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Posts for tag: cosmetic dentistry

By Redwood Dental Health Center
February 10, 2013
Category: Dental Procedures
YourCrowningAchievement

Creating a dental crown that looks good and wears well is not an easy achievement. It is the result of good communication you, the patient, have with us, your dental professionals, and that we have with the dental lab that manufactures the crown. In addition, it reflects the quality of work done by us and by the lab technician.

What is a dental crown?
A crown is a dental restoration that surrounds the remains of a damaged tooth or is attached to a dental implant so that it resembles a natural tooth as it extends above the gum line. The choice of materials and appearance of the crown depend upon many factors. One is the location of the crown. If it is in the back part of your jaw, strength and wear will be a major factor. If it is in the front, a life-like appearance will be important.

What goes into making a good-looking and functional crown?
Options for crown materials include porcelain, gold, porcelain fused to metal (called PFM) and some newer materials such as “pressed-ceramic” restorations and computer-milled-ceramics.

You as the patient can have a say in choosing the crown's color and appearance. Before it is cemented into its final position, make sure you are happy with the feel and appearance of your new crown.

Gold is often chosen for crowns on back teeth because of its superior wear qualities. Gold crowns have been known to last more than 50 years. They also cause minimal wear to the teeth that they touch on the opposing jaw.

Crowns made of porcelain (a glass-like substance fired in an oven at a high temperature) look good but may be too brittle to stand the wear and forces given to back teeth. Like glass, they can fracture under pressure. But because of their lifelike appearance they make a good choice for visible front teeth.

PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns) are a good combination of the best of gold and porcelain, but they sometimes lose the stains applied to make them look natural, and occasionally they fracture away from the metal.

A provisional crown can help you make sure you are getting a crown with the qualities you want. With the provisional crown all the details are worked out ahead of time, and you get a chance to try them out to make sure the crown looks good and that you can eat and talk normally. After you give your approval on the provisional crown, the final crown will be made to match it, in longer-lasting and better quality components.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about crowns and other dental restorations. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gold or Porcelain Crowns.”

By Redwood Dental Health Center
December 19, 2012
Category: Dental Procedures
UnderstandingTheMaintenanceAndLifespanOfPorcelainVeneers

An important consideration prior to having any cosmetic dentistry is to understand both the pros and the cons of each particular dental procedure. And while porcelain laminate veneers are among the most aesthetic means of creating a beautiful, more pleasing smile, they are permanent and non-reversible and should be maintained properly.

On average, you can expect porcelain veneers to last anywhere between 7 and 20+ years. However, much of that depends whether or not you care for them properly in addition to the quality of the dental porcelain, the craftsmanship, and placement of them. How long your veneers last can also depend to some extent upon how you age. This is because the gum tissues attached to the living tooth that your veneers are cemented to may shrink or pull away from the tooth exposing its root surface. If this occurs, you should see your dentist for an evaluation, as it may require veneer replacement. Or, the issue might be resolved through some minor periodontal (gum) plastic surgery.

Porcelain veneers are a low maintenance solution for solving a multitude of cosmetic dental challenges, but they do require that you protect them during sports or vigorous activity. You should also wear an oral appliance or mouthguard (nightguard) to protect them from grinding or any other involuntary damage during sleep.

To learn more about porcelain veneers, continue reading the Dear Doctor article, “Porcelain Veneers.” If you are ready to see what cosmetic dentistry can do for you, contact us to schedule a consultation.

By Redwood Dental Health Center
October 19, 2012
Category: Dental Procedures
QuestionsYouShouldAskBeforeWhiteningYourTeeth

Having a whiter, brighter smile can do wonders for improving self-confidence, career opportunities, and interpersonal relationships, as demonstrated in numerous scientific studies. In fact, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the following was revealed:

  • 99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset.
  • 74% feel an unattractive smile can hurt chances for career success.
  • 50% of all people polled were unsatisfied with their smile.

These statistics demonstrate why you should have a solid understanding about any cosmetic procedure — even teeth whitening — before making your decision to proceed. To help you ensure that you have the facts, we created the following list of questions.

  • Am I a good candidate for tooth whitening?
  • How much will the entire process cost?
  • Does my insurance cover the cost (or any portion of the cost)?
  • How does teeth whitening work?
  • Is bleaching teeth safe?
  • Will the bleaching agents damage tooth enamel?
  • Can whitening treatments make my teeth sensitive?
  • How does your professional bleaching differ from home whitening?
  • What type of bleach and strength will you use?
  • How long can I expect the results to last?
  • What will the bleach do to my gums, filings, crowns, veneers, and/or bridgework?

Please note that we may cover most or all of these questions during your initial consultation; however, we encourage you to bring this list with you to ensure you get the answers you need so that you can make the best decision. To learn more now, continue reading the Dear Doctor article, “Teeth Whitening: Brighter, Lighter, Whiter....” Or, you can contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule an appointment.

By Redwood Dental Health Center
October 03, 2012
Category: Dental Procedures
TheTopTenReasonsToConsiderPorcelainVeneers

A veneer is a thin layer of dental ceramic tooth-colored restorative material, usually made of porcelain, which replaces some of the tooth's enamel and is physically bonded to it.

You might want to consider porcelain veneers:

  1. If your teeth are severely discolored. (For best results we may recommend that your teeth be whitened before veneering them.)
  2. If your teeth cannot be evenly whitened or matched by other means.
  3. If your teeth are misshapen or worn, you can change their size or shape for optimum aesthetic appeal.
  4. If you don't want to have your teeth prepared (drilled), prepless veneers may be an option to change your smile.
  5. If you want as little natural tooth structure prepared as possible to improve your smile.
  6. If you would like something temporary first to “test-drive” your new smile, then:
  7. “Provisional veneers” allow you to try out your new smile and give us feedback before the final permanent veneers are placed.
  8. If you want to improve your smile for just one tooth or even multiple teeth.
  9. If you want long-lasting restorations — veneers can last from seven to twenty years or more.

And the top reason is:

  1. Porcelain laminate veneers are among the most aesthetic ways to create a more beautiful, yet normal, looking smile.

Tell us what you want to change about your current smile, and we can tell you whether veneers are right for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your questions about cosmetic dentistry. You can learn more by reading about porcelain veneers in Dear Doctor magazine.

By Redwood Dental Health Center
September 18, 2012
Category: Dental Procedures
BleachingmdashAnExcellentToolForWhiteningStainedTeeth

The embarrassment of having discolored and/or stained teeth can be monumental and negatively impact your love life, work career, interactions with others, on top of undermining your self-esteem. And it is this reality that urges many people to wonder what teeth whitening could do for their specific needs. However, before obtaining any “fix,” you really should get an understanding of what causes staining of your teeth. This important step will enable you to make the necessary lifestyle and behavioral changes to prevent future issues.

For example, letting us know which of the following common causes for staining teeth apply to you can be an excellent first step towards building an optimal action plan for brightening your smile.

Which of the following questions about discolored teeth apply to you?

  • Staining from tobacco use?
  • Staining from coffee, tea and/or wine?
  • Your teeth have become progressively discolored and yellow with age?
  • Staining from red (tomato-based) sauces, sodas/colas and blueberries among other things?
  • Other family members have stained teeth so it seems to be genetic?
  • Staining from medications such as the antibiotic tetracycline given as a child?

Your honest responses to the above, along with your medical history will enable us to formulate the appropriate therapy for brightening your smile. And for most people this includes bleaching, an inexpensive yet effective method for whitening teeth. It is most often accomplished using a gel that is between 15% and 35% carbamide peroxide, a type of hydrogen peroxide. Years of research have proven that this whitening agent does not damage tooth enamel or the nerves inside the teeth. The only side effect that some people experience is slight tooth sensitivity and irritation of the gum tissues. However, they both are usually temporary, often occuring when you first start bleaching and generally subside after a few days. You can learn more when you continue reading the Dear Doctor article, “Tooth Staining.” Or, you can contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule an appointment.