Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Veneers can give you the smile you’ve always wanted by transforming teeth with cosmetic imperfections. Veneers offer several benefits, such as concealing stains, discolorations, chips, or cracks. Additionally, the size, shape, and color of veneers are custom matched to your teeth for a perfect fit and a completely natural look. At Total Dental Care, Dr. Stephen Dickey is your dentist in Pekin, IL, for veneers.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are wafer-thin covers affixed to the front surface of teeth. Veneers are used to conceal cosmetic problems and improve the size, shape, color, or overall appearance of problem teeth. Before applying veneers, a thin layer of enamel is first shaved off the teeth. This allows the veneers to sit flush with the surrounding teeth and not protrude out past them. Once the teeth have been prepared, the veneers are permanently cemented in place and will not come loose or fall off. Once they are placed on the teeth, veneers look and function just like natural teeth.
Benefits of Veneers
There are many benefits to choosing veneers for improving the appearance of your smile. Veneers hide a full range of cosmetic concerns, including chipped or stained teeth. They are also easy to apply to the teeth and remain in place permanently with no risk of falling off when speaking or eating. Your Pekin dentist can help you decide if veneers are the right cosmetic dental option for achieving the smile you desire. Some benefits of veneers include:
- Look and function like natural teeth
- Hide stains or discolorations
- Cover chipped or cracked teeth
- Minimize gaps between teeth
- Improve the shape of teeth that are oddly shaped
- Smooth out uneven surfaces on teeth
- Permanently cemented in place
- Custom made for a perfect fit
Ask your dentist how veneers can improve the appearance of your teeth and discover all the benefits veneers have to offer. To learn more about how veneers can transform your smile, schedule a consultation with Dr. Dickey, your Pekin, IL, dentist, by calling Total Dental Care at (309) 347-7055, or (309) 857-7580 for new patients.
While the sport of golf may not look too dangerous from the sidelines, players know it can sometimes lead to mishaps. There are accidents involving golf carts and clubs, painful muscle and back injuries, and even the threat of lightning strikes on the greens. Yet it wasn’t any of these things that caused professional golfer Danielle Kang’s broken tooth on the opening day of the LPGA Singapore tournament.
“I was eating and it broke,” explained Kang. “My dentist told me, I've chipped another one before, and he said, you don't break it at that moment. It's been broken and it just chips off.” Fortunately, the winner of the 2017 Women’s PGA championship got immediate dental treatment, and went right back on the course to play a solid round, shooting 68.
Kang’s unlucky “chip shot” is far from a rare occurrence. In fact, chipped, fractured and broken teeth are among the most common dental injuries. The cause can be crunching too hard on a piece of ice or hard candy, a sudden accident or a blow to the face, or a tooth that’s weakened by decay or repetitive stress from a habit like nail biting. Feeling a broken tooth in your mouth can cause surprise and worry—but luckily, dentists have many ways of restoring the tooth’s appearance and function.
Exactly how a broken tooth is treated depends on how much of its structure is missing, and whether the soft tissue deep inside of it has been compromised. When a fracture exposes the tooth’s soft pulp it can easily become infected, which may lead to serious problems. In this situation, a root canal or extraction will likely be needed. This involves carefully removing the infected pulp tissue and disinfecting and sealing the “canals” (hollow spaces inside the tooth) to prevent further infection. The tooth can then be restored, often with a crown (cap) to replace the entire visible part. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted (removed).
For less serious chips, dental veneers may be an option. Made of durable and lifelike porcelain, veneers are translucent shells that go over the front surfaces of teeth. They can cover minor to moderate chips and cracks, and even correct size and spacing irregularities and discoloration. Veneers can be custom-made in a dental laboratory from a model of your teeth, and are cemented to teeth for a long-lasting and natural-looking restoration.
Minor chips can often be remedied via dental bonding. Here, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to the surfaces being restored. The resin is shaped to fill in the missing structure and hardened by a special light. While not as long-lasting as other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can often be completed in just one office visit.
If you have questions about restoring chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin.”
There are well-known holidays on the calendar this month, but here’s one that might have escaped your notice: “Keep America Beautiful Month,” which is observed throughout April! At this time, people from coast to coast are encouraged to clean and beautify their communities. So why not think of it as an occasion to spiff up your smile? Here are five ways to do exactly that:
Have your teeth professionally cleaned. A routine dental visit, which includes a professional cleaning and exam, is one of the best preventive healthcare values there is. It’s a chance to catch dental problems (including potentially serious ones like oral cancer) before they become more difficult to treat. A dental professional can remove built-up deposits of tartar from your teeth using specialized instruments—something you can’t do at home. Plus, you’ll leave the office with a freshly polished smile that looks and feels great.
Get a professional teeth whitening. Having whiter teeth often makes people look more youthful. And one of the best ways to brighten dull teeth is with professional teeth whitening. You can achieve the fastest, most dramatic results with an in-office treatment—up to ten shades in just one visit! We can also make you a custom take-home kit to achieve similar results over time.
Repair chipped teeth. If you feel self-conscious about a chipped tooth, consider cosmetic bonding. In this relatively inexpensive procedure, which often takes just one office visit, tooth-colored resin material is applied to the chipped area and hardened under a special light. The translucent resin is built up layer by layer, bringing teeth with minor flaws back to a great, natural-looking appearance.
Replace old dental work. Sometimes old dental work can stand out more than we’d like it to. This is especially true of amalgam (silver) fillings—but even white fillings can absorb stain after many years. If you feel old dental work is detracting from your smile, it may be time to replace it with up-to-date dental materials.
Straighten your smile. Did you know that there is no maximum age for successful orthodontic treatment? It’s true: Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. And if you think metal braces wouldn’t fit in with your look or lifestyle, consider one of the less-visible alternatives to traditional orthodontic hardware—such as ceramic braces and clear aligners.
Having the smile you want can make you feel more confident in any month of the year. If you’d like more information on cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger” and “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”
Your teeth and gums are filled with nerves that make the mouth one of the most sensitive areas in the body. But thanks to local anesthesia, you won't feel a thing during your next dental procedure.
The word anesthesia means “without feeling or pain.” General anesthesia accomplishes this with drugs that place the patient in an unconscious state. It's reserved for major surgery where the patient will be closely monitored for vital signs while in that state.
The other alternative is local anesthesia, which numbs the area that needs treatment, while allowing the patient to remain conscious. The anesthetics used in this way are applied either topically (with a swab, adhesive patch or spray) or injected with a needle.
In dentistry, we use both applications. Topical anesthesia is occasionally used for sensitive patients before superficial teeth cleaning, but most often as an “opening act” to injected anesthesia: the topical application numbs the gums so you can't feel the prick of the needle used for the injectable anesthetic. By using both types, you won't feel any pain at all during your visit.
Because of possible side effects, we're careful about what procedures will involve the use of local anesthesia. Placing a sealant on the exterior of a tooth or reshaping enamel doesn't require it because we're not making contact with the more sensitive dentin layer beneath. We've also seen advances in anesthetic drugs in which we can now better control the length of time numbness will persist after the procedure.
All in all, though, local anesthesia will make your dental care more comfortable — both for you and for us. Knowing you're relaxed and comfortable allows us to work with ease so we can be unhurried and thorough. By keeping pain out of the equation, your dental care has a better chance for a successful outcome.
If you would like more information on managing discomfort during dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Local Anesthesia for Pain-Free Dentistry.”
How dental implants from your dentists in Pekin can fill in your smile
If your smile has gaps caused by missing teeth, you don't have to put up with your incomplete smile. You could choose a bridge or dental appliance to fill in the gaps, but why not choose the best option, dental implants! Dr. Stephen Dickey at Total Dental Care in Pekin, IL wants to share how dental implants can close the gaps in your smile.
Dental implants are the revolutionary way to replace a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. You can support your dental appliance with dental implants. The dental appliance is simply snapped in place over the implants. The advantages of an implant-supported dental appliance are:
- Increased stability because the appliance won't move when you speak or eat
- Bone conservation because after placement, your body will create more bone to fuse with the implants
- A younger-looking face because more bone means more youthful facial contours and a strong jawline
There are many reasons why people prefer dental implants to replace their missing teeth. Dental implants are:
- Naturally beautiful and are virtually indistinguishable from your teeth
- Completely stable because they are fully surrounded by bone, just like your teeth
- Very easy to maintain because you just brush and floss them along with your natural teeth
Dental implants are also highly successful with a success rate of over a 95%, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. That's the highest success rate of any surgical implant!
If you want to close up the gaps in your smile, consider dental implants. You want to make the best choice to preserve your smile, and that choice is dental implants. For more information about dental implants and other dental services call Dr. Dickey at Total Dental Care in Pekin, IL. Don't wait to look your best, call today!