Posts for: February, 2018
Cosmetic dentistry offers so many wonderful benefits that your smile could truly enjoy.
We know that there are a lot of people out there that aren’t too happy about their smiles. If you are one of them have you ever wondered if cosmetic dentistry could be the right option for you? Maybe you’ve thought about it but haven’t done much research into it. Our Layton, UT, cosmetic dentist Dr. Steven Christensen is here to provide you with a little insight into how cosmetic dentistry works.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
This specific field of dentistry is dedicated to improving the overall appearance of your smile. No matter whether you have a misaligned, stained or chipped teeth or gaps in your smile, there are many ways in which our Layton, UT, dentist can enhance your look. Did you know a healthy, beautiful smile could actually make you look younger? Cosmetic dentistry has the ability to provide some many positive changes not just for your smile but also for your quality of life.
What are the different kinds of cosmetic dentistry?
It can be difficult to decide which kind of dental treatment will give you the results you want. This is where our dentist, Dr. Christensen, comes in. During your cosmetic consultation, we will sit down together and determine the best approach to giving you the smile you want.
Common treatment options include:
This is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in Layton, UT, and it’s easy to see why. We know that over time our teeth begin to fade and even turn yellow from habits such as coffee drinking and smoking, or even just from the natural effects of aging. A single one-hour professional in-office whitening session could get your smile five to seven shades whiter.
Sometimes even the smallest discolorations, chips, cracks and gaps between teeth can still make us self-conscious. While these flaws might not seem like a big deal to anyone else it’s important that you feel confident with your smile. This cosmetic technique uses a tooth-colored resin that can be applied and molded over these problem areas to hide them and improve the overall look of one or more teeth. This is a conservative cosmetic treatment that can be completed in just one visit.
Sometimes cracks, misshapen teeth, and other issues are just too much for bonding to handle; however, moderate-to-severe cosmetic issues can be tackled with dental veneers. These thin porcelain shells are custom-made to cover the front of one or more teeth to improve the overall shape of your smile while also enhancing the color, shape, and size of your teeth.
4 Dental Health in Layton, UT, is dedicated to giving you the smile you deserve. If you are interested in what cosmetic dentistry could offer you then let’s sit down and talk to you about the smile you could achieve through one or more of these services.
If you’re over age 30 there’s a fifty percent chance you have periodontal (gum) disease—and you may not even know it. Without treatment this often “silent” bacterial infection could cause you to lose gum coverage, supporting bone volume or eventually your teeth.
That’s not to say there can’t be noticeable symptoms like swollen, red, bleeding or painful gums. But the surest way to know if you have gum disease, as well as how advanced it is, is to have us examine your gums with manual probing below the gum line.
Using a long metal device called a periodontal probe, we can detect if you’ve developed periodontal pockets. These are gaps created when the diseased gum’s attachment to teeth has weakened and begun to pull away. The increased void may become inflamed (swollen) and filled with infection.
During an exam we insert the probe, which has markings indicating depths in millimeters, into the naturally occurring space between tooth and gums called the sulcus. Normally, the sulcus extends only about 1-3 mm deep, so being able to probe deeper is a sign of a periodontal pocket. How deep we can probe can also tell us about the extent of the infection: if we can probe to 5 mm, you may have early to mild gum disease; 5-7 mm indicates moderate gum disease; and anything deeper is a sign of advanced disease.
Knowing periodontal pocket depth helps guide our treatment strategy. Our main goal is to remove bacterial plaque, a thin film of food particles that collects on teeth and is the main cause and continuing fuel for the infection. In mild to moderate cases this may only require the use of hand instruments called scalers to manually remove plaque from tooth surfaces.
If, however, our periodontal probing indicates deeper, advanced gum disease, we may need to include surgical procedures to access these infected areas through the gum tissue. By knowing the depth and extent of any periodontal pockets, we can determine whether or not to use these more invasive techniques.
Like many other health conditions, discovering gum disease early could help you avoid these more advanced procedures and limit the damage caused by the infection. Besides daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque and regular dental checkups, keep watch for signs of swollen or bleeding gums and contact us for an appointment as soon as possible. And be aware that if you smoke, your gums will not likely bleed or swell—that could make diagnosis more difficult.
If you would like more information on treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Understanding Periodontal Pockets.”
If you’ve had issues with periodontal (gum) disease, no doubt a few things have changed for you. You may be seeing us for dental cleanings and checkups more frequently and you have to be extra diligent about your daily brushing and flossing.
There’s one other thing you may need to do: change your diet. Some of the foods you may be eating could work against you in your fight against gum disease. At the same time, increasing your intake of certain foods could boost your overall oral health.
The biggest culprits in the first category are carbohydrates, which make up almost half the average diet in the Western world, mainly as added sugar. Although carbohydrates help fuel the body, too much can increase inflammation—which also happens to be a primary cause of tissue damage related to gum disease.
Of course, we can’t paint too broad a brush because not all carbohydrates have the same effect on the body. Carbohydrates like sugar or processed items like bakery goods, white rice or mashed potatoes quickly convert to glucose (the actual sugar used by the body for energy) in the bloodstream and increase insulin levels, which can then lead to chronic inflammation. Complex or unprocessed carbohydrates like vegetables, nuts or whole grains take longer to digest and so convert to glucose slowly—a process which can actually hinder inflammation.
Eating less of the higher glycemic (the rate of glucose conversion entering the bloodstream) carbohydrates and more low glycemic foods will help reduce inflammation. And that’s good news for your gums. You should also add foods rich in vitamins C and D (cheese and other dairy products, for instance) and antioxidants to further protect your oral health.
Studies have shown that changing to a low-carbohydrate, anti-inflammatory diet can significantly reduce chronic inflammation in the body and improve gum health. Coupled with your other efforts at prevention, a better diet can go a long way in keeping gum disease at bay.
If you would like more information on the role of diet in dental health, 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 “Carbohydrates Linked to Gum Disease.”