All posts by buca3sport

Why Should I Replace that Missing Tooth?

Losing a tooth as a young child is totally normal and somewhat exciting. But what happens when you lose a tooth as an adult? You might have lost your tooth from gum disease, injury, or tooth decay. Losing teeth is common and isn’t life-threatening, but you should always have the tooth replaced as soon as possible after losing it.

Why Replace It? 

Every tooth in your mouth has a function. When one is missing, it causes stress on surrounding teeth. Your surrounding teeth will be more prone to breaking, cracking, and falling out as well. Additionally, your jaw health can begin to deteriorate if you leave a hole where your tooth once was, causing facial sagging. 

Of course, most patients aim for a perfect full smile but, replacing your missing tooth isn’t all about cosmetics. Every tooth you lose results in the loss of 10% of your jaw function. You need full jaw function to chew your favorite foods and avoid the pain that comes with tooth loss, so it is best to replace your tooth as soon as you can.

What are My Options? 

There are several options in restorative dentistry for replacing teeth, depending on the tooth’s location, the damage, and the health of your gums and jaw. If you have a healthy jaw and gums and are missing a tooth or several teeth, you are a candidate for dental implants. Dental implants are long-lasting, easy-to-maintain, and look and feel like your original teeth. However, this process isn’t instant and can take several months to complete. To learn more, visit our dental implants page. 

Another popular option is a dental bridge. These permanent replacement teeth are inserted into the jaw and are attached to neighboring teeth for support. They give a natural look, similar to dental implants, but they will need to be replaced more often. Dental bridges can not only restore your smile, but they prevent further tooth loss and improve your ability to chew foods. 

Lastly, we will talk about dentures. Dentures are either full or partial, and that will depend on the number of natural teeth that you have left. Unlike dental implants and bridges, dentures are removable. While they can help you feel more confident in your smile, they don’t have the same benefits as implants and bridges, such as avoiding bone loss.

You might be pushing replacing your tooth or teeth to the back burner, but remember that acting sooner rather than later can help to prevent further tooth and bone loss and save your remaining teeth. Contact us today for more information about the procedures we offer for tooth replacement. 

4 Signs of Gingivitis That Should Send You to Your Dentist

You have probably heard of gingivitis before, but you might not know precisely what it is. Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the gums around the base of your teeth due to a buildup of plaque and bacteria. It can lead to more severe health risks like Periodontal Disease down the road if untreated. So, how do you know if you have gingivitis and need treatment? Let’s go over the four signs that you might be suffering from gingivitis. 

  1. Bleeding Gums – If your gums bleed during and/or after brushing or flossing, you might have gingivitis. If you don’t floss daily and decide to start, your gums will probably bleed a bit. However, excessive bleeding is a reliable indicator and you should call your dentist right away if you have noticed this symptom, especially if you floss and brush daily.

  2. Tender, Bright Red, or Purple Gums – The bacterial infection can cause the gums to become irritated, causing tenderness and sometimes a bit of pain. Additionally, if your gums are bright red or purple, that’s not a good sign. Take a look at the coloration of your gums in proper lighting to determine if this symptom is present. Extreme tenderness or unusual coloration of the gums are clear signs of gingivitis.

  3. Halitosis – Halitosis, better known as bad breath, can indicate that you have gingivitis. The bacterial infection causes a buildup of bacteria in your mouth, creating a sulphuric odor. You should notice a difference between typical morning breath and the bad breath that occurs when you have gingivitis. Halitosis can happen for several reasons, so you should pay close attention to other symptoms.

  4. Receding or Soft Gums – Receding gums is another sign of gingivitis. The massive plaque buildup damages the gums, causing you to lose the healthy gum tissue. More of your teeth will show, and you’ll notice your gums have “shrunk.” Additionally, soft gums indicate gingivitis. The gums become soft and weakened due to the bacterial infection.

If you have experienced one or a combination of these symptoms, call our office today to schedule an appointment. Remember, taking care of problems now can save you from a more advanced gum disease that can cause significant health risks. To treat gingivitis cases, we offer a deep cleaning procedure and can discuss other options to maintain healthy gums.

The Pros and Cons of Teeth Implants

Dental implants are one solution for replacing missing teeth — whether they were lost due to disease or were broken in an accident. You might be wondering what goes on when you get dental implants. Implant dentistry has its pros and cons, like almost every other dental procedure, and it is essential to understand the risks and benefits before making your decision.

The Pros:

  • Teeth Implants don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support, unlike bridges. This allows the adjacent teeth to remain untouched versus being shaped down for a bridge. Replacement implant teeth support themselves, and you won’t have to worry about your other teeth being disrupted.
  • Dental implants look and function like real teeth. You won’t hear clicking noises or have issues with chewing or speaking, unlike traditional dentures. Also, the implants will match your natural teeth and you cannot remove them (unless the implants are being used to stabilize dentures).
  • You can care for your implants the same way you would your natural teeth. Meaning, you won’t have to worry about buying unique products or devices to keep them clean and healthy. Oral health is just as important when you have dental implants, but your dental care budget should stay the same after your mouth has healed. We recommend Waterpik type devices for natural teeth and implants.
  • Dental implants can be as durable and stable as natural teeth but must be cared for properly- they can last up to 20 years and even longer. Dental implants are mostly made of titanium and are safe for your mouth.

The Cons:

  • Getting teeth implants can require multiple steps; it could take about six months just for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. You can read more about the steps by clicking here.
  • You are at risk of infection. Bacteria is the cause of infections in natural teeth as well as dental implants and you could be at risk of Periodontal Disease. Although this is not common, it is still a risk to consider.
  • Dental implant procedures can require additional procedures, including a bone graft and or sinus lift if adequate bone is not present. While these procedures are not always necessary, it is something to take into consideration.
  • You must meet specific requirements to go forward with the procedure. If you don’t have enough jaw bone density and are ineligible for bone grafting, you are a heavy drinker or smoker, or your gums are not healthy enough to support the implant, you are likely unsuitable for the procedure.
  • Even if your dental insurance covers teeth implants, you may still have to pay for a portion of your procedure. Dental implants can be a significant investment, so it is crucial to research what your insurance covers so you know if you can afford to cover the difference. We are happy to discuss missing tooth replacement options including dental implants.

If you are interested in getting dental implants after reading this post, contact us today for a consultation to see if this procedure is right for you and your smile.

5 Signs You Need a Nightguard to Protect Against Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a sensation that usually occurs while a patient is sleeping. Teeth grinding is a common problem; It affects 10 percent of people and as many as 15 percent of children, according to the American Sleep Association.

When this occurs, it means you’re grinding your teeth unknowingly, which can lead to jaw soreness and headaches. If you continue to grind your teeth and don’t seek treatment, you can have more severe problems, such as misalignment and cracked or damaged teeth. However, with proper treatment, it’s not a serious problem, and a nightguard is an easy treatment solution.

People often ask whether they need a nightguard. You may not realize you’re grinding your teeth because, of course, you’re asleep! Here are some signs that you should try a nightguard.

  1. You often wake up with a headache, jaw soreness and/or a popping or clicking sound in your jaw. Headaches and jaw soreness are the most common signs of grinding your teeth in your sleep. These two symptoms, combined with an abnormal sound coming from your jaw, are significant signs of teeth grinding.
  2.  You are experiencing stress or anxiety. Stress and anxiety are the leading causes of teeth grinding; they can cause you to clench your jaw while sleeping. If you have been experiencing stress and/or anxiety and have noticed other symptoms of teeth grinding, you should make an appointment with Dr. Banik to discuss getting fitted for a nightguard.
  3. You have an abnormal bite or crooked and/or missing teeth. If you have an abnormal bite or crooked and/or missing teeth, you are more prone to teeth grinding. Action does not need to be taken if you are not experiencing symptoms, but if you are, it is a good idea to make an appointment.
  4. You have a sleep disorder. Patients who have sleep disorders can experience teeth grinding. If you have a sleep disorder such as Sleep Apnea, contact us to discuss solutions.
  5. Your partner complains about it. Some people grind their teeth so loudly their partner can hear it. If yours reports hearing crunching or odd sounds, talk to your dentist.

About Nightguards
A nightguard is a thin, durable mouth insert that keeps you from grinding your teeth at night. They are slightly different than a mouthguard you might wear for sports. Nightguards protect a patient’s teeth while also being comfortable enough to wear while sleeping.

We recommend a custom Nightguard for the best fit. You can order nightguards online, but they won’t fit well, making it uncomfortable to wear.

During your visit with us, the team will take an impression of your teeth. The material is shaped around the mold and made sure to fit perfectly around your teeth impressions. The impression process only takes a few minutes, and we’ll call you back in a week or two to try it out so we can confirm a good fit. Dr. Banik will also talk to you about proper usage and care.

If you think you might be grinding your teeth, contact us for an appointment or ask us about it during your next dental visit.


  • Are you self-conscious about your smile?

  • Do you tend to not smile in pictures or not smile at all?

  • Do you try to hide your teeth when you talk, laugh, or smile?

  • Did you have braces before but your teeth are crooked again?

You are not alone. Would you believe us if we told you there is a way to straighten your teeth for better oral hygiene and smile confidence in about six months? There is a treatment that combines the effectiveness of traditional braces with a modern cosmetic twist. It’s called Six Month Smiles, and it’s helped thousands of people reveal a beautiful smile.

What is Six Month Smiles?

Six Month Smiles is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear brackets and tooth-colored wires, meaning they’re barely visible and takes much less time than traditional braces to work their magic! The average treatment time is about six months (with a range of 4-9 months) to help patients with crooked, crowded, or spaced teeth.

While Six Month Smiles uses the same orthodontic mechanics of traditional braces, the emphasis is more on the cosmetic appearance of your teeth instead of your bite. That means low force is typically all that’s needed to move your teeth in a shorter period of time. People often think the accelerated treatment time means more pain will be involved, but this isn’t the case. 

Six Month Smiles is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear brackets and tooth-colored wires, meaning they’re barely visible and takes much less time than traditional braces to work their magic! The average treatment time is about six months (with a range of 4-9 months) to help patients with crooked, crowded, or spaced teeth.

Why Straighten Teeth? 

Straight teeth are important when it comes to overall oral health. Crooked teeth leave room for plaque and other buildups to occur, creating the potential for cavities and tooth decay. Crooked teeth can also cause stress on your jawbones, which could cause neck and head pains. 

If you’ve been dreaming of a straighter smile, we can help you make it a reality. Dr. Banik proudly offers the Six Month Smiles Clear Braces System. For more details call us to schedule a free consult. See if Six Month Smiles can work for you!