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50009 Dentist | Are You an Appropriate Candidate for Dental Implants?

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Our patients primarily seek out dental implants for two reasons: cosmetic and oral health. If you have lost a tooth due to injury, you may not be pleased with the overall appearance of your mouth and may be looking to improve your smile. Additionally, missing teeth—or even just one tooth—can have detrimental effects on your oral health, affecting how you chew and speak. If left for too long, it can also lead to shifting teeth and bone loss.

If you are considering implants for missing teeth, we can help you decide the appropriate course of action based on your needs and preferences. Ideal candidates for dental implants will meet the following criteria:

Healthy gums. Since dental implants are closely connected with, and surrounded by the gum tissues, ideal candidates will be free of periodontal disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontitis and is often caused by insufficient oral hygiene. We can provide you with information on professional treatment and home care to help reverse and manage gingivitis.

Healthy jaw bone. The titanium implant acts a tooth root or anchor which will hold the individual crown or bridge, if multiple teeth need to be replaced. By a process called osseointegration, the jaw bone will heal and grow around the implant, bonding it in place. We will ensure your comfort and relaxation with a local anesthetic.

Excellent oral hygiene. If you are committed to your oral health and hygiene, then dental implants may be for you. Implants and the surrounding gum tissue require diligent care to ensure they are both healing correctly and maintained. In addition to regular brushing, we recommend that you maintain regular visits with us so that we can continually monitor any changes in the gum tissue and bone. Toothbrushes that can reach between each tooth are particularly helpful in getting to the hard-to-reach spots around your implant.

Non-smokers. Not only does smoking slow healing in the mouth, but it can contribute to implant failure since smoking weakens bone structure. If you are currently a smoker considering implants, we recommend that you quit for your oral and overall health.

If you think you are a candidate for dental implants, contact our office for more information.

107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009

Phone: (515) 967-4211

Altoona Dentist | 6 Ways to Get Your Calcium

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Calcium is an important mineral for building strong, healthy teeth. Not everyone can tolerate the lactose found in dairy, which is often a prime source for calcium. There are a wide variety of options available to get the calcium you need. Here are six options rich in calcium:

Canned Seafood

Canned seafood, such as sardines and salmon, can be an excellent source of calcium. These inexpensive options contain more calcium than their fresh counterparts. Canned seafood has small, soft, edible bones that are generally unnoticeable but can be a great way to add calcium to a salad or another dish.

Alternative Milk Products

Soy, rice, and almond milks offer added calcium and can be used as a milk substitute in many dishes. Experiment with different varieties to determine which flavor you like the most for each use. Try one of these milk alternatives on cereal or use in a cooked dish. Soy, rice, and almond milks are available in a variety of flavors, including plain, sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla, and other options.

Green Vegetables

Green vegetables are a prime source of calcium. Collard greens, mustard, turnip, and dandelion greens, Chinese cabbage, spinach, kale, okra, and broccoli are all great choices for adding calcium to your diet.

Milk

Milk is one of the best sources of calcium. One cup of cow’s milk can potentially contain a quarter of the recommended daily intake of calcium. Cow’s milk is also a cheap option, as it is generally priced below alternative options like almond milk. Additional benefits provided are good source of protein, vitamin A and vitamin D.

Yogurt

Most yogurts are high in calcium. The highest source of calcium from yogurt comes from the low-fat variety, while Greek yogurt has a lower amount of calcium than regular yogurt.

Cheese

A lot of cheeses are excellent sources of calcium. Parmesan cheese has the highest amount of calcium among cheeses. Softer varieties of cheese generally have less calcium than others. Aged and hard cheeses typically contain less lactose, making them easier to eat for people with dairy restrictions.

Calcium is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. If you have trouble digesting dairy, don’t let that stop you from consuming your recommended amount of daily calcium.

Contact our office to schedule your visit today.

107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009

Phone: (515) 967-4211

Dentist Altoona, IA | Common Questions from Parents

Dentist 50009

These are some of the most common questions we hear from parents, and the answers we provide:

When should I schedule my child’s first visit to the dentist?

Our team recommends that you schedule an appointment for your child as soon as your baby’s first tooth develops. If your child does not have teeth by their first birthday, you should schedule an appointment so we can ensure their teeth are developing properly. You can help protect your child’s teeth by establishing a pattern of regular dental visits.

How is a pediatric dentist different from other dentists?

A pediatric dentist must complete additional education necessary to provide care to children. Pediatric dentists undergo two to three years of specialty training to treat the specific oral health needs of infants and children through adolescence, including those with special needs.

What happens during my child’s first visit to the dentist?

At your child’s first visit, you should expect to:

  •      Review your child’s history
  •      Respond to questions and concerns
  •      Bring any questions you would like answered
  •      Have your child’s mouth examined and cleaned
  •      Have our team help set your child at ease and make their visit fun

For other questions, please call our office. We’re here for you and your child.

Altoona Dental
107 8th St. SE, Altoona, IA 50009
(515) 967-4211

Dentist 50009 | Early Dental Care Could Save Your Child’s Life

Dentist Altoona, IA

The negative effects of poor oral hygiene are well documented, and can impact much more than your mouth. A lot of serious medical conditions can be caused or worsened by complications arising for poor oral health. Starting your child’s oral care off right serves the twofold benefit of modeling the importance of good oral hygiene to them and giving their mouth a solid foundation of oral health. If you want to ensure your child’s oral health is taken care of, contact our pediatric dental team today to schedule your child’s next examination and cleaning!

The Dangers of Poor Oral Health
Poor oral health can result in much more than cavities and toothaches. Studies have linked a long list of serious and life-threatening conditions to poor oral hygiene, including heart disease, dementia, stroke, respiratory issues, an increased risk of miscarriage, and more. Most of these conditions are worsened by the bacteria that can enter your bloodstream due to gum disease or tooth decay. These issues take time to develop and time to treat. However, the sooner you start practicing good oral health, the better defense your mouth with have against disease, protecting your whole body.

Care for All Ages
Everyone experience different oral care needs throughout their childhood. From the teething stage as baby teeth start to appear to loss of teeth as adult ones begin to take their place, there are a lot of different stages a child’s mouth will go through before it’s fully developed. It’s important to recognize that each of these stages requires their own unique oral care. Waiting to teach your child good oral hygiene could be disastrous for their health.

Invest in your child’s future health by starting off their oral care routine off well. Contact our pediatric dental team today to learn more about the potentially life-saving benefits of early childhood dental care or to schedule your child’s next examination and cleaning.

Altoona Dental
107 8th St. SE, Altoona, IA 50009
(515) 967-4211

Altoona Dentist | Casting Shade

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Have you ever tried whitening your teeth at home? At first, it may seem more affordable and convenient than visiting your cosmetic dentist, and the difference in results may not seem that significant. In a study conducted by Kelton Research, researchers found that 61 percent of study participants were viewed as more confident after their teeth had been whitened. With numbers backing up the importance of a bright smile, we have a few key factors for your consideration before you decide to use at-home whitening kits.

Cost vs. Benefit

When you use over-the-counter whitening products, such as strips, you’ll notice that your teeth are whitened by a few shades at best, since these at-home kits typically contain only around three percent hydrogen peroxide as a main ingredient. The professional solutions that cosmetic dentists use, however, contain approximately 35 percent hydrogen peroxide—whitening your smile up to eight shades in just one visit. So, while at-home treatment options might seem more cost effective at the beginning, you will need to keep using the product over again to achieve the desired results. We can help you whiten and brighten your smile in one visit.

The Convenience Factor

At-home whitening systems are often purchased for convenience and ease of use. You can purchase them at almost any retail store and use them in the privacy of your own home, but most—including mouth trays with gel—need to be applied twice per day for several weeks or months to be effective. Professional treatments will require just a few visits that will last under an hour. While the strips and mouth trays may seem more convenient at first, you will ultimately spend less time achieving more desirable results when you visit us.

Quality Control

At-home systems purchased at a drugstore typically come with “one-size-fits-all” strips or trays, with one strength meant for all types of teeth. This can lead to uneven application of product, creating varied results among your teeth. One tooth may be lightened significantly, while another is barely different. With every person’s teeth, and preferences, being unique, we will apply the product evenly to all of your teeth, ensuring consistent results for a brighter smile. Professional whitening provides the most consistent, tailored, and long-lasting results, and since your smile is one of a kind, why should your whitening treatment plan be any different?

If you are considering the benefits of a brighter smile, contact us to learn more about our options for professional teeth whitening.

Altoona Dental
107 8th St. SE, Altoona, IA 50009
(515) 967-4211

Dentist Near Me | Healthy is the New Beautiful

Dentist Altoona

Cosmetic dentistry has been around for ages. We’ve noticed that now, more than ever, people are concerned with overall wellness in addition to a beautiful smile. In past years, we had many patients come to us seeking whitening and seeming unconcerned with ridding their smile of infection and decay.

More recently, however, mainstream news has joined our efforts to educate the public on the oral & overall health connection. This has led to patients seeking care that will contribute to overall wellness. We’ve experienced a surge in questions such as:

  • Does periodontal disease really increase my odds of heart disease?
  • Does untreated decay lead to root canal therapy and risk eventual loss of the tooth?
  • Do oral lesions signify potential oral cancer? How is that screened and treated?

This increase in “Dental IQ” is leading to more comprehensive care for our community. It’s allowing us to provide dentistry which we know is in the best interest of our patients. Dentistry is not only about the aesthetic appeal of your smile. As many of our patients have been learning, valuable overall health benefits go hand-in-hand with preventive and restorative dental care.

If you’re seeking a dentist that contributes to your overall health and wellness, contact us today.

Altoona Dental
107 8th St. SE, Altoona, IA 50009
(515) 967-4211

Dentist Altoona | Do I Really Need an Exam?

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It’s highly likely that after visiting our practice, you understand the value of a thorough, professional dental cleaning. It’s also likely that you may not fully understand the importance of a complete exam and radiographs.

There are many reasons the exam is an important part of your oral health routine.

1. Exams allow the doctor to evaluate for signs of health conditions. Many health conditions present early signs and symptoms in the mouth, including: Crohn’s, Addison’s, Leukemia, Diabetes, Lupus, Anemia and many others. Skipping an exam could prevent your dentist from screening for oral manifestations of systemic disease.

2. According to research, one American dies every hour from oral cancer. A thorough complete examination can catch early signs of oral cancer, allowing for early treatment, which can be key to survival.

3. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and is related to serious systemic health conditions such as heart disease and stroke, among many others. Evaluating your soft tissue and bone health allows our team to identify early signs of periodontal disease, which can allow for prevention and early treatment. This is vital for your oral and overall health.

4. Radiographs provide valuable insight. Decay and other oral health issues are often hidden from the human eye. Radiographs (X-Rays) allow us to find what we could not otherwise see, allowing for early treatment and less invasive solutions.

Whether it has been 6 months or 6 years since your last appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re here for you and your heath and comfort are our main concerns.

Altoona Dental
107 8th St. SE, Altoona, IA 50009
(515) 967-4211

4 Ways to Achieve Optimal Oral Health | Dentist 50009

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Keeping up optimal oral health takes more than brushing and flossing. Maintaining oral hygiene demands a bit of work, but it is worth it in the long run. Here are four ways you can improve your dental health right now.

  • Replace your toothbrush more often. When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? A month ago? Six months? Most people don’t swap out a new brush often enough, which can lead to reduced brush effectiveness. Change your brush at least every three months. Be sure to switch after having an infection like the cold or flu to prevent reinfection.
  • Lay off the fizzy drinks. The acids present in soda wear away enamel, weakening your teeth and leaving them vulnerable to decay. In fact, people who drink three or more glasses of soda per day experience about 62% more tooth decay than those who choose another beverage like water.
  • Opt for chocolate. Everyone loves a sweet treat now and then, but did you know that certain candies are better for your teeth than others? The American Dental Association reports dark chocolate is the healthiest option, as it is soft and washes off your teeth easier than other candies. Hard, sticky, and sour goodies should be avoided, because they can stick to your teeth and even cause chips or cracks if you bite down too hard.
  • Visit your dentist. Trips to our office should occur at least twice a year—not just when you have a toothache. We offer preventative care, vital education, and important cleanings, which are all part of maintaining excellent oral health.

We are pleased to offer a variety of solutions to keep your smile healthy. We are also able to customize a health plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment today.

Altoona Dental
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009
(515) 967-4211

3 Steps to a Healthy Smile | Dentist 50009

Did you know that tooth decay is the single largest cause of school absences? The longer decay goes untreated, the worse it gets. Not only can this mean costlier expenses for you, but it also jeopardizes your child’s oral health and education. You can help your child have a healthy, happy smile by taking a few steps to defend against tooth decay. Here are three steps you can take at home.

 

  1. Reduce Excessive Sugar

Sugary foods feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Limit your child’s sugary intake by keeping candy, soft drinks, juices, and other sweets to a minimum. If your child does indulge in a sugary snack or treat, make sure they brush their teeth afterwards.

 

  1. Follow a Consistent Brushing Routine

One of the best steps you can take for your child is to help them establish a daily brushing routine. They should brush for at least two minutes both morning and night. Try brushing at the same times each day so that it becomes a habit. We also strongly recommend that parents monitor their children to make sure they are brushing correctly and safely. It’s important that children avoid swallowing toothpaste or mouthwash.

 

  1. Strengthen Teeth with Dairy Products

Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium, particularly cheese, yogurt, and milk. Calcium helps to build strong bones and teeth. Increasing the amount of calcium in your child’s diet can help strengthen tooth enamel, one of the natural defenses against decay. If your child is lactose intolerant or cannot consume other dairy products, we suggest you talk to our team for additional solutions.

 

Healthy teeth start at home. Implement the three simple steps above with your child at home to ensure they have a happy, healthy smile. The single most important step you can take for your child is to bring them in to see our team. Regular oral health examinations for your child are essential to ensure that their teeth are healthy and growing properly.

 

Contact our team to schedule your child’s next examination today.

Altoona Dental
107 8th St. SE, Altoona, IA 50009
(515) 967-4211

Look 10 Years Younger

Your smile is one of the first things a person will notice when you meet.  If you would like to improve your smile with a simple procedure, teeth whitening may be a great option for you, especially if you have stained, dull or discolored teeth. Our dental office is providing teeth whitening services to new and existing patients.

Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, over time, discoloration will occur.  The main causes of stained teeth are genetics, antibiotics, tobacco and certain foods. As we age, our teeth darken as well. While preventing tooth discoloration is nearly impossible, our experienced team can help reverse the effects of discoloration by helping to create a whiter and brighter smile.

Whether it’s an in-office treatment or at-home treatment, the principles of teeth whitening are the same.  A special whitening agent is applied to the teeth in order to bleach the stains and brighten your smile. Our expert dentist will discuss your whitening needs and goals with you to determine which option is best for you.

In-office teeth whitening is the quickest method to a brighter, whiter smile.  With the supervision of an experienced dental professional, a stronger bleaching solution can be used than with at-home kits. Optimal results are achieved much faster with the professional whitening treatment, and in many ways the results are much better given the nature of the bleaching agents that are used. On average, patients find they appear up to ten years younger just by restoring the bright, white smile of their youth.

During a professional teeth whitening treatment, we will first clean the teeth.  They will apply a whitening agent to your teeth, carefully avoiding your gums and soft tissue.  Once applied, a laser light will be directed at the teeth to expedite the process.  For maximum results, the process may be repeated more than once.

If a visit to our office for professional whitening isn’t an option for you, at-home treatment may provide the whitening you need. While you will find a vast variety of at-home teeth whitening products on the market, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, trays and more, we can fit you with custom-made whitening trays that will more accurately fit to your teeth for a more even whitening result.

At-home teeth whitening results are less dramatic compared to those achieved at the dentist. While at-home teeth whitening is easy to use, it is not recommended if your teeth or gums are sensitive.

If you are looking to brighten your smile and look ten years younger, contact our office for more information or to schedule a consultation today.