Update Your Smile with Porcelain Veneers

If chips, stains, or gaps between teeth have diminished your smile’s beauty, consider porcelain veneers. Constructed from thin shells of dental porcelain, these restorations generate natural-looking results and enhance your appearance. In just two to three visits, your dentist can create a brand new smile.

With porcelain veneers, your dentist will erase flaws and give your confidence a boost. Porcelain veneers will look beautiful and withstand the rigors of daily life.

Porcelain veneers allow patients to:

  • Cover permanent stains
  • Eliminate gaps between teeth
  • Produce uniformity
  • Transform your image

To guarantee the best results, most dentists schedule a consultation appointment. At this time, your dentist will show you examples of different veneer styles to see what you like. Many patients bring pictures of smiles they admire to this visit. Your doctor will then evaluate your teeth, personality, and features to select the porcelain veneers that complement your style.

Depending on your case, the dentist may recommend either traditional or no-prep veneers. Traditional veneers are customized to fit your specific teeth. Your dentist will select restorations that fit with the size, color, and shape of your teeth. For traditional veneers, you will need two appointments.

During the initial visit, the dentist will prepare teeth for the veneers by removing a layer of enamel and then create impressions of your teeth. These models are sent to a high-quality dental lab, where a skilled ceramist will handcraft your custom veneers. Frequently, dentists place temporary veneers, which gives patients a preview of their new look. Once the lab sends for final restorations, you will schedule a return appointment for permanent placement.

No-prep veneers work a little differently. These contact-thin wafers can be applied to your teeth without any enamel removal, which means they can be removed at any time. Because they can look bulky or unnatural on certain patients , not everyone is a candidate for no-prep veneers.

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Understanding Risk Factors for Tooth Loss

It’s important to keep all your permanent teeth. Without a complete smile, you risk gum recession, dietary restrictions, and further tooth loss. By identifying common contributors to tooth loss, you can protect your teeth.

Certain factors can influence tooth loss, including:

Tooth decay
Developing cavities can weaken your teeth and make you susceptible to tooth loss, especially if you allow the decay to grow. When deep decay compromises the tooth, you may need a root canal, or worse, an extraction. If you suspect that you have a cavity, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease
The number one cause of tooth loss in American adults, gum disease often begins with mild symptoms such as swollen or bleeding gums. This early form of the disease is called gingivitis. Once gum disease progresses to periodontitis, gum recession, bone degeneration, and tooth loss may occur.

Lack of Dental Care
Seeing the dentist for twice yearly checkups allows the doctor to monitor your whole mouth and look for signs of trouble. Catching small problems, like cavities, before they escalate can help prevent tooth loss.

Poor Oral Hygiene
One step you can take to keep your teeth healthy is to take good care of them. Make brushing twice a day and flossing often a priority.

Certain Chronic Conditions
Individuals with medical issues such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may have a higher than average chance of developing gum disease, which can increase your odds of losing teeth.

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Tooth Extractions: An Overview

Though keeping your original teeth is a worthwhile pursuit, circumstances may make that impossible. If you dentist cannot save a severely compromised tooth, extraction may be the best course of action to revitalize your smile and oral health. Understanding the basics about extractions will arm you with the knowledge you need to make decisions about your oral health care.

When is an extraction necessary?
Sometimes, repairing a tooth isn’t possible. At a certain point, your dentist may not be able to fix cracked or broken teeth, as well as those with extensive decay. When periodontal disease damages surrounding bone tissue, extraction may also be necessary.

Why do dentists consider extractions a last resort?
In general, removing teeth isn’t ideal. Missing teeth can cause other problems such as alignment issues, uneven tooth wear, and possibly additional tooth loss. If your dentist decides to pull a tooth, you will want to discuss replacement options, including dental implants and bridgework, to complete your smile.

What about wisdom teeth?
Also called third molars, wisdom teeth usually come in during your late teens and early twenties. Because they often cause crowding or come in impacted, many people have their wisdom teeth removed. These teeth don’t really have a function and can be prone to decay because they are so far back in the mouth.

How is the recovery from an extraction?
After the extraction, you should follow your dentist’s instructions carefully. You may need to apply gauze to the area and be careful not to dislodge the blood clots that form as part of the healing process. At a certain point, your dentist may recommend special rinses to promote recovery.

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Tips for Periodontal Maintenance

Gum disease is a serious oral health concern that impacts approximately 80 percent of American adults. If you or a loved one has completed periodontal therapy, or treatment for gum disease, you need to continue to take good care of your gums at home. Without the right dental care regiment, gum disease can continue to progress, resulting in more oral tissue damage and additional expenses.

Follow these suggestions to maintain optimal oral health:

Be diligent about brushing and flossing
Most people understand the importance of brushing, but they don’t realize how critical it is to floss as well. Because your toothbrush can’t get between teeth, these areas are especially vulnerable to plaque and tartar, the main culprits in gum disease.

Keep scheduled appointments
After treatment, your dentist or hygienist may suggest more frequent visits to monitor your gums and give you the best chance for renewed oral health. Put these appointments on the calendar and make them a priority.

Make smart choices
When you look for toothpastes or toothbrushes, choose items with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal because these products meet strict guidelines for effectiveness and safety.

Talk with your dentist
Some patients experience tooth sensitivity after periodontal therapy, which can make you reluctant to brush and floss. Usually this sensation is temporary, but your dentist may be able to recommend specific products to combat this discomfort. Continuing to brush and floss will promote healing, so don’t stop your oral care routine.

Live a healthy lifestyle
Eating a balanced diet, curbing alcohol use, and cutting out tobacco products can help you enjoy a lifetime of fabulous smiles.

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