Posts for: January, 2019
Veneers are thin, and custom-made coverings that bond to the front of teeth to improve the appearance, colour and shape. Dental veneers are usually used for front teeth that show when a person smiles and talks. Dental veneers may be recommended if there are any discrepancies with the shape or colour of teeth, or if a patient is interested in improving the aesthetic. Dental veneers may also benefit the function of a tooth by reducing fractures and correcting shape. A veneer can be completed for a single tooth, but often are recommended for several teeth to give a more even and uniform appearance.
The process of getting a veneer (or several veneers) typically takes place over three appointments. The first appointment will consist of the consultation. At this time, treatment will be discussed and the dentist will get an idea of what the client is looking for. The dentist will discuss recommendations, the cost will be discussed, and a plan will be set in place. Also, x-rays and impressions may be taken. At the second appointment, the teeth receiving the veneers will be prepared. This means that about half a millimetre of tooth structure from the front of the teeth will be polished down to allow room for the veneers to sit. Impressions will be taken to send off to the lab where the veneers will be fabricated, which will take a couple of weeks. During the third appointment, the veneers will be tried in and adjusted. When both client and dentist are happy with the result, they will be cemented in. A follow-up visit may be recommended a couple of weeks later to make sure everything is feeling and looking good.
Types of Veneers
Generally, veneers will be made from porcelain and be fabricated at a lab. Alternatively, a process called “bonding” can be completed using a material called composite resin. Both veneers and bonding have their pros and cons. Porcelain veneers are much stronger and have a longer life span than composite bonding. They are also fabricated in a lab so they have a more perfect appearance. Composite bonding has a higher risk of chipping, fracturing and staining, and may not look as perfect as porcelain. Consequently, porcelain veneers are much more expensive than composite bonding.
Caring for Veneers
Dental veneers require caring for just like natural teeth. It is recommended to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day, as well as use a fluoridated toothpaste. If not well cared for, veneers can become susceptible to cavities along the margin, so it is especially important to brush well at the gum line. It is also recommended to maintain regular dental cleanings and checkups to reduce bacteria and make sure everything is healthy. Periodic x-rays of the veneers make be advised to check the health and integrity.
If you believe you may benefit from dental veneers, or have any questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.
On the big screen, Australian-born actress Margot Robbie may be best known for playing devil-may-care anti-heroes—like Suicide Squad member Harley Quinn and notorious figure skater Tonya Harding. But recently, a discussion of her role in Peter Rabbit proved that in real life, she’s making healthier choices. When asked whether it was hard to voice a character with a speech impediment, she revealed that she wears retainers in her mouth at night, which gives her a noticeable lisp.
“I actually have two retainers,” she explained, “one for my bottom teeth which is for grinding my teeth, and one for my top teeth which is just so my teeth don't move.”
Clearly Robbie is serious about protecting her dazzling smile. And she has good reasons for wearing both of those retainers. So first, let’s talk about retainers for teeth grinding.
Also called bruxism, teeth grinding affects around 10 percent of adults at one time or another, and is often associated with stress. If you wake up with headaches, sore teeth or irritated gums, or your sleeping partner complains of grinding noises at night, you may be suffering from nighttime teeth grinding without even being aware of it.
A type of retainer called an occlusal guard is frequently recommended to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism. Typically made of plastic, this appliance fits comfortably over your teeth and prevents them from being damaged when they rub against each other. In combination with stress reduction techniques and other conservative treatments, it’s often the best way to manage teeth grinding.
Orthodontic retainers are also well-established treatment devices. While appliances like braces or aligners cause teeth to move into better positions, retainers are designed to keep teeth from moving—helping them to stay in those positions. After active orthodontic treatment, a period of retention is needed to allow the bite to stabilize. Otherwise, the teeth can drift right back to their old locations, undoing the time and effort of orthodontic treatment.
So Robbie has the right idea there too. However, for those who don’t relish the idea of wearing a plastic appliance, it’s often possible to bond a wire retainer to the back surfaces of the teeth, where it’s invisible. No matter which kind you choose, wearing a retainer can help keep your smile looking great for many years to come.
If you have questions about teeth grinding or orthodontic retainers, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Grinding” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”
People have depended on dentures for generations—and they still do. That's because they work, both in restoring dental function and a smile marred by missing teeth.
But they have one major drawback related to bone health. That's because living bone has a life cycle: as older cells die, new ones form to take their place. The pressure generated when we chew stimulates this growth. But when this stimulus goes missing along with the teeth, the cell replacement rate slows and bone volume and density gradually diminishes.
Traditional dentures can't transmit this chewing pressure stimulus. And because they rest directly on the gum ridges, they can adversely affect the underlying bone and actually accelerate bone loss.
But implant technology potentially solves this bone loss problem with dentures by using implants rather than the gums to support them. It's a two-fold benefit: first, the implants relieve much of the irritation to the gums and bone caused by traditional dentures. Primarily, though, the implants themselves can slow or even stop continuing bone loss.
Most implants are made of titanium, not only because it's compatible with the body, but also because it has an affinity with bone. Over time bone cells grow on the titanium post imbedded in the jawbone. This process not only creates stability and durability, it can improve bone health.
In recent years dentists have incorporated implants with dentures to create two exciting treatment options. With one option, the dentist installs two or more implants in the jaw, to which a specially fitted removable denture can be attached. You would still have the ease of removing the denture for cleaning, while gaining greater stability and a reduced risk of bone loss.
The other option is a fixed denture (or bridge) attached permanently to implants. For this option, a patient's jawbone must be adequate and healthy enough to support at least four to six implants. A fixed denture is also often costlier and more complex than a removable denture, but it can feel more like real teeth. It also promotes better bone health too.
Although both options are more expensive than traditional dentures, they can pay dividends for long-term dental health. Implants could help you enjoy your new dentures and resulting smile for a long time to come.
If you would like more information on dental implant-supported restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”