Posts for: December, 2017
You’ve suddenly noticed one of your teeth looks and feels uneven, and it may even appear chipped. To make matters worse it’s right in front in the “smile zone” — when you smile, everyone else will notice it too. You want to have it repaired.
So, what will it be — a porcelain veneer or crown? Maybe neither: after examining it, your dentist may recommend another option you might even be able to undergo that very day — and walk out with a restored tooth.
This technique uses dental materials called composite resins. These are blends of materials that can mimic the color and texture of tooth structure while also possessing the necessary strength to endure forces generated by biting and chewing. A good part of that strength comes from the way we’re able to bond the material to both the tooth’s outer enamel and underlying dentin, which together make up the main body of tooth structure. In skilled, artistic hands composite resins can be used effectively in a number of situations to restore a tooth to normal appearance.
While veneers or crowns also produce excellent results in this regard, they require a fair amount of tooth alteration to accommodate them. Your dentist will also need an outside dental laboratory to fabricate them, a procedure that could take several weeks. In contrast, a composite resin restoration usually requires much less tooth preparation and can be performed in the dental office in just one visit.
Composite resins won’t work in every situation — the better approach could in fact be a veneer or crown. But for slight chips or other minor defects, composite resin could transform your tooth’s appearance dramatically.
To see if composite resin is a viable restoration option for your tooth, visit your dentist for a complete dental examination. It’s quite possible you’ll leave with a more attractive tooth and a more confident smile.
If you would like more information on restorations using composite resins, 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 “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”
The good news is that Americans are keeping more and more of their natural teeth longer than ever before. Just a generation ago, moderate to complete tooth loss after the age of 65 was fairly common and expected. But awareness about the benefits of preventive dental care and improvements in dental treatments and technology have dramatically improved oral health outcomes for older Americans. Unfortunately, periodontal (gum) disease is still a significant oral health problem in the United States. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), over 60 million Americans suffer from some form of gum disease, which ranges from mild (gingivitis) to severe (periodontitis). Dr. Neil Blavin, a dentist at Briar Pointe Dentistry in Novi, MI, offers a number of treatment options for complications from gum disease, which range from gum inflammation and bleeding to tooth loss.
Periodontal Disease Diagnosis and Treatment in Novi, MI
The best way to prevent gum disease and the resulting complications is to practice good oral hygiene, which includes brushing after meals and flossing at least once a day. Limiting sugary foods and drinks, and not smoking are also an important part of a healthy oral health routine. Additionally, the ADA recommends going to the dentist every six months for a checkup and professional dental cleaning.
Signs, Symptoms and Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease
The most common sign of gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease is bleeding and inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can become worse and lead to other symptoms, including:
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Swollen and tender gums
- Pus around the tooth/gums
- Loose teeth
- Pockets between the teeth/gums
- Bite/alignment issues
Poor oral hygiene and lifestyle factors like diet and smoking are a major factor in the onset of gum disease, but other factors like genetics and family history can also increase your risk.
Find a Dentist in Novi, MI
For more information about the best way to prevent gum disease at every age, contact Briar Pointe Dentistry by calling (248) 347-0030 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Blavin today.
Wearing braces takes time, but if all goes well the changes to your smile will be well worth it. In the meantime, though, you’ll have to contend with one particular difficulty—keeping your teeth clean of disease-causing, bacterial plaque.
Don’t worry, though—while keeping dental disease at bay with braces can be challenging, it is doable. Here are 4 tips for minimizing your chances of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease during orthodontic treatment.
Eat less sugar. Like any living organism, bacteria must eat—and they’re especially amenable to sugar. The more they have access to this favorite food source, the more they multiply—and the greater your risk of tooth decay or gum disease. Eating fewer sugary foods and snacks and more dental-friendly ones helps restrict bacteria populations in your mouth.
Brush thoroughly. Brushing with braces can be difficult, especially in areas blocked by orthodontic hardware. You need to be sure you brush all tooth and gum surfaces around your braces, including above and below the wire running through the brackets. A soft multi-tufted microline bristle brush is a good choice for getting into these hard to reach places. Brushing around braces takes more time, but it’s essential for effective plaque removal.
Use flossing tools. Flossing is important for removing plaque from between teeth—but, unfortunately, it might be even more difficult to perform with braces than brushing. If using string floss proves too daunting consider using a floss threader or a similar device that might be easier to maneuver. You can also use a water irrigator, a hand-held device that sprays water under pressure to loosen and flush away between-teeth plaque.
Keep up regular dental visits. While you’re seeing your orthodontist regularly for adjustments, you should also see your general dentist at least every six months or more. Besides dental cleaning, your dentist also monitors for signs of disease and can prescribe preventive measures like antibacterial mouth rinses. Of course, if you see abnormalities, like white spots on your teeth or red, puffy or bleeding gums, contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner a problem can be addressed the less impact it may have on your orthodontic treatment and overall oral health.
If you would like more information on caring for teeth and gums while wearing braces, 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 “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”