5108 Lovers Lane, Portage, MI 49002, 269-345-1021


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By David Cooley, DDS
March 01, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental bridges  

Dental bridges can help your smile by filling in the gaps caused by tooth loss. They also help restore normal biting and chewing functions by giving you a full set of teeth. Several types of fixed and removable dental bridges are available. Dr. David Cooley, the experienced dentist at our office in Kalamazoo, MI, can recommend the right type of dental bridge for your needs.

Types of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap or space between teeth where tooth loss has occurred. The gaps are filled with artificial teeth called pontics. Multiple types of dental bridges are available. Some are fixed in place and can only be removed by a dentist, while others are removable and can be taken out to be cleaned. We offer several types of fixed dentures at our office in Kalamazoo. Our skilled dentist can help you choose the right one.

Some common types of fixed dental bridges include conventional, cantilever, and zirconia bonded bridges. Also referred to as traditional bridges, conventional dental bridges are held in place by a dental crown on each side of the bridge that fits over a natural tooth or a dental implant. Cantilever and zirconia bonded dental bridges differ from conventional ones because they are only held in place on one side of the bridge. There is a crown on only one side of the pontics. Whatever type of dental bridge you select, it will be custom-made for the best fit.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

There are multiple benefits to restoring your smile with a dental bridge. Not only can a bridge replace missing teeth, but having a full smile again often boosts confidence. Some of the numerous benefits of dental bridges include:

  • Filling in the gaps caused by tooth loss
  • Restoring normal biting and chewing functions
  • Providing support for sagging facial muscles
  • Distributing biting and chewing functions more evenly across teeth
  • Alleviating extra strain on existing teeth compensating for missing ones
  • Improving speech that was affected by gaps in your smile
  • Preventing existing teeth from moving out of place

Dental bridges can help your smile in so many ways, from replacing missing teeth to providing support for sagging facial muscles. Dr. Cooley can have a custom dental bridge created just for you. To schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable dentist, call our office in Kalamazoo, MI, at (269) 345-1021.

By David Cooley, DDS
January 04, 2021
Category: Oral Health

Regular maintenance is just as important for your teeth as it is for your vehicle. In fact, bi-annual cleaning appointments with your Portage, MI, dentist, Dr. David Cooley, are essential for good oral health.

Cleanings lower your tooth decay and gum disease risk

The dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar from your teeth during your cleaning in the Portage dental office. Plaque, a rough, colorless film, constantly coats your teeth. When bacteria in plaque combine with sugars from foods and beverages, acids form. These acids are so strong that they can eat through your tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Brushing and flossing are good ways to remove plaque, but these oral hygiene methods don't always remove every speck of the film. Plaque can be difficult to remove if portions of your teeth overlap. Unfortunately, if plaque remains, you may soon develop a cavity. The longer plaque remains on your teeth, the higher your risk of cavities and gum disease.

A curious thing happens to plaque after about a week. The film hardens and becomes a brownish deposit called tartar. Tartar irritates your gums and may cause gum disease if it isn't removed promptly. Although plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, tartar can't.

Luckily, your dental hygienist has special tools that allow her to remove tartar and hard-to-reach plaque during your cleaning. Visiting the dentist every six months for a cleaning is a simple, effective way to protect your smile.

Other benefits of your cleaning appointment

After your appointment, you'll probably notice an improvement in the appearance of your smile. The polish your hygienist uses at the end of the cleaning removes minor surface stains that can dull your smile.

Your dentist will also examine your teeth, mouth, and jaw during your cleaning visit. If he notices any issues, whether you have a small cavity or gum disease, he'll recommend appropriate treatments and make a follow-up appointment for you.

When you visit the dentist every six months, dental issues can be identified and treated before they can cause major oral health issues. Your checkup will also include an oral cancer screening to look for lumps, red or white patches, non-healing sores, or possible cancer signs.

Is it time to schedule your teeth cleaning? Call your dentist in Portage, MI, Dr. David Cooley, at (269) 345-1021 to make your appointment.

By David Cooley, DDS
December 11, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

It’s normal to have questions about dental implants before you get them.

Looking to get a little information about dental implants? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Traditionally, dental bridges and dentures were used to replace missing teeth, but thanks to amazing strides made in the field of restorative dentistry and technology, our dentist Dr. David Cooley also offers dental implants to help restore tooth loss in healthy adults and seniors.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a small post or screw made from a biocompatible metal (often titanium). This post is placed directly into the jawbone where the missing tooth once stood to replace the roots of your teeth. From there, the implant fuses with the jawbone to provide a permanent foundation to support false teeth.

How long do dental implants last?

Since implants naturally integrate with the jawbone and natural tissue in your mouth, this means that implants are designed to last a very long time. In fact, as long as you practice good oral hygiene and keep your implant clean, there is no reason why you couldn’t have this implant for the rest of your life.

Am I too old for dental implants?

You’ll be happy to hear that there is no cap on age limit when it comes to getting dental implants. As long as you are in good health, you’re dedicated to caring for your implant, and you don’t smoke then you could very well get a dental implant much later in life. We can provide implants for people well into their 80s and 90s.

What makes someone a good candidate for implants?

If you are a healthy adult who is missing at least one tooth then our dentist might just deem you a perfect candidate for implants. Of course, we will need to examine your mouth and take X-rays to make sure that you’re in good health and that the jawbone is strong enough to support your implant.

We will also ask you questions about your lifestyle and habits to make sure that you are a good fit for this restoration.

Does it hurt to get a dental implant?

When people hear that they have to undergo surgery to get dental implants here at our Portage, MI, practice, they often get nervous; however, this procedure is nothing to worry about. The procedure is performed right here in our practice under a highly trained dental professional. We will administer a local anesthetic before the procedure so you won’t feel a thing. If you’re only getting a single dental implant the surgery may take as little as 30 minutes.

If you are interested in getting dental implants here in Portage, MI, the next step is to find out if you’re a good candidate for treatment. To schedule your no-risk dental consultation, call Dr. David Cooley today at (269) 345-1021.

By David Cooley, DDS
July 09, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental crowns  

Could your smile benefit from this popular restoration?

If this is the first time you’re hearing about dental crowns it’s probably because Dr. David Cooley is telling you that you need one. Of course, we don’t like to leave our patients in the dark when it comes to the dental treatments they require to maintain a healthy smile. Wondering when this tooth-shaped restoration is most often used? Here are the top three reasons why someone might need a dental crown,

You Just Underwent a Root Canal

If our dentist has discovered an infection within the tooth then the best way to get rid of the infection is through root canal therapy. Of course, once the infection has been treated it’s still important for our Kalamazoo dentist to restore the tooth with a dental crown to strengthen and support the tooth when chewing or biting.

You Have a Damaged Tooth

Dental injuries are more common than you might think. Regardless of whether you crunched down on something hard or you broke a tooth during a game, it’s important to see a dentist right away to address a broken, fractured or chipped tooth. While minor chips may be buffed away or restored through other cosmetic methods, dental crowns are the standard when it comes to restoring a broken or cracked tooth.

You Have a Large, Worn Filling

While cavities are typically treated with dental fillings, if the decay has spread too far into the tooth or has affected the majority of the tooth then a filling may not be enough to fully support the tooth’s structure. If a large filling is placed, this can also weaken the tooth over time. So our dentist may recommend replacing your current large filling by capping the tooth with a crown or may recommend forgoing a large filling altogether in place of a dental crown, which can provide better long-term support.

Whether you have additional questions about dental crowns or you need to consult with Dr. Cooley about restorative dentistry, we are here to meet all of your smile needs. Just give us a call at (269) 345-1021 and we would be happy to schedule an appointment for you.

By David Cooley, DDS
April 13, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: veneers  

Just what are porcelain veneers? A popular and much used cosmetic dentistry service. Veneers are thin, tooth-shaped shells of enamel-colored ceramic. They cover many defects, which mar basically healthy teeth. Your Kalamazoo, MI, dentist, Dr. David Cooley, wants his prospective veneer patients to understand this service well before he proceeds with the two- to three-visit treatment. Learn more about veneers here.

FAQs about Porcelain Veneers

What kinds of defects can veneers remake? Your Kalamazoo dentist places veneers on the front of selected teeth that have defects such as large cracks, chips, small gaps, odd shape and size, dark stains, or mild crowding. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asserts that dental laminates (the other name for veneers) strengthen weak tooth enamel, too.

Who can receive veneers? A thorough dental examination, X-rays, and oral impressions (negative imprints of your teeth used to make a three-dimensional model) formulate the treatment plan. It shows you, the patient, how veneers can change your teeth for the better. Be sure to tell Dr. Cooley how you want your teeth to change.

Are veneers reversible, or do I always have to wear veneers? They are permanent because proper placement requires mild enamel resurfacing. In other words, Dr. Cooley will remove a thin portion of tooth enamel so veneers bond properly over the teeth.

How many dental visits are required? At least two appointments are necessary. One appointment for the initial consultation, imaging, and enamel resurfacing. You'll wear temporary laminates in between appointments. Another appointment for fitting and cementing the veneers in place. Bonding cement is shaded to achieve the most natural-looking blend with teeth adjacent to your veneers.

Are veneers durable? Actually, they are, lasting patients many years. However, be sure to brush and floss your veneers carefully, and get your semi-annual check-ups with Dr. Cooley. Also, avoid chewing ice, peanut brittle, and other hard-textured or sticky dietary choices that could chip or loosen your veneers.

Find out more

Surely, you'll have other questions about porcelain veneers, and Dr. Cooley can answer them all. To arrange a consultation with Dr. Cooley and his team, call his Kalamazoo, MI, office at (269) 345-1021. You will love your new smile.

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