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As we get older, there can be unwelcome dark spaces that begin to appear between our teeth. While it adds an older appearance to our smile, these dental dark triangles can also collect food debris and plaque. These can be the result of bone loss, recession of the gum line or movement of the teeth.

Some people have naturally occurring gaps between their teeth and, while not unhealthy, can sometimes be a source of embarrassment or low self-esteem. To treat those dark spaces in your teeth, Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry offers Bioclear. She is the only certified dentist in Scottsdale, Arizona who has gone through all the training.

How does BioClear work?

Previously, dentists used to repair these black triangles and gaps in teeth with porcelain veneers, which is a method for restoring function and appearance. Using veneers means removing portions of the tooth surface to make room. With BioClear, though, the natural tooth can be preserved so there is no additional loss of minerals. It achieves aesthetic beauty in a healthy way.

BioClear is beneficial for posterior teeth because the injection molding technique can often be used to prevent having to place a dental crown. While there are many instances where you need to get a crown, we can now restore teeth with BioClear before having to go to the extremes of a dental crown.

Using composite material, BioClear easily bonds to any part of the tooth to close the gaps, align uneven teeth, cover chips and even out the color. It is a minimally invasive procedure that is also cost effective and uses clear forms which are filled with a composite material matched to the shade of your teeth. When the forms are removed, a smooth contoured composite is left behind, which means your teeth will appear to emerge naturally.

Contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about BioClear and how it can help improve the appearance of your smile.

For many people who are thinking about getting braces, the sole purpose they have in mind is to straighten their crooked teeth. However, you don’t have to settle for getting braces anymore. Instead, you can opt for clear aligners to straighten your teeth without anyone even noticing you are undergoing treatment!

Through the use of clear aligners you can have a straighter, healthier smile in no time. Here are the benefits of straight teeth with clear aligners from Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry.

Easy to clean. Crowded or crooked teeth can be extremely difficult to clean properly. Your toothbrush will not be able to reach the entire surface of your teeth and teeth that are too close together cannot be flossed. This can lead to a buildup of plaque and tooth or gum disease. Being able to properly brush and floss your teeth is essential to maintaining your oral health. If your teeth are too crowded, even your dentist will not be able to properly clean certain areas. If you develop a problem with one of your teeth, it will be very difficult for your dentist to perform an effective restoration. Crowns, bridges and veneers are all much easier to perform on teeth that are straight.

A better bite. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of a straighter smile, orthodontic treatment also fixes your bite and balances the force of your bite throughout your teeth. When teeth are crooked and misaligned, the force of your bite can be focused on just a few of your teeth. Over time, this can cause problems with these teeth. Abnormal wear patterns, headaches and jaw pain can all result from this. In addition, this can lead to grinding of the teeth, a habit that is very damaging. Chewing and talking are also much easier with straight teeth.

A confident smile. While the functional benefits of straight teeth are very important, it would be remiss to not mention the benefits to your self-confidence. Having crooked teeth can be a source of shame and embarrassment, especially to younger people. For many, the moment they get their braces off signifies a turning point in their lives. A bright smile has been shown to lead to better social and career success for adults. If you get your teeth straightened, other people will have a better perception of how intelligent and likeable you are.

If you are thinking about taking the leap toward straighter teeth, contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about clear aligners and if this treatment option is best for your smile.

Receding gums can be the result of periodontal disease, teeth clenching, grinding, overly aggressive brushing habits, or the natural aging process. Genetics, hormones, and tobacco use can also cause your gums to become more sensitive and vulnerable to recession. Most patients with receding gums do not realize that it is occurring because it happens gradually.

You might notice some sensitivity or the appearance of longer teeth. Gum recession can even cause pockets to form between the teeth and gum line, allowing harmful bacteria and tartar to build up, leading to advanced periodontal disease, tissue and bone deterioration, and eventual tooth loss.

To help treat gum recession, Dr. Sara uses the Pinhole procedure. Let’s take a look at what this procedure is and the benefits.

Who is a candidate for Pinhole?

If you suffer from periodontal disease and gum recession and want to restore your gum line and protect the roots of your teeth, this might be a good option for you. Skip the often painful and lengthy traditional gum grafting procedure and choose the Pinhole technique.

The Pinhole procedure is the first minimally invasive procedure to treat gum recession effectively. Dr. Sara will not use a scalpel or sutures. Instead, she will use healthy gum tissue already present at the treatment site, which is repositioned using instruments inserted through a very small opening in the gums. The procedure is virtually pain-free and requires minimal recovery.

What are the benefits? As we mentioned before, this is a minimally invasive procedure that requires no incisions and no suturing. It is a quick and effective treatment for gum recession that is virtually pain-free. What is also great is that it requires only a very short recovery time. You can resume normal activities the same day as your procedure. Isn’t that great? We think so too!

What is the recovery and aftercare? Six weeks following your procedure, brushing your teeth might irritate the gums. Instead, Dr. Sara might recommend using a prescription mouthwash. Make sure you eat only soft foods for a short period after the surgery and if you feel any discomfort, over-the-counter medication can help. You will have a series of follow-up appointments to ensure that everything is healing properly and that you do not require any additional treatment.

Contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about the Pinhole procedure and how it can help treat gum recession.

While you might be going on your vacation to relax and take a break from working, it isn’t a time to skimp out on caring for your teeth and gums. When you are on vacation, keep these three tips in mind to remain on top of your oral health game no matter where you are. Trust us, your teeth will thank you in the end.

Always have supplies available. Whether you are going on a road trip or a long flight, keep the essentials handy. But what does that include? It should include floss, a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste. Keep these in your carry-on bag if you are flying or your glove compartment when driving on a road trip. This allows you to have easy access to them when you need to clean your teeth.

Avoid bacteria filled cases. When you are packing your bags for travel, grab the toothbrush holders, right? Wrong. While it might seem like a great idea, it is actually a breeding ground for bacteria transfer. It’s the moist environment that can encourage that bacterial growth. So skip the travel case and let your toothbrush air-dry before packing it.

Visit the dentist before leaving. If you’re heading out on a long trip, visit your dentist! No one wants to go on vacation only to be miserable with a toothache. If you are experiencing any pain before your trip, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment before you leave. The last thing you need is to deal with a dental emergency when you’re far from home.

Stick to your routine and don’t stray from your oral health care. And contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry in north Scottsdale, Arizona if you need any further tips or guidance while traveling.

We understand that oral cancer is scary–so are all cancers. While it might be difficult to imagine, we need to make sure we are all properly educated on oral cancer. It has been shown that oral cancers have a five-year survival rate that is as low as 60 percent. That is scary to think about, but it is important to protect yourself by getting checked today.

To help, Dr. Sara has put together some of the top reasons why you should add an oral cancer screening to your wellness checklist.

It’s easy. Asking your dentist to check for signs of oral cancer during your next visit is super easy. Just ask! It can save your life, so don’t be afraid to speak up and ask your dentist for this examination or if you have any questions. By asking for a screening, you can boost your chances of survival by at least 20 percent when the disease is caught early.

It’s inexpensive. When you incorporate an oral cancer exam into your regular dental visit, there is no extra charge! The only added expense comes if any follow-up procedures are needed. And if that is the case, at least you staying proactive and ensuring your health is taken care of. These follow-up visits will help.

It’s better to be safe. You might feel anxious or nervous to ask, but you shouldn’t. While asking is easy, it is also better to be safe than not. Even if you don’t have oral cancer, isn’t it better to know for sure? We think so.

Contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry in North Scottsdale today to schedule your next dental appointment and ask for an oral cancer screening. Your health and well-being is important, so speak up and be proactive in ensuring you receive optimal care.

We’re still in the middle of the time of year when everyone around you starts coughing and sniffling. Once you finally get sick, your teeth may not be on the top of your mind. But having a cold or flu can affect more than just your sinuses. It can affect your mouth too.

Here’s what you can do to keep your teeth healthy, while you fight the flu or cold this season.

Brush your teeth well. Being sick can be exhausting, but make sure to brush and floss. Remember to spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth at least twice a day. However, once you start feeling better, replace your toothbrush. Your old toothbrush can harbor bacteria and easily reinfect you.

Drink lots of liquid. Staying hydrated is important when you’re sick, because your body needs extra fluid to fight the infection. Dry mouth is a common problem, especially when you can’t breathe through your nose easily. Since saliva is a key player in controlling cavity-causing bacteria, dry mouth can increase your chances of cavities and gum disease. Do yourself a favor by loading up on water, soup and juice.

Gargle with salt water. Dissolve a tablespoon of salt water in a glass of warm water. Gargle and spit until the water is gone. This helps cut down on harmful bacteria in your mouth and throat, reducing the effects of bad breath and plaque.

Choose sugar-free medication. Many cough drops and syrups are packed with sugar to sweeten the dose. Even paired with medication, this sugar can cause tooth decay and harm your gums. Shop smart by looking for medicine that’s sweetened with sugar substitutes like xylitol or sucralose. If you can’t find sugar-free alternatives, make sure to brush or rinse afterwards. If your medicine is acidic, wait at least half an hour before brushing to let your enamel harden.

Contact us at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn about more ways to protect your oral health while you don’t feel well.

We’ve talked about dental implants before, but it is important to understand what this treatment is and if you are a good candidate. While dental implants are an excellent way to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth that are missing, they are not for everyone.

Implants are a permanent alternative to dentures and bridges–depending on the individual patient. When deciding on dental implants for restoration of your smile, Dr. Sara will provide you with proper education while also discussing your options. There are many options for replacing missing teeth, but let’s take a closer look at dental implants.

Why get dental implants? To replace one or more missing teeth to create a natural-looking tooth to take its place. This is done without causing harm to the surrounding teeth and help to restore proper function to your mouth–from chewing to speaking. As a result, your quality of life is also improved and you will prevent further jaw joint issues from an “off bite.”

Full arch replacement is also available for patients who are missing all of their teeth on either of their arches. This treatment is followed by a hybrid denture, or an All-on-4 denture. This functions as a denture, but it is fixed to the denture like a bridge.

Multiple Tooth Replacement. For patients who are missing several teeth, implants are a great way to have a permanent solution that is able to be treated and used as a normal tooth. In these cases, a fixed bridge will attach to the implant.

Single Tooth Replacement. Single tooth replacement for patients is a great alternative to having bridges placed, where adjacent teeth are being destroyed. Single tooth implants have individual porcelain crowns placed on them so the tooth becomes like a natural tooth for that patient in terms of cleaning, and day-to-day functioning.

Contact Dr. Sara in North Scottsdale at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about dental implants.

At Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry, we are committed to making sure we use the most current materials and technology to meet your needs. We understand that dentistry is constantly changing, but it is our mission to remain on the cutting edge of all dental advancements, which means our patients get the highest quality of work available to dentistry.
And when you are looking for a way to improve the appearance of your smile, we have the best restorative options to help.

Composite fillings. The composite filling is a tooth colored resin that is used to repair teeth that have fallen victim to cavities. Composite fillings are a great alternative to the tooth destroying amalgam (silver fillings). What was not realized when amalgam fillings were being used in dentistry, is that the metal expands and contracts in the tooth, breaking it down and damaging the tooth, leading to fractures, recontamination with cavities, and pain. These types of fillings are also very useful in filling unwanted gaps, and even to cover exposed root surfaces that occur when gum recession is present.

Dental crowns. Dental crowns are custom made for our patients, and are used for teeth that have been broken down too much for a composite filling to be able to help it. A crown is used as a full coverage type of protection for the tooth structure that remains. Crowns are available in porcelain, as to blend in with the patient’s natural tooth color and structure. We use a local lab that has been around for decades, and has always been a great partner in creating the best dental crowns for our patients.

Fixed dental bridges. A dental bridge is typically used to “fill” any gaps created by missing teeth. A dental bridge works by having two anchor crowns and one floating crown that fills in the gap. As opposed to a denture, the bridge is fixed and unable to be removed from the mouth.

Professional cleanings and preventative care. At Pinnacle Peak Family, we believe that preventative care is the best form of care for any patient. With our comprehensive evaluations, we are able to develop a continuing plan of care for our patients, and educate them as to why it is so important. Prophylactic cleanings are completed for patients who have optimal gum and bone health. This means there are no signs of inflammation, bleeding or bone loss that can all be early signs of periodontitis. Once a patient experiences any type of periodontal issues, we are able to help guide them through proper therapy to bring their mouth back to a healthy status!

Please let us know how we can help you gain the smile you deserve and have been looking for. Contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about restorative options that might work for your teeth.

It’s never too late to straighten your teeth! With Invisalign® you can straighten your teeth without anyone even noticing. Now that sounds great! Invisalign is a clear, virtually invisible and comfortable alternative to braces–it makes it easy to straighten your teeth without bands, brackets or wires.

And because it is invisible and removable, you are able to brush and floss normally during your treatment. There is no need to change your busy lifestyle either. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

The negative effect of misaligned teeth. Teeth that are not properly aligned in your mouth create what we call malocclusion. If left untreated, malocclusion may lead to abnormal amounts of stress on the teeth and jaw. Also, the patient risks suffering from periodontal disease if they are not able to properly clean their teeth at home due to crowding or spaces.

How Invisalign can help. By using a series of clear, removable aligners, Invisalign straightens your teeth right before your very eyes. Change them every two weeks and your teeth will move—little by little—toward the smile you have always wanted.

Benefits to having properly aligned teeth

There are so many benefits to having straight teeth. For example, you can get healthier teeth and gums. And when there is proper alignment, you are able to ensure a properly cleaned mouth when brushing and flossing.

A balanced and properly aligned bite also prevents the risk of teeth “rubbing” or hitting each other in ways that can cause premature wear, chipping and breaking of restorations, as well as the health of the tooth in its lifespan. Your overall health is even increased when the mouth is able to remain clean and free of the bacteria from cavities or periodontal disease.

Contact Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about Invisalign and to find out if you are a candidate for this procedure!

Can you smile with confidence? Are you searching for a better looking smile? Your smile is often the first thing people notice about you, so why not restore it with cosmetic dentistry? At Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry, we know that your smile means a lot to you and we want to help. Our dentists have extensive training in cosmetic dentistry procedures to ensure your smile always looks–and feels–its best! Here are some cosmetic options that can help renew your smile.

Porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are individually created by hand to beautifully cover your tooth or teeth. These “covers” are as strong as your own teeth and can be a great cosmetic choice for most dental problems. Porcelain veneers will not change colors and will resist chipping and cracking. Veneers are a wonderful choice for treating gaps, chips, small or large teeth, stained or discolored teeth, or crooked teeth.

Resin bonding. We also use tooth-colored resin material to repair chipped, broken or discolored teeth. This type of filling is also very useful to fill in gaps and to protect sensitive, exposed root surfaces cause by gum recession.

Teeth whitening. As we age, so do our teeth. You might notice that your teeth are beginning to  darken–it happens. Foods, drinks, smoking and certain medications will also darken teeth. Teeth whitening will help to lighten teeth and aid in maintaining a white and bright smile.

Contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about your cosmetic dentistry options. We’re happy to help you regain confidence in your smile!

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