Erasing Flaws with Dental Veneers

Cosmetic problems with your teeth can make it embarrassing to show your smile. Thanks to dental veneers, you can erase flaws and create a brand new look that will make you want to show off your pearly whites instead of hiding them.

Veneers are very thin shells that are usually made of porcelain. They are custom-made to fit right on top of the fronts of your teeth. The veneers are securely bonded in place so that you can feel confident and comfortable with your smile. The porcelain is matched to the same color as your natural teeth, or a few shades brighter if you’d like to whiten your smile. This material reflects light in the same way that real teeth do, so that others can’t even tell the veneers are there. Porcelain is also very durable, and will not stain like real teeth.

Dental veneers hide many different kinds of problems with your teeth. Some of the most common reasons that people choose to recreate their smiles with veneers include:

  • Teeth damaged from injury or decay, including chips and cracks
  • Unsightly gaps between teeth
  • Stains or discoloration that isn’t corrected with teeth whitening
  • Misshapen teeth that do not match the rest of your smile

Veneers are a quick and painless solution. Your natural teeth will be slightly prepared so that the veneers attach properly, but the process is not uncomfortable. Once your veneers are placed, you can expect them to last years without needing to replace them. Maintenance involves routine brushing and flossing just as you would normally, and keeping regular checkups with your dentist.

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Frequently Asked Questions About CEREC

If you have a tooth that needs some reconstruction, you want to have the very best reconstruction process available. For many patients, that process is CEREC. It is an acronym for Ceramic Reconstruction. Here, we’ll answer many of the frequently asked questions regarding CEREC.

  • What is CEREC? It is a process that utilizes computer assisted design (CAD) and computer assisted manufacture (CAM) to enable a dentist to design, manufacture and place single tooth restorations in the mouth.
  • How long does CEREC restoration take? Because of the CAD/CAM technology employed by the dentist, CEREC is accomplished in a single dental appointment.
  • Where does CEREC tooth construction take place? CEREC takes place in the dentist’s office and completely removes the need for a dental lab.
  • What materials are used with CEREC? CEREC utilizes tooth-colored ceramic blocks. The type of ceramic used is dependent upon which tooth is being replaced.
  • How is the tooth restoration created? CEREC utilizes CAM to mill the tooth restoration in as little as ten to fifteen minutes with diamond-coated milling tools.
  • Is CEREC safe? Yes! CEREC is in use by close to 40,000 dentists across the globe. Seven million CEREC restorations take place each year.
  • How accurate is CEREC? CEREC is extremely accurate. The number of patient issues related to poor fit is significantly lowered.
  • Will a tray be used to take dimensions of my mouth? No, CEREC removes the need for goop-filled trays and instead utilizes intraoral cameras that generate mouth scans. For patients with a sensitive gag reflex, this is revolutionary!

If you are considering CEREC, get these and more questions answered by your dentist today.

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Dealing With Pain Following Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatments are specifically designed to relieve the tooth pain associated with an infected tooth root. Patients come in with pain, and often leave the procedure with less discomfort than before. However, if you’ve recently had a root canal treatment on one or more of your teeth, you might be experiencing discomfort following the procedure. Fortunately, there are things you can do at home to take care of it.

Are your gums sore, tender or swollen surrounding the affected tooth? This is likely the result of the tiny metal clips that affix a rubber dam around the tooth, protecting it and protecting your mouth. The clips are attached along the gum line, and can leave tiny bruises or sometimes small cuts in the soft gum tissue. This pain should alleviate within two days of the treatment.

Is the tooth itself sore? This is a common occurrence and is typically the result of an inflammation of the mouth tissues that encase the tooth root. The tools used by the endodontist to perform the procedure can irritate the tissues.

Both of these types of pain can be dealt with by several over-the-counter analgesics. The ones that are most recommended to treat dental pain are those that possess anti-inflammatory agents: naproxen sodium, ibuprofen or aspirin, etc. If you are also taking narcotics prescribed by your dentist, do not take any further medication, over-the-counter or prescription, until you have checked with your dentist. Dangerous reactions can occur.

If you have been prescribed antibiotics, do not stop until you have completed each recommended dose. This ensures that your tooth remains free of infection and can heal thoroughly.

Ask your endodontist if you have other concerns about treating your post-root canal treatment pain.


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An Overview of CEREC

The traditional approach to getting a crown is to receive a temporary crown and then wait a few weeks for the final restoration to be fabricated so that it can be placed in a follow-up appointment. CEREC technology improves the process by allowing a crown to be created and placed in one dental visit without need for a temporary fitting.

CEREC, which stands for ceramic reconstruction, uses a CAD/CAM technology to make crowns, veneers, inlays and onlays using ceramic materials. The process involves preparing the existing tooth, taking its picture and transferring it to the 3D computer, and allowing the computer to design the implant for each particular patient. The entire process is done all the way from anesthesia, tooth preparation, impressions, fabrication, and implantation in one single office visit.

The unique thing about CEREC technology is that once the computer receives a patient’s data, the machine uses diamond burrs to mill the restoration out of porcelain right there in the dentist’s office. The crown or other type of restoration is created specifically for the patient’s mouth and then checked against the bite and against neighboring teeth for color match. Once the dentist determines that the crown fits exactly, it is polished and implanted to complete the procedure.

Some of the advantages that patients enjoy about CEREC is the significant time savings of only one trip to the dentist, as well as just one anesthesia requirement. Also, this process conserves tooth structure and may require less impact on your existing tooth. Porcelain is a strong material and looks very natural in the patient’s smile. Porcelain is also able to expand or contract quickly to allow for less discomfort when consuming cold or hot foods, and it deteriorates at a similar rate as tooth enamel. The appearance and convenience of a CEREC restoration is very appealing, making it a great choice for many patients.

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Playing it Smart After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is one of the most common procedures that oral surgeons and dentists perform. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions afterwards for the best chances of quick and complete recovery. Here are some tips for taking care of yourself after wisdom tooth extraction.

Watch your diet:
Your dentist will give you a list of suggested foods you can it after surgery, and ones to avoid. Stick with soft or liquid foods for the first couple of days, and do not eat hard or sharp foods like chips. Avoid carbonated drinks, hot beverages, and spicy foods because they can irritate your surgery site. After the first few days, begin introducing your regular diet as is comfortable.

Take your medications:
You will likely receive a prescription for painkillers to help relieve discomfort, as well as reduce swelling. This in turn can lower your risk for infection too. Take your medication as prescribed by your dentist for the optimum results. If your extraction is simple, prescription medication may not be required. You can take over-the-counter medications if your dentist agrees and you follow the directions on the label. Do not take aspirin, however, because it can thin your blood and increase bleeding at your extraction site.

Brush carefully:
Instead of brushing with your toothbrush, gently wipe the site with clean, wet gauze. Rigorous brushing can hurt the healing process, and you should even avoid rinsing your mouth for at least 24 hours after surgery. On the second day, you can rinse your mouth gently with salty water. Do not spit forcefully, which can dislodge the blood clot on your extraction site. Also, do not rinse with mouthwash that contains any alcohol.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco:
Drinking alcohol may thin your blood, prevent clotting, and delay healing. Smoking can have similar effects, as well as dislodge the clot when you inhale on a cigarette. For the best chances of healing, avoid these products for at least 24 hours after wisdom tooth extraction.

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I Can’t Give Up my Coffee!!

You’ve probably seen what coffee can do to a cup. Those brown stains that you see left on your cup are also sticking to your teeth. Coffee is especially hard on your teeth due to an ingredient called tannic acid, which gets into the grooves and pits of your tooth enamel and can stain it brown. Certainly the ideal way to stop the staining is to quit drinking the java, but that’s an unrealistic solution for many people. So what else can you do to save your pearly whites?

Drink smart

First, try and reduce the amount of coffee you drink. If you drink a lot of coffee, even cutting out one cup a day can lessen the dark stains on your teeth. Another suggestion is to drink your coffee in one or two sittings instead of sipping it all day long. Also, try lowering the temperature of your coffee. The hotter the coffee is, the more easily it can stain your teeth. Just letting it cool a couple of degrees can make a difference to your teeth.

Rinse

After every cup of coffee you drink, rinse your mouth with room-temperature water. This will remove some of the staining elements before they have a chance to set in. The water also helps neutralize acids in your mouth, which will lower the bacteria in your mouth that can lead to cavities.

Use a straw

If you like iced coffee or tea, drink it with a straw so that the dark beverage doesn’t directly contact your front lower and upper teeth. Using a straw reduces your teeth’s exposure to liquids that can stain.

Whiten your teeth

Ask your dentist about professional whitening methods, as well as products you can try at home. There are even some brands of whitening toothpaste made especially for coffee drinkers.

Practice good hygiene

Brush your teeth several times a day, especially after drinking coffee. Flossing daily also helps prevent stains, and is important if you add sugar or cream to your cup of joe. See your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings, which can do a better job of removing stains and restoring your smile.

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Common Kids Dental Emergencies

Kids will be kids, and emergencies happen that can affect the mouth. To avoid long-term damage, extensive pain, or unsightly results, it’s important to know what to do in a dental emergency. Let’s learn what you should do when your child has one of the following common oral problems.

Severe toothache:
Look for food stuck between the teeth, and if so try to dislodge it with floss. Clean the affected tooth and rinse the mouth well with warm water. Swollen gums may indicate an infection, which requires a dental visit. Facial swelling can be relieved with cold compresses, but if it accompanies severe pain you should take your child to the dentist or emergency room. Try giving over-the-counter pain reliever, but don’t place the medication directly on the gum or tooth.

Chipped tooth:
If your child chips a tooth, contact your dentist immediately. Fast action can help save the tooth, reduce the risk of infection, and prevent extensive procedures. Have your child rinse with cold water. If you can find the tooth fragment, take it to the dentist in case it can be bonded back in place.

Knocked out tooth:
The first thing to do is locate the missing tooth. Hold it by the crown instead of the root, and rinse it gently. Try replacing the tooth back in the socket, and have your child bite a piece of gauze or cloth to hold it in place until you get to the dentist. If you can’t insert it, place it in a cup of cold milk to take with you. Time is important in saving a displaced tooth, so see your child’s dentist immediately.

Cut lip, tongue, or cheek:
Ensure your child’s teeth are undamaged, and apply firm pressure with a moist washcloth or teabag to the bleeding area. If it doesn’t stop in fifteen minutes, call your child’s dentist or head to the emergency room. If the tongue is bleeding, there’s not much you can do except wait to see if it stops bleeding on its own within fifteen minutes. If not, visit the dentist or emergency room.

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When Are Removable Prosthodontics Recommended?

If your teeth are badly damaged from decay or facial trauma, or if you have several missing teeth, your dentist may recommend removable prosthodontics to solve your dental problems. Periodontitis (advanced gum disease), bone loss or serious tooth decay can leave you as a poor candidate for restorative options such as dental crowns, dental bridges or dental implants. Removable prosthodontics can restore your smile so that it looks and functions as it should and can restore your confidence as you eat, smile and laugh.

Just hearing the word “dentures” might give you pause, reminding you of your older relatives, but achievements in dental restorative therapies enable your dentist to craft a removable prosthodontic for you that will not only look, but will feel like your natural smile.

Removable prosthodontics include:

  • Partial dentures correct gaps when only a few of your natural teeth are missing. A partial denture may be the best choice if your remaining teeth aren’t strong enough to support a dental bridge.
  • Overdentures provide restorations when one or more of your natural teeth are in place in an arch – typically two teeth for a bottom overdenture and four teeth for an upper overdenture.
  • Immediate dentures are put in place following an extraction, allowing the bone and gums to recover following an extraction procedure. They prevent the adjacent teeth from collapsing upon the empty space and affecting your bite.
  • Complete dentures are for edentulous patients (patients with no teeth at all) and are designed to replace all of the teeth in one or both arches of your mouth, restoring your smile and your ability to eat and speak clearly.

Because of advancements in materials and techniques, many dentures can be mistaken for natural teeth. Only you – and your prosthodontist – will know your secret. Talk to your prosthodontist today to see what removable prosthodontics can do for you. Don’t wait to begin enjoying your life with your new, healthy smile.

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Teeth Whitening: Get the Facts

More and more people today are heading to their dentist’s office to brighten their smiles through teeth whitening treatments. Although you can try to maintain white teeth by limiting foods and drinks that stain or stopping habits like smoking, the truth is that teeth are prone to discoloring over time. If you’re considering undergoing teeth whitening, get the facts before you go.

Is teeth whitening safe?:
Most people are able to have their teeth whitened successfully without any issues. However, not everyone has good enough oral health to safely undergo treatment. Healthy teeth and gums are necessary so that the procedure is comfortable and effective. Patients with extensive fillings or crowns may not be the best candidates. Teeth that have extremely dark stains or discolorations from certain things like medications may not attain desired results.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate?:
A complete oral examination by your licensed dentist is the best way to determine if teeth whitening is right for you. During the assessment, your dentist will look for decay, receding gum lines, fillings, enamel condition, tooth sensitivity and more to decide if treatment is advised. Sometimes dental work can be done to restore oral health and then whitening becomes an option.

What is the process?:
Most professional teeth whitening treatments performed in a dental office are done with a high concentration peroxide bleaching agent and enhanced with special lighting to activate the gel. The dentist usually coats your gums with a product to limit sensitivity, and then the bleaching gel is carefully placed onto your teeth. Light is directed to the area, typically in three 15-minutes sessions. The dentist monitors the entire process for your safety and comfort.

What results can I expect?:
It is important to discuss your specific case with your dentist prior to treatment so that you have realistic whitening goals in mind. The degree of whitening often depends on the level and cause of your tooth discoloration. Some patients achieve a couple of shades brighter, while others whiten up to ten shades.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Denture Care

Thanks to advances in dental technology, dentures are more natural looking and comfortable than ever before. If you are one of the many adults wearing dentures to replace missing teeth, there are several do’s and don’ts you will want to follow to ensure they maintain their fit and your oral health:

  • Do take your dentures out before going to bed, allowing your mouth tissues to rest from wearing them all day.
  • Don’t let your dentures dry out. Soak them in mild denture solution or water while you sleep.
  • Do clean them daily with either a mild detergent or special denture cleaning solution and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Don’t soak them in very hot water, as this could cause them to warp, and they will no longer fit properly.
  • Do handle them with care. Dropping your dentures or treating them with strong cleansers or harsh brushes can do permanent damage.
  • Don’t neglect your oral care for the rest of your mouth. Even patients with a full set of dentures need to take care of their gums, and if you have partial dentures you should continue to brush and floss your remaining teeth regularly.
  • Do pay attention to changes in the fit or feel of your dentures. Problems with fit can lead to irritation and discomfort, and could also be an indication of gum disease.
  • Don’t try to adjust or repair your dentures on your own. If your dentures are ill-fitting or damaged in any way, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have them evaluated.
  • Do continue to see your dentist for regular checkups to help maintain your best oral health and check your dentures for fit and function.

If you are missing all or some of your teeth, dentures can greatly improve both your appearance and the quality of your life. By following these simple guidelines, you can maintain the beauty and functionality of your dentures for many years.

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