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Dental Implants, Teeth Whitening, Porcelain Veneers, &
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Cosmetic dentistry is often perceived as an adult only option in dentistry. While that may be the case most of the time, cosmetic dentistry options for kids do exist. Most of these cosmetic dentistry options for younger patients tend to be minimally invasive.  Cosmetic dentistry for children is a delicate balance between changing a smile and the growth of the child. Adult procedures generally do not translate well to children. Children are still growing, so that must be kept in mind at all times. Usually at this stage, you want something that is only semi-permanent.

Minimally Invasive Dentistry

These procedures are the best option for most younger, still developing patients. Removing tooth structure is permanent so it is wise to consider the long term implications. Minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry strives to conserve healthy tooth structure by allowing the dentist to perform the least amount of dentistry possible. This entails never removing more tooth structure than is required to restore teeth to their optimal condition.

What are the best options for minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry for children?

-Dental Flipper. This procedure is used  if a child loses a tooth do to trauma or tooth decay, because a dental implant is not an option before age 17 or 18.   The traditional option has been to create this removable appliance (called a flipper) with a fake tooth on it. This appliance may help with self confidence, and speech if more than one tooth is missing.

-Dental Bonding. Bonding is generally used to repair decayed teeth, while restoring their natural color and shape.

-No Prep Veneers. This type of cosmetic dentistry veneer is placed over the existing teeth with bonding. No tooth structure is removed and the veneers can be removed at any time.

-White crowns. In the past, stainless steel crowns have been used to restore broken down primary teeth. There are new, highly cosmetic, white crowns which can be utilized in the same manner.

-Teeth Whitening. This is not recommended in younger patients. If the patient and parent are to request this, it is usually recommended to wait until the teenage years. In some instances this is a viable option to correct a tooth that has discolored due to trauma.

-Limited Orthodontics. Early intervention orthodontics can be considered minimally invasive in some cases. Bringing teeth in line not only improves ones cosmetic smile but it also makes it easier to maintain dental health. Teeth that are crowded will be much more difficult to keep clean.

Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion

Cosmetic dentistry can be a great option for children if tailored to their current and future needs. As our younger patients age, they become hyper aware of their bodies and may request changes that may or may not be possible. This awareness will affect a child’s self esteem and self confidence, so if a cosmetic dentist can make minimally invasive changes then, large positive results may be incurred. Cosmetic dentistry procedures can give a tremendous boost to the young patients as they mature into young adults.

When people think of cosmetic dentistry they might think of Hollywood style makeovers. These makeovers, while great, do not work for every individual’s needs. The beauty

Minimum Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDS

Simple Cosmetic Dentistry Fixes For That Perfect Smile!

of cosmetic dentistry is that it can oftentimes show major results with minimum work. It takes an experienced cosmetic dentist to be able to see that a small change may be all that is necessary for a patient to fulfill their needs and wants.

What Is Minimum Dentistry?

Minimum dentistry encompasses all the possible treatment options available in cosmetic dentistry but just on a smaller scale. It means, to be as efficient and conservative as possible with time, treatment,tooth strcuture, and money to gain maximum results with the resources we have available.

Which cosmetic dentistry procedures are available for minimum dentistry?

-Tooth Reshaping (also called tooth re-contouring, or enameloplasty) – This simple, effective minimum dentistry procedure allows your cosmetic dentist to reshape your teeth very minimally to change length, width, or thickness. This is very effective for teeth with varying lengths or ones that are slightly out of line with each other. This will not work in cases of more severe misalignments as you run the risk of removing too much tooth structure causing sensitivity teeth.

-Teeth Whitening – A minimum dentistry procedure, that can whiten your teeth in as little as an hour. There are various types of teeth whitening available. These include in office teeth whitening (done in as little as an hour), at home teeth whitening (completed over a period of 2 weeks or so). There are also over the counter methods of teeth whitening available. Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages. The most efficient method is in office whitening but it is also the most expensive.

-Dental Bonding – Another minimum dentistry procedure that can be completed in under an hour that can dramatically change a smile. A chipped tooth or a gap can make your smile look less attractive. Dental bonding can close that gap and restore a chipped tooth to its natural appearance.

-Inlays and Onlays – Inlays and onlays require minimal removal of healthy tooth structure when compared to dental crowns. These are usually made of porcelain to make the final restoration as cosmetic as possible. Removal of healthy tooth structure increases the risks of both tooth fracture and the possible need for root canal therapy after the crown is completed. The inlay or onlay can serve a wonderful purpose, by preserving tooth structure, as well as being a more cost effective option to a full porcelain crown.

-Lumineers – This is truly a minimum dentistry procedure. This requires little to no tooth preparation. The trade off is, that the final product can often look bulky and out of place. For that reason most skilled cosmetic dentists reject this procedure.

-Snap On Smile – Another cosmetic minimum dentistry procedure that requires no tooth preparation. It is literally as the name suggests…a new smile you snap on over your existing teeth. For many patients this is the answer for special events like a wedding, job interviews, etc. Snap on smile is especially useful when major dental work would be required to alter the smile properly.

-Ginival recontouring - Also called a gum lift or gingivoplasty. This procedure removes a bit of gum tissue to allow short teeth to appear longer, to decrease a gummy smile, and to even out the gum line.

Minimum Dentistry Conclusion

Cosmetic dentistry procedures do not have to cost a fortune and require a lot of time in the dentist’s office. Minor changes to a smile can bring dramatic results. The ultimate goal of any cosmetic dentistry procedure is to meet the patients goals and to create a functional final result. Minimum dentistry allows for everyone to be able to enjoy the benefits of cosmetic dentistry especially with a limited budget of time and money.

Cosmetic dentistry includes a number of dental procedures aimed at improving the appearance of the teeth and smile.  A very common cosmetic procedure is the dental veneer.

Dental veneers are wafer thin, custom fabricated shells of tooth colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your overall smile and appearance. These custom fabricated shells are adhesively bonded to the front of the teeth. This allows the cosmetic dentist the ability to change your teeth’s color, shape, size, or length.

Dental veneers can be fabricated from dental porcelain or from composite (resin) materials. Dental veneers can be used to create bright, white smiles with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. Dental veneers also protect the surface of broken or damaged teeth, and may eliminate the need for more extensive treatments. Other advantages of dental veneers include durability, an improved smile, and the need for much less tooth structure removal compared to traditional or porcelain crowns.

Why are Dental Veneers Needed?

Dental Veneers are utilized for a variety of reasons in cosmetic dentistry. These reasons can include:

-Crooked Teeth. Some minor modifications can be done, which may eliminate the need for orthodontic movement.

-Genetics. Certain people are born with abnormal sized/shaped teeth, or gaps between their teeth that widen with age.

-Wear and Tear.  Teeth wearing down is a natural part of aging. Aged teeth are more likely to be small,  have chips, fractures, cracks or a generally uneven appearance.

-Worn Enamel. Over time, the thin, hard translucent substance covering your teeth (enamel) may become worn, see through,  dull, or discolored. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or result from a genetic predisposition. However, it often results from consuming soft drinks, tea or coffee, smoking, using certain medications, etc.

Material Used for Dental Veneers

The most commonly utilized materials for dental veneers are composite resins and dental porcelain. Porcelain veneers are the more appropriate answer for severe cases involving dullness, wear, tooth discoloration, extensive chipping, cracking, gaps in teeth or uneven teeth. Composite bonding or just dental bonding is an inexpensive, effective and minimally invasive way to restore and correct small chips, cracks and discoloration in the teeth. Porcelain veneers generally require some reduction of the enamel tooth surface, while bonded dental veneers can oftentimes be done without tooth modification. Porcelain veneers are very strong, and do not change color. Bonded veneers tend to chip and pick up stain over time.

Techniques Used in Dental Veneers

Indirect Technique – This technique means that the composite or porcelain veneers are fabricated outside the mouth by a dental technician in a laboratory.

Direct Technique – This technique means that the composite veneers are created directly on your teeth by your dentist during your appointment.

When are Veneers Good Treatment?

The removal by a dentist of any natural tooth structure is permanent, so modern cosmetic dentistry has moved to offer patients the most minimally invasive options first. If your natural teeth are functionally and cosmetically adequate, dental veneers may not be the right treatment for you.

On the other hand, if you have any of the aforementioned cosmetic issues, your treatment options may  include veneers. Dental Veneers do have the advantage of a proven ability to enhance the appearance of the mouth, smile and other facial features that are better supported by properly shaped teeth.

If modification of the tooth surface is necessary to achieve optimum results, some cosmetic dentists will recommend less invasive alternatives to dental veneers. One such alternative would be, teeth whitening for people with mildly discolored teeth who only want a whiter and brighter smile. If crooked teeth or alignment issues are involved, the teeth whitening alternative may also be combined with orthodontic treatments. Invisalign, full braces, or use of an orthodontic appliance for minor tooth movement may be all that you need to acquire the smile you desire.

Care of Dental Veneers

Care must be taken not to abuse dental veneers because the wafer thin porcelain shells or composite layers can be damaged or break. Your dentist may advise you against grinding, fingernail chewing, and biting directly into things such as carrots or pizza crusts. If you grind at night your dentist  may recommend you wear a night guard while sleeping. It is even more important to have excellent dental hygiene, so that you do not get tooth decay forming under your dental veneer. You should also see your dentist for regular cleanings.

Dental Veneers Conclusion

Dental veneers, whether porcelain veneers or composite veneers, are a great option for those who wish to change their smile. Dental veneers give the cosmetic dentist and patient the ability to change color, shape, and size in an easy manner. As always, before pursuing dental veneers of any kind, please have a thorough dental examination and professional cleaning performed to ensure your mouth is healthy and able to withstand the new treatment.

 

Tooth decay (also called dental cavities) is the destruction of tooth structure. It can affect both the enamel (outer layer) and the dentin layer (inner layer) of the tooth. Tooth decay is the most common cause of loss of teeth and it affects almost everyone at some point in their lives. Tooth decay is also the second most common disease in the U.S. (the common cold is first).  Luckily, cavities can be easily prevented.

It is normal for bacteria to be present in the mouth. Certain types of bacteria are able to attach to hard surfaces in the mouth like the enamel that cover the teeth. If these bacteria are not removed, they are able to multiply and grow in number until a colony forms. Proteins that are present in the saliva also mix in and the bacteria colony becomes a whitish film (plaque) on the enamel.

These bacteria feed on sugars and starches from the food like chocolates, sticky sweets, ice cream, milk, cakes, and even fruits, vegetables and juices, producing acid as a byproduct. This acid then erodes the tooth enamel slowly dissolving the tooth. A cavity is formed causing a hole or break in the tooth structure. If not fixed at this stage, the tooth decay can progress further reaching the dentin where it can spread even quicker. The cavity can progress very quickly after entering the dentin. This can lead to a larger issue of a dental abscess if untreated.

Unfortunately for the patient, this process moves very slowly so there may not be any pain or tooth sensitivity until the cavity becomes quite big.

Preventing Tooth Decay

-Maintain a regimen of Dental Hygiene. This is a necessity to prevent tooth decay. A good dental hygiene program includes regular visits to dentist and hygienist, brushing after every meal (with a fluoride containing toothpaste), and flossing at least once a day. You should especially remember to brush before bed. Food can get stuck in between our teeth when we eat. If the food particles are not removed, it can lead to tooth decay. Flossing at least once a day is the best way to remove food from in between the teeth.

-Eat well balanced nutritious meal and limit snacking. Stay away from carbohydrates such as candy, pretzels and chips. These can remain on the tooth surface. If sticky foods are eaten, brush your teeth soon afterwards. Eating fruits and vegetables for snacks and limiting the amount of sugary drinks and foods will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth.

-Supplemental Fluoride. Fluoride can strengthen your teeth. Your dentist may recommend a daily fluoride rinse (ACT anticavity rinse is an example) as part of your dental hygiene. This will help in cavity prevention.

Fluoride Rinse - ACT

Prevent Tooth Decay – ACT Fluoride Rinse

regimen.

-Dental Sealants. These can prevent some tooth decay. Sealants are ultra thin coatings applied to the top (chewing) surfaces of the molars. This coating helps prevent the build up of plaque in the deep grooves on these molars. Sealants are generally applied on the children’s teeth soon after the molars erupt into the mouth. Adults can also benefit from the use of sealants if they have a high risk for decay or have deep grooves in the molars and premolars.

-Antiseptic Mouth Rinse. There are several antiseptic mouth rinses on the market that have been clinically proven to reduce plaque. These include Listerine or Crest Pro Health. Rinsing with either of these mouth rinses after brushing or eating can help in cavity prevention. They work by reducing the number of bacteria present in mouth as well as acting as a rinse to wash away plaque and film on teeth.

-Sugarless Gum. Chewing sugarless gum will help prevent tooth decay by stimulating salivary flow. In studies xylitol has shown to temporarily slow down the growth of bacteria that causes tooth decay. There are several brands of xylitol gum including epic, wrigley’s, and trident.

To reduce tooth decay, eating less sugar, regular cleaning and flossing are all needed to keep the bacteria that causes tooth decay from getting out of control. Tooth decay is preventable and treatable in most stages. Diligent dental hygiene along with regular dental visits will keep you cavity free!

tooth decay prevention