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.
Cosmetic Dentistry has evolved over the years to allow dentists to give patients what they crave…..A beautiful long lasting smile that changes their life in many ways. In the past, dentists could do minor changes to a person’s smile or more drastic ones using orthodontics. Today, modern cosmetic dentistry techniques and materials allow drastic changes as well as minor ones that can alter a patient’s smile for the better.
Do you believe having a great looking smile can improve your appearance and enhance your social life?
In a recent poll by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) revealed that about 96% of those surveyed agreed that it can. In the same study about 65% of the participants said they were unhappy with one or more aspects of their smiles. Cosmetic dentistry has the ability to change that.
Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
Cosmetic Dentistry procedures come in all sizes from a one office visit for teeth whitening to a multiple visit complete smile makeover. Let’s take a look at some of the most sought after cosmetic dentistry procedures…
–Teeth Contouring. This might be one of the simplest and easiest cosmetic dentistry procedures of all. It is generally done without 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. Evening out gum levels can help teeth to look more evenly sized and can make short teeth appear longer.
–Teeth Whitening. In the United States, teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic dentistry procedure performed by dentists. It has been proven by research time and again that people find a whiter smile to be more attractive. People tend to feel better about themselves when they are happy with their appearance. The teeth whitening procedure can be done at home or in the office. Either procedure is generally very successful, and can give patients a dramatic change to their smile with minimal cost and time invested.
–Dental Bonding. While tooth bonding is also used to restore teeth damaged by tooth decay it can also be used as a composite veneer to change color or shape, fix chipped teeth, or close small gaps in your smile. Dental bonding is the process in which tooth colored dental materials are bonded to a tooth. This procedure is also a quicker fix and can usually be completed in a single visit easily altering your smile in as little as an hour.
–Replacing old silver restorations. Many of us have a few silver fillings. Replacing silver fillings with new white fillings or porcelain onlays can make your whole smile brighter.
–Porcelain Veneers and Porcelain Crowns. Our smiles are constantly changing over time with wear. Teeth can get worn down, can shift, or maybe you were born with an imperfect smile. Porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns can be a great way to replace lost tooth structure and alter imperfect teeth. These cosmetic dentistry procedures tend to require multiple visits but the results will give you a beautiful smile. Porcelain
Veneers are custom made, ultra thin, tooth colored shells that are adhesively bonded to the teeth. This allows the cosmetic dentist to not only alter color of your teeth, but shape and length as well. Porcelain veneers are sometimes called instant orthodontics. This is because porcelain veneers can change the alignment of teeth if the alignment issues are not too extreme. 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 sexy smile.
–Dental Implants. These are the newest addition to cosmetic dentistry. Dental implants allow cosmetic dentists another option in tooth replacement. Whether it is a single tooth or a full mouth restoration, dental implants can fill that need. Missing teeth 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 use our teeth 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.
Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion
Cosmetic Dentistry gives your dentist the ability to give patients the smiles they have always dreamed of. Not everyone wants a complete Hollywood style smile makeover and just want minor issues fixed that have always bothered them. Modern cosmetic dentistry allows for both minor fixes as well as extreme ones. Whichever cosmetic dentistry procedure you choose, please be sure that you keep your teeth healthy by visiting your dentist for regular dental examinations and professional cleanings.
Dental Implants have changed the way we all look at tooth replacement and dentistry. Dental implants are not just for single tooth or multiple teeth replacement. They can also be used in support and stabilization of removable dentures. Long time denture wearers will tell you that over time the bone remodels and resorbs resulting in loose and ill fitting dentures. When this happens patients used to be forced to grin and bear it using various denture adhesives. Now with the development of dental implant supported dentures those days can be a relic left in the past for many patients.
Dental Implant Overdenture – What is it?
A dental implant supported denture is also called an overdenture. A traditional removable denture rests directly on the gums, and is not supported by dental implants. This is because the denture sits over the dental implants. The dental implants give support and stability to the denture.
A dental implant supported denture is recommended when a person is missing all the teeth in the jaw. The patient needs to have enough bone in the jaw to support the dental implants. The denture is able to stay in place using special attachments that allow the denture to “snap” into place over the dental implants.
Implant supported removable dentures usually are fabricated for the lower jaw. This is because regular dentures tend to be less stable on the lower arch due to tongue and musculature present. Usually, a regular denture made to fit an upper jaw is much more stable and tolerable on its own and doesn’t need the extra support offered by dental implants. If the patient chooses they can receive a dental implant supported denture in either the upper or lower jaw.
Dental implant supported denture should be removed daily to clean the denture and gum area just like traditional dentures. Also, you should not sleep with the dental implant supported dentures at night. Some people prefer to have fixed (permanent) crown and bridgework in their mouths that can’t be removed but this is not always possible in every patient’s case. Your dentist will consider your particular needs and preferences when suggesting fixed or removable options.
Types of Dental Implant Supported Dentures
There are two types of dental implant supported dentures:
1) Bar-retained dentures. Your dentist will have a thin metal bar custom fabricated for your mouth. This bar will follow the curve of your jaw and is attached to 2-5 dental implants that have been placed directly into your jawbone. Clips or other types of attachments are fitted to the bar, the denture or both. The denture is then designed to fit directly over the bar stabilized by the attachments. The dental implants along with the bar and attachments gives the denture support and stability.
2) Ball-retained dentures. The dental implants in the jawbone hold a metal attachment(ball) that fits into another attachment(socket) on the
denture. In most cases, the attachments on the implants are ball-shaped (“male” attachments), and they fit into sockets (“female” attachments)
on the denture. In some cases, the situation is reversed and the male attachment is in the denture and female attachment is on the dental implant. This also gives the denture wearer increased stability and retention over the traditional removable denture without dental implants.
In both scenarios, the removable denture will be made of a custom fabricated acrylic base that will look like gingival tissue. The teeth can be made of porcelain or acrylic. These teeth will look very natural. Either type of denture needs a minimum of 2 dental implants to work properly over the long term.
Placement of Dental Implants
The prime location for placement of the dental implants is in the front of the mouth. The reason for this is due to the fact that there is
generally more bone present in this area for the dental implants. This is the case even if the teeth have been missing for a long period of time. When teeth are lost, bone is lost in that surrounding area. Anatomy plays a role as well. In the front of the mouth there are less nerves orother important structures that could interfere with he placement of the dental implants.
The time schedule to complete the dental implants can be complicated. The general time frame is approximately 5 months for the lower jaw and approximately 7 months in the upper jaw. The process can take much longer if the case is more complicated. Complications can include the need for bone grafting or even sinus lifts.
The procedure generally requires two surgeries. The first surgery is for placement of the dental implants in the jawbone under your gingival tissue. The second surgery is to remove the gingival tissue that has now covered the dental implants. The second procedure comes 3-6 after the first.
There has been increased use of a one stage procedure.
A one-stage procedure is now used sometimes. In this procedure, your dentist places the implants and the supporting bar all at same visit. The success rate of this procedure is high. if properly treatment planned.
Dental Implant Supported Denture Care
The dentures need to be removed at at night and to clean them. The attachments and/or bar need to be cleaned as well. Your dentist will give you instructions on how to clean these as they can be delicate.
Your dentist will periodically check the parts of your new denture to ensure they are secure and in proper place. Your denture may seem stable but over time these attachments can loosen. If they loosen even slightly it will cause the denture to move when chewing. This movement of the denture can cause sore spots as the denture rubs against your gums. Your dentist will also check to make sure your bite is correct and make any adjustments as needed.
The clip or other attachments on the bar retained denture usually will need to be replaced every 6-12 months. They are made of a plastic material (nylon) and will wear after continued use.
Complications that may Arise From Dental Implants
The actual dental implant surgery carries its own risks but so does a bar retained denture. The fabrication of a bar retained denture needs extra space inside the denture to allow for the bar to fit inside. This means there is less support for the teeth in the denture. Due to this, the teeth sometimes come loose. This is an easy fix but an inconvenience for the patient.
Another important item is that the denture fits on the bar passively. This means that the bar is evenly balanced across all implants. If the fit is not passive, the extra strain can cause the screws holding the bar down to loosen. A special note for teeth grinders or clenchers is that their parts are more likely to break due to the excessive force they are placing on the components and dental implants.
Dental Implant Overdenture Expectations
A denture supported by dental implants will be far more stable than a traditional removable denture. Patients will find everyday tasks easier. They will find speaking easier. They will also not be concerned that their denture may fall out or become loose. Patients report being able to eat foods they have not been able to eat in years. A word of caution is to avoid sticky or very hard foods as you can damage the denture with these types of food.
A big advantage to having dental implants support the upper denture is the dentist can make your denture much less bulky. A traditional denture covers your entire palate whereas a dental implant supported denture does not need that extra material for support.
A whole new world has opened up with dental implants for both patient and dentist. The old compromise and limitations are slowly being worn away. We are entering a new world of dentistry and dental implants are leading the way!
Bone Grafting Procedure
The actual bone grafting procedure is quite straightforward. A dentist will assess the quantity and quality of your bone during the treatment planning stages. It will be at this time that he/she will determine if there is a need for bone grafting. Then your dentist will review the different types of bone grafts with you and decide which will be the most suitable for your individual case.
Once this has been decided the bone graft procedure can be performed. The actual procedure requires the dentist to place bone under the gum tissue at the site where the bone graft is needed. The dentist will then be able to place the bone to be grafted onto the site and then cover it with a membrane for protection. Membranes are often used to help stabilize the bone graft as well as keep the gum tissue from invading the healing bone graft. The gum tissue will grow at a much faster rate than bone, therefore, membranes are used to prevent gum tissue from growing in and displacing the bone graft before it fully matures.This membrane is also used to protect the bone from any germs found in the oral cavity and ensure that the area is perfectly clean to allow the healing process to take place. Finally, the area is closed and the tissue is stitched into place. Bone graft healing time is usually right around 4-6 months. But this can vary from patient to patient. Patients are given a prescription for antibiotics to take following their bone graft. Antibiotic mouthwashes can also be prescribed to preserve the health of the gum covering the bone graft.
On follow up visits the dentist will check on the success of the bone graft by taking x-rays to determine the height and width of the new bone. Once this has been verified as satisfactory, and the site of the bone graft is completely healed, the next stage of the dental implant process can begin.
Dental bone grafts for the purpose of dental implants has a very high success rate. But there is always a possibility that the bone graft will not work as planned, even if your own bone was used. Bone grafts are not rejected by the body like organ transplants. There is still some mystery as to why some bone grafts fail. We do know that certain people (for example, smokers, diabetics, patients with poor dental hygiene) have higher risks of graft failure.
A failed graft will need to be removed. Once healed properly, you and your dentist may choose to place a second graft.
A bone graft gives the implant dentist and patient one more tool to achieve a successful outcome to just about any implant treatment.