John A. Maddox, DMD

We all love a bright white smile, and there are a variety of procedures and products available for us here at Fairhope Dentist to help you improve the look of yours. You can improve your sparkle by brushing twice daily with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, making sure to clean in between your teeth with floss once a day and regular cleanings at the dentist’s office. But if you would like to go beyond this to make that smile shine even brighter, you should be sure to investigate all of your options. There are several approaches you can take to whiten your smile: In-office bleaching; At-home bleaching; Whitening toothpastes You may want to start by speaking with Dr. Maddox. He can tell you whether whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellowish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, bleaching may not enhance your smile if you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding. If you are a candidate for bleaching, Dr. Maddox may suggest a procedure that can be done in his office. This procedure is called chairside bleaching and would require an appointment that may take from one hour to an hour and a half. During chairside bleaching, the dentist will apply a protective gel to your gums to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light is used to enhance the action of the agent. There are several types of products available for use at home, which can either be dispensed by D. Maddox or purchased over-the-counter. Bleaching solutions. These products contain peroxide(s), which actually bleach the tooth enamel. These products typically rely on percent carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent, carbamide peroxide comes in several different concentrations (15%, 22%, 35%). Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouthguard. Usage regimens vary. Some products are used twice a day for 2 weeks, and others are intended for overnight use for 1-2 weeks. If you obtain the bleaching solution from your Dr. Maddox, he can make a custom-fitted mouthguard for you that will fit your teeth precisely. Currently, only dentist-dispensed home-use 10% carbamide peroxide tray-applied gels carry the ADA Seal. You also may want to speak with Dr. Maddox should any side effects become bothersome. For example, teeth can become sensitive during the period when you are using the bleaching solution. In many cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience soft tissue irritation—either from a tray that doesn’t fit properly or from solution that may come in contact with the tissues. If you have concerns about such side effects, you should discuss them with Dr. Maddox. Toothpastes. All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. “Whitening” toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth. When selecting a whitener or any dental product, be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance—your assurance that they have met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in chewing and speaking. There are options to help restore your smile.Bridges help maintain the shape of your face, as well as alleviate the stress in your bite by replacing missing teeth. A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth “bridging” the gap. The restoration can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable partial, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist.
If you need a crown to restore a tooth to its normal shape and size, a crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its overall appearance.It can cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth left. It can be used to attach a bridge, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that’s already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It’s also used to cover a dental implant. If Dr. Maddox recommends a crown, it’s probably to correct one of these conditions. Dr. Maddox’s primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.
What should you expect when you are scheduled for a tooth extraction?Dr. Maddox will numb the area to alleviate any discomfort. After the extraction, you will be advised of what post extraction regimen to follow, in most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal. Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing. It is usually best not to smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously, or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities could dislodge the clot and delay healing. For the first few days, if you must rinse, rinse your mouth gently, for pain or swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag. You can brush and floss the other teeth as usual. But don’t clean the teeth next to the tooth socket. When having an extraction, today’s modern procedures and follow up care as recommended by Dr. Maddox are there to provide you great benefit and comfort.
Thanks to advances in modern dental materials and techniques, dentists have more ways to create pleasing, natural-looking smiles. Dental researchers are continuing their often decades-long work developing materials, such as ceramics and polymer compounds that look more like natural teeth. As a result, dentists and patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting materials to repair missing, worn, damaged or decayed teeth.Visit the American Dental Association to learn more about teeth fillings, or just give us a call!
Crowns and conventional bridges or dentures may not be your only options when replacing missing teeth. For some people, dental implants offer a smile that looks and feels very natural. Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the bone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture.Implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone. Integration of the implants into your bone also helps your replacement teeth feel more natural and some people also find the secure fit more comfortable than conventional substitutes. Candidates for dental implants need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. A thorough evaluation by Dr. Maddox will help determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants.
Use a mouthguard during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth. A properly fitted mouthguard can help prevent broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. It will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breath.Ask Dr. Maddox about having a custom mouthguard made specifically for you. This will fit well and offer the best protection for your smile. Accidents can happen during any physical activity. A mouth protector can help cushion a blow to the face that otherwise might result in an injury to the mouth. A misdirected elbow in a one-on-one basketball game or a spill off a bicycle can leave you with chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth or even tooth loss. A mouth protector can limit the risk of such injuries as well as protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. A properly fitted mouth protector will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breathe.
Cone Beam 3D Imaging
Most people are surprised to learn that one American dies every hour from oral cancer; a death rate that has remained virtually unchanged for more than 40 years. In fact, recent statistics published by the American Cancer Society indicate that while the incidence and death rates for cancers overall has decreased, the incidence of oral cancer has increased by 5.5% and the death rate has increased by 1.5% Oral cancer is far too often discovered in late stage development, the primary reason for the consistently high death rate. Oral cancer treatment often results in disfiguring effects on patients, and can seriously compromise their quality of life. Early detection and diagnosis can make a tremendous difference in life expectancy; oral cancer is 90% curable when found in its early stages. Unfortunately, 70% of oral cancers are diagnosed in the late stages, III and IV, leading to a five-year survival rate of 57%.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may seem. There is a very shallow v-shaped crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums. Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line in the sulcus, which causes the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket: generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket.Periodontal diseases are classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. Gingivitis may lead to more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis.
Dental x-rays are pictures of the teeth, bones, and soft tissues around them to help find problems with the teeth, mouth, and jaw. X-ray pictures can show cavities, hidden dental structures (such as wisdom teeth), and bone loss that cannot be seen during a visual examination. Dental X-rays may also be done as follow-up after dental treatments. Dr. Maddox will use these radiographs to evaluate your overall oral health.You can learn more by visiting the American Dental Association.
Inside each tooth structure there is a pulp which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth, it runs like a thread down through the root. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. If you don’t remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. After Dr. Maddox removes the pulp, the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Dr. Maddox then places a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger.Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile! More information at the American Dental Association website.
If your child loses a baby tooth early through decay or injury, the child’s other teeth could shift and begin to fill the vacant space. When your child’s permanent teeth erupt, there’s not enough room for them. The result is crooked or crowded teeth and difficulties with chewing or speaking.To prevent this, Dr. Maddox may suggest using a space maintainer to hold the spot left by the lost tooth until the permanent tooth emerges. The space maintainer is an appliance which is made up of either one or two bands (unilateral or bilateral). Later, as the permanent tooth emerges, Dr. Maddox removes the appliance. To learn more about Space Maintainers, watch this short video.
Bruxism is a condition in which we grind or clench our teeth and often it happens as we sleep, caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked.Symptoms may include a dull headache or a sore jaw. You could have teeth that are painful or loose from severe grinding. This can lead to fractures in your teeth or restorations. Dr. Maddox can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. They’re made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by Dr. Maddox. They are used to improve the appearance of your teeth.You should know that this is usually an irreversible process, because it’s necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell.

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