Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Dental implants promote better oral health
Some dental implants do fail
This treatment can be expensive upfront
You still need to have good oral hygiene
Bright, naturally white teeth are a key component in a beautiful smile. But the opposite is also true: nothing diminishes an otherwise attractive smile more than stained or discolored teeth.
There is good news, however, about tooth staining: it can be greatly reduced with the right whitening technique. But before taking action we need to first uncover the cause for the staining — whether from the outside or inside of the tooth, or a combination of both.
If it’s an external cause — known as extrinsic staining — our diet is usually the source. Foods and beverages that contain tannins, like red wine, coffee or tea fall in this category, as do foods with pigments called carotenes as found in carrots and oranges. Besides limiting consumption of stain-causing foods and maintaining daily oral hygiene, you can also diminish extrinsic staining with a bleaching application.
There are two basic ways to approach this: with either a professional application at our office or with a home kit purchased at a pharmacy or retail store. Although both types use similar chemicals, the professional application is usually stronger and the whitening effect is obtained quicker and may last longer.
Discoloration can also occur within a tooth, known as intrinsic staining, and for various reasons. It can occur during tooth development, as with childhood overexposure to fluoride or from the antibiotic tetracycline. Poor development of enamel or dentin (the main sources of natural tooth color), tooth decay, root canal treatments or trauma are also common causes of intrinsic discoloration.
There are techniques to reduce the effects of intrinsic staining, such as placing a bleaching agent inside the tooth following a root canal treatment. In some cases, the best approach may be to restore the tooth with a crown or porcelain veneer. The latter choice is a thin layer of dental material that is permanently bonded to the outer, visible portion of the tooth: it’s life-like color and appearance covers the discoloration, effectively renewing the person’s smile.
If you’ve been embarrassed by stained teeth, visit us for a complete examination. We’ll recommend the right course of action to turn your dull smile into a bright, attractive one.
If you would like more information on treatments for teeth staining, 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 “Teeth Whitening.”
Tooth loss is a serious condition that affects a surprising number of the American population. No one likes walking around with teeth missing from their smile. Luckily, there are a variety of options for handling missing teeth and no one should have to deal with an incomplete smile.
Advancements in technology have opened doors to new and exciting treatment options; however, dentures have been a tried and true staple for replacing teeth for decades. It can be easy to overlook this treatment option when there are newer ones out there; however, there’s a reason why patients are still opting for dentures. Here are some reasons why dentures will always stand the test of time with us!
Eating is significantly easier
If you’re missing a lot of teeth, dentures can make it vastly easier to enjoy all your favorites meals again. This is one of the biggest pros of getting dentures. While it may take a little getting used to, you will soon realize how wonderful it is to be able to enjoy meals again.
If you’ve been living with missing teeth, then you have probably felt self-conscious about your smile. However, with dentures, you can enjoy smiling for photos, talking with colleagues or going on a first date. No one will be able to tell that your teeth aren’t yours and you can finally smile with confidence.
Protects the rest of your smile
Dentures actually protect your remaining natural teeth from excessive wear and tear, so you won’t have to worry that the natural teeth you do have will need to be replaced due to wear.
They have a more attractive price tag
For some patients it’s just not possible for them to afford bridges or implants; however, dentures offer a better price point then other teeth replacement options, so everyone can still get the smile they want without worrying about how they’re going to afford it. This is especially true for those with full or significant tooth loss, as dental implants can be extremely expensive, particularly when replacing a complete smile.
Also, while other treatments might seem flashier and better, not everyone is an ideal candidate for other treatments; however, anyone with missing teeth can benefit from dentures. You don’t have to live with tooth loss. Dentures can make it possible for you to smile more and enjoy life.
The advantages to dental implants are numerous, and include:
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A dental implant can permanently restore the form and function of a missing natural tooth. But there’s an important prerequisite for this smile-transforming therapy — you must have enough bone remaining at the implant site to securely anchor the implant and ensure proper crown placement for the most natural looking result.
Patients who don’t meet this prerequisite may need to consider other restorative options. In some cases, however, we may be able to encourage sufficient bone growth to support an implantation through a technique called bone grafting.
Bone grafting involves opening the gum tissues at the intended implant site to expose the underlying bone. We then place the grafting material (usually a processed material) around the bone, sometimes with collagen membranes that serve as subterranean band-aids to guide bone growth. In most cases, the graft is actually a scaffold for the natural bone to grow upon; the natural bone will eventually replace the graft material. The procedure is normally performed with local anesthesia to minimize discomfort.
While bone grafting is a fairly routine procedure, it shouldn’t be undertaken unless there’s a firm prognosis it can successfully support a future implant. We must therefore determine if anything else in your oral health would disqualify you as an implant candidate, even if sufficient bone existed or not. We must also determine if there’s enough remaining bone currently at the site to even attach a bone graft.
Once we’re satisfied that bone grafting would be both possible and helpful, we must then consider what type of grafting material to use. If we’re only replacing one tooth we may choose to use an autograft, bone material taken from another area of your own body. Although autografts have advantages because of their regeneration ability, it does involve creating another surgical site within the body. In most cases we may use processed materials, for example allografts, material that originates from another human being; xenografts, taken from another species of animal; or synthetic (man-made) materials. Regardless of the source, these materials are first processed to be safe for human use.
If successful, the regeneration process will result in enough new bone structure to make dental implants a reality. Your mouth will be healthier — and your resulting smile will be more beautiful than ever.
If you would like more information on bone grafting, 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 “Can Dentists Rebuild Bone?”