The secret to a bright, healthy smile is actually no secret at all: brush, floss, and get a professional dental exam at least once every six months. Dental exams are all about prevention--preventing existing problems from getting worse and preventing dental problems from developing in the future. Regular dental exams make it possible to identify and treat a problem in its earliest stage--which is good for both your oral health and your budget!
Your teeth will be visually examined for signs of plaque, tartar, and tooth decay. Your gums will also be examined for puffiness or discoloration, which are signs of gum disease. Your tongue and oral cavity will be examined for bumps or abnormalities.
To treat a cavity, tooth decay is removed and a tooth is filled with a white, mercury free filling. The type of dental filling used is determined by a number of factors, including the size and location of a cavity, as well as your budget.
Dental bridges are considered a durable, conservative, cost-effective option for bridging the gap between a missing tooth and surrounding teeth. Comprised of a replacement tooth and one or two anchoring teeth, bridges help prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of position, improve chewing and speaking, and help keep your natural face shape intact. Bridges are less invasive than other options, such as dental implants, to replace missing teeth.
Using dentures to replace missing teeth is great for your oral health and provides a way to look and feel younger. Today, there are a variety of natural-looking and comfortable dentures for patients who need to replace missing teeth. Made of a gum-colored plastic resin or acrylic base and resin or porcelain replacement teeth, dentures are custom made to fit your mouth. If you have several teeth or all teeth missing on the upper or lower jaw, full dentures may be your best option. Partial dentures, which can be either fixed or removable, are great for patients who have several missing teeth scattered along the upper or lower jaw.
The process of getting dentures may take a few months and several dental visits. In some cases, same-day dentures are also possible. Just as with your natural teeth, dentures require daily maintenance. With regular wear and tear, dentures can last 5-7 years. During that time, you may need periodic denture relines to accommodate changes in the contours of your mouth. A denture reline involves resurfacing the base of the denture to ensure that your dentures fit and function perfectly. If you break your dentures, it’s critical to bring them to a dentist for professional repair; home repair denture kits can cause more damage and be more costly to fix.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic dentistry procedure that involves wafer thin shells of tooth colored material designed to be placed over the surface of the teeth, typically the ones that show when you smile. Each custom made shell is bonded to the front of the teeth, which completely changes their appearance, color, shape, size, or length.
Porcelain veneers are designed to resist stains better than other types of veneers and appear more natural because they mimic the way light naturally reflects off of the surface of the teeth. Veneers usually last between seven to ten years before they need to be replaced.