Our Current Blog Articles
April 5, 2018
Top 5 Factors When Choosing the Right Cosmetic Dentist
You’re looking for a positive change for your teeth. Whether it’s a straighter smile, a color correction, or even a more advanced procedure like replacing missing teeth, you want something that can help add the extra spark to your smile you feel that you’re missing.
Cosmetic Dentistry can do just that for you, but even further, it can help boost your confidence, give your appearance the positive results you’re looking for, and change your everyday life. Once you’ve decided cosmetic dentistry is for you, you’re left with this question: How do I go about picking the best cosmetic dentist for me?
We have you covered. Check out our Top 5 factors to consider when picking a cosmetic dentist. A quick read-through will get you on the right track to a straight, pearly-white smile in no time!
Training is Everything (Associations are Good, Too)
When it comes to do picking the right cosmetic dentist for you, the most crucial factor to consider is their training. Where did your dentist get his or her degree? Does your dentist just practice cosmetic dentistry, or does he have other specializations, too? A trained cosmetic dentist will likely have taken postgraduate courses in things like porcelain veneers, Invisalign, laser dentistry, white restorations, and more. Never shy away from asking your dentist about his or her training. Additionally, it’s always a bonus when your prospective dentist is a member of well-known associations like the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. While this membership never puts the seal of approval on a dentist’s skills, it does indicate they take their cosmetics seriously enough to invest in a membership.
Time is Money, but Money Pays Bills – Why Not Consider Both?
Always talk with your dentist about these two factors: time and money. Don’t be shy asking your dentist how long they believe the procedure will take, what kind of healing period you’re looking at, and how long you’ll have to wait to schedule the procedure. Even so, ensure that your dentist doesn’t have any vacation or away-time during your healing – if they do, check to see if another dentist is scheduled to assist you. Further, be frank with your dentist about cost and payment options. Talk with your dentist about how much they charge for a procedure, why they charge what they do, and discuss the myriad of payment plans and options they offer. Have these things worked out before committing to a cosmetic procedure.
Look at the Evidence: Those Before and After Photos Matter
Any cosmetic dentist worth his or her salt will have plenty of before-and-after photos on-hand to showcase their work; we definitely recommend asking to see these photos before agreeing to a cosmetic procedure. Further, ask your dentist to show you a case he’s done that’s similar to yours – this way, you’ll get an idea of his or her skill and experience working with a case like yours. Ask yourself, after seeing these photos, if you’re comfortable putting your cosmetic procedure in the hands of this particular dentist.
How About Previews?
Another super-helpful feature that some cosmetic dentists have are digital previews, mock-ups, or wax-up software so you’re able to see the predicted results before you commit to the cosmetic dentist. Request that your prospective dentist take images of your jaw, teeth, or smile – or whatever aspect you’re looking to have adjusted – and then see if they’re able to create a digital mock-up of what your predicted results will be.
Comfort is Key
While it’s always important to find a dentist with the proper training, plenty of experience, and the right tools, it’s equally important you find a cosmetic dentist you’re comfortable with. Ask yourself when you walk into the dentist’s office, “Am I comfortable?” How do you feel about the doctor? Do you think they’ll make your procedure easier, or do you think you’ll be uncomfortable – making the procedure more stressful? Does the staff make you feel welcome and secure? All these comfort questions are important when committing to a specific cosmetic dentist, so don’t glaze past these just because your prospective dentist has the experience and prices you’re looking for! Essentially, this is the factor pertaining to your gut instinct.
Most importantly, before committing to a dentist, give Matthew Wimmer DMD a thoughtful consideration. You owe it to yourself to leave your teeth in the best hands. His online reviews are a strong indicator of his track record.
February 28, 2018
Am I Ready to Get Botox?
If you’re wondering, am ready to get Botox, and just aren’t sure, we here at Wimmer Dental, serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, have a few indicators to help you decide. Botox is hailed as an effective treatment for wrinkles and its allure is clear but really not everyone is ready, so here are few things to consider.
You are ready to get Botox if…
- You recently noticed deep-set wrinkles and thinning skin. Deep-set wrinkles and thinning skin can be what Botox improves best, particularly if you are in your 30s and 40s. Botox is known for its ability to freshen up your face and reduce the appearance and depth of some of your wrinkles. Botox works really well when fine lines start to appear. If you are older though, Botox may not be as effective on its own.
- You see deep wrinkles when you smile, frown, or make other faces. Botox can really help those wrinkles that disappear when you are done making a face. These wrinkles have dynamic rhytids. If the lines are there after you’re done making a face or smiling, Botox alone may not be sufficient, but can still be effective at reducing the depth of such lines.
- You want to enhance your facial symmetry. If your mouth appears to be uneven when you speak or if one eyebrow appears to sit lower than the other, Botox may be able to help. Botox can be used to create a temporary, but more symmetrical appearance by relaxing the muscles on one side. This effect can last longer than the Botox injections done for wrinkle.
- You want to soften your jawline. Botox is an effective way to soften your jaw, particularly if it is quite angular or square. Your masseter muscle, which is the muscle you use to chew, may be larger than other people’s. It is one of the reasons some people have prominent jawlines. You might be ready to get Botox if you want your face to seem longer, as well as softer.
- You experience excessive sweating. One of the uses of Botox that the FDA has approved is to alleviate severe sweating. To alleviate a sweating issue, Botox is injected into armpits, palms, or the soles of your feet. Botox will prevent the contraction of those muscles that are used to sweat. This doesn’t mean you won’t sweat in other areas, after all your body needs to cool off somehow, but it can help if your sweating is a cause for embarrassment or discomfort.
- You experience migraines frequently. Botox can help with migraines and excessive tension headaches. It can help reduce both the severity and frequency. Additionally, you can experience the added bonus of a reduction in the wrinkles in your forehead.
- You have a gummy smile. Botox can be used to relax your lip so that less of the gumline will be visible. This kind of procedure can also be much more long-lasting.
If you think you are ready to get Botox, come see us at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We can help your face look refreshed and younger.
You are not ready for Botox if…
- You have heavy eyelids or brows. Patients who have heavy brows or eyelids, particularly older patients may need to be careful about getting Botox injections. Patients with these issues can run into problems keeping their eyes open because their eyelids have become too heavy. Additionally, some people who get Botox around their eyes end up with cheeks that look too puffy or make their cheeks appear unnaturally high. See a licensed professional to avoid this.
- You are older than 65 or have static facial muscles. The FDA has only approved Botox for use in patients 65 or younger. Those who are older than this would be better served by having other procedures, such as fillers. Additionally, your facial muscles may be too static (the wrinkles are always there) for Botox to be effective. This just means that Botox would not help in this situation, but there are other effective options to choose.
- You have lofty expectations. Botox is not permanent and often wears off after three to four months. Additionally, Botox is not going to return you to your teen years. You are not ready to get Botox if you don’t have a realistic understanding of what Botox can do. It will soften the effects of aging in your face, particularly in your upper face where it works best, and it will make you look younger, but it will not make your face appear perfectly smooth.
- You need to be expressive for work. If being able to communicate your emotions or being able to make specific facial expressions is important to your work, Botox may not be the right solution for you. Actors, news anchors, and therapists are examples of professions that may not benefit from Botox. Even parents and teachers may not be the best candidates because kids rely on your facial expressions to determine your mood. Though if your wrinkles make you look continually angry, Botox can help.
- You have an underlying muscle problem. If you have a neuromuscular disease, Botox may not achieve the look you want because it uses the neuromuscular junction. On the other hand, patients with some issues can be helped. For example, Botox can improve facial symmetry for some patients with Bells Palsy or temporary nerve injuries.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. As with a lot of different things, Botox is not recommended while pregnant or breastfeeding. Mainly, there is not enough research to indicate that it is safe. While some patients have had a Botox procedure and later discovered they were pregnant without issue, it is better to be safe and wait till your baby will not be affected.
If you think you would benefit from Botox, contact us at Wimmer Dental in Centennial for a consultation. We can help you determine whether you’re ready to get Botox and provide this procedure in a safe medical environment. Schedule your appointment today.
January 16, 2018
Overcoming Your Fear of Seeing the Dentist
Here at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, we want to help you with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. We understand that while it is generally not a fun experience, it is necessary for good mouth health. Ultimately, avoiding your dentist makes the situation worse because you will increase your chances of needing more work done. We have put together a few tips to help make your visits to the dentist better.
Lack of Control
One of the primary reasons people do not enjoy the dentist is a lack of control. You are in a chair in a prone position and there is a person with their hands in your mouth. This prevents you from speaking and generally results in a strong feeling of a lack of control. Additionally, our mouth is primary to our survival. We need our mouths the breath, eat, and drink. In general, our deepest instincts direct us to avoid letting people touch inside our mouths. It is understandable then that many people don’t really enjoy visiting the dentist.
The tools required for fillings, crowns and more do not necessarily help with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. Sharp metal instruments do not generally inspire a sense of calm and needles are a major source of fear for a number of people. Additionally, the whirring and clicking noises are not calming. Unfortunately, there are a number of sources of a fear response at the dentist’s office.
The First Step
If going to the dentist is a bit like pulling teeth, for either you or a loved one, starting by admitting there is a problem is helpful. A number people make excuses and come up with reasons why they can’t make it to the dentist. Admitting that fear of the dentist is a problem will help you better come to terms with potential solutions. It is also helpful to identify what the exact issue is. Is it the needles? Have you had a bad dental experience before? Is it the chair? Pinpointing your exact fears will help you better determine effective strategies for addressing your issues.
Find a Good Dentist
Finding a good dentist can help alleviate the fear of a botched dental experience. You can ask family or friends for recommendations and you can look for dentists who are concerned with their patient’s comfort and are willing to address dental anxiety. Additionally, finding a dentist with a sense of humor may be helpful. A study found that use of humor in a dentist’s office does have a positive effect on the level of fear for dental patients.
If you need a caring professional who can help with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist, contact us here at Wimmer Dental for a consultation.
Maybe your issue is the sounds of the drills and suction. Finding ways to take your focus away from the noise may be helpful. You could consider wearing noise-canceling headphones or earplugs as a way to help reduce or eliminate the disturbing sounds. A number of dental offices now offer movies or television programs that you can watch on screens on the ceiling as a way to provide a distraction. You can also bring earbuds and your iPod or phone so that you can listen to music instead of the drills.
Relaxation Techniques can be Helpful
There are a number of relaxation techniques that can be very useful in being less anxious and overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. Meditation can be a helpful way to deal with dental anxiety. Visualizations, prayer, and controlled breathing can also be effective. All of these offer some method for helping you control your level of stress and fear at the dentist’s office. If these don't work, you can also ask about sedation dentistry.
Pay Attention to Your Gut Feeling
Sometimes the relationship between you and your dentist is not a good one. It doesn’t mean your dentist is not effective, just that they may not be the best dentist for you. A positive relationship with your dentist and their staff is important to helping you overcome your dental fears. If you feel like the dentist or the staff is not the best fit, it may be helpful to try a different dentist office. A number of offices these days are putting forth extra effort to attract patients who are fearful of going to the dentist. Trying a different office may be a good strategy for finding a good dentist near you.
Slow Dental Work is Better Than None
Instead of trying to get all your dental work done in a short period of time, you may be better served by shorter appointments over a longer period of time. A little treatment is better than no treatment because as we all know ignoring a problem is rarely an effective method of making something better. Small amounts of repeated, successful exposure can be effective in diminishing your dental anxiety.
Good Preventive Care will Help
Good dental habits will help you with having to have painful work done in the first place. Brushing your teeth well, flossing daily, and eating a good diet will help you avoid having to have some of the dental work that causes you anxiety. Prevention can be a great way to need easier visits and help you with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist.
Talk to Your Dentist
Open and honest communication with your dentist will help your high anxiety. Your dentist may have additional helpful tips for dealing with your fears. It will also help your dentist be more mindful of your situation. Keeping your dentist informed is a good way to avoid inadvertent anxiety-causing situations.
Overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist can be done with a little patience and determination. If you need a dentist that will help you with your dental anxiety, contact us at Wimmer Dental, serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We provide a positive atmosphere for our patients and will help you address your dental fears while taking excellent care of your teeth.
December 12, 2017
Get to Know Dental Implants
Here at Wimmer Dental, serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, we want you to get to know dental implants. This option can be a very natural looking solution to certain dental issues, and they can be so real looking and feeling that many people forget they even have them. Dental implants can be an excellent and long-lasting way to improve your smile.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants position a synthetic tooth root in a patient’s jaw. This root will be set so that it can hold either a bridge or a replacement tooth. Depending on the number of implants that will be done, a session can be completed in as little as an hour or it can take a few hours. In some cases, the implants may be done over multiple visits.
Dental Implant History
Long before today’s version of dental implants, ancient civilizations performed the first dental implants. Mayans actually were the first to try a version of these procedures. They would use tooth-shaped shells and would insert them into their jaws and gums to allow the jawbone to grow around the pieces to provide sufficient support.
The Modern Implant
Once you get to know dental implants, you’ll see that we’ve come a long way over the years. The modern implant can be a long-lasting solution for your dental issues. At some point though, the implant may wear down and a replacement may be necessary. The average span of dental implants is 10 years. The great thing is that implants can be replaced without needing additional oral surgery. Sometimes, with regular dental care and check-ups, your implant can actually last a lifetime.
Dental implants are often cylindrical shaped posts. They’re made of medical-grade titanium because of the material’s durability and strength. Often the implant is attached to a patient’s jawbone during a surgical procedure. The patient usually receives a regional anesthetic and sedation. Following the surgery, the site of the implants is given time to heal and the implant is given time to fuse with the patient’s jawbone.
Generally, dental implants have three parts to them. The first part is the implant which is kind of like a screw that permanently attaches to your jaw. The second part is the abutment which is like a connector. It is permanent but removable by your dentist. The abutment is what holds the tooth or teeth that are being put into place. The third part is the crown which is the part that looks like a tooth or teeth. This part is generally made out of porcelain or zirconium to provide a durable but natural look.
If you think implants would be a good solution for your dental issues, contact us at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, and get to know dental implants.
Endosteal Dental Implants
This is one of the most common implants. The implant is molded into the shape of a tooth’s root and is placed into a patient’s jawbone. This kind of implant can be done for one or several teeth. It can even be performed for an entire set of teeth. Endosteal implants are available in a variety of sizes allowing your dentist to choose sizes that will look the most natural in your mouth.
There are two parts to this type of implant. In the first step, the dentist creates an implant size hole. For step two, the root part of the implant is inserted into the hole. In general, it can take 3 to 6 months to recover fully from an endosteal dental implant procedure.
For patients with narrow or short jawbones, this plate implants may be a more suitable choice. Plate implants involve a long flat plate inserted; the gums are closed with stitches. The jawbone and gums will grow up around the plate and the crown will be connected to the implant after recovery is complete. Recovery from plate implants can take up to 6 months.
This last type of dental implant is only performed when a plate implant is not possible. Custom-made implants act as artificial jawbone and attach to the patient’s real jawbone, if possible. Subperiosteal implants are fit to rest on top of the patient’s jawbone but under the patient’s gums.
Who Benefits from Implants
Dental implants have increased in popularity over the years because they are effective, strong, and durable. After recovery, people with implants have no lists of food to avoid. This is a clear benefit over options like dentures. The people who may find that implants are a great option include the following:
- Patients with missing or damaged teeth. Dental implant procedures can help improve a patient’s smile. The effect can be natural and healthy looking.
- Patients who may need to have one or more teeth pulled because the tooth is failing.
- Patients who are dissatisfied with their smile.
A patient may not be a candidate for an implant if their jawbone is in poor condition or if the patient’s oral health is too poor. Your dentist will provide information for you about what options would be most suitable for your specific situation.
Once you get to know dental implants, you’ll see that it’s like any other kind of surgery. It comes with a risk of infection. Some patients may experience rejection which is when the body treats the implant like a foreign object. In rare cases, the implant may fail.
Your dentist or oral surgeon can discuss the potential risks of having dental implants. Overall, most patients enjoy having dental implants and are pleased with the end result. This is part of the reason implants have grown in popularity and use.
The cost of an implant procedure will vary depending on your situation and your insurance. Discuss your options with our office to determine what the cost may be for you.
You can get to know dental implants by contacting us for an appointment here at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We can help you determine if dental implants would be the right solution to improve your smile and correct the oral health issue you may be experiencing.
November 17, 2017
All About Botox and Dermal Fillers
At Wimmer Dental in Centennial, we want to share all about Botox and dermal fillers. Wrinkle treatment options are on the rise and are more widely available now more than ever before. You can get treatments over-the-counter and now many healthcare providers, like our own Wimmer Dental, offer treatments for those who want longer-lasting options. Botox and dermal fillers are two of these longer-lasting options.
Both Botox and dermal fillers are used to treat facial wrinkles. Both also are administered via injections, often in multiple locations. Though they are similar, they are not the same and they are not used in the same ways. So let’s talk all about Botox and dermal fillers.
Botox is a kind of muscle relaxer that is made from bacteria, called botulinum toxin type A. It has been available for over twenty years. It has been used as a treatment for neurological disorders that result in muscle weakness as well as for migraines. Botox is also used to treat other medical issues.
When Botox is used for treating wrinkles and it is usually used on dynamic wrinkles. These are the wrinkles that occur as a result of using your facial muscles to form expressions. Such wrinkles are usually located around your eyes and mouth. They are also found between your eyebrows. As people age, these dynamic wrinkles become more pronounced and can result in people feeling like they look tired or grumpy all the time. Botox relaxes the dynamic muscles so they don’t move and this reduces the dynamic wrinkles in your face.
Botox is not used for wrinkles caused by the breakdown of collagen. Here at Wimmer Dental serving the Centennial and Littleton areas, we inject Botox into the muscles that are responsible for those dynamic wrinkles you would like treated. The whole process is very quick and within two weeks you will see a noticeable difference.
Dermal fillers are primarily used for smile lines, but can also be used to plump up areas of the face and lips. Sometimes they can be used to reduce the appearance of scarring. Dermal fillers are not approved for use on other parts of the body. Some of the dermal fillers available include:
- Calcium hydroxylapatite
- Hyaluronic acid
- Poly-L-lactic acid
- Polymethylmethacrylate beads
Botox injections are very effective and the side effects are minimal. The most common side effects, such as bruising, disappear after a short period of time, sometimes only a couple days. Results are clear within a week or sometimes a little bit longer. There are a few medications that interfere with the effectiveness of Botox. You should consult with your provider for information on side effects, contraindications, as well as any questions you have.
Botox treatments last for approximately 3 to 4 months. To maintain the improvements of the treatments, you will need to have repeated sessions.
Dermal Filler Effectiveness
Dermal fillers are also highly effective and severe side effects are rare. Each dermal filler lasts for a different length of time and is made of different materials.
- Calcium hydroxylapatite can last up to approximately 18 months and is composed of a temporary gel substance
- Collagen can last four months.
- Hyaluronic acid can last as long as 12 months, though some patients need maintenance after six months.
- Poly-L-lactic acid is a man-made material that lasts for approximately two years though there are some reports of longer periods.
- Polymethylmethacrylate beads is a permanent dermal filler.
With some dermal fillers, an allergy test may be recommended to ensure that the treatment will be safe for you. Your provider will have recommendations to minimize any common side effects. Be sure to discuss which treatment may be best for your situation and be sure to ask questions.
Both Botox and dermal fillers have side effects. The most common side effects are swelling and bruising. For each product, there are different potential side effects that you should discuss with your provider.
The costs for Botox and dermal fillers vary. Insurance companies generally will not cover these sorts of treatments. Some providers will work with you on a payment plan or financing. You should discuss the possibility of these options with your provider if you need them.
These procedures do not take very long, most of them only last a few minutes. You may need to have a consultation appointment first and possibly a follow-up appointment to ensure you are pleased with the results. Some offices may not require multiple appointments, so this may vary by provider. Overall, Botox and dermal fillers do not take much time and can have great results.
The overwhelming majority of patients are pleased with the results of the Botox and dermal filler treatments. Many patients enjoy feeling younger and more youthful as a result of their treatments. Given the minimal side effects and how pleased patients are with the outcome, this explains why these procedures have been in use for so many years.
Questions to Consider
When discussing potential Botox or dermal filler injections, here are some questions you may want to explore with your provider:
- How satisfied have your previous patients been?
- What qualifications do you have?
- Do you have any examples and pictures of before and after to show me?
- What after-care will I need?
- What products do you use and recommend and why?
- What are the potential side effects?
- Are there any conditions that would preclude me from using your available products?
It is important to be sure that you and your provider have a clear understanding of your treatment plan and that any concerns you may have are fully addressed ahead of your chosen treatment.
If you are interested in Botox or dermal fillers, contact us at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We know all about Botox and dermal fillers. We can discuss your needs and expectations to determine the best options for you.