Can The Toothbrush Damage Your Dental Health?

Did you know that much of the treatment that dentists provide can be directly or indirectly related to your tooth brushing? Few dental awareness programmes ever give this information or explain the dangers of the toothbrush.

First off, let me say that the idea of using a toothbrush as part of a hygiene programme to keep the mouth clean and healthy is undoubtedly a good idea. Without reservation, I support and advocate the concept. There has been, however, a tendency to promote the toothbrush to the position of Supreme Dental Product. The notion of the toothbrush as a dental cure-all has been allowed to take root unchallenged in the minds of people. This has led to all manner of problems not least of which is the sense of let down and disappointment that committed and enthusiastic brushers feel when they are told that they need fillings.

The Toothbrush Does Not Prevent Decay, – Hello!

“How can I have cavities when I brush my teeth not once but at least three or four times daily?” is a question that I am often asked. When I tell people that brushing has little effect, if any, on tooth decay, the reaction is often shock and disbelief. They have genuinely believed that tooth brushing would keep them safe from all cavities and are devastated to be told of, perhaps, the presence of a very large cavity that may require root canal treatment or extraction.

Just in case you, the reader, are experiencing that same state of shock and disbelief at these words, let me explain the facts clearly. Tooth decay, for the most part happens in specific areas of the tooth anatomy. The most common site for decay is in the nooks and crannies of the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The second most common site is between the teeth at a point just below where a tooth touches its neighbour. What these sites have in common is their inaccessibility to the bristles of your toothbrush. These sites are known as stagnation areas by virtue of their inaccessibility and could be termed the major ‘at-risk’ sites for decay. This is very simply why tooth brushing has little or no effect on tooth decay. The bristles are simply too large to access the at-risk areas!!

But What Is This Toothbrush Damage?

I like to call toothbrush damage the condition of those who care too much. As always, to really understand, we must look first to the mind. This problem arises from the notion/belief that the ‘harder’ one works at brushing, the better the job will be done. We are motivated and eager to produce the best possible result. However, lurking behind this gung-ho outward show there is a nagging fear that we will not succeed at producing the ‘good job’ and we will lose our teeth. In fact, we are deeply afraid of not being good enough. This fear of not being good enough at the job is a manifestation of the broader fear of failure.

If Hard Is Good, Then Harder Must Be Better?

This is when the crazy logic takes over in the fearful mind. If one bottle of beer is good, then ten bottles of beer must be ten times better! So in order not to fail, – in order to make sure that we will be good enough, we pull out all the stops and go at it with hammer and tongs. We scrub like crazy with a ‘good’ hard bristled brush. By golly, we will get these teeth clean!! The harder we go at it, the better we will do. And we so want to do well!

Is it any wonder then that when I advise these people to change to a soft brush they will invariably tell me that they don’t feel that they could possibly do a good job with a soft brush. Often they will continue with the hard brush despite the advice. This is because changing your mind is much more difficult than changing your brush and is also the reason why being advised to change your toothbrush is simply not enough to change the behaviour. Behaviour is an outcome, – the effect of a belief. The belief is the cause, the behaviour the effect. No change can happen in behaviour (effect) without a change in belief (cause)

Crazy Logic Brings Crazy Results

The damage caused by this behaviour is very common and affects the hard tissues of the tooth and the soft tissue of the gum. It affects young and old and in between. The earliest signs of damage involve the loss of gum tissue at the neck of the tooth and this can cause the tooth/teeth affected to look longer than unaffected neighbouring teeth. At the same time there appears a wear mark in the shape of a tiny notch in the dentine, again at the neck of the tooth. Sometimes this notch will be discovered because of the fact that it can be extremely sensitive to touch. An exploring fingernail might inadvertently touch against the notch and trigger a sudden electric shock of pain through the tooth.

Not surprisingly, the damage increases with time. More and more soft tissue is destroyed and the wear mark widens and deepens into the structure of the tooth. Furthermore, because there is no enamel protection over this exposed root surface, there is now a greater risk of tooth decay at the site. More often than not these damaged areas require porcelain filling/restoration as treatment. This requirement may be a cosmetic one, where a person feels that appearance is compromised by the damage. The damaged areas are often the most visible areas at the sides and front of the mouth. Other times sensitivity in the damaged area dictates the need for restoration. Other times again, tooth decay sets in to the damaged dentine and again restoration is needed. The damage done in extreme cases may result in the need for a root canal treatment or even extraction. Remember, all of this can happen as a result of a seemingly perfectly genuine and honest desire to do the best job possible. How do we solve the problem?

Gentleness Is A Requirement, Not An Optional Extra

The solution is gentleness. And with the realisation that the forcefulness and aggressiveness brings about the very thing you sought to avoid, you lay it aside and choose gentleness instead. You have changed your mind because the outcomes that you were producing were not the ones you sought. Having changed your mind the behavioural change easily follows. The soft brush and gentle but thorough approach gets the results you want. Instead of following the frantic antics of fearing failure, the soft steady strokes of calm caring guide you to sure and certain success.

In a Nutshell

Brush Clever

Understanding toothbrush damage saves you trouble and saves you money. It is very common but seldom highlighted. The fear of failure is at the root of the problem. We think we can ‘motivate’ using fear and we teach our children that failure is fatal. We cultivate the notion that it is hard to succeed and so in order to succeed we must push ourselves harder. This promotes the aggressive approach the consequence of aggression is always damage (Ask George Bush). In this case the damage is to our own tissues. The intention or reason behind the behaviour is actually good (desire to do well) but the motivation is the fear of disease rather than the love of health.

The Easy Solution

Stand back and look carefully at the cause (fearful belief) and the effect (damaging behaviour). Seeing through the gentle light of understanding, we can change our minds and our behaviour.

Remember

Use a Soft Brush

Use a Gentle Technique

Use enough time to give Thorough Loving Care to all surfaces of all teeth.

Getting That Smile Makeover, What You Should Know!

While general dentists perform procedures that are necessary to good oral health, such as cleanings and root canals, cosmetic dentists perform elective procedures to correct aesthetic flaws. Many elective cosmetic procedures, such as dental bridges, can also have a restorative purpose, and we’ll discuss some of these in this guide.

Innovations in cosmetic dentistry have made a trip to the dentist’s office an entirely new and rewarding experience for millions of Americans, and many procedures are even covered by dental insurers! So whether you’re fixing a single tooth or getting a total smile makeover, arm yourself with these facts to help you decide on a procedure that fits your dental and aesthetic needs and budget.

What Is Dental Bonding?

A favored procedure for minor dental corrections, bonding – also known as composite bonding – is a quick and affordable way to correct a variety of dental flaws such as:

  • Cracks
  • Discoloration
  • Gaps
  • Low Bite Pressure (caused by short or uneven teeth)
  • Tooth Decay

If you have any of these dental issues you may be a good candidate for bonding.

How Does Bonding Work?

After inspecting the tooth in question, your dentist will select a color for the composite resin (the material used in bonding) that most closely matches your tooth. He or she will then roughen the outer layer of your tooth, removing a minimal amount of tooth enamel, and apply a strong adhesive that will help the resin stick. Next your dentist will apply the resin and shape it to fill in any cracks or gaps or change the contours of your tooth. Afterwards, a dental laser is used to “bond” the material to your tooth. A local anesthetic is generally only required when tooth decay or nerve damage is involved.

How Long Does Bonding Take?

Dental bonding can be performed in a single visit, unless you’re having several teeth bonded. The procedure usually takes between an hour and two. If you’re having your teeth lengthened, it might take a few days for you to get accustomed to the way they feel.

How Long Does Bonding Last?

The composite resin used in bonding typically lasts 7 to 10 years before it needs to be repaired or replaced.

How Much Does Dental Bonding Cost?

Dental Bonding generally costs between $100 and $700 per tooth, and the cost can vary depending on the extent of work required and the skill level of the dentist.

Is Bonding Covered By My Dental Insurance?

Insurers will usually cover some or most of the cost of bonding, especially when its purpose is reconstructive rather than cosmetic.

Dental Bridges

Having one or more missing teeth can have a serious effect not only on your smile, but also on your dental health.  Specifically, missing teeth can cause:

  • A shift in the alignment of your teeth
  • Increased risk of periodontal disease
  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • Loss of adjacent teeth
  • Speech disorders
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

What Are Dental Bridges?

Like dental implants, dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth, except dental bridges gain extra support from being attached to surrounding teeth. Bridges are most commonly used on the front teeth, provided that the gums and surrounding teeth are in decent shape.

What Are the Benefits of Bridges?

Like many cosmetic dental procedures, placing bridges also serves a restorative purpose. A dental bridge will improve your ability to chew and speak as well as your smile. In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, dental bridges were shown to dramatically reduce the risk of losing teeth that are adjacent to a missing tooth. In addition, dental bridges can help keep your jaw maintain its natural structure and keep from changing shape.

What Types of Bridges Are There?

Cantilever bridges are used to replace a tooth that does not have supporting teeth on both sides of the affected area.

Maryland bonded bridges include artificial teeth and gums, and are held in place by a metal frame.

Traditional bridges are the most common, and literally bridge the gap of an empty tooth space by securing a false tooth using crowns on the teeth on either side.

How Are Dental Bridges Placed?

The procedure of installing a dental bridge is typically completed in two visits. First, your dentist will determine if you are a good candidate for a dental bridge. If you are, your teeth will need to be prepared by reshaping or reconstructing any badly decayed or damaged areas. Afterwards, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth, which is then sent off to a lab where it is cast into a mold, and give you a temporary bridge to wear. On your second visit, this mold will be fitted to your teeth, and any necessary corrections or adjustments will be made on that same visit.

How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?

Dental bridges can last from 8 to 15 years and even longer if you maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly.

How Much Do Bridges Cost?

Depending on various factors such as the experience and skill level of the dentist and the type of bridge being fitted, dental bridges can cost anywhere from $250 to $2500 a tooth.

Are Bridges Covered By My Dental Insurance?

Dental bridges are typically partially covered by insurers.

Dental Crowns

What Are Dental Crowns?

Sometimes referred to as caps, crowns are custom designed casings for damaged teeth. As opposed to other cosmetic and restorative procedures such as bonding, crowns cover the entire tooth, which is why they’re sometimes called caps. Dental crowns are used to:

  • Cover a deformed or discolored tooth
  • Improve your ability to chew foods
  • Restore a tooth’s size and shape
  • Shield a damaged, decayed or cracked tooth
  • Support another dental structure such as a dental bridge or large filling

Crowns do not require any maintenance aside from standard oral hygiene practice – brushing and flossing. Even though the tooth is covered, it is still susceptible to decay from within.

What Does the Procedure Involve?

Generally, placing a crown requires two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, he or she will inspect the tooth and decide whether a crown is your best option and then whether the tooth in question is damaged enough to require a root canal. Next your dentist will determine whether the tooth needs to be filed down or built up in order to fit a crown and perform the necessary procedure.

Afterward, an impression is made of the tooth in question and is sent off to a lab to be turned into a crown. If the crown is porcelain, your dentist will also select a color for it that best matches your other teeth. In the meantime, you will receive a temporary crown to wear for the 2 to 3 weeks until the permanent crown is ready. The permanent crown will be fitted during your second visit, after which your dentist will make any necessary adjustments. A recent technology allows dentists to create the crown on-site, in which case only a single visit is required. If you’re interested in an expedited crown placement, ask your dentist if his or her office is equipped with CAD/CAM technology (computer aided design/manufacturing technology).

What Types of Crowns Are There?

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal
  • Resin
  • Ceramic (all porcelain)
  • Metal, e.g. gold, nickel

Whereas metal crowns last a long time and require very little of the tooth to be filed down, all-porcelain or ceramic crowns are the better aesthetic choice since they can be color-matched. In addition, porcelain crowns are a good option for people with metal allergies. Resin crowns are cheaper than metal or porcelain crowns but tend to wear and tear faster.

How Much Do Crowns Cost?

Depending on the type of crown you’re having installed and the skill level of your dentist, crowns can cost from $500 to $3000 per tooth, with porcelain crowns typically costing more due to the greater amount of time and skill required to place them.

Are Crowns Covered By My Dental Insurance?

Insurers generally do not cover the cost of dental crowns or will pay for a small portion of the cost, unless the crown is needed for a clear medical reason. However, crowns can be financed either through your dentist or an outside company such as Care Credit or DentalFeePlan.

Inlays/Onlays

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

A minimally invasive dental technology for repairing tooth decay and other damage, inlays and onlays are customized fillings that are made in a lab for a better fit, as opposed to traditional fillings, which are fitted in a single visit. The main difference between inlays and onlays is that:

  • Inlays are performed when the tooth damage is mainly confined to the tip, or cusp, of the tooth.
  • And onlays are performed when the tooth decay or structural damage is deeper or more widespread.

How Are Inlays and Onlays fitted?

Inlays and onlays are performed by removing any damage or decay sustained by the tooth with a drill. The area is first numbed with a local anesthetic. Afterwards an impression of the tooth is created and sent to a lab to be turned into a cast. While the cast is being made, your dentist will provide you with a temporary restoration, and your custom-made inlay or onlay will be ready to be fitted in about 2 to 3 weeks.

What Are Inlays and Onlays Made of?

Inlays and onlays can be made of gold, a malleable material which has a reputation for lasting a long time – up to 30 years.

Porcelain and composite resin are increasingly popular options since they can be color matched and are generally considered more visually appealing.

Pros:

  • Unlike traditional fillings, inlays and onlays actually reinforce the structure of the tooth and strengthen its chewing power by up to 75%.
  • Unlike crowns, inlays and onlays don’t require you to replace a large part of your tooth.
  • There is a minimal level of risk involved in this procedure.
  • Inlays and onlays require less tooth reduction than standard fillings or crowns.
  • New advances in inlay and onlay technology have made it possible to create a cast and perform the procedure in one visit.

Cons:

  • A small number of people can have an allergic reaction to either the local anesthetic or the material used in the inlay/onlay.

How Long Do Inlays and Onlays Take to Fit?

Inlays and onlays can be fitted in two visits of about an hour each.

How Much do Inlays and Onlays Cost?

Depending on the skill level of your dentist, the quality of the material and the size of the inlay or onlay, it will generally cost between $600 and $1200 a tooth.

Are Inlays and Onlays Covered by my Insurance?

The full or partial cost of inlays and onlays is usually covered by dental insurance since they have a restorative purpose in addition to a cosmetic one, that is, inlays and onlays are used primarily to correct damaged teeth, which also has the effect of making them look cleaner and healthier.

Veneers

What are Veneers?

One of the most popular and effective developments in cosmetic dentistry, veneers are thin, custom made casings that cover the front side of your teeth. Veneers are used to correct uneven teeth, worn enamel, discoloration, chipped teeth and irregular spacing, and can last over 20 years. In some cases, veneers can serve a restorative purpose and can protect a damaged tooth from further harm.

What Does the Procedure Involve?

After a thorough examination of your teeth, which may include X-rays and taking impressions, your dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel from your teeth. He or she will then create an impression and send it off to a laboratory to create the veneer. While the mold is being created, your dentist may provide you with temporary veneers. Finally, the veneer’s size and color are given one last adjustment before they are cemented to your tooth on your second visit.

What Are the Advantages of Veneers?

Veneers can give your teeth a more natural, aesthetically pleasing appearance and are stain resistant and soft on gums. In some cases, veneers can serve a restorative purpose and protect a damaged tooth from further harm.

What Are the Risks of Veneers?

In rare instances, veneers can chip or crack, in which case they would have to be replaced. Since enamel is removed in the procedure, the process is not reversible, and you may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods for the same reason. If you grind your teeth in your sleep, you may be asked to wear a mouthguard when you go to bed. Many people who grind their teeth in their sleep don’t even know it, but your dentist will be able to tell you if you do from the wear marks on your teeth.

Types of Veneers

  • Porcelain
  • Resin Composite
  • Lumineers

Since porcelain veneers are more resistant to stains and chipping, they are generally more expensive. Lumineers are a particularly popular type of porcelain veneers that do not require your teeth to be shaved and can even be placed over crown or bridgework. A custom-made set of Lumineers can be installed in 2-3 visits and is proven to last over 20 years.

How Much Do Veneers Cost?

Depending on the experience of your dentist and the material or brand being used, veneers can cost from $500 to $2000 a tooth. Porcelain veneers are generally the most expensive and longest lasting. Lumineers can cost from $700 to $1200 per tooth.

Will My Insurance Cover Veneers?

As this procedure is elective and primarily cosmetic, most dental insurers will not cover veneers. However, veneers can be financed either through your dentist or an outside company such as Care Credit or DentalFeePlan.

The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the counsel and expertise of a medical professional. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your dentist.

Manchester Dental Implant Guide on a Broken Or Fractured Tooth

Less common than a tooth ache but a fractured or chipped off tooth is quite a common reason for someone rushing to a dentist.

There is always a fear of having to lose a tooth when it breaks. Especially if it’s the front tooth, the emotional trauma of having to lose the tooth can be even worse than a tooth ache for some.

Fortunately, thanks to modern dentistry there is often a procedure to repair the damage and restore the tooth to its natural form, function and aesthetics.

Well, when you see your dentist depending on the extent and nature of fracture, various treatment options may be offered.

The dentist might need to take an X-ray to determine the state of the root and any corresponding secondary damage. Also needed would be a series of vitality checks for the tooth to determine the state of the nerve within.

For instance, if it’s only a minor chip not involving a great amount of tooth damage, it can be built up to its original form with composites which are tooth coloured filling materials. The vast availability of shades and tints will allow your dentist to create a natural result.

The tooth can be veneered to restore a moderately fractured tooth, without nerve damage though. For veneers the tooth is slightly roughened/prepared and an impression taken to be sent to the dental laboratory, which then fabricates a veneer to be cemented in place by the dentist on the next visit.

Alternatively, the tooth might need crowning depending on the extent of fracture and the remaining tooth structure. Again this is a two visit procedure as laboratory work is involved.

With both veneer and crown the tooth is given a temporary chair-side restoration until the final laboratory fabricated permanent veneer/crown is fitted.

It might be that the nerve within the tooth is damaged, dying or dead, in which case the tooth will need to be root filled before crowning.

Also at times it can be difficult to determine the vitality status of a damaged tooth. The dentist in such a scenario might suggest to proceed with the restoration and consider root canal treatment at a later stage if need arises.

Similarly if it’s the back tooth which is broken it can be restored by filling (amalgam or composite) , inlay or crown depending on the extent of damage.

An inlay is a lab fabricated filling which fits within the tooth, whilst a crown goes over the tooth and covers it.

There is a possibility that the tooth is fractured vertically along its root. In such cases it is usually advisable to extract the tooth and replace it with denture, bridge or implant as suited to the condition.

So…had a fall, don’t panic!! Go and see your dentist as there are a variety of ways to restore your tooth and cosmetically enhance any damage that has taken place. It is always important to seek qualified professional advice if you have had an accident or are experiencing any tooth discomfort.

This article is free to republish provided the authors resource box below remains intact.

What Should You Expect During a Dental Implant Procedure?

A Step By Step Guide

Have you lost teeth do to gum disease, mouth trauma, decay, root canal failure, congenital defects, or just wear and tear? Are your missing teeth affecting the way you talk? Causing you embarrassment when you smile? Or forcing you to change your eating habits? Though there are many available options for the treatment and restoration of missing teeth, wouldn’t it be great to have replacements that look and feel just like the ones you used to have?

Dental implants have proven to be the most effective method for replacing either a single tooth or multiple teeth. These artificial tooth root replacements are formed to look just like the surrounding teeth, making them almost impossible to spot. In addition, dental implants are much more durable than other tooth replacement options such as bridges or dentures. And they’re permanent, so you won’t have to worry about putting them on every morning.

So what should you expect during your dental implant procedure?

First, you will be given local anesthesia to help avoid any pain the surgery might cause. Your highly skilled dentist will drill a small hole in the area where the Implant will be placed. This hole is then widened a bit to allow room for the implant to be accurately put in. Next, a titanium screw is guided into place. This is what holds the dental implant right where it needs to be. After the first screw is installed, a protective cover screw is placed on top of it. This will anchor everything in place correctly, and also allow the Implant to heal perfectly.

Over the next three to six months, the Implant becomes a natural part of your jaw. This Osseointegration process is the most common way to install a dental implant, and also the most successful.

After the Osseointegration is complete, a special post is attached to support the new crown. Impressions are taken, and a crown is created to match your existing teeth. The crown is then installed, and your smile is as good as new.

Once the surgery is complete, dental implants require the same exact care as any of your other teeth. Just make sure to brush and floss regularly, and they will remain in great condition.

Dental implant surgery has been done for years, and has proven to be successful in an overwhelming majority of cases. It’s safe, permanent, and quite simply the most natural looking way to replace any missing teeth you might have.

The Aesthetically Perfect Smile

The “Hollywood Smile”

The “Hollywood Smile” is a media ideal dating back to the early 1900’s. Teeth were in such disrepair that people would not smile for photographs. The only smiles seen were created in published media as cartoons. Artists depicted teeth as solid white areas with the upper and lower teeth separated by a curved line following the lower lip. The curved line created an image of the front teeth being the longest and every tooth gets shorter all the way to the corners of the mouth.

Today, the “Hollywood Smile” is an improved media ideal. The lips are filled with very white teeth that block out darkness in the back of the mouth. Incising edges of top teeth follow the line of the lower lip coming within a millimeter of contact. Two front teeth are most prominent with adjacent teeth appearing sequentially smaller from the front teeth to the corners of the mouth creating perspective. Ideally, each tooth looks one sixteenth smaller than the adjacent tooth in front of it. There is symmetry of tooth color, shape and position right side to left side of the midline.

A masculine smile has square teeth. Incising edges of top teeth follows a straighter line. A feminine smile has rounded teeth. Incising edges of top teeth follows the lower lip line closer creating more curvature.

The Natural Smile

Natural smiles are seen everyday. Teeth fill the space between the lips and block out darkness in the back of the mouth. They are shades that blend with skin tones. Incising edges of top teeth follow the line of the lower lip, however, the two lateral incisors adjacent to the front teeth are shorter. The eyeteeth appear longer. Two front teeth are most prominent with adjacent teeth appearing sequentially smaller from the front teeth to the corners of the mouth creating perspective. Ideally, each tooth looks one sixteenth smaller than the adjacent tooth in front of it. There is symmetry of tooth color, shape and position right side to left side of the midline, however variation creates a natural appearance. Development and aging of teeth alters these relationships.

Natural smiles often have rotated, tilted, crowded, or spaced teeth. There is wear of outer and biting surfaces, gum recession and root exposure, chips, cracks or cavities. The four front incisors are the same color, the eyeteeth darker and the bicuspids and molars slightly lighter. Each tooth has great color variation over its surface. Teeth have a relatively translucent enamel shell with yellow dentin under it. As enamel thins and shows through yellow dentin, the tooth looks more yellow as occurs in the third of the tooth closest to the gums. Areas where dentin is not behind enamel as occurs between teeth and along the biting edge, appear dark gray because the translucent enamel allows darkness of the back of the mouth to show through.

The back of the mouth is a dark space as no light enters. Incorrect tooth position, tooth loss, malformed teeth, and loss of tooth structure from trauma or cavities create spaces that show the darkness of the back of the mouth.

Perception Esthetics

Perception esthetics recognizes that various smile designs and tooth defects are used to produce natural-looking smiles, and that a dentist’s perception of a patient results in a final smile design that fits the individual. Defining patient esthetic values and appreciation levels is essential to patient satisfaction.Without proper assessment, final smile design becomes the artistic interpretation of the dentist, which may or may not be acceptable to the patient. A dentist who does not understand perception esthetics produces the same smile for every patient, within the bounds of physical or financial limitations. The perfect smile, based on the “Golden Rule” of esthetic dentistry can be ideal for a 20-year-old patient but not ideal for an older patient. Table 1 lists the types of imperfections that need to be evaluated to ensure patient satisfaction.

Restoration goals must be balanced with limitations of ideals and limitations of treatment. Limitations of ideals include general traits (cultural, physical, and personality limitations), detailed inspection, and visual perception. Limitations of treatment include patient and dentist limitations. Patient limitations include physical, psychological, and financial limitations. Dentist limitations include artistic, perceptive, and technical ability (i.e., material and laboratory limitations).”

Tooth and Smile Defects

Tooth defects that affect smile esthetics include color, shape and position. Correctionsof unacceptable defects improve smiles. Inclusion of acceptable defects creates a natural smile. Aesthetics is an art and consequently, beauty is a personal preference and defining a patient’s preferences is critical.

Treatment

Treatment goals must be realistic based on limitations of ideals and limitations of treatment. Perception Aesthetics is a concept I published in the Journal of Esthetic Dentistry in the 1990’s. Perception Aesthetics review all factors that define realistic expectations for treatment goals.

Aesthetic Recontouring

Aesthetic recontouring is the process of selectively remodeling teeth to affect their shape, position, length, and contours. Youthful, feminine smiles are typically characterized by rounded edges. In a more masculine smile or one characteristic of an older individual, flat worn surfaces are more prominent. Significant generalized changes are possible when treating front teeth visible in the patient’s smile. Ideally, recontouring is confined to enamel and results in teeth of proper proportion. Significant changes are possible when treating front teeth visible in the patient’s smile.

Teeth Whitening

Bleaching lightens teeth by removing stain caught in microscopic holes within enamel. The active ingredient in most of the whitening agents iscarbamide peroxide, also known as urea peroxide; when water contacts this white crystal, the release of hydrogen peroxide lightens the teeth. Bleaching is successful in at least 90 percent of patients, though it may not be an option for everyone. Consider tooth bleaching if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea or smoking. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown or orange respond better to lightening. Other types of gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking or tetracycline are lightened, but results are not as dramatic. Every case is different. Typically, there is a multiple-shade improvement as seen on a dentist’s shade guide. If you have very sensitive teeth, or teeth with worn enamel, your dentist may discourage bleaching. Existing restorations such as crowns and fillings do not change color.

The dentist or hygienist will make impressions of your teeth to fabricate a bleaching appliance for you. The appliance is custom made for your mouth. Along with the appliance, you’ll receive the bleaching materials and you’ll be given instructions on how to wear the appliance. Some bleaching systems recommend bleaching your teeth from one to four hours a day. Generally this type of system requires three to six weeks to complete. Other systems recommend bleaching at night while you sleep. This type of system usually requires only 10-14 days to complete.

Lightness should last from one to five years, depending on your personal habits such as smoking and drinking coffee and tea. At this point you may choose to get a touch up. This procedure may not be as costly because you can probably still use the same appliance.

The retreatment time also is much shorter than the original treatment time. Several studies, during the past ten years, have proven bleaching to be safe and effective. The American Dental Association has granted its seal of approval to some tooth bleaching products. Some patients may experience slight gum irritation or tooth sensitivity, which will resolve when the treatment ends.

Composite Fillings – Front Teeth

A composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass. Compos
ites are not only used to restore decayed areas, but are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.

In order to bond a filling material to your tooth, it is first necessary to remove decay, prepare the tooth and then to condition the enamel and dentin. Once conditioned, a thin resin is applied which bonds to the etched surface. The bond strength of these fillings is incredible.

Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth. The dentist then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear. Bonding increases the strength of these restorations far beyond those of only a short time ago.

Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes. After receiving a composite, a patient may experience post-operative sensitivity.Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if the patient drinks tea, coffee or other staining foods. The dentist can put a clear plastic coating over the composite to prevent the color from changing if a patient is particularly concerned about tooth color.

Composites tend to wear out in larger cavities, although they hold up well in small cavities. After placement, you may chew right away. The light instantly hardens these fillings. Your teeth may experience some degree of temperature sensitivity for a few days to a week. If it does not disappear within that period of time, contact your dentist.

These light cured composites are extremely cosmetic and most often bonded into place in one appointment. They are often referred to as “bonding.” Studies have shown that composites last 7-10 years.

In the past, teeth were most commonly repaired with silicate or acrylic restorations. Thanks to advances in modern dental materials and techniques, teeth can be restored with a more aesthetic and natural appearance. There are different types of cosmetic fillings currently available. The type used will depend on the location of the tooth and the amount of tooth structure that needs to be repaired.

White Composites – Back Teeth

A composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass. In the past, dental composites were confined to the front teeth because they were not strong enough to withstand the pressure and wear generated by the back teeth.

Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth. The dentist then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear. It takes the dentist about 10-20 minutes longer to place a composite than a silver filling. Placement time depends on the size and location of the cavity and the larger the size, the longer it will take.

The average cost of posterior composites is about one-and-a-half to two times the price of a silver filling. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the composite up to the price of a silver filling, with the patient paying the difference. As composites continue to improve, insurance companies are more likely to increase their coverage of composites.

Esthetics are one of the main advantages, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage, minimize leakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.

After receiving a composite, a patient may experience post-operative sensitivity. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if the patient drinks tea, coffee or other staining foods. Composites tend to wear out sooner than silver fillings in larger cavities, although they hold up as well in small cavities. Studies have shown that composites last 7-10 years, which is comparable to silver fillings except in very large restorations, where silver fillings last longer than composites.

In the past, teeth were most commonly repaired with amalgam (silver) fillings or gold restorations. Thanks to advances in modern dental materials and techniques, teeth can be restored with a more aesthetic and natural appearance. There are different types of cosmetic fillings currently available. The type used will depend on the location of the tooth and the amount of tooth structure that needs to be repaired.

The other type of “white fillings” are called Composite or Porcelain Inlays and Onlays. These fillings are usually placed in back teeth when esthetics is of utmost concern. In order to increase their strength and longevity, they are fabricated in the laboratory and then bonded into position in the office. This is a two visit procedure rather than the one visit required to place a direct composite filling. However, when it comes to strength and cosmetics, the extra time and expense is well worth it! I hope that you now understand a little bit more about white fillings.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic material, which are bonded to the front of teeth. They can be the ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. Porcelain veneers are placed to mask discolorations, to close spaces, to brighten teeth, to straighten teeth, and to repair broken tooth structure. Highly resistant to permanent staining from coffee, tea, or even cigarette smoking, the wafer-thin porcelain veneers can achieve a tenacious bond to the tooth, resulting in an esthetically pleasing naturalness that is unsurpassed by other restorative options.

Porcelain veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns or fillings in many situations. They provide a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color, size, shape or position. Porcelain veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline, by an injury, or as a result of a root canal procedure, and are ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider porcelain veneers. Generally, veneers will last for many years, and the technique has shown remarkable longevity when properly performed.

Patients may need several appointments for the entire procedure including diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation, and bonding. It’s critical that you take an active role in the smile design. Spend time in the decision-making and planning of the smile. Understand the corrective limitations of the procedure to correct tooth defects, color or position.

The preparation appointment will take from one to several hours. To prepare the teeth for the porcelain veneers, the teeth are lightly reduced to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about a half a millimeter of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anesthetic. At this appointment, a mold is taken of the teeth, which is sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers. This can take about one to three weeks. If the teeth are too unsightly a temporary veneer can be placed, at an additional cost.

Bonding of veneers will take about one or two hours. First, the dentist places the veneers with water or glycerine on the teeth to check their fit and get a sense of the shade or color.While the veneers are resting on your teeth, view the esthetic results, and pay particular attention to the color.At this point, the color of the veneers can still be adjusted with the shade of the cement to be used. The color cannot be altered after veneers are cemented. To apply the veneer, the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. Once a special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a visible light beam initiates the release of a catalyst to harden the cement.

All porcelain restorations are called veneers when they cover only the fr
ont of teeth. They are crowns when they cover all surfaces of teeth. Restorations are three quarter crowns when they do not cover the surface of teeth toward the tongue. It is often difficult to distinguish one type of restoration from another and therefore, it is easier to call them bonded porcelain restorations.

Crowns – Front and Back Teeth

Crowns are used to support a tooth when there isn’t enough of the tooth remaining, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth. A crown is a restoration that covers a tooth like a thimble to restore it to its normal shape and size while improving strength and appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won’t solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn’t get worse.

To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reduced so the crown can fit over it. An impression of teeth and gums is made and sent to the lab for the crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.

Crowns require more tooth structure removal, hence, they cover more of the tooth than veneers. Crowns are customarily indicated for teeth that have sustained significant loss of structure. Crowns are made from various materials including plastics, porcelains and metals or combinations of these.

The dentist’s main goal is to create crowns that look like natural teeth. To achieve a certain look, a number of factors are considered, such as the color, bite, shape, and length of your natural teeth. When the procedure is complete, your teeth will not only be stronger, but they may be more attractive.

Crowns should last approximately 12 years. However, with good oral hygiene and supervision most crowns will last for a much longer period of time. Some damaging habits like grinding your teeth, chewing ice, or fingernail biting may cause this period of time to decrease significantly.

To prevent damaging or fracturing the crowns, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects. You also want to avoid teeth grinding. Besides visiting your dentist and brushing twice a day, cleaning between your teeth is vital with crowns. Floss is important to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Plaque in that area can cause dental decay and gum disease.

Replacing Missing Teeth

Fixed Bridges and Implants

A fixed bridge replaces missing teeth. Teeth on either side of the space are prepared for crowns. Crowns are joined together so crowns on either side can support the missing teeth in the middle.

Implants, usually made of titanium metal similar to that used in pins to join fractured bones, are permanent replacements for missing teeth. Part of the implant acts as the root of a tooth and supports a section that extends above the gums. Replacement teeth may be permanently fixed to the sections above the gums, like fixed bridges, or can be removable similar to overdentures.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures replace missing teeth supported by gums and remaining teeth. Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored resin bases, which are connected by a metal framework. Removable partial dentures attach to your natural teeth with rests, guide planes and metal clasps. The metal clasps often shows when smiling. A denture helps you to properly chew food, improve speech and prevent a sagging face by providing support for lips and cheeks.A full denture is held in by suction so function is compromised.

An overdenture is a denture that uses precision dental attachments to hold the denture down. The overdenture attachment can be placed in tooth roots that have been saved, or placed onto dental implants that have been placed to receive them. When proper smile design principals are applied to dentures, they can look very natural. Indeed, most denture patients want more imperfections in their denture teeth so they look more natural.

Full Dentures

There is a substantial difference between full dentures and your own teeth since it is only suction which holds a full denture in place.

Dentures may move or come loose when the tongue, lips, cheeks and muscles push against it. Good impressions provide an accurate fit and seal around the edges. Retention and stabilization can be aided by the shape of bone and firmness of gums which make it more difficult to break the suction.

It is difficult to predict how a patient will adapt to dentures.A stable, retentive denture increases success, but people must adapt psychologically and learn techniques of functioning with a denture. Speech patterns must be relearned and chewing efficiency may be dramatically reduced. For these reasons, full dentures are the last resort of dentistry.

There are two alternatives to full dentures: overdentures and implants. Occasionally weak teeth can be used to stabilize dentures. Teeth reduced in height are much stronger because forces are closer to the gums reducing the force generated on their roots.

Overdentures are dentures which fit over weak teeth reduced in height after root canals. In addition, precision attachments can be placed in these teeth and dentures for added retention. Retaining roots will also help maintain bone height which might recede if roots were not there.

Want a New Smile? Read Our Step by Step Guide on the Dental Implant Procedure

If you are suffering from tooth loss or tooth decay then chances are you’ve heard a lot about dental implants from your dental practitioner. You may have finally decided that implants are exactly what your mouth needs but what is the procedure for this form of cosmetic dentistry and what can you expect from your implants dentist? This article outlines 10 steps which you should expect to go through when undertaking your dental implant procedure.

Step 1

Consult your dental practitioner about what the best option is for you. A good practitioner will refer you to a peridontist or prosthodontist who will be correctly suited and have the correct level of skill and expertise to deal with the fitting and maintenance of your new dental implants. Please beware of anyone who calls themselves an ‘implantologist’ or ‘dental implant specialist’. There is no specific medical qualification for the fitting of dental implants.

Step 2

No dental specialist will ever perform an implant procedure without first assessing the surrounding tooth and jaw area. It is crucial for any specialist to first assess your teeth and gums and deal with any tooth decay or gum disease prior to performing any cosmetic dental procedure.

Step 3

When fitting new dental implants your specialist will usually perform several x-rays and in some cases a CT scan to check the quality of the bone surrounding the missing tooth for any abnormalities prior to proceeding with the dental treatment.

Step 4

In some cases there is insufficient bone material to accommodate the implant – this is determined from the scans and x-rays conducted as part of the preliminary procedures. In such cases a bone graft is required. Bone taken from your own body has a faster healing time when compared to alternatives. Bone can be grafted from the chin, the back of the lower jaw, the hip and the tibia. This is a process known as onlay grafting. It is most common for a combination of artificial bone and natural bone to be used. Over time the grafted bone will fuse to the existing bone creating a better environment for the dental implant to be placed into.

Step 5

Most procedures are performed under local anaesthetic. If patients are extremely anxious IV sedation can be used.

Step 6

Once the preliminary procedures are completed, the gum where the implant is to be placed is cut and lifted and a hole is drilled in the jawbone at the exact location of the intended dental implant.

Step 7

Following this, the titanium dental implant or screw is tightly fitted into the pre-drilled hole and the gum is stitched back over the implant. These sutures will typically be removed after 7-14 days.

Step 8

The implant is left to heal and integrate with the surrounding bone a process known as osseointegration. This healing process takes three to six months.

Step 9

After the healing period, the gum is again lifted and a dental abutment is screwed down into the implant. The top part of the abutment known as the post will be attached to a temporary crown.

Step 10

Four to six weeks later, when the surrounding gum tissue has matured, the final permanent restoration can be fitted to the implant.

Health Travel to Mexico Growing Due to Availability of Safe, Affordable, High-Quality Options

With the skyrocketing costs of health care, the issue of health travel or “medical tourism” has been generating lots of buzz in the media. Within the last few weeks, stories about health travel have hit the pages of publications like US News & World, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, detailing how health travel offers people high quality health care at a price far more affordable than the US. It’s a benefit without boundaries – meaning, the cost savings are for anyone who wants them, including the thousands of insured who are nevertheless facing higher premiums, reduced coverage, and higher out-of-pocket deductibles and co-payments.

While much of the press has focused on exotic locales like India, Mexico is actually the most common destination for Americans traveling for health care. Last year alone more than 50,000 Americans traveled to Mexico seeking everything from heart surgery, hip replacement, cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic surgery procedures, preventive screenings and even homeopathic health treatments. Mexico is widely recognized for its number of leading gastroenterology (weight loss) surgeons.

In its study Medical Tourism: Consumers In Search of Value, Deloitte estimates the number of medical travelers is expected to reach 6 million per year in 2009. The growth is not surprising – the typical medical traveler receive outstanding quality health care at significantly lower cost over U.S. pricing.

For example, in Mexico, weight loss surgery ranges from $6,000-$11,500 vs. the $25-35,000 price tag in the U.S. Hip replacement is $10,000-$12,000, compared to $60,000+ in the U.S. A $100,000 angioplasty in the U.S. is $25,000 in Mexico – featuring a surgeon who regularly spends at least three months of his operating time in the U.S.

Mexico offers the additional benefit of having direct flights from many U.S cities, and most surgeons are fluent in English as well as Spanish. The hospitals that welcome medical tourists are sleek, modern affairs featuring amenities such as patient suites, sushi restaurants and a medical traveler concierge, while even newer, more sophisticated hospitals continue to be built.

Do your research to find the medical tourism company that best suits your needs. There are companies that guide patients through the process of getting medical treatment abroad, handling every detail of your trip – from insurance to financing, arranging for air travel, accommodations, appointments, transportation to and from your procedure and even keeping you in touch with friends and family.

Whitening Teeth – The Best Consumer Guide to Tooth Bleaching Tips

In the every growing world of cosmetic dentistry whitening teeth treatments have become extremely popular. Equally demanded around the world whitening (aka bleaching) methods come in a variety of forms and budget ranges.

Popular forms include professional in-office bleaching sessions at your cosmetic dentist or at home whitening kits that can be purchased over the counter.  In addition, there are even one hour options with brands like zoom and bright smile.

Even with whitening growing only a small percentage of people have tried it.

In general, whitening your teeth works!  But there are a variety of factors you have to consider in order to select the best method for your use.  Once you make a decision on a bleaching method you will see the true power of brightening your smile.

Bleaching versus Whitening

In the world of cosmetic dentistry, it is generally acceptable to use the term bleaching when a method is used to brighten the color from the natural pigment of the tooth.  Most bleaching solutions utilize a gel known as carbamide peroxide.

In contrast, if you whiten your teeth via toothpaste or other agents that simply remove and clean the surface of the tooth then it is consider whitening.  This could be via baking soda, toothpaste or other popular methods, but generally whitneing a bleaching are different in the world of cosmetic dentistry.

While the above differences exist, most people use the terms whitening and bleaching interchangeably.  This is especially true with respect to advertising and over the counter products.  Just be advised that there are differences and you should consider this as you research the options.

Whitening Teeth And Enamel

All teeth are composed of an outer coding which is called enamel.  The tooth enamel is the protection, but as you age your enamel becomes worn and broken down.  This breakdown can cause yellow discoloration sometimes known as dentin.  Dentin gets in the cracks of your enamel and this is the yellowness you see on your teeth as you age. 

Thanks to advancements with teeth bleaching, you can remove the yellowness that develops in the cracks of the enamel.  Even with over the counter products the yourwhiteningteeth.com/”>best teeth whitening options can greatly improve your smile.

Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Tooth Discoloration

In the field of dentistry, stains are broken into two categories: Extrinsic and Intrinsic stains.  If you are whitening your teeth then you would prefer to have moderate extrinsic stains which are essentially stains caused by you.  These are common stains from coffee, wine, dark foods and wear on tooth enamel.  

On the other hand, intrinsic stains are a part of the interior of the teeth.  These stains are normally caused by outside agents like trauma to the tooth, drugs like tetracycline or too much fluoride when the permanent teeth were forming.  With advancements in teeth whitening, many times intrinsic stains can be removed but it takes much greater persistence and work with your cosmetic dentist.

Tooth Staining, Can It Be Prevented

Generally as you age tooth staining becomes more prevalent.  This is a result of wear on the teeth’s enamel and micro cracking in the tooth enamel.  Tooth staining can not be fully prevented, but there are definitely some items that affect the color or your teeth.  

Understanding these factors can help you prevent staining.

Dark Liquids and Food:  Liquids like soda, red wine, coffee, and tea are direct contributors to staining your teeth.  In addition, colored foods like carrots, oranges and blueberries can have a direct impact on your teeth’s color. 

Pharmaceutical Drugs:  You might think that all pharmaceutical drugs are 100% safe for your teeth.  However, drugs like tetracycline have shown to be very damaging to your teeth when they are forming.  Also, many youngsters can get damage to their teeth from too much fluoride during the development of permanent teeth.  

Smoking:  The nicotine in cigarettes is very harmful to teeth and will leave dark deposits that over time become intrinsic discoloring in the teeth.

Tooth Distress:  Tooth distress as a result of physical harm can cause cracking in the enamel that collect harmful discoloring agents from your food especially dark color foods.  

Myths About Whitening Teeth

The stronger the whitening gel the better:  While the concentration of carbamide peroxide in the whitening gel is important it is not always best to have the strongest gel.  It does take longer to whiten teeth with gel that has a lower percentage of carbamide peroxide, but these gels may not make your teeth as sensitive.

I can drink dark liquids while bleaching:  It is not recommended to drink coffee, soda, red wine and other dark liquids while whitening.  In fact, you should wait for a good period of time after whitening before you bring dark liquids back into your diet.  Also to help prevent tooth staining, it is always better to use a straw when drinking dark liquids.

My dental insurance covers teeth whitening:  Unfortunately most dental insurances do not cover the cost of whitening teeth.  Therefore, you will be out of pocket between $100 to $500 depending on the style of treatment you choose to utilize.

Best In-Depth Guide to Dental Implants

I hope to compile the answers of some of the dental professionals that have had years of experience in the dental implant industry. Thank you for reading.

How Long Do Dental Implants Take?

What’s the surgery time for Dental Implants and How many appointment’s are involved?

After my research on the appointment and surgery times I’ve reached the conclusion that it definitely depends on the implant procedure that you are interested in. However, I was surprised to find out that for many of these procedures, there is a very short waiting period, a very short surgery time, and a fair short recovery time.

Here’s a list of some very common dental implant procedures:

Single Tooth Implants – For single tooth replacement. The insertion of a single titanium dental implants followed by the attachment of a single crown.

Fixed-Bridge on Implants – For two or more teeth missing. Involves the insertion of two dental implant spread across two, three, or four teeth. This is followed by the attachment of a fixed bridge spanning two, three, or four teeth.

Over-denture – Almost like the All-on-Four™ implant option but uses two implants instead of four and can still be removed with the assistance of a dental professional. For people who have lost all or the majority of their teeth.

All-on-Four™ Dental Implant Procedure – This is the most drastic dental implant procedure. Involves the placement of four titanium dental implants either on the top of bottom of the jaw bone and are followed by the construction and attachment of a fixed denture that essential acts like a new set of natural teeth.

The Specifics:

Most dental implant procedures are done in two phases. The first, after an initial consultation, is the insertion of the titanium dental implant into the patients’ jaw bone. For some treatments, this can involve as many as four dental implants (screw-like titanium embedded into the jaw bone). After there has been enough time for the jaw to accept and merge with the bio-compatible titanium implants (which usually takes 1-2 months), it’s now time for the next step.

From that point on, an appointment is scheduled for the attachment of the crown or the prosthetic tooth/teeth. This actually only takes a couple hours or less. The newly fabricated denture or crown/bridge is then attached either by another titanium screw or by screwing the crown into the dental implant. Overall, you’re easily in and out of the dental office within 2-3 hours. After that, you can start eating with your new implants right away.

Many have noted that they have had sensitivity just after having the prosthetic tooth inserted but most recover after a week or so.

In conclusion, It’s seems that the first part of dental implant procedures take about 1-2 months so that your jaw bone has time to accept and fuse to the titanium implants. The appointment after that is to insert the crown/bridge or fixed denture and then most are good to go at that point.

Why Replace Missing Teeth?

The most important question to answer in this case is what are the negative effects of missing teeth on your overall oral health.

The Negative Effects of Missing Teeth

The effects of living life without solving the obvious issue of missing teeth can have a great negative impact. Without replacing missing teeth you are at a great risk of having some serious oral health problems and will turn your beautiful smile into something that’s not quite as pretty. You can often end up looking much older than you actually are. Allow me to explain…

Teeth aren’t meant to fall out. This is a fact. Yes, I know that children have their teeth fall out but I’m not referring to children but adults. When an adult has a tooth missing, the rest of your teeth and jaw suffer because there is something out of place. Now, with a large gap between teeth things tend to shift over time. Firstly, it affects the way your jaw closes, called the bite relationship. Secondly and more importantly, the remaining teeth slowly slide, drift, and shift into new positions that are not comfortable or functional. It’s a disaster. On top of all that, as teeth begin to shift and move, it opens the opportunity for food to get wedged into the new spaces between teeth and increases your risk of getting gum disease and serious tooth decay. All this can just be the very beginning of problems with TMJ.

Bone Resorption and the Deterioration of the Jaw Bone

Another important problem to address is the deterioration of the jaw bone when there is no tooth in place to stimulate the bone. Many times when people are missing multiple teeth, their jaw is affected by what is called, “bone resorption.” Essentially, bone resorption is the thinning and deterioration of bone in the jaw because there is no longer any teeth to stress part of the jaw bone. When the jaw bone isn’t stressed with some sort of force, it starts to weaken and shrink. You lose the stress against your jaw bone when you lose a tooth or lose multiple teeth.

Over longer periods of time without replacing the missing teeth, your overall face structure changes and makes you look older than you really are. It often makes you look as if your face is shrunken in.

As you will soon discover, replacing missing teeth is one of the best ways to keep your whole mouth healthy and maintain your facial structure.

Tips for Better Oral Health

Always replace teeth as soon as they are lost. This will ensure that you won’t have any of the problems that are listed above and will keep you happy and healthy for the years ahead.

How much do Dental Implants Cost?

Most Dental Implant practices do you a great favor and make the first consultation free. That is a given. When you’re not sure about your exact needs, it’s so important to be free from having to pay a consulting fee. There may be some really stingy dental practices out there that will charge a fee, but most won’t.

Next, to accurately determine if you qualify, that is – if you have enough existing bone in your jaw, you are required to have a mouth examination and an x-ray. This can end up costing you somewhere between $100 to $200.

The rough costs of any single dental implants, not an All-on-Four™ treatment, can cost you about $1000 t $3000 just for one tooth. I know, it’s pretty expensive. But in the event that you’ve lost a lot of bone or your sinus is elevated, those implants can cost upwards of $15000.

Luckily, there are many other treatment options for missing teeth but it stands to be true that dental implants are the only tooth replacements that guarantee the overall well-being of your dental health and prevents the majority of shifting and degrading of the jaw bone.

Financing

Due to the fact that dental implants are such an expensive cosmetic surgery, implant dental offices most often provide financing options or easier way to pay for your dental implants over time. Some work with insurance companies and others have their own credit program that functions pretty much like a credit card. In the end, you’ll need to consult your dental office to see what financing options they provide but most of the time, there are great options available.

Crowns/Bridges

As mentioned before, there is a waiting period wherein you’re jawbone accepts the titanium implant and the two fuse together. After this waiting time, you’re able to have your crown or bridge added on top of the dental implant. Crowns and bridges will end up costing you an additional $500 to $3000 for every tooth.

Conclusion

If there’s one thing that I’ve taken away from all the information provided here is that Implant Dentistry is not cheap. But I’ve seen a handful of people get them and the result is so close to the real thing that it makes sense that they would pay so much for it. Consider the fact that you get a new tooth that looks and functions just like the one you had before. That’s a miracle and something that is priceless in some peo
ple’s eyes.

Cosmetic Dentist – Orthodontics

When you need a cosmetic dentist, there is a wide array of treatment options available. There are so many new treatment methods available, that anyone can have a great-looking smile and healthy teeth. This field of dentistry provides treatment methods for chipped, broken, or missing teeth. Not only can they provide patients with dental crowns and fill decayed teeth so they are healthy and attractive, but they can also provide many other treatments including orthodontic treatments. Although orthodontics is commonly a childhood problem, many adults also require the services of a orthodontist.

A cosmetic dentist specializing in orthodontics can repair teeth that aren’t aligned properly, are crooked, or cause a overbite. When these common problems are discovered by a general dentist, it’s recommended that the patient consult with a orthodontist to determine the best method of treatment. In the past, when teeth were crooked or not aligned as they should be, the orthodontist would apply traditional metal braces, which were painful to have put in, and were very unattractive. The technology has improved so that there are newer alternatives to the traditional braces, which are much more comfortable.

The cosmetic dentist who is a orthodontist uses braces which have brackets that are created to bond to the teeth. Metal arch wires thread through the brackets to guide the teeth so they’re straight. It usually takes some time for the teeth to become aligned into their proper position. The newer braces come in a wide range of choices so they not only work to align the teeth, but they’re much more attractive than in previous years. Some of the braces available now are the same color as the teeth, and others are manufactured from plastic and are clear so they’re not as visible. Before making the decision about braces, find out about costs and what your dental insurance will cover.

Among the types of braces the cosmetic dentist may use are Damon brackets. They’re designed so that the wires move within the brackets, making them more comfortable. They’re a good option for most patients since the time they’re left on the teeth is less than other types of braces, and they don’t require as many adjustments as traditional braces. The tooth-colored braces are created from a ceramic material so they look more natural. Not everyone can wear them, so you’d have to consult with your orthodontist. When they have to be worn over a long period of time, they don’t cause discoloration of the teeth. The newer clear braces are nearly invisible with the exception of the wires, so they’re a good alternative.