My Blog
May 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

If you have missing teeth, you may feel you have few to no options for a great smile. Actually, the opposite is true. Your Kalamazoo, MI, denturesdentist, Dr. Mark Richardson, offers individualized denture options. Whatever condition your teeth are in, he can give you a smile that's renewed in appearance and function, too.

When you lose teeth

Not only are your speech, chewing and biting compromised, but your appearance is, too. Tooth loss precipitates deterioration of gum tissue and jaw bone size and density, too. These changes impact the shape of your face and how smooth your skin is. In short, tooth loss without tooth replacement can make you look, feel and act much older than you really are.

Your denture options in Kalamazoo

There are two basic kinds of dentures: complete and partial. Complete dentures replace an entire arch of missing teeth. They may be secured by dental implants surgically inserted into the jaw, or the natural suction of the mouth may hold them in place with little to no adhesive needed.

Partial dentures have one, two, or more pontic, or artificial, teeth mounted on a metal framework. These prosthetics fill smile gaps, and usually, they attach to remaining teeth with clips. As with complete dentures, you and your dentist may choose to secure your prosthetic with one or more dental implants, or more typically, your "partial" may be removable.

Additionally, some patients decide to wear something called immediate dentures. Avoiding the embarrassment of being without teeth, immediate dentures are placed over sutured extraction sites right after teeth are extracted. The denture actually helps speed healing as it puts pressure on the gums and bone. An unfortunate downside to immediate dentures is their changing fit. As bone and gums heal and shrink, immediate dentures should be replaced or relined.

Choosing dentures

During a consultation with Dr. Richardson, he'll examine your mouth and take digital X-rays. A series of oral impressions will help him and the dental lab arrive at your best denture option, and of course, you'll be consulted on your preference for tooth shape and color.

Expect your adjustment to the new dentures to take a few weeks. You'll likely return to Dr. Richardson's office once or twice to achieve optimal fit.

Find out more

Dr. Richardson and his caring staff in Kalamazoo, MI, will help you every step of the way as you transition to life with dentures. To arrange your consultation, please call the office at (269) 343-6907.

March 16, 2018
Category: Dental Implants
Tags: Dental Implants  

What can change your personal appearance, self-confidence, chewing, and biting more quickly than anything? Tooth loss can as empty dental implantsspaces cause bone and gum resorption and movement of any remaining teeth. A complete smile suddenly can be gapped and dysfunctional when a tooth is lost to trauma, periodontal disease or extensive decay and infection. However, the faster you replace that missing tooth with a modern dental implant, the more quickly your smile can normalize. Just ask Dr. Mark Richardson in Kalamazoo, MI about how dental implants can help your smile.

The typical dental implant

Actually, it's not so typical because its main structural component, titanium, has the ability to meld with human bone. So when the implant screw is placed into a patient's empty socket, the jaw bone immediately begins to osseointegrate, or fuse, with the device. Truly, the process is miraculous as it forms a strong bond capable of supporting the forces exerted on the metal alloy extension post and realistic porcelain crown. In fact, the more an implant is used, the sturdier it becomes.

The procedure

First, you must be cleared for the dental implant procedure. In his Kalamazoo office, Dr. Richardson will examine your teeth and gums and take X-rays to determine if you have adequate bone in your jaw to support the titanium implant. If you do, he'll refer you to an oral surgeon to place the dental implant.

Over the ensuing weeks, your jaw and implant will integrate, the healing process is critical to dental implant success and retention. When you return to Dr. Richardson, he safely can attach the extension post and customized porcelain crown.:

Living with a dental implant

Well, your smile gap (or gaps) will disappear. In its place will be a fully functional tooth that feels and looks incredibly real. Then, you'll be able to bite, chew, and speak perfectly without that unsightly space bothering you.

Next, you'll brush and floss your implant just as you do your natural teeth. Be sure to keep it free from plaque and tartar so the gums and bone stay healthy, and see Dr. Richardson twice a year. He'll check your oral health and the condition of the implant, and you'll receive your usual hygienic cleaning.

Versatile and durable

That describes this great tooth replacement. Dental implants serve as anchors for fixed bridgework and partial/full dentures, too. So if you have more than one smile gap or wear conventional dentures already, Dr. Richardson can work with you to complete your smile with implants. Most implant patients keep their prosthetics for the rest of their lives, says the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness.

Lose the gaps

And, improve your smile. Why not learn more about dental implants from a Kalamazoo, MI expert like Dr. Mark Richardson? Call his office today to arrange your individualized consultation: (269) 343-6907.

January 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dentists have restored teeth with fillings literally for generations, and while the incidence of cavities is lessening in the US, your dentist in fillingsKalamazoo, MI, still restores decayed teeth every day. Dr. Mark Richardson's preferred material is composite resin, a durable and natural-looking blend of plastic polymers and glass particles. Instead of dark amalgam, both patients and Dr. Richardson and his staff prefer tooth-colored resin because of its many cosmetic and restorative benefits.

What is a cavity?

A dental cavity is a hole in the tooth enamel caused by oral bacteria. This microorganism grows in sticky plaque and hard tartar formed from the carbohydrates we eat. Left unchecked, the bacteria give off harmful acids which eat holes in teeth. Some of these holes, or cavities, go right through the enamel to the dentin (second tooth layer) and interior pulp.

Repairing with composite resin

When you see your Kalamazoo, MI, dentist for a routine exam, he carefully inspects all your teeth for decay. X-ray imaging may uncover hidden decay in between teeth and beneath restorations. If you have decay, Dr. Richardson probably will recommend repair with modern composite resin, rather than amalgam, a long-used blend of various metals.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry praises composite resin for its many benefits. They include:

  • Durability (chip and stain resistance)
  • Longevity (5-7 years or more with good oral hygiene and avoidance of hard foods such as peanut brittle)
  • Natural appearance
  • Far less site preparation than amalgam fillings
  • Flexes with the forces of biting and chewing

When Dr. Richardson removes the decayed portions of your tooth, he then layers the resin into the site, hardening each application with a special curing light. He carefully shapes the chewing surface of the tooth so it bites appropriately the teeth on the opposite arch. After a final polishing, the restoration is complete and seamless looking. In fact, it's nearly impossible to detect the borders between the tooth enamel and white filling.

Other uses of composite resin

Besides cavity restoration, your Kalamazoo, MI, dentist uses composite resin to repair small dental flaws such as hairline cracks, surface pits, gaps and more. This economical cosmetic service strengthens tooth enamel and improves smile aesthetics in a single appointment.

Learn more

If you suspect you have a cavity, contact Dr. Mark Richardson for a consultation. Strong, attractive teeth are his specialty! Please call (268) 343-6907.

November 09, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

What your dentist in Kalamazoo wants you to knowcosmetic dentistry

If you would like to reshape and revitalize your smile, there are many effective cosmetic dental treatments to consider, but one of the most versatile is cosmetic bonding. Dr. Mark Richardson in Kalamazoo, MI wants to introduce you to the magic of cosmetic bonding and what it can do for your smile.

There are many reasons why people choose cosmetic bonding. These are just a few:

  • Cosmetic bonding is quick, requiring only one appointment in most cases.
  • Cosmetic bonding is comfortable, typically requiring no anesthetic.
  • Cosmetic bonding is inexpensive compared to other cosmetic dental treatments.

Cosmetic bonding also can be matched to the color of your existing teeth. People will notice how great your smile looks, but they won’t notice the bonding treatment itself. Your bonding treatment will blend seamlessly into your existing smile.

Cosmetic bonding is one of the most versatile cosmetic dental treatments available. In fact you can use cosmetic bonding to fix:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth due to dental trauma
  • Fractured or broken teeth due to an accident
  • Excessively worn down teeth due to aging
  • Heavily discolored teeth due to medications or tobacco use
  • Abnormally shaped teeth due to genetics

To begin your cosmetic bonding, Dr. Richardson will apply an etching solution which creates tiny indentations in your tooth surface to retain the composite material. Next, strong cement is applied.

The composite material is carefully chosen to most closely match the color of your teeth. Composite is a unique liquid resin that can be sculpted and shaped to create a harmonious look to your smile. The composite is applied onto the bonding agent and hardened using a dental light.

As a finishing touch, your bonding treatment is polished to a beautiful shine. Reshaping is often combined with cosmetic bonding to complete your new smile. For more information about cosmetic bonding, reshaping, and other cosmetic dental procedures, call Dr. Richardson in Kalamazoo, MI. Find out how you can revitalize your smile by calling today!

September 05, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Developing good oral hygiene habits can keep your teeth and gums healthy. Inconsistent or poor oral hygiene habits can lead to such oral hygieneproblems as gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss. Good oral hygiene habits include brushing and flossing daily, as well as visiting your Kalamazoo, MI dentist, Dr. Mark Richardson, regularly. Regular dental visits give your dentist a chance to spot the early warning signs of potential oral health problems and intervene before they progress.

Good Oral Hygiene

Keeping good oral hygiene habits will keep your mouth healthy. You can create good habits by developing a daily routine and sticking to it. As part of your good oral hygiene habits, be sure to visit your Kalamazoo dentist every six months or as often as recommended by your dentist. Try incorporating the following habits into your daily oral hygiene routine:

  • Brush your teeth twice every day.
  • Brush your teeth with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles that will not irritate the gums.
  • Floss your teeth every night before bed.
  • Limit consumption of sugary snacks and foods.
  • Ask your dentist about applying sealants on your child’s teeth.
  • Avoid or stop smoking.

Proper Brushing

Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is an important part of keeping good oral hygiene habits. However, brushing your teeth twice daily is only effective if you are using proper brushing techniques. Sloppy or poor brushing habits can leave bacteria and food particles behind on teeth. Gently brushing all surface areas of your teeth helps eliminate bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease.

Keeping good oral hygiene habits helps prevent tooth decay, cavities, gum disease and other oral health problems. Be sure to brush and floss daily, limit intake of sugary substances and visit your dentist regularly. To schedule a checkup with Dr. Richardson, your Kalamazoo, MI dentist, call the office at (269) 343-6907.

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