Dentistry for the Entire Family

shutterstock_115992457compressedEvery age has special dental needs. At Clark Family Dental, we look out for the whole family, and offer checkups and dental cleanings to everyone, as well as individualized service for every member of your household. Here are some of the milestones to look forward to, and problems to watch for, at every stage of life.

Your child’s first tooth

While babies generally get their first tooth somewhere between four and six months of age, it can happen at any time up to a year. Whenever your child’s teeth begin to come in, they will need daily cleanings right from the start. You should also schedule your child’s first dental appointment when their teeth begin to erupt, to make sure that they are healthy and to have any questions answered about your child’s dental care. Clark Family Dental is happy to share this important occasion with your family, and promise to provide the gentle and competent care your child needs to begin a lifelong habit of good oral health.

Sports and athletic activities

As your child gets older, their interest in sports and hobbies will grow. Many of these activities, whether they’re team sports like football, soccer, and basketball, or individual events like gymnastics and track, can be dangerous for your child’s teeth. We advise the use of athletic mouth guards for children, teens, and adults involved in athletic activities. While over-the-counter mouth guards are available, the most effective protection comes from custom-made mouth guards, which are offered by Clark Family Dental. Talk to Dr. Beth or Dr. Chris about fitting your child for a mouth guard, so that they can enjoy their activities without fear for their teeth.

Permanent molars

Your child will generally get their first adult teeth, a set of molars, between the ages of six and seven. Once they do, it is vital to help them care for those teeth by applying dental sealants. Molars are naturally full of pits and crevices which can easily harbor food and plaque, leading to the majority of all tooth decay. A child at that age doesn’t have the ability to clean their molars well enough to prevent this. But dental sealants fill those crevices and provide a new, smooth tooth surface that is easy to clean. Let us help protect your child’s teeth as soon as they emerge with dental sealants.

Lifelong dental care

As you get older, preventive care remains important; but you are also more likely to need restorative dental work, or to choose cosmetic dentistry procedures to improve the beauty of your smile. Clark Family Dental is proud to offer a full range of restorative and cosmetic services including composite fillings, dental bonding, porcelain veneers, dental crowns, Invisalign, teeth whitening, dental implant restorations, and root canal therapy. Whatever your dental care needs, we can help you achieve the health and aesthetics you are looking for at any age.

Keeping your Smile Bright

iStock_000007371535_CompressedIt can be hard to take pride in teeth that are yellowed or stained. Teeth whitening is one of the fastest ways to beautify your smile and boost your confidence. Whitening can significantly improve the color of your teeth and minimize even dark stains, leaving your smile at its best. But over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments are not as safe and effective as professional teeth whitening performed at Clark Family Dental. Having your teeth whitened professionally is the safest form of tooth bleaching and produces faster results using products that aren’t available in at-home treatments.

Because teeth whitening relies on bleaching agents that can be damaging if used incorrectly, it is best to seek in-office treatment with a dentist. While over-the-counter teeth whitening products are available, they are slower than professional whitening procedures and are more likely to produce side effects and unsatisfactory results. Tooth sensitivity and pain are common side effects of teeth bleaching products, and poorly fitted bleach trays such as those used in commercially available whitening kits can irritate your gums. Whitening toothpastes and rinses use much weaker doses of the active ingredients and are only in contact with your teeth for a short time, while whitening strips and over-the-counter kits can cause ugly, uneven bleaching. Too much tooth bleaching can even cause your teeth to grey. You can avoid all of these problems by seeking professional teeth whitening.

Unlike at-home treatments, our in-office teeth whitening procedures are ADA approved, ensuring safe and healthy treatment for your teeth. Because they are administered under our direct supervision, we are able to provide stronger peroxide gels than those that are available in at-home products, allowing faster results with fewer treatments. With Dr. Chris and Dr. Beth monitoring your treatment, you will receive careful, even whitening, resulting in a bright, attractive smile you can be proud of.

We Keep Every Generation of your Family Smiling

iStock_000015985407_LargeAt Clark Family Dental, we want everyone in your family to have comfortable, healthy, beautiful teeth. For that reason, we offer a huge variety of services meant for every age group. Here are a few ways we can help your family members:

Baby Oral Care

As soon as your baby cuts his or her first tooth, it needs to be cared for properly. In addition to advising you on proper baby dental care, we can teach you how to care for newly erupted teeth. We also handle baby dental problems, such as baby bottle mouth and teeth that have grown in incorrectly due to pacifier use.

Child Dental Care

We get it—kids are usually afraid of the dentist. To make your child’s appointment a little easier, we have child-friendly offices and nice hygienists. We offer child dental treatments such as gentle dental checkups, sealants, and even restorations for childhood dental injuries. If you are worried about bringing your child in for the first time, don’t be. Our hygienists can even give your kids a tour of the facility, so that your child isn’t nervous about his or her first time.

Teenager Dental Care

Don’t worry about making an appointment with a specialist to get your child braces. We offer orthodontic appliances and traditional braces, so that your child can get their teeth straightened out as soon as possible. We can also handle wisdom teeth removals and things like fillings, so that your teen can maintain a clean and healthy smile.

Adult Dental Care

In addition to basic services, we also offer complicated restorations such as root canals, crowns, and periodontal scaling. If you are interested in making your teeth look better, you might be interested in our cosmetic services like dental bonding, teeth whitening, and porcelain veneers.

Senior Dental Care

Time can be hard on teeth, which is why we also offer senior services such as bridge repairs, dental implants, and treatment for periodontal disease. However, unlike that specialist, we have time to pay attention to your every need and provide you with the service that you deserve.

If you have questions about our practice, please feel free to give us a call. We also offer a large range of appointment times to make it easier for busy families to get in and see the doctor. Feel free to give us a call anytime!

Keeping Your Smile Bright

shutterstock_116661757 compressedIt can be hard to take pride in teeth that are yellowed or stained. Teeth whitening is one of the fastest ways to beautify your smile and boost your confidence. Whitening can significantly improve the color of your teeth and minimize even dark stains, leaving your smile at its best. But over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments are not as safe and effective as professional teeth whitening performed at Clark Family Dental. Having your teeth whitened professionally is the safest form of tooth bleaching and produces faster results using products that aren’t available in at-home treatments.

Because teeth whitening relies on bleaching agents that can be damaging if used incorrectly, it is best to seek in-office treatment with a dentist. While over-the-counter teeth whitening products are available, they are slower than professional whitening procedures and are more likely to produce side effects and unsatisfactory results. Tooth sensitivity and pain are common side effects of teeth bleaching products, and poorly fitted bleach trays such as those used in commercially available whitening kits can irritate your gums. Whitening toothpastes and rinses use much weaker doses of the active ingredients and are only in contact with your teeth for a short time, while whitening strips and over-the-counter kits can cause ugly, uneven bleaching. Too much tooth bleaching can even cause your teeth to grey. You can avoid all of these problems by seeking professional teeth whitening.

Unlike at-home treatments, our in-office teeth whitening procedures are ADA approved, ensuring safe and healthy treatment for your teeth. Because they are administered under our direct supervision, we are able to provide stronger peroxide gels than those that are available in at-home products, allowing faster results with fewer treatments. With Dr. Chris and Dr. Beth monitoring your treatment, you will receive careful, even whitening, resulting in a bright, attractive smile you can be proud of. Please contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Two Reasons Preventive Dental Care is Important

iStock_000017075835X compressedUnless you experience sudden, painful dental problems or work in a dental office, it might be easy to forget about your semi-annual dental checkups. Unfortunately, skipping your exams could cause more problems later. Here are two reasons preventive dental care is important, and how it can help you down the road:

1: You Can Catch Problems Early

If you let that dental decay linger, it can cause big problems. Tiny cavities can spread into large crevices, giving bacteria an easy way to access your jawbone. Before you know it, you might be suffering from severe tooth pain, or left staring at an unsightly boil.

Fortunately, if you visit the dentist when you should, you can catch problems early. Our hygienists can perform careful evaluations of your teeth, looking for discoloration, cavities, gum problems, fractures, and infections. If problems are detected, one of our doctors can resolve the issue right away—before it snowballs into a larger, more expensive problem.

2: You Can Develop A Solid Dental Care Routine

You might think that you know how to use that powerful new power toothbrush, but what if you are holding it incorrectly and eroding your gums? One of the best things about visiting the dentist on a regular basis is that it gives you a chance to develop a solid dental care routine.

During your visits, Dr. Clark can inspect your teeth and gums for new problems, so that you can adjust your regimen. For example, if you have been inadvertently cutting your gum tissue in the same spot, Dr. Clark might be able to recommend a less painful solution. When you come to your appointment, come armed with questions! Dr. Clark loves talking with patients about their concerns.

If you know that it has been a while since you visited the dentist, make an appointment with Dr. Beth or Chris Clark today.

5 Myths About Porcelain Veneers

iStock_000023447248_LargeIf you have trouble with your natural teeth’s appearance, you might be thinking about investing cosmetic dentistry; in porcelain veneers. However, after sharing the exciting news with your friends and family, you might hear a few incorrect opinions about these incredible dental inventions. Here are five myths about porcelain veneers, and the truth behind them:

MYTH 1: People Can Tell They Aren’t Real

Your friends and family members might be able to tell right away that your smile looks different, but you might not be too excited about the world noticing that your have transformed your smile. Although it might seem impossible for your dentist to recreate your smile with thin porcelain veneers, they actually look completely natural. In addition to being incredibly thin, porcelain veneers can also be dyed to match your existing teeth. This means that you don’t have to replace all of your teeth, just the ones that are damaged beyond repair.

MYTH 2: You Are Going to Lose Your Entire Real Tooth

Another common misconception about porcelain veneers is that dentists have to drill away the bulk of your tooth before the veneer can be installed. While this may have been true for older veneer versions, new models are thin enough that your tooth can remain largely in tact.

MYTH 3: Veneers Are Painful and Cause Sensitivity

Once your veneers are in place, they act as an extra shield of protection against hot and cold foods, so your teeth might actually become less sensitive than they were to start with. Although you need to keep up your regular oral hygiene regimen to keep veneers healthy, they shouldn’t cause any day-to-day discomfort.

MYTH 4: The Bright White Color Looks Unnatural

One of the best things about veneers is that they can be used to alter your smile however you see fit. If you want a whiter, brighter smile, we can create that for you. However, if you are worried about your new teeth being bright white and unnatural, we can dye them to tone down the color.

MYTH 5: They Are Too Expensive

How much did you spend on your last dental crown? Believe it or not, veneers might not be much more. Veneers are incredibly affordable, especially considering the benefit of improving the entire tooth. In fact, veneers typically cost between $500 and $1100 per tooth.

If you think that porcelain veneers sound like something that could help you, make an appointment for a consultation today.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF INVISALIGN?

iStock_000051144066_MediumCosmetic dentistry is about much more than simply vanity. It’s an important part of good oral hygiene, and can affect both the health of the mouth and the health of the person. Crooked teeth or teeth of uneven length are at risk for chipping or tearing the lips if the mouth is hit, and uneven teeth lead to an uneven bite, which can make chewing and eating painful and difficult. Besides, straight teeth make for a beautiful smile, which can increase confidence and success in social settings.

Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces for straightening teeth. With Invisalign, a number of clear plastic molds are made for the teeth to be worn one at a time in stages. These molds gradually guide crooked or otherwise out of place teeth into their proper position. The molds are worn at all times except when eating, drinking or brushing the teeth, and each stage lasts for about two weeks. The total treatment time typically lasts 6-18 months, depending on the needs of the particular patient.

So what are the advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces? Here are a few:

1. The clear, BHP-free plastic that the aligners are made from is almost completely invisible, unlike metal braces which are very conspicuous and which many people associate with childhood and adolescence. Invisalign is a great alternative for adults and anyone who would be self-conscious with braces.

2. Easier trips to the orthodontist. Although it’s still important to take regular trips to your orthodontist to make sure the treatment is progressing as it should, you won’t have to have your braces tightened each time. That makes orthodontist visits easier, and makes Invisalign treatments more gradual and gentle.

3. Easier to eat and clean the teeth. Braces are permanently attached to the teeth, so it’s difficult if not dangerous to eat foods that are too hard or sticky. Additionally, foods easily get stuck in the braces, and water jets or other complicated methods of hygiene might be necessary. With Invisalign, the molds can be removed for meals and for cleaning.

Invisalign is a much easier, simpler and less conspicuous method of straightening the teeth than traditional braces. If you need your teeth realigned, contact us today, and let us see if Invisalign is the right treatment for you!

A Healthy Smile at Every Stage of the Game

shutterstock_68094433At Clark Family Dental, we offer several types of restorative dentistry, dental work that restores your mouth to full health, beauty, and functionality. It means examining, diagnosing, and treating diseases of the teeth and all the structures in your mouth that support them, like the gums and bones. Restorative dentistry covers everything from fillings to dental implants—whatever you need to get your smile looking and feeling the way you want it to.

Restorative dental services offered by Dr’s Clark include:

Dental fillings

To reinforce damaged teeth and prevent cavities from growing larger, they should be filled as soon as possible. Clark Family Dental offers fillings which are mercury-free and safe for your use, and which will last for an average of twelve years. New fillings and replacements for old fillings are both offered by our office.

Dental crowns

When a tooth is very damaged, decayed, or worn down, it may require a dental crown. Dental crowns fit over the tooth and cover the entire visible tooth surface. They can be made of various metals, which require less removal of the existing tooth structure and cause less wear to the opposing teeth, and are unlikely to crack. They can also me made of porcelain or of porcelain fused to metal, which can be color matched to your existing teeth.

Root canal therapy

When a tooth is so severely damaged or infected that the soft tissues inside, or pulp, need to be removed, your dentist will perform a root canal procedure. This involves first cleaning out the hollow portions of the tooth—the root canals and pulp chamber—and then filling them with a substance that isn’t prone to decay. As the procedure removes the nerves from inside the tooth and cuts off the blood supply, it is usually best for the tooth to also receive a crown. An alternative to root canal therapy is complete removal of the infected tooth.

Dental implant restorations

Where a tooth has been removed, it can and should be replaced by a dental implant. Dental implants come in two parts: the first is a post anchored in your jawbone as a replacement for the tooth’s root, and the second is a dental crown placed over the post. Dental implants look like your natural, healthy teeth and can restore your smile to its full health and brightness.

If you are interested in learning more, and want to schedule an appointment please let us know and we will be happy to talk to you and help answer any questions that you might have!

Cosmetic Dentistry Keeps You Looking Your Best

Cosmetic dentistry is much more than simple vanity. It is an important aspect of proper oral care. Teeth can become unsightly over time from staining or because of gaps, flaws, chips or other problems with alignment or tooth shape. While it’s true that correcting these problems will lead to a more beautiful, confident smile, it can also prevent problematic conditions from arising. Gaps between teeth or teeth that are crowded and out of place are difficult to clean and are often problems spots for cavities and gum disease.

At Clark Family Dental, we’re proud to offer several cosmetic dentistry options to keep your smile both attractive and healthy:

Teeth Whitening – Teeth become natucosmeticrally stained over time from tea and coffee, dark colored sauces and fruits, tobacco use, or even just age. It’s a simple matter to restore the teeth to their fresh natural whiteness. We offer both in-office whitening and take-home whitening and Clark Family Dental. For our in-office service, we take care of all the details so that after a single one-hour session, your teeth are sparkling again. If you prefer the comfort and convenience of your own home, we can provide you with custom made teeth whitening trays and professional-strength whitening gel with instructions on how to use them, and after three or four days you’ll have shiny white teeth again.

Invisalign – Standard wire braces can be daunting – they’re unsightly, awkward and sometimes even painful. But don’t let that stop you from seeking straighter teeth – well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and care for than crooked ones, and nothing helps confidence like a tidy smile. Invisalign aligners are made of transparent plastic and are nearly invisible when worn. They can be removed when necessary, so they don’t interfere with good oral hygiene practices. Best of all, at Clark Family Dental we give you all the different stages of your treatment at once, so you can switch aligners yourself when it’s time and don’t need to come down for long, painful adjustments.

Dental Bonding – For small problems such as chips, cracks or gaps we can make repairs using a tooth-colored composite resin material. Dental bonds are quick, cheap and easy solutions to minor problems on single or just a few teeth.

Porcelain Veneers – For problems that are larger or more extensive than dental bonding can fix, we also offer porcelain veneers, which can be used to fill in multiple gaps or repair badly damaged teeth. Porcelain veneers are becoming very popular, since they’re cheaper, faster and easier to install than full crowns.

Cosmetic dentistry is an important aspect of oral care that helps make hygiene more effective and smiles more beautiful. Come visit us at Clark Family Dental today so we can evaluate your needs and help you find a cosmetic dentistry procedure that’s right for you!

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth A Pound of Cure

A beautiful smile is one of the most important keys to confidence and success, and preventive dentistry is the key to keeping that smile beautiful. Keeping up good oral health is easy, as long as you follow two basic but important steps: taking good care of your teeth and taking regular trips to the dentist. For self-care, know what to do and what not to do to keep your mouth healthy and happy:

  • When flossing, be sure to take enough floss that you can wrap it around your fingers and still have two inches to work with. Be careful not to dig into your gums, but focus on scraping the sides of your teeth and the contact points between them to break up as much plaque as possible.
  • Use only ADA-approved toothpastes and brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Avoid hard-bristle brushes as these can actually damage your teeth and irritate your gums. Use gentle, small circular strokes to brush. Take time and care to brush all the exposed surfaces of your teeth, even the hard to reach places in the back of your mouth. Tooth decay can occur anywhere!
  • Avoid sugary foods when possible, as sugar is a major cause of tooth decay. Every bite of sugar you eat exposes your teeth to 20 minutes of exposure to acidic by-products. When you can’t (or won’t) avoid sugar, brush your teeth as soon as possible to minimize the time your teeth are exposed to corrosion. Soft drinks in particular are hard on teeth, since they are both sugary and acidic.

Regular trips to the dentist for preventive dentistry ensure that your teeth and gums are clean and healthy and are important for catching problems before they become serious. Meet with your dentist every six months for teeth cleaning and screening for gum disease. If it’s been longer than six months, contact Clark Family Dental today to set up an appointment!