Straighten teeth with a “clear” solution called Invisalign

Have you been considering the advantages of a straighter smile? Have you been told by a dental professional that you could benefit from having braces? Are you embarrassed to move forward with treatment due to the look and discomfort associated with metal bracket and wire solutions? If you are thinking about improving the smile and doing so in a less noticeable way, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM has a solution for you: Invisalign.

Understanding how Invisalign works

Invisalign is a method of realigning the teeth to improve appearance and bite. Instead of using metal brackets glued to the teeth with metal wires pushing them into alignment, Invisalign works with clear plastic trays that achieve the same results. The benefit? Invisalign is practically invisible, hence the name! Patients wear discreet trays over the dental arch to gently push the teeth into the desired position. This eliminates the need for unsightly braces used in past, and makes for a wonderful alternative for those with mild to moderate misalignment.

When patients are considered an appropriate candidate for Invisalign, they start with a series of 3D digital impressions of the teeth. This information is then sent over to the Invisalign laboratories. The labs create a series of trays based on the patient’s current smile and the smile they want to achieve. The more severe the misalignment, the more trays the patient will have in their treatment. Invisalign mails the trays back to the dentist where patients arrive to pick them up and learn about how to care for them. Each tray is used for two weeks. Patients wear the trays day and night and only remove them to brush, floss, eat, and drink. After two weeks, patients trade the tray for the next tray in the series. By the end of treatment, patients will have a beautiful smile—without the use of unsightly metal braces!

Discover the benefits of Invisalign

Patients in and around the area of Albuquerque, NM who are considering orthodontic treatment should ask their dentist about Invisalign. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team provide Invisalign as a way to enhance the smile without unsightly metal orthodontia. Book an appointment by calling (505) 881-1159 and visiting the office at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C.

Continue Reading

Five ways to prevent periodontal disease

Albuquerque, NM area patients who are ready to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile should learn about the ways to protect their smile from gum disease. Below are several things to consider for prevention:

  • Brush your teeth. Plaque, tartar, and bacteria can build up on the teeth all day. By brushing the teeth after every meal, you can keep these problems under control.
  • Floss at least once a day. Food particles stuck between teeth can break down and contribute to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Flossing is important to maintaining oral health and wellness, and should be done at least once a day, if not more.
  • Use mouthwash. Even if you brush and floss thoroughly, you may not be getting your teeth as clean as you think. Mouthwash can be used to get into areas that may have been missed.
  • Attend regular dental appointments. When patients visit their dentist every six months for a cleaning and evaluation, any concerns can be spotted soon enough to effectively treat them before they become a bigger problem.
  • Know your risks. Certain factors can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease, including your age, habits, diet, and genetic factors. Talk with your dental professional if you are at a higher risk to determine the best course of action and any lifestyle changes that can be made.

Call Dr. Steven E. Holbrook today

If you are considering comprehensive dental care and have questions regarding the best way to maintain a healthy smile, connect with our dentist in Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Steve E. Holbrook has over three decades of experience in providing quality general, preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry for new and current families. His practice can be reached for an appointment at (505) 881-1159.

Continue Reading

How to keep your teeth white (and teeth whitening services)

What makes a smile beautiful? When patients are asked this question, their first response is often “bright, white, and clean teeth.” While our teeth are designed to last a lifetime, they can change in their appearance over time. Not only can yellowing and discoloration be caused by aging, but it can also result from eating and drinking certain foods and beverages that can stain the natural tooth enamel. Coffee, red wine, and teas are commonly known to discolor natural tooth enamel.

Though many drugstores offer a wide selection of teeth whitening treatments such as take-home trays, strips, and toothpastes, many of these fall short of providing the results patients really want. At the practice of Dr. Steven E. Holbrook in Albuquerque, NM, patients can find solutions that work for them and offer more dramatic results!

  • Professional whitening – First and foremost, patients seeking whitening solutions that provide immediate results are welcome to ask our team about professional teeth whitening options. Our practice proudly uses Opalescence teeth whitening products which are used in the privacy of one’s home. Patients whiten their teeth using specialized bleaching gels and whitening trays, wearing them as needed to boost the brilliance and natural beauty of their smiles.
  • Lifestyle changes – In-between whitening products, patients should also pay close attention to what they are consuming that is contributing to the discoloration of the natural tooth enamel. Many beverages are known to contribute to discoloration, including coffees, red wines, and teas. Patients should also avoid smoking cigarettes which may also dull the enamel and it’s natural beauty.
  • Medication concerns – Some patients experience staining due to certain medications they may take. One of the most problematic medications for this is tetracycline, which is an antibiotics with a side effect of tooth discoloration. Patients may want to talk to their primary care provider to determine if an alternative can be used to avoid further impact to the teeth.

Albuquerque, NM patients ready to work with a team of professionals to learn more about maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile are encouraged to book an appointment at our practice by calling (505) 881-1159.

Continue Reading

The importance of dental cleanings and routine examinations

Patients are advised to see their dentist every six months for an evaluation and a dental cleaning. But why? Why are these recall appointments so important? Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM explains to patients why these routine visits are essential for maintaining oral health and wellness.

The importance of dental cleanings

While most patients properly brush and floss their teeth, there are areas of the mouth that might not get the full attention they need. Teeth near the back of the mouth can be difficult for children to reach, and this can result in bacteria forming and contributing to the development of cavities and periodontal disease. By having a thorough cleaning performed by the dental hygienist, all areas can be reached. Dental cleanings also help in removing plaque, tartar, and calculus from the surfaces of the teeth and gums.

The importance of routine dental examinations

In addition to a dental cleaning, visits at our practice include dental examinations. Our evaluations include both a physical examination of the teeth and gums as well as x-rays. X-rays are images that allow the dentist to see below the gum line to spot potential issues that could develop. X-rays are also used to see areas of decay that might not be visible on the exposed part of the tooth. When a dentist is planning certain dental procedures, such as the placement of dental implants, he will need to be able to see the bone structure and the health of the surrounding teeth to plan treatment. By visiting every six months, our dentist can also look for early signs of problems such as tooth decay and periodontal disease, which can be successfully treated easier when found sooner.

Request a visit with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook

Patients in the Albuquerque, NM area who want to start seeing their dentist regularly to improve their oral health are welcome to request an appointment with our team by calling (505) 881-1159. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook has over three decades of experience in providing general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry solutions to patients in and around the community. We invite you and your family to learn more about caring for the smile with a proper dental education in our facility.

Continue Reading

How dental implants differ from traditional dentures

Choosing a tooth replacement option that works for your smile and your lifestyle may be difficult for some patients if they are new to the area of restorative dentistry. While we have more ways than ever to help avoid completely tooth loss, it can still occur to some of our patients. With complete loss of the upper and/or lower arch of teeth, patients are impacted negatively in many ways. They will be unable to bite and chew, and speaking will be incredibly difficult. By working with Dr. Steven Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM, patients can find the difference between traditional dentures and the integration of dental implants.

Dental implants versus traditional dentures

Many patients are well aware of the function of traditional dentures. These acrylic restorations are made to incorporate false gum tissue and false teeth. The appliance is worn over the ridge of the gums to replace the arch of teeth. Some patients rely on natural suction to hold their dentures in place, while others use traditional denture adhesives that are available over-the-counter. However, patients who want a more sturdy, stronger solution may want to ask Dr. Steven Holbrook about the benefits of implant-supported dentures.

Implant-supported dentures have several benefits. The dental implants, made of titanium, are placed into the dental arch. Then, a special denture is made that includes just false teeth. It snaps into place with the dental implants, providing the best in strength and function. These dentures are held firmly in place with the dental implant foundation, ensuring patients can enjoy all their favorite foods, including steak! These dentures are also more natural in appearance, and give patients the confidence they need in social situations. Another benefit of implant-supported dentures is the maintenance of bone. Traditional dentures need to be adjusted or changed regularly because of bone loss that occurs alongside tooth loss. But dental implants, when placed during oral surgery, help stimulate bone growth through osseointegration. This bone growth eliminates the common appearance of a sunken-in jaw that occurs with conventional tooth loss and helps patients maintain a youthful look for many, many years to come!

Request an appointment today to discuss your options

Call (505) 881-1159 to book a visit with Dr. Steven Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM to discuss dental implants versus traditional dentures.

Continue Reading

Evaluating tooth pain

When patients experience tooth pain and sensitivity, it is commonly thought that a cavity is the reason for this discomfort in some situations, this may be the case, but there are other times that the cause of tooth pain may surprise a patient. Below are just a few of the common causes of tooth pain that may require evaluation by a trained professional:

  • Tooth decay – in many cases, tooth pain may be a sign of a cavity. Cavities are caused by sugars and acids that eat away at the natural tooth enamel. These areas of decay cause holes that may become large and deep, causing future problems if left untreated. Dr. Steven Holbrook often addresses these areas of decay with dental fillings.
  • Abscess – an abscess may develop around a tooth, causing severe tooth pain. In situations such as this, a dentist may recommend a procedure called root canal therapy, or endodontic therapy. This treatment removes the pulp inside of the tooth and replaces it with gutta percha to seal it off and protect it from further damage.
  • Infection – an infection may occur within a tooth, requiring dentists to either provide endodontic therapy or permanently extract a tooth. Infections can be painful and also result in swelling and discomfort that might require immediate care.
  • Impacted tooth – some discomfort to a tooth may be caused by an impacted tooth. This is common with wisdom teeth. These “third molars” tend to become stuck underneath the gum line if they turn and push towards the surrounding teeth. This situation will require surgical removal of the wisdom tooth to resolve.
  • Sinus-related pain – sometimes, tooth pain may be caused by swollen sinuses that can become congested or inflamed with colds, the flu, or allergies. This pain is often concurrent with congestion and stuffiness, which can impact the upper teeth due to the position of the sinus cavities. This discomfort is treated by treating the cause of congestion, which cannot be resolved with a dentist.

Request an appointment with Dr. Steven Holbrook and his team

Albuquerque, NM area patients interested in learning more about the cause of their tooth pain are encouraged to book a visit by calling (505) 881-1159. Our practice assists patients in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry and invites new patients and families seeking comprehensive dental care.

Continue Reading

Addressing bad breath

Even when patients practice good oral health habits, they may have an issue with problems such as bad breath. Also known as halitosis, bad breath can occur for a variety of reasons. Not only can it be a sign of poor oral health habits, it can be caused by:

  • Poor care of dentures and braces
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Tooth decay and gum disease
  • Throat and lung infections
  • Dry mouth/reduced flow of saliva
  • Certain medications that can cause dry mouth
  • Foods such as garlic and onions

How can I address bad breath?

Dr. Steven Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM is pleased to offer some solutions for patients who are struggling with managing their bad breath. Below are a few tips and recommendations to consider when trying to improve and freshen breath:

  • Take good care of the smile. Good dental hygiene habits can play a significant role in the treatment of bad breath. Patients should make sure to brush and floss their teeth as directed. If they are wearing appliances such as orthodontics or full dentures, ensure that these are cleaned regularly to avoid trapping food particles in the appliances that can contribute to halitosis.
  • Eat healthy foods. A healthy, proper diet high in fruits and vegetables is not only good for your body, but for your dental health! Make sure you avoid excess consumption of sugary drinks and foods such as candies and sodas, and consider avoiding foods that contribute to bad breath.
  • Stay hydrated. Dry mouth is a common reason for bad breath. Patients who are on medications that cause dry mouth, or those who are experiencing this condition, can combat bad breath by ensuring they are hydrated. Patients can also suck on sugar free candies or chew sugar free gum to keep saliva flowing and avoid dry mouth.
  • Visit the dentist. Many problems that cause bad breath can be addressed with the help of a dentist. Patients who experience bad breath can ask their dentist for an evaluation to determine if certain conditions are the cause.

Are you dealing with halitosis?

Consider visiting the dentist for an evaluation and to discuss ways of addressing bad breath. Dr. Steven Holbrook and his team can be reached at (505) 881-1159 and is located at 8228 Louisiana Blvd. NE Ste. C in Albuquerque, NM. New patients are invited to learn more about Dr. Steven Holbrook and his practice.

Continue Reading

Using dental crowns to restore the smile after damage

When we think of a crown, we might immediately think of the sign of royalty, including kings, queens, princes, and princesses. However, crowns are also a term used in dentistry. Dental crowns are restorations that can cap a single tooth to offer it strength and protection. These restorations are made with materials such as ceramic and porcelain that look like natural tooth enamel to maintain the appearance of a beautiful smile.

How are dental crowns used?

There are many reasons why a patient may consider the placement of a dental crown.

  • Dental crowns can be used to replace teeth. Dental crowns are used in a few different situations to replace missing teeth. The crown often fits over the top abutment of a dental implant, which is surgically placed into the bone of the jaw after a tooth has been lost or extracted. This provides a false tooth that functions as a natural tooth. Additionally, a dental crown may be fused to a pontic to create a bridge. The crown ends are bonded over adjacent teeth to support placement of the bridge in the smile.
  • Dental crowns can strengthen a tooth. When patients have had large areas of decay or even infection inside of the tooth, certain materials such as fillings or gutta percha can still leave the tooth susceptible to damage. A dental crown is often bonded over a tooth that has experienced changes to the structural integrity. This can protect the tooth from damage and make it stronger and more durable.
  • Dental crowns can cover stained or imperfect teeth. When breakage or staining is a problem on the molars or other teeth, dental crowns can be fabricated to bond over the top to change the appearance and improve overall aesthetics.

Call Dr. Steve Holbrook today

If you reside in Albuquerque, NM and are interested in working with a dentist with over three decades of dental experience, contact Dr. Steven Holbrook at (505) 881-1159. His dental practice is equipped to help with a wide range of general, cosmetic, and restorative dental concerns. The office is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE in Suite C and is accepting new patients.

Continue Reading

Treatment solutions for gum disease

Periodontal disease. Gum disease. Infection. Regardless of the name, this condition is known for wreaking havoc on the smile. Periodontal disease is an infection that often begins in the gum tissues and then spreads, causing damage to the soft tissues, jaw bone, and the natural teeth. This infection is 100% preventable with proper oral healthcare habits. When patients brush and floss their teeth after every meal, visit their dentist every six months for a cleaning and evaluation, and contact their dental team as soon as a problem arises, they are greatly reducing their risk of developing disease and decay.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?

There are a few noticeable signs of periodontal disease that may indicate a problem exists. If patients pay close attention to their oral health, they will notice these issues:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Tender gum tissue
  • Loose teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Chronic bad breath

If any of these signs appear between dental visits, patients should contact Dr. Steven E. Holbrook for an evaluation. Treatment of periodontal disease in the earlier stages is more effective and less expensive than treatment in the later stages.

What treatments are available for periodontal disease?

There are several approaches a dentist may take to treat periodontal disease.

  • Thorough cleanings – in the earlier stages, often referred to as gingivitis, patients will have a thorough cleaning performed by the dental hygienist. This removes plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth, while allowing for the removal of any food particles that may contribute to the condition.
  • Scaling and root planing – later stages of periodontal disease may benefit from scaling and root planing. This is a cleaning of the teeth and gums that include the roots of the teeth, not just the crowns. This is a deeper, more invasive cleaning, but often provides amazing advantages.
  • Antibiotics – patients may be prescribed antibiotics to take orally, or the dental team may apply antibiotics directly to the smile to eliminate the infection at the source.

Request a visit with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook today!

Albuquerque, NM patients ready to work with a dentist that has over three decades of experience are encouraged to schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook today. His practice is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE, Ste. C and can be reached by phone at (505) 881-1159.

Continue Reading

What are the advantages of composite resin fillings?

When patients think of cavities, they are often familiar with the treatment option: fillings. Fillings are a common and routine dental treatment that is performed by Dr. Steven Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM. In his practice, we uses fillings when patients have areas of decay that need to be treated. Cavities are treated with fillings to keep them from getting larger, deeper, and becoming a more serious—and expensive—problem in the future.

What is a dental filling?

A filling is a material that is used to seal off a tooth and fill an area that has been lost due to decay. The idea behind the filling is to protect the tooth from further damage, while restoring the structure so it can function properly. In the past, many dentists used a material known as silver amalgam. This material is made of approximately 50% mercury, a substance that is toxic to the human body. Instead of putting patients at risk for mercury toxicity, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook uses a material known as composite resin instead. There are a few benefits of composite resin fillings for patients to consider:

  • Composite resin fillings are made of a safe and biocompatible material that can be  used in the smile without side effects or consequences.
  • Composite resin fillings do not expand and contract with temperature changes, ensuring a tight fit and protection from bacteria entering into the tooth.
  • Composite resin fillings are the same color as tooth enamel, allowing them to be difficult to discern from the natural tooth structure.

Dr. Steven E. Holbrook encourages patients to ask him about tooth-colored fillings and how they can not only restore the tooth, but maintain the confidence and beauty of an attractive smile!

Learn more about dental fillings

If you reside in the Albuquerque, NM area and want to speak with our dentist about comprehensive dental care and the importance of dental fillings, we invite you to call the office at (505) 881-1159 and visit our practice at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NC Ste. C. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his staff work closely with patients to help them in addressing their dental needs.

Continue Reading