The Properties of Metal and Non-Metal Fillings

Metal amalgam is a mixture of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy containing silver, tin, copper, and other trace metals. Since the late 1800s, amalgam has helped countless patients with cavities restore their teeth as an inexpensive and durable dental filling. However, as highly-effective as metal amalgam fillings are, they still fall short in their ability to preserve teeth and prevent further infection. Southlake dentist, Dr. Gregory Wright, uses non-metal dental fillings instead of amalgam to improve the look and function of your restorative treatment.

The Good and Bad of Amalgam

As a tooth restoration, a dental filling has to meet a number of criteria to successfully restore and preserve your tooth. Your teeth are subject to repeated biting and chewing, and your dental filling must be able to successfully withstand the pressure. Metal amalgam fillings are tough, and can usually withstand such pressures without failing or falling out. Unfortunately, metal is fairly obvious against the backdrop of your pearly white teeth, and metal fillings can shine distractingly as you speak and smile. When exposed to considerably hot or cold temperatures, metal can also expand or contract with the temperature change. Your teeth are inflexible, and if the filling expands, it can damage the tooth. If the filling contracts, then it can create spaces between your filling and your tooth where more bacteria can enter and reignite tooth decay.

The Improvements of White Composite Resin

White, or tooth-colored, composite resin is an innovative dental material that can be bonded to your tooth’s structure, as well as tinted to exactly match your tooth’s color. By bonding to the surface of the tooth, composite resin (or white fillings) offer a stronger seal against bacteria, and can blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile. When bonded to the tooth, composite resin can also help improve the tooth’s integrity by holding it together. In spite of their improved functionality, white fillings also offer a more discreet solution to cavities, allowing you to restore your tooth while maintaining its outward appearance.

About Gregory Wright, DDS:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He is happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.

FAQs About Dental Checkups

When was the last time you visited the dentist? Many people won’t set foot in a dental practice unless they’re experiencing the often-painful symptoms of gum disease or tooth decay. Instead of waiting for a problem to arise, why not attend routine checkups and help prevent the onset of serious dental issues? With a checkup, your Southlake TX dentist, Dr. Gregory Wright, can help maintain the health of your smile.

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Don’t Let Chronic Bad Breath Ruin Your Day

Are you too embarrassed to converse with people too closely because of chronic bad breath? Most people experience foul breath at least once in a while, especially immediately after waking up in the morning. However, when bad breath lingers, then you may have to contend with more than just a bad case of morning breath. Your Southlake dentist, Dr. Gregory Wright, has helped many patients overcome embarrassing, chronic bad breath by addressing whatever’s causing it. By understanding the reasons for your chronic bad breath, or halitosis, you’ll have a greater chance of preventing it from ruining your day.

Why is Your Breath Bad?

Like tooth decay and gum disease, bad breath is often the result of inadequate oral hygiene, which can allow excessive oral bacteria to gather on your teeth, gums, and the surface of your tongue. When saliva production is reduced, such as during sleep, oral bacteria gather in force, some of them releasing volatile sulfur compounds that significantly taint your breath. Typically, brushing and flossing your teeth helps eliminate mouth germs that have accumulated overnight and freshen your breath in the process. However, inadequate oral hygiene can allow oral bacteria to become more formidable than your toothbrush and floss.

Freshen Your Breath

Brushing and flossing your teeth everyday helps keep oral bacteria at a manageable level, and drinking plenty of water can help facilitate a healthy, consistent flow of saliva. To increase the chances of eradicating morning breath, try eating a well-balanced breakfast before brushing your teeth in the morning. Eating can help kick start salivary production after a night of inactivity, improving your chances of washing away the germs when you brush and floss. Dr. Wright can also prescribe a specially formulated mouthrinse to target oral bacteria that cause bad breath and dental diseases.

In some cases, chronic halitosis can indicate a serious oral or systemic health issue, such as gum disease, respiratory illness, chronic acid reflux, and diabetes, among many others. After a thorough examination, Dr. Wright can help you determine the cause of your bad breath and prescribe an appropriate course of treatment.

About Gregory Wright, DDS:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He is happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.

Brighten Your Smile in Southlake, TX

If you ask someone what they would change about their smile, odds are they will wish for brighter teeth. Over time, our smiles become dull due to unsightly discoloration. In order to address embarrassing stains and improve your appearance, you may require teeth whitening. Your Southlake TX dentist, Dr. Gregory Wright, offers patients the latest in quality whitening systems.

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How Were Your Dental Habits in 2013?

New Year's SmileAs we get ready to bid farewell to the old year, and we look forward to the arrival of 2014, it’s time to take stock of your accomplishments over the last twelve months. Whether you got a new job, had a baby, or just took a really awesome vacation, you should congratulate yourself on your achievements. However, as you reflect on the major events of your life, don’t forget to take stock of the day to day occurrences that can have a major impact on your overall quality of life. Answer the following questions, courtesy of your general dentist in Southlake, TX to find out whether your dental habits are a cause for major celebration in 2013. (more…)

Promoting Good Dental Habits in Your Kids

Cute Curly Haired GirlAs a parent, you work hard to protect your kids and to ensure their healthy growth. Dental health is an important part of your children’s overall development and well-being. However, encouraging the right dental habits can be challenging.  In this post, Dr. Gregory Wright, your general dentist in Southlake, TX, explains how you can help your children learn good dental habits and how you can make dental hygiene fun for your kids. (more…)

Bruxism and Your Dental Health

Habitually clenching your jaws and grinding your teeth may build stronger jaw muscles, but it can also significantly damage or break your teeth. In fact, teeth grinding might not be so healthy for your jaw, either. Bruxism, the habit of rubbing your teeth together, can indicate a number of issues, from undue stress to an imbalanced bite. Left untreated, the habit can destroy your smile and lead to a host of dental aches and pains. Treating bruxism at our Southlake dentist’s office typically involves identifying and addressing the underlying cause of the condition, as well as restoring any damage that might have occurred.

The Causes

In moments of anger, frustration, physical pain, stress, or anxiety, people often grind their teeth as the muscles in their jaws and throughout their bodies become tense. If you’ve been under an excessive amount of stress lately, then you may be at an increased risk of teeth grinding and dental injury. Some patients can alleviate their symptoms by making time to relax and engaging in regular exercise, yoga, or other stress-relieving activities. In many cases, patients grind their teeth because their bites are imbalanced, and their jaw muscles may spasm or continually shift as they try to rest comfortably. Patients with bruxism usually grind their teeth most while they sleep, and may not be aware of their condition until Dr. Wright points out the consequences during an examination.

The Consequences

Human teeth are incredibly resilient, able to withstand the repeated pressures of biting and chewing food, and in most cases, occasional grinding. When exposed to the pressures of habitual grinding, however, teeth can become excessively worn down and crack or fracture.  The burden can also damage the periodontal tissues that hold your teeth in their sockets, causing teeth to become loose and possibly fall out. Your jaw’s joints, or TMJs, can suffer from the strain, leading to difficulty opening and closing your mouth and a wide range of discomfort. Symptoms of a jaw dysfunction, or TMJ disorder, include jaw pain and soreness, chronic earaches, and recurring migraines, to name a few. If Dr. Wright notices tooth wear or damage consistent with bruxism, then he may recommend a custom-designed sleepguard that will protect your teeth from grinding against each other at night.

About Gregory Wright, DDS:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He is happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.

Tips for Better Dental Hygiene

Good hygiene is the cornerstone of good dental health. For many people, hygiene consists of little more than brushing and flossing their teeth twice a day. However, good hygiene involves more than what you do at the kitchen sink. Your toothbrush and floss can clean your teeth, but only when used properly. With a little attention to detail and regular professional maintenance with your Southlake dentist, you can improve your dental hygiene and reduce your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, chronic bad breath, and more. (more…)

General Dentistry for Damaged Teeth

Dental damage, such as cracked and fractured teeth, can pose a significant threat to your entire oral health if not addressed as soon as possible. Because of the intricate nature of your teeth and their inability to heal themselves, repairing them when they’re damaged requires a broad range of dental expertise. As a dedicated Southlake general dentist, Dr. Gregory Wright employs his impressive experience to help patients repair, restore, and preserve their smiles after suffering from one or more damaged teeth. Depending on the patient’s need, this may include removing bacterial infection, covering the tooth with a dental crown, or completely replacing the tooth if it’s damaged beyond repair.

Cleaning the Tooth

The main structure of a tooth, called dentin, is surrounded by a protective layer of resilient enamel designed to protect it from bacteria that lead to tooth decay and cavities. At the center of dentin is a hollow chamber containing the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels called the pulp, which is the most sensitive part of a tooth. When your tooth is cracked or fractured, its inner tissues can be exposed to bacteria, and an internal infection can develop. Before repairing your damaged tooth, Dr. Wright will ensure that the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and free of germs, which may require a root canal treatment if the infection reaches the pulp.

Thinking Ahead

Once the tooth is clean and filled with a dental filling, Dr. Wright can place a custom-made dental crown over the tooth to protect it from pressure in the future. The crown will hold the tooth together while absorbing the impact of your bite, allowing you to retain your natural, but weakened, tooth structure without sustaining further injury. Most crowns are crafted from lifelike dental porcelain, which is tinted and layered to mimic your tooth’s color and the enamel surrounding it.

In Case of Severe Damage

Sometimes, cleaning and repairing a damaged tooth isn’t enough to save it. For instance, if a crack reaches the tooth’s root, then it must be extracted to prevent harm to surrounding jawbone and tissues. In cases of necessary tooth extraction, Dr. Wright may recommend replacing the tooth with a dental implant-supported crown. A dental implant is a surgically-inserted device that replaces a lost tooth root in a patient’s jawbone. After the jawbone heals, Dr. Wright can place a custom porcelain dental crown on top of it to replace your extracted tooth.

About Gregory Wright, DDS:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He is happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.

Southlake Dentist Explains Why We Lose “Permanent” Teeth

Typically, humans grow two sets of teeth in their lifetime. Your baby teeth, or primary teeth, are like training wheels that teach us to care for our smiles while maintaining proper space for your adult teeth to grow. Primary teeth are destined to fall out and make room for their adult counterparts. Known as permanent teeth, your adult teeth should last for a lifetime, yet many patients lose one, several, or all of their teeth by the time they reach late adulthood. Your Southlake dentist explains why teeth that are meant to be permanent sometimes aren’t, and how to preserve your smile if you lose one or more teeth to damage or disease.

Neglecting Your Dental Problems

Accidental trauma can often damage the connective tissues that hold your teeth in place, and lead to a partially or fully dislodged tooth. In most cases, however, permanent tooth loss is the result of a severe dental disease, like tooth decay or gum disease. Tooth decay can erode your tooth’s structure, causing holes (cavities) to form and consume your tooth if not treated in time. Gum disease describes infected gum tissue, and can destroy the gums and jawbone that support your teeth. Both diseases can develop from the excessive buildup of dental plaque, and can be prevented with excellent dental hygiene and regular professional maintenance. Tooth loss can also be avoided by treating tooth decay and gum disease as soon as possible when they develop, before your teeth and gums are irreversibly damaged.

Restoring Your Smile

If you’ve lost one or more teeth, Dr. Wright may recommend replacing them with an appropriate number of dental implants. The prosthetic devices are made from biocompatible titanium, and are surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace lost teeth roots. The jawbone fuses to the implant(s) as it heals, which usually last between 4-6 months, and Dr. Wright can attach a dental crown, partial denture, or complete denture to the implants to complete your smile’s restoration. By replacing lost teeth roots, implants can provide the most lifelike support for your replacement teeth, improving their ability to look and function like real teeth.

About Gregory Wright, DDS:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He is happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.