Dental Cosmetics

Cosmetic-dentistry-2 Dental CosmeticsDental Cosmetics – All You Need To Know About It

The term itself:

There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing. Your dentist can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn or short teeth or alter the length of your teeth. Common procedures include bleaching, bonding, crowns, veneers and reshaping and contouring. These improvements are not always just cosmetic. Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as your bite. Below are some of the common Cosmetic Dentistry procedures.

Teeth Whitening and Bleaching

Bleaching can be performed by your dentist in the office or, under dental supervision, at home. Many patients enjoy bleaching at home because it is more convenient. Treatment begins when your dentist creates a custom mouthpiece to ensure the correct amount of whitening solution is used and that your teeth are properly exposed. Typically, whitening at home takes two to four weeks, depending on the desired shade you wish to achieve. Whitening in the office may call for one or more 45-minute to one-hour visits to your dentist’s office.

Bonding

Bonding is tooth-colored material used to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth. Requiring a single office visit, bonding lasts several years. Bonding is more susceptible to staining or chipping than other forms of restoration. When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, bonded composite resins may be the material of choice. Bonding also is used as a tooth-colored filling for small cavities. Additionally, it can be used to close spaces between teeth or cover the entire outside surface of a tooth to change its color and shape.

Veneers

This treatment is an alternative to crowns, which are more expensive. The procedure requires your dentist to take an impression of your tooth. Before the custom-made veneer is cemented directly onto the tooth, your dentist will lightly buff the tooth to compensate for the added thickness of the veneer. Once the cement is between the veneer and your tooth, a light beam is used to harden it. Porcelain veneers require more than one visit because they are fabricated in a laboratory. Veneers have a longer life expectancy and color stability than bonding.

Contouring and Reshaping

Tooth reshaping and contouring, is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped or irregularly shaped teeth or even overlapping teeth in a single session. Tooth reshaping and contouring, is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of your teeth. Contouring teeth may also help correct small problems with bite. It is common for bonding to be combined with tooth reshaping. Your dentist will take X-rays to evaluate the size and location of the pulp of each tooth to ensure that there’s enough bone between the teeth to support them.

Know your Cosmetic Dentist

In order to make sure your dentist is skilled in cosmetic dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recommends that you ask your dentist for the following items before undergoing treatment:

Before and after photos, will allow you to examine the results of other patients being treated by the dentist to make sure his or her work fits your dental needs. References allow you to get a sense of the quality of care the dentist provides.

Proof of continuing education demonstrates that your dentist has taken continuing education courses to keep him or her up-to-date with the latest techniques in clinical cosmetic dentistry.

Your dentist can answer the questions you have about the techniques used to improve your smile.

 

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Aging and Dental Health

Older-Couple-Smiling_Cropped Aging and Dental HealthDental Health and Aging

The demographic of older adults (i.e., 65 years of age and older) is growing and likely will be an increasingly large part of dental practice in the coming years. In the past, the typical aging patient’s baseline health state can be complicated by co morbid conditions (e.g., hypertension, diabetes mellitus) and physiologic changes associated with aging.

Older adults may regularly use several prescription and/or over-the-counter medications, making them vulnerable to medication errors, drug interactions or adverse drug reactions. Potential physical, sensory, and cognitive impairments associated with aging may make oral health self-care and patient education/communications challenging.

Dental conditions associated with aging include dry mouth (xerostomia), root and coronal caries, and periodontitis; patients may show increased sensitivity to drugs used in dentistry, including local anesthetics and analgesics.

Eat Nutritious Food

What you eat can help you keep your teeth. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums.

Some foods may actually help defend against tooth decay in special ways. For instance, recent studies have indicated that fresh cranberries interrupt the bonding of oral bacteria before they can form damaging plaque. Other foods that have beneficial effects on oral health include:

  • Calcium-fortified juices, milk and other dairy products, which are rich in calcium and vitamin D, help promote healthy teeth and bones, and reduce the risk for tooth loss. Crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery, which help clean plaque from teeth and fresh breath.
  • Cheese, which unleashes a burst of calcium that mixes with plaque and sticks to the teeth, protecting them from the acid that causes decay and helping to rebuild tooth enamel on the spot.

Tips for Maintaining and Improving oral Health

Your dentist can diagnose and treat dental health problems before they become serious. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are an important part of maintaining good dental health as you age.

New research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole. For example, when your mouth is healthy, chances are your overall health is good, too. On the other hand, if you have poor oral health, you may have other health problems. So, seeing a dentist regularly not only helps to keep your mouth in top shape, but also allows your dentist to watch for developments that may point to other health issues.

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Dental Emergencies

emergency-2 Dental Emergencies

Dental Emergencies – How and What

Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. For all dental emergencies, it’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Most dentists reserve time in their daily schedules for emergency patients so be sure to call your dentist and provide as much detail as you can about your condition. If the accident occurs when your dental office is not open, visit your local emergency room. Here are some common dental emergencies and how to deal with them.

What should I do when a tooth is knocked out/ Pushed out of Position? 

For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk. If the tooth is a baby tooth, the best thing to do is find the tooth, keep it moist and get to a dentist. Your dentist can see whether the entire tooth, or just part of it, came out. Your dentist can also determine whether to implant it again.

For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down. See your dentist as soon as possible.

What should I do when other common dental emergencies?

  1. For toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between your teeth. Do not put aspirin on your aching tooth or gums; it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, contact your dentist.
  2. If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress. See your dentist or go to the emergency room if there is excessive bleeding, the bleeding won’t stop or you are in a lot of pain.
  3. For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with a sharp or pointed instrument. The item might be painful or cause an infection, so see your dentist if you cannot remove it.

How to avoid Dental emergencies?

There are a number of simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:

  • Wear a mouth guard when participating in sports or recreational activities.
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.
  • Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.

If a custom-fit mouth guard isn’t an option, try a “boil-and-bite” mouth guard. You can buy one in a sporting-goods store. You place the mouth guard in boiling water. Once the plastic is soft (but not too hot), you bite down on the mouth guard and mold the softened plastic around your teeth. If the mouth guard doesn’t fit comfortably the first time, you can reheat it and do it again.

 

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The Importance of Saliva

Saliva-1 The Importance of Saliva

Saliva isn’t something you probably spend much time thinking about. But did you know that everymoment of every day it affects your health? Saliva is vital for a healthy mouth, good digestion, andIt’s not really a common topic to hear people talking about, but it’s something that is almostalways there, working behind the scenes making your life easier and better. Many people who sufferfrom a chronic dry mouthhave horror stories about how terrible it is to live with little to no saliva.Speaking, eating, swallowing, and so much more requires adequate saliva to work properly.

What is Saliva?

Saliva is a liquid made of water, mucus, proteins, minerals, and an enzyme called amylase. It’s made by the salivary glands, many small organs around the cheeks, lips, tongue, and other parts of the mouth. Tiny tubes called ducts carry the saliva from the glands into your mouth. Small amounts of saliva are sent into the mouth constantly, to keep the mouth moist. Then your glands make lots of saliva, and you can notice much more of it in your mouth.

Saliva is important as pre-digestion begins in the mouth, and it’s magical that just the thought of food can switch it on. Increased salivation ensures that as soon as food hits the mouth it will be mixed with digestive enzymes, breaking down starches and fats.

Functions of Saliva

The 4 main functions of Saliva which are of key importance –

  1. Remineralization: Constantly bathes teeth in calcium phosphate. Teeth are 90% hydroxyapatite, the crystalized form of calcium phosphate, while enamel itself is 96% hydroxyapatite.
  2. Lubrication: Saliva protects the oral mucosa (oral tissues) from mechanical damage while speaking, eating, and swallowing.
  3. Sense of Taste: Saliva is the liquid medium through which chemicals are introduced to the taste receptor cells on the tongue (commonly known as taste buds.) Without saliva to carry these chemicals to the taste buds, it’s difficult to taste anything.
  4. Dental Prosthesis: In the case of people who wear removable dentures, lack of saliva makes it difficult or impossible to keep them in place. The maxillary (upper) denture supported by saliva for suction onto the hard palate.

Consult your Dentist for Care

When you don’t have enough saliva, problems start to happen. Gum disease and tooth decay can happen much more easily. If you happen to have dry mouth:

  • Make sure you drink plenty of water every day. Dehydration can make you create less saliva.
  • Chew sugar-free gum and suck on sugar-free candy or mints.
  • See your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. He or she can help prevent problems and spot them early.
  • Ask your dentist about artificial saliva. He or she can prescribe a rinse or spray to help keep your mouth moist.
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