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A History of Cosmetic Dentistry

A History of Cosmetic Dentistry

The desire for a better looking and better functioning smile has been around since ancient times. As early as 3000 BC, there is evidence that people used sticks to clean their teeth. Early toothbrushes were made of animal hair in the late 15th century.

The earliest forms of cosmetic dentistry are believed to be dentures made from ivory and bone by the Etruscans around 700 BCE. Other dentures were made from animal or even human teeth taken from corpses. Near 200 CE, the Etruscans had moved on to using gold to perform the functions of a dental crown or bridge.

Ancient Egyptians made a whitening toothpaste of vinegar and ground pumice stone, while the Romans utilized the ammonia from urine in their toothpastes, a practice that existed in some form into the 1700s.

Dental implants of human teeth were used in Europe in the 1700s for replacement teeth, but the practice was rejected due to repeated failures. Over the next hundred years, metal was used – and was also subsequently rejected.

The end of the 18th century and the entre 19th century showed great strides in cosmetic dentistry, particularly in the field of prosthetic dentistry, with the success of the porcelain denture. Molds were made of existing mouths with plaster, allowing dentists to provide the greatest denture fit and comfort available to patients thus far.

In the 1840s, the first rubberized material used as a base for dentures was invented, called Vulcanite. The first dental lab created specifically to produce prosthetic dental appliances was established in the 1850s. Porcelain dental crowns gave way to porcelain fused to metal crowns in the 1950s, and Vulcanite gave way to acrylic in the early 20th century, materials we still use today.

Your cosmetic dentist in Baltimore is a skilled professional whose techniques have been practiced and refined by those dentists who came before for thousands of years. Today, we are at the pinnacle of the knowledge and expertise of trained cosmetic dentists and with the variety of successful methods and materials that will work for any cosmetic need.

We look forward to seeing you in our Baltimore dental office

Benefits of Dental Implants

Benefits of Dental Implants

Are you missing one or more teeth? Dental implants are among the best possible solutions for patients missing teeth. Dental bridges and dentures can fill the gaps left by acute decay or gingivitis, but dental implants have many advantages over these other techniques.

Dental implants are typically made of titanium and serve as an artificial root for a missing tooth. They are fused directly to the jawbone and become an excellent foundation for replacement teeth. They are the best possible substitute for a natural tooth that a dentist can provide.

Dental implant therapy has several benefits, among them:

  • Dental implants are very convenient. Bridges necessitate cleaning carefully under and surrounding the bridged tooth, and dentures need to be removed and specially cleaned and can utilize messy adhesives to affix them to your mouth. Dental implants are cleaned exactly as you would clean your natural tooth. Brush and floss normally. There is no slippage or cleaning beneath or between the replacement tooth, which is permanently attached to the gum via the dental implant, which fuses to the bone in a process known as ossification.
  • Dental implants look better than other replacement teeth. They are intended to appear and function as your natural tooth would.
  • Because they’re fused to your bone, they are more secure than dentures or bridges that can slip in the oral cavity, causing pain, muddled speech and problems eating or drinking. Dental implants are incapable of slippage, leaving you to lead your life with confidence and security.
  • Dental implants preserve bone by stimulating the bone in your jaw, something necessary for the health of the bone. Without this stimulation, the bone can begin to shrink.
  • Dental implants are very durable and can last for decades, if not for a lifetime, when cared for properly.
  • Because dental implants don’t require any alterations to the surrounding teeth, those natural teeth are able to remain intact, lending to your overall good oral health.

If you live in the Baltimore area contact us today

What’s Behind Tooth Sensitivity?

What’s Behind Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth pain that occurs when you eat or drink something cold or hot is an indicator that your teeth are overly sensitive. It can also result from eating sour or sweet foods, and sometimes just from breathing in cold air. Usually tooth sensitivity happens when your enamel has worn down, exposing the inner part of your tooth where sensitive nerves are located. It’s important to know what kinds of things may trigger tooth sensitivity, in hopes of avoiding it in the future.

Tooth decay
Decay leads to cavities, which are holes in your teeth or damage to their structure. Tooth decay and the resulting cavities are often preventable with good dental care. If you develop a cavity, however, it’s vital to get it repaired so that area of your teeth doesn’t become overly sensitive and painful.

Gum disease
Early gum disease, called gingivitis, is usually caused by poor dental hygiene that leads to gum inflammation and redness. Your gums may bleed easily and become sore. As gingivitis worsens, your gums can recede and expose the roots of your teeth. Your roots contain nerve endings, and sensitivity will likely increase.

Trauma
Accidents to your teeth or gums may lead to sensitivity. Fractured or knocked out teeth are certainly susceptible to painful sensations in your mouth.

Teeth whitening
Many people who use teeth whitening methods complain that their teeth become more sensitive with use of these products. Some whitening techniques cause this sensation more than others, so you may have to try several if you want to pursue teeth whitening without the sensitivity.

Remedies
One way to treat this problem is to use toothpaste intended for sensitive teeth. Also, avoid foods and drinks that tend to increase your symptoms. If you do consume items that cause discomfort, gently brush your teeth afterwards to help reduce the effects.

If you live in the Baltimore area contact us today

Kids Dentistry

Kids Dentistry

Some people have the wrong idea that taking their children to the dentist isn’t that important, and that it’s really a healthcare choice for adulthood. Young teeth are vulnerable to bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease, so teaching your kids how to practice good dental hygiene is a must. However, it’s just as important to get into the habit of taking your kids for regular checkups at the dentist.

Does it matter which dentist we choose?:
Sometimes the hardest part about the whole process is talking your child into seeing a dentist. Many kids are afraid of the dentist, even if it’s just the idea of an unknown experience. Then once they go to the dentist and see all the unfamiliar and sometimes noisy equipment, you can be in for an uphill battle. That’s why it’s important to choose a dentist who is experienced in treating kids and equipped for their unique needs. Select a dental office that strives to make kids comfortable and helps them through the process. You may even want to consider a pediatric dentist, who specializes only in treating kids.

What can we expect at a checkup?:
The goal of a dental visit is to clean and protect your child’s teeth, and to prevent and treat diseases or other problems. The dentist will start with an examination and X-rays if needed, in order to get a better view of your child’s oral health. The appointment will also include a teeth cleaning, which provides a much more thorough and deep cleaning than your child is able to perform at home. If there are any problems diagnosed, treatment procedures will be discussed and you can decide with the dentist how to proceed.

Schedule your appointment at our Baltimore dental office

Understanding the Basics About Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges

Understanding the Basics About Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges

There are times when a tooth is so damaged from decay, trauma, or cracking that a filling isn’t the best choice. In these cases, a dental crown may be recommended for long-term tooth health. If a tooth is missing completely, your dentist may suggest a dental bridge to fill the gap between two bordering teeth.

Dental crowns, or “caps,” completely cover and protect your damaged tooth. It is bonded in place, giving you a stable, strong, and attractive alternative for your original tooth. Because it is customized for you using impressions your dentist makes of your teeth, it is a perfect match in size, shape, and position to your natural tooth.

Dental crowns can be the perfect solution to a severely damaged tooth. You won’t need to worry about pain, tooth stability, or your appearance when you choose a dental crown. Depending on what material is used, your crown can look as natural as your own tooth.

Dental bridges are designed to span a gap caused by a missing tooth. Having a gap in your smile can affect you in more ways than just cosmetics. Chewing and talking can become problematic as teeth adjacent to the gap begin to shift, leaving the potential for gum disease or jaw issues.

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap between two teeth. They are cemented onto the pair of teeth that border the empty space vacated by one or more missing teeth. The bordering teeth act as anchors for the bridge, and are trimmed down to hold a dental crown. Between the two crowns is a replacement tooth, customized for you by your dentist. Once the bridge is in place, you will regain the ability to smile freely while the bridge maintains the shape of your face and lips. You will speak more clearly and be able to eat a greater variety of foods. A dental crown also protects your healthy teeth from issues related to bite alignment.

Dental crowns and dental bridges are excellent choices for overall dental health, and can last a lifetime. To prevent damage to your dental work, avoid chewing things like ice or hard candy. It is also important to maintain regular dental checkups.

We offer dental crowns at our Baltimore dental office

 

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Oral surgery to correct problems with the jaw is known as orthognathic surgery. Jaw issues can result from birth defects, changes due to growth, or injury or trauma to the face. While orthodontics can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved, oral surgery may be required when repositioning of the jaw is necessary to correct the issue. If you suffer from any of the following concerns, orthognathic surgery may be a consideration:

  • Difficulty chewing, biting or swallowing
  • Problems with opening and closing your mouth, or with speaking
  • Persistent jaw or temporomandibular joint pain
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth causing excessive wear to the teeth
  • Inability to make the lips meet without straining
  • Un-proportional facial appearance or protruding jaw
  • Malocclusion, open, or incorrect bite
  • Recessive lower jaw and chin
  • Habitual mouth breathing
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Facial injury or trauma

Most jaw surgeries are performed completely in the mouth, so no facial scars are visible. The oral surgeon makes cuts in the jawbone and then moves them to the correct position. Once the jaw is correctly aligned, screws and bone plates are placed to secure the jaw into the new position. Sometimes it may be necessary to add extra bone to the jaw from your hip, leg, or rib.

Orthognathic surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon usually in a hospital setting. Recovery time from jaw surgery takes three to six weeks. Your general or family dentist should be able to refer you to a skilled oral surgeon for a consultation and examination to determine a treatment plan. Jaw surgery can improve not only your facial appearance, but also chewing, speaking and breathing functions.

Schedule your appointment at our Baltimore dental office