"Physical ills are the taxes laid upon this wretched life; some are taxed higher, and some lower, but all pay something."
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.
Your teeth are by far one of the most important things you use every day. Many people end up neglecting their teeth with improper oral hygiene. You should take care of them by brushing at least twice a day, flossing once per day, and going for regular dental checkups at least twice per year.
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.
Teeth enamel discoloration can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Some of the more common causes of teeth discoloration are medications, coffee, tea or cigarettes. People who drink significant amounts of cola soft drinks can experience similar staining.
While no alternative to veneers will create the exact same effect, there are some popular procedures that may seem worthwhile. Crowns, while more expensive, also act to cover the tooth with a protective coating. For individuals who simply want to brighten their teeth, many clinics now offer tooth bleaching, though this is a much less permanent procedure.
Tooth crown procedure
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 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.
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 need for teeth whitening
Teeth whitening can be accomplished many different ways. Considered a cosmetic procedure, teeth whitening has become very popular in recent years with the development of various methods that range from drugstore products to dental visits.
While there is no medical need to whiten teeth, it is a procedure that can have a big impact on a person's self-esteem. Severely yellowed or discolored teeth can make a person self-conscious and reluctant to smile.
Some types of tooth discoloration are difficult to whiten and treat. Teeth that have been subjected to trauma may darken significantly, and resist any bleaching procedure. Some medications affect young children when their teeth are first forming and may also be nearly impossible to treat. Dentists will be able to tell what situations may result in bleach-resistant discoloration, and provide advice on how effective various treatments may be. In cases of extreme discoloration that cannot be subjected to common teeth whitening procedures, porcelainveneers applied to the teeth may be an alternative solution.
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.
The dental bonding procedure utilizes a composite resin and is used for a variety of structural as well as cosmetic purposes. One can draw a parallel between dental bonding materials and a sculptor's clay. By using dental composite resin bonding your dentist can restore chipped or broken teeth, fill in gaps and reshape or recolor your smile.
Bonding is a composite resin filling placed in the back teeth as well as the front teeth. Composites are the solution for restoring decayed teeth, making cosmetic improvements and even changing the color of your teeth or the reshaping of teeth. Bonding will lighten any stains you may have, close up minor gaps and can be used to correct crooked teeth.
Basically, bonding will cover any natural flaws applying a thin coating of a plastic material on the front surface of your teeth. After this, your cosmetic dentist will apply a bonding material and sculpt, color and shape it to provide a pleasing result. A high-intensity light then hardens the plastic, and the surface is finely polished.
Dental implants as tooth replacement
Dental implants are fixtures of titanium which are surgically screwed into your jaw bone. The implant is an anchor for a naturally-appearing false tooth or a set of false teeth. The success rate of dental implants depends on where the implants are placed and their purpose. They are typically best placed in the front portion of your lower jaw.
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.
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).
You maybe candidate for dental bridges, if you have missing teeth and have good oral hygiene practices, you should discuss this procedure with your cosmetic dentist. If spaces are left unfilled, they may cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position. Additionally, spaces from missing teeth can cause your other teeth and your gums to become far more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
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.
Colored tooth fillings
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.
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.
If over half of your molar tooth's biting surface is decayed an inlay or onlay may be a better option than a filling. These options are basically for when more than a filling is needed but less than a crown will do. An inlay is placed in between the cusps of the tooth, whereas an only will cover one or more of the cusps. They can be made of a gold alloy, porcelain or tooth-colored resin and are cemented into place.
Teeth contouring and reshaping
For individuals who have chipped, cracked or irregularly shaped teeth, dental contouring and reshaping can be just the ticket for a more beautiful smile.
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.
Dental reshaping and contouring is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth or even overlapping teeth in just one session. This procedure is even a substitute for braces under certain circumstances. This is also a procedure of subtle changes. A few millimeters of reduction and a few millimeters of tooth-colored 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.
Dentures, also known as false teeth, are the primary topic in this section of our site. Here, you can learn how the procedure is performed, what dentures cost and the advantages and disadvantages of having them.
This procedure should be thoroughly discussed with your dentist as there are several personal and medical factors to take into consideration. You may instead be a candidate for dental bridges and dental implants as optional procedures.
The setting up dentures procedure begins with a wax bite impression of your mouth that will give your dentist exacting measurements. A try-on appointment will fine tunes color, shape, and custom-fit. After your final dentures are fabricated, they will be placed and informed of their required care.
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