Posts for: August, 2015
Porcelain veneers are excellent for restoring otherwise sound teeth that are stained, chipped or slightly misaligned. But the question for many is, are they long-lasting?
Just as the term is used in building construction, a dental veneer is a thin covering of material that’s bonded to the outside of a tooth to conceal blemishes. Very thin layers of dental porcelain (a form of hardened glass colored to match a patient’s natural teeth) are created by a dental lab technician to achieve the preferred shape and size of the patient’s tooth. Unlike crowns or other restorations, veneers require very little tooth preparation to accommodate them.
As to their longevity: if cared for properly, a veneer could last for twenty years or more. While the veneer itself isn’t subject to the effects of dental disease, the tooth and the gums that support it are. Shrinking gum tissues as a result of periodontal (gum) disease, for example, could have a negative effect on the veneered tooth and subsequently the veneer. It’s important, then, that you properly practice daily brushing and flossing, along with keeping up regular office cleanings and checkups.
There’s one other important consideration: while porcelain veneers can withstand normal biting forces, if they’re subjected beyond their tolerance they could shatter. You should be careful not to subject your veneered teeth to an abnormal biting force, such as biting down on an extremely hard object. If you tend to grind your teeth at night, wearing a night guard can minimize the force created from the grinding.
It’s possible to repair and re-bond a loose or slightly chipped veneer. In some cases, though, severe damage may require a replacement. Still, by using common sense about what you bite down on and taking proper care of your teeth and gums, you can minimize the chances of damage and enjoy many years of a more attractive smile.
If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers: How Long will Your Porcelain Veneers Last?.”
Your Englewood, NJ cosmetic dentist can seamlessly incorporate an artificial tooth into your smile.
If you are dealing with tooth loss, you're also likely looking for the right treatment to fit your dental needs. Your Englewood, NJ cosmetic dentist Dr. Mark Docktor offers a multitude of treatment options to replace your tooth and help you regain a full smile. That’s why porcelain dental bridges can be a great and inexpensive way to replace one or more missing teeth without anyone even noticing.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is an oral appliance used to fill the space where a tooth once was. A dental bridge consists of two dental crowns on either side with a false tooth in the middle. The false tooth, or 'pontic,' can be made from a variety of different materials like gold or porcelain. The two dental crowns are custom-designed to slip over the neighboring teeth and anchor the bridge into place.
How will my Englewood, NJ dentist place my dental bridge?
Since the dental crowns are placed over healthy natural teeth, the teeth will need to be prepared beforehand. This requires your Englewood dentist to shave down parts of your tooth’s enamel to accommodate the crown. Then impressions will be made of your tooth and these measurements will then be sent to a dental lab where they will make your custom dental crown and bridge. In the meantime, you will be given a temporary bridge to wear. A dental bridge usually takes about a week to complete.
During your second visit, we will remove the temporary bridge and cement the two crowns to your teeth. In two simple trips, you could get the replacement tooth you need to give you back your smile.
How do I care for my dental bridge?
Even though a bridge is made from an artificial material, you should still treat it like a natural tooth. This means brushing and flossing your bridge to make sure plaque and food doesn’t build up and cause complications for your smile. By flossing daily and brushing twice a day, you can keep tooth decay and gum disease from causing more extensive tooth loss.
How long do porcelain bridges last?
When properly cared for, dental bridges can last anywhere from five to 15 years, or even longer. The best way to boost your bridge’s longevity is to maintain good oral hygiene and to continue seeing your Englewood dentist for routine checkups.
Want to find out if dental bridges are right for your smile? Then it’s time to call your Englewood, NJ dentist to schedule a consultation. Let Dental Arts of Englewood give you a smile to be proud of!
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”