My old fillings in the front have turned dark, can they be bleached?
Unfortunately, dental bondings, composite resin fillings (tooth colored fillings) and old crowns cannot be bleached. Fillings that have discolored indicate that they are either leaking or have secondary decay, so it is best to replace them. A better choice may be to replace them with porcelain laminate/veneers for longer lasting results. Remember; only replace these fillings after bleaching in order to match the new improved color of your teeth.
“How long does bleaching or laser teeth whitening really last?” It depends on many factors including your diet, the original color of your teeth, and your personal habits like smoking, drinking red wine, etc. Also darker teeth will need more than one whitening session to achieve the desired result. What’s most important is what you do for maintenance.
Professional office visits are not enough. You must incorporate an effective maintenance regimen at home such as using whitening toothpaste which is specifically designed to non-abrasively remove surface stains like coffee, tea, tobacco and red wine, as well as remove plaque and bacteria. Also use the touch up kit given by your dentist to keep bleached teeth at their whitest.
I have one dark tooth in the front. Will regular at-home bleaching makes it lighter?
First of all, the cause of the dark tooth must be determined. It could be due to an earlier trauma to the tooth or previous root canal treatment. In such a case external teeth whitening treatments may not help. Your dentist may try internal bleaching which may take several sessions. If not, consider dental bonding, porcelain veneers, or capping the tooth to mask the darkness.
Will my teeth be sensitive following Bleaching?
Teeth may be sensitive during the week following the in–office bleaching. This can be dramatically reduced by using Sensodyne toothpaste to brush your teeth the week prior to and the week following the bleaching process. Also, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatment following the bleaching process.
What’s the difference between dental bonding and porcelain veneers?
Dental bonding is a plastic tooth colored (composite) resin material that is molded onto your teeth and hardened with a blue light. It is usually done in one visit. Little tooth reduction and usually no anesthesia is required.
The disadvantages of dental bonding are:
- They stain over time, may chip and may need to be replaced more often.
- Porcelain veneers are thin layers of stacked porcelain that are fabricated in the lab and bonded to teeth.
- It usually takes 2 visits. Little tooth reduction and some anesthesia are required.
- Porcelain veneers are stronger than dental bondings and less prone to staining.
I have a space between my two front teeth. How can it be closed?
There are several ways to correct it. Your Dentist may advice Dental Bondings, Veneers or Orthodontics. Again, seek the advice of your dental health professional to choose the procedure that’s best for you.
If I require fillings, what type should I get?
In the past, Silver or amalgam fillings were extensively used. They are not tooth colored, stain teeth over time and healthier tooth structure may have to be removed to retain them since they do not bond to your teeth. Also, since they are a alloy of silver with mercury, there is a risk of mercury poisoning. Now, depending on the extent of decay and amount of tooth structure that is lost, your dentist may advice composite (tooth colored fillings) or porcelain inlays or onlays. Since tooth colored fillings bond to your teeth, there is no need for removal of healthy tooth structure.
I have a “gummy” smile… can anything be done?
With the advent of laser dentistry, this can be done very easily and painlessly in most cases. Tissue sculpting (gingivectomy) is done in adjunct to any required cosmetic work to achieve beautiful, healthy smile.
What is tooth decay (caries or cavities)?
Tooth decay is the disease known as caries or cavities — a highly Preventable disease caused by many factors.
Who is at risk for tooth decay?
The answer is… everyone who has a mouth. We all host bacteria in our mouths which make everyone a potential target for cavities. Risk factors that put a person at a higher risk for tooth decay include:
- Persons with diets high in sweets, carbohydrates, and sugars.
- Persons who live in communities with limited or no fluoridated water supplies.
- Children and senior citizens.
Why should I spend a lot of money on a root canal? Why not just pull the tooth?
Losing a tooth can be the beginning of many more lost teeth. Saving the Tooth maintains space, keeps other teeth from shifting, and eliminates the need and cost of a bridge or implant. Although seemingly expensive, it is actually quite cost effective.
What are dental implants?
Dental Implants are made of titanium and placed directly into your jawbone surgically. Once they integrate with your bone, a crown, bridge or denture is placed over the implants.
Orthodontics / Braces
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the dental specialty that focuses on the development, prevention, and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite, and jaws. A patient may consult an orthodontist after receiving a referral from his/her general dentist — recommending orthodontic treatment to improve the patient’s physical “orofacial” appearance. However, the American Dental Association recommends that every child receive an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven.
Why choose orthodontic treatment?
Any orthodontic problem may be classified as a malocclusion, or “bad bite.” The following problems may be helped or minimized with proper orthodontic treatment: misaligned, crooked, or crowed teeth, missing teeth, extra teeth, an overbite, an openbite and misaligned or incorrect jaw position.
At what age do braces become appropriate?
Moving and correcting the alignment of the teeth follows the same biological and physical process no matter what the age. However, an adult mouth must overcome already-positioned facial bones and jaw structure. Thus, overcoming most types of malocclusions may require more than one type of orthodontic treatment for adults. In most cases, the ideal age for braces, and other orthodontic treatments, are between 10 and 14 years of age; although, persons of any age can benefit from treatment.
What are the different types of braces available?
Braces, also called fixed orthodontic appliances, generally come in three varieties:
- Brackets, metal or plastic, clear or tooth-colored, that is bonded to teeth.
- Lingual-type brackets that attach to the back of teeth, hidden from view.
- Bands that cover most of the teeth with metal bands that wrap around the teeth.
All three types use wires to move the teeth to the desired position.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is proven technology designed to give you the smile you’ve always wanted, without the pain and anxiety associated with metal braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move your teeth. You wear a set of aligners for about two weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush and floss. As you replace each set of aligners with the next in the series, your teeth will gradually move until they reach the position your doctor has prescribed for you. The average treatment time is about a year. Contact your Orthodontist to find out if Invisalign is an option for you.
Oral health care and braces:
The following recommendations will help to eliminate, or reduce, any oral health problems while your teeth are in braces: Brush your teeth carefully after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, as food becomes easily lodged in the braces. Floss daily between the teeth and the braces. Maintain every 6 month cleanings by an oral health professional. Limit your sugar and starch intake, as debris left behind from these types of foods may turn into damaging acids, which, in addition to promoting plaque formation, may also be harmful to teeth and gums. Avoid hard and/or sticky snacks that may be difficult to remove from the orthodontic equipment in your mouth. This includes foods such as popcorn, hard or chew candy, caramel, and/or nuts.
What are wisdom teeth?
Also called third molars, wisdom teeth usually make their first appearance in young adults between the ages of 15 to 25. Because most mouths are too small for these four additional molars, an extraction procedure, sometimes immediately after they surface, is often necessary.
When should wisdom teeth be removed?
The following symptoms may indicate that the wisdom teeth have erupted and surfaced, and should be removed before they become impacted — meaning, the teeth have surfaced and have no room in the mouth to grow. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.
Symptoms may include:
pain infection in the mouth, facial swelling, swelling of the gum line in the back of the mouth. Most oral health specialists will recommend an immediate removal of the wisdom teeth, as early removal will help to eliminate problems, such as an impacted tooth that destroys the second molar.
What problems are often associated with impacted third molars?
- Bacteria and plaque build-up.
- Cysts development (a fluid-filled sac).
- Tumor development.
- Jaw and gum disease.
What is involved in the extraction procedure?
Wisdom tooth extraction surgery involves removing the gum tissue that presides over the tooth, gently detaching the connective tissue between the tooth and the bone, removing the tooth, and suturing the opening in the gum line.
What is a Dry Socket?
Dry Socket is the most common complication of extraction. (removing a tooth) Most commonly associated with wisdom teeth extractions & lower molar extraction. Dry Socket is one in which the patient is having pain due to the loss of the blood clot from the socket following extraction, thus exposing the bone to air, food, and fluids. Patient experiences excruciating pain along with an offensive odor. This often occurs two or more days after an extraction and can last about 5-6 days.
This condition occurs most commonly:
- In individuals who smoke before their recommended time. Smoking: decreases healing, decrease blood supply to the protective blood clot, brings toxic products to the area, injuries the gum tissue and the negative pressure of sucking removes the blood clot from the surgery site.
- If you do not care for your extraction site as instructed by staff.
- Not following your home care instructions.
- Sucking action from smoking, sneezing, coughing, spitting or sucking, within the first 24 hours.
- Women taking oral contraceptives are more susceptible.