What Is Gum Contouring?

Periodontal Disease Treatment Albuquerque, NM When patients think of enhancing their smile, their first thought is to address imperfections of the teeth. But what if the teeth aren’t the issue? Some patients have imperfections that impact the gums and may want to seek a solution with an experienced dentist. Common concerns include a smile that is “gummy,” causing the gums to appear too noticeable and the teeth to appear smaller than they actually are. In situations such as this. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook may suggest gum contouring.

What is gum contouring?

Gum contouring, which may also be referred to as gum lifting, is an elective procedure that can be done to reshape or even correct excessive or uneven gums. This is a relatively painless procedure with a fast healing time, and is commonly done for patients who are self-conscious about the appearance of the gums. Gum contouring may also include gum grafting, which is when the gum tissue is built up after patients have experienced a shrinking of the tissues from periodontal disease. This is more of a reconstructive approach to the gum tissue, rather than a cosmetic approach with traditional gum contouring.

During gum contouring, the dentist will remove some of the soft tissues along the gum line and across the teeth near the front of the smile. This will reduce their appearance and address the overgrowth that can occur. Once patients have gum contouring completed, they will be able to feel more confident when they smile and speak. Their teeth may appear larger, and they will achieve proper balance and harmony between the teeth and soft tissues. Many patients find that gum contouring is a procedure they should have considered long ago as they love the self-confidence that is restored with this cosmetic treatment!

Consider gum contouring with our dentist today

Dr. Steven E. Holbrook work with patients in the area of Albuquerque, NM who are seeking cosmetic solutions for their smile. If you are interested in gum contouring, contact the practice at (505) 881-1159 and visit at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Ste. C. We accept new patients considering general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry.

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Who Is the Best Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?

At Comprehensive Dental Care, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team can help patients transform their smile into a striking, attractive asset. When patients are considering cosmetic restoration of their smile, they are often introduced to an effective, affordable, and easy solution for imperfections on the front of the teeth called porcelain veneers.

What is a porcelain veneer?

Veneers are used to cover common dental imperfections that may be present in the smile. These imperfections may include:

  • Gaps between teeth
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Unusually shaped teeth
  • Permanently stained teeth

When these issues are impacting the overall appearance of the smile and are making patients feel self-conscious about their appearance, porcelain veneers can help. These restorations are bonded onto the front of the natural tooth to disguise the imperfections that are present. Veneers are matched in color, shape, and size of the patient’s existing teeth to ensure they look as natural as possible when placed.

Who is a candidate for porcelain veneers?

Dr. Steven E. Holbrook can use porcelain veneers for most patients who want a fast and effective solution to imperfections of the smile. To determine candidacy, a dental evaluation is performed, during which the dentist will take x-rays to check the health of the smile and perform a physical evaluation. Patients may also take this time to learn about other options that can be used to address these imperfections, such as:

  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Professional teeth bleaching
  • Composite resin bonding

When patients have a variety of options to choose from, they have more control over the journey they take to a more beautiful smile!

Make your smile gorgeous with porcelain veneers!

Patients of the Albuquerque, NM area who are considering porcelain veneers to enhance their smile can call Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Comprehensive Dental Care to learn more. The practice is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C and can be reached by phone at (505) 881-1159. New and existing patients of the area can work with our dentist with over thirty years of experience in providing general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry solutions to adult patients.

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Are you experiencing pain in your mouth? Does this pain radiate from a tooth in your smile?

October has arrived, and for parents, this is the time of year where children are focused on fun costumes and trick-or-treating for sweets. As much as our team of professionals love trick-or-treating, we also know that this increased consumption of candies and snacks can put children (and even indulging adults!) at risk for tooth decay. Patients in the Albuquerque, NM area who are interested in learning more about protecting the smile from permanent damage are encouraged to connect with the team at Comprehensive Dental Care.

Frequently asked questions about Halloween and cavities

Are there alternatives to candy?

Absolutely! Dr. Steven Holbrook of Comprehensive Dental Care encourages parents to skip the candy, and instead offer trick-or-treaters alternatives such as temporary tattoos and spider rings. This is also encouraged for children who may be too young to enjoy candy, or those who have allergies to peanuts. Halloween treats do not have to put children’s smiles at risk!

How do I limit candy intake for my child?

It is a great idea to avoid letting your child go crazy with candy intake and instead monitor how much they can have each day. Limiting the number of pieces of candy they can have will not only reduce the risk of cavities, but of unwanted tummy aches! Children should also consume their candy after a meal and before they brush their teeth to reduce the sugars that remain in the mouth.

What if there is too much candy?

Some neighbors and companies are extremely generous with candy treats during the Halloween season. If your child has accumulated too much candy, you may want to consider programs that are set up for donation of candy treats to send to troops overseas. This is a great way to reduce sweets intake while providing free candy to those who do not have access to it due to deployments. Brighten someone’s day while keeping your child’s smile free from decay!

Albuquerque, NM patients can speak with our team today!

Call (505) 881-1159 today to book an appointment at Comprehensive Dental Care to discuss oral health care solutions. Our practice is conveniently located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Ste. C and accepts new patients and families.

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Why does my tooth hurt?

Are you experiencing pain in your mouth? Does this pain radiate from a tooth in your smile? If so, you may be curious about the need for dental care. Aching, sore, and painful teeth are often an indication of problems such as tooth decay or infection. Find out what factors can lead to tooth pain and how the team of Comprehensive Dental Care can help!


Patients who have persistent grinding of the teeth, known as bruxism, are often at risk of damaging their natural tooth enamel and any dental restorations that are in place. This grinding and clenching can wear down natural tooth enamel or damage the teeth with cracks or chips. This pressure on the teeth can be detrimental to ones oral health and wellness. Patients may want to speak to their dentist about mouth guards to protect the smile from bruxism and reduce the chances of tooth pain.

Tooth decay

One common cause of toothaches is an undiagnosed and untreated area of tooth decay. Also known as cavities, these areas can become deep and result in the development of a toothache. Fillings are the best method of treatment for areas of decay and can often improve discomfort. Our practice offers tooth-colored fillings, which blend into the smile and are difficult for others to notice.


Sometimes, tooth decay can become so deep that it reaches the inner canals of the tooth where the dental pulp resides. Dental pulp is a mass of tissues that keeps the blood supply to the tooth and houses the nerves which can send signals of pain. When the dental pulp is infected, treatment such as root canal therapy may be advised to save the natural tooth structure while addressing the infection. Patients may also be prescribed antibiotics to further treat the infection and keep it from spreading elsewhere in the mouth.

Do you have questions about mouth pain?

Our team at Comprehensive Dental Care of Albuquerque, NM wants to assist patients in avoiding toothaches and other problems that can impact the smile. To find out more, schedule a consultation by calling our practice today at (505) 881-1159.

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3 Things You May Be Doing That Cause Enamel Erosion

Having a strong body is good and all, but here at our office, we encourage all of our patients to get stronger teeth. One way to get a stronger, healthier smile is to ensure that your tooth’s enamel is in good shape. Let’s go over a few things that you may be doing every day that may be weakening your enamel without you even knowing about it.

Drinking Coffee

Coffee may be the only thing that can get you out of bed in the morning and for a good reason, but drinking too much coffee is bad for your teeth. Coffee is high in acidity, which makes it the perfect tool to erode the enamel on your teeth. Try either cutting back on your coffee or brushing your teeth right after you have your morning cup of jo; the less time that coffee sits on your teeth for, the better.

Eating Starches

Starches are one of those types of foods that give you comfort; especially after a long day at work. Whether you prefer starchy foods in the form of mashed potatoes or pasta, they aren’t doing your teeth any favors. Why? Because starch turns into sugar, which in turn can weaken your teeth’s enamel and cause extreme tooth decay.

Not Drinking Enough Water

If you get fatigued easily, get a lot of headaches, or tend to feel light-headed, it may be because you aren’t drinking enough water. On average, you should be drinking at least eight 8-ounce cups of water every day. Not only will drinking more water help you to feel better overall, but it will also help to speed up your salivary glands, which naturally keep your teeth clean. Try getting into a better habit of drinking more water and your entire body will thank you.

Do you want to learn a little bit more about how you can get a healthier smile? Contact our Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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5 Benefits of Dental Bridges

When it comes to choosing an oral prosthesis for your mouth, we want you to feel 100 percent confident in your decision. One of the most popular dental prostheses out there is a dental bridge. Dental bridges work by literally bridging the gaps between your teeth. Let’s take a closer look at five benefits of this treatment.

Helps You Maintain Your Face Shape

You may not realize it, but if you have one or more missing teeth, it can lead to issues like bone and jaw deterioration. And although other treatment solutions like dentures are great at restoring your mile, they may change your face shape. With a dental bridge, you won’t have to worry about your face shape changing at all; in fact, it will just restore it.

Looks Natural

A dental bridge is either attached to a dental implant or your natural tooth. The good news is that the crowns we use will always be matched to your existing teeth to ensure they look seamless and natural.

Restores Your Smile

Smiling and having one or more missing teeth isn’t exactly going to make you look professional. When you get a dental bridge, it will restore your smile so that you can feel confident in your appearance again.

It’s Fast

Another great thing about dental bridges is that they can be a fairly fast procedure depending on whether or not you need a dental implant. If you don’t need one, we can do the procedure quickly. If, however, a dental implant is required, the process may take several months to complete.

Restore Your Ability to Chew

If your favorite food has suddenly become impossible to chew and enjoy, then you will be excited to learn that dental bridges can help restore your mouth’s ability to eat which is an ultimate plus in our books.

The list of the benefits of dental implants goes on and on. If you want to learn more about them, contact our Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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How to Avoid Gum Erosion

Periodontal Disease Albuquerque, NMHaving a naturally gummy smile is one thing, but having receding gums is something else. Receding gums happen when your gums pull away from your teeth, which can cause the tissues to become exposed. When your tissues are exposed, it not only doesn’t look appealing, but it can lead to a host of problems like bacterial infections. Luckily, there are a few basic things that you can do to avoid getting it.

Don’t Brush too Hard

There is such a thing as brushing too hard when you are brushing your teeth. Although you want to get all of the plaque and tartar off of your teeth, brushing too hard can erode the gum tissue, which can eventually lead to receding gums. One of the best things that you can do before you brush along the gumline is wet your soft-bristled toothbrush with hot water which will soften your bristles even more.

Get Regular Cleanings

Another excellent way for you to avoid getting gum erosion or gum disease is to get regular and frequent dental cleanings. During each one of your cleanings, Dr. Holbrook won’t just clean your teeth, but he will clean along the gum line to get rid of any harmful plaque or tartar build-up. Also, if he notices any premature signs of gum erosion, he may recommend a treatment called gum scaling. Gum scaling is a comprehensive cleaning along the gum line to get rid of tartar.

Don’t Use Tobacco

Chewing tobacco, in particular, can lead to extreme gum erosion and gum disease. If you smoke or chew tobacco, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of developing a variety of different things, including gum erosion.

Are you ready to learn a little bit more about how you can take better care of your teeth and gums? If so, schedule an appointment with us at our Albuquerque office and call us at  (505) 881-1159.

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Back to School Oral Health Tips for Your Kids

Now that summer is coming to an end, it’s time to get your kids ready for another long school year. In addition to getting new backpacks, pencil boxes, and clothes, there are a few other things that you can prepare your kids with like some oral health tips. To make sure that your kids start the year off without cavities and end it in the same way, let’s go over a few tips to give them.

Get a Dental Exam Before School

Once school starts, things can turn from busy into hectic in a matter of seconds. In between carpools and soccer practice, it can be hard even to fit their homework in, let alone a dentist appointment. Before their school year starts, schedule a dental cleaning at our office to get it out of the way before all of the hustle.

Get them gum

In an ideal world, kids would brush their teeth after every meal (even lunch), but the last thing any kid wants to do is clean their teeth at school in front of all of their friends. Although sugar-free gum can’t replace regular toothbrushing, it is a good alternative for your kids. Chewing gum is proven to help speed up your salivary glands, which are a natural way for you to get rid of plaque, bacteria, and tartar on your teeth.

Get them a water bottle

The more water your kids drink, the better they will feel overall, and the same can be said for their oral health. Similar to chewing gum, water also speeds up your mouth’s salivary glands which is a plus. Plus, water will naturally rinse your child’s teeth as they drink it, which makes it ideal for drinking after snacks and lunch.

The tricky thing about parenting school-aged kids is that you can’t keep tabs on their every move, but you can help give them the tools they need to be happy and successful. Before school starts, keep these things in mind to ensure that our little ones keep their mouths as healthy as ever. To learn a little bit more, contact our Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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How to Avoid Broken Dentures

It’s not uncommon that we have some denture patients come into our office because they dropped and cracked their dentures.  To help you avoid being that person, we have a few ways for you to take better care of your dentures and avoid dropping them anytime soon.

Put them in a Case

When you’re not soaking your dentures in a cleaning solution or wearing them, don’t just set them on your counter or bedside table; they could fall off and crack, or they could fall off, and someone could step on them. Make sure that you get into the habit of putting your dentures inside of a plastic case every time you take them out; that way you now that they are safe.

Use Both Hands When Taking them Out

You may be able to do a lot of things with just one hand but taking out and putting your dentures back in doesn’t have to be one of them. In fact, it’s something that we don’t recommend. When you use both hands when you’re holding onto your dentures, you have more control over them and are less likely to drop them.

Don’t Be Distracted

It can be hard not to be distracted sometimes; especially as we age. When you are cleaning, putting your dentures back in, or taking them out, try not to be distracted. If you have someone who is testing you or trying to call you, call them back after you’re done handling your dentures; trust us, it will be a lot cheaper to just call them back than accidentally dropping your dentures.

If you’re careful, dentures can last a really long time. Keep these tips in mind to avoid dropping and breaking your dentures. To learn more, contact our  Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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Abscessed Tooth? What to Know About It

Cleanings & PreventionCavities are one of the most common oral problems that patients run into. Caused by bacteria and germs that sit on the tooth for too long, cavities cause holes in the tooth, which can lead to a variety of problems like an infection or pain. Often, a cavity is mistaken for an abscessed tooth when an abscessed tooth may be the result of a cavity.  So, what is an abscessed tooth?

What’s an Abscessed Tooth?

An abscessed tooth is when the tooth itself or the gums around it get infected. There are two types of abscesses that we commonly see patients for:

  • Periapical Abscess: A periapical abscess occurs when a cavity goes untreated and then it causes infection at the tip of the root.
  • Periodontal Abscess: A periodontal abscess occurs within the gums on either side of the tooth’s root.

How Is It Treated?

If we can, we will try to save the tooth and perform a root canal. During a root canal, we will clean out the bacteria and infection from the inside of the tooth and take out the root. Then, we will seal it off so that no more bacteria can enter into it.

In some instances, if we cannot perform a root canal, we will have to remove the tooth and then replace it with a dental implant.

What are the symptoms?

Having pain in your mouth is never a good thing; especially if it’s persistent. One of the reasons why patients mistake a cavity for an abscess due to the constant pain. Other signs of an abscessed tooth include:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swelling
  • Pressure when chewing or biting
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes
  • A sudden foul smelling or tasting fluid in the mouth if the abscess ruptures
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Fever

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it could mean that you have a cavity or it could mean that you have an abscess. The best thing that you can do is come into our office, get an exam, have some x-rays done, and then get a proper diagnosis. To learn more about tooth abscesses, contact our Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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