Most people know that the teeth are the hardest and strongest part of the body. There's more than meets the eye, though. Teeth are actually a living part of your body that has blood vessels and nerves. If you used to judge your teeth like a book by its cover, then you're in for one big surprise. Teeth anatomy is a lot more complicated than you ever thought.
Excellent crowns and bridges were made by the Etruscans in the 7th cent. B.C. At about that time, teeth were being extracted in Asia Minor as a cure for bodily ills and diseases. Skills achieved by the Etruscans, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were largely lost during the Middle Ages, when barbers and roving bands of charlatans practiced unskilled dentistry at marketplaces and fairs. Abulcasis, a Spanish Moor, was one of the few in his time who studied dental surgery.
New developments include the implantation of artificial teeth or binding posts into the gums or jawbone; antibiotic fiber for periodontal disease; root canal surgery, a procedure that ameliorates pain while permitting teeth to remain in place; and nearly painless lasers to repair dental cavities, usually making local anesthesia unnecessary.
If you have a small dental bridge or partial dentures (removable type), implants will be a welcome alternative. Implants are an alternative to a fixed bridge. The implant will last a lifetime, but the crown on top of it will last ten to fifteen years.
When missing one tooth, your cosmetic dentist may use a Flipper to fill the space. A Flipper is a false tooth to temporarily take the place of a missing tooth before the permanent crown is placed on the implant. A Flipper can be attached via either a wire or a plastic piece that fits in the roof of your mouth. Flippers are meant to be a temporary solution while awaiting the permanent crown to be placed on your implant(s).
If you're missing one tooth or all of your teeth, implants may well be for you. So long as you have enough bone in the area of the missing tooth to facilitate the anchorage of the implants, this procedure can yield terrific results. If you don't have enough bone for this purpose, a bone graft may be necessary. A procedure of building up the bone is known as Bone Grafting. Bone grafting is common with dental implants. The bone that is used is one of three types. The preferred bone to use is taken from other areas of your mouth or collected in a suction device as the drilling of the sites for dental implants occurs. Sometimes bone is taken from areas such as a hip (this requires an orthopedic surgeon and an operating room). The third source for needed bone is a synthetic type. This is the least preferred type of bone to be used for this procedure.
If you a space from a missing tooth, a bridge will be custom made to fill in the space with a false tooth. The false tooth is attached by the bridge to the two other teeth around the space - bridging them together.
Your cosmetic dentist will prepare your teeth on either side of the space for the false tooth. You will be given a mild anesthetic to numb the area, and the cosmetic dentist will remove the an area of each abutment (teeth on either side of the space) to accommodate for the thickness of the crown. When these teeth already have fillings, part of the filling may be left in place to help as a foundation for the crown.
The dentist will then make an impression, which will serve as the model from which the bridge, false tooth and crowns will be made by a dental laboratory. A temporary bridge will be placed for you to wear while your bridge is being made until your next visit. This temporary bridge will serve to protect your teeth and gums.
Teeth contouring and reshaping
The dental contouring procedure can even be a substitute for braces under certain circumstances. It is also a procedure of subtle changes. A few millimeters of reduction and a few millimeters of tooth-colored laminate can create a beautiful smile when performed by a cosmetic dentist, with no discomfort to you. Tooth reshaping, or dental contouring, is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of your teeth.
You maybe candidate for tooth contouring and reshaping, if you want your teeth to appear less crowded, lack chips and fractures, have decreased overlaps or to be without pits or grooves in the enamel, this procedure should be discussed with your cosmetic dentist.
With a little dental contouring, you can make a huge difference in the way you feel about your smile. Good cosmetic dentistry can give you a smile that is the envy of others. Tooth contouring by a cosmetic dentist does require that you have normal, healthy teeth.
The cosmetic dentist will mark your teeth with a pencil prior to performing the procedure. This helps the cosmetic dentist in their sculpting process. As your cosmetic dentist sculpts the tooth, imperfections are artfully eliminating or minimized. A sanding drill or laser may be used to remove small amounts of surface enamel gradually. Abrasive strips are then moved back and forth between your teeth to shape the actual sides of your teeth. Then the teeth are smoothed and polished. Usually anesthetic is not needed. Teeth contouring and reshaping usually takes one to three visits.
Grinding your teeth, an improper bite, age, fillings and tooth decay can all be contributing factors in the wearing down, cracking or breakage of your teeth. Dental crowns cover the entire visible surface of your affected tooth and add strength, durability and tooth stability.
Your cosmetic dentist will usually be able to spot problem areas in your mouth that might lead to tooth damage and a need for crowns. Chewing patterns play a big role as well. By selectively grinding the tips of your middle and back teeth (called cusps) will alter your bite to reduce the stress on at-risk teeth.
In some cases your cosmetic dentist may choose to use a Flipper instead of a temporary crown. A Flipper is a false tooth to temporarily take the place of a missing tooth before the permanent crown is placed. A Flipper can be attached via either a wire or a plastic piece that fits in the roof of your mouth. Flippers are meant to be a temporary solution while awaiting the permanent crown.
There are basically three types of crowns, those made of gold, ceramic crowns and ceramic-veneered gold crowns. Gold and metal-ceramic crowns are extremely durable and are normally used in molars, where the forces from chewing and grinding are most prevalent. Ceramic crowns are used primarily for front teeth, since they can best resemble the natural tooth color.
Teeth straightening is accomplished with a number of different procedures and is usually done on children and adolescents when their permanent teeth begin growing in. Crooked teeth, crowded teeth, and even overbites and underbites can be treated with various teeth straightening techniques. While considered a cosmetic procedure, some people require teeth straightening in order for their teeth to be aligned in such a way that chewing is possible. Severe overbites and underbites can result in serious consequences over time, and even overly crowded teeth can mean health problems for the mouth.
Lingual braces are similar to classic orthodontic braces but are attached to the backside of the teeth, rather than the front. Although they still have many of the problems of standard braces, they are not visible and may be chosen by adults who do not wish for visible braces. Lingual braces are more expensive than standard braces but the fastest method of "invisible" teeth straightening.
The most common method of teeth straightening remains standard orthodontic braces. Archwires, springs, and rubberbands apply pressure to the individual teeth by means of brackets that are glued onto their surface. Regular visits are required to the orthodontist in order to tighten wires as needed and make other adjustments. At each visit, the wires will be tightened slightly to renew pressure and push them toward their intended position. Additional wires, rubberbands, and headgear may be prescribed to help move the teeth into their ideal position as quickly as possible. When the teeth have all been repositioned, the brackets will be removed and a retainer must be worn to prevent relapse for some period of time.
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