Patient Education

Dental care and treatment can improve your smile and boost your self-confidence. Our highly experienced, board-certified dental professionals and compassionate staff make keeping healthy, attractive teeth for your lifetime a reality.

Fairhope Family Dentistry provides a full range of dental services including the following:


Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are very thin, tooth-colored shells of ceramic that are custom-fit and bonded to the front of the teeth. They can create an attractively white and even smile. Veneers can address a variety of issues, including chipped, yellow, stained, misshapen or crooked teeth, or teeth with spaces between them. A veneer placed on top of a tooth can quickly and easily improve the look of a smile. ...


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Full Mouth Restoration

Full mouth restoration involves reconstructing all of the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws through the use of restorative materials like crowns, bridges, veneers and dentures. Full mouth reconstruction can be a necessary treatment performed to preserve the patient's oral health. ...


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Orthodontics

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with correcting abnormalities of the teeth and jaw. Treatment is designed to help patients both cosmetically and functionally. Orthodontics can straighten crooked or protruding teeth, correct spacing and bite problems, and align lips and teeth properly. Braces can assist in correcting all types of misalignments (malocclusions). ...


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Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry helps patients avoid the costly and invasive procedures often needed to treat serious dental conditions. Maintaining dental health helps patients look and feel their best, and can have a positive effect on their overall health.

Preventing dental problems requires a lifelong commitment. To begin developing proper dental-hygiene habits, a child should visit a dentist shortly after the first teeth emerge. Parents also play an important role in helping their children develop and maintain good dental-hygiene habits. ...


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Prosthodontic Dentistry

Prosthodontic dentistry is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on restoring or replacing injured, damaged or missing teeth to maintain dental health, function and aesthetics.

Complete or partial removal of teeth may be necessary when they have sustained significant damage, which may have been caused by: ...


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Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry encompasses not only the health of the teeth, but also their aesthetic value. Various products and procedures exist within cosmetic dentistry with the goal of improving both the well-being and visual beauty of the teeth, giving the individual a higher level of self-confidence. ...


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Dental Implants

Dental implants are an option to replace missing teeth and provide a fixed solution to removable dentures. Dental implants are natural-looking replacement teeth that are fixed in the jaw. Implant treatment provides an option to correct the most troublesome cases associated with missing teeth and ill-fitting dentures. ...


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Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a restoration that covers or caps a tooth, restoring it to its normal size and shape while strengthening and improving its appearance. Crowns are necessary when the tooth is broken down to the point where a filling will not be effective.

Benefits of Dental Crowns

A dental crown can be used for various reasons including covering discolored or misshapen teeth, and in conjunction with bridges and dental implants. Other benefits of dental crowns may include: ...


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Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are natural-looking tooth replacements that help maintain facial structure, reduce stress on the jaw and fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth.

A dental bridge can be used to:

  • Restore an attractive smile
  • Reduce the risk of gum disease
  • Restore the ability to bite and chew
  • Improve speech
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position

Types of Dental Bridges

There are three main types of bridges: ...


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Dentures

Dentures are prosthetic devices designed to help patients with missing teeth, chew food, improve speaking habits, and improve the patient's facial aesthetics. The absence of teeth can lead to a sunken, collapsed appearance to the mouth-area. By restoring the physical presence of teeth, this malformation is corrected, the patient's mouth is supported and the appearance is improved by aesthetic standards. ...


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Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays can often be used in place of traditional dental fillings to treat tooth decay or similar structural damage. Similar to a filling but designed to strengthen a tooth, an inlay or onlay can be made of porcelain, gold or composite resin. The material is bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay is typically adhered inside the cusp tips of the tooth, whereas an onlay is used for more substantial reconstructions. An onlay is designed to extend beyond one or more of the cusps of the tooth. ...


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Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a special procedure used to restore, reshape and rejuvenate teeth, improving both their function and appearance. Dentists apply a thin layer of tooth-colored plastic to the front of the tooth and sculpt it to perfect the patient's appearance. Dental bonding is used to repair chipped, cracked, broken, misshapen teeth or stained teeth or to fill in the spaces between teeth. ...


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Root Canal

A root canal is the most commonly performed endodontic procedure. It involves treating problems within the tooth's soft core, also known as the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the soft tissue found inside the tooth; it extends from the top of the tooth all the way down to the end of the root. It contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue that provide nutrients to the tooth as it grows. ...


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Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is caused by a build-up of plaque and bacteria between the teeth and gums. When left untreated, the gums become infected and if gum disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult and painful to treat. Progressed cases of gum disease can also lead to tooth loss. ...


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Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is essential for healthy teeth and gums. People older than 35 lose more teeth from gum disease than from cavities. Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a broad term that encompasses several different gum conditions, including gingivitis and periodontitis. Many adults are affected at some point in their lives. The best way to prevent periodontal disease, as well as cavities, is through a regimen of thorough daily brushing and flossing. ...


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Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the inflammation of gums that is caused by a buildup of bacteria between the teeth and gums. Gingivitis is a common periodontal condition that can be effectively managed, however if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease and possible tooth loss.

Causes of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is often caused by a buildup of plaque, a film composed of bacteria that coats the teeth after eating. Plaque that is not removed by brushing the teeth can eventually irritate the gums. Gingivitis may also be caused by: ...


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In-Office Teeth Whitening

In-office teeth whitening is a whitening procedure that is performed in a dentist's office. It can make a patient's teeth up to five to seven shades brighter. Dental offices use different methods of bleaching or whitening to achieve the shade preferred by the patient.

Whitening products can brighten teeth that may have been stained or darkened by food, tobacco, injury or aging. ...


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Cavities

Cavities are small holes in the teeth that form as a result of decay. During the decay process, the outer layers of the teeth, known as enamel and dentin, are worn away, leaving eroded areas called cavities.

Causes of Cavities

Cavities are caused by a buildup of bacteria, food particles and saliva which combine to form dental plaque, a film that coats the teeth. Since plaque is acidic, it can attack the tooth enamel, and then the dentin, causing decay which results in cavities. Regular tooth cleaning helps keep plaque away, but decay often occurs in the back teeth which are harder to clean. ...


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Dental Fillings

Dental tooth fillings are a restorative treatment, used to improve the appearance and functionality of teeth affected by damage or decay. The filling materials, which can be made from several different substances, help to even out tooth surfaces for more efficient biting and chewing. Dental fillings can last for many years and help keep the tooth looking and functioning at its best. ...


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Fluoride

Fluoride is a natural substance that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay in patients of all ages. Naturally, it is found in water sources and certain foods such as meat, fish and eggs. As a supplement it is available in toothpastes, vitamins, rinses and professional treatments from dentists. Sufficient fluoride treatment is most important for children, to ensure extra protection from cavities against their developing teeth. ...


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Gingivectomy

A gingivectomy is a periodontal surgery performed to treat severe cases of gum disease, also known as periodontitis, that do not respond to antibiotics or root planing alone. This procedure is necessary when the gums have pulled away from the teeth, creating deep pockets. Plaque and tartar often form in these pockets, causing gum disease. If the disease is left untreated, it progresses to the point that it damages the roots of the teeth and potentially leads to tooth loss. The gingivectomy procedure is designed to remove loose or diseased gum tissue in order to prevent tooth loss and is performed by either a periodontist or an oral surgeon. ...


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Endodontics

An endodontist treats problems of the dental pulp, the soft tissue within the tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue which helps create the surrounding hard tissue that makes up the outside of the tooth. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tips of the roots and into the surrounding tissue. Dental pulp is vital to the growth and development of healthy teeth, but is not necessarily needed once the tooth has fully matured. ...


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Apicoectomy

Also known as a root-end resection, an apicoectomy is a surgical endodontic procedure typically performed after a root canal procedure has failed. A root canal treats infected tissue inside the tooth by removing the dental pulp, and filling the tooth with gutta-percha, a biocompatible material. Although this procedure is usually successful, infected debris may remain in the canals of the tooth, sometimes leading to future infections. ...


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Impacted Tooth

An impacted tooth is a tooth that has not broken through the gums. This condition is most commonly associated with wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth may remain in the gums causing no symptoms or side effects, however, in many cases, an impacted tooth can cause swelling and pain.

Causes of an Impacted Tooth

An impacted tooth may occur because of an overcrowded jaw or because the tooth is coming in at an odd angle and there is no room for the tooth to descend into the mouth. ...


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Periodontal Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. A leading cause of tooth loss, it is most often caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that can be brushed and flossed away with proper oral care. However, when left on the teeth, plaque produces toxins that attack below the gum line and in the crevices between the teeth and gums, causing the bond between teeth and gums to break down. ...


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Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry is an area of dentistry that specializes in treating the oral healthcare needs of children. Pediatric dentists provide regular checkups, cleanings and fluoride treatments, and overall oral treatment and care for children's teeth. Pediatric dentists also commonly apply sealants to children's teeth to prevent cavities. ...


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Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are a very effective tool in the prevention of cavities. Dental sealants are a thin plastic film or coating that is applied to the surface of teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier between the tooth and food, bacteria and plaque; all of which can cause cavities. Sealants successfully prevent bacterial formation that causes tooth decay and other damage. ...


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