PA Department of Health Ruling Regarding Dental Appointments

4 Dental Improvements for Unmasking Healthy Smiles

Dentists are seeing an uptick in dental appointments as more patients are now prioritizing dental care as mask mandates and social restrictions begin to ease. Improved daily dental hygiene habits, oral health care appointments and cosmetic dentistry treatments including deep cleanings, alignments and whitening services are topping the list of dentistry asks as more people unmask. Check out the top 4 dental improvements for unmasking a healthy smile.

The pandemic not only disrupted our daily lives, but also delayed routine dental care and interfered with the importance of daily oral hygiene. A survey conducted by the American Association of Endodontists revealed the pandemic caused a major disruption in Americans’ dental habits. More than half of Americans surveyed reported fears related to COVID-19 caused them to put off regular dental checkups, with 32 percent of respondents reporting they experienced a disruption to their daily dental hygiene routines. Significant findings include:

  • 31% were snacking more on sweets
  • 28% didn’t schedule or forgot to schedule a dental visit
  • 1 in 4 said they waited until later in the morning to brush their teeth, while 21% didn’t brush in the morning at all
  • There was also a major drop off in flossing, with 24% saying they’re flossing less frequently, while 23% say they aren’t flossing
  • Millennials more frequently reported experiencing dental disruptions, with 43% of those surveyed indicating that working from home or attending virtual classes from home led to disruptions to their usual dental hygiene habits during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

As pandemic restrictions begin to ease, unmasking is driving the need for dental care, maintenance and cosmetic dentistry. In fact, dentists are seeing an uptick in dental appointments being scheduled. With increased incidences of tooth decay, gum disease and chipped or fractured teeth oral health care evaluations and appointments for dental improvements are on the rise.

1.  Polishing and Deep Cleaning Teeth

Stains, plaque and bacteria can build up and take their toll on healthy teeth and gums. Common dental issues connected to delaying oral health care and neglecting a daily oral hygiene routine include gingivitis or periodontal disease. Contact your dentist for an oral health evaluation and appointment to polish teeth with a light cleaning and fluoride treatment. During a light cleaning, the dental hygienist can polish teeth for a more radiant smile and remove lingering stains, plaque and tartar. If more extensive dentistry treatments are necessary, an oral health care treatment recommendation will be provided to remove bacteria and tartar buildup from above and below gum lines. Teeth scaling, root planing and gum therapy are common procedures to treat chronic periodontal disease.

2. Cosmetic Dentistry Considerations

Dentists are seeing an increase in patients requesting cosmetic dentistry services. Before cosmetic issues get addressed an oral health examination is necessary to evaluate existing dental issues including plaque buildup, gum disease or dental decay. Once a good oral health foundation has been established, patients can consider cosmetic dentistry solutions to improve their smiles. Common procedures for healthier-looking teeth and gums include professional teeth whitening treatments, veneers, dental bonding, dentures and dental implants. Three Rivers Dental Group offers a variety of sedation dentistry techniques to make your visit pleasant, comfortable and anxiety-free. Different levels of sedation from mild to moderate can be used depending on the patient’s needs. Before administering any sedative, our doctors will review a patient’s personal medical and dental history to select the best sleep dentistry option.

3. Fixing Broken or Cracked Teeth

Stress-induced teeth grinding and pandemic-related dental problems are affecting oral health and leading to more cracked or broken teeth. Many dentists are seeing an uptick inpatient cases involving teeth pain, sensitivity and fractures associated with bruxism. Teeth grinding and dental damage caused by a delay in dental care can often lead to the need for immediate attention or an emergency dental visit. A cracked, broken or chipped tooth can become a dental emergency. If you are a patient experiencing tooth sensitivity due to stress grinding or facing pain due to a cracked or broken tooth, do not mask the problem. Contact Three Rivers Dental Group by calling 1-855-NO-FEARS or request an appointment online to get immediate dental pain relief with 24-hour online scheduling. We offer sleep dentistry solutions for dental treatments to fix broken or cracked teeth and will explore the best option for your individual needs, including:

  • Fillings: Fillings are a painless and cost-efficient treatment to fix cracked or broken teeth temporarily using restorative material and are beneficial for teeth with cavities.
  • Dental Sealants: Ideal for repairing holes in teeth, dental sealants help repair cracked teeth to prevent infection and act as a barrier against cavity-causing bacteria that damage teeth.
  • Bonding: Repairs minor tooth chips and defects while improving the overall appearance of teeth with composite bonding that molds to the tooth for a natural-looking enamel shine and tooth shade color match.
  • Veneers: Created in composite or dental porcelain, veneers can improve the aesthetics of a smile and protect the tooth’s surface from damage.
  • Dental Crowns: Broken or cracked teeth can lead to decay and dental infection when left untreated. A root canal can treat broken teeth by removing the infection first. A dental crown can then be placed to prevent infection from spreading. Thicker than veneers, a dental crown can restore the tooth’s shape and appearance
  • Dental Implants: A dental implant is a post surgically implanted into the jaw with an artificial tooth (or teeth) attached. They are a permanent solution for severely damaged or broken teeth, dental implants function and feel just like natural teeth.

4. Dental Alignments

Patients considering dental alignment solutions may consider orthodontic teeth straightening solutions based on their individual needs. Dental braces are commonly used as an orthodontic solution to improve over and underbites, crooked teeth and mis-alignments. Braces require hands-on hygienic care. Colgate offers insight on types of braces along with care and cleaning tips for a healthy, beautiful smile. As an alternative to braces, dental aligners have become a very popular cosmetically conscious solution for adults looking to straighten teeth. Dental Tribune International reports, Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign, saw a nearly 70% increase in demand in 2020 as people were more reluctant to go to an orthodontist’s office. To meet the demand, the article reports Invisalign providers are using virtual tools to minimize in-office appointments and deliver doctor-directed, personalized treatment to meet the needs of the moment and while reshaping the future of treatment.

Three Rivers Dental Group is committed to patient safety and helping patients maintain excellent oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to unveil a healthy smile. We are conveniently located throughout the Pittsburgh area in Cranberry, Greentree, Greensburg, and Jennerstown.