The Five Stages of a Cavity

stages of a cavity Fort Collins

In this message from The Fort Collins Dentist, we discuss something about cavities you might not know. You may have heard that once tooth enamel is eroded, it’s gone forever. This is not entirely true. In the earliest stage of enamel erosion, a cavity can be reversed.

The Five Stages of a Cavity

  • Stage 1: Attack of the Little White Spots

The tooth begins to show signs of damage. White spots appear. They are under the surface of the enamel, but you can see them from the outside. Demineralization will result in these spots. When they occur in children’s molars, it can be easy for parents to miss them. That’s why daily dental hygiene and regular dental exams are crucial. At this stage, it’s possible to halt a cavity before it needs a filling. Dental hygiene can stop the erosion. Fluoride can remineralize the enamel.

Can Stage 1 be reversed? Yes!

 

  • Stage 2: Enamel Decay

Did you know that tooth decay begins under the surface of the enamel? The visible enamel is intact for the first part of Stage 2. Then the hole busts through the surface.

Can Stage 2 be reversed? No, but the tooth can probably be saved.

 

  • Stage 3: Going Deeper Into the Dentin

The decay breaks down the enamel and hits the soft dentin layer that lies below. This is an advanced cavity. The good news? The decay hasn’t yet reached the pulp. It will, however, start to cause pain.

Can Stage 3 be reversed? No, but maybe the tooth won’t need a root canal.

 

  • Stage 4: Ouch! The Decay Hits the Pulp

Hopefully, none of our patients will ever suffer this stage, as it is very painful. The infection has reached the pulp where the nerves are located. Unfortunately, a root canal is the only treatment option. Unless, of course, the tooth is extracted.

Can Stage 4 be reversed? No, and it must be treated with a root canal.

 

  • Stage 5: Abscess Distress

The decay (and infection) has traveled through the pulp and out the end. In the final stage, it drills through the tip. Now the infection is in the tissue and bone surrounding the tooth root. The area swells up and it’s exceptionally painful. It’s also hazardous for anyone’s health. This is a serious infection that can spread to other parts of the body. Abscesses originating in a tooth can be fatal.

Can Stage 5 be reversed? No, and can be life threatening.

 

Protect yourself and your loved ones from tooth decay so you all have a healthy smile for life. Patients from throughout North Laramie, Cheyenne, Greeley, and South Berthoud come to The Fort Collins Dentist for general and cosmetic dentistry. Request your appointment with us today!

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-449-0952

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526

 

ArticleID 8247

Cavity Fighting Chewing Gum?

North Laramie Oral DentistryAt the Fort Collins Dentist, patients often ask us if chewing xylitol gum is an effective substitute for tooth brushing and regular dental exams. In order to effectively answer that question, we have put together an expansive definition of Xylitol.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener that was first discovered in birch tree bark, but can also be found in many fruits and vegetables. Unlike most other sweeteners, xylitol is actually helpful for your teeth. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that xylitol restricts the growth of the bacteria that initiates cavities. It also helps curb plaque and strengthens tooth enamel.

Xylitol has other benefits, too! Because it is low on the glycemic index, many of our patients with diabetes enjoy it as a healthy alternative to sugar. For patients that suffer from frequent dry mouth, we recommend xylitol gum or mints as a way of stimulating saliva production, while simultaneously safeguarding against cavities.

So, is xylitol gum just as effective as brushing your teeth and seeing your family dentist regularly? As shocking as this sounds after our definition, it’s actually not! If you cannot brush your teeth after a meal, chewing xylitol gum for five or ten minutes is probably a good idea. However, you should still brush your teeth thoroughly after meals and get twice-yearly exams and dental cleanings. Xylitol might be good for maintenance, but nothing can replace regular brushing and a professional dentistry.

At The Fort Collins Dentist, our goal is to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life. We do this by preventing dental problems before they start. If you postpone dental visits until you feel pain, you risk losing teeth and will probably require more extensive treatment than if the issue were caught earlier. We treat satisfied patients in North Laramie, Cheyenne, Greeley, and South Berthoud and offer general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. Request an appointment today!

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-449-0952

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526

 

ArticleID 1368

Multi-Procedure Dental Visits Save Time And Hassle

Multi-Procedure Dental Visits in Fort Collins

At The Fort Collins Dentist we want to see each one of our patients for a cleaning and checkup twice a year. Most of the time we try to get you to schedule your next appointment even as you leave the office from your latest one.

There are some very good reasons for seeing us twice a year. Regular cleanings and checkups are the best way to ensure you have good dental health. That means clean teeth with no cavities, and pink healthy gums.

Most appointments begin with a cleaning from the hygienist. During the checkup itself we look for any new cavities that may have appeared since your last visit. We might take X-rays, although this is not done at every visit. We’ll examine your gums, too, for any signs of gum disease.

Your Smile

Then there is the appearance of your smile. We offer a range of procedures to address it, from teeth whitening to dental implants.

We know that your time is important to you, and in many instances we are able to complete several procedures in one visit. Ask us when you schedule your appointment!

At The Fort Collins Dentist we are committed to providing the community with excellent services. People from North Laramie, Cheyenne, Greeley, and South Berthoud come to us for complete general and family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and much more. Schedule your next checkup with us today!

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-449-0952

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526

 

ArticleID 988

Let Your Smile Show Who You Really Are

 smile makeover

A smile communicates your emotions better than words ever can. The absence of a smile also sends a clear message. What if you want to smile but the issues with your teeth prevent you? Cosmetic dentistry from The Fort Collins Dentist can help.

You may have a warm and engaging personality, but no one can observe that personality without a smile. If you are usually too embarrassed about your teeth to smile, this post is for you.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures include a range of options.

  • Porcelain veneers: Thin shells of medical-grade ceramic are affixed to the fronts of your teeth. They cover chips and cracks, and gaps between teeth.
  • Teeth whitening: Professional teeth whitening surpasses any commercially available products you’ll find at the store.
  • Clear braces: Straighten your teeth subtly but effectively, without metal.
  • Dental implants: Missing a tooth? A dental implant is inserted in your jaw, and an artificial tooth is mounted on top.

Cosmetic dentistry from The Fort Collins Dentist can give you a whole new smile, and one you’ll love! People from North Laramie, Cheyenne, Greeley, and South Berthoud also come to us for complete general and family dentistry. Call us for an appointment today!

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-449-0952

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526

 

ArticleID 6960

9 Tips For Preventing Gum Disease

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Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. But it is a preventable disease, and also treatable, at The Fort Collins Dentist.

Here are some simple ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

  1. Brush your teeth for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gumline. Don’t brush too hard, but be thorough.
  2. Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. Don’t like to floss? Try a floss holder, which makes it much simpler to insert floss between teeth.
  3. Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, using a mouth rinse can prevent plaque accumulation and keep your enamel strong. Remember that fluoride mouth rinses are not the same as mouthwashes. Mouthwashes have alcohol and are designed to freshen breath.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Starchy and sugary foods increase plaque. A sensible diet provides the nutrients necessary (Vitamins A and C, in particular) to keep teeth and gums healthy.
  5. Don’t smoke, or use smokeless tobacco, which may bring about advanced gum disease or oral cancer. That includes e-cigarettes.
  6. Be aware that certain medications can also threaten a healthy smile. These include oral contraceptives, antidepressants and heart medicines.
  7. Exercise prevention and schedule regular evaluations — the best way to detect early signs of gum disease and make a plan to reverse it.
  8. Talk to us about dental health topics such as old, broken fillings or crowded teeth.
  9. If you grind your teeth, ask us about ways to protect them.

Prevention is always the best medicine, so brush and floss your teeth twice a day. At The Fort Collins Dentist we treat gum disease, and people from North Laramie, Cheyenne, Greeley, and South Berthoud come to us for general and family dentistry services. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-449-0952

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526

 

ArticleID 8129

Looking For A Red Carpet-Caliber Smile?

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When you see photos of celebrities, do you ever wonder how they project such perfection? Can ordinary people ever achieve anything approaching it? When it comes to sensational smiles, the answer from The Fort Collins Dentist is a resounding “Yes!” – with the help of cosmetic dentistry.

There are many effective cosmetic dentistry procedures that can produce great results. Complete smile makeovers combine various procedures to transform your smile. These are the same procedures used by dentists serving the Hollywood A-list.

One of the most common is teeth whitening. Professional whitening from a dentist surpasses any whitening product you’ll find at the store.

At The Fort Collins Dentist, teeth whitening is just one of our cosmetic dentistry procedures. People from North Larmie, Cheyenne, Greeley, and South Berthoud leave our office with red-carpet caliber smiles! Call us to schedule an appointment today!

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-449-0952

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526

 

ArticleID 6242

Hiccups In Your Dental Routine

Cheyenne cosmetic dental veneers

The most common times people brush their teeth are morning and night, either before or after breakfast, after dinner, or at bedtime. But sometimes hiccups in the schedule can knock you off a well-established routine. At The Fort Collins Dentist, we have some thoughts on that.

Sometimes after dinner isn’t super cut and dried. An irregular schedule generally disrupts regular dental maintenance. What are you to do?

One suggestion is to try doing a better job at cleaning your teeth during the day. One of the best things you can do is rinse your mouth with water after you eat. It’s no substitute for brushing, of course, but will give your entire mouth a quick cleansing.

A quick brushing is good, too. An excellent trick is what we call dry brushing. That means brushing your teeth without toothpaste. Yes, it sounds a bit strange – but it’s effective, especially if you can use a little water, too. (We’ve heard of dentists who do it themselves.) It isn’t the way you would brush at home, but it’s going to clean your gums and the surfaces of your teeth – and that’s half the battle.

The other half of the battle is the stuff that gets between your teeth. A good solution here is carrying floss picks with you.

The most important time to brush is after eating sugar or carb-intensive foods. Otherwise, these foods kickstart bacteria growth on the teeth.

We know that life gets busy, but hiccups in your dental routine can damage your teeth if you aren’t careful. The best approach is to brush and floss before bed, and see us at The Fort Collins Dentist for a checkup every six months. People from North Laramie, Cheyenne, Greeley, and South Berthoud see us for general and family dentistry, complete cosmetic dentistry, and all their dental care needs. Call for an appointment today!

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-449-0952

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526

 

ArticleID 6829

Think You May Have A Cavity?

white dental fillings Fort Collins

To maintain good dental health, your teeth need a lot of good ol’-fashioned TLC. But even when we do our best, bacteria can sneak in and cause tooth decay. At The Fort Collins Dentist, we are here to take care of your dental issues.

Few of us go through life without getting a cavity. They’re the common cold of dental health!

Cavities are caused when bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva combine to form plaque. Plaque clings to your teeth, and the acid in it starts to dissolve the enamel. The result is a hole in your tooth.

You can go a long way toward preventing cavities by brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day. Brushing and flossing removes that filmy plaque and promotes healthy teeth and gums.

It’s also wise to see us at The Fort Collins Dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. People from North Laramie, Cheyenne, Greeley, and South Berthoud come to our office for restorative dentistry, complete general and family dentistry, and much more. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-449-0952

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526

 

ArticleID 7266

Versatile Veneers For A Vivid Smile

porcelain veneers Fort Collins

Have you ever wished you could attach perfectly shaped, white surfaces to the front of your teeth? Guess what? With dental veneers from The Fort Collins Dentist, you can!

Porcelain veneers can turn unattractive smiles into sensational smiles with minimal disruption to existing tooth structure. They are custom-made for each tooth from a durable, medical-grade porcelain.

You can use veneers to fix stained or chipped teeth, slightly crooked teeth, or abnormally spaced teeth. They are very strong, look completely natural, and are made to match the color and shape of your teeth.

One caveat: a thin layer of enamel must be removed from the front of each tooth being covered, in order for the veneer to properly fit. Once they’re cemented in place, they are permanent.

At The Fort Collins Dentist dental veneers are just one of our cosmetic dentistry procedures. We’ve placed them on patients from North Laramie, Cheyenne, Greeley, and South Berthoud. Call our office to schedule an appointment today!

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-449-0952

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526

 

ArticleID 1489

Restorative Dentistry: Some Basics

“Restorative dentistry” is a term we use at The Fort Collins Dentist for procedures that repair or replace damaged or missing teeth. We emphasize work that promotes overall health, is long-lasting, and is aesthetically pleasing.

If, for example, a patient comes to us missing one or more teeth, we are likely to recommend a restoration like a dental implant. It’s important to fill any gaps among the dental arch because it prevents remaining teeth from shifting in place. If they did it could affect your bite and jaw, and even your overall health.

Before any procedure takes place, we’ll conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, including X-rays. We’ll make sure you are fully informed about anything we may find, and discuss all of your options.

Restorations include:

  • Implants
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Root canals

Fillings are also considered restorations. We use metal-free, mercury-free composite fillings that are long-lasting and look great.

At The Fort Collins Dentist restorative dentistry helps us provide each one of our patients with the best possible dental health. People from North Laramie, Cheyenne, Greeley, and South Berthoud come to our practice for complete family dentistry, and much more. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-221-5115

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526