How can we help you?
At our Acadiana dental office, we believe strongly in educating and empowering our patients to take charge of their own dental care. We encourage and welcome all your questions about our practice, dental procedures, and your treatment.
Please take a moment to browse through this selection of questions we are often asked. If your question isn’t answered here or if you’d like more information, don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact us online!
Placement and Restoration of Dental Implants
If you have missing teeth and you are considering cosmetic dentistry, dental implants could be part of your treatment plan to restore your appearance. Dental implants have benefits both for your health as well as for your appearance.
Dental implants are also incredibly convenient and easy to maintain. Because they are modeled after your actual tooth, you can brush and floss them normally.
Why Patients Love Dental Implants
Dental implants are especially effective for cosmetic dentistry because they look so much like your natural tooth. You cannot see any of the metal parts once we place your crown, so your implant will look like a tooth you have had all along.
Additionally, we custom design each of your dental implants to blend in with your natural teeth. They won’t look boxy or fake because we choose the shape, size, and shade with your appearance in mind. When we place implants throughout your mouth, your implants can help to stabilize and improve the aesthetics of your smile.
Tooth Replacements in Lafayette
Drs. Smith and Domingue are both experts at implant placement, even for patients who did not know that they could qualify due to bone loss. If you have questions about dental implants and how they can improve your smile, give us a call. We will help you make a decision that will keep your smile beautiful for years to come.
Dental implants can last forever, fortunately we have patients that have been in our office for 30+years and still have the exact same functional properties as it did when it was initially placed. All of these patients have one theme in common, they all maintained their implants properly at home and were seen regularly for checkups by our hygienist. They don’t need special care as compared to your natural teeth. Your teeth may stain or wear but your implants are colorfast and will maintain their color from the day they were delivered.
Contact Our Lafayette Dental Office
Are you interested in learning more about dependable tooth replacement? Please contact our Lafayette LA dental clinic for more on dental implants.
In order to tell you accurately how long it takes to get a dental implant, we would need to do an evaluation in our office. Typically, dental implants take several stages starting with the surgical placement. We will need to take x-rays and other images to determine if you are a good candidate for a dental implant and where exactly we should place it.
The Steps to Dental Implants
Next, Drs. Smith or Domingue will surgically implant the implant “root” into your jawbone. Normally, we will give you time to heal so that your bone and the implant can integrate.
After that, we will place a healing post on your implant to promote healthy gum tissue while still allowing us access to your implant so that we can take impressions and custom design your implant crown. If your implant is in a highly visible location in your mouth, we may make interim arrangements for some other type of prosthetic tooth in order to improve your appearance.
Dental Crowns in Lafayette
Finally, once your custom crown is ready, we will place the crown on top of your implant. Your crown will complete your chewing surface and improve the aesthetics of your smile. Your smile will look natural, beautiful, and like your implants were there all along.
The whole process usually takes a few months in order to achieve the best results.
At Drs. Smith and Domingue’s office we customize our treatment based on our patients’ individual dental needs. Once we perform an exam in our office, we can provide you with a treatment plan that will work best for you and help you to make good decisions regarding your dental health. Dental bridges and implants are both reliable tooth replacement options. Depending on a number of factors, either one could provide lasting benefits.
How Dental Bridges Work
Dental bridges have been around for a very long time and prior to dental implants, and were the standard of care when it came to tooth replacement. A dental bridge not only fills in the gap left by a missing tooth but also acts as a space holder, preventing your other teeth from tipping toward one another.
We make custom bridges for our patients so that they provide a seamless contribution to your smile. Most people will never know that you have a dental bridge. They are affordable and work well for many people.
Tooth Repair & Restoration in Lafayette
However, dental implants have some clear advantages. Because they do not require prep work to your surrounding teeth, we can maintain your healthy tooth structure. They help to preserve your bone and when it comes to taking care of them, it is much like taking care of your natural teeth. They fill your gaps and provide a stable chewing surface.
While dental implants have been around for many years, the quality and technology used to make them has dramatically increased their success rate and decreased their relative cost, making them more accessible for the average person. New training and techniques for implant placement also contribute to their success rate.
Over the years, we have learned that in addition to being convenient and reliable, dental implants provide some important benefits for the health of our patients.
Understanding Dental Implants
To understand the benefits, it is necessary to know how dental implants work. When an implant root is surgically implanted in your jawbone, your bone will begin to grow around the biocompatible metal of the implant “root.” Eventually, your bone and your implant root will integrate and become very stable.
When you experience tooth loss, one of the greatest risks to your health is bone loss. Because your tooth is missing, your bone may begin to reabsorb and cause stability issues with your surrounding teeth. An implant roots into your jawbone and helps to reduce bone loss. This means your other teeth are no longer at risk.
Dental Implants in Lafayette LA
So, not only do implants look like your natural teeth, but they also mimic your teeth by providing stability. When you consider those factors, dental implants are clearly an excellent investment in your healthy dental future.
Immediately after placement, avoid chewing foods in the area to allow it to heal properly. Follow post-operative instructions like avoiding smoking, spitting, and sucking on a straw. Brush and floss your teeth as you would normally (2-3x's per day).
Regular Dental Cleanings in Lafayette
See your dentist at least 2x's per year to clean around your implants.
What to Avoid
Avoid foods that would damage your implants (ie. Ice, whole almonds, cracklins, opening bottles with your teeth).
Smoking cessation is advised to get better long term predictable results.
Clenching and Grinding patients should look into purchasing a nightguard to protect their natural teeth and prevent damage to their implants.
Implants have the highest success rate out of most modern dental procedures (>95%). Most complications are minor that results within the first few months after placement and can be avoided with proper home care. Even with some difficult complications they can easily be amended or replaced to still get the patient their designed end result.
Benefits of Dental Implants in Lafayette
Implants are also successful at improving chewing (functional) and appearance (cosmetic) as they look and feel just like your natural teeth.
They will never need root canals or need fillings in the future.
While some people cannot have dental implants, most people can with the right planning, therapies, and dental care. The only way to determine if our doctors can help is to schedule an evaluation in our Lafayette, LA office.
Advanced Dental Training
Acadiana dentists Drs. Jerome Smith and Danny Domingue have received advanced training in dental implant placement and treatments to build up the bone, which makes implants possible where they otherwise would not be.
Experienced Dentists in Lafayette
Our dentists are so skilled in these procedures that other dentists from around the Southeast come to our office to learn from them! Because they have helped so many patients in the past who thought they could not have dental implants, they have the experience and confidence to perform implant procedures on most patients. If it turns out that you are not a great candidate for implants, they can provide the next best options to help you achieve and maintain dental health.
Drs. Smith and Domingue are experts in their field and will give you honest opinions about whether they believe implants can work for you. Before you give up hope, call today to schedule an appointment and consultation, and let's see what we can do to help you.
IV means intravenous. That means we administer the anti-anxiety medication we use for IV sedation by inserting a very fine needle into the back of your hand or arm to create the IV. The IV medication we administer is not a painkiller, it is a medication that treats anxiety and makes you completely relaxed.
How Sedation Dentistry Works
We will still need to numb you before we being work. Don’t worry if you don’t like getting numb or if you are afraid of needles, we can wait until your sedation medication begins to kick in before we numb your mouth. You won’t even know it’s happening. Before you realize it, you will be completely numb.
Once we know you can’t feel a thing and that you are completely relaxed, we can begin your procedures. We constantly monitor you while we administer sedation so that we know you stay comfortable and numb for your whole treatment time. Therefore, there is no need for you to worry about waking up or feeling anything during treatment.
Sedation Dentistry in Lafayette
Once our dentists are finished with your procedures, we will stop the IV and allow you some time to recover from your sedation treatment. You will be groggy afterward, so it is best not to make any big decisions or do anything requiring coordination the rest of the day. Just give yourself the time you need to rest and recover.
Drs. Smith and Domingue may recommend IV sedation in a couple of different situations. If you have a very complex procedure and they think you would be more comfortable for treatment, they may recommend IV sedation. Sometimes it is easier to accomplish certain types of procedures like implant placement, extractions, or complicated root canals if patients have IV sedation.
While we will always make sure you are completely numb for every procedure, IV sedation offers extra insurance that you are completely comfortable and relaxed.
Sedation for Dental Anxiety in Lafayette
You may also consider IV sedation if you experience persistent dental anxiety and you need complex treatment or multiple procedures. When you utilize IV sedation, you will not have any awareness of your surroundings or have any memory of the treatment. In many ways, it is the perfect treatment for people who have dental anxiety. It gives you a worry-free option for treatment.
You may choose IV sedation if you need multiple procedures and want to get them done all at one time. Because you will have no sense of time while you have IV sedation, you may find that having all of your dentistry in one day is possible.
To find out if IV sedation is right for you, contact our office for details.
When we decided to offer IV sedation in our office, we looked at a number of factors including patient comfort, patient need, and the types of procedures we perform. Because we place dental implants, do root canals, and oral surgery procedures, IV sedation made sense in our office. To determine if IV sedation is right for you, we can offer you an exam with Drs. Smith or Domingue and they can make a determination if it is necessary and if you are healthy enough for IV sedation.
Why Use Sedation?
If you have a severe phobia of the dentist, a strong gag reflex, or a difficult time getting numb, IV sedation may be a great option for you. Most of our patients who have IV sedation are completely comfortable and have no memory of their procedure.
It is important to remember, however, that you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment because you will be unable to do so on your own. We also ask that you have company for the rest of the day because you may still be groggy and have some after effects from sedation, making it dangerous for you to be alone.
Sedation Dentistry in Lafayette
If IV sedation sounds like the right option for you, call our office to schedule an exam. We can provide options to make your dental visits the most comfortable possible.
At Drs. Smith and Domingue’s office, we offer IV sedation to our patients for their comfort, peace of mind, and well-being. We know that at least 25% of the population in America has a dental phobia. Offering sedation dentistry allows our patients to seek out and receive treatment without the concerns that usually go with dental fears.
Having IV sedation means you will be completely unconscious. You will have absolutely no awareness of your procedures or the treatment we do. While you are under IV sedation, one of our team members will remain by your side the entire time, making sure you are both comfortable and safe.
Benefits of IV Sedation in Lafayette
While IV sedation comes with certain inherent risks, for many of our patients, the benefits far outweigh the risks. In order to make sure you are a good candidate for IV sedation, we will perform an extensive medical history. That way, we know you are healthy enough for IV sedation.
You will experience grogginess following your treatment. Due to the nature f IV sedation, you need to have someone available to drive you home and stay with you the rest of the day. When you wake up the next day, you should feel completely normal again.
Are you afraid of the dentist and need something to help you relax for treatment? At Drs. Smith and Domingue’s office, we offer IV sedation to help our patients feel completely relaxed.
How Sedation Dentistry is Safe
Inherent risks exist for any type of medical procedure, dental procedure, or prescription drug. When it comes to IV sedation, complications are extremely rare. IV sedation dentistry is very safe when performed by trained and experienced practitioners such as Drs. Jerome Smith and Danny Domingue.
For our patients who are undergoing a complex procedure or are troubled by fear and anxiety, IV sedation dentistry provides the relaxation needed to get the dentistry you require for a healthy smile.
Fear often keeps patients from getting the dental care they need. Putting off necessary treatment puts patients at risk due to the potential consequences of periodontal disease, abscess, and other infections. Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Dental Anxiety Relief in Lafayette
If IV sedation is something that means the difference between achieving and maintaining dental health, we believe that for most healthy patients the benefits outweigh the risks. We will examine your medical history carefully to make sure that you are a good candidate for IV sedation so that you are completely safe for your treatment. Be sure to share any medications you currently take so that we can rule out drug interactions. Give us a call if you have any questions or concerns.
Forever is a long time and saying that something will last forever is not realistic, especially when talking about humans and biology because everyone and every situation is different.
Bone grafting is a highly successful procedure for most people. Certain medical conditions may prevent you from successful bone grafting, but we can cover all of those questions long before your planned procedure.
The rates of bone grafting failure are low and there’s no reason to believe that your bone grafts and implants can’t last a lifetime. While there are no guarantees, Drs. Smith and Domingue can share potential outcomes, obstacles, and projected lifespan of your treatment. We will only recommend bone grafts if we believe they will be successful.
Advanced Dental Technology
Since dental implant and bone grafting technology and procedures improve over time, we make sure we stay on top of the latest developments and materials so that you get the best of what is available. When you come to our doctors for your bone grafting and dental implant procedures, you are making an excellent choice for your dental health.
Contact Our Lafayette LA Dental Clinic
Drs. Smith and Domingue are experts in their fields and even teach other dentists about successful bone grafting and implant procedures. If you have questions about whether bone grafting might be right for you, please call our Lafayette, LA dental office and we will be happy to answer your questions.
Whether you need bone grafting or not depends on your bone levels. When you lose a tooth, your bone may begin to recede because teeth act like anchors in your bone. When nothing is there to anchor onto, your bone may thin, deteriorate, and make your adjacent teeth unstable.
Importance of Tooth Replacement
When you lose a tooth, it is important to address it right away. In fact, if you can make a plan for tooth replacement prior to your extraction, that is ideal. If not, talking to Drs. Smith and Domingue immediately is your next best option.
For an extraction you had years ago, you may need more extensive treatment to restore your bite and replace your missing tooth simply because teeth tend to shift once you have an extraction.
Tooth Replacement Options in Lafayette
After a full evaluation in our Lafayette dental office, we can explain your options and whether you will need bone grafting in order to have dental implants. Dental implants anchor into your jawbone, much like your natural teeth, and having enough bone is essential for their success.
Not every patient who has an extraction requires bone grafting; we utilize digital imaging and other technology to determine the level and density of your natural bone. Our number one goal is to provide you with reliable, long-lasting dentistry.
There are many reasons why Lafayette patients may seek out cosmetic dentistry, from gummy smiles to chipped teeth—the reasons are boundless. Our cosmetic dental treatments not only improve the look of your smile, but they also restore your confidence.
We've all met people with polished, dazzling smiles that draw us immediately to them. Imagine having that spell-bounding smile yourself.
What Can Cosmetic Dentistry Do for You?
Common smile flaws that we can quickly fix in one or two dental visits include:
- Chipped teeth
- Overcrowded teeth
- Uneven spaces between teeth
- Yellow or brown stained teeth
- Misaligned teeth
- Unevenly shaped teeth
- Crooked teeth
Sometimes patients will combine multiple cosmetic dental procedures so they can have a full smile makeover. Whether you want a simple non-invasive professional teeth whitening or a comprehensive full mouth restoration—our Lafayette dentists are highly trained and skilled in every dental process available.
Dental Services in Lafayette
We want you to have a healthy smile that you can't stop looking at. Our dentists can complete all our dental services in one location, and we can provide all the information about any process that piques your curiosity. If you are interested in a dental cosmetic procedure at J. Jerome Smith, DDS & Daniel Domingue, DDS, we invite you to schedule a dental consultation. We can evaluate the current state of your oral health, your smile goals, along with your budget and needs.
Are You Interested in Learning More?
Call our Lafayette dental office today to start your smile design process.
Sometimes patients come to us and they just do not like the way their smile looks. Patients sometimes notice that their teeth deteriorate over time, making them appear older than they really are. Other times, patients have never liked their teeth their whole lives and just decided that it was time to do something about it.
Whatever your reason for coming to us about your smile, Drs. Smith and Domingue can help you make improvements to your appearance. What is it that you do not like? Are your teeth worn or cracked? Is it the color of your teeth? Do you have old dentistry that needs to be replaced? We create cosmetic treatment plans for every situation and budget.
From simple cosmetic treatment such as professional teeth whitening to creating that glamorous movie star look with veneers, we can make a natural smile that suits your face and takes years off of your appearance. Your smile is an excellent cosmetic investment. It is one of the first things that people see and with the proper care and maintenance, your dentistry will last for many years to come.
Smile Makeovers in Lafayette
Do you have a special event on the horizon and you want to look great? Contact us as soon as possible so that we can have your smile makeover completed by your big event and make sure that you are the star of the show.
If you want to dramatically improve the look of your smile, porcelain veneers can enhance your appearance in just a couple of visits with your cosmetic dentist.
Benefits of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers work well to correct the following dental issues:
- Teeth that are discolored and resistant to teeth whitening. Some stains on teeth are resistant to teeth whitening, such as stains from tetracycline. Porcelain veneers won’t stain like your natural teeth, so once they are in place, your smile will remain as white as it was the day your veneers were placed.
- Teeth that have gaps. Plenty of celebrities have made a gap between their two upper middle teeth a trademark look, but you might not care for what this does to your smile. Veneers will cover up the gap, giving your teeth an even look.
- Teeth that are crowded, crooked, or otherwise misaligned. Veneers are often called “instant orthodontics” because they can camouflage crooked teeth. If you’d rather avoid orthodontic treatment, you can give your smile a perfectly straight look with veneers.
- Teeth that are too short. If you aren’t happy with the size of your teeth, veneers can lengthen them, making your smile fit better with your features.
Contact Our Lafayette Dental Clinic
Talk to your cosmetic dentist at our Lafayette, LA practice. Drs. Smith and Domingue can turn your smile into something you love to show the world.
Nothing brightens a smile as quickly and effectively as teeth whitening. It is one of our most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments—and with good reason!
The best way for teeth whitening that is both safe and effective—with minimal side effects—is to visit a cosmetic dentist. When done professionally, teeth whitening is a safe way for Lafayette, LA area residents to improve the look of their smiles—and often in just one dental appointment.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Patients who might have tried over-the-counter whitening products will be pleasantly surprised at how effective professional tooth whitening is. We create custom bleaching trays that will fit your teeth precisely, meaning more of the whitening gel comes into contact with the surface of your teeth. The gel we use at our office is much stronger than what you can purchase at the local drug or discount store, so the results are more dramatic.
You can keep your whitening trays for future touch-ups at home to keep your smile its whitest best.
Because we take care to protect your teeth and gums before the whitening process begins, you will likely experience no side effects such as sensitivity.
Schedule An Appointment in Lafayette
Improve the look of your smile quickly, easily, and safely. Make an appointment today!
We know that beauty and function are equally important to many of our patients. Our patients often opt to have their teeth professionally whitened in our office. Because whitening is an investment of both time and money, we know making the results last is important to you.
What to Avoid to After Whitening
Some of the ways you can help your dental whitening last longer is by avoiding certain bad habits and stain causing activities.
If you smoke, stop. Call us if you need help with this. Hundreds of great reasons exist to stop smoking and your beautiful white smile is another one.
You can still enjoy foods and drinks that are known to stain, but take the time to brush your teeth after eating or drinking. Beverages like red wine, coffee, and tea are especially staining to teeth. Brushing your teeth immediately afterward can help prevent re-staining.
Oral Hygiene Tips in Lafayette
Practice good oral hygiene habits, including regular brushing and flossing as directed, and return to us for twice-yearly professional cleanings. We can also talk about maintenance using professional teeth whitening gel and custom trays.
Avoid staining (dark colored) foods and beverages directly after whitening your teeth. Right after teeth whitening, the pores in your teeth are still open and more susceptible to stains.
Professional teeth whitening can help improve the appearance of teeth that have been stained by smoking, food and drink, certain antibiotics, and yellowing due to the aging process. The teeth whitening process, however, cannot remove certain types of staining or discoloration.
Dental Exam in Lafayette
We are happy to examine your teeth, discuss the causes of your staining with you, and then provide a recommendation as to whether teeth whitening would be appropriate for you. We can provide the cost and your possible outcome so that you know what to expect once whitening is complete.
Whitening and Sensitive Teeth
Some patients with very sensitive teeth and gums may need other therapies in conjunction with teeth whitening to assist with maintaining comfort during teeth whitening procedures. We have various products that can help with sensitivity and can also provide recommendation as to the frequency and length of teeth whitening, which also plays into teeth sensitivity.
If the discoloration of your teeth is resistant to bleaching, we can discuss other cosmetic options to improve the color and appearance of your teeth including veneers, crowns, and dental onlays. Drs. Smith and Domingue know that both health and beauty are important to our patients and they are committed to helping you achieve your dental goals.
If you are considering veneers, chances are that you do not like something about your smile. Making a decision to have dental veneers should not be taken lightly. In order to place dental veneers, a thin layer of enamel must be removed from your teeth to make space and create a good bonding surface for your veneers. Once this is done, the process cannot be reversed.
Dental Veneers in Lafayette
The veneers themselves are designed to be durable and stain resistant, but they may need to be replaced after a period of time. How long they last depends largely upon how well you care for your teeth and gums. Having impeccable oral hygiene will help your veneers last a very long time. Biting into certain hard foods may also damage your veneers, just like clenching and grinding your teeth may damage your porcelain dentistry.
At your regular examinations we will check the condition of your veneers. If we see a problem with some of your veneers, we can replace them, keeping your smile looking beautiful for a lifetime.
Our patients are very happy with their veneers and report that they would do it again. Their new smiles mean so much to them that the maintenance and care of their dental veneers seem like a small price to pay.
Being in an accident can cause all sorts of medical problems, but dental problems can also cause pain, embarrassment, and loss of function when speaking and chewing.
Your options are going to depend on the condition of your teeth and how severe the damage is. A full evaluation in our Lafayette, LA dental office will help us to determine what procedures would work best for repairing or replacing your broken teeth.
Cosmetic Dentistry Options
Veneers, onlays, and crowns could all be suitable ways to repair your teeth and restore them to functionality. If your teeth are broken beneath the gumline, the only option may be to extract the roots and replace them with dental implants. Our compassionate doctors will explain all of your options so you can make the best decision possible regarding your dental health.
Dental implants are the best option for tooth replacement because they help to preserve your bone and maintain good oral health. Drs. Smith and Domingue are experts at implant placement and restoration. We can help determine if your are a good candidate for dental implants.
Call Our Lafayette Dental Clinic
If your teeth are damaged, please call us today to schedule an examination and consultation with our skilled dentists so we can support you on your road to recovery.
Digital Imaging for Diagnosis and Treatment
Intraoral imaging is a series of pictures we take inside your mouth. In order to accomplish this, we use a special camera that is tiny but has a high resolution so that we can see even the very far back areas in your mouth.
Drs. Smith and Domingue use the latest in digital imaging to assist with diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of dental conditions. Intraoral imaging is useful because no matter how we try, it is difficult to get an accurate view of your back teeth, especially if you have a small mouth or if you still have your wisdom teeth.
Intraoral Imaging in Lafayette
Intraoral imaging can also take pictures of the backs of your teeth, allowing us to see areas we have a difficult time getting to. Intraoral imaging can help us diagnose conditions like broken fillings, cracked teeth, recession, periodontal disease, abnormal wear and recession, abfractions, and decay.
We place the camera inside your mouth and we can see all of your teeth close up. If we see something that looks suspicious, we can snap a photo and it will save in your computer chart for one of our doctors to review. If they diagnose a problem or see something that requires your attention, they will let you know right away.
Not so long ago, the only imaging most dentists used were the old fashioned films that needed to be developed by hand in a dark room at the dental office. The images were often grainy and useless. Unfortunately, by the time the films finally were developed, it was often too late and the patient was already out the door.
So many more options exist for dentists today. From digital dental x-rays to 3D imaging, we have an entire world of x-rays and photography at our disposal.
Digital x-rays are still the standard for diagnosis in dentistry. From bitewings to a full smile panoramic x-ray, we still use these to diagnose things like decay and cracked teeth.
Dental Technology in Lafayette
In addition to the traditional x-rays, we use various styles of digital cameras to photograph your smile from different angles. This can help with the evaluation of your bite and for cosmetic evaluations. Our tiny intraoral camera can even zoom in on individual teeth so we can see if they contain cracks or have any type of damage.
The latest dental technology utilizes 3D scanning in order to more accurately place your dental implants, improving their success rates. We also use the 3D scanner for bone grafting and endodontic treatment.
Dental imaging has always been one of the lowest radiation emitting styles of x-rays in the medical world. Additionally, not all of the imaging we do is x-ray based. We also use photography for diagnosis and photography does not have a radiation risk.
Benefits of Digital X-Rays in Lafayette
When dentistry began the big switch over from traditional to digital dental x-rays, one of the greatest benefits was the lower radiation. The images also provided unprecedented clarity and sharpness. With digital imaging, our dentists can manipulate your dental x-rays, increasing the contrast and changing colors in order to make certain dental conditions easier to diagnose.
In many cases, you receive a bigger dose of radiation from space by walking outside than you do from regular digital dental x-rays. When we set the machines to take pictures, we use the lowest radiation setting possible in order to still create an accurate image.
We also only take the x-rays needed for diagnosis. Typically, that means once a year unless you experience a problem.
While it seems like we take a lot more pictures than in the old days, know that our methods of diagnosis are paying off. People are keeping their teeth longer than ever, as dentistry has become a profession of prevention.
The Prexion 3D scanner is the latest technology dentists use for treatment and diagnosis today. Our 3D scanner is very similar to a CAT scan, but focuses on your dental areas only. It uses CBCT (cone beam computed tomography technology), which reconstructs data into a 3D image.
CBCT technology is especially useful in the placement of dental implants and for endodontic treatment. It provides a more accurate image that our dentists use to determine the most beneficial placement of dental implants or for treatments such as necessary bone grafting. This type of imaging creates a clearer big picture of the health of your teeth and bone.
Because the Prexion 3D scanner uses the latest in digital technology, radiation is lower than that of conventional dental x-rays and medical x-rays. The Prexion 3D scanner can answer questions a traditional x-ray cannot about things such as bone density and very precise measurements.
While we only use the imaging technology that is absolutely essential for successful treatment of dental conditions, the Prexion 3D scanner does allow us to more effectively diagnose and treat dental conditions.
Contact Our Lafayette LA Dental Clinic
If you have questions about dental imaging or radiation, do not hesitate to call. We understand your concerns and want you to feel confident
3D digital imaging allows us to get a clear and complete picture of your mouth so that we can diagnose dental conditions and plan for implant placement. The images require no time to develop, which allows for faster diagnostics and treatment, and are easily understandable for improved patient education about conditions and recommended therapies.
3D Imaging in Lafayette
With 3D digital imaging, we can monitor your bone levels over time to identify any changes we see in the levels or density of your bone. When tooth loss occurs, bone levels tend to decline. We can recommend therapies and procedures to help maintain bone levels such as bone grafting and implant placement. By addressing bone loss early, we can limit the damage done to other teeth over time.
What We Can Identify Using 3D Imaging
Using 3D digital imaging, we can also identify any impacted teeth or abnormal structures within your bone, making planning for surgery and other procedures easier and less problematic. Having 3D imaging prior to surgery is like having a clear and concise road map. This information allows us to make the best decisions regarding your health and to perform the procedures in the most successful and least invasive way possible.
With the low radiation levels in digital imaging, the benefits far out weigh the risks.
Drs. Smith and Domingue use digital dental x-rays to diagnose and accurately be able to treat many dental conditions you may have. Typically, unless you encounter a problem, you will probably only have one set of x-rays each year.
Top-Notch Dental X-Rays
The number of x-rays may vary depending on your age, the amount of dentistry you have, and how long it has been since you have had necessary x-rays. In other words, Drs. Smith and Domingue will only take the number of x-rays necessary to see your teeth above and below the gum line accurately. Usually, the number of x-rays is between eight and eighteen for adults.
With the introduction of digital x-rays, the amount of radiation necessary was reduced dramatically. An added benefit of digital dental x-rays is the ability to immediately see the image on-screen. Drs. Smith and Domingue can use their x-ray software to zoom in or change contrast in order to effectively and accurately diagnose conditions early. It is hard to believe how far dental imaging has come in the last twenty years.
Dental x-rays are among the lowest radiation x-rays of all diagnostic imaging in medical procedures. In fact, the radiation is so minimal, if you live in certain parts of the country, you get more radiation from the sun than you do from a full mouth x-ray.
Dental Exams in Lafayette
When you weigh the risks versus the benefits, it is easy to see how valuable dental x-rays are for your health. If you have any other concerns about x-rays or digital imaging, please feel free to ask us.
Typically, we take diagnostic x-rays once yearly. We will take more if an issue arises that needs a diagnosis, but the ADA recommends a certain number of x-rays in order to help patients prevent decay and other dental conditions. While it may seem like a lot of x-rays, we do so with prevention in mind.
People keep their teeth longer than ever these days. That means that our prevention methods are working. Helping you keep your natural teeth is our dental office’s ideal goal. Nothing will work as well or integrate as well as your natural smile.
Importance of Dental X-Rays in Lafayette
Dental x-rays allow us to see a number of features of your tooth’s anatomy, we cannot see with a visual inspection. For example, we cannot see any trouble between your teeth or below the gum line. X-rays give us an extra set of eyes when it comes to looking out for your dental health.
If you have decay below the gum line or if you have bone loss, those conditions may show up on a dental x-ray. While x-rays are not a perfect form of diagnosis, when combined with our regular dental exam, photographs, and 3D technology, we are giving you the best shot at great oral health.
Dental x-rays are not perfect detection tools. They are just that—tools. That means that occasionally you could have a condition that does not readily show itself in our digital imaging.
Limitations of Dental X-Rays
A few explanations may be accurate. First, your cavity may be so small it did not show up on your dental x-rays. A very small cavity has not yet caused enough damage to be visible through x-ray technology.
Secondly, your cavity could be hiding behind an existing filling. When you get decay near an existing filling, we call this secondary decay. Fillings are opaque and may actually block out part of your tooth from being x-rayed, rendering it invisible.
Thirdly, your teeth could overlap. If you have very close teeth, taking an x-ray without overlap may be impossible. Additionally, when you have very close teeth, getting decay between them is more likely.
Another reason decay may not show up on your x-ray is that it could have started after your last set of x-rays. Your teeth are susceptible to decay all of the time, especially if you eat sugary or high acid foods. It is quite possible your decay did not develop until after your last dental exam and last set of x-rays.
Contact Our Lafayette Dental Clinic
Do you want to learn more about the dental x-ray technology we use at Drs. Smith and Domingue? Please contact our Lafayette LA dental clinic.
While it may seem like we take a lot of x-rays, we only take the necessary number to accurately diagnose and dental conditions you may be experiencing. Bitewings are useful for diagnosing decay. They show your tooth and its density. Drs. Smith and Domingue’s trained eyes scan over every one of your digital x-rays looking for any small sign of decay that may require treatment.
Vertical bitewings, or periapical x-rays allow us to see the root of your tooth. This is especially important when we look for infection or bone loss. Bone loss is something that can cause serious problems and knowing about it right away allows us to determine the source and take action.
Infection often lurks at the root of your tooth. In some cases, a root canal may be required to heal the infection. Root canals do not always trigger pain right away, but prompt treatment is necessary in order to save your tooth.
Advanced Diagnostic Tools in Lafayette
Advanced x-rays such as panoramic x-rays and 3D scans are less common and done only when necessary. Typically, panoramic x-rays are every three years or more often if your child is getting his or her wisdom teeth and we are watching them in order to recommend extraction.
Drs. Smith and Domingue are completely committed to your dental health. Good dental health begins with solid prevention techniques including diagnosis and early treatment. At our Lafayette, LA office, we utilize the latest diagnostic technology to assist in patient treatment.
Typically, we will take x-rays once a year unless you encounter a problem and then we may require additional images to diagnose and treat your condition.
Important Diagnostic Tool
Dental x-rays are one of our most useful diagnostic tools. They allow us to see into places we otherwise could not, such as beneath your gums, between your teeth, and under your enamel. With x-rays (and other digital imaging equipment), we can find problems quickly while they are still small and monitor your treatment progress.
Digital x-rays also assist us when we develop and place appliances, including dental implants. The proper placement of implants is essential to the function and long-term success of your dental appliances and restorations.
Contact Our Lafayette Dental Clinic
Our office relies on digital x-rays, which use up to 90% less radiation than traditional film x-rays, because your safety and your health are both important to us. Digital x-rays are extremely safe and convenient. No more waiting around for them to be developed like back in the old days. We can see results instantly and treat you accordingly. Give us a call if you are overdue for your next professional cleaning and exam.
At Drs. Smith and Domingue’s office, we make every effort to save your teeth, when possible. Despite our best efforts, it is necessary to extract the occasional tooth. If you have to have a tooth extracted, do not despair. We are experts at tooth replacement therapy and have the skills and expertise to provide you with the best options dentistry has to offer.
Weighing Your Tooth Replacement Options
From bridges to implants, we can help you decide what works best for your lifestyle, budget, and health. In our office, we place and restore implants for our patients. We have performed hundreds of implant procedures successfully. Our patients report being incredibly happy with the results we provide.
If you decide an implant is not right for you, we also create beautiful and functional dental bridges. Dental bridges are a tried and true method to replace missing teeth. Our custom bridges not only look great but are also completely functional, making eating and speaking normally again possible.
Gentle Extractions & Replacements in Lafayette
From your extraction to your tooth replacement care, Drs. Smith and Domingue are your Lafayette, LA dental experts. Their combined skills and experience mean that you have the benefit of the best dentistry available. While a dental extraction is not ideal, we know things sometimes happen and we are here to support you on your road to dental health. Give us a call today if you are in need of a dental exam!
Drs. Smith and Domingue understand that treatment is always your decision to make. They look at their roles as educators but know that your body is your decision. However, it is important to understand that Drs. Smith and Domingue would never recommend a dental extraction unless your tooth was severely compromised either structurally or because of a serious infection.
If you let your tooth go untreated, you could experience serious consequences such as pain and more damage. We have literally seen compromised teeth crumble, causing our patients lost time at work, excruciating pain, and delayed travel plans.
Health Issues from Infected Tooth
When your tooth has a serious infection and you let it go untreated, it can cause a number of systemic problems such as heart disease, stroke, and complications with diabetes. Scientists linked oral infections with systemic health over the last several decades and having an active infection in your mouth literally puts your life at risk.
Contact Our Lafayette Dental Clinic
We understand that extractions are not something any patient wants to go through, so we encourage you to call us and discuss your concerns. We can help you make the best decision for your health and if you choose to move forward with treatment, we can help with tooth replacement options so you can still eat and smile.
When Drs. Smith and Domingue recommend a dental extraction, it is only in the very best interest of your health. Because we focus on prevention, extractions are the last resort and we know that none of our patients want to hear those dreaded words. We will always make sure you are completely comfortable for every procedure you have in our office.
Sedation Dentistry Options in 70508
When it comes to the procedure itself, we have a number of options to keep you feeling comfortable and anxiety-free. Dental procedures should not add additional stress in your life so you may find one of our sedation methods right for you.
We offer nitrous oxide as the lowest method of sedation available. Nitrous oxide is for those patients who are a little worried about their procedure but feel confident that they will be ok. We may recommend this for patients with simple extractions.
We also offer oral sedation for patients who need a little stronger medication in order to be comfortable for a dental extraction. It will make you feel dreamy and you may have little or no memory of your procedure.
For those patients with complex surgical extractions, we may recommend IV sedation. IV sedation is the strongest form of sedation we offer and you will have no awareness of the procedure and no memory of it. We will still numb you, as always, and we will monitor you closely making sure you are safe for your entire procedure.
When dentists say that teeth are impacted, we mean that they are either partially or completely covered by gum tissue. The most commonly impacted teeth are usually the third molars (wisdom teeth), but other teeth may be affected as well.
Impacted teeth are caused by teeth growing in at an odd angle due to not having enough room, or just because of the nature of your biology. Teeth growing at an angle may push on your adjacent teeth. Teeth can also be impacted if they begin to grow, but remain stuck in the jawbone and cannot fully erupt.
Problems Caused by Impacted Teeth
Impacted teeth can lead to a number of problems:
- Pressure on other teeth
- Trapped food, leading to decay and gum disease
- Abscesses and other infections
- Bad breath
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Jaw or facial pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Malocclusion (bad bite)
Dental Extractions in Lafayette
If you are experiencing difficulty with an impacted tooth, extraction could provide you with relief. We can do a full evaluation including digital imaging of your teeth to see what the best course of action will be to relieve your symptoms.
Call our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith or Dr. Domingue.
Your recovery time will depend on whether you had a simple extraction or a surgical extraction to remove an impacted tooth. It will also depend on some of your health factors and whether you smoke. Tobacco use can inhibit healing after a dental surgery and is not recommended. It may be a great time to quit!
What to Expect After an Extraction
You can expect some swelling and discomfort for about 24 to 48 hours following a simple extraction, and full healing will take one to two weeks. For a surgical extraction, your period of swelling and discomfort may last for about three days, and full healing can take about three to four weeks.
Following our hygiene and aftercare instructions will help healing go more smoothly as will taking your medication as prescribed.
We will provide you with medication and advice to make you more comfortable and reduce swelling. Follow our after-care instructions to encourage faster healing and prevent complications.
Contact Our Lafayette Office
We can give you more specific information regarding healing time for your unique case once we perform a full evaluation of the teeth you need extracted. Drs. Smith and Domingue are also experts at implant placement and can provide tooth replacement options that will meet your specific lifestyle needs.
Preventive Dental Care
Letting us know you experience sensitivity is important, that way we can take extra care on areas that bother you. We want to encourage our patients to communicate with us about how they feel during their dental appointments so that when we reach a particularly sensitive area, we can take extra caution with air and cold water. Sometimes these measures alone can make all the difference.
Gum Recession and Sensitivity
For areas of recession, we can discuss some options for you to make those parts of your teeth less sensitive. From special products such as pastes and fluoride treatments designed to reduce sensitivity to more permanent options like gingival grafting, fillings, or veneers, we can address your specific concerns once we see you for an exam.
Extreme Gum Sensitivity
In some extreme cases, when patients really experience a lot of gum sensitivity, we can use numbing agents or sedation to help manage pain so that you can have the professional cleaning you need. Putting of your dental cleaning due to sensitivity will only worsen your condition and create other health issues for you.
Finding out the cause of your sensitivity will allow us to help you solve the problem once and for all. Whether it is because of clenching and grinding or for some other reason, addressing the problem allows you to feel more comfortable, have professional dental cleanings, and enjoy the beverages you love.
When you come in for a professional dental cleaning with our highly skilled hygienist, you get more than just a polish. Our dental hygienist is often the first set of eyes to notice anything different about your dental health or your health overall.
If you suddenly have a dramatic change in the health of your gums, it can indicate a more serious illness or condition. Therefore, our hygienist often asks a number of questions before getting started so that she can update your medical history and make sure all is well.
Dental Cleaning in Lafayette
Once our hygienist gets down to the business of cleaning your teeth, They may use a small measuring device to determine the health of your gums. Your gums are supposed to fit tightly against your teeth; otherwise, food and bacteria can get caught in those pockets.
If we notice any areas that require you attention, we will let you know, so you can pay extra attention to them when you brush and floss.
Then our hygienist will gently and thoroughly remove any calculus (hardened residue) from your teeth. Once this residue hardens, you cannot remove it on your own.
Our final step includes polishing your teeth to remove any remaining particles or surface stains so that your smile looks shiny and feels smooth.
It is important for you to understand that for most adults, every six months is the very minimum frequency required to maintain your oral health. Because plaque hardens into calculus in about twenty-four hours, some people require more frequent dental cleanings.
Age and Oral Health
As we age, our body chemistry changes and what may have worked to keep us healthy in our twenties no longer works in our fifties and sixties. Various factors play into the necessity for more frequent dental cleanings. Factors such as saliva production, medications, home care habits, and diet all play a role.
As people age, saliva production can reduce, increasing the likelihood of periodontal (gum) disease. Certain medications can also cause dry mouth symptoms or make it harder to keep your teeth clean.
As people age and develop arthritis and lose dexterity, home care becomes a challenge. One way to counteract the loss of dexterity is to schedule more frequent hygiene appointments. We may also help with tools and products to make home care easier for our patients.
Diet and Dental Health in Lafayette
Your diet plays an important role in dental health. Eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables supports your overall health as well as your oral health.
If you have questions about coming in for more frequent dental cleanings, let us know.
Each patient is different and has different needs when it comes to their dentistry. Drs. Smith and Domingue custom tailor treatment for our patients based on their specific needs. That includes the frequency of their exams and dental cleanings.
Regular Dental Cleanings
For many of our patients, we recommend examinations every six months. If you do not have a lot of dentistry or if you are generally healthy, every six months is about right. Every six months is also the recommendation we make for children.
In some cases, it might be appropriate to see you more often, and if this is the case we will discuss this with you. For example, if you struggle with gum disease or excessive dental decay, we may recommend that you come to our office every three or four months to keep your infection under control or for additional treatments such as deep cleanings or fluoride to help your teeth and gums to stay healthy.
Most of our patients appreciate our focus on prevention and see the value in more frequent visits when they experience dental problems.
Contact Our Lafayette Dental Practice
If you feel like you need more frequent dental visits, contact us and we can help to accommodate you so that we can best support your dental health and wellbeing.
Yes. Regular professional cleanings are essential to excellent dental health. Unfortunately, they can be the first thing to get put off when your schedule is extremely busy or when money gets tight. But putting off your regular cleaning appointments can cost you dearly in the long run.
It's nearly impossible to remove every last trace of plaque, even with excellent brushing and flossing habits. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, which cannot be removed with a toothbrush or dental floss. Hygienists use specialized tools to remove this tartar accumulation. Regular removal is important to prevent tartar and bacteria from causing cavities or gum disease, which will develop if tartar is allowed to remain below the gum line.
Periodontal Treatment in Lafayette
Once periodontal (gum) disease starts, it can be a difficult and expensive task to keep it under control. You may require a more expensive and extensive deep cleaning called root planing and scaling.
Root planing and scaling involves the removal of tartar and infection below your gum line. Often, additional medication is placed beneath your gums to assist in healing. Once you have had this extensive cleaning procedure, it is incredibly important to remain diligent in your oral hygiene because you may be more susceptible in getting recurrant periodontal disease.
Removable Partial and Complete Dentures
We want to help our patients maintain their oral health the best they can. Many patients often believe once they have dentures they do not need to go to the dentist unless they need an adjustment on their dentures, but that is not the case.
Regular Dental Exams Matter
It is still important for you to have regular exams with either Dr. Smith or Dr. Domingue in order to maintain your oral health. At each exam, we will perform a necessary oral cancer screening, check your bone levels, and check your dentures for signs of wear.
Oral cancer is one of the deadliest and most disfiguring forms of cancer. Your dentist is your ally in the early detection and treatment of oral cancer. We can see all of the areas of your mouth that you cannot see on your own. Additionally, we have received the proper training to identify early signs of pre-cancer. Treating oral cancer early is essential.
We also monitor your bone levels with special digital imaging. Edentulous patients (without teeth) are more susceptible to bone loss. Bone loss can affect your appearance and the fit of your dentures.
Modern Dentures in Lafayette
When you come to your routine exam, we will also examine your dentures for any unusual signs of wear. This can be an indication that your dentures need an adjustment.
How long any dentistry lasts depends largely on the patient. Because your biology, how you care for them, and your lifestyle all play an important role in the longevity of your dentures, it is tough to say without knowing your particular situation.
Longevity of Dentures
For a patient who is completely healthy with minimal bone loss, as long as you take care of your dentures, they should last around five to seven years. Taking care of your dentures is necessary. That means using denture specific cleaners and coming in for regular exams even if you are missing all or most of your teeth.
Dental Exams in Lafayette
When you come in for an exam, Drs. Smith or Domingue will perform an oral cancer screening and look at your dentures for any signs of wear or broken teeth. If they notice that your dentures need a repair, they can either do it for you or send your denture to a qualified dental lab with a quick turnaround. Taking care of maintenance on your dentures is important.
Eventually, as with all dentures, they need replacement. We can help get you fitted for a new set of dentures so you feel comfortable, sore free, and eat the foods you love.
Whether we made your dentures for you or you had them done at another office, we can help you maintain your dental health and comfort. If you have noticed changes in your dentures such as loose fitting dentures or denture sores, it is time for us to do an exam and see what is happening.
Life With Dentures
Over time, you may notice your dentures fit differently. That is because your bone changes over time. Once you have tooth loss, your bone levels may begin to deteriorate. That means your dentures could become loose over time. We can provide a solution so that you can feel confident, comfortable, and able to eat the foods you like.
Uncomfortable dentures mean a decreased quality of life. Denture sores and loose dentures can make it difficult to talk and eat. They can create embarrassing situations that make you self-conscious. Drs. Smith and Domingue are denture experts and can either realign or adjust your dentures for you, making them fit better. Or, they can create new dentures for you so that you can get back to life as usual.
Denture Care in Lafayette
Did you lose a denture tooth or drop and break your dentures? Call us and we can help find a solution that meets your lifestyle needs.
If you have an elderly person in your care, make sure you check for denture sores and needed repairs often.
Dentures are a serious investment and taking care of them can extend their life. Caring for dentures or partials doesn't have to be complicated. When you receive dentures in our office, we will give you specific instructions on denture care.
How to Extend the Life of Dentures
Follow these simple steps to extend the life of your dentures and keep them looking and feeling their best:
- Only use products made specifically for denture care to clean your dentures.
- Always keep your dentures moist when they are not in your mouth.
- Take care to not drop your dentures. It may be helpful to pad your counter with towels when you are cleaning your dentures since they can become slippery when they are wet.
- Use cool or lukewarm water to rinse, clean, and soak your dentures. Hot water will cause them to lose their shape. Leaving them in the sun or in a hot car can also ruin your dentures.
Schedule an Appointment in Lafayette
And lastly, it is very important that you keep your regular dental exam and denture cleaning appointments in our office. We will look at your dentures and check the fit to ensure that you are always in optimum health. If we see a problem with your dentures, we can make a repair either in our office or send them out to our dental lab to fix them for you. Don't hesitate to give our team a call for assistance.
The technology used to make dentures has improved considerably in the last few years, and today's dentures look much more realistic. The teeth are created and placed individually, which gives them the appearance of the variation that occurs naturally. Additionally, the colors that are used to create dentures replicate the genuine shade of teeth and gums much better than they used to. We think you'll be pleased with the final result.
Natural-Looking Dentures in Lafayette
Our patients are genuinely excited when they find out that they get to have a say in how their dentures look. We do an evaluation to help determine the size and shape of the teeth that will work best for our patients, but our patients can have input into the shade of the teeth and other aesthetic factors in their dentures.
While our dentures look completely natural, they do not have to be the dingy shade of yellow or an unnatural bright white that they used to be in the past. Today, dentures are custom made with our patient’s features in mind.
Dentures are no longer a sentence to have a fake, unattractive smile in your golden years. We know that seniors are more active and social than ever before and our dentistry reflects that societal change. Give us a call to learn more.
Dental bonding utilizes the same tooth-colored composite material we use for filling cavities. Dental bonding is useful for minor repairs and cosmetic flaws on your teeth. One of the big benefits of dental bonding is that minimal tooth prep is required, so you maintain much of your tooth structure, and the repair fills in the damaged or affected area.
What Dental Bonding Can Fix
We can repair small cracks, gaps, chips, discoloration, oddly shaped teeth, and other minor flaws with dental bonding. We choose to use dental bonding in only certain areas of the mouth that do not receive a lot of force because bonding is not as strong as a dental crown or onlay. Crowns distribute force more evenly and protect your tooth structure, that is why the two treatments are not interchangeable.
Dental Bonding in Lafayette
Dental bonding can make small cosmetic repairs to your teeth and can prevent decay because of exposed dentin, but for big jobs, think dental crowns, veneers, or onlays.
Just like any dental work, we match the shade of your teeth with the bonding material we use, so make sure if you have plans to whiten your teeth that you do so prior to your dental bonding procedure because bonding material will not whiten along with your teeth.
Each person is different in regards to how long their dentistry lasts. Because of individual biology and behavior, it is often difficult to predict how long a dental crown will last, but once we do an exam, we can probably give you a pretty good estimate.
The Lifespan of Dental Crowns
How long your crowns last depends a lot on you. Your oral hygiene and behavior can significantly affect the life of your crown. If you suffer from gum disease or if you have a strong bite, causing you to clench and grind your teeth, the lifespan of your dental crowns may be affected significantly.
If you are generally healthy, your crowns can be expected to last for about 15 years; however, with proper care, they could last for a lifetime. During your regular checkups, we will examine your crowns for any signs of damage or weakness to prevent your crowns from breaking or coming loose.
The materials and technology used to create and place dental crowns has improved dramatically over the last ten years. Crowns today are custom made and fitted to each individual patient.
Contact Our Lafayette Office
At our office, Drs. Smith and Domingue are experts at crown placement. Their years of expertise will help your crowns last for as long as possible, especially if you return to our office for your regular dental exams and cleanings.
A broken tooth can be a real pain in more ways than one. Having a broken tooth compromises the integrity of your tooth, creates sensitivity, and may cause sores due to rough spots.
Dental onlays are a restorative technique used to repair damaged teeth that do not need a full crown. They are created in a lab from our impressions to fit the missing portion of your tooth and then bonded permanently in place.
Onlays are usually made from composite resin that is colored to match perfectly with the natural shade of your teeth so nobody can tell that you have onlays in place. Onlays may also be made of porcelain or a combination of porcelain and metal.
Benefits of Onlays
The benefit of using a dental onlay instead of a full crown is that you are not needlessly prepping a tooth for a full crown when only partially prepping it for an onlay may be necessary.
Contact Our Lafayette Dental Clinic
At our Lafayette, LA dental office, Drs. Smith and Domingue approach treatment in a conservative way, preserving your natural teeth as much as possible. We believe that anytime we can repair a tooth effectively with minimal prep work, we should do so, keeping the invasiveness of treatment and cost to a minimum for our patients.
Missing teeth can cause issues with eating, speaking, and your self-esteem. Having missing teeth means that you may not be able to eat the foods you want or to smile confidently. Drs. Jerome Smith and Daniel Domingue know that this can decrease your quality of life. That is why they are dedicated to finding the tooth replacement option that will work best for you.
Tooth Replacement Options in Lafayette
Missing teeth can be restored in a number of ways:
- Dental implants replace missing teeth with natural-looking crowns held in place with biocompatible titanium roots. They function in the same way as your own teeth would.
- Dental bridges can replace one or more missing teeth. They are held in place by crowns fitted onto the adjacent teeth or dental implants. Bridges are usually covered by dental insurance and may be a more affordable option if you need to replace multiple teeth.
- Partials and dentures are made up of artificial teeth attached to a plastic or metal appliance. This appliance can either be removable or held in place with implants. While partials and dentures are often the most affordable option, they may not prevent the bone loss that occurs with missing teeth.
We will work with you and discuss your goals, your needs, and your lifestyle to help you find the solution that is right for you.
This decision is ultimately up to you.
Why a New Filling?
Many of our patients report being unhappy with the appearance of their amalgam fillings, especially after a period of time. Over time, they may begin to darken your entire tooth and become unsightly. For people with large smiles, even the back fillings may cause them self-consciousness when smiling.
Multiple studies have shown that despite containing mercury, amalgam fillings pose no health risk. On the other hand, amalgam fillings can leak, and metal fillings expand and contract slightly with heat changes, which can lead to the filling becoming loose, fall out, or even causing cracks in the teeth.
If your amalgam fillings are breaking down, they may even cause an unpleasant taste in your mouth. They can also make your teeth more sensitive to temperature and sweets.
Whatever your decision is regarding your amalgam fillings, Drs. Smith and Domingue are highly skilled in replacing your old amalgam fillings with new durable and attractive composite fillings that match your teeth and enhance the beauty of your smile.
White Fillings in Lafayette
If you are concerned about the condition of your fillings or are interested in replacing metal fillings with tooth-colored composite fillings, please give our Acadiana dental office a call today. We look forward to helping you make the best decision possible regarding your dental health.
Root Canal Therapy
When people ask about root canals, they are actually referring to root canal therapy. Root canal therapy involves treating a tooth by eliminating an internal infection in order to save your tooth.
How We Diagnose Tooth Decay
Many people who need a root canal experience pain, but not everyone. Sometimes, your root canal may be diagnosed from your routine exam and x-rays. Often, if you need a root canal, your tooth may feel sensitive to things like hot coffee or you may experience a throbbing sensation. An exam will allow us to determine the cause of your symptoms. If you need a root canal, we will get to work quickly before the infection has a chance to progress.
After you are completely numb, comfortable and relaxed, your root canal begins by our skilled dentist making a small hole in order to access your tooth’s root. Our dentist will gently remove any infection inside your tooth and fill it with an inert material and medication to assist in healing.
Root Canals in Lafayette
You may experience some sensitivity following your procedure, but after a few days you should be feeling completely normal. Drs. Smith and Domingue may recommend a crown to protect your tooth after a root canal because root canal therapy can cause your tooth to become brittle and structurally compromised.
A root canal may be necessary when you have an infection in your tooth. Having an infection can pose a serious risk to your health. In addition to the risk of sudden pain and missed time, you could experience systemic repercussions to an infected tooth.
A serious infection can spread to your vital organs like your lung, hearts, or your brain. Scientists linked infections in the mouth to heart attacks and strokes.
When you leave any infection untreated, you run a number of risks. In your mouth, the risks are particularly unpleasant. If your infection progresses and you have an abscess, you may experience severe facial swelling or a pustule on your cheek or gums that leaks pus.
Root Canal Therapy in Lafayette
Ultimately, if your body is unable to fight off the infection, your will lose your tooth. A root canal eliminates and prevents the recurrence of future infections by removing the pulpy material inside the tooth as well as the active infection. Drs. Smith and Domingue could recommend that you have a crown on your root canal tooth to protect it since teeth with root canal procedures become brittle and more susceptible to damage.
Keeping your natural teeth is important to your overall health and that of your remaining teeth.
Drs. Smith and Domingue are experts when it comes to root canal therapy and have performed hundreds of successful root canals for their patients.
When Root Canals Are Necessary
When patients consider the cost of a root canal combined with a crown, which is sometimes necessary after root canal therapy, they sometimes consider having an extraction instead. An extraction is really a last resort because the consequences of tooth loss are dramatic.
When you lose a tooth, it leaves a gap in your smile. Because nothing is there, your remaining teeth could begin to tip, tilt, or shift, creating problems with your bite. Additionally, your teeth act like anchors in your jawbone. Your teeth and jawbone work together to provide stability. When you lose a tooth, your bone may begin to reabsorb in that area. That means the opposing and adjacent teeth could be put at risk because their foundation becomes unstable.
Tooth Replacement in Lafayette After Extraction
If you do have a tooth extracted to save money, you will likely find out that tooth replacement is often more expensive than saving a tooth. It is almost always better and more affordable to save your natural tooth, when possible.
If you do require an extraction, we offer reliable tooth replacement options including dental implants. Dental implants provide aesthetic and functional advantages over other tooth replacement options.
Because each patient’s case is different, we cannot determine what will work best for you before a complete exam. However, we do know that after a root canal procedure, your tooth may become brittle and more susceptible to breaking.
About Root Canals in Lafayette
People who come to us in need of a root canal are often in pain. Once we do an exam, we can determine the cause of your pain, such as an infection that requires a root canal. A root canal is often a last effort to save a troubled tooth. When we do a root canal procedure, we essentially clean out the contents of your tooth in order to eliminate your infection. Because the pulp and nerve are completely gone, you will no longer have pain and that is a big plus!
But because your tooth is no longer vital, it can become quite brittle and more breakable than a healthy tooth. A crown works because it places a protective cover over your entire tooth like a helmet. Your crown will absorb the shock from chewing and protect your delicate tooth underneath.
Once we perform your root canal procedure, we can determine if a crown is necessary to protect you from tooth breakage or loss.
Usually, the pain associated with a root canal is due to the trauma or infection that is being treated and not from the procedure itself. Typically when patients have a root canal procedure, they report great relief from their pain.
What To Expect
You may feel some soreness or discomfort after the procedure as a result of your body's own natural healing process, but you are unlikely to feel a thing during the procedure itself. We will make sure you are completely numb and comfortable for your root canal procedure.
Once your root canal is complete, our doctors may decide to prescribe additional medication to assist with healing, but only if they think it is necessary. You will receive any special care instructions, as well. We will also schedule a follow-up exam to make sure you are healing properly and that everything looks good after your treatment.
Gentle Root Canals in Lafayette
Drs. Smith and Domingue may also recommend a crown on your tooth once your root canal has completely healed. Because the root canal procedure removes the nerve from your tooth, it may become brittle after treatment. A crown can help to stabilize your tooth and protect it.
Our dentists are skilled in sedation dentistry, so if you are nervous about your root canal, please let us know so that we can help to put you at ease.