Posts for: April, 2018
Porcelain veneers are a great way to enhance an unattractive smile. But are they appropriate for teenagers? The answer usually depends on a patient’s current development stage and the type of veneer used.
Veneers are thin layers of porcelain bonded to the front of teeth. But even though quite thin, they can appear bulky if we don’t first remove some of the tooth’s enamel surface. This is irreversible, so the tooth may require a restoration from then on.
This could be a major issue for teens whose permanent teeth are still developing. During this period the tooth’s central pulp is relatively large and the dentin layer not fully developed. As a result, the pulp’s nerves are often closer to the surface than in an adult tooth. This increases risk of nerve damage during veneer preparation; if nerve damage occurs, the tooth could ultimately require a root canal treatment to save it.
On the other hand, some types of veneers don’t require tooth alteration (or only very little) beforehand. These “no-prep” or “minimal prep” veneers are best for certain situations like abnormally small teeth, so we must first determine if using such a veneer would be appropriate for your teen.
In effect, we’ll need to weigh these and other factors before determining if veneers are a safe choice for your teen. That being the case, it may be more advisable to consider more conservative cosmetic techniques first. For example, if enamel staining is the main issue, you could consider teeth whitening. Although the often amazing results eventually fade, whitening could still buy some time until the teeth have matured to safely apply veneers.
Slight deformities like chipping can often be corrected by bonding tooth-colored composite material to the tooth. In artistic hands it’s even possible to create a full veneer effect with very little if any tooth preparation. How much we can apply, though, depends on tooth size, and it won’t be as durable as a porcelain veneer.
With that said, veneers could be the right solution to enhance your teen’s smile. But, we’ll need to carefully consider their dental situation to ensure their new smile remains a healthy one.
Your Sacramento and Folsom, CA dentists want to make sure you're taking proper care of your oral health. Having good hygienic habits will help. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
What involves proper oral hygiene?
It goes without saying that you need to brush and floss, but not everyone knows how to do it properly.
- Make sure you brush at least twice a day
- Angle the brush at a 40-degree angle
- Floss between every tooth
- Floss between the gums and each tooth
- Floss once before bed
The downside of poor dental habits:
You are susceptible to cavities if you poor oral and dental hygiene.
So, brushing and flossing properly is extremely important. Cavities occur when plaque accumulates. Plaque contains acid-producing bacteria that breaks down enamel, the protective layer covering your teeth. This exposes the sensitive layers of the tooth and gives way to bacteria infecting your tooth's pulp.
Damaged teeth, like cracks and chips, which may occur when you are playing sports or during other activities, may damage enamel and expose the tooth's pulp
What are dental procedures your Sacramento and Folsom dentist provides?
If you end up with a cavity or something more serious, you may need to consider some of these procedures:
- Dental Implants: They replace missing teeth and reinforce the jawbone.
- Crowns: They add support for severely deteriorated teeth and hides unsightly teeth, like yellow stains.
- Root Canal Therapy: Your doctor removes the pulp, disinfects the canal and seals it.
- Teeth Whitening: Stained teeth are whitened with the use of a special gel during an in-office procedure or with the use of take-home kits.
If you have any questions on how to improve your dental and oral hygiene, be sure to contact your Sacramento and Folsom, CA, dentist.
Not long ago the dental bridge was the alternative treatment of choice to partial dentures for restoring lost teeth. Over the last few decades, however, dental implants have nudged bridgework out of this premier spot.
That doesn’t mean, though, that bridgework has gone the way of the horse and buggy. In fact, it may still be a solid restorative alternative to partial dentures for certain people.
A traditional bridge consists of a series of porcelain crowns affixed to each other like pickets in a fence. The end crowns are fitted onto the teeth on either side of the empty tooth space; known as abutment teeth, they support the bridge. The crowns in the middle, known as pontics (from the French for “bridge”), replace the teeth that have been lost.
Bridges have been an effective and cosmetically pleasing method for tooth replacement for nearly a century. To achieve those results, though, a good portion of the abutment teeth’s structure must be removed to accommodate the crowns. This permanently alters these teeth, so they’ll require a restoration from that point on.
Dental implants, on the other hand, can be installed in the missing space without impacting any neighboring teeth. What’s more, implants provide greater support to the underlying bone than can be achieved with bridgework.
But not everyone is a viable candidate for implants, and ironically the reason most often has to do with the bone. If a patient has suffered significant bone volume loss, either because of disease or the long-term absence of the natural teeth, there may not be enough bone to properly support an implant. Unless we can adequately restore this lost bone volume through grafting, we’ll need to consider another type of restoration.
That’s where bridgework could be a viable option for patients in this or similar situations. With continuing advances in materials and new applications, the traditional bridge still remains an effective and important means to restore a smile marred by missing teeth.
If you would like more information on dental restoration options, 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 “Crowns & Bridgework.”