Posts for: February, 2013
Quiz: What Is Smile Design?
All cultures worldwide recognize a smile as positive nonverbal communication. Yet many people are insecure about the way their smile looks. Modern cosmetic dentistry can completely change your smile through a comprehensive technique called Smile Design.
Take the following quiz to find out how much you know about your smile and smile design.
- What is the basic reason we consider straight, healthy teeth to be attractive?
- An article in a beauty magazine.
- An instinctive understanding of health and survival.
- Our first grade teacher said so.
- A talk show on television.
- What must we take into account in designing an attractive, balanced smile?
- The shape of your face.
- Your skin color and complexion.
- The form of your lips.
- All of the above.
- As your dentist, we consider each of the following in evaluating your current smile except:
- Your marital status.
- The health of your bone and gum tissues.
- How your jaw joints function.
- The stability of your bite.
- What do we use to evaluate your smile?
- X-rays and photographs.
- Models of your teeth and gums.
- Photographs and computer graphics.
- All of the above.
- Bonding is one method that may be used to test or enhance your smile. It is used as:
- A way of making friends with your dentist.
- A way of training secret agents.
- A method of repairing chipped, broken or decayed teeth and testing changes before they are made permanent.
- None of the above.
- b. What we consider an attractive smile is rooted in instinctive understanding of health and survival. We value straight, white, healthy teeth — only a few centuries ago, a person with few or no teeth was likely to starve.
- d. All of these factors must be taken into consideration in order to design a smile that is in balance with your face.
- a. While satisfaction with your life partner may make you smile, our priority in smile design is to make sure that the basic structures of your teeth are healthy and function properly.
- d. All of the above are used in evaluating your current condition to design a new smile.
- c. In bonding, a composite resin tooth colored material is shaped and physically bonded to a tooth or teeth that are chipped, broken, or decayed to restore both aesthetics and function.
After careful analysis and planning, a variety of techniques can be used to redesign an attractive and healthy new smile, so you can feel confident about smiling and sharing it with the world. To learn more about Smile Design, read “Beautiful Smiles by Design.” Or contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule an appointment.
What causes stains on teeth?
Staining can occur on the outside surfaces of teeth and is caused by foods such as red wine, coffee, and tea, as well as by tobacco use. They can also be developmental, affecting the structure of the teeth due to excessive fluoride levels or from tetracycline antibiotics given during childhood to name a few. Changes in a tooth's enamel or dentin during tooth formation, or as teeth age, can also cause discoloration.
What is going on inside a tooth's structure that makes it look stained?
Most of a tooth's covering (95 percent) is composed of highly mineralized enamel. The crystals of enamel are contained in a framework, or matrix, of organic matter. Dentists believe that various organic compounds that get into this matrix can cause staining.
How do whiteners work?
Tooth whiteners or bleaches expose the teeth to a peroxide compound. This creates reactive oxygen that breaks down highly colored organic compounds within the tooth's sub-surface matrix, making the tooth look whiter, but without changing its internal structure.
What professional in-office whitening techniques are available?
During treatment, a high concentration of peroxide solution in the form of a gel is applied directly on the teeth, often with activation by a heat or light source. These systems use custom tailored trays fitted to an individual's mouth. Silicone barriers or protective gels are used to keep the peroxide gel away from the gums or sensitive membranes in the mouth.
How are professional home whiteners different?
Home whiteners involve a less concentrated solution of peroxide in a gel form. It is delivered to the tooth surface by a bleaching tray that is custom-made in your dentist's office. Over-the-counter whiteners such as whitening strips or paint-on formulas can also be used, but they take longer and they're not as effective — the more diluted solutions are used for safety.
Can toothpastes really whiten teeth?
Mild abrasives in toothpastes clean surface stains but cannot change the underlying tooth color or remove significant staining.
How long do the results last?
Usually, the results last from six months to two years, but effects will diminish over time. You can make them last longer by avoiding the foods and habits that cause staining.
Are teeth whiteners safe to use?
Teeth whitening products are safe if used according to our recommendations or the product manufacturer's directions. Peroxide products may be toxic if used in excess of recommended intervals and amounts.
If you have ever suffered from tooth sensitivity, you know all too well how real the pain can be — anything from a slight twinge to pain that can be downright excruciating. Sensitivity may be experienced several times throughout the day or just every once in a while. However, as we say, a little knowledge can go a long way. And we can provide you with the know-how and steps to help minimize your tooth sensitivity.
One of the first steps we will take is to review your brushing habits, as an improper brushing technique can not only cause tooth sensitivity, but it also can make the sensitivity worse once it is present. We will teach you how to remove dental plaque safely without damaging your delicate gum tissues, which can cause gum recession leaving the dentin exposed. Another step we may take is to provide you with products you can utilize at home. Or if the sensitivity is severe and/or constant, we may need to apply a barrier to cover the sensitive areas. These barriers may be bonded filling materials to cover the sensitive areas. If the pain is severe and constant, it may be possible that the pulpal tissue containing the nerves in your tooth are inflamed.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity or have questions about this condition, please contact us to schedule an appointment. Or you can learn more about this topic by reading the article “Sensitive Teeth.”