Improve My Smile
popular methods for improving your smile are:
Braces are a common
method of changing one's appearance. 20% of today's patients are adults.
They are usually placed by an orthodontist or a experienced general
dentist. Orthodontics is the dental field that involves the diagnosis,
prevention and treatment of problems caused by poorly positioned teeth.
When teeth are out of position they sometimes look unaesthetic but also
are more susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease and dental decay. A poor
bite can also stress your jaw joints (TMJs) and muscles and cause pain.
There are different types of treatments to correct the position of
teeth. There are fixed and removable appliances. These appliances gently
move the teeth and bone until they are in a desirable position. The most
common type of fixed appliance is 'braces'. The braces consist of a
bracket, made out of plastic, metal or ceramics, and an arch wire which
connects them. The teeth are moved by adjusting the pressures on the teeth
by the archwire. Sometimes, springs or rubber bands are used to help.
These braces are tightened periodically and some discomfort is felt at
that time. In certain instances the brackets can be placed on the lingual
or inside surface of the teeth so they are less visible or almost
invisible thin trays can be used (Invisalign).
Call us today to
see if this may benefit you!
The length of time it takes to
move the teeth to the desired location varies from person to person. The
average is from 18 months to 30 months for children and may be longer for
adults. The time depends on the difficulty of the case, the amount of room
available, the distance the teeth must travel, the cooperativity of the
patient and the bone and the age of the patient. In some adults braces
can't correct the problem and a jaw surgery is necessary. After the braces
come off a removable retainer is used to keep the teeth from moving back
to their original positions. This retainer must be used. Sometimes it is
still used years after the braces come off.
Bonding is the term
used when a dentist 'bonds' a tooth colored resin onto the tooth to repair
a fractured, worn or chipped tooth, cover up a discoloration on a tooth,
or close a small space or gap between two teeth. The dentist lightly
prepares the tooth to receive the material and etches the surface so the
material has more surface area to bond to. He coats the tooth with a
bonding liquid and then shines a light on the tooth to set it. He then
places the putty like material on the tooth and shapes it to the desires
shape and then shines a light on the tooth again to harden the material.
After it is set he trims and polishes the resin to a luster. This can be
performed in one or more appointments depending on the number of teeth
Bonding usually lasts from 3 to 5 years and before
needing to be repaired. Because the material is a plastic resin it is not
as strong as your natural teeth and can be chipped or broken, if not
careful. The material is also porous and eventually will pick up stains.
The bonded surface will wear and get duller in appearance after a while
unless special toothpastes are used. Proper home care and professional
cleanings will keep your restored teeth healthy. Bonding not only restores
your tooth but also helps to improve your appearance and self-confidence.
People are sometimes hesitant to smile because of the way their front
teeth look, after bonding they can smile freely again.
A popular method for
treating moderately stained or discolored teeth is bleaching. These stains
often can not be removed with regular professional cleanings. The most
popular method of bleaching is the at-home method. There are a few good
products out on the market that are dispensed by dentists. I do not
suggest to use the off the shelf variety. They can cause more harm than
Now we can lighten your teeth 7-10 shades in about an hour.
Come visit the office and learn how your teeth can be the whitest they can
be. ZOOM!! bleaching takes about an hour and a half total chairtime. Your
mouth is prepared so as not to injure any other areas while bleaching.
Three 20-minute sessions of bleaching are done and then your teeth are re
fluoridated to remove any sensitivity that may occur. Everyone, so far,
has been delighted with the results.
If you think you can't handle
the hour and a half there is always the 7-10 day method. First, the
dentist makes a mold of your teeth and makes a custom mouthtray. The
mouthtray will hold the bleaching material against the tooth surface
without concentrating the agent on the gum tissue. If the material
contacts the gum tissue to long the gum tissue can be irritated or even
burned. The tray is worn 1/2 hour to 2 hours per day and a noticible
improvement usually takes place within 2 weeks. Some bleaching agents say
you can wear them all night but your teeth may get very sensitive after
doing this. You may continue using the product until you reach your
desired whiteness. Sometimes you can not achieve the desired whiteness and
will have to settle for something less. The dentist may have you come in
periodically to check the progress and the reaction to the gum tissue, if
any. After you have lightened your teeth, you may need to periodically
(once every couple of months) bleach them for a session to keep the
Veneers or Porcelain
Laminate Veneers are the strongest way to repair a broken portion of your
tooth. They are used to correct the same things as bonding does. They can
cover up discoloration, repair a damaged tooth or change the shape or size
of your teeth. They are much stronger than bonding. They will not pick up
stain like bonding does. They will retain their luster, unlike bonding.
They will usually last 4 or more years. This is a two appointment
procedure. The first appointment is the preparation phase. A small amount
of enamel is removed off the front of the tooth and an impression is made.
The impression is sent to the lab and the lab makes a front of the tooth,
much like a false fingernail, out of porcelain. The dentist tries in,
bonds, trims and polishes the veneers at the next appointment. The seating
is usually a time consuming appointment and can last for hours. But
usually quite worth the wait. Compared to crowns, veneers are a more
conservative method for restoring a moderately fractured
Veneering not only restores your teeth but also helps to
improve your appearance and self-confidence. People are sometimes hesitant
to smile because of the way their front teeth look, after veneering you
can smile freely again. See photos in the Smile Gallery.