Everyone hopes to look younger and more attractive, and one way to achieve that youthful glow is to have a beautiful smile. Teeth free of stains, chips, misalignment, cracks and other problems are more likely to help you feel good about yourself and make a better impression on others. One way to achieve this goal is to see a cosmetic dentist for a smile makeover.
Dentists have been helping patients improve the appearance of their smiles for many years, but advances in techniques and materials allow smile makeovers to be much more advantageous today. Silver fillings have been replaced with tooth-colored composite resin, dental implants securely replace missing teeth, teeth whitening methods produce dramatic results, and computer imaging can provide great predictions for the outcomes of various cosmetic dental procedures.
There are many options for a smile makeover depending on what you need:
Discolored or stained teeth benefit from professional whitening treatment. Yellowed teeth can improve numerous shades of white to give you a whole new look.
Chips in your teeth can be filled with tooth-colored composite resin in a procedure called bonding. You can choose a shade closely matching your tooth, so that once it is smoothed and polished you can’t even tell it was done.
Uneven teeth that are slightly longer or shorter than their neighbors can be shaped in a more appealing way using recontouring techniques.
Gaps between teeth can be closed using composite material, or large spaces can be hidden with dental veneers. In fact, porcelain veneers can cover all sorts of flaws that you don’t want others to see in your smile.
Cavities or cracked teeth can be filled with tooth-colored material instead of traditional amalgam, making them invisible in the mouth.
Broken teeth that are unsightly or weak can be covered with a durable and attractive crown.
Crooked teeth can be moved with orthodontic treatment, employing the latest method of Invisalign. These clear plastic aligners transform your smile without the noticeable metal braces that impact your diet and dental hygiene.
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Tooth decay that is allowed to become severe can cause extensive damage to your tooth, even resulting in tooth loss if not treated. Sometimes symptoms are present that cause you to visit your dentist, but other times it’s just a regular checkup that catches a problem.
The source of trouble usually begins with a small area of tooth decay that goes unnoticed. Bacteria attacks, decay thrives, a cavity may form, and infection can spread. Cavities may be filled to repair the tooth and eradicate infection, but advanced cases of decay can reach the tooth’s interior. Once it gets to the pulp, serious damage can set in. This is when symptoms often appear, sometimes becoming severe.
Once damage reaches your tooth’s pulp, some common symptoms that will prompt you to call your dentist may include:
Slight to severe pain when biting, chewing, or even putting slight pressure on the tooth
Minor to extreme sensitivity when your tooth comes into contact with anything hot or cold
Inflammation or swelling near the gum line surrounding the affected tooth
Ongoing aches in the general area of the damaged tooth, including headaches, neck aches, or earaches
Ulcers or bumps near the damaged tooth
Difficulty performing normal mouth functions like eating
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s time to visit your dentist for an evaluation. Root canal therapy might be recommended to restore your tooth’s health and regain comfort and functionality. Root canal treatment involves cleaning the damaged areas of the tooth pulp to remove infection and bacteria, filling the open space, and sealing it to prevent future damage. Sometimes a crown is placed on top to complete the process.
When a tooth is severely damaged, root canal therapy provides your best chance for restoration and optimum oral health. Your dentist will effectively and safely perform the procedure, and at the same time relieve the related symptoms that you may be experiencing.
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If you are looking for a beautiful smile and improved self-confidence, cosmetic dentistry may be the answer for you. This specialized area of dentistry offers procedures and techniques to enhance your smile and create a sparkling new you.
Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving your smile’s appearance through a variety of procedures. Although it doesn’t concentrate on addressing your oral health, there are overlapping benefits to both.
So what are some of the common procedures that cosmetic dentists perform? Here are some to consider:
• Teeth whitening –this popular procedure provides a quick boost to your smile. Stains caused by habits like coffee drinking and smoking can be removed, as well as reducing discolorations from medications like tetracycline. Teeth whitening also improves teeth yellowed from age, making you look younger and healthier.
• Porcelain veneers – these shells for the fronts of your teeth can alter the shape, color, and texture of your teeth. They also provide a natural-looking cover over broken and decayed teeth.
• Dentures – provide a complete or partial replacement of missing teeth due to decay, age, or trauma. Dentures are customized to meet each patient’s needs and comfort.
• Crowns – permanent repair for chipped or worn teeth. Made from porcelain, resin, or ceramic to match the natural tooth color, crowns are adhered over your natural tooth to improve appearance and function.
• Dental bridges – used to replace a missing tooth or gap between teeth, bridges fasten to your natural teeth on each side of the gap. They provide a secure, permanent restoration known to last ten years or more.
Other techniques performed by cosmetic dentists include gum surgery, dental fillings, orthodontic treatment, and dental implants. Consider consulting with a cosmetic dentist to see if any procedures might benefit you and restore your smile.
Contact our office to schedule a Cosmetic Dentistry consultation in our Baltimore dental office.
Everyone wants to have a whiter, healthy smile. Home teeth whitening has become an extremely popular means to achieve those pearlier whites in the past couple of decades. In many cases, over-the-counter whitening kits are effective and safe. However, there are some disadvantages and risks to using over-the-counter home whitening kits:
Off-brand whitening kits often contain dangerous concentrations of bleach or peroxide. This can cause erosion of the tooth enamel, and irritation to the sensitive gums and soft tissues of the mouth.
Because many kits contain trays that do not adhere properly to your teeth, gums can become irritated and chemicals can leak out and be ingested causing stomach problems.
Poorly fitted trays and varying concentrations of chemicals from lower quality kits may also result in unwanted discoloration of teeth or uneven results.
Exposure to excessively harsh chemicals in off-brand kits can also cause gum shrinkage and oral infections.
When considering at-home whitening, it is best to stick to name brand kits to ensure the quality and safety of the treatment. Many popular brands of kits are both safe and efficient when used as directed. In any case, you should not consider at-home whitening if any of the following apply:
You have deep, untreated cavities.
You are pregnant.
You suffer from gum disease.
The safest and most effective method for whitening your teeth is to have treatment by a dental professional, either in-office or with professional take-home trays. A qualified dentist can whiten your teeth up to ten shades in as little as one office visit. Consult with your dentist before pursuing any type of whitening treatment to ensure you will achieve the whiter smile you desire in the safest and quickest manner possible.
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Lots of people feel self-conscious about smiling, and problems with their teeth can make them hesitant to talk and laugh with others. Veneers are an easy way to transform teeth, and to get that gorgeous smile you’ve always wanted. Dental veneers are made from very thin pieces of porcelain or composite resin and fit tightly over the front surfaces of your teeth. They can mask many different types of imperfections and are a great way to improve the appearance of your smile.
In spite of this, veneers are not suitable for everyone. Your cosmetic dentist in Baltimore can help you decide if veneers are the best choice of treatment, or if another solution might be more appropriate. This procedure is not usually reversible so it’s important to be sure before your teeth are prepared for veneers. The following guidelines will help you determine if dental veneers are right for you.
Teeth that are decayed or which have already been filled are weaker and less able to support veneers. In this case you may be better off considering dental crowns that completely cover up decayed teeth right down to the gum line.
You will need to have a full checkup with your dentist in Baltimore prior to having veneers. If you have any signs of gum disease then this condition must be treated first. It’s important to be in good oral health before your veneers are fitted.
Bad Oral Habits
Nail-biting, biting on ice cubes and teeth grinding can all damage veneers. If you have any of these habits then you’ll need to quit if you want your restorations to last.
If your teeth are quite crooked or misaligned, consider consulting an orthodontist to decide if braces are a better solution. It could be that once your teeth are straightened you’ll no longer need veneers. Dental veneers are not meant to correct severely misaligned or crooked teeth.
Having straight teeth is a goal from young people through mature adults, and achieving a great smile without having to wear braces is a wonderful benefit. Awkward moments of a mouth full of metal, food particles stuck in your smile, and painful wires poking your cheeks are all erased. How do you make this happen? The answer is Invisalign.
Invisalign is an orthodontic solution that involves wearing a series of clear plastic aligners that fit right onto your teeth, and move them using slow pressure. They are nearly invisible and can be removed at any time, allowing you to follow your usual eating and hygiene routines.
The first step is taking impressions of your teeth and making a digital 3-D image so that an exact treatment plan can be created. You will be able to see how your teeth should look at each treatment stage. Your customized aligners will be made in a lab so that they fit comfortably yet do their job.
You will need to wear your aligners during the day and while you sleep, but remove them for eating and hygiene. You can even remove them for special occasions, as long as you strive to wear the aligners 22 hours each day. Roughly every two weeks, you will change to a new set of aligners that will advance you to the next stage of treatment. You will see your dentist about every six weeks for checkups.
Invisalign treatment lasts about a year for adults and about two years for teens. Your progress will be visible throughout treatment, motivating you to continue wearing them to transform your smile. Once your treatment is complete, you’ll have beautiful straight teeth and very few complaints about your orthodontic experience.
If you need a dentist in Baltimore contact us today