Posts for: March, 2018
If you're ready to put the "pizzazz" back into your smile, your dentist may be able to help. It's possible your dull, dingy smile could be transformed with teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening or bleaching is a technique that applies a solution with a bleaching agent (usually up to 35% hydrogen peroxide in an office setting) to the teeth to whiten them. Although there are Do-It-Yourself home whitening kits you can use, there are a few good reasons why you should first consider a whitening procedure in a dental office setting.
To begin with, you should first have your teeth examined by a dentist to determine why they're discolored. Certain foods and beverages we consume or tobacco habits are the usual culprits causing stains on the enamel, the outermost tooth layer. These are the kinds of stains targeted by most whitening solutions.
But the interior of a tooth can also become discolored for reasons like trauma, past dental work or tetracycline use at an early age. If your staining is internal (intrinsic) rather than external (extrinsic) reducing that discoloration will require an invasive procedure only a dentist can perform—a home kit won't be able to do the job.
Another reason for having your teeth whitened by your dentist (even extrinsic staining) involves your time and the degree of brightness you'd like. Because dentists use stronger bleaching solutions (home kits usually use a weaker solution of 10% carbamide peroxide) it takes fewer sessions than home kits to achieve results—and they may last longer. In addition, dentists have more control over the level of brightness to match your expectations of a more subdued, natural look or a dazzling "Hollywood" smile.
A dentist can also help you navigate special circumstances like matching and managing natural teeth whiteness with dental restorations (which don't bleach) or special whitening situations like a single discolored tooth.
Even if you eventually decide to go the home kit route, consulting with a dentist first can still prove helpful. You'll get expert advice on products, tips on how to apply them and how to prolong the whitening effect. Whichever way you go, home kit or dentist, you can gain a brighter, more confident smile with teeth whitening.
If you would like more information on teeth whitening, 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 “Important Teeth Whitening Questions…Answered!”
Dental crowns are protective caps that strengthen and restore weak or damaged teeth. They can also be used to cover and protect teeth that have been chipped or cracked. In the past, several dental appointments were needed to produce and install dental crowns. Today, a new technology called CEREC makes getting crowns a snap. CEREC is a computerized tool for creating crowns and other restorative dental work directly in the office in a single visit. Dr. Casey Hart is your Marietta, GA, dentist for CEREC technology and installation of dental crowns.
What is CEREC?
CEREC is an exciting new technology for creating restorative dental work quickly. CEREC stands for CERamic REConstruction, or Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. It is a computerized machine that uses digital imaging technology to create ceramic restorations, such as dental crowns, that perfectly match your tooth color and shape. The entire process takes just a few hours and can be completed in a single visit to your Marietta dentist. With CEREC, you can have your dental crown made and installed all on the same day.
Advantages of CEREC
CEREC offers some major advantages in the field of restorative dental work. One major advantage is how quickly CEREC works. Creating crowns, inlays, onlays, and other restorative dental work used to require multiple office visits. An impression would first be made of the teeth, then sent off to a lab for creation of the dental work. Patients had to wait for the dental work to be sent from the lab to the dentist’s office before it could be installed. Now, crowns and other restorative dental work can be made and installed during a single office visit.
Another advantage of CEREC is its use of digital imaging technology. There is no need to make a physical impression of the problem tooth or teeth. In the past, impressions were made using a messy substance that had to remain in the mouth until it began hardening and was firm enough to remove without ruining the impression. Making these impressions could be physically uncomfortable for many patients, even producing a gagging sensation. CEREC eliminates that problem by creating digital impressions using 3D photography and CAD/CAM technology.
CEREC makes getting crowns and other restorative dental work a snap. There is no need for multiple office visits. You can have your new dental crown created and installed in a single day. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hart, your CEREC dentist in Marietta, GA, call the office at (770) 926-8371.
A recent episode of “America’s Got Talent” featured an engaging 93-year-old strongman called The Mighty Atom Jr. The mature muscleman’s stunt: moving a full-sized car (laden with his octogenarian “kid brother,” his brother’s wife, plus Atom’s “lady friend”) using just his teeth. Grinning for host Howie Mandel, Atom proudly told the TV audience that his teeth were all his own; then he grasped a leather strap in his mouth, and successfully pulled the car from a standstill.
We’re pleased to see that the Atom has kept his natural teeth in good shape: He must have found time for brushing and flossing in between stunts. Needless to say, his “talent” isn’t one we’d recommend trying at home. But aside from pulling vehicles, teeth can also be chipped or fractured by more mundane (yet still risky) activities — playing sports, nibbling on pencils, or biting too hard on ice. What can you do if that happens to your teeth?
Fortunately, we have a number of ways to repair cracked or chipped teeth. One of the easiest and fastest is cosmetic bonding with tooth-colored resins. Bonding can be used to fill in small chips, cracks and discolorations in the teeth. The bonding material is a high-tech mixture of plastic and glass components that’s extremely lifelike, and can last for several years. Plus, it’s a procedure that can be done right in the office, with minimal preparation or discomfort. However, it may not be suitable for larger chips, and it isn’t the longest-lasting type of restoration.
When more of the tooth structure is missing, a crown (or cap) might be needed to restore the tooth’s appearance and function. This involves creating a replacement for the entire visible part of the tooth in a dental lab — or in some cases, right in the office. It typically involves making a model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors, then fabricating a replica, which will fit perfectly into the bite. Finally, the replacement crown is permanently cemented to the damaged tooth. A crown replacement can last for many years if the tooth’s roots are in good shape. But what if the roots have been dislodged?
In some cases it’s possible to re-implant a tooth that has been knocked out — especially if it has been carefully preserved, and receives immediate professional attention. But if a tooth can’t be saved (due to a deeply fractured root, for example) a dental implant offers today’s best option for tooth replacement. This procedure has a success rate of over 95 percent, and gives you a natural looking replacement tooth that can last for the rest of your life.
So what have we learned? If you take care of your teeth, like strongman Atom, they can last a long time — but if you need to move your car, go get the keys.
If you would like more information about tooth restoration, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”