120 Office Park Drive, Mountain Brook, AL 35223, (205) 423-9140

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Mountain Brook, AL Gentle Dentist
Mountain Brook Smiles
120 Office Park Drive
Mountain Brook, AL 35223
(205) 423-9140
Mountain Brook Gentle Dentist
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Posts for: June, 2018

By Mountain Brook Smiles
June 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dentures   dental implants  
ChangesinBoneStructurecanAffectDentureFit

It’s a common problem for denture wearers: after years of a comfortable fit, your dentures now seem to be uncomfortably loose. The reason, though, may have more to do with bone loss than the dentures.

Bone is a living tissue with a life cycle — it forms, it ages, and it eventually dies and dissolves (resorbs). It’s replaced with new bone and the cycle repeats. Additionally, the forces generated when we bite or chew are transmitted from the teeth to the jaw, which helps stimulate new bone growth. When the natural teeth are missing, however, the bone no longer receives this stimulus. Resorbed bone isn’t replaced at a healthy rate, which leads over time to bone loss.

Denture construction can also contribute to bone loss. The denture palate rests for support on the bony ridges that once held the teeth. Over time the compressive forces of the dentures apply damages and reduces the volume of gum tissue and eventually does the same to the bone. Combining all these factors, the reduced gum and bone volume will eventually alter the denture fit.

There are a few alternatives for correcting loose dentures. One is to reline them with new plastic, as either a temporary fix performed during an office visit or a more permanent relining that requires sending your dentures to a dental lab. Depending on the rate of bone loss, a patient could go through several denture relinings to accommodate ongoing changes in the jaw. At some point, though, it may be necessary to create a new set of dentures.

A third alternative that’s becoming increasingly useful is to incorporate dental implants into the denture design. Implants can of course be used to replace individual teeth, but a few strategically placed implants (usually of smaller dimension) can serve as a support platform for a removable denture. This relieves some of the compression force of a traditionally worn denture and can slow bone loss.

If you’re having problems with your denture fit, call us for an appointment. We’ll help you decide on the best alternative to improving the fit and making your dentures more comfortable and secure.

If you would like more information on refitting loose dentures, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Loose Dentures.”


By Mountain Brook Smiles
June 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Cosmetic DentistryIf you had a huge smile problem--a missing front tooth, for instance--wouldn't you fix it? What about those smaller issues, perhaps not impacting your health, but hurting your self-confidence--will you address those? The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says smiles really get noticed; so give yourself a smile that you and everyone else will love with cosmetic dentistry services from Dr. Wes Samford at Mountain Brook Smiles.

The focus of cosmetic dentistry

Of course, your oral health comes first, but cosmetic dentistry builds on that healthy foundation and erases concerns such as:

  • Excess gum tissue
  • Uneven tooth length
  • Stained tooth enamel
  • Gaps and crowding
  • Chips, cracks, and pits
  • Tooth size too large or too small for facial contours

In fact, aesthetic services from your cosmetic dentist in Mountain Brook, AL, can change how you feel and how you project your personality to those around you. After all, how will people know what you're like if you're afraid to smile?

What Dr. Samford does

After making sure your teeth and gums are healthy, he'll study how to make your smile look its very best. He'll consider your input and goals, too, and look at factors such as:

  • Tooth length and alignment
  • Gum contours
  • Smile width
  • Tooth color
  • Gaps and small misalignments
  • Missing, cracked, or misshapen teeth

He'll take X-rays and photos as well and may preview a finished smile for you so you understand what you're committing to before treatment starts.

Offered cosmetic services

Dr. Samford and his team deliver an amazing menu of aesthetic treatments, including single procedures and complete smile makeovers. He'll tailor your care plan to your individual needs, preferences, budget, and timeline.

Services include:

  • Professional teeth whitening to brighten stained enamel by several shades of color
  • Porcelain veneers to cover the front side of teeth which have defects such as chips, cracks, and deep stains
  • Porcelain crowns to protect and beautify damaged teeth
  • Cosmetic contouring to gently remove uneven enamel and reshape dental contours
  • Composite resin bonding to remake small flaws such as gaps and cracks
  • White fillings for natural-looking cavity repair
  • Bridgework and dental implants to replace missing teeth

Love your smile

You can with the best in cosmetic dentistry from Mountain Brook Smiles. Contact Dr. Samford's friendly office staff in Mountain Brook, AL, today to arrange your consultation. Bring your goals and your questions and look forward to a great conversation. Call (205) 423-9140.


AnAffordableRPDCouldbetheAnswertoYourMissingTeethProblems

You would love to replace your missing teeth with dental implants. And for good reason — they're the best way to restore life-like, functional teeth. But there's one problem — implants and fixed bridgework (the next, best option) are financially out of your reach.

There's another viable option, though, that might fit your budget — removable partial dentures (RPDs). Similar to full dentures, RPDs replace only the missing teeth in a dental arch. And they're much less expensive than implants or bridgework.

RPDs are custom made to fit an individual patient and their particular missing teeth locations. Their frameworks are usually made of vitallium, a strong but lightweight metal alloy. With vitallium, the frame can be made thin enough not to be noticeable but still conduct sensation.

A pink resin or plastic that mimics gum tissue covers the frame, to which we attach prosthetic (false) teeth made of porcelain, glass-filled resin or plastic to precisely match the missing teeth locations. The RPD is held in place with small metal clasps that fit around remaining natural teeth.

RPDs are designed to minimize movement and avoid undue pressure on the gum ridges, which could accelerate underlying bone loss. In certain situations, though, the location of some missing teeth could complicate matters. If you're missing a tooth in the back where the appliance coverage ends, the RPD may not be as stable.

The solution, ironically, could be a dental implant placed strategically at the end of the RPD, where it connects securely with the appliance. You would only need one or two implants, which won't dramatically increase costs.

One thing to remember with an RPD: they tend to accumulate bacterial plaque, the trigger for both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. That's why it's important to practice daily effective hygiene by cleaning the RPD and your remaining teeth and gums, as well as taking the RPD out at night.

A well-maintained RPD could last for many years. With this appliance you can still have functional teeth and a winning smile, even without implants.

If you would like more information on removable dentures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Partial Dentures: Still a Viable Tooth-Replacement Alternative.”