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Archive for October, 2011

Treatment Options to Broaden a Narrow Smile

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

cosmetic dentist ChicagoPatients with narrow arches are often told that they must endure months upon months of orthodontic treatment and sometimes even jaw surgery before achieving the results they desire. Braces may not be necessary in every case, though. Carefully designed veneers may be able to do the trick.

Our Chicago cosmetic dentist can improve your smile without subjecting you to a lengthy stint with braces. Thin porcelain restoration devices known as veneers can have a dramatic effect in a drastically reduced timeframe.

Using veneers, a cosmetic dentist can create an illusion of a wider arch of upper teeth. This can be necessary when the rear teeth angle inward excessively. The porcelain shells can be bonded to the rear teeth to bring them out.

Veneers can be placed in a matter of weeks. In fact, the process generally is completed in just two appointments. At the first session, your cosmetic dentist may prepare the teeth for veneer placement by removing a thin layer of enamel from the teeth to accommodate the veneers. However, for cases in which ultra-thin veneers can be used, this step may be unnecessary. The dentist also will take impressions of your teeth at this first appointment.

Those impressions are sent to the dental laboratory that makes the veneers, and the veneers are generally ready within a week or two. At the patient’s second trip to the dental office, the dentist makes any additional adjustments that are necessary and bonds the veneers to the teeth.

Compare that timeline with that of braces and surgery, which can last for more than two years for some patients. For this reason, veneers are sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics.”

In addition to their quick turnaround, veneers also offer the benefit of being durable. When cared for properly, veneers may last a decade or longer.

If you are troubled by your narrow smile, contact our cosmetic dentistry team at 312-328-9007 to see if veneers would be an effective intervention in your case.



Enhance your smile with Lumineers

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Many patients dream of a beautiful smile, and they often turn to veneers to achieve that goal. A specific type of veneer known as Lumineers offers a good alternative to traditional devices for Chicago patients.

Lumineers are not typical veneers. These porcelain shells are thinner than traditional veneers—about the thickness of a contact lens—eliminating the need to remove a layer of enamel from the tooth. Alternatively, traditional veneers add too much bulk to the smile unless enamel is shaved.

In particular, Lumineers appeal to patients who prefer not to sacrifice any of their existing tooth material. Additionally, there’s no need for injections of local anesthetic and the discomfort that can result from the standard tooth preparation process for veneers is eliminated.

Not only do Lumineers help to preserve healthy tooth enamel, they also necessitate shorter dentist appointments for placement. Lumineers patients also can avoid temporary veneers while they wait for the permanent ones to be ready for placement by a cosmetic dentist.

As an added benefit, Lumineers are also reversible because the natural tooth remains intact. Lumineers can be removed if the patient is not satisfied with the results.

A cosmetic dentist can use Lumineers in the same way as traditional veneers. Lumineers can improve the smile by covering chips or cracks, eliminating diastema and realigning teeth, among other aesthetic improvements.

As with traditional veneers, your cosmetic dentist will take impressions at your initial appointment. Those impressions are used to guide the process of crafting the permanent veneers. When the custom-designed veneers are ready, the dentist will check that their shade and shape meet the patient’s expectations, make any necessary adjustments, then bond the Lumineers to the teeth.

Like other porcelain veneers, Lumineers are remarkably durable. They can last for decades when cared for properly.

Thanks to modern dental technology, a perfect, sparkling smile is within reach of anyone who might want one. Lumineers can be important tools in that effort. Work with our cosmetic dentistry team at ORA Dental Studio to develop a plan that includes these ultra-thin veneers to preserve your natural tooth material while improving your smile.



What is a dental implant?

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

dental implants ChicagoWhen a patient loses a tooth, whether from disease or injury, a variety of choices are available to fill in the resulting gap in the smile. Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option for Chicago patients. They last longer than other options and do a better job of replicating the entire structure of the missing tooth, not merely the crown.

The dental implant itself is the titanium screw-like structure that is inserted into the jaw by an implant dentist. The implant is topped with a small metal post, which anchors an artificial crown.

Because dental implants are made of titanium, which is biocompatible, they can fuse with the bone over time. This process renders dental implants stronger and more durable than other tooth replacement alternatives, such as bridges.

In replacing the tooth’s root in addition to the crown, dental implants help to stabilize the jaw bone. The ramifications of an absent root may not be the primary concern of many patients considering tooth replacement options, but it’s just as important as replacing the visible portion of the tooth.

Without a root in place to serve as an anchor, the jaw bone can wear away in time. This problem, which is prevented by dental implants, can lead to further tooth loss. It happens to a certain extent when a bridge is used to replace a tooth and to an even greater degree when partials or dentures are necessary.

Of course, sufficient bone must be available initially to support the dental implant’s osseointegration process. In most cases, this aspect of implant placement is not problematic. However, when the tooth has been missing for years, the implant dentist may need to supplement the available bone prior to placing the implants. This additional surgery may also be necessary if the missing tooth is toward the rear of the mouth, where the jawbone is thinner to begin with.

Dental implants are useful in a variety of situations. A lone appliance can fill in for a single missing tooth, or multiple implants may be used to hold an entire arch of artificial teeth in place. Regardless of the specifics of your case, it is very likely that you could be a candidate for dental implants.