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Dental Breakthroughs On The Horizon

Posted May 19, 2017

dental breakthroughs Arlington

At Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we use the latest validated dental technology to provide our patients with quality general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. In addition, we keep tabs on the latest dental research that is moving the industry forward.

Here are some of the intriguing dental technologies currently being evaluated and tested:

Fill and Heal: Bioactive Glass
A new type of filling created from “bioactive glass” has been shown to increase the life of fillings by restricting secondary decay and replacing lost minerals.

“Bioactive glass, which is a type of crushed glass that is able to interact with the body, has been used in some types of bone healing for decades. This type of glass is only beginning to see use in dentistry, and our research shows it may be very promising for tooth fillings.”1 Jamie Kruzic, professor of advanced structural and biomaterials at the Oregon State University College of Engineering

Stem Cells
Stem cell regenerative medicine is poised to provide a myriad of exciting discoveries in dentistry.

A research team from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University is applying stem cell technology to dentistry with the development of stem-cell based biomaterials that regenerate tooth dentin.2 The objective is to use them in fillings and root canals to save and regenerate tooth structure. The research is in its early stages, but this technology could one day help preserve millions of smiles for men and women worldwide.

3D Printing
3D printing is already being used in some dental offices to create aligners, retainers, drilling guides for implant placement, and extremely accurate models for restorations. As the printers become faster and less costly, you will be seeing them in more Texas  dental offices.

Technology has its place, but experience, expertise, and a warm and attentive chairside manner are just as crucial. The warm and friendly team at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry invites you to welcome the difference at our comfortable dental office. Call today to make an appointment.

Note: The image to the right is a CAD-CAM (Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing) machine used for the production of dental restorations.

1“Tooth fillings of the future may incorporate bioactive glass,” Oregon State University December 22, 2015, http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2015/dec/tooth-fillings-future-may-incorporate-bioactive-glass, accessed on October 24, 2016
2Liz Cass, “Fillings that heal your teeth – how regenerative medicine could change your visit to the dentist,” University of Nottingham, July 1, 2016, https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2016/july/fillings-that-heal-your-teeth.aspx, accessed on October 24, 2016

 

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013

 

What Can Veneers Do For Grand Prairie Smiles?

Posted May 12, 2017

porcelain veneers cost Grand Prairie

Hello, and welcome to our Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry cosmetic dentistry blog. Today we are taking the time to answer a common question that many dental patients have. The question is, “What exactly are veneers and how are they used in cosmetic dentistry?”

Veneers are thin shells made from durable, translucent porcelain or composite resin. They are custom-made for each patient and are used to improve the appearance of teeth. Unlike a dental crown which covers the entire visible portion of a tooth, a veneer covers just the front part of the tooth. They are frequently used to correct teeth that have been chipped, stained, decayed, or that are slightly crooked.

If you visit your dentist for veneers, he or she will first make a model of your teeth. Next, a dental technician will use the model to create the veneers, so you can be sure of a custom fit.

Since a small portion of the enamel on the tooth has to be removed so the veneer can be placed, this process is usually irreversible.

I hope that this blog entry has helped you to understand a little more about veneers and how they can help you to improve your smile. Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers all the services you need to create your very best smile. Ask us about gum contouring, smile transformations, teeth whitening, dental implants, and invisible braces.

If you are looking for a dentist with skill creating beautiful porcelain veneers, give Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry a call. My name is Dr. Stephen Ratcliff and I have been practicing dentistry since 1990.

Please call 817-200-7323 and a member of our warm and friendly staff can schedule an appointment for you and answer any questions you have about cosmetic dentistry.


The following website was used as source material for this blog:
http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/v/veneers.aspx, accessed on September 4, 2013

 

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013

 

Pediatric Dentistry

Posted May 5, 2017

If you have children in the Arlington area, there is no better time to consider pediatric dentistry than right now.

The best time to start your Arlington children on a pediatric dentistry program is when their teeth first appear. This may seem a bit early, however it is a great time to become acquainted with pediatric dentistry options, learn training techniques for teaching your children, and assessing the health of your child’s teeth before problems begin.

We can also help you identify pediatric dentistry programs and services in the Arlington area, for you child. If you have questions about pediatric dentistry, please give us a call at Stephen Ratcliff, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. My name is Stephen Ratcliff, and my warm and friendly staff will be more than happy to talk with you about your child’s dental needs.

Remember: The best time to consider pediatric dentistry is while you have options. Waiting until problems appear reduces your options and misses the very reason we are concerned about pediatric dentistry; to help your child grow healthy and strong teeth that will last a lifetime.

Bring your questions to our warm and friendly staff at Stephen Ratcliff, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. We are located at 909 W Mitchell St in Arlington, Texas.

We are looking forward to seeing you, and to discussing pediatric dentistry with you and your children.

‘Your Arlington & Fort Worth Cosmetic and Family Dentist’, 817-200-7323

What Does Your Arlington Dentist Need To Know?

Posted April 28, 2017

cosmetic dentistry Grand Prairie

For optimal dental health, all Arlington, residents should be visiting their dentist twice a year for consistent cleanings and exams. This is a good time to make sure that you are brushing and flossing properly. It is also important that you discuss issues related to dental health.

Make sure to tell your dentist about any medications that you are taking. If you are using any tobacco products, you should also communicate with your dentist about the practice. Your dentist might be able to offer you a program that can help you stop.

Furthermore, let your dentist know if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. If you have any type of eating disorder, you should also discuss this with your dentist. Ditto if you have a special health issue such as a heart condition. Oral health is an integral part of your overall physical health and cannot be isolated.

Your regular check-up is also the perfect opportunity to inquire about cosmetic dentistry procedures. Many dentists in the Grand Prairie area combine multiple procedures to give you a total cosmetic dental smile makeover. If you have ever wondered what a new smile could do for you, now is the time to find out!

Hello. I’m Dr. Stephen Ratcliff of Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. At my Arlington dental practice, we offer comprehensive general and cosmetic dental procedures including; dental implants, dentures, and porcelain veneers.

Thank you for visiting our dental blog. Please contact us today for all your dental needs!

Your Arlington & Fort Worth Cosmetic and Family Dentist

 

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013

 

Arlington Prepless Veneers

Posted April 21, 2017

Arlington Prepless Veneers One of the latest breakthroughs in Arlington cosmetic dentistry is prepless veneers. Though thousands of Mansfield and Grapevine smile restoration clients who have received traditional veneers are happy with the results, some Texas dental clients have delayed this procedure because they do not want to lose healthy tooth structure.

Arlington prepless veneers are a less-invasive procedure for transforming Fort Worth smiles. Prepless veneers are incredibly thin shells which adhere to the face of teeth and require no removal of tooth enamel. Most prepless veneers are about the thickness of two pieces of paper. Because the color is built into the veneers (instead of being applied after fabrication), they look like your natural teeth–only better!

Our experienced Texas ceramists are skilled artists. They create each custom Arlington veneer with the optimum shape, color and thickness for your new smile. Another great feature of the Stephen Ratcliff, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry prepless veneers application procedure is that it requires no anesthesia or drilling.

If you are embarrassed by misaligned, discolored or broken teeth, Grapevine prepless veneers may be a Texas smile restoration solution that you can feel good about.

Call Stephen Ratcliff, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to learn more about Arlington prepless veneers. It is the first step toward your dazzling new smile!

Stephen Ratcliff

Stephen Ratcliff, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
909 W Mitchell St
Arlington Texas 76013
817-200-7323

http://www.MyArlingtonCosmeticDentist.com

When It’s Better Not To Brush

Posted April 14, 2017

enamel erosion Grand Prairie

Though thin and partially translucent, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and has the important job of protecting teeth from constant use and the continual assault of chemicals in food and drink. Enamel also protects tooth nerves from hot and cold food and beverages. That’s why enamel loss often causes tooth sensitivity.

Cuts heal. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. The body’s ability to heal itself is truly amazing. But tooth enamel is different. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

The team at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry encourages our patients to preserve their tooth enamel for a lifetime of dental health.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes it is better NOT to brush immediately after eating. Specifically, after eating acidic items. The acid weakens the enamel which can be further weakened by brushing. Waiting 60 minutes will allow the acid to dilute. Rinsing immediately after eating acidic foods is beneficial, however, because it washes away some food particles and speeds up the dilution of the acid.

Some people don’t realize that dry mouth can cause or exacerbate enamel erosion. The calcium and phosphate in saliva safeguards your enamel. When there is little saliva, the enamel is left vulnerable. Chewing stimulates saliva production but constant snacking is not the solution for dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum and sipping water periodically can stimulate saliva production between meals without increasing the risk of or upping your calorie intake.

Furthermore, tooth grinding wears enamel away. If you are one of the many Arlington residents who grinds their teeth at night, it’s critical to get a mouthguard right away. People who grind their teeth are at a high risk for enamel erosion and the dental caries that can follow. Athletes should also guard their teeth on the playing field with a mouthguard. For more information, speak with Dr. Stephen Ratcliff at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry about custom mouthguards.

If you sip soda, tea, or coffee all day, we suggest you switch to water to halt any enamel erosion that has already occurred. It may be a hard change to make – but if you are successful – your teeth will thank you for it.

Using teeth as tools can hurt enamel, as well. Take a moment to fetch scissors before tearing a package or ripping duct tape with your teeth. Do you really want to take a chance on chipping a tooth just to open a package of lunchmeat?

Chewing ice and hard candy can also hurt enamel. If you simply must have sugar, soft candy is best as long as it is not left to sit on teeth for long period of time. If your molars are packed with gummy candy, it can lead to cavities which erode enamel just as surely as chipping it with hard candy. Many of the old-school hard candies we enjoyed as kids now come in soft versions. Enjoy them sparingly because constant sugar is bad for teeth. Period.

If you have already experienced enamel erosion or other dental troubles, Dr. Stephen Ratcliff can help you preserve what is left. To schedule an intensive examination, contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Arlington at 817-200-7323!

 

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013

 

Periodontal Disease in Texas

Posted April 7, 2017

Periodontal Disease in Texas Periodontal disease in Texas is more common than you might think, and can be cured with varying degrees of treatment depending on the severity.

What is periodontal disease? According to this article on Wikipedia, periodontal disease is ‘the name of a collection of inflammatory diseases affecting the tissues that surround and support the teeth.’

Periodontal disease, more commonly called ‘gum disease’, is an inflammation or infection of the gums. Periodontal disease can be very painful in some extreme conditions, and can limit your ability to eat normally. In some cases, periodontal disease can affect your smile, and can create cosmetic concerns.

If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause irreversible damage. When caught early and treated, periodontal disease can be little more than an inconvenience. However the best policy is to practice good dental hygiene to keep periodontal disease at bay.

One of the best ways to avoid periodontal disease is to get a regular dental check up at your local Arlington dentist.

Give us a call at 817-200-7323 to schedule your next dental checkup; we look forward to seeing you.

— Stephen Ratcliff

Hiccups In Your Dental Routine

Posted March 31, 2017

Arlington dental

The most common times people stop to brush their teeth are morning and night – either before or after breakfast, after dinner, or at bedtime. Common concerns that come with this routine involve hiccups in the schedule, from family life, shift work or exhaustion.

Sometimes after dinner isn’t super cut and dried. Many Grand Prairie families face irregular weeknight routines. As the school year progresses, some have games to attend, band concerts, play practice, youth groups or other weeknight commitments. An irregular schedule often disrupts regular dental maintenance.

Many Grand Prairie workers have daily commutes or shift work to battle with. Due to the changing landscape of Arlington’s job market and the greater variety in shift schedules we see patients who are adjusting to irregularities in sleep patterns. This leads to exhaustion and often sleep takes priority over consistent brushing – either morning or night.

The most important time to be sure to brush is after eating sugar or carb-intensive foods. These foods kickstart bacteria growth on the teeth without vigilant attention.

Highly acidic foods weaken the enamel, so it is best to swish with water immediately after consuming acidic foods to reduce the acid. Then brush about 30 minutes later when the mouth is less acidic. The fluoride in toothpaste helps remineralize the enamel.

Dr. Stephen Ratcliff’s hygiene staff at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry has been assisting Texas families since 1990 to prevent hiccups in their dental routines. See how we demonstrate professional and educated instruction at http://www.myarlingtoncosmeticdentist.com/.

Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry provides more than just family dentistry or restorative dentistry. In addition to porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, dental implants, and Invisalign clear braces there is hygiene education, teeth whitening and cleanings to be discussed. Sure, the cost of cosmetic dentistry, dental veneers, invisalign braces and dental bridges can all seem confusing. The key is to stay on top of the essential habits that you can control. We can help you make sense of the other stuff.

Regular checkups are important for catching decay, infection or other troubles early so let us make an appointment for your next preventative visit and keep those hiccups from causing permanent damage. Call us at 817-200-7323  to schedule!

 

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013

 

Replace Old Silver Fillings

Posted March 24, 2017

white fillings Arlington

Our teeth are unlike other parts of the body in the fact that they can’t be regenerated. Superficial cuts in the skin subside without a trace, infections are wiped out with antibiotics, broken bones mend, and inflamed tissues recede.

Unfortunately, cavities can’t be healed. Decay can be halted in its progress, but scientists are still years away from actual enamel regeneration. That’s why the team at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry strongly emphasizes preventative dentistry.

The healthiest mouths have all teeth intact and free of current or former tooth decay. But how many smiles can boast such an admirable record? Very few.

The stark reality is that most men and women get one or more cavities over the course of their lifetime.

In fact, most men and women in Texas probably don’t even know someone who has never had a cavity. Tooth decay is second only to the common cold as the most common health issue in childhood. When we reach middle age, many of us have even had a root canal or two.

Depending on the size of the cavity, after cleaning and preparing the tooth, Dr. Ratcliff can fill it, place a crown, or perform a root canal (usually followed by a crown).

Restorations Have Come a Long Way
Modern restorations have many advantages over those in years past. There are stronger and more natural-looking materials. Many of our patients at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry who have not had a filling for a while, are not aware that white fillings are available. You can even replace old amalgam fillings with white fillings and give your mouth a makeover!

As we said before, when a tooth is by injury or decay, it is never exactly the way it was before. But now, with modern fillings and crowns, it can regain durability and beauty.

Contact our office for more information on smile makeovers, teeth whitening, dental implants and more!

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013

 

Dental Sealants – Another Tool For Cavity Prevention

Posted March 17, 2017

Dental Sealants In Arlington

Dental patients in the Arlington, Mansfield, and Grand Prairie areas know that regular brushing and flossing are essential for optimal oral health. However, the bristles of your toothbrush can’t reach into every small groove and depression in your teeth, especially the really bumpy back teeth. That’s where sealants can be invaluable.

Dental sealants are a plastic material that is applied by your Grand Prairie dentist. This material is a resin that bonds to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, mainly in the pits and fissures. The plastic acts as a shield against acids and plaque that can damage the enamel.

Many Arlington residents might think that sealants are only for children and teenagers, but they can actually be beneficial for adults as well. If you are wondering if sealants are right for you, speak with your Arlington, Mansfield, or Grand Prairie dentist. This simple dental procedure can improve your oral health by protecting the surfaces that are particularly vulnerable to decay.

Many Texas dental insurance providers include dental sealants as a covered benefit, so check with your provider if you are considering them. If you don’t have dental insurance, ask us about financing options. Because they can prevent cavities, dental sealants can save you money in the long run.

I’m Dr. Stephen Ratcliff, an experienced Arlington dentist. Thank you for visiting my dental blog. At our office we serve the Grand Prairie area by offering:

dental implants
dentures
porcelain veneers
Invisalign clear braces
teeth whitening

If you have any questions about these or other cosmetic dental procedures, call us today at 817-200-7323 to schedule a consultation.  Our warm and friendly staff would be happy to assist you.

 

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013