worn-down teeth

Are Your Teeth Worn Down? Why You Should Care

Quick question: what’s the hardest substance in the human body? Most people guess bones, but the truth is that your tooth enamel takes the prize. At a 5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, tooth enamel is about as hard as steel! That’s why it can be so confusing to see your enamel slowly wearing away. When your pearly whites start turning yellow or brown instead, you may be wondering how this dense substance is disappearing.

Worn-down teeth can happen for several reasons, and they can quickly become a source of sensitivity and discomfort if you aren’t careful. If you suspect premature tooth wear, here are a few things to keep in mind.

What Causes of Worn-Down Teeth?

Worn-down teeth, or “teeth substance loss” (TSL), can happen for several reasons. Depending on the cause, you may lose enamel on the top and/or sides of your teeth.

Tooth Grinding

Tooth grinding is one of the most common causes of TSL. This happens when you grind your teeth against each other. Over time, the chewing surfaces of your teeth begin to wear down.

Teeth grinding can be a side effect of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). Other conditions or chronic diseases may increase your risk of grinding.

Sometimes, patients aren’t aware that they’re grinding their teeth. It can happen as an unconscious reaction to stress, for example, or at night while you’re asleep.

Figuring out how to stop grinding teeth can help you prevent future enamel loss.

Enamel Erosion

Dental erosion happens when a substance, often a highly acidic one, wears down your enamel.

This is common with certain foods, drinks, and medications. If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or suffer from bulimia, your stomach acid may also cause erosion. If you have a health condition or take medications that reduce your saliva, you may be at greater risk of enamel erosion.

Often, patients don’t notice their enamel is beginning to erode. Sensitivity and pain are uncommon until the erosion grows severe.

Tooth Abrasion

Abrasion happens through friction. When an object slides or rubs against the surface of your tooth over and over, the enamel may begin to wear down.

Dental abrasion is common if you use a toothbrush with firm bristles, brush too hard, or use an abrasive toothpaste. Certain habits like chewing toothpicks and pens or holding hairpins between the teeth can also cause abrasion.

How Do You Spot Worn-Down Teeth?

If your enamel has begun to wear away, it might be hard to spot. In the early stages, you won’t see a difference in your smile at all.

Over time, however, the signs will grow more obvious.

When tooth wear affects the chewing surfaces of your teeth, you might notice that these surfaces look yellow or dull. Depending on how much of your enamel has been stripped away, you might have more sensitivity to hot or cold foods.

If there’s severe enamel loss, your teeth may begin to look shorter and shorter over time. The peaks of your teeth (also called “cusps”) may wear down, making your teeth look flatter.

When tooth wear affects the sides of your teeth, you might notice yellower or darker teeth when you smile. If the cause is abrasion, you may even see indentations in your teeth.

When erosion is the cause of your TSL, you’ll likely see damage all over your teeth, though it will be most obvious on their inner sides. Uniform discoloration is more common in these cases.

In the worst-case scenario, you might notice chipped edges or even fractures. This may happen as your enamel wears down severely, weakening the tooth. It’s also more common if you’re grinding your teeth (and thus putting excess force on them).

Can You Reverse Enamel Loss?

Eroded or damaged tooth enamel does not grow back. Because it isn’t a living tissue, your body will never make more of it on its own.

This is why it’s so crucial to catch TSL as early as possible.

Addressing the common causes above and getting preventative treatment can help you avoid nasty side effects like discomfort, sensitivity, and pain. Keeping your enamel healthy can also protect your teeth against future damage and decay.

Most toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other products that claim to address enamel loss will not regrow your enamel, though studies suggest that better treatments may be on the horizon.

Instead, most products help re-mineralize your teeth. By pushing calcium, phosphates, and fluoride into the tooth, they help the surface harden again, strengthening your existing enamel and lowering your risk of future TSL.

Treatment for Worn-Down Teeth

If you can’t regrow your enamel, what can you do? Don’t stress! There are plenty of ways your dentist can help with TSL.

Resin Bonding

When you’re dealing with mild enamel loss, your dentist may recommend resin bonding. With this procedure, they’ll apply a tooth-colored material to your teeth.

This protects the tooth and covers any discoloration or wear. Your dentist can also use resin to reshape the tooth if it has lost volume, chipped, or become malformed.

Porcelain Veneers

When you’re dealing with moderate to severe enamel loss that affects the front of your teeth, your dentist will likely recommend dental veneers, though implants are also an option. Veneers are hard tooth-colored shells that can cover, lengthen, and protect your teeth.

Porcelain Crowns

When your moderate to severe enamel loss has stripped away the chewing surfaces of your teeth, crowns are your best friends. These tooth-colored caps cover the tops of your teeth. They’re great for hiding discoloration and damage, lengthening the teeth, and restoring your smile.

Treat Your Enamel Loss Early

Here’s the bottom line: the best way to treat worn-down teeth is to stop them from getting damaged in the first place! If you’ve noticed signs of TSL, it’s crucial to reach out to a dental expert early. Fast treatment can protect the enamel you have left for a healthier, happier smile.

That’s where we come in! At Justice Dental, our experienced cosmetic dentists are here to help you restore and protect damaged teeth, no matter the issue. Contact us for an appointment at one of our Lexington dental clinics.

dental implants vs veneers

Dental Implants vs Veneers: Which Is Right for You?

There’s a good reason why the job outlook for dentists is expected to increase by four percent over the next decade. Not only do these professionals help us maintain our oral health, but they can also provide restorative dental procedures. These procedures have the potential to not only improve the appearance of a smile but also the functional aspect as well. These days, dental implants and veneers tend to be the most popular restorative procedures offered by dentists. But which one is right for you: dental implants vs. veneers?

If you aren’t sure, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll briefly walk you through what you can expect, as well as the pros and cons associated with both options.

What Are Dental Implants?

When a tooth is missing or damaged, it can be replaced with a dental implant. Through surgery, a man-made root is installed into the gum of the patient.

Specifically, titanium screws are fused with the jawbone. This is how dental implants differ from crowns. Crowns simply encase the tooth while dental implants replace the root itself.

The result is essentially a new permanent tooth. It’s nearly impossible to spot the difference between them, and your natural teeth (especially if they’re done on your back rows of teeth). Check out our full guide to learn more about the specifics of how dental implants replace teeth.

What Are Veneers?

Compared to dental implants, veneers are a much more casual cosmetic procedure. When you get a veneer you’re not replacing a tooth at all. Rather, porcelain or ceramic material coats the exterior of a damaged tooth.

Sometimes the tooth might be broken, discolored, or chipped. However, the tooth-colored material can cover up all of this. So how are veneers different from crowns? Crowns will apply the material to the entirety of your tooth.

Most types of veneers are usually only applied to the front of the tooth. As such, it’s more of a cosmetic procedure that’s designed to improve the appearance of your tooth.

Pros of Dental Implants

The biggest advantage associated with dental implants is their relatively permanent nature. Compared to things like removable dentures, implants retain stability while you’re eating.

There’s no fear of them falling or slipping out. What’s more, dental implants are extremely realistic looking. They can often restore confidence in a smile from someone insecure about their missing teeth or dentures.

Most types of dental implants can also help preserve both your jaw bone health, as well as any remaining teeth you have. In short, dental implants provide both the cosmetic value of veneers, as well as the permanent functionality of dentures.

Cons of Dental Implants

Because dental implants require both surgery and high-quality materials, they’re often one of the most expensive teeth replacement options you’ll encounter. As such, if you’re on a budget, or don’t have great dental insurance, you might be better off going with dentures.

What’s more, the recovery from dental implants is a lot more intensive. It’s not uncommon for the procedure to take several months to complete. This is especially true if you need to get damaged teeth removed first.

Pros of Veneers

One of the biggest pros of getting veneers is their appearance. Whether you suffer from a gapped tooth or simply some discoloration, veneers can work magic. Just look at this veneer makeover featuring Miss Kentucky Kaitlynne Postel.

The confidence that comes with getting a bright, straight smile can be hard to put a price tag on. However, speaking of price tags, veneers are far more affordable than procedures like dental implants.

Once more, the procedure is much quicker. You won’t need to wait months to get an appointment. Often, you’ll quickly be in and out of the office with your new smile.

Cons of Veneers

The major disadvantage of veneers is that they aren’t permanent. The porcelain or ceramic material is fragile, just like your regular teeth. As such, it can be prone to chips and breaks.

Stains are also quite common if you’re not actively cleaning your teeth. Generally speaking, if you take care of them you can usually expect your veneers to last around fifteen years.

It’s also important to note that not everyone can get veneers. If you grind your teeth at night or have an especially damaged tooth, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to put them on.

Many people with veneers are also more prone to sensitivities with hot or cold food because some of the enamel has been removed.

Dental Implants vs. Veneers: Which Is Right for You?

If you have one or more missing teeth, you should consider dental implants. The same goes if your tooth is so damaged it can’t be saved. Why? Because without the roots of your teeth in your jaw bones, the bone structure will gradually begin to shrivel away.

While jaw bone loss might not be as painful as it’s happening, it can eventually affect the way you talk and chew. As such, if you’re part of the 26% of adults with tooth loss, you should consider dental implants.

Not only will it improve your smile and tooth function, but it will also help halt the deterioration of your jaw bone. Veneers on the other hand should be used on natural teeth.

If you want to improve the appearance of your smile, whether that’s in shape or color, veneers can help you do it. Also, keep in mind that the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

If your dental implants are getting discolored, you can apply veneers over them to improve their appearance. If you still aren’t sure which option is right for you, consult with your dentist. From there you can work out a plan that best fits your needs and vision.

Ready for Your New Smile? Contact Justice Dental

We hope this guide helped you choose between dental implants vs. veneers. Here at Justice Dental, we know that no one likes going to the dentist. That’s why we do our best to create the most comfortable environment possible.

What’s more, we combine state-of-the-art dental technology with decades of combined expertise. That way, the final result is always worth any discomfort you might go through. So if you’re ready to restore your smile, schedule an appointment with us today.

teeth whitening services

Teeth Whitening Aftercare: How to Protect Your Teeth at Home

You aren’t alone in thinking that your less-than-perfect teeth impact your personal and professional life. About 90% of Americans hold this belief, which is only reinforced by the impact of social media and influencers with seemingly perfect teeth. This insecurity pushes many people to get teeth whitening services.  

Once your teeth are beautifully white, you will want to protect your results. That way, they stay looking white for longer. Follow these tips to protect your newly whitened teeth.

Follow a Strict Cleaning Routine 

Adhering to a strict cleaning routine is paramount in teeth whitening aftercare. A dedicated oral hygiene regimen includes regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing. A soft-bristled toothbrush, whitening toothpaste, and alcohol-free mouthwash ensure gentle, effective cleaning.

This routine helps remove surface stains, plaque, and debris. Consistency in your cleaning routine contributes to sustaining a radiant, dazzling smile.

Brushing Techniques 

Your brushing technique post-teeth whitening is pivotal in preventing stains from reappearing. Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush along with a whitening toothpaste. These can be gentle yet effective in removing surface stains without harming your enamel.

Ensure you brush all surfaces of your teeth for at least two minutes during each session. This thorough brushing routine helps remove food particles and plaque. This reduces the chances of stain build-up and supports the longevity of your teeth whitening results.

Do not push too hard when brushing your teeth. Aggressive brushing with excessive force can have the opposite effect you want.

It will wear down your teeth’s outer enamel. The outer enamel is white, while the dentin layer underneath is yellow. Wearing down the outer layer can make your teeth look more yellow than you would like. 


Flossing is essential for maintaining your bright smile after a teeth whitening procedure.

It helps remove plaque and debris from areas between your teeth and along the gumline. These are the areas that your toothbrush might not effectively reach.

Removing these particles improves your oral hygiene and reduces the risk of new stains forming.


Opting for an alcohol-free mouthwash post-teeth whitening is a wise choice. Alcohol-free mouthwashes can help remove bacteria, freshen your breath, and maintain a healthy oral environment.

Choose a mouthwash that your dentist recommends. It needs to be compatible with your teeth whitening procedure.

Change Your Diet 

After whitening, you need to make protecting your teeth a priority. This could mean making changes to a tooth-friendly diet.

Certain foods and beverages are more likely to stain your teeth. So, continuing to consume them can stain your teeth quicker. 

Avoid Staining Foods 

After your teeth whitening treatment, stay mindful of foods that could affect the brightness of your smile. Foods like blueberries, soy sauce, curry, and tomato sauce have intense pigmentation.

They can gradually stain your teeth. Try to avoid these foods or enjoy them in moderation.

When you eat them, rinse your mouth with water after consuming them. That way, you reduce potential staining and help maintain the brightness of your newly whitened smile.

Limit Teeth-Staining Beverages 

It is wise to limit the consumption of teeth-staining beverages to maintain your bright smile after teeth whitening. Beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, dark sodas, grape juice, cranberry juice, and pomegranate juice contain pigments that can gradually discolor your teeth.

One option is to cut these beverages out of your diet. Consider drinking with a straw if you don’t want to give them up.

Moderate consumption if a straw won’t work, such as with hot coffee or wine. After you drink them, rinse your mouth with water. This will remove any remaining staining beverage and rinse your teeth.

Drink More Water 

Staying hydrated plays a role in preserving your bright smile. Water helps wash away food particles and reduces acidity in your mouth.

Embrace Crunchy Foods

Including crunchy fruits and vegetables in your diet is helpful. These foods contain natural abrasives and high water content. Examples would be apples, carrots, or celery.

They aid in cleaning teeth by removing surface stains and stimulating saliva production. This can contribute to a cleaner and brighter smile.

Stop Using Tobacco 

Tobacco products, whether smoked or chewed, contain harmful chemicals. They will stain and discolor your teeth. These stains undermine the effectiveness of your whitening treatment.

Schedule Regular Dental Cleanings

Regular dental cleanings are key to protecting your teeth whitening treatment results. It’s highly recommended to schedule dental cleanings with your dentist every six months.

These professional cleanings help remove plaque, tartar, and surface stains that can accumulate. This happens even with diligent oral hygiene practices.

By visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings, you can maintain the brightness of your smile. You can also strive for optimal oral health. Both contribute to a lasting and vibrant outcome from your teeth whitening procedure.

Use Touch-Up Products 

Touch-up products like whitening toothpaste, gels, or strips can help maintain your bright smile.

These touch-up products can help manage surface stains. When used as directed, you can maintain the brightness of your teeth between professional treatments.

Consult your dentist for guidance on the most suitable at-home whitening products.

Always use products that your dentist recommends. That way, you know they’re compatible with your initial whitening procedure.

Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions

Adhering to your dentist’s instructions post-teeth whitening is crucial for maintaining the results. Your dentist will provide personalized guidance tailored to your specific treatment.

These instructions may include following a specific oral care routine. They could also prescribe products for better maintenance of your whitened teeth. That way, you can enjoy the long-lasting brightness of your smile.

Schedule Teeth Whitening Services

If you invest in your teeth by getting them whitened, you will want to protect the results. By practicing proper tooth care post-whitening, you will prevent stains. That way, you can enjoy pearly white results for longer.  

Justice Dental provides teeth whitening services in conjunction with cosmetic dentistry services. Our patients appreciate that we help them maintain oral health while also helping them feel confident about their smiles. 

Enjoy white teeth today by scheduling an appointment at one of our two convenient locations. 

Lexington family dentistry

Lexington Family Dentistry Services: How to Choose Your Best Option

Do your family’s teeth sparkle? A stunning smile can make an amazing first impression on everyone you meet! If you’re neglecting your family’s dental care, however, a smile could start scaring people off!

Before that happens, visit the best Lexington family dentistry practice around. Not sure which dentist in Lexington, KY to choose? Read on to simplify your search and start prioritizing your family’s oral health today.

Check Credentials

Start your search by speaking with other parents in Lexington. Ask if they can recommend a Lexington dental care practice. If they can, ask about their experience at the practice.

For example:

  • Where is the practice located?
  • Was the staff friendly?
  • Is the dentist experienced?
  • Does the dentist have a specialty?
  • Did you encounter any problems?
  • Do your kids like their dentist?

If the parent encountered problems during an appointment, ask for more information. For example, what did the staff do to fix the problem? Look for a dental team that cares about their patients.

Once you have a short list of dentists to choose from, look into each dentist’s credentials. Determine where they completed their education and dental training. Confirm they have a diploma from an accredited institution.

You can find this information on the dentist’s Healthgrades.com profile. If you can’t find information about the dentist’s education and training, continue your search.

Consider when each dentist graduated. If it was decades ago, consider if they continued their education. Make sure the dentist is aware of new technologies, techniques, and procedures.

A dentist with up-to-date knowledge is more likely to offer a higher standard of care. If the staff doesn’t continue their education, keep searching. They could work based on outdated information. 

Look for Experience

The best Lexington dental care team will have years of hands-on experience. There are already over 185,990 dental businesses in the US. As the industry grows, new dentists will start opening practices. 

Unfortunately, a new dentist is more likely to make mistakes with your family’s dental care. Instead, look for an experienced team and established dental practice.

An established dental practice likely operates with efficiency. These teams already have processes in place to ensure the best possible patient experiences.

A less experienced team may still need to work out operational issues. For example, you may encounter a billing or scheduling problem. These issues can affect your experience as a patient.

If you have young children, they may not feel comfortable visiting the dentist. You’ll want a smooth, problem-free patient experience.

Unfortunately, about 36% of people in the US have a fear of dental treatment. Another 12% have extreme fear. Look for a dental staff that has experience helping patients (especially younger patients) with dental anxiety.

For example, the staff may recommend sedation dentistry. You can rest while receiving treatment. Your dental anxiety won’t keep you from receiving the care you need.

Once you’ve found an experienced dentist, look into their professional history. Determine if they participate in any organizations or have professional memberships. Look for dentists who have won accolades and strive to become better in their field.

Read Reviews

You can learn more about each dentist from the patients before you. Check online for patient reviews. You can find reviews on:

  • Healthgrades.com
  • Yelp
  • BBB
  • Google Business

Read a handful of reviews from each site. Look for a dentist who already has a glowing reputation. You’ll feel more confident choosing a dentist other patients have loved in the past.

You may find one or two negative reviews. That’s normal. If you find many patients have encountered the same problem, however, you may too.

Look for comments about the dentist’s bedside manner. Consider how they are around children. If the dentist doesn’t have any online reviews, remove them from your list of options. 

Explore Services

Before choosing a dentist in Lexington, KY, consider your family’s needs. Are you looking for a dentist who can maintain your smile or more specific services? Check online to determine what dental care services each practice offers. 

For example, your family may need:

  • Routine check-ups
  • Dental cleanings
  • Preventive dentistry
  • Crowns
  • Dental sealants
  • Dental bonding
  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental surgery

If the practice doesn’t offer a comprehensive list of services, remove them from your list of options. You won’t want to visit more than one dentist in the future. Finding a dentist that offers a range of services will benefit your entire family.

If your family has specific needs, learn more about the dentist’s experience offering those services. For example, maybe you need dental implant surgery. Ask how often the dentist completes that procedure.

Make sure their experience and expertise are relevant to your family’s specific needs.


Ask each family dentistry practice for a list of all the services they offer. Compare prices between three Lexington practices. Comparing prices between practices can help you recognize who charges extreme prices.

If one practice charges more than the rest, determine why. Ask if they accept your dental insurance (and which procedures they cover). If they don’t, ask if they offer financing options.  

Check a Map

Determine where each dental practice is located. Try to find a practice near your home or work. If you have children, make sure the practice is near their school.

If the practice is far away, attending appointments could become stressful. Confirm that each practice is in a safe location. Make sure they have ample parking.

Prioritize Comfort

Schedule a consultation appointment with three dentists in Lexington. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask each dentist. Make sure they have experience relevant to your needs. 

Consider your comfort after speaking with each dentist. Were they professional and kind? Make sure your family will be comfortable around them, too.

The Best Lexington Family Dentistry Practice

Finding the best Lexington family dentistry practice is easier than you may realize! Use these tips to simplify your search. Prioritize finding a family dentist with your family’s needs in mind. 

We can help streamline your search! Look no further than Justice Dental. Our trusted general and cosmetic dentists have years of hands-on experience.

Contact us today to get the smile you’ve always wanted with transformative dental services!

crown lengthening procedure

Understanding the Purpose and Process of Crown Lengthening

You’ve broken your tooth – maybe for the first time – and now you need to get a crown. However, the dentist informs you that there’s a problem that needs to be solved first. Your gums are too high up and they can’t put a crown on you yet. 

What does this mean for you, though? There’s not much a person can do to shorten their gums or cause them to recede. That’s where your local periodontist comes into play. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the crown lengthening procedure and why it may be vital for your mouth.

What is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening surgery is a procedure where the gums and bone tissues surrounding a tooth are reshaped. The gums are cut down to allow more space for a crown on a tooth that has recently had a root canal. 

Unfortunately, your dentist can’t just cut back your gums on the same day that you get a new crown fitted. Your gums need time to heal, which could take over a week. Additionally, it’s a whole procedure to get your gums ready, and they can only follow up on your crown order when you’re healed. 

Another reason why you may need crown lengthening is if your gums are too high. This works more as a cosmetic dentistry procedure in that it improves your smile without being medically necessary. 

Why Crown Lengthening is Important

Tooth erosion can happen to anyone due to things like carbonated drinks or even acid reflux. If your tooth becomes too damaged, it can break and develop an infection. The only way to save an infected tooth is with a root canal.

The problem with root canals is that they always require a crown afterward to hold the tooth together. If there isn’t enough space for one, then your dentist can’t get a good mold of the tooth and fit a crown.

Without a crown, you’ll have a good deal of pain and likely need the tooth removed. Even worse is if you have an ill-fitting crown placed.

Some of the problems you face with a poorly fitted crown include gum disease, fractures, and even popping off in the middle of a meal. All of these will leave your mouth generally worse for wear. 

Crown lengthening surgery corrects that issue by reducing the visible gum tissue around the tooth to an acceptable level. Once healed, the crown can be placed as normal. 

The only downside is that it’ll push back your fitting by at least a week or two. However, there’s not much else a doctor can do about the issue than with the procedure. 

Crown Lengthening Surgery Types

In total, there are three types of crown lengthening procedures. These are a gingivectomy, apically repositioned flap surgery, and surgical extrusion. All of them aim to accomplish a similar goal, though they may be used to facilitate different end results. 


One of the oldest types of crown lengthening procedure is a gingivectomy. It involves cutting away and removing gum tissue. In some cases, your surgeon will also need to reshape the bone to limit the gum’s regrowth. 

You can expect local anesthetic to numb the pain. In some cases, they may need to use a sedative if they’re working on multiple teeth. 

The good thing about a gingivectomy is that it’s an outpatient procedure and it doesn’t take more than an hour to complete. 

Apically Repositioned Flap Surgery

This is the most common type of crown lengthening performed these days. It involves removing portions of the gum by creating a flap of tissue. The flap is lifted up and the parts of your gum tissue are cut away.

The gums are then cleaned and the flaps are closed with sutures. 

Your dentist may prefer this method as a way to maintain some keratinized tissue instead of cutting away your gum line. 

Surgical Extrusion

Surgical extrusion is one of the more invasive forms of crown lengthening. With this procedure, the periodontist will physically reposition your teeth. 

Your dentist may suggest this procedure if your tooth is badly damaged and needs repositioning. How the surgeon goes about this depends on the damage.

With simple repositioning, your surgeon will use special tools to pull the tooth into the right position. In other cases, they may need to extract the tooth entirely to reshape it before reimplanting it into your mouth. 

Recovery Process

The recovery process from a crown lengthening will depend on the procedure. 

With a gingivectomy, you only have to wait for the cut area to heal up. The oral surgeon will suture it shut, but it shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks to heal enough for a crown placement. 

The same applies to an apically repositioned flap surgery.

However, surgical extrusion will require a bit more time to recover from. The reimplanted tooth will need to be splinted to surrounding teeth for up to a few weeks, so you’ll need to be careful until then. 

Cost of a Crown Lengthening Procedure

Generally speaking, crown lengthening is the least expensive part of repairing a broken tooth. The root canal will cost you upwards of $1,000, while the crown can be anywhere from $500 to $3,000. However, the crown lengthening should only cost a few hundred dollars. 

Once again, it all depends on the type of procedure your oral surgeon is performing. You also have to take into account the added cost if they need to use sedatives when you get a crown extension. 

If you have trouble making any of these payments, you can always set up payment plans or use a medical loan. 

Speak to Your Dentist in Lexington

A crown lengthening procedure is a low-risk outpatient surgery that may be needed for reasons other than getting a new crown placed on your teeth. In some cases, they’ll perform it to give your smile a better appearance. Either way, expect recovery to take at least a week or two. 

Justice Dental provides care for our patients in the Lexington area. Our services include general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and dental surgeries. Contact us if you have any questions and to set up an appointment today. 

how to improve your smile

How to Improve Your Smile: 10 Ways to Improve Your Teeth

Did you know that more than half (57%) of Americans cover their mouths when they smile because they’re insecure about their teeth? If this sounds like you, take heart. Even if you’ve spent a lifetime lamenting how your grin looks, it’s never too late to enhance and improve it. When you know how to improve your smile from the inside out, you can start putting those steps into practice! 

Today, we’re sharing 10 tips to help you proudly display your pearly whites, both off and on camera. 

1. Start Flossing

If you want an attractive smile, flossing is one step you can’t afford to skip. Yet, a disheartening 32% of adults say they never do it!

Flossing not only removes plaque from between your teeth. It also keeps it from forming underneath your gumline. These are two places where your toothbrush can’t easily reach. 

Plaque and tartar can build up over time and develop into periodontal disease. To floss correctly, wrap the piece snugly around your finger and gently glide it between and around each tooth two to three times.

2. Try Teeth Whitening

Are you concerned about stained teeth? There are many reasons your smile might not be as bright as you’d like. These can include dietary choices, lifestyle habits, and even general older age. 

Thankfully, there are teeth whitening services that can help. This is a type of cosmetic dentistry that brightens your teeth back to their natural white appearance. The procedure is quick, painless, and delivers impressive results. 

In our office, we offer traditional whitening services and an innovative procedure called KoR Whitening that enhances your teeth’s ability to absorb oxygen. This one procedure often lightens smiles up to 16 shades or more! 

3. Don’t Skip Dental Appointments

There’s a reason why your dentist recommends coming in for a regular checkup at least twice a year. A routine cleaning every six months is essential to maintaining your oral health. 

Without thorough cleaning, your teeth and gums can become irritated, swollen, and damaged. Your teeth can also become discolored. Not only are these conditions unsightly, but they can also lead to more serious health issues such as stroke, diabetes, and sleep apnea. 

At each appointment, your hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. They’ll also screen you for health concerns, such as oral cancer. 

4. Ask About Veneers

Are you self-conscious about your smile because your teeth are cracked, damaged, or otherwise misshapen? If so, be sure to ask your dentist about veneers. These are a great way to conceal a variety of imperfections, including: 

  • Discolored teeth
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Misshapen or uneven teeth
  • Gaps in teeth

Veneers are thin pieces of different kinds of porcelain fitted over each tooth. They adhere tightly, so the final result looks and functions just like normal — but better. 

5. Stop Smoking

There’s no way around it. If you want a vibrant smile, it’s time to kick your smoking habit to the curb.

In addition to all of the ways they can damage your overall health, cigarettes can also stain your teeth. This includes superficial, surface-level stains as well as deeper discoloration that seeps into your enamel. In addition, smoking can also damage your gums, causing them to recede and leaving large pockets around your teeth. 

6. Look Into Implants

If you have one or more missing teeth, you may be tempted to hide your smile. Whether the loss was due to tooth decay, injury, gum disease, or any other ailment, the good news is that there are treatments that can help, such as dental implants

These are synthetic structures placed in the area where your tooth once was, centered on the root. As they fuse with your jawbone, they create a foundation upon which your dentist will place a dental crown or permanent bridge. Dental implants can drastically improve your quality of life, making it easier to speak, chew, and live in confidence. 

7. Upgrade Your Toothbrush

Are you still cleaning your teeth with the same toothbrush you had last year? If so, it’s time to toss it. When you do, go ahead and upgrade, too.

Electric toothbrushes can help you remove more plaque and keep your gums healthy. While they may cost more than their manual counterparts, they’re a worthy investment. While the bodies are designed to last for years, you can easily swap out the heads when it’s time for a refresh (after three months or so). 

8. Drink Lots of Water

It might sound silly, but drinking a significant amount of water throughout the day is a great way to keep your smile looking fresh! Not only does it do wonders for your overall health, but it also helps gently wash away bacteria from your teeth so they can stay clean and look their best. 

9. Fine-Tune Your Brushing Technique 

You already know that you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day. However, are you sure you’re brushing the right way? It’s easy to get off-track, especially if you’re in a hurry. 

To achieve optimal results, tilt the bristles of your brush at a 45-degree angle. Then, brush with a gentle amount of pressure, pressing just enough to make your gum tissue slightly lighter. Instead of sweeping motions, make small strokes instead, focusing on just a few teeth at a time. 

10. Follow Treatment Recommendations

We get it. No one loves coming in to get a cavity filled! Yet, it’s important to heed your dentist’s advice when it comes to these necessary dental treatments. A small amount of tooth decay can quickly transform from a small cavity into a large, painful abscess. 

When that happens, you’ll need more than just a filling. Instead, you’ll likely require a root canal and crown. By taking a proactive approach and treating these issues early, you can keep your teeth structurally intact and lower the price of your treatments. 

We Know How to Improve Your Smile

Everyone deserves to feel bold and beautiful when they smile. If you’re currently hiding yours, let us help! Our team at Justice Dental knows how to improve your smile, and we’d love to help you put these tips into practice.

At our two Lexington locations, we provide a variety of dental treatments and services, including general, cosmetic, and surgical procedures. To learn more and schedule a visit, contact us today!

sedation for tooth extraction

Do You Need Sedation for Tooth Extraction?

Are you about to undergo a tooth extraction procedure? It happens more often than you might realize! Dental caries are the most common reason for tooth extractions (accounting for 52.2% of procedures).

However, dentists also recommend this procedure for patients with periodontal disease or damaged teeth. Don’t worry; you don’t have to remain awake. Consider sedation for tooth extraction instead.

Do you need dental sedation for your procedure? Read on to find out!

Types of Sedation

Before your tooth extraction procedure, your dentist will review the different dental sedation options available. Sedation dentistry is often used to help patients manage their anxiety. It can also reduce the likelihood of pain after the procedure.

If you’re having a tooth extracted, schedule a consultation appointment with your dentist before the surgery. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of each sedation option. 

Make sure you understand the potential side effects of each option before making your choice. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll experience no pain throughout the operation. However, you might feel a little sore afterward. 

Here are a few types of sedation your dentist might recommend for your upcoming tooth extraction procedure.

We provide both oral sedation and IV sedation at our offices. Both are conscious forms of sedation.

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia is the most common type recommended for tooth extraction procedures.

During your procedure, an anesthesiologist will inject a numbing medication into the area surrounding your gums and tooth. The injection should feel like a small pinch or sting. It shouldn’t be painful.

Local anesthesia:

  • Is safe for all ages
  • Reduces recovery times
  • Doesn’t require special equipment
  • Has little risk of complications
  • Has few long-term side effects

After the procedure, you might notice a tingling or throbbing sensation in your cheek or lip. This should only last for an hour or two.

IV Sedation

IV, or intravenous sedation, involves injecting a sedative directly into your bloodstream.

The dental team will continuously monitor the sedative during the procedure. They’ll ensure you’re receiving the proper dose for optimal comfort.

With IV sedation, you’ll remain in a semi-awake state. This option can reduce your anxiety. However, you won’t need assistance to breathe or maintain normal health rhythms during the procedure. 

Since you’ll remain conscious during the procedure, you can give the dentist or hygienist signals to answer questions. You likely won’t remember the treatment once the sedation wears off. Effects usually wear off by the next morning. 

However, IV sedation doesn’t numb pain. Your dentist might recommend an anesthetic and a sedative during the procedure. 

This option is ideal for patients who have dental anxiety or a strong gag reflex. It can be difficult for a dentist to perform extractions on patients with a strong gag reflex.

IV sedation is both safe and effective. It’s also fast-acting. If you’re concerned about spending too much time at a dental office, talk to your dentist about IV sedation.

This is also an ideal option if you have to remain in a chair for an extended period of time.

Oral Conscious Sedation

If your dentist recommends oral conscious sedation, you’ll take medication orally before your procedure. Though this option is most commonly used for tooth extractions, it’s also recommended for other procedures.

After taking the medication, you should feel calm and relaxed during the procedure. You won’t have to feel anxious or nervous about the extraction process. You might feel mild drowsiness.

Sleepiness is a normal side effect.

This option doesn’t require a needle or IV. It also offers a quicker recovery time compared with general anesthesia. If you choose this option, make sure you have a friend or family member available to take you home following the appointment. 

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

If your dentist recommends nitrous oxide sedation, you’ll breathe gas in through a mouthpiece or mask before the procedure. Nitrous oxide can help you feel relaxed during the procedure. If you tend to experience dental anxiety, this is an ideal option.

About 36% of people in the US have a fear of dental treatment. Another 12% have an extreme fear of treatment. Patients develop dentophobia due to:

  • Family history
  • Feeling embarrassed
  • Feeling helpless
  • Hearing someone else express their fears
  • Traumatic history
  • Past negative experiences

Dental anxiety can keep you from getting the treatment you need. Delaying your tooth removal procedure could compromise your dental health. 

Nitrous oxide sedation won’t put you to sleep. However, it will take away some of your awareness during the procedure. Sedation usually lasts 30 minutes to an hour.

How long the effects last will vary based on the dose and whether other medications were used. 

What To Expect

Once you arrive at the dentist’s office, you’ll get comfortable in the dental chair. Your dental team will then administer the sedative. This process will vary based on the type of sedative used.

During the tooth extraction procedure, the dental team will monitor your oxygen levels and vital signs. They’ll also ensure your airway remains open, allowing you to breathe on your own.

You’ll remain safe during the entire procedure.

After the tooth removal procedure is complete, you’ll need to get a ride home from a friend or family member. It’s normal to feel a little groggy after the procedure. Effects should subside by morning.

Let your dentist know if you experience any side effects following the procedure.

Dental sedation can help ensure a fast, easy operation. You can get your tooth removed without dental anxiety getting in the way. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed about your procedure, talk to your dentist about sedation options. 

Consider Sedation for Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction procedures don’t have to feel scary. Instead of letting your anxiety take over, consider sedation for tooth extraction procedures. Dental sedation can ease your fear and anxiety while ensuring you receive the care you need.

Talk to your Lexington dentist about dental sedation today.

Ready to schedule your next tooth extraction appointment? We can’t wait to see you!

Contact us today to schedule your appointment at one of our Lexington locations!

best Lexington dentist

How to Choose the Best Dentures for Your Teeth

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, about 15% of Americans with missing teeth get dentures each year. If you’ve lost any of your teeth over time, you may want to consider joining them. The best Lexington dentist will be able to help you with getting dentures. But you will need to spend some time learning about the different types of dentures before picking out the ones that’ll be the right option for you. It’ll help you embrace the many benefits of dentures from the start.

So, what are the different types of dentures, and how exactly should you go about choosing dentures? We’ve created a guide that’ll help you pick the right ones out.

Discover how to choose dentures through the best Lexington dentist below.

Begin by Finding the Best Lexington Dentist

If you know you might need to go through the process of getting dentures soon, you may be tempted to jump online to start learning about the different types of dentures right away. But you’ll be making a mistake if you take this approach to buying dentures.

Prior to doing any research on dentures, you should search for the best Lexington dentist. They’ll be able to guide you down the right path as you seek to choose the dentures that’ll prove to be a perfect fit for you.

There is certainly no shortage of options in the U.S. today, as there are more than 200,000 dentists throughout the country at the moment. This includes quite a few options in the Lexington area.

Your job will be to find one that has a wealth of experience, especially when it comes to cosmetic dentistry and dentures in particular. A dentist like this will be able to speak with you at length about getting dentures and can even offer up advice on which ones to choose.

Check Out the Different Types of Dentures

Once you have the best Lexington dentist in your corner, you can start to educate yourself on the different types of dentures that are out there. You may be surprised to see how many of them there are.

Some of the types of dentures that’ll be available to you will include:

  • Traditional complete dentures
  • Partial dentures
  • Implant-supported dentures
  • Snap-in dentures
  • Custom dentures

In some cases, it’ll be relatively obvious which type of dentures you need. If, for example, you’re missing just about all your teeth, traditional complete dentures might be the only real option for you.

But there will also be other instances in which you might be able to choose from any number of types of dentures. This will be when you’ll need to put some real thought into it and select the best option of the bunch.

Consider the Right Factors When Choosing Dentures

There will be a handful of different factors you’ll need to consider when you’re choosing dentures. The current condition of your teeth will be one of the top factors, but it’ll be far from the only factor you’ll need to keep in mind.

Here are several other factors that should be considered when you’re comparing the different types of dentures and trying to choose one over all the rest:

  • Your specific comfort level when it comes to wearing dentures
  • Your budget for buying dentures
  • The dental requirements you’ll need to meet to wear certain types of dentures

Each of these factors will play a big part in which dentures will be the right ones for you. Make sure you take each of them into account as you set out to decide which dentures you’d like to buy.

See How to Care for the Various Kinds of Dentures

From the second that you start wearing dentures, you’re going to need to get yourself into the habit of maintaining them. If you fail to clean your dentures in the right way, it’ll lead to you having to replace them much sooner than expected.

Ideally, you’ll want to choose dentures that will be very easy to care for at all times. At the very least, you should make it a point to see what the maintenance associated with each type of denture is like. It’ll let you know what you’ll be in for if you decide to go with one kind of denture over the others.

Talk to Your Trusted Dentist About Dentures

If you’ve never had dentures before, you’ll likely have a million and one questions about them. You’ll wonder what will keep them in place, what they’ll be made out of, and so much more.

It’s one more reason why it’s worth taking your time when you’re trying to track down the best Lexington dentist. You’ll be able to run any and all questions you have about dentures by this dentist to make yourself feel more comfortable about getting them.

In a perfect world, you’ll also be able to continue to see this dentist as you move forward so that they can help you take great care of your dentures. You’ll appreciate having the best Lexington dentist around on your side since they’ll be ready to help you at every turn.

Contact Us to Get Help With Getting Dentures

Do you believe you could benefit from getting dentures? Then Justice Dental will be the best Lexington dentist for you.

We invite you to visit either of our Lexington offices to get more information on buying dentures. We can walk you through the different types of dentures and let you know which ones might be the best choice for you based on everything from the condition of your teeth to your personal budget. We even offer financing options for those who would like to take advantage of them.

Reach out to us now to schedule a consultation with the best Lexington dentist.

teeth whitening service

5 Tips for Choosing a Teeth Whitening Service

There’s a world record for the most expensive “Grillz” (diamond bling for your teeth) ever worn, and it was set by Katy Perry and her $1,000,000 diamond mouth sparkler. Everyone loves a sparkling smile, but going to such an extreme is not everyone’s cup of tea. Most people would happily opt for an excellent teeth whitening service instead.

Our extreme diamond-studded example also shows that a higher price does not always guarantee a product better suited to your needs. Keep these five tips in mind when you’re looking for dental services that will fit you best.

1. Going At Home or In-Office

If you’re the type of person who needs a brighter smile because you’re constantly at marketing events or doing social media campaigns, then you’re also probably incredibly busy. In-office teeth whitening will give you the brightest teeth you can get, but it may be difficult to rely solely on visiting dental services.

This is where teeth whitening strips, toothpaste, and powders can do a lot as part of your approach to teeth whitening. You’ll also want to make sure you have a good toothbrush and that you’re changing your toothbrush every six to eight months. This way, you can schedule in-office teeth whitening every time you need it for a shoot or event, but when you’re busy with day-to-day tasks you don’t have to overburden your itinerary.

We should add that at-home solutions like whitening strips or toothpaste don’t have an immediate effect. It can take many days or even a few weeks before you start seeing the results you desire. For the best and most balanced results, it’s best to start with a teeth whitening visit at a dental service and then use the at-home products to maintain the effect for longer.

2. Would a Lifestyle Change Work Better

Many things can cause tooth discoloration. Some of them are hard or impossible to change like environmental or genetic factors. Others, such as smoking or dietary issues, are much easier to change because they involve cheaper and easier lifestyle adjustments than, say, moving to a different place with different drinking water.

Teeth whitening services will definitely help make your teeth whiter regardless of the underlying cause of discoloration, but ask yourself whether you wouldn’t rather give up smoking or build better dental hygiene habits if at all possible. These are longer-term solutions that will also benefit many other areas of your general health, not just how your smile looks.

3. Cosmetic or Medical Reasons

Another factor to consider is whether you’re getting teeth whitening in response to a more severe underlying problem. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that’s meant to remove discoloration from your teeth.

If the discoloration is from corrosive foods, long-term hygiene issues, or a form of mouth disease, then it may be a good idea to improve your dental health first before opting for the cosmetic upgrade. Preventative dentistry and other such services will affect your image too, so you won’t necessarily be choosing between health and looks when making your decision.

This consideration is important because putting off necessary medical interventions may lead to discomfort and higher costs in the future. Rather pay for preventative dentistry now than face much more expensive health risks and reconstructions later down the road.

4. Consider the Price

Modern times are forcing us to consider the cost of things more and more. When you’re weighing up all these factors, it is important to ask yourself what the end goal’s monetary worth is.

For many people like estate agents or influencers, a brighter smile can have a direct positive effect on their business. Even the confidence boost may make you a more effective salesperson. In these cases, you may want to get the combined in-office and at-home treatments.

You don’t have to be the face of your business for it to be worth it, though. The confidence boost on its own may speak to your value as a person. This can also help you figure out if the service is worth the price.

To help you figure out if it is worth it, you can find out about the average price of teeth whitening in the US. As far as cosmetic dentistry goes, teeth whitening is on the cheaper end of the spectrum of procedures. This makes it a viable option for most people.

5. Look at Teeth Whitening Service Reviews

When you’ve settled that you want to go forward with teeth whitening and have a plan to pay for it, then you’ll want to find the best service available. At this point, you’re going to want to have a look at reviews, testimonials, prices (again), and location.

Why prices and location? Well, if you see that the “dental service” offers laser teeth whitening services out of the industrial district on a cash-only basis, that’s a “dentist” you may want to avoid. The price and business location should be up to a standard you can reasonably expect for general dentistry.

More important, however, are the service’s testimonials and reviews. These are clients’ opinions on the standard of the service and their satisfaction with the service. Be sure to look at the reviews the service posts on their site as well as what people say about them on Facebook and Google.

Something to note about reviews on public sites like Google is that a larger number of reviews delivers a more unbiased result. If Google says 4.7 stars and has over 500 reviews while Trustpilot says 3.2 stars but only has 6 reviews, Google will be more accurate.

Find the Best Dental Solution for You Today

When you’re thinking about getting your teeth whitened, consider whether you want to do it at home or go to a clinic (or both), think about whether you’re looking for a cosmetic or medical fix, and whether a lifestyle change may not be what’s needed. You should also take the different services’ reviews and prices into account. These are our five tips for choosing a whitening service, but if you have other queries then definitely give them some good thought too.

Once you’ve run through our list and determined that a teeth whitening service is a good fit for you, contact us for a service you can trust. Our cosmetic dentistry is second to none and we’ll be happy to help you.

preventive dentistry

The Importance of Preventive Dentistry in Lexington, KY

The market for dentistry services in the United States is worth more than $172 billion every single year! Throughout the country, there are almost 200,000 independent dental offices. It is difficult to think of many industries that do as much to decrease suffering and improve health as modern dentistry. At the same time, some people end up spending more on dental services than necessary because they do not invest in preventive dentistry.

However, the advantages of preventive dentistry go well beyond saving money. Read on to learn all about preventive dentistry and some of the biggest benefits it can provide!

What Is Preventive Dentistry?

Some people do not visit the dentist until they become aware of a specific problem with their oral health. However, this is the exact opposite approach of preventive dentistry. Preventive dentistry is a type of dentistry that focuses on keeping dental problems from ever occurring in the first place.

One of the most important aspects of preventive dentistry is maintaining good oral hygiene habits at home. After all, no matter how skilled your dentist is, they cannot keep your teeth clean between visits.

However, even great cleaning at home is not enough to ensure that your oral health stays in top condition. It is important to combine good oral hygiene habits at home with regular dental visits. That way, you can enjoy easy dental visits with few oral health problems that need resolving. 

Avoid Oral Health Problems With Preventive Dental Care

Keep in mind that it is impossible to undo damage to your teeth. Modern dentistry is effective at filling in cavities and preventing any further damage from occurring. However, this will not actually restore your teeth to their original pristine condition.

The damage done to your teeth is often permanent. That is why investing in preventive dentistry is so valuable. 

Save Money With Preventive Dental Health Practices

Another big advantage of investing in preventive Dentistry is that you can save money. If all your dentist needs to do during visits is examine your teeth before declaring that you are good to go, you will not accrue many extra dental expenses.

On the other hand, if your dentist discovers serious problems with your oral health, it will cost you more and more money to resolve these problems. This goes double because problems that start out small can quickly develop into bigger issues.

For example, if you develop a health problem with your gums, that can lead to a greater likelihood of developing cavities. Spending a few minutes each day on oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly can save you thousands of dollars over the years!

Improve Overall Health by Visiting a Local Dentist

Many people do not appreciate how interconnected the body is. They think of visiting the dentist as only good for their oral health. However, health problems with your mouth can cause health problems around the body.

For example, many studies have found that poor oral health can lead to heart disease. Scientists have also discovered a link between oral health and diabetes and even strokes.

Improve Your Appearance With Quality Dental Services

Scheduling regular visits to your dentist can help you keep your smile as beautiful as possible. If you develop cavities, your dentist can always help you fill them in. However, the more cavities you develop, the more fillings will affect the appearance of your teeth.

It is also worth keeping in mind that dentists can help you manage the early signs of discoloration or staining. Visiting the dentist for preventive services can help you catch these problems before they develop to an irreversible degree.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Many people find it difficult to maintain good oral hygiene habits. However, your dentist can encourage and remind you to keep up with your oral health routines. They have a lot of experience helping people who struggle to maintain their brushing and flossing habits.

Whatever is keeping you from maintaining consistent oral hygiene practices, they can probably help you come up with a solution.

Dentists are also familiar with all of the latest tools for keeping our mouths clean. Your dentist can help you find whichever tools are the most convenient for your situation as well as the most effective.

On top of that, you may not always realize when you are neglecting a certain aspect of your oral health. People who do not study dentistry do not always recognize the early signs of oral health problems. Your dentist can help you identify issues that you may not yet have noticed.

On the other hand, if you wait a long time before seeing the dentist, problems might develop for a long time before you find out about them. By the time your dentist discovers these issues for you, it may be too late to prevent serious oral health problems from happening in the first place. In the long run, it is better for your health and your wallet to visit the dentist regularly.

Understand the Importance of Preventive Dentistry

We hope that learning about some of the most important reasons to invest in preventive dentistry has been helpful for you. The more you know about preventive dentistry, the easier it will be to understand why waiting around for oral health problems to show up is a much worse strategy. You will enjoy improved oral health and comfort by keeping oral health problems from ever occurring in the first place.

To learn more about how to find the best dental care for you, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!