Having a great smile is about more then a white, perfectly aligned smile. For many of us, we have one or more perceived flaws we might want changed with our smiles. These flaws can effect a person’s self esteem and a person’s self confidence. Cosmetic dentistry gives you the ability to make small corrections or even major transformations to your smile. These changes can have a major impact on your entire life.
What Is A Perfect Smile?
Everyone’s idea of a perfect smile is different. So every cosmetic dentistry consult should begin with you telling your dentist what you are looking for. Your dentist will complete a thorough dental examination along with taking impressions for study models. These models can be used to give you a visual reference of what your new smile might look like. This examination will allow your dentist to explain to you what can be done to keep a balance between cosmetics and function and give you options to choose from. It is important to remember to keep open communication with your dentist. If you are not happy with any part of the treatment plan options or the cosmetic dentistry treatment selected, you need to let him or her know so changes can be made.
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Changes
Adult orthodontics have come a long way. Gone are the days of wearing braces for several years to give you the smile you want. The newest development is the six month smiles system. This system uses tooth colored materials so that no one will notice you are undergoing treatment. This treatment can transform your smile, giving you straighter teeth in an average of six months.
Over time and use, our teeth change. These changes include them becoming shorter. This can change your smile from a youthful one to one making you appear older. Lenghthening your teeth back to their natural dimensions is possible with porcelain crowns, gum contouring, and porcelain veneers. These options will add length and structure to your teeth making your smile look the way you always imagined.
A whiter, brighter smile can give the appearance of youth and vitality. This is one of the easiest and most cost effective cosmetic dentistry procedures available. There are generally two types of teeth whitening – in office and at home treatment. The in office treatment is immediate and highlyeffective, the at home products may take a bit longer but will still give you a dazzling smile.
Rebuild A Lost Smile
Over time, tooth decay and periodontal disease can wreak havoc on our smiles. Our teeth can break down, shift, create dark spaces, or even be lost. To restore a lost smile, cosmetic dentistry can offer porcelain crowns, bonding, and dental implants to give you a full smile.
Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures To Change Your Smile
-Teeth Whitening. This has become a billion dollar cosmetic dentistry business with products ranging from in office whitening to at home whitening with customized dental trays, whitening strips, paint on gels and even whitening toothpastes and rinses. The differences between the types has to do with speed and depth of whitening. Teeth whitening can have a dramatic effect on almost anyone’s smile for a relatively low cost and minimal time involved.
-Dental Implants. Missing teeth can make you feel uncomfortable with smiling, socially awkward, or may make you look older than you are. Replacing lost teeth can be done with very natural results. Dental implants are a great way to achieve cosmetics, strength, and durability. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. The best part is, once restored, the dental implants will often last a lifetime.
-Dental Bonding. This cosmetic dentistry procedure involves reshaping and blending teeth. Bonding utilizes tooth colored materials that can be bonded to teeth to change shape, color, and length. This same material can also be used to fully cover the front surface, (called a composite veneer). Dental bonding can generally be completed in one visit, and is less expensive than porcelain restorations.
-Porcelain Veneers. While the initial cost is higher than some other cosmetic dentistry options, this may be cost effective if extensive changes need to be made. Porcelain veneers can change shape, color, length, and even correct minor misalignments of teeth. This will last a long time, will not stain, and is a very strong, natural looking material. The veneer is also a conservative restoration as it generally only requires minimal enamel reduction, and sometimes no reduction.
-Porcelain and Zirconia Crowns. These types of crowns combine strength with the most cosmetic options available. They are made from modern dental porcelain materials that range in strength and esthetics. If done properly, no one should ever be able to tell a porcelain crown from a natural tooth. Modern porcelains possesses strength, color properties, and light reflection properties that very closely mimic our natural teeth. Porcelain crowns can be used to change bite alignment issues as well as change alignment of front teeth which are more extreme such as those issues that porcelain veneers alone cannot fix. More natural tooth structure needs to be removed in preparing a porcelain crown vs a porcelain veneer.
-Snap On Smile. This is a modern, conservative way to improve your smile without any permanent dental work. All that is required is having your dentist take impressions of your teeth, choose a color, and the dentist sending them to a lab to have your snap on smile fabricated. Once the snap on smile is made, you simply clean your teeth, apply a fluoride gel inside, and slip it on over your teeth. You can talk, eat and smile with it all day long.
-Gum Contouring. For those with a gummy smile, this can be a real confidence booster. This cosmetic dentistry procedure is generally done in one visit and can give incredible results for many with an overly gummy smile. Gum contouring simply removes the excess gum tissue and reshapes the gums to ensure you obtain the desired look. For some, this may require reduction of bone also, in this case, it is recommended that you see a periodontal surgeon.
-Tooth Recontouring. Changing the shape or alignment of teeth in a minor way can have a dramatic effect on a persons smile. Tooth recontouring involves removing small amounts of tooth structure from edges of teeth to correct a tooth that might be misshapen or slightly misaligned.
Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion
The beauty of cosmetic dentistry is that only you and your dentist should ever know it was done. A well trained cosmetic dentist can create a smile that is both beautiful and natural looking. There are so many ways in cosmetic dentistry to make changes to your smile. Talk yo your dentist to see what will work best for you.
There are many questions when it comes to dental procedures. Why do we need certain treatments?, What does the dentist look for besides cavities?, Are x-rays safe?, etc. While you may know the answers to some of the questions, there are many questions asked by patients on a daily basis that relate to the ones mentioned below.
-Are You Ever Too Old For Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is about more than just looking good. It is not suggested to do cosmetic dentistry until after growth and development have ended, beyond that there is no age limit. Cosmetic dentistry will often repair and restore our teeth’s function along with improving esthetics. Cosmetic dentistry has also been shown to improve self esteem and how others see you. Whether it be the use of porcelain crowns to rebuild lost tooth height from years of use or dental implants to replace missing or badly damaged teeth, cosmetic dentistry can give you the smile you have desired and need to live a full, happy life.
-What Are Dental Sealants?
Sealants are a thin, plastic-like coating that is applied onto the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are usually placed on the premolars and molars. The sealant flows into the grooves of the teeth and are set using a special dental light so they harden forming a protective shield.
It is generally recommended that children have sealants placed on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as the erupt into the mouth. However, it is also recommended for anyone with deep grooves and pits in the enamel of the biting surfaces of back teeth. Sealants generally last about 2-10 years depending upon wear and seal strength, but they should be routinely checked to ensure they have not fractured or chipped off exposing the tooth structure underneath.
-What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Oral Cancer?
While oral cancer is usually believed to be associated with those who drink and/or smoke, more then 25% of all oral cancer cases are of those who do not smoke and only drink alcohol on occasion. Oral Cancer signs and symptoms include:
-Development of white or red patches in the mouth.
-Development of sores that do not go away within 2 weeks.
-Unexplained pain or tenderness around the face and neck.
-Development of unexplained numbness in the face and neck.
-Chronic sore throat or voice changes.
-Change in the “bite” of your teeth.
It is important to remember that early diagnosis of oral cancer gives you the best chance for full recovery.
-How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?
This has been a hot topic with many in the media and many families. We are exposed to radiation all day long going about our daily lives. This includes radiation from the sun and appliances in our homes. Luckily, these radiation levels are extremely small. A full set of dental x-rays is similar to the normal radiation we are exposed to on a normal day outside.
Dental x-rays have improved dramatically over the years. Modern x-ray units limit radiation to a small area using a single beam and use higher speed film to require a shorter exposure time. It is important to remember that radiation exposure is cumulative over the course of a lifetime. Dental x-rays are a necessary part of maintaining dental health. The ADA has standards of care in regards to acceptable diagnostic radiographs (x-rays) for all dentists to follow.
-I Have A Gap In My Front Teeth. Can That Be Fixed?
The procedure to close a gap between teeth is called dental bonding. Dental bonding is a cosmetic dentistry procedure using a tooth colored material that is applied to your natural teeth to close the space. The final product will look natural and match color perfectly. No one should know but you and your dentist. The procedure can be completed in as little as an hour.
-Are Teeth Whitening Toothpastes Effective?
Toothpastes contain mild abrasives and are generally effective at removing light surface stains. However, over time the staining goes deeper and more difficult for toothpaste alone to remove. Teeth whitening toothpastes are more effective at removing surface stains but the most effective way to whiten teeth is through your dentist using bleaching agents that can go deeper than just the surface. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth’s color by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated whitening conducted in your dentist’s office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.
-When Is The Best Time To Remove Wisdom Teeth?
When the removal of wisdom teeth is determined necessary, it is best done when the roots are approximately 2/3rds formed, usually in the teenage years. Removal at this time allows for an easier procedure and decreases the risk of damage to the nerves in that area.
An educated patient armed with dental health knowledge is going to be able to ask good questions regarding their dental care. You should know what options are available to you treatment-wise, why treatment needs to be done, and whether or not it specific treatments will work for you. The next time you are at the dental office, ask questions. Your dentist and hygienist will be happy to answer your questions and help you make informed decisions.
FAMILY, COSMETIC AND IMPLANT DENTISTRY
Dr. Marielaina Perrone has developed a unique dental practice that focuses on each patient individually with high quality care using the most innovative, up-to-date techniques and procedures. The environment is comforting and soothing with the patient greeted by a highly trained staff. Dr. Perrone and her staff get to know each individual personally as well as educate each patient about the procedures and dental health.
Dr. Perrone has completed hundreds of hours of continuing education courses focusing on dental phobia, dental implants, periodontal disease treatment and cosmetic dentistry. She offers top treatments and treats each patient with care and respect, prompting many to tell her and her staff how they actually enjoy going to the dentist. “The patient is always our first priority throughout dental care and we strive to give them something to smile about after every visit,” she stated.
What types of procedures and treatments does your office offer?
We offer comprehensive treatment for the whole family. I have extensive training in many areas of dentistry and am happy to offer a wide range of services including full mouth reconstruction, all-on-4 dentures (“dentures in a day”), root canals, cosmetic dentistry including bonding, veneers and porcelain crowns, dentistry for children, minor periodontal surgeries including gum contouring, oral surgery and implant restoration, whitening procedures, treatments for TMJ, grinding, clenching, and snore/sleep apnea appliances as well as dentures, enameloplasty and the treatment of dental phobia.
Speaking of dental phobias, it is a specialty of yours. How do you work with patients with a dental phobia?
Dental phobia can be overcome! We learn all that we can about a patient’s history and fears, spend time with them so that we can address all that concerns them. We work slowly, listen, stop whenever needed, give the patient a sense of control and never judge. We are proud to say that we have helped many people overcome dental phobia, get treatment done and feel great about it. We even have a website specifically geared toward helping the dental phobic patient, lasvegasdentalphobia.com.
I write a blog on my other website, drperrone.com, and my topic for Jan. 29 was, “Are You a Nervous Dental Patient?” I give tips to how we calm dental anxiety including good communication between dentist and patient, which I practice.
I also encourage my patients that it helps to feel that they are in control. With me, my patients have the confidence to stop or start treatment, make treatment decisions based upon options, how long appointments should be and how often they are comfortable coming in for treatment.
I educate patients so they have the power of knowledge about their dental care. They understand the steps of treatment, and why it is important for them to follow through.
What are some of the top teeth whitening procedures or products you recommend?
We provide one hour in-office whitening (Zoom or Sapphire) for rapid whitening, 20 minute in-office whitening with the Sinsational smile system, which is great for the patient with sensitive teeth who cannot tolerate conventional whitening. We love to use custom fabricated whitening trays made for the patient’s home use and whitening gel pens.
What advice do you have for patients considering veneers?
Veneers can be life changing and can give many people a smile they never imagined was possible for them. It is crucial that the whole mouth be evaluated to be sure that veneers are the best treatment for the patient. Photos, X-rays and study models should be utilized to decide which teeth need to be veneered, which color will be most flattering and what shape suits a patient’s face the best.
Marielaina Perrone, D.D.S.
2551 N. Green Valley Parkway Suite #A405
Henderson, NV 89014
702.458.2929 • drperrone.com
Sensitive teeth can occur for a variety of reasons and in many ways. Sensitivity to temperature, sweets, touch, or pressure are the main types of tooth sensitivity. The pain and discomfort from sensitive teeth are generally a sign of trauma, tooth decay, or wear, and can range from mildly irritating to quite painful. Did you know there are effective treatments against sensitive teeth?
Types Of Sensitive Teeth
There are two very different types of sensitivity:
Dentinal Sensitivity. This occurs when the middle layer (dentin) of a tooth is exposed. Dentin is usually covered by enamel above the gum line and by cementum (bone like connective tissue covering the root of a tooth) below the gum line. There are tiny openings called tubules in the dentin. Inside each tubule there is a nerve branch that comes from the tooth’s pulp (the nerve center of the tooth). When the dentin is exposed, these nerve branches can be affected by hot, cold, or certain foods. This causes tooth sensitivity.
When the outer protective layers of enamel or cementum wear away the dentin becomes exposed. This can affect one tooth or multiple teeth. Dentin exposure can be be caused in a variety of ways. These can include:
1. Aggressive brushing. The enamel layer can be worn away from brushing too hard.
2. Plaque build up. The presence of plaque on the root surfaces can cause sensitivity.
3. Tooth wear that occurs over time from clenching and grinding.
4. Untreated dental cavities.
5. Gingival recession. When the gums recede they expose the tooth’s roots. Receding gums are often caused by periodontal diseases or by aggressive brushing. Receded gums are very common and up to four fifths of people have gum recession by the time they are 65.
6. Periodontal surgery (gum surgery) that exposes the tooth’s roots.
7. Tooth whitening.
8. Frequently eating acidic foods or liquids.
Pulpal sensitivity. This is a reaction of the tooth’s pulp. The pulp consists of a mass of blood vessels and nerves in the center of each tooth. Sensitivity of the pulpal tissue tends to affect only one tooth. Causes of this type of sensitivity can include:
1. Dental cavities or infection.
2. Placement of a recent filling.
3. Excessive pressure from grinding or clenching your teeth.
4. A cracked or broken tooth. If you feel a sharp pain upon biting, you may have a broken or cracked filling. Pain when you release your bite is a sign of a cracked tooth.
Your dentist will be able to diagnose the type of sensitivity you have.
Can Sensitive Teeth Be Strengthened?
Your dentist can strengthen your weakened teeth in two ways. These include the following:
-Attempt to rebuild the worn enamel. Fluoride treatments are highly effective at strengthening weakened tooth enamel. Fluoride contains minerals that can help to strengthen your teeth enamel. Exposing your teeth to more fluoride can be done in several ways:
-In Office Fluoride Treatment. This is the most concentrated fluoride treatment available. During this procedure, trays of fluoride gel, varnish, or foam are placed over your teeth, and allow the fluoride to take effect for several minutes to several weeks.
-At Home Fluoride Treatment. You can also use fluoridated toothpaste, gel, or mouthwash at home for gradual enamel maintenance.
-Create A New Enamel-like Layer. The cosmetic dentistry procedures that are highly effective are dental bonding, crowns, and porcelain veneers.
Dental bonding gives the dentist the ability to add tooth colored material to cover the areas lacking in tooth enamel. This effectively creates a protective layer between the sensitive areas of your teeth and the outside stimulants in the outside world.
Sometimes the sensitivity is related to the tooth nerve suffering from inflammation. This may or may not lead to a need for root canal therapy to stop the pain.
Porcelain veneers and crowns can act as a protective layer and decrease sensitivity or protect a tooth after root canal therapy.
Sensitive Teeth Conclusion
Dealing with sensitive teeth can be very frustrating. Oftentimes sensitivity can be treated effectively and quickly. If you are experiencing sensitive teeth, consult your dentist to see what can be done for you to relieve your discomfort and address problems which may be occurring. The sooner the sensitivity is addressed the less chance of more serious problems.