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Posts for category: Oral Health

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
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.

By David Cooley, DDS
January 26, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Dental crowns are versatile restorations that can be used to address several dental issues. Dr. David Cooley, your Kalamazoo, MI dental crownsdentist, explains how crowns can improve your smile.

Crowns restore and protect teeth

Crowns stabilize teeth and enhance their appearance. The hollow restorations completely encase teeth and are made of tough materials, such as porcelain and gold or a combination of the two materials. They're often used to:

  • Protect Fragile or Damaged Teeth: Damaged or fragile teeth are at increased risk of fracturing. Whether a tooth is weakened by a dental procedure or has become brittle over the years, crowns offer the ideal way to prevent fractures. They're also used to prevent cracked teeth from breaking.
  • Change the Appearance of Teeth: A discolored tooth can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. Because crowns cover teeth on all four sides, they're very effective at concealing discolorations caused by large fillings or tetracycline use. Crowns are also a good choice if you would like to improve the appearance of twisted, crooked or oddly shaped teeth.
  • Lengthen Short Teeth: Is one of your teeth shorter than the others? Short teeth can occur naturally or can become shorter if you grind your teeth at night. The problem not only affects your appearance but also changes your bite, the way your teeth fit together. Bite problems can lead to abnormal wear, headache, jaw stiffness and other issues if they aren't corrected. Crowns lengthen teeth, restoring your normal bite.
  • Restore Broken Teeth: Crowns restore broken teeth and also prevent pain due to exposed nerves. Once your new crown is in place, you'll be able to use the tooth once again to bite and chew foods.

Crowns only require two dental visits

It only takes two visits to stabilize or restore a tooth, or improve its appearance with a crown. During the first visit, your Kalamazoo dentist will reduce the size of the tooth and make an impression of your mouth. The impression will be used to create your new custom-made crown. A temporary crown will cover your tooth until the new crown is completed in about two or three weeks. When you return to the office for your final visit, your dentist will check the fit of the crown, make any necessary adjustments and attach it to your tooth with dental cement.

Could you benefit from a dental crown? Call Dr. Cooley, your Kalamazoo, MI dentist, at (269) 345-1021 to schedule an appointment.

By David Cooley, DDS
November 18, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: veneers   cosmetic dentistry  

Improving your smile has become less and less complex thanks to modern cosmetic dentistry procedures like dental veneers. Veneers veneersare perhaps one of the fastest and easiest ways to overhaul your smile. However, determining if you should consider this impressive procedure for your smile can be more difficult than you'd previously anticipated. Learn more about veneers and if you could benefit from them with Dr. David Cooley in Kalamazoo, MI.

What are veneers? 
Veneers are a cosmetic dentistry procedure which focuses on covering the imperfections on the teeth with a shell of super-thin yet durable porcelain. A dental laboratory custom-makes each veneer based on an impression of your mouth to give them the most snug and perfect fit on your tooth possible. This allows your veneer to blend in with your natural smile to give you the look you’ve always wanted.

Do I need to consider getting veneers? 
Veneers can improve the appearance of almost any smile. The main function of veneers is to improve the appearance of the smile, including helping correct aesthetic dental issues such as:

  • slightly misaligned or crooked teeth
  • slightly overcrowded teeth
  • slightly under crowded teeth
  • cracked teeth
  • chipped teeth
  • severely yellowed or discolored teeth
  • misshapen teeth

Dental Veneers in Kalamazoo, MI
Porcelain, thanks to its light-reflecting properties, emulates natural teeth closely, is a durable material used in many restorations and cosmetic dental procedures. And due to the quality of the porcelain used, veneers can last up to 20 years without requiring replacement. However, the life of your veneers depends on the care you provide. This makes your at-home oral care routine a crucial part of keeping both your veneers and your natural teeth healthy and free of decay. To accomplish this, simply brush twice daily and floss at least once. Be sure to see your dentist at least once every six months for examinations and cleanings and for any maintenance your veneers may require. 

For more information on dental veneers and deciding whether they are right for you, please contact Dr. David Cooley in Kalamazoo, MI. Call (269) 345-1021 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Cooley for dental veneers today!