Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Many of us have dental fillings in place for many years and the question becomes when should they be replaced? Dental fillings are man made materials used to replace tooth structure that has been damaged by tooth decay. The dental filling will allow your dentist to restore both function and shape of your tooth back to its natural form.

Types Of Dental Fillings

-Amalgam (Silver). Use of amalgam has seen some controversy over the years due to its mercury content. Amalgam is made up of a mixture of various metals. Use of amalgam has some drawbacks (beyond its mercury content) which include:

1. No Bonding Properties. Amalgam cannot be bonded to existing tooth structure. This means that a tooth must be over prepared removing more natural tooth structure than necessary to ensure the amalgam filling will hold in place.

2. Not A Cosmetic Restoration. Amalgam is a darker color and cannot be matched to your existing teeth.

3. Increased Risk Of Tooth Fracture. Another disadvantage to using a metal allow is that it can expand and contract over time based on your oral environment. If the metal allow expands too much it can cause your tooth to weaken and fracture over time.

-Composite Resin. This has become the preferred dental restoration for most dentists and patients. The advantages of composite resin include:

1. Cosmetic Restoration. Dental composite is a tooth colored material that can be matched to your existing teeth. If done properly a dental composite can match perfectly to your natural teeth.

2. Excellent Bonding Properties. Unlike dental amalgam restorations, a composite resin filling can be directly bonded to your natural tooth structure. This creates a stronger attachment to the teeth.

3. Conservative Restoration. Since a composite resin can be bonded directly to the tooth much less natural tooth structure needs to be removed. There is no need to take away any more tooth structure than is absolutely necessary to restore the tooth back to its natural form and function.

The main disadvantage to the use of composite resin is the presence of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in some dental composites. If this is a concern to you, ask your dentist if they are using BPA free dental composite.

Signs A Dental Filling Needs To Be Replaced

-Temperature Sensitivity. This can be quite uncomfortable but it is important to see your dentist when it arises. If the pain goes away after exposure to hot or cold after a few seconds, it is usually repairable but if the pain lingers for a longer time after removal of exposure, it may indicate damage to the nerve that cannot be repaired with a simple dental filling.

-Pain Upon Biting. This can indicate a fracture beginning in your tooth from an existing dental restoration.

-Throbbing, Constant Pain. If the tooth decay reaches the nerve of the tooth it will create a toothache pain. Root canal therapy may be required at this point.

-Fractured Dental Filling. If you notice a piece of your dental filling has broken off you need to see your dentist immediately to have it repaired or replaced.

Conclusion

Being aware of your signs and symptoms is key to knowing when to see your dentist. Regular dental examinations and dental x-rays are needed to fully evaluate your existing dental fillings and give your dentist all the information needed as to when your dental fillings need replacement. It is best to diagnose replacement as soon as possible to avoid more extensive dental work.

Anyone who is fashion conscious knows sometimes the accessories are what makes a well dressed man or women. Whether it be a watch or a tie for a man or a handbag for a woman they can make or break someone’s look. What about your smile? Have you ever considered your smile to be an accessory to your look? If your smile is dull and lifeless it will detract from your overall look making you appear older and less vibrant. Below are some cosmetic dentistry procedures that can be utilized to brighten up an overall smile.

Using Cosmetic Dentistry To Be Fashion Forward

-Dental Bonding. This is the cosmetic dentistry procedure in which tooth colored dental materials are adhesively bonded to a tooth. This might be one of the simplest cosmetic dentistry procedures to bring your smile to life. Dental bonding gives the dentist the ability to change shape, size, color, length, and close any gaps that might be present. Dental bonding can be completed in as little as an hour. The main disadvantages of dental bonding are chipping, wearing over time, and staining. The final product is not as strong as a porcelain restoration and may need to be updated over time. While dental bonding is also used to restore teeth damaged by tooth decay it can also be used as a cosmetic veneer. Dental bonding is a very easy way to make your smile youthful and natural in appearance again.

-Porcelain Veneers and Porcelain Crowns. Often called “instant orthodontics”, porcelain veneers can change the alignment of teeth, if the alignment issues are not too extreme. Porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns can be a great way to replace lost tooth structure and alter imperfect teeth creating a more youthful appearance. Porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers tend to require more than one visit, but the results will give you a beautiful, youthful smile that lasts for years to come. Porcelain Veneers are custom made, ultra thin, tooth colored shells that are bonded to your teeth, and do not change color over time. This allows the cosmetic dentist to not only alter color of your teeth, but shape and length as well. Porcelain crowns can be used on teeth that either already have crowns or need more extensive work (having large restorations or tooth decay). Both porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns can as used in cosmetic dentistry to give the patient a flawless, more youthful and natural looking smile.

-Teeth Whitening. This is quite possibly the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure today. It is safe and effective and comes in a few forms. These forms include in office whitening, at home whitening (with dentist provided trays), as well as use of teeth whitening strips, and topical gels. All of these methods are quite effective for most people. It has been proven by research time and again, that people find a whiter smile to be more youthful and attractive.  People tend to feel better about themselves when they are happy with their appearance. Teeth whitening can give patients a dramatic change to their smile with minimal cost and time invested.

-Teeth Contouring. This might be one of the simplest and most cost effective cosmetic dentistry procedures of all. It is usually done without the need for anesthesia and can be as simple as filing down a tooth that appears longer or is slightly out of alignment with the others. Most patients are quite surprised at how such a small adjustment can alter their smile for the better.

-Gum contouring and Gum grafting. Evening out gum levels can help teeth to look more evenly sized and can make short teeth appear longer. Gum grafts can fix areas where gum recession has occurred to make everything appear even and natural again.

-Dental Implants. Dental implants allow cosmetic dentists another option in tooth replacement to recreate a youthful, attractive smile. Whether it is a single tooth or a full mouth restoration, dental implants can fill that need. Missing teeth or open spaces has long been considered a sign of old age. Having a full set of white teeth screams youth especially when they are bright, white, and sparkling. When a person is missing a tooth they have several options. There are partial and complete dentures (including the all on 4 dental implants system), traditional bridges, and dental implants. A dental implant can look and feel just like a natural tooth. It is also easier to keep clean than a traditional bridge. Dental implants are placed directly into bone creating a solid foundation for a natural tooth replacement.

-Bite Reclamation. Over time as we age, we tend to lose some height on our teeth. This loss of height of height is also referred to as loss of vertical dimension. Some other factors that cause this loss include acid reflux or teeth grinding (bruxism). Reclaiming a person’s bite utilizing dental implants and porcelain crowns will increase vertical height which will also remove some of the wrinkles around the mouth. These wrinkles develop as our we age and our mouth’s sag from this loss of dimension. Cosmetic dentistry can fix some of this.

-Botox and Dermal Fillers. Long the realm of cosmetic surgeons, dentistry has now added these procedures to give what is called a dental face lift. In combination with dental work, removing some of those wrinkles on the face and around the mouth specifically will better frame that beautiful, white, youthful smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion

Many studies have shown that the first thing people notice upon meeting is their smile. If your smile is dull and lifeless it can lead to a bad impression. Put your best foot forward in your choice of clothes and in your smile maintenance. You only get one chance for a first impression, make it a good one!

It has been said that the only thing in life that is constant is change. The same can be said for our smiles. As we age, our smiles change. This occurs when we are younger with new teeth erupting, loss of teeth as we get older, or even just teeth being misaligned. Ever wonder why teeth are constantly on the move?

Teeth Moving Factors

-Genetics. This always plays a role when it comes to our bodies and especially our teeth. Children actually inherit their parents tooth shape and size.

-Age. Anothe rmajor factor. As we use our teeth the dimensions of them change from wear over time. The lower teeth tend to wear out facter than the upper teeth due to their smaller size. This is commonly referred to as vertical bite collapse and is one of the reasons the skin around our mouths sag as we age. As the teeth wear down they are under immense pressure to shift and change positions as the bite re aligns itself anew.

Genetics, of course, can be a major factor. You can actually inherit your tooth shape! Tracing back either one or several generations, if it’s in your genes to have small or misshapen or crooked teeth, then that will probably be your eventual (not-permanent) fate.

-Tooth Loss. A major factor in teeth shifting when we are young and old. Most people believe that primary teeth can just come out and not cause any problems. This is not the case, the primary teeth hold space for the larger permanent teeth so are vital in that capacity. The loss of permanent teeth will allow the other teeth surrounding the loss to shift into that space.  If bottom teeth are missing, the tooth above will begin to grow downward. Nothing is stopping it from doing so or pushing it back into its place.

-Tooth Grinding (Bruxism). Grinding the hard surfaces of enamel together can wear down, fracture, and chip your teeth. Your teeth may appear shorter as they wear.  Another effect of teeth grinding is actual changes in the position of the teeth.  This grinding action juts the lower teeth forward and can loosen your upper teeth over time. Over time, these stresses can allow the teeth to move or drift to a different position and dramatically change your smile.

What Can Be Done To Fix or Stop Your Smile Moving?

-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 should last long after your big day is over.

-Dental Bonding. This cosmetic dentistry procedure involves using 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 (referred to as a composite veneer). Dental bonding can generally be completed in one visit and make dramatic changes to your smile.

-Porcelain Veneers. While the initial cost is higher than the 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. If this is an option for your big day, you will need to plan in advance as time is needed to complete lab work.

-Porcelain and Zirconia Crowns. These types of crowns are the strongest and most cosmetic options available. They are made from modern dental porcelains 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 quick, conservative way to improve your smile without any permanent dental work. All that is required is having your dentist take impressions of your teeth, choosing a color, and the dentist sending them to a lab to have your custom snap on smile fabricated. Once the snap on smile is created, 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.

-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.

-Orthodontic Treatment. Minor tooth movement can be utilized by your cosmetic dentist to bring your smile in line and allow for a better harmony between your smile and function.

Conclusion

Gone are the days where you have to just “deal” with a smile you are unhappy with. Cosmetic dentistry is not only about esthetics. Many of the procedures listed above will also improve the form and function of your teeth to allow for better health as well.

You are the center of attention on your wedding day. You want to shine and look your best. This includes picking the right dress, the right flowers, and having your hair done just right. But what about your smile? Often overlooked but always at the center of every picture. A white, bright smile will give you even more confidence and self esteem on your big day.

Options Available For A Brighter, Whiter Smile On Your Big Day

-Teeth Whitening. There are a myriad of teeth whitening options. They are mainly broken down into two types….those you can do at home and those done in a dentists office. The most effective and efficient teeth whitening is done in a dental office. 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 should last long after your big day is over.

-Dental Bonding. This cosmetic dentistry procedure involves using 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 (referred to as a composite veneer). Dental bonding can generally be completed in one visit and make dramatic changes to your smile.

-Porcelain Veneers. While the initial cost is higher than the 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. If this is an option for your big day, you will need to plan in advance as time is needed to complete lab work.

-Porcelain and Zirconia Crowns. These types of crowns are the strongest and most cosmetic options available. They are made from modern dental porcelains 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 quick, conservative way to improve your smile without any permanent dental work. All that is required is having your dentist take impressions of your teeth, choosing a color, and the dentist sending them to a lab to have your custom snap on smile fabricated. Once the snap on smile is created, 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, 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.

-Orthodontic Treatment. Minor tooth movement can be utilized by your cosmetic dentist to bring your smile in line and allow for a better harmony between your smile and function.

Wedding Day Smile Conclusion

Your big day should be one that is worry free and allow you to smile freely. You will remember this day for a lifetime make it one worth remembering.