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.


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!

Dentistry For The Whole Family

Clark Family Dental is a family dentistry practice, meaning not only are we a family dental team, but we want to be able to serve the dental needs of your entire family. What are the advantages of having a single dentist for the whole family? Well, there are quite a few!

The first advantage of having a single family dentist is consistency. He or she will know you and your children and your dental history, and you won’t have to spend a lot of time transferring records and bringing different dentists up to speed. Additionally, it will be a lot easier to detect and treat health issues early on. And you’ll know your dentist, and be familiar with his or her values and procedures. This will facilitate easy and effective dental care and ensure that your trips to the dentist are as stress-free as possible.

Logistically, it’s a lot easier to schedule different children’s dental appointments at one time, so you can take them all to see the dentist in a single trip. Having a single dental provider makes that simple, and makes it easy to keep track of those appointments. It also makes insurance and bill payment much easier to only have to make arrangements with a single office.

One of the hardest thing about taking children to the dentist is the stress that it puts on the child – dental practices can be scary places for children! At Clark Family Dental, we pride ourselves on our welcoming, inviting atmosphere, and using us for all your family dentistry needs will allow us to build familiar relationships with you and your children, making our practice a much more comfortable, stress-free place for them and for you. We’ll also be able to help your children create and follow an oral hygiene routine that will keep their smiles healthy for years to come.

If you’re looking for family dentistry in the New Albany area, make an appointment with us today, and let us care for your family like we care for our own!