Lansing Dentist

Veneers

May 20th, 2024

Veneers are thin porcelain shells that go over the front of your teeth to improve the shape, size and/or color of your teeth. They are a great way to achieve the smile that you have always wanted if your front teeth are not shaped ideally. If taken care of, veneers can last up to 20 years because they can be bonded to your enamel, which creates a much stronger seal with your tooth than we can get reliably with posterior crowns or fillings.

It is imperative to brush twice a day and use either a Waterpik or floss once a day to maintain the health of your veneers. As with any restoration, there is an edge where the veneer meets the tooth, which is the most common location for breakdown to occur. Proper care will help prevent that from happening. It is also important to wear your bite-splint or retainers at night to prevent excess wear on the veneers and prevent tooth movement. A bite-splint will help prevent the thin veneer material from chipping and cracking.

We put a lot of planning into creating your veneers. Generally, the first appointment is to plan out your goals and what esthetic improvements you would like to achieve with your veneers. We then take records to have our lab wax up and plan out the shape and size of veneers that would best compliment your smile. Once the plan is in place, Dr. Dyras or Dr. Bedro will prepare your teeth for the veneers and make temporary veneers for you to wear home. The temporary veneers can be a trial run to see how you like the shape and size, and to confirm that we are happy with the plan. The last visit would be to cement or bond the veneers to your teeth. We occasionally will do follow up appointments to fine tune the veneers and make sure they are achieving our goals.

Veneers are great for patients who have small teeth or have gaps between their teeth that they would like closed. They are not appropriate if you already have crowns or fillings on the teeth, however the same effect can be achieved with a crown. There are some cases that will have veneers on some teeth and crowns on others so that they will all match and last a long time.

We prioritize communication with our patients and with our lab to make sure you receive the most predictable and beautiful result with your veneers. We listen to your concerns and help establish your goals so you can get the smile you have always wanted! Please give us a call today to see if Veneers are right for you!

Crowns

April 24th, 2024

A dental crown, or cap, is a tooth restoration that covers all or nearly all the tooth structure above the gums. Crowns used to be made of gold, metal, or porcelain over metal. These were functional, but not nearly as esthetic or natural looking as our modern tooth-colored Zirconia crowns. Zirconia crowns are much better at resisting fracture and will not wear down the other teeth in your mouth as quickly as the old porcelain crowns have in the past.

Teeth most often require crowns when they become structurally weak. Teeth that have large white or metal fillings become weaker as the fillings get larger, and become more prone to having a large chunk break off. When your filling covers more than half of the tooth, or if one of the sides of the tooth becomes dangerously thin due to decay or an old failing filling, the filling is converted to a crown. Crowns last much longer than fillings. In some cases, a tooth will require a crown to improve the shape of it, either for esthetics or function. Some people develop very small teeth that need to be built up, or have worn their teeth down from years of clenching and grinding. The new Zirconia crowns hold up much better to grinding and wear, and are great for establishing a balanced and supported bite.

Crowns are usually a two-appointment process. On the first appointment we will replace any old or failing fillings in the tooth, and prepare the tooth for a crown by removing 0.5-1 mm of tooth structure on each side. The tooth is then scanned with our 3-D scanner and a temporary crown is fabricated and cemented on the tooth. The 3-D scan is sent to a dental laboratory where the crown is made by a professional lab technician. Usually about 2 weeks later we will have you return for the second appointment where the final crown will have the fit confirmed and will be cemented.

The 3-D scanner that our office uses has enabled us to be significantly more precise and to have more predictability with our crowns. Our Zirconia crowns also allow us to be more conservative with the tooth preparations so that we can help your restorations and teeth stay healthy longer. We will go above and beyond to make sure you have an excellent experience at Dyras Dental! If you have any questions about how crowns can improve your dental health and function, please call us today!

Wisdom Teeth

February 20th, 2024

Wisdom Teeth are also referred to as our “Third Molars,” as they are the third and last molar to appear in our mouths as we grow up. Wisdom teeth vary significantly from person to person. Some people do not ever develop wisdom teeth. Others will develop them, but they never move above the bone into the person’s mouth. Some people only develop 2-3 instead of the normal 4 wisdom teeth, other people have 8!

Wisdom teeth tend to cause problems for patients because our jaws will not grow large enough for them to fit, so when the wisdom teeth try to come in, they cause us to bite our cheeks, are difficult to clean, and are prone to developing decay. Wisdom teeth can also contribute to crowding our other teeth together as they try to come in. Generally, we recommend that wisdom teeth are removed between ages of 15-25 years old, as that is the age range that is least at risk of developing complications after the procedure.

During a wisdom tooth extraction, our office will numb the area similar to how we numb for fillings. We test the tooth to make sure it is comfortable prior to removing it. In more complex or higher risk extractions, we would refer you to an oral surgeon who can provide sedation if requested.

After the extraction, it is important to follow any post op recommendations given to you by the dentist or oral surgeon. You should avoid smoking or using straw the first few days after an extraction so it does not disrupt the healing. Usually, a good rule of thumb is to leave the healing area alone and let your body do the work!
If you have questions about wisdom teeth or want to know if you need them removed, call our office for an exam. We are always happy to help!

Preventative Care

January 18th, 2024

We are incredibly lucky in Dentistry as many of the diseases and causes of mouth pain can be prevented these days, as long as patients participate in regular preventative care. At Dyras Dental we pride ourselves on staying minimally invasive and doing everything in our power to prevent bigger issues down the road.

One of the ways we accomplish this is by providing regular cleanings and check ups for our patients. At your visits with our hygiene team every 4-6 months we perform a myriad of examinations and screenings to help identify issues early and address them before they become a more advanced problem.  Some of the diseases you will be screened for at your regular hygiene visit are: Periodontitis, Gingivitis, Cavities or Decay, Fractured or Cracked teeth, Oral Cancer, soft and hard tissue lesions, Calculus build up, signs of Sleep Apnea and Sleep Disordered Breathing and tooth wear.  When caught early, many of these issues have easy and minimally invasive solutions.  When not addressed, they can lead to bigger treatment needs and general health problems, especially inflammatory diseases like heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Once the hygienist has completed screening for all these issues, they will remove the plaque and calculus that has built up on your teeth since your last visit. Removing these deposits will aid in maintaining your gingival health and prevent inflammation in your mouth.  The hygienist will also counsel you on how you maintain your tooth and gum health at home and will suggest aids that will make your daily routine easier and more effective.

There are many things you can do at home to achieve and maintain oral health. One way is through your diet. Eating crunchy and fibrous fruits and vegetables like apples and celery help naturally remove plaque from your teeth while also supplying your body with the nutrients you need. Avoiding processed sugar and drinks that are high in acid and sugars will help keep your mouth healthy as well. Processed foods and added sugars make it easier for the bad bacteria in our mouth to create inflammation and decay.  Many foods are acidic, as they generally taste better. Whenever we eat, our mouth becomes acidic for about 20 minutes. If we snack or sip all day on processed foods or acidic/sugary drinks, our mouth will stay acidic all day and make it difficult for the good bacteria in our mouth to thrive. Some times giving up our favorite drinks and food is not a realistic option, but being strategic about when we eat them can help. If there is a food you want to be able to enjoy, it is probably safer having it only at meal times and sticking to tap water between meals to give your mouth a break.

One of our favorite tools for maintaining oral health is the Waterpik.  It is best described as a tiny pressure washer for your teeth. It can remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth up to 4 mm below your gums and is more effective than flossing. The best part is that our patients love using their Waterpiks and report that their teeth feel significantly cleaner after using it. The waterpik can be used 1-2 times a day and will make your dental check ups go smoother as it keeps your gums healthy and happy.

Our staff at Dyras Dental will go out of their way to help you achieve the healthy and bright smile that you deserve, and help you maintain it for a lifetime with proper preventative care. Call us today to schedule your next preventative appointment!

Orthodontics for Adults

November 21st, 2023

Many people think that orthodontics can only be done during childhood or as a young adult, however that is not the case!  Adult orthodontics can be more straightforward since there is no growth to adapt to during the orthodontic treatment.   It is also more common for adults to utilize Clear Aligners for their orthodontic treatment due to the increased comfort and esthetics compared to band and wire orthodontics.

There are many reasons why adults choose to pursue orthodontic treatment.  One would be to improve the esthetics of your smile.  Straight teeth can create a wider and more youthful smile that you can be proud of showing off!  Adult orthodontics can also be used to correct relapse after having orthodontics as a child. Many times, retainers get lost or are not worn long term and the teeth can begin to move back to their original position. Adult orthodontics can help correct those movements and establish a more ideal tooth position. Another benefit of adult orthodontics is to aid in correcting wear and creating a more supportive bite so that your teeth will not wear down as quickly.   As our lives as adults gets more stressful, there is a tendency to clench and grind your teeth, which leads to tooth movement and tooth wear.

To get the best outcome, it is important that you share your goals with Dr Dyras or Dr Bedro, so that we can plan out your case to achieve those goals. If you chose to do Clear Aligner Therapy, like Invisalign, it is imperative that the trays are worn consistently, all day and night. The trays are only removed to eat, and then replaced after each meal. We recommend that you have sugar free gum with you to remove any food from your teeth prior to placing the trays back in.

Clear aligners have been a game changer for adult orthodontic treatment. You can get the straight teeth you have always wanted with out having the unsightly wires and brackets that many of us had to deal with as children.  We work with each one of our patients to identify the most efficient, comfortable, and cost-effective way to achieve the goals that you have for your smile, and adult orthodontics is an option that many people chose to achieve those goals.

Bridges

October 19th, 2023

Bridges are one of the available options to replace a missing tooth. When you have a missing tooth that has healthy teeth on either side of it, a bridge can be fabricated to “bridge” the two teeth with a fake tooth in the middle. The two adjacent teeth are prepared the same way they would be for a crown, and the bridge is cemented on them, so the replacement does not need to be removed.

Bridges are a permanent tooth replacement option that is a good alternative when implants are not ideal. Generally, the costs of a bridge and implant are similar, so we encourage patients to choose the replacement that will suit their individual needs the best. An example where a bridge would be a better option would be if you are prone to gum disease, as gum disease can affect implants. Another example would be if the adjacent teeth need crowns anyways, the bridge would fix both issues of replacing the missing tooth and creating a crown for the neighbor tooth.

The procedure for creating a bridge is very similar to preparing a tooth for a crown. The two teeth supporting the bridge are shaped to fit under a typical crown, then the teeth are scanned and a temporary bridge is placed. The dental lab will fabricate the bridge to fit your teeth and send it to our office to be delivered a few weeks later. Our dentists will then cement the bridge on the supporting teeth the same way a crown is cemented.

Caring for a bridge is just like any other tooth, however flossing can be more complicated. Because the teeth are bridged together, floss must be threaded under the bridge to keep the area clean from food debris or plaque buildup. Many of our patients prefer to use a Waterpik to clean around their bridges, as it will do just as good of a job as threading floss and is much easier to use.

Our go-to material for dental bridges is high strength Zirconia, the same that is used for most crowns. It is a very strong material that can stand up to biting forces without breaking, but will also minimize wearing down of the teeth on the opposite arch. For our anterior bridges we prefer to use Emax, a lithium disilicate glass-ceramic that provides excellent esthetics while still providing the strength needed to chew. In some long span bridges, we will use porcelain fused to metal for its high strength, however it is avoided as the porcelain tends to chip off over time.

Our office makes sure to have conversations with our patients so you know what your tooth replacement options are and will review the pros and cons for each option depending on your unique situation. If you have missing teeth that you would like replaced, please call our office today to see if a bridge is right for you!

Adult Invisalign or Clear Aligner Therapy

September 19th, 2023

These days, many adults are choosing to straighten their teeth and get the smile they have always wanted by using Invisalign or other Clear Aligner Therapy. There are many similarities and differences between straightening adult teeth vs straightening a child’s teeth. Many of the strategies and forces used with the aligners are similar between adult and children’s orthodontics. The big differences between the two are that adult teeth generally move slower, and we know that the face will not be growing and changing significantly during treatment.

One of the most important tips for successful adult orthodontics, or Clear Aligner Therapy, is to make sure the aligners are worn consistently. Most clear aligners need to be worn 22 hours a day, basically just enough time to eat meals and get the aligners back in. We have found that patients who leave the aligners out longer than 2 hours a day have trouble finishing their treatment on time and will have to restart their case multiple times. If you think you may have trouble remembering to wear the aligners, a non-removeable orthodontic solution like wires and brackets may be a more predictable treatment route.

There are a multitude of benefits of getting orthodontic treatment as an adult. One common benefit is an improvement in your smile. Teeth that are crooked and out of place tend to create a smaller and more constricted smile, whereas teeth that are straight create a broad smile that is easy to be proud of. Another benefit is improved tooth function when chewing. When teeth are aligned properly, they also function properly, leading to less tooth wear and more support if you tend to clench or grind your teeth.

Many of our patients choose to have their orthodontic treatment done at our office because of the familiar surroundings and amazing staff who will help you through the process. We can coordinate your hygiene/cleaning appointments with your orthodontics appointments to minimize your number of visits. We do our best to provide excellent communication with you throughout your treatment so that you know what to expect and can get the best possible outcome.

Our office exclusively provides Clear Aligner Therapy for our patients. We work closely with local orthodontists for cases that would benefit from wire and bracket orthodontics, or for cases that are more complex. Call our office today and ask how you could benefit from Adult Clear Aligner Therapy!

Root Canals

July 26th, 2023

Root canal treatment has a bad reputation due to the pain that people tend to associate with them.  When a root canal is needed, it is usually because the tooth is infected and painful.  The procedure itself tends to be just long and boring, not nearly as painful as the infection prior. I usually tell my patients that if they get bored during the procedure, that usually means everything is going well!

In most cases, teeth only need root canals when a tooth becomes infected.  Bacteria that cause cavities can enter the nerve space when the cavity gets too close to the nerve.  That is not the only reason for getting a root canal, however. Sometimes teeth can be traumatized due to an accident or injury to the tooth, causing the nerve to die.  Over time, teeth that have dead nerves will turn grey and unesthetic.  In those cases, the tooth can get a root canal so that the tooth can be bleached back to its natural tooth color.

Signs that a tooth needs a root canal include pain, swelling or a change in color of the tooth. When our teeth become infected, the nerve tends to swell. This is just like any infection in our body, but there is no room for it to swell since the tooth is in hard bone.  The swelling creates an intense pressure pain in the tooth.  The infection will start eating away at the bone around the tooth and create an abscess.  Many times, once an abscess forms the pain will subside, as the infection will be able to drain and the pressure is released. However, the infection is still there and it is important to get it addressed quickly so the infection does not spread further. As the nerve dies, it can also cause spontaneous pain.  The tooth may hurt out of nowhere, even when you are not eating, and may wake you from sleep.

When a root canal is performed, the tooth is numbed up first so that you can be comfortable during the procedure.  The infection is then removed from the tooth, it is cleaned thoroughly and the area of infection is sealed off so that bacteria cannot reenter the tooth. In most cases a crown will be needed as well to improve the structural integrity of the tooth and prevent it from breaking, especially with teeth further back in the mouth.

Before your root canal appointment, it is important to take any antibiotics that were prescribed.  Please call us if you experience any significant swelling prior to your appointment so it can be addressed prior. After your appointment, it is common to have pain that should resolve within 24 hours.  Generally, it is easily controlled with over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol and/or Motrin.

We do everything possible to make sure that your treatment is as comfortable as possible at Dyras Dental. If you have questions about root canal procedures or think you may have an infected tooth, please call today so we can help!

Teeth Whitening

June 20th, 2023

Teeth Whitening is a great non-invasive way to get a brighter and more esthetic smile. It is especially effective for patients who have stained teeth due to coffee, tea and wine stains. Bleaching your teeth is a much less invasive esthetic treatment compared to crowns or veneers, as there is no damage to the tooth and the amount of whitening you achieve can be controlled by how often you bleach.

Professional teeth whitening is recommended so that you can achieve ideal results while minimizing discomfort. If you have active decay in your teeth, whitening products can cause increased sensitivity in those areas. It is best to be evaluated prior to whitening so that any areas of decay can be treated first. Some patients can get sensitive teeth from whitening, and our office has treatments that can be done prior to minimize sensitivity and still get a bright smile.

If you have restorations like crowns or fillings on your front teeth, those areas will not respond to whitening the way a natural tooth would. The dentists at Dyras Dental can work with you to create a strategy to get the restorations brighter as well, so you do not have multiple different colored teeth.

Our office currently works with the Phillips Zoom DayWhite system. We have tried many different brands of whitening over the years, and this system has been achieving great results while not causing as much sensitivity as some previous formulations. The process for whitening in our office is to first discuss your goals with the dentist. We evaluate what color your teeth are now and discuss what is possible to achieve with whitening. We then fabricate custom fitting bleach trays that you will use at home with the Phillips Zoom DayWhite bleaching solution. After bleaching once a day for 2 weeks, we have you return to evaluate your results and determine if we have achieved the goal or if more bleaching is necessary.

Our office works with you to identify your unique esthetic goals and will help craft a plan to help you get the beautiful smile you deserve! Call today to learn more about Teeth Whitening!

Invisalign

May 23rd, 2023

Invisalign is a clear aligner system that can achieve many of the same movements as traditional wire and bracket orthodontics, while being more comfortable and less obvious that you are undergoing treatment. Each tray moves your teeth up to 0.25mm using pressure applied by the tray, creating a comfortable and consistent movement that can achieve your esthetic smile goals.

There are many benefits to Invisalign treatment over traditional braces. Because Invisalign trays are planned out digitally before you even begin treatment, there is less pain involved as the movements are much more controlled. Invisalign trays can also be removed so that you can still enjoy your favorite foods during treatment. No wires means no pokey metal ends and more comfortable lips and cheeks!

The time that Invisalign can take ranges from a few months to a few years, depending on how much movement is needed. Generally, Invisalign patients whose changes focus more on esthetics and do not need to move molars or create bite changes will take 6-8 months. More complex movements and malalignments usually take 1.5-2 years. We generally see patients every 6 weeks to ensure that the teeth are following the trays properly. Some patients will need to be evaluated more often or less often; we generally decide based on your unique needs.

The most successful Invisalign patients are those who wear the trays daily and only remove them to eat. Invisalign recommends that the trays be worn 22 hours a day, giving you just enough time to eat and get the trays back in. We recommend having sugar free chewing gum with you to remove food particles from your teeth after a meal prior to replacing the trays if brushing your teeth is not convenient.

There are some movements that are difficult to achieve with Invisalign that are better treated with band and wire orthodontics. This includes patients with unerupted teeth, significant intrusion movements, or arch size discrepancies, as well as others.

Schedule an exam with one of our doctors today to see if Invisalign is right for you!

This last week was Dental Hygienist Appreciation Week!

April 14th, 2023

Our practice is incredibly fortunate to have 3 highly trained and knowledgeable hygienists who help our patients smile bright! Christa and Madeline have been with us since 2015 and Chelsea joined us in 2017. They all enjoy getting to know each of our patients individually and helping them maintain a healthy and confident smile. In 2021 we also added Shirley as a Hygiene assistant. She has been instrumental in getting our patients seated in a timely manner, taking photographs and radiographs, and helping your hygiene visit flow smoothly.

Our hygienists do so much more than “just a cleaning” for our patient family! At each visit, our patients are screened for oral cancer. Our hygienists will also evaluate you for signs of periodontal disease, and screen you for signs of decay, wear, and cracks in your teeth. You can be confident that any issues will be identified early at your hygiene visit. This gives us the opportunity to create a solution that is much less invasive than waiting until you are having pain or discomfort. Our hygiene team has done a great job at integrating photos into our visits as well, so that our patients have the opportunity to see what we see.

Next time you are in our office, tell your hygienist thanks for all they do!

February is Children’s Dental Health Month!

February 22nd, 2023

Children ideally should start seeing the dentist at age 1 or when they get their first tooth. Not much will be done at these first visits, other than introducing them to the environment of the dental office and discussing dental care and recommendations with their parents. Generally kids will have their first cleaning around 3 years of age, depending on what they can tolerate.

Children should start using toothpaste as soon as they develop a tooth. There are various baby-friendly toothpastes that will help keep your kiddos smile bright and shiny. Kids toothpastes will list what ages they are meant for; generally, they are grouped by either 0-3 years or 3+years of age. It is best to find a flavor and brand that your child enjoys and be consistent with brushing their teeth every morning and night so it becomes part of their routine. If your child is independent and wants to brush their teeth by themselves, encourage it! Once they have finished, then it will be the adults turn to make sure all of the teeth were brushed properly. Children do not have the manual dexterity to properly brush their teeth until they are able to tie their shoelaces, so make sure you still assist until then.

Infants need oral care too! Before baby gets their first tooth, it is important to wipe out their mouth with a damp gauze or soft wash cloth to help prevent thrush and keep their mouth clean. This should be done after every feeding, or at least twice a day if it is not feasible to clean their mouth every time they eat. We know that infants sometimes need to eat nearly all day when they have growth spurts, and cleaning every time is not going to happen! In these cases, twice a day will suffice.

It is important to instill regular oral care habits in our children so that they will carry this skill into their adult lives. Children who receive regular oral care have a much lower risk of developing decay or tooth infections. Regular visits to your dental office at Dyras Dental will create the opportunity for us to catch problems before they turn into more serious issues. It is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Our office sees children regularly for routine care. We put a priority on making sure that our treatments are safe and on managing apprehensive kids properly so that our youngest patients can receive safe and compassionate care. If your child is not able to tolerate routine care due to negative past experiences or more advanced treatment needs, we work with various local pediatric offices that can help them safely get the care they need. We enjoy working with children as we have seen that it helps set them up for a lifetime of dental health!

We love meeting new patients and kiddos! We look forward to seeing you at your next visit at Dyras Dental!

601 S Grand Ave, Lansing, MI 48933 (517) 485-1900
Monday — Thursday 8:00am to 5:30pm Friday: CLOSED
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