Happy Holidays from Dr. Postol!

Christmas Eve SceneAs soon as wintertime approaches, our minds fill with thoughts of cozy family gatherings, holiday decorations, and delicious treats from childhood. As the weather grows colder and we look forward to our celebrations, we want to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. We truly appreciate your choice to be one of our valued patients. We also want you to know that we are here for you during the holidays if you encounter any kind of dental emergency. From chipped teeth that could compromise family photos to sudden toothaches, all it takes is a single call to schedule an emergency appointment. And to avoid dental emergencies altogether, we recommend you follow these holiday dental care tips.

Holiday Season Dental Care Tips

Avoid Hard Foods

Try to avoid foods that can be hard enough to crack teeth, such as ice cubes, unshelled nuts, and meats that could contain small hidden bones. While you’ll be okay most of the time when you bite these foods, it only takes one mishap to leave you with chipped teeth or damaged bridgework.

Don’t Open Packages With Your Teeth

You might be in a hurry to get into that special present, but don’t compromise your dental health just to save a few minutes looking for scissors. One of the biggest causes of tooth fractures is people using their teeth like a multi-tool. Instead, keep a small pocketknife of a pair of scissors handy so that you can open packages in a snap.

Focus on Proper Brushing and Flossing

During the holidays, you probably find yourself eating more than any other time of year, which is why you should focus carefully on brushing and flossing. Pay attention to the way your teeth feel and try to make time for proper oral hygiene.

Come To Us

Last but not least, report dental problems to your cosmetic dentist in Ballwin, MO immediately. Pay attention to the way your teeth look and feel, and don’t put off reporting emergencies. Our office is more than happy to fit dental emergencies into our schedule, and we’ll do everything in our power to see you the same day.

We hope that you have a beautiful holiday season and a Happy New Year.

Dr. Kevin Postol DDS

Happy Thanksgiving From Dr. Postol!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the office of Kevin Postol! We’re so grateful for our wonderful patients and staff for making our practice what it is today.

Thanksgiving is all about fun family get-togethers, relaxing in front of a great football game, and of course, enjoying a feast that will keep you full for the rest of your Thanksgiving break. Unfortunately, some of the foods that you will be tempted with may not be great for your smile. Here are a few tips for taking care of your teeth throughout the day on Thanksgiving.

During Dinner

  • Avoid Hard Foods

    Watch out for any hard foods that could damage existing dental work, such as turkey bones, crispy breads, or nutshells. A single misplaced bite on a hard food item could land you with a cracked or fractured tooth.

  • Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

    As you eat Thanksgiving dinner, make sure to drink a lot of water. Water does more than help you to digest that massive meal. Hydrating also helps you to rinse away food particles in your mouth and dilute bacterial acids, preventing decay.

  • Watch Out for Pigmented Foods

    Foods that have high levels of dyes or pigments can cause staining on the surfaces of teeth. Avoid bright or dark foods like colas, berries, brown gravy, red wine, and cranberry sauce during dinner.

Dessert

  • Avoid Longtime Exposure to Sugars

    When it comes to dessert, eat your slices of pie and then get rid of your plate. Exposing your teeth to sugar over a lengthy time period has been found to be just as damaging as multiple repeated exposures, since bacterial acids attack the teeth for up to twenty minutes after you eat.

  • Brush and Floss After Your Meal

    After dinner and dessert, sneak away to brush and floss your teeth. Pack a travel toothbrush and a few flossing picks to make the job easier on the go. You might feel silly, but you will be the only one with fresh breath and teeth that aren’t fighting a battle with bacterial acids all day long.

For more information about taking care of your teeth this holiday season, contact your favorite Ballwin dentist. Dr. Postol loves talking with patients about preventive care and addressing dental issues, so make an appointment for your next checkup or cleaning today.

The History of Dental Implants

dental implant

Although most people assume that dental implants are a modern invention, the fact of the matter is that implants have been around, in some form, for thousands of years. Skeletal remains from ancient China, Egypt, Europe, and the Americas have been discovered with dental implants crafted from carved wood, bamboo, steel, and even seashells. In the early 1800s, some doctors and dentists were even experimenting with dental implants made from the actual teeth of animals, of the dead, or of poor people who were willing to sell theirs.

Unfortunately, these ancient dental implants were prone to infections, full-on rejections, and even falling out all together—since it would be almost impossible for those early foreign objects to integrate with the patients’ natural bone tissue. Fortunately, an osteopaedic surgeon was experimenting with bone healing in 1952, and he found a solution to this problem.

Per-Ingvar Brånemark was studying healing and blood flow patterns in rabbits, and he inserted a series of titanium bars through a rabbit’s leg to see how the animal would heal. To his surprise, he was not able to remove the bars when the time came to study the healing, and he realized that the titanium had fused with the bone. Brånemark realized that he could apply this new technology to help dental patients, and he installed dental implants in his first patient in 1965.

Advances in Modern Dental Implants

Although dental implant materials and procedures are similar to the methods used by early dental implant pioneers like Per-Ingvar Brånemark, today’s dental implants are much more advanced than the versions used forty years ago. Today’s dental implants are made with:

Implant Posts Designed to Integrate Easily With Bone

To improve the surface area of the titanium implant posts, new posts have a slightly roughened texture that speeds healing and improves stability.

Better Abutments

Modern abutments, the connecting piece between the post and crown of an implant, are more discreet, easier to handle, and sturdier than older varieties.

Incredibly Realistic Crowns

These days, patients have the option of choosing from several different kinds of dental crowns, each designed to look as natural and beautiful as possible. Full porcelain varieties mimic the look of natural teeth so perfectly that they are virtually impossible to detect with the naked eye.

If you are interested in dental implants in Ballwin MO, contact our office today. Kevin Postol DDS is currently accepting new patients, and he would love the chance to talk with you about how dental implants could improve your smile.

Porcelain Veneers: Easy and Versatile

Are you dreaming about a picture-perfect smile? Although some people mistakenly assume that straight, white, beautiful teeth are out of reach if they don’t want to endure years or orthodontic care or teeth whitening, the simple fact of the matter is that these kinds of issues can be resolved in a day with state-of-the-art dental veneers.

Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored masks that are cemented to the front of teeth in order to perfect their appearance. Here are just a few of the different dental problems veneers can be used to correct.

Gaps

Gapped teeth can be caused by simple genetics, prior tooth loss, or even attached labial frenulums that were never resolved. However, dental veneers can be cemented to the front of teeth beside the gap to widen those teeth and close up the space. The area around the sides of the veneer can be filled with tooth-colored composite resin, resulting in teeth that look like they were always perfectly situated and gap-free.

Discoloration

Certain medications, such as tetracycline, or lifestyle habits, such as poor oral hygiene or smoking, can cause severe discoloration, which can be embarrassing to live with. Sometimes, staining can even run so deep that it is impossible to completely remove the discoloration with traditional dental whitening methods. Fortunately, veneers can be used to completely change the color of the teeth. If you are concerned about veneers blending in with the rest of natural teeth, they can also be designed to be the exact same color, so that the repair isn’t visible.

Chipped Teeth

Veneers can be used to rebuild the surfaces of teeth, such as when chips or surface fractures are present. With porcelain veneers, we can make your teeth look even and whole.

Slightly Crooked Teeth

Dental veneers can also be used to correct slightly crooked teeth, since a small amount of the tooth surface will be removed before veneers can be placed. By gently contouring the surfaces of your teeth and installing veneers carefully, your teeth will look much straighter, without orthodontic care. 

Make An Appointment Today

To find out whether or not veneers are right for you, contact Dr. Postol, your cosmetic dentist in Ballwin MO. Dr. Postol loves taking on new dental challenges and doing everything he can to give patients the smile of their dreams. Make an appointment today for a cosmetic dentistry consultation.

Your Teeth Whitening Options

As a cosmetic dentist in Ballwin, MO, one of the most common topics we discuss with patients is teeth whitening. Many people are unsatisfied with the color of their teeth and are drawn to the option of whitening as a simple yet effective way to beautify their smile. While there are many available options, not all methods are created equal. Here we will discuss some of the more popular methods and how they work.

Whitening toothpaste

Toothpastes which claim to whiten teeth do so by implementing abrasive ingredients which help to clear away stains on the surface of the tooth. These are available without any prescription and are among the least expensive methods for teeth whitening. Over the course of a few months the teeth may be whitened by a shade or two.

Over-The-Counter Products

These products often contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. They lighten the color of the tooth from deep within, resulting in a somewhat more lasting brightness. These often come in the form of a one-size fits all tray in which you place the whitening solution. The trays are worn at night and the gel is brushed away in the morning.

Rinses

Whitening rinses also contain peroxide. You may see results within 12 weeks, though they are somewhat less effective than strips or gels.

Strips and Gels

These are peroxides which are applied directly to the surface of the teeth, with faster results than toothpastes or rinses. Results are seen in a few days and last about 4 months.

Prescription Trays

Similar to over-the-counter whitening trays, prescription trays are filled with whitening products and worn on the teeth. But unlike those one-size-fits-all products, these whitening trays are custom fitted and designed not to irritate your gums. With the application of a higher concentration of peroxides, results are often seen within a month and can last up to a year.

In-Office Whitening

This method has the fastest results. The product is applied directly to the teeth and combined with heat, light, and/or a special laser. Results are seen in one 30-60 minute visit, though more dramatic results can be achieved after several visits. The chemicals we use in the office are 5-14 times stronger than the over-the-counter products, resulting in a brighter white, sooner, and with more lasting results. We also use protective agents to shield your gum tissue from the effects of the gels, and supervise the entire process. When you have your cosmetic dentist in Ballwin, MO take care of your whitening needs, it removes the guesswork and ensures that you can have a bright, beautiful smile, as safely as possible.

Teeth whitening doesn’t last forever. Depending on your diet, the condition of your teeth, the initial level of staining and the system used, you will need repeat treatment every 1-12 months. We advise that if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have very sensitive teeth, under age 16 or allergic to peroxide, or if you have gum disease, worn enamel, exposed roots, or tooth colored crowns or fillings, you ask Dr. Postol about your options, as you may not be a candidate for teeth whitening.

But if your teeth are otherwise healthy, and you are interested in our technique for teeth whitening, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Let us make your dreams of a bright, beautiful smile a reality!

Should I Consider Invisalign?

Your crooked teeth might be embarrassing, but alignment issues can cause more problems than making it hard to smile for pictures. When your teeth aren’t aligned properly, they can develop abnormal wear patterns which can put you at a higher risk for deeply rooted infections, chipped teeth, and dental fractures. Crooked teeth can also be more difficult to brush and floss effectively, increasing your chances of developing periodontal disease, causing gum recession, abscesses, and ultimately, tooth loss. To keep your teeth healthy, comfortable, and attractive, orthodontic care is essential.

Invisalign: An Attractive Alternative To Traditional Braces

If you are older or work in a professional field, you might shy away from traditional braces because of the adolescent look this orthodontic treatment can lend to your smile. For teenagers, too, the look of braces can be embarrassing and undesirable. Fortunately, there is a better way. Invisalign is a system of clear retainers that are barely noticeable, allowing patients to correct their smiles without attracting unwanted attention.

The Benefits of Invisalign

In addition to being barely noticeable, Invisalign retainers are also removable so that patients can take them out to eat, clean their teeth, or for any other occasion. Invisalign retainers need to be worn 20-22 hours a day, offering patients a little wiggle room when it comes to their orthodontic care. Patients typically receive a new retainer every two weeks, with treatment spanning anywhere from a few months to a year. Also, since Invisalign retainers can be removed to brush and floss, patients have the opportunity to maintain better oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment, improving their outcome.

Invisalign retainers also help to protect your oral tissues. Because Invisalign retainers gently move teeth into position with contoured acrylic instead of networks of sharp brackets and wires, the lips and gums aren’t susceptible to cuts from the appliance. This feature is especially important for patients who participate in contact sports, such as football or hockey.

Make An Appointment Today!

If you have crooked teeth,  make an appointment with Dr. Postol, your premiere cosmetic dentist in Ballwin, Missouri. During your initial consultation, Dr. Postol can talk with you about your orthodontic treatment options, show you real examples of his work, and recommend a personalized treatment plan based on your budget and preferences. Contact us today to find out more!

The Effects of Missing Teeth

Effects of Missing TeethLosing teeth may not seem like that big of a deal. After all, millions of Americans spend a large portion of their lives with missing teeth. However, there are many hidden consequences of losing teeth that most people either aren’t aware of or don’t take into consideration when they do lose a tooth.

So let’s take a look at the effects of missing teeth and what can be done to reverse that damage.

Aesthetics

Obviously, missing teeth have a huge effect on how your smile looks. But what you may not know is that, according to a wealth of research, a good healthy smile correlates directly to higher self-esteem. A full smile has even been proven to help people perform better during job interviews.

Bone loss

When you lose a tooth, the alveolar bone (the well-like structure which surrounds and supports each tooth in your mouth) loses 25% of its width within one year. That causes loss of facial support, creating the stereotypical sunken cheeks and lips often associated with elderly people who forgot to put their dentures in that morning. Tooth loss also puts your jawbone at a higher risk for fractures, as well as drastically changing the structure of your face.

Increased risk of other health problems

A strong correlation has been shown between missing teeth and various health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. The mechanism behind these associations is unknown, but is likely to relate to periodontal disease.

How is this treated?

The best way to treat missing teeth is by receiving dental implants in Ballwin, MO. Our office specializes in dental implants and can help you restore your smile to its former glory.

Why implants?

Dental implants are the best option for tooth replacement for a number of reasons. The biggest reason dental implants are so often recommended, including by this office, is due to the fact that they require so little maintenance and look incredibly real. Only other dentists will be able to tell that your implants aren’t real teeth. All you have to do in order to take care of your implants is what you’d normally do for your teeth – flossing, brushing, and regular dental visits. Implants will last a lifetime as long as you take care of them. You don’t have to get them refitted, use adhesive cream, or clean them as you would a pair of dentures.

In addition to these benefits, dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that also replaces the tooth root, which stimulates the bone and encourages it to maintain its mass.

Tooth loss may not seem serious on the surface, but it is a problem that can lead to serious health issues if left untreated. If you need more information about implants and tooth loss, contact us today.  

How Does a Smile Makeover Work?

Full smile makeoverThere’s an entire category of dentistry dedicated to making your smile look the way you want: cosmetic dentistry. Here at Kevin Postol DDS, we have a wide range of options to give you a smile makeover.

How does a smile makeover work?

When a patient comes into our office wanting a smile makeover, they’ll sit down with Dr. Postol to go over exactly what changes they want made to their smile. Whiter teeth, veneers, implants, crowns: we can handle any and all requests—all part of Dr. Postol’s effort to be the best cosmetic dentist in Ballwin, MO.

Once the initial consultation is complete, Dr. Postol will create a treatment plan that encompasses all the requests you’ve made to change your smile into exactly what you want.

When do you need a smile makeover?

Do you need a full smile makeover, or would a simple teeth whitening session do the trick? Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether or not you need a full smile makeover. Your best bet is to describe the smile you want to Dr. Postol. He can tell you whether it’s achievable through one procedure, or whether you’ll need a more in-depth approach. Any serious dental issues also make you a candidate for a full makeover, as do any of the following conditions:

  • Unexpected accident or trauma to the mouth
  • Poor diet/oral care for years
  • Constant clenching or grinding of your teeth
  • An uneven bite
  • Persistent acid reflux

This isn’t a comprehensive list of the issues that may cause you to need a smile makeover, but it’s a start. If you have any questions, or think you’d benefit from a full smile makeover, please don’t hesitate to contact our office and schedule a consultation.

What procedures are done during a smile makeover?

Depending on what you want done to your smile, a wide variety of options exist. Some of the most common procedures include:

  • Bite or alignment treatment
  • Dental implants
  • Dental bridges
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Dental crowns
  • Periodontal therapy
  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Full mouth reconstruction

Not everyone needs a full smile makeover, but if you do, we can give you the smile you want no matter how far away it may seem now. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation, and let Dr. Postol perfect your smile.

 

5 Reasons to Get Dental Implants

Damaged or missing teeth aren’t any fun. Damaged teeth can be incredibly painful, and missing teeth don’t make for the greatest smile on the family Christmas card.

Dental implants are a great choice to fix these issues. One of their advantages is that you can get dental implants in Ballwin, MO to Olympia, WA. Dr. Postol in particular can provide these implants for you.

If you have missing teeth, here are five honest reasons why you should consider getting dental implants.

  1. Implants keep other teeth from shifting. When you have missing teeth, your other teeth may shift in an attempt to fill in the gap left by the missing tooth. That’s obviously not good for your remaining healthy teeth, and dental implants can prevent it.
  2. Help maintain bone and gum health in the area. Did you know that, if you lose one or more teeth, those empty spaces in your gums can lead to major health issues? One of the biggest health issues faced by people with missing teeth is the deterioration of the jawbone. Implants preserve and protect your jawbone.
  3. Permanence. How often have you seen someone in a sitcom lose their dentures while laughing, talking, or eating? That’s an honest concern to have when it comes to using dentures to supplement missing teeth. However, with dental implants, you don’t have to worry about that. They’re a long-term solution that will last a lifetime.
  4. Stability. Again, going back to the above sitcom reference – implants are much more stable options than dentures, or even tooth-supported dental bridges. Implants will stay in place, as long as you’re doing your part to take care of them.
  5. Aesthetics. Perhaps the best part about dental implants is how real they look. Dentures are easily spotted, and tooth-supported dental bridges don’t look as good as implants. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, dental implants, “[Restore] a lost tooth so that it looks, feels, fits, and functions like a natural tooth. Other options…may interfere with eating, smiling, speaking, and other activities of everyday life.”

If you’re missing teeth, you should at least consider implants. They’re reliable, protect your overall health, look great, won’t rot away, and will get you looking great again. If you’re interested in more information, call our office today or ask a question online.

Did You Notice These Features?

TypeWe want you to have an incredible dental experience—both inside and outside of our office. We know that people today are busier than ever, which is why we decided to upgrade our website to make it more functional. Here are a few features you should check out on our website, and how these things might be able to help make your life a little easier.

Information When You Need It

Learning that you may need a root canal, a dental crown, or a mouth guard can be intimidating, which is why we decided to fill our website with loads of information about common dental procedures. In our Dental Services tab, you can access helpful, informative articles about topics like:

  • Preventive Dentistry
  • Tooth Whitening
  • Veneers
  • Dental Crowns
  • Dental Bridges
  • Common Restorations, such as fillings and crowns
  • Clear Braces
  • Smile Makeovers
  • TMJ
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Gum Recession Surgery

These articles are here to teach patients the “why” and “how” behind common dental restorations, so that you can rest a little easier in the dentist’s chair. We also want patients to understand all of the options and services available to them, so that you know that you can count on us for all of your family dentistry needs.

Meet Our Staff and Explore Our Office

On our new website, you can find more than just detailed explanations of dental procedures. While here, you can also take the time to read about our incredible office staff, hygienists, and dental assistants. There is also a detailed biography about Dr. Postol, so that you can learn more about the dental expert who will be treating your teeth.

If you have never been to our office before, you might also enjoy taking a virtual tour of our office. Our website features a state-of-the-art virtual tour tool that allows you to explore our entire facility.

Easy Access To New Patient Forms

To make your first visit to our office a little easier, we also offer new patient forms online. Here, you can find downloadable versions of patient information forms for adults, children, and sleep apnea sufferers, so that you can speed up your initial visit. You can also access our HIPPA Privacy Policy, so that you can learn more about your rights, your choices, and how we use your dental information.

Financial Options

It can be stressful to pay for dental services, especially if you are using a new insurance plan. For this reason, we have decided to include detailed explanations of our accepted forms of payment, payment plan options, and CareCredit plans right here on our website. We also have information about how dental insurance works, what to expect when filing a claim, and how we handle insurance paperwork. You can also find financial information for patients who will be paying out-of-pocket. We want your dental visits to be as convenient and stress-free as possible, so feel free to give us a call if you have questions about paying for your dental work.

Make Appointments Online

Believe it or not, you can even request an appointment online! By sending us a quick message, you can get the ball rolling on your next dental visit—regardless of what time of day you remember to schedule your checkup. We love meeting new patients, and we look forward to serving you and your family.