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.
The visible part of a tooth, otherwise known as the crown, is only a small portion of the living system. The crown is made up of enamel, the hardest substance found within the body. It is bone that has been enriched with large percentages of calcium. That's why people who drink lots of milk or take calcium supplements have strong bones and teeth. The enamel is thickest at the crown, and thinnest near the roots of the teeth.
Throughout your life you end up having 2 completely different sets of teeth. The initial set is the baby teeth (deciduous teeth) that eventually fall out. They are whiter, softer, and less sturdy than adult teeth. Hence, they tend to wear out much faster than permanent teeth, but they also fall out to make room for them. Making sure that there's enough space in the vacancy caused by a lost baby tooth is important for healthy adult teeth.
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.
Implants are surgically placed in your jaw bone while under anesthesia. It is a very time consuming procedure when having many implants placed. As this procedure is surgical, it is very important to research and find a well credited cosmetic dentist that you are comfortable with. For some people there are varying degrees discomfort or pain, which subsides in a couple of days. As with similar types of surgery, bruising and minor swelling might also develop shortly after the procedure.
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.
At some point or other in ours lives, most of us wind up with a cavity. In most cases, a cavity calls for your dentist to remove the decay and to fill in the tooth area that was removed. There have been a number of advances in the field over the past few years, so if you're one of the lucky ones and haven't had a cavity in a while, you should read up on what is available today so that you understand the choices available to you.
Your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area. The dentist then prepares an access to the decayed area of the tooth and removes the decayed portions. This is accomplished with traditional drills, micro air abrasion or even with a dental laser. With a composite filling, your dentist will preserve more of the natural tooth as the composite resin can be bonded to the tooth in thin layers. If your tooth's decayed area is close to a nerve, a special liner will be used to protect the nerve.
Composite resin fillings are applied in thin layers, and slowly built up to form the complete filling. A bright dental light will harden each layer before the next is applied. Once your filling is completed, your dentist will use a special paper, articulating paper, to adjust the height of your dental filling and that your bite remains correct. Your tooth is then polished.
This section of our cosmetic dentistry information site provides you with some background into dental veneers, both composite veneers and porcelainveneers. Dental veneers, sometimes called tooth veneers, can be used to correct both color and shape problems.
There are several corrections that you can make to the color of your teeth as well as the shape of your teeth! Some of the causes of tooth discoloration are staining, aging, chemical damage, disease, medication, and genetics. Dental Veneers (Tooth Veneers) are used to correct both the color and the shape of teeth.
Veneers provide a durable solution to the color and shape problems that are common to so many people. Veneers are applied to fronts or visible areas of the teeth. The enamel (outside layer of the tooth) is ground down or reduced by just fractions of a milimeter in order to allow for the thin (contact lense thickness) veneer to be permanently attached to the tooth.
Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelainveneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size or length and resulting in an improved appearance.
Tooth reshaping, or contouring, is one of few instant treatments now available in cosmetic dentistry. Dental reshaping and contouring is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth or even overlapping teeth in just one session.
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.
Tooth reshaping, or tooth sculpting, is a safe and conservative way to improve your smile. Teeth may become weaker if large amounts of enamel are removed, tooth reshaping should be limited to minor changes or combined with veneers or bonding for the best smile.
As we age, many of us find ourselves with teeth that are no longer structurally sound. Root canals, lost fillings, decay below a filling, chipping and cracking of the enamel are all things that can lead to large scale defects in a tooth's surface. When the entire surface of the tooth is a problem, but the root system is intact, a crown might be just what the dentist orders.
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 make an impression of the tooth and a dental laboratory will create the crown. You will typically leave the office with a temporary crown to wear while the permanent crown is being made - this takes about two weeks. The permanent crown is then cemented onto your tooth. Typically, only two visits are required for this part of the procedure. Often, a preliminary restoration of your tooth may be needed before a crown can be placed. To stabilize your tooth, a filling must first be put in place prior to placing a crown due to the loss of original tooth structure. Tooth crowns usually last ten to fifteen years.
The classic metal orthodontic braces are the most familiar method of teeth straightening. Consisting of a bracket glued to the front of each tooth and a metal wire connecting them, orthodontic braces usually require several years of wear for effective teeth straightening. They can be uncomfortable, expensive, and embarrassing for older patients. However, they are still the most effective method of teeth straightening and can correct overbites and underbites as well as individual teeth alignment.
Invisalign is one of the newest methods of teeth straightening and is extremely popular with adults. Consisting of a clear mold that is nearly invisible when worn, Invisalign uses a series of molds that gradually push the teeth into the desired shape. Invisalign does not cost significantly more than standard orthodontic braces, but cannot correct an overbite or underbite and is only a good choice for minor straightening. Invisalign is not as effective on major problems, which may require standard braces.
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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