Dentists have restored teeth with fillings literally for generations, and while the incidence of cavities is lessening in the US, your dentist in Kalamazoo, 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.
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.
What your dentist in Kalamazoo wants you to know
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!
Developing good oral hygiene habits can keep your teeth and gums healthy. Inconsistent or poor oral hygiene habits can lead to such problems 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.
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.
If your top concern is how your teeth will look while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment for a crooked or gapped smile, then the “clear choice” is clear braces. Also known as ClearCorrect, clear or invisible braces are considered a premier choice for busy, working adults and appearance-conscious teenagers. This option is available at the dentistry office of Mark E. Richardson, DDS in Kalamazoo, MI.
What Are Clear Braces?
Clear braces are aligner trays that help reposition your teeth for a better smile. They are effective for patients who need minor smile adjustments. If you had braces in the past but neglected to wear your retainer regularly, clear braces can help get your smile back on track. If you have small gaps, spacing or crowding issues, invisible braces may be for you.
Benefits of Clear Braces
As the name suggests, clear or invisible braces are difficult to see with the naked eye by others. Unlike metal or ceramic braces, which contrast with the natural white color of your teeth, clear braces are plastic and see-through. So you can wear them throughout the day without feeling self-conscious, yet still, take them off at will to enjoy a pear or have an intimate conversation. A ClearCorrect treatment by your Kalamazoo dentist will usually take about a year, which is an improvement over the two or three years often required with traditional braces.
General Benefits of Orthodontic Care
Dentists recommend orthodontic treatment in the early teen years, but even if you are an adult, you can still benefit from orthodontic care. These are the general benefits that you can look forward to when you get braces:
- A more symmetrical smile which contributes to good looks.
- A better bite in some cases.
- Proper spacing of the teeth (which also helps in case you need a crown or similar restoration).
- Motivation to take better care of your teeth, keep them white and get regular cleanings.
Discuss Clear Braces with Your Dentist
You don't have to worry about walking around with metal braces to get a better-looking smile thanks to ClearCorrect. Call Dr. Mark Richardson today at (269) 343-6907 to schedule an appointment at his Kalamazoo dentist office and see if clear braces are right for you.
Are you ready to find out exactly what dental implants can do for your smile?
Tooth loss doesn’t have to define you and it doesn’t just have to be something you put up with. You deserve to have a healthy smile again and our Kalamazoo, MI, dentist, Dr. Mark Richardson, is here to make that possible. Find out more about dental implants and whether this is the best option for you.
A dental implant is often the best tooth replacement restoration because it actually mirrors a real tooth. While nothing is as good as maintaining your beautiful natural smile, getting dental implants in Kalamazoo can certainly come close. This is because the implant actually acts like tooth roots. It is placed into the jawbone, so it’s meant to function like a real tooth.
Here are just some of the benefits you’ll enjoy with dental implants:
- You’ll get a full smile back. This restoration is made to look just like a real tooth and no one will be able to pick out the dental implant from the rest of your natural teeth. The only person who will know that you have an artificial tooth is you.
- You’ll regain confidence again. You’ll not only stop feeling self-conscious about smiling but you’ll also feel great about your appearance once again when you know you have a full smile to show off.
- Chewing and speaking are two important components of everyday life that can be restored with implants. You don’t have to deal with tooth loss very long to discover that it can take a toll on your ability to speak properly, as well as how easy it is to chew food. Tooth loss can also make it impossible to get the proper nutrients you need since you may avoid certain hard-to-eat foods. With a dental implant that functions like a real tooth, you won't have to worry about that at all.
- Once you lose one or more teeth, the jawbone is no longer getting sufficient stimulation it needs from the tooth roots to remain healthy. This leads to bone deterioration and weakness. By getting dental implants as soon as possible, you can prevent serious jawbone loss.
Are you ready to find out if you are the perfect candidate for dental implants? If so, the next step is to call Dr. Mark Richardson in Kalamazoo, MI, to schedule your consultation. Let’s talk about dental implants!
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