My Blog

Posts for: March, 2020

By Wester Dental Care, P.C.
March 24, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Crown  

Dental crowns from your dentists in Portage, Michigan can give you a stronger, more beautiful smile.

If you have a weakened smile because of damaged teeth, you can strengthen it with dental crowns. Today’s dental crowns can give you the smile you deserve. Dr. Keith Wester and Dr. Jennifer Sarantos at Wester Dental Care in Portage, Michigan offer dental crowns to give you a stronger, more beautiful smile.

Most people don’t think of dental crowns as a versatile dental treatment, but they are. That’s because dental crowns can cover up many unsightly issues with your smile, in addition to restoring your full chewing function and a strong bite.

Dental crowns can provide the strength you need because they cover the entire visible surfaces of your teeth above the gumline. When you bite down on dental crowns, the pressure and chewing force is distributed evenly.

Dental crowns can provide the beauty you want because one of the dental crown materials is porcelain. Porcelain reflects light, just like your natural tooth enamel. In fact, porcelain so closely resembles tooth enamel that once a porcelain crown is placed, it’s difficult to tell the crown apart from your natural teeth.

Full porcelain crowns are the most aesthetically beautiful choice and are suitable for any area of your smile, especially your front teeth, and the teeth that are visible when you smile. For back teeth, it may be helpful to have a little more strength for chewing. In the back areas of your smile, you may want a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, also known as a PFM crown. These crowns combine the beauty of porcelain with the strength of a metal underlay.

You deserve to have a strong, beautiful smile, and now you can, thanks to dental crowns. To find out more about the many advantages of dental crowns, call Dr. Keith Wester and Dr. Jennifer Sarantos at Wester Dental Care in Portage, Michigan. Call (269) 327-1119 today.

By Wester Dental Care, P.C.
March 23, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: palatal expander  

People mainly identify orthodontics with braces. But while they’re a major part of it, braces aren’t the only way this important dental specialty can make a difference in a person’s bite.

For example, orthodontics can help guide the development of a younger patient’s facial structure that could head off future upper teeth misalignment. The area of focus is the upper jaw and palate (the roof of the mouth) that jointly make up a structure called the maxilla. The maxilla is actually formed by two bones fused together in the center of the palate along what is known as the midline suture running from front to back in the mouth.

The two bones remain separated until puberty, which helps accommodate rapid structural growth during childhood. But problems can arise if the upper jaw is too narrow, causing a “cross-bite” where the lower back teeth bite abnormally outside the upper ones. This can crowd upper permanent teeth and cause them to erupt improperly.

Using a technique called palatal expansion we can correct this abnormality if we act before the maxillary bones fuse. The technique employs a custom-made appliance called a palatal expander that attaches to the posterior teeth of the upper arch. Expanders have two halves joined by a small screw device to increase tension against the teeth to widen the jaw. A parent or the patient (if old enough) increases the tension by using a special key to turn the adjustment screw a tiny amount each day. This may cause minor discomfort that normally eases in a few minutes.

The patient wears the device until the jaw expands to the desired width and then allows the bones to stabilize in the new position. This can sometimes create a small gap between the upper front teeth, but it often closes on its own or it may require braces to close it.

While palatal expanders are not for every case, they can help normalize development and improve the bite, and thus preclude more extensive orthodontic treatment later. But time is of the essence: after the maxilla has fused, surgery will be necessary to separate them and widen the palate. It’s important then not to delay if your child could benefit from this effective treatment.

If you would like more information on palatal expanders and other orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Palatal Expanders.”

By Wester Dental Care, P.C.
March 13, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   retainer  

A lot of time and effort goes into straightening your smile. But there’s a possibility it might not stay that way—and all that hard work could be lost. The same natural mechanism that enables your teeth to move with braces could cause them to revert to their old, undesirable positions.

So for a little while (or longer for some people) you’ll need to wear a retainer, an appliance designed to keep or “retain” your teeth where they are now. And while the removable type is perhaps the best known, there’s at least one other choice you might want to consider: a bonded retainer.

Just as its name implies, this retainer consists of a thin metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth with a composite material. Unlike the removable appliance, a bonded retainer is fixed and can only be removed by an orthodontist.

Bonded retainers have several advantages. Perhaps the most important one is cosmetic—unlike the removable version, others can’t see a bonded retainer since it’s hidden behind the teeth. There’s also no keeping up with it—or losing it—since it’s fixed in place, which might be helpful with some younger patients who need reminding about keeping their retainer in their mouth.

There are, however, a few disadvantages. It’s much harder to floss with a bonded retainer, which could increase the risks of dental disease. It’s also possible for it to break, in which case it will need to be repaired by an orthodontist and as soon as possible. Without it in place for any length of time the teeth could move out of alignment.

If you or a family member is about to have braces removed, you’ll soon need to make a decision on which retainer to use. We’ll discuss these options with you and help you choose the one—removable or bonded—that’s right for you.

If you would like more information on bonded retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Bonded Retainers: What are the Pros and Cons?

By Wester Dental Care, P.C.
March 10, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: teeth whitening  

Should you turn to a dental professional to get a whiter smile?

Want to get a whiter smile? Our Portage, MI, dentists Dr. Keith Wester and Dr. Jennifer Sarantos can help you get a more radiant smile with teeth whitening. If you’ve not had much success whitening on your own you may be wondering if it’s time to consider professional whitening. Here are the top benefits of turning to a qualified dentist for this popular cosmetic dentistry procedure,

A Fully Customized Cosmetic Treatment

Some people are dealing with some serious stains from when they used to smoke. Others have sensitive teeth. Everyone’s smile has different quirks and issues and it’s our job as your Portage, MI, cosmetic dentists to be able to tailor your whitening treatment to your smile and goals. How long the whitening gel remains on your teeth, the strength of the whitening gel and how many bleaching gel applications we perform during your session will all be factors that we will determine during your consultation to make sure you get the results you want.

Visible Results, Fast!

Are you sick and tired of noticing dingy, dull teeth in every photo you take? If so, you may be looking for the fastest way to a whiter smile. We have the answer: it’s in-office teeth whitening. Our whitening system is the easiest and most effective way to get teeth several shades whiter in less than one hour.

You will walk out of the office with a drastically whiter smile and many of our patients get the results they want in a single session. If you have a big event coming up and you want to spruce up your appearance, professional in-office teeth whitening might just be the easiest and fastest way to do it.

Safe, Trustworthy Treatment

When you have a dentist you trust it seems like a no-brainer that you will turn to them with any questions or concerns you may have, from how to remove those yellowing stains to how to address nightly teeth grinding. Having a dentist you can turn to is paramount to feeling comfortable with any and all dental treatments you receive, and the same rings true for cosmetic dentistry.

When you come into our practice for whitening treatment you know you are in safe, capable and well-trained hands. Furthermore, you know the results you’re going to get and the customized care you’ll receive.

If you have a special occasion or important event coming up and you want to wow them with a vibrant smile, then professional teeth whitening can give you the results you’re looking for, quickly. Call Wester Dental Care in Portage, MI, at (269) 327-1119 to schedule a whitening consultation with one of our dentists.

By Wester Dental Care, P.C.
March 10, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Preventive Care  

Visiting your dentist regularly is one surefire way to maintain good oral health.

When was the last time you visited one of our Portage, MI, general dentists Dr. Keith Wester and Dr. Jennifer Sarantos for a routine checkup? If it’s been more than six months since your last visit it’s high time that you made your oral health a top priority and booked your next appointment. After all, these preventive dental visits could end up saving you time and money.

What is preventive dentistry?

As you probably already guessed, preventive dentistry is necessary for keeping mouths healthy and happy throughout a person’s life. Since oral hygiene can also impact your overall health, it’s crucial that you also provide your teeth and gums with the same attentive care that you would the rest of your body. Preventive care includes,

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Avoiding sugar and acidic foods
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Quitting smoking
  • Wear a mouthguard when playing sports
  • Visiting your Portage, MI, dentist twice a year for checkups
  • Wearing a nightguard if you grind your teeth at night

During these professional six-month checkups with your dentist, you’ll receive,

  • A comprehensive oral exam
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Routine X-rays (imaging tests usually occur only once a year)

Why are preventive dental checkups so important?

Adopting smile-friendly habits early on in life will serve you well for the future of your oral and general health. After all, most dental problems such as cavities and gum disease are preventable with proper care. Just by visiting a dentist twice a year you can enjoy these wonderful smile benefits,

  • Reduced risk for gum disease and decay
  • Early detection and intervention of common dental issues
  • Fresh breath and a whiter smile
  • Early detection of oral cancer

Wester Dental Care in Portage, MI, wants to make sure that patients of all ages living in and around Portage, MI, get the preventive dentistry they need to protect against cavities, gum disease and other issues. If you need to schedule your next dental cleaning then call us at (269) 327-1119.