Posts for tag: cosmetic dentistry
While losing a tooth impacts your smile's functionality and appearance, you do have a great option to replace it. A dental implant from 4 Dental Health in Layton, UT restores normal appearance, biting, chewing and speech. Also, this artificial tooth improves jaw bone density. Learn more about dental implants from your experienced dentist, Dr. Steven Christensen.
What happens when you lose a tooth?
Besides creating an embarrassing smile gap, losing one or more teeth impacts your oral health. Remaining teeth actually weaken as they drift into the empty space. Supporting gum tissue and bone begin to recede almost immediately. In fact, a full 25 percent or more of bone density degrades within the first year after a tooth is lost to infection, decay, gum disease or oral injury.
In addition, when more teeth or even all teeth are lost, facial appearance ages dramatically, and edentulous people do not eat well or speak clearly. While conventional dentures and bridgework help restore smile aesthetics, they do not repair the loss of bone or soft tissue because these prosthetics only set on top of the gums.
The benefits of dental implants
A dental implant is today's best artificial tooth. It has three parts: a titanium root which resides in the jaw under the gums, a metal alloy abutment (extension post) and true to life dental crown crafted from resilient and color-matched porcelain.
Dental implants adhere to the jaw bone, creating an excellent foundation for the exposed portions of the artificial tooth. In fact, they improve the density, size and width of the supporting bone through a miraculous process dentists call osseointegration.
Other benefits of dental implants are:
- A comfortable oral surgery and restoration process
- The versatility of use (implants can support fixed bridgework and even full dentures)
- Biocompatibility (rejection or allergic reactions are very rare)
- Amazingly natural appearance
- Longevity (a decades-long lifespan)
Dental implant care
As dental implants are not real teeth, they cannot get cavities. However, gum tissue and underlying bone can develop gum disease--peri-implantitis--if you do not carefully brush and floss every day and get your semi-annual hygienic cleanings (and exams) with Dr. Christensen.
Peri-implantitis causes inflammation at the implant site and also mobility of the implant itself, reports the Dental Research Journal. Tobacco usage encourages this devastating infection, too; so getting an implant may be the best time to quit smoking.
You've reached a decision—that old, unattractive smile has to go. You're ready for a complete makeover—and the field of cosmetic dentistry has the materials, techniques and equipment to make it happen.
But it could be a major undertaking requiring a fair amount of time and money. And once all the procedures are complete, what if you're not happy with the results?
Fortunately, you don't have to wait with nervous apprehension until the end of the dental work to see what your smile will look like. We can give you a realistic preview of your new smile before we even begin—and not on a computer monitor. We can actually create a trial smile applied directly to your actual teeth so you can see your new look up close and personal, and in all three spatial dimensions.
That's not to put down enhanced computer presentations. State-of-the-art imaging software can display an accurate representation of your future smile transposed onto an image of your face. But it's still a two-dimensional image, like any other photograph. It can't present the full range, movement or feel of the real thing.
A trial smile can. We shape and sculpt composite resin to resemble the finished dental work and temporarily bond it to your teeth. Once applied, you'll then be able to see what your appearance will look like from different angles and movements. Although we'll have to remove the trial smile before you leave, we can photograph it so you can show it to family and friends for their reaction.
While it's an added expense, a trial smile has two great benefits. First, it helps both of us "test drive" your new look and see how it performs in different ways: as you speak, when you're relaxed and, of course, when you smile. This allows us, if necessary, to fine-tune your planned dental work. Perhaps the biggest benefit, though, is that it can reassure you you've made the right decision to remake your smile.
With a trail smile, there are no surprises—you'll know what the end result will look like before any work is done. And that can be a great motivator toward obtaining the smile you've dreamed of having.
If you would like more information on restoring your smile, 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 “Testing Your Smile Makeover: The Reassurance of a Trial Smile.”
Tooth loss wrecks oral function, personal appearance and self-image. If you're struggling with smile gaps or have lost all your teeth, dental implants from 4 Dental Health in Layton UT could be the perfect solution. Dr. Steven Christensen places these tooth replacements, recreating natural dental function and outstanding aesthetics. Are you ready for a new smile?
The problem of tooth loss
The International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) says that the bone associated with a tooth socket degrades immediately after a tooth is knocked out or extracted. Traditional tooth replacements cannot address this problem because partials, bridges and full dentures just rest on top of the gums. The jaw bone underneath receives no stimulation and hence, deteriorates.
On the other hand, dental implants in Layton preserve the bone for two reasons:
- The titanium metal in the implant device and the bone it resides in bond through a process known as osseointegration.
- Implants actually exercise the bone each time patients exert pressure on them through biting and chewing.
So, over the past 25 years, dental implants have gained tremendous popularity. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) reports that American dentists now place about 5 million dental implants annually.
Receiving dental implants
Dr. Christensen uses oral examination, X-rays and a three-dimensional scan to qualify patients for dental implants. Important to long-term treatment success and implant retention are:
- Good overall and oral health, especially periodontal, or gum, health
- Sufficient bone in the jaw
- Excellent at-home oral hygiene habits
- Routine examinations and professional cleanings semi-annually at 4 Dental Health
In addition, if you use tobacco in any form, try to quit. Both cigarettes and chewing tobacco can lead to a dangerous infection called peri-implantitis. Being similar to advanced periodontitis, this localized bone and gum infection threatens implant retention. See your primary care physician for a medically supervised tobacco cessation program.
The typical single tooth implant
It has three parts: the implant screw itself, a metal post and a porcelain crown. Multiple implants can anchor fixed partial dentures or full dentures. Either way, osseointegration takes many weeks to months but is so worth the wait. The result is a secure, stable, beautiful smile that lasts and lasts. The Institute for Dental Implant Awareness states that most dental implants remain in place for 4 or 5 decades--essentially a lifetime for most recipients.
Want to know more?
Contact 4 Dental Health to set up an implant consultation with Dr. Steven Christensen. He'll explain your tooth replacement options and set you on the path to a great new mile. Call today: (801) 889-1044.
You may be able to slow the aging process with healthy habits but you can’t stop it. Every part of your body will change, including your teeth and gums. And even with great dental hygiene and care, there are at least two aging outcomes you may not be able to avoid: discoloration and tooth wear.
Fortunately though, we have ways to counteract these effects and help you enjoy a much younger-looking smile. These techniques range in complexity and cost, but when tailored to your individual situation they can make a world of difference and restore your confidence in your smile.
Brightening teeth that have yellowed with age can be as simple as undergoing teeth whitening. The bleaching solution in this procedure (performed in the office or at home with a prescribed kit) can minimize enamel staining built up over the years. It can even be performed with some control over the level of desired brightness. Although whitening isn’t permanent, with proper care and regular touch-ups you can keep your youthful, dazzling smile for some time.
Tooth whitening, however, may not be enough in some cases of discoloration. If so, you can gain a bright new smile with porcelain veneers or crowns. A veneer is a thin layer of tooth-colored material bonded to the front of a tooth; a porcelain crown completely covers a tooth and is usually cemented onto it.
Normal tooth wearing can also affect the appearance of older teeth, making them look shorter and with less rounded edges than younger teeth. Veneers and crowns can be utilized for this problem too, as well as enamel shaping with a dental drill to minimize those sharp edges and project a softer, younger appearance. In extreme cases, surgically reshaping the gums can give teeth a longer and a more natural look.
These are just a few of the ways we can address these two aging problems, as well as others like receding gums. Depending on your situation, it’s quite possible we can help you take years off your smile.
We readily understand the physical costs of a decayed tooth or infected gums — pain, discomfort and loss of function. It’s much more difficult to understand the emotional and social costs of a lost smile. Without that understanding we may be tempted to view restorative solutions as a luxury we can’t afford.
But there is a definite cost to a smile that embarrasses or makes you unhappy. It can inhibit your friendships and family relations and cause you to become withdrawn from others. Your career may suffer, especially if your vocation involves networking or similar social outreach where you no longer feel free to be outgoing. Most of all, though, your own feelings about your look can keep you from pursuing the things you love or that matter the most to you.
Viewed in that light, a “smile makeover,” a comprehensive approach to transforming your appearance, is an investment in a better life, not a frivolity. Although the word “cosmetic” can mean “a superficial outer adornment,” in the dental profession the meaning is much deeper. Dentists who specialize in smile design are focused on the overall effect of their work — not only with your mouth but with your whole face.
The process begins with a complete examination of your mouth to identify your particular dental needs. We also want to know about your expectations and desires for a better smile. We use that, along with the realities of your physical condition and other factors, to develop a treatment plan. The plan may be as singular as whitening procedures or porcelain veneers applied to the outside of your teeth — or it may be comprehensive with a variety of procedures that could include other specialties like orthodontics or oral surgery. The overall aim is to develop a plan that’s right for you, and realistically satisfies your expectations.
The end result can be life-changing. Even subtle changes can alter your own image perceptions and free you to be yourself in your personal and professional relationships. In the end the positive impact of your new smile will more than offset the costs for achieving it.
If you would like more information on smile transformation, 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 “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”