in your gums. This means that it removes the bacteria completely, resulting in clean and healthy gums. These results should last forever, but it depends on how well you take care of your teeth post-treatment.

LANAP gives you another chance to take better care of your teeth and gums. After the procedure, you’ll want to keep an eye on your oral hygiene by brushing and flossing on a regular basis to prevent further building up bacteria. By following the advice from your periodontist, you’ll build better habits to keep your teeth and gums in great condition.

Who Is a Good Candidate for LANAP?

LANAP candidates don’t need to meet a strict set of requirements to be eligible. As a safe non-surgical gum disease treatment, it can even be considered for those that would not be eligible for traditional periodontal surgery. This includes patients with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, pregnant patients, and anyone else that may not be suitable for a surgical option.

If you’re struggling with periodontitis and are experiencing large pockets between your gums, then you may be a good candidate for LANAP. Schedule an appointment with Arizona Periodontal Group today and we’d be happy to have a consultation.

Teeth-In-A-Day: Everything You Need to Know About All-On-4

All-On-4 teeth in a day dental implants 3D rendering.
Maxillary and Mandibular prosthesis with gum All on 4 system supported by implants. Medically accurate 3D illustration of human teeth and dentures

Have you heard about an exciting smile-restoration treatment called teeth-in-a-day? Here we answer all your most burning questions about this convenient and transformative treatment.

Can Teeth Implants Be Done in One Day?

The term “Teeth-in-a-Day” derives from the fact that you can get a new set of teeth implanted in a single day without having to return to the dentists’ chair for further surgery at any other point. With that said, most patients can’t walk into our office on a Monday morning with no prior preparation and go home with a full set of new teeth by the evening. That’s not how All-on-4 works. 

Your Teeth-in-a-Day journey begins with a consultation with a dental implants specialist. Following the initial discussion, the specialist will arrange an X-ray to check if Teeth-in-a-Day is the right procedure for you. You don’t have to do anything during this process, but it can take up to two weeks to get confirmation. 

Depending on the condition of your existing teeth, you may require extractions. Dentists like to perform these six weeks in advance of All-on-Four implants to give your gum time to heal. However, we might agree to remove teeth on the same day, depending on your jawbone condition. 

Thus, “Teeth-in-a-Day” refers to how long the patient has to sit in the chair. Once the preparatory work is done, you can get your new set of teeth fitted in a single session—no further follow-up sessions for additional surgery or implants.

After All-on-4 surgery, we will organize follow-ups to check that your new implants are fusing correctly with your jawbone. You’ll need to eat a soft food diet for the first six to eight weeks. But other than that, you’re free to enjoy your new smile.

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Dental implants are suitable for a broad array of patients. Practically anyone with missing teeth or existing tooth replacement options can benefit. All-on-4 is particularly suited for those worried about their dentures falling out or patients with confidence issues when smiling because of missing teeth. It is also useful for anyone worrying about jawbone shrinkage in the future because of a lack of biting pressure. All-on-4 helps restore regular chewing forces from the teeth to the jawbone, keeping it healthy and thick. 

How Does It Work?

Teeth-in-a-Day relies on All-on-4 implants, a special technique that provides all of the advantages of regular implants, minus the need for separate posts for each crown. 

All-on-4 works by completely replacing all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw (or both) with an implant that uses four to six posts. During the first appointment, we will remove any remaining teeth and then place the posts that will support your new set of teeth. Because it takes time for the implanted posts to fuse with the bone, you may receive a temporary set of fixed dentures. Then, once the fusing process is complete, you’ll return for another short session with us to fit your final replacement teeth. 

What to Expect During Surgery

By contrast to traditional dental implants processes, Teeth-in-a-day provides you with implants and mounting in a single visit. 

The placement procedure usually takes a couple of hours. On the day, you will most likely receive a sedative to help you relax. You will also get a local anesthetic in the areas receiving the posts. Once the medication takes effect, you’ll receive the implants. Usually, the All-on-4 method involves placing the jawbone posts at an off-center angle, reducing or eliminating the need for bone grafts. 

Once the implants are in place, we will place the temporary/permanent set of crowns, bridges, or dentures, depending on your particular circumstances, completing the surgery. 

What to Expect After Surgery

The first thing you will notice afterward is your fantastic new set of teeth – perhaps even better than the originals! 

After that initial elation, you will need to focus on your recovery. 

Most patients experience some discomfort that may last for a few days as the anesthetic wears off. This pain should not be severe. If it is, you should contact us for a check-up. 

You’ll also need to allow time for osseointegration to occur – where the implant posts fuse with your jawbone. This process takes between three to six months. 

In light of this, you’ll need to adjust your diet during the recovery period, eating only soft foods for the first six to eight weeks and avoiding anything particularly hard, crunchy, or chewy for the full healing period. By following sensible eating habits, you will maximize the chance that the procedure will be successful. 

What You Can Eat and What to Avoid

What you can eat changes depends on the length of time elapsed since surgery. 

  • The first two weeks. During the first two weeks, you should base your diet primarily around liquids. Stick with frozen yogurt, milk, broths, creamed soups, custard, ice cream, tea, coffee, and protein shakes. Avoid sticky toffee, stringy meat, or anything hard, like nuts. 
  • Between two and eight weeks. Choose a primarily soft food diet. Suitable foods include eggs, cheese, mashed potato, soft tofu, quinoa, oatmeal, and soft bread. Avoid chips, raw fruits and vegetables (unless pureed), and hard candies. 
  • After eight weeks. Because All-on-4 takes three to six months to heal completely, you should avoid very hard or sticky foods for the remainder of your recovery time. Focus on getting a healthy variety of soft foods to enhance the healing process. 

How All-On-4 Will Improve Quality of Life

All-on-4 improves your quality of life by accurately mimicking both the form and function of regular teeth. When you choose Teeth-in-a-Day, you’re effectively making your mouth more youthful. You automatically become more confident bearing your teeth around other people, allowing you to smile again. You’ll look healthier, younger, and happier – all of which can make a massive difference in how you feel.

If you are interested in learning more about All-on-4 teeth-in-a-day, please contact us to schedule an appointment. We will answer your questions and help you make an informed decision if it is right for you.


Dental Implants: Questions and Answers

A man is smiling and saying "yes" with both fists, red sweater, blue brick background.
Get answers to your questions about dental implants.

You might be surprised to know how many people are embarrassed by their smile across the country. Some people haven’t been to a dentist in years due to fear, money, or a variety of other reasons. 

Others have genetics that plays a factor in the health of their teeth. There are also unfortunate injuries. So many things can play into why people need their teeth extracted and/or replaced.

Fortunately, there are a few replacement options that can truly make your smile look like new, and completely natural. No one needs to know otherwise.

There are about 3 million people in the U.S. alone with dental implants. So, if you’re in need, you’re certainly not alone. 

This article will answer some of the common questions about dental implants. The more you know, the more comfortable you can feel about getting them for yourself, should you need them.

Are Dental Implants Worth It? 

Dental implants are absolutely worth the investment. The implant screw acts like the root of a natural tooth. The crown, the part that you see, looks just like your other natural teeth.

Long-Lasting

Dental implants are often a better investment than other replacement procedures because they can last a lifetime. The screws themselves can last forever. The crown may need to be replaced after 15 to 25+ years if properly cared for.

The longevity of the crown also depends on where the implant is located in the mouth. Teeth have different functions depending on where they are located. Some teeth are for biting while others are for chewing.

Molars are in the back of the mouth and are meant for chewing. An implant to replace a molar may wear out sooner than an implant in the front of the mouth.

Feel Natural

Another benefit of dental implants is that the implant is fused to your jaw bone. The implant and crown tend to feel more natural than dentures. They are also more durable and act more like your natural teeth.

Reduces Bone Loss

Dental implants can also help to reduce the risk of bone loss in your jaw. This could prevent the need for other expensive (and potentially painful) procedures in the future.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last? 

As stated above, the dental implants themselves can last a lifetime. If you take care of them, you will likely never have any issues with the screws that are implanted.

The dental crown that attaches to the implant can last as long as 25+ years if properly cared for. Proper care includes the basics — brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly.

These steps will help maintain healthy gums that do their part to hold the implant in place. Healthy gums also help give the dental crown a more natural look and a healthy smile.

Can Dental Implants Be Done in a Day?

In some cases, yes. There are two procedures called All On 4 and All On 6 dental implants that have been increasing in popularity over the years.

All On 4 & All On 6 Implants

The All On 4 and All On 6 procedures are technically a full-arch fixed dental implant bridge. There are either 4 or 6 implants that support the bridge. This is a procedure that involves the removal of all-natural teeth on top and bottom before the bridges are put in place.

Illustration of All On 4 Dental Implants

For qualified patients, this can be done in one day — the removal of the remaining teeth, the implants, and the dental bridges.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to the All On 4 or All On 6 procedure. Some people experience speech issues or have a hard time adjusting to the feel of the bridge.

Individual Dental Implants

Traditional dental implants take anywhere from 6-8 months from consultation to completion. This is because individual dental implants need time to heal before placing the crown. Typically, two procedures are required for implants. The first is to implant the titanium ‘root’ into the bone. The second is to add the crow(s) on top of the actual implants.

A model of a dental implant.

If you have a majority of your teeth missing or have extensive oral health issues, the All On 4 or All On 6 procedure can be a great option. If you have just a few teeth missing you may be a better candidate for dental implants.

Are Dental Implants Painful?

So many people steer clear of dental procedures because they are worried about pain. But, thanks to technological advancements in medicine, getting dental implants isn’t nearly as painful as you might think. 

Local Anesthetic & Sedation

On the surface, of course, it doesn’t sound “fun” to get dental implants. However, dental offices provide local anesthetic that can make the area go numb. As a result, you won’t feel a thing. If you are especially nervous or fidgety, some offices even provide IV sedation.

When the area is completely numb, the dentist will start to do their work, and you won’t feel a thing throughout the entire procedure. 

At-Home Pain Management

Your dentist will give you something to take for the pain at home or suggest an over-the-counter option that you can use. It’s less likely that you’ll feel a lot of pain, and more likely that your gums will be tender. You might have a hard time eating certain foods for a few days, or it may feel like your gums are sensitive.

You can reduce the pain you might be feeling after receiving dental implants by practicing some of the following tips: 

  • Sticking to a liquid diet for 24-48 hours
  • Avoiding extremely hot or cold foods for 48 hours
  • Rinsing with salt water 3-4 times a day after the surgery

Of course, you can also manage the pain at home by taking Tylenol or other dentist-recommended pain relievers. 

A Healthier Smile

You don’t have to be embarrassed about your smile any longer. Dental implants are one of the best solutions available to restore the healthy look of your teeth. When you make an investment in dental implants, you’re making an investment in yourself and your oral health. 

If you would like to know more about dental implants and whether they’re right for you, feel free to contact our office for an initial consultation. Together, we can decide the best route to restore your smile.

Start your day with a beautiful smile.

When you visit our office, your oral health is our top priority. Dr. Trujillo and his entire team is dedicated to providing you with the personalized, gentle care that you deserve.